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新视野大学英语 读写教程第四册 unit5-b

时间:2005-12-13 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:1234567890   字体: [ ]

  Roommate Conflicts
Identical twins Katie and Sarah Monahan arrived at Pennsylvania's Gettysburg College last year determined1 to strike out on independent paths. Although the 18-year-old sisters had requested rooms in different dorms, the housing office placed them on the eighth floor of the same building, across the hall from each other. While Katie got along with her roommate, Sarah was miserable2. She and her roommate silently warred over matters ranging from when the lights should be turned off to how the furniture should be arranged. Finally, they divided the room in two and gave up on oral communication, communicating primarily through short notes.
During this time, Sarah kept running across the hall to seek comfort from Katie. Before long, the two wanted to live together again. Sarah's roommate eventually agreed to move out. “From the first night we lived together again, we felt so comfortable,” says Sarah. “We felt like we were back home.”
Sarah's ability to solve her dilemma3 by rooming with her identical twin is unusual, but the conflict she faced is not. Despite extensive efforts by many schools to make good roommate matches, unsatisfactory outcomes are common. One roommate is always cold, while the other never wants to turn up the furnace, even though the thermometer says it's minus five outside. One person likes quiet, while the other person spends two hours a day practicing the trumpet4, or turns up his sound system to the point where the whole room vibrates. One eats only organically produced vegetables and believes all living things are holy, even ants and mosquitoes, while the other likes wearing fur and enjoys cutting up frogs in biology class.
When personalities5 don't mix, the excitement of being away at college can quickly grow stale. Moreover, roommates can affect each other's psychological health. A recent study reports that depression in college roommates is often passed from one person to another.
Learning to tolerate a stranger's habits may teach undergraduates flexibility6 and the art of compromise, but the learning process is often painful. Julie Noel, a 21-year-old senior, recalls that she and her freshman7 year roommate didn't communicate and were uncomfortable throughout the year. “I kept playing the same disk in my CD player for a whole day once just to test her because she was so timid,” says Noel. “It took her until dinner time to finally change it.” Although they didn't saw the room in half, near year's end, the two did end up in a screaming fight. “Looking back, I wish I had talked to her more about how I was feeling,” says Noel.
Most roommate conflicts spring from such small, irritating differences rather than from grand disputes over abstract philosophical8 principles. “It's the specifics that tear roommates apart,” says the assistant director of residential9 programs at a university in Ohio.
In extreme cases, roommate conflict can lead to serious violence, as it did at Harvard last spring: One student killed her roommate before committing suicide. Many schools have started conflict resolution programs to calm tensions that otherwise can build up like a volcano preparing to explode, ultimately resulting in physical violence. Some colleges have resorted to “roommate contracts” that all new students fill out and sign after attending a seminar on roommate relations. Students detail behavioral guidelines for their room, including acceptable hours for study and sleep, a policy for use of each other's possessions and how messages will be handled. Although the contracts are not binding10 and will never go to a jury, copies are given to the floor's residential adviser11 in case conflicts later arise. “The contract gives us permission to talk about issues which students forget or are afraid to talk about,” says the director of residential programs.
Some schools try to head off feuding12 before it begins by using computerized matching, a process that nevertheless remains13 more of a guessing game than a science. Students are put together on the basis of their responses to housing form questions about smoking tolerance14, preferred hours of study and sleep, and self-described tendencies toward tidiness or disorder15. Parents sometimes weaken the process by taking the forms and filling in false and wishful data about their children's habits, especially on the smoking question. The matching process is also complicated by a philosophical debate among housing managers concerning the flavor of university life: “Do you put together people who are similar — or different, so they can learn about each other?” A cartoon sums up the way many students feel the process works: Surrounded by a mass of papers, a housing worker picks up two selection forms and exclaims, “Likes chess, likes football; they're perfect together!”
Alan Sussman, a second-year student, says, “I think they must have known each of our personalities and picked the opposite,” he recalls. While Sussman was neat and serious about studying, his roommate was messy and liked to party into the early hours of the morning. “I would come into the room and find him pawing through my desk, looking for postage for a letter. Another time, I arrived to find him chewing the last of a batch16 of chocolate chip cookies my mother had sent me. People in the hall were putting up bets as to when we were going to start slapping each other around,” he says. Against all odds17, the two ended up being friends. Says Sussman: “We taught each other a lot — but I would never do it again.”
Words: 904


1 determined duszmP     
  • I have determined on going to Tibet after graduation.我已决定毕业后去西藏。
  • He determined to view the rooms behind the office.他决定查看一下办公室后面的房间。
2 miserable g18yk     
  • It was miserable of you to make fun of him.你取笑他,这是可耻的。
  • Her past life was miserable.她过去的生活很苦。
3 dilemma Vlzzf     
  • I am on the horns of a dilemma about the matter.这件事使我进退两难。
  • He was thrown into a dilemma.他陷入困境。
4 trumpet AUczL     
  • He plays the violin, but I play the trumpet.他拉提琴,我吹喇叭。
  • The trumpet sounded for battle.战斗的号角吹响了。
5 personalities ylOzsg     
n. 诽谤,(对某人容貌、性格等所进行的)人身攻击; 人身攻击;人格, 个性, 名人( personality的名词复数 )
  • There seemed to be a degree of personalities in her remarks.她话里有些人身攻击的成分。
  • Personalities are not in good taste in general conversation.在一般的谈话中诽谤他人是不高尚的。
6 flexibility vjPxb     
  • Her great strength lies in her flexibility.她的优势在于她灵活变通。
  • The flexibility of a man's muscles will lessen as he becomes old.人老了肌肉的柔韧性将降低。
7 freshman 1siz9r     
  • Jack decided to live in during his freshman year at college.杰克决定大一时住校。
  • He is a freshman in the show business.他在演艺界是一名新手。
8 philosophical rN5xh     
  • The teacher couldn't answer the philosophical problem.老师不能解答这个哲学问题。
  • She is very philosophical about her bad luck.她对自己的不幸看得很开。
9 residential kkrzY3     
  • The mayor inspected the residential section of the city.市长视察了该市的住宅区。
  • The residential blocks were integrated with the rest of the college.住宿区与学院其他部分结合在了一起。
10 binding 2yEzWb     
  • The contract was not signed and has no binding force. 合同没有签署因而没有约束力。
  • Both sides have agreed that the arbitration will be binding. 双方都赞同仲裁具有约束力。
11 adviser HznziU     
  • They employed me as an adviser.他们聘请我当顾问。
  • Our department has engaged a foreign teacher as phonetic adviser.我们系已经聘请了一位外籍老师作为语音顾问。
12 feuding eafa661dffa44863a7478178ec28b5c1     
  • Riccardo and Cafiero had been feuding so openly that the whole town knew about it. 里卡多和卡菲埃罗一直公开地闹别扭,全城的人都知道此事。 来自辞典例句
  • The two families have been feuding with each other for many generations. 这两个家族有好多代的世仇了。 来自互联网
13 remains 1kMzTy     
  • He ate the remains of food hungrily.他狼吞虎咽地吃剩余的食物。
  • The remains of the meal were fed to the dog.残羹剩饭喂狗了。
14 tolerance Lnswz     
  • Tolerance is one of his strengths.宽容是他的一个优点。
  • Human beings have limited tolerance of noise.人类对噪音的忍耐力有限。
15 disorder Et1x4     
  • When returning back,he discovered the room to be in disorder.回家后,他发现屋子里乱七八糟。
  • It contained a vast number of letters in great disorder.里面七零八落地装着许多信件。
16 batch HQgyz     
  • The first batch of cakes was burnt.第一炉蛋糕烤焦了。
  • I have a batch of letters to answer.我有一批信要回复。
17 odds n5czT     
  • The odds are 5 to 1 that she will win.她获胜的机会是五比一。
  • Do you know the odds of winning the lottery once?你知道赢得一次彩票的几率多大吗?
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