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Департамент образования города Москвы

Государственное бюджетное образовательное учреждение


высшего профессионального образования города Москвы
«Московский городской педагогический университет»
(ГБОУ ВПО МГПУ)

Институт иностранных языков

Н.В. Языкова, И.Н. Столярова, Е.С. Луткова

USA Education Reader:


High School and College Culture

Книга для чтения

Москва
2012
УДК 811.11
ББК 81.432.1я7
я 41
Рекомендовано к печати
Редакционно-издательским советом ГОУ ВПО МГПУ

Авторы
доктор педагогических наук, профессор Н.В. Языкова,
кандидат педагогических наук И.Н. Столярова,
учитель английского языка Е.С. Луткова

Рецензенты:
профессор РУДН, доктор педагогических наук Н.Н. Гавриленко,
профессор МГПУ, доктор филологических наук О.В. Афанасьева

Языкова Н. В., Столярова И. Н., Луткова Е. С.


Я 41 USA Education Reader: High School and College Cul-
ture: Книга для чтения. – М.: МГПУ, 2012. – 184 с.

Учебное пособие предназначено для учащихся профильных школ,


школ с углубленным изучением английского языка, лицеев, гимназий,
студентов языковых специальностей вузов, широкого круга лиц, изуча-
ющих английский язык и культуру США.
Учебное пособие включает аутентичные тексты, отражающие
жизнь школьников и студентов американских университетов и коллед-
жей. Пособие направлено на формирование и развитие межкультурной
коммуникативной компетенции обучающихся в процессе межкультур-
ного сопоставления систем среднего и высшего образования в России
и США. Глоссарий национально-маркированной лексики в конце по-
собия поможет учащимся и студентам преодолеть культурологические
трудности, возникающие в процессе чтения и обсуждения проблемати-
ки пособия.
© Н.В. Языкова, И.Н. Столярова,
Е.С. Луткова, 2012
© ГБОУ ВПО МГПУ, 2012
ОГЛАВЛЕНИЕ

ПРЕДИСЛОВИЕ.................................................................................................... 4

1. HIGH SCHOOL................................................................................................ 15
SPARKY............................................................................................................. 15
CHANGES IN LIFE.......................................................................................... 21
A PERFECT SCORE......................................................................................... 29
BE COOL … STAY IN SCHOOL! . ................................................................. 36
UNIFORM......................................................................................................... 45
THE MOST MATURE THING I’VE EVER SEEN.......................................... 53
DEAR JOHN...................................................................................................... 62

2. COLLEGE . ....................................................................................................... 70
THE WONDER YEARS.................................................................................... 70
THE ENVELOPE, PLEASE.............................................................................. 72
PIANO MUSIC.................................................................................................. 80
IF THE DREAM IS BIG ENOUGH, THE FACTS DON’T COUNT............... 89
MAKING THE GRADE.................................................................................... 96
MY FRIEND KIM........................................................................................... 106
#38 CHUCKY MULLINS .............................................................................. 114
ZAP THE SAP.................................................................................................. 124
HOMECOMING OF A DIFFERENT SORT................................................... 133

GLOSSARY . ....................................................................................................... 141

СПИСОК ИСПОЛЬЗОВАННОЙ ЛИТЕРАТУРЫ....................................... 180

ИНТЕРНЕТ-РЕСУРСЫ.................................................................................... 183

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ПРЕДИСЛОВИЕ

В Федеральном государственном стандарте основного обще-


го образования подчеркивается, что изучение иностранного язы-
ка должно способствовать формированию дружелюбного и то-
лерантного отношения к ценностям иных культур, развитию на-
ционального самосознания на основе знакомства с жизнью своих
сверстников в других странах.*
При общении представителей различных культур на ино-
странном языке часто в силу отсутствия у партнеров единой си-
стемы значений происходит перенос ценностей родной культуры
на «чужую» культуру, что приводит к непониманию, а иногда и
к срыву коммуникации, упрочению стереотипов и предрассуд-
ков относительно представителя иной культуры. В связи с этим
в последние годы все больше внимания уделяется обучению ино-
странному языку в контексте культуры. Однако современные
УМК для общеобразовательной школы и учебники для высшей
школы недостаточно последовательно реализуют идеи и техноло-
гии межкультурного обучения иностранным языкам. Предлагае-
мое учебное пособие «USA Education Reader: High School and Co-
llege Culture» в определенной степени восполняет этот пробел.
Основная цель пособия состоит в формировании и развитии
межкультурной коммуникативной компетенции обучаемых, кото-
рую мы определяем как готовность и способность вторичной
языковой личности понимать и порождать речевое выска-
зывание в устной и письменной формах, базирующуюся на
знаниях, умениях анализа, понимания и интерпретации ино-
культурных концептов в процессе сопоставления с аналогич-
ными концептами в родной культуре; навыках оперирования
языковыми средствами их выражения, умениях применять
их для решения коммуникативных задач.

* Федеральный государственный образовательный стандарт основного


общего образования. Приказ Министерства образования и науки Россий-
ской Федерации от 17 декабря 2010 г. №1897. – 50 с.

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Образовательная, воспитательная и развивающая цели обу-
чения иностранным языкам в пособии реализуются в процессе
формирования и развития межкультурной коммуникативной ком-
петенции.
Пособие направлено на общее, филологическое и социо-
культурное образование студентов.
Трудно переоценить общеобразовательное значение учебной
дисциплины «Иностранный язык» с позиции межкультурного
подхода. Успех процесса общения зависит не только от знаний
культуры иного социума, но и знаний своей собственной куль-
туры. Более того, в процессе сопоставления фактов двух культур
происходит осознание своей культурной идентичности, истинное
овладение культурой своего народа, что, безусловно, многократ-
но усиливает общеобразовательное значение иностранного языка
как учебной дисциплины, о чем убедительно говорил в свое вре-
мя Л.В. Щерба, и во многом способствует совершенствованию
гуманитарной составляющей образования. В процессе работы с
пособием студенты получают довольно обширные знания о си-
стеме образования в США и России в процессе лингвокультуро-
логического анализа и интерпретации полученной информации о
том, что объединяет и различает их.
Cоциокультурное образование реализуется в процессе озна-
комления студентов с системой среднего и высшего образования
США: типами учреждений школьного (Elementary School, Middle
School, High school) и высшего образования (Сommunity college,
Junior college, University college, University, Research University,
etc.) их организационной структурой, системой управления,
учебным процессом, общественной жизнью, межличностными
отношениями школьников и студентов, узнают о существующих
проблемах, особенностях школьной и студенческой субкультуры.
Филологическое образование в рамках данного пособия на-
целено на формирование инокультурной картины мира, а также
реактивацию и углубление своей собственной в процессе сопо-
ставления языков и культур, cистематизацию и обобщение знаний
в ходе разработки лингвокультурологического поля, расширение
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и углубление знаний обучающихся о языке как средстве общения,
его неразрывной связи и непрерывном взаимодействии с культу-
рой, орудием и инструментом которой он является; о неоднород-
ности и самодостаточности различных языков и культур, языко-
вых и культурных универсалиях, о человеке как о языковой лич-
ности и особенностях вторичной языковой личности, изучающей
иностранные языки и культуры; дальнейшее совершенствование
умений оперирования основными категориями и терминами при-
менительно к лингвокультурологическому анализу языков, разви-
тие языковой и контекстуальной догадки, чувства языка.
Работа с пособием вносит неоценимый вклад в становление
обучаемых как личностей и как членов общества и предполагает
развитие:
– умений самостоятельно добывать и интерпретировать ин-
формацию;
– ценностных ориентаций и чувств;
– готовности вступать в иноязычное межкультурное общение;
– потребности в дальнейшем самообразовании в ИЯ;
– чувства достоинства и самоуважения;
– национального самосознания.
– умений самореализации и социальной адаптации;
– умений самостоятельно добывать и интерпретировать ин-
формацию.
Сопоставление явлений изучаемой и родной культуры во
многом способствует формированию и развитию гордости и
уважения к своему историческому наследию, более глубокому
осмыслению роли России в современном глобальном мире, что,
безусловно, способствует формированию поликультурной лично-
сти обучаемого.
Овладение межкультурной коммуникативной компетенцией в
процессе работы с пособием способствует воспитанию личности.
Участвуя в диалоге культур, обучающиеся развивают свою спо-
собность к общению, пониманию важности изучения иностранно-
го языка в современном мире и потребности пользоваться им как
средством общения, познания, самореализации и социальной адап-
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тации. Учащиеся вырабатывают толерантность к иным воззрениям,
отличным от их собственных, становятся более терпимыми и ком-
муникабельными. У них появляется способность к анализу, пони-
манию иных ценностей и норм поведения, к выработке адекватной
реакции на то, что не согласуется с их убеждениями, в результате
чего воспитывается чувство сопереживания, эмпатии.
Сформулированные цели учебного пособия с позиции меж-
культурного подхода обусловливают содержание обучения,
структура которого дополняется специальными знаниями и уме-
ниями.
1. Знания:
– системы образования в США;
– национально–маркированных слов (лингвокультурем) как
единиц, содержащих в себе эти знания (около 200 единиц);
– семантической структуры национально-маркированной
лексики, ее лексического значения и культурного фона.
2. Умения:
– анализировать языковые явления как средства вербализа-
ции концептов родной и изучаемой культур;
– сопоставлять концепты двух культур, видеть сходства и
различия в двух концептуальных системах, интерпретировать их
с целью достижения единой системы значений происходящего;
– отбирать, изучать, упорядочивать национально–маркиро-
ванную лексику для формирования в сознании обучаемых отно-
сительно полной картины существующего в обществе явления с
помощью лингвокультурологического поля;
– заполнять культурологические лакуны путем нахождения
необходимой информации и составления соответствующего ком-
ментария;
– адекватно толковать языковые явления с культурным ком-
понентом значения при переводе на родной язык;
– использовать культурно-маркированную лексику и связан-
ные с ней фоновые знания в процессе межкультурного общения;
– осуществлять речевую деятельность в соответствии с куль-
турными нормами носителей;
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– разъяснять собеседнику сведения об особенностях и цен-
ностях родной культуры;
– посреднические умения медиатора между собственной
культурой и культурой собеседника.
Межкультурное общение предполагает открытость к новой
информации, желание и готовность восприятия «другого», «чужо-
го» как равноправного; толерантность, адаптация к культуре стра-
ны изучаемого языка, эмпатическое отношение к ее носителям.
В соответствии с межкультурным подходом в обучении ино-
странным языкам учебное пособие построено на основе принци-
пов культурно-ориентированной и когнитивно-деятельностной
направленности, межпредметной координации, аксиологической
ориентированности. Ведущее место в системе методов обучения
занимает исследовательский метод наряду с информационно-ре-
цептивным, эвристическим и репродуктивным методами. В каче-
стве основных средств обучения выступают аутентичные тексты
из серии книг «Chicken Soup for Teenage Soul» (1997, 2000) и «Ch-
icken Soup for College Students» (1990), отражающие «Среднее и
высшее образование в США». Наряду с аутентичными текстами
учебное пособие предполагает широкое использование Интернет,
мультимедиа, толковых словарей английского языка, справочни-
ков, энциклопедий.
Учебное пособие «USA Education Reader: High School and
College Culture» предназначено для учащихся 8–11 классов обще-
образовательных и профильных школ в качестве основного посо-
бия по одноименной тематике, дополнительного в основном кур-
се английского языка студентов языковых вузов, а также в курсе
«Практикум межкультурного общения» и основного пособия в
рамках курса по выбору. Может быть использовано на курсах по-
вышения квалификации учителей английского языка общеобра-
зовательных школ.
Учебное пособие состоит из трех разделов. В первом разде-
ле представлены тексты по теме «High School» (7), во втором —
по теме «College» (9). В третьем — лингвокультурологический
глоссарий (около 200 национально-маркированных единиц) по
8
изучаемой теме «Среднее и высшее образование в США». Сбор
материала для словаря-справочника осуществлялся с помощью
ряда методов:
– изучение научной литературы по проблемам межкультур-
ной коммуникации и образования в США;
– изучение энциклопедий, толковых словарей и справочни-
ков по проблемам образования в США;
– изучение школьной и университетской документации, го-
сударственных актов, инструкций, определяющих деятельность
учебных заведений США;
– чтение художественной, публицистической литературы, пе-
риодики, в том числе издаваемой в школах и на университетских
кампусах, просмотр художественных фильмов с целью сплошной
выборки культурем;
– изучение материалов на сайтах департамента образования
США, школ, колледжей, университетов, исследовательских ин-
ститутов;
– интервью и беседы со студентами, школьниками, учите-
лями школ и детских дошкольных учреждений, преподавателя-
ми, профессорами колледжей и университетов, руководителями
управленческих отделов администрации школ, колледжей, уни-
верситетов, в частности деканов колледжей, заведующими отде-
лениями, заведующими кафедрами, работниками библиотек, со-
трудниками спортивных центров с целью уяснения и уточнения
разработанных лингвокультурологических комментариев;
– неофициальное личное общение с американцами по про-
блемам образования, академической, спортивной и социально-
культурной жизни университетских городков и общеобразова-
тельных школ;
– посещение занятий в различных видах учебных заведений,
встречи в органах управления образованием, ректоратах коллед-
жей и университетов;
– экспертная оценка культурологических комментариев от-
ечественными учеными-культурологами, специалистами по тео-
рии и методике обучения ИЯ и американистике.
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Технология развития межкультурной коммуникативной ком-
петенции обучаемых в рамках учебного пособия включает ряд
этапов. Остановимся подробно на каждом из них.
I этап — Вводный. ORIENTATION
Цель этапа — ознакомление учащихся с основными поня-
тиями межкультурного подхода в обучении иностранным язы-
кам: культура, взаимосвязь языка и культуры, языковая личность,
концепт, диалог культур, национально-маркированная лексика,
лингвокультурема, лингвокультурологическое поле и др. Занятие
проводится в виде беседы на родном или английском языке в за-
висимости от исходного уровня владения языком аудиторией.
II этап — Предтекстовый. PRE-READING TALK
Цель этапа — реактивация предшествующего опыта обучае-
мых по проблемам текста, мотивация чтения. Данный этап пред-
варяет чтение текста дома:
– беседа по теме текста, нацеленная на актуализацию знаний
учащихся об обсуждаемом в тексте явлении в родной и американ-
ской культуре;
– антиципация содержания текста по заголовку, выборочно-
му чтению;
– постановка коммуникативной задачи;
– указание на стратегию чтения;
– указание на форму контроля и возможную сферу примене-
ния полученной информации.
III этап — Текстовый. WHILE-READING ACTIVITIES
Цель этапа — организовать восприятие, осмысление, само-
контроль понимания текста, поиск информации с целью осмыс-
ления культурного фона лингвокультурем и сбора материала для
составления культурологического комментария, тренировку огра-
ниченного количества незнакомых лексических единиц в ходе вы-
полнения ряда упражнений, которые учащиеся выполняют в про-
цессе работы с тестом дома. Текстовый этап в данном пособии
предполагает активное взаимодействие читающего с текстом:
– тест с альтернативным выбором на проверку понимания
общего содержания текста;
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– тест с множественным выбором ответа на проверку пони-
мания основного содержания текста;
– тест с перекрестным выбором на идентификацию нацио-
нально-маркированной лексики;
– поиск английских эквивалентов для заданных русских зна-
чений слов и словосочетаний;
– поиск в тексте синонимов к указанным в задании лексемам;
– перифраз заданных предложений с помощью активизируе-
мых слов и словосочетаний из текста;
– перевод на русский язык предложений или их частей, пред-
ставляющих лингвокультурологические трудности.
IV этап — Углубление понимания текста. ENHANCING
COMPREHENSION
Цель этапа – дальнейшее осмысление имплицитной инфор-
мации текста:
– поисковое чтение текста с целью определения смысловых
вех по заданию преподавателя/учителя, чтение отрывков вслух и
их перевод на русский язык. Целесообразно организовать поиск
предложений или абзацев, содержащих лингвокультурологиче-
ские трудности;
– вопросы для проверки детального понимания текста, тре-
бующие от студентов аргументированного ответа.
V этап — Лингвокультурологическая интерпретация лексики
с культурным компонентом значения. CULTURE PERSPECTIVE
Цель этапа — ознакомление студентов с национально-
маркированной лексикой и формирование умений лингвокульту-
рологического анализа языковых единиц:
– анализ семантической структуры слов с культурным ком-
понентом значения;
– выявление их культурного фона;
– обсуждение найденной учащимися информации из элек-
тронных источников, глоссария и других справочных материалов;
– обсуждение и обобщение культурологической информа-
ции в виде лингвокультурологического комментария о едини-
цах, предназначенных для самостоятельного исследовательско-
11
го поиска на основе электронных и печатных средств. В тексте
эти единицы с культурным компонентом значения выделены
курсивом.
VI этап — Сокращение текста. SUMMARIZING
Цель этапа — формирование умений обобщать и кратко из-
лагать смысловое содержание текста:
– обобщение основного содержания текста в виде пересказа;
– изложение смыслового содержания текста от имени персо-
нажей;
– краткое изложение основного содержания текста (summary);
– краткое обобщенное содержание текста (the gist of the story).
VII этап — Обсуждение проблематики текста с позиции меж-
культурного подхода. DISCUSSION
Цель этапа — Формирование умений кросскультурного сопо-
ставления явлений в российской и американской культуре, выяв-
ление общего и различного, умений комментировать эти разли-
чия, выступать медиатором культур.
– беседа по проблематике текста;
– выявление общего и различного в обсуждаемых явлениях
культуры;
– комментарии выявленных различий;
– высказывание личного видения проблемы на основе жиз-
ненного опыта.
VIII этап — Разработка лингвокультурологического поля.
CULTURAL WEB
Цель этапа – обобщение и систематизация культурологиче-
ских знаний об изучаемом пласте культуры, формирование навы-
ков полевого исследования языковых единиц на основе лингво-
культурологического поля:
– определение субполей, первого и второго порядков в про-
цессе обсуждения первого текста пособия, его схематическое изо-
бражение на доске;
– выделение субполей третьего, четвертого и т.д. порядков;
– заполнение субполей единичными лингвокультуремами из
каждого текста после коллективного обсуждения.
12
В качестве иллюстрации приводим фрагмент лингвокультуро-
логического поля, разработанный в исследовании Е.С. Лутковой.

IX этап — Проектная работа. PROJECT WORK


Цель этапа — развитие проектных умений сбора, обобщения,
представления культурологически значимой информации в виде
брошюры для абитуриентов, домашней страницы в Интернете,
рекламного проспекта школы или университета, истории школы
или университета, греческого сообщества и т.п.:
– обсуждение в классе под руководством преподавателя ве-
дущей идеи проекта, распределение на рабочие группы;
13
– определение проектной задачи группы в процессе «мозго-
вого штурма», распределение обязанностей;
– поиск и сбор информации в электронных и печатных ре-
сурсах, анкетирование, в том числе через чаты или электронную
почту школьников и студентов в США;
– обсуждение промежуточных результатов с преподавате-
лем;
– оформление результатов проектной работы в виде рефе-
рата, рекламного проспекта, брошюры, обобщения результатов
опроса и /или анкетирования;
– подготовка электронной презентации.
В процессе работы над пособием в рамках элективного курса
в школе или курса по выбору в вузе целесообразно проведение
двух крупных проектов по каждой теме «High School Education»
и «College Education» на заключительном занятии по теме. Кроме
того студенты могут представить результаты самостоятельного
исследования лингвокультурем, выделенных в тексте курсивом, в
виде электронной презентации.
В некоторых рассказах есть дополнительная культурологиче-
ская информация под рубрикой DO YOU KNOW THAT…, обоб-
щающая личные наблюдения одного из авторов пособия в про-
цессе работы учителем русского языка и культуры в ряде средних
школ США.
В целом работа с пособием рассчитана на 34 часа в рамках
элективного курса, что предполагает два занятия на каждый
текст. При использовании учебного пособия в качестве допол-
нительного средства выбор и количество текстов остается за
преподавателем.
ЖЕЛАЕМ УСПЕХОВ!

Авторский коллектив

14
1. HIGH SCHOOL

STORY 1.
SPARKY

PRE-READING TALK
Does success at school guarantee success in life? Or, vice versa,
are failures at school always followed by failures in life?
The story below gives much food for thought on this point. Does
the title of the story help you answer these questions?

INTERACTIVE READING
Read the story at home and say whether the boy succeeded in life
eventually. After reading the story, do the test and other exercises that
follow to enhance your comprehension and build your vocabulary.
While reading, you will come across a number of culturally
marked words. Most of them can be found in the Glossary at the end
of the book. As for the culturally marked words in italics, they are not
included into the Glossary, so be sure to consult Internet resources,
dictionaries or encyclopedias to find out what they mean.

SPARKY

For Sparky, school was all but impossible. He failed every subject
in the eighth grade. He flunked physics in high school, getting a grade
of zero. Sparky also flunked Latin, algebra and English. He didn’t do
much better in sports. Although he did manage to make the school’s
golf team, he promptly lost the only important match of the season.
There was a consolation match; he lost that, too.
Throughout his youth Sparky was awkward socially. He was not
actually disliked by the other students; no one cared that much. He
was astonished if a classmate ever said hello to him outside of school
hours. There’s no way to tell how he might have done at dating. Sparky
never once asked a girl to go out in high school. He was too afraid of
being turned down.
15
Sparky was a loser. He, his classmates ... everyone knew it. So
he rolled with it. Sparky had made up his mind early in life that if
things were meant to work out, they would. Otherwise he would con-
tent himself with what appeared to be his inevitable mediocrity.
However, one thing was important to Sparky – drawing. He was
proud of his artwork. Of course, no one else appreciated it. In his sen-
ior year of high school, he submitted some cartoons to the editors of
the yearbook. The cartoons were turned down. Despite this particular
rejection, Sparky was so convinced of his ability that he decided to
become a professional artist.
After completing high school, he wrote a letter to Walt Disney Stu-
dios. He was told to send some samples of his artwork, and the subject
for a cartoon was suggested. Sparky drew the proposed cartoon. He
spent a great deal of time on it and on all the other drawings he submit-
ted. Finally, the reply came from Disney Studios. He had been rejected
once again. Another loss for the loser.
So Sparky decided to write his own autobiography in cartoons.
He described his childhood self – a little boy loser and chronic un-
derachiever. The cartoon character would soon become famous world-
wide. For Sparky, the boy who had such lack of success in school
and whose work was rejected again and again, was Charles Schultz.
He created the “Peanuts” comic strip and the little cartoon character
whose kite would never fly and who never succeeded in kicking a
football, Charlie Brown.
Bits & Pieces
[From Chicken soup for the teenage soul: 101 stories of life, love,
learning / Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Rimderly Kirberger
(1997). – p. 192–193].

WHILE-READING ACTIVITIES
Decide if the statements are true (T) or false (F).
1. Sparky’s real name was Charlie Brown. ___
2. Most of Sparky’s classmates did not like him. ___
3. Sparky did not care much about anything in life. ___
4. Sparky showed talent for drawing in high school. ___
16
5. Walt Disney Studios did not find Sparky’s drawings talented. ___
6. Sparky became famous as a cartoon character. ___

Choose the correct variant.


1. Sparky was considered a total failure at school because …
a. he lost a consolation golf match.
b. he never asked a girl out.
c. people did not think he had a talent for drawing.
d. he was not successful either academically, athletically, or so-
cially.
2. Sparky’s own attitude to his reputation as a loser can be best
summarized as follows:
a. he did not care much.
b. he was depressed about it.
c. he accepted it, but he believed in his talent.
d. he thought people just could not appreciate his talent.
3. Students’ attitude to Sparky can be best described as …
a. hateful.
b. good-humored.
c. indifferent.
d. humiliating.
4. Finally, Sparky managed to …
a. get a job with Walt Disney Studios.
b. win recognition among his former fellow-students.
c. earn a lot of money.
d. win recognition for his drawings.
5. Sparky’s success in life was due to …
a. his talent as an artist.
b. hard work and desire to succeed in life.
c. his experience as a loser during his school years.
d. his kind heart and good nature.

Match the columns to define the cultural lacunas on the left af-
ter you have done some search in the Internet and in the Glossary.

17
1. High school a) last year of high school or college
2. Loser b) an annual student publication that includes
photos, both individual and group, and that records
photographically events of the given academic year
at a high school or college
3. Senior year c) someone who is never successful in life, work,
or relationships
4. Grade of zero d) a school in the USA and Canada for children of 14
or 15 to 18 years old, it covers grades 9 through 12
5. Yearbook e) the lowest possible grade at school

While reading the story, find the English equivalents to the fol-
lowing Russian words and word combinations. They will be useful
discussing the story. Write down the words and phrases in your vo-
cabulary book.
Отказываться (2 варианта),
удовольствоваться,
неизбежный,
посредственность,
высоко ценить,
убежденный.

Find in the story synonyms for the following words and phrases:
to fail,
to become a member of a team,
soon,
to reject,
to make a decision,
answer.

Translate the underlined phrases in the following sentences


from the story:
1. For Sparky, school was all but impossible.
2. There was a consolation match; he lost that, too.

18
3. Throughout his youth Sparky was awkward socially.
4. There’s no way to tell how he might have done at dating.
5. So he rolled with it.
6. Sparky had made up his mind early in life that if things were
meant to work out, they would.
7. He described his childhood self – a little boy loser and chronic
underachiever.

ENHANCING COMPREHENSION
Look through the story and find the paragraph that
– explains how Sparky became famous.
– illustrates that Sparky seemed to be a loser.
Read and translate them.

Answer the questions


1. Do you think Sparky was successful in learning? Find the facts
in the story to support your point of view.
2. Was Sparky outgoing or awkward socially? Illustrate your view-
point with facts from the story.
3. What was it that he liked best in life? Was he good at it?
4. Did Sparky give up drawing when his drawings and cartoons
were turned down again and again? Do you agree that he was a loser as
it is stated in the story? Give your arguments to prove otherwise.

CULTURE PERSPECTIVE
1. What culturally marked words were you able to identify in the
story? How are they defined in the Glossary? Comment on their cul-
tural background. Think of the happiest Russian equivalents to these
words.
2. Comment on the cultural differences between USA high school
and its counterpart in Russia. State the similarities and differences in
its structure, academics, organization and management, social life and
extracurricular activities.
3. Does the word “season” in the story mean a part of the year or
something else?
19
3. Share the information you have found about the italicized cul-
turally marked words with your group mates: Walt Disney Studios and
“Peanuts” comic strip.
3. How would you explain the following words for a non-English-
speaking person from Russia: yearbook, grade of zero?

SUMMARIZING
Give a short account of the story from one of Sparky’s classmates’
viewpoint. Make it clear whether he was a success in high school and
give the reason for your opinion.

LEADS TO DISCUSSION
1. Which characteristics come to your mind when you think of a
person as a loser? Do you think the word has the same negative connota-
tion in American and in Russian cultures? Comment on the differences.
Think of the closest Russian equivalent to the word. The word challenge
will help you understand the difference. Who is more likely to have
challenges: a loser in the USA culture or a loser in Russian culture?
2. How can school help you achieve success further in life? What
is the most important thing school gives people?
3. Why do you think Charles Schultz was finally able to achieve
success? What helped him?
4. Can you think of other famous and successful people who were
considered losers at school?
5. What are the most important qualities that help people achieve
success?

CULTURAL WEB
Having read and discussed the story, you can start filling out the
Cultural Web with culturally marked words concerning school organi-
zation and management, learning and social life.

PROJECT WORK
Hopefully you have found enough information on Walt Disney
Studios and “Peanuts” comic strips in the Internet and encyclopedias.
20
Arrange in groups of two or three and get ready with a Power Point
presentation on Walt Disney Studios and Charles Schultz and his “Pea-
nuts” comic strips.

STORY 2.
CHANGES IN LIFE

PRE-READING TALK
Read the title and say how it helps predict its content? It doesn’t
help much, does it?
Look through the first paragraph. Is it clear now what changes the
author implies? Have you ever experienced moving to another city or
town and hence starting in a new school? Was it a positive or a some-
what negative experience?

INTERACTIVE READING
Read the story and say why Sheila didn’t like the idea of moving to
a new home in Arizona. After reading the story, do a test and some other
exercises to enhance your comprehension and build your vocabulary.
While reading, you will come across a number of culturally
marked words. Most of them can be found in the Glossary at the end
of the book. As for the culturally marked words in italics, they are not
included into the Glossary, so be sure to consult the Internet sources,
dictionaries or encyclopedias to find out what they mean.

CHANGES IN LIFE

I was 16 years old and a junior in high school, and the worst pos-
sible thing that could happen to me did. My parents decided to move
our family from our Texas home to Arizona. I had two weeks to wrap
up all of my “business” and move before school began. I had to leave
my first job, my boyfriend and my best friend behind, and try to start a
new life. I despised my parents for ruining my life.
I told everyone that I did not want to live in Arizona and would be
returning to Texas the first chance I had. When I arrived in Arizona, I
21
made sure everyone knew that I had a boyfriend and best friend wait-
ing for me in Texas. I was determined to keep my distance from eve-
ryone; I would just be leaving soon anyway.
The first day of school came, and I was miserable. I could only
think of my friends in Texas and how I wished I could be with them.
For a while, I felt that my life was over. Eventually though, things got
a little better.
It was in my second period accounting class where I first saw him.
He was tall, trim and really good looking. He had the most beautiful
blue eyes I had ever seen. He was sitting just three seats away from me
in the same front row of class. Feeling I had nothing to lose, I decided
to talk to him.
“Hi, my name is Sheila; what’s yours?” I asked with a Texas
drawl.
The guy next to him thought that I was asking him. “Mike.”
“Oh, hi, Mike,” I humored him. “What’s your name?” I asked
again, focusing my attention on this blue-eyed boy.
He looked behind him, not believing that I could be asking him for
his name. “Chris,” he responded quietly.
“Hi, Chris!” I smiled. Then I went about my work.
Chris and I became friends. We enjoyed talking to each other in
class. Chris was a jock, and I was in the school band in high school;
peer pressure demanded that the two groups did not mix socially. Our
paths crossed occasionally at school functions; but for the most part,
our friendship remained within the four classroom walls of accounting
class.
Chris graduated that year, and we went our separate ways for a
while. Then one day, he came to see me while I was working in a store
in the mall. I was very happy to see him. He went on my breaks with
me, and we started talking again. The pressure from his jock friends had
subsided, and we became very close friends. My relationship with my
boyfriend in Texas had become less important to me. I felt my bond with
Chris growing stronger, taking the place of my relationship in Texas.
It had been a year since I moved from Texas, and Arizona was
starting to feel like home. Chris escorted me to my senior prom; we tri-
22
ple-dated with two of his jock friends and their dates. The night of my
prom changed our relationship forever; I was accepted by his friends,
and that made Chris feel more comfortable. Finally, our relationship
was in the open.
Chris was a very special person to me during such a difficult time
in my life. Our relationship eventually blossomed into a very power-
ful love. I now understand that my parents did not move the family to
Arizona to hurt me, although at the time, it seemed to be the reason;
for, had I not moved to Arizona, I never would have met the man of
my dreams.
Sheila K. Reyman
[From Chicken soup for the teenage soul: 101 stories of life, love,
learning / Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Rimderly Kirberger
(1997). – p. 25–27].

WHILE-READING ACTIVITIES
Decide if the statements are true (T) or false (F).
1. The girl had to move from Texas to Arizona because of her
parents. ___
2. Sheila returned to Texas the first chance she had. ___
3. Things got fine when she met a new friend at high school. ___
4. Shelia’s first Arizona friend’s name was Mike. ___
4. Sheila began dating Chris at high school. ___
5. Sheila met the man of her dream in Arizona. ___

Choose the correct variant:


1. When Sheila’s parents decided to move to Arizona, she …
a. was willing to go, but a bit worried.
b. disagreed to go with them and stayed in Texas.
c. went with them, but returned the first chance she had.
d. was very angry and unhappy, but eventually managed to start
a new life in Arizona.
2. Sheila was so sorry to leave Texas because …
a. she was afraid to start school in Arizona.
b. she had a boyfriend in Texas.
23
c. she disliked Arizona.
d. she was happy in Arizona and it felt like her life was de-
stroyed.
3. At school in Arizona, Sheila met …
a. her new love.
b. Mike, a very good friend, who eventually became her love.
c. new friends.
d. a new best friend.
4. Sheila and Chris did not spend much time together at school
because …
a. Sheila still missed her boyfriend.
b. they belonged to different social groups and had little in com-
mon.
c. Chris was too shy.
d. tey belonged to different social groups which did not com-
municate.
5. Sheila and Chris’s relationships got in the open …
a. when Sheila fell out of love with her boyfriend from Arizona.
b. when they became older and the peer pressure from the
friends subsided.
c. when Sheila became a jock.
d. When Chris introduced himself to Sheila’s parents.

While discussing the story, you will want to use a number


of words from the story. Can you identify them by their Russian
equivalents? Write down the words and phrases in your vocabulary
book.
wrap up,
eventually,
trim,
Texas drawl,
to humor smbd.

Match the columns to define the cultural lacunas on the left after
you have done some search in the Internet.
24
1. A junior a) In secondary or higher education, a formal
dance party held at the end of the senior year.
2. Accounting class b) strong influence of group members on each
other to behave in the same way, even if the
behavior is not good.
3. Peer pressure c) a class in keeping or checking financial
accounts.
4. Senior prom d) a student in the year before the final year.
5. A senior e) a student in the last year of school or university.

ENHANCING COMPREHENSION
Look through the story, find and translate the paragraphs ex-
plaining
– why Sheila didn’t want to leave her home in Texas;
– why Sheila didn’t spend much time with Chris and his friends
while he was still in school.
Answer the questions
1. What changed in their relationship after Chris graduated?
2. Was Sheila sorry eventually that her parents changed her life
taking her to their new home in Arizona? Why?

CULTURE PERSPECTIVE
1. Comment on the culturally-marked word first job. Is it impor-
tant for American high school students? Think of an approximate fig-
ure of USA high school students who have a part time job. Consult
the Internet resources. Comment on the following sentence from the
story: Then one day, he came to see me while I was working in a store
in the mall. And what about the opportunities for Russian students to
have a part time job at least in summer?
2. Using the information from the Glossary, explain what account-
ing class is. What do students learn to do in this class? Do we have a
similar subject in secondary schools in Russia? Where is this kind of
knowledge taught, if at all?
3. Is school band a class or an extracurricular activity in USA high
schools? What about Russia?
25
4. Find the information about the structure of the high school cur-
riculum in the Internet and comment on compulsory and elective sub-
jects high school students learn. How many classes do high school
students typically have every day? How is it different from the educa-
tional pattern in Russia?
5. Can you find a general timetable somewhere on the ground floor
of a school in the USA like we have in every school here in Russia?
6. Comment on the following sentence from the story: Our paths
crossed occasionally at school functions; but for the most part, our friend-
ship remained within the four classroom walls of accounting class.
7. Explain why Chris graduated that year and Sheila didn’t though
they were in the accounting class together.
8. Study the timetable of a Russian senior student in a USA high
school whose one-year-long stay was sponsored by Freedom Support
Act. Comment on the common features and differences of a typical
time-table in schools in Russia and the one you have just analyzed.
9. What is peer pressure in USA schools? Is there such a cultural
phenomenon in schools in Russia? How are they different?
10. A high school prom is an event that every high school graduate
remembers and cherishes all through his/her life. Why? Comment on its
cultural peculiarities. Is there anything similar in schools in Russia?
11 Translate the sentence: Chris escorted me to my senior prom;
we triple-dated with two of his jock friends and their dates.
12 Share the information you have found about the italicized cul-
turally-marked words with your group mates: jock, boyfriend, girl-
friend, best friend.

SUMMARIZING
Give a short account of the story from Sheila’s parents’ point of
view/Sheila’s best friend’s point of view. Make it clear whether it was
a good idea to move to Arizona, after all. Give your reasoning.

LEADS TO DISCUSSION
1. Look through the timetable of a Russian girl who was a Free-
dom Support Act exchange student in Winterset Community High
26
School in the USA. Comment on the subjects she learned. Which of
them do you think are compulsory and which are electives. Consult
the Glosssary.

Timetable Winterset Community High School

Nickolaeva, Anna Sergeevna Grade 12

ID: 98418 Day 1 Term 1


Homeroom: Cafet Locker: 28 Teacher: Dietz, Mr. R. Counselor:
N/A

8:05–8:49 Social Problems (1) Safford, Mr. J. 302 – Classroom


8:52–9:36 Study Hall (2) Callahan, Mrs. R. Caf – Cafetorium
9:39–10:23 Study Hall (3) Roberts, Mrs. V. Caf – Cafetorium
10:26–11:34 Spanish I (2) Harrell, Mrs. M. C160 – Classroom
11:37–12:46 Advanced Math (1) Sauser, Mr. D. 301 – Classroom
12:49–1:33 Computer Keyboarding (1) Goranson, Mr. R. 323 – Business Room
1:36–2:20 American History 11 (5) Mohs, Mr. T. 313 – Classroom
2:23–3:07 Writing Lab (2) Carver, Mr. T. 310B – Classroom
4:00– :00 Free
6:00–7:00 Free

Nickolaeva, Anna Sergeevna Grade 12

ID: 98418 Day 2 Term 1


Homeroom: Cafet Locker: 28 Teacher: Dietz, Mr. R. Counselor:
N/A

8:05–8:49 Social Problems (1) Safford, Mr. J 302 – Classroom


8:52–9:36 PE 11 & 12 12 (2) Dietz, Mr. R. Gym – Gym
9:39–10:23 Oratorio Choir (1) Ghelf, Ms. J 301 – Music
10:26–11:34 Spanish I (2) Harrell, Mrs. M. C160 – Classroom
11:37–12:46 Advanced Math (1) Sauser, Mr. D. 301 – Classroom
12:49–1:33 Computer Keyboarding (1) Goranson, Mr. R. 323 – Business Room
1:36–2:20 American History 11 (5) Mohs, Mr. T. 313 – Classroom
2:23–3:07 Writing Lab (2) Carver, Mr. T. 310B – Classroom
4:00–5:00 Free
6:00–7:00 Free

27
Student Timetable Winterset Community High School

Nickolaeva, Anna Sergeevna Grade 12


ID: 98418 Day 1 Term 2
Homeroom: Cafet Locker 28 Teacher Dietz, Mr. R. Counselor:
N/A

8:05–8:49 Pottery (1) Pope, Mrs. D. C103 – Classroom


8:52– :36 Speech/Listening 10 (4) Carver, Mr. T. 310B – Classroom
9:39–10:23 Study Hall (3) Roberts, Mrs. V. Caf – Cafetorium
10:26–11:34 Probability and Stat (1) Sauser, Mr. D. 301 – Classroom
11:37–12:46 Advanced Math (1) Sauser, Mr. D. 301 – Classroom
12:49–1:33 Study Hall (6) Roberts, Mrs. V. Caf – Cafetorium
1:36–2:20 American History 11 (3) Mohs, Mr. T. 313 – Classroom
2:23–3:07 Spanish II (3) Eivins, Mrs. M. 327 – Classroom
4:00–5:00 Free
6:00–7:00 Free

Nickolaeva, Anna Sergeevna Grade 12


ID: 98418 Day 2 Term 2
Homeroom: Cafet Locker 28 Teacher: Dietz, Mr. R. Counselor
N/A

8:05–8:49 Pottery (1) Pope, Mrs. D. C103 – Classroom


8:52–9:36 Speech/Listening 10 (4) Carver, Mr. T. 310B – Classroom
9:39–10:23 Oratorio Choir (1) Ghelf, Ms. J. 201 – Music
10:26–11:34 Probability and Stat (1) Sauser, Mr. D. 301 – Classroom
11:37–12:46 Advanced Math (1) Sauser, Mr. D. 301 – Classroom
12:49–1:33 PE11&12 12(2 Dietz, Mr. R. Gym – Gym
1:36–2:20 American History 11 (3) Mohs, Mr. T. 313 – Classroom
2:23–3:07 Spanish II (3) Eivins, Mrs. M. 327 – Classroom
4:00–5:00 Free
6:00–7:00 Free

2. Which high school curriculum do you prefer – the one in the


USA or Russia? Give reasons.
3. How would you react if your family decided to move to a new
town or a new district in your city and you had to change school? Ex-
press your point of view on the problem.
28
CULTURAL WEB
Having read and discussed the story, you can add some new cul-
turally marked words to the Web concerning school organization and
management, learning, social activities and relationships.

PROJECT WORK
Google the Home page of any USA high school, study the list of
compulsory and elective courses and make up your own timetable for
the fall/spring semester as if you were a senior student in this high
school. While choosing electives take into consideration the university
you are planning to enter and the field of study in which you are going
to specialize.

STORY 3.
A PERFECT SCORE

PRE-READING TALK
What is your attitude toward school grades? Has it changed since
elementary school? How did you feel when you weren’t given any
grades in the first year at school?
Are you very much upset when you flunk some test getting a grade
of zero?
What is your major motive for getting good grades? Is it a chal-
lenge, or do you just want to prove yourself to your friends, or are you
trying hard to please your parents?
Read the title of the story. Do you think the story might help an-
swer some of these questions?

INTERACTIVE READING
Read the story at home and say what important lesson of life Lara
learned. After reading the story, do a test and some other exercises to
enhance your comprehension and build your vocabulary.
While reading, you will come across a number of culturally
marked words. Most of them can be found in the Glossary at the end
of the book. As for the culturally marked words in italics, they are not
29
included into the Glossary, so be sure to consult Internet resources,
dictionaries or encyclopedias to find out what they mean.

A PERFECT SCORE

Failure is success if we learn from it.


Malcolm S. Fones

«Hey Lara,» Susan called. «How about lunch? We haven’t talked


in so long.»
«Can’t. I’ve got a bio test next period,» I yelled, rushing off to
the library. I opened up my book and frantically crammed any extra
information. I need an A, my mind kept repeating. That would make
another perfect quarter and a definite place on the honor roll. I stud-
ied till the last minute of lunch and rushed to class.
Good, I thought, glancing over the first page. I quickly filled in
the answers, smiling with confidence. When I reached the last page,
my mind went blank. I read the question over, but the words started to
jumble, and although I could picture the pages of the book, I could not
read the text. I stared at a diagram of the plant cell. My mind wouldn’t
function. I started chewing the pen. Concentrate, Lara, you studied
this last night. I tried to remember what was written in the book. After
studying until midnight the night before, I felt I had a good enough
grasp on the material. I had fallen asleep with a mental picture of a
plant cell.
So why can’t you remember it now? I asked myself. I glanced up
at the clock. I had fifteen more minutes. Okay, the round circle has to
be the nucleus and the lines... my mind wavered. The pen cap fell to
the ground. I reached over and grabbed it clumsily. The fifteen min-
utes evaporated into three. Soon everyone left, and I was still staring
at the paper.
“Lara, class ended seven minutes ago. I need you to pass in your
test,” Mrs. Phloem said, stretching out her hand. I quickly placed ran-
dom names in the blank spaces and reluctantly handed her the test.
Slowly gathering my belongings, I left the room.
30
After school, I went to the locker room and changed at the very
back for basketball practice. I heard giggling up front but couldn’t be
bothered. There were more impor­tant subjects to deal with, like the
biology test.
After practice, I quickly changed and walked home. The air felt
nippy, my nose was frozen, and even with gloves on, I felt the cold air
freeze my fingers. I shivered, wishing the sun were out. I disliked the
short days and long nights of winter. It made my time feel compressed.
Especially now, with basketball, my life seemed like a nonstop race.
I awoke at six the next morning for school. Practices started at three
thirty and I wasn’t back home until eight.
That night after dinner I sat down to finish The Great Gatsby,
which was due the next Friday. I thought “Great American Novels”
would be the appropriately challenging English class for the semes-
ter. Unfortunately, with overly idealistic characters like Gatsby, the
book truly felt like a waste of my time. Yet the fact remained I was
afraid to open my biology text and check the answers, although I
refused to believe I might have done poorly on the test. The worst
grade I could receive is a B. That would just about keep in balance
with my brother’s perfect high school record. How I wished my
brother wasn’t so perfect. It made me work twice as hard to prove
myself to others. On the other hand it was a challenge, and I liked
challenges.
Soon it was eleven-thirty. Finishing the book I pressed back into
the chair. Do I have anything else? I asked myself glancing at the ta-
ble. Outside, thunder rumbled and interrupted my thoughts. Staring at
the window, I watched drops of water slide down the glass pane. “It’s
the middle of January, and it’s raining’ I said aloud. “How profound.”
The next day in biology I got my test back. I stared dumbfounded
at the red marked: 76. Not even a В minus, my mind screamed. Just
average. It’s over. No perfect record.
When I reached home that night, I couldn’t concentrate on my
homework. I felt like a failure. Now I wouldn’t reach my brother’s
standards. My brother was so smart that he got a scholarship to Har-
vard. How could I prove myself with a 76?
31
I sat at my desk, stuck on the same math problem for an hour. Sigh-
ing, I laid down the pencil. Outside the thunder clamored. I jumped at
the unexpected sound and stared at the window. It was raining again.
This was the third night. I reached over abruptly, unfastened the storm
window and pulled it open. Sticking my head out, I yelled, «Stop it! I’m
trying to concentrate!» I got sprayed with the sudden force of water. I
retreated and closed the window. Laying my head on the cold glass I
glanced down at the empty street. There was only one dim streetlight,
which highlighted each drop of water. It reminded me of the way Gatsby
had stood outside Daisy’s house after the accident, waiting for the per-
fect life. It had never happened. “Hmm,” I solemnly grinned. “Now,
here I am, trying to make my life perfect, I said to my reflection. Sigh-
ing, I realized it would probably rain tomorrow and that I would prob-
ably be starting the new chapter on photosynthesis. Yet unlike a great
American classic, my story would continue, because I did have a second
chance. “Wow,” I smiled, “school can teach me a few lessons in life.” It
wasn’t the most profound moment in my life, but turning the lights off I
got under my bedcovers and thought, “Maybe tomorrow I’ll have lunch
with Susan”. The fact is, one test is not my life. Taking the time to build
a friendship that will last all the exams of life and believing in myself
and in doing my best will always be the ultimate best score.
Lalanthica V. Yogendran
[From Chicken soup for the teenage soul IV: stories of life,
love, learning [compiled by] Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
(2004). – p. 288–291]

WHILE-READING ACTIVITIES

Decide if the statements are true (T) or false (F).


1. Lara is absorbed in her studies paying very little attention to
other sides of life. ___
2. The biology test was so important for Lara because it could help
her enter Harvard, like her brother. ___
3. Lara did not have enough time to prepare for the biology test.
___
32
4. Lara enjoyed the non-stop race her life became. ___
5. Lara failed the biology test completely. ___
6. Lara understood that she had another chance to achieve a per-
fect score. ___

Choose the correct variant.


1. Lara was so absorbed in her studies because …
a. she wanted to finish the quarter with perfect grades.
b. she wanted to prove herself to her brother and her family.
c. she wanted to go to Harvard.
d. her parents wanted her to be as perfect as her brother.
2. Lara’s life can be best described as …
a. busy, but challenging and interesting.
b. dull and depressing.
c. busy and tiring.
d. busy and tiring, but challenging.
3. Lara was so upset to get the average grade in biology test be-
cause …
a. it was a really low grade and she was ashamed.
b. biology was important to her.
c. she was afraid to disappoint her brother.
d. it influenced her final grades.
4. Lara can be best described as …
a. a perfect student.
b. an average student.
c. a crammer.
d. a very diligent and hard-working student.
5. After getting an average grade in the biology test, Lara decided …
a. to double her efforts in studies.
b. to pay more attention to other sides of life.
c. to have lunch with Susan.
d. to take the course “Great American Novels”.

Provide English equivalents to the following words and phrases


from the text.
33
Отчаянно,
зубрить,
хорошо усвоить материал,
наугад написать названия,
с неохотой,
конечный.

Translate into Russian.


1. My mind went blank.
2. My mind wavered.
3. The 15 minutes evaporated into 3.
4. I heard giggling up front, but I couldn’t be bothered.
5. It made my time feel compressed.

Paraphrase the underlined parts of the following sentences:


1. It made me work twice as hard to prove myself to others.
2. The air felt nippy.
3. How profound!
4. I was dumbfounded.
5. “Hmm,” I solemnly grinned.

Match the columns to define the cultural lacunas on the left af-
ter you have done some search in the Internet.

1. Honor roll a) information about a student’s grades during the


years of study at school.
2. High school b) a room in a sports building, school etc. where people
record can change their clothes and leave them in lockers.
3. A scholarship c) an amount of money given to someone for outstand-
ing academic or athletic achievements by an educa-
tional institution, a public organization, some fund or
charity organization to help pay for education.
4. An A d) a list of the best students in a high school.
5. Locker room e) the highest grade a student can get in an examina-
tion or for a piece of work.
34
ENHANCING COMPREHENSION
Find in the text the phrases that help to describe:
– Lara’s state during the bio test,
– Lara’s life in general,
– Lara’s feelings after she learnt her grade for the biology test.
Explain:
– why it was so important for Lara to do well on the biology test.
– why Lara’s life felt like a nonstop race.
– how her biology test score could influence her life.
– what kind of role The Great Gatsby played in her life.
– what kind of lesson she learnt at school.

CULTURE PERSPECTIVE
1. Comment on the USA system of grading A, B, C, D, E, F. Which
Russian grades correspond to them? What about the 100% scale? How
do the two systems correspond? The glossary will be of great help.
You are also encouraged to look for some additional information in
the Internet.
2. Give a cultural commentary to honor roll. What is its happiest Rus-
sian equivalent? Is there anything similar in schools in this country?
4. Comment on the cultural background of the word combinations
school record, scholarship using the Glossary. How would you trans-
late them for a non-English-speaking person from Russia?
5. Share the information you have found about the italicized realia
with your group mates: The Great Gatsby, Great American Novels.
Why do you think the author of this story turns to the novel The
Great Gatsby describing Lara’s state of mind after she learnt about the
results of the test?
Name some great American novels you have read and explain why
they are considered worth getting into the list and studying in a high
school English class.

SUMMARIZING
Pretend to be Lara’s friend Susan/Lara’s brother. Give a short ac-
count of what happened to the story-teller from your viewpoint.
35
LEADS TO DISCUSSION
Do you ever happen to feel like Lara about your school life?
How much do grades matter to you? How can they influence your
life?
Do you think Lara learnt the right lesson from her experience?
What would you do if you found yourself in her shoes?
The chief motive behind Lara’s diligence was the desire to prove
that she was no worse than her brother. What are the motives that de-
termine your diligence (or lack of diligence) at school?
Among Lara’s problems was the failure to achieve a balance be-
tween her studies and other sides of life. Do you face such a problem?
Can you say that your life is well-balanced? How do you manage to
keep the balance?
Express your opinion on the system of grading in Russia. Do you
think it is objective? The problem is being discussed in the education-
al community at present. Some educationalists, students and teachers
suggest that we turn to 100% scale. What is your attitude to the prob-
lem of integrating the system into schools in Russia? Comment on its
pros and cons.

CULTURAL WEB
Having read and discussed the story, you can add some new cultur-
ally marked words to the Web regarding school organization and man-
agement framework, learning, school social activities and relationship.

PROJECT WORK
Arrange in groups of 2–3 and make a presentation on any of the
Great American Novels you have read.

STORY 4.
BE COOL … STAY IN SCHOOL!

PRE-READING TALK
What does a student’s success at school depend on? Does it de-
pend on teachers and their teaching skills, parents and their support
36
or the management and organization? Can fellow-students have any
effect on one’s success or failure at school? An answer to this question
can be found in the following story. How does the title of the story help
predict its content?

INTERACTIVE READING
Read the story and say why the student body president’s challenge
got such an enthusiastic support on behalf of the students, teachers and
parents. After reading the story, do a test and some other exercises to
enhance your comprehension and build your vocabulary.

While reading, you will come across a number of culturally


marked words. Most of them can be found in the Glossary at the end
of the book. As for the culturally marked words in italics, they are not
included into the Glossary, so be sure to consult the Internet sources,
dictionaries or encyclopedias to find out what they mean.

BE COOL ... STAY IN SCHOOL!

In the eighth grade, I was student-body president of Erwin


Middle School in Asheville, North Carolina. I con­sidered this quite
an honor since there were over 1,000 students in the school. At
the end of the year, I was asked to make a speech at the ceremony
where my class was promoted to high school. I knew this had to be
more than just the brief comments a student might normally give.
We’re the class of 2000, so I wanted my speech to be as special as
we were.
I spent several nights lying in bed, thinking about what to say.
Many things crossed my mind, but none of them involved all my class-
mates. Then one night, it hit me. Erwin High School has the highest
dropout rate of any high school in our county. What better goal could
we have than for every single one of us to graduate? What if I could
get my class to become the first class in the history of our public school
system to enter high school as fresh­men and all graduate? Wouldn’t
that be awesome?
37
The speech I gave on graduation day was only 12 min­utes long,
but what it started is unbelievable. When I issued the challenge to my
classmates to become the first class in history to enter high school as
freshmen and all graduate, the entire audience, including the parents,
grandparents and teachers, erupted in applause. As I showed the per-
sonalized certificates and signs each stu­dent would get, I could tell
they were really enthused. At the end of my speech the whole audience
jumped to its feet with a standing ovation. It was all I could do to keep
my composure and not break down and cry. I’d had no idea my chal-
lenge would bring this kind of response.
Throughout the summer, I worked on developing a program to
carry our commitment into high school. I gave speeches to civic clubs
and groups, and talked with sev­eral of my classmates. I told our high
school principal that I wanted to start a “Dropout Patrol,” made up of
students who would be willing to help and support other students dur-
ing bad times. I told him I wanted to design a special shirt to identify
members of our class and would like to sell these to make money to
publish a class directory. Then I told him I thought it would be good if
we could have some type of party to celebrate if we made it through a
whole semester without losing anyone.
“I’ll go you one better than that,” he told me. I’ll throw your class
a party at the end of each grading period if you don’t lose anyone.”
That was really exciting because a grading period was only six weeks:
just 30 school days. The plan was beginning to come together.
Throughout the summer, word began to spread about our chal-
lenge. I appeared on local television and radio, the newspaper asked
me to write a guest column, and calls started coming in from eve-
rywhere. One day I received a call from CBS News in New York.
One of their researchers had found my newspaper article and they
were interested in featuring our class on their 48 Hours program.
Ken Hamblin, the Black Avenger on national talk radio, fea­tured us
in his August 1996 publication, Ken Hamblin Talks with America.
He invited me to appear on his show and tell the country about our
commitment. All this was amazing, because I had told our class we
could become the most famous class in America if we all made it to
38
graduation. We were just beginning, and we were already drawing
national attention.
As I write this story, our journey is just beginning. We have the
first 12 weeks of school behind us. Our pledges are hanging in the
school lobby across from the princi­pal’s office. Across from them is a
large glass case where we mounted a piece of sheet metal with a huge
hourglass painted on it. In the top of the hourglass there is a round
magnetic dot for each day we have remaining in high school. We
have appointed a committee of “Dropout Patrol” members to monitor
the hourglass. Each day they move a dot from the top to the bottom.
This lets us track our progress in a way the entire class can watch. We
began with 720 dots in the top, but now 60 of them have been moved
to the bottom and we have earned our sec­ond party. It’s fun to watch
the dots move.
We are just starting a difficult four-year journey, but we have al-
ready made a significant impact. Last year, by the end of the second
grading period, 13 kids had dropped out of the freshman class. So
far this year, not a single per­son who signed the pledge has quit, and
the “Dropout Patrol” has become the largest organized group in the
school.
Businesses are seeing what a program run completely by kids can
do, and they are throwing their support behind us. We have banks, car
dealers, furniture stores, restaurants and more where we can get dis-
counts for our entire family when we show our “Dropout Patrol” ID
cards. Others are donating U.S. Savings Bonds and mer­chandise that
we use to reward kids for supporting our program.
The Erwin High “Committed Class of 2000” would like to encour-
age your class to start a program like ours. Wouldn’t it be awesome
if the entire class of 2000, nation wide, had a 100 percent graduation
rate? Who knows? Maybe it can!
Jason Summe, 15
[From Chicken soup for the teenage soul: 101 stories of life, love,
learning / Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Rimderly Kirberger
(1997). – p. 249–252].

39
WHILE-READING ACTIVITIES
Decide if the statements are true (T) or false (F).
1. Erwin High School had a great problem with getting its students
to finish school. ___
3. Jason decided to help everyone from his class to graduate. ___
4. The school administration did not think Jason could do much to
help his fellow – students. ___
5. The program is managed by Jason and the school principal.
___
6. The program drew great attention from the nation. ___
7. The program was a success. ___

Choose the correct variant.


1. The main idea of Jason’s project was …
a. giving a party at the end of every grading period.
b. writing newspaper articles and giving talks on the radio to at-
tract people’s attention to the problem of student dropout.
c. attracting support for students from parents, the school ad-
ministration and local businesses.
d. providing peer support to every student in his class and help-
ing everyone to graduate.
2. Jason suggested this project because …
a. he wanted to remain popular at high school.
b. he did not have any better idea.
c. they were a class of 2000.
d. this project involved all his classmates and could really have
an effect on the school system.
3. When Jason told people about his project …
a. everybody was very enthusiastic.
b. everybody was skeptical.
c. people decided to start a ‘Dropout Patrol’.
d. the high school principal decided to give the students a party.
4. As the author is writing the story, the class …
a. has achieved its goal.
b. is just beginning to work on the project.
40
c. failed to achieve its goal as some kids left school.
d. has just begun working but has already achieved some results.
5. The hourglass in the school hall helps the students to …
a. monitor how many students still remain in class.
b. monitor how many days are left till graduation.
c. monitor the grades of the members of the dropout patrol.
d. monitor how many new members joined the ‘Dropout Patrol’.
6. The work of the ‘Dropout Patrol’ mainly involves …
a. collecting donations from businesses and rewarding kids who
do well academically.
b. monitoring the hourglass.
c. patrolling the corridors and getting other people to join the
group.
d. giving moral and academic help to other students during bad
times.

Translate the underlined phrases in the following sentences


from the story:
1. Then one night, it hit me.
2. At the end of my speech the whole audience jumped to its feet
with a standing ovation.
3. Then I told him I thought it would be good if we could have
some type of party to celebrate if we made it through a whole semester
without losing anyone.
4. Throughout the summer, word began to spread about our chal-
lenge.
5. I had told our class we could become the most famous class in
America if we all made it to graduation.

Provide words and phrases from the text to match the definitions:
– something that tests strengths, skills or ability, especially in a
way that is interesting;
– a promise to do something or to behave in a particular way;
– formal, a firm promise, especially one made publicly or offi-
cially;
41
– to leave school;
– reaction;
– goods that are produced to be sold; products.

Choose a proper definition of the word class of 2000


– a lesson in any subject at school or college
– a period on a school time-table
– a body of students meeting regularly to study the same subject 
– the period during which such a body of students meets to study
a subject
– a body of students whose year of graduation is the same.

Paraphrase the underlined parts of the following sentences, us-


ing the wording of the text:
1. When I set the task to my classmates to become the first class
in history …
2. I could tell they were really interested and inspired.
3. It was all I could do to stay calm and not to cry in public.
4. I’ll give your class a party.
5. …they were interested in showing our class on their news pro-
gram.
6. … but we have already had a big effect.
7. … if the entire class, across the country, had a 100 percent grad-
uation rate.

Match the columns to define the cultural lacunas on the left af-
ter you have done some search in the Internet
1. A dropout a) the officially elected leader of all students in a
high school, college, or university, who represents
the students in meetings and organizes school ac-
tivities.
2. Student-body b) a student in the first year in high school or uni-
president versity.
3. A freshman c) a school in the US for children between the
ages of 11 and 14.
42
4. Middle school d) a period within which grades – the students’
marks are calculated and recorded. Varies from
school to school.
5. A grading e) someone who leaves school or college before
period they are graduated.

ENHANCING COMPREHENSION
Look through the story and find, read and translate the para-
graphs that illustrate
– what Jason did during the summer to draw the nation’s atten-
tion to the project;
– the support of the communities and businesses for the project;
– the progress the class had achieved by the end of the second
grading period.

Can you…
– explain why everyone at school thought of Jason’s project as a
challenge?
– describe the actions he took to get his project started?
– describe the response he got from the people?
– describe the effects of the project achieved so far?

CULTURE PERSPECTIVE
1. Do you have a student body council and president at your school?
Hopefully, you have found some useful information in the Internet
about student governments in US high schools. Comment on the simi-
larities and differences of the election systems, the duties and rights of
the council and the president in the USA and Russian schools.
2. Comment on the cultural aspect of the name of the school in
the story Erwin Middle School. What is interesting about it? How is it
different from the way schools in Russia are identified?
3. Why is the word class so misleading for Russian-speaking stu-
dents? Comment on different meanings of the word class. Which of
them is the meaning of the key word in the story?

43
4. Comment on the USA public school system. Don’t confuse it
with the British public schools. Give a short description of the elemen-
tary, middle and high schools. You might also like to mention junior
high school. The Glossary will be a great help. You are also encour-
aged to look for additional information in the Internet.
5. What is the Russian for school principal? It seems so easy,
doesn’t it? Don’t say it too soon. Firstly, it’s used only in the USA.
The British English equivalent is headmaster. Secondly, its counter-
part in schools in Russia has somewhat different work duties and is
accounted for to different school authorities. Comment on the cul-
tural similarities and differences of the school principal in the USA
and Russia.
6. You have a good idea of the system of grades in USA high
schools. Now let’s turn to its organizational framework. What is a
grading period in a USA high school? How does grading system work
in the USA and Russia? Is there much difference? Which one would
you introduce in your school if you were principal?
7. Share the information you have found about the italicized cul-
turally-marked words with your group mates: class directory, Ken
Hamblin Talks with America, 48 Hours.

SUMMARIZING
Imagine that you are one of the students on the ‘Dropout Patrol’.
Describe the project and your activities.
Imagine that you are one of the students in Jason’s class. You had
a difficult time not long ago and were going to drop out, but the ‘Drop-
out Patrol’ helped you.

LEADS TO DISCUSSION
1. Do you think a similar project could be possible in Russia?
Would it have a big effect? Give you arguments.
2. Do you think Jason and his classmates will meet the goal they
set for themselves? What makes you think so?
3. Should all students graduate from high school, or are there any
special situations when graduation is not possible or necessary?
44
4. Comment on the dropout rate in your school. At what age are stu-
dents officially allowed to leave school in the USA and Russia? What
options for continuing education are available for dropouts and those
who leave school on their own accord in Russia and in the USA?

CULTURAL WEB
Having read and discussed the story, you can add some new cul-
turally marked words to the Web concerning school organization and
management, learning and social activities.

PROJECT WORK
Arrange in groups of 3–4 and do a project to combat poor aca-
demic achievements in your class and motivate your classmates for
better learning.

STORY 5.
UNIFORM

PRE-READING TALK
Can you guess what the story is going to be about? What do you
think of wearing a uniform to school? Does it matter much to you?
Can it have any serious influence on your life?
Read the story to see what kind of role a uniform can play in a
person’s life.

INTERACTIVE READING
Read the story and say why Amy didn’t like Incarnate Word at the
beginning of her first school year? Did her attitude change towards
the end of the year? After reading the story, do a test and some other
exercises to enhance your comprehension and build your vocabulary.
While reading, you will come across a number of culturally
marked words. Most of them can be found in the Glossary at the end
of the book. As for the culturally marked words in italics, they are not
included into the Glossary, so be sure to consult the Internet sources,
dictionaries or encyclopedias to find out what they mean.
45
UNIFORM

It was a scene straight from the annals of teen night­mare scenari-


os: Over Saturday morning pancakes, my parents announced they had
enrolled me in a private school. Not just any private school — an all-
girls Catholic school with uniforms. If I had been cutting class, smok-
ing cigarettes in my middle school’s mint-tiled bathrooms, or loitering
about with small, sinister boys who glared at my parents, I might have
understood. But I hadn’t even done anything interesting enough to de-
serve this cruel deci­sion. I petitioned my parents all summer with plea
bar­gains and threats, but when fall crept around, there I was sighing re-
sentfully as I slipped on my polyester skirt, but­toned up my thin white
blouse, tied a ridiculous tie around my neck and stomped dramatically
to my dad’s sedan in stiff, shiny penny loafers. He smirked at my ex-
pense and handed me two new dimes. “Put them in your shoes. That’ll
show those nuns.”
Nuns? Dear God. I hadn’t even considered nuns.
I had, however, considered my new classmates. My public school
friends and I had fretted all summer about these unseen, private school-
bred creatures — wealthy snots, we imagined, with expensive purses
and a million tortures planned for inferior classes like myself. When
they turned sixteen, their daddies would buy them BMWs, which they
would make a point of parking on the opposite end of the school lot
from my hand-me-down clunker as though poverty were contagious.
Unani­mously, my friends agreed that they were lucky they weren’t
me. Now I had to suffer nuns, too?
The halls of the private school, Incarnate Ward, whirled with
plaid. Matching girls skipped in all directions, hugging and squealing,
“Omigod!” and, “How was your summer?!” Nuns and civilian teach-
ers cruised amid the flurry. I went to my first class, sat down and didn’t
open my mouth for an entire semester.
By the beginning of spring, I’d mumbled enough words to make a
few good friends — Sara, Cathy, Jamie and Anne — and learned that
the country club crew, whom we called “The Buffies,” kept their whis-
pers about debutante balls and banquets to themselves. They couldn’t
46
be both­ered to engage in the snobby insults and hair-pulling stunts
I’d come to fear from a lifetime of bad teen movies. More impor-
tantly, such a small school couldn’t even uphold a social hierarchy. All
cliques were weighted equally — except for the Star Trek nerds, but
no society is perfect. In this society, however, you were forced to get a
personality. This wasn’t like public school friendships when preppies
drifted towards preppy-looking people. We were forced to look the
same; what distinguished us was the person beneath the plaid, and it
was time to fig­ure out just who she was.
My parents had promised I could leave after one year if I truly,
deeply hated private school, but after just an hour’s deliberation, I de-
cided to stay on, making up my absence to my public-school friends
with true tales of nunsense. There was Sister Agnes who called eve-
ryone ‘my good American’, Sister Clarita with one big leg and one
normal one (she never spoke, only hissed), and her sister, Sister Ail-
bee, whose shifting hairline just had to be a wig. Sister Ailbee was
also legendary for her perfect attendance at every basketball game,
her passionate defense of the Trail of Tears and the time she broke off
midsentence during her own lecture on the Great Depression to stare
over our heads at the wall and chant “I’m Abraham Lincoln.”
Eventually, my routine polyester plaid getup made the same tran-
sition from creepy to, well, lovably creepy. Knee socks were cute, al-
most disarmingly precious, and since I didn’t need much practical eve-
ryday wear, I was free to spend my allowance on highly impractical
party clothes for the liberating weekend. My old wardrobe of jeans and
T-shirts couldn’t compete with silver-sequined miniskirts and dresses
lined in hot pink fur. Smart girls even got their driver’s license pictures
taken in uniform, their ties knotted high enough inside the frame to
catch a sympathetic cop’s eye. Most of them finagled their way out of
speeding tickets with a warning. When I got cited for breaking my city’s
teen curfew, I wore my uniform to court and was sentenced to ten hours
of community ser­vice pouring lemonade at the public library’s weekly
poetry readings. The guy ahead of me had to scrub barna­cles off the po-
lice officers’ boats. We knew what the uni­form did to civilians; it was a
superhero’s disguise bestowing the powers of innocence and charm.
47
Private school had never been punishment, and it never became
prison. Like high schools of all shapes and flavors, Incarnate Word
was a rite of passage with bragging rights of its own. While I never
wore pants to class, never cheered on my school at a football game or
stared dream­ily at the cute boy a few desks over, I did graduate with a
well-carved sense of self and a solid group of girlfriends I will be close
to till we’re all in grandmother shoes. And for the rest of my life I’ll
be able to juice up conversations with the simple boast: I survived an
all-girls Catholic high school.
Amy Nicholson
[From Chicken soup for the teenage soul IV: stories of life,
love, learning [compiled by] Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
(2004). – p. 284–287].

WHILE-READING ACTIVITIES
Decide if the statements are true (T) or false (F).
1. It was the girl’s parents’ idea to send her to a Catholic all-girls
private school. ___
2. The thing Amy feared most about private schools was the nuns.
____
3. The girls was bullied and insulted by rich girls, but, neverthe-
less, she made some true friends at school. ___
4. Most of the nuns were completely mad. ___
5. It was Amy’s own decision to stay at school. ___
6. The school became an important part of Amy’s life and helped
her to develop her personality. ___

Choose the correct variant.


1. When Amy’s parents decided to send her to the public school,

a. she liked the idea.
b. she protested and made them change their decision.
c. she tried to talk them out of it, but failed.
d. she was scared.

48
2. Amy was so much afraid of the school because …
a. she had a lot of stereotypes based on bad teen movies.
b. she did not like nuns.
c. she was sorry to leave her friends.
d. her family was not very rich, so she was afraid rich girls
would bully her.
3. What made Amy’s school different from a typical public school
was the fact that …
a. the academic standards were much higher.
b. the nuns took good care of the students and did not let them
argue or do mischief.
c. no groups or cliques were allowed there.
d. the groups and cliques were less important than the personal-
ity of the students.
4. Amy stayed at school because …
a. the nuns were so funny.
b. she could save a lot of money because of the uniform.
c. she began to like the uniform.
d. she made good friends there and the school began to feel like
home.
5. The school uniform became an important part of the story and
Amy’s life because …
a. it was beautiful and Amy looked lovely in it.
b. it produced a good impression on the policemen and the court.
c. it helped the girls to develop their personality, as they all
looked alike, and what distinguished them was the personality inside
the uniform.
d. it helped to save money for party clothes.

Find the English equivalents to the following Russian words and


phrases. You will find them very useful when discussing the story.
Write down these words into your vocabulary book.
Признание себя виновным в мелком проступке в обмен на
устранение обвинения в более серьезном преступлении,
ухмыляться,
49
единодушно,
пробормотать,
содержание, пособие, карманные деньги,
обряд посвящения.

Translate the underlined phrases in the following sentences


from the story:
1. It was a scene straight from the annals of teen night­mare sce-
narios.
2. The halls of Incarnate Word whirled with plaid.
3. Matching girls skipped in all directions, hugging and squealing,
“Omigod!” and, “How was your summer?!”
4. They couldn’t be both­ered to engage in the snobby insults and
hair-pulling stunts I’d come to fear from a lifetime of bad teen movies.
5. More importantly, such a small school couldn’t even uphold a
social hierarchy.
6. …however, you were forced to get a personality.
7. Eventually, my routine polyester plaid getup made the same
transition from creepy to, well, lovably creepy.

Provide words and phrases from the text to match the defini-
tions:
– to arrange officially to join a school, university or course;
– to miss or skip classes;
– hanging around;
– to look angrily at someone for a long time;
– to ask formally someone of authority for something;
– thinking over, careful consideration;
– after a long time, finally;

Paraphrase the underlined parts of the following sentences, us-


ing the wording of the text:
1. … when the fall slowly approached…
2. They would park their cars on purpose on the other side of the
school parking lot so as to make everyone see it.
50
3 … my old car used by someone else in the family and then given
to me and not working well enough at that.
4. What made us different was the personality wearing the uni-
form.
5. Most of them avoided fines for breaking speed limits and just
got a warning.
6. When I was called to court…

Match the columns to define the cultural lacunas on the left af-
ter you have done some search in the Internet.
1. Private school a) Any school not operated or directly funded by
a government agency.
2. Penny loafers b) A social event, usually a ball at which young
women are being introduced into society for the
first time.
3. Debutante ball c) An elementary and secondary school activity
for students to serve in any school-approved vol-
unteer organizations which serve the community.
4. Preppy d) a student in a preparatory school.
5. Community e) flat leather shoes that do not need to be fas-
ser­vice tened on our foot.

ENHANCING COMPREHENNSION
Look through the story and find and translate the paragraphs
which describe
– Amy’s expectations and fears about private school;
– the atmosphere at Incarnate Word;
– change of Amy’s attitude to the school;
– the influence Incarnate Word had on Amy’s life.

Answer the following questions:


1. Why was Amy so scared and resentful about being enrolled in
a private school?
2. How did reality differ from her expectations?

51
3. What made Incarnate Word different from a typical public
school?
4. What kind of effect did Incarnate Word have on the students’
personalities?
5. How did Amy come to like her uniform?
6. Do you think Amy ever regretted going to a private school?

CULTURE PERSPECTIVE
1. Comment on the peculiarities of private schools in the USA.
What are their pros and cons? What types of private school do you
know? How are private schools different from their counterparts in
Russia? Are there religious private schools in Russia? Look for ad-
ditional information in the Internet.
2. What did Amy’s father mean when he said, “Put them (dimes)
in your shoes. That’ll show those nuns”. Is there any cultural implica-
tion? Comment on it.
3. What are penny loafers? Can you comment on the origin of the
name of this kind of shoes?
4. Give a cultural commentary to the culturally-marked word
combination debutante ball. As you perhaps know, it’s an old tradition
coming from the late 19th century. Why do you think this tradition is
still alive? Is there anything like that in Russia today? Would you like
to go to a debutante ball? Why?
5. Comment on the word preppy and preppy-looking people. The
Glossary will help but you are encouraged to look for more information in
the Internet and share it with your classmates when discussing the story.
6. What is community service? Is there anything similar in Rus-
sian culture? What is common and what is different?
7. Share the information you have found about the italicized cul-
turally marked words and names with your group mates: The Great
Depression, “I’m Abraham Lincoln”, country club, Star Trek nerds.

SUMMARIZING
Give a short account of the story from Amy’s parents/Amy’s pub-
lic school friends’ viewpoint.
52
LEADS TO DISCUSSION
1. What are the pros and cons of private schools? Are they good
for students? Are they good for society? Would you like to go to a pri-
vate school in your city or town, if there is one?
2. If you were Amy, would you stay on in Incarnate Word or leave
for public school?
3. Do you think Incarnate Word could prepare students for real life
well enough?
4. The text says Incarnate Word was too small to uphold a social
hierarchy. Does social hierarchy play an important role in the develop-
ment of a personality?

CULTURAL WEB
Having read and discussed the story, you can add some new cul-
turally marked words to the Web regarding school organization and
management, learning or social activities.

PROJECT WORK
1. Arrange in groups of 2–3, go to Google or Yandex for home-
page of any private high school in the USA or Russia. Make a presen-
tation of the school, its history and curriculum, social life and major
extracurricular activities.
2. In groups of 2–3 make presentations about Abraham Lincoln,
the 16th USA President (1861–1865) or the Great Depression of 1929-
1933 in the USA.

STORY 6.
THE MOST MATURE THING I’VE EVER SEEN

PRE-READING TALK
Does the title of the story help anticipate its content? The key
word in the title is mature. What comes to your mind when someone is
considered a mature person? Can a high school student be character-
ized as mature? Doesn’t maturity come with life experience and age?
Give reasons.
53
INTERACTIVE READING
Read the story and say why it became possible for the students
to go across the quad the next day after the incident with Lisa. After
reading the story, do a test and some other exercises to enhance your
comprehension and build your vocabulary.
While reading, you will come across a number of culturally
marked words. Most of them can be found in the Glossary at the end
of the book. As for the culturally marked words in italics, they are not
included into the Glossary, so be sure to consult Internet resources,
dictionaries or encyclopedias to find out what they mean.

THE MOST MATURE THING I’VE EVER SEEN

Every student at Monroe High School knew about it. Nobody did
it. Nobody.
Lunchtime at Monroe High School was consistent. As soon as
the bell that ended the last morning class started ringing, the students
swarmed toward their lockers. Then those who didn’t eat in the caf-
eteria headed with their sack lunches toward the quad. The quad was
a large, treeless square of concrete in the center of campus. It was the
meeting-and-eating place.
Around the quad the various school cliques assembled. The drug-
gies lined up on the south side. The punkers were next to them. On the
east side were the brothers. Next to them were the nerds and brains.
The jocks stood on the north side next to the surfers. The rednecks
were on the west side. The socialites were in the cafeteria. Everybody
knew their place.
This arrangement did create some tension. But for all the tension
generated on the perimeter of the quad at lunchtime, it was nothing
compared with the inside of the quad.
The inside was no-man’s land.
Nobody at Monroe walked across the middle of the quad. To get
from one side to the other, students walked around the quad. Around
the people. Around the stares.
Everybody knew about it, so nobody did it.
54
Then one day at the beginning of spring, a new student arrived at
Monroe. Her name was Lisa. She was unfamiliar to the area; in fact,
she was new to the state.
And although Lisa was pleasant enough, she did not quickly at-
tract friends. She was overweight and shy, and the style of her clothes
was not... right.
She had enrolled at Monroe that morning. All morning she had
struggled to find her classes, sometimes arriving late, which was es-
pecially embarrassing. The teachers had generally been tolerant, if not
cordial. Some were irritated; their classes were already too large, and
now this added paperwork before class.
But she had made it through the morning to the lunch bell. Hear-
ing the bell, she sighed and entered the crush of students in the hall.
She weaved her way to her locker and tried her combination three,
four, five times before it banged open. Standing in front of her locker,
she decided to carry along with her lunch all of her books for afternoon
classes. She thought she could save herself another trip to her locker
by eating lunch on the steps in front of her next class.
So Lisa began the longest walk of her life – the walk across cam-
pus toward her next class. Through the hall. Down the steps. Across
the lawn. Across the sidewalk. Across the quad.
As Lisa walked she shifted the heavy books, alternately resting the
arm that held her light lunch. She had grabbed too many books; the
top book kept slipping off, and she was forced to keep her eye on it in
a balancing act as she moved past the people, shifting the books from
arm to arm, focusing on the balanced book, shuffling forward, oblivi-
ous to her surroundings.
All at once she sensed something. The air was eerily quiet. A
nameless dread clutched her. She stopped. She lifted her head.
Hundreds of eyes were staring. Cruel, hateful stares. Pitiless stares.
Angry stares. Unfeeling, cold stares. They bore into her.
She froze, dazed, pinned down. Her mind screamed, No! This
can’t be happening!
What happened next, people couldn’t say for sure. Some later
said she dropped her book, reached down to pick it up, and lost
55
her balance. Some claimed she tripped. It didn’t matter how it hap-
pened.
She slipped to the pavement and lay there, legs splayed, in the
center of the quad.
Then the laughter started, like an electric current jolting the perim-
eter, charged with a nightmarish quality, wrapping itself around and
around its victim.
And she lay there.
From every side fingers pointed, and then the taunt began, build-
ing in raucous merriment, building in heartless insanity: “You! You!
You! YOU!”
And she lay there.
From the edge of the perimeter a figure emerged slowly. He was
a tall boy, and he walked rigidly, as though he were measuring each
step. He headed straight toward the place where the fingers point-
ed. As more and more students noticed someone else in the middle,
the calls softened, and then they ceased. A hush flickered over the
crowd.
The boy walked into the silence. He walked steadily, his eyes fixed
on the form lying on the concrete.
By the time he reached the girl, the silence was deafening. The
boy simply knelt and picked up the lunch sack and the scattered books,
and then he placed his hand under the girl’s arm and looked into her
face. And she got up.
The boy steadied her once as they walked across the quad and
through the quiet perimeter that parted before them.
The next day at Monroe High School at lunchtime a curious thing
happened. As soon as the bell that ended the last morning class started
ringing, the students swarmed toward their lockers. Then those who
didn’t eat in the cafeteria headed with their sack lunches across the
quad.
From all parts of the campus, different groups of students walked
freely across the quad. No one could really explain why it was okay
now. Everybody just knew. And if you ever visit Monroe High School,
that’s how it is today.
56
It happened some time ago. I never even knew his name. But what
he did, nobody who was there will ever forget.
Nobody.
Susan Doenim.
Submitted by Leon Bunker
[From Chicken soup for the teenage soul: 101 stories of life, love,
learning / Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Rimderly Kirberger
(1997). – p. 266–269].

WHILE-READING ACTIVITIES
Decide if the statements are true (T) or false (F).
1. Everybody at Monroe would eat their lunch in the quad. ____
2. All the school cliques assembled around the quad at lunchtime.
______
3. Lisa was unpopular with the students. ______________
4. The boy that helped Lisa was the only person who liked her at
Monroe High. ____________
5. Other students stopped laughing because they were afraid of
the boy who had helped Lisa. ____________

Choose the correct variant:


1. The inside of the quad is called in the story “no-man’s land”
because …
a. every clique claimed the territory.
b. it served to separate the cliques.
c. it belonged to the school, not a person.
d. it was just a nickname.
2. The teachers …
a. were tolerant, but not cordial to Lisa.
b. were mostly tolerant and some cordial toward Lisa.
c. were irritated and angry with Lisa because it added a lot of
paperwork.
d. were all very cordial.
3. Lisa wasn’t welcome at Monroe High because …
a. she was just new to the school and the state.
57
b. the style of her clothes wasn’t right.
c. she was overweight.
d. all of the above.
4. Lisa lost her balance because …
a. she had too many books to carry.
b. she just tripped.
c. she was overweight and awkward as a result.
d. she felt the students’ gazes and realized she had broken some
unwritten law of the school.
5. The word combination “the most mature thing” is used to
describe …
a. Lisa’s walk across the quad.
b. the boy who came to Lisa’s rescue.
c. the students’ attitude toward Lisa.
d. Lisa’s reaction to what she heard and saw.

While discussing the story, you will want to use a number of


words from the story. Can you identify them by their Russian equiva-
lents? Write them down in your vocabulary books.
Толпиться,
проверка тестов, тетрадей, проектных заданий,
радушный,
обходить впереди идущих, пробираться через толпу,
сверхъестественно тихо,
удивить, ошеломить, изумить,
чувствовать себя как прикованный.

Translate the following sentences from the story:


1. A nameless dread clutched her.
2. Then the laughter started, like an electric current jolting the
perimeter, charged with a nightmarish quality, wrapping itself around
and around its victim.
3. From every side fingers pointed, and then the taunt began, build-
ing in raucous merriment, building in heartless insanity: “You! You!
You! YOU!”
4. A hush flickered over the crowd.
58
Look through the story again and write out adjectives to describe
the boy who helped Lisa.

Match the following culturally marked words and their defini-


tions:
1. Quad a) a high school social group of very intelligent per-
sons, especially the most intelligent students in a class,
school.
2. A nerd b) a person, usually a young man, who is extremely
enthusiastic about and good at sports.
3. The brains c) a square open area with buildings all around it, es-
pecially in a school or college.
4. A jock d) a social group in U.S. school coming from the envi-
ronment uneducated, prejudiced people with particu-
larly racist and sexist opinions, driving pick-up trucks,
drinking beer, and always having a rifle at hand.
5. The e) a single-minded enthusiast, someone mostly inter-
rednecks ested in a too technical or scientific subject or activity.

ENHANCING COMPREHENSION
Look through the story and find and translate the paragraphs
describing
– school cliques that gathered around the quad. Be careful inter-
preting the culturally-marked words.
– Lisa’s first morning at Monroe High School
– the tension at the perimeter of the quad while Lisa was cross-
ing the quad. Which stylistic device does the author use to show her
state of mind and the students’ attitude towards Lisa?

Answer the following questions:


1. Why was the inside of the quad ‘no-man’s land’?
2. Why wasn’t Lisa welcomed by the students?
3. Was there any tension at the perimeter of the quad? Why?
4. What was the students’ reaction when they saw Lisa crossing
the quad?
59
5. Why do you think Lisa fell down?
6. What happened when the students saw a boy going in Lisa’s
direction?
7. What do you think struck the crowd as strange – the fact that he
had crossed the quad or that he had come to the poor thing’s rescue?

CULTURE PERSPECTIVE
1. How many morning and afternoon classes are there in USA
high schools?
2. Comment on the cultural peculiarities of the school cafeteria
in the USA. How is it different from the Russian “столовая”?
3. Explain why the quad is the heart of any USA school or college
campus? Is there anything similar on our campuses or in our school
yards?
4. Drug addiction is a major social problem in any country of
the world, isn’t it? Comment on the cultural aspects of the word the
druggies. Who belongs to this group in American high schools? Look
for some additional information in the Internet or go to a chat and
interview some high school student about the problem. Share your
information with your group mates.
5. The cultural phenomena expressed by the words the brothers,
the rednecks are purely American. That’s why they are considered
cultural realia and cannot be translated into Russian. But they can be
interpreted for non-speaking English in Russia. Try to do it using the
Glossary and any other information you’ll find.
6. What about the culturally marked words the nerds and brains,
and socialites? What are their Russian equivalents? Are there such
groups or individuals in your schools?
7. Share the information you have found about the italicized cul-
turally marked words with your group mates: the jocks, the punkers,
the surfers, sack lunch.
8. There is a certain cultural implication in the sentence ‘All
morning she had struggled to find her classes, sometimes arriving
late, which was especially embarrassing’. Why was it especially em-
barrassing?
60
SUMMARIZING
Tell the story from the viewpoint one of the students who wit-
nessed the incident. Tell your mother/friend about what happened at
school that day.

LEADS TO DISCUSSION
1. Why was Lisa’s walk to the quad that day ‘the longest walk in
her life’?
2. What did Lisa sense while she was walking across the quad?
Describe the students’ attitude. Give reasons to explain their behavior.
3. How do the boy’s actions characterize him? Why was he the
only one who came to the girl’s rescue? What would you do?
4. Comment on the cliques in your school. Are there any similar
cliques to those in USA high schools? What group do you belong to?
Is there any tension among the groups?

CULTURAL WEB
Having read and discussed the story, you can add some new cul-
turally marked words to the Web regarding school organization and
management, learning or school social activities and relationships.

DO YOU KNOW THAT


– being late is frowned upon in USA schools?
– the school office staff will have immediate information about
all absentees in each class?
– classes are over with the ringing of the bell. So no teacher ever
keeps students in class after the bell, which is considered ‘violation of
human rights’. Actually, teachers finish classes 2-3 minutes before the
bell. During this time students and teachers will have some friendly
talk discussing some school functions, and as soon as the bell rings
students take their leave to hurry to their lockers to change books and
be on time for another class. If a teacher doesn’t finish the class with
the bell, students will get up and leave on their own accord. That was
what one of the authors of the book experienced in her first class while
working as an exchange teacher in a USA high school.
61
STORY 7.
DEAR JOHN

PRE-READING TALK
How long away is your graduation ceremony? What are your ex-
pectations?
Are you going to miss your school and friendships you made? Do
you think you will keep in touch with your schoolmates?
The story below features one of the traditions associated with
graduation in USA high schools. It also shows how school experiences
shape a person’s attitude to life.

INTERACTIVE READING
Read the story and say whether we have similar graduation tradi-
tions in our schools? What is in common and how are they different?
After reading the story, do a test and some other exercises to enhance
your comprehension and build your vocabulary.
While reading, you will come across a number of culturally marked
words. Most of them can be found in the Glossary at the end of the
book. As for the culturally marked words in italics, they are not includ-
ed into the Glossary, so be sure to consult the Internet sources, other
dictionaries and encyclopedias to find out their cultural background.

DEAR JOHN

It was the last day of school, the last day I would ever walk down
those halls as a student. I had a few things to take care of before the re-
hearsal for our graduation cere­mony. I had to return my school library
books and pay a “shop-class” fine from my sophomore year when I
had bro­ken Seth’s project and was supposed to pay to replace his kit.
I was always clumsy around him, and that time I had knocked over
the birdhouse he had made. It had tumbled and shattered at our feet.
We were on our knees picking up the pieces when our hands
brushed against each other. I felt the same electricity I had first felt in
fourth grade when he grabbed my hand for a Red Rover game.
62
I looked into his eyes, and he looked into mine. I thought that maybe
this time he would notice me. My heart fluttered. I flushed with embar-
rassment and antici­pation. Just an inch closer and he could kiss me.
Seth parted his lips and said, “Hey, why are you all red? It’s not
that hot in here.” I guess it wasn’t.
Seth and I had a different circle of friends. His were the outgoing,
athletic, school council, homecoming court, merit scholar type. Mine
weren’t.
As our class assembled in the gym for graduation rehearsal, I
couldn’t help but feel sentimental. My mood lifted when Seth sat down
in front of me, until I re­membered that this would be the last day he
would be part of my daily life.
The announcements droned on and on. Yearbooks started circulat-
ing for last minute signings. When Seth’s was handed to me, I auto-
graphed my senior picture and was about to pass it to the next person
when the thought hit me. What did I have to lose by telling him now?
I tapped my pen on my teeth while I composed the note in my
head. It had to be perfect. My hand shook when I began to write.
Dear Seth,
I have been in the background of your life since elementary school.
You have meant more to me than I have to you. I wished that we could
have known each other better and spent some time together. I will al-
ways remember you and wish you a great life.
Forever, Cindy
I closed his book and passed it on before I could change my mind.
As I scribbled my name in other books, I began to imagine and then
to hope that maybe, just maybe, my yearbook would come back to me
with a similar message from Seth.
It wasn’t until the bus ride home that afternoon that I finally had
the nerve to open my book and look for Seth’s picture. In its corner he
had written, “To Cindy, whoever you are, Seth.”
I can’t say that I was crushed. I didn’t expect anything more, re-
ally. I could’ve worried about what I wrote in his book, but I guessed
he wouldn’t know or care who I was, anyway. Still, his terse message
did hurt. He didn’t have to prove that I was invisible to him.
63
I was one step away from a “what a jerk” conclusion, but I just
couldn’t go that far after years of holding his perfect image in my mind.
I was putting my book into my backpack when the guy behind me
tapped me on the shoulder. “Sign my book?”
“Sure,” I said and handed him mine. I found my picture again and
scribbled, “Good luck, from Cindy.”
With the whirl of graduation and the activity of early summer days,
it was a week before I thought to open my backpack. My yearbook
was on top, and I sat down on the edge of my bed to thumb through it.
I cringed when I reread Seth’s message to me.
What a sorry thing that a guy could just overlook some­one, no
matter how nice she might be or how much she cared about him, just
because she wasn’t part of his circle.
It was then that I noticed another inscription. The friendly smile in
the picture looked vaguely familiar.
Dear Cindy,
I was new this year. You are the first person I noticed. I’ve been
sitting behind you in English Lit and I looked for you to come in every
day. I wished we could’ve gotten to know each other and spent time
together. I will always think of you and remember you.
Forever, John
My heart sank as I realized the truth. I had done to John what
Seth had done to me. I hadn’t taken the time to know him, because,
well, I didn’t already know him. I had dismissed him without really
seeing him.
I still feel a pinch of remorse when I remember that moment. Ever
since that day, I have tried to notice and acknowledge the people in
my daily life.
I had barely taken a thought to scribbling my name in John’s book,
but his message to me has been written across my life.
Cynthia M. Hamond
[From Chicken soup for the teenage soul IV: stories of life,
love, learning [compiled by] Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
(2004). – p. 125–128].

64
WHILE-READING ACTIVITIES
Decide if the statements are true (T) or false (F).
1. Cynthia, the I-of-the-story, was in love with John. ___
2. Cynthia fell in love with Seth when she broke his project in her
sophomore year.
3. Seth never paid attention to Cynthia. ___
4. Cynthia gave her photo with a declaration of love to Seth as her
graduation present. ___
5. Seth’s message in Cynthia’s book showed she was wrong about
his attitude to her. ___
6. Seth overlooked Cynthia because she was not very nice or intel-
ligent. ___
7. Cynthia did to John the same as Seth to her. ___

Choose the correct variant.


1. Cynthia did not have much of a chance to be noticed by Seth
because …
a. she was not nice or intelligent.
b. they belonged to different social circles.
c. her friends weren’t the right type.
d. he was too busy with studies and sports and social activities.
2. Seth’s message in Cynthia’s graduation book showed that …
a. he never liked her.
b. he was very angry at her about the home class project.
c. he strongly disliked her.
d. he didn’t even know her.
3. When Cynthia wrote about her love in Seth’s yearbook, he …
a. realized that a great love passed by him.
b. felt sorry he was so inattentive.
c. most possibly thought she was stupid.
d. most possibly did not understand who she was.
4. When Cynthia read Seth’s message, she …
a. was surprised.
b. was angry and disappointed.
c. was not surprised, but hurt.
65
d. realized that he wasn’t her type.
5. Cynthia did not pay attention to John because …
a. he was new at the school.
b. she thought about Seth too much to pay attention to things
around her.
c. he was not very interesting.
d. he was the wrong type for her.
6. The most important lesson Cynthia learned was that …
a. one should not make friends with people from a different so-
cial circle.
b. if you are not attentive, you can overlook your real love.
c. one should pay attention to people.
d. one should not judge by appearance, but try to get to know a
person.

While discussing the story, you will want to use a number of


words from the story. Can you identify them by their Russian equiva-
lents? Write down the words and phrases in your vocabulary book.
Дружелюбный, отзывчивый;
нацарапать, кое-как написать;
иметь мужество сделать что-то;
съежиться (от боли, от стыда);
не обратить внимание;
отделываться от кого-то/чего-то;
укол раскаяния.

Translate the underlined phrases in the following sentences


from the story:
1. I had bro­ken Seth’s project and was supposed to pay to replace
his kit.
2. My heart fluttered.
3. The announcements droned on and on.
4. To Cindy, whoever you are, Seth.
5. Still, his terse message did hurt.

66
6. I was one step away from a “what a jerk” conclusion, but I just
couldn’t go that far after years of holding his perfect image in my mind.
7. My heart sank…
8. I have tried to notice and acknowledge the people in my daily life.
9. I had barely taken a thought to scribbling my name in John’s
book, but his message to me has been written across my life.

Match the columns to define the cultural lacunas on the left af-
ter you have done some search in the Internet.
1. School a) known as Industrial Arts, a school program ex-
council posing children to the basics of home repair, manual
craftsmanship, and machine safety.
2. Homecoming b) а second year student at high school, college or
court university.
3. Shop-class c) а group of officers, elected by students and con-
sisting of students and some faculty members who
takes part in the regulation of educational, disciplin-
ary, and extracurricular activities at school and lis-
tens to the grievances of students.
4.sophomore d) an outdoor game played primarily by children on
year playgrounds, requiring around 10 or more players total.
5. Red Rover e) a representative group of students that consists of
game a King and Queen, and possibly Prince (s) and Prin-
cess (es) who are most often elected from students
completing their final years of study at their school,
who have done a lot to contribute to their school.
Then students vote for members of the Court from
the nominees. Local rules determine when the
Homecoming Queen and King are crowned.

ENHANCING COMPREHENSION
Look through the story and find the paragraphs describing
– Cynthia’s feelings after getting Seth’s message;
– Cynthia’s feelings when she realized what she had done to John.
Translate them.

67
Answer the following questions:
1. Do you think Seth’s attitude towards Cynthia was as romantic
as hers?
2. How did Cynthia account for his lack of sympathy toward he-
rself?
3. What did Seth’s message in the yearbook tell Cynthia?
4. Why did not Cynthia notice John?
5. How did this situation influence Cynthia’s further life?

CULTURE PERSPECTIVE
1. Comment on the cultural background of the word school co-
uncil. State what is in common and what is different from its Russian
counterpart.
2. Is there a similar realia in Russian school culture for homecom-
ing court? But before you have to clearly understand what homecomi-
ng is in US high schools. Comment on both, the glossary will be quite
helpful. Try to find additional cultural clues in the Internet.
3. How did you understand merit scholar type students?
4. How is graduation ceremony in US high schools different from
the similar ceremony in Russia? Do we have graduation rehearsals
like they do in the USA? Can you name any reasons why?
5. Is there a class in Russian schools similar to a shop-class in
USA high schools? How would you translate it for a non-English-spe-
aking person from Russia?
6. Share the information you have found about the Red Rover
Game. Will you explain the rules of the game? Is there a similar Rus-
sian game? How are they different?

SUMMARIZING
Give a short account of the story from John’s/Seth’s viewpoint.

LEADS TO DISCUSSION
1. Cynthia and Seth belonged to different social groups. Do you
think people from different social groups can be good friends or more?

68
What is it that attracts people first about the people who become our
friends?
2. There is a famous saying ‘Do unto others like you want to be
done unto’. Does it apply to the story? Explain in what way.
3. Do you remember any situation from your life when a person
you first disliked or did not pay attention to became an important part
of your life? Do first impressions matter so much?
4. The story features a tradition connected with graduation from
high school in the USA. Do we have a similar tradition here in Russia?
What are other graduation traditions in Russia?
6. Do you know all your classmates? Seth did not know Cynthia
well enough and Cynthia did not know John. How was it possible if
they were in the same class? Explain the phenomenon to a Russian
student who is unaware of the peculiarities of the USA high school
curriculum.

CULTURAL WEB
Having read and discussed the story, you can add some new cu-
lturally marked words to the Web regarding school organization and
management, learning and school social activities.

PROJECT WORK
Now that you have finished reading and discussing USA high sc-
hool culture, do a final project in the form of a school curriculum of
a real high school in the USA, or an advertizing booklet of any USA
high school, or a presentation of sport activities in a school, or any oth-
er school event like Homecoming, a prom, mock elections, graduation
ceremony etc. Make a colorful slide presentation, using the Internet
resources, encyclopedias.

69
2. COLLEGE

STORY 8.
THE WONDER YEARS

PRE-READING TALK
As you probably know the admissions offices in most USA col-
leges and universities require that applicants should submit a college
admission essay as part of the application package.
Read the essay and say if it made an impression on the admissions
officer? Why?

THE WONDER YEARS


[EDITORS’ NOTE: This is an NYU (New York University) col-
lege admission application essay question and the actual answer.]

Question:
In order for the admissions staff of our college to get to know
you, the applicant, better, we ask that you answer the following ques-
tion: “Are there any significant experiences you have had, or accom-
plishments you have realized, that have helped to define you as a per-
son?”
Answer:
I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice
with my bare hands. I have been known to remodel train stations on my
lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention.
I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees. I write award-winning op-
eras. I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I tread water for three
days in a row. I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone
playing. I can pilot bicycles up several inclines with unflagging speed,
and I cook thirty-minute brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in
stucco, a veteran in love and an outlaw in Peru. Using only a hoe and
a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village
in the Amazon basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play blue-
70
grass cello. I was scouted by the Mets. I am the subject of the numer-
ous documentaries. When I am bored, I build large-suspension bridges
in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school,
I repair electrical appliances free of charge. I am an abstract artist, a
concrete analyst and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over
my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don’t perspire. I am a pri-
vate citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and
have won the weekend passes.
Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-
force demonstration. I bat .400. My deft floral arrangements have
earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me.
I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accu-
racy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick and David Copperfield
in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining-room that
evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the super-
market. I have performed several covert operations with the CIA.
I sleep once a week; and when I sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on
vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terror-
ists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply
to me. I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic and my bills are all paid.
On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami.
Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down.
I have made extraordinary four-course meals using only a mouli and
a toaster-oven. I breed prize-winning clams. I have won bullfights in
Sun Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka and spelling bees at
the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart sur-
gery and I have spoken with Elvis.
But I have not gone to college.
He was accepted.
Huge Gallagher
[From Chicken soup for the college soul: inspiring and humor-
ous stories about college [compiled by] Jack Canfield, Mark Victor
Hansen, Kimberly Kirberger, Dan Clark. Health Communications,
Inc. Deerfield Beach, Florida (1999). – p. 2–4].

71
What is your opinion of the essay? What impressed you most of
all? How does the essay characterize the applicant? Do you think it is
worth while introducing a college admission essay at universities in
Russia?
Imagine you are applying to one of the USA universities. At home
write a one-page college admission essay, discuss the most interesting
essays with your teacher in class.

STORY 9.
THE ENVELOPE, PLEASE

PRE-READING TALK
It has been said that people grow and develop the most during two
periods of their lives: before the age of five and during college. The
first chance for development comes naturally to everyone. But getting
the second chance takes more effort — one must first be admitted to
college, which is certainly no easy experience. Do you know how to
enter a college or a university here in Russia? What kind of exams are
you to take? What kind of documents are you to supply? Is the USA
admission practice similar or different from that in Russia? What do
you know about it?

INTERACTIVE READING
Read the following story told by a University of Massachusetts
student to find out how admission practices are carried out in the USA.
Would you call her experience happy or unhappy?
After reading the story, do a test and some other exercises to en-
hance your comprehension and build your vocabulary. While reading,
you will come across a number of culturally marked words. Most of
them can be found in the Glossary at the end of the book. As for the
culturally marked words in italics, they are not included into the Glos-
sary, so be sure to consult the Internet sources, dictionaries or encyclo-
pedias to find out what they mean.

72
THE ENVELOPE, PLEASE

The people who get on in this world are the


people who get up and look for the circum­stances
they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.
George Bernard Shaw

When I found out I didn’t get into the colleges I wanted to go


to, I was in New York City on a school trip. I called home from a
pay phone, and my little sister, Alex, said four envelopes had arrived:
Georgetown, Cornell, William and Mary and the University of Mas-
sachusetts. She then opened and read them to me in her adenoidal,
ten-year-old voice: “We regret that we do not have a place for you...”
Rejected from Georgetown. “You were one of many qualified can-
didates. . . .” Rejected from Cornell. And number seventy-three on a
waiting list of seventy-five at William and Mary. Accepted to U Mass,
my safety school.
I didn’t digest the rejections immediately. I toured the United Na-
tions, took Amtrak home and went back to school. Then I realized that
other people had gotten into schools they really wanted to go to. Up to
that point in my seventeen years, I hadn’t really failed at anything. I got
good grades, made varsity and scored well on my SATs. I hadn’t expe-
rienced any major disappointments in my life — no deaths, no disease,
no divorce, no cavities even. So being rejected seemed apocalyptic.
I had always assumed I’d go to one of the “good schools.” I really
wanted to be chosen: This is the place for smart people, and we want
you. U Mass, on the other hand, had the reputation of being a party
school — to which, come September, I’d be headed with the guy who
sat next to me in tenth-grade history and who, during tests, left his
book open on the floor and flipped through it with his feet.
I became bitter. I compared everyone’s grades and tal­ents to
my own in a desperate attempt to make my own misfortune add up.
“Of course she got into Harvard. Her dad went there. Who needs a
frontal lobe when you’re a legacy?” I was melodramatic. Talking to
teachers, relatives or friends, I’d say, “I’m going to U Mass,” pro-
73
jecting my indignation onto them. Not U Mass, I’d imagine them
thinking. Not you. I’d draw a deep breath, raise my eye­brows and
frown slightly, like some old Yankee farmer confirming the death of
a faithful plow-ox.
I did not get proactive like my friend Heather, who, having been
rejected by her first choice, made I Love Lucy-style plans to drive to
the Duke campus with her soccer ball and her science-fair project to
show the admissions board exactly what they were rejecting. I sim-
ply adopted the mantra, “I’ll transfer after one semester.” And I’d say
things like, “I’ve decided to forego the bachelor’s degree and take a
cake-decorating course.” The subtext in all these conversations was:
I’m stupid. The world isn’t fair. I made my jokes right up to the regis-
tration desk in my dorm, where I had my little sister present my paper-
work and pretend to be me.
The strangest thing happened, though: I liked U Mass. I met Mar-
ci, my soul mate whose first choice had also been Cornell. However,
U Mass had been her second. Finally I’d found someone who would
take a nightly three-mile jog with me to buy a sundae. And I met lots
of other smart, funny, interesting people.
I liked my classes, too. It didn’t take me that long to figure out that
basically, college is college, wherever. Sometimes on weekends, when
I didn’t want to see any­one I knew, I’d head downtown to study in the
library at Amherst College — the Shangri-la of competitive colleges.
Walking across campus, I’d think, Why don’t I go here? Inside, the
students weren’t so unlike the ones back at U Mass, whether they were
studying, napping or procrasti­nating. I realized that trading U Mass for
any other school would be a pretty shallow move: I’d be deserting my
friends and my classes so I could have some Oriental rugs and hi-pro
name on my T-shirts, diploma and resume.
Now I only occasionally wonder if going to some fancy-pants
school would have made a difference in my life. My one friend from
Amherst calls me every so often — collect — to beweep her unsatisfy-
ing stints as a waitress or a receptionist at a company whose name she
can’t pro­nounce. She tends to say, “God, I should have just gone to U
Mass.” And then, “The real world is so unfair.”
74
Welcome to it, I think.
Rory Evans
[From Chicken soup for the college soul: inspiring and humor-
ous stories about college [compiled by] Jack Canfield, Mark Victor
Hansen, Kimberly Kirberger, Dan Clark. Health Communications,
Inc. Deerfield Beach, Florida (1999). – p. 16–18].

WHILE-READING ACTIVITIES
Decide if the statements are true (T) or false (F).
1. The story-teller was accepted to the college she applied to. _____
2. The University of Massachusetts was not as prestigious as oth-
er universities the girl applied to._________
3. The story-teller went to one of the prestigious colleges she had
not been accepted by to make them understand what they were reject-
ing.________
4. The story-teller didn’t transfer to another college after a term,
only because she had met lots of funny, interesting people at U Mass.
________
5. Judging by her friend’s experience, the story-teller would en-
joy life more if she had entered another college than under the present
circumstances. __________

Choose the correct variant.


1. The rejection made the story-teller …
a. develop a depression and an inferiority complex.
b. hate and envy those who were accepted to “good schools”.
c. collect herself and do her best to get into the college she liked.
d. forego higher education and take a cake-decorating course.
2. The girl did not like the University of Massachusetts because…
a. it was not so popular and prestigious as other universities she
applied to.
b. she would have to study with her former classmates there.
c. the students accepted by the University of Massachusetts
were not as bright as those accepted by Harvard or William and Mary
or others.
75
d. none of the above.
3. The story-teller’s friend Heather …
a. got into the college she liked.
b. reacted differently to the news about being rejected.
c. was accepted because she drove to the Duke campus and
showed the admissions board what they were rejecting.
d. all of the above.
4. Now the storyteller …
a. studies at the University of Massachusetts.
b. studies at Amherst.
c. studies at the University of Massachusetts and attends some
classes at Amherst.
d. studies at the University of Massachusetts and occasionally
goes to Amherst Library.
5. The girl is not going to transfer any longer, because…
a. she met her soul mate at U Mass.
b. she could see that students were not different at all at U Mass
and at Amherst.
c. she liked her classes.
d. all of the above.

Provide Russian equivalents to the following words and phrases


from the story
Paperwork,
soul mate,
competitive colleges,
to nap,
to trade for,
to call collect,
to score well on some exam,
to make varsity.

Comment on the following phrases and expressions from the


story. Paraphrase them in your own words. What kind of feeling or
attitude do they help to convey?
76
1. Accepted to U Mass, my safety school.
2. I didn’t digest the rejections immediately.
3. U Mass, on the other hand, had the reputation of a party
school — to which, come September, I’d be headed with the guy
who sat next to me in tenth-grade history and who, during tests, left
his book open on the floor and flipped through it with his feet.
4. I simply adopted the mantra, ‘I’ll transfer after one semester”.
6. Amherst College — the Shangri-la of competitive colleges.
7. …trading U Mass for any other school would be a pretty shal-
low move.
8. I’d be deserting my friends and my classes so I could have some
Oriental rugs and hi-pro name on my T-shirts, diploma and resume.

Match the columns to define the cultural lacunas on the left af-
ter you have done some search in the Internet.
1. Bachelor a) a private, independent liberal-arts college for
men and women in Amherst, Massachusetts, U.S.,
established in 1821.
2. Cornell b) a standardized test for college admissions in the
United States.
3. SAT c) a coeducational institution of higher education
in Ithaca, New York, U.SA., one of the Ivy League
schools.
4. Harvard d) one of the oldest institutions of higher learning
in the United States (founded 1636) and one of the
nation’s most prestigious.
5. Amherst e) a person who is awarded the lowest degree
College conferred by a four-year college, university.

ENHANCING COMPREHENSION
Look through the story and describe:
– the story-teller’s attitude to U Mass,
– her feelings about being rejected,
– the change of attitude to U Mass she experienced.

77
CULTURE PERSPECTIVE
1. Comment on the cultural peculiarities of a USA college and
University. Consult the Glossary. Are they used as synonyms in USA
Higher Education? How different are they?
2. There seemed to be a misunderstanding when the word college
was borrowed and the school was integrated into the Russian educa-
tional system. It seems the Russian word колледж originated from the
American community college which is a two-year higher educational
institution. Is the Russian counterpart an institution of higher educa-
tion? Look for some additional information about USA community
colleges in the Glossary or elsewhere and learn about its major differ-
ences from the Russian колледж.
3. What is SAT? Consult the Glossary. What parts does it consist
of? Is SATII required by all universities and colleges? When can one
take SATs? Does a good score in SATII allow enrollment to a higher
level college course or even exempt the student from the entire college
requirement in that subject?
4. Are there special accommodations for taking SATs by students
with documented visual, hearing, learning or physical disabilities?
How are SATs graded? What is the average score?
5. Which of the SATs does the Federal Exam in Russia (ЕГЭ)
similar to? Comment on the differences.
6. What kind of privileges does a high school graduate have if he/
she is a legacy? Consult the Glossary. Do you think it is fair play? Do
high school graduates have a similar privilege when entering universi-
ties in Russia?
7. What are college admission requirements in the USA? Consult
the Glossary and try to find additional cultural clues in the Internet. Do
admissions boards work on a year-around schedule in USA colleges?
What paperwork do you have to send to the admissions board? What
is common and what is different in admissions practices in universities
in Russia and the USA?
8. What academic degrees are awarded in the US postsecond-
ary education? Comment on the differences between Bachelor of Arts
(BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS). Are there any differences in Bach-
78
elor degrees in Russia and the USA? What other academic or profes-
sional degrees can you earn in USA universities and colleges?
9. Comment on the cultural peculiarities of the college diploma
in the USA.
10. Consult the Internet and encyclopedias to learn what kind of
culture-specific phenomenon the word dormitory (dorm) represents.
You can also come across residence halls on a USA college campus.
Is there any difference between the two? Consult the Glossary. How
different are college dorms here in Russia and the USA? Look for ad-
ditional information in the Internet.
11. Share the information you have found about the italicized cul-
turally marked words with your group mates: a school trip, George-
town, Cornell, William and Mary, the University of Massachusetts,
Harvard.

SUMMARIZING
Pretend to be Rory’s friend Heather/ her sister Alex. Give a short
account of what happened to the story-teller from their viewpoints.

LEADS TO DISCUSSION
1. Can you explain the title of the story? Provide an alternative
title to convey the main idea of the story more clearly?
2. Was being rejected really as apocalyptic as it seemed to Rory?
Would you feel the same?
3. Compare how the story-teller and her friend Heather reacted
to being rejected. Whose reaction do you think was more natural and
effective? How would you react in a similar situation?
4. Read the epigraph to the story once more. Do you think it ap-
plies to the story-teller?
5. What is your attitude to the new college admissions practices in
Russia? Do you rather prefer taking college entrance exams like we used
to do in the past? What is your personal attitude to the Federal Exam?
Why do you think there is so much controversy about it in society?
6. Summarize the differences between SATII and the Federal
Exam in Russia.
79
CULTURAL WEB
Having read and discussed the story, you can add some new cul-
turally marked words to the Web concerning college organization and
management, learning and social activities.

PROJECT WORK
In groups of 2–3 collect information about admissions require-
ments of any USA university or a four year college, role-play the ad-
missions officer’s visit to a high school aimed at informing the senior
students about the university/college and motivating them to make the
right choice. Get ready with a colorful slide presentation.

STORY 10.
PIANO MUSIC

PRE-READING TALK
Now you know quite a lot about the admission process in USA
colleges, don’t you? What are the major sources of financial support
an American university student can rely on? What else do you think a
student can do to cover college expenses? Read the next story “Piano
Music” to find out about another financial option for college students.

INTERACTIVE READING
Read the story and say whether the girl enjoyed helping the old
couple. Why?
After reading the story, do a test and some exercises to enhance
your comprehension and build your vocabulary.
While reading, you will come across a number of culturally
marked words. Most of them can be found in the Glossary at the
end of the book. As for the culturally-marked words in italics, they
are not included into the Glossary, so be sure to consult the Internet
sources, other dictionaries and encyclopedias to find out their cultural
background.

80
PIANO MUSIC

There are advantages and disadvantages to coming from a large


family. Make that a large family with a single parent, and they double.
The disadvantages are never so apparent as when someone wants to go
off to college. Parents have cashed in life insurance policies to cover
the cost of one year.
My mother knew that she could not send me to school and pay for
it. She worked in a retail store and made just enough to pay the bills
and take care of the other children at home. If I wanted to go to col-
lege, it was up to me to find out how to get there.
I found that I qualified for some grants because of the size of our
family, my mom’s income and my SAT scores. There was enough to
cover school and books, but not enough for room and board. I ac-
cepted a job as part of a work-study program. While not glamorous, it
was one I could do. I washed dishes in the school cafeteria.
To help myself study, I made flash cards that fit perfectly on the
large metal dishwasher. After I loaded the racks, I stood there and
flipped cards, learning the makeup of atoms while water and steam
broke them down all around me. I learned how to make у equal to
z while placing dishes in stacks. My wrinkled fingers flipped many
a card, and many times my tired brain drifted off, and a glass would
crash to the floor. My grades went up and down. It was the hardest
work I had ever done.
Just when I thought the bottom was going to drop out of my col-
lege career, an angel appeared. Well, one of those that are on earth,
without wings. “I heard that you need some help,” he said.
“What do you mean?” I asked, trying to figure out which area of
my life he meant.
“Financially, to stay in school.”
“Well, I make it okay. I just have trouble working all these hours
and finding time to study.”
“Well, I think I have a way to help you.” He went on to explain that
his grandparents needed help on the weekends. All that was required
of me was cooking meals and helping them get in and out of bed in the
81
morning and evening. The job paid four hundred dol­lars a month, twice
the money I was making washing dishes. Now I would have time to
study. I went to meet his grandparents and accepted the job.
My first discovery was his grandmother’s great love of music. She
spent hours playing her old, off-key piano. One day, she told me I
didn’t have enough fun in my life and took it upon herself to teach
me the art. My campus had several practice rooms with pianos where
music majors could practice. I found myself going into those rooms
more and more often.
Grandma was impressed with my ability and encour­aged me to
continue. Weekends in their house became more than just books and
cooking; they were filled with the wonderful sounds of the out-of-tune
piano and two very out-of-tune singers.
When Christmas break came, Grandma got a chest cold, and I was
afraid to leave her. I hadn’t been home since Labor Day, and my fam-
ily was anxious to see me. I agreed to come home, but for two weeks
instead of four, so I could return to Grandma and Grandpa. I said my
good-byes, arranged for their temporary care and returned home.
As I was loading my car to go back to school, the phone rang.
“Daneen, don’t rush back,” he said.
“Why? What’s wrong?” I asked, panic rising.
“Grandma died last night, and we have decided to put Grandpa in
a retirement home. I’m sorry.”
I hung up the phone feeling like my world had ended. I had lost
my friend, and that was far worse than knowing I would have to return
to dishwashing.
I went back at the end of four weeks, asking to begin the work-
study program again. The financial aid advisor looked at me as if I had
lost my mind. I explained my posi­tion, then he smiled and slid me an
envelope. “This is for you,” he said.
It was from Grandma. She had known how sick she was. In the
envelope was enough money to pay for the rest of my school year and
a request that I take piano lessons in her memory.
I don’t think “The Old Grey Mare” was ever played with more
feeling than it was my second year in college. Now, years later, when
82
I walk by a piano, I smile and think of Grandma. She is tearing up the
ivories in heaven, I am sure.
Daneen Kaufman Wedekind
Huge Gallagher
[From Chicken soup for the college soul: inspiring and humor-
ous stories about college [compiled by] Jack Canfield, Mark Victor
Hansen, Kimberly Kirberger, Dan Clark. Health Communications,
Inc. Deerfield Beach, Florida (1999). – p. 184–186].

WHILE-READING ACTIVITIES
Decide whether the statement is true (T) or false (F).
1. Daneen had to work to pay her tuition. _________
2. Daneen’s first job was not very difficult, but very tiring.
_______
3. Daneen had to leave her second job, because the family de-
cided to give up her service and put the old couple into a retirement
home. _______
4. Daneen was upset, because she was losing a lot financially.
_________
5. Grandma paid the tuition for all the remaining university
years. _________

Choose the correct variant.


1. Daneen’s family …
a. cashed in the life insurance policies to cover the cost of one
year.
b. were not able to support her.
c. found her a job to enable her to pay for room and board.
d. made just enough to cover school and books, but not enough
for room and board.
2. The problem with the girl’s first job was that …
a. it didn’t pay enough money to cover the expenses.
b. it was very hard to do.
c. it was not glamorous.

83
d. it required a lot of time and was difficult to combine with
studies.
3. Daneen’s second job was offered by …
a. an angel.
b. the family.
c. the financial aid advisor.
d. an acquaintance of hers, maybe, a group-mate.
4. The second job enabled the girl to…
a. make more money.
b. have more time to study.
c. have more fun in life.
d. all of the above
5. Grandma died because …
a. Daneen had left for holidays and the old lady was not taken
proper care of.
b. she missed Daneen.
c. she was too old.
d. because of a chest cold.
6. The financial advisor looked at Daneen as if she had lost her
mind, because..
a. he thought she was mad.
b. he was very surprised.
c. he knew that Grandma had left the girl some money, so she
didn’t have to work.
d. none of the above

Look through the story and find English equivalents for the fol-
lowing key words you will need to discuss Daneen’s story:
Покрывать расходы,
доход,
жилье и питание,
перелистывать, перебирать (о картах, карточках)
подбадривать,
расстроенный (о музыкальном инструменте).

84
Paraphrase the underlined phrases in the following sentences
from the story:
1. .. My wrinkled fingers flipped many a card, and many times
my tired brain drifted off ...
2. Just when I thought the bottom was going to drop out of my
college career …
3. …my family was anxious to see me…
4. I hung up the phone feeling like my world had ended…
5. The financial aid advisor looked at me as if I had lost my mind.
6. She is tearing up the ivories in heaven, I am sure.

Match the columns to define the cultural lacunas on the left after
you have done some search in the Internet and in the Glossary.
1. Grant a) an academic subject chosen as a field of speciali-
zation.
2. Work-study b) a gift of money to needy students to pay for tuition.
program
3. Major c) a United States federally funded program that
helps students earn financial funding through a part-
time work program.
4. Christmas d) in the United States and Canada, holiday (first
break Monday in September) honoring workers and rec-
ognizing their contributions to society.
5. Labor Day e) winter break or winter recess at schools and uni-
versities, includes both the Christmas and New Year
holidays.

ENHANCING COMPREHENSION
Look through the text and find the information to explain the
following facts in the story.
1. Daneen’s family was unable to send her to college and pay
for her.
2. Dishwashing in the school cafeteria turned out to be the hard-
est job Daneen had ever done.
3. Daneen rather enjoyed her second job.
85
4. Daneen was extremely upset when Grandma died.
5. Daneen could afford to stay away from work till the end of her
second year at college.

Answer the following questions:


Why do you think Daneen’s grades went up and down?
Why did the girl like her new job better? Is it only because it paid
twice as much money as the previous job?
Why did Grandma encourage Daneen to continue her piano classes?
Was the girl worried about Grandma’s health? Why?
Do you think she was very sorry and upset to learn that Grandma
had passed away?
Do you think Grandma and her piano music made a great impact
on Daneen’s life? Give reasons.

CULTURE PERSPECTIVE
1. As USA higher education is not free, a student has to pay for
tuition and books, room and board and fees. Of course he/she can get
financial aid both from the state and federal governments, different
funds, public organizations, businesses. Consult the Glossary about
different forms of financial aid in US colleges and universities. Which
of them are merit-based and need-based?
2. What financial aid can a student get if he/she comes from a
low-income family?
3. Comment on the work-study program. What kind of jobs can
be offered as part of the work-study program? Can you get cash for the
work you do?
4. Comment on the culturally marked word major. What can you
major in if you are an undergraduate in Liberal Arts College? What is
a minor? How can you interpret the two words in Russian?
5. Paraphrase the sentences containing culturally marked words
from the story:
a) I found that I qualified for some grants because of the size of
our family, my mom’s income and my SAT scores.
b) I washed dishes in the school cafeteria.
86
c) I went back at the end of four weeks, asking to begin the work-
study program again.
d) My campus had several practice rooms with pianos where mu-
sic majors could practice.
6. Senior citizens in the USA can choose a number of residential
facilities if they can’t manage on their own due to poor health or dis-
ease. There are some options: a nursing home, assisted living or home
health care. What do these options provide?
How can you interpret these culturally marked words into Rus-
sian? Are there similar institutions for elderly sick people in Russia?
Look for the information in the Internet to be able to discuss the prob-
lem in class.

Share the information you have found about the italicized cul-
turally marked words with your group mates:
Christmas break, Labor Day, financial aid advisor, ‘The Old Grey
Mare’

SUMMARIZING
A. Sum up the story as if you were Daneen explaining to her
mother why she does not have to begin work-study program again till
the end of the second year.
B. Sum up the story as if you were Daneen’s friend who offered
her the second job.

LEADS TO DISCUSSION
1. How would you describe Daneen’s character? What do you
think helped her cope with all the problems?
2. Do you remember how Daneen helped herself study using flash
cards? Do you have any experience when you had to multitask, that is,
do several things at the same time? How did you cope? What did you
do to help yourself study?
3. What do you think of Grandma? Why do you think she paid
Daneen’s tuition?

87
4. In Daneen’s story help came from a very unexpected source?
Do you think it was by chance? Does it often happen like this in life?
5. Summarize all possible forms of financial aid a USA student
can get, both merit-based and need-based.
6. What kind of job can you find in Russia if you are a student?
Are there any work-study programs here like the one Daneen joined?
7. What kind of job would you prefer: to take care of elderly
people or wash dishes? Why?
8. Comment on financial aid options a student in Russia can get
to pay for tuition.

CULTURAL WEB
Having read and discussed the story, you can add some new cul-
turally marked words to the Web describing college organization and
management, learning or social activities.

PROJECT WORK
1. Google the official site of the SAT exam and make a presenta-
tion on how it is processed: when it can be taken, where, who assesses
it, how many colleges or universities a high school leaver can send his
admissions paperwork to. Study a sample SAT exam and comment on
the tasks.
2. Google the USA Federal Department of Education official site
and get information about tuition costs at a private university/col-
lege, state university, a four year college and a community two year
college. How is it comparable with tuition fees in Russian private
universities?
3. Go to the homepage of a USA university of your choice and
comment on the total cost of one school year including tuition, room
and board, books, and student fees.

88
STORY 11.
IF THE DREAM IS BIG ENOUGH,
THE FACTS DON’T COUNT
PRE-READING TALK

What is necessary to enter college? You will surely recall such


things as high grades, social activities and academic achievement. But
what else, apart from academic achievement, counts when you ap-
ply to university? To answer this question read the next story “If the
Dream is Big Enough, the Facts Don’t Count”.

INTERACTIVE READING
Read the story and say why do you think Rachel achieved her
objective, though she had severe learning disabilities? After reading
the story, do a test and some other exercises to enhance your compre-
hension and build your vocabulary.
While reading, you will come across a number of culturally
marked words. Most of them can be found in the Glossary at the end
of the book. As for the culturally marked words in italics, they are not
included into the Glossary, so be sure to consult Internet resources,
dictionaries or encyclopedias to find out what they mean.

IF THE DREAM IS BIG ENOUGH,


THE FACTS DON’T COUNT

I used to watch her from my kitchen window and laugh. She


seemed so small as she muscled her way through the crowd of boys on
the playground. The school was across the street from our home, and I
often stood at my window, hands buried in dishwater or cookie dough,
watching the kids as they played during recess. A sea of children, and
yet to me, she stood out from them all.
I remember the first day I saw her playing basketball. I watched in
wonder as she ran circles around the other kids. She managed to shoot
jump-shots just over their heads and into the net. The boys always
tried to stop her, but no one could.
89
I began to notice her at other times, on that same black­top, basket-
ball in hand, playing alone. She practiced dribbling and shooting over
and over again, sometimes until dark. One day I asked her why she
practiced so much. As she turned her head, her dark ponytail whipped
quickly around, and she looked directly into my eyes. Without hesitat-
ing, she said, “I want to go to college. My dad wasn’t able to go to col-
lege, and he has talked to me about going for as long as I can remember.
The only way I can go is if I get a scholarship. I like basketball. I decided
that if I were good enough, I would get a scholarship. I am going to play
college basketball. I want to be the best. My daddy told me if the dream
is big enough, the facts don’t count.” Then she smiled and ran toward
the court to recap the routine I had seen over and over again.
Well, I had to give it to her — she was determined. I watched her
through those junior high years and into high school. Every week, she
led her varsity team to vic­tory. It was always a thrill to watch her play.
One day in her senior year, I saw her sitting in the grass, head cra-
dled in her arms. I walked across the street and sat down beside her.
Quietly I asked what was wrong.
“Oh, nothing,” came a soft reply. “I am just too short.” The coach
had told her that at five-feet, five-inches tall, she would probably never
get to play for a top-ranked team — much less be offered a scholar-
ship — so she should stop dreaming about college.
She was heartbroken, and I felt my own throat tighten as I sensed her
disappointment. I asked her if she had talked to her dad about it yet.
She lifted her head from her hands and told me that her father said
those coaches were wrong. They just did not understand the power of a
dream. He told her that if she really wanted to play for a good college,
if she truly wanted a scholarship, that nothing could stop her except
one thing — her own attitude. He told her again, “If the dream is big
enough, the facts don’t count.”
The next year, as she and her team went to the Northern California
Championship game, she was seen by a college recruiter who was
there to watch the opposing team. She was indeed offered a schol-
arship, a full ride, to an NCAA Division I women’s basketball team.
She accepted. She was going to get the college education that she had
90
dreamed of and worked toward for all those years. And that little girl
had more playing time as a freshman and sophomore than any other
woman in the history of that university.
Late one night, during her junior year of college, her father called
her. “I’m sick, Honey. I have cancer. No, don’t quit school and come
home. Everything will be okay. I love you.”
He died six weeks later — her hero, her dad. She did leave school
those last few days to support her mother and care for her father. Late
one night, during the final hours before his death, he called for her
in the darkness. As she came to his side, he reached for her hand and
struggled to speak. “Rachel, keep dreaming. Don’t let your dream die
with me. Promise me,” he pleaded. “Promise me.”
In those last few precious moments together, she replied, “I prom-
ise, Daddy.”
Those years to follow were hard on her. She was torn between school
and her family, knowing her mother was left alone with a new baby and
three other children to raise. The grief she felt over the loss of her father
was always there, hidden in that place she kept inside, waiting to raise its
head at some unsuspecting moment and drop her again to her knees.
Everything seemed harder. She struggled daily with fear, doubt
and frustration. A severe learning disability had forced her to go to
school year-round for three years just to keep up with requirements.
The testing facility on campus couldn’t believe she had made it through
even one semester. Every time she wanted to quit, she re­membered her
father’s words: “Rachel, keep dreaming. Don’t let your dream die. If
the dream is big enough, you can do anything! I believe in you.” And
of course, she remembered the promise she made to him.
My daughter kept her promise and completed her degree. It took
her six years, but she did not give up. She can still be found sometimes
as the sun sets, bouncing a basketball. And often I hear her tell others,
“If the dream is big enough, the facts don’t count.”
Cynthia Stewart-Copier
[From Chicken soup for the college soul: inspiring and humor-
ous stories about college [compiled by]Jack Canfield, Mark Victor
Hansen, Kimberly Kirberger, Dan Clark. Health Communications,
Inc. Deerfield Beach, Florida (1999). – p. 20–22].
91
WHILE-READING ACTIVITIES
Decide whether the statement is true or false.
1. The story-teller is the girl’s mother. _________
2. The girl came from a poor family with four children. ________
3. It was the girl’s father’s dream that the girl should go to college.
_________
4. Although the school basketball coach didn’t think much of her
chances, she was a success with the college basketball team. _______
5. The girl became a famous basketball player after she graduated
from college. _________
Choose the correct variant.
1. It was difficult for Rachel to enter college because …
a. she had a severe learning disability.
b. she came from a poor family.
c. she was not tall enough to play college basketball.
d. nobody in the family had been to college.
2. Rachel dreamt of going to college because …
a. her father wanted her to go to college.
b. she wanted to play college basketball.
c. her father, who hadn’t been able to go to college, inspired
her to.
d. she wanted to get a good job and provide for herself and her
family.
3. Rachel entered college because …
a. she was good enough at basketball to be noticed by a college
basketball trainer and to get a scholarship.
b. her parents saved and provided the money.
c. she earned enough money playing top rank basketball.
d. her school team trainer realized his mistake and helped her.
4. When Rachel’s father died, she …
a. left college to help her mother raise a new baby and three
other children.
b. didn’t leave school because he asked her not to.
c. left college for some time to care for her father and help her
mother.
92
d. left school for a short time to say “Good bye.” to her father.
5. It took Rachel 6 years to finish her degree …
a. because of the grief she felt over her father’s death.
b. because she had to help her mother to care for the other chil-
dren.
c. because of a severe learning disability.
d. because basketball took too much time.

Provide English equivalents from the text for the following key
words you will need to discuss the story:
Тренироваться,
убитый горем,
отношение,
сдержать обещание,
соответствовать требованиям,
верить в кого-либо
бросить, прекратить что-то делать.

Identify basketball terms in the story, write them out and trans-
late into Russian.

Translate the underlined phrases in the following sentences


from the story:
1. .. she muscled her way through the crowd of boys on the play-
ground.
2. Then she smiled and ran toward the court to recap the routine I
had seen over and over again.
3. Well, I had to give it to her — she was determined.
4. I felt my own throat tighten as I sensed her disappointment.
5. Those years to follow were hard on her.
6. The grief she felt over the loss of her father was always there,
hidden in that place she kept inside, waiting to raise its head at some
unsuspecting moment and drop her again to her knees.
7. A severe learning disability had forced her to go to school year-
round for three years just to keep up with requirements.
93
Match the columns to define the cultural lacunas on the left af-
ter you have done some search in the Internet and in the Glossary.
1. Scholarship a) the year preceding graduation from high school
or college.
2. Varsity team b) a college official responsible for finding new
players to their sports teams each off-season. In
most instances, it involves a coach extending an
athletic scholarship offer to a player who is about to
graduate from high school or a junior college.
3. Senior year c) National Collegiate Athletic Association,
organization in the United States that administers
intercollegiate athletics organized into three
divisions, each representing a different level of
4. College competition.
recruiter d) the principal team representing a university,
5. NCAA college, school, or club especially in a sport.
e) a grant to a student (as by a college or foundation)
to pay for educational costs.

ENHANCING COMPREHENSION
Look through the text and find the paragraph illustrating
– that Rachel was practicing hard to become a good basketball
player, that is to get a scholarship;
– how diligent she was to keep up with requirements.

Answer the questions:


1. Why was the girl so keen on playing basketball?
2. How did her father inspire her to work toward a scholarship?
3. Why did not her school coach think much of her chances?
4. What did the girl do when her father was dying of cancer?
5. What made it so difficult for the girl to complete her degree?

CULTURE PERSPECTIVE
What are the culturally marked words you were able to identify in
the story?
94
We have already discussed different forms of financial aid you
can get in college to cover your tuition and books, room and board and
student fees. In this story Rachel was working hard to get her scholar-
ship. What kind of scholarship is this? Comment on it using the infor-
mation from the Glossary or any other sources.
What is considered a learning disability? Does it need special
teaching or do students with learning disabilities study with the
rest of the students in USA schools? What are the practices here in
Russia?
Translate the sentences containing cultural lacunas from the
story:
a) Every week, she led her varsity team to vic­tory.
b) And that little girl had more playing time as a freshman and
sophomore than any other woman in the history of that university.
c) Late one night, during her junior year of college, her father
called her.
d) The testing facility on campus couldn’t believe she had made it
through even one semester.
e) My daughter kept her promise and completed her degree.
Share the information you have found about the italicized cultur-
ally marked words with your group mates:
varsity team, a college recruiter, NCAA Division I.

SUMMARIZING
The I of the story is the girl’s mother. Can you sum up the story
from the girl’s own viewpoint or from the school coach’s viewpoint?

LEADS TO DISCUSSION
1. What do you think the character in the story has in common
with Daneen from “Piano Music”? What are the differences?
2. Do you consider it fair play that good athletes have some privi-
leges entering college?
3. Can sports achievements help you enter university here in
Russia?

95
CULTURAL WEB
Having read and discussed the story, you can add some new cul-
turally marked words to the Web regarding college organization and
management, learning and social activities and relationships.

PROJECT WORK
1. Do a project on need-based and merit-based financial aid to
college students in the USA. Comment on the steps applicants have to
make to financial aid. Look for information on official sites of USA
colleges and universities.
2. In groups of two make a slide presentation of financial aid op-
tions an applicant can get in the USA and Russian universities.

STORY 12.
MAKING THE GRADE

PRE-READING TALK
What kind of things do people learn in class? Subjects? Facts and
figures? Names and natural and social laws? Practical skills? What can
you add to the list? What do you think the title suggests? Is the story
about academics or social life and relationships?

INERACTIVE READING
The story is about learning experiences of a college student from
Berkeley. Read it to find out what she learnt in class. After reading the
story, do a test and some other exercises to enhance your comprehen-
sion and build your vocabulary.
This story gives quite a complete picture of how academic life is
organized at American colleges, so it contains quite a number of cul-
tural lacunas. Some of them can be found in the Glossary, while the
ones in bold type are for your Internet search.

96
MAKING THE GRADE

In 1951, I was eighteen and traveling with all the money I had in
the world — fifty dollars. I was on a bus heading from Los Angeles
to Berkeley. My dream of attending the university was coming true.
I’d already paid tuition for the semester and for one month at the co-
op residence. After that, I had to furnish the rest — my impoverished
parents couldn’t rescue me.
I’d been on my own as a live-in mother’s helper since I was fif-
teen, leaving high school at noon to care for children till midnight.
All through high school and my first year of college, I’d longed to
participate in extracurricular activi­ties, but my job made that impos-
sible. Now that I was transferring to Berkeley, I hoped to earn a schol-
arship.
That first week I found a waitress job, baby-sat and washed dishes
at the co-op as part of my rent. At the end of the semester, I had the В
average I needed for a scholar­ship. All I had to do was achieve the В
average next term.
It didn’t occur to me to take a snap course; I’d come to the univer-
sity to learn something. I believed I could excel academically and take
tough subjects.
One such course was a survey of world literature. It was taught
by Professor Sears Jayne, who roamed the stage of a huge auditorium,
wearing a microphone while lecturing to packed rows. There was no
text. Instead, we used paperbacks. Budget wise, this made it easier
since I could buy them as needed.
I was fascinated with the concepts he presented. To many students,
it was just a degree requirement, but to me it was a feast of exciting
ideas. My co-op friends who were also taking the course asked for my
help. We formed a study group, which I led.
When I took the first exam — all essay questions — I was sure I’d
done well. On the ground floor, amid tables heaped with test booklets, I
picked out mine. There in red was my grade, a 77, C-plus. I was shocked.
English was my best subject! To add insult to injury, I found that my
study-mates had received Bs. They thanked me for my coaching.
97
I confronted the teaching assistant, who referred me to Profes-
sor Jayne, who listened to my impassioned argu­ments but remained
unmoved.
I’d never questioned a teacher about a grade before — never had to.
It didn’t occur to me to plead my need for a scholarship; I wanted jus-
tice, not pity. I was convinced that my answers merited a higher grade.
I resolved to try harder, although I didn’t know what that meant be-
cause school had always been easy for me. I’d used persistence in find-
ing jobs or scrubbing floors, but not in pushing myself intellectually. Al-
though I chose challenging courses, I was used to coasting toward As.
I read the paperbacks more carefully, but my efforts yielded anoth-
er 77. Again, C-plus for me and Bs and As for my pals, who thanked
me profusely. Again, I returned to Dr. Jayne and questioned his judg-
ment irreverently. Again, he listened patiently, discussed the material
with me, but wouldn’t budge — the C-plus stood. He seemed fasci-
nated by my ardor in discussing the course ideas, but my dreams of a
scholarship and extracurricular activities were fading fast.
One more test before the final. One more chance to redeem my-
self. Yet another hurdle loomed. The last book we studied, T S. Eliot’s
The Wasteland, was available only in hardback. Too expensive for my
budget.
I borrowed it from the library. However, I knew I needed my own
book to annotate. I couldn’t afford a big library fine either. In 1951,
there were no copying machines, so it seemed logical to haul out my
trusty old Royal manual typewriter and start copying all 420 lines. In
between waitressing, washing dishes, attending classes, baby-sitting,
and tutoring the study group, I managed to pound them out.
I redoubled my efforts for this third exam. For the first time, I
learned the meaning of the word “thorough.” I’d never realized how
hard other students struggled for what came easily to me.
My efforts did absolutely no good. Everything, down to the
dreaded 77, went as before. Back I marched into Dr. Jayne’s office. I
dragged out my dog-eared, note-blackened texts, arguing my points as
I had done before. When I came to the sheaf of papers that were my
typed copy of The Wasteland, he asked, “What’s this?”
98
“I had no money left to buy it, so I copied it.” I didn’t think this
unusual. Improvising was routine for me.
Something changed in Dr. Jayne’s usually jovial face. He was
quiet for a long time. Then we returned to our regular lively debate on
what these writers truly meant. When I left, I still had my third 77 —
definitely not a lucky number for me — and the humiliation of being a
seminar leader, trailing far behind my ever-grateful students.
The last hurdle was the final. No matter what grade I got, it
wouldn’t cancel three C-pluses. I might as well kiss the scholarship
good-bye. Besides, what was the use? I could cram till my eyes teared,
and the result would be a crushing 77.
I skipped studying. I felt I knew the material as well as I ever
would. Hadn’t I reread the books many times and explained them to
my buddies? Wasn’t The Wasteland resounding in my brain? The night
before the final, I treated myself to a movie.
I sauntered into the auditorium and decided that for once I’d have
fun with a test. I marooned all the writers we’d studied on an island
and wrote a debate in which they argued their positions. It was silly,
befitting my nothing-to-lose mood. The words flowed — all that spar­
ring with Dr. Jayne made it effortless.
A week later, I strolled down to the ground floor (ground zero for
me) and unearthed my test from the heaps of exams. There, in red ink
on the blue cover, was an A. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
I hurried to Dr. Jayne’s office. He seemed to be expect­ing me,
although I didn’t have an appointment. I launched into righteous in-
dignation. How come I received a C-plus every time I slaved and now,
when I’d written a spoof, I earned an A?
“I knew that if I gave you the As you deserved, you wouldn’t con-
tinue to work as hard.”
I stared at him, realizing that his analysis and strategy were cor-
rect. I had worked my head off, as I had never done before.
He rose and pulled a book from his crowded shelves. “This is for
you.”
It was a hardback copy of The Wasteland. On the flyleaf was an
inscription to me. For once in my talkative life, I was speechless.
99
I was speechless again when my course grade arrived: A-plus. I
believe it was the only A-plus given.
Next year, when I received my scholarship:
I co-wrote, acted, sang and danced in an original musical comedy
produced by the Associated Students. It played in the largest audito-
rium to standing-room-only houses.
I reviewed theater for the Daily Cal, the student campus newspaper.
I wrote a one-act play, among the first to debut at the new campus
theater.
I acted in plays produced by the drama department.
The creative spark that had been buried under dishes, diapers and
drudgery now flamed into life. I don’t recall much of what I learned
in those courses of long ago, but I’ll never forget the fun I had writing
and acting.
And I’ve always remembered Dr. Jayne’s lesson. Know that you
have untapped powers within you. That you must use them, even if you
can get by without trying. That you alone must set your own standard
of excellence.
Varda One
[From Chicken soup for the college soul: inspiring and humor-
ous stories about college [compiled by]Jack Canfield, Mark Victor
Hansen, Kimberly Kirberger, Dan Clark. Health Communications,
Inc. Deerfield Beach, Florida (1999). – p. 71–75].

WHILE-READING ACTIVITIES
Decide if the statements are true (T) or false (F).
1. The I of the story, Varda, had a very difficult time in her first
year at Berkley. _____
2. Varda had to study really hard not to drop out of college. ______
3. Dr. Jayne’s class was popular with many students, but really
difficult. _____
4. Dr. Jayne gave Varda lower grades than she deserved, espe-
cially as compared with her group mates. _____
5. Varda was insulted and decided to drop the class. _______
100
6. Varda typed the book by one of the authors they discussed,
because she could not take it from the library.____________
7. Dr. Jayne had always realized that Varda was intelligent and
interested in the subject. ______
8. Varda got the highest grade possible for the course and won a
scholarship. ______

Choose the correct variant.


1. The I of the story, Varda, had a very difficult time in her first
year at Berkeley because …
a. her teacher was not just to her..
b. she had to study very hard to win a scholarship.
c. she had to work as a waitress, to babysit, to wash dishes and to
lead a study-group.
d. she had to work to support herself and study well enough to
win a scholarship for her next year at Berkley.
2. Varda needed the scholarship so badly because …
a. she could leave her jobs and concentrate on studies.
b. she could leave her jobs and join extracurricular activities.
c. she could take more difficult subjects and study better.
d. she could study less hard.
3. Varda chose Dr. Jayne’s course because …
a. it was necessary to win a scholarship.
b. it was popular with students.
c. it was a feast of exciting ideas.
d. she believed in herself and wanted to take challenging subjects
and really learn something.
4. Dr. Jayne gave Varda lower grades than the rest of the students
because …
a. he was not just to her.
b. he wanted to stimulate Varda to work harder.
c. he did not think she worked hard enough.
d. he did not know how hard her life was.
5. Finally Dr. Jayne gave Varda the highest possible grade for his
course because…
101
a. he understood how difficult her life was.
b. he saw her typed copy of The Wasteland.
c. she had been working really hard all throughout his course.
d. he liked her last essay.

Provide English equivalents from the text for the following key
words you will need to discuss Varda’s story:
подвергать сомнению,
зубрить,
упорство,
сбываться (о мечтах),
приходить на помощь,
заслуживать более высокой оценки,
учебная дисциплина (курс), представляющая определенные
трудности.

Translate the underlined phrases in the following sentences


from the story:
2. Making the Grade. (the title of the story)
3. Instead, we used paperbacks.
4. … but to me it was a feast of exciting ideas.
5. To add insult to injury, I found that my study-mates had re-
ceived Bs.
6. I’d used persistence in finding jobs or scrubbing floors, but not
in pushing myself intellectually .
7. Although I chose challenging courses, I was used to coasting
toward As.
8. My efforts yielded another 77.
9. I dragged out my dog-eared, note-blackened texts, arguing my
points as I had done before.

Paraphrase the underlined phrases in the following sentences


using the words from the story:
1. After that, I had to provide more money — my poor parents
couldn’t help me.
102
2. … I’d wanted very much to take part in extracurricular activi­
ties…
3. I didn’t think that I should bring up my need for a scholarship
as an excuse.
4. I believed I could be successful in my studies and take difficult
subjects.
5. I was sure that my answers deserved a higher grade.
6. I’d never realized how hard other students worked for what
came easily to me.
7. How did it happen that I received a C-plus every time I worked
hard and now, when I’d written a parody, I earned an A?

Match the columns to define the cultural lacunas on the left after
you have done some search in the Internet and in the Glossary.
1. Berkeley a) the average of grade points close to grade B,
the second highest mark that a student can get
in an examination or for a piece of work.
2. A live-in mother’s b) an academic course that can be passed with
helper a minimum effort.
3. В average c) a small group of students who regularly
meet to discuss some problems getting ready
for a class, or to do the project.
4. Snap course d) a city in west-central California, U.S., on
the northeastern shore of San Francisco Bay,
the campus fot the University of California.
5. Degree e) a job involving caring for young children
requirement and living with the family.
6. Study group f) a course that must necessarily be taken to
earn a degree in a particular field.

ENHANCING COMPREHENSION
Look through the story and describe
– Varda’s hardships during her first semester at Berkley.
– Varda’s feelings about getting a lower grade than she deserved.
– Varda’s second semester at Berkley University.
103
– Varda’s efforts to achieve a better result in her last test and final
exam.
– the lesson Varda learnt in Dr. Jayne’s class.

Answer the questions


Why did Varda decide to transfer to Berkley University?
Why did she choose Professor Jayne’s course on literature?
Did she have to kiss the scholarship good-bye after getting another
C plus for her third exam?
Why do you think Professor Jayne gave Varda lower grades than
she really deserved?
What extracurricular activities did Varda join the next year at
Berkley? Was she a success? Was it thanks only to the scholarship she
received for being an A student?

CULTURE PERSPECTIVE
1. What are the culturally marked words you were able to iden-
tify in the story? Which of them are absolutely new for you?
2. What is a snap course? Consult the Glossary. Would you ex-
plain it to a non-speaking English student in your country?
3. Comment on the culture specific word study group. Do you
have such a form of learning in Russian colleges? What is similar and
what is different from the USA counterpart?
4. What is a teaching assistant in USA colleges? How different is
it from ассистент (штатная должность в российских вузах)? Con-
sult the glossary.
5. Explain to a non-speaking English student in Russia cultural
peculiarities of the word a final. How many exams do USA students
have before the final while studying a course? Are assessment prac-
tices similar in USA and Russian universities? Comment on the simi-
larities and differences. Which practices do you prefer?
6. What is a co-op residence on a U.S. campus? How are halls
of residence (dorms) and co-op residences different from each other?
Consult the glossary. What are the major differences between U.S.
dorms and общежитие in Russia?
104
7. What grades are A-plus, B-plus and C-plus equivalent to in
Russia?
8. Comment on the culture-specific information in the sentence
He seemed to be expect­ing me, although I didn’t have an appoint-
ment.
9. Translate the sentences containing culturally marked words
from the story:
a) I’d already paid tuition for the semester and for one month at
the co-op residence.
b) At the end of the semester, I had the В average I needed for a
scholar­ship.
c) It didn’t occur to me to take a snap course.
d) To many students, it was just a degree requirement ...
e) I confronted the teaching assistant, who referred me to Profes-
sor Jayne.
f) I co-wrote, acted, sang and danced in an original musical com-
edy produced by the Associated Students.
10. Share the information you have found about the italicized cul-
turally-marked words with your group mates:
Berkeley, degree requirement, The Wasteland, T.S. Eliot, Royal
manual typewriter, Associated Students, drama department, campus
theater, the Daily Cal.

SUMMARIZING
A. Sum up the story as if you were Dr. Jayne explaining to his
teaching assistant why he gave Varda lower grades than she deserved.
B. Sum up the story as if you were Varda explaining to your
friends/parents how you got the hardback copy of The Wasteland.

LEADS FOR DISCUSSION


1. What do you think was the most important lesson Varda learnt
in Dr. Jayne’s class?
2. What do you think of the strategy Dr. Jayne used to make Varda
work harder? Do you think he could use any other strategy to teach
Varda the same lesson? Would that strategy work with everybody?
105
3. Have you ever been in a similar situation? How did you feel?
What did you try to do? How would you feel if you were Varda? Would
you react the same way?
4. Can you recall a situation when you learned something more in
class than just the subject? What kind of life lesson was it? How did it
happen?
5. Read the final paragraphs of the story once more. Varda states
that the most important thing she learned at university was not the
courses she took, but the fun she had writing and acting and the les-
sons Dr. Jayne taught her. Can you agree with her? What is the most
important thing you learned in class? What do you think is the most
important thing people can learn in class?

CULTURAL WEB
Having read and discussed the story, you can add some new cul-
turally marked words representing college organization and manage-
ment, academics, social activities and relationships to the Web to get a
systematic cultural picture of USA college education.

PROJECT WORK
2. In study groups make a presentation of the system of academic
degrees in the USA higher education. Make use of Internet resources
and the Glossary.
3. In groups of two or three study the degree requirements for
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Sciences (B.S.) in any universi-
ty or college of your choice. Google an official site of the university.

STORY 13.
MY FRIEND KIM

PRE-READING TALK
Read the title of the story and guess what this story can be about.
Now scan the first paragraph and compare with your first guess. Do
you think it’s a love story or something else?
106
INTERACTIVE READING
Read the story and say how meeting Kim changed Rob’s character
and life.
After reading the story, do a test and some other exercises to en-
hance your comprehension and build your vocabulary.
While reading, you will come across a number of culturally
marked words. Most of them can be found in the Glossary at the end
of the book. As for the culturally marked words in italics, they are not
included into the Glossary, so be sure to consult the Internet sources,
other dictionaries and encyclopedias to find out culture-specific phe-
nomena they stand for.

MY FRIEND KIM

I’d seen her around campus long before I pledged the Kappa Sig-
ma fraternity the winter of my sophomore year. I’d admired her from
afar — the epitome of the untouch­able college beauty. I’d decided that
if I were forced to choose one perfect girl, she would be the one. Even
though our paths crossed several times a day, I felt as if she lived in
some remote corner of a distant universe. I was sure she had no clue
I existed.
She was there the night, several weeks into my pledge-ship, when
I was invited to join the brothers at a local honky-tonk. A favorite band
was playing that night, and I welcomed the chance to get out of my
stuffy dorm room and away from the grind of studying.
I arrived late and took a seat at a table alone in the back of the
room. The others didn’t notice me from their front row of clustered
chairs near the stage, but I didn’t care. I was in no mood to socialize
with the same slave drivers who made me scrub the floors and take out
the trash. I made a pact with myself to hang out for fifteen minutes and
then beat a hasty retreat.
I heard a familiar laugh.... Then I saw her. She was sit­ting among
them, and I wondered who had made her laugh, wishing it had been
me. She seemed to shine, mak­ing everything and everybody else in the
room fade to insignificance. I looked around and wondered if anybody
107
else saw her, but they all seemed too caught up in their corners of con-
versation to notice. How could they not? She was stunning. Radiant.
I discovered that if I shifted my chair a little to the left, I had a clear
view of her. I could watch her surreptitiously — the band in front of
her pro­viding the perfect cover.
I imagined myself sauntering up to her and asking her to dance. What
would she say? Would she just laugh or simply look right through me?
Maybe my voice would crack, and I’d turn and slink away as if it had all
been a mistake. Then I could simply spend the rest of my college years
going around corners and taking roundabout routes to avoid seeing her.
At that moment, she turned toward the back of the room — her
eyes searching as if she’d felt my thoughts on her. I blushed bright red
when her gaze rested on me. I saw her lean over and whisper some-
thing to one of the brothers, and then she got up and weaved her way
back through the cluster of tables. She was coming toward me.
For a moment, my heart began to race, thumping so vio­lently I
was sure she could see the fabric on my shirt mov­ing. I looked over
my shoulder and saw the “Restroom” sign. I breathed a sigh of relief.
Who was I kidding? I took one last sip of my ginger ale. It was time
to go home.
“Hey, Rob, what are you doing back here all by yourself?”
I looked up, and she was standing right in front of me. She was
smiling as if we’d known each other all our lives. I swallowed hard.
My voice vanished into thin air. She pulled out a chair and sat down
at my table.
“How’d you know my name?” I finally managed to mumble, sev-
eral octaves higher than normal.
“I asked around,” she said with a twinkle in her brown eyes. “I
always make a point of knowing the names of all the cute guys on
campus.”
I flushed a deep crimson, and even though I’m sure she noticed,
she didn’t mention it. She took a sip of my ginger ale and began to
talk. She told me all about herself, where she grew up, what her fam-
ily was like, her favorite movies, what she liked to eat, her hopes and
dreams and disappointments. Fifteen minutes turned into a half hour;
108
an hour became two. We talked and laughed like old friends. There
were people all around and a band playing somewhere behind us, but
I’d long since lost conscious­ness of the din of voices, the music, the
smell of smoke. We’d slipped into our own world — one where a new
friendship was being born.
By the time the band finished its third encore, Kim Lattanze had
stepped off the pages of my imagination and into my life. She hugged
me good-bye at the door and walked off into the night.
We became the best of college friends in the months and years that
followed. On graduation day, we hugged good-bye and promised to
always stay close. At first, we kept our pledge with cards, letters and
numerous phone calls. Sometimes we’d run into each other at some
alumni gathering or football game. She’d take me by the hand and pull
me to a corner, where we’d take up right where we left off as she’d
pepper me with questions about my family, career and love life. We’d
always leave with a promise to be a little better at staying in touch.
But soon the times between promises grew longer and longer, and
our paths took us in different directions. She moved to Atlanta and be-
came a buyer for a department store, and I eventually packed up and
drove to California to try my hand at screenwriting.
Fifteen years later, my thoughts sometimes still drift back to those
college days. I recall an evening — a moment kept alive in the memo-
ry of Kim’s smiling eyes, one small but unforgettable minute in time,
a shy boy, a beautiful girl and the precious gift of friendship she’d
brought to my table that night.
And now, when I invariably find myself scanning the corners of
rooms at parties, I stay vigilant — always on the lookout for that timid
stranger who might feel a little out of place, a little left out. I can rec-
ognize myself in those bashful souls, and then I think of Kim. What
would she do in a situation like this? I walk over and say hello.
Robert Tate Miller
[From Chicken soup for the college soul: inspiring and humor-
ous stories about college [compiled by] Jack Canfield, Mark Victor
Hansen, Kimberly Kirberger, Dan Clark. Health Communications,
Inc. Deerfield Beach, Florida (1999). – p. 207–210].
109
WHILE-READING ACTIVITIES
Decide if the statements are true (T) or false (F).
1. Kim Lattanze was one of the most popular and beautiful girls
on campus. ___
2. Rob was very enthusiastic about the party where he met Kim. ___
3. Kim was introduced to Rob by one of his brothers. ___
4. Kim and Rob fell in love for life. ___
5. Rob became a screenwriter. ___
6. Kim taught Rob to be attentive and helpful to people around. ___

Choose the correct variant.


1. Rob never dared to talk to Kim because …
a. she was very beautiful and he was too shy.
b. she was popular on campus and he was not.
c. she was a girlfriend of his fraternity member.
d. she lived in some remote corner.
2. At the party where Rob met Kim, he felt …
a. happy and at ease because there were his brothers – his fra-
ternity members.
b. unhappy and lonely because he did not want to talk with peo-
ple from his fraternity as they had not been nice to him lately.
c. nervous because he had to return to his room to study very
soon.
d. depressed because Kim didn’t pay attention to him.
3. Kim came up to Rob because …
a. one of his friends asked her to.
b. she noticed Rob watching her and got angry.
c. she saw that he felt lonely and wanted to cheer him up.
d. she found him cute.
4. After the party, Kim …
a. became Rob’s girlfriend.
b. became a very close and dear friend to Rob.
c. joined Rob’s fraternity.
d. peppered Rob with questions about his family, career and
love life.
110
5. When Kim and Rob graduated from college, they …
a. stayed very close throughout years.
b. moved to different cities.
c. did not have a chance to stay in touch.
d. kept in touch at first, but then moved to different cities and
did not have a chance to see much of each other.
6. Kim’s friendship helped Rob …
a. to feel at ease at the party.
b. to become more understanding and attentive to people.
c. to believe in himself, to become a screenwriter and succeed
in life.
d. to enjoy his college life.

Provide English equivalents to the following words and phrases


from the text.
Общаться,
проводить время,
пригласить на танец,
вздохнуть с облегчением,
столкнуться с кем-либо,
поддерживать отношения, поддерживать связь,
попробовать себя в чем-то,
не в своей тарелке, неловко (2 варианта).

Translate into Russian.


1. She was there the night, several weeks into my pledge-
ship.
2. I was in no mood to socialize with the same slave drivers who
made me scrub the floors and take out the trash.
3. She seemed to shine, mak­ing everything and everybody else in
the room fade to insignificance.
4. … but they all seemed too caught up in their corners of conver-
sation to notice.
5. I imagined myself sauntering up to her and asking her to
dance.
111
6. Maybe my voice would crack, and I’d turn and slink away as if
it had all been a mistake.
7. Who was I kidding?

Paraphrase the underlined parts of the following sentences us-


ing the wording of the text:
1. I was sure she had no idea I existed.
2. I was happy to get out of my stuffy dorm room and away from
the boredom and tire of studying.
3. I decided to hang out for fifteen minutes and then go away fast.
4. I could watch her secretly.
5. My voice disappeared.
6. I’d long since become unaware of the din of voices, the music,
the smell of smoke.
7. … my thoughts sometimes still return to those college days.

Match the columns to define the cultural lacunas on the left af-
ter you have done some search in the Internet.
1. Fraternity a) a fraternity member.
2. Brother b) a student in the second year at college or high
3. Alumnus school.
c) one who has attended or has graduated from a pa-
4. Sophomore rticular school, college, or university.
d) men’s student organization formed chiefly for so-
cial purposes having secret rites and a name consis-
5. Pledge ting of Greek letters.
e) a promise to join a fraternity, sorority, or secret
society.

ENHANCING COMPREHENSION
Find in the text the phrases that help to describe:
– Rob’s impressions of Kim.
– Rob’s feelings at the party.
– how Rob’s and Kim’s friendship developed.

112
Explain:
– why Rob wasn’t happy at the party.
– why Rob never dared to come up to Kim and introduce him-
self.
– what role Kim played in Rob’s life.

CULTURE PERSPECTIVE
1. Comment on Rob’s thought at his fraternity party “I was in no
mood to socialize with the same slave drivers who made me scrub the
floors and take out the trash”. Who can make a person scrub the floors
and do other things like this? Is it a common practice for US college
fraternities? What’s the name for this practice? Why would anyone want
to undergo such treatment? What do fraternities give people? What does
a typical fraternity look like? Why are fraternities also known as Greek
letter organizations? Are there any student organizations similar to a
fraternity in Russia? The glossary will be of great help. You are also
encouraged to look for some additional information in the Internet.
2. Kim saw that Rob was feeling lonely and out of place. So, she
walked over and said hello. Give a cultural comment on this behavior
pattern. Do you expect unfamiliar people to say hello to you at parties
here in Russia? How do people behave with strangers here in Russia
and the USA?

SUMMARIZING
Pretend to be Kim. Give a short account of your friendship with
Rob.

LEADS FOR DISCUSSION


1. Can you comment on the idea of ‘college friendship’? What
makes it different from just friendship? Can it last beyond college?
What does it take to stay close with people throughout a lifetime? How
do people make friends? Should people try and keep friendship when
their paths take them apart, and their way of life and way of thinking
change? Do you have friends you are sure you will keep till the end of
your days?
113
2. How would you define Rob’s feelings toward Kim before the
fraternity party? Was it more like a budding friendship or a budding
love? But eventually, Rob and Kim became great friends. Is it possi-
ble for a man and a woman to be friends? Aren’t men and women too
different? Is friendship between a man and a woman different from
same-gender friendships? Give your reasoning.
3. Do you think it would be a good idea to have something like
US college fraternities here in Russia? Why, or why not? Give your
reasoning.

CULTURAL WEB
Having read and discussed the story, you can add some new cul-
turally marked words to the Web regarding college organization and
management framework, learning, school social activities and rela-
tionships.

PROJECT WORK
1. Collect information about the history of Greek letter organiza-
tions on USA college campuses. Write a 2 page assay.
2. Google an official site of a USA university of your choice and
make a presentation about college fraternities and sororities. Com-
ment on some rituals: rush week, initiation, pledgeship, hell week,
help week, etc.

STORY 14.
#38 CHUCKY MULLINS

PRE-READING TALK
What is the role of sport at Russian schools and universities? Is
sport part of the curriculum or more like a social activity? Are there
any regular games and competitions for school and university teams?
Do you know any famous college teams? What are the most popular
college sports in the USA and Russia?
By now, you already know how important sport is for Ameri-
can universities and colleges. Refer to the story If the Dream is Big
114
Enough, the Facts Don’t Count to refresh your memory. The next story
will help you better understand the role of sport and football, in par-
ticular, in the social life of American college students.

INTERACTIVE READING
After reading the story, do a test and some other exercises to en-
hance your comprehension and build your vocabulary. The boys will
have the privilege of learning American football terminology.
While reading, you will come across a number of culturally
marked words. Most of them can be found in the Glossary at the end
of the book. As for the culturally marked words in italics, they are not
included into the Glossary, so be sure to consult the Internet sources,
other dictionaries and encyclopedias to find out their cultural back-
ground.

#38 CHUCKY MULLINS

On homecoming day my senior year of college, I was in the


stands, surrounded by my fraternity brothers and watching my school,
the University of Mississippi, play against Vanderbilt. The game was
scoreless late in the first quarter, and Ole Miss had their backs to the
goal line. I happened to be sitting parallel to the play action on the
field. The Vanderbilt quarterback drew back and passed to the tailback
for what looked to be a sure touchdown.
All of a sudden, an Ole Miss defender — football jersey #38,
named Chucky Mullins — read the play perfectly and charged the
Vanderbilt receiver, hitting him helmet first and jarring the ball from
his hands. As I stood up and cheered for the touchdown-saving play,
I noticed every­one got up from the ground but #38, who lay where he
had fallen.
The Ole Miss trainer ran out onto the field, knelt beside Chucky
and asked him what the problem was. “I cannot feel anything, any-
where,” replied Chucky.
The emergency medical team immobilized him on a spine board
and took him to the small community hospi­tal in Oxford. Once the
115
doctors X-rayed him, they saw the catastrophic damage that had been
done to his spine. He was immediately flown to the neurosurgery in-
tensive-care unit at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tennes-
see, eighty miles away. His status: paralyzed from the neck down and
fighting for his life.
The force with which he had hit that Vanderbilt receiver had caused
four vertebrae in his spine to fracture explosively. The neurosurgeon
who operated on Chucky said it was the worst such injury he had ever
seen. The surgery to realign his spine, although successful, left him
paralyzed from the neck down without the possibility of a return of
function.
Chucky, a sophomore, vowed not only to walk again, but to return
to Ole Miss for his degree. Ole Miss officials quickly established a
Chucky Mullins Trust Fund and invited contributions from students,
alumni and other universities to help meet the phenomenal medical
costs, estimated at ten thousand dollars per week.
The following Saturday, Ole Miss was to play Louisiana State
University. The student body decided to take up a collection for the
Chucky Mullins Trust Fund at that game. So many students signed
up that hundreds had to be turned away. The students waded through
the stands carrying buckets and trash bags, and collected donations in
excess of $175,000.
Chucky, allowed to sit up in bed and listen to the game on the
radio, was stunned to hear the announcers describe the outpouring of
affection for him. The story was soon being told all over America.
Money arrived from every state in the nation. Within a few months,
the donations had reached close to a million dollars.
Later that year, the university was preparing to elect its “Colonel
Rebel,” which is the school’s highest acco­lade. Seven students were in
the running. All withdrew their candidacies by writing a joint letter to
the dean say­ing that it was their hope that all students would show their
support by voting for Chucky Mullins. Chucky, a poor African Ameri-
can from Alabama, was named Colonel Rebel that year. It is important
to keep in mind that this is the same school where federal troops were
once needed to protect a single black student who wanted to enroll.
116
The Ole Miss football team completed the season by defeating
arch-rival Mississippi State and gaining an invitation to the Liberty
Bowl. Miraculously, only a few months after the devastating injury,
Chucky attended the Liberty Bowl game, bound to his wheelchair.
Moments before the game, as the players crowded around him, all
wearing #38 on the sides of their helmets, he nodded to them and
whispered, “It’s time.” Ole Miss defeated the Air Force Academy that
night 42 to 29, becoming Liberty Bowl Champions.
The following year, Chucky sat in the corner of the stands near
the players’ exit, where each Ole Miss Rebel teammate clasped his
hand before taking the field at the start of each home football game.
That season, Ole Miss outgained their opposition by an average of
forty yards per game, upset one conference powerhouse after another,
won a national ranking and gained an invitation to the Gator Bowl in
Jacksonville, Florida.
In January, against all odds, Chucky returned to classes at Ole
Miss. Although some would call it his greatest achievement, his
goal was to eventually get up and walk out of his wheelchair. He
would tell reporters, “I know what the doctors say, but I will never
quit trying.”
Wednesday, May 1, 1991, Chucky was getting ready for class when
he suddenly stopped breathing. A blood clot shut down his lungs. He
never regained consciousness and died five days later.
All of the Ole Miss football team members were present at the fu-
neral, where he was laid to rest by his mother. Afterward, some people
would say that it might have been better if he had died right away and
been spared the suffering. Obviously, they did not understand. Chucky,
who came to the University of Mississippi as a poor kid with nothing,
changed his world forever.
James Simmons
[From Chicken soup for the college soul: inspiring and humor-
ous stories about college [compiled by] Jack Canfield, Mark Victor
Hansen, Kimberly Kirberger, Dan Clark. Health Communications,
Inc. Deerfield Beach, Florida (1999). – p. 231–234].

117
WHILE-READING ACTIVITIES
Decide if the statements are true (T) or false (F).
1. The University of Mississippi team was about to lose the game
when Chucky interfered. ___
2. Chucky hurt himself and the Vanderbilt receiver while trying to
save the game. ___
3. Chucky’s injury was incurable. ___
4. The students collected a lot of money to support Chucky and
meet his medical costs. ___
5. Chucky decided to quit sport and studies because of the in-
jury. ___
6. Chucky received a prestigious public recognition award from
the students at his university. ___
7. Chucky’s team was very lucky that season. ___
8. Chucky managed to fulfill his dream and walk out of wheel-
chair. ___

Choose the correct variant.


1. Chucky’s university was …
a. the Ole Miss..
b. Mississippi State University, also known as the Ole Miss.
c. the University of Mississippi.
d. the University of Mississippi, also known as the Ole Miss.
2. The game played was …
a. football.
b. soccer.
c. rugby.
d. American football.
3. Chucky suffered a catastrophic spine injury because …
a. he hit a Vanderbilt player very hard
b. he saved the game for his team.
c. 4 vertebrae in his spine fractured explosively.
d. he charged Vanderbilt player to save the game for his team.
4. The money to cover the medical costs was provided by
a. the university officials.
118
b. the students of the Ole Miss.
c. the spectators at the game between the Ole Miss and Louisi-
ana State University.
d. people from all over the USA.
5. Chucky received his school’s highest award because
a. he had saved the game for his university.
b. he was a poor African American.
c. there were no other candidates.
d. the students wanted to show their support for Chucky.
6. After Chucky’s injury, the Ole Miss football team …
a. played with many powerful rivals.
b. enjoyed miraculous success.
c. defeated all its rivals.
d. all of the above.
7. The I of the story thought Chucky’s greatest achievement
was …
a. saving the game for his university.
b. returning to classes.
c. being elected “Colonel Rebel”.
d. changing the world around him forever.

Provide English equivalents from the text for the following key
words you will need to discuss the story:
поклясться,
отозвать свою кандидатуру,
сдаваться,
быть избавленным от страданий,
покрыть громадные медицинские расходы,
баллотироваться на выборах,
вопреки всем прогнозам.

Translate the words and phrases from the story, you’ll find them
useful when discussing the story:
surgery to realign his spine;
invite contributions from students;
119
medical costs, estimated at ten thousand dollars per week;
the school’s highest accolade;
to enroll;
miraculously;
his goal was to eventually get up and walk out of his wheelchair;
obviously.

Here are some American football terms for those who are inter-
ested. Look for adequate Russian equivalents.
Football terms:
The stands,
Scoreless,
Quarter,
Goal line,
Have one’s backs to the goal line,
Quarterback,
Tailback,
Touchdown,
Defender,
Charge,
Receiver,
Helmet,
Trainer,
Season,
Liberty Bowl,
Yards,
Conference powerhouse.
National ranking,
The Gator Bowl.

Paraphrase the underlined phrases in the following sentences


from the story:
1. The surgery to realign his spine, although successful, left him
paralyzed from the neck down without the possibility of a return of
function.
120
2. Chucky, allowed to sit up in bed and listen to the game on the
radio, was stunned to hear the announcers describe the outpouring of
affection for him.
3. Seven students were in the running.
4. The Ole Miss football team completed the season by defeating
arch-rival Mississippi State.
5. In January, against all odds, Chucky returned to classes at Ole
Miss.
6. Although some would call it his greatest achievement, his goal
was to eventually get up and walk out of his wheelchair.

Match the columns to define the cultural lacunas on the left after
you have done some search in the Internet and in the Glossary.
1. Vanderbilt a) an athletic team characterized by strong ag-
gressive play, member of a conference – an as-
sociation of athletic teams.
2. Homecoming b) an annual U.S. American college football bowl
game played in December of each year from 1959
to 2007 and in January in 2009 and 2010.
3. Liberty Bowl c) private, coeducational institution of higher ed-
ucation in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
4. Season d) an annual celebration for alumni at a college
or university.
5. Conference e) the schedule of official games played or to be
powerhouse played by a sports team during a playing season.

ENHANCING COMPREHENSION
Scan the story and find and translate the paragraphs that
– describe the Ole Miss football team’s achievements the follow-
ing year;
– illustrate Chucky’s determination not to give in.

Describe …
– the situation when Chucky saved the game for his team;
121
– Chucky’s condition caused by the force with which he charged
the Vanderbilt receiver;
– people’s reaction to Chucky’s tragedy;
– the Ole Miss football team’s success after Chucky’s injury;
– how far Chucky progressed in his passionate desire to walk
again and return to college for his degree.

CULTURE PERSPECTIVE
1. What are the culturally marked words you were able to iden-
tify in the story? Which of them are absolutely new for you?
2. What is the central event of Homecoming on any USA college
campus? What role does the Alumni Association play in the life of any
university and college?
3. What is fraternity brother? Do you know anything about
Greek societies on USA campuses? Look for the information in the
glossary and the Internet about this very important part of USA col-
lege culture. Is there a similar culture-specific phenomenon in Rus-
sian universities?
4. What kind of football did students play in this story? Comment
on the difference between football and soccer. Has soccer become pop-
ular in the USA in recent decades? What can you say about the USA
national team and its performance at the 2010 world cup in South Af-
rica? Is American football played in Russia? How popular is it?
5. What is a community hospital? Comment on its cultural distin-
guishing features.
6. Comment on cultural features of a college dean. What is simi-
lar and different if you do cross-cultural comparison of the word dean
and декан in Russian universities?
7. Translate the sentences containing culturally marked words
from the story:
a) On homecoming day my senior year of college, I was in the
stands, surrounded by my fraternity brothers and watching my school,
the University of Mississippi, play against Vanderbilt.
b) Later that year, the university was preparing to elect its “Colo-
nel Rebel,” which is the school’s highest acco­lade.
122
8. Comment on the sentence below. Why does the author find it
necessary to mention this fact?
‘… this is the same school where federal troops were once needed
to protect a single black student who wanted to enroll’.
9. Share the information you have found about the italicized cul-
turally marked words with your group mates:
“Colonel Rebel,” Liberty Bowl, Gator Bowl, home football game,
Air Force Academy, Vanderbilt University.
10. Prepare short reviews about the university mentioned in the
story: Mississippi State University, the University of Mississippi,
Louisiana State University, and Vanderbilt University. Make sure it
covers such things as location, status, foundation date and other char-
acteristic features.

LEADS FOR DISCUSSION


1. Comment on the role of sport in American universities and col-
leges. What kind of contribution does sport make to education?
2. Comment on the last sentence of the story. Do you share the
author’s opinion? Can one person make a big difference in the world?
Can you give other examples when one person changed the world
around him or her?

CULTURAL WEB
Having read and discussed the story, you can add some new cul-
turally marked words representing college organization and manage-
ment, academics, social activities and relationships to the Web.

PROJECT WORK
1. In study groups do a project on sports on USA college cam-
puses. Comment on the role it plays in a student’s life. Make a colorful
slide presentation.
2. Google the information on the Ivy League universities. Write
a two page essay about the Ivy League, its history and sports achieve-
ments.

123
STORY 15.
ZAP THE SAP

PRE-READING TALK
Read the title of the story and say whether it gives a clue to what
it is all about. It doesn’t help much, does it? Is the epigraph any help?
Then, scan the first paragraph. What do you know about student gov-
ernment on USA college campuses? Is there any student body council
in your school or college? Is it elected or appointed? Have you ever
taken part in a student president election?

INTERACTIVE READING
Read the story and say if Eric was a good student body president.
After reading the story, do a test and some other exercises to enhance
your comprehension and build your vocabulary.
While reading, you will come across a number of culturally
marked words. Most of them can be found in the Glossary at the end
of the book. As for the culturally marked words in italics, they are not
included into the Glossary, so be sure to consult the Internet sources,
other dictionaries and encyclopedias to find out culture-specific phe-
nomena they stand for.

ZAP THE SAP

For me, growth begins immediately after I am


able to admit my mistakes and forgive myself.
Kimberly Kirberger

I couldn’t believe it. As I walked onto campus I saw posters every-


where with the words “Zap the Sap!” scrawled on them. I was the stu-
dent body president and I was being recalled from my position. As my
peers began arriving on campus, I watched them gather around the post-
ers and then look my way. At that moment, I felt my heart, my character,
and my whole body was being pushed back and forth over a cheese-
grater. I was in pieces and trying desperately to keep my composure.
124
When I was elected student body president, campus officials con-
gratulated me on my campaign saying it was one of the best the college
had seen. My political career began by throwing Frisbees on the campus
lawn. I would throw a Frisbee to someone I didn’t know and they would
throw it to someone they didn’t know. Before long, we had built a com-
munity of people who met every day at lunch to throw Frisbees.
One day while throwing Frisbees, the group sponta­neously decid-
ed to climb the mountain near our campus. When we reached the sum-
mit, it felt like we were at sum­mer camp. We laughed, danced and told
dirty jokes. It was intoxicatingly fun. While playing like little children
in the cool mountain air, we unanimously decided to do it again the
following week. Our motto was “Bring a Friend.”
So the next week while playing Frisbee, we would throw it to
someone we didn’t know, run over and invite them to climb the moun-
tain with us. We would say, “Climbing the mountain is better than sex.
We guarantee a climax every time.”
We started out with a small group of hikers. But as the word
spread, the number of participants increased. One day on campus, I
met a woman in a wheelchair and we started talking. Her name was
Grace. I asked her if she had ever been to the top of the mountain. She
said she hadn’t. I told her that my buddies and I would carry her if she
were up for it. Grace accepted the offer. The next time we went up the
mountain, we all took turns grabbing a corner of her chair as we car-
ried her 1.7 miles to the top.
This was probably one of the most magical and deeply meaningful
things I did in college. By the end, we had over seventy-five people
climbing the mountain on Thursdays, including Grace. All of us who
participated felt like we were part of something much bigger than we
were. We were building a community and it felt great.
With the student body elections approaching, my friends from the
mountain encouraged me to run for president. So I did. I knew I could
make a difference. With a campaign team of seventy-five people rally-
ing around me, no one was surprised that I had won the election.
The first thing I did as president was hang a sign out­side the As-
sociated Students office that read, “Under New Management!” I was
125
proud of my accomplishments, to say the least. Most of my life as a
youth was spent in the principal’s office for being in trouble and this
was one of the few times I had actually achieved bona fide respect and
appreciation from my peers.
They say absolute power corrupts absolutely. It sure did in my
case. I let all the power go to my head. My ego, my arrogance and my
pride were out of control. I began speak­ing down to people, demand-
ing they listen to me because I thought I knew what was best. My
friends and support­ers tried to communicate to me that I had changed,
that I was abusing my position, but I wasn’t listening.
It wasn’t long before the very people who had believed in my
presidency began to turn against me. But I still wasn’t paying atten-
tion. I took my obsession with power to such an extreme. A public
conflict with the female vice president opened the floodgates for oth-
ers who were upset with me. It became a blood bath. What started
out as a wonderfully enriching experience, or so I thought, suddenly
turned into one of my worst nightmares. “Zap the Sap!” posters would
soon be everywhere on campus.
When I realized I had made a mistake, it was too late. My whole
world collapsed. I had never felt so much pain and sadness in my life
as I did then. There I was, one of the most-liked guys on campus, pow-
erful and making a differ­ence, until my ego took over and destroyed
everything.
A friend of mine said, “When a man looks into the abyss and noth-
ing is staring back, that is when he finds his true character.” I was emp-
ty and emotionally bankrupt. I was at the bottom and had nowhere else
to go but up. I began to rebuild. I apologized to a couple of die-hard
supporters, who for whatever reason did not quit on me, and asked
them to forgive me for all the wrongdoing I had committed. They ac-
cepted. I told them I was going to fight this recall election. I wasn’t just
going to roll over and accept defeat.
The campus was in an uproar. Every day the newspaper had an ar-
ticle or letter to the editor saying what a big jerk I was. So I went back
out to the campus lawn and began explaining to the students that the
allegations were true. I had let the power get to my head and abused my
126
posi­tion. I promised that I had learned my lesson and that I was not done
serving the students. I wanted to build a coffeehouse on the campus,
only the second of its kind in the state. I wanted to build it near the fine
arts area and have the theater department do one-act plays, the music
department perform concerts and the speech department recite poetry
there. I thought to myself, Please, do not recall me. I am not done yet.
I am not sure if I would have been recalled or not, but, by a stroke
of magic or divine intervention, summer came. The charges were
dropped and I stayed in office.
The next semester, I had a chance to begin again. As I approached
my mission to build the coffeehouse, I was much more humble. I want-
ed to show the campus and myself that I was worthy of my position. I
had never built a coffeehouse before and didn’t really know what I was
doing, so I asked everyone for help. I asked the students, my advisor,
the governing board and the college president.
I used to think that I had to pretend to know what I was doing, that
I had everything under control and that I was in charge. It was that
kind of thinking that got me into trouble in the first place. Now, I was
finding that the easi­est way to gain other people’s respect was to admit
to them what I did not know. I was shocked. It was my not knowing,
my humility, and my willingness to ask others for help that was mak-
ing me win in my new endeavor.
I finished my term as president. In the end, the team that I had put
together raised over $125,000 and we built a coffeehouse that is still
there eleven years later.
On graduation day, as I grabbed my diploma and walked past my
college president, he whispered, “Son, what doesn’t kill you makes
you stronger.”
Eric Saperston
[From Chicken soup for the college soul: inspiring and humor-
ous stories about college [compiled by] Jack Canfield, Mark Victor
Hansen, Kimberly Kirberger, Dan Clark. Health Communications,
Inc. Deerfield Beach, Florida (1999). – p.235–238].

127
WHILE-READING ACTIVITIES
Decide whether the statement is true or false.
1. Most of his life as a youth Eric was a troublesome fellow, defi-
nitely not the kind to make a school president. _______
2. It was the story-teller’s idea to run for the presidency. _______
3. The speaker’s arrogance and unwillingness to listen to other
people set everybody against him. ______
4. The story-teller tried to prove the allegations were wrong. _____
5. He apologized to everybody and the recall elections were can-
celled. ________
6. The next semester he was more successful as president. _______

Choose the correct variant.


1. The story-teller played Frisbee on campus lawns …
a. because he wanted to build a community.
b. because he wanted to become school president and needed
supporters.
c. because he just enjoyed playing and meeting new people.
d. because he wanted to build a coffeehouse.
2. The most important thing for him about being elected was that …
a. he was respected by his peers.
b. he felt he could make a difference.
c. he was recognized by his superiors.
d. all of the above.
3. The recall campaign was started because …
a. of Eric’s conflict with the female vice-president.
b. the story-teller let the power go to his head.
c. Eric did not know how to build a coffeehouse.
d. the story-teller pretended to know everything.
4. The recall elections were cancelled, because …
a. the story-teller apologized to everybody, including the female
vice-president.
b. he proved that the allegations were wrong.
c. he was telling everybody he did not know how to do things
and asked for help and advice.
128
d. summer came.
5. The story-teller was surprised to discover that …
a. the easiest way to gain people’s respect was to admit to them
what he did not know.
b. what didn’t kill people, made them stronger.
c. one did not have to know how to build a coffeehouse to build
one.
d. he had raised over $125 000.

Provide English equivalents from the text for the following key
words you will need to discuss the story:
быть избранным президентом;
предвыборная кампания;
баллотироваться в ;
изменить что-то к лучшему;
добиться искреннего уважения;
злоупотреблять своим положением;
голосование по отзыву кандидатуры;
быть достойным;
признаваться кому-либо в чем-либо;
собирать деньги на какие-либо благородные цели.

Identify the words and phrases related to politics in the story,


write them out and translate into Russian.

Translate the following sentences from the story paying special


attention to the underlined phrases:
1. “Under New Management”.
2. I was proud of my accomplishment to say the least.
3. They say absolute power corrupts absolutely.
4. I began speak­ing down to people.
5. “Zap the Sap!”
6. “When a man looks into the abyss and nothing is staring back,
that is when he finds his true character”.
7. The campus was in an uproar.
129
8. It was my not knowing, my humility, and my willingness to ask
others for help that was making me win in my new endeavor.
9. …the team that I had put together raised over $125,000

Paraphrase the underlined phrases in the following sentences


using the words from the story:
1. Eric suggested to Grace, a woman in a wheelchair he met on
campus, that he and his friends would carry her up to the top of the
mountain if she were ready for it.
2. Most of my life as a youth was spent in the principal’s office for
doing something wrong and this was one of the few times I was truly
accepted and respected by my peers.
3. My friends and support­ers tried to communicate to me that I had
changed, that I was using my position in a wrong way, but I wasn’t
listening.
4. I was very distressed.
5. I apologized to a couple of strongly devoted supporters, who for
whatever reason did not abandon me and asked them to forgive me for
all the bad things I had done.
6. I could do much more for students.
7. They did not press the charges.

Match the columns to define the cultural lacunas on the left af-
ter you have done some search in the Internet and in the Glossary.
1. Student body а) head of a college, directly responsible for run-
president ning it.
2. The Associated b) division of a college or school giving instruc-
Students tion in a particular subject.
3. Department с) a faculty member responsible for providing
consultations to a student on an individual basis.
4. Advisor d) president of the organization that unites all
students at an educational institution.
5. College e) student organization on campus, also the of-
president fice of such an organization.

130
ENHANCING COMPREHENSION
Scan the story and read out and translate the paragraph that
– illustrates how he abused his position as student body presi-
dent;
– describes what Eric did to win his peers’ respect;
– shows Eric’s state of mind and emotions when he saw the poster
“Zap the Sap”.

Answer the questions:


1. What kind of person was Eric?
2. How did he win the student body president elections?
3. Why did he turn into such an unpopular character on campus?
4. How did he deal with that?
5. What was his major achievement as student body president?

CULTURE PERSPECTIVE
1. What are the culturally marked words you were able to iden-
tify in the story? What do they represent?
2. What role does student body president play in USA universi-
ties and colleges? Is he/she elected or appointed? Is there a student
body president in your school or college? Have you ever taken part in
student body president elections?
3. Comment on the similarities and differences between summer
camps in the USA and Russia.
4. Comment on the cultural peculiarities of the word combination
governing board. Who are its members? What role does it play in the
organizational set up of the university or college? Consult the Glos-
sary and look for some additional information in the Internet. Is there
a similar board in Russian universities? Comment on their similarities
and differences.
5. Comment on the cultural lacuna community. What is its happi-
est Russian equivalent?
6. Comment on the cultural background of the word adviser (col-
lege). What are his/her duties? Consult the Glossary.

131
7. Comment on the cultural background of the poster “Zap the
Sap”. What is its origin?
8. Share the information you have found about the italicized cul-
turally marked words with your group mates: the Associated students,
the drama department, the music department, the speech department.

SUMMARIZING
Sum up the story as if you were the college president/ the female
vice-president.

LEADS FOR DISCUSSION


1. Eric used to think that he had to pretend to know what he was
doing, that he had everything under control and that he was in charge.
But he discovered that “the easi­est way to gain other people’s respect
was to admit to them what I did not know”. Can you agree that it is
really the easiest way to gain respect? Will this strategy work in every
situation? Have you ever tried it?
2. Can you agree that “absolute power corrupts absolutely”?
3. Comment on the phrase “When a man looks into the abyss and
nothing is staring back, that is when he finds his true character”. How
do you understand it? Can you agree with it?
4. The idea of the story is quite well summed up in the words
of the college president “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.
Have you ever been in a similar situation? Can you describe your ex-
perience?

CULTURAL WEB
Having read and discussed the story, you can add some new cul-
tural lacunas representing college organization and management, aca-
demics, social activities and relationships to the Web.

PROJECT WORK
Look for the information about student organizations in USA colleg-
es and universities. Go to the official site of any university of your choice
and comment on the student major organizations and their activities.
132
STORY 16.
HOMECOMING OF A DIFFERENT SORT

PRE-READING TALK
Most people in Russia and the USA go to college immediately af-
ter they finish high school. When do you think is the best time to start
your college education? What are the advantages of starting college
right after you finish high school? Are there any advantages to starting
college later in life? When would you prefer to go to college?
Read the title of the story. What kind of association does it bring
to your mind? What do you think the story is about? Read the story to
check your guesses.

INTERACTIVE READING
The following story is about a person who went to college at a
much older age. Read the story to find out his motives. After reading
the story, do a test and some other exercises to enhance your compre-
hension and build your vocabulary.
While reading, you will come across a number of culturally
marked words. Most of them can be found in the Glossary at the end
of the book. As for the culturally marked words in italics, they are not
included into the Glossary, so be sure to consult the Internet sources,
other dictionaries and encyclopedias to find out their cultural back-
ground.

A HOMECOMING OF A DIFFERENT SORT

Jeff and I had many conversations during the year, but I will al-
ways remember the time he told me about his family. His mother, a
loving, caring woman, was the one who held the family together. She
died shortly before Jeff graduated from high school. His father, a suc-
cessful physician, cold and stern in Jeff’s words, had firm beliefs that
a person would never make a valuable contribution to the world unless
they attended and graduated from college by the age of twenty-three.
His father had even paved the way for Jeff to attend the same college
133
from which he graduated, and had offered to pay Jeff’s entire tuition
and living expenses. As an active Alumni Association member, he was
excited that his son would someday follow in his footsteps.
Jeff was twenty-seven and a successful business plan­ner at a For-
tune 500 company—without a degree. His pas­sion was skiing. When
he graduated from high school he decided to decline his father’s offer
and instead move to Colorado to work with a ski patrol. With pain
in his eyes Jeff told me that he still remembered the day he told his
father he was going to forego college and take a job at a ski resort. He
remembered every word of the short conversation. He told his father
of his passion for skiing and for the mountains and then of his plans.
His father looked off into the distance, his face became red, and his
eyes squinted and bore into Jeff. Then came the words that still echoed
in Jeff’s mind: “You lazy kid. No son of mine is going to work on a
ski patrol and not attend college. I should have known you’d never
amount to anything. Don’t come back in this house until you have
enough self-respect to use the brains God gave you and go to school!”
The two had not spoken since that conversation.
Jeff was not even sure that his father knew he was back in the area
near where he grew up and he certainly did not want his father to know
he was attending college. He was doing this for himself, he said over
and over, not for his father.
Janice, Jeff’s sister, had always remained supportive of Jeff’s
decisions. She stayed in contact with their father, but Jeff had made
her promise that she would not share any information about his life
with him.
Jeff’s graduation ceremony that year was on a hot, sunny day in
June. As I walked around talking to people before the ceremony, I no-
ticed a man with a confused expression on his face.
“Excuse me,” he said as he politely approached me. “What is hap-
pening here today?”
“It’s graduation day,” I replied, smiling.
“Well that’s odd,” he said. “My daughter asked me to meet her at
this address.” His eyes sparkled and he smiled. “Maybe she completed
her associate’s degree and wanted to surprise me!”
134
I helped him find a seat and as he left me he said, “Thank you for
helping me. By the way, my name’s Dr. Holstrom.”
I froze for a second. Jeff Holstrom. Dr. Holstrom. Could this be
the same person I had heard about over the last year? The cold, stern
man who demanded his son attend college or never enter his home
again?
Soon the familiar strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” could be
heard. I turned around in my chair to get a glimpse of Dr. Holstrom.
He seemed to be looking for his daughter amongst the graduates on
stage. Speeches were given, the graduates were congratulated, and the
dean began to read the names of the graduates.
Jeff was the last person to cross the stage. I heard his name being
announced: “Jeff Holstrom, magna cum laude.” He crossed the stage,
received his diploma from the college president, and, just as he started
down the stairs from the stage, he turned toward the audience look­ing
for his sister.
A lone figure stood up in the back of the audience — Dr. Holstrom.
I’m not sure how Jeff even saw him in the crowd, but I could tell that
their eyes met. Dr. Holstrom opened his arms, as if to embrace the air
around him. He bowed his head, almost as if to apologize. For a mo-
ment it seemed as if time stood still, and as if they were the only two in
the auditorium. Jeff came down the stairs with tears in his eyes.
“My father is here,” he whispered to me. I smiled.
“What are you going to do?” I asked him.
“Well,” he said. “I think I’m going home.”
Vicki Niebrugge
[From Chicken soup for the college soul: inspiring and humor-
ous stories about college [compiled by] Jack Canfield, Mark Victor
Hansen, Kimberly Kirberger, Dan Clark. Health Communications,
Inc. Deerfield Beach, Florida (1999). – p. 298–300].

WHILE-READING ACTIVITIES
Decide if the statements are true (T) or false (F).
1. Jeff’s family approved of his idea going to a ski resort and take
a job of a ski patrol _____
135
2. Jeff’s father wanted him to become a doctor like himself. _____
3. Jeff was not intelligent enough to go to college. ______
4. Jeff and his father had not talked to each other for several years.
5. Jeff made a successful career without a college degree. _____
6. Jeff never went to college. _____
7. Jeff’s sister told Dr. Holstrom about Jeff’s new degree and grad-
uation ceremony. _____

Choose the correct variant.


1.Jeff’s father wanted Jeff to go to college because …
a. he was a very cold and stern man.
b. he wanted Jeff to become a doctor, like himself.
c. he did not respect people without a degree.
d. he did not think a job at a ski-resort was prestigious enough.
2.Jeff went to college …
a. to prove to his father that he was intelligent enough to study at
college.
b. because his sister asked him to do it.
c. because he did not like the job on ski-patrol and needed a de-
gree to find a better job.
d. none of the above.
3. Dr. Holstrom came to his son’s graduation ceremony be-
cause …
a. his son had done what he wanted him to do at last
b. his daughter asked him to come there.
c. his daughter persuaded him to make peace with his son.
d. he was an active Alumni Association member.
4. When Jeff saw his father at the ceremony …
a. he was happy.
b. he did not recognize him.
c. he was angry.
d. he remained unmoved.

136
ENHANCING COMPREHENSION
Provide English equivalents from the text for the following key
words you will need to discuss the story:
Суровый,
расходы,
cпециалист по бизнес-проектированию,
аудитория,
обнимать,
продолжить дело (отца, семьи);
впиваться (о взгляде);
мельком увидеть.

Translate the underlined phrases in the following sentences


from the story:
1. His mother … was the one who held the family together.
2. …his face became red, and his eyes squinted and bore into Jeff.
3. Janice, Jeff’s sister had always remained supportive of Jeff’s
decision.
4. …a man with a confused expression on his face.
5. He bowed his head, almost as if to apologize.

Paraphrase the underlined phrases in the following sentences


using the words from the story:
1. His father had prepared everything for Jeff to attend the same
college…
2. … he told his father he was going not to start college…
3. I should have known you’d never be worth anything.
4. He said it again and again.

Match the columns to define the cultural lacunas on the left af-
ter you have done some search in the Internet and in the Glossary.
1. Associate’s a) an organization of former college graduates
degree who take an active part in college campus ac-
tivities or support the college financially.

137
2. “Pomp b) from Latin ‘with great distinction’.
and Circumstance”
3. Dean c) a famous march.
4. Magna cum laude d) the head of a division, faculty, college, or
school of a university. 
5. Alumni e) The two-year college degree which is
Association awarded on completion of full-time study
programs by community colleges and other
postsecondary institutions.

ENHANCING COMPREHENSION
Look through the story and find and translate the paragraphs
which describe:
– Jeff’s father’s character,
– the conversation between father and son,
– Jeff’s father’s emotions when he heard his son’s name an-
nounced by the dean at the graduation ceremony.

Answer the questions:


1. Why do you think Jeff’s father wanted Jeff to go to college so
much?
2. Why did Jeff not go to college?
3. Why do you think Jeff went to college after all?
4. Why did Jeff’s father come to his graduation ceremony?
5. What do you think Jeff’s reaction was? What did he feel? What
did he think?

CULTURE PERSPECTIVE
1. What are the culturally marked words you were able to identify
in the story? Which of them are absolutely new for you?
2. You already know a lot about USA four-year college degrees,
don’t you? What is associate degree? Where can one earn it? Explain
to a non-speaking English person in Russia what degree it is and where
you get it. Consult the Glossary and the Internet.

138
3. What does magna cum laude stand for? Consult the glossary
to learn about different marks of excellence following the academic
degree in the USA. Is there a similar culture specific phenomenon in
universities in Russia? What is the difference?
4. Comment on the cultural implication of the sentence from the
story: His father had even paved the way for Jeff to attend the same
college from which he graduated, and had offered to pay Jeff’s entire
tuition and living expenses.
5. Homecoming is a very important tradition in USA high schools
and colleges. Consult the Glossary about this cultural phenomenon.
Are there any similarities? How does it differ from its Russian
counterpart? Why is the story entitled “Homecoming of a Different
Sort”?
5. Translate the sentences containing culturally marked words
from the story:
a) Homecoming of a Different Sort (the title).
b) As an active Alumni Association member, he was excited that
his son would someday follow in his footsteps.
c) He crossed the stage, received his diploma from the college
president...
d) “Jeff Holstrom, magna cum laude.”
e) Maybe she completed her associate’s degree and wanted to sur-
prise me!
6. Share the information you have found about the italicized cul-
turally marked words with your group mates:
Fortune 500, Colorado, “Pomp and Circumstance”, Alumni As-
sociation member.

SUMMARIZING
A. Sum up the story as if you were Janice.
B. Sum up the story as if you were Dr. Holstrom.

LEADS TO DISCUSSION
1. Why do you think Jeff went to college and completed a degree
after all? What is the role of education in human life? Is it possible to
139
achieve success in life without a college degree? What can education
change in a person’s life?
2. Who do you think was right, Jeff or his father? What do you
think is the best time to go to college? Why? What do you think would
be best for you: to go to college immediately after high school or to try
something else before college?
3. Do parents and children always see eye to eye on the children’s
future and happiness? Who do you think is usually right?
4. How is a graduation ceremony in Russian universities different
from that described in the story?

CULTURAL WEB
Having read and discussed the story, you can add some new cul-
turally marked words representing college organization and manage-
ment, academics, social activities and relationships to the Web.

PROJECT WORK
Now that you have finished reading the book we are sure you have
learnt a lot about the system of secondary and higher education in the
USA.
As your final course requirement you are to do a project on one
of the USA colleges or universities. Discuss the structure of your final
assay in your study group, make use of any resources available and
make a slide presentation of the university trying to persuade your
classmates that it’s one of the best USA universities.
When structuring the assay don’t leave out some important infor-
mation about its history, administration and organization, the campus,
the academics, the students and their organizations, athletics, notable
people (alumni).
Start your essay giving some important data: the motto, the type
(private/public), endowment, number of academic staff, number of
students (undergraduates / graduates), colors of the university, nick-
name and its website.

140
GLOSSARY

A: the highest grade in the U.S. grading system meaning excellence,


correlating to a five-point numerical scale as 4.0 and 80–100% in grade
percentage system. It may have three variations: A+, A, A–, although A+
is very seldom used. Variants represented by + and – are most commonly
quantified as x.3 and y.7, e.g. A=4.0, A– = 3.7
See: Grading system.

ACCEPTANCE LETTER: a letter granting admission to stu-


dents who have applied to college or university. Those students who
are not accepted receive rejection letters. The acceptance letters can be
also sent to people who were accepted into any special program such
as the Peace Corps

ACCOUNTING CLASS: a subject at school that teaches the skill


of keeping financial accounts of a firm and of analyzing its financial
status and operation: bookkeeping, cash flow management, etc.

AMERICAN COLLEGE TEST (ACT): standardized examina-


tion required by many colleges and universities in the United States
for admission to undergraduate degree programs. Widely known by
its formal name, the American College Test, the ACT is a multiple-
choice exam that measures English, math, reading, and science skills.
Nearly 1.7 million ACT tests are administered each year to prospec-
tive college students. The ACT offers an alternative to the Scholastic
Achievement Test (SAT). The ACT is scored on a scale of 1 to 36. In
2005 the composite score of college-bound students was 21.0 in com-
parison with 18.6 in 1990. College financial aid offices can also use
the scores to determine eligibility for scholarships and financial aid
Reference: The American College Testing Program. Microsoft ®
Encarta ® 2009

141
ADMISSION BOARD: a committee of persons selected by a
college or university to review applications for admittance to the col-
lege or university and either approve or reject the applications

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS: necessities which can vary


from one institution to another, but almost all colleges require students
to submit transcripts of grades from high school scored on standard-
ized tests, a completed applicant’s academic application form, written
application essays, and often letters of recommendation from teachers
who are familiar with the applicant’s academic background. Some col-
leges require an interview either on campus or by telephone
Source: University of Illinois Office of Admission and Records.
Freshmen Admission Requirements. 2005–2006

ADVISOR (ACADEMIC): a member of the faculty or another


professional who provides academic advice and guidance to students.

AFRICAN AMERICAN (AFRO-AMERICAN): a term describ-


ing an American of African descent, or adj. having to do with black
Americans or their characteristics or culture. It is a preferable term to
use when speaking about black Americans instead of the words black
or negro due to political correctness. The word nigger is inadmissible

AFTERNOON CLASSES: lessons at school that start at 1 p.m.


after the lunch break

ALUMNUS, ALUMNI (pl.): a graduate, former student, ex-stu-


dent of school, college, university or any other educational program,
for example Fulbright

ALUMNI ASSOCIATION: an organization of persons who have


graduated from a particular college or university who participate in
special activities related to their former school. These activities may
be held on the campus or anywhere the group decides to meet. The
purpose is to keep the friendships made and to return to their school
142
for special events, such as sports events or concerts or other planned
events

AMTRAK (AMERICAN TRAVEL TRACK): national govern-


ment-owned railway system, provider of United States intercity pas-
senger train service

APPLICATION ESSAY (PERSONAL STATEMENT): require-


ment of most colleges especially competitive ones, is that applicants
write an essay as part of the application process. Applicants are encour-
aged to write on a particular topic, such as (1) evaluate a significant
experience or achievement that has some special meaning for the appli-
cant; (2) discuss some issue of personal, local or national concern and
its importance to the applicant; or (3) indicate a person who has had a
significant influence on the student’s selection of the university. Admis-
sion officials use the essay to assess the applicants’ abilities which can-
not be measured by high school grades or by standardized test scores.
When writing essays students try to demonstrate their creativity, matu-
rity and different abilities; they typically highlight academic, extracur-
ricular and other achievements and interests. They also indicate why
they are applying to this particular college or university
Reference: Gerald L. Gutek. Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009

ASSOCIATE’S DEGREE: a two-year college degree which is


awarded on completion of full-time study programs on the level of
the first two years of higher education by community colleges and
other postsecondary institutions. Names of different types of associ-
ate degrees are parallel to those of Bachelor’s degrees. Popular types
of associate degrees are Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Sci-
ence (A.S.), Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.), and Associate
of Occupational studies (A.O.S.). Although Associate Degree has
considerable value and may be required in vocations not requiring
conventional four-year degrees, in academic terms the A.A., A.S.,
A in journalism and other associate degrees don’t serve as academic
credentials to continue into higher education. Individual courses in
143
associate programs, however, may be credited towards the work for a
Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees
Reference: Robert Palinchak (1973). The Evolution of the Com-
munity college

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR: an assistant professor who has ac-


quired some teaching experience, conducted research, published ar-
ticles or books, in most cases has a Ph.D. degree and has served on
institutional and departmental committees, is usually promoted to as-
sociate professor. Faculty members generally remain at the assistant
professor level for approximately five years before being promoted to
associate professor. At many institutions, the rank of associate profes-
sor carries tenure, meaning that the person cannot be dismissed from
his or her teaching position unless there is a very serious reason. Col-
leges and universities established tenure to assure professors that they
have the academic freedom to teach their ideas without interference or
fear of losing their jobs
Reference: Gerald L. Gutek. Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009

В: good grade, 80–89 points according to the 100 percent scale


of student achievement evaluation, 3.0 points according to the GPA
system of grade calculation
(See: GPA, Grading system)

BACHELOR’S DEGREE: the second academic degree that can


be awarded in U.S. postsecondary education, and is one of two such
undergraduate degrees that qualify a student to apply to programs of
advanced (graduate) study. Programs of study for this degree are de-
signed to take between 4 and 5 years of study, depending on the field
of study and whether the degree is pursued on a full or a part-time ba-
sis. The degrees are usually known as Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor
of Science

144
BACHELOR OR ARTS (B.A.): an academic degree received
when one completes the required university or college course for a lib-
eral arts degree. (general intellectual development, such as literature,
philosophy, mathematics, and social and physical sciences, as distinct
from professional and technical subjects)

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (B.S.): a college or a university de-


gree awarded to one who has successfully completed an undergradu-
ate course in an aspect of the sciences or technology

BRAINS: colloquial expression used for a high school individual


or social group of very intelligent persons, especially the most intel-
ligent students in a class, school

BROTHERS: term used to designate members of a particular so-


cial group in high school or a college fraternity, or informally used
by Afro-American men or boys, and also the male members of some
religious organizations

C: an acceptable grade of a student’s achievements, 50-64 points


according to the 100 percent scale, 2.0 points according to the GPA
system of grade calculation
(See: Grading system)

CAMPUS: the location of a university, college or school’s


buildings and facilities. College campus buildings include col-
lege and department buildings, laboratories, administrative of-
fices, residence halls, experimental crop fields, cultural centers, a
stadium, recreation centers and swimming pools , museums, per-
forming arts theatres, cafes, shops and whatever else students and
faculty need for learning, teaching, research and recreation. U.S.
college campuses are known for their ample size, architecture, and
landscaping

145
CAFETERIA, SCHOOL: a self-service restaurant where stu-
dents and faculty buy food and beverages at a central counter and
carry meal selections on trays to tables

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS: schools operated by or affiliated with


the Roman Catholic Church or its representatives. There are four types
of Catholic schools: parochial (usually elementary) neighborhood
schools run by the local parish priest; interparish schools cooperatively
run by several parishes; diocesan schools (usually high school) run by
a school board appointed by the diocese; and private schools (usually
college preparatory, academy-type schools) run independently of the
church by a devoutly Catholic board of trustees. In almost every cat-
egory of achievement, students in Catholic schools outperform their
counterparts in public schools, although costs per pupil are about the
same. Catholic high school drop-out rates average on 4%, compared
to 11.1% for public schools. About 83% of Catholic school children go
on to college, compared to only 57% of public school children. Catho-
lic school students traditionally score about 20% higher than public
school students on College Entrance Examination Board Tests
Source: Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009

CHALLENGE: problem, hardship, trial, obstacle. It is a key word


for understanding the American national character. It expresses courage,
readiness to risk, to test oneself, the competitiveness that characterizes
Americans as a nation. The word is often used in regard to school and
studies, e.g. challenging task, challenging project, paper etc.

CHARLIE BROWN: a character of the world-famous “Peanuts”


comic strip. He wins the hearts of the readers with his losing way.
Even though he will never win a baseball game or the heart of a red-
haired girl Lucy, kick the ball or fly a kite successfully his politeness
and friendliness, despite the fact he is often called “wishy-washy” (un-
decided and weak), and at times even “blockhead” (stupid), brings
the special soft humor to the strip that people enjoy. The strip and the
character are greatly enjoyed by school students
146
CHEERLEADING: an organized student activity originally de-
signed to rally vocal spectator support for secondary school and col-
lege sports teams at football games, basketball matches, or wrestling
meets. The first cheer was created in 1865 at Princeton University:
Rah, rah, rah;
Tiger, Tiger, Tiger;
Sis, Sis, Sis;
Boom, Boom, Boom
Aaaahhhhh!
Princeton! Princeton! Princeton!
There are two major types of cheerleading: spirit squads and com-
petitive teams. Spirit squads are typically limited to cheering for sports
teams. Competitive teams (sometimes called drill teams) primarily fo-
cus on competing, although they also perform at athletic events and
can function as spirit squads as well. Originally an all-male activity,
it became virtually all-female during World War 11. By the end of
the 20th century, cheerleading had evolved into complex gymnastic
performances, which, in turn, initiated state and nationwide competi-
tions by cheerleading squads. It is considered now a girl’s sport, which
requires as much strength as any other sport. Some squads train 11
months a year. Participation in competitive squads had more than dou-
bled by the 1998–1999 school year. Several state high school associa-
tions now recognize cheerleading as a sport. In 2003 the University of
Maryland became the first Division I college to sanction competitive
cheerleading as a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)
varsity sport. In professional sports, many teams employ cheerleaders
to enhance their image and marketing
Reference: Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009

CITY TEEN CURFEW: an official restriction on teenager’s


movements in some cities, requiring them to remain indoors after
a specific time, in most cases 10 p.m. It developed with the aim of
avoiding street fights or any other unrest

147
CLASS: (1) a group of students at high schools or elsewhere who
do the required (compulsory) subjects such as English, math, science,
history. But many subjects in high schools are electives that is why
these classes are not fixed or set. Students from one group may some-
times meet only in this or that class and might scarcely know each
other; (2) students of a certain year (e.g. Freshmen class, Junior Class,
etc.); (3) students of the same graduation year (e.g. the class of 1998,
the class of 2009, etc.)

CLIQUE: a group of friends with similar interests and goals. In


U.S. high schools the most typical cliques are the jocks, the rednecks,
the brothers, the surfers, the nerds and brains, the druggies, the so-
cialites. Students belonging to different cliques usually don’t mix with
each other not only at school but also outside school because of peer
pressure

COLLEGE: word used to denote three different educational insti-


tutions: (1) An independent institution of higher learning that provides
education to undergraduates; (2) University school or division that usu-
ally has its dean and other administrators and whose faculty teaches
and confers degrees in specific academic fields; (3) A two-year educa-
tional institution (a community college, a two-year college) granting
Associate of Arts and Science degrees and professional certificates

COLLEGE ADMISSIONS: for almost all two-year colleges


and the majority of four-year colleges, admission is all but automatic
for students with high school diplomas. The process requires filling
out a simple application form. All but about 150 of America’s more
than 2000 four-year colleges accept 50% to 100% of their applicants.
Although the United States college-entry rates are the highest in the
world — about 65% of all high school graduates go to college — the
drop-out rate at 4-year colleges is about 50% and it’s been rising in
recent years. 150 academically selective colleges which base their ad-
mission on talent and special interest as well as the student’s previous
academic record have stringent admissions requirement that require
148
auditions, portfolio presentation or some other demonstration of evi-
dence of exceptional competence for admission

COLLEGE CAFETERIA: a term in the United States that de-


notes a place designed to serve meals to college students. The cafeteria
can be a part of a residence hall (dorm) or a separate building. Many col-
leges and universities employ their own students to work in the cafete-
ria. The number of meals served to students varies from school to school
but is normally about 20 per week. As in normal cafeterias, a student
will select food that he or she wants but instead of paying by cash or by
card, he pays at the beginning of the school year by purchasing a meal
plan. Many colleges and universities offer several different options for
using their meal plans. The cafeteria in the dormitory where the student
lives is usually the main place where most of the meal plan is used but
smaller cafeterias, cafés, restaurants, bars, or even fast food chains lo-
cated on campus may accept meal plans. A college cafeteria system has
a monopoly on freshmen and sophomores because residence contracts
typically include a full meal plan, which is to some extent a good thing.
But junior and senior students prefer to rent housing on campus, which
gives them more freedom either to cook their own meals or eat out

COLLEGE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE: organiza-


tional structures of colleges and universities differ from university to
university, from state to state, from public to private schools, but they
also have much in common. All public and private universities include
a governing board, a president or chancellor, a number of administra-
tive leaders and an academic senate. The legal authority over the uni-
versity belongs to the governing board known as the Board of Trustees,
Regents or Board of Advisors. The president is the highest ranking ex-
ecutive officer who is the link between the institution and the governing
board. The formal governing body of the faculty at the institutional lev-
el is the academic senate. Each school or college within a university is
under the direction of a dean. A chairperson of a department supervises
individual departments of instruction. Faculty members are ranked, in
descending order, as professor, associate professor, assistant professor,
149
and instructor. As for student involvement in the university govern-
ance, many colleges and universities include a student representative in
either an advisory or voting position. Students have their own network
of undergraduate and graduate governance organizations headed by a
student body president and student senate

COLLEGE PRESIDENT: a university or college chief execu-


tive officer. If it is a state run institution, the president is chosen by the
state, and if it is a private institution, its own Board of Directors selects
its president. Presidents are usually prominent scholars or administra-
tors, while occasionally they may be people of notable achievement
outside of academic life. For example, General Dwight D. Eisenhower
served as president of Columbia University in New York City from
1948 to 1950, after commanding the Allied forces in Europe during
World War II (1939–1945). He was later elected the 34th President of
the United States, in 1952

COLLEGE RECRUITER: a person who attends high school


sport events and recruits the most talented students in a particular
sport who are offered a sports scholarship to go to a certain college
or university

COMPETITIVE COLLEGE: an institution of higher education


on the list of top-ranking colleges or universities. There is a special list
of top 50 universities that are qualified as the best in the USA

COMMUNITY COLLEGE (JUNIOR COLLEGE): a two-


year, degree granting public institution of post-secondary education
designed to serve the needs of the local area or community.
Community colleges have grown rapidly since World War 11 to en-
compass more than 10 million students (about half part-time) in 1,100
institutions — about 44% of American undergraduates. They offer one
or more of four broad curricula: academic curricula leading to an as-
sociate degree in arts and sciences, that serve the bridge between high
school and four-year colleges; vocational and occupational education
150
leading to an associate degree or professional certification; remedial
programs; and adult education and welfare-to-work programs, which
may or may not lead to an associate degree or certificate. Many commu-
nity colleges have vocational education programs with local industries,
whereby the college and a local company or companies join to provide
a “total” integrated vocational education package. The college provides
most of the necessary classroom education, often pays company per-
sonnel as adjunct instructors, and the company provides students with
paid, on-job training. Other community colleges have the so-called two-
plus-two, or tech-prep programs, which offer students a four-year voca-
tional education program that begins in the student’s junior year of high
school and continuous through community college. They allow students
to attend part-time and keep their jobs while continuing their education.
They usually set no time limit to complete the work for a degree or
certificate, and students may enroll in a few or as many courses as they
wish. American students apply to community colleges with different ob-
jectives: to obtain basic higher education and then to continue studying
for a Bachelor’s degree at other colleges and universities; or to develop
some professional skills. Community colleges typically offer the first
two years of general undergraduate education. The students in the aca-
demic track complete the first two years of their college education in
these institutions and then transfer their credits to a four-year college.
Other community college students pursue vocational, technical, and
other pre-professional programs. The most popular programs tend to be
in health services (registered nurse, dental hygiene, physical therapist),
business, telecommunications and mechanical fields. Because commu-
nity colleges typically have lower tuition rates than four-year colleges
and universities, they offer significant advantages to many students,
drawing poorer, minority immigrants and working students rather than
the pool of elite liberal arts students or other four-year course students
Source: Parkland College 2004–2005 Catalog

COMMUNITY SERVICE: an elementary or secondary school


activity for students to serve in any school-approved volunteer organi-
zations which serve the community. Some public and private second-
151
ary school students are required to complete a certain amount of un-
paid hours of community service during the year to graduate – usually
60 hours, or the equivalent of a one-semester course. Also, an increas-
ing number of college and university programs require students to take
part in a community service project as part of their degree program.
To fulfill this requirement, students may assist in clinics, participate in
reading programs at local schools, or volunteer at homeless shelters.
Colleges and universities that require these programs consider com-
munity service an essential part of a well-rounded education
Reference: Gerald L. Gutek. Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009

CUM LAUDE (with praise): a mark of distinction added to a de-


gree of Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) granted
to those students who have achieved especially high academic stand-
ing at U.S. colleges and universities

D: a barely acceptable grade of a student’s achievements, 40-49


points according to the 100 percent scale, 1.0 points according to the
GPA system of grade calculation
(See: Grading system.)

DEAN: chief executive and/or administrator of colleges or other


academic divisions of an institution. For example, at the University of
Illinois, Urbana-Champaign campus, each of the eighteen colleges and
professional schools has a dean who is appointed by the president or the
academic vice president. Frequently, deans have had experience as chair-
persons of academic departments in the institution. The responsibilities of
a dean typically include implementing policies established by the Board
of Trustees and the president: preparing the budgets and overseeing the
spending of funds within the academic division; supervising the faculty;
recommending faculty in their college or school to the academic vice
president for appointment, promotion, tenure, or termination; and main-
taining or increasing student enrollment in their college or university.
Reference: Gerald L. Gutek. Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009
152
DEBUTANTE BALL: a social event where young women are
introduced into society for the first time.

DEGREE, ACADEMIC: a title granted to a student by a college


or university after completing an established course of study. There
are also honorary degrees conferred as marks of distinction, such as
D.Litt. (Doctor of Letters). The most common degrees are B.A. and
B.S., both given generally after the completion of a four-year course
of study and sometimes followed by a mark of excellence, such as cum
laude (with praise); magna cum laude (with great praise); or summa
cum laude (with highest praise). The master’s degree is granted after
one or two years of post-graduate work and may require the writing of
a theses or dissertation. The doctoral degree requires two to five years
of post-graduate work, the writing of a dissertation, and the passing of
oral and written examinations

DEPARTMENT (ACADEMIC): Most colleges and universities


are organized into academic divisions called departments. For exam-
ple, the faculty members who teach English as a second language or
history are organized into the department of ESL or history depart-
ment. These departments have a chairperson who is appointed by the
academic vice president upon the recommendation of the dean of the
college or school, usually in consultation with the department’s fac-
ulty members. Chairpersons are generally senior professors in the de-
partment. Among the chairperson’s responsibilities are organizing the
schedules of courses offered by the department and assigning faculty
to teach them; appointing new faculty members to the department,
usually based upon recommendations of faculty search committees;
evaluating faculty within the department on their teaching, research,
and service for promotion, tenure, or termination; implementing uni-
versity or college-wide policies within the department; and presiding
over meetings of the faculty members of the department

DIPLOMA: a document given upon completion of a specified


amount of work in an educational institution. In public schools, diplo-
153
mas are most commonly given after a student completes elementary
school, junior high school (middle school), and senior high school. In
colleges, diplomas are granted to those undergraduate students who
have earned an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. In graduate or profes-
sional schools they are granted on completion of the work required for
the graduate or professional degree. In the case of professional degrees,
the diploma may also serve as the authority to practice the profession

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY, PH.D.: the highest academic de-


gree conferred by U.S. universities, although recipients of this degree
may have studied any number of academic fields other than philoso-
phy. Admission to doctoral programs requires completion of an un-
dergraduate degree program and usually, but not always, of a master’s
degree program. Students pursuing a doctorate must take a specific
number of advanced graduate level courses, requiring at least two or
three years of study beyond the master’s degree. Upon passing a writ-
ten or oral examination, or a combination of both, doctoral students
are granted the status of doctoral candidates. At that point they must
research and write a dissertation on an original topic, and then suc-
cessfully defend it before a committee of professors in the field

DROP-OUT: a person who leaves school, college, or university


before finishing his/her studies

DORMITORY (DORM): a residence hall providing sleeping


and residential quarters for college or university students. Almost all
freshmen and sophomores are required to live in the dorm and have a
meal plan. Students at boarding schools also live in the dorm

DRAMA CLASS: an elective in high school, a branch of the per-


forming arts concerned with acting out stories in front of an audience us-
ing combinations of speech, gesture, music, dance, sound and spectacle

DRAMA DEPARTMENT: a division or department at a college


or university which specializes in pre-professional training in drama
154
and theatre arts, such as acting, design and technical theatre, arts ad-
ministration and related subjects

DRUGGIES, THE: a social group in US high schools, students


(or one could say “a group of people, young or older”) who are in-
volved in drug and alcohol abuse

ELECTIVE CLASSES (ELECTIVES): classes that may be


chosen or selected by a student, not compulsory.
In American high schools, students have more individual control
of their education. Freshman students usually have 4 or 5 compulsory
subjects, with perhaps one elective, while senior students may have
only 2 compulsory courses, with the rest chosen by students them-
selves in consultation with their guidance counselors. Common types
of electives include the following:
– Visual arts (drawing, sculpture, painting, photography, film
studies, and art history)
– Performing arts (choir, drama, band, orchestra, dance)
– Vocational education (woodworking, metal working, comput-
er-aid drafting, automobile repair, agriculture, cosmetology)
– Computer science / business education / information techno­
logy / media technologies (word processing, programming, graphic
design, computer club, Web design and web programming, video
game design, music production, film production)
– Journalism/publishing (school newspaper, yearbook, televi-
sion production)
– Foreign languages (the most common — French, German,
Italian and Spanish; less common — Chinese, Japanese, Russian,
Greek, Latin, Korean, Dutch, Portuguese, and American Sign Lan-
guage)
– Business Education (Accounting, Data processing, Entrepre-
neurship, Finance, General Business, Information and Communica-
tion Technology, Management, Marketing, Secretarial

155
– Family and Consumer Science / Health (nutrition, nursing,
culinary, child development, and additional physical education, and
weight training classes);
– Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps ( JROTC may replace
a credit of Health or Physical Education);
– Drivers’ Education (In some schools it is a credit course, in
others it’s only available after school).
Note, that among the electives listed above, many would be of-
fered only in large city high schools

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: the first 4 to 8 years of a child’s for-


mal education. The number of years of instruction in the elementary
school varies from community to community depending on the size of
the school population. At the present time, most elementary schools
enroll children of ages 5 to 12, kindergarten through fifth or sixth
grade. (This depends on whether the elementary school is followed
by a “middle school” (6–8) or a “junior high” (7–8). Some elemen-
tary schools include pre-school. Taxpayers pay for school buildings,
teachers’ salaries and school supplies and equipment. The elementary
school curriculum includes language arts, mathematics, social studies,
science, music and art. Elementary school students typically remain
in one or two classrooms during the school day, with the exception of
physical education, (P.E. or gym), library, music and art classes

ESSAY QUESTION: a difficult type of test both to take and to


evaluate, as each individual student is required to compose a com-
plete answer. The essay question requires students to demonstrate
critical thinking as well as a wide range of knowledge and accurate
recall of figures and facts. For teachers, the essay test can present
scoring problems because of the subjective nature of answers. Ac-
curate scoring includes four basic procedures: submission of papers
without students’ names, the listing, in advance, of specific facts or
answers that are expected from the students and their point value
each, dual grading (for content and language, evaluation of tests by
two or more teachers)
156
EXAM (INATION): tests, usually in written form in most Ameri-
can schools, elementary through university level. The exams may be
multiple choice, true-false, fill-in-the-blank, short answer, or essay,
devised by qualified educators, which are graded by the teacher or
professor. Graduate school master’s and doctoral programs are com-
monly finalized with an oral comprehensive exam

FACULTY: entire teaching staff of a high school, college or uni-


versity

FEE: moneys charged by a college or university for their educa-


tional and other services. The entire cost of college education consists
of tuition, room and board, books, and student service fees which may
include counseling, campus transportation, health insurance, recrea-
tional sports, discounted tickets for intercollegiate sports competitions
on campus.

FINANCIAL AID: financial help to pay tuition and other costs


of attending college. The chief sources of financial aid are federal pro-
grams, state grant programs, private grants, and institutional sources
at the college or university. These could include income from a variety
of part-time job opportunities on campus, such as employment in a li-
brary, cafeteria, or office. Aid may be either a grant based on financial
need, a merit-based scholarship, or a loan that the student must repay
with interest in the future. More of the financial aid that most students
now receive comes in the form of a loan rather than a grant or an
award. For example, in 2007 the typical total grant size coming from
different federal, state, institutional sources was about 43.7 percent,
while loan size had increased to 56.3 percent
Source: The college board. Trends in student aid 2007. Microsoft
® Encarta ® 2009

157
FINANCIAL AID OFFICE: an official division of a college or
university in charge of processing financial aid to students. Its staff of
financial aid advisers gives assistance to the students who apply

FINANCIAL AID FORM: documented confidential information


required of applicants for financial aid to a college or university which
includes family financial status. With this information the college can
evaluate the family’s ability to meet the college expenses, enabling the
college to adjust the amount of financial aid according to need

FINAL EXAM: the examination that takes place at the end of a


course of study or studies for a professional degree. It is a longer and
harder exam than periodic course tests, and accounts heavily in the final
course grade. Students informally call this exam a “final” or “finals”

FRATERNITY: a Greek letter social society for men who are stu-
dents at a college or university with a name consisting of individually
pronounced Greek letters.
The word fraternity comes from the Latin word frater meaning
“brother.” There are four types of Greek-letter organizations: social,
professional, academic or honorary, and service. Social Greek-letter
organizations are the best known and most numerous. The first frater-
nity, Phi Beta Kappa, was founded at the college of William and Mary
on December 5, 1776. The largest academic fraternities include Phi
Kappa Phi, which limits membership to college juniors and seniors
who have excelled academically; Phi Beta Sigma, a national honor
society for college freshmen; and Phi Beta Kappa, which honors stu-
dents graduating at the top of their college class.
Originally, the main goals of the society stated in many fraternity
chapters were these: a sense of community, a system of honor, the cour-
age to live one’s ideals, and a respect for academic life of the mind and
the benefits of exercise. But after reaching record membership levels of
about 400,000 in 1990, fraternity membership began decreasing as the
number of students on financial aid increased and fewer students were
able or willing to afford the hundreds of dollars in annual membership
158
costs, as well as increasing alcohol and drug abuse and even deaths
due to fraternity initiation rituals. By 2000, there were about 150 men’s
and women’s residential and social fraternities, of which 25 were all
women sororities that were not associated with the dangerous tradi-
tions of men’s fraternities. In addition to the more than 150 fraternities
and sororities, there were nearly 90 professional fraternities, 40 rec-
ognition and honor societies for students who achieved distinction in
scholarship, social contributions or academic achievements
(See also sorority)
Reference: The Hazing Reader ed. by Hank Nuwer (2004). Bloom-
ington. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press;
Roger B. Winston Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009.

FRESHMAN: A student in the first year of high school or col-


lege

GRADE POINT AVERAGE (GPA): an indication of a student’s


academic achievement at a college or university, calculated as the total
number of grade points received over a given period divided by the
total number of credits awarded

GRADE: 1) a single division of a school classified usually by


year according to the age or progress of the pupils of such a division.
2) a letter, number, or other symbol indicating the relative quality of
the student’s work

GRADE OF ZERO: an F/E, 0 points, in other words to fail a


subject
GRADE SCHOOL: elementary school

GRADING SYSTEM: form of five letter grades used in Ameri-


can academic grading system.
Historically, the grades were A, B, C, D, and F, A being the highest
and F, denoting failure, the lowest. In the mid-twentieth century, many
159
American educational institutions, especially in the Midwest (particu-
larly the state of Michigan) began to use the letters A, B, C, D, and E,
the only difference being that failure is denoted by E instead of F, which
is not used by these schools. The A–F/A–E quality index is typically
quantified by correlation to a five-point numerical scale as follows:
A = 4.0
B = 3.0
C = 2.0
D = 1.0
E/F = 0.0
Like all prototypes, the A–F/E system admits many variations.
These often take the form of plusses and minuses, thereby producing
a scale having the possibility of fifteen distinct units: A+, A, A–, B+,
B, B–. and so forth. In actual practice A+ is seldom used, the same
is true for D+ and D– an F/ E+ and F/E– to denote degrees of a very
low score or no score at all (F/E), thereby forming a scale of between
eight to ten units. The grade A+ is used frequently to denote 100% in
American education. The minority of institutions that use it may quan-
tify the grade as 4.3 or 4.5, but many of them quantify A+ as 4.0 on the
theory that a 4.0 scale cannot go higher than 4.0. Though in Advanced
Placement (AP) classes students receiving A or A+ are given higher
grade than 4.0 and many times when a senior’s grades are averaged,
it is found that they have achieved college credits already, before they
have even begun their freshman year.
American high schools typically require a 1.0 grade point average
to qualify to take a diploma. The industry standard for undergraduate
institutions is a minimum of 2.0 average. Most graduate schools have
required a 3.0 grade point average since 1975 (the transition began two
decades earlier), but some schools still have 2.75 as their pass standard.
Letter Percentage Standing Notes
A* 80–100 Standard of *Final course grades in this range
Excellence are annotated with Honors Standing
in the Alberta Senior High School
Transcript

160
Letter Percentage Standing Notes
B 65–79 Acceptable
Standard
C 50–64 Acceptable
Standard
D** 40–49 ** As of September 1986, final gr-
ades in this range are not awarded
any credits toward Alberta Senior
High School Diploma
F/ E*** 0–49 *** Failing grade with no credits
awarded toward Alberta Senior
High School Diploma

GRADING PERIOD: a number of months included in assigning


grades to individual students in a particular class

GRADUATE: a person who has completed a course of study at


school or college and has received a degree or diploma in recognition
of the completion of a course of study at a school or college

GRADUATE DEGREE: a second or third degree, either mas-


ter’s, professional, or doctoral degree, earned in graduate study after
the baccalaureate, in a specific discipline or field

GRADUATE SCHOOL: an institution of higher learning, usu-


ally a university, offering courses in the entire spectrum of arts and
sciences at levels higher than those available at four-year colleges.
Successful completion of graduate school studies usually leads to
the award of a master’s or doctorate degrees in the arts, sciences and
a variety of professions. The first pure graduate school in the Unit-
ed States was the John Hopkins Medical School, separate from the
university, but requiring a four-year college (bachelor’s degree) as a
prerequisite for admission. Of the 20.5 million students enrolled in
institutions of higher education in the United States in 2006, about
3.4.milion 12% were in graduate school.
Source: US Census Bureau, 2006.
161
GRADUATION: the action of conferring degree or the ceremo-
ny at which students become graduates. The graduation itself is also
called commencement.

GRADUATION DAY: in the United States, the day that the grad-
uation ceremony (Commencement) is held in college and university,
high school, middle school or even kindergarten and preschool.
At the institutions of higher learning commencement is conducted
in accordance with the Academic Ceremony Guide, keeping core aca-
demic ceremony traditions, while at the high school level details vary
from school to school, such as color of cap and gown.
At many large colleges and universities degrees are granted at the
main ceremony (Commencement) involving all graduates in a sport
stadium, parade ground or lawn or other outdoor venue followed by
smaller ceremonies (diploma ceremony) where deans and faculty of a
college or academic department distribute diplomas to their graduates.
It is common for graduates not to receive their actual diploma at the
ceremony but instead a certificate indicating that they participated in
the ceremony or a portfolio to hold their diploma in. At the high school
level, this allows academic administrators to withhold diplomas from
students who are unruly during the ceremony. At the college level, this
allows students who need an additional quarter or semester to satisfy
their academic requirements to nevertheless participate in the official
ceremony with their classmates before receiving their degree.
At most colleges and universities in the United States, a faculty
member or dean will ceremoniously recommend that each class of can-
didates (often by college but sometimes by program/major) be award-
ed the proper degree, which is then formally and officially conferred
by the president or other institutional official. Typically the ceremony
includes a procession of faculty and students dressed in traditional
academic caps and gowns, singing of the school alma mater or the
national anthem and the offering of prayers, followed by the formal
award of diplomas. A Commencement address is then presented by an
invited honored guest, with shorter speeches by an academic official,
and the class valedictorian
162
GRADUATION SPEECH: presentation given at Commence-
ment by some of the best students, usually valedictorians are being
so honored

KINDERGARTEN: the first year of elementary school or the last


year of preschool for children of four or five years old.
Kindergarten students are typically taught the alphabet, numbers,
and colors; they study their bodies, their families, and their com-
munities; they listen to stories read aloud; they make art projects;
they participate in dramatic productions; and they learn about holi-
days, plants, animals, and other topics in science and social studies.
Some kindergartens also teach introductory reading and mathemati-
cal skills. At present there is greater emphasis on learning to read and
write and study

LEGACY: a special status given to a student willing to join the


fraternity or sorority whose brother/sister, mother/father, aunt/uncle,
and/or grandfather/grandmother is an initiated member of a particular
fraternity or sorority. Legacies are often granted special consideration
in the membership recruitment process but never guaranteed member-
ship. High school graduates whose relatives went to the same college
or university are also granted the status of a legacy and some privi-
leges when being considered for admission

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Most daily newspapers have edi-


torial pages that reflect the opinions of the paper’s editorial team, pub-
lisher, or owner. The editorial page may include a selection of letters
from readers. Readers write letters to the editor to express their own
opinions about newsworthy events or about the way stories were cov-
ered in previous editions of the newspaper or ask questions concerning
the most urgent problems

163
LIVE-IN MOTHER’S HELPER: a person hired to help care for
the children in the home and also assist with other tasks. This person
would reside with the family

LOCKER: a chest, compartment, or closet in which clothing and


valuables may be locked for safekeeping. Students usually leave their
books, coats, boots, and other personal items in lockers and change
their textbooks, etc. between lessons. Lockers are usually situated in
the main corridor of the school on both sides. Students are often asked
to share lockers

LOSER: an especially offensive word for a weak person who lacks


such qualities as courage, readiness to risk and test oneself, competi-
tiveness; a person who fails to become successful at least in something
such as sports, music, art, academics during their school career

LUNCH: noon meal time at high school which has a social signif-
icance apart from just eating. At lunch it is easy to notice that students
are divided into high school social groups who sit together in certain
areas of the lunchroom or other designated areas

LUNCH TICKET: a ticket that is purchased by students for the


noon meal, or perhaps given to students from low-income families
to provide them with free lunches at school cafeteria, and sometimes
even partially subsidized for the children whose families can afford to
pay a reduced costs of the lunch

MAGNA CUM LAUDE: one of the three marks of excellence


that follow commonly granted degrees in U.S. colleges and univer-
sities — B.A or Bachelor of Arts and B.S. or Bachelor of Science
both given generally after the completion of a 4 year course of study.
These marks of excellence are cum laude – with praise; magna cum
laude – with great praise; or summa cum laude – with the greatest
praise
164
MAJOR: courses of concentrated, specialized study at col-
lege. Students normally begin specializing in the junior year and
continue in their senior year. During that time they must complete
a minimum number of courses in that subject or subject group to
earn their degrees and graduate. The number varies from college to
college but ranges between 10 and 14 courses at colleges requir-
ing 36 courses for graduation. Many colleges also require a senior
seminar or theses in each major to demonstrate the depth of each
student’s knowledge

MERIT SCHOLAR: a student with above average performance,


outstanding student

MIDDLE CLASS: the section of society between the poor and


the wealthy, including business and professional people and skilled
workers

MIDDLE SCHOOL: a school for children between the ages


of about 11and 14, depending on the school’s location and stu-
dent population in a certain school district. It serves as a “bridge”
between elementary school and high school and comprises grades
6, 7, and 8. Another common model includes grades 5–8. Middle
school is often used instead of junior high school in the areas with
a growing number of younger students, whereas junior highs tend
to only include grades 7 and 8, and sometimes 7, 8, and 9. Mid-
dle school is typically housed in a separate building apart from
elementary school

MINOR: a secondary study, after a major study has been selected,


usually involves far fewer courses than the major (a close Russian
equivalent is vtoraya spetsialnost). Thus one might major in Psychol-
ogy and minor in Sociology or major in American History and minor
in Political Science or visa versa

165
NATIONAL RANKING: having a position in a countrywide
classification or scale of achievement

NCAA DIVISION: the governing body of intercollegiate sports


of most major American colleges and universities. The National Colle-
giate Athletic Association, founded in 1906, has 1,100 member colleg-
es and universities and sets standards and rules for competitive sports
in 20 men’s and women’s sports; it compiles and records statistics of
results in collegiate sports

NERD: an unstylish, unattractive, or socially awkward person;


esp: one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic activity, as for
example ‘computer nerd’

PARTY SCHOOL: slang expression given to a college or univer-


sity where the students seem more interested in social activities than
academic

PEER: somebody who is the equal to somebody else in a rank,


status, age, ability or social class

PEER PRESSURE: a phenomena in school, strong influence of


group members on each other to behave in the same way, even if the
behavior is not good. Because of peer pressure students of different
peer groups do not have close contacts and cannot communicate with
each other. Otherwise a student may lose his friends from his peer
group

PENNY LOAFERS: casual leather shoe with decorative slotted


leather strip over the upper in which a coin may be placed

PEP RALLY: student gathering designed to create enthusiasm, to


stir school spirit and boost the morale of the team led by coaches and
cheer leaders, especially one held before a sporting event
166
PERIOD: a portion of a school day, the length of a single class

PLEDGE: a student who has been invited and has promised to


join a fraternity or sorority and who is undergoing a trial period before
formal initiation

PLEDGESHIP: trial period before formal initiation that is typi-


cally 10 weeks long. It begins on the first Monday of the fall semester.
Pledges who are usually freshmen and sometimes sophomores learn
about the history, traditions and ideals of the fraternity under the guid-
ance of pledge educators

“POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE”: March No.1 by Sir Edward


Elgar used for ceremonial occasions. In the United States, March No.1
is known as “graduation song”, and is associated with graduation cer-
emonies. It was first played at such a ceremony on June 28, 1905 at
Yale University where the professor of music Samuel Sanford had in-
vited his friend Elgar to attend commencement and receive an honor-
ary Doctorate of Music

PREPARATORY SCHOOL (PREP SCHOOL): private high


school that prepares students for entrance to college or university

PREPPY: 1. a student in a prep school. 2. a student or young


adult whose manner and dress are traditional and conservative. Prep-
pies are often associated with a certain elite subculture, belonging
to the upper classes of society. In the 1980s with the publication of
“An Official Preppy Handbook” there appeared a fashion for “preppy”
lifestyle. Apart from accuracy and elegance in clothing, the handbook
prescribed what accent to talk with, where to shop, what car to drive,
and even the breed of the dog that would be appropriate for a preppy

PRESCHOOL: early education of three to five years olds who


haven’t entered kindergarten, administered by such institutions as Day
Care Centers, Nursery schools, pre-kindergarten. Parents are respon-
167
sible for preschool costs. Preschool emphasizes both play and educa-
tional activities

PRINCIPAL: the highest ranking administrator in an elementary,


middle or high school. The majority of principals at all three levels are
males. But there is a growing tendency of hiring female principals, es-
pecially in elementary schools. Principals are appointed by the school
board with the consent of the school superintendent

PRIVATE SCHOOL: any school not operated or directly funded


by a government agency. Private education has expanded greatly in
the United States in the early 21 century due to the growing concern
about public schools, their educational methods and contents, school
violence and other social issues that lead parents to seek alternatives.
School vouchers allow parents to take money from the public system
to subsidize their choice of private education. Private schools include
religious day and boarding schools, nonsectarian (independent) day
and boarding schools, military schools and special education schools.
About 12 percent of American elementary and secondary school (high
school) students attend private schools, and 24 percent of all elemen-
tary and secondary schools in the United States are private. They have
much lower student-teacher ratios and, consequently, higher-quality
education. The vast majority of private schools are Roman Catholic
parochial (elementary) and diocesan (secondary) schools that are op-
erated by religious organizations and churches. Independent schools
tend to be the strongest, most academically demanding of the private
schools. Though private school children constitute only 12% of all
school children, they fill about 40% of the seats at the most selective,
academically demanding and prestigious universities — Yale, Har-
vard, Princeton and Stanford. Education in American private schools
is expensive
Arthur G. Powell. Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009

PROFESSOR: a tenured faculty member of the highest rank at


higher education institutions
168
There are now three professorial ranks in U.S. colleges and uni-
versities: assistant professor, associate professor and (full) professor.
The latter requires a doctorate degree

PROM (PROMENADE): in secondary or higher education, a


formal dance party held at the end of the junior year (junior prom),
and at the end of the senior year (senior prom). Girls wear stylish and
often long dresses, and boys wear tuxedoes. Prom is held in a beauti-
fully decorated high school gym or at a dance floor in a hotel. Students
come to prom in couples, but sometimes people go there in groups of
friends. There are usually further parties after the prom is over (post-
prom). It is the privilege for seniors and juniors to come to the prom.
Freshmen and sophomores can only come if they are invited by sen-
iors or juniors. Prom is one of the most exciting and memorable events
in high school social life

PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM: government funded, not private,


system of education comprised of 12 grades of study over 12 calen-
dar years of primary and secondary education before graduation and
eligibility for college admission. After pre-kindergarten, there are five
years of elementary school. After completing five grades, the student
will enter junior high or middle school and then high school to get the
high school diploma
Typical age (at the end
Level/Grade
of the school year)
Pre-school
Various optional programs, such as Head Start Under 6
Pre-Kindergarten 4–5
Kindergarten 5–6
Elementary school (grade school)
1st Grade 6–7
2nd Grade 7–8
3rd Grade 8–9
4th Grade 9–10
5th Grade 10–11

169
Typical age (at the end
Level/Grade
of the school year)
Middle school
6th Grade 11–12
7th Grade 12–13
8th Grade 13-14
High school
9th Grade (freshman) 14–15
10th Grade (sophomore) 15–16
11th grade (junior) 16–17
12th Grade (senior) 17–18

PUNKERS: a social group in American high schools who are


punk-rock music fans, wear brightly colored hair, chains, pins, and
torn clothing. Also, a slang expression for young men or boys who get
into fights and break the law

QUAD: a square open area with buildings all around it, esp. in a
school or college. It is the heart of any campus. It is a meeting and eating
place. Students gather on the quad during recess, or after classes just to
socialize, throw Frisbees, or lie on the grass, or work on the computer

REDNECK: originally referred to poor white people esp. from the


Southern states whose necks are red from being in the sun for a long time.
In the United States there exists a certain stereotype of perceiving this
social group as uneducated, prejudiced people with particularly racist and
sexist opinions, driving pick-up trucks, drinking beer, and always having
a rifle at hand. More recently the term has expanded to mean bigoted, or
opposed to modern ways. Redneck may also refer to a social high school
group coming from the environment that shares such opinions

ROOM AND BOARD: in colleges and universities in the United


States, the cost of living and dining in the dormitory. Students can
choose a variety of meal plans including one, two or three meals a day.
170
On most campuses freshmen and sophomores are required to live in
university dorms while juniors and seniors may live off campus if they
choose so

RUSH: the process whereby college fraternities or sororities en-


tertain new students in order to assess their suitability for membership
prior to inviting them to join

RUSHEE: a college student being recruited by a fraternity or so-


rority

RUSH WEEK: a week before classes begin at a college or uni-


versity when fraternities and sororities entertain students who are in-
terested in becoming members

SAFETY SCHOOL: a colloquial expression used to denote a


least desired among colleges and universities one applies to for admis-
sion, chosen in case he /she is rejected from all others

SAT (SCHOLASTIC ASSESSMENT TEST): a battery of tests


designed to determine a high school student’s ability to do college work.
Scholastic Assessment Tests are divided into two parts: SATI and SATII.
Once called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, SATI is a reasoning test con-
sisting of two parts, the first dealing with verbal skills and the second
with mathematical skills. The three parts of the verbal test — sentence
completion, questions, analogy questions and reading comprehension
questions — last 30, 30 and 15 minutes, respectively. Similarly, the
mathematics section tests the student’s ability to reason logically and to
apply mathematical concepts to problems in order to arrive at appropri-
ate solutions. The three parts of the mathematics test – multiple choice
questions, quantitative comparison questions and student-produced re-
sponse questions — last 25, 25 and 25 minutes, respectively. Calcula-
tors are permitted. The tests are usually given in January, March, May,
June, October, November and December each year
171
The SATIIs test academic knowledge of specific subjects. Once called
achievement tests, they last 1 hour each and consist of multiple choice
questions, with one test available for various levels or types of writing,
literature, history (American, European etc.), mathematics, the sciences
etc. Not all colleges require SATIIs, but most of those who do use them
not only to determine whether to accept the student but also at what level
to place the student in each subject. A high score in a particular subject
may exempt the student from the freshmen requirement in that subject and
allow enrollment to a higher level. A very high score might even exempt
the student from the entire college requirement in that subject.
Special non-standard accommodations for taking SATs are avail-
able to students with documented visual, hearing, physical or learning
disabilities. SATS are graded on a scale of 200 to 800, with 500 the
absolute mean, or average.

SCHOLARSHIP: a sum of money awarded to a student to help


pay for tuition, living expenses or travel.

SCHOOL BOARD: local governing body overseeing schools. In


the United Stated it is a group of people elected in each county or local
school system to make decisions about education in public schools.

SCHOOL COUNCIL: a group of officers, elected by students


and consisting of students and some faculty members, acts as a chan-
nel of communication between the administrators of the institution,
such as the school principal or the president and board of governors
of a college, and the students. It also takes part in the regulation of
educational, disciplinary, and extracurricular activities and listens to
the grievances of students

SCHOOL DISTRICT: grouping of schools according to geo-


graphical location, usually schools of one county forming a district.
Each school district is administered by the district Board of Educa-
tion and the Superintendent. Most interscholastic sport tournaments
are held between the district schools
172
SCHOOL LIBRARY: the area in each school where age ap-
propriate books are kept, catalogued and arranged for use within the
school and for loaning to students and faculty. It’s common practice
in U.S. high schools to conduct classes of literature, history , geogra-
phy, foreign languages and other subjects at which students are given
tasks to look for information on a certain problem working with cata-
logs, encyclopedias, journals thus acquiring necessary library research
skills under the guidance of the teacher and the librarian

SCHOOL TRIP: planned outings for particular classes or groups


of students, organized by teachers and/or administration for students’
learning experiences

SCHOOL RECORD: important information pertaining to any


and all aspects of school life is kept by the school administration, such
as student performance, finances, activities, sporting events and so
forth

SCIENCE FAIR PROJECT: carefully prepared and planned as-


signment by a student or group of students, to be displayed during a
planned school exhibition

SEMESTER: a period into which the academic year is divided in


elementary schools, high schools and colleges and universities in the
United States. It lasts approximately 18 weeks (17 weeks of classes,
one week of finals with sometimes a short vacation, a few days, before
the next semester begins)

SEMINAR LEADER: person in charge of a planned conference


or meeting for discussion or training purposes

SENIOR: student in final year of high school or university

SENIOR PROM: dance held for the students in their final year of
high school or college
173
SHANGRI-LA: literally, a Tibetan utopia in James Hilon’s novel
Lost Horizons (1933), and often used figuratively as a retreat from
pressures of modern civilization, or a perfect place, a paradise on
earth

SHOP-CLASS: a class in which practical skills such as carpentry


or engineering are taught

SNAP COURSE: a class which appears to be easy, with little


study or preparation required

SOCCER: game played by two teams of eleven players with a


round ball that may not be touched with hands during play, except by
the goalkeepers, differing from American football

SOCIALITE: popular stylish (sometimes a preppy) person known


for going to fashionable parties. Socialites may form a social group in
some American high schools

SOPHOMORE: A second year student at high school, college or


university. In high school, students are also called 10th graders

SORORITY: a social fraternity for women. The word “sorority”


comes from the Latin word “soror” meaning “sister”

SOUL MATE: a term sometimes used to describe someone with


whom one has a feeling of deep and natural affinity, love, intimacy,
spirituality, and/or compatibility

SPORT SEASON: in America, a portion of a special calendar of


sport events divided into certain months of the school year. The end of
summer and early fall are usually devoted to American football, vol-
leyball, and cross-country and soccer. Winter is the basketball season.
Spring is the time for baseball, track and golf, with no school related
sports played during summer vacation
174
STIPEND: a fixed amount of money paid at regular intervals as a
salary or allowance in any arranged situation. It could refer to specific
situations, such as the following: .to cover living expenses of the students
who choose a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program which
is a college-based, officer commissioning program in the United States.
The program is designed as a college elective that focuses on leadership
development, problem solving, strategic planning, and professional eth-
ics. Army ROTS college scholarships provide up to $5000 annually for
living expenses, most books and fees and full tuition or room and board

STUDENT ACTIVITY (SERVICE) FEE: a sum of money paid


by college students annually which may include counseling, health in-
surance, campus transportation, recreational sports, discounted tickets
for intercollegiate sports competitions on campus

STUDENT BODY: the total student population of a particular


school, college or university

STUDENT BODY ELECTIONS: the activity of voting for,


choosing, student officers to represent the total student population of
a particular school

STUDENT BODY PRESIDENT: the highest position of an


elected student officer

STUDENT COUNCIL: an elected group of students who


represent the total student population in most public and private K-12
school systems across the United States. The student council helps
share students’ ideas, interests, and concerns with teachers and school
principals. They often also help raise funds for school-wide activities,
including social events community projects and school reform. The
National Association of Student Councils, based in Washington, D.C.,
coordinates the activities of about 10,000 student councils in the U.S.,
produces and distributes a number of informational publications, and
organizes educational tours for students
175
STUDENT GOVERNMENT: student led organization for regul-
ation of student activities, academic curricula, and discipline at schoo-
ls, colleges, and universities, the student council, which represents the
student body. Every class has a class officer. Student body officers of
a student council are elected by the entire student body of a secondary
school, college or university

STUDENT LOAN: a certain amount borrowed to help pay the


costs of higher education for students enrolled on at least a half-time
basis. In the United States student loans are available as direct and
indirect loans. Direct loans are issued by the federal government am-
ong about 500 participating colleges; direct loans are also available
from state government and as ordinary personal loans from banks
and other commercial and private sources including some colleges
and universities. Indirect loans, whose principal and interest are gu-
aranteed by the federal government, are available from commercial
banks at relatively low interest rates. In 2000, the federal governme-
nt accounted for more than 90% of direct and indirect student loans,
with 6% coming from the state governments and the remainder from
the private sector

STUDY GROUP: a certain number of students working together


on assigned lessons or projects

SUNDAE: an American ice cream dessert, served with a sweet


sauce, nuts and fruit

SUMMA CUM LAUDE: The highest distinction added to a deg-


ree of Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) granted
at U.S. colleges and universities

TEACHING ASSISTANT: faculty members who teach undergr-


aduate courses while completing their doctoral degree programs

176
TENURE: a ruling at many schools, colleges and universities whe-
reby a teacher or professor cannot be dismissed from his or her teaching
position unless there is a very serious reason. Colleges and universities
established tenure to assure professors that they have the academic free-
dom to teach their ideas without interference or fear of losing their jobs

TEST BOOKLET: the form in which an examination is given for


the student’s use

TESTING FACILITY: the place or room in which examinations


are given

THEATRE DEPARTMENT: division of study in a high school,


college or university

TUITION: sum of money charged for teaching or instruction by


a school, college, or university. In 2009, average annual tuition at a
public university (for residents of the state) was $7,020. At private
colleges and universities tuition is much higher. Depending upon
the type of school and program it can vary from 15,000 to as high as
50,000. The mean annual total cost (including all costs associated with
a full — time post-secondary schooling, such as tuition and fees, books
and supplies, room and board) are reported by College Board: Public
Universities (four — year) $27, 967 (per year), Private Universities
(four-year) $ 40, 476 (per year).
Total four-year schooling:
Public university 81,356
Private University 161,904
Due to the economic crisis the federal and state funding of col-
leges and universities has been shrinking in recent years. From 2000
to 2004 tuition rates at public schools increased over 14 percent, and
at private schools 6 percent over the same period. Between 1982 and
2007 college tuition and fees rose three times
Source: College Board ( 2005); Broader, David S. College afford-
ability about future (2008).
177
UNDERGRADUATE: a student in higher education who is en-
rolled in degree-credit coursework below the level of the bachelor’s
degree and who has normally not yet received a bachelor’s degree

UNDERGRADUATE SCHOOL: the first four years of college


or university which are treated as general education with some pre-
professional or disciplinary specialization, generally rewarded with
B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) or B.S. (Bachelor of Science), after which stu-
dents may stop or pause in their education. Students who go on must
reapply, often to different institutions in new admission competitions
with new letters, exams, applications and interviews

UNIVERSITY: an institution of post secondary education and


research, usually consisting of one or more four-year undergraduate
schools or colleges ( College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of
Engineering, College of Fine Arts etc.) which confer bachelor’s de-
grees, and one or more graduate ( College of Education, College of
Engineering, College of Social Work etc.) and professional schools
(Journalism school, Business school, Medical school, Law school,
Veterinary school, Pharmacy school, and Dental school), which con-
fer master’s degrees and doctorates. In contrast to liberal arts colleges,
universities’ main mission is graduate education and research. Ac-
cording to the Carnegie Classification of Higher education there are
two types of universities: doctorate-granting universities including
research institutions of three kinds (Research universities I, II, or III)
and Master’s colleges and universities. Many universities in the USA
are multi-campus, as for example 23-campus California State Univer-
sity. Universities in the USA are both public and private

VARSITY: a term identifying the major college or secondary


school athletic team that represents the institution in intercollegiate
or interscholastic sports competition; its first team in that sport. Junior
varsity applies to younger students, those who are freshmen and/or
sophomores, whose skills are not as developed as those who play on
178
the first team but who also participate in the competitive athlete events
of their school

WAITING LIST: a list of students waiting for a vacancy in a


college or university of their choice. An applicant may choose to stay
on this list, or else can accept a place at a university which is second
or third choice. If the waiting list status of the student’s first choice
school changes later to a definite offer, the applicant can always re-
move his application from his second choice university; however, the
deposit is nonrefundable

WORK-STUDY PROGRAM: an on-campus job program for


needy students to earn part of the costs of tuition and room and board
at college or university. Although there are many informal programs
whereby a college or university offers students on-campus job oppor-
tunities, work-study is a part of the Federal College Work-Study Pro-
gram

YANKEE: an informal expression for a person who lives in, or


is from the United States, originally referring to a person from one of
the northern states

YEARBOOK: an annual student publication that includes por-


traits, both individual and group, and that records photographically
events of the given academic year, details of school activities in the
previous year at a high school or college. Some schools are using
video yearbooks in addition to printed ones. Yearbooks are generally
compiled by a student committee, which may or may not be advised
by members of the faculty. The committee usually has one or more
editors who are responsible for collecting and compiling all of the
information to be contained within the book, also deciding the layout
and allocation of space for each contributor. In high schools yearbook
is also an elective course
179
СПИСОК ИСПОЛЬЗОВАННОЙ ЛИТЕРАТУРЫ

1. Baird’s Manual of American College Fraternities. Twentieth


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182
ИНТЕРНЕТ-РЕСУРСЫ

ACT Assessment www.act.org/aap


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www.achsnatl.org/pkl
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College Board www.collegeboard.com
Common application www.commonapp.org
Council of Graduate Schools http://www.cgs.net.org
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dia.ru/cat/multi/detail/42012/
Harvard University http://www.harvard.edu
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tion on College Campuses” www.edc.org/hec/pubs/model.htm
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encarta/default.mspx
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National Association for College Admission Counseling www.
nacac.com
National Center for Education Statistics http://nces.ed.gov
National Council of Teachers of English http://www.ncte.org
National Education Association http://www.nea.org
National Catholic Educational Association http://www.ncea.org
National Collegiate Athletic Association www.ncaa.org/about
Magnet schools of America http://www.magnet.edu
Preparing future Faculty http://www.preparing-faculty.org
Software Mackiev’s world Book 2011 Edition http://www.mack-
iev.com/world_book.html
Yale University www.yale.edu
U.S. Census Bureau http://www.census.gov
Wikipedia http://www.wikipedia.org
183
Н.В. Языкова, И.Н. Столярова, Е.С. Луткова

USA Education Reader:


High School and College Culture

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