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Unit 1 Fresh Start课文翻译综合教程三

Unit 1

Fresh Start

Evelyn Herald

I first began to wonder what I was doing on a college campus anyway when my parents drove off, leaving me standing pitifully in a parking lot, wanting nothing more than to find my way safely to my dorm room. The fact was that no matter how mature I liked to consider myself, I was feeling just a bit first-gradish. Adding to my distress was the distinct impression that everyone on campus was watching me. My plan was to keep my ears open and my mouth shut and hope no one would notice I was a freshman.

With that thought in mind, I raised my head, squared my shoulders, and set out in the direction of my dorm, glancing (and then ever so discreetly) at the campus map clutched in my hand. It took everything I had not to stare when I caught my first glimpse of a real live college football player. What confidence, what reserve, what muscles! I only hoped his attention was drawn to my airs of assurance rather than to my shaking knees. I spent the afternoon seeking out each of my classrooms so that I could make a perfectly timed entrance before each lecture without having to ask dumb questions about its whereabouts.

The next morning I found my first class and marched in. Once I was in the room, however, another problem awaited me. Where to sit? Freshmen manuals advised sitting near the front, showing the professor in intelligent and energetic demeanor. After deliberation, I chose a seat in the first row and to the side. I was in the foreground (as advised), but out of the professor’s direc t line of vision.

I cracked my anthology of American literature and scribbled the date at the top of a crisp ruled page. “Welcome to Biology 101,” the professor began. A cold sweat broke out on the back of my neck. I groped for my schedule and checked the room number. I was in the right room. Just the wrong building.

So now what? Get up and leave in the middle of the lecture? Wouldn’t the professor be angry? I knew everyone would stare. Forget it ,I settled into my chair and tried to assume the scientific pose of a biology major ,blending slightly forward, tensing my arms in preparation for furious notetaking, and cursing under my breath. The bottled snakes along the wall should have tipped me off.

After class I decided my stomach (as well as my ego) needed a little nourishment, and I hurried to the cafeteria. I accidentally stepped in a large puddle of ketchup. Keeping myself upright and getting out of the mess was not going to be easy, and this flailing of

my feet was doing not good. Just as I decided to try another maneuver, my food tray tipped and I lost my balance. As my rear end met the floor, I saw my entire life pass before my eyes: it ended with my first day of college classes.

In the seconds after my fall I thought how nice it would be if no one had noticed. But as all the students in the cafeteria came to their feet, table by table, cheering and clapping, I knew they had not only noticed ,they were determined that I would never forget it. Slowly I kicked off my ketchup-soaked sandals and jumped clear of the toppled tray and spilled food. A cleanup brigade came charging out of the kitchen, mops in the hand. I sneaked out of the cafeteria as the cheers died down behind me.

For three days I dined alone on nothing more than humiliation, shame, and an assortment of junk food from a machine strategically placed outside my room. On the fourth day I couldn’t take another crunchy-chewy-saltly-sweet bite. I needed some real food. Perhaps three days was long enough for the campus population to have forgotten me. So off to the cafeteria I went.

I made my way through the food line and tiptoed to a table, where I collapsed in relief. Suddenly I heard a crash that sounded vaguely familiar. I looked up to see that another poor soul had met the fate I’d thought was reserved only for me. I was even more surprised when I saw who the poor soul was: the very composed, very upper class football player I’d seen just days before (thought he didn’t look quite so composed wearing spaghetti on the front of his shirt). My heart went out to him as people began to cheer and clap as they had for me. He got up, hands held high above his head in a victory clasp , grinning from ear to ear. I expected him to slink out of the cafeteria as I had, but instead he turned around and bega n preparing another tray. And that’s when I realized I had been taking myself far too seriously.

What I had interpreted as a malicious attempt to embarrass a na?ve freshman had been merely a moment of college fun. Probably everyone in the cafeteria had done something equally dumb when he or she was a freshman-and had lived to tell about it.

Who cared whether I dropped a tray, where I sat in class, or even whether I showed up in the wrong lecture? Nobody. This wasn’t like high school. Popularity was not so important: running with the crowd was no longer a law of survival. In college, it didn’t matter. This was my bid chance to do my own thing, be my own woman-if I could get past my preoccupation with doing everything perfectly.

Once I recognized that I had no one’s expectations to live up to but my own, I relaxed. The shackles of self-consciousness fell away, and I began to view college as a wonderful experiment. I tried on new experiences like articles of clothing, checking their fit and

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