The Retirement Community




retire secret article (2)
grey muffin look away
yoga resident interview
hall tai chi longevity
wood woods good/better/best
main mostly head nurse
bald without nonetheless
stoop first time nevertheless
chain non-stop chain-smoke
pie cupcake community
just screen shot/shoot/shot
really approach turn away




The Article

Sandra, a journalist, wanted to write an article about the secrets of long life and good health. So one day, she visited a retirement community to interview the residents.

Under a Tree

After meeting the staff, Sandra entered the community garden. There she saw a grey-haired man reading a book under a tree. She approached him.

“Excuse me sir, but I was wondering if you could tell me how old you are, and what the secret to a long, healthy life is?” she asked.

The man looked up from his book. “Well, I’m 80 years old. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke. I go for walks in the woods, and I read books.”

Sandra thanked him and walked towards the flower section.

The Flower Garden

A white-haired woman with a dog was walking around. Sandra asked her the same question.

“I’m 90,” the woman answered. “I do yoga, tai chi, I eat mostly vegetables and fruits, plus yogurts and nuts. And I have my best friend here, Acey.”

Sandra thanked her and moved on towards the vegetable patch.


After talking to many more residents, Sandra returned to the main hall and thanked the head nurse.

She was about to leave, when someone caught her eye . . . it was a stooping, bald man watching TV and smoking a cigarette.

“Oh, I’ve got to talk to him,” said Sandra.
“Uh . . . I don’t think you should,” replied the nurse.

But Sandra went to him anyway.

The TV Room

“Excuse me sir,” she asked. “Could you please tell me your secrets to a long, healthy life?”

Without looking away from the TV, he replied, very slowly, “Well I chain-smoke — non-stop, every day, all day.

I ONLY eat hamburgers, hotdogs, french fries, chips, cookies, ice-cream, candy, cakes, biscuits, pies, cupcakes, muffins; and drink soda, sugared-juices and whiskey . . .”

Sandra could see that he had no teeth.

TV Shows

“I just sit here and watch TV shows and movies from 10 in the morning till two in the morning, when I go to sleep.”

Sandra looked at the television screen. Men were shooting each other with pistols and assault rifles.

REALLY? And how old are you sir, 100?”

The man slowly turned away from the TV for the first time. He looked directly into Sandra’s eyes.

“I’m 36.”



*     *     *     *     *     *



Sandra is a medical researcher. True or false? Where was she on that day?

Walking, Hiking.
Did Sandra want to investigate the structure, management and organization of the retirement community? What did she want to do? What did she want to know?

Fresh Air.
Describe the first individual. What were his secrets?

Hobbies, Activities.
Who was the second person she interviewed? Describe her and tell her secrets.

Fruits and Vegetables.
The head nurse suggested that Sandra interview the man watching TV. Is this right or wrong?

Yogurt, Cheese, Butter.
What did the man say? Who was the last person she interviewed?

Raw Nuts and Seeds.
Is there a moral or lesson to this story? What is the moral or lesson of the story?
Gardening. Do you know any very old people? Describe them.

There are places in my country where people live very long. Yes or no?

Reading, Watching Videos.
In your town, city or country, do children look after their parents when they get old; or do old people live in retirement communities or nursing homes or both?

Writing, Journal. I know people who are middle-aged or old, but look younger. Yes or no? Why is that?

Solving Puzzles.
Have you met young or middle-aged people who look older? Why is that?

Communicating, Keeping in Touch.
What are the secrets to a long, healthy life?

Pets, Friends.
What will happen in the future?

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