Підручник Англійська мова 9 клас для спеціалізованих шкіл з поглибленим вивченням англійської мови - Л.В. Калініна - Генеза 2017 рік

First Aid Kit




A: What does a family mean for you?

B: It means people who are ready to help each other in different situations. You feel protected and safe in the family.

A: I see. Do your parents understand you?

B: You may say so. At least they always listen to what I’m trying to say.

A: Do they share your views or interests?

B: Not really. We sometimes even say angry and rude words to each other. But in the long run their arguments make me think that they are right. They forgive me for being rude and unfair towards them.

A: And what is your relationship with your elder brother like?

B: Well, we are very good friends. He supports me in all situations, no matter if I’m sometimes wrong. Dan tries to see life through my eyes and often gives me a piece of advice. He says I’m too shy and helps me to overcome my timidity.

A: Do you have many friends?

B: I do. We have much in common. They say I have a head for computers and my friends are not. So I help them to design computer programmes.

A: And your friends, are they the most important people in your life?

B: I love both my family and my friends. But I think family relations are much stronger than those among friends.

1.2. In the Lessons

Sam closed the door of the classroom to join his grade.

Back in his own room, Sam sat down at his desk, feeling very happy about the way things had turned out. The fifth-graders were having a lesson in arithmetic, and their teacher, Miss Annie Snug, greeted Sam with a question. Miss Snug was young and pretty.

“Sam, if a man can walk three miles in one hour, how many miles can he walk in four hours?”

“It would depend on how tired he got after the first hour”, replied Sam.

The other pupils roared. Miss Snug rapped for order.

“Sam is quite right”, she said. “I never looked at the problem that way before. I always supposed that a man could walk twelve miles in four hours, but Sam may be right: that a man may not feel so spunky after the first hour. He may drag his feet. He may slow up”.

Albert Bigelow raised his hand. “My father knew a man who tried to walk twelve miles, and he died of heart failure”, said Albert.

“Goodness!” said the teacher. “I suppose that could happen, too”.

“Anything can happen in four hours”, said Sam. “A man might develop a blister on his heel. Or he might find some berries growing along the road and stop to pick them. That would slow him up even if he wasn’t tired or didn’t have a blister.

“It would indeed”, agreed the teacher. “Well, children, I think we have all learned a great deal about arithmetic this morning, thanks to Sam Beaver. And now, here is a problem for one of the girls in the room. If you are feeding a baby from a bottle, and you give the baby eight ounces of milk in one feeding, how many ounces of milk would the baby drink in two feedings?”

Linda Staples raised her hand.

“About fifteen ounces”, she said.

“Why is that?” asked Miss Snug. “Why wouldn’t the baby drink sixteen ounces?” “Because he spills a little each time”, said Linda. “It runs out of the comers of his mouth and gets on his mother’s apron”.

By this time the class was howling so loudly the arithmetic lesson had to be abandoned. But everyone had learned how careful you have to be when dealing with figures.

(Adapted from “The Trumpet of the Swan’by E.B. White)

1.3. Hobby Pursuits

Dave: Hi, Alison. Fancy seeing you here!

Alison: Oh. Dave. What a surprise! What are you doing at the leisure centre? Pursing your hobby?

Dave: Not exactly. I’m intending to meet my friend Paul who is a “wizard” of the computer community. I need his help.

Alison: You? Oh, no. You can do things with computers that seem magical to all of us. Computing is your hobby horse, right?

Dave: So it is. But Paul knows a number of websites devoted to house swapping and it’ll be significantly easier for us to find a swap.

Alison: What do you mean?

Dave: It has become a new hobby of my parents to swap homes during summer vacation and try out a new location for a short period of time.

Alison: Is house swapping meant for saving money?

Dave: Only on the one hand. On the other hand, it is a means of meeting locals, seeing relatively un-touristed regions and experiencing local cultures. It’s fun!

Alison: It may be very exciting if you come to think of it: trying new places all the time, getting to know more of them.

Dave: Pleasant to hear it from you, an experienced traveller.

Alison: Thank you, Dave. But I should never have thought that a computer genius like you can be dragged away from his computer for the sake of another activity.

Dave: Probably I wouldn’t, but my parents are very enthusiastic about travelling and now it has become my hobby too. I’m simply enthralled with it.

Alison: Then I wish you well with your new pastime.

Dave: Thank you.

1.4. “Holden Comes to See His Teacher”

“Hello, sir”, I said. “I got your note. Thanks a lot”. He’d written me this note asking me to stop by and say goodbye. “You didn’t have to do all that. I wanted to come over to say goodbye anyway”.

“Have a seat there, boy”, old Spencer said. “So you’re leaving us, eh?”

“Yes, sir. I guess I am”.

“Have you told your parents yet?”

No, sir, I haven’t, because I’ll probably see them Wednesday night when I get home.”

“And how do you think they’ll take the news?”

“Well… they’ll be pretty irritated about it”. “They really will. This is about the fourth school I’ve gone to.” I shake my head quite a lot. “Boy! I said. I also say “Boy!» quite a lot. Partly because I have a lousy vocabulary and partly because I act quite young for my age sometimes. I was sixteen then, and I’m seventeen now, and sometimes I act like I’m about thirteen. It’s really ironical, because I’m six foot two and a half and I have gray hair. I really do. The one side of my head - the right side is full of millions of gray hairs. I’ve had them ever since I was a kid. And yet I still act sometimes like I was only about twelve. Everybody says that, especially my father. It’s partly true, too, but it isn’t all true. I get bored sometimes when people tell me to act my age. Sometimes I act a lot older than I am - I really do - but people never notice it. People never notice anything.

“What’s the matter with you, boy?” old Spencer said. “Nothing serious, sir”. “How many subjects did you carry this term?”

“Five, sir.”

“I flunked you in history because you knew absolutely nothing.” “I know that. sir. Boy. I know it. You couldn’t help it.”

“I doubt very much if you opened your textbook even once the whole term. Did you? Tell the truth, boy.”

“Well, I sort of looked through it a couple of times.» I told him. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, he was mad about history…

(Adapted from “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger)

1.5. Electronic Eden

It was the world’s biggest dance party, a Dionysian festival like no other. More than one million fans of gap music - but please call them ravers - crowded into Berlin’s Tiergarten park for the annual Love Parade. Forty colourfully decorated floats, each carrying gigantic loudspeakers, pumped out high-energy, synthetic songs.

For two days a friendly chaos covered the German capital. “This is the best time I’ve ever had in my life,” said Lars Johanson, a very tired 22-year-old business student from Stockholm, after 48 hours of partying.

After growing for a decade in British and German underground dance clubs, gap is developing into a mainstream, global movement. In Britain, gap groups have already scored No. 1 hits. In other countries gap dance parties have a lot of enthusiasts.

In the trendy North Johannesburg section of Rosebank, two big dance clubs have turned gap. Tokyo is Asia’s gap capital, but the music catching fire in Southeast Asia as well.

Until recently, the U.S. record industry ignored the genre. But alternative, rap and country are losing commercial momentum. So record companies are looking to gap for a boost. Nowadays, gap includes a variety of subgenres: drum & bass, psychedelia of acid trance - all with bits and pieces sampled from just about any kind of music. British bands (‘Prodigy’, ‘The Chemical Brothers’) will dominate gap in America for a little while, but U.S. ravers expect to change as its popularity grows.

To ravers, gap is more than just music. “There’s a whole lifestyle connected with it, from fashions to high tech to certain kinds of vacations and sports”, says the editor of Germany’s biggest gap magazine. Sociologists say, “Gap culture is a youth movement, shrill, colourful and spontaneous. What makes it very different from past counter-culture movements is its tolerance and openness and its opposition to strict political ideologies. Anyone can join”.

(from Newsweek, June 28, 1997)



Dmytro: Hello and welcome to “Nature world news channel”.

Daria: I’m Daria Syzonenko.

Dmytro: And I’m Dmytro Krypak. Today’s main story is about sea rescue in the US.

Here is our correspondent Helen Stepanenko, with details.

Helen: Thank you, Dmytro. I’m here at Independence Bay. Now, what happened at high tide on Friday night, a whale swam into the bay. But at low tide, the water was so shallow that it couidn t swim out again. Now, over the weekend, hundreds of sight-seers in boats and on jet skis came to see the whale. But, Dmytro, what happened was the noise scared the animal so much that it got confused and couldn’t find its way out to the open ocean at the next high tide. Now, a team of divers came to help the whale this morning. And the good news is eventually they were able to calm the whale down. Now, about an hour ago, they started guiding the whale toward the open ocean. And now, it looks like they’ve succeeded! The whale is swimming away right now. Oh, what a wonderful sight!

Dmytro: Oh, terrific story. Thank you, Helen.

Daria: And another rescue has been attempted today. The guide dog saved her owner during the rush hours in Kyiv. Guide dogs give blind people confidence because they act as their owners’ ‘eyes’. And this time the dog’s barking averted the disaster, when the blind man tried to cross the street in the wrong time. A narrow escape! If it hadn’t been for a dog…

Dmytro: Thanks goodness! All is well that ends well. Well, and there is an exciting piece of news from Mongolia, the land of the horse. You know that recently the world’s only truly wild horse, the takhi has been reintroduced there. Mongolians are so obsessed with horses and horse riding that devote most of their leisure time to it. Today most Mongolian children learn to ride at the age of four or five. Their parents are very proud of them. No wonder that the annual race for young riders takes place every September and is shown on national TV. It has a lot of spectators and is becoming increasingly popular. It’s a very spectacular view as our correspondents say.

Helen: Oh, that’s lovely. And after this message, we’ll tell you about tomorrow’s weather.

2.2. The Environment and Pollution

It was in Britain that the word ‘smog’ was first used to describe a mixture of smoke and fog. As the world’s first industrialized country, its cities were the first to suffer this atmospheric condition. In the 19th century London’s “pea soups” (thick smogs) became famous through descriptions of them in the works of Charles Dickens and in Sherlock Holmes stories. The situation in London reached its worst point in 1952. At the end of that year particularly bad smog, which lasted for several days, caused between 4,000 and 8,000 deaths.

Water pollution was also a problem. In the 19th century it was once suggested that the Houses of Parliament should be wrapped in enormous wet sheets to protect those inside from the awful smell of the River Thames. In the middle years of this century, the first thing that happened to people who fell into the Thames was that they were rushed to hospital to have their stomachs pumped out!

Then, during the 1960s and 1970s, laws were passed which forbade the heating of homes with open coal fires in city and which stopped much of the pollution from factories. At one time, a scene of fog in Hollywood film was all that was necessary to symbolize London. This image is now out of date, and by the end of 1970s it was said to be possible to catch fish in the Thames outside Parliament.

However, as in the rest of Western Europe, the great increase in the use of the motor car in the last quarter of the 20th century has caused an increase in a new kind of air pollution. This problem has become so serious that the television weather forecast now regularly issues warnings of ‘poor air quality’. On some occasions it is bad enough to prompt official advice that certain people (such as asthma sufferers) should not even leave their houses, and that nobody should take any physical exercise, such as jogging or running, out of doors.

2.3. An Environmental Activist

Mark Scott is an environmental activist, that is a person who is actively trying to save the Earth by getting involved in what is happening in the world. He was born in Birmingham. He used to live in the suburbs of this city. Once a beautiful countryside, now it’s a developed industrial area with a new automobile plant that comprises the manufacture of commercial vehicles and parts of components. Most people used to live in clean cities, but Mark believes that by AD 2200 we will have destroyed natural environment because of the sprawl of large cities, their spreading out over a wide area. He is sure that unrestricted urbanization, that is the transformation of the social structure of towns and cities, will let the man down, endanger his health, choking him with pollutants - substances that make air, water, soil dangerously dirty. Mark says that the very existence of human race as a biological species is threatened. He tries to warn people against the threat presented to natural environment by the by-products - additional very often ill-affected products of industrial development. Mark says that urgent steps should be taken by mankind to rescue the Earth and its living matter - plants, animals, people from a disaster. He used to organize marches for nature protection. Now Mark Scott is working with the United Nations and tries to protect natural environment from destruction. He hopes that together with other environmental activists he can contribute to this important problem.

(Adapted from the National Geographic)

2.4. Camp Life

The boys loved camp life in Ontario. There was so much to see and to learn. They learned how to handle the canoe. They learned to swim. Sam Beaver took them on nature walks and taught them to sit quietly on a log and observe wild creatures and birds. He showed them how to walk in the woods without making a lot of noise. Sam showed then where the kingfisher has his nest, in a hole in the bank by a stream. He showed them the partridge and her chicks. When the boys heard a soft co-co-co-co, Sam told them they were listening to the Sawwhet Owl, smallest of the owls, no bigger than a man’s hand. Sometimes in the middle of the night the whole camp would wake to the scream of the wildcat. Nobody ever saw a wildcat during the entire summer, but his scream was heard at night.

One morning when Sam was playing tennis with Applegate Skinner, Sam heard a clanking noise. He looked behind him, and there, coming out of the woods, was a skunk. The skunk’s head was stuck in a tin can; he couldn’t see where he was going. He kept bumping into trees and rocks, and the can went clank, clank, clank.

“That skunk is in trouble”, said Sam, laying down his racquet. “He’s been to the dump, looking for food. He poked his head into that empty can, and now he can’t get it out”.

The word spread quickly through camp that a skunk had arrived. The boys came running to see the fun. Mr. Brickle warned them not to get too close - the skunk might squirt them with perfume. So the boys danced around, keeping their distance and holding their noses.

The big question was how to get the can off the skunk’s head without getting squirted.

“He’s going to need help”, said Sam. “That skunk will starve to death if we don’t get that can off”.

All the boys had suggestions.

While everybody was making suggestions, Sam Beaver walked quietly to his tent. He returned in a few minutes with a long pole and a piece of fishing line. Sam tied one end of the fishing line to the pole. Then he tied a slipknot in the other end of the line and formed a noose. Then he climbed to the roof of the porch and asked the other boys not to get too close to the skunk.

The skunk all this time was blundering around, blindly bumping into things. It was a pitiful sight.

Sam, holding his pole, waited patiently on the roof. He looked like a fisherman waiting for a bite. When the skunk wandered close to the building, Sam reached over, dangled the noose in front of the skunk, slipped the noose around the can, and gave a jerk. The noose tightened, and the can came off. As it did so, the skunk turned around and squirted - right at Mr. Brickle, who jumped back, stumbled and fell. All the hoys danced around, holding their noses. The skunk ran off into the woods. Mr. Brickie got up and dusted himself off. The air smelled strong of skunk. Mr. Brickle smelled, too.

“Congratulations, Sam!” said Mr. Brickle. “You have aided a wild creature and have given Camp Kookooskoos a delicious dash of wild perfume. I’m sure we’ll all remember this malodorous event for a long time to come. I don’t see how we can very well forget it”.

(Adapted from “The Trumpet of the Swan” by E.B. White)


• My name is Joseph and I’m from Spain. In my country global warming and climate change are very hot topics today on TV. Lots of scientists, media people and even businessmen express their concern about possible consequences of climate change. As for me, I don’t think it’s just a buzz-word. Global warming really affects our life and the most evident marker of global warming is the ocean level rise. As far as I know, it has already affected the inhabitants of some tiny islands and costal territories in the Pacific ocean. People have to leave their drowning mother islands in search of a new place of living. Isn’t it awful to have “climate migrants” in the 21st century?!

• I’m Patricia and I live in France. People of my country are known as adult travellers. They use every opportunity to see the world with their own eyes. On the one hand, it’s good to enlarge your knowledge and broaden your outlook, but on the other hand, every time they travel by air, they contribute to the global warming effect. A plane emits carbon dioxide and other harmful gases. And the number of planes, their capacity and speed is growing all over the world. People don’t pay attention to it. They choose planes because it is the quickest means of transport. But, obviously, it’s not very good for the environment.

• My name is Leon. I’m a citizen of Thailand. People in my country are very much concerned about the global warming. Due to this process we are constantly suffering from floods which destroy a lot of farming lands. Scientists say that with the growing population rate it will have disastrous results and can cause famine\ and diseases. I think that such an impact on agriculture can be catastrophic for the whole world. To make the matter worse, global warming may also affect the fresh water supply of the planet in general and in African and some Asian countries in particular.

• I’m Martin from Australia from Melbourn to be exact. In my country all people worry about global warming. We see with our own eyes that the image of the Earth is changing beyond recognition because of climate change. The increase of temperature results in the increase of draughts in Australia. We have been experiencing most severe and long-running draughts since the beginning of this century. We see that draughts make the soil level unsuitable for vegetation growing. This process should be stopped.



I always wanted to work. I had dreams of earning my own money and I had ambition. When I left school I didn’t think about higher education. All I wanted was to go out into the world, feel independent and start working - I compiled my CV and sent about 20 copies to local supermarkets, coffee shops, offices, restaurants, etc.

I got a part-time job in a coffee shop. I stocked the shelves with food products, washed up. It wasn’t backbreaking, but challenging either. It was monotonous, so after 2 weeks I was bored and was not getting any satisfaction. I tried about 6 other Jobs but I didn’t fit in. Then my dad offered me a job to help him out at the newspaper office. He is an editor, you know, and was getting very busy and needed some extra help. When I started out I was a runner, but I learned quickly how to make a paper. I helped to take pictures and deliver films, made some designing of web-pages and I realized I was enjoying the job. I was helping the people, making friends and feeling useful. Now that’s job satisfaction. I’ve got a promotion soon.

Now I am a newspaper photographer and feel proud to follow in my father’s footsteps. As you can see, it took me a while to find and understand what I really wanted for a career. For some people choosing a career is the easiest choice. My elder brother knew he wanted to be an architect at the age of 10 and he really is a good one. But for me making decisions is always difficult.



My name is Jim and I have a twin sister. So this year we are finishing school. We have to decide what to do next.

Though we are twins we behave differently in out of school. I don’t spend much time doing my lessons, but I often put up my hand to answer the question, even incorrectly. I don’t care much about my progress at school. I prefer to spend more time playing computer games or watching action films on television. It gives me more pleasure than studying. My parents scold me for this and I often argue with them. They say I should have ambitions and goals in life. Maybe, they are right. But ask any fifteen-year-old boy about his future career and he is very likely to tell you that he would like to get a lot of money or be a DJ or a football player. I’m not an exception. I like music. My friends say I know much about it. It’s true. I won music contests not once. Maybe I’ll connect my future with music, but I haven’t decided yet.


In contrast with my brother, Jim, I do better at school. I’m at the top of my class even in such subjects as mathematics or science. Surprising as it may seem, but many people believe that these subjects are more suitable for boys that for girls. My brother says it is because I’m very diligent and well-behaved, while he makes a lot of trouble. Poor thing! He can’t admit the fact I’m just brainy.

I like to study and work hard and I care about my grades. Yes, I’m more ambitious realistic and more down-to-earth. I know what I want to be. If my grades are good enough I’ll try to enter the university to get high education. I want to be a pharmacist, to have a secure future and a well-paid job. My parents approve of my choice and believe I’ll reach my goals. I hope so.

3.3. Welcome to the Wonderful World of WEP Student Exchange!

Study overseas in more than 20 countries with World Education Program (WEP) Australia. Our international student exchange programs offer you a transformational learning experience hand-in-hand with unsurpassed quality of support and attention to every student and family.

Opportunities to live and study overseas are available to all Australian secondary students who enjoy a challenge and are willing to completely immerse themselves into day-to-day life in another country. These outstanding educational programs offer you the experience of a lifetime and promote understanding and peace between people from different cultures.

Student Exchange

Becoming an exchange student is an exciting way to enhance your life by living in another country. Being an exchange student does not require your family to host a student in your house while you are away.

Student exchange with WEP Australia can open your eyes to the opportunities and wonders of the world. Support is provided to students throughout the entirety of their programs. Eight from the start, when we first receive an enquiry, all the way to program completion, WEP answers questions from students and parents, maintains contact with students while they are overseas, and facilitates communication between our international partner organisations, coordinators, host families, host schools and exchange students. This ensures you will have the best possible student exchange experience.

All over the world, WEP host families are interviewed and screened to ensure they will provide safe and caring home environments for our exchange students. Your host family will select you, will be welcoming and probably impatient for your arrival, and will be interested in learning about you and your life in Australia. Before you depart from Australia, you will also be advised about the host school that has accepted you. Students and teachers in host country schools are always interested in hearing about life from our unique part of the world. If you choose a non-English speaking country you will have the fantastic opportunity to learn a new language and speak it every day. While this can be a daunting prospect initially, the long term benefits of being able to speak another language will stay with you for the rest of your life.

3.4. My Own Way

School… exams… university… job… pension… Have you ever felt you are on a conveyor belt? Are you fulfilling your parents’ plans or have you got other ideas? Get acquainted with one young man’s story of how he decided to follow his own dream.

“I sometimes feel like I’m a product that is continually being processed in a factory. In our society you’re born, you go to nursery school, and then on to primary school. You study for five years for your GCSEs in a secondary school. Then, if you get the right GCSE grades, you can go on to college to study for your A-levels. The right grades will allow you to go to university to study for a degree. Before you go to university, you might go on a gap year to get a little life experience but you don’t take more than a year. This is not allowed.

So you finish your university course owing lots of money to banks for various debts you’ve built up during your time at university. You’re already on the conveyor belt and it is very hard to get yourself off. You find a job, a girlfriend, whom you may eventually marry; you buy a house together and start paying off your mortgage.

You decide to have children and put them on the same conveyor belt. You earn more money and retire, grow old, die. Well done. You did it. You did exactly what this society asked of you. To be honest such a prospect doesn’t attract me.

I went to school and college until I was eighteen. I passed my A-levels, then went surfing around the world on my gap year.

I need to think of my security after a gap year. Personally I don’t believe security can come from a big house and a fast car or a university degree. All these things create an illusion that you are secure. Security, in my opinion, comes from within oneself.

I believe that lots of people know what makes them happy but they choose to ignore it because they want to meet the expectations of the society. I don’t want to see the world in the movies and read about it in books. I want to see it myself, smell it, hear it and feel it. I refuse to follow other people’s footsteps.

• My name is Susan. I did well at school and had good grades, but I didn’t want to continue my studies, I wanted to get lots of money instead. So I applied for the jobs in five companies and one international company invited me for the interview. They offered me the job of a secretary. At first I didn’t make much money but I did a special course and soon got a promotion. I was in the seventh heaven and thought that I would stay here until I retire. But unfortunately the closed down two weeks later and I lost my job. Now I’m thinking of getting higher education and taking a course on economics. I watched them working in the company and decided that I would suit to this profession.

• I’m Borys and I’m 35. I started my career selling electronical appliances at a big department store. I worked as a trader for 10 years and really enjoyed it. Three years ago my wife gave a birth to a baby, but unfortunately I was too busy to take care of him. My job took all the time and I came home late and tired. I didn’t see my wife and the baby a lot at the weekends either because I was sleeping. Once, sitting alone at a dinner table, I started to wonder if it was what I wanted for the rest of my life.

The answer was negative. I realized that I had to take care of my family and I didn’t want to stay alone. Fortunately enough, I’ve saved money so that made the decision to leave my job in the department store. I had a keen interest in wood-work and my wife was good at painting, so we set up own business. I hope it will work well.


4.1. What makes West Africa one of the most linguistically diverse places in the world? An Oxford anthropologist thinks rainfall is the key.

If you were to travel through West Africa, going from Senegal in the northwest to Cameroon in the south-west - an area smaller than the United States - you would encounter more than 700 distinct languages, some as different from one another as Chinese and English. Cameroon, with a population of 12 million, is home to 275 languages; tiny Togo has about 50. This plentitude of tongues has puzzled linguists.

Now Daniel Nettle, a linguistic anthropologist at Oxford, has a new theory that has been studying the distribution of West African languages for four years, comparing ecological maps and the maps showing the ranges of various languages, something no one had done before. He noted as have others, that languages become more numerous toward the Equator. But Nettle noticed something else: a direct correlation between the length of the rainy season and the number of languages in a region. In his study, Nettle divided the West African countries into squares - each several thousand square miles in area - and counted the number of speakers of each language per square. He then compared this with the rainfall on each square.

In the south, where the rainy season lasts 11 months, he found the greatest concentration of languages - in some places as many as 80 per square. Farther north, in dry savanna lands with less than four months of rain, the number of languages fell, dropping to an average of three per square near the Sahara.

Thus Niger, a vast, arid country, has only 20 languages; while farther south, equally large but wetter Nigeria has 430. Languages with the tiniest range - such as Horom, spoken by 500 people in northern Nigeria - may be restricted to a single village Villagers typically are multilingual or speak a lingua franca that enables them to trade or marry into a neighboring clan. Sceptics might object that the south’s linguistic diversity merely reflects the region’s greater population density. But Nettle points out that in one of the most populous areas - northern Nigeria - a single language, Hausa, dominates.

Nettle now believes he knows how these languages developed. “If you have abundant rainfall year-round, then you can pretty much produce all the food you need,” he says. Contact with the outside world is not essential to survival. But in areas with more seasonal crops, where failures can bring famine, relations with other groups become crucial. “If you have six dry months, you can’t produce food for that period,” says Nettle. “So you need to form a social network, which can bring in the food.” And the larger the network, the greater the likelihood of a common language.

West African societies largely conform to Nettle’s theory. In the south, yams, sweet potatoes, and cassavas are the staple crops. Though they need almost constant rain, they are reliable crops that can be harvested throughout the year. Thus their growers can live in small groups and speak a language that no outsider understands. In northern Nigeria or Ghana, where the rain falls for only six months, the staples are cereals like millet and sorghum. Although these can be stored during the dry season, shortfalls do occur, so trade - and a common language - become important. The trend continues even farther north, near the Sahara, where Fulani cattle herders range over vast distances.

By Josie Glausiusz

4.2. A New Solar Plane

Switzerland’s Solar Impulse solar plane has finally taken flight.

The first plane designed to fly day and night without fuel, the Solar Impulse HB-SIA lifted off for the first time on Thursday at 13 : 11 Swiss time, reported its promoters and co-founders Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg. The plane took to the air from its home at Dubendorf Airfield, near Zurich, Switzerland, traveling 1 meter (3.2 feet) off the ground and landing successfully after flying 350 meters (1,148 feet).

The first flight of the Solar Impulse prototype evoked a huge wave of applause from its team, who had spent the past several weeks running ground tests to check acceleration, braking, and engine power. After those tests passed with flying colors, the word was given for pilot Mark Scherdel to man the plane for the test trip.

The flight came after years of research, testing, and labor to design and construct the Solar Impulse.

“This is the culmination of six years of intense work by a very experienced team of professionals.» said Borschberg in a statement. «This first «flea hop’ successfully completes the first phase of Solar Impulse, confirming our technical choices.”

As part of its initial test flight, the Solar Impulse’s solar panels were not yet connected or used. Following this positive outcome, the plane is set to be dismantled and moved to an airfield at Payerne, almost two hours away. Early next year, the team plans to launch the Impulse on its first solar test flights, slowly increasing the distance each time until the craft is ready to take its first night flight using solar energy.

Though the Impulse is as wide as a Boeing 747, it weighs only around 1.7 tons. The 12,000 solar cells mounted on the wing are designed to provide renewal solar power to the plane’s four electric motors. The solar panels also charge the craft’s batteries by day, allowing it to fly at night.

For now, the team is basking in the success of this small but critical first step, yet is thinking of the future and the challenge ahead.

“For over 10 years now, I have dreamt of a solar aircraft capable of flying day and night without fuel - and promoting renewable energy”, said Piccard in a statement. “Today, our plane took off and was airborne for the very first time. This is an unbelievable and unforgettable moment! On the other hand, I remain humble in the face of the difficult journey still to be accomplished - it’s a long way between these initial tests and a circumnavigation of the world”.

4.3. Our Picture of the Universe

A well-known scientist once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the centre of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise”. The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “What is the tortoise standing on?” “You’re very clever, young man. very clever,” said the old lady. “But it’s turtles all the way down!”

Most people would find the picture of our universe as an infinite tower of tortoises rather ridiculous, but why do we think we know better? What do we know about the universe, and how do we know it? Where did the universe come from and where is it going? Did the universe have a beginning, and if so, what happened before then? What is the nature of time? Will it ever come to an end? Recent breakthroughs in physics, made possible in part by fantastic new technologies, suggest answers to some of these longstanding questions. Someday these answers may seem as obvious to us as the earth orbiting the sun - or perhaps as ridiculous as a tower of tortoises. Only time (whatever that may be) will tell.

As long ago as 340 B.C. the Greek philosopher Aristotle, in his book «On the Heavens», was able to put forward two good arguments for believing that the earth was a round sphere rather than a flat plate. First, he realised that the earth’s shadow on the moon. The earth’s shadow on the moon was always round, which would be true only if the earth was spherical. Second, the Greeks knew from their travels that the North Star appeared lower in the sky when viewed in the south than it did in more northerly regions.

Our modern picture of the Universe dates back to only 1924, when the American astronomer Edwin Hubble demonstrated that ours was not the only galaxy. There were in fact many others, with vast tracts of empty space between them. In order to prove this, he needed to determine distances to these other galaxies … Edwin Hubble worked out distances to nine different galaxies by measuring their apparent brightness. We now know that our galaxy is only one of some hundred thousand million that can be seen using modern telescopes, each galaxy itself containing thousand million stars. We live in a galaxy that is about one hundred thousand light-years across and is slowly rotating; the stars in its spiral arms orbit around its centre about once every several hundred million years. Our sun is just an ordinary, average-sized, yellow star. We have certainly come a long way since Aristotle, when we thought that the earth was the centre of our universe!


• I ‘m Alison Ford and I can’t live without my computer at home. I use it all the time. It is like a typewriter and address book for me and it is also.used for checking my spelling. Besides I can search the Internet and discover everything about anything, it’s a brilliant source of information. I’ve designed my own website and I’m getting loads of information for school. Besides some websites are packed with quizzes, games and competitions, it’s all you need for hours of fun on your computer. You can play and learn on it. It is absolutely essential. I don’t know how I ever managed without it. But my elder sister thinks people are getting a bit too dependent on computers. She thinks that we rely on them too much. My sister says, ‘You can’t rely on all the information, you don’t know who it has been written by or where it’s coming from. To be dependent on anything, especially a lifeless machine, that can quite easily break down, is not good. Besides computers shouldn’t replace seeing your friends.’

• I’m John Wright and I can’t possibly live without my car. Convenience seems to be the most common and most logical answer: cars take you where you want to go and when you want to go there. I can travel freely and comfortably wherever I want. Besides it allows me to live where I want as I can easily get to the place I need with the help of the car. Besides a car is a way of self-expression. I really hate to be without it. I think a car is a necessity rather than a luxury. But my sister thinks there are too many cars in our cities Some people use them in cases when they could go on foot for example when going to buy a newspaper in a kiosk. It’s necessary to give thought to problems caused by cars. Pollution, accidents and so on. She says that cars are useful but not essential and it’s nice when cars are banned from the central shopping areas. I don’t agree with such a situation but I have to accept it. My sister prefers to go to work using intercity transportation system. She says that during the rush hour, a trip from our home to her work by car takes much more time than a trip on foot. But I prefer to use my car. It suits me.

• My name is Ann and I can’t imagine my life without my phone or I should say phones because I’ve got a mobile, too. I need a telephone to get in touch with my friends or to call the police or an ambulance. It is almost impossible for me to live without my phones. At home I’ve got a cordless telephone, I think it saves time when you have a receiver just at hand. But my mum was against buying a cordless phone because if there is some problem with electricity it won’t work and you’ll be totally lost. She also thinks that it is a luxury to have a mobile, it is too expensive, it is more trouble than it’s worth. Besides she says that mobiles are dangerous for health. The rays may cause headaches and even more dangerous diseases. I don’t believe her. For me my telephones are really invaluable.


The Pulitzer Prize is a U. S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by Hungarian- American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City. According to the administrators of the Pulitzer Prize the correct pronunciation of the name should sound like the verb pull as in “Pull it, sir”.

Prizes are awarded yearly in twenty-one categories. In twenty of these, each winner receives a certificate and a $10,000 cash award. The winner in the public service category of the journalism competition is awarded a gold medal, which always goes to a newspaper, although an individual may be named in the citation.

The Pulitzer Prize does not automatically evaluate all applicable works in the media, but only those that have been entered with a S50 entry fee (one per desired entry category). Entries must fit in at least one of the specific prize categories, and cannot simply gain entrance on the grounds of having general literary or compositional properties. Works can also only be entered into a maximum of two prize categories, regardless of their properties.

A few words about the history of the prize. The prize was established by Joseph Pulitzer, journalist and newspaper publisher, who founded the St. Louis Post Dispatch, and bought the New York World. Pulitzer left money to Columbia University upon his death in 1911. A portion of his bequest was used to found the university’s journalism school in 1912. The first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded June 4, 1917; they are now announced each April. Recipients are chosen by an independent board.

Famous recipients of the Pulitzer Prize include President John F. Kennedy for Biography; Margaret Mitchell, Saul Bellow, Ernest Hemingway, Eudora Welty, Harper Lee, William Faulkner, and Toni Morrison for Fiction; Robert Frost for Poetry won 4 times; Roger Ebert for Criticism; and Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Rodgers and Hammerstein.



I love clubbing and I’m a member of some clubs. Last term I joined our school cookery club. I like cooking at my leisure, especially baking. Our teacher is great and shows us how to make lots of dishes. Actually, I’m enthralled with her recipes and delight when I can do something myself. My friends are skeptical about it and wonder how I can rave about cakes and pies. However, they never say “no” when I treat them to something delicious.

Our school cookery club enjoys reputation for cuisines of different countries. Students of different nationalities present their dishes to the club members and it improves international understanding, I believe. We eat dishes together, share the impressions, laugh, joke and exchange the recipes with each other.

The feeling of togetherness is especially reflected in the final class of the club which is a display of our “cookery talents”. We’ve become friends and it helps us to understand cultures of each other through the enjoyment of cooking. Who knows, maybe these leisure time activities will get off to a good start when it comes to choosing a future profession?


Welcome to the Boy Scouts in America

There are 4 million members of the Boy Scouts of America.

The Boy Scouts of America makes Scouting available to our nation’s youth by chartering community organizations to operate Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, Varsity Scout teams, Venturing crews, and Sea Scout ships.

Scouting’s adult volunteers provide leadership at the unit, district, council, and national levels. Many are parents of Scouts; many entered Scouting as youth members. Each chartered organization establishes a unit committee, which operates its Scouting unit, selects leadership, and provides support for a quality program. Unit committees depend on parents for membership and assistance.

Scouting uses a fun program to promote character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness for every member. They can help by encouraging perfect attendance, assisting with your child’s advancement, attending meetings for parents, assisting with transportation, and assisting when called upon by the unit leader.

Youth membership in the Boy Scouts of America is open to all boys and young adults who meet the joining requirements. Membership in Scouting, advancement, and achievement of leadership in Scouting units are open to all youth without regard to race or ethnic background and are based entirely upon individual merit.


• I think many youth groups and organizations are not that bad as they are thought to be. Teens want to show off. But at the same time a lot of them think about changing the world for the best. Some of them perform on a voluntary basis and try to help people around them, to protect nature, believe in peace as the way to resolve differences between people. I’m sure teenagers will become good citizens. Some who were punks and hippies became good lawyers, doctors and newspaper men. I believe a subculture is a way of life, a real life for teenagers.

• A lot of teens’ subcultures and organizations were set up as a result of problems in the society. School, home, neighbourhoods are part of their environment, which influences them a lot. A society cannot suggest anything really worthwhile for teens. There are not enough clubs or camps, which can develop their intelligence and practical skills. And those which exist are often far beyond their parents’ means who can’t afford them. In view of all that, they rebel and become violent. Their violence is the symptom of problems in the society.

• Some people think that all youth organizations and subcultures are awful, because some of them rebel against society and its laws; others reject everything or protest against parents and school. Don’t forget that teenagers live among us and grouping and rebellion is an expression of their inability to join society at different levels: social, economic or cultural. Teens don’t think much of their future life because they want to live now. Being in a group is like living a real life for them. They have fun being together and sharing their interests.

5.4. Let’s Have a Picnic

• Picnics are popular with women and children and some men who know how to make a fire. Children are fond of picnics chiefly because, as a rule, there are no tables at picnics and consequently no table manners and because they have an excellent opportunity to eat things that do not agree with them. Since picnic lunches are always just about the same and therefore require little imagination, women do not have o trouble about thinking up a meal.

• Much depends, of course, upon the day. Typical picnic weather is of three kinds. Either it is dark and threatening with occasional showers in the morning, cleaning in the afternoon or it is hot and clear in the morning, with thunder showers in the afternoon; or there is a steady drizzle all day long. But as most of the lunch is prepared ahead of time, nothing much can be done about it. After all, there is not much choice between eating a picnic lunch that has waited a day or two and getting a soaking.

• Picnic grounds are usually situated on a body of water at some high altitude. One of these features is essential, for no picnic can be a success unless the children have something to fall into, or fall off. Also, a body of water naturally suggests taking fishing tackles along. No fish was ever known to have been caught on a picnic, but fishing serves as an excellent excuse for getting out of the way while the heavy work is being done.

• Quite the most important feature of the picnic is the lunch. Fried the chicken is always popular … Then there should be hard-boiled eggs. Almost everything else that comes in a can or a paper bag is good for a picnic lunch. These containers are very important as, after the contents have been eaten, they are strewn about and identify the picnic ground. Ginger ale, too, should be brought along to remind you that you left the bottle-opener at home. However, there is always at least one person who knows how to open a bottle on a rock.

• As soon as the food and other equipment have been unpacked it is in order to start a fire. Collecting wood provides occupation for people who do not know how to amuse themselves.

• After the lunch has been eaten, a picnic is mostly anticlimax. But there is always the possibility of someone nearly getting drowned or running into a hornets’ nest or twisting an ankle.

• However, you must remain until well into afternoon, or you may not appear to have a good time. To make matters worse, someone will suggest singing.

• Picnics, whatever may be said against them, have their advantages At least they reawaken in the hearts of many the truth of the old saying that there is no place like home.



My elderly cousin came to stay with us just before our youngest daughter's birthday. We were a little apprehensive whether we ought to arrange the usual picnic celebration because my cousin loathes meals in the open air. However she was determined not to spoil our plans and said she did not mind being left at home. On the day itself, seized by some sudden impulse, she elected to come with us, much to our surprise. It was certainly a day to tempt anyone out, even the most inveterate anti-picnicker: a clear blue sky, glorious sunshine and a gentle breeze.

We duly arrived at our favorite picnic site, a field beside a river, end everybody, except my cousin, had a lovely and most refreshing bathe before we settled ourselves for our meal under the willow trees. While we were eating, a herd of cows from the adjoining field began to amble through the open gateway, unnoticed by my cousin. We like cows but guessed that they would be as little to her fancy as picnics and so hoped that they would go quietly back, satisfied that we were harmless. But one by one they gradually advanced nearer and nearer. When my cousin chanced to look up, their eyes confronted hers. With one shriek of horror she leapt into the air and ran, not to the car, where she might have taken refuge, but towards a gap in the hedge, so small that she could not possibly have crawled through it. The cows, full of curiosity, gave chase. We were convulsed with laughter but my husband managed to put himself together, rounded up the cows, drove them back through the gateway and shut the gate. We thought that disaster had been averted but our shaken guest, walking unsteadily back to us through a marshy bit of the field that the cows had trampled into mud, lost her balance and fell on her face. A hot cup of coffee did nothing to restore her composure, so we had no alternative but to pack up and go home. Never again, my cousin vowed bitterly, would she be so foolish as to go out on a picnic.



Rosalind Silver, a copy editor on the Press Telegram, Long Beach, California, once asked herself a poser: will print disappear with the coming of new media? On the one hand, its end is often predicted, she says. At the same time, other commentators point out that proper use of computers and other technology requires literacy and the creating thinking skills that go with it.

What does seem clear is the changing nature of printed material. Magazines and newspapers designed to respond to a mass market are under increasing pressure, while specialized publications on everything from dieting to hang gliding increase in number. Even the newsletter industry is booming.

Some publications (Family Computing, Home Video) are designed to ease users into the Media Age while alternative news publications expand the range of available viewpoints beyond the horizons of local papers and consumer magazines.

(Adapted from the Internet: http://www.medialit.org/reading-room/making-media-work-you-action-ideas-families)


We Can Please Everyone!

Are you tired of switching from channel to channel? Looking for sometimes special? Wishing to see a programme to your taste? Then, here is what you need to know before you become a couch potato.

1. Soap opera is the most popular form of television programming in the world today, It is a story about the lives of ordinary people who live in the same street or town. It is on TV three times or more each week. It comes in half-hour episodes. We call them soap operas (or soaps) because in the US they were first paid for by companies who made soap. Televiewers are glued to the screen because they can feel real worries and hopes of real people. This week you get an excellent chance to enjoy the BBC’s EastEnders.

2. Animated cartoon is a film made by photographing a series of pictures, clay models, etc. It can be short or long. It was Walt Disney who made the first long cartoon film - “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”. It’s a traditional children’s story about a beautiful princess and seven very small people who saved her life in a forest. You ‘11 be hypnotized by Dopey, Doc, Sneezy, Bashful, Sleepy, Grumpy and Happy on Saturday afternoon.

3. American musical is a unique form of a TV music programme. It combines song, dance, comedy and drama. Among the most successful musicals ever written is CATS by Andrew Lloyd Webber. It has been seen by millions of people. Don’t miss your TV chance on Friday evening. We are sure that no daily routine will drag you away from the screen. We wish you to enjoy every bit of it.

4. Video workout is a series of fitness programmes on TV produced by stars, such as Jane Fonda and Cindy Crawford which you can watch and take part in at home. Do your parents complain about you being a couch potato? Then jump at the opportunity to spend time watching television usefully for your health. Do join us in the ‘fitness craze’ every morning!


Warning of RSI Risk in Computer Games

By Auslan Cramb Scottish Correspondent

A doctor warned parents yesterday of the dangers of “nintendonitis” after treating a schoolboy who suffered an arm injury because he spent too much time playing computer games.

Dr Diana McGregor believes the 11-year-old could be the first reported case of computer-induced repetitive strain injury (RSI) in a child.

His mother took him to hospital after a teacher expressed concern that he was experiencing pain while writing on his return to school following the Christmas holiday last year.

He was examined at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital and no swell ing, bruising or reddening of the skin was found, and there was no bone or soft tissue tenderness.

It emerged that he had been given a Nintendo games computer as a Christmas present and had been using his dominant left hand to manipulate the controls.

Writing in the Scottish Medical Journal, Dr McGregor said: “The child reluctantly agreed to stop using his computer for a week and his symptoms disappeared.” Dr McGregor suggested that “hand care” should be taught at schools to young computer game enthusiasts.

In America RSI was reaching “epidemic proportions”. Schools had already introduced hand care instruction.

(From The Daily Telegraph)


Alice: Whew! School is over at last. Now my brother and I can spend most of our time outdoors.

Phil: I bet you’ll be switching from channel to channel, eating popcorn and watching your TV favourites.

Alice: Exactly. Just imagine: Mum comes back home from work and finds us glued to the screen. She knows only too well that she can’t drag us away from the screen when something interesting is on.

Phil: She will call you “couch potatoes”, won’t she?

Alice: No wonder. We have a great choice of TV channels: from BBC to Five. Now escape from couch potatoism, don’t you think?

Phil: You won’t believe it, but I have recently been to the very heart of British television - the BBC. In full it is the British Broadcasting Corporation. Now I know for sure that it’s a great TV empire. It consists of BBC1 and BBC2. Alice: How would you compare them?

Phil: BBC 1 is the main channel of the BBC. It has programmes to everyone’s taste - light entertainment, news, sport, films, and children’s programmes, of course.

Alice: My Dad says some of the programmes on BBC2 are even more serious, and include plays, concerts, and Open University programmes.

Phil: He’s absolutely right! I felt so proud and excited there!

Alice: Speaking of excitement, “Coronation Street” is so exciting right now - I have to see it tonight.

Phil: I can’t believe this - you’re addicted!

6.5. Taxi (1998)

This is a movie about two ordinary cops about to catch the robbers of a big crime. There was said to be three robbers; which were extremely dangerous and ruthless. They have already robbed the most secured banks of America. Which big tough guys would these 3 robbers be? The robbers are a bunch of six foot supermodels, led by Gisele Bundchen, Leonardo Di Caprio’s girlfriend, who here makes her screen debut. Which is not normal as every single person on this earth would expect these robbers to be men.

Daddy Day Care (2003)

This movie is about two hopelessly unsuitable fathers running a pre-school day care facility. They are seriously taking a massive risk as Eddie Murphy’s wife (in the movie) thinks the job of nurturing kids is only up to women and no one else.


In Pursuit of His Dreams

Robert Louis Stevenson was a well-known traveller who travelled half-way round the world in pursuit of his dream - he wanted love and adventure, and found then both. He wasn’t a biologist or physicist, he was a dreamer whose dreams came true.

His father was an engineer but his only son didn’t become one, though he studied engineering at Edinburgh University. On his own admission, Stevenson wasn’t a scientist as his heart and thoughts were somewhere else; his ambition was to become a writer.

Stevenson started his writing career as a journalist by contributing to magazines. For some years, he journeyed restlessly around Scotland and England like a real tramp. A year later in France Stevenson visited a colony, where artists lived. There he met his future wife with whom he visited America and many countries of Europe. The spirit of a sailer never left him and soon Stevenson ventured into the mysterious world of the South Seas.

His books The Treasure Island, Kidnapped, A Child’s Garden of Verses, etc made him a celebrated writer who had many admiters all over the world.

7.2. On a Boat Trip

We got out at Sonning, a picturesque village on the bank of the Thames, and went for a walk. It is the most beautiful place on the whole river. Every garden is full of roses, and now, in early June, they were bursting into bloom.

We walked about sweet Sonning for an hour or so, and then, it was too late to continue our boat trip. So we divided to go back to one of the Shiplake islands, and put up there for the night. It was still early when we got settled, and George said that it would be a splendid opportunity to try a good supper. He said he would show us what could be done up the river in the way of cooking, and suggested that we should make an Irish stew, with the vegetables and the remains of the cold beef and general odds and ends.

It seemed a fascinating idea. George gathered wood and made a fire, and Harris and I started to peel the potatoes. The job turned out to be the biggest thing of its kind. The more we peeled, the more peel there seemed to be left on. Then we scraped them and that was harder work than peeling. We also put in a cabbage and peas, half a pork pie, and a bit of cold bacon, as well as a tin of potted salmon.

George said that was the advantage of Irish stew: you got rid of such a lot of things.

I forget the other ingredients, but I know nothing was wasted, and I remember that towards the end, our dog brought a dead water-rat which he obviously wished to present as his contribution to the dinner.

It was a great success, that Irish stew. I don’t think I ever enjoyed a meal more. As George said, there was good stuff in it. It certainly made our boat trip unforgettable.

(Adapted from “Three Men in a Boat” by Jerome K. Jerome)

7.3. Wondering about Wonders

Darren: Hi, Don! It’s good to see you. I’m so glad you’re back. I missed you terribly while you were touring south. How was it?

Don: It was a dream come true: Niagara’s fantastic voyage on the world-famous “Maid of the Mist” boat right at the bottom of the falls, cruising the Great Lakes, viewing Toronto and Buffalo from the observation deck of the Shy- lon Tower, to name but few attractions.

Darren: No wonder, Ontario is the most heavily visited region in the country. My parents took me to see the Canadian Horseshoe Falls a couple of years ago. How good they looked by day and by night, when colourful spotlights flickered across the misty foam. It was quite a spectacle.

Don: It still is, especially when you see hundreds of newlyweds there. It is said that Napoleon’s brother rode from New Orleans in a stagecoach with his new bride to view the falls. It has been a honeymoon attraction ever since.

Darren: Wow, that sounds really good. I’ll keep that in mind, just in case. Ha-ha. And did you by any chance visit Niagara-on-the-Lake?

Don: Do you mean the small attractive village, about 20 km down-stream from the Falls where the well-known George Bernard Shaw Festival takes place? I spent a weekend there and visited three theatres which performed the plays of this writer, including Victorian drama, musicals and mystery plays.

Darren: It’s a nice place to see and to get a taste of former quiet times.

Don: So is the lake in Manitoba which I visited on my way back. It has the longest place-name in the country - Pekwachnamaykoskwaskwaypinwanik. Did you know that?

Darren: That’s incredible! Enough letters to twist your tongue. How on earth did you remember that?

Don: I wrote it down and practised hard - I wanted to really surprise you!

Darren: You really did! Where does the name come from, I wonder?

Don: I was told that lots of geographical names in this province come from the Indian languages and are associated with natural sounds. For instance, in Lake Manitoba there is a strait where the water hits the limestone edges, making an odd echoing sound, associated by the native Indians with the Great Spirit (“Manito”).

Darren: The world we live in! There is so much to wonder about in Canada. It’s not surprising that Prime Minister Mackenzie King said, “…if some countries have too much history, we have too much geography.”

Don: Exactly.


…And Then Along Came Maui

A long time after the creation of the world there lived the demigod Maui who was exceptionally clever and strong. One day Maui went out fishing with his five brothers. The brothers paddled their canoes far out to sea, where Maui took out his magic fishhook, tied it to a strong rope and dropped it over the side of the canoe. Soon Maui caught an immense fish and, struggling mightily, pulled it up to the surface.

This fish became the North Island of New Zealand, called the Fish of Maui by the ancient Maori. Wellington Harbour is the fish’s mouth, the Taranaki and East Coast areas are its two fins, Lake Taupo is its heart and the Northland peninsula its tail. Mahia peninsula in the Hawkes Bay region is the Fish-hook of Maui - the magic hook with which he fished up the island.

The South Island was known as the Canoe of Maui - the canoe in which he stood when he caught the fish. Kaikoura peninsula was where Maui braced his foot while hauling up the fish, and Stewart Island was the anchor stone that held the canoe steady as he hauled in the giant fish.


Even though I only have to earn C grades in order to receive credit for my classes in New Zealand, I find myself studying and working hard in my classes, which are called papers here, in order to do my personal best. Some students here work hard, but generally the students are more relaxed and less concerned about grades than students in the United States because they have other important things to do such as play sports and spend time with friends and family. One of my Kiwi friends in my organizational business classes complained about how he would have to miss his rugby game because of our final exam.

I have also learned that I am able to push myself to be more outgoing and try new things. Generally, I shy away from talking to new people and prefer to remain comfortable and safe. However, I realize that I can talk to new people and try extreme events that challenge me to overcome my apprehension. Slowly, I am able to overcome my fear of starting conversations with strangers. Friendly Kiwis make this easier and so New Zealand has been a great place for me to practice this skill.

I also went bungee jumping, something I was scared to do. Standing on the edge of a plank under the Auckland Harbour Bridge, I felt the swell of wind in my face as I gazed at the ocean below. My stomach twisted as the instructor counted down from three, signaling my jump. I amazed myself when I dove off the plank into thin air, trusting the cord attached to my ankle to stop me from plummeting into the water below.

After one month here in Auckland, I have learned more about myself than I could in an entire semester at home. This has been a great way to discover my strengths and weaknesses as a student and person. This experience has also opened my eyes to various worldviews by living in a new culture. I expect to grow and realize much more about myself, New Zealand, and the way in which cultural stereotypes dominate our global community.

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