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大学英语精读第二册04

Previous Unit | Next Unit | Back

 

Unit Four

 

 

Click the button to listen to the text

 

 

Trying to make some money before entering uni-
versity, the author applies for a teaching job. But the
interview goes from bad to worse. . .

 

 

MY FIRST JOB

 

Robert Best



While I was waiting to enter university, I saw advertised in a local
newspaper a teaching post at a school in a suburb of London about ten
miles from where I lived. Being very short of money and wanting to do some-
thing useful, I applied, fearing as I did so, that without a degree and
with no experience in teaching my chances of getting the job were slim.
 

However, three days later a letter arrived, asking me to go to Croy-
don for an interview. It proved an awkward journey: a train to Croydon
station; a ten-minute bus ride and then a walk of at least a quarter of a
mile. As a result I arrived on a hot June morning too depressed to feel
nervous.
 

The school was a red brick house with big windows. The front garden
was a gravel square; four evergreen shrubs stood at each corner, where they
struggled to survive the dust and fumes from a busy main road.
 

It was clearly the headmaster himself that opened the door: He was
short and fat: He had a sandy-coloured moustache, a wrinkled forehead and
hardly any hair.
 

He looked at me with an air of surprised disapproval, as a colonel
might look at a private whose bootlaces were undone.` Ah yes, ' he grunt-
ed.` You'd better come inside.' The narrow, sunless hall smelled unpleas-
antly of stale cabbage; the walls were dirty with ink marks; it was all
silent. His study, judging by the crumbs on the carpet, was also his dining-
room. `You'd better sit down, ' he said, and proceeded to ask me a number
of questions: what subjects I had taken in my General School Certificate;
how old I was; what games I played; then fixing me suddenly with his
bloodshot eyes, he asked me whether I thought games were a vital part of
a boy's education. I mumbled something about not attaching too much
importance to them. He grunted. I had said the wrong thing. The headmaster
and I obviously had very little in common.
 

The school, he said, consisted of one class of twenty-four boys, rang-
ing in age from seven to thirteen. I should have to teach all subjects
except art, which he taught himself. Football and cricket were played in
the Park, a mile away on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons.
 

The teaching set-up filled me with fear. I should have to divide the
class into three groups and teach them in turn at three different levels;
and I was dismayed at the thought of teaching algebra and geometry - two
subjects at which I had been completely incompetent at school. Worse per-
haps was the idea of Saturday afternoon cricket; most of my friends would
be enjoying leisure at that time.
 

I said shyly, ` What would my salary be? '` Twelve pounds a week plus
lunch. 'Before I could protest, he got to his feet.` Now', he said,` you'd
better meet my wife. She's the one who really runs this school. '
 

This was the last straw. I was very young: the prospect of working
under a woman constituted the ultimate indignity.
 

 

 

 

click the button to listen to the pronunciations of new words

 

 

 

New Words



apply vi.
write to ask for (a job, membership, etc.),

 
esp. officially 申请

application n.


interview n.
面试;接见;会见

advertise vt.
make known to people by printing a notice

 
in a newspaper, etc.or by broadcasting on

 
television, etc. 为...做广告

advertisement n.


local
of, special to, a place or district 当地的;

 
地方性的

post n.
job or position 职位

suburb n.
outer area of a town or city, where people

 
live 郊区

slim a.
small, slight; slender 微小的;苗条的

depress vt.
make sad 使沮丧

depression n.


brick n.


gravel n.
砾石

evergreen a.
with green leaves throughout the year 常绿的

shrub n.
low bush with several woody stems 灌木

fume n.
strong-smelling smoke, gas or vapour 浓烈难闻

 
的烟、气、汽

headmaster n.
(中、小学的)校长

sandy-coloured a.
yellowish-red 沙色的,黄中带红的

moustache n.
hair growing on the upper lip 小胡子

disapproval n.
unfavorable opinion or feeling; dislike

 
不赞成;不满

colonel n.
上校

private n.
soldier of the lowest rank 列兵;士兵

bootlace n.
shoelace for a high shoe or boot 靴带

undo vt.
untie, unfasten 解开;松开

ah
(a cry of surprise, pity, pain, joy, dislike,

 
etc.) 啊

grunt vt.
咕哝着说出

unpleasantly ad.
令人不愉快地

stale a.
not fresh 不新鲜的

cabbage n.
卷心菜

crumb n.
very small, broken piece of bread or cake

 
面包屑;糕饼屑

carpet n.
heavy woven material for covering floors

 
or stairs 地毯

certificate n.
证(明)书

bloodshot a.
(眼睛)充雪的

vital a.
very necessary; of the greatest importance

 
必不可少的,极其重要的

mumble vt.
speak ( words) unclearly 含糊地说

attach vt.
give (to) ; fasten (to) 把...给予;系,贴

importance n.
the quality of being important

obviously ad.
it can be easily seen; plainly 明显地,显然

obvious a.


consist (of) vi.
be made up ( of ) 组成,构成

range vi.
vary between certain limits (在一定范围内)变动

cricket n.
板球

set-up n.
arrangement

dismay vt.
make discouraged or afraid 使灰心;使害怕

algebra
代数学

geometry n.
几何学

incompetent a.
completely unskillful; not good enough at

 
doing a job, etc.无能力的;不胜任的

competent a.
opposite of incompetent

leisure n.
free time; time which one can spend as one

 
likes 闲暇;悠闲

salary n.
fixed (usually monthly) pay for regular

 
work 薪水

plus pre.
with the addition of 加(上)

protest vi.
express a strong objection 抗议;反对

straw n.
稻草;麦杆

prospect n.
sth. expected or considered probable;

 
possibility 期望中的事;展望;前景

constitute vt.
form; make up; be 组成,构成

ultimate a.
greatest; utmost; last or final 最大的;

 
终极的;最终的

indignity n.
injury to one's dignity; insult 侮辱


 
 

Phrases & Expressions

 

be short of
not having enough of 缺少

smell of
have, give out the smell of 有…的气味

judging by
forming an opinion based on

attach importance to
consider important 重视

in common
shared with someone else 共有的 , 共同的

consist of
be made up of

in turn
one after another 轮流


 

 

Proper Names

 

London
伦敦(英国首都)

Croydon
克洛伊登(英国地名
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