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GRE Article of the Month – September 2014

Heaven’s Gaits: What we do when we walk
By Adam Gopnik for The New Yorker

Credit: Robert S. Donovan

This article of the month is a meditation on something we do every day—walk. While that subject may sound sleep inducing, New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik infuses his writing both with pointed—yet subtle—wit and fascinating historical tidbits (did you know that walking was the top spectator sport in mid-19th century America?), ending with a philosophical, if not slightly morbid, take on walking.

The piece isn’t as dense with vocabulary as some of the other articles I’ve chosen, yet Gopnik employs an elevated style that may not be so easy to follow. (See if you can pick up on some of the pointed wit I mentioned).

GRE words to look out for include the following:

  • Enthralled
  • Oracular
  • Abstract (v.)
  • Permeates
  • Peregrination
  • Apotheosized
  • Ample
  • Contiguous


Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan


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4 Responses to GRE Article of the Month – September 2014

  1. Mehjabeen Hossain September 25, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

    Hello Chris,
    Thanks for this beautiful article.
    Took me in a journey of serenity, solitude yet (as the article said) sharing it with some unacquinted author far from me.

    Apart from the joy of reading, I want to know how can I use this for my Reading comprehension reading strategy?
    Should I maintain a time frame to read it even for the very first reading?
    Make a headline list?
    Or should I read it in a relax mood for the first time and dive into GRE reading comp mode ( reading within a timeframe, make summary, guess the Q, find the object, dissect the tone of author) for the second time reading?
    Thanks in advance

    • Chris Lele
      Chris Lele September 26, 2014 at 10:46 am #

      That’s a great question–something nobody has yet to ask.

      I like both approaches to reading. The contemplative–yet always engaged–approach will allow you to form deep connections between the ideas expressed in the passage. You can look up words at your leisure and allow your brain to soak up the prose, rereading certain parts, as necessary.

      While I recommend this meditative reading–mainly because it improves your reading brain–it can also be dangerous from a GRE standpoint. You wouldn’t want to get too lost in any one of the GRE passages test day :). Reading an article a second time, with a timer, and focusing on the main ideas, will help your “GRE-brain”. For some real fun–okay, this is totally subjective–you can even write your own GRE-style question based on the passage.

      Glad you liked the article 🙂

  2. Nasrin September 16, 2014 at 10:37 am #

    Hi Chris,

    I must say I loved it. As you said it was not dense in vocabulary, but the style was so gripping. Being a walker myself, I was totally lost in the vague feeling of wondering in a big city streets, exploring the ineffable connection that walking brings with self and the whole ambient nuances. The writing was like a smooth flow of exploring an unforgettable experience, with hints of subtle philosophical enlightenment.

    • Rachel Wisuri
      Rachel September 16, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

      I totally agree! 🙂

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