Learning a Foreign Language
Learning a foreign language was one of the most difficult yet most rewarding experiences of my life.
Although at times learning a language was frustrating, it was well worth the effort.
My experience with learning a foreign language began in junior middle school, when I took my first English class.
I had a kind and patient teacher who often praised all of the students.
Because of this positive method, I eagerly answered all the questions I could, never worrying much about making mistakes.
I was at the top of my class for two years.
When I went to senior middle school, I was eager to continue studying English; however, my experience in senior middle school was very different from before.
While my former teacher had been patient with all of the students, my new teacher quickly punished those who gave incorrect answers.
Whenever we answered incorrectly, she pointed a long stick at us and, shaking it up and down, shouted, "No! No! No!"
It didn't take me long to lose my eagerness to answer questions.
Not only did I lose my joy in answering questions, but I also lost my desire to say anything at all in English.
However, that state didn't last long.
When I went to college, I learned that all students were required to take an English course.
Unlike my senior middle school teacher, my college English teachers were patient and kind, and none of them carried long, pointed sticks!
The situation was far from perfect, though.
As our classes were very large, I was only able to answer a couple of questions in each class
Also, after a few weeks of classes, I noticed there were many students who spoke much better than I did.
I began to feel intimidated.
So, once again, although for different reasons, I was afraid to speak.
It seemed my English was going to stay at the same level forever.
That was the situation until a couple of years later when I was offered an opportunity to study English through an online course.
The communication medium was a computer, a phone line, and a modem
. I soon got access to the necessary equipment, learned how to use the technology from a friend and participated in the virtual classroom 5 to 7 days a week.
Online learning is not easier than regular classroom study;
it requires a lot of time, commitment and discipline to keep up with the flow of the course.
I worked hard to meet the minimum standards set by the course and to complete assignments on time.
I practiced all the time.
I carried a little dictionary with me everywhere I went, as well as a notebook in which I listed any new words I heard.
I made many, sometimes embarrassing, mistakes.
Once in a while I cried out of frustration, and sometimes I felt like giving up.
But I didn't feel intimidated by students who spoke faster than I did because I took all the time I needed to think out my ideas and wrote a reply before posting it on the screen.
Then, one day I realized I could understand just about everything I came across, and most importantly, I could "say" anything I wanted to in English.
Although I was still making many mistakes and was continually learning new ways to say things,
I had finally reaped the benefits of all of my hard work.
Learning a foreign language has been a most trying experience for me, but one that I wouldn't trade for anything.
Not only did learning another language teach me the value of hard work, but it also gave me insights into another culture, and my mind was opened to new ways of seeing things.
The most wonderful result of having learned a foreign language was that I could communicate with many more people than before.
Talking with people is one of my favorite activities, so being able to speak a new language lets me meet new people, participate in conversations, and form new, unforgettable friendships.
Now that I speak a foreign language, instead of staring into space when English is being spoken, I can participate and make friends.
I am able to reach out to others and bridge the gap between my language and culture and theirs.
The radio clicked on. Rock music blasted orth
Like a shot, the music woke Sandy.
She looked at the clock; it was 6:15 A.M.
Sandy sang along with the words as she lay listening to her favorite radio station.
"Sandy," shouted her father. "Sandy, turn that music off!"
Steve Finch burst nto her room.
Why do you have to listen to such horrible uff?
It's the same thing over and over.
I'm not sure it is really music, though it does have rhythm."
"I like that music, Dad; it's my favorite.
Listen for a minute; I'm sure you'll like it."
Sandy reached for the radio to turn it up louder.
"No, no, don't do that. I can't stand it.
Turn that radio down so your mother and I can't hear it.
I'm sure that music is hurting your ears as well as your brain."
Sandy walked into the bathroom and turned on the shower.
Then she grabbed the soap and washed thoroughly, including her hair.
After her shower, Sandy brushed her hair, put on her old, green T-shirt and some jeans.
Then she put on her makeup and went to the kitchen.
As usual, she didn't know what to have for breakfast, so she grabbed a glass of milk and ate a
piece of toast while standing by the sink.
Just then, her mother, Jane, entered the kitchen.
"Sandy, why don't you sit down and eat your breakfast?
"I know, Mom, but I don't have time to sit down and eat."
"Did you finish your homework, dear?"
"Did you brush your teeth?"
"Mom, I haven't finished eating breakfast yet.
"Sandy, why are you wearing that old T-shirt? It's disgusting."
"Mom, please stop."
"Stop what, dear?"
"Stop bugging me."
"Sandy, are you wearing eyeliner?"
"Yes, Mom, I've been wearing eyeliner for months. Isn't it pretty? "
"Sandy Finch, you're too young to wear that much makeup."
"Mom, I'm fifteen. I'm old enough to wear makeup.
Believe me, all the girls at school wear makeup. Some have tattoos and pierced ears, and noses and tongues, too.
Mom, I don't have time to talk about this now—I'm late. I've got to go. See you later."
Sandy kissed her mother quickly on the cheek, picked up her books, and bolted out of the house. 桑迪匆匆吻了一下妈妈的脸颊，拿起书冲出了屋子。
After Sandy had left for school, Jane Finch sat down in peace and quiet to drink her c offee.
Soon her husband joined her.
"Would you like some coffee, Steve?" asked Jane.
"No, thanks, honey. My stomach feels upset—like it's full of knots.
It's probably that awful music that wakes me up every morning.
I don't think I'm old-fashioned, but hearing those tuneless<, offensive yrics repeatedly makes my blood boil."
我想我还不至于老得落伍吧，可没完没了地听那毫无韵律、令人讨厌的歌曲实在让我生气。”"Y ou know, honey, different music appeals to different generations," reasoned Jane.
"Remember some of the music we listened to?"
Steve smiled. "Y ou're right. Maybe eating breakfast will help me get rid of some of the knots in my stomach."
"Did you notice how much makeup our fifteen-year-old daughter was wearing this morning?
I can't believe I didn't notice.
I suppose we should feel lucky because makeup is our biggest problem with her.
I've seen other teenagers walking around town with tattoos and piercings all over their bodies."
"What worries me," said Steve, "is that music could have a negativ e influence on Sandy.
I don't know what's happening to our little girl.
She's changing and I'm concerned about her.
Makeup, terrible music—who knows what will be next?
We need to have a talk with her.
The news is full of stories about teenagers in trouble whose parents hardly know anything about their problems."
"Oh, I don't think her music is so terrible.
But in any case, you're right. We need to have a talk with Sandy," said Jane.
As Jane Finch drove to work, she thought about her Sandy.
She knew what she wanted to say, what she had to say to Sandy.
She was so glad that she and Sandy could still talk things over.
She knew she had to have patience and keep the lines of communication with her daughter open. 她知道自己得有耐心，得保持自己和桑迪之间沟通的渠道畅通。
She wanted to be there as an anchor for her, but at the same time she would give her freedom to find her own identity
A Good Heart to Lean on
When I was growing up, I was embarrassed to be seen with my father.
He was everely crippled and very short, and when we walked together, his hand on my arm for balance, people would stare.
I would nwardly struggle at the unwanted attention.
If he ever noticed or was bothered, he never let on.
It was difficult to coordinate our steps—his halting, mine impatient—and because of that, we didn't say much as we went along.
But as we started out, he always said, "Y ou set the pace. I will try to adjust to you."
Our usual walk was to or from the subway on which he traveled to work.
He went to work sick, and despite nasty weather.
He almost never missed a day, and would make it to the office even if others could not.
It was a matter of pride.
When snow or ice was on the ground, it was impossible for him to walk, even with help.
At such times my sisters or I would pull him through the streets of Brooklyn, N.Y., on a child's wagon with steel runners to the subway entrance.
Once there, he would cling to the handrai l until he reached
In Manhattan the subway station was in the basement of his office building, and he would not have to go outside again until we met him in Brooklyn on his way home.
When I think of it now, I am amazed at how much courage it must have taken for a grown man to
subject himself to such shame and stress. And at how he did it—without bitterness or complaint. 现在回想起来，我不禁惊叹：像他那样一个成年人，得有多大的勇气才能承受这样的屈辱和压力，而当时他却显得毫无痛苦，也没怨言。
He never talked about himself as an object of pity, nor did he show any envy of the more fortunate or able.
What he looked for in others was a "good heart", and if he found one, the owner was good enough for him.
Now that I am older, I believe that is a proper standard by which to judge people, even though I still don't know precisely what a "good heart" is.
现在我长大了，我相信这是判断一个人的标准。虽然我还没有确切理解什么是“好心”，But I know at times I don't have one myself.
Unable to engage in many activities, my father still tried to participate in some way.
When a l ocal baseball team found itself without a manager, he kept it going.
He was a knowledgeable baseball fan and often took me to Ebbets Field to see the Brooklyn Dodgers play.
He liked to go to dances and parties, where he could have a good time just sitting and watching.
On one occasion a fight broke out at a beach party, with everyone punching and shoving
He wasn't content to sit and watch, but he couldn't stand unaided on the soft sand.
In frustration he began to shout, "I'll fight anyone who will sit down with me! I'll fight anyone who will sit down with me!"
于是在极度无助的情况下，他高声喊道：“谁坐下来和我对打! 谁愿意坐下来和我对打! Nobody did.
But the next day people kidded him by saying it was the first time any fighter was urged to take a dive before the fight began.
I now know he participated in some things through me, his only son.
When I played ball (poorly), he "played" too. When I joined the Navy, he "joined" too.
And when I came home on leave, he saw to it that I visited his office.
Introducing me, he was really saying, "This is my son, but it is also me, and I could have done this, too, if things had been different." Those words were never said aloud.
He has been gone many years now, but I think of him often.
I wonder if he sensed my reluctance to be seen with him during our walks.
If he did, I am sorry I never told him how sorry I was, how unworthy I was, how I regretted it.
I think of him when I complain about trifles, when I am envious of another's good fortune, when I don't have a "good heart".
At such times I put my hand on his arm to regain my balance, and say, "Y ou set the pace. I will try to adjust to you."
How to Make a Good Impression
Research shows we make up our minds about people through unspoken communication within seven seconds of meeting them.
Consciously or unconsciously, we show our true feelings with our eyes, faces, bodies and attitudes, causing a chain of reactions, ranging from comfort to fear.
Think about some of your most unforgettable meetings: an introduction to your future spouse, a job i nterview, an encounter with a stranger.
Focus on the first seven seconds. What did you feel and think?
How did you "read" the other person?
How do you think he read you?
Y ou are the message.
For 25 years I've worked with thousands who want to be successful.
I've helped them make persuasive presentations, answer unfriendly questions, communicate more effectively.
The secret has always been you are the message.
Others will want to be with you and help you if you use your good qualities.
They include: physical appearance, energy, rate of speech, pitch and tone of voice, gestures, expression through the eyes, and the ability to hold the interest of others.
Others form an impression about you based on these.
Think of times when you know you made a good impression.
What made you successful?
Y ou were committed to what you were talking about and so absorbed in the moment you lost all self-consciousness.
Many how-to books advise you to stride into a room and impress others with your qualities.
They instruct you to greet them with "power handshakes" and tell you to fix your eyes on the other person.
If you follow all this advice, you'll drive everyone crazy—including yourself.
The trick is to be consistently you, at your best.
The most effective people never change from one situation to another.
They're the same whether they're having a conversation, addressing their garden club or being interviewed for a job.
They communicate with their whole being; the tones of their voices and their gestures match their words.
Public speakers, however, often send mixed messages.
My favorite is the kind who say, "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm very happy to be here"—while looking at their shoes.
They don't look happy.
They look angry, frightened or depressed.
The audience always believe what they see over what they hear.
They think, "He's telling me he's happy, but he's not.
He's not being honest."
Use your eyes.
Whether you're talking to one person or one hundred, always remember to look at them.
Some people start to say something while looking right at you, but three words into the sentence, they break eye contact and look out the window.
As you enter a room, move your eyes comfortably; then look straight at those in the room and smile.
Smiling is important. It shows you are relaxed.
Some think entering a room full of people is like going into a lion's cage.
If I did agree, I certainly wouldn't look at my feet or at the ceiling.
I'd keep my eyes on the lion!
Once in a staff meeting, one of the most powerful chairmen in the entertainment industry became very angry over tiny problems, scolded each worker and enjoyed making them fear him. 一次在员工会议上，一位娱乐业最有影响的董事长由于一些微不足道的问题大发雷霆，责备每一位员工，为能使员工害怕自己而感到满足。
When he got to me, he shouted, "And you, Ailes, what are you doing?"
I said, "Do you mean now, this evening or for the rest of my life?" There was a moment of silence. 我说：“你是说现在？今晚？还是在我的余生中？”之后有片刻的沉默。
Then the chairman threw back his head and roared< with laughter.
Others laughed too.
Humor broke the stress of a very uncomfortable scene.
If I had to give advice in two words, it would be "lighten up"!
Y ou can always see people who take themselves too seriously.
Usually they are either brooding< or talking a great deal about themselves.
Take a good hard look at yourself. Do you say "I" too often?
Are you usually focused on your own problems?
Do you complain frequently?
If you answered yes to even one of these questions, you need to lighten up.
对于上述问题，哪怕只有其中一个你给出的是肯定的回答，那么你就需要“别太当真”了To make others comfortable, you have to appear comfortable yourself.
Don't make any huge changes; just be yourself.
Y ou already have within you the power to make a good impression, because nobody can be you as well as you can.
The Battle Against AIDS
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was diagnosed in the United States in the late 1970s.
Since then, AIDS has killed more than 204,000 Americans—half of that number in the past few years alone.
Another 185,000 of the one million i nfected with the HIV virus are expected to die within the next year.
Nearly half of those diagnosed with the virus are blacks and Latinos.
Women and youth in rural southern communities now constitute the fastest growing segment of people with AIDS.
Despite such alarming numbers, the federal and state governments have been slow in implementing programs to stop the spread of AIDS.
In place of government inactivity, a number of local organizations have emerged.
One organization, the South Carolina AIDS Education Network, formed in 1985 to combat the growing number of AIDS cases.
南卡罗来纳艾滋病教育网络机构成立于1985年，目的在于防止艾滋病病例数量的增加。Like many local organizations, this organization suffers from a lack of money, forcing it to use its resources creatively.
To reach more people in the community, some AIDS educational programs operate out of a beauty shop.
The owner hands out AIDS information to all her clients when they enter the shop and shows videos on AIDS prevention while they wait for their hair to dry.
She also keeps books and other publications around so customers can read them while waiting for their appointments.
It's amazing how many people she has educated on the job.
Recently, the network began helping hair stylists throughout the southeast set up similar programs in their shops.
The hair stylists are also valuable resources in spreading information to their schools, community groups, and churches.
The organization has developed several techniques useful to other groups doing similar work.
While no one way of winning the war against AIDS exists, the network shares these lessons learned in its battle against AIDS:
尽管还没有一种能战胜艾滋病的方法，但这一网络机构在与艾滋病斗争中获得了以下经验：Speak to your community in a way they can hear.
Many communities have a low literacy rate, making impossible passing out AIDS literature and expecting people to read it.
To solve this problem, ask people in the community who can draw well to create low-literacy AIDS education publications.
These books use simple, hand-drawn pictures of "sad faces" and "happy faces" to illustrate< ways people can prevent AIDS.
They also show people who look like those we need to educate, since people can relate more when they see familiar faces and language they can understand.
As a result, such books actually have more effect in the communities where they are used than government publications, which cost thousands of dollars more to produce.
Train teenagers to educate their peers.
Because AIDS is spreading fastest among teenagers in the rural South,
They make it simple and explain the risk of catching AIDS to friends their own age much better
than an adult can.
They also play a vital role in helping parents understand the types of peer pressure their children experience.
Redefine"at risk" to include women from different backgrounds and marital status.
对“存在危险”这一概念重新界定，从而把不同背景、不同婚姻状况的妇女都包括进去One woman's doctor told her she was not at risk for AIDS because she was married and didn't use
一位妇女的医生对她说她不存在染上艾滋病的危险，因为她已经结婚，而且不吸毒。Such misinformation plagues the medical establishment
According to the Centers for Disease Control, women will soon make up 80 percent of those diagnosed with HIV.
The stylists also emphasize that everyone is at risk and that all of us have a right to protect ourselves—regardless of marriage status.
These lessons are not the only olutions to the crisis, but until there is a cure for AIDS, education represents< the only safe measure to guard against the virus.
Like no other plague before, the AIDS e pidemic threatens to wipe out an entire generation and leave another without parents.
We must not let cultural, racial, or social barriers distract us from the job that must be done.
Nor can we let political inefficiency stop us from our task.
This is an undeclared war that everyone must sign up for in order for us to win.
We simply cannot let people continue to die because we don't feel comfortable talking about AIDS.
Everyone must become an educator and learn to live.
Saturday, April 7
Steve and I hauled trash for four solid hours continuously, except for about five minutes when we stopped to talk.
My shoulder hurt wickedly each time I put another full barrel on it, and my legs occasionally trembled as I was heading to the street, but the rest of me said, "Go, trashman, go."
I could not have imagined there would be joy in this. Dump. Lift. Walk. Lift. Walk. The hours flew by.
我原本就没有想过这工作会有什么快乐可言。倒、扛、走、扛、走。时间过得飞快。Saturday meant most adults were at home on the route. So were school-age children. I thought this might mean more exchanges as I made the rounds today.
Many people were outdoors working in their gardens or greenhouses. Most looked approachable enough.
There wasn't time for lengthy talks but enough to exchange greetings that go with civilized ways.
I was shocked to find that this wasn't the case.
I said hello in quite a few yards before the message registered that this wasn't normally done.
Occasionally, I got a direct reply from someone who looked me in the eye, smiled, and asked, "How are you?" or "Isn't this a nice day?" I felt human then.
But most often the response was either nothing at all, or a surprised stare because I had spoken. 可多数情况下，人们的反应要么是不理我，要么是因为我这个垃圾工竟然也和他们说话而惊讶地盯着我看。
One woman in a housecoat was startled as I came around the corner of her house.
At the sound of my greeting, she gathered her housecoat tightly about her and retreated quickly indoors. I heard the lock click. 听到我向她打招呼，她就赶紧用衣服把自己严严实实地遮了起来，并匆忙退回屋里。我还听到咔嗒一声门被锁上了。
Another woman had a huge, peculiar animal in her yard. I asked what it was. She stared at me.
I thought she was deaf and spoke louder. She seemed frightened as she turned coldly away.
Steve raged spontaneously about these things on the long ride to the dump.
这儿离垃圾场有很长一段路，在驾车去垃圾场的路上，史蒂夫气愤地叙说着这些事情"The way most people look at you, you'd think a trashman was a monster. Say 'hello' and they stare at you in surprise. They don't realize we're human.
"One lady put ashes in her trashcan. I said we couldn't take them. She said, 'Who are you to say what goes? “有个女人往垃圾箱里倒烟灰。我说，我们这样没法装运。她说，‘我倒什么你管得着吗，你算什么东西? 你不过是个垃圾工罢了。’
Y ou're nothing but a trashman.' I told her, 'Listen, lady, I've got an IQ of 137, and I graduated near the top of my high school class.
I do this for the money, not because it's the only work I can do.'
"I want to tell them, 'Look, I am as clean as you are,' but it wouldn't help. I don't tell anyone I'm a garbageman.
I say I'm a truck driver. My family knows, but my wife's folks don't. If someone comes right out and asks, 'Do you drive for a garbage company?' I say yes.
I believe we're doing a service people need, like being a police officer or a fire fighter. I'm not ashamed of it, but I don't go around boasting about it either.
"A friend of my wife yelled at her kids one day when they ran out to meet a trash truck. 'Stay away from those trashmen. They're dirty.'
I was angry with her. 'They're as good as we are,' I told her. 'Y ou seem to have a lot of sympathy for them,' she said'Y es, I do.' But I never told her why."
I had originally planned to stay at this employment for only two days but now I'm going to continue. The exercise is great; the lifting gets easier with every load, even if my shoulder muscles are sore.
I become faster and neater each day. I'm outdoors in clean air. And, contrary to what people think, I don't get dirty on the job.