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Lesson 8 college life


The meny-go-round of college life is something that one never forgets. It's a fascinating, fantastic, fabulous experience, irrespective of the fact whether one is a full-time or a part-time student.

Who can forget the first day at the university when one turns from an applicant who has passed entrance exams into a first-year student? I did it! I entered, I got in to the university! A solemn ceremony in front of the university building and serious people making speeches. Hey, lad, do you happen to know who they are? Who? The rector, vice-rectors, deans, subdeans... and what about those ladies? Heads of departments and senior lecturers? Okay. Some of them must be professors, some associate or assistant professors, but, of course, all of them have high academic degrees. And where are our lecturers and tutors? Oh, how nice...

The monitors hand out student membership cards, student record books and library cards onefeels like a real person. First celebrations and then days of hard work. So many classes, so many new subjects to put on the timetable! The curriculum seems to be developed especially for geniuses. Lectures, seminars and tutorials. Home preparations; a real avalanche of homeworks.

If one can not cope with the work load of college he or she immediately starts lagging behind. It is easier to keep pace with the programme than to catch up with it later. Everyone tries hard to be, or at least to look, diligent. First tests and examination sessions. The first successes and first failures: "I have passed!" or "He has not given me a pass!" Tears and smiles. And a long-awaited vacation.

The merry-go-round runs faster. Assignments, written reproductions, compositions, synopses, papers. Translations checked up and marked. "Professor, I have never played truant, I had a good excuse for missing classes". Works handed in and handed out. Reading up for exams. "No, professor, I have never cheated no cribs. I just crammed".

Junior students become senior. Still all of them are one family undergraduates. Students' parties in the students' clab. Meeting people and parting with people. You know, Nora is going to be expelled and Dora is going to graduate with honours. Yearly essays, graduation dissertations, finals...

What? A teacher's certificate? You mean, I've got a degree in English? I am happy! It is over! It is over... Is it over? Oh, no...

A postgraduate course, a thesis, an oral, and a degree in Philology. The first of September. Where are the students of the faculty of foreign languages? Is it the English department? Oh, how nice...

1. Say a few words about your university: say what it is called, speak about its faculties and their specializations.

2. Would you compare college life with a merry-go-round or with something else?

3. What do you think of the first months at the university?

4. They say that it is a poor soldier who does not want to become a general. Name the steps of the social ladder which a student must pass to climb up to the position of the rector. Use the words from the list below, placing one word on one step.

Dean, assistant lecturer, head of department, vice-rector, associate professor, assistant professor, subdean, professor.


Ruth at College

(Extract from the book by A. Brookner "A Start in Life". Abridged)

The main advantage of being at college was that she could work in the library until nine o'clock. She was now able to feed and clothe herself. She had, for the moment, no worries about money. In her own eyes she was rich, and it was known, how, she did not understand, that she was not on a grant,' did not share a flat with five others, did not live in a hall of residence, and took abundant baths, hot water being the one element of life at home.

There was also the extreme pleasure of working in a real library, with access to the stacks. The greed for books was still with her, although sharing them with others was not as pleasant as taking them to the table and reading through her meals. But in the library she came as close to a sense of belonging as she was ever likely to encounter.2

She was never happier than when taking notes, rather elaborate notes in different coloured ball-point pens, for the need to be doing something while reading, or with reading, was beginning to assert itself. Her essays, which she approached as many women approach a meeting with a potential lover, were well received. She was heartbroken when one came back with the words "I cannot read your writing" on the bottom.

She bought herself a couple ofpleated skirts, like those worn by Miss Parker;* she bought cardigans and saddle shoes3 and thus found a style to which she would adhere for the rest other life.

* Miss Parker Ruth's teacher at school.


The days were not long enough. Ruth rose early, went out for a newspaper and some rolls, made coffee, and washed up, all before anybody was stirring. She was the neatest person in the house. As she opened the front door to leave, she could hear the others greeting the day from their beds with a variety of complaining noises, and escaped quickly before their blurred faces and slippered feet could spoil her morning. She was at one with the commuters at the bus stop.4 There would be lectures until lunch time, tutorials in the afternoon. In the Common Room there was an electric kettle and she took to supplying the milk and sugar.5 It was more of a home than home had been for a very long time. There was always someone to talk to after the seminar, and she would take a walk in the evening streets before sitting down for her meal in a sandwich bar at about six thirty. Then there was work in the library until nine, and she would reach home at about ten.

'But don't you ever go out?' asked her friend Anthea. For she was surprised to find that she made friends easily. Needing a foil or acolyte for her flirtatious popularity, she had found her way to Ruth unerringly;6 Ruth, needing the social protection of a glamorous friend, was grateful. Both were satisfied with the friendship although each was secretly bored by the other. Anthea's conversation consisted either of triumphant reminiscences how she had spumed this one, accepted that one, how she had got the last pair of boots in Harrod's sale, how she had shed five pounds in a fortnight or recommendations beginning 'Why don't you?' Why don't you get rid of those ghastly skirts and buy yourself some trousers? You're thin enough to wear them. Why don't you have your hair properly cut? Why don't you find a flat of your own? You can't stay at home all your life.

These questions would be followed rapidly by variants beginning 'Why haven't you?' Found a flat, had your haircut, bought some trousers. It was as if her exigent temperament required immediate results. Her insistent yet curiously uneasy physical presence inspired conflicting feelings in Ruth,7 who was not used to the idea that friends do not always please.

By the end of the second year a restlessness came over Ruth, impelling her to spend most of the day walking. The work seemed to her too easy and she had already chosen the subject for her dissertation: "Vice and Virtue in Balzac's Novels". Balzac teaches the supreme effectiveness of bad behaviour, a matter which Ruth was beginning to perceive. The evenings in the library now oppressed her; she longed to break the silence. She seemed to have been eating the same food, tracing the'same steps for far too long.8 And she was lonely. Anthea, formally engaged to Brian, no longer needed her company.

Why don't you do your postgraduate work in America? I can't see any future for you here, apart from the one you can see yourself.

Ruth took some of Anthea's advice, had her hair cut, won a scholarship from the British Council which entitled her to a year in France working on her thesis, and fell in love. Only the last fact mattered to her, although she would anxiously examine her hair to see if it made her look any better. Had she but known it, her looks were beside the point;9 she was attractive enough for a clever woman, but it was principally as a clever woman that she was attractive. She remained in ignorance of this; for she believed herself to be dim and unworldly and had frequently been warned by Anthea to be on her guard. 'Sometimes I wonder if you're all there,'10 said Anthea, striking her own brow in disbelief.

She did this when Ruth confessed that she was in love with Richard Hirst, who had stopped her in the corridor to congratulate her on winning the scholarship and had insisted on taking her down to the refectory for lunch. Anthea's gesture was prompted by the fact that Richard was a prize beyond the expectations of most women and certainly beyond those of Ruth.11 He was one of those exceptionally beautiful men whose violent presence makes other men, however superior, look makeshift. Richard was famous on at least three counts.12 He had the unblemished blond good looks of his Scandinavian mother; he was a resolute Christian; and he had an ulcer. Women who had had no success with him assumed that the ulcer was a result of the Christianity, for Richard, a psychologist by training, was a student counsellor,13 and would devote three days a week to answering the telephone and persuading anxious undergraduates.

Then Richard would wing home to his parish and stay up for two whole nights answering the telephone to teenage dropouts,14 battered wives, and alcoholics. There seemed to be no end to the amount of bad news he could absorb.

Richard had been known to race off on his bicycle to the scene of a domestic drama and there wrestle with the conscience of an abusive husband, wife, mother, father, brother, sister.

He was rarely at home. He rarely slept. He never seemed to eat. His ulcer was the concern of every woman he had ever met in his adult life. His dark golden hair streamed and his dark blue eyes were clear and obdurate as he pedalled off to the next crisis.

Into Ruth's dazed and grateful ear he spoke deprecatingly of his unmarried mothers and his battered wives. She thought him exemplary and regretted having no good works to report back.15 The race for virtue, which she had always read about, was on.

So Ruth took more of Anthea's advice and found a flat for herself.

Proper Names

Ruth [rüT]

Anita Brookner [@'ni:t@ 'brUkn@]

Miss Parker [mIs 'p¸k@]

Anthea [{n'TI@]

Harrod's ['h{r@dz]

Balzac [b{l'z{k]

Brian [braI@n]

British Council ['brItIS 'kaUnsIl]

Richard Hirst ['rI@d 'hÆ:st]

Scandinavian ["sk{ndI'neIvj@n]

Christian ['krIstj@n]

Vocabulary Notes

1. ... and it was known, how, she did not understand, that she was not on a grant... , , ...

2. But in the library she came as close to a sense of belonging as she was ever likely to encounter. , , .

3. saddle shoes

4. She was at one with the commuters at the bus stop. .

5. In the Common Room there was an electric kettle and she took to supplying the milk and sugar. , .

6. Needing a foil or acolyte for her flirtatious popularity, she had found her way to Ruth unerringly ... , , , , , ...

7. Her insistent yet curiously uneasy physical presence inspired conflicting feelings in Ruth ... Ÿ , ...

8. She seemed to have been eating the same food, tracing the same steps for far too long. , , .

9. Had she but known it, her looks were beside the point... , , , ...

10. Sometimes I wonder if you're all there ... , ...

11. ... that Richard was a prize beyond the expectations of most women and certainly beyond those of Ruth. ... , , , .

12. ... on at least three counts ... , ...

13. ... was a student counsellor ... ... (.: , )

14. ... to teenage dropouts ... ... , ...

15. ... and regretted having no good works to report back. ... , - , .

Phonetic Text Drills

○ Exercise 1

Transcribe and pronounce correctly the words from the text.

Grant, to share, residence, access, to encounter, elaborate, ball-point pen, to assert, cardigan, blurred, commuter, foil, acolyte, flirtatious, unerringly, triumphant, reminiscence, ghastly, exigent, temperament, conflicting, dissertation, postgraduate, scholarship, thesis, ignorance, gesture, makeshift, unblemished, resolute, ulcer, psychologist, counsellor, abusive, battered, exemplary.

○ Exercise 2

Pronounce the words and phrases where the following clusters occur.

1. plosive + w

Could work, it was known, hot water, at one, satisfied with, that one, would wing, battered wives, good works.

2. plosive +1

Able, pleasure, table, likely, couple, pleated, saddle, kettle, supplying, entitled, at least, good looks, blue.

3. plosive + r

Extreme, approach, greeting, electric, streets, would reach, surprised, protection, grateful, trousers, streamed, presence, oppressed, break, tracing, principally, attractive, striking, brow, congratulate, prize,undergraduates, drama, brother, crisis.

4. plosive + plosive

Bought cardigans, made coffee, front door, escaped quickly, would be, would take, had got, fact, refectory, would devote.

○ Exercise 3

Comment on the phonetic phenomena in the following clusters.

1. Chosen the subject, did this, confessed that, all there, beyond those, assumed that the ulcer.

2. That she, greed for books, bought herself, could hear, blurred faces, slippered feet, asked her friend, found her way, had shed, had your hair, second year, don't you.

3. Through, three.

○ Exercise 4

Say what kind of false assimilation one should avoid in the following clusters.

1. Of being, of working, of belonging, of complaining, of triumphant, of boots, of his.

2. Was still, as taking, as close, as she, which she, like those, was stirring, was the neatest.

○ Exercise 5

Transcribe the following words with negative prefixes.

Uneasy, unerringly, disbelief, unblemished, unmarried.

○ Exercise 6

Transcribe and intone the questions. Compare the intonation pattern of a general and a special question.

'But 'donPt you 'ever 'go /out?' | "asked her "friend An,thea. ||

'Why donPt you 'find a 'flat of your own? ||

Comprehension Check

1. What was the main advantage of being at college?

2. Why did Ruth consider herself rich?

3. What did Ruth like about working in the library?

4. What did Ruth do while reading?

5. How did Ruth change her image?

6. When did Ruth leave for the university?

7. How did Ruth spend her day in the college?

8. Why did Ruth and Anthea become friends?

9. What sort of questions would Anthea ask?

10. What change took place at the end of the second year in Ruth?

11. What did Ruth do to find a new style of life?

12. When did Anthea say that she was not sure whether Ruth was all there?

13. What kind of gesture accompanied Anthea's words and what did it imply?

14. What did Richard Hirst look like?

15. What kind of responsibilities did Richard have?

16. What kind of lifestyle did Richard have?

17. What did Richard speak of into Ruth's ear?

18. What did Ruth think and do?


Exercise 1

Find in the text words denoting:

a short piece of writing on one particular subject that is written by a student;

a class, usually at college or university, where the teacher and the students discuss a particular topic or subject;

a long essay that a student does as part of a degree;

financial aid that the government gives to an individual or to an organisation for a particular purpose such as education, welfare, home, improvements;

a student at a university or college who has not yet taken his or her first degree;

a person who has a first degree from a university and who is doing research at a more advanced level;

someone who has left school or college before they have finished their studies;

a long piece of written research done for a higher university degree, especially a PhD*;

money given to a student to help pay for the cost of his or her education;

a regular meeting in which a tutor and a small group of students discuss a subject as part of the students' course of study;

a block of flats where students live;

a person who travels to work in town every day, especially by train;

a large dining hall in a university.

* PhD doctor of Philosophy (an academic degree, approximately equal to " " in Russia).


Exercise 2

Make up all possible derivatives from the stems of the verbs below.

Share, assert, adhere, complain, bore, accept, require, inspire, oppress, prompt, absorb, wrestle, report.

Exercise 3

Pronounce the words correctly and comment on the shift of meaning in the pairs of 1) one-stem nouns and adjectives; 2) one-stem verbs and nouns.

1) advantage advantageous

anxious anxiety

extreme extremity

attractive attraction

greed greedy

presence present

conflicting conflict

violent violence

2) to note note

to examine examine

to receive reception

to devote devotion

to supply supply

to concern concern

to subject subject

to absorb absorption


Exercise 4

Pick out from the text 1) nouns, denoting different types of classes at the university; 2) nouns, denoting money support for students; 3) nouns, denoting types of written works done by students.

Exercise 5

Give the English equivalents for the following and use them in sentences of your own.


; ; ; ; ; -; ; ; ; ; -; ; ; -; ; ; ; (, ); .


; -; ; ; ; ; ; ; -; ; ; ; -; ; ; -; ; -.

Exercise 6

Explain the meaning of the following English words or phrases and say how the corresponding notions in Russian differ from the English ones.

A dissertation, a thesis, postgraduate work, a tutorial, a grant, a scholarship, an essay, an undergraduate, a student counsellor, a commuter, a hall of residence.

Exercise 7

Complete the sentences.

1. The main advantage of being at college was that...

2. It was known that Ruth ...

3. There was also the extreme pleasure of ...

4. She was never happier than when ...

5. She found a style to which ...

6. As she opened the front door to leave ...

7. There would be lectures until lunch time ...

8. In the Common Room there was an electric kettle and she ...

9. It was more of a home than ...

10. Needing a foil or acolyte for her flirtatious popularity, Anthea ...

11. By the end of the second year ...

12. The work seemed to her too easy and she ...

13. She seemed to have been eating the same food ...

14. Ruth took some ofAnthea's advice ...

15. Ruth confessed that...

16. Richard was a prize beyond ...

17. Richard, a psychologist by training, was ...

18. There seemed to be no end to ...

19. She thought him exemplary and ...

20. So Ruth took more ofAnthea's advice and ...

Exercise 8

Complete the sentences choosing the appropriate word or phrase from the list. Change their form if necessary.

To have no worries about something; in one's own eyes; a hall of residence; read through one's meals; to adhere to something; to be at one with somebody; to go out; to make friends; to find one's way to somebody.; to get rid of something; to need somebody's company; beside the point; to be on one's guard; on three counts; no end to something; the concern of somebody.

1. A communicative person ... with other people very quickly and feels at ease in any company.

2. It is important ... a definite style when choosing clothes; otherwise one risks looking strange.

3. Police ask people ... when strangers approach them, try to make contact with them or ask favours of them.

4. Sharing a room with other people, one has ... all bad habits: smoking, scattering things here and there, coming late.

5. Having passed the exam, she grew .... The exam was very difficult and being through with it meant success.

6. The teacher tried... a little boy in primary school; she spoke with him, made him speak and play too, but he remained aloof and constrained.

7. The child seemed not ... ; he liked to stay all by himself, with no companions to play with.

8. Most British students live either in ... or share flats with other students.

9. In the evening most British students .... They go to pubs, discos or just walk around with their friends.

10. Doctors do not recommend.... It may lead to indigestion.

11. The athlete's physical power was almost.... It was his mental discipline that really made him a champion.

12. There was ... her friend's advice: she always had new ideas and poured them out incessantly.

13. Her success rested ...: she was President of Students' Society, she had only excellent marks and she won a scholarship from the British Council.

14. Hurrying up to the university in the morning, she ... all the rest of the students: she was an integral part of this moving mass.

15. His constant failures soon became ... every lecturer. Nobody knew what to do in a situation like this.

16. She ... domestic chores: her mother and grandmother did everything in the house.

Exercise 9

Put in the missing prepositions.

1. The teacher demanded that the students should take notes ... coloured ball-point pens.

2. Being a psychologist... training, Richard devoted his life to solving other people's problems.

3. Not everyone likes to share a flat ... somebody: it disturbs one's privacy.

4. Working... her thesis, Ruth learned many interesting facts.

5. The mother always grumbled when her daughter was reading ... her meals.

6. The commuters were at one ... the bus stop, and every person felt as if he or she were an integral part of the crowd.

7. Ruth could not understand why a certain restlessness came ... her.

8. Ruth did not have any worries ... money, because she lived at home with her parents.

9. It was very easy to choose subjects ... dissertations; the professor offered a long list of topics.

10. She would never sit down ... her meal without a book, which, of course, was a bad habit.

11. One day the lecturer returned Ruth's essay with an inscription ... the bottom.

12. Ruth's greed ... books kept her working in the library until nine o'clock.

13. As there was a kettle in the Common Room, some students took ... bringing tea and coffee.

14. The girls were bored ... each other, because they were too different.

15. A lot of students at the university were ... grants, which meant that their studies were subsidized by the government.

16. The girl decided that she would adhere ... a classical style of dressing; she thought it suited her better.

17. Those who win scholarships from the British Council are usually entitled ... half a year abroad.

18. Ruth remembered the day when she met Richard Hirst ... the rest of her life.

19. The girl's talks always consisted ... stories, reminiscences and gossip.

20. Richard congratulated all students ... all possible occasions, as he was a student counsellor.

Exercise 10

Find in the text sentences with the words or expressions given below, translate them into Russian and ask your classmates to translate them back into English.

To be on a grant; a hall of residence; greed for books; elaborate notes; to be well received; a tutorial; a seminar; the second year; the subject for one's dissertation; postgraduate work; to work on one's thesis; to examine; winning the scholarship; by training; an undergraduate; to stay up for two whole nights; to absorb; to report back.

Exercise 11

Explain in what connection the following sentences and phrases occur in the text.

1. She was now able to feed and clothe herself.

2. She was not on a grant.

3. The greed for books was still with her.

4. She was never happier than when taking notes.

5. Her essays were well received.

6. She found a style to which she would adhere for the rest of her life.

7. It was more of a home than home had been for a very long time.

8. She had found her way to Ruth unerringly.

9. Each was secretly bored.

10. Her exigent temperament required immediate results.

11. A restlessness came over Ruth.

12. She was lonely.

13. Ruth took some ofAnthea's advice.

14. Her looks were beside the point.

15. She was in love with Richard Hirst.

16. Richard was famous on at least three counts.

17. There seemed to be no end to the amount of bad news he could absorb.

18. She thought him exemplary.

19. The race for virtue was on.

Exercise 12

Read and translate. Use the italicized structures in sentences of your own.

1. There would be lectures until lunch time. She would reach home at about ten. She would take a walk in the evening streets. She would anxiously examine her hair. Richard would devote three days a week to answering the telephone.

2. Ruth was not used to the idea that friends do not always please.

3. Needing a foil or acolyte for her flirtatious popularity, she had found her way to Ruth unerringly; Ruth, needing the social protection of a glamorous friend, was grateful.

4. She seemed to have been eating the same food, tracing the same steps for far too long. He never seemed to eat.

Exercise 13

Work in pairs. Fill in the gap in the dialogue frame with phrases from the list below. Express surprise, annoyance, disagreement. Give your reasons.

Why don't you ... ?

work in the library, read through your meals, live in the hall of residence, share a flat with five others, go out, choose the subject for your dissertation, do your postgraduate work in America, work on your thesis, take notes in different-coloured ball-point pens, feed and clothe yourself, fall in love, devote three days a week to studying English, take some of somebody's advice, win the scholarship, find a flat for yourself, stay up for whole nights reading up for exams, congratulate somebody on winning the scholarship, find a style to which you would adhere for the rest of your life.

Possible responses:

So what?

Why should I?

What's the use of

Don't you think it's silly?

You don't say so!

You must be joking!

You can't be serious!

Exercise 14

Make up dialogues that could take place and dramatize them in class.

1. between Ruth and Richard at the refectory, where he took her for lunch after having congratulated her on winning the scholarship;

2. between Ruth and her friend Anthea, beginning with 'But don't you ever go out, Ruth?';

3. between Ruth and Anthea, when Anthea is persuading Ruth to find a flat for herself;

4. between Ruth and one of her neighbours in the house where she lived;

5. between Ruth and some student or students after the seminar in the Common Room.

Exercise 15

Speak of Ruth's college life:

1. in the third person;

2. in the person of Ruth;

3. in the person of her friend Anthea.

Exercise 16

Discussion points.

1. What can you say about Ruth's personality? Prove it.

2. What do you think of her friend Anthea?

3. Why did Ruth take some ofAnthea's advice?

4. What kind of person was Richard, in your opinion?

5. What does the last but one phrase "The race for virtue was on" mean? Comment upon it.

6. Which character do you like most? Why?

Exercise 17

Comment on the following words of the author.

'Balzac teaches the supreme effectiveness of bad behaviour ...'

'... friends do not always please.'

'... she was attractive enough for a clever woman ...'

Exercise 18

Act out the following mini-dialogues substituting phrases from the lists for the ones in italics.

1. Where do you' study?

I study at the rze State Pedagogical University of Russia, St.Petersburg.2

' does he, does she

2 the Institute of Foreign Languages, the philological faculty, the faculty of oriental languages

2. What's your favourite subject?

I like English1 most of all.

' Linguistics, Latin, Psychology, Literature, Philosophy, British Studies, American Studies, Methods of Teaching English, History of the Language, Grammatical Theory

3. What subjects do you take for the first year1?

If we speak about English, it is mainly Phonetics and Grammar.2

1 the second year, the third year, the fourth year, the fifth year

2 Conversation, Written Composition, Translation, Home Reading, Analytical Reading, Close Reading, Business English

4. What is David good1 at?

He is good at writing essays.2

1 clever, poor

2 memorizing foreign words, doing grammar exercises, reciting poems, writing accurate translations, giving talks

5. Can you help me with grammar1?


1 pronunciation, the text, the exercise, spelling

2 Of course. I can. No doubt I can. You are welcome.

6. Why didn't you attend the previous lesson in English1?

The thing is that I was not well.2

1 lecture on Literature, lecture on Linguistics, seminar on political economy, seminar on psychology

2 was late for it, didn't know about it.

7. What mark did you get for your composition1?

I was given an excellent mark.2

1 translation, test, examination

2 a good mark, a satisfactory mark, a bad mark

8. Where can I find the Dean1?

He is probably in the Dean's ofice.2

1 the English teacher, the tutor, the lecturer

2 the staff room, the lecture room, the faculty office

9. What are you going to do tomorrow morning1?

I think I'll be reading up/or the exam.2

1 in the afternoon, tonight

2 writing an essay, reading up for the seminar, revising for the test, preparing for my class

Exercise 19

The curriculum at the faculty of foreign languages consists of several subjects which all students must study. Make a list of these subjects. In class speak about your favourites and the ones you dislike(d). Explain to your partners why you enjoy(ed) or don't (didn't) enjoy them.

Exercise 20

When do we say the following about people? Give answers, using the pattern.

► Pattern: She never misses classes.

We say, 'She never misses classes' if she attends classes regularly.

1. Nick has a good command of English.

2. Richard has done well in his exams.

3. Donna lags behind the group.

4. Brenda keeps up with the rest of the group.

5. Susan has failed in her exam.

6. Ray is burning the midnight oil.

7. Sara can't learn English just by picking it up.

8. David and Steve never disrupt classes.

9. Max never cribs at exams.

10. Brandon lacks fluency.

11. Helen is fond of playing truant.

Exercise 21

Name at least two or three situations that cause you feel the emotions listed below.

► Pattern: I find talking about things that don't interest me boring.

Ifind writing long tests annoying.

boring attending lectures (seminars, classes)

embarrassing taking notes

depressing reading up (for)

confusing making reports

exciting writing essays

annoying doing one's homework

worrying correcting mistakes

amusing translating from Russian into English (from English into Russian)

rendering texts

doing exercises

listening to the tapes

transcribing and intoning

working on one's thesis

participating in class

missing classes

disrupting classes

coming late to one's classes (lectures, exams)

cheating (in exams and tests)

taking examinations

failing examinations

retaking examinations

Continue the list. Compare your answers with those of other students in the class. Discuss these situations and the feelings they cause. Also discuss what activities you think difficult and what easy.

Exercise 22

Complain about some things or activities at college (at the university) that annoy you. Talk about something that you do not enjoy. Explain why.Work in pairs.

► Use:

For complaining:

I'm beginning to get rather tired of...

I've had (I have) a lot of trouble with ...

The trouble with ... is that...

I'm sick and tired of...

They should/ought to ...

I'm not at all satisfied with ...

For agreement: For disagreement:

Yes, it is a problem, isn't it? Really? I can't say I've

Yes, it can be a problem, particularly noticed that...

can't it? I can see what you mean but..

I think I can understand Oh, come on, it isn't that bad.

how you feel.

Yes, I know what you mean.

Exercise 23

Speak in class what you feel when:

you get a bad mark; you fall (lag) behind the group; you fail (in) an examination; you read up for an examination late at night; you miss classes; you come late to classes; you keep up with the rest of the group; you catch up with the rest; you have to retake an examination; you work in the library at the weekend; you work on your dissertation on holiday; you spend sleepless nights over a load of books; you look up every word in your dictionary when reading an English book; you are not prepared for the class; you are given virtually no time to digest and remember several chapters; the telephone rings while you are doing your homework; your essay is well-received; another student cheats at an examination or test.

► Patterns: I feel like a failure when I fall behind the group.

I feel pleased/confused/bored, etc. when I catch up with the rest.

Exercise 24

Guess what the people in the picture feel and why. Use the topical vocabulary.

► Patterns: He looks satisfied. He must have got a good mark.

She looks bored. She must be listening to a boring lecture.

Exercise 25

Translate into English.

1. .

2. , . , .

3. . .

4. , , . .

5. , , .

6. , .

7. . .

8. , , , . .

9. , .

10. , , .

11. , .

12. , .

13. .

14. , - .

15. .

Exercise 26

An old Chinese saying states that "a picture is worth a thousand words". With a partner discuss each of these pictures. Answer the questions below.

1. What has happened? Why do you think so?

2. What is happening now? Why do you think so?

3. What is going to happen? Why do you think so?

Exercise 27

I. Read and translate the story.

Distractions are a problem Barbara has to deal with when she is supposed to be studying. She spends too much time on the phone. She intends to concentrate on her homework, but finds herself talking to friends or writing lettere instead of reading up for seminars, taking notes or writing essays. It is hard for her to say, 'No, I can't do this or go there. I have to study.' Her homework often suffers because she procrastinates. When she studies in her room, it is full of distractions. Her phone, radio, tape player and her cat are there. She finds herself daydreaming, answering the phone, listening to tapes or petting the cat. She is often disturbed by family members. It is easy to see where all her time goes not to studying. Now she is letting the answering machine do its job. She puts the cat out before she starts to study. Her homework is now done before everyone gets home from work.

II. Find the English equivalents for the following.

; -; -; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; .

III. Speak about your distractions. Use the patterns from the text:

1) Barbara is supposed to be studying.

2) Barbara has to deal with a problem.

3) Barbara finds herself talking to friends instead of reading up for seminars.

4) Barbara is often disturbed by family members.

Exercise 28

1. Read and translate the story. Answer and discuss in class the questions below. Continue the story.

It took a couple of weeks for classes to get settled, and then we got down to the nitty-gritty. As homework began pouring in, and tests loomed on the horizon, I realised that my study skills were very poor and that it was going to be a challenge in itself to teach myself to study. I experimented with several tactics, trying to find out what would work for me. I started out in the bedroom with the door closed, but it seemed the phone was always ringing. I managed to get my work done, but I was not pleased with this frustrating situation. Later I tried going outside and preparing somewhere in the yard. I ended up chatting with a neighbour, petting her dog. Cleariy, something had to be changed. As my workload increased, so did my frustration. Quite by accident, however, I found the solution to my problem ...

II. Find the English equivalents to the Russian words and phases.

, , -, , , , , , -, , (.), , , , , , , , , .

III. Answer the questions and express your opinion on the following.

1. What advice would you give to a friend of yours if he or she had to deal with the problem of distraction?

2. What tactics do you personally choose to get yourself organised and sit down to work?

3. Discuss in class the problem of getting oneself organised and concentrated when doing one's homework.

Exercise 29

The passages below are the beginnings of different stories. Finish the stories, using the vocabulary from the text and the topical vocabulary.

'Finally, the summer ended and college began. Carol dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt, slung her book bag over her shoulder and set out for her first class ...'

'Thomas is sitting in the dining-room looking at the mess strewn around. He calls this his office. The table is covered with an assortment of books, pens, and papers. Hanging on the back of a chair is his black leather book bag. He is finally a college student ...'

'The term is coming to a close. I look upon it with sadness. I will miss my teachers and the friendships I have made ...'

'I am looking forward to the next term, but I also get nervous thinking about my new classes. Each term the classes will get a little harder and more challenging. I hope I am up to all those new challenges. I love to learn, but I still have a little fear of failing...'

Exercise 30

Read and translate the passage. Answer the questions below.

Most people who have trouble with schoolwork don't lack intelligence instead. Rather, they are trapped by their own attitudes towards the work. One attitude that gets in many students' way is the "I can't do it" syndrome. Instead of making an honest effort to do the work, the "I can't do it" type give up before they begin. Then there's the "I'm too tired" excuse. Students with this problem give in to the temptation to nap whenever there is work to be done. Another common excuse for low achievement is "the instructor is boring". These students expect every course to be highly entertaining and claim they can't be expected to learn anything otherwise.

1. What do you think of the "I can't do it" type?

2. What do you think of the "I'm too tired" type?

3. What do you think of the "I'm too bored" type?

4. Are there people of any of these types among your friends or classmates?

5. What type are you? Why?

6. What would you say about your attitude towards studies?

7. Can you think of some more types?

8. What are common excuses for low achievements in this country?

9. Can you imagine an exemplary student? Speak about exemplary students and ordinary ones.

Exercise 31

People like to learn differently. Some people learn better by listening, white others need to see the information. Your answers to the questions below may give you some idea of how you prefer to learn. When you have finished, compare your answers with those of other people in your class.

1. Do you prefer to learn by listening to the teacher's lecture? (Yes or No)

2. Do you prefer to learn by reading and studying your textbooks? (Yes or No)

3. Do you prefer to learn by studying or working with other people? (Yes or No)

4. Do you prefer to study by yourself? (Yes or No)

5. Do you like to ask the teacher questions? (Yes or No)

6. When you study for a test, you read your notes, don't you?

7. When you study for a test, you read your notes aloud, don't you?

8. When you study for a test, you rewrite your notes, don't you?

9. Do you like to memorize facts? (Yes or No)

10. Do you like to think about ideas? (Yes or No)

Exercise 32

Respond to the statements. Work in pairs.

1. Teachers prefer dull students to bright ones. They are easier to manage.

2. You know what students are like nowadays! They are getting less and less intelligent every day.

3. To my mind, colleges shouldn't provide students with general knowledge. Emphasis should be placed on professional skills.

4. I don't think it is important for students to learn how to work with dictionaries.

You may need the following phrases to express your surprise:

You don't say so!

You must be joking!

You can't be serious!

Go on (with you)!

Exercise 33

Challenge the following statements. Give your reasons.

1. When you don't understand your teacher's explanation you don't ask to explain again because this is very embarrassing.

2. When you are really too sick to go to class you go anyway. It would be rude not to go.

3. When you feel that you are not doing well in a course, you stop going to class because you don't have time to do the work.

4. If you have the feeling that the teacher doesn't like you, you do the best you can do under the circumstances.

5. If you don't like to answer or ask questions in class you ask to speak to the teacher and explain your shyness.

Exercise 34

Discuss college life in this country. Use these questions as a guide for your discussion.

1. What do students wear to college?

2. How do students get to college?

3. How do students know which class to go to?

4. How do students greet the teacher?

5. How does the teacher greet the students?

6. How do students address the teacher?

7. When does the term begin?

8. How long does it last?

9. How long is the college day?

10. Who decides what a student will study?

11. Who decides which students will attend college?

Exercise 35

Find out how colleges and universities in this country have changed since your teachers were students. Ask your teacher to tell you about what it was like when he or she was at college. Present an oral report on changes in Russian colleges and universities.

Exercise 36

Match the English idioms in the left column with their Russian equivalents in the right column. Illustrate the meanings of the English idioms by your own examples.

1. to go into details .

2. to drum something into .

somebody's head

3. a brain twister .

4. two and two make four D.

5. a stumbling block .

6. the key word F.

7. the brain of a pigeon G.

8. to come easy H.

9. to start from scratch I.

10. a blue stocking J. -

Exercise 37

Translate the proverbs into Russian and comment upon them.

1. A man is never too old to learn.

2. Education covers a lot of ground but it doesn't cultivate it.

3. Live and learn.

4. By doing nothing we learn to do ill.

5. Better untaught than ill taught.

6. Brevity is the soul of wit.

7. Dot your i's and cross your t's.

Exercise 38

Translate the following quotations and comment upon them.

'A university should be a place of light, of liberty and of learning.

Benjamin Disraeli

'Knowledge is a city, to the building of which every human being brought a stone.'

Ralph W. Emerson

'Knowledge is power.'

Francis Bacon

'Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.'

Alfred Tennyson

Exercise 39

Role Play. "A Talk in the Living-Room".

Setting: The Richardsons' house.

Situation: A group of students gather at Richardsons' on their vacations. They used to be classmates once. Now they are all students of different colleges and universities. In the evening they are sitting in the living-room near the fireplace and speak about their college life, sharing experiences.


Card III Sarah and Terry Richardson. They have in vited everyone to their house. They are a sister and brother and go to a technical college. Sarah hates it and Terry loves it.

Card IIIIV Dora and Laura. Two medical school students. They have just had their professional experience in a hospital and compare studies and real life.

Card V Harry, a student of the chemical faculty at the university. He failed to pass his exams in spring and is going to take them in autumn.

Card VI Barbara, a student of the French department of the faculty of foreign languages at a university. She has won a personal grant for success in studies.

Card VIIVIII Barry and Jerry, two friends who do economics at the university. Both are enthusiastic learners and like to speak about their future speciality.

Card IX Flora, a student of an art school. She likes her drawing classes but does not like any of her other subjects.

Card XXI Clarry and Nora, students of a music school. In school years they used to be friends because they played in a school orchestra. They are thinking of creating a pop-group of their own.

Card XII Lany. He was expelled from the faculty of Maths for missing classes and is dreaming of getting back.


Exercise 1

Prepare to write a dictation. Learn the spelling of the words and phrases in bold type from Introductory Reading and the words from exercise 1 on page 208.

Exercise 2


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