新编英语教程第三册Unit10

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Unit 10

TEXT I

"Keep Class 2 Under Your Thumb"

Text

"You'll have to keep Class 2 under your thumb," said the headmaster. To make this clear, he showed me his own thumb; a huge thing, like a pocket cudgel. I felt very pale. I had reason enough to distrust my thumb.
Class 2. They were top year boys. Their own teacher had been sick for a long time; a succession of startled substitutes had stood before them, ducked, winced and fled. I was the seventh that term. No one quite knew where the class had got in any subject. It was plain the headmaster thought they had got nowhere. But I was to take them for nearly everything; and first, that awful afternoon, for history.
I trembled down to Room H. In the hall I was nearly knocked over by a boy illegally running. I should have told him off; instead, I apologized. It was all wrong; my mood was all placatory; I was, inwardly, all white flag.
The room was easily traced by the noise that was coming from it. It didn't sound a studious noise. I crept through the door. Enormous boys were everywhere, doing indefensible things. I can't recall much in particular what they were doing; indeed, that was the worst of it — that these improprieties couldn't be nailed down.
I managed to make out that mixed up with these giants was a certain amount of furniture. This consisted, I found, of individual desks; doll's house things that rested on mountainous knees and swayed from side to side. Too negligently or maliciously treated, one would, from time to time, crash to the floor. There were certainly fights going on; and I believe one desk was chasing another. The air was full of pieces of chalk, a strange rain of it.
Feeling invisible, I walked towards the teacher's desk. Not an eye was turned in my direction. I just stood there and looked at them and an awful pointless indignation mounted in me. Was I not a teacher? Was I really so puny, so ineffective?
"Now, shut up," I shouted. There was a fatal note of pleading in my voice. They took no notice, so I shouted again.
And then I said, "If you don't shut up, I'll..." Now they heard me and an awful silence came, not an obedient silence but a sceptical one. My voice trailed away. If they didn't shut up, I would — what? I was toying inwardly with ideas of thunderbolts, earthquakes, mass executions. But in cold blood I could think of no practical substitute for these dramatic punishments.
A boy leaned back in his desk, indolently far back, and said, "Are you going to try to teach us?" He looked round and laughed. There was a murmur from the back of the room and another laugh.
I was shocked to the core. Shocked, stung and frightened. "Yes, I am," I shouted. "And you — you had better shut up."
They all laughed. Then they turned to one another and discussed the matter. A fight began at the back. But what hurt me most was that in the middle of the room sat a very studious-looking boy reading a book. He looked up, raised a wry eyebrow, looked at me, raised his eyebrow higher, and then shrugged himself back into his book.
I shouted for a while, but it was beyond me. I hadn't the manner. I was a plain impostor. My blushing and bawling were a joy to them. There was, for a time, pandemonium, like a big scene in an opera being played backwards on a gramophone.
It struck me that I had in my briefcase a book on Chaucer. It contained a large number of documents of the period. Accounts of street brawls. It seemed appropriate.
It was, alas, very big and looked very academic. "Cor, the Bible," said a voice. "Read any good book lately?" said another. "You hit me with that and I'll tell my dad." "He can read!" And in falsetto, "Tell us a fairy story!"
From Roaring Boys by Edward Blishen

TEXT II

An Exeter School Boy

Colin Lockwood was bored and tired. There were three reasons for this, he told himself; it was an exceptionally warm afternoon; he had only had a few hours' sleep last night because of the air-raid; and Mr. Kitchen, the history master, was being even duller and more aggravating than usual. Sixty or seventy people dead. No one Colin or his family knew; most of the bombs had fallen on King Street, on Wonford and Pennsylvania, areas some distance away from where he lived. But the stories of what had happened had been filtering through all day. More than a hundred houses destroyed. An air-raid warden blown off his bike and thrown head-first into a sewage pond, not a scratch on him; the only treatment he needed was a hot bath.
Why Exeter? There were no targets the Germans needed to destroy, no industry, no munitions factories, nothing. But it had a beautiful cathedral. That was the reason, people said.
He gazed out of the window. Lucky third-formers outside on the field, playing cricket! Pluck! The noise of ball on bat. Pluck! A shout of excitement: someone had hit a six. If you hit a six that smashed the pavilion clock, the school presented you with the bat and ball to keep. No-one had ever smashed the pavilion clock, of course. And tomorrow, when he should be out on the field, when it was the turn of the fifth-formers, it would rain. He was sure it would rain. After all, it was only just May; afternoons like this were a surprise, a real bonus.
He rested his head on his arms, and looked at the new leaf-buds on the trees; when he half-shut his eyes they were like green dust in the slanting light, pale, as if they had not expected such sun, such heat. His sister Mary had a dress that colour. An expensive thing it was. He dozed right off.
He was woken by a sharp dig in the ribs. It was the boy who shared his desk. Terry Wootton. Colin disliked Wootton, who was an evacuee from London and who seemed to think, like all the evacuees from London, that he was superior in every way to the Exeter boys.
Colin sensed that something was wrong. The whole class was staring at him. There were a few grins of malice, particularly on the faces of the Cockneys.
"Go on! Answer!" Wootton hissed.
Mr. Kitchen was leaning against the blackboard, idly throwing a piece of chalk in the air and catching it again. He looked distinctly unamused. Dangerous, in fact.
"Did you ask me a question, sir?" Colin ventured, timidly.
The class dissolved in laughter. "No, I did not," said Mr. Kitchen, and added, "I hardly ever think it worthwhile asking a question of you, Lockwood, as I know perfectly well I shall never get an answer. At least, not a correct answer." The class guffawed obligingly. "As it so happened I was speaking to Wootton. I was merely wondering if he could explain why you were fast asleep."
Colin glared at his neighbour, who was looking intently at his exercise book, a self-satisfied smile on his face. I'll wipe that smirk off your ugly mug, Colin thought; just wait till the bell goes!
"As you're wasting both my time and that of the whole class," Mr. Kitchen went on, "I'll waste yours, Lockwood. You can write me a four-page essay entitled 'Why I am a fool.' No, boy! Not why I am a fool. I may well be one, but I'm not interested in your views on that. Why you" — and he jabbed his finger at Colin — "are a fool. And that's in addition to the homework I set just now. I suppose you were asleep then, were you? Do you know what it is?"
"No, sir."
"So you'll just have to ask Wootton, won't you? Now, as I was saying, in a city like Exeter there is history in every nook and cranny."
Colin seethed with anger. Who did Kitchen think he was? So many members of staff had been called up for the war in the last year or two that the whole school had gone to rack and ruin as a result. Aged fools, yanked out of their retirement bungalows, attempted to go through the motions of teaching.
From Exeter Blitz by David Rees
Unit 10 TEXT I "Keep Class 2 Under Your Thumb" Text "You'll have to keep Class 2 under your thumb," said the headmaster. To make this clear, he showed me his own thumb; a huge thing, like a pocket cudgel. I felt very pale. I had reason enough to distrust my thumb. Class 2. They were top year boys. Their own teacher had been sick for a long time; a succession of startled substitutes had stood before them, ducked, winced and fled. I was the seventh that term. No one quite knew where the class had got in any subject. It was plain the headmaster thought they had got nowhere. But I was to take them for nearly everything; and first, that awful afternoon, for history. I trembled down to Room H. In the hall I was nearly knocked over by a boy illegally running. I should have told him off; instead, I apologized. It was all wrong; my mood was all placatory; I was, inwardly, all white flag. The room was easily traced by the noise that was coming from it. It didn't sound a studious noise. I crept through the door. Enormous boys were everywhere, doing indefensible things. I can't recall much in particular what they were doing; indeed, that was the worst of it — that these improprieties couldn't be nailed down. I managed to make out that mixed up with these giants was a certain amount of furniture. This consisted, I found, of individual desks; doll's house things that rested on mountainous knees and swayed from side to side. Too negligently or maliciously treated, one would, from time to time, crash to the floor. There were certainly fights going on; and I believe one desk was chasing another. The air was full of pieces of chalk, a strange rain of it. Feeling invisible, I walked towards the teacher's desk. Not an eye was turned in my direction. I just stood there and looked at them and an awful pointless indignation mounted in me. Was I not a teacher? Was I really so puny, so ineffective? "Now, shut up," I shouted. There was a fatal note of pleading in my voice. They took no notice, so I shouted again. And then I said, "If you don't shut up, I'll..." Now they heard me and an awful silence came, not an obedient silence but a sceptical one. My voice trailed away. If they didn't shut up, I would — what? I was toying inwardly with ideas of thunderbolts, earthquakes, mass executions. But in cold blood I could think of no practical substitute for these dramatic punishments. A boy leaned back in his desk, indolently far back, and said, "Are you going to try to teach us?" He looked round and laughed. There was a murmur from the back of the room and another laugh. I was shocked to the core. Shocked, stung and frightened. "Yes, I am," I shouted. "And you — you had better shut up." They all laughed. Then they turned to one another and discussed the matter. A fight began at the back. But what hurt me most was that in the middle of the room sat a very studious-looking boy reading a book. He looked up, raised a wry eyebrow, looked at me, raised his eyebrow higher, and then shrugged himself back into his book. I shouted for a while, but it was beyond me. I hadn't the manner. I was a plain impostor. My blushing and bawling were a joy to them. There was, for a time, pandemonium, like a big scene in an opera being played backwards on a gramophone. It struck me that I had in my briefcase a book on Chaucer. It contained a large number of documents of the period. Accounts of street brawls. It seemed appropriate. It was, alas, very big and looked very academic. "Cor, the Bible," said a voice. "Read any good book lately?" said another. "You hit me with that and I'll tell my dad." "He can read!" And in falsetto, "Tell us a fairy story!" From Roaring Boys by Edward Blishen TEXT II An Exeter School Boy Colin Lockwood was bored and tired. There were three reasons for this, he told himself; it was an exceptionally warm afternoon; he had only had a few hours' sleep last night because of the air-raid; and Mr. Kitchen, the history master, was being even duller and more aggravating than usual. Sixty or seventy people dead. No one Colin or his family knew; most of the bombs had fallen on King Street, on Wonford and Pennsylvania, areas some distance away from where he lived. But the stories of what had happened had been filtering through all day. More than a hundred houses destroyed. An air-raid warden blown off his bike and thrown head-first into a sewage pond, not a scratch on him; the only treatment he needed was a hot bath. Why Exeter? There were no targets the Germans needed to destroy, no industry, no munitions factories, nothing. But it had a beautiful cathedral. That was the reason, people said. He gazed out of the window. Lucky third-formers outside on the field, playing cricket! Pluck! The noise of ball on bat. Pluck! A shout of excitement: someone had hit a six. If you hit a six that smashed the pavilion clock, the school presented you with the bat and ball to keep. No-one had ever smashed the pavilion clock, of course. And tomorrow, when he should be out on the field, when it was the turn of the fifth-formers, it would rain. He was sure it would rain. After all, it was only just May; afternoons like this were a surprise, a real bonus. He rested his head on his arms, and looked at the new leaf-buds on the trees; when he half-shut his eyes they were like green dust in the slanting light, pale, as if they had not expected such sun, such heat. His sister Mary had a dress that colour. An expensive thing it was. He dozed right off. He was woken by a sharp dig in the ribs. It was the boy who shared his desk. Terry Wootton. Colin disliked Wootton, who was an evacuee from London and who seemed to think, like all the evacuees from London, that he was superior in every way to the Exeter boys. Colin sensed that something was wrong. The whole class was staring at him. There were a few grins of malice, particularly on the faces of the Cockneys. "Go on! Answer!" Wootton hissed. Mr. Kitchen was leaning against the blackboard, idly throwing a piece of chalk in the air and catching it again. He looked distinctly unamused. Dangerous, in fact. "Did you ask me a question, sir?" Colin ventured, timidly. The class dissolved in laughter. "No, I did not," said Mr. Kitchen, and added, "I hardly ever think it worthwhile asking a question of you, Lockwood, as I know perfectly well I shall never get an answer. At least, not a correct answer." The class guffawed obligingly. "As it so happened I was speaking to Wootton. I was merely wondering if he could explain why you were fast asleep." Colin glared at his neighbour, who was looking intently at his exercise book, a self-satisfied smile on his face. I'll wipe that smirk off your ugly mug, Colin thought; just wait till the bell goes! "As you're wasting both my time and that of the whole class," Mr. Kitchen went on, "I'll waste yours, Lockwood. You can write me a four-page essay entitled 'Why I am a fool.' No, boy! Not why I am a fool. I may well be one, but I'm not interested in your views on that. Why you" — and he jabbed his finger at Colin — "are a fool. And that's in addition to the homework I set just now. I suppose you were asleep then, were you? Do you know what it is?" "No, sir." "So you'll just have to ask Wootton, won't you? Now, as I was saying, in a city like Exeter there is history in every nook and cranny." Colin seethed with anger. Who did Kitchen think he was? So many members of staff had been called up for the war in the last year or two that the whole school had gone to rack and ruin as a result. Aged fools, yanked out of their retirement bungalows, attempted to go through the motions of teaching. From Exeter Blitz by David Rees
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