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"Still lie the sheltering snows, undimmed and white;
And reigns the winter's pregnant silence still;
No sign of spring, save that the catkins fill,
And willow stems grow daily red and bright.
These are days when ancients held a rite
Of expiation for the old year's ill,
And prayer to purify the new year's will."
Helen Hunt Jackson, A Calendar of Sonnet's: February
Learn English in February

AM/PM Session - 31 July 2018 - Senior Gap Year

NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,132 Teacher
We read two articles about a new type of gap year - the senior gap year:



Vocabulary Top 10:

gap year - a year that you spend traveling, working, etc., before continuing your studies

snatch away - to take (something or someone) suddenly from a person or place often by using force

get on with it - to continue doing something

take a gulp - to swallow because of strong emotion (such as fear or shock)

bunk - either one of two single beds that are placed one above the other

up for grabs - available for anyone to try to get

forgone - something in the future that is certain to happen or be true

whisked away - to move or take (someone or something) to another place very quickly

days gone by - a time that has passed; days/times in the past

unheard of - not known to have existed or happened before : very unusual

Did you take a gap year when you were young?
Would you like to take a gap year? What would you do during this time?


  • Shiny03Shiny03 Posts: 2,885 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Getting old doesn't mean that you're drying or your life is limited. In other words, we should not limit us no matter how old we are. I met an old man who was just retired from his job. He was a translator who translated English to Japanese in a specific genre. He said he had no time which isn't like he is going to die or something, but because of considering the average male life expectancy, he wanted to spend the rest of his life to read English novels as many as he could. Thus, he asked people to recommend him any English novels, because of his all work and no play making him know less about English novels. He's full of energy and not like the other old men stay at home waiting to die. I was inspired. I mean, look at me, complaining I have no time to read any books or I am not good enough to speak in front of people. All of a sudden, I felt so stupid.

    I think I kind of understand what Lisa was trying to say. In Asia, it means something that you work your whole life to own a land, a house or a car. Then, when you are old, you should enjoy your life. In general, to enjoy your life means having someone to serve you, not like that grandpa in the article, selling his house and his car, traveling around the world but slept on a bunk in a hostel. That's why she was surprised. It seems to her that grandpa is miserable having no house and car when he backed home from the humble trip. However, times have changed and our lifestyle is different. I mean who knows that minimalism would become a trend these days. Besides, it might become a burden or a negative asset or liability to have a house or a car. Just thinking how much money you are or you were paying for the house and the car such as money for insurance and maintenance and repairs. Let's say, you can bring your memory with you when you die, but not a house.
  • NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,132 Teacher
    I agree @Shiny03 - I don't think getting old means that you should just sit on the couch waiting to die :s . I think that you are only as old as you feel, and you should make the most of however much time you have in your life to do things that make you happy. For some people that could be a senior gap year; for others it might be reading books for pleasure instead of work, or taking care of grandchildren. It will be different for each person!

    And thank you for explaining your ideas about what Lisa was saying during the session. I think I understand more about this now. The general idea of enjoying your life when you get older is appreciating and using all the things you have worked hard for, like your house, car and family. So leaving all this behind would sound very strange after you worked so hard to get them!

    I think minimalism might actually be related to this change too! People are starting to see more value in experiences instead of possessions. I know that this is also very relative though - it's different to choose between having many things and it being out of your control.
  • Shiny03Shiny03 Posts: 2,885 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @NatashaT Thank you for your response. Why do I never cease to feel amazed by your speaking? (Okay, actually I know why.:)) It sounds more logical, tedious and organized. I mean everything you said is so clear and rational (Is it the right word to use it?). I don't speak much (causing me to become clumsy in talking and communicating with people), because I think people always misunderstand and make a judgment easily or just never listen to you according to my experience. But somehow I want to change and convey my thoughts and express my feelings accurately recently...

    By the way, in addition, being a good parent means to leave a family legacy (especially real estate) to your children or pay money for their child to buy a house in Asia. I think it's because our culture is based on agriculture. Therefore, if you don't have any asset or money when you are old, people would probably belittle you. However, many young people don't think so anymore these days, but this traditional idea still exists in our society.
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I really hope not: I hope getting older doesn't mean getting seated all day long on a couch watching tv and waiting to die.

    Referring to the man cited in the article, I can understand his reaction to the death of his wife.

    I mean that an unbearable grief which almost lead you on the brink of madness, can make you come up with ideas and purposes, that from an outsider's point of view, can seem a bit eccentric.

    Nevertheless, when provided with the wider picture, I suppose, even the most sceptical people would eventually nod and approve of the self-indulgent arrangement.

    When you know the caress by your beloved has vanished never to return in your remaining lifetime, what should you do when you've run out of tears ?

    You need a distraction, something which can avert your mind other than just your eyes from the quicksand of deep sadness.

    Then what's more appropriate, in the unfortunate case, than a relieving gap year ?

    What do either a house's or a car's possession matter when you can't but show off a broken heart ? It's just an empty version of you who keep filling those status symbols of our society based on narrow-minded materialism.

    So I can't but sympathize with the man and his journey.

    @NatashaT wrote:

    ' ... I think that you are only as old as you feel, and you should make the most of however much time you have in your life to do things that make you happy... '

    Agree, you should always do whatever you feel like, regardless of your age.

    The main challenge, though, when you're no longer in your twenties.. thirties.. let's say maybe you're somewhere along your forties, is when, in your journey, you have to face a peculiar kind of obstacle.

    I'm not referring here to such things like trekking up high mountains, crossing endless exhausting deserts, wading strong current run rivers... even less am I dangerous wildlife, such as mosquitoes, spiders, snakes or lions.

    The older backpackers more insidious danger just suddenly looms up in front of you in the apparently familiar and harmless indoors space of the ( sigh ) youth hostel.

    The authentic bugbear of any elderly globetrotter is there, standing in your room, silent and indifferent, but mischievously just waiting for you to undergo its torture when the time will fatally and inexorably come to go to bed.

    That's the bunk bed.

    At first, you even don't dare taking into consideration the upper bunk's nightmare, and resolutely head for the lower one.

    Then, you'll spend the evening bumping your head against the ceiling of your ' sarcophagus ' .

    The next night, if you survive the injuries, you smartly go like that: ' once bitten, twice shy ' and opt for the upper cosy board.

    You approach the ladder ( sigh ) and starts climbing up: my first attempts saw me slipping while trying to climb while still wearing flip-flops. ( fortunately there were no one eye-witnessing my performance ).

    In my experience, the entire structure once started oscillating, then rolling even more dangerously, until, almost on top of it, I felt like a pirate boarding a galeon.

    Needless to say, I had to climb down and up, over and over again, because I always lacked something, to the pleasure of my first floor's neighbour, who I kept shacking with my clumsiness.
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
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