Задания 12. Полное понимание информации в тексте
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Why did schoolchildren like the new teacher, Mr. Sampson?
1) They liked his appearance.
2) He often went for a walk with them.
3) He organized competitions for them.
4) They enjoyed listening to his stories.
It happened at my private school thirty odd years ago, and I still can’t explain it. I came to that school in September and among the boys who arrived on the same day was one whom I took to. I will call him McLeod. The school was a large one: there must have been from 120 to 130 boys there as a rule, and so a considerable staff of masters was required. One term a new master made his appearance. His name was Sampson. He was a tall, well-built, pale, black-bearded man. I think we liked him. He had travelled a good deal, and had stories which amused us on our school walks, so that there was some competition among us to get a chance to listen to him.
Well, the first odd thing that happened was this. Sampson was doing Latin grammar with us. One of his favourite methods was to make us construct sentences out of our own heads to illustrate the rules he was trying to teach us. Now, on this occasion he ordered us each to make a sentence bringing in the verb memlnij ‘I remember.’ Well, most of us made up some ordinary sentence such as ‘I remember my father, ’ but the boy I mentioned — McLeod — was evidently thinking of something more interesting than that. Finally, very quickly he wrote a couple of lines on his paper, and showed it up with the rest. The phrase was “Remember the lake among the four oaks.” Later McLeod told me that it had just come into his head. When Sampson read it he got up and went to the man- tel-piece and stopped quite a long time without saying anything looking really embarrassed. Then he wanted to know why McLeod had put it down, and where his family lived, and if there was such a lake there, and things like that.
There was one other incident of the same kind. We were told to make a conditional sentence, expressing a future consequence. We did it and showed up our bits of paper, and Sampson began looking through them. All at once he got up, made some odd sort of noise in his throat, and rushed out. I noticed that he hadn’t taken any of the papers with him, so we went to look at them on his desk. The top paper on the desk was written in red ink — which no one used — and it wasn’t in anyone’s handwriting who was in the class. I questioned everyone myself! Then I thought of counting the bits of paper: there were seventeen of them on the desk, and sixteen boys in the form. I put the extra paper in my bag and kept it. The phrase on it was simple and harmless enough: ‘If you don’t come to me, I’ll come to you.’ That same afternoon I took it out of my bag — I know for certain it was the same bit of paper, for I made a fingermark on it — and there was no single piece of writing on it!
The next day Sampson was in school again, much as usual. That night the third and last incident in my story happened. We — McLeod and I — slept in a bedroom the windows of which looked out at the main building of the school. Sampson slept in the main building on the first floor. At an hour which I can’t remember exactly, but some time between one and two, I was woken up by somebody shaking me. I saw McLeod in the light of the moon which was looking right into our windows. ‘Come,’ he said, — ‘come, there’s someone getting in through Sampson’s window. About five minutes before I woke you, I found myself looking out of this window here, and there was a man sitting on Sampson’s window-sill, and looking in.’ ‘What sort of man? Is anyone from the senior class going to play a trick on him? Or was it a burglar?!’ McLeod seemed unwilling to answer. ‘I don’t know,’ he said, ‘but I can tell you one thing — he was as thin as a rail, and water was running down his hair and clothing and/ he said, looking round and whispering as if he hardly liked to hear himself, ‘I’m not at all sure that he was alive.’ Naturally I came and looked, and naturally there was no one there.
And next day Mr. Sampson was gone: not to be found, and I believe no trace of him has ever come to light since. Neither McLeod nor I ever mentioned what we had seen to anyone. We seemed unable to speak about it. We both felt strange horror which neither could explain.
How did Mr. Sampson teach Latin grammar?
1) He told the pupils to learn the rules by heart.
2) He asked the pupils to make up example sentences.
3) He illustrated the rules with pictures.
4) He made up interesting sentences to illustrate the rules.
Why did McLeod write the phrase ‘Remember the lake among the four oaks?’
1) There was a place like that in his native town.
2) He wanted to show his knowledge of Latin grammar.
3) The phrase suddenly came to his mind.
4) He wanted to embarrass the teacher.
What did Mr. Sampson do after reading the examples of conditional sentences?
1) He left the classroom immediately.
2) He put the papers with the examples into his bag.
3) He asked who had written the example in red ink.
4) He gave marks to the pupils.
The first time Sally travelled by train was when she
1) had to move to her aunt Alice.
2) had a summer vacation at school.
3) went to Pittsburgh for the first time in her life.
4) visited her aunt Alice together with aunt Winnie.
I must have been about eight when I made my first train trip. I think I was in second grade at that time. It was midsummer, hot and wet in central Kansas, and time for my aunt Winnie’s annual vacation from the store, where she worked as a clerk six days a week. She invited me to join her on a trip to Pittsburgh, fifty miles away, to see her sister, my aunt Alice. ‘Sally, would you like to go there by train or by car?’ aunt Winnie asked. ‘Oh, please, by train, aunt Winnie, dear! We’ve been there by car three times already!’
Alice was one of my favourite relatives and I was delighted to be invited to her house. As I was the youngest niece in Mother’s big family, the aunties all tended to spoil me and Alice was no exception. She kept a boarding house for college students, a two-storey, brown brick building with comfortable, nicely decorated rooms at the corner of 1200 Kearney Avenue. She was also a world-class cook, which kept her boarding house full of young people. It seemed to me that their life was so exciting and joyful.
Since I’d never ridden a train before, I became more and more excited as the magic day drew near. I kept questioning Mother about train travel, but she just said, ‘Wait. You’ll see.’ For an eight-year-old, waiting was really difficult, but finally the big day arrived. Mother had helped me pack the night before, and my little suitcase was full with summer sundresses, shorts and blouses, underwear and pyjamas. I was reading Billy Whiskers, a fantastic story about a goat that once made a train trip to New York, and I had put that in as well. It was almost midnight when I could go to bed at last.
We arrived at the station early, purchased our tickets and found our car. I was fascinated by the face-to-face seats so some passengers could ride backwards. Why would anyone, I thought, want to see where they’d been? I only wanted to see what lay ahead for me.
Finally, the conductor shouted, ‘All aboard!’ to the people on the platform. They climbed into the cars, the engineer blew the whistle and clanged the bell, and we pulled out of the station.
This train stopped at every town between my home in Solomon and Pittsburgh. It was known as the ‘milk train’ because at one time it had delivered goods as well as passengers to these villages. I looked eagerly at the signs at each station. I’d been through all these towns by car, but this was different. The shaky ride of the coaches, the soft brown plush seats, the smells of the engine drifting back down the track and in through the open windows made this trip far more exotic.
The conductor, with his black uniform and shiny hat, the twinkling signals that told the engineer when to stop and go, thrilled me. To an adult, the trip must have seemed painfully slow, but I enjoyed every minute.
Aunt Winnie had packed a lunch for us to eat along the way as there was no dining car in the train. I was dying to know just what was in that big shopping bag she carried, but she, too, said, ‘Wait. You’ll see.’ Midway, Aunt Winnie pulled down her shopping bag from the luggage rack above our seats. My eyes widened as she opened it and began to take out its contents. I had expected lunch- meat sandwiches, but instead there was a container of fried chicken, two hardboiled eggs, bread and butter wrapped in waxed paper, crisp radishes and slim green onions from Winnie’s garden, as well as rosy sliced tomatoes. She had brought paper plates, paper cups and some of the ‘everyday’ silverware. A large bottle of cold tea was well wrapped in a dishtowel; the ice had melted, but it was still chilly. I cautiously balanced my plate on my knees and ate, wiping my lips and fingers with a large paper napkin. This was living!
When we had cleaned our plates, Aunt Winnie looked into the bag one more time. The best treat of all appeared — homemade chocolate cakes! Another cup of cold tea washed these down and then we carefully returned the remains of the food and silverware to the bag, which Aunt Winnie put into the corner by her feet.
‘Almost there,’ said my aunt, looking out of the window at the scenery passing by. And sure enough, as we pulled into the Pittsburgh station we immediately caught sight of aunt Alice, waiting for us, a smile like the sun lighting up her face, arms wide open. We got off the train and she led us past the taxi rank and the bus stop to her car that was parked near the station. And all the way to her home she was asking about my impressions of my first train trip and I could hardly find the words to express all the thrill and excitement that filled me.
Sally was waiting for her first train trip so impatiently that she
1) packed her things long before the trip.
2) lost her appetite a week before the trip.
3) asked her Mother many questions about train trips.
4) couldn’t sleep the night before the trip.
The trip to Pittsburgh by train seemed so exotic to Sally because
1) she had never travelled so far from her native town.
2) travelling by train was very different from a car ride.
3) she had never travelled in comfort.
4) she had never travelled without her parents.
Why is the collage of photographs more important for Kathy than the other wedding presents?
1) It reminds Kathy of her wedding.
2) Kathy didn’t like the other wedding presents.
3) It was the most expensive present.
4) Kathy’s sister made it for her.
‘Dear Kathy! Chance made us sisters, hearts made us friends.’ This quote is at the center of a collage of photographs — covering our twenty-something years — that now hangs in my office. My sister, Susie, made it for me as a wedding present. It probably cost very little to make (she is a starving college student, after all), but it means more to me than any of the more ‘traditional’ wedding presents my husband and I received from family and friends last June. Whenever I look at the collage, it reminds me of my sister and what a true friend she is.
Susie and I weren’t always close friends. Far from it, in fact. We shared a room for nearly fifteen years when we were younger, and at the time I thought I couldn’t have asked for a worse roommate. She was always around! If we argued and I wanted to go to my room to be alone, she’d follow me right in. If I told her to go away, she’d say right back, ‘It’s my room, too! And I can be here if I want to.’ I’d consult my mother and she usually agreed with Susie. I suppose being three years younger has its benefits.
When we were kids, she’d ‘borrow’ my dolls without asking. (And no toy was safe in her hands.) When we got older, Susie quit borrowing my toys and started borrowing my clothes. That was the final straw. I couldn’t take it anymore. I begged my parents to let me have a room of my own — preferably one with a lock on the door. The answer was always a resounding ‘no.’ ‘Please?!’ I’d beg. My parents would just shake their heads. They didn’t agree with each other on much, but for some reason they had a united front on this issue.
To crown it all, she had this habit of doing everything I did. Choirs, rock bands, sports teams, dance studios: There was no place where I was safe. ‘She looks up to you,’ my mom would say. I didn’t care. I just wanted a piece of my life that didn’t involve my little sister. When I complained to my mother, she’d just smile and say, ‘One day you’ll want her around.’ Sure.
It’s strange how mothers have this habit of being right about everything. When I was sixteen and my sister was thirteen, we went through a series of life-chang- ing events together that would forever change our relationship. First, my parents announced that they were divorcing. My dad packed up and moved to an apartment in New Hampshire — more than a half hour drive away from our cozy house in Massachusetts. He bought me my first car and I often went with Susie to his place when we missed him a lot. During those trips we started discussing our troubles and making plans about how to reunite the family again. But a year later, our father met his future second wife and moved again; this time to Indiana. This meant we could only see him once or twice a year, as opposed to once every few weeks. That was hard.
Yet those few months changed my relationship with my sister forever. We started having more heart-to-heart talks as opposed to silly fights. Over time, she became my most cherished friend. It’s not uncommon for us to have three-hour-long telephone conversations about everything or about nothing—just laughing over memories from childhood or high school.
She’s the only person who’s been through all of the tough stuff that I’ve been through, and the only person who truly understands me. Susie and I have shared so much. She’s been my roommate, my friend, and my partner in crime. We’ve done plays together, gone to amusement parks, sang, and taken long road trips together. We’ve laughed until our sides hurt, and wiped away each others’ tears.
Even though distance separates us now, we’re closer than ever. Sisters share a special bond. They’ve seen all of your most embarrassing moments. They know your deepest, darkest secrets. Most importantly, they love you unconditionally. I’m lucky to be able to say that my little sister is my best friend. I only wish everyone could be so fortunate.
What did Kathy call the final straw in paragraph 3?
1) The fact that Susie often borrowed Kathy’s toys.
2) The fact that Susie never asked for the things she borrowed.
3) The fact that Susie began to wear Kathy’s clothes without her permission.
4) The fact that Susie broke all the toys she played with.
In his childhood the narrator’s idea of happiness was to
1) get what he wanted.
2) live an interesting life.
3) be an influential person.
4) make other people happy.
As a kid, I always wanted to become wealthy. I knew if I could achieve this, I would be able to consider myself successful. At the time, I had no worries and felt my happiness would be based on whether I could fulfill all my needs and wants. My simple philosophy of that time was if I was rich, I would definitely be content with my life.
My father always stressed his belief that happiness includes much more than money. I can remember him lecturing me about how money does not make an individual happy; other things in life such as: health, family, friends, and memorable experiences make a person genuinely happy. At this time in my life, I took what my dad said for granted and did not give any thought to his words. All I could see was the great life my cousins had because they had everything a kid ever dreamed of.
At a young age, I noticed society was extremely materialistic. The media seemed to portray the wealthy as happy people who add value to our society. My opinions did not change; in high school I still sought a career that would eventually yield a high salary. I still felt that the possibility of living life from paycheck to paycheck would automatically translate into my unhappiness. However, things changed when I decided to take an internship in the accounting department for the summer after my second year of college.
Starting the first day on the job in the accounting department, I found myself extremely bored. I was forced to do monotonous work, such as audit eight thousand travel and expense reports for a potential duplicate. In addition, I had to relocate away from friends and family in order to accept the position. I was earning the money I always wanted; however, I noticed that having money to spend when you are by yourself was not satisfying.
I began to think back to what my dad always said. After a few months in the job, I truly realized that money does not bring happiness. A more satisfying experience for me would have been doing an ordinary summer job for far less money. For me to understand that concept, it took an experience as painful as this one. I often contemplated how much money it would take me to do this as my everyday job. I concluded, whatever the salary for this position I would never be capable of fulfilling a happy life and making a career out of this job.
As I looked forward to the summer to draw to a close, I truly comprehended the meaning of my dad’s words. Contrary to my prior beliefs, I firmly believe through experience that money cannot make a person happy. The term ‘wealth’ is a broad term, and I believe the key to happiness is to become wealthy in great memories, friends, family, and health. This I believe.
From his early childhood till he finished school the narrator was convinced that
1) society was extremely unfair.
2) media added value to society.
3) money was the only thing that ensured happiness.
4) the wealthy could not spend money properly.
The unlimited liberty of reading for the narrator means
1) access to different types of books.
2) freedom in choosing and interpreting books.
3) possibility to challenge other opinions on the book.
4) opportunity to select what to read according to the mood.
I believe in the absolute and unlimited liberty of reading. I believe in wandering through the huge stacks of books and picking out the first thing that strikes me. I believe in choosing books based on the dust jacket. I believe in reading books because others dislike them or find them dangerous, or too thick to spend their free time on, or too difficult to understand. I believe in choosing the hardest book imaginable. I believe in reading what others have to say about this difficult book, and then making up my own mind, agreeing or disagreeing with what I have read and understood.
Part of this has to do with Mr. Buxton, who taught me Shakespeare in the 10th grade. We were reading Macbeth. Mr. Buxton, who probably had better things to do, nonetheless agreed to meet one night to go over the text line by line. The first thing he did was point out the repetition of motifs. For example, the reversals of things (‘fair is foul and foul is fair’). Then there was the association of masculinity with violence in the play.
What Mr. Buxton did not tell me was what the play meant. He left the conclusions to me. The situation was much the same with my history teacher in 11th grade, Mr. Flanders, who encouraged me to have my own relationship with historical events and my own attitude to them. He often quoted famous historians in the process. I especially liked the one who said, ‘Those who forget their history have no future.’
High school was followed by college, where I read Umberto Eco’s Role of the Reader, in which it is said that the reader completes the text, that the text is never finished until it meets this careful and engaged reader. The open texts, Eco calls them. In college, I read some of the great Europeans and Latin Americans. All the works I read were open texts. It was an exciting experience. Besides, I got familiar with wonderful works of literary criticism.
There are those critics, of course, who insist that there are right ways and wrong ways to read every book.
No doubt they arrived at these beliefs through their own adventures in the stacks. Perhaps their adventures were not so exciting or romantic. And these are important questions for philosophers of every character. But yet I know only what joy and enthusiasm about reading have taught me, in bookstores new and used. They have taught me not to be afraid of something new, unusual or non*traditional, not to deny it but embrace it and try to understand even if you cannot agree with it. Not to stay within the boundaries but always seek for something new and enjoy every second of this creative process and be happy every time you get some result, no matter how positive or negative.
I believe there is not now and never will be an authority who can tell me how to interpret, how to read, how to find the pearl of literary meaning in all cases. There exist thousands of versions, interpretations, colours and shadows. You could spend a lifetime thinking about a sentence, and making it your own. In just this way, I believe in the freedom to see literature, history, truth, unfolding ahead of me like a book whose spine has just now been cracked.
The history teacher quoted famous historians to prove that people
1) are often blind or deaf to learning.
2) understand historical texts too literally.
3) can’t understand the meaning of historical events.
4) should learn from history not to make similar mistakes.
Some critics say about text interpretation that
1) only philosophers should interpret texts.
2) people should enjoy books but not interpret them.
3) there are several ways to interpret a text.
4) there is the right interpretation to every book.
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