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一单元One way of summarizing the American position is to state that we value originality and independence more than the Chinese do. The contrast between our two cultures can also be seen in terms of the fears we both harbor. Chinese teachers are fearful that if skills are not acquired early, they may never be acquired; there is, on the other hand, no comparable hurry to promote creativity. American educators fear that unless creativity has been acquired early, it may never emerge; on the other hand, skills can be picked up later.

However, I do not want to overstate my case. There is enormous creativity to be found in Chinese scientific, technological and artistic innovations past and present. And there is a danger of exaggerating creative breakthroughs in the West. When any innovation is examined closely, its reliance on previous achievements is all too apparent (the "standing on the shoulders of giants" phenomenon).

But assuming that the contrast I have developed is valid, and that the fostering of skills and creativity are both worthwhile goals, the important question becomes this: Can we gather, from the Chinese and American extremes, a superior way to approach education, perhaps striking a better balance between the poles of creativity and basic skills?




三单元SEAN: If that sort of thing happened only once in a while, it wouldn't be so bad. Overall, I wouldn't want to trade my dad for anyone else's. He loves us kids and Mom too. But I think that's sometimes the problem. He wants to do things for us, things he thinks are good. But he needs to give them more thought because:

SEAN, HEIDI and DIANE: (In unison) Father knows better!

DIANE: Can you imagine how humiliated I was? An honor student, class president. And Father was out asking people to have their sons call and ask me to the prom! But that's dear old dad. Actually, he is a dear. He just doesn't stop to think. And it's not just one of us who've felt the heavy hand of interference. Oh, no, all three of us live in constant dread knowing that at any time disaster can strike because:肖恩:这类事要是偶尔发生一两次,那倒也没什么。总的来说,我是不肯把自己老爸跟别人的老爸换的。他爱我们当子女的,也爱老妈。不过我想,有时问题就出在这儿。他一心想帮助我们,他自以为在为我们做好事呢。可他应该多想想才对,因为:


第四单元I'd never realized how important daily routine is: dressing for work, sleeping normal hours. I'd never thought I relied so much on co-workers for company.

I began to understand why long-term unemployment can be so damaging, why life without an externally supported daily plan can lead to higher rates of drug abuse, crime, suicide.

To restore balance to my life, I force myself back into the real world. I call people, arrange to meet with the few remaining friends who haven't fled New Y ork City. I try to at least get to the gym, so as to set apart the weekend from the rest of my week. I arrange interviews for stories, doctor's appointments -- anything to get me out of the house and connected with others.

But sometimes being face to face is too much. I see a friend and her ringing laughter is intolerable -- the noise of conversation in the restaurant, unbearable. I make my excuses and flee. I re-enter my apartment and run to the computer as though it were a place of safety.

I click on the modem, the once-annoying sound of the connection now as pleasant as my favorite tune. I enter my password. The real world disappears.





第五单元The runway felt different this time. It startled him for a brief moment. Then it all hit him like a wet bale of hay. The bar was set at nine inches higher than his personal best. That's only one inch off the National record, he thought. The intensity of the moment filled his mind with anxiety. He began shaking the tension. It wasn't working. He became more tense. Why was this happening to him now, he thought. He began to get nervous. Afraid would be a more accurate description. What was he going to do? He had never experienced these feelings. Then out of nowhere, and from the deepest depths of his soul, he pictured his mother. Why now? What was his mother doing in his thoughts at a time like this? It was simple. His

mother always used to tell him when you felt tense, anxious or even scared, take deep breaths.

So he did. Along with shaking the tension from his legs, he gently laid his pole at his feet. He began to stretch out his arms and upper body. The light breeze that was once there was now gone. He carefully picked up his pole. He felt his heart pounding. He was sure the crowd did, too. The silence was deafening. When he heard the singing of some distant birds in flight, he knew it was his time to fly.



第七单元Two centuries ago an English judge in India noticed that several words in Sanskrit closely resembled some words in Greek and Latin. A systematic study revealed that many modern languages descended from a common parent language, lost to us because nothing was written down.

Identifying similar words, linguists have come up with what they call an Indo-European parent language, spoken until 3500 to 2000 B.C. These people had common words for snow, bee and wolf but no word for sea. So some scholars assume they lived somewhere in north-central Europe, where it was cold. Traveling east, some established the languages of India and Pakistan, and others drifted west toward the gentler climates of Europe. Some who made the earliest move westward became known as the Celts, whom Caesar's armies found in Britain

New words came with the Germanic tribes -- the Angles, the Saxons, etc. -- that slipped across the North Sea to settle in Britain in the 5th century. Together they formed what we call Anglo-Saxon society.

The Anglo-Saxons passed on to us their farming vocabulary, including sheep, ox, earth, wood, field and work. They must have also enjoyed themselves because they gave us the word laughter.




盎格鲁-萨克逊人将他们的农耕词汇留传给我们,包括sheep, ox, earth, wood, field 和work等。他们的日子一定过得很开心,因为他们留传给我们laughter一词。

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