113 PR Some people believe that students should be given one long vacation each year. Others believe that students should have several short vacations throughout the year. Which viewpoint do you agree with? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice.

I like the idea of students having several short vacations throughout the year. I’m a working parent with two school-age children. Every summer I have to come up with a plan for keeping my children safe and entertained for three months, while my husband and I are at work. Summer camps are expensive, and finding the one your children will enjoy can be a challenge. Getting rid of that one long vacation would make life a lot easier.

Having several shorter vacations would also make it easier to schedule vacations. My husband and I both work in small offices with other working parents. All of us need vacation time during the same three months. This is hard on our businesses and our careers.

We also find that wherever we go in the summer, it’s crowded. It would be nice to go places throughout the year and find smaller crowds. I’m sure the attractions themselves would like that better, too. It would be better for the economy to spread things out, too.

I think my children would be more focused on their students if their vacation time was divided up throughout the year. The final month of the school year, they’re just not paying attention. They’ve been in school for nine long months and they don’t have a lot of energy. Plus , they’re anticipating vacation time. If vacations were throughout the year, they would concentrate better on studies.

Of course, many older school buildings aren’t air-conditioned, because usually people aren’t there during the hottest months. That might be a problem, I think, though, that new air-conditioning would be worth the cost. During the last few weeks of summer, my children are bored with their long vacation. I doubt that would happen if there were several vacations throughout the year.

114 PR Would you prefer to live in a traditional house or in a modern apartment building? Use specific reasons and details to support your choice.

I know there are advantages to living in a modern apartment, but I'd prefer to live in a traditional house. My reason is that I love traditional design. It's graceful and warm and inviting. I think modern design is very empty and sterile and not very inviting. So, because of the way it looks, I'd choose a traditional house.

I recognize the fact that a modern apartment is going to be in much better shape. Being new probably means all the plumbing works, the roof isn't going to leak, the windows are properly sealed, and the kitchen appliances are in working order. A traditional house can't guarantee any of that. In fact, it's likely that things will break down or need replacement, simply because of age.

Still, if the appliances are old, so is the wood, and that's a big advantage as far as I'm concerned. Very few new buildings have the kind of woods that were used years ago. It's something that can't be copied.

Space is always important to me, too. I need a lot of room for my home office, my clothes, and to display all the knickknacks I've picked up in my travels. I also like to have interesting space. I don't want all the rooms and windows the same size or a boxy design. A modern apartment usually comes in one size and shape. A traditional house is going to have a variety of spaces where I can put a little table or a window seat. And it will have lots of room, from basement to attic. These are all good reasons for me to prefer living in a traditional house.

Some people love modern design, but it's not for me. The space and beauty of a traditional home are more important to me than having everything new and perfect.

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