ANGOL / READING
It had been boring hanging about the hotel all afternoon. The road crew were playing a game with dollar notes, folding them into small planes to see whose would fly the furthest. Having nothing better to do, I joined in and won five, and then took the opportunity to escape with my profit. Despite the evil-looking clouds, I had to get out for a while.
I headed for a shop on the other side of the street. Unlike the others, it didn't have a sign shouting its name and business, and instead of the usual impersonal modern lighting, there was an appealing glow inside. Strangely, nothing was displayed in the window. Not put off by this, I went inside.
It took my breath away. I didn't know where to look, where to start. On one wall there hung three hand-stitched American quilts that were in such wonderful condition they might have been newly-made. I came across tin toys and antique furniture, and on the wall in front of me, a 1957 Stratocaster guitar, also in excellent condition. A card pushed between the strings said $50. I ran my hand along a long shelf of records, reading their titles. And there was more ...
'Can I help you?' She startled me. I hadn't even seen the woman behind the counter come in. The way she looked at me, so directly and with such power. It was a look of such intensity that for a moment I felt as if I were wrapped in some kind of magnetic or electrical field. I found it hard to take and almost turned away. But though it was uncomfortable, I was fascinated by the experience of her looking straight into me, and by the feeling that I was neither a stranger, nor strange, to her.
Besides amusement her expression showed sympathy. It was impossible to tell her age within twenty years; she reminded me faintly of my grandmother because, although her eyes were friendly, I could see that she was not a woman to fall out with. I spoke at last. 'I was just looking really,' I said, though secretly wondering how much of the stuff I could cram into the bus.
The woman turned away and went at once towards a back room, indicating that I should follow her. But it in no way lived up to the first room. The light made me feel peculiar, too. It came from an oil lamp that was hung from the centre of the ceiling and created huge shadows over everything. There were no rare electric guitars, no old necklaces, no hand-painted boxes with delicate flowers. It was also obvious that it must have taken years, decades, to collect so much rubbish, so many old documents and papers.
I noticed some old books, whose gold lettering had faded, making their titles impossible to read. 'They look interesting,' I said, with some hesitation. 'To be able to understand that kind of writing you must first have had a similar experience,' she said clearly. She noted the confused look on my face, but didn't add anything.
She reached up for a small book which she handed to me. 'This is the best book I can give you at the moment,' she laughed. 'If you use it.' I opened the book to find it full, or rather empty, with blank white pages, but paid her the few dollars she asked for it, becoming embarrassed when I realised the notes were still folded into little paper planes. I put the book in my pocket, thanked her and left.
Taken from ‘The Big Wheel’ by Bruce Thomas
1, Why did the writer leave the hotel?
to enjoy the good weather
to have a change of scene √
to spend all his winnings
to get away from the crew
2, What attracted the writer to the shop?
the lack of a sign or name
the fact that it was nearby
the empty window display
the light coming from inside √
3, The writer found the stock in the front of the shop
of top quality √
of good value
difficult to get at
4, What was unusual about the way the woman looked at him?
It made him feel self-conscious.
She was happy to stare at him.
She seemed to know him well. √
It made him want to look away.
5, The writer disliked the back room because
there was hardly anything in it.
she had ordered him to go there.
he saw nothing he really liked. √
it was too dark to look around.
6, Why did the woman refuse to show him the old books?
They had pages which were too faint to read.
She decided they wouldn’t mean anything to him. √
She understood that he wasn’t interested in them.
They were only for display in the shop.
ANGOL / LISTENING
Hallgasd meg a szöveget (majdnem 15 perc!), majd válaszolj a kérdésekre!
The word ‘oblong’ is old-fashioned. What shape is an oblong?
Why was the storyteller surprised when he met Cornelius Wyatt’s wife?
She spoke with a South Carolina accent. √
She was a beautiful and charming young woman.
She talked to him in a rude way.
She was wearing a veil.
What did the storyteller initially believe the oblong box contained?
valuable paintings from South Carolina √
secret paintings from New York
Mrs Wyatt’s body
Mr Wyatt’s sister’s body
What made the storyteller forget about Cornelius Wyatt’s strange behaviour?
a storm √
Why did other captains refuse to carry Mr Wyatt’s box in their ships?
because the box was too heavy
because Mr Wyatt was a criminal
because of the strange smell
because of a superstition √
ANGOL / WRITING
ANGOL / READING
The Private Life of Mr. Bidwell (based on James Thurber's short story)
From where she was sitting, Mrs. Bidwell could not see her husband, but she had a curious feeling of tension: she knew he was up to something.
"What are you doing, George?" she demanded, her eyes still on her book.
"What's the matter with you?"
"Pahhhhh-h-h," said Mr. Bidwell, in a long, pleasurable exhale. "I was holding my breath."
Mrs. Bidwell twisted creakingly in her chair and looked at him; he was sitting behind her in his favorite place under the parchment lamp with the street scene of old New York on it. "I was just holding my breath," he said again.
"Well, please don't do it," said Mrs. Bidwell, and went back to her book. There was silence for five minutes.
"George!" said Mrs. Bidwell.
"Bwaaaaaa," said Mr. Bidwell. "What?"
"Will you please stop that?" she said. "It makes me nervous."
"I don't see how that bothers you," he said. "Can't I breathe?"
"You can breathe without holding your breath like a goop," said Mrs. Bidwell. "Goop" was a word that she was fond of using; she rather lazily applied it to everything. It annoyed Mr. Bidwell.
"Deep breathing," said Mr. Bidwell, in the impatient tone he used when explaining anything to his wife, "is good exercise. You ought to take more exercise."
"Well, please don't do it around me," said Mrs. Bidwell, turning again to the pages of Mr. Galsworthy.
At the Cowan's party, a week later, the room was full of chattering people when Mrs. Bidwell, who was talking to Lida Carroll, suddenly turned around as if she had been summoned. In a chair in a far corner of the room, Mr. Bidwell was holding his breath. His chest was expanded, his chin drawn in; there was a strange stare in his eyes, and his face was slightly empurpled. Mrs. Bidwell moved into the line of his vision and gave him a sharp, penetrating look. He deflated slowly and looked away.
Later, in the car, after they had driven in silence a mile or more on the way home, Mrs. Bidwell said, "It seems to me you might at least have the kindness not to hold your breath in other people's houses."
"It wasn't hurting anybody," said Mr. Bidwell.
"You looked silly!" said his wife. "You looked perfectly crazy!" She was driving and began to speed up, as she always did when excited or angry. "What do you suppose people thought—you sitting there all swelled up, with your eyes popping out?"
"I wasn't all swelled up," he said, angrily.
"You looked like a goop," she said. The car slowed down, sighed, and came to a complete, despondent stop.
"We're out of gas," said Mrs. Bidwell. It was bitterly cold and nastily sleeting. Mr. Bidwell took a long, deep breath.
The breathing situation in the Bidwell family reached a critical point when Mr. Bidwell began to inhale in his sleep, slowly, and exhale with a protracted, growling "wooooooooo." Mrs. Bidwell, ordinarily a sound sleeper (except on nights when she was sure burglars were getting in), would wake up and reach over and shake her husband. "George!" she would say.
"Hawwwwww," Mr. Bidwell would say, thickly "Wahs maa nah, hm?"
After he had turned over and gone back to sleep, Mrs. Bidwell would lie awake, thinking.
One morning at breakfast she said, "George, I'm not going to put up with this another day. If you can't stop blowing up like a grampus, I'm going to leave you." There was a slight, quick lift in Mr. Bidwell's heart, but he tried to look surprised and hurt.
"All right," he said. "Let's not talk about it."
Mrs. Bidwell buttered another piece of toast. She described to him the way he sounded in his sleep. He read the paper.
With considerable effort, Mr. Bidwell kept from inflating his chest for about a week, but one night at the McNallys' he hit on the idea of seeing how many seconds he could hold his breath. He was rather bored by the McNallys' party, anyway. He began timing himself with his wrist-watch in a remote corner of the living-room. Mrs. Bidwell, who was in the kitchen talking children and clothes with Bea McNally, left her abruptly and slipped back into the living-room. She stood quietly behind her husband's chair. He knew she was there, and tried to let out his breath imperceptibly.
"I see you," she said, in a low, cold tone. Mr. Bidwell jumped up.
"Why don't you leave me alone?" he demanded.
"Will you please lower your voice?" she said, smiling so that if anyone were looking they wouldn't think the Bidwells were arguing.
"I'm getting pretty damned tired of this," said Bidwell in a low voice.
"You've ruined my evening!" she whispered.
"You've ruined mine, too!" he whispered back. They knifed each other, from head to stomach, with their eyes.
"Sitting here like a goop, holding your breath," said Mrs. Bidwell. "People will think you are an idiot." She laughed, turning to greet a lady who was approaching them.
Mr. Bidwell sat in his office the next afternoon, a black, moist afternoon, tapping a pencil on his desk, and scowling. "All right, then, get out, get out!" he muttered. "What do I care?" He was visualizing the scene when Mrs. Bidwell would walk out on him. After going through it several times, he returned to his work, feeling vaguely contented. He made up his mind to breathe any way he wanted to, no matter what she did. And, having come to this decision, he oddly enough, and quite without effort, lost interest in holding his breath.
Everything went rather smoothly at the Bidwells' for a month or so. Mr. Bidwell didn't do anything to annoy his wife beyond leaving his razor on her dressing-table and forgetting to turn out the hall light when he went to bed. Then there came the night of the Bentons' party.
Mr. Bidwell, bored as usual, was sitting in a far corner of the room, breathing normally. His wife was talking animatedly with Beth Williamson about negligees. Suddenly her voice slowed and an uneasy look came into her eyes: George was up to something. She turned around and sought him out. To anyone but Mrs. Bidwell he must have seemed like any husband sitting in a chair. But his wife's lips set tightly. She walked casually over to him.
"What are you doing?" she demanded.
"Hm?" he said, looking at her vacantly.
"What are you doing?" she demanded, again. He gave her a harsh, venomous look, which she returned.
"I'm multiplying numbers in my head," he said, slowly and evenly, "if you must know." In the prolonged, probing examination that they silently, without moving any muscles save those of their eyes, gave each other, it became solidly, frozenly apparent to both of them that the end of their endurance had arrived. The curious bond that held them together snapped—rather more easily than either had supposed was possible.
That night, while undressing for bed, Mr. Bidwell calmly multiplied numbers in his head. Mrs. Bidwell stared coldly at him for a few moments, holding a stocking in her hand; she didn't bother to berate him. He paid no attention to her. The thing was simply over.
George Bidwell lives alone now (his wife remarried). He never goes to parties any more, and his old circle of friends rarely sees him. The last time that any of them did see him, he was walking along a country road with the halting, uncertain gait of a blind man: he was trying to see how many steps he could take without opening his eyes.
At the beginning of the story, what Mr. Bidwell was up to was
criticizing Mrs. Bidwell.
being rude to guests at a party.
holding his breath. √
The car came to a stop because
it was out of gas. √
it was too cold outside.
Mrs. Bidwell was paying more attention to arguing than driving.
The breathing situation became serious when
Mr. Bidwell began to hold his breath in his sleep. √
Mrs. Bidwell called her husband a ‘goop’.
Mr. Bidwell turned purple.
When one morning Mrs. Bidwell tells her husband she might leave him, Mr. Bidwell feels
surprised and hurt.
Mrs. Bidwell smiled even when they were arguing because
she wanted to make a good impression. √
she was very friendly.
she liked to fight.
When the Bidwells ‘knifed each other from head to stomach, with their eyes’, they were
physically harming each other.
looking at each other with hatred. √
playing a game.
7 Why did Mr. Bidwell’s breathing bother Mrs. Bidwell?
She thought he deliberately wanted to annoy her. √
She was worried that her husband was seriously ill.
She was annoyed by everything her husband did.
When Mr. Bidwell visualized Mrs. Bidwell walking out on him, he felt
a sense of satisfaction. √
a fit of anger.
an irrational fear.
Mr. Bidwell turned from holding his breath to
leaving his things around the house.
multiplying numbers in his head. √
walking around with his eyes closed.
Now that you’ve read the story, what meanings do you think ‘private life’ in the title has?
Mr. and Mrs. Bidwell did not have a lot in common. √
Mr. Bidwell had a very low opinion of women.
Mr. Bidwell liked to have secrets.
ANGOL / LISTENING
Gaming can make a better world
Jane McGonigal, game designer, TED speaker
Watch the video here
We spend 3 billion hours a week playing online games, but game designer Jane McGonigal thinks …
a, this isn’t enough. √
b, these games are useless.
c, this is very dangerous.
Jane McGonigal thinks that playing online games might help us …
a, create better virtual worlds.
b, predict the future.
c, solve global problems. √
What problem does Jane McGonigal think a lot of gamers have?
a, They feel they are not as good in reality as they are in games. √
b, They stare at the screen for hours a day.
c, They are anti-social and introverted.
An ’epic win’ in gaming slang usually refers to an
a, unexpected outcome
b, awesome accomplishment √
b, urgent optimism
Which feelings does Jane McGonigal think do not exist in game worlds?
a, depressed √
b, frustrated √
c, cynical √
6 What does Jane McGonigal mean by ‘parallel track of education’?
a, Children learn more things through playing video games than at school.
b, The time spent playing video games is comparable to the amount of time children attend school. √
c, A new educational environment is needed that also embraces online gaming.
What exactly are gamers getting good at?
a, accepting being defeated
b, developing cooperative skills √
c, learning how to relax properly
Why did the king of Lydia decide that people should play dice games?
a, He wanted them to forget about their pains and miseries. √
b, He wanted them to stop fighting.
c, He wanted them to be more productive.
What do they want to achieve in the Institute for the Future?
a, They want games to shape a new world by getting gamers to solve current major problems. √
b, They want to try to predict the future by developing new games.
c, They want online games to influence how we behave and act in the world.√
World Without Oil is a game in which
a, you try to survive an oil shortage. √
b, humans have only 23 years left on the planet
c, players have to invent the future of energy, food, health and security
ANGOL / WRITING
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