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  4) Part B The Hospital Window
Jack and Ben, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. Jack, whose bed was next to the room's only window, was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. But Ben had to spend all day and night flat on his bed. To kill time the two men began to talk. They talked for hours about their wives, families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, and where they had been on vacation. As days went by, a deep friendship began to develop between them. Every afternoon when Jack could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to Ben all the things he could see outside the window. And Ben began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside. The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amid flowers of every color of the rainbow. Grand old trees beautified the landscape, and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance. As Jack described all this in exquisite detail, Ben would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scenes. One warm afternoon Jack described a parade passing by. Although Ben couldn't hear the band -- he could see it in his mind's eye as Jack portrayed it with descriptive words. Days and weeks passed. One morning the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of Jack, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. Ben was heart broken. Life without Jack was even more unbearable. How he longed to hear Jack's voice and his melodious descriptions of the outside world! As he looked at the window, an idea suddenly occurred to him. Perhaps he could see for himself what it was like outside. As soon as it seemed appropriate, Ben asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the world outside. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it for himself! He strained to slowly turn to look
out the window beside the bed. It faced a blank wall! 'What could have compelled my roommate to describe such wonderful things outside this window?' Ben asked the nurse when she returned. 'Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you to live on,' she said. 'You know, he was blind and could not even see the wall.' Questions:
  1. What does the story mainly tell us?
  2. Which of the following adjectives can best describe Jack?
  3. What did Jack describe to Ben according to the story?
Part C Additional Listening Short Conversations Conversation 1: M: How do you like your roommate, Debby? W: Ever since we met on the first day of college, we've been inseparable. Q: What do you know about Debby and her roommate? Conversation 2: M: Have you heard from Linda lately? You two were so intimate in college. W: Well, honestly, I haven't heard from her as much as I used to since she moved to the east coast two months ago. But I'm sure the friendship between us is as strong as it was before. Q: What can you infer from the woman’s response? Conversation 3: W: Do you keep in touch with your old friends back home now that you don't see them regularly?
M: Frankly, after I moved to this city, I'm out of touch with most of them except a few close ones. Q: What does the man mean? Conversation 4: W: It's polite to call a friend before we visit, isn't it? M: You're right. People usually don't like surprise visits. But close friends often drop in on each other. Q: What does the man mean? Conversation 5: M: Cathy, it seems that you and Sally do almost everything together. W: That's true. You see, we were born on the same day. We both majored in fashion designing. And we even have the same love for using bright-colored material in our designs. Isn't it amazing! Q: What can we learn from the conversation?
Part D The Colors of Friendship
Legend has it that the colors of the world started to quarrel one day. All claimed that they were the best, the most beautiful. Green said: "Clearly I am the most important. I am the sign of life and of hope. I was chosen for grass, trees and leaves. Without me, all animals would die." Blue interrupted: "You only think about the earth, but have you ever considered the color of the sky and the sea?" Hearing this, Yellow chuckled: "You are all so serious. I bring laughter, gaiety and warmth into the world. I am the color of the sun, the moon and all the stars. Without me there would be no fun."
Orange started next to blow her trumpet: "I am the color of health and strength. I may be scarce, but I am precious, for I serve the needs of human life." At this, Red could stand it no longer. He shouted: "I am the ruler of all of you. I am the color of blood -- life's blood! I am also the color of danger and bravery, of passion and love." Purple rose up to his full height: "I am the color of royalty and power. I am the sign of authority and wisdom. People do not question me! They listen and obey." Finally Indigo spoke: "Think of me. I am the color of silence. You hardly notice me, but without me you all become superficial. I represent thought and reflection." And so the colors went on boasting. Their quarrelling became louder and louder. Suddenly there was a startling flash of bright lightning, followed by a roll of thunder. Rain started to pour down. The colors crouched down in fear, drawing close to one another for comfort. Just then rain began to speak: "You foolish colors, fighting amongst yourselves, each trying to dominate the rest. Don't you know that you were each made for a special purpose, unique and different? Join hands with one another and come to me." Doing as they were told, the colors united and joined hands. Then rain continued: "From now on, when it rains, each of you will stretch across the sky to form a great bow of colors as a reminder that you can all live in peace. The rainbow is a sign of hope for tomorrow." And so, whenever a good rain washes the world, a rainbow appears in the sky, to let us remember to appreciate one another.
Unit 2 Part B Embarrassing Experiences (Part One)
Interviewer: Rob, you went to Brazil, didn't you?
Rob: Yes, I did. Interviewer: So, what happened? Rob: Well, I went into this meeting and there were about, er... seven or eight people in there and I just said 'Hello' to everybody and sat down. Apparently, what I should have done is to go round the room shaking hands with everyone individually. Well, you know, it's silly of me because I found out later it upset everyone. I mean, I think they felt I was taking them for granted. Kate: Well, I know that because when I was in France the first time, I finished a meeting , with 'Goodbye, everyone!' to all the people in the room. There were about half a dozen people there but I was in a hurry to leave, so I just said that and left. Well, I later found out that what I should have done is shake hands with everyone in the group before leaving. Now, apparently, it's the polite thing to do. Interviewer: Well, people shake hands in different ways, don't they? Rob: Oh, yes, that's right, they do. See, normally I shake hands quite gently when I meet someone. So when I went to the US for the first time, I think people there thought my weak handshake was a sign of weakness. Apparently, people there tend to shake hands quite firmly. Kate: Oh, gosh, you know, that reminds me: on my first trip to Germany, it was a long time ago, I was introduced to the boss in the company when he passed us in the corridor. Well, I wasn't prepared, and I mean, I had my left hand in my pocket. And when we shook hands I realized my left hand was still in my pocket. Well, that was, you know, very bad manners and I was quite embarrassed. Interviewer: And how about using first names? Have you made any mistakes there? Rob: Oh, yes, I have! When I first went to Italy I thought it was OK to use everyone's first name so as to seem friendly. And I later discovered that in business you shouldn't use someone's first name unless you are invited to. Oh, and you should always use their title as well. Kate: Hm, yeah, well, when I met people in Russia, you know, they seemed to be puzzled when I shook hands with them and said 'How do you do?' Well, what they do when they greet a stranger is to say their own names, so I had that all wrong! Rob: Oh, yes, I agree with that. Remembering names is very important. Interviewer: Shall we take a break? When we come back we'll move on to our next topic. Kate & Rob: OK.
Questions:

  1. What is the conversation mainly about?
  2. Who might be the people Rob and Kate met in various countries?
  3. What can we infer about Kate and Rob from the conversation?
  4. Which countries has Kate visited, according to the conversation?
  5. Which countries has Rob visited, according to the conversation?
  6. What is the main message that the speakers want to tell us?
Part C Additional Listening American Parties As you would imagine, Americans move about a great deal at parties. At small gatherings they may sit down, but as soon as there are more people than chairs in a room - a little before this point - you will see first one and then another make some excuse to get to his feet to fetch a drink or greet a friend or open a window until soon everyone is standing, moving around, chatting with one group and then another. Sitting becomes static beyond a certain point. We expect people to move about and be "self-starters". It is quite normal for Americans to introduce themselves; they will drift around a room , stopping to talk wherever they like, introducing themselves and their companions. If this happens, you are expected to reply by giving your name and introducing the person with you; then at least the men generally shake hands. Sometimes the women do so as well, but often they merely nod and smile. A man usually shakes a woman's hand only if she extends it. Otherwise he too just nods and greets her. Statements:

  1. We can't imagine that Americans do not like big parties and they prefer going around at parties.
  2. At small parties they may sit down, but as more people come, they would stand up and move about.
  3. The reason why Americans like to stand is that they like the free atmosphere of the party.
  4. The meaning of "self-starters" is that Americans help themselves to drinks during the parties.
  5. Americans are more open-minded than British people according to the passage.
  6. If a woman doesn't extend her hand to a man at the party, he should not shakes hands with the woman.
  7. The passage shows a unique aspect of American culture.
Embarrassing Experiences (Part Two)
Interviewer: Let's go on with our talk. What do you think of business cards, Rob? Rob: I found them very useful when I was in Japan not so long ago. Each person can clearly see the other's name and the job title on the card. And I found out that you have to treat business cards with respect. What you've got to do is hold them with both hands and then read them very carefully. What happened to me was the first time I just took a man's card with one hand and put it straight into my pocket. Interviewer: What other advice do you have, Kate? Kate: Well, one time I unintentionally caused some problems when I was in China. Well, I was trying to make a joke when I pretended to criticize my business associate for being late for a meeting. And he was embarrassed, I mean, he was really embarrassed instead of being amused. Now you shouldn't criticize people in China or embarrass them. I mean, you must avoid confrontation. That's for sure! Rob: Oh, I must tell you about the first time I was in Mexico! I have to admit I found it a bit strange when business associates there touched me on the arm and the shoulder. Well, I tried to move away and, of course, they thought I was being very, very unfriendly. Apparently, it's quite usual there for men to touch each other in, you know, in a friendly way. Oh ... oh, and another
thing, the first time I went to Korea I thought it was polite not to look someone in the eye too much. The Koreans I met seemed to be staring at me when I spoke, which seemed, you know, a bit odd at first. In Korea, eye contact conveys sincerity and it shows you're paying attention to the speaker. Kate: Oh, well, it seemed strange because you British don't look at each other so much when you're talking to each other. I mean, you look away, you know, most of the time. I found this hard to deal with when I first came to the UK, because people seemed to be embarrassed when I looked at them while they were speaking to me. Interviewer: So what's the thing visitors to Britain should avoid most? Rob: Well, I don't think we're all that sensitive, do you, Kate? Kate: Ohoo, well, I'll tell you, I made a big mistake when I was in Scotland. I found myself referring to the UK as "England" and to the British as "the English". Now, I know that would be just as bad in Wales, I guess. Rob: Yes, it certainly would!
 

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