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When I was in kindergarten, my class was asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Colorful crayons danced across sheets of paper to illustrate our dream occupations and cherished jobs. Our drawings were hung in the school hallway for our parents to see at Back to School Night. I remember looking down the line and seeing pictures of pretty ballerinas dancing, brave firefighters putting out a blaze, and fearless astronauts leaping across the moon — admirable careers that were seen as typical dreams of five-year-old kids.
My picture showed a stick figure with brown disheveled hair holding a carton of orange juice over a large rectangle that was supposed to be a counter. Underneath was my barely legible handwriting: “When I grow up, I want to work at the Market Basket because it would be fun to swipe orange juice across the scanner and talk to customers.” To this day my parents won’t let me forget that out of everything I could have aspired to be, my five-year-old self wished to work at the local grocery store.
When we are young, questions of what we want to be when we grow up are common. Yet we are not expected to respond with an answer that is likely to come true. However, when we become teenagers, we are asked the very same question twice as often. The difference is, now we are supposed to answer with confidence.
Teenagers are expected to know exactly what they want to be and how they are going to achieve that goal. Not all of us can be so sure at this age. Even though I am in high school, I cannot answer convincingly. But I don’t consider that a bad thing. How am I supposed to know what I will want to spend my time doing at the age of thirty or forty?
When I think about the future, I definitely don’t see myself working at the counter of the Market Basket, but in reality, if that was what would make me happy, I would do it. So, the next time someone asks me what I want to be when I grow up, I will simply say, “I want to be happy.” And it is hope that drives us in this direction.
“Hope is not a grain of sand,” the Gambian poet, Lenrie Peters, echoes, but no matter how tiny it is, it would still be sufficient to keep the youth alive and sane in most extreme circumstances. It is hope that spurs the youth on, to be up and doing. It is hope that keeps the youth going no matter how hard it is. Nelson Mandela as a youth hoped against all hope for the liberation of his people and he actually lived to see his hope being fulfilled. Robinson Crusoe, cast away on an uninhabited island, hoped against all hope for survival and this propelled him to start from scratch and build a compound and large farm single-handedly.
Far away in “Another Country: the Land of Literature,” Sister Eileen Sweeney sums up through her writings that Hope is the anchor that keeps “the ship” called “youth” steadfastly held together no matter the high and stormy sea of passion, pain, distress or tribulation that batter against it.
Happiness is a destination for everyone. We may want to walk different paths in life, narrow or wide, crooked or straight, but we all want to be happy wherever we end up. Choose your path, but don’t worry too much about choosing wisely. Make a mistake or two and try new things. But always remember, if you’re not happy, you’re not at the end of your journey yet.
ВОПРОС 1: In what way did the children in the kindergarten answer the question about their dream occupation?
1) They described their parents’ actual occupation.
2) They took pictures of parents at the Back to School Night.
3) They drew people of their dream careers in action.
4) They made up a list of the most common and wide-spread professions.
ВОПРОС 2: Why did the author want to work in the local grocery store?
1) It seemed to be an enjoyable occupation.
2) It was quite a realistic career goal.
3) Her parents spoke a lot about it.
4) She liked to make orange juice.
ВОПРОС 3: According to the author, when you grow up the questions about career choice become
1) less convincing.
2) less common.
3) more frequent.
4) more stressful.
ВОПРОС 4: “That” in “But I don’t consider that a bad thing” (paragraph 4) refers to
1) knowing in your teens exactly what you want to be.
2) working at the counter of the Market Basket grocery store.
3) being unsure of your future career when in high school.
4) having a definite idea of how to achieve one’s career goal.
ВОПРОС 5: What would the author most probably like to do in the future?
1) Write poems about difficulties of youth.
2) Work as an independent farmer.
3) Work for a local supermarket chain.
4) Do a job that brings her satisfaction.
ВОПРОС 6: Examples with Nelson Mandela and Robinson Crusoe are mentioned by the author to
1) illustrate wise and successful career choices.
2) prove how important it is not to lose hope.
3) inspire teenagers to believe in their own effort.
4) show what to do in extreme circumstances.
ВОПРОС 7: What conclusion does the author make?
1) Make a wise choice when thinking of your future profession.
2) Look for an activity that makes you happy.
3) Do not forget about the happiness of other people.
4) Be careful not to make a mistake when trying new things.
ВОПРОС 1: – 3
ВОПРОС 2: – 1
ВОПРОС 3: – 3
ВОПРОС 4: – 3
ВОПРОС 5: – 4
ВОПРОС 6: – 2
ВОПРОС 7: – 2