Trying to make some money before entering university, the author applies for a teaching job. But the interview goes from bad to worse...
Unit 3 My First Job
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 money and wanting to do something 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 Croydon 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 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 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 grunted. 'You'd better come inside.' The narrow, sunless hall smelled unpleasantly 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, ranging 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 perhaps 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.
大学英语精读第二册 Unit 4:The Professor and the Yo-Yo
Seen through the eyes of a young friend Einstein was a simple, modest and ordinary man. The professor and the Yo-yo
My father was a close friend of Albert Einstein. As a shy young visitor to Einstein's home, I was made to feel at ease when Einstein said, \and returned with a Yo-Yo. He tried to show me how it worked but he couldn't make it roll back up the string. When my turn came, I displayed my few tricks and pointed out to him that the incorrectly looped string had thrown the toy off balance. Einstein nodded, properly impressed by my skill and knowledge. Later, I bought a new Yo-Yo and mailed it to the Professor as a Christmas present, and received a poem of thanks.
As boy and then as an adult, I never lost my wonder at the personality that was Einstein. He was the only person I knew who had come to terms with himself and the world around him. He knew what he wanted and he wanted only this: to understand within his limits as a human being the nature of the universe and the logic and simplicity in its functioning. He knew there were answers beyond his intellectual reach. But this did not frustrate him. He was content to go as far as he could.
In the 23 years of our friendship, I never saw him show jealousy, vanity, bitterness, anger, resentment, or personal ambition. He seemed immune to these emotions. He was beyond any pretension. Although he corresponded with many of the world's most important people, his stationery carried only a watermark - W - for Woolworth's.
To do his work he needed only a pencil only a pencil and a pad of paper. Material things meant nothing to him. I never knew him to carry money because he never had any use for it. He believed in simplicity, so much so that he used only a safety razor and water to shave. When I suggested that he try shaving cream, he said, \
\and less painful.\
He shrugged. Finally, I presented him with a tube of shaving cream. The next morning when he came down to breakfast, he was beaming with the pleasure of a new, great discovery. \know, that cream really works,\he announced. \doesn't pull the beard. It feels wonderful.\Thereafter, he used the shaving cream every morning until the tube was empty. Then he reverted to using plain water. Einstein was purely and exclusively a theorist. He didn't have the slightest interest in the practical application of his ideas and theories. His E=mc2 is probably the most famous equation in history - yet Einstein wouldn't walk down the street to see a reactor create atomic energy. He won the Nobel Prize for his Photoelectric Theory, a series of equations that he considered relatively minor in importance, but he didn't have any curiosity in observing how his theory made TV possible.
My brother once gave the Professor a toy, a bird that balanced on the edge of a bowl of water and repeatedly dunked its head in the water. Einstein watched it in delight, trying to deduce the operating principle. But be couldn't.
The next morning he announced, \to bed and it must work this way…\nation. Then he stopped, realizing a flaw in his reasoning. \days until I suggested we take the toy apart to see how it did work. His quick expression of disapproval told me he did not agree with this practical approach. He never did work out the
Another puzzle that Einstein could never understand was his own fame. He had developed theories that were profound and capable of exciting relatively few scientists. Yet his name was a household word across the civilized world. \said. \fame: people wanted to meet him; strangers stared at him on the street; scientists, statesmen, students, and housewives wrote him letters. He never could understand why he received this attention, why he was singled out as something special.