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新视野大学英语_新视野大学英语2读写教程课文原文unit 1 Time-Conscious Americans


新视野大学英语_新视野大学英语2读写教程课文原文unit 1 Time-Conscious Americans

新视野大学英语读写教程第二册课文unit1

英语学习

Section A

Pre-reading Activities

First Listening

Please listen to a short passage carefully and prepare to answer some questions.

Second Listening

Listen to the tape again. Then answer the following questions with your own experiences.

1) What precious resource do Americans value and save?

2) What are the three kinds of behaviors that Americans consider to be a waste of time?

3) In what different ways do Americans approach time in business relations?

Time-Conscious Americans

Americans believe no one stands still. If you are not moving ahead, you are falling behind. This attitude results in a nation of people committed to researching, experimenting and exploring. Time is one of the two elements that Americans save carefully, the other being labor.

"We are slaves to nothing but the clock," it has been said. Time is treated as if it were something almost real. We budget it, save it, waste it, steal it, kill it, cut it, account for it; we also charge for it. It is a precious resource. Many people have a rather acute sense of the shortness of each lifetime. Once the sands have run out of a person's hourglass, they cannot be replaced. We want every minute to count.

A foreigner's first impression of the U.S. is likely to be that everyone is in a rush — often under pressure. City people always appear to be hurrying to get where they are going, restlessly seeking attention in a store, or elbowing others as they try to complete their shopping. Racing through daytime meals is part of the pace of life in this country. Working time is considered precious. Others in public eating-places are waiting for you to finish so they, too, can be served and get back to work within the time allowed. You also find drivers will be abrupt and people will push past you. You will miss smiles, brief conversations, and small exchanges with strangers. Don't take it personally. This is because people value time highly, and they resent someone else "wasting" it beyond a certain appropriate point.

Many new arrivals to the States will miss the opening exchanges of a business call, for example. They will miss the ritual interaction that goes with a welcoming cup of tea or coffee that may be a convention in their own country. They may miss leisurely business chats in a restaurant or coffee house. Normally, Americans do not assess their visitors in such relaxed surroundings over extended small talk; much less do they take them out for dinner, or around on the golf course while they develop a sense of trust. Since we generally assess and probe professionally rather than socially, we start talking business very quickly. Time is, therefore, always ticking in our inner ear.

Consequently, we work hard at the task of saving time. We produce a steady flow of labor-saving devices; we communicate rapidly through faxes, phone calls or emails rather than through personal contacts, which though pleasant, take longer — especially given our traffic-filled streets. We, therefore, save most personal visiting for after-work hours or for social weekend gatherings.

To us the impersonality of electronic communication has little or no relation to the significance of the matter at hand. In some countries no major business is conducted without eye contact, requiring face-to-face conversation. In America, too, a final agreement will normally be signed in person. However, people are meeting increasingly on television screens, conducting "teleconferences" to settle problems not only in this country but also — by satellite — internationally.

The U. S. is definitely a telephone country. Almost everyone uses the telephone to conduct business, to chat with friends, to make or break social appointments, to say "Thank you", to shop and to obtain all kinds of information. Telephones save the feet and endless amounts of time. This is due partly to the fact that the telephone service is superb here, whereas the postal service is less efficient.

Some new arrivals will come from cultures where it is considered impolite to work too quickly. Unless a certain amount of time is allowed to elapse, it seems in their eyes as if the task being considered were insignificant, not worthy of proper respect. Assignments are, consequently, felt to be given added weight by the passage of time. In the U. S., however, it is taken as a sign of skillfulness or being competent to solve a problem, or fulfill a job successfully, with speed. Usually, the more important a task is, the more capital, energy, and attention will be poured into it in order to "get it moving".

新视野大学英语读写教程第二册课文unit1

英语学习

Section A

Pre-reading Activities

First Listening

Please listen to a short passage carefully and prepare to answer some questions.

Second Listening

Listen to the tape again. Then answer the following questions with your own experiences.

1) What precious resource do Americans value and save?

2) What are the three kinds of behaviors that Americans consider to be a waste of time?

3) In what different ways do Americans approach time in business relations?

Time-Conscious Americans

Americans believe no one stands still. If you are not moving ahead, you are falling behind. This attitude results in a nation of people committed to researching, experimenting and exploring. Time is one of the two elements that Americans save carefully, the other being labor.

"We are slaves to nothing but the clock," it has been said. Time is treated as if it were something almost real. We budget it, save it, waste it, steal it, kill it, cut it, account for it; we also charge for it. It is a precious resource. Many people have a rather acute sense of the shortness of each lifetime. Once the sands have run out of a person's hourglass, they cannot be replaced. We want every minute to count.

A foreigner's first impression of the U.S. is likely to be that everyone is in a rush — often under pressure. City people always appear to be hurrying to get where they are going, restlessly seeking attention in a store, or elbowing others as they try to complete their shopping. Racing through daytime meals is part of the pace of life in this country. Working time is considered precious. Others in public eating-places are waiting for you to finish so they, too, can be served and get back to work within the time allowed. You also find drivers will be abrupt and people will push past you. You will miss smiles, brief conversations, and small exchanges with strangers. Don't take it personally. This is because people value time highly, and they resent someone else "wasting" it beyond a certain appropriate point.

Many new arrivals to the States will miss the opening exchanges of a business call, for example. They will miss the ritual interaction that goes with a welcoming cup of tea or coffee that may be a convention in their own country. They may miss leisurely business chats in a restaurant or coffee house. Normally, Americans do not assess their visitors in such relaxed surroundings over extended small talk; much less do they take them out for dinner, or around on the golf course while they develop a sense of trust. Since we generally assess and probe professionally rather than socially, we start talking business very quickly. Time is, therefore, always ticking in our inner ear.

Consequently, we work hard at the task of saving time. We produce a steady flow of labor-saving devices; we communicate rapidly through faxes, phone calls or emails rather than through personal contacts, which though pleasant, take longer — especially given our traffic-filled streets. We, therefore, save most personal visiting for after-work hours or for social weekend gatherings.

To us the impersonality of electronic communication has little or no relation to the significance of the matter at hand. In some countries no major business is conducted without eye contact, requiring face-to-face conversation. In America, too, a final agreement will normally be signed in person. However, people are meeting increasingly on television screens, conducting "teleconferences" to settle problems not only in this country but also — by satellite — internationally.

The U. S. is definitely a telephone country. Almost everyone uses the telephone to conduct business, to chat with friends, to make or break social appointments, to say "Thank you", to shop and to obtain all kinds of information. Telephones save the feet and endless amounts of time. This is due partly to the fact that the telephone service is superb here, whereas the postal service is less efficient.

Some new arrivals will come from cultures where it is considered impolite to work too quickly. Unless a certain amount of time is allowed to elapse, it seems in their eyes as if the task being considered were insignificant, not worthy of proper respect. Assignments are, consequently, felt to be given added weight by the passage of time. In the U. S., however, it is taken as a sign of skillfulness or being competent to solve a problem, or fulfill a job successfully, with speed. Usually, the more important a task is, the more capital, energy, and attention will be poured into it in order to "get it moving".

Section B

英语学习

Culture Shock

Do you think studying in a different country is something that sounds very exciting? Like many young people who leave home to study in another country, do you think you would have lots of desirable fun? Certainly, it is a new experience, which brings the opportunity of discovering fascinating things and a feeling of freedom. In spite of these advantages, however, there are also some challenges you will encounter. Because your views may clash with the different beliefs, norms, values, and traditions that exist in different countries, you may have difficulty adjusting to a new culture and to those parts of the culture not familiar to you. This is culture shock. Evidently, at least four essential stages of culture-shock adjustment occur.

The first stage is called "the honeymoon". In this stage, you feel excitement about living in a different place, and everything seems to be marvelous. You like everything, and everybody seems to be so nice to you. Also, the amusement of life in a new culture seems as though it will have no ending.

Eventually, however, the second stage of culture shock appears. This is the "hostility stage". You begin to notice that not everything is as good as you had originally thought it was. You become tired of many things about the new culture. Moreover, people don't treat you like a guest anymore. Everything that seemed to be so wonderful at first is now awful, and everything makes you feel distressed and tired.

Usually at this point in your adjustment to a new culture, you devise some defense mechanisms to help you cope and to protect yourself against the effects of culture shock. One type of coping mechanism is called "repression". This happens when you pretend that everything is acceptable and that nothing bothers you. Another type of defense mechanism is called "regression". This occurs when you start to act as if you are younger than you actually are; you act like a child. You forget everything, and sometimes you become careless and irresponsible. The third kind of defense mechanism is called "isolation". You would rather be home alone, and you don't want to communicate with anybody. With isolation, you try to avoid the effects of culture shock, or at least that's what you think. Isolation is one of the worst coping mechanisms you can use because it separates you from those things that could really help you. The last type of defense mechanism is called "rejection". With this coping mechanism, you think you don't need anybody. You feel you are coping fine alone, so you don't try to ask for help.

The defense mechanisms you utilize in the hostility stage are not helpful. If you only occasionally use one of these coping mechanisms to help yourself survive, that is acceptable. You must be cautious, however. These mechanisms can really hurt you because they prevent you from making necessary adjustments to the new culture.

After you deal with your hostile feelings, recognition of the temporary nature of culture shock begins. Then you come to the third stage called "recovery". In this stage, you start feeling more positive, and you try to develop comprehension of everything you don't understand. The whole situation starts to become more favorable; you recover from the symptoms of the first two stages, and you adjust yourself to the new norms, values, and even beliefs and traditions of the new country. You begin to see that even though the distinctions of the culture are different from your own, it has elements that you can learn to appreciate.

The last stage of culture shock is called "adjustment". In this stage, you have reached a point where you actually feel good because you have learned enough to understand the new culture. The things that initially made you feel uncomfortable or strange are now things that you understand. This acquisition of understanding alleviates much of the stress. Now you feel comfortable; you have adjusted to the new culture.

Evidently, culture shock is something you cannot avoid when living in a foreign country. It does not seem like a very helpful experience when you are going through its four stages. However, when you have completely adjusted to a new culture you can more fully enjoy it. You learn how to interact with other people, and you learn a considerable amount about life in a culture that is not your own. Furthermore, learning about other cultures and how to adjust to the shock of living in them helps you learn more about yourself.

Section C

英语学习

Adjustment to a New Culture

I had to find more friends. After several weeks in school I knew a couple of students but saw them only a few minutes, perhaps three times a week. I decided to learn a few more names. I came ten minutes early to my News Media and U.S. Government class. Two young women, one black and one white, were already there. I told myself to be aggressive and went up to them.

"Hi." I tried to be casual. "My name is Liu Zongren. I come from Beijing, China." I stressed Beijing, hoping that might create some attention.

"Oh, really? How do you find it here? " The white woman seemed interested.

I couldn't understand what she meant. "I came here by plane, of course." I must have looked lost. The white woman added quickly, "I mean, do you like this country?"

"Well, I don't know. " How foolish I was. Why had I said this?

"My name is Ann. This is Geri."

Several other students had arrived by now. I didn't know if the two women wanted to go on talking. I began feeling nervous when I realized I was standing in the middle of the classroom.

Ann started to move away. "Glad to meet you, Mr.— "

"Liu," I said in haste, "Just call me Liu. My last, no, my first name is too hard to pronounce."

"Glad to meet you, Mr. Liu," Ann repeated.

"Thank you," I said, my face turning red. I wondered what I had thanked them for, as I made my way to a seat.

After the class began, most of what the professor said escaped my ears and I left as soon as the lecture ended. I had no other class that day and I didn't want to go back to the loneliness of the McKnight house, so I explored around the grounds. Many students were entering a particular lecture hall. I stopped and checked my list of classes. It was a history class. Good.

I went in. I sat in a seat away from the lecture stand. Nobody paid any attention to me. I saw several Asian faces among the crowd. I relaxed, took out my notebook, and opened the school newspaper, pretending to be an old hand. A young man sat down beside me and smiled. It was five minutes until class. Perhaps I could strike up a conversation with this friendly looking man. I started my set introduction. "My name is Liu Zongren. I come from Beijing, China."

"Glad to meet you. My name is George Christi." He seemed ready to talk.

"Please write down your name for me." I handed my notebook to him. "You know, it is very hard for me to remember American names without seeing them spelled out." I said this out of a desire to speak two more sentences, rather than as an explanation. I looked at what he wrote. "Is yours the same name as that British woman who writes mystery novels? "

"Sort of," he answered.

Seeing me at a loss, he asked, "How do you like the weather here?"

"Much the same as that in Beijing. We have cold winters, too."

"I hope someday I can go to Beijing."

"You'll be welcome. If you wait for two years, I can show you around." I was so very eager to make a friend of him.

Unfortunately, the professor appeared and the class began. I would be sure to come to this class again and locate this friendly person.

I didn't try my luck anymore that afternoon. Instead I found a seat in the library and tried to finish some assignments. I took out my books, but my mind refused to absorb anything. I glanced around the library; some students were doing their homework; a few were dozing on the sofa along the wall. Looking at those tired students, I remembered an article in the newspaper had reported that the 1981 fees would be $6,900. How could I blame them for not wanting to talk to me? Costs were so high; they had to put their time and energy into their studies.

I closed my books and began a letter to Fengyun, but couldn't finish it. Sad, I packed up my books and walked slowly back to my room. I knew my sadness came not only from missing my family, but also from the frustration of being unable to learn. People in Beijing must be thinking I was enjoying myself here in the richest country in the world. Yet I was suffering, not because people in America were not accepting me, but because they didn't understand me and didn't seem to care how I felt — and because I didn't understand them, either. After my three classes each day, I walked without aim around the grounds like a lost soul. I had no place to go.

I felt better when dusk fell, knowing that another day had passed.


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