unit 1 Mr. Doherty Builds His Dream Life
In America many people have a romantic idea of life in the countryside. Many living in towns dream of starting up their own farm, of living off the land. Few get round to putting their dreams into practice. This is perhaps just as well, as the life of a farmer is far from easy, as Jim Doherty discovered when he set out to combine being a writer with running a farm. Nevertheless, as he explains, he has no regrets and remains enthusiastic about his decision to change his way of life.
Mr. Doherty Builds His Dream Life
1 There are two things I have always wanted to do -- write and live on a farm. Today I'm doing both. I am not in E. B. White's class as a writer or in my neighbors' league as a farmer, but I'm getting by. And after years of frustration with city and suburban living, my wife Sandy and I have finally found contentment here in the country.
2 It's a self-reliant sort of life. We grow nearly all of our fruits and vegetables. Our hens keep us in eggs, with several dozen left over to sell each week. Our bees provide us with honey, and we cut enough wood to just about make it through the heating season.
3 It's a satisfying life too. In the summer we canoe on the river, go picnicking in the woods and take long bicycle rides. In the winter we ski and skate. We get excited about sunsets. We love the smell of the earth warming and the sound of cattle lowing. We watch for hawks in the sky and deer in the cornfields.
4 But the good life can get pretty tough. Three months ago when it was 30 below, we spent two miserable days hauling firewood up the river on a sled. Three months from now, it will be 9
5 above and we will be cultivating corn, weeding strawberries and killing chickens. Recently, Sandy and I had to retile the back roof. Soon Jim, 1
6 and Emily, 13, the youngest of our four children, will help me make some long-overdue improvements on the outdoor toilet that supplements our indoor plumbing when we are working outside. Later this month, we'll spray the orchard, paint the barn, plant the garden and clean the hen house before the new chicks arrive.
5 In between such chores, I manage to spend 50 to 60 hours a week at the typewriter or doing reporting for the freelance articles I sell to magazines and newspapers. Sandy, meanwhile, pursues her own demanding schedule. Besides the usual household routine, she oversees the garden and beehives, bakes bread, cans and freezes, drives the kids to their music lessons, practices with them, takes organ lessons on her own, does research and typing for me, writes an article herself now and then, tends the flower beds, stacks a little wood and delivers the eggs. There is, as the old saying goes, no rest for the wicked on a place like this -- and not much for the virtuous either. 在这些活计之间，我每周要抽空花五、六十个小时，不是打字撰文，就是为作为自由撰稿人投给报刊的文章进行采访。桑迪则有她自己繁忙的工作日程。除了日常的家务，她还照管菜园和蜂房，烘烤面包，将食品装罐、冷藏，开车送孩子学音乐，和他们一起练习，自己还要上风琴课，为我做些研究工作并打字，自己有时也写写文章，还要侍弄花圃，堆摞木柴、运送鸡蛋。正如老话说的那样，在这种情形之下，坏人不得闲――贤德之人也歇不了。
6 None of us will ever forget our first winter. We were buried under five feet of snow from December through March. While one storm after another blasted huge drifts up against the house and barn, we kept warm inside burning our own wood, eating our own apples and loving every minute of it.
7 When spring came, it brought two floods. First the river overflowed, covering much of our land for weeks. Then the growing season began, swamping us under wave after wave of produce. Our freezer filled up with cherries, raspberries, strawberries, asparagus, peas, beans and corn. Then our canned-goods shelves and cupboards began to grow with preserves, tomato juice, grape juice, plums, jams and jellies. Eventually, the basement floor disappeared under piles of potatoes, squash and pumpkins, and the barn began to fill with apples and pears. It was amazing.
8 The next year we grew even more food and managed to get through the winter on firewood that was mostly from our own trees and only 100 gallons of heating oil. At that point I began thinking seriously about quitting my job and starting to freelance. The timing was terrible. By then, Shawn and Amy, our oldest girls were attending expensive Ivy League schools and we had only a few thousand dollars in the bank. Yet we kept coming back to the same question: Will there ever be a better time? The answer, decidedly, was no, and so -- with my employer's blessings and half a year's pay in accumulated benefits in my pocket -- off I went.
9 There have been a few anxious moments since then, but on balance things have gone much better than we had any right to expect. For various stories of mine, I've crawled into black-bear dens for Sports Illustrated, hitched up dogsled racing teams for Smithsonian magazine, checked out the Lake Champlain "monster" for Science Digest, and canoed through the Boundary Waters wilderness area of Minnesota for Destinations.
10 I'm not making anywhere near as much money as I did when I was employed full time, but now we don't need as much either. I generate enough income to handle our $600-a-month mortgage payments plus the usual expenses for a family like ours. That includes everything from music lessons and dental bills to car repairs and college costs. When it comes to insurance, we have a poor man's major-medical policy. We have to pay the first $500 of any medical fees for each member of the family. It picks up 80% of the costs beyond that. Although we are stuck with paying minor expenses, our premium is low -- only $560 a year -- and we are covered against catastrophe. Aside from that and the policy on our two cars at $400 a year, we have no other insurance. But we are setting aside $2,000 a year in an IRA.
11 We've been able to make up the difference in income by cutting back without appreciably lowering our standard of living. We continue to dine out once or twice a month, but now we patronize local restaurants instead of more expensive places in the city. We still attend the opera and ballet in Milwaukee but only a few times a year. We eat less meat, drink cheaper wine and see fewer movies. Extravagant Christmases are a memory, and we combine vacations with story assignments...
12 I suspect not everyone who loves the country would be happy living the way we do. It takes a couple of special qualities. One is a tolerance for solitude. Because we are so busy and on such a tight budget, we don't entertain much. During the growing season there is no time for socializing anyway. Jim and Emily are involved in school activities, but they too spend most of their time at home.
13 The other requirement is energy -- a lot of it. The way to make self-sufficiency work on a small scale is to resist the temptation to buy a tractor and other expensive laborsaving devices. Instead, you do the work yourself. The only machinery we own (not counting the lawn mower) is a little three-horsepower rotary cultivator and a 16-inch chain saw.
14 How much longer we'll have enough energy to stay on here is anybody's guess -- perhaps for quite a while, perhaps not. When the time comes, we'll leave with a feeling of sorrow but also with a sense of pride at what we've been able to accomplish. We should make a fair profit on the sale of the place, too. We've invested about $35,000 of our own money in it, and we could just about double that if we sold today. But this is not a good time to sell. Once economic conditions improve, however, demand for farms like ours should be strong again.
15 We didn't move here primarily to earn money though. We came because we wanted to improve the quality of our lives. When I watch Emily collecting eggs in the evening, fishing with Jim on the river or enjoying an old-fashioned picnic in the orchard with the entire family, I know we've found just what we were looking for.
Donna Barron describes how American family life has changed in recent years. She identifies three forces at work. What are they? Read on to find out. Then ask yourself whether similar forces are at work within China. Will family life here end up going in the same direction?
American Family Life: The Changing Picture
1 It's another evening in an American household.
2 The door swings open at 5:30 sharp. "Hi, honey! I'm home!" In walks dear old Dad, hungry and tired after a long day at the office. He is greeted by Mom in her apron, three happy children, and the aroma of a delicious pot roast.
3 After a leisurely meal together, Mom does the dishes. That, after all, is part of her job. The whole family then moves to the living room. There everyone spends the evening playing Scrabble or watching TV.
4 Then everyone is off to bed. And the next morning Dad and the kids wake up to the sounds and smells of Mom preparing pancakes and sausages for breakfast.
5 (1) What? You say that doesn't sound like life in your house? Well, you're not alone. In fact, you're probably in the majority. 什么？你说那听起来不像你府上的生活？其实，不仅仅是你一个人这么想。事实上，大多数人很可能都跟你一样这么想的。
6 At one time in America, the above household might have been typical. You can still visit such a home -- on television. Just watch reruns of old situation comedies. (2) Leave it to Beaver,
for example, shows Mom doing housework in pearls and high heels. Dad keeps his suit and tie on all weekend. But the families that operate like Beaver Cleaver's are fewer and fewer. They're disappearing because three parts of our lives have changed: the way we work, the way we eat, and the way we entertain ourselves. Becoming aware of the effects of those changes may help us improve family life.
7 Let's look first at the changes in the way we work. Today the words "Hi, honey! I'm home!" might not be spoken by dear old Dad. Dear old Mom is just as likely to be saying them. A generation ago, most households could get along on one paycheck -- Dad's. Mom stayed home, at least until the children started school. But today, over half the mothers with young children go to work. An even greater percentage of mothers of older children are in the workforce. And the number of single-parent homes has mushroomed in the last thirty years.
8 These changes in work have affected children as well as parents. When only Dad went out to work, children came home from school to Mom. (In TV situation comedies, they came home to Mom and home-baked cookies) Today, we'll find them at an after-school program or a neighbor's house. Or they may come home to no one at all. In every community, children are caring for themselves until their parents return from work. Are these children missing out on an important part of childhood? Or are they developing a healthy sense of self-reliance? These are questions that Mrs. Cleaver never had to deal with.
9 In addition, Dad and now Mom are often gone from home longer than ever. Not too long ago, most men worked close to home. The office or factory was just downtown. Dad often walked to work or hitched a ride with a friendly neighbor. But no more.
10 Today's working men and women are commuters. They travel distances to work that would have made their parents gasp. Commutes of forty-five minutes or an hour are common. Workers travel on buses, subways, and crowded highways. Many leave their suburban homes at dawn and don't return until dark. No running home for lunch for today's commuter.
11 And speaking of lunch, there's been a second big change in American family life. If both parents are away from home for long hours, who's whipping up those delicious meals in the kitchen? The answer, more and more, is nobody.
12 These days, few people have time to shop for and prepare "home-style" meals. The Cleavers were used to dinners of pot roast or chicken. Potatoes, salad, and vegetables went with the main course, with pie or cake for dessert. But this kind of meal takes several hours to fix. People can't spend hours in the kitchen if they get home at 5:30.
13 So what do working families eat? They choose meals that are easy to prepare or are already prepared. Fast food, takeout, and heat-and-serve dishes make up much of the modern American diet. Dad may arrive home with a bag of Big Macs and shakes. Mom may phone out for Chinese food or ask the local pizza parlor to deliver. And more and more people rely on microwaves to thaw frozen food in minutes.
14 One consequence of these quickly prepared meals is that families spend less time dining together. And classic fast foods, like hamburgers and fries, are meant to be eaten on the run, not slowly enjoyed at the dinner table. The modern family no longer shares the evening meal. As a result, it no longer shares the day's news... or the feeling of togetherness.
15 Finally, what about after dinner? Is the family evening at least something the Cleavers could relate to?
16 Not a chance.
17 We don't have to look outside the home to see the changes. The modern American family entertains itself in ways the Cleavers would never have dreamed of.
18 Thirty years ago, families gathered around a radio each evening. Later, television took over. Most families had just one set, which they watched together. Today, television and computers bring a dizzying array of entertainment into the home. Cable television provides everything from aerobics classes to Shakespeare. VCRs expand the choices even more. (3) If there's nothing good on network TV or cable, the video store offers the best and worst of Hollywood: recent movies, cartoons, "adult" films, exercise programs, travel, sports, how-to tapes. Computer games, which make viewers part of the action, also provide excitement. Players can compete in the Olympics, search out aliens, or wipe out entire civilizations on their little screens.
19 With all these choices, it makes sense to own more than one television set. The two-or-more-TV family used to be rare. (4) Nowadays, Dad might want to rent an action movie when Mom's cable shopping service is on. Or Junior is playing a let's-blow-up-Saturn video game while Sis wants to see The Simpsons. Why not invest in several sets? Then each family member can enjoy himself or herself in peace.
20 What's wrong with this picture of today's family?
21 Only this. Today's Cleavers spend their evenings in front of their separate TV screens. Then they go to bed. The next morning, they rush off to their separate jobs (work and school). They come home at separate times. They eat separately. Finally, they return to their separate TV screens for another evening's entertainment. During all these times, when do they talk to each other or even see each other? When are they a family?
22 Certain realities of modern life cannot change. One is the need, in most families, for both parents to bring home a paycheck. Another is the distance many of us must travel to work or to school. But must everything change? And must we lose the family structure in the process?
23 No one is suggesting that we go back to the 1950s. The Cleaver household was a fantasy even then, not reality. But we might borrow one important lesson from the Cleavers. It is that family life is just as important as work or play. If we agree, we'll find ways of spending more time together. We'll find things to share. And then there will be something right with the picture.
unit 2 The Freedom Givers
In 2004 a center in honor of the "underground railroad" opens in Cincinnati. The railroad was unusual. It sold no tickets and had no trains. Yet it carried thousands of passengers to the destination of their dreams.
The Freedom Givers
Fergus M. Bordewich
1 A gentle breeze swept the Canadian plains as I stepped outside the small two-story house. Alongside me was a slender woman in a black dress, my guide back to a time when the surrounding settlement in Dresden, Ontario, was home to a hero in American history. As we walked toward a plain gray church, Barbara Carter spoke proudly of her great-great-grandfather, Josiah Henson. "He was confident that the Creator intended all men to be created equal. And he never gave up struggling for that freedom."
2 Carter's devotion to her ancestor is about more than personal pride: it is about family honor. For Josiah Henson has lived on through the character in American fiction that he helped inspire: Uncle Tom, the long-suffering slave in Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. Ironically, that character has come to symbolize everything Henson was not. A racial sellout unwilling to stand up for himself? Carter gets angry at the thought. "Josiah Henson was a man of principle," she said firmly.
3 I had traveled here to Henson's last home -- now a historic site that Carter formerly directed -- to learn more about a man who was, in many ways, an African-American Moses. After winning his own freedom from slavery, Henson secretly helped hundreds of other slaves to escape north to Canada -- and liberty. Many settled here in Dresden with him.
4 Yet this stop was only part of a much larger mission for me. Josiah Henson is but one name on a long list of courageous men and women who together forged the Underground Railroad, a secret web of escape routes and safe houses that they used to liberate slaves from the American South. Between 1820 and 1860, as many as 100,000 slaves traveled the Railroad to freedom.
5 In October 2000, President Clinton authorized $1
6 million for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to honor this first great civil-rights struggle in the U. S. The center is scheduled to open in 2004 in Cincinnati. And it's about time. For the heroes of the Underground Railroad remain too little remembered, their exploits still largely unsung. I was intent on telling their stories. 2000年10月，克林顿总统批准拨款1600万美元建造全国“地下铁路”自由中心，以此纪念美国历史上第一次伟大的民权斗争。中心计划于2004年在辛辛那提州建成。真是该建立这样一个中心的时候了。因为地下铁路的英雄们依然默默无闻，他们的业绩依然少人颂扬。我要讲述他们的故事。
6 John Parker tensed when he heard the soft knock. Peering out his door into the night, he recognized the face of a trusted neighbor. "There's a party of escaped slaves hiding in the woods in Kentucky, twenty miles from the river," the man whispered urgently. Parker didn't hesitate. "I'll go," he said, pushing a pair of pistols into his pockets.
7 Born a slave two decades before, in the 1820s, Parker had been taken from his mother at age eight and forced to walk in chains from Virginia to Alabama, where he was sold on the slave market. Determined to live free someday, he managed to get trained in iron molding. Eventually he saved enough money working at this trade on the side to buy his freedom. Now, by day, Parker worked in an iron foundry in the Ohio port of Ripley. By night he was a "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, helping people slip by the slave hunters. In Kentucky, where he was now headed, there was a $1000 reward for his capture, dead or alive.
8 Crossing the Ohio River on that chilly night, Parker found ten fugitives frozen with fear. "Get your bundles and follow me, " he told them, leading the eight men and two women toward the river. They had almost reached shore when a watchman spotted them and raced off to spread
9 Parker saw a small boat and, with a shout, pushed the escaping slaves into it. There was room for all but two. As the boat slid across the river, Parker watched helplessly as the pursuers closed in around the men he was forced to leave behind.
10 The others made it to the Ohio shore, where Parker hurriedly arranged for a wagon to take them to the next "station" on the Underground Railroad -- the first leg of their journey to safety in Canada. Over the course of his life, John Parker guided more than 400 slaves to safety.
11 While black conductors were often motivated by their own painful experiences, whites were commonly driven by religious convictions. Levi Coffin, a Quaker raised in North Carolina, explained, "The Bible, in bidding us to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, said nothing about color."
12 In the 1820s Coffin moved west to Newport (now Fountain City), Indiana, where he opened a store. Word spread that fleeing slaves could always find refuge at the Coffin home. At times he sheltered as many as 17 fugitives at once, and he kept a team and wagon ready to convey them on the next leg of their journey. Eventually three principal routes converged at the Coffin house, which came to be the Grand Central Terminal of the Underground Railroad.
13 For his efforts, Coffin received frequent death threats and warnings that his store and home would be burned. Nearly every conductor faced similar risks -- or worse. In the North, a magistrate might have imposed a fine or a brief jail sentence for aiding those escaping. In the Southern states, whites were sentenced to months or even years in jail. One courageous Methodist minister, Calvin Fairbank, was imprisoned for more than 17 years in Kentucky, where he kept a log of his beatings: 35,105 stripes with the whip.
14 As for the slaves, escape meant a journey of hundreds of miles through unknown country, where they were usually easy to recognize. With no road signs and few maps, they had to put their trust in directions passed by word of mouth and in secret signs -- nails driven into trees, for example -- that conductors used to mark the route north.
15 Many slaves traveled under cover of night, their faces sometimes caked with white powder. Quakers often dressed their "passengers," both male and female, in gray dresses, deep bonnets and full veils. On one occasion, Levi Coffin was transporting so many runaway slaves that he disguised them as a funeral procession.
16 Canada was the primary destination for many fugitives. Slavery had been abolished there in 1833, and Canadian authorities encouraged the runaways to settle their vast virgin land. Among them was Josiah Henson.
17 As a boy in Maryland, Henson watched as his entire family was sold to different buyers, and he saw his mother harshly beaten when she tried to keep him with her. Making the best of his lot, Henson worked diligently and rose far in his owner's regard.
18 Money problems eventually compelled his master to send Henson, his wife and children to
a brother in Kentucky. After laboring there for several years, Henson heard alarming news: the new master was planning to sell him for plantation work far away in the Deep South. The slave would be separated forever from his family.
19 There was only one answer: flight. "I knew the North Star," Henson wrote years later. "Like the star of Bethlehem, it announced where my salvation lay. "
20 At huge risk, Henson and his wife set off with their four children. Two weeks later, starving and exhausted, the family reached Cincinnati, where they made contact with members of the Underground Railroad. "Carefully they provided for our welfare, and then they set us thirty miles on our way by wagon."
21 The Hensons continued north, arriving at last in Buffalo, N. Y. There a friendly captain pointed across the Niagara River. "'Do you see those trees?' he said. 'They grow on free soil.'" He gave Henson a dollar and arranged for a boat, which carried the slave and his family across the river to Canada.
22 "I threw myself on the ground, rolled in the sand and danced around, till, in the eyes of several who were present, I passed for a madman. 'He's some crazy fellow,' said a Colonel Warren."
23 "'Oh, no! Don't you know? I'm free!'"
Jesse Jackson, a well-known leader of black Americans, reviews the progress they have made in recent years. Despite this, he argues, there is still much left to be done before they enjoy full equality.
The Dream, the Stars and Dr. King
1 Last week in Memphis, we commemorated the death of Dr. Martin Luther King. He was struck down 27 years ago -- not a dreamer, but a man of action. We have come a long way since then, in part as a fruit of his labors.
2 In less than 30 years, as schools opened and ceilings lifted, a large African American middle class has been created. High school graduation rates, even intelligence test results, grow closer between whites and blacks with each passing year.
3 The civil-rights movement that Dr. King led also helped women gain greater opportunity. The same laws that guarantee equal opportunity for African Americans apply to women, to other minorities, to the disabled. (1) Our society benefits as fewer of its people have their genius suppressed or their talents wasted.
4 We have come a long way -- but we have far to go. Commission after commission, report after report, show that systematic discrimination still stains our country.
5 African Americans have more difficulty obtaining business loans, buying homes, getting hired. Schools and housing patterns are still largely separate and unequal. Women still face glass ceilings in corporate offices. Ninety-seven percent of the corporate CEOs of the Fortune 500 are white men. That does not result from talent being concentrated among males with pale skin. 非洲裔美国人在商业贷款、购房、就业方面遇到更多的困难。学校与居住格局在很大程度上仍黑白分隔，无平等可言。妇女在企业管理阶层的发展仍面临着无形的限制。财富杂志500强企业名录中97％的首席执行官是男性白人。这并不是白肤色男士具有才能优势的结果。
6 (2)Today, Dr. King's legacy -- the commitment to take affirmative actions to open doors and opportunity -- is under political assault. Dr. King worked against terrible odds in a hopeful time. America was experiencing two decades of remarkable economic growth and prosperity. It was assumed, as the Kerner Commission made clear, that the "growth dividend" would enable us to reduce poverty and open opportunity relatively painlessly. But the war on poverty was never fought; instead, the dividend and the growth were squandered in the jungles of Vietnam.
7 Three decades later, the country is more prosperous but the times are less hopeful. Real wages for working people have been declining for 20 years. People are scared for good reason, as layoffs rise to record levels even in the midst of a recovery.
8 In this context, prejudice flourishes, feeding on old hates, keeping alive old fears. What else could explain the remarkably dishonest assault on affirmative-action programs that seek to remedy stubborn patterns of discrimination?
9 House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a history professor, sets the tone by simply erasing history. The Washington Post reported: "Gingrich dismissed the argument that those who benefit from affirmative action, commonly African Americans, have been subjected to discrimination over a period of centuries. That is true of virtually every American, Gingrich said, noting that the Irish were discriminated against by the English, for example."
10 As Roger Wilkins writes in a thoughtful essay in the Nation magazine, this is breathtakingly dishonest for a history professor. Blacks have been on the North American continent for nearly 375 years. For 245 of those, the country practiced slavery. For another 100 or so, segregation was enforced throughout the South and much of the North, often policed by home-grown terrorists. We've had only 30 years of something else, largely the legacy of the struggle led by Dr. King.
11 The media plays up the "guilt" African Americans supposedly suffer about affirmative action. I can tell you this. Dr. King felt no guilt when special laws gave us the right to vote. He felt no guilt about laws requiring that African Americans have the opportunity to go to schools, to enter universities, to compete for jobs and contracts. This supposed guilt is at best a luxurious anxiety of those who now have the opportunity to succeed or fail.
12 If Dr. King were alive today, he would be 66, younger than Senator Bob Dole who suggests that discrimination ended "before we were born." Unlike Dole, Dr. King would be
working to bring people together, not drive them apart.
13 (3) Modern-day conservatives haven't a clue about what to do with an economy that is generating greater inequality and reducing the security and living standards of more and more Americans. So they seek to distract and divide.
14 As Dole reaffirmed his abandonment of affirmative action, fellow Republican Senator Phil Gramm of Texas called for more cuts from the poor.
15 As we head into this troubling time, we would do well to remember Dr. King's legacy. No matter how desperate things were, no matter how grave the crisis, no matter how many times his dreams were shattered, Dr. King refused to grow bitter. (4) Men and women, he taught, "have the capacity to do right as well as wrong, and [our] history is a path upward, not downward. It's only when it is truly dark that you can see the stars."
unit 3 The Land of the Lock
Years ago in America, it was customary for families to leave their doors unlocked, day and night. In this essay, Greene regrets that people can no longer trust each other and have to resort to elaborate security systems to protect themselves and their possessions.
The Land of the Lock
1 In the house where I grew up, it was our custom to leave the front door on the latch at night. I don't know if that was a local term or if it is universal; "on the latch" meant the door was closed but not locked. None of us carried keys; the last one in for the evening would close up, and that was it.
2 Those days are over. In rural areas as well as in cities, doors do not stay unlocked, even for part of an evening.
3 Suburbs and country areas are, in many ways, even more vulnerable than well-patroled urban streets. Statistics show the crime rate rising more dramatically in those allegedly tranquil areas than in cities. At any rate, the era of leaving the front door on the latch is over.
4 It has been replaced by dead-bolt locks, security chains, electronic alarm systems and trip wires hooked up to a police station or private guard firm. Many suburban families have sliding glass doors on their patios, with steel bars elegantly built in so no one can pry the doors open.
5 It is not uncommon, in the most pleasant of homes, to see pasted on the windows small notices announcing that the premises are under surveillance by this security force or that guard company. 在最温馨的居家，也常常看得到窗上贴着小小的告示，称本宅由某家安全机构或某个保安公司负责监管。