Foreign Language Department
of City College 城市学院外国语分院
第 一 环 美 文 背 诵
第 二 环 节 电影配音
第 三 环 节 才 艺 表 演
1 2 3 21
10 9 8
The English Character
To other Europeans, the best known quality of the British,
and in particular of the English, is “reserved”.
A reserved person is one who does not talk very much to strangers,
does not show much emotion, and seldom gets excited.
It is difficult to get to know a reserved person:
he never tells you anything about himself,
and you may work with him for years without ever knowing where he lives,
how many children he has, and what his interests are.
English people tend to be like that.
Closely related to English reserve is English modesty.
Within their hearts, the English are perhaps no less conceited than anybody
but in their relations with others they value at least a show of modesty.
Self－praise is felt to be impolite.
If a person is, let us say,
very good at tennis and someone asks him if he is a good player,
he will seldom reply “Yes,”
because people will think him conceited.
He will probably give an answer like,
“I’m not bad,” or “I think I’m very good,” or “Well, I’m very keen on
Even if he had managed to reach the finals in last year’s local
he would say it in such a way as to suggest that it was only due to a
piece of good luck.
Since reserve and modesty are part of his own nature,
the typical English tends to expect them in others.
He secretly looks down on more excitable nations,
and likes to think of himself as more reliable than they are.
He doesn’t trust big promises and open shows of feelings,
especially if they are expressed in flowery language.
He doesn’t trust self－praise of any kind.
This applies not only to what other people may tell him about
but to the letters they may write to him.
To those who are fond of flowery expressions,
the Englishman may appear uncomfortably cold.
An Irish Wedding
Have you ever been to an Irish wedding?
I have just returned from one.
It is a quarter to five in the morning;
the sun has already climbed above the horizon;
the birds are busy celebrating the new day and have eagerly been in
search of food.
But some of the guests have not yet left.
They are still prolonging the night:
dancing, singing, gossiping,
and postponing the unfortunate necessity of undertaking a day’s work
in the fields after a sleepless night.
The evening party was to start at ten o’clock,
but many of the guests arrived earlier.
A few of the nearer male relatives were looking rather awkward
in evening suits with smart bow ties,
and the pleasant, unsophisticated countrywomen
appeared a little self-conscious in their Sunday best.
Two men squeezing accordions provided the music:the old Irish tunes
that have been played at weddings for many years.
Half the people in the room were dancing the square dances
which have been enjoyed even longer.
A score of men stood in the narrow dark hall leaning against the wall,
drinking beer from bottles
and speculating about crops, cattle and the current political situation.
And whenever the dancing stopped,
somebody would start singing one of the sentimental, treasured Irish songs:
the exile longing for his home, the grief-stricken lover mourning his fate.
Sometimes we all joined in the chorus, sadly and solemnly,
before getting up to dance again.
Irish weddings are almost certain to have been celebrated in this way for
I have been to wedding receptions
where champagne has been served to the accompaniment of soft
unnoticed orchestral music;
I have listened to carefully prepared speeches
and eyed a little enviously the model gowns of women far more elegant
than I could ever hope to be.
I have been impressed, and a little bored.
I have just been sitting up all night in a small, uncomfortable Irish cottage
and I have been enjoying every moment of it.
When you hear the phrase cultural heritage, what comes to mind?
Maybe you remember going to see ethnic folk dances with people
wearing traditional costumes.
Perhaps you were exposed to the music and arts of this culture.
Most likely, however, what comes to mind will be the food.
It might begin with the recollection of your mother’s cooking,
or visiting grandma’s house and receiving a special treat as a reward
for good behavior.
As you close your eyes, can you picture your favorite dish?
Is it a salad with a special dressing, or a scrumptious dessert?
Can you smell the aroma wafting through the house?
Maybe you’re far away from home and eating your favorite soul food
makes you feel closer to those you’re separated from.
Many of us have missed spending a holiday or two with our loved ones,
only to find ourselves calling to ask what they had for dinner.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the same thing that is served year after year.
There’s nothing like food to help us identify with our roots.
These recipes, cherished family favorites,
handed down from each generation to the next might undergo subtle
but there still remains a cable of unity.
It is this unity which constructs the bridge between families and generations.
Food can be described as the building blocks of this cultural bridge.
Good food knows no boundaries.
It becomes the great equalizer between young and old.
Here, in the kitchen the old master works hand in hand with younger family
members and friends,
passing on traditional skills used in the culinary arts.
However, more is taking place than a mere transfer of information about
ingredients and mixing instructions.
Magic moments are created between child and elder.
It becomes an opportunity for a parent to teach family values while passing
the sugar and beating the eggs.
Confidences can be exchanged along with the natural flow of conversation.
Even if the word “pop” disappears from the English vocabulary,
the influence of pop will remain.
Pop has become part of British — and American — history.
There has always been a close cultural link, or tie,
between Britain and English peaking America,
not only in literature but also in the popular arts, especially music.
Before the Second World War the American exported jazz and the blues.
During the 1950s they exported rock and roll,
and star singers like Elvis Presley were idolized by young Britons and
The people responsible for the pop revolution were four Liverpool boys
who joined together in a group and called themselves the Beatles.
Unlike the famous solo stars who had their songs written for them,
They were respected by many intellectuals and by some serious musicians.
Largely thanks to the Beatles,
pop music has grown into an immense and profitable occupation.
They played in small clubs in the back streets of the city.
the Beatles wrote their own words and music.
They had a close personal relationship with their audience,
and they expected them to join in and dance to the “beat” of the music.
Audience participation is an essential characteristic of pop culture.
Some pop groups, in particular the Rolling Stones,
did more than just entertainment.
They wrote words which were deliberately intended to shock.
They represented the anger
and bitterness of youth struggling for freedom against authority,
and for this reason they were regarded by some people
as the personification of the “permissive society”.
The Beatles, on the other hand,
finally won the affection — and admiration —
of people of all ages and social backgrounds.
As they developed, their songs became more serious.
They wrote not only of love,
but of death and old age and poverty and daily life.
The American Obsession: Fast Food
The most obvious and striking trait is that Americans
always seem to be going somewhere and always seem to be in a hurry.
In New York, where the streets are usually choked with traffic,
drivers try in every way to get ahead of each other,
while pedestrians run through the streets often disregarding traffic signals.
Nowhere is this impatience more evident than in American eating habits.
Sitting down to a leisurely meal seems to be a luxury.
It is quicker to serve oneself in a fast food restaurant like McDonald’s.
McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s are nationwide food chains
specializing in the most popular of all foods, the hamburger.
The popularity of these eating places has much to do with being inexpensive,
but more important, with fast service.
Fast and instant are the key words.
A salad bar, a central feature in most restaurants,
has a dizzying variety of uncooked vegetables, pickled salads, cold fish, and
Putting together your own choices makes sense
but you also don’t have to wait to be served.
The salad may be your main meal,
or the appetizer which will keep you busy until the rest of the meal is ready.
“Takeout” food is an American way of life.
One can place an order over the phone with any of the take-away food shops
in the neighborhood for an instant meal to be taken to the office
or to eat at home from barbecued chicken to pizza.
With a little patience,
you can go to the supermarket and buy instant foods that take a little time to
instant cereals, instant soups, instant rice, instant coffee —
all of which require only boiling water,
or frozen dinners available in infinite choices.
Here the meal needs only to be heated.
With all the possibilities of eating instantly and constantly
and with the abundance of food in America,
is it any wonder that Americans tend to be overweight?
Every Living Person Has Problems
What is the secret ingredient of tough people that enables them to succeed?
Why do they survive the tough times when others are overcome by them?
Why do they win when others lose?
Why do they soar when others sink?
The answer is very simple.
It’s all in how they perceive their problems.
Yes, every living person has problems.
A problem-free life is an illusion — a mirage in the desert.
Accept that fact.
Every mountain has a peak.
Every valley has its low point.
Life has its ups and downs, its peaks and its valleys.
No one is up all the time, nor are they down all the time.
Problems do end. They are all resolved in time.
You may not be able to control the times,
but you can compose your responses.
You may not have chosen your tough time,
but you can choose how you will react to it.
For instance, what is the positive reaction to a terrible financial setback?
In this situation would it be the positive reaction to cop out and run away?
Escape through alcohol, drug, or suicide?
No! Such negative reactions only produce greater problems
by promising a temporary “solution” to the pressing problem.
The positive solution to a problem may require courage to initiate it.
When you control your reaction to the seemingly uncontrollable problem of
then in fact you do control the problem’s effect on you.
Your reaction to the problem is the last word!
That’s the bottom line.
What will you let this problem do to you?
It can make you tender or tough.
It can make you better or bitter.
It all depends on you.
In the final analysis, the tough people who survive the tough times do so
because they’ve chosen to react positively to their predicament.
Tough times never last, but tough people do.
Tough people stick it out.
History teaches us that every problem has a lifespan.
No problem is permanent.
April Showers Bring May Flowers
From the golden-tipped fields of mid-west America
to the ancient kingdoms of verdant Palestine,
there is a happy truth to be shared with all who would take heed.
In more recent times, this truth has been expressed as:
April showers bring May flowers.
This is a truth that promises light bursting from darkness,
strength born from weakness and,
if one dares to believe, life emerging from death.
Farmers all over the world know the importance and immutability of the
They know that there is a season to plant and a season to harvest;
everything must be done in its own time.
Although the rain pours down with the utmost relentlessness,
ceasing all outdoor activities,
the man of the field lifts his face to the heavens and smiles.
Despite the inconvenience,
he knows that the rain provides the nourishment his crops need to
grow and flourish.
The torrential rains in the month of April,
give rise to the glorious flowers in the month of May.
But this ancient truth applies to more than the crops of the fields;
it is an invaluable message of hope to all who experience tragedy in
A dashed relationship with one can open up the door
to a brand new friendship with another.
A lost job here can provide the opportunity for a better job there.
A broken dream can become the foundation of a wonderful future.
Everything has its place.
Remember this: overwhelming darkness may endure for a night,
but it will never overcome the radiant light of the morning.
When you are in a season of sorrow, hang in there,
because a season of joy may be just around the corner...
Types of University Students
University students are different.
They come from different parts of the country,
speak various dialects,
and follow their distinctive regional customs.
However, a closer look at their purposes of learning at university
will enable us to classify them roughly into three groups:
those who learn out of instinct,
those who learn for a promising future,
and those who learn with no definite purposes.
Firstly, there are a handful of students who learn without fatigue
simply because they like to learn.
They read a great deal of British and American novels
because they are keenly interested in literature.
Others sit in front of the computer screen,
working on one new program after another all day and all night
because they have discovered beauty in complicated signal patterns,
and dream of becoming “Bill Gates” one day.
Secondly, there are job-oriented who work hard for a better career.
It is arguable that the majority of university students fall into this category.
After enrolling in the hottest specialty of the moment,
they throw themselves into books, whether they like them or not,
so as to absorb the most knowledge and to obtain all the available
which may serve as a competitive edge
in the cut-throat human resources market in four years’ time.
Thirdly, there is a small fraction of students who learn without an aim.
They take courses, finish assignments, enjoy life on campus,
but lead a directionless life.
They do not know what they are doing,
nor what they are willing to do,
nor what they will be doing after college.
They are a group of “sleepers”.
Students from all parts of the country gather in the same university.
After four years, they part to continue their various lives.
However, it is almost certain that those who learn out of instinct will be
those who learn with a determination will be professionally successful at
and those who learn without an aim will end up with nothing.
What Happened to Sunday?
Today our life and work rarely feel light, pleasant or healing.
Instead, the whole experience of being alive
begins to melt into one enormous obligation.
It becomes the standard greeting everywhere:
“I am so busy.”
We say this to one another with no small degree of pride.
The busier we are, the more important we seem to ourselves and,
we imagine, to others.
To be unavailable to our friends and family,
to be unable to find time for the sunset,
to whiz through our obligations without time for a single mindful breath —
this has become the model of a successful life.
Because we do not rest, we lose our way.
We lose the nourishment that gives us help.
We miss the quiet that gives us wisdom.
Poisoned by the belief that good things come only through tireless effort,
we never truly rest.
This is not the world we dreamed of when we were young.
How did we get so terribly rushed in a world
saturated with work and responsibility,
yet somehow bereft of joy and delight?
We have forgotten the Sabbath.
Sabbath is the time to enjoy and celebrate what is beautiful and good —
time to light candles, sing songs, worship, tell stories,
bless our children and loved ones, give thanks, share meals, nap, and walk.
It is time to be nourished and refreshed as we let our work,
our chores and our important projects lie fallow,
trusting that there are larger forces at work
taking care of the world when we are at rest.
Sabbath is more than the absence of work.
Many of us, in our desperate drive to be successful
and care for our many responsibilities feel terrible guilt
when we take time to rest.
But the Sabbath has proven its wisdom over the ages.
Many of us still recall when, not long ago,
shops and offices were closed on Sundays.
Those quiet Sunday afternoons are embedded in our cultural memory.
Old Couple at McDonald’s
A little old couple walked slowly into McDonald’s one cold winter evening.
They looked out of place amid the young families
and young couples eating there that night.
The little old man walked right up to the cash register,
placed his order with no hesitation and then paid for their meal.
The couple took a table near the back wall
and started taking food off the tray.
There was one hamburger,
one order of French fries and one drink.
The little old man unwrapped the plain hamburger
and carefully cut it in half.
He placed one half in front of his wife.
Then he carefully counted out the French fries,
divided them in two piles
and neatly placed one pile in front of his wife.
He took a sip of the drink,
his wife took a sip
and then set the cup down between them.
As the man began to eat his few bites of hamburger
the crowd began to get restless.
You could tell what they were thinking.
“That poor old couple.
All they can afford is one meal for the two of them.”
As the man began to eat his French fries
one young man stood and came over to the old couple’s table.
He politely offered to buy another meal for the old couple to eat.
The old man replied that they were just fine.
They were used to sharing everything.
As the little old man finished eating
and was wiping his face neatly with a napkin
the young man could stand it no longer.
Again he came over to their table and offered to buy some food.
After being politely refused again,
he finally asked a question of the little old lady.
“Ma’am, why aren’t you eating?
You said that you share everything.
What is it that you are waiting for?”
She answered, “The teeth.”
Dating with My Mother
After 22 years of marriage,
I have discovered the secret to keep love
and intimacy alive in my relationship with my wife, Peggy:
I started dating with another woman.
It was Peggy’s idea, actually,
“you know you love her,” she said one day,
taking me in surprise.
The other woman my wife was encouraging me to date is my mother,
a 72-year-old widow who has lived alone since my father died 20 years ago.
I had promised myself that I would spend more time with mom.
But with the demands of my job and three kids,
I never got around to seeing her much beyond family get-togethers and
She was surprised and suspicious,
when I called and suggested the two of us go out to dinner and a movie.
She thinks anything out of the ordinary signals bad news.
“I thought it would be nice to spend some time with you,” I said,
“Just the two of us.”
“I would like that a lot,” she said.
We didn’t go anywhere fancy,
just a neighborhood place where we could talk.
My mother clutched my arm,
half out of affection and half to help her negotiate the restaurant steps.
Since her eyes now see only large shapes and shadows,
I had to read the menu for both of us.
“I used to be the reader when you were little,”
my mother smiled.
I understood what she was saying.
From care-giver to cared-for,
from cared-for to care-giver,
our relationship had come full circle.
“Then it is time for you to relax and let me return the favor.” I said.
We had a nice talk over dinner.
We talked for so long that we missed the movie.
“I will go out with you again.”
My mother said as I dropped her off,
“but only if you let me buy dinner next time.” I agreed.
Now Mom and I got out for dinner a couple of times a month.
Vancouver: a World—Famous Port City
In 1986 when Vancouver, a Canadian port,
had just celebrated its 100th birthday,
the city’s developments attracted world-wide attention.
That a city is based on a harbor
and develops flourishingly owing to the prosperity of the harbor
is the very road to subsistence and development
taken and experienced by many port cities.
Thanks to 100 years of development and construction,
Vancouver, which boasts a natural ice-free harbor,
has become a world-famous port.
It has regular passenger and cargo ships sailing to Asia,
Oceania, Europe, and Latin America,
the annual volume of freight handled amounting to 80 million tons.
One third of the employed in the city
are engaged in trade and transportation.
The splendid achievements of Vancouver
are the fruits of its people’s wisdom and diligence,
comprising the contributions of its various ethnic groups.
Being a country with a vast territory and a sparse population,
Canada is even larger than China,
yet it has a small population of less than 30 million.
For this reason, absorbing immigrants from foreign countries
is a national policy followed long
and consistently by the Canadian Government.
It can be said that in Canada
all people except the Indians are foreign immigrants.
The only difference among them lies in the fact
that some began to settle down there earlier than others.
And Vancouver does particularly deserve being called
one of the world’s multi-national cities
that can be counted on one’s fingers.
Nowadays, of the 1.8 million residents in Vancouver,
as many as half were not born in the city,
and one of every 4 residents is an Asian.
There are 250,000 Chinese living in Vancouver
and playing a decisive role in its economic change and development.
Half of these Chinese inhabitants have settled
in Vancouver only in the past five years.
With so many Chinese living there,
Vancouver has become the largest Chinese community outside Asia.
The Power of Beauty
One of the most successful, influential and beloved women in American
Eleanor Roosevelt once said that she had one regret:
she wished she had been prettier.
Who hasn’t felt the same way?
We are all too aware of our physical imperfections.
To overcome them, we spend billions upon billions of dollars
every year on cosmetics, diet products, fashion, and plastic surgery.
Why do we care so much about how we look?
Because it matters. Because beauty is powerful.
Because even when we learn to value people mostly for being kind and wise
we are still moved by beauty.
No matter how much we argue against it or pretend to be immune,
beauty exerts its power over us. There is simply no escape.
Aristotle said,“Beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of
It’s not fair, but it’s true.
We simply treat beautiful people better than we do others.
Attach a photograph of a beautiful author to an essay,
and people will think that is more creative and more intelligently written
than exactly the same essay accompanied by the photo of a homely author.
Our sensitivity to physical beauty is not something we can control at will.
We are born with it. Experiments conducted by psychologist Judith J. Langlois
that even small infants prefer to look at attractive faces.
Before they have met a single supermodel,
before they have watched a single TV show,
before they have opened up a single fashion magazine,
they are drawn to the same faces which adults have judged to be attractive.
There are more important things in life than beauty.
But as Etcoff says, “We have to understand beauty, or we will always be
enslaved by it.”
If you aim to be wise and kind and funny,
it doesn’t mean that you can’t also try your best to look beautiful.
There’s no reason to feel guilty about being moved by beauty’s power. It
moves us all.
Education and Schooling
It is commonly believed in the United States
that school is where people go to get an education.
it has been said
that today children interrupt their education to go to school.
The distinction between schooling and education
implied by this remark is important.
Education is much more open-ended and all-inclusive than schooling.
Education knows no bounds.
It can take place anywhere,
whether in the shower or on the job;
whether in a kitchen or on a tractor.
It includes both the formal learning that takes place in schools
and the whole universe of informal learning.
The agents of education can range from a revered grandparent
to the people debating politics on the radio,
from a child to a distinguished scientist.
Whereas schooling has a certain predictability, education quite often produces
surprises. A chance conversation with a stranger may lead a person to discover
how little he knows of other religions.
People are engaged in education from infancy on. Education, then, is a very
broad, inclusive term.
It is a lifelong process,
a process that starts long before the start of school,
and one that should be an integral part of one’s entire life.
Schooling, on the other hand, is a specific, formalized process,
whose general pattern varies little from one setting to the next.
Throughout a country,
children arrive at school at approximately the same time,
take assigned seats, are taught by an adult,
use similar textbooks, do homework, take exams, and so on.
The slices of reality that are to be learned,
whether they are the alphabet
or an understanding of the workings of government,
have usually been limited by the boundaries of the subject being taught.
high school students know
that they are not likely to find out in their classes
the truth about political problems in their communities
or what the newest filmmakers are experimenting with.
There are definite conditions
surrounding the formalized process of schooling.
Did The Earth Move for You?
Eleven-year-old Angela was stricken with a debilitating disease
involving her nervous system.
She was unable to walk and her movement
was restricted in other ways as well.
The doctors did not hold out much hope
of her ever recovering from this illness.
They predicted she’d spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair.
They said that few, if any,
were able to come back to normal after contracting this disease.
The little girl was undaunted.
There, lying in her hospital bed,
she would vow to anyone who’d listen
that she was definitely going to be walking again someday.
She was transferred to a specialized rehabilitation hospital
in the San Francisco Bay area.
Whatever therapies could be applied to her case were used.
The doctors were charmed by her undefeatable spirit.
They taught her about imaging —
about seeing herself walking.If it would do nothing else, it would at least give
her hope and something positive to do
in the long waking hours in her bed.
Angela would work as hard as possible
in physical therapy and in exercise sessions.
But she worked just as hard lying there faithfully doing her imaging,
visualizing herself moving, moving, moving!
One day, as she was straining with all her might to imagine her legs
it seemed as though a miracle happened: The bed moved!
It began to move around the room!
She screamed out, “Look what I’m doing!
Look! Look! I can do it! I moved, I moved!”
Of course, at this very moment everyone else in the hospital was
and running for cover.
People were screaming, equipment was falling and glass was breaking.
You see, it was the recent San Francisco earthquake.
But don’t tell that to Angela.
She’s convinced that she did it.
And now only a few years later,
she’s back in school.
You see, anyone who can shake the earth between San Francisco and
Oakland can conquer a little disease, can’t they?
What is a Typical American Film?
Is there such a thing as a typical American film?
It is true that there are many features that mark a movie as American,
but perhaps the most essential feature is the theme of the loner-hero.
From the earliest days of silent films
until the recent extravagant science fiction films,
the American movie has concentrated on the role of one individual
who spends his or her life combating the forces of evil —
and the good guy, the hero,
usually wins by the end of the film.
In the western movie,
which comes out of many legends of the American West,
a typical figure is the lonesome cowboy.
He wanders into a town and straightens out its troubles.
Those troubles can be cattle rustlers or out-laws.
Then the strong and independent hero fades off into the sunset alone.
Americans like this image in their films
because they are highly independent themselves,
and individualism counts a great deal with them.
An individual who is able to correct the evils of the world,
or of a small town, is someone to admire.
Even the gangster movie,
a very popular form of the typical American film,
usually has a hero.
Either he is a lawman out to catch the criminals or a gangster
who suddenly sees the light and tries to go straight.
During the violence‐ridden period of Prohibition in the 1920s,
it is natural that the gangster movie would grow in popularity.
These films kept the same tone as the western —
the bad cannot triumph!
One good person can save the innocent.
Recent science fiction films deal with the same themes.
Against the forces of alien powers,
people will fight to protect their ideals.
Here, too, the action centers around a single individual,
but now he or she must save the world.
Born to Win
Each human being is born as something new,
something that never existed before.
Each is born with the capacity to win at life.
Each person has a unique way of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and
Each has his or her own unique potential capabilities and limitations.
Each can be a significant, thinking, aware and creative being — a
productive person, a winner.
The word “winner” and “loser” have many meanings.
When we refer to a person as a winner, we do not mean one who makes
someone else lose.
To us, a winner is one who responds authentically by being credible,
trustworthy, responsive, and genuine, both as an individual and as a
member of a society.
Winners do not dedicate their lives to a concept of what they imagine they
should be; rather,
they are themselves and as such do not use their energy putting on a
maintaining pretence, and manipulating others.
They are aware that there is a difference between being loving and
between being stupid and acting stupid,
between being knowledgeable and acting knowledgeable.
Winners do not need to hide behind a mask.
Winners are not afraid to do their own thinking and to use their own
They can separate facts from opinion and don’t pretend to have all the
They listen to others, evaluate what they say, but come to their own
Although winners can admire and respect other people,
they are not totally defined, demolished, bound, or awed by them.
Winners do not play “helpless”, nor do they play the blaming game.
Instead, they assume responsibility for their own lives.
They do not give others a false authority over them.
Winners are their own bosses and know it. A winner’s timing is right.
Winners respond appropriately to the situation.
Their responses are related to the message sent and preserve the
worth, well-being, and dignity of the people involved.
Winners know that for everything there is a season and for every activity a
Although winners can freely enjoy themselves,
they can also postpone enjoyment, can discipline themselves in the present
to enhance their enjoyment in the future.
Winners are not afraid to go after what they want, but they do so in
Winners do not get their security by controlling others.
They do not set themselves up to lose.
A winner cares about the world and its peoples.
A winner is not isolated from the general problems of society, but is
and committed to improving the quality of life.
Even in the face of national and international adversity,
a winner’s self-image is not one of a powerless individual.
A winner works to make the world a better place.
How to Avoid Foolish Opinions
To avoid the various foolish opinions to which mankind is prone,
no superhuman genius is required.
A few simple rules will keep you, not from all error,
but from silly error.
If the matter is one that can be settled by observation,
make the observation yourself.
Aristotle could have avoided the mistake of thinking
that women have fewer teeth than men,
by the simple device of asking Mrs. Aristotle
to keep her mouth open while he counted.
He did not do so because he thought he knew.
Thinking that you know
when in fact you don’t is a fatal mistake, to which we are all prone.
Many matters, however, are less easily brought to the test of experience.
If, like most of mankind,
you have convictions on many such matters,
there are ways in which
you can make yourself aware of your own bias.
If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry,
that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware
of having no good reason for thinking as you do.
If someone maintains that two and two are five,
you feel pity rather than anger.
The most savage controversies are those about matters
as to which there is no good evidence either way.
Persecution is used in theology, not in arithmetic,
because in arithmetic there is knowledge,
but in theology there is only opinion.
So whenever you find yourself getting angry
about a difference of opinion,
be on your guard; you will probably find,
that your belief is going beyond what the evidence warrants.
A good way of riding yourself of certain kinds of dogmatism
is to become aware of opinions held in social circles different from your own.
Seek out people with whom you disagree,
and read a newspaper belonging to a party that is not yours.
If the people and the newspaper seem mad and wicked,
remind yourself that you seem so to them.
In this opinion both parties may be right,
but they cannot both be wrong.
This reflection should generate caution.
Economists and experts on wages have long tried to discover
what factors were influencing people’s salaries.
Most of the factors they listed one or two centuries ago
are still important today.
One of those is education: college graduates have earned
and are still earning more than workers
who have only finished high school,
and high-school graduates earn more than workers
who didn’t complete their studies there.
The difficulty and length of preparation for a profession
also plays a part in the size of the salary.
Danger and responsibility make a difference too —
the man or woman in charge of a project,
the person performing a difficult or dangerous task,
the airplane pilot responsible for many human lives,
usually get a proper compensation for their pains.
And yet there are exceptions to those rules.
Due to the needs of modern industry,
technicians with no college education are now commanding high salaries,
much closer to the college graduates‘ salaries
than they used to be in the past.
And there are many jobs in which danger
doesn’t bring much compensation.
Why doesn’t a fireman earn more than a postal clerk, for example?
And what about the policeman and the coal miner,
who risk their lives for a modest salary?
The answer is simple.
Actually, salaries are governed by a combination of factors,
the most important being one known as the law of supply and demand,
which says that the value of goods and services
is determined by the quantity available
compared with the number of possible buyers.
If there are more chickens on the market than people wishing to buy them,
the price of poultry goes down.
If the number of specialized engineers
is much larger than the number of positions open to them,
the salaries drop even for the most impressive applicants.
Railroads, ships, buses, and airplanes
have made travel easier, faster, and cheaper;
and the number of people who can spare the time and the money
to take trips has grown enormously.
It is not reserved to a lucky few, nowadays,
to admire Inca temples, French castles,
and Australian kangaroos.
Millions of people do each year.
But instead of being called travelers,
they are known as tourists
and they are seen all over the world —
floating down the Amazon, cruising to Alaska,
flying from Timbuktu to Easter Island,
and taking pictures of Norwegian churches and Pakistani costumes.
Surely this represents great progress.
It is just and good that most of the people
who dream of seeing the Parthenon should have a chance to do so.
It is satisfying to know that remote ruins
are not forgotten in deep forests,
to be seen only a few explorers at the risk of their lives.
It is excellent that people of different counties
should meet and talk to each other.
But is it really?
Is it really desirable to have the most remote beach,
the most hidden temple exposed to human curiosity
and at the same time to the litter and graffiti that humanity leaves in its path?
Would it be better to leave such treasures to the local population,
which perhaps doesn’t pay any attention to them?
The saddest aspect of tourism has been brought recently
to the attention of the public:
it seems that the great number of visitors
is destroying the treasures that they enjoy most.
Under millions of feet, ancient stones wear out, ancient floors break down.
Parts of the palace of Versailles
may have to be closed to the public in order to preserve them,
and some European caves,
famous for their thirty-thousand-year-old paintings, have already been closed
because the paintings were damaged by human respiration.
There may come a time when only specialists in art, history,
or archaeology will be allowed near the treasures of the past.
Perhaps we’d better hurry to see them;
perhaps we’d better take a tour soon.
Advice to a Young Man
Remember, my son, you have to work.
Whether you handle a pick or a pen,
a wheel-barrow or a set of books,
digging ditches or editing a paper,
ringing an auction bell or writing funny things,
you must work.
If you look around you will see the men
who are the most able to live the rest of their days without work
are the men who work the hardest.
Don’t be afraid of killing yourself with overwork.
It is beyond your power to do that on the sunny side of thirty.
They die sometimes,
but it is because they quit work at six in the evening,
and do not go home until two in the morning.
It’s the interval that kills, my son.
The work gives you an appetite for your meals;
it lends solidity to your slumbers;
it gives you a perfect and grateful appreciation of a holiday.
There are young men who do not work,
but the world is not proud of them.
It does not know their names;
even it simply speaks of them as “old so-and-so’s boy”.
Nobody likes them;
the great, busy world doesn’t know that they are there.
So find out what you want to be and do,
and take off your coat and make a dust in the world.
The busier you are, the less harm you will be apt to get into,
the sweeter will be your sleep,
the brighter and happier your holidays,
and the better satisfied will the world be with you.
Paradox of Our Times
We have bigger houses and smaller families;
more conveniences, but less time;
we have more degrees, but less common senses;
more knowledge, but less judgment;
more experts, but more problems;
more medicine, but less wellness.
We spend too recklessly,
laugh too little, drive too fast,
get to angry too quickly, stay up too late,
get up too tired, read too little,
watch TV too often, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too little and lie too often.
We have learned how to make a living, but not a life;
we’ve added years to life, not life to years.
We have taller buildings, but shorter tempers;
wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more, but have less;
we buy more, but enjoy it less.
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back,
but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.
We have conquered outer space, but not inner space.
We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice;
we write more, but learn less;
plan more, but accomplish less.
We have learned to rush, but not to wait;
we have higher incomes, but lower morals.
We build more computers to hold more information,
to produce more copies, but have less communication.
We are long on quantity, but short on quality.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion;
tall men and short character;
steep profits and shallow relationships.
More leisure and less fun;
more kinds of food, but less nutrition;
two incomes, but more divorce;
fancier houses, but broken homes.
This is a strange and confusing age.
There are so many paradoxes in our time
that we hardly know who we are,
where we are, and where to go.
Will Man Conquer Space?
Man will never conquer space.
Such a statement may sound absurd,
after we have made such long strides into space.
Yet it expresses a truth that our forefathers knew
and we have forgotten，
one that our descendants must learn again,
in heartbreak and loneliness.
Our age is in many ways unique,
full of phenomena that never occurred before
and may never come again.
They distort our thinking,making us believe that
what is true now will be true forever,
though perhaps on a larger scale.
Because we have annihilated distance on this planet,
we imagine that we can do the same in space.
The truth is otherwise, and we will see it more clearly
if we forget the present and turn our minds toward the past.
To our ancestors, the vastness of the earth was a dominant factor
in their thoughts and lives.
No man could ever see more than a tiny fraction of the earth.
Only a lifetime ago,
parents waved farewell to their emigrating children,
knowing they would never see them again.
Now, within one incredible generation, all this has changed.
Psychologically as well as physically,
there are no longer any remote places on earth.
When a friend leaves for what was once a distant country,
he cannot feel the same sense of irrevocable separation
that saddened our forefathers.
We know that he is only hours away by air,
and we have merely to reach for the telephone to hear his voice.
When the satellite communication network is fully established,
it will be as easy to see friends on the far side of the earth
as to talk to them on the other side of the town.
Then the world will shrink no more.
From a world that has become too small,
we are moving out into one that will be forever too large,
whose frontiers will recede from us
always more swiftly than we can reach out toward them.
Since the 1950s, most of the stars of pop music
have come from Britain and America.
However, in the last ten years,
when many different kinds of music
have established themselves on the pop scene,
more and more stars have come from other countries.
Pop music changes all the time and new stars appear and become famous.
Many of today’s stars started out in the 1960s
and have changed their music to suit the time.
Although most stars take many years to become famous,
their fame does not usually last long.
For a musician to stay popular and still produce good,
original music over a long period of time,
is a sign of true star.
Most stars start their careers in a simple way —
playing in unknown nightclubs or dance halls
where people want to dance to the music, not listen to it.
They may have continued doing this for many years
until they get a “break” —a chance to perform in a well-known
place or get a recording contract.
To become a star is the aim of every singer or musician
and the dream of many a pop-crazy teenager.
However a group or star makes it to the top,
they can be sure that their lives will change once they are
successful. Ordinary teenagers living at home with their parents
may suddenly find themselves rich enough to buy their own
houses. An established superstar may be able to buy several.
Despite the large amounts of money that are earned,
life at the top is not easy for many stars.
The pop scene is hard work and many stars
need to spend a lot of time away from home.
For a lot of them, this means they have no home life
and their personal relationships suffer.
In spite of great public success,
life at the top can be very lonely.
Speech imitation ♫
4 6 3 9 ♪
5 2 7
1 8 10