新编大学英语教程第四册Unit 01

Y.O.Y.O. 2008-03-28 8229 阅读
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This year it's going to be different

New Year's resolutions1 are like anything else—you get out of them what you put in.Judging from results of other years, I had never put enough in, but this year was going to be different. I read books on self-improvement2 before I wrote my list. Find some beauty in everything .... Make the other fellow feel important .... About thirty like that. Pretty clearly, anyone who followed my collection of rules would be blessed with a richer life3,boundless love from his family, and the admiration of the community. I could hardly wait until New Year's Day.

When I came downstairs Maggie, my wife, was at the kitchen sink4. I tiptoed over and kissed her on the back of the neck. (Resolution No. 1: Be spontaneous in showing affection. ) She shrieked and dropped a cup. "Don't ever sneak up on5 me like that again!" she cried.

"You' re looking lovely this morning," I said. (A sincere compliment is worth its weight in gold. )

"Look," she said, "it wasn't my idea to stay out until four a.m."6

I took some aspirin and coffee into the living room. I'd just started reading the paper when Sammy, our five-year-old7, came in. He was wearing the watch he'd received for Christmas. "Say, Dad," he said, "what makes a watch run?''8

In the old days I would have told him to ask his mother. Instead, I got a pencil and drew a sketch of the escapement mechanism. (Always encourage your child's curiosity.) It took about fifteen minutes, and Sammy wandered off several times, but I kept calling him back. "There," I said, "that's what makes your watch run."

"Then how come it doesn' t?'9 he asked.

His brother Roy walked by. "You have to wind it," said Roy. Sammy wound it and held it to his ear. He smiled. "Roy sure is smart,"10 he said.

Our daughter Gretchen came in with her doll, Mrs. Robinson. "Good morning,Gretchen," I said. "Happy New Year, Mrs. Robinson. " (Meet your child at his own level. )

"It isn' t either happy,"11said Gretchen~ "Mrs. Robinson is sick. Probably a coro-nary12. "

"Why don't you take her to see Dr. Sammy?" I suggested. "He can use his new doctor' s kit."

The phone rang, and I answered it. It was a friend of our daughter Kit. "Happy New Year, Marilyn,' I said. "What have you been doing over the holidays.(Show an interest in your children' s friends. ) She said she hadn' t been doing anything much. "Come now13, a pretty girl like you," I said jovially—"I'll bet the fellows are swarming around14 ....What's that? Yes, of course you can speak to Kit. Certainly."

Kit was in her room with the record player going very loud. I rapped on the door. She called out something, and I went in. She was in her pajamas. "l didn't say you could come in!' she yelled, grabbing a robe and holding it in front of her. At fourteen, she has become extremely aware of being female.

"I'm sorry. I couldn't understand you," I said apologetically. To ease the situation, I picked up her brand-new sweater from the floor and put it over a chair.

"l was going to pick it up," she said defensively. "You don't always put your things away.

There was a series of shrieks down the hall. I found Gretchen in tears. Roy and Sammy were about to perform open-heart surgery on Mrs. Robinson with a scout knife15. "She told us Mrs. Robinson was sick," Roy said.

I suggested that they carve something for their mother- like a salad spoon16.(Encourage creativity in the young. )

In the kitchen, Maggie wanted to know what was wrong with Gretchen. "Mrs.Robinson had a coronary," I told her.

"1 know you' re not feeling your best after last night," she said, "but I'm getting a little tired of these smart remarks.6 Would you mind taking the garbage17 out?"

"I'd be happy to,' I said. (The most trivial chore can prove rewarding if approached with zest. )

"Do you have to be so sarcastic?" she said.

It seemed that my resolutions weren't working the way the books had said. I didn't quit, though. I helped the boys build a snowman--only Sammy got his feet wet18 and Roy lost his mittens and they went inside. I played jacks with Gretchen19, but she said I didn't do it right. I struck up a conversation with Kit, trying to establish some kind of rapport20. I touched on hippies, pop music, dating, morality and so on21.She contributed very little.Anybody else would have thrown in the sponge22, but I kept trying. For example, Maggie always dreads taking down the Christmas tree, so I thought I'd do it for her. (Take over one of your wife' s chores, she' 11 love you for it. )

I was about two thirds done when Maggie came in. "Oh, no! " she cried. "I wanted it left up for the party tonight. Can' t you just sit and watch a football game? Please? It' s what you usually do on New Year's."

"This year is different," I said.

"Yes, isn't it?' She shook her head. "1 swear I don't know23. The kids have been impossible all day. I found the boys whittling on my best salad spoon, and then they had the nerve to say you suggested it24. And Kit has been in a poisonous mood25. She said that Marilyn phoned and you didn' t tell her. And that you cross-examined Marilyn about her boyfriends. "

"Hold it! " I said. "1 was only making small talk. "26 By now the kids were in the room,drawn by the commotion.

"You never bothered with small talk before. Why start now?"

"Because it's New Year' s, "I said. I explained to the assembled gathering about the books and the resolutions and what l'd been trying to accomplish. Silence. The kids stood there looking uneasily at each other. "A man wants to improve himself," I said. "He wants to be a better husband, a better father--"

"We all want to be better," Maggie said. "Except that when you' re so considerate it doesn't seem natural. If the kids do something and you get mad, they know where they stand.27But when you're so even-tempered--"

"Yeah," Kit said. "You didn't say a word about my clothes on the floor.You just smiled. It made me sick28."

Roy said, "1 been in more trouble today ...."29

Gretchen said, "I think it was better when you didn't play jacks."

"And yelled, ' Sammy said, "and said ' damitail'. "30

"All right," I snarled. "I make every effort to be a good father, and this is the thanks I get. The fact is, you don't deserve the father you've got. "

I was illustrating my points with gestures. "You' re the ones who'd better start making resolutions. Like doing your homework, cleaning your rooms, letting the spoons alone31.And when I tell you to do something, jump32!''

I reached out to steady a lamp I had brushed with my sleeve. "Furthermore--' At this moment, I realized suddenly that the atmosphere had changed. The kids were sprawled on the floor, relaxed. I turned to Maggie.

"Why is everybody smiling? What's the big joke?"

"No joke, " she said. "We' re just happy to have you back again. "

By Will Stanton
This year it's going to be different New Year's resolutions1 are like anything else—you get out of them what you put in.Judging from results of other years, I had never put enough in, but this year was going to be different. I read books on self-improvement2 before I wrote my list. Find some beauty in everything .... Make the other fellow feel important .... About thirty like that. Pretty clearly, anyone who followed my collection of rules would be blessed with a richer life3,boundless love from his family, and the admiration of the community. I could hardly wait until New Year's Day. When I came downstairs Maggie, my wife, was at the kitchen sink4. I tiptoed over and kissed her on the back of the neck. (Resolution No. 1: Be spontaneous in showing affection. ) She shrieked and dropped a cup. "Don't ever sneak up on5 me like that again!" she cried. "You' re looking lovely this morning," I said. (A sincere compliment is worth its weight in gold. ) "Look," she said, "it wasn't my idea to stay out until four a.m."6 I took some aspirin and coffee into the living room. I'd just started reading the paper when Sammy, our five-year-old7, came in. He was wearing the watch he'd received for Christmas. "Say, Dad," he said, "what makes a watch run?''8 In the old days I would have told him to ask his mother. Instead, I got a pencil and drew a sketch of the escapement mechanism. (Always encourage your child's curiosity.) It took about fifteen minutes, and Sammy wandered off several times, but I kept calling him back. "There," I said, "that's what makes your watch run." "Then how come it doesn' t?'9 he asked. His brother Roy walked by. "You have to wind it," said Roy. Sammy wound it and held it to his ear. He smiled. "Roy sure is smart,"10 he said. Our daughter Gretchen came in with her doll, Mrs. Robinson. "Good morning,Gretchen," I said. "Happy New Year, Mrs. Robinson. " (Meet your child at his own level. ) "It isn' t either happy,"11said Gretchen~ "Mrs. Robinson is sick. Probably a coro-nary12. " "Why don't you take her to see Dr. Sammy?" I suggested. "He can use his new doctor' s kit." The phone rang, and I answered it. It was a friend of our daughter Kit. "Happy New Year, Marilyn,' I said. "What have you been doing over the holidays.(Show an interest in your children' s friends. ) She said she hadn' t been doing anything much. "Come now13, a pretty girl like you," I said jovially—"I'll bet the fellows are swarming around14 ....What's that? Yes, of course you can speak to Kit. Certainly." Kit was in her room with the record player going very loud. I rapped on the door. She called out something, and I went in. She was in her pajamas. "l didn't say you could come in!' she yelled, grabbing a robe and holding it in front of her. At fourteen, she has become extremely aware of being female. "I'm sorry. I couldn't understand you," I said apologetically. To ease the situation, I picked up her brand-new sweater from the floor and put it over a chair. "l was going to pick it up," she said defensively. "You don't always put your things away. There was a series of shrieks down the hall. I found Gretchen in tears. Roy and Sammy were about to perform open-heart surgery on Mrs. Robinson with a scout knife15. "She told us Mrs. Robinson was sick," Roy said. I suggested that they carve something for their mother- like a salad spoon16.(Encourage creativity in the young. ) In the kitchen, Maggie wanted to know what was wrong with Gretchen. "Mrs.Robinson had a coronary," I told her. "1 know you' re not feeling your best after last night," she said, "but I'm getting a little tired of these smart remarks.6 Would you mind taking the garbage17 out?" "I'd be happy to,' I said. (The most trivial chore can prove rewarding if approached with zest. ) "Do you have to be so sarcastic?" she said. It seemed that my resolutions weren't working the way the books had said. I didn't quit, though. I helped the boys build a snowman--only Sammy got his feet wet18 and Roy lost his mittens and they went inside. I played jacks with Gretchen19, but she said I didn't do it right. I struck up a conversation with Kit, trying to establish some kind of rapport20. I touched on hippies, pop music, dating, morality and so on21.She contributed very little.Anybody else would have thrown in the sponge22, but I kept trying. For example, Maggie always dreads taking down the Christmas tree, so I thought I'd do it for her. (Take over one of your wife' s chores, she' 11 love you for it. ) I was about two thirds done when Maggie came in. "Oh, no! " she cried. "I wanted it left up for the party tonight. Can' t you just sit and watch a football game? Please? It' s what you usually do on New Year's." "This year is different," I said. "Yes, isn't it?' She shook her head. "1 swear I don't know23. The kids have been impossible all day. I found the boys whittling on my best salad spoon, and then they had the nerve to say you suggested it24. And Kit has been in a poisonous mood25. She said that Marilyn phoned and you didn' t tell her. And that you cross-examined Marilyn about her boyfriends. " "Hold it! " I said. "1 was only making small talk. "26 By now the kids were in the room,drawn by the commotion. "You never bothered with small talk before. Why start now?" "Because it's New Year' s, "I said. I explained to the assembled gathering about the books and the resolutions and what l'd been trying to accomplish. Silence. The kids stood there looking uneasily at each other. "A man wants to improve himself," I said. "He wants to be a better husband, a better father--" "We all want to be better," Maggie said. "Except that when you' re so considerate it doesn't seem natural. If the kids do something and you get mad, they know where they stand.27But when you're so even-tempered--" "Yeah," Kit said. "You didn't say a word about my clothes on the floor.You just smiled. It made me sick28." Roy said, "1 been in more trouble today ...."29 Gretchen said, "I think it was better when you didn't play jacks." "And yelled, ' Sammy said, "and said ' damitail'. "30 "All right," I snarled. "I make every effort to be a good father, and this is the thanks I get. The fact is, you don't deserve the father you've got. " I was illustrating my points with gestures. "You' re the ones who'd better start making resolutions. Like doing your homework, cleaning your rooms, letting the spoons alone31.And when I tell you to do something, jump32!'' I reached out to steady a lamp I had brushed with my sleeve. "Furthermore--' At this moment, I realized suddenly that the atmosphere had changed. The kids were sprawled on the floor, relaxed. I turned to Maggie. "Why is everybody smiling? What's the big joke?" "No joke, " she said. "We' re just happy to have you back again. " By Will Stanton
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