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时间:2006-03-26 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:ey123896   字体: [ ]

Lesson One


Half a Day Naguib Mahfous

Pre-class Work I

Read the text once for the main idea. Do not refer to the notes, dictionaries or the glossary1 yet.

I walked alongside my father, clutching his right hand. All my clothes were new: the black shoes, the green school uniform, and the red cap. They did not make me happy, however, as this was the day I was to be thrown into school for the first time.
My mother stood at the window watching our progress, and I turned towards her from time to time, hoping she would help. We walked along a street lined with gardens, and fields planted with crops: pears, and date palms.
"Why school ?" I asked my father. "What have I done ?"
"I'm not punishing you, " he said, laughing. "School's not a punishment. It's a place that makes useful men out of boys. Don' t you want to be useful like your brothers?"
I was not convinced. I did not believe there was really any good to be had in tearing me away from my home and throwing me into the huge, high-walled building.
When we arrived at the gate we could see the courtyard, vast and full of boys and girls. "Go in by yourself, " said my father, "and join them. Put a smile on your face and be a good example to others. "
I hesitated and clung to his hand, but he gently pushed me from him. "Be a man, " he said. "Today you truly begin life. You will find me waiting for you when it's time to leave. "
I took a few steps. Then the faces of the boys and girls came into view. I did not know a single one of them, and none of them knew me. I felt I was a stranger who had lost his way. But then some boys began to glance at me in curiosity, and one of them came over and asked, "Who brought you?"
"My father, " I whispered.
"My father's dead, " he said simply.
I did not know what to say. The gate was now closed. Some of the children burst into tears. The bell rang. A lady came along, followed by a group of men. The men began sorting us into ranks. We were formed into an intricate pattern in the great courtyard surrounded by high buildings; from each floor we were overlooked by a long balcony roofed in wood.
"This is your new home, "said the woman. "There are mothers and fathers here, too. Everything that is enjoyable and beneficial is here. So dry your tears and face life joyfully2. "
Well, it seemed that my misgivings4 had had no basis. From the first moments I made many friends and fell in love with many girls. I had never imagined school would have this rich variety of experiences.
We played all sorts of games. In the music room we sang our first songs. We also had our first introduction to language. We saw a globe of the Earth, which revolved6 and showed the various continents and countries. We started learning numbers, and we were told the story of the Creator of the universe. We ate delicious food, took a little nap, and woke up to go on with friendship and love, playing and learning.
Our path, however, was not totally sweet and unclouded. We had to be observant and patient. It was not all a matter of playing and fooling around. Rivalries7 could bring about pain and hatred8 or give rise to fighting. And while the lady would sometimes smile, she would often yell and scold. Even more frequently she would resort to physical punishment.
In addition, the time for changing one' s mind was over and gone and there was no question of ever returning to the paradise of home. Nothing lay ahead of us but exertion9, struggle, and perseverance10. Those who were able took advantage of the opportunities for success and happiness that presented themselves.
The bell rang, announcing the passing of the day and the end of work. The children rushed toward the gate, which was opened again. I said goodbye to friends and sweethearts and passed through the gate. I looked around but found no trace of my father, who had promised to be there. I stepped aside to wait. When I had waited for a long time in vain, I decided11 to return home on my own. I walked a few steps, then came to a startled halt. Good Lord! Where was the street lined with gardens? Where had it disappeared to? When did all these cars invade it? And when did all these people come to rest on its surface? How did these hills of rubbish find their way to cover its sides? And where were the fields that bordered it? High buildings had taken over, the street was full of children, and disturbing noises shook the air. Here and there stood conjurers showing off their tricks or making snakes appear from baskets. Then there was a band announcing the opening of a circus, with clowns and weight lifters walking in front.
Good God! I was in a daze12. My head spun13. I almost went crazy. How could all this have happened in half a day, between early morning and sunset? I would find the answer at home with my father. But where was my home? I hurried towards the crossroads, because I remembered that I had to cross the street to reach our house, but the stream of cars would not let up. Extremely irritated, I wondered when I would be able to cross.
I stood there a long time, until the young boy employed at the ironing shop on the corner came up to me.
He stretched out his arm and said, "Grandpa, let me take you across."

Read the text a second time. Learn the new words and expressions listed below.


adv. take sb. ~: take sb. to the other side

adv. side by side; next to

n. 阳台

n. a group of musicians, especially a group that plays popular music 乐队

adj. useful

v. 与……接界;与……相邻

n. 马戏团

cling to
v. to hold closely; rdfuse to let go

n. a person who dresses funnily and tries to make people laugh by his jokes or actions 小丑

n. a magician 魔术师

v. to make sb. believe; to persuade 说服

n. one who makes sth. for the first time 创造者;the Creator(宗教)造物主

n. a place where two or more roads cross 交叉路口

n. the desire to learn and know 好奇心

n. a condition of beging unable to think or feel clearly 晕眩

n. effort 努力;尽力

n. a quick look at sth.

n. 地球;地球仪

n. a stop or pause

n. strong feelings of dislike

v. to pause 犹豫不决

adj. very complicated

n. present for the first time 介绍

adj. annoyed

adv. very happily

v. 抬;举;weight lifters: those who compete in contests of strength by lifting heavy objects

n. (常用复数)feelings of doubt and fear 顾虑

n. a short sleep during the day

adj. careful to observe (rules)遵守规则的

n. a chance

v. to see a place from a building or window 俯视

n. 棕榈树;date ~ : 椰枣树

n. heaven 天堂

n. to keep trying to do sth. in spite of the difficulties 顽强拼搏

adj. of material substance; often refers to human body 肉体的;身体的

n. a line (of people)

v. to move or turn in a circle around a central point

n. 竞争

v. to angrily criticize sb. , especially a child

adj. only one

n. , v. The noun means a kind or a type; the verb means to put things in a particular order

v. to turn round and round

adj. surprised and often slightly frightened

n. a natural flow of water; anything that moves on continuously; a ~ of: 一连串的

v. 伸展;~ out: 伸出

n. the time when the sun is seen to disappear as night begins 日落

n. 表面

n. a person one loves

n. a sign that sth. is there 迹象;痕迹

n. (魔术)戏法

adj. without any cloud, clear, untroubled

n. a special set of clothes which all members of a group wear, especially in a school, the army or the police

n. 宇宙

n. in ~ : without result

n. different kinds of the same thing 丰富多彩;品种多样

adj. several of a variety

adj. very large

v. to say something very quietly so that other people cannot hear what you are saying

v. to shout loudly because you are very excited, angry, or in pain


The Edge Kathleen Louise Smiley

The night before I left for Israel was spent in the same kind of conversations that had filled the previous week. "But why Israel?" my father would ask, in the same tone he used when he asked "Why China?" or "Why Russia?" or "why" any other country I had announced I wanted to visit. "There's war over there, you know," he would add. "Yes, Dad, I know. There are wars everywhere," I would answer. He would ask why I insisted on going to such dangerous places. Finally, I would hear the words I've heard all my life: "Well, you've never listened to me before. Why should I think you'd listen now?" In typical fashion, he would close his eyes, heave a long sigh and shake his head.

When these "discussions" took place, my sister, Kristy, would always try to diffuse15 the tension. Although she realized long ago that it would never work, she' d try just the same. "Kath, " she' d suggest, "why don' t you go to England for summer school. It's not dangerous there. " But as always, she didn't understand.
None of my family has ever really understood me. I've never fit my family' s idea of the way I should live my life. England was not exciting enough. I wanted to go somewhere and experience something different. My soul has always been restless to venture into unknown places. My mother has always said that I have "gypsy" in my blood.
My sister and I are three and a half years apart in age, but a world apart in the way we live our lives. She is conservative and quiet. I take too many risks, and the only time I'm really quiet is when I'm asleep. I've spent most of my adult life apologizing to my sister and the rest of my family for being different, for embarrassing them by something I wear, something I do or something I say.
Since my sister is so different from me—or since I' m so different from her—we aren't very close. The older we get, the busier we become, and the less we see of each other, even though we live only half a mile apart. When we do get together, I feel that she's holding her breath and waiting for me to do or say something "wrong" while I'm walking on eggshells and praying that I don't. But inevitably16, I do.
Because my sister seemed the least upset with my summer plans, I humbly17 asked her for a ride to the airport. "No problem, " she said casually18, "but don't tell Dad! " I smiled and agreed. It's not that our father is some kind of tyrant19. We know that he loves us very much; that's evident from all the sacrifices he has made for us. I would not have gone to law school if it weren't for him. He's just worried and has a hard time separating his worry from his love.
On the way to the airport the next day, my sister was quiet as usual. But for the first time since I'd decided to go, she started asking questions about my trip: where I was planning to travel, where I was going to stay. She seemed truly interested.
My family is not big on emotional goodbyes, so with a "have a good time" and a quick "love you too, " my sister was gone. I was sad because I felt she just couldn't understand. I wished at that moment that she could come with me, but I knew she wouldn't.
I checked in, took my seat and started to get organized. I glanced inside my bag which my sister had loaded in the trunk before we left for the airport. There, along with my passport, traveler's checks and other important items, was a small white envelope with "Kath" written on it in my sister's handwriting. I opened the envelope and found a bon voyage card. It was a lighthearted, funny card with a cartoon on the front. Most cards my family members give are funny cards, and this was no different—or so I thought.
When I opened the card and read what was inside, I realized that my sister—who I had decided just couldn't understand—actually did understand. It seemed there was a small part of her that wished she were me, maybe a small part of her that always had wished she were me. The card was blank except for what my sister had written:

I really admire you for experiencing life in such a full way.
I love you.
Your sister,


1 glossary of7xy     
  • The text is supplemented by an adequate glossary.正文附有一个详细的词汇表。
  • For convenience,we have also provided a glossary in an appendix.为了方便,我们在附录中也提供了术语表。
2 joyfully joyfully     
adv. 喜悦地, 高兴地
  • She tripped along joyfully as if treading on air. 她高兴地走着,脚底下轻飘飘的。
  • During these first weeks she slaved joyfully. 在最初的几周里,她干得很高兴。
3 misgiving tDbxN     
  • She had some misgivings about what she was about to do.她对自己即将要做的事情存有一些顾虑。
  • The first words of the text filled us with misgiving.正文开头的文字让我们颇为担心。
4 misgivings 0nIzyS     
n.疑虑,担忧,害怕;疑虑,担心,恐惧( misgiving的名词复数 );疑惧
  • I had grave misgivings about making the trip. 对于这次旅行我有过极大的顾虑。
  • Don't be overtaken by misgivings and fear. Just go full stream ahead! 不要瞻前顾后, 畏首畏尾。甩开膀子干吧! 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
5 revolve NBBzX     
  • The planets revolve around the sun.行星绕着太阳运转。
  • The wheels began to revolve slowly.车轮开始慢慢转动。
6 revolved b63ebb9b9e407e169395c5fc58399fe6     
v.(使)旋转( revolve的过去式和过去分词 );细想
  • The fan revolved slowly. 电扇缓慢地转动着。
  • The wheel revolved on its centre. 轮子绕中心转动。 来自《简明英汉词典》
7 rivalries 926be51786924da37a1354cf92d4843a     
n.敌对,竞争,对抗( rivalry的名词复数 )
  • The new government was torn by rivalries. 新政府由于各派对立而四分五裂。 来自辞典例句
  • Rivalries could bring about pain and hatred or give rise to fighting. 竞争会带来痛苦、仇恨,或者引起争斗。 来自互联网
8 hatred T5Gyg     
  • He looked at me with hatred in his eyes.他以憎恨的眼光望着我。
  • The old man was seized with burning hatred for the fascists.老人对法西斯主义者充满了仇恨。
9 exertion F7Fyi     
  • We were sweating profusely from the exertion of moving the furniture.我们搬动家具大费气力,累得大汗淋漓。
  • She was hot and breathless from the exertion of cycling uphill.由于用力骑车爬坡,她浑身发热。
10 perseverance oMaxH     
  • It may take some perseverance to find the right people.要找到合适的人也许需要有点锲而不舍的精神。
  • Perseverance leads to success.有恒心就能胜利。
11 decided lvqzZd     
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
12 daze vnyzH     
  • The blow on the head dazed him for a moment.他头上受了一击后就昏眩了片刻。
  • I like dazing to sit in the cafe by myself on Sunday.星期日爱独坐人少的咖啡室发呆。
13 spun kvjwT     
  • His grandmother spun him a yarn at the fire.他奶奶在火炉边给他讲故事。
  • Her skilful fingers spun the wool out to a fine thread.她那灵巧的手指把羊毛纺成了细毛线。
14 rivalry tXExd     
  • The quarrel originated in rivalry between the two families.这次争吵是两家不和引起的。
  • He had a lot of rivalry with his brothers and sisters.他和兄弟姐妹间经常较劲。
15 diffuse Al0zo     
  • Direct light is better for reading than diffuse light.直射光比漫射光更有利于阅读。
  • His talk was so diffuse that I missed his point.他的谈话漫无边际,我抓不住他的要点。
16 inevitably x7axc     
  • In the way you go on,you are inevitably coming apart.照你们这样下去,毫无疑问是会散伙的。
  • Technological changes will inevitably lead to unemployment.技术变革必然会导致失业。
17 humbly humbly     
adv. 恭顺地,谦卑地
  • We humbly beg Your Majesty to show mercy. 我们恳请陛下发发慈悲。
  • "You must be right, Sir,'said John humbly. “你一定是对的,先生,”约翰恭顺地说道。
18 casually UwBzvw     
  • She remarked casually that she was changing her job.她当时漫不经心地说要换工作。
  • I casually mentioned that I might be interested in working abroad.我不经意地提到我可能会对出国工作感兴趣。
19 tyrant vK9z9     
  • The country was ruled by a despotic tyrant.该国处在一个专制暴君的统治之下。
  • The tyrant was deaf to the entreaties of the slaves.暴君听不到奴隶们的哀鸣。
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