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Take Your Fancy Clothes and Go! (Part One)

"What? Again!" exclaimed Helen. "It's not fair. You had to work late last week -- and the week before. Surely someone else can do it for a change?"
She listened to the usual explanation -- pressure at work, rough job, no one else to do it ... she hung up with a sigh.
Poor Jim. It wasn't his fault. Since the company had been taken over and started paying people off, he'd been doing his best to prove he was indispensable.
He had even changed his image. New suits, smart shirts, new haircut. She smiled ruefully. Good grief! These days he went to work looking like a fashion plate and stinking of aftershave.
"Got to show them I'm not past it yet," he grinned when she commented.
She sighed. Ah well, she thought, once things were more settled, life would go back to normal.
She was wrong. Three days later he dropped his bombshell.
"A divorce?" she gasped, collapsing in a chair in disbelief.
When he'd said he had something to tell her, she'd braced herself to hear that he'd lost his job -- but this was worse. Much worse.
Her lips tightened. "Who is she?" she demanded.
He avoided her eyes. "Er ... just someone at work," he muttered.
She stared at Jim in disgust and he had the grace to look ashamed. "Go on, pack all your fancy new clothes and get out!"
The next few weeks were awful. She barely left the house, spending her time stuck in front of the telly, and stuffing her face with comfort food.
When she did eventually venture out, she ran into her friend, Kate.
"My goodness!" she gasped, taking in Helen's puffy face and the skirt fastened by a safety pin. "What's happened? You look awful."
"Nothing," said Helen, unable to bring herself to talk about it. She forced a smile. "Must be my age. None of us are getting any younger, are we?"
"HRT," announced Kate. "That's what you need." She grinned. "It'll give you a new lease of life. You get yourself down to the doctor first thing and get yourself on it."
Helen smiled weakly. It would take more than HRT to change her life.


1. What is this part of the story mainly about?
2. What can be inferred from the story?
3. Why did Jim change his image?
4. What was Helen's first reaction when she heard the divorce?

Take Your Fancy Clothes and Go! (Part Two)

The final straw came one night when the fuse went and the house was plunged into darkness. She didn't have a clue what to do. Jim had always seen to that side of things.
Sitting there in darkness, with tears running down her cheeks, she made up her mind. She could either spend the rest of her life weeping and wailing and feeling sorry for herself, or she could get up and do something about it.
Brushing away her tears, she made a decision. She was going down to the evening college to sign up for a class first thing in the morning.

When it came to the crunch, she almost backed out. At first glance, everyone else seemed so young. What the hell did she think she was doing?
"Think I'll try the line-dancing this time," came a voice at her elbow. She turned to find a little old lady with a twinkle in her eye beaming at her.
She smiled back. That was it. If someone that age could tackle something new, then so could she!
Straightening her shoulders, she marched up to the desk. "I'd like to sign up for an evening class," she announced. She grinned at the girl. "In fact, I'd like to sign up for a few."
It was a couple of months before she ran into Kate again. Kate looked uncomfortable.
"Er... I heard about Jim," she muttered, avoiding Helen's eyes. "If it's any consolation, I saw him the other day and he looked awful. I don't think he can stand the pace."
"Tough!" grinned Helen. "That's his problem, not mine."
Kate looked at her properly for the first time and her jaw dropped. "You look fantastic!" she gasped, taking in the smart clothes, the trim figure and the newly styled hair.
"Thanks," smiled Helen. She lifted her arm to wave at the tall, dark-haired man hurrying toward them. Kate's jaw dropped even further.
"Who's he?" she asked.
"Oh, just someone I met at my art class," Helen said casually.
Kate began to grin.
"See?"she said. "I told you HRT would give you a new lease of life!"
Helen's hand flew to her mouth. HRT? She'd forgotten all about that -- she'd just been too busy with her new life.

Questions :

1. What did Helen do when the fuse went one night?
2. Why did Helen decide to study at an evening college?
3. Why did Kate look uncomfortable?
4. What can be concluded from the story?

Dialogue 1

Tim: Hello?
Alice: Hello, Tim. This is Alice. I'm in a bit of a crisis.
Tim: What happened?
Alice: I'm afraid I won't be on the flight this afternoon. I got held up in the traffic on the way to the airport here and, basically by the time I got here there were no seats left. The airline had oversold the seats. I don't know what to do. What do you think I should do?
Tim: Well, the best thing to do is to get a seat on another airline. You could ask your airline to arrange for it. There might be a later flight tonight, or a flight tomorrow morning.
Alice: Well, if I have to stay overnight at the airport, I don't think I have enough cash to pay bills. I seemed to have left my credit card at home.
Tim: Oh, that's unfortunate.
Alice: So, what do you think I should do?
Tim: Well, the only thing to do is ... er ... for us to pay for your room and you can pay us back later. I could probably authorize (授权) payment over the phone. I'll give them my credit card number and they'll charge it to me.
Alice: Thank you so much, Tim.
Tim: It's a pleasure.


1. Why couldn't Alice get on her flight?
2. What would be the problem if Alice had to stay ov

ernight at the airport?
3. What did Tim suggest as a solution to the problem?

How to Deal with Traumatic Events

None of us are fully prepared to deal with traumatic events. We feel devastated whenever property is destroyed or there is a serious injury or a loss of life. We can become overwhelmed when friends, co-workers and loved ones experience tragic, dangerous, life-threatening or violent events. To cope, we can look for support from our community, friends, families, co-workers, employers, or a health care professional. A special meeting within the first 24 to 72 hours of a traumatic incident for the people directly involved as well as others affected is an important step toward recovery. It is critical to discuss what happened, our role, what we thought, as well as our emotional and physical reactions. This may not take place all at once but may need to happen formally and informally over a period of weeks. Without this, the problems associated with traumatic incidents can become chronic and less easy to cure. Talking about traumatic events can become more challenging when an individual is exposed to repeated traumas over time.

Kang's Noodles

Thomas Kang is founder, president, and chairman of Kang's Noodles, Inc. He is considered by many to be one of the best role models for showing how to handle failure and disappointment.
The success Kang's Noodles enjoys today grew out of the fertilizer of enough failures to bury several businesses. First, a bad partnership nearly dragged the business under seven years ago. Then three years later, insurance paid off only one-tenth of the loss from a $200,000 fire. By the end of 1999, management of the debt-ridden noodles chain was assumed by a principal creditor — a bank. Eight months later, the owner of Kang's Noodles, Thomas Kang, resumed control and faced nearly one hundred lawsuits, fourteen hundred creditors, and a total debt of 1.5 million dollars.
No one would have blamed Thomas Kang for shutting down his noodle shops and quietly fading away. But he was used to failure and crisis. He was six years old when his father died. He had worked as a farmhand, a newsboy, and a restaurant waiter. In 2000, facing overwhelming debts and problems, Thomas Kang didn't fold and go into bankruptcy; he persevered in his efforts and used his failures to fertilize new seeds of success.
Not only did Thomas Kang fight off the lawsuits, the creditors, and the debts, but he led Kang's Noodles back from the edge of the financial grave to the very top of the food service industry. Today Kang's Noodles Inc. rates among the fifty leading food service businesses in this country and is still climbing. It is considered the third-largest Chinese restaurant chain, the fastest-growing fast-food company, and the undisputed leader in home delivery.


1. Kang's Noodles Inc. is a large company specialized in Chinese-styled fast food.

. In different periods of his business career, Thomas Kang had borrowed money from various sources.
3. Kang's Noodles Inc. was once out of business due to huge losses caused by a serious fire.
4. At one time, more than one million creditors took legal action against Kang's Noodles Inc.
5. Thomas Kang became used to different types of crisis and difficulty at a very young age.
6. Before he started his restaurant business, Thomas Kang had run a farm with a partner.
7. When he took back the control of his company in 2000, the biggest problem Thomas Kang was faced with was a financial crisis.
8. Thomas Kang was able to solve all his problems with the support of a major bank.
9. In addition to taking their meals at any of the Kang's Noodles Restaurants, customers can have the restaurants send food to their homes.
10. "Failure is the mother of success" would be a very appropriate description of the development of Thomas Kang's business.

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