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新视野大学英语_新视野大学英语2读写教程课文unit 8What Youngsters Expect in Life




新视野大学英语_新视野大学英语2读写教程课文unit 8What Youngsters Expect in Life

新视野大学英语读写教程第二册课文unit8

英语学习

Section A

Pre-reading Activities

First Listening

Please listen to a short passage carefully and prepare to answer some questions.

Second Listening

Listen to the tape again. Then answer the following questions with your own experiences.

1) How do young students and older teachers see the role of education differently?

2) What is "quality of life" and how can it be improved?

3) According to the writer, what must educators prepare students for?

There's a Lot More to Life than a Job

It has often been remarked that the saddest thing about youth is that it is wasted on the young.

Reading a survey report on first-year college students, I recalled the regret, "If only I knew then what I know now."

The survey revealed what I had already suspected from informal polls of students both in Macon and at the Robins Resident Center: if it (whatever it may be) won't compute and you can't drink it, smoke it or spend it, then "it" holds little value.

According to the survey based on responses from over 188,000 students, today's college beginners are "more consumeristic and less idealistic" than at any time in the seventeen years of the poll.

Not surprising in these hard times, the students' major objective "is to be financially well off. Less important than ever is developing a meaningful philosophy of life." Accordingly, today the most popular course is not literature or history but accounting.

Interest in teaching, social service and the humanities is at a low, along with ethnic and women's studies. On the other hand, enrollment in business programs, engineering and computer science is way up.

That's no surprise either. A friend of mine (a sales representative for a chemical company) was making twice the salary of college instructors during her first year on the job — even before she completed her two-year associate degree.

"I'll tell them what they can do with their (music, history, literature, etc.)," she was fond of saying. And that was four years ago; I tremble to think what she's earning now.

Frankly, I'm proud of the young lady (not her attitude but her success). But why can't we have it both ways? Can't we educate people for life as well as for a career? I believe we can.

If we can not, then that is a conviction against our educational system — kindergarten, elementary, secondary and higher. In a time of increasing specialization, a time when 90 percent of all the scientists who have ever lived are currently alive, more than ever, we need to know what is truly important in life.

This is where age and maturity enter. Most people, somewhere between the ages of 30 and 50, finally arrive at the inevitable conclusion that they were meant to do more than serve a corporation, a government agency, or whatever.

Most of us finally have the insight that quality of life is not entirely determined by a balance sheet. Sure, everyone wants to be financially comfortable, but we also want to feel we have a perspective on the world beyond the confines of our occupation; we want to be able to render service to our fellow man and to our God.

If it is a fact that the meaning of life does not dawn until middle age, is it then not the duty of educational institutions to prepare the way for that revelation? Most people, in their youth, resent the Social Security deductions from their pay, yet a seemingly few short years later find themselves standing anxiously by the mailbox.

While it's true all of us need a career, preferably a prosperous one, it is equally true that our civilization has collected an incredible amount of knowledge in fields far removed from our own. And we are better for our understanding of these other contributions — be they scientific or artistic. It is equally true that, in studying the diverse wisdom of others, we learn how to think. More importantly, perhaps, education teaches us to see the connections between things, as well as to see beyond our immediate needs.

Weekly we read of unions that went on strike for higher wages, only to drive their employer out of business. No company, no job. How shortsighted in the long run.

But the most important argument for a broad education is that in studying the accumulated wisdom of the ages, we improve our moral sense. I saw a cartoon recently which depicts a group of businessmen looking puzzled as they sit around a conference table; one of them is talking on the intercom: "Miss Baxter," he says, "could you please send in someone who can distinguish right from wrong?"

In the long run that's what education really ought to be about. I think it can be. My college roommate, now head of a large shipping company in New York, not surprisingly was a business major. But he also hosted a classical music show on the college's FM station and listened to Wagner as he studied his accounting.

That's the way it should be. Oscar Wilde had it right when he said we ought to give our ability to our work but our genius to our lives.

Let's hope our educators answer students' cries for career education, but at the same time let's ensure that students are prepared for the day when they realize their shortsightedness. There's a lot more to life than a job.

新视野大学英语读写教程第二册课文unit8

英语学习

Section A

Pre-reading Activities

First Listening

Please listen to a short passage carefully and prepare to answer some questions.

Second Listening

Listen to the tape again. Then answer the following questions with your own experiences.

1) How do young students and older teachers see the role of education differently?

2) What is "quality of life" and how can it be improved?

3) According to the writer, what must educators prepare students for?

There's a Lot More to Life than a Job

It has often been remarked that the saddest thing about youth is that it is wasted on the young.

Reading a survey report on first-year college students, I recalled the regret, "If only I knew then what I know now."

The survey revealed what I had already suspected from informal polls of students both in Macon and at the Robins Resident Center: if it (whatever it may be) won't compute and you can't drink it, smoke it or spend it, then "it" holds little value.

According to the survey based on responses from over 188,000 students, today's college beginners are "more consumeristic and less idealistic" than at any time in the seventeen years of the poll.

Not surprising in these hard times, the students' major objective "is to be financially well off. Less important than ever is developing a meaningful philosophy of life." Accordingly, today the most popular course is not literature or history but accounting.

Interest in teaching, social service and the humanities is at a low, along with ethnic and women's studies. On the other hand, enrollment in business programs, engineering and computer science is way up.

That's no surprise either. A friend of mine (a sales representative for a chemical company) was making twice the salary of college instructors during her first year on the job — even before she completed her two-year associate degree.

"I'll tell them what they can do with their (music, history, literature, etc.)," she was fond of saying. And that was four years ago; I tremble to think what she's earning now.

Frankly, I'm proud of the young lady (not her attitude but her success). But why can't we have it both ways? Can't we educate people for life as well as for a career? I believe we can.

If we can not, then that is a conviction against our educational system — kindergarten, elementary, secondary and higher. In a time of increasing specialization, a time when 90 percent of all the scientists who have ever lived are currently alive, more than ever, we need to know what is truly important in life.

This is where age and maturity enter. Most people, somewhere between the ages of 30 and 50, finally arrive at the inevitable conclusion that they were meant to do more than serve a corporation, a government agency, or whatever.

Most of us finally have the insight that quality of life is not entirely determined by a balance sheet. Sure, everyone wants to be financially comfortable, but we also want to feel we have a perspective on the world beyond the confines of our occupation; we want to be able to render service to our fellow man and to our God.

If it is a fact that the meaning of life does not dawn until middle age, is it then not the duty of educational institutions to prepare the way for that revelation? Most people, in their youth, resent the Social Security deductions from their pay, yet a seemingly few short years later find themselves standing anxiously by the mailbox.

While it's true all of us need a career, preferably a prosperous one, it is equally true that our civilization has collected an incredible amount of knowledge in fields far removed from our own. And we are better for our understanding of these other contributions — be they scientific or artistic. It is equally true that, in studying the diverse wisdom of others, we learn how to think. More importantly, perhaps, education teaches us to see the connections between things, as well as to see beyond our immediate needs.

Weekly we read of unions that went on strike for higher wages, only to drive their employer out of business. No company, no job. How shortsighted in the long run.

But the most important argument for a broad education is that in studying the accumulated wisdom of the ages, we improve our moral sense. I saw a cartoon recently which depicts a group of businessmen looking puzzled as they sit around a conference table; one of them is talking on the intercom: "Miss Baxter," he says, "could you please send in someone who can distinguish right from wrong?"

In the long run that's what education really ought to be about. I think it can be. My college roommate, now head of a large shipping company in New York, not surprisingly was a business major. But he also hosted a classical music show on the college's FM station and listened to Wagner as he studied his accounting.

That's the way it should be. Oscar Wilde had it right when he said we ought to give our ability to our work but our genius to our lives.

Let's hope our educators answer students' cries for career education, but at the same time let's ensure that students are prepared for the day when they realize their shortsightedness. There's a lot more to life than a job.

Section B

英语学习

What Youngsters Expect in Life

Back in the good old days of stable economic expansion — the 1950s and 1960s — a person could choose to do something new, exciting, and creative in life but could also choose to say, "That's not for me: I am going to play it safe in life. I am going to stay in my home town and have a nice comfortable career in a salaried job." That second choice no longer exists for the vast majority of Americans. All of us are going to be creators and pioneers over the next 10 years whether we like it or not, and many of us don't like it.

Just look at what the attitude surveys tell us. In the United States, three-quarters of the adults surveyed by the Harris poll and two-thirds of all high-school seniors surveyed by Scholastic magazine say they believe that the United States will be a worse place 10 years from now than it is today. No wonder young people are disaffected. No wonder they are not motivated to learn. They think the world in which they are going to spend their lives won't be a very satisfactory place.

Young men, in particular, are not happy with their prospects for the future. When surveyors ask U.S. female high-school students what they are going to do when they graduate, they list all kinds of roles they want to fill, like doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, civil servants, police and firemen, and fighter pilots. In short, they want to do all the things that men have always done. Moreover, less than 10% of female high-school seniors expect to spend their adult lives solely as mothers and domestic managers, while nearly 90% are committed to having both a career and a marriage based on equality.

By comparison, nearly half of male high-school students express their preference for a traditional, male-headed, one provider, nuclear family, where the wife stays home as mother and housewife. And when male high-school students are asked what kinds of careers they would like to have, the only two job fields that consistently receive large numbers of responses in open surveys are "professional athlete" and "media personality". A large proportion of America's young men — one third or more — simply say they don't know what they're going to do as adults.

If these people do not acquire some constructive vision of purpose for themselves, they are likely to be very destructive forces of resistance in society throughout their lives. We already see that. One recent estimate is that one-sixth of all fourteen-to twenty-four-year-olds in America — mostly males — are currently "disaffected and disconnected". They are not associated with any formal role in society, nor are they in any formal relationship with another person. These are the folks who are joining the gangs in inner cities and swelling the ranks of the rural military gangs. They see no roles for themselves in an Information Age society, and they are angry about their empty future.

So this is a very pregnant moment, not only for the future of America, but also for all of the mature industrial economies and, ultimately, for the world at large. It is an uncertain moment, a scary moment. It is the kind of moment in history when, to summarize in the words of Alfred North Whitehead, familiar patterns fade, familiar solutions fail, and familiar options disappear. Of course, the books and periodicals that are warning society about the removal of jobs, "the end of work", and wage decreases only serve to increase public anxiety — a slow-motion variation of shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater.

These alarming forecasts are largely simple projections of the past two or three decades of workplace trends. However, in the absence of plausible alternative explanations for the gloomy economic news of the past 15 — 20 years and the gloomier prospects implicit in the projections of those trends, industrial societies — fearful for the future — might very well take backward steps. These steps will principally serve the interests of the economically dominant groups who want to protect their assets and resources from the forces of change. Nations that take such steps will lose balance. Social and economic progress will grind to a halt and more and more jobs will be eliminated by the negative side of this transformation. The anger and frustration displayed by people who do not understand what is happening to them will be a terrible and dangerous force in all the major industrial economies.

Section C

英语学习

What Life Is like When Out of Work

(Fortunately, Jan Halvorsen was unemployed only four months. She is now assistant editor of the Twin Cities Courier(《双城信使报》)in St. Paul, Minnesota. The following essay appeared as Newsweek's(《新闻周刊》)"My Turn" article in September of 1980.)

Being laid off from work, job loss and recession(衰退)have always affected Walter Cronkite's tone of voice and the editor's page. And maybe they affected a neighborhood business or a friend's uncle. But these terms have always been just words, affecting someone else's world, like a passing ambulance. At least they were until a few weeks ago, when the ambulance came for me.

Even as I sat staring blankly(茫然地)at my boss, hearing, "I've got bad news: we're going to have to let you go," it still seemed no more related to my daily life than a "60 Minutes" program. I kept waiting for the alternative — "but you can come back after a couple of months," or "you could take a salary cut, a different position," or even, "April fool." But none of these came. This was final. There was no mistake and no alternative.

How it all echoes through your evenings and wakes you up in the morning. The mornings are probably the worst — waking up with the shock, for the first two weeks, thinking, "I'm late!" Late for what? The dull ache in your lower stomach reminds you: late for nothing.

Again, you face the terms: "Loss of self-worth and security, fear of the future, stress, depression(抑郁)." You wonder if eating a dozen chocolate-chip(碎片)cookies, wearing a house coat until 4, combing your hair at 5, cleaning behind the stove (twice) and crying in a job-agency parking lot qualify as symptoms of stress or maybe loss of self-worth. Fighting with your spouse/boyfriend? Aha — tension in personal relationships.

The loss of a job is rejection, resulting in the same hurt feelings as if a friend had told you to "bug off". Only this "friend" filled up 40 to 60 (or more) hours of your week. Repeated references(提到)to the staff as "family" only emphasize the feeling of being left alone and having been told a lie. You picture yourself going home to your parents or spouse and being informed, "Your services as our daughter/my wife are no longer required. Pick up your baby pictures as you leave."

Each new act that confirms your job loss starts the pain again: the first trip to the employment agency, the first friend you tell, the first interview and, most fearful of all, the first trip to the unemployment(失业)office.

You do eventually become accustomed to being unemployed, in the way you might accept a bad limp. And you eventually quit beating yourself for not having been somehow indispensable — or for not having become an accountant. You tire of straining(尽力使用)your memory for possible mistakes. You recover some of the confidence that always told you how good you were at your job and accept what the boss said: "This doesn't reflect on your job performance; sales are down 30 per cent this month."

But each time you recover that valued self-worth, you renew(重新开始)a fight to keep it. Each time you go to a job interview and give them your best and they hire someone else, you go another round with yourself and your self-worth. Your unemployment seems to drag on beyond all reason. You start to see a stranger in your rearview mirror. The stranger suddenly looks like a bum(无业游民). You look at her with clinical curiosity. Hmmm. Obviously into the worst stages. Definitely not possible to be employed.

We unemployed share a social prejudice similar to that of the rape(强奸)victim. Whether consciously or subconsciously(下意识地), much of the public driven by work ethics(伦理)feels that you've somehow "asked for it", secretly wanted to lose your job and "flirted(轻率对待)" with unemployment through your attitude — probably dressed in a way to invite it.

Almost everyone has heard about the need to be a useful member of society. What you didn't know about was the loneliness. You've spent your life almost always surrounded by people, in classes, in residences and at work. Suddenly to find yourself with only your cat to talk to all day alters your sense of reality.

But you always were, and still are, stronger than that. You maintain(保持)balance and perspective, mainly through relying frequently on sarcasm(讽刺)and irreverence(不敬). Although something going wrong in any aspect(方面)of your life now seems to push you into temporary despair much more easily than before, you have some very important things to hang on to — people who care, your sense of humor, your talents, your cat and your hopes.

And beyond that, you've gained something — a little more knowledge and a lot more understanding. You've learned the value of the routine you hated and the importance of the job you took for granted. But most of all, you've learned what a "7.6 per cent unemployment rate" really means.

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