July 25, 2018

Closing Thoughts on a “Whirlwind” Year

Each year, Tivnu holds an end of the year siyyum to celebrate our Tinvuniks’ year of learning and growing. To close out Tivnu 4, our participants received a warm sendoff to their next adventures from staff, host families, supervisors, co-workers, and friends. As part of the ceremony, a few participants shared their reflections on the program and this moment of transition. Below, please enjoy Calvin Lyster’s insightful, honest thoughts on what it is to experience the Tivnu gap year.

“As I was feverishly trying to organize ancient dusty plates and plastic dollar store grasshoppers and unused MAX tickets and ReStore discount CDs into a suitably aesthetically pleasing pile on my bed today, I was thinking, what does it all mean? Do these mementos guarantee a successful year? Have I learned anything, apart from the physical lessons I’ve been taught? Why did I buy a giant plastic grasshopper in the first place? All these questions and more whizzed around my frazzled brain and I felt like a halfway-built sawhorse, incomplete and unsteady and unsure of what the next step would be.

This program is ending and it’s certainly a rude awakening. I’ve gotten too used to the chaos of this house, the ruckus of so many unfinished people growing and changing their bodies and plans and mentalities and just generally struggling upward together under the same ugly yellow kitchen ceiling. It’s been a process, with many twists and turns, as we all navigated the jobs, tasks and lives we’d been trusted with.

In the whirlwind of so many internships, educational explorations, and trips to the mountains, as well as kitchen disasters, bathroom floods, and midnight meltdowns solved by group challah making, we were expected and encouraged to find balance in the madness, and I truly believe this year has shown we can, and can excel as well. In the last wild days of this program, I’ve watched my housemates, people who were thrust together so suddenly—expected to live together, work together and keep a house from burning down—tear up a class four rapid in total, beautiful sync.

So thank you, Tivnu. You’ve given me a lot of things to process, absorb and distribute to the rest of the world, and I think every single one of those things merged to help us get over that last wave and out the other side together.”

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