Sunday, February 2, 2014

Gap years

Recently I was listening to a podcast that discussed the current trend for young people to have gap years between high school and college. Apparently the idea is that the parents pay $20,000 to a non profit agency and their young scholars get to volunteer in a third world country and apparently, learn about life. When I was in college I heard about classmates who spent a few months in a kibbutz, or for the more politically active, a time helping Cuba with the sugar crop. It seemed like fun and I suppose it taught my acquaintances about life.

I guess I took a gap year after college, albeit involuntarily. After college I was supposed to get a creative and interesting job in New York but with the recession and all, I ended up selling hot dogs at Two Guys and working as a paraprofessional at a library thanks to CETA and family connections. I guess it was good, although it didn't seem so at the time. I also took a trip by car to California where I found my identity.

After I couldn't find a librarian job post librarian degree I again drove out west where I  worked for a data processing company in Denver. I guess you could say I had a gap decade before entering my exalted profession.

I suppose volunteering in Ethiopia is more interesting than selling hot dogs but both experiences can teach one about life. Even college teaches one about life, if you think about it. As Dick Cavett once said, "college teaches a man how to drink". So I suppose gap years are okay but some of us are probably too immature to take one on at the tender age of seventeen.

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