Onewayof summarizingthe Americanposition 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 teachersare fearful that if skills are not acquiredearly, they may never be acquired; there is, on the other hand, no comparablehurry 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 assumingthat the contrast I havedevelopedis valid, and that the fostering of skills and creativity are both worthwhile goals,the importantquestion becomes this: Can
we gather, from the Chineseand Americanextremes, a superior way to approach education, perhaps striking a
better balance between the poles of creativity and basic skills?
Waltonset upa college scholarshipfund for employees' children, a disaster relief fund to rebuild employee homes damagedby fires, floods, tornadoes, and the like. He
believed in cultivating ideas and rewarding success.
"He'd say, 'That fellow worked hard, let's give him a
little extra,'" recalls retired president Ferold F.Arend, whowasstunnedat suchgenerosityafter the stingy
employer he left to join Wal-Mart"I. hadto changemywayof thinking when I came aboard."
"Thereasonfor our success,"saysWalton,in a company handout,"is our peopleand theway they'retreated andthe way they feel about their company. They believe things are
different here, but they deserve the credit."
Adds companylawyer Jim Hendren:"I've never seen anyone yet who worked for him or was around him for any length of time who wasn't better off. And I don't mean just financially, although a lot of people are. It's just something about him -- coming into contact with Sam Walton just makes you a better person."
Makingthe journeyfromlog cabin to WhiteHouseis part
of the American Dream. But when Jimmy Carter was defeated in his attempt to gain a second term as President of the United States he found himself suddenly thrown out of the WhiteHouseandbackin his log cabin. This is howhe coped.
SEAN:If that sort of thing happenedonly oncein a
while, it wouldn't be so bad. Overall, I wouldn't want to
my dad for anyone else's. He loves us kids and Mom too. But
I think that's sometimes theproblem.Hewantsto do things
for us, things he thinks are good.But he needsto give
them more thought because:
(The lights quickly fade to black and then come up a second or two later. DIANE stands alone at the Down Right edge of the stage. HEIDI and SEAN enter Down Left and cross to the edge of the stage. )
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 constantdreadknowingthat at anytime disaster canstrike because: Father knows better.
I'd never realized how important daily routine is: dressingfor work, sleepingnormalhours. I'd neverthought I relied so much on co-workers for company. I began to understand why long-term unemployment can be so damaging, whylife without anexternally supporteddaily plan canlead
to higher rates of drug abuse, crime, suicide.
To restorebalance to mylife, I force myselfback into the
real world. I call people, arrange to meet with the few remaining friends who haven't fled New York City. I try to
at least get to the gym,so as to set apart the weekendfrom
the rest of my week. I arrange interviews for stories,
doctor's appointments-- anythingto get meout of the house
and connected with others.
But sometimes being face to face is too much. I see a
friend andher 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.
Thought you were safe sharing secrets with Internet friends? Wait for the doorbell...
The runway felt different this time. It startled him for a
brief moment. Then it all hit him like a wet bale of hay.
Thebar wasset at nine incheshigher 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 accuratedescription. What washe going to do?Hehad never experienced these feelings. Then out of nowhere, and from the deepestdepthsof 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.
Sohe did. Alongwith shakingthe tension fromhis 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 wasnowgone.Hecarefully pickeduphis pole. Hefelt
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.
Racingthe clock everydayis suchan exhaustingeffort
that when I actually have a few free moments, I tend to collapse. Mostly I sink into a chair and stare into space
while I imaginehowlovely life wouldbe if only I possessed
the organizational skills and the energy of my superheroinesIn. fact, I wastea gooddeal of mysparetime
just worrying about what other women are accomplishing in theirs. Sometimes I think that these modern fairy tales create as many problems for women as the old stories that had us biding our time for the day our prince would come.
Yet superwomen tales continue to charm me. Despite my friend's warningagainstbeingtakenin, despite everything
I've learned, I find that I'm not only willing, but positively eager to buy that bridge she mentioned. Why? I
supposeit has somethingto do with the appeal of an optimistic approach to life -- and the fact that extraordinary deeds have been accomplished by determined individuals whorefusedto believe that "you can't" wasthe final word on their dreams.
Men have generally been assured that achieving their heart's desires wouldbe apiece of cake.Women,of course, have always believed that we can't have our cake and eat it too-the old low-dream diet. Perhaps becominga superwoman is an impossible dream for me, but life without that kind of fantasy is as unappealing as a diet with no treats.
1)The young woman described to the policemen the way the man ran up to her and grabbed the bag from her hand.
2)All the people working for Sam Walton admire the way he manages Wal-Mart and the way he treats his employees.
3)The neighbors were disgusted at the way he talked to his
4)It's amazing the way the eight-year-old boy managed to
stay so calm when he faced the emergency.
1. You will find yourself penniless in a month.
2. He found himself lying in a hospital ward.
3. She found herself faced with the toughest job she had
4. Susan found herself in a trap from which she could not escape.
1)Obviously what the speaker wanted to emphasize was the impact of these findings rather than the process that led
to these findings.
2)It seemsthat heis neverbotheredaboutwhatpeoplewould
think about his behavior.
3)The CEO never hesitates to let his employees know what he is planning for the company.
4)Thescientist will showthe audiencewhata tele-operated
robot can do for a family.
5)Despite all this she manages to get her act together.
1、Sheherself believedin freedom,somuchso that
shewould rather die than live without it.
2、Assuming the proposal is accepted,where are we going to get the money?
3、Only by rewarding success can you bring out the best in your employess.
4、It ’s amazing the eight-year-old boy managed to stay so calm when he faced the emergency.
5、Allen shouldhaveknown betterthan to lendsucha large
sum of money to that untrustworthy cousin of his.