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21世纪大学英语读写基础教程 Unit6

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Unit 6

Text A

One summer holiday, a teenager volunteered to work in a soup kitchen and got her first big lesson there. What was the lesson she drew from the experience? Let's read the following story.

Becoming a Better Person

Laura Hennessey

In the summer of 1992 I got my first big lesson in community service. I can still remember how I felt the first day of my volunteer assignment. I thought I was one of the most selfless teenagers around, giving a whole month of my precious summer to work in a soup kitchen.
At 7 a.m. every morning, I would walk to the bus stop in my suburban1 neighborhood, board the 67A and settle in for the hour-long ride into, what seemed to be, another world. Goodbye air-conditioning, big grassy2 yards and pedigree dogs. Hello smelly soup kitchen, sweltering street corners and trash-filled alleyways. I felt like a saint3.
Two experiences from that month in the soup kitchen still stand out in my mind. One day the kitchen got a huge cardboard4 box filled with unpeeled baby shrimp5. Needless6 to say, I, with the help of other volunteers, spent the whole morning sorting through and peeling a million little shrimp for the gumbo. I couldn't eat shrimp for years.
The second experience was far more influential7 than the shrimp incident, but it was also much more difficult. Part of our job at the soup kitchen was to come up with activities for the neighborhood kids. We would see the same kids almost every day, so we got to know them quite well. I became particularly fond of a young boy named Bruce.
One rainy day Bruce, who was normally very outgoing and laughed easily, sat motionless, all alone at a big table in the corner. We tried to get him to join in the fun with the other kids, but he refused to take part in the silly games. Eventually, I approached him and sat down to talk.
"Hi, Bruce. How are you?" No response. "What's wrong, Bruce? Are you sad?"
"No."
"Are you angry at somebody?"
"No."
"OK, Bruce. Are you tired?"
"No."
"Are you sick?"
Once again Bruce replied, "No."
I was beginning to get a little frustrated9 and starting to realize that maybe Bruce just wanted to be left alone. But then, he finally filled me in. He said, in his meek10 voice, "I'm hungry; my mom forgot to feed me."
I smiled as my heart simultaneously11 broke. "Well then, Bruce. Let's find you some food." Then, hand in hand, we went into the kitchen and found the only food that was around that time of day — a couple of doughnuts. Bruce eagerly ate the tasty sweets, and I felt like a hero.
When I got off the bus that day I hurried home to fill my mom in on my day. I relayed the story to her in a tone13 tinged15 with excitement. Then, slowly, I saw a look of concern and worry spread across my mother's face. She then sat down with me and said, "Laura, that's great that you were there for him today, but you have to realize that it is only one day. What's going to happen tomorrow, or next week or a month from now, when you are no longer there? You really have very little control over this little boy's diet, let alone his life."
Her words struck me hard, but in that instant I realized a great many things about what it means to "make a difference." For a brief moment I felt useless, and I wanted to give up my dreams of changing the world for the better. But that moment quickly passed when I realized that giving up my dreams would mean giving up a very important part of myself. Quitting was not an option.
It was then that I knew service was going to be a part of my life for the rest of my life. It's not about becoming a saint or a hero. It is about becoming a better person.
(642 words)

New Words

community
n. a group of people living together and/or united by common interests, background, nationality, etc. 社区

assignment
n. a piece of work given to a particular person or group (分派的)任务,工作

selfless
a. caring only for others and not for oneself 无私的;毫不利己的

teenager
n. a young person between 13 and 19 years old (指13岁19岁的)青少年

soup
n. 汤

kitchen
n. 厨房;灶间

suburban
a. of, for or in an outer area of a town or city 郊区的

soup kitchen
(救济贫民、灾民等的)施粥所,(免费或以极低价格供应汤和面的)施食处

* air-conditioning
n. the system that uses machines to control the temperature in a building, esp. to keep it cool and dry 空调系统

grassy
a. covered with growing grass 覆盖着(青)草的;长满草的

pedigree
a. (of an animal) of known descent16, pure-bred, and of good stock (动物)纯种的,有系谱证明的

smelly
a. having a bad smell 有(强烈或难闻)气味的

sweltering
a. unpleasantly hot 闷热的

trash
n. rubbish 垃圾,废物

activity
n. sth. done esp. for interest or pleasure (尤指娱乐或兴趣方面的)活动

alleyway
n. a narrow passage 小巷,胡同

saint
n. 圣人

cardboard
n. & a. 硬纸板(制的)

unpeeled
a. 未削皮(或剥壳)的

shrimp
n. 虾,小虾

needless
a. not needed; unnecessary 不需要的;不必要的

sort
vt. group; arrange; pick out 把…分类;整理;拣选

* peel
vt. remove the outer covering from 削去…的皮;剥去…的壳

gumbo
n. 秋葵汤(一种用秋葵英调浓的鸡汤、肉汤或海味汤)

influential
a. having great influence 有影响(力)的

fond
a. (of) having a great liking17 or loving for sb. or sth. 喜爱的

rainy
a. having a lot of rain 多雨的

normally
ad. usually; in the usual way 通常;正常地

outgoing
a. friendly; sociable18 友好的;外向的;爽直的

motionless
a. without any movement 不动的,静止的

approach
v. come nearer (to) 靠近

response
n. (to) 1. a reply 回答
(to) 2. (an) action done in answer 反应

frustrate8
vt. 1. cause (sb.) to feel annoyed or discouraged 使受挫折
2. prevent the plans or efforts of (sb. or sth.) from being achieved 挫败,阻碍

meek
a. quiet, gentle, and accepting others' actions and ideas without argument 温顺的,顺从的

simultaneously
ad. happening or being done at exactly the same time 同时发生地;同时完成地

doughnut
n. 油炸面圈饼

tasty
a. having a strong and very pleasant flavor 美味的

* relay12
vt. pass (a message) from one person to another 传达,传递(信息)

tinge14
vt. (with) (usu. pass.) give a slight degree of a quality to [常用被动态]使带有一点…性质

excitement
n. the state or quality of being excited 兴奋;激动

diet
n. 1. the sort of food and drink usually taken by a person or group 日常饮食
2. a limiting of what a person eats or drinks, for medical or personal reasons 特种饮食;规定饮食

instant
n. an extremely short moment of time 片刻,刹那

brief
a. 1. short in time 短暂的
2. containing few words 简短的

useless
a. not of any use 无用的

option
n. thing that is or may be chosen; choice 可供选择的事物;选择

Phrases and Expressions

settle in
get used to new surroundings; make oneself comfortable and prepare to stay somewhere for a period of time 适应新环境;安顿下来;舒舒服服地坐下

stand out
become very noticeable as a result of being different 清晰地显出

needless to say
of course 不用说,当然

come up with
think up (a plan, response, etc.); produce 想出(计划、答复等);提出

join in
become involved in (an activity with other people) 参加

take part in
have a share in (some activity) 参加

fill in
tell (sb.) about recent events 给…提供最新情况

hand in hand
手拉着手地;密切关联地

feel like
感觉好似

no longer
not any more 不再

let alone
更不用说

a great many
a very large number of 许许多多的

give up
stop doing or owning 放弃

Proper Names

Laura Hennessey
劳拉·黑纳西(人名)

Bruce
布鲁斯(男子名)


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 suburban Usywk     
adj.城郊的,在郊区的
参考例句:
  • Suburban shopping centers were springing up all over America. 效区的商业中心在美国如雨后春笋般地兴起。
  • There's a lot of good things about suburban living.郊区生活是有许多优点。
2 grassy DfBxH     
adj.盖满草的;长满草的
参考例句:
  • They sat and had their lunch on a grassy hillside.他们坐在长满草的山坡上吃午饭。
  • Cattle move freely across the grassy plain.牛群自由自在地走过草原。
3 saint yYcxf     
n.圣徒;基督教徒;vt.成为圣徒,把...视为圣徒
参考例句:
  • He was made a saint.他被封为圣人。
  • The saint had a lowly heart.圣人有谦诚之心。
4 cardboard DTGyB     
n.硬纸板,卡纸板
参考例句:
  • She brought the shopping home in a cardboard box.她将买的东西放在纸箱里带回家。
  • There is a sheet of stiff cardboard in the drawer.在那个抽屉里有块硬纸板。
5 shrimp krFyz     
n.虾,小虾;矮小的人
参考例句:
  • When the shrimp farm is built it will block the stream.一旦养虾场建起来,将会截断这条河流。
  • When it comes to seafood,I like shrimp the best.说到海鲜,我最喜欢虾。
6 needless 4Gzxj     
adj.不必,无须,不必要的,无用的
参考例句:
  • Needless to say,I agree.无须说,我是同意的。
  • It is needless to add that you are in want of a second.你需要一个助手,那是不必说的。
7 influential l7oxK     
adj.有影响的,有权势的
参考例句:
  • He always tries to get in with the most influential people.他总是试图巴结最有影响的人物。
  • He is a very influential man in the government.他在政府中是个很有影响的人物。
8 frustrate yh9xj     
v.使失望;使沮丧;使厌烦
参考例句:
  • But this didn't frustrate Einstein.He was content to go as far as he could.但这并没有使爱因斯坦灰心,他对能够更深入地研究而感到满意。
  • They made their preparations to frustrate the conspiracy.他们作好准备挫败这个阴谋。
9 frustrated ksWz5t     
adj.挫败的,失意的,泄气的v.使不成功( frustrate的过去式和过去分词 );挫败;使受挫折;令人沮丧
参考例句:
  • It's very easy to get frustrated in this job. 这个工作很容易令人懊恼。
  • The bad weather frustrated all our hopes of going out. 恶劣的天气破坏了我们出行的愿望。 来自《简明英汉词典》
10 meek x7qz9     
adj.温顺的,逆来顺受的
参考例句:
  • He expects his wife to be meek and submissive.他期望妻子温顺而且听他摆布。
  • The little girl is as meek as a lamb.那个小姑娘像羔羊一般温顺。
11 simultaneously 4iBz1o     
adv.同时发生地,同时进行地
参考例句:
  • The radar beam can track a number of targets almost simultaneously.雷达波几乎可以同时追着多个目标。
  • The Windows allow a computer user to execute multiple programs simultaneously.Windows允许计算机用户同时运行多个程序。
12 relay cV9xi     
n.接力赛,中继转播(设备);vt.转述,转播
参考例句:
  • They will relay your message.他们会转达你的口信。
  • This metal tower is used to relay television signals to distant villages.这个金属塔是用于向遥远的村子转播电视讯号的。
13 tone bqFyP     
n.语气,音调,气度,色调;vt.(up)增强
参考例句:
  • There was a tone of mockery in his voice.他说话的语气含有嘲笑的意味。
  • Holmes used an informal,chatty tone in his essays.霍姆斯在文章中语气轻松随便。
14 tinge 8q9yO     
vt.(较淡)着色于,染色;使带有…气息;n.淡淡色彩,些微的气息
参考例句:
  • The maple leaves are tinge with autumn red.枫叶染上了秋天的红色。
  • There was a tinge of sadness in her voice.她声音中流露出一丝忧伤。
15 tinged f86e33b7d6b6ca3dd39eda835027fc59     
v.(使)发丁丁声( ting的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • memories tinged with sadness 略带悲伤的往事
  • white petals tinged with blue 略带蓝色的白花瓣
16 descent gmazL     
n.下降,下倾,斜坡,坡道,血统,世系
参考例句:
  • We watched anxiously during her descent from the tree.我们焦急地看着她从树上爬下来。
  • Many Americans are of English descent.许多美国人的祖籍是英国。
17 liking mpXzQ5     
n.爱好;嗜好;喜欢
参考例句:
  • The word palate also means taste or liking.Palate这个词也有“口味”或“嗜好”的意思。
  • I must admit I have no liking for exaggeration.我必须承认我不喜欢夸大其词。
18 sociable hw3wu     
adj.好交际的,友好的,合群的
参考例句:
  • Roger is a very sociable person.罗杰是个非常好交际的人。
  • Some children have more sociable personalities than others.有些孩子比其他孩子更善于交际。
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TAG标签:   大学英语  读写教程  基础教程  unit
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