On a visit with a friend during our recent stopover in London, she reassured us that the Brit version of a gap year is 15 months long. It starts on June 1st for the student finishing secondary school. And ends the following September when he or she enters university. Just the breakthrough in thinking we needed.
Now there is more time for my own bucket list, which, frankly, has been a bit subsumed by Sam’s search for his new self. Sam’s reinvention of himself is possibly of more interest to you, dear reader. And it is of great interest to me. But as this is my bully pulpit too, here are a few things remaining on my Gap Year list:
- Take a writing workshop. I’ve applied to one at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, just down the road. Update: I was accepted! More info about Haystack’s summer workshops here.
- Continue to explore my artistic impulses by taking drawing lessons and a painting class. I’m hopeless. My hand doesn’t seem to connect with my eye. I love painting nonetheless. The stakes are much lower because I don’t think of myself as a “painter.” I’ve taken classes on Deer Isle in past summers but somehow this got lost last year during the launch of the Gap Year.
- Finish writing two short eBooks. I’ve been talking about this forever. Enough procrastinating in the name of perfection. I expect one will be based on this gap year blog.
- Produce and publish a charity eBook for Kindle to raise money for a cause I care about. In the works but can’t reveal details yet. Here’s an example of a charity eBook: End Malaria.
- And finally, and perhaps most improbably, return to my interest in playing a musical intstrument by taking violin or cello lessons. I’m leaning towards cello. Need to find a local teacher but I’m sure there is one. I last took violin lessons 40 years ago when Sam was in med school. I did not progress very far. Just far enough to be able to practice a few times with an informal quartet. It was thrilling. So this fits in with the gap year theme of “returning to essentials,” which was the impetus behind our trip to Africa.
- Note to my son-in-law: look out…
Photo above: I’m on the back of a piki-piki (motorcycle for hire) in Bududa, Uganda. Blazing sun and heat, in case you’re wondering about the Lawrence of Arabia hat. It cost 1,000 shillings UG or about 50 cents to go a couple of miles. No helmets for driver or passengers. Unnerving, especially because there is no access to good medical care in the event of a skid or accident. Sam and I usually rode together behind the driver.