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紫砂壶茶楼

桂子落画亭,梅影弄碧洲。胜迹追武陵,美酒流心沟。

 
 
 

日志

 
 

(原创) The 16th Week in Notts, UK  

2007-02-19 10:23:18|  分类: 酒花飘香 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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 Sunday, 26 January 2003

It is my 41st birthday today. I had never expected that I would spend my birthday here before I was admitted to study abroad. In fact, I have never spent my birthdays out of Ningbo. So it is a special birthday for me.

I amused myself by buying two packets of fish and chips, typical English food, which I like best, drinking a little vodka, having lamp hearts fried with leeks and mushrooms for dinner.

    Forty-one years ago, my mother gave birth to me. Now it is nearly a year since she passed away. I couldn’t help remembering her. Many past memories filled my heart. I decided to write an article to mark her on her year’s death memorial day.

    I have a strong feeling to question myself whether I am a good man or a bad man when I recall the road that I have covered. What have I done to contribute to the society? Am I successful or not in both life and work?

Monday, 27 Jan

    Chris gave us a lesson on reading teaching skills today. After class I first typed yesterday’s journals. Then I began to read a novel in the library. I went home at about 8 in the evening. After supper I felt a little tired and went to bed. When I woke up it was already seven o’clock the next morning. What a nice sleep!

   

Tuesday, 28 January 2003

    Recently I find the lessons are less and less interesting. The first week we were introduced how to teach A listening class. The second week focused on speaking. Now this week we are discussing how to teach reading. I can guess that next week we’ll deal with writing.

    We were sent here to learn more than these things, I’d rather the teachers read some current news for us or introduce more culture to us. It’s better to train us listening and speaking ability instead of those dull things, which most of us have known about.

    This morning Mike gave us two lessons on reading. I took the lessons as listening class, listening to a native speaker speaking English. I was told that Chris’s two sons got a high fever catching cold and he couldn’t come to be a tutor this afternoon. So after the lessons I needn’t go to the tutorial. I then went to the library to kill my time. Actually, I didn’t want to go to any other place but library or computer room. There I did some reading nearly every day or read news on the internet. I found my English reading speed much faster than before mainly because I read much. I read some books just for fun, usually I didn’t finish reading the whole book and then changed another one. For one reason, I didn’t remember much what I was reading the day before.

    Wednesday, 29 January 2003

    How nice that Uncle John came to give us a lecture this morning. What he gave us was also on reading, but he taught us so well that everybody enjoyed his lecture. He used two extracts from D. H. Lawrence's works as the texts, teaching us how to read. Though there were several new words in the texts, he never allowed us to consult a dictionary. He just asked us to read from the context and guess the meaning of these unknown words. He kept us thinking and we all found it strange that we could all understand these new words later with his eliciting help. That's the reading strategy he asked us to experience. Two hours quickly passed without our knowing it. Uncle John said that he would give us another lecture next Monday morning. I’m looking forward to his coming again.

    Thursday, 30 Jan

 It was Sarah’s turn to give us lessons this morning. She presented us how to read a text material. The article is very good. Sarah didn’t want us to read them all. She just wanted us to read bit by bit. She wanted us to guess what would happen according to what we had read. We gave a warm discussion guessing what might happen. It’s a very good reading way with questions and expectations. Here is the whole text.

The Weapon

By Fredric Brown

    The room was quiet in the dimness of early evening. Dr James Graham, key scientist of a very important project, sat in his favourite chair, thinking. It was so still that he could hear the turning pages in the next room as his son leafed through a picture book.

    Often Graham did his best work, his most creative thinking, under these circumstances, sitting alone in an unlighted room in his own apartment after the day’s regular work. But tonight his mind would not work constructive Mostly he thought about his mentally arrested son- his only son- in the next room. The thoughts were loving thought, not the bitter anguish he had felt years ago when he had first learned of the boy’s condition. The boy was happy; wasn’t that the main thing? And to how many is given a child who will always be a child, who will not grow up to leave him? Certainly that was a rationlization, but what is wrong with rational thought when it- The doorbell rang.

    Graham rose and turned on lights in the almost- dark room before he went through the hallway to the door. He was not annoyed; tonight, at this moment almost any interruption to his thoughts was welcome.

    He opened the door. A stranger stood there: he said, “Dr Graham? My name is Niemand; I’d like to talk to you. May I come in a moment”

    Graham looked at him. He was a small man, nondescript, obviously harmless- possible a reporter or an insurance agent.

    But it didn’t matter what he was. Graham found himself saying, “Of course. Come in, Mr Niemand.” A few minutes of conversation, he justified himself by thinking, might divert his thought and clear his mind.

    “Sit down,” he said, in the living room, “Care for a drink?”

    Niemand said, “No. Thank you.” He sat in the chair, Graham sat on the sofa.

    The small man interlocked his fingers; he leaned forward. He said, “Dr Graham, you are the man whose scientific work is more likely than that of any other man to end the human race’s chance for survival.”

    A crackpot, Graham thought. Too late now he realised that he should have asked the man’s business before admitting him. It would be an embarrassing interview- he disliked being rude, yet only rudeness was effective.

    “Dr Graham, the weapon on which you are working-“

    The visitor stopped and turned his head as the door that led to a bedroom opened and a boy of fifteen came in. the boy didn’t notice Niemand; he ran to Graham.

    “Daddy, will you read to me now?” The boy of fifteen laughed the sweet laugh of a child of four.

    Graham put an arm around the boy. He looked at his visitor, wondering whether he had known about the boy. From the lack of  surprise on Niemand’s face, Graham felt sure he had known.

    “Harry”- Graham’s voice was warm with affection- “Daddy’s busy. Just for a  little while. Go back to your room; I’ll come and read to you soon.”.

    “Chicken Little? You’ll read me Chicken Little?”

    “If you wish. Now run along. Wait. Harry, this is Mr Niemand.”

    The boy smiled bashfully at the visitor. Niemand said, “Hi, Harry,” and smiled back at him, holding out his hand. Graham, watching, was sure now that Niemand had known, the smile and the gesture were for the boy’s mental age, not his physical one.

    The boy took Niemand’s hand. For a moment it seemed that he was going to climb into Niemand’s lap, and Graham pulled him back gently. He said, “Go to your room now, Harry.”

    The boy skipped back to the bedroom, not closing the door.

    Niemand’s eyes met Graham’s and he said, “I like him,” with obvious sincerity. He added, “ I’d hope that what you’re going to read to him will always be true.”

    Graham didn’t understand. Niemand said, “Chicken Little, I mean. It’s a fine story- but may Chicken Little always be wrong about the sky falling down.”

    Graham suddenly had liked Niemand when Niemand had shown liking for the boy. Now he remembered that he must close the interview quickly. He rose, in dismissal.

    He said, “ I fear you’re wasting your time and mine, Mr Niemand. I know all the arguments, everything you can say I’ve heard a thousand times. Possibly there is truth in what you believe, but it does not concern me. I’m a scientist, and only a scientist. Yes, it is public knowledge that I am working on a weapon, a ratherultimate one. But, for me personally, that is only a by-product of the fact that I am advancing science. I have thought it through, and I have found that that is my only concern.

    “But, Dr Graham, is humanity ready for an ultimate weapon?”

    Graham frowned, “I have told you my point of view, Mr Niemand.”

    Niemand rose slowly from the chair. He said, “Very well, if you do not choose to discuss it, I’ll say no more. “He passed a hand across his forehead. “I’ll leave, Dr Graham, I wonder, though… may I change my mind about the drink you offered me?”

    Graham’s irritation faded. He said, “Certainly. Will whisky and water do?”

    “Admirably.”

    Graham excused himself and went into the kitchen. He got the decanter of whisky, another of water, ice cubes, glasses.

    When he returned to the living room, Niemand was just leaving the boy’s bedroom. He heard Niemand’s “Good night, Harry and Harry’s happy “Night, Mr Niemand.”

    Graham made drinks. A little later, Niemand declined a second one and started to leave.

    Niemand said, “I took the liberty of bringing a small gift to your son, doctor. I gave it to him while you were getting drinks for us. I hope you’ll forgive me.”

    “Of course. Thank you. Good night.”

    Graham closed the door, he walked through the living room into Harry’s room. He said, “All right, Harry. Now I’ll read to- ”

    There was a sudden sweat on his forehead, but he forced his face and his voice to be calm as he stepped to the side of the bed. “May I see that, Harry?” When he had it safely, his hands shook as he examined it.

    He thought, only a madman would give a loaded revolver to an idiot.

    We all couldn’t guess what would happen next in the article till we came to the end, which suddenly made me realise what it was about. This article was written in 1951, but it is still so significant especially in the present wartime, the US going to assault Iraq.

    This afternoon I went to Chris’ office to have tutorial. Today’s topic was go on with reading. We talked about an article Waiting For A Call written by Dorothy Parker. The article is about a girl who was waiting for a man’s call that never came. It describes the girl’s anxious feeling towards the man, who might be a hypocrite. I showed my great sympathy with the poor girl.

    It was very cold with big wind blowing hard today. I had planned to go shopping after supper, but I cancelled it. I am going shopping tomorrow.

    These days I find my biological clock changed. Every evening at 18:00, Beijing time 2 in the morning, I begin to doze and want to go to bed. Then at midnight I wake up and can’t sleep any longer. I then begin to think about many things. Sometimes I sit up and begin to read or write something.

 Friday, 31 January 2003

It was so fine today, though it was a little cold. The sky was totally blue with no clouds. Early in the morning I called my dad, Mr. Gu, my master, Mr Wu, my superior and some of my relatives and friends.

After breakfast I went to Sainsbury to do shopping. I bought an extra large chicken, mackerel fish, cherry tomatoes and some vegetables. I also bought 3 pig paws at the butcher’s. I wanted to spend my good spring festival in England.

    I believe in destiny. Today I went to three different shops to buy something, the total sum of money was £10.13. Was it just the coincidence that the sum of money was just the date October 13 when I arrived at England? Did the destiny arrange everything for me to remember the very date at the end of the year?

    After lunch, I borrowed the microphone from Mr Wang and went to the school computer room. I wanted to watch on the net the CCTV Spring Festival Party Live Broadcast. It was a pity that my computer didn’t have the window media player. So I quickly downloaded one but it was only fitted for Windows XP. I then downloaded another one, but only to find it was fit for Windows 98. I suddenly realized the computer system in The University of Nottingham was loaded only with Windows 95. When I downloaded the window media player to fit for the programme, it was 13:50. Anyway I was able to see many of the programmes. As I was watching the performance I at the same time reading books written by Fedrick Brown. I wanted to know more about the writer.

  After that I walked back home. I cooked the pig paws and part of the chicken. I had a big dinner. As usual, I began to doze at 7. So I went to bed early.

 Saturday, 01 Feb. 03

    After breakfast, Mr. Wang took me with his family and Zhu to Hyperama in his car. We bought a lot of food for the new year. Yanmei had invited her friends to lunch tomorrow and she asked me to help her do the cooking. I had given her the menu and she just bought the things on my menu.

    After a quick lunch, we all went to attend Chinese Spring Festival Party organized by Chinese Students and Scholars in the Portland Building in our university Association. All the programmes were performed by the students studying or living here. Though they were not very perfect, they really increased the atmosphere of the Chinese Traditional Festival. The party lasted more than two hours. Then a film called HEROES was shown. This film was directed by Zhang Yimou. It has three main characteristics I think, first the colour and the pictures, second the music and third the plots.

    When all the programmes were over, I asked Wang’s family to go first while I went to the computer room to check my mails. After I sent you a short e-mail, I walked home to join the dinner party in our own home. Of course I was the main chef. All of us enjoyed a big nice meal.

   I just attended a Chinese Festival Party organised by Chinese Students and Scholars Association at Nottingham. I saw a film called HEROES directed by Zhang Yimou just now. Maybe this film has been shown in Ningbo.

 We will have another party on Monday afternoon to be organised by ours. All our teachers are invited. I'm sure I will have another nice memory.

How many days left for me to come back?

    News came from TV that the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated as it returned home, killing all seven crew members at 9 this morning. Shock and grief has been felt around the world - not just in the US but in India, where one of the crew was born, and in Israel, which had hoped to celebrate the return of the first Israeli astronaut.

    Space shuttle Columbia (OV-102) was the oldest of Nasa's fleet of space planes.

Construction started in 1975. In April 1981, Columbia became the first shuttle to fly in space following the successful atmospheric test flights of its sister ship Enterprise.

The maiden flight - piloted by veteran astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen - heralded a new era in space exploration.

    The shuttle was the world's first reusable space vehicle. Before the shuttle, manned space flight had been limited to vast, expensive rockets which could only be used once.

    On the second mission, in November 1981, astronauts aboard Columbia carried out the first scientific experiments of the shuttle programme. They also tested the shuttle's trademark robot arm.

    Joined by its sister ships Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and later Endeavour, Columbia went on to carry out a further 27 successful missions.

    In 1996 astronauts aboard Columbia notched up the record for the longest shuttle flight, spending 35 days orbiting the Earth.

    Despite being the oldest in the fleet, Columbia had been extensively refurbished several times.

1986: Seven dead in space shuttle disaster

     The American space shuttle, Challenger, has exploded killing all seven astronauts on board. The five men and two women - including the first civilian in space - were just over a minute into their flight from Cape Canaveral in Florida when the Challenger blew up. The astronauts' families, at the airbase, and millions of Americans witnessed the world's worst space disaster live on TV.

    The danger from falling debris prevented rescue boats reaching the scene for more than an hour.

    In 25 years of space exploration seven people have died - today that total has been doubled.

    President Ronald Reagan has described the tragedy as "a national loss".

    The Challenger's flight, the 25th by a shuttle, had already been delayed because of bad weather. High winds, then icicles caused the launch to be postponed from 22 January.

    But Nasa officials insist safety remains their top priority and there was no pressure to launch the shuttle today.

    The shuttle crew was led by Commander Dick Scobee, 46. School teacher Christa    McAuliffe, 37, married with two children, was to be the first civilian in space - picked from among 10,000 entries for a competition.

    Speaking before the launch, she said: "One of the things I hope to bring back into the classroom is to make that connection with the students that they too are part of history, the space programme belongs to them and to try to bring them up with the space age."

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