15 篇文章贯通英语四级词汇 1 A Question of Rights 一项权力问题 Unfortunately , a crime was about to be committed but at that moment Lesley was unaware of the impending event , which would affect her life so drastically for the next tow years . For the moment at least, her holiday at the cottage had been ideal. She had spent many idle hours relaxing on the deck , reading ,eating a sandwich when she was hungry and in the evening watching the sky turn from brilliant orange to peach and finally to pale purple , eventually the light becoming dim . It was about this time that the mist would begin to rise from the cool water hiding in the dense forest that hugged the shoreline. Late evening dew glistened on every bush and soon the loons' call would resound across the water . She decided to take on last dip in the lake. As the cool night air touched her arms. She gave a little shiver and decided it was time to move inside. This was to be her last evening alone as Jeff, her former mate, would be returning Zac to her early in the morning. As the case in many marriages these days, problems had arisen between Lesley and Jeff, but they did not extend to Zac. He was a good kid, just entering kindergarten. The couple had come to a mutual agreement , as dictated by the legal custody agreement .It stated that each parent would share Zac's care every second weekend and this had been her weekend to be alone. Jeff was an architect, with a high-profile reputation, who worked in downtown Toronto, a partner in a private corporation which mostly did consultant work for the university. Lesley’s company had been hired to advertise the new science complex in order to raise corporate money for the proposed building. She liked her work and she harbored a secret ambition to manage her division of the company some day. After a whirlwind courtship and a fairytale wedding the couple had settled down to an urban lifestyle. However, after three years and one child the dreamlike marriage came smashing down. One disadvantage of being young and ambitious was that both of them needed to devote untold hours to their busy schedules. As a result of these late hours, Lesley became suspiciousof Jeff’s after hours activities. She accused him of making her part of a love triangle. The whole miserable scene was to set the proceedingsfor an ugly divorce in motion. Daydreaming about those earlier days would not help tonight. So with a shrug of her shoulders she tackled the advertising assignment she needed to complete. Tomorrow would be a busy day with Zac arriving home. The next day, as the morning wore on, Lesley became more and more agitated, and her mood became apprehensive, when Jeff did not appear. When noon hour arrived and he still had not appeared, she started making some phone calls. None of their mutual
friends had either seen or talked with Jeff that day. Until today, Jeff had always been very punctual about returning the boy at the appointed time. Lesley felt a knot forming in her stomach as a crazy thought persisted at the back of her mind. She was absolutely sure something was wrong. Jeff sat with his head bowed. He was undecided what to do. The domestic arrangement with his former wife was proving to be awkward. He was frustrated at being able to see his son only on weekends and felt he was always making concessions to accommodate Lesley’s work schedule. Every meeting was turning into a competition for the boy’s affection. His one desire was to take Zac away for good. The enormous decision to undertake this plan appeared to be presenting itself. Today he would depart for a conference in California. This appeared to be a marvelous opportunity to take the boy and leave the country for good. He bet that he could pack sufficient baggage into his vehicle and then disappears across the border, gaining entry the U.S.A. He gave little thought to whatsoever of the fact this act could lead to his conviction if he was tracked down by the cops. Meanwhile, for Lesley the nightmare continued to unfold as the reality of the situation deepened. After 48 hours, the spokesman for the district police department assured her they would investigate Zac’s disappearance. Her faith that justice would be realized was faint. The shock of the past two days’ events made her realize that possibly her son would become one more statistic in the missing children file. The police completed a preliminary survey after asking hundreds of detailed questions. Hot lines proved fruitless. Meanwhile, over the next year there were countless visits and interviews at the police station and her home. The police appeared to be making no progress in tracking Zac’s whereabouts. As the days passed, Lesley’s frustration mounted and she felt a sense of alarm. Eventually, she decided to take the initiative in continuing the search and she began to use well-established child find agencies. At times, boosted by hopes, she appeared to be on the right trail with a sense of disgust, but her hopes were dashed at the final moment. These obstacles hope. After Zac’s picture was circulated nationwide, telephone calls followed from strangers reporting sightingsof a Zac look alike. Month by month her plan evolved into a campaign equal to a full-scale battle plan. She paid an exceedingly high fee for specialized help, such as the services of an attorney. Lesley became determined to target every major city where Jeff normally contracted business. As the months slopped by, Lesley’s exhaustion became noticeable in her eyes. Her cheeks became hollow pits. Most days she felt as though she did not have an ounce of energy left because proof of Zac’s existence seemed impossible to find. Another year passed and her hopes dimmed. Unexpectedly, late in August a promising lead brought her to Los Angeles. The interior of the bar was dark. Her quest to locate Jeff and Zac had taken two years.
She had paid private investigators in American currency to help her locate her ex-husband. In her handbag she carried the necessary proof that would identify her to the authorities if she was successful in being able to bring Zac home again, to Canada. She had been impatient for this moment to arrive for so long and yet now she just wanted to secure her son with a minimum of fuss. Now, right on cue, a tall stranger slipped into the bar and sat down. One glimpse told her it was Jeff. He looked weary and older but definitely familiar. A chill ran up her spine. Close to success, she refused to concede defeat. It was the time to remedy the enormous sadness. This time she wanted a guarantee of success. She stared straight ahead with a vacant look, trying to grasp the important moment. Vivid scenes, from the pass two years’ search, flashed through her mind. The following day, happily for Lesley, the headline of the local paper read, “Father turns over child, Mother slams system.” Lesley and Zac’s subsequent life could now resume some form of normalcy, however, the stress and strain of the past two years would always remain as a part of this renewed relationship in the memory. 2 One Chance 一次机会 The tiny antique silver pin lay in my hand. I stared hard at the solemn face looking back at me from the oval frame. I was looking for some resemblance between my ancestor and myself. Her brow was broad and strong, the eyes kind and forgiving. She wore a stiff black bonnet, a high white collar and a coarsely woven shawl around her shoulders. In examining her face more closely, maybe I could identify some similarity around the eyes and the nose. An inner strength shone from the eyes of this diminutive lady who had helped lead her family from Ireland to the New World. The times, in Ireland during the 1770’s, were difficult for everyone. John and Lily Love and all the tenants of the Barren’s Court Estate were suffering after terrible floods destroyed their crops. The landlord was generous in allowing the land rent to fall into arrears, due to the difficult times. However, as weather conditions continued to worsen, the little family became pessimistic and felt desperate about the direction of their lives. Nearly every family at this time had at least one member of their family who had left for the New World. The ugly face of famine was lurking everywhere. It was not possible with one acre of arable land to make a living. Late one night, after the children were in bed, John and Lily discussed the possibility of making a reservation aboard a sailing ship bound for America. John had noticed a poster in the town square, that posted by a ship’s owner trying to recruit people for his ship. John knew that conditions aboard ship would not be ideal for Lily, her new infant son and the two elder boys; however, she acknowledged that settling in America would be the only way for the family to gain some independence and to earn a living. More importantly, it
was rumored that land was free in the new country. Lily gave her consent to leave. In port, the sailing ship, Hannah, under the command of Captain Mitchell lay at anchor. The adventure of crossing the Atlantic Ocean bound for Philadelphia would take two to three months. Passengers were assured there would be the best provisions and plenty of barrels of fresh water. Storms could be fierce and living conditions below deck would be primitive. John joined the long queue and eventually after a lengthy wait, reached the revenue table. He affixed his signature to the contract promising to pay five pounds per person for berths aboard ship. The clerk returned the receipt to John indicating that the sum of money had been paid. Once under sail the three hundred passengers found themselves crowded into miserable conditions. The smell of so many people crowded together was offensive. The breadth of the vessel was narrow and the headroom below deck minimal. As the tiny craft sailed out of Lough Foyle, and entered the Atlantic Ocean, it started to roll ominously and those aboard wondered if they would survive the long voyage ahead or be swallowed up by the enormous waves. Seasickness was everywhere and people had no appetite. The food, instead of being of high quality as promised, was too often rotten and the water was brackish. Eventually, the winds lessened and the Captain was able to set his sights towards America and become ably steering the ship on an even course. Eight weeks later, plus on day, the Hannah made landfall and the Love family disembarked in America and became American newest immigrants. Gazing at the mainland after so many days of sailing was indeed a glorious sight. The difficult days aboard ship seemed worthwhile. Porters hurried along the docks pushing baggage. Little girls with ribbons in their hair scanned the ship’s decks hoping to get a first glimpse of their father arriving. It seemed to Lily that it took forever to register and to pass through immigration. John said that he would go ahead to scout out some land in the far west of the state. He would push on to the frontier with a bunch of other Irish chaps. Lily and the children could follow more slowly, harnessing the horse and cart to convey their scanty possessions. The stuff in the cart would include a kettle, dishes, blankets, a chair, a bucket and an axe. There was a perception by the government at this time that the feisty Irish would resist any hostile natives refusing to retreat and thus maintaining the western boundary. The Irish, too, were pleased to settle as far away from the government as possible. Instead of purchasing land, they would “squat” on the property erecting only a temporary, humble shelter to stave off the weather. Once their families arrived, they would inspire the men to build proper cabins. Neither fancy nor elegant, these log structures would be their first real homes. Property boundaries at this time were not marked out with iron rods or stakes in a standard fashion, but rather designated by natural objects such as rocks,
trees and creeks. Confusion and disputes must often have followed later, when these survey points disappeared. After exploring the area around Shirley’s burg, John and his sons rode over Sandy Ridge to survey the property below Black Log Mountain. It was here in a long narrow valley they decided to settle. The valley became known then, and is still called Love’s valley today. At the time, drums were used to forewarn that the natives were going to capture the forts, which guarded the western frontier. Daily life in this new land, for the early settlers, was harsh and difficult. First they needed to tame the land, chopping down trees, in order to be able to plant crops. At times they needed to defend their land and be wary of attacks from wild animals, such as wolves and bears. Mosquito bites caused severe reactions of swelling and itchiness. Once the work was done, neighbors would gather for an occasional social function. The children would play for hours chasing butterflies and looking for birds’ nests. The boys would catch frogs and then tease the girls with them. There would be a delicious picnic lunch spread on the grass. John asked Lily to bring some freshly squeezed lemon juice for the picnic. He found the sour taste of lemonade was refreshing on a hot summer’s day. Some of the men would have a drink of homemade in the moonshine before striking up a tune on the fiddle. Square dancing was popular among the young people and the young lads would leap up to dance with the eligible young ladies. Rivals for a young lady’s hand in marriage would tend to compete to walk her home at the end of an evening. The romantic times were few and contrasted sharply with the stern reality of everyday life. Neighbors were also few and Lily found she was very lonely. She looked forward to the occasional visits of the minister, Robert Ayers, who was a Methodist circuit rider. Meetings would be held in fields or small barns, three to four times a year. At other times neighbor women from over the mountain would meet to make quilts, blankets and cushions and to gossip about their respective lives. They would share their secret fears regarding their new lives, their hopes for their children’s future and enjoy each other’s companionship. Twenty years slipped by and John Love died at the early age of 47. Several years later, son James and his family, as well as widow Lily, his Mother, made the decision to leave Pennsylvania and settle in Canada. They made the arduous trek over Indian trails, crossing the Niagara River to settle in what we now call Ontario. I am a Canadian. Having traced my roots and followed in the footsteps of these early settlers, I feel a sense of gratitude to my ancestors who faced extreme difficulties and severe hardship to settle in a new land. Liberty, then and in today’s world, is a priceless inheritance. Once more, I glanced at the silver pin before returning it to the velvet box. Once again,
I questioned, “What did I inherit from my Love ancestors?” I realize the answer has been revealed while writing this story. I have determination, strength, loyalty and a love of adventure. This is my inheritance. 3 A Man and His Castle 一个大人物和他的城堡 La Cuesta Encantada (The Enchanted Castle) is one of the most remarkable displays of power and passion in the world. This marvelous tourist site now known as Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument is better known as Hearst Castle. It is located six hours south of San Francisco and five hours north of Los Angeles. Sheltered by the mountains in northern San Luis Obispo County, the complex of 165rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools, fountains and footpaths draws approximately 800,000 visitors annually. To understand the castle, you have to understand the man who built it, William Randolph Hearst. And to understand the man, you have to understand the land upon which he built his dream. Born on April 29, 1863, William Randolph Hearst was the only child of Gorge Hearst and his wife, Phoebe. George was a multimillionaire who amassed his fortune through partnerships in three of the ever largest mining discoveries of copper, silver, and gold ores. In 1865, George began to accumulate parcels of land by obtaining 46,000 acres of the Piedra Blanco Ranch on California’s Central Coast. There he began a successful cattle ranch, eventually enlarging it to 250,000 acres stretching 50 miles along the coast. William loved the ranch where he spent his summer vacations as a youngster and a youth, playing in the rugged canyons , descending the cliffs and camping in colorful Arab-style tents in the mountains with his family. Phoebe was delighted in exposing her darling child to the beauties and wonders of the world and spared no expense doing so. During one of their adventures, an 18-month tour of the historic palaces and castles of Europe, William began a lifelong love of collecting. With his first acquisitions, German picture books, he embarked on a 78-year session of excessive spending. He confessed to a love of the finer things in life and, as he had a bottomless purse, would never deny himself anything he wanted. In 1887, while William was at Harvard University, he decided to take over the small newspaper, the San Francisco Examiner, which his father had accepted as payment for a gambling debt several years earlier. George would have preferred that his son be involved in the mining and ranching interests, but William declined this offer and was given ownership of the Examiner in March 1887. He was determined to increase the popularity of the paper and acquire the best equipment and writers available. William’s resolve to succeed inspired him to publish juicy tales of vice and stories full of drama and motivation . In 1895, he purchased the New York Morning Journal, putting him in direct competition with the distinguished Joseph Pulitzer and a circulation
war began. Both the Hearst and Pulitzer newspapers started to include sensational stories about the Cuban Insurrection . The stories greatly exaggerated claims of Spanish troops placing Cubans in concentration camps, forcing them to live under substandard conditions, disease-ridden, starving and dying. This style of reporting became known as “Yellow Journalism”. The newspapers were transformed as the scope of the news broadened and became less conservative. Circulation soared as the public could get enough of the banner headlines and abundant illustrations. At the time, many people believed William actually might have initiated the Spanish-American War to encourage sales. According to one report, when one of his correspondents, Frederick Remington, requested to return from Havana, William responded that if Remington would furnish the pictures, William would furnish the war. He was once quoted in an editorial as saying, “Make the news thorough Print all the news. Condense it if necessary. Frequently it is better when intelligently condensed.” Another classic example of his influence occurred when; merely months after he advocated political assassination in an editorial, American President McKinley was assassinated. As an intelligent and dynamic business man, William generated increased readership by employing some of the most talented writers in the United States, recruiting figures from the literary community, like Mark Twain and Stephen Crane, and the previously mentioned illustrator, Frederick Remington. He also showed his initiative when he chartered a yacht, equipped it as a miniature newspaper headquarters, anchored off the coast of Cuba, and led his army of reporters into the field. William’s interests led him to follow in his father’s footsteps, inspiring him to enter into politics. He was elected to the U.S. Congress as a senator representing the State of New York in 1902 and served until 1907. He was a candidate for the office of mayor of New York City and governor of New York State, but failed in both of these attempts. While honeymooning in Europe after his marriage to Millicent Wilson in 1903, he expanded his publishing empire with Motor Magazine. The Hearst Corporation grew to comprise a total of 12 newspapers, including the Examiner, and 25 magazines, including Cosmopolitan. Not satisfied with just his publishing enterprises, he expanded his business operations into radio, and later produced movie newsreels. (To Be Continued) This influential media giant was not without his faults. His prejudices were common knowledge. His career was blemished by his offensive remarks about Spaniards, Japanese, Filipinos, and Russians. He printed lies, forged documents, falsified stories of violence, wrote provocative editorials, and published sensational cartoons and photographs to support his opinions. William hated minorities. He took advantage of every opportunity to heighten racial
tensions. His real motive for his hatred of Mexicans may have been the loss of 800,000 acres of prime timber land to the Mexican outlaw, Pancho Villa. His papers described them as marijuana-smoking, job-stealing, lazy, wicked, and violent degenerates. Some suggest he saw the Mexicans as a threat to his empire. During this period, William met and fell in love with a young actress, Marion Davies. Millicent, his wife and the mother of his five sons, including a set of twins, refused to dissolve the marriage, which obliged William to “live in sin” with the woman whom the tour guides refer to as his “friend” or “companion”. With the death of his mother in 1919, William inherited the beloved quarter-million-acre ranch. At first, he planned to build modest ranch house on his
favorite campsite but as he became more involved in the project, his vision of a monument to display his collections gained momentum. Working closely with family architect, Julia Morgan, William created a glorious and extraordinary castle-like structure, blending Spanish, European, and Californian architectural styles. Huge warehouses were built in San Simeon to store the shiploads of splendid antiques, including entire carved ceilings and walls hung with enormous tapestries. They could be installed in the completed rooms. Landscaping integrated exotic plants, hedges, and trees with native flora. As William was in his 60’s, he had the insight to know he couldn’t wait for them to grow, but he was optimistic. He ordered tons of fertile topsoil to cover the grounds to a depth of five feet and full-grown specimens of the plants were trucked up the mountain for planting. With thousands of acres of land covered with grassland, trees, natural ponds, and man-made reservoirs available for use, William stocked the estate with herds of rare oxen and deer, and flocks of sheep and lambs. These animals flourished as they were allowed to wander freely. Larger, more dangerous beasts, including tigers, ostriches, buffalo, yaks, emus, kangaroos, llamas, zebras and giraffes were enclosed in the largest private zoo in the world. The “complex” was ready for occupancy in 1927, but additions continued until 1947. Eventually it comprised the main house and three cottages, all of which are furnished with a variety of valuable antiques. Even the lavatories were specially equipped. William’s favorite room was said to be the library with its collections of more than 5,000 books, ancient Greek vases, and an antique Spanish ceiling suspended by cables so it will sway in the event of an earthquake (all the antique furnishings and treasures are anchored as a precaution as this is earthquake country). In the ‘20s, ‘30s, and ‘40s, William loved part-time at the estate with his mistress, Marion Davies. They entertained to an excessive extent. To be invited to the castle was a privilege. Movie stars, politicians, businessmen, and even royalty were frequent guests. Many of these guests, including a British lord, Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith, Amelia Ear
hart, and Charles Lindbergh, flew to the ranch, landing on the private airstrip. Life on the “hill” was never dull. The visitors stayed in the main house or the cottages, depending on their prominence or their intimacy with the family and were free to roam the grounds, go riding on their choice of horses on the property. Company was expected, however, to meet in the main drawing room at 7:30 p.m. sharp, principally to amuse their host. Dinner was a formal affair beginning at 9:00 p.m. this meal was held in the immense dining room, the walls of which are lined with priceless panels from ancient European cathedrals . Following dinner, movies were shown in the private theater, starting at 11:00. There were, however, three rules guests had to follow: do not get drunk; do not swear or tell off-color jokes; sleep in separate bedrooms if an unmarried couple. Food was not allowed in the rooms. If you wanted to eat, you could visit the kitchen… if you could find it. Although William was closely involved in all aspects of the construction and decoration of the mansion, he continued his business and social interest. No stranger to scandal, in November 1924, he found himself in the topic of headlines. The most enduring rumor was that, during a party on his yacht, he had found Marion kissing Charlie Chaplin. In a fit of jealousy he took a shot at Chaplin, missed, and accidentally his Thomas Ince, killing him. However, even though the morning papers carried the story, the evening paper and successive editions printed that Ince had died of acute indigestion. In 1945, William initiated the Hearst Foundation and created the California Charities Foundation in 1948 (the name was changed to the William Randolph Hearst Foundation soon after his death in 1951). The Great Depression took its toll on even the wealthiest and William Randolph Hearst was no exception. His fantastically decadent lifestyle couldn’t last forever, and gradually his finances began to suffer, beginning the next chapter in the saga of excesses. He came close to being bankrupt but Marion rescued him from debt, unselfishly selling her jewels and some other property to raise over a million dollars. In 1947, due to his poor health, he was forced to move permanently to Beverly Hills. Marion looked after him during this time, seldom leaving his side. When he died in 1951 at the age of 88, she was shunned by his family and forbidden to attend his funeral. The castle, its furnishings, the artworks in the gallery, and 127 acres of land were given to the state of California in 1957. Since that time, the California Department of Parks and Recreation has kept the castle open to tourists. Today a visit to the estate begins near the site of the old airstrip. Guests are transported to the top of the hill via bus. One can still see the signs giving wandering animals the “right-of-way” on the lanes. Deer, cattle, and sheep often halt the buses’ progress up or down the mountain as they meander to the salt licks. Depending on the tour one chooses, guides escort the public through a variety of rooms, gardens, cottages, and pools. The luxury of a bygone era is evident at every turn.
From the moment you arrive at the stairway to the Neptune Pool until you bid farewell to your guides at the magnificent, golden and blue Roman Pool, you are reminded that a man had a dream. He had power and influence. Furthermore, he was prosperous enough to achieve his objectives and implement his dream. 5 Yip Sang, a Chinese-Canadian 加籍华人阿寿 The British and Chinese signed the Treaty of Nanking in 1842, each providing their respective subjects with the right to benefit from full security and protection for their persons and property within each other’s boundaries. Even though China did no openly allow emigration, in 1860 a law was passed which stated that Chinese seeking to work in the British Colonies or other places were at liberty to do so. They had only to ship themselves and their families on board any British vessel at any of the open ports in China. In 1868, another treaty, this one with the United States, gave the Chinese the right to change their home and loyalty from one country to another for the purposes of curiosity, of trade, or as permanent residents, thereby opening the gates for emigration from China. The gold boom in British Columbia in the 1850’s was the beginning of Chinese immigration from the U.S. into Canada. Many of these early immigrants from Fujian and Guangdong provinces to San Francisco. When they heard of the gold discoveries in British Columbia, many crossed the border into Canada by moving overland through Oregon or arriving by sea in Victoria. When the gold deposits were depleted, these early settler stayed, moving into occupations like gardening, farming, domestic service, road construction, and railway building. By 1871, these were approximately 3,000 Chinese inhabitants in the province, only 53 of whom being women. Since Chinese workers were know to be conscientious and reliable, several companies actively recruited them. As a result, it was estimated that 10,000 workers arrived between 1882 and 1884. In an effort to restrict the entry of Chinese immigrants, an act was passed in the Canadian Parliament confining the proportion to one person for every 50 tons of vessel tonnage. A head tax was also imposed. Records of those who paid the head tax are still available for viewing in the National Archives of Canada. An article in the Illustrated London News in January 1875 gave some insight into the emigration process of the Chinese by conveying the ideas of changes they might undergo. The author thought the modifications would be slight and principally external. He believed that, in an attempt to blend in, the Chinese would adopt American language, culture, and dress. However, because the Chinese brought with them a strong sense of their own identity, it wasn’t necessary for them to cultivate a North American way of life, nor did they feel an obligation to abandon their traditions. Much of the article would be considered insulting by today’s standards. In the United States, there were two opposing points of view. On one side of the coin,
the Chinese were seen as an inexpensive means of providing the manual labor necessary to develop the assets of the country, most often in hazardous occupations. On the other side, there were those who branded them as the “curse” of the nation. Some Americans applauded the Chinese but others condemned them as evil. Some were disturbed by what might happen if all the immigrants decided to stay. Their distress was unfounded however, as most Chinese had no intention of staying. Their greatest wish was to accumulate as much money as possible and return to China. Guilds were set up to provide lodging and employment for the emigrants, for a fee of course. The fee ensured that the worker would be paid a decent wage and that his employer would not deceive him. The accumulated fees amounted to a large sum, allowing the Guilds to help those who were ill or out of work. They not only saw that the worker received whatever was due to him, they also made him pay all his debts. The worker wasn’t allowed to return to his own country without a certificate from his agent stating he owned nothing. Many Chinese were able to save a portion of their earnings to take with them to their family back home. Often, after workers returned to China, they would revisit North America to accumulate more money. Before being allowed to board a ship in China, however, they had to prove that they were going to their own free will and were under no labor contract. Before the ships set sail. The authorities would visit to guarantee that all on board had their ticket stamped and were not leaving the country against their will. Yip Sang, born in Canton in 1845, left China at the age of nineteen to seek his fortune in America. After arriving in San Francisco in 1864, he earned a living by working first as a dish-washer, then as a cook, and finally as a cigar roller. From the outset, he perceived that if he was patient and could represent the best of his race, his merits would be recognized. Possibly the attraction of high wages rumored to be offered by Canadian railroad companies roused Yip San to leave San Francisco. He arrived in Vancouver in 1881 and worked on the western portion of the Canadian pacific Railroad from 1882 until 1884, first as a book-keeper, then as a time-keeper, and finally as a paymaster, before being promoted to Chinese superintendent for the supply company. The promotion made him responsible for hiring on contract and transporting thousands of men from China to work on the railway line in British Columbia. He supervised some six to seven thousand Chinese workers during the peak of the construction. In 1885, he returned to China using the money he had saved from his CPR job. He remained there from 1885 until 1888, while there he married four different wives, a regular occurrence at the time for wealthy young men. He and his first wife, Lee She, had a son and a daughter. Lee She became gravely ill after their marriage and urged Yip Sang to take another wife, one who could be able to take good care of their children. Wong She,
Yip Sang’s second wife, was very young with “sensitive” eyes, but did not meet with the approval of Lee Shee. She insisted he should marry third time, and this time choose someone more suitable to care for the children. Dong She, wife number three, was more mature and had the capacity to supervise the household and the children. Dong Shee convinced Yip Sang to take a fourth wife, Chin She, whose primary role was to be Dong She’s companion. With his four wives, Yip Sang had 23 children, one of whom became the first Chinese Canadian doctor to be recognized in Canada. In 1888, Yip Sang returned to Canada with three wives——Lee She died before they left. On his return to Canada he undertook a new enterprise. He became a merchant, opening an import-export business in the heart of Vancouver's Chinatown. Wing Sang Company specialized in goods imported from China. The company provided Chinese Canadians with merchandise not readily available in Vancouver and exported Canadian foodstuffs to China. His formula of pouring as much money as he could afford into building and expansion couldn’t help but succeed. In 1889, Yip Sang bought land on Pender Street in Chinatown and began construction of a complex, which still stands today. Initially being a two-story building with a ground floor storefront and a second floor residence, it was probably the first in Chinatown to be built of durable brick. Customers of the store walked on wooden platforms covering the unpaved dirt streets to avoid tracking the dust and mud into the building. With the tone of success, Yip Sang added to his building. In 1901, he widened the street to accommodate three more shops, each with a second story above. He also added a third floor to the original building in the same year. In 1912, to house both his growing family and his business, he built a new six-story brick building behind the old one and connected to it by a narrow corridor at ground level, and by an enclosed stairway extension on the third floor that stretched above the alley between the two buildings. Most of the new building was used to warehouse goods for the import/export business. Yip Sang’s involvement with shipping companies and his own business demonstrated his understanding of the freight industry and his ability to work fluently in both Chinese and English languages. In 1889, the CPR rehired Yip Sang to act as their Chinese Passenger Agent for their Canadian Steamship Line, a position he held until his death in 1927 at the age of 82. The demand for salted herring in china, in conjunction with huge catches being brought in by the fishing fleet, spurred Yip Sang to build a fish packing plant in Nanaimo. The success of this plant led to the opening of a second plant on Vancouver Island soon afterward. Both plants were staffed by large numbers of Chinese workers and helped establish sizeable Chinese community in Nanaimo’s downtown core. Consistent with Yip Sang’s devotion to growth and improvement, he promoted and
fostered education. Not only did he found the Ok Kuo Night School, he also served as its principal for over ten years. His children went to public school, but they also received schooling at home from tutors hired from Hong Kong to teach them Chinese. Yip Sang took great pleasure in quizzing his offspring about their lessons. His philosophy was that by moderating the children’s Canadian education with fundamental Chinese, the equation would result in well-rounded, responsible citizens. As a keen advocate of education in Canada, Yip Sang also sponsored education abroad in China. The ling-nan University and Toi-shan Middle School in his hometown of Canton were established with his help. Throughout his life, he maintained an active role in Vancouver’s Chinatown. He was one of eleven men, his contemporaries, who founded the Chinese Benevolent Association, one component of which looked after the ill, elderly or destitute Chinese in the absence of their families. When he died at the age of 82, Yip Sang was not only one of the wealthiest merchants in Vancouver; he was also considered a pillar of the community. Yip Sang’s descendants continue to honor his values and remain active in the Vancouver Community. 6 An Ideal Position 理想职业 Life is good. My career in elementary education in Canada is now just a fond memory. I think back on the many years of service and I recall the many classed I taught, the different schools I worked at, the countless staff meetings I attended and the many committees I served on. I estimate that the number of faculty members I worked with over the years is in the hundreds and well over a thousand students have called me teacher. Is it any wonder that I can say that I always felt comfortable walking in school corridors? Sometimes I worked with students at the intermediate level. In Canada, students at that level are youth in their preteen years as well as teenagers. When I decided to retire, I knew that the first step in the procedure was to write a letter to my employer, a school board, to resign my position. I postponed mailing the letter. I was reluctant to add the postage to the letter, knowing that once I mailed it, the decision could not be reversed. Because I was a veteran teacher of many years, I would be eligible to receive a pension. I calculated that the revenue I would receive each month would be sufficient to sustain my current lifestyle. If I was smart about my spending habits, I might even have a surplus of money. I certainly would not need to pinch every penny. I knew the money would not come to me in the form of a check. Instead, it would be deposited directly into my bank account. I could withdraw cash from my investments if I needed to supplement my income, my credit rating would allow me to be eligible for a loan when some unforeseen financial crisis a rose. I knew, therefore, that there was no reason to panic, as
my future was secure even if inflation increased or a recession occurred. In either case my income would only be minus a few dollars, a fraction of the total amount. I decided to take the plunge, but waited another fortnight before I mailed the letter. I even paused briefly with the letter part way into the mail slot before I thrust the letter into the mailbox. I knew that the simple act of mailing that letter would alter my life. I looked for clues to determine how striking the changes in my daily life would be. How would I spend my time? In spite of having many long yearly vacations when I could pursue other interests, I had not bothered to make an earnest effort to confine my activities to one particular hobby. Would I find life as a retiree boring? What new adventures might await me? Would I use my time to volunteer at a hospital or maybe work for a local charity? Maybe I would apply for membership in a golf league. Maybe I would donate my time and work with the Better Business Bureau. I night decide to enter local politics and run for a position on town council or I could run for the position of Deputy Mayor of my town, or maybe even consider submitting my name to be a candidate in an election for member of parliament. I would need to campaign and then wait to see if people would vote for me on Election Day at the polls. In spite of the fact that the possibilities all had merit, I had to admit that I only had a superficial interest in pursuing any of them. In fact, I was indifferent to most of the options. Did I think they might interfere with other commitments or mean I would have to cancel other appointments? Or was I just too attached to the idea of teaching, feeling that it formed part of my identity? I examined my emotions about the new direction my life would take. Would retirement add a new dimension to my life and multiply my feeling of satisfaction or would the world apprehension be more applicable? Did I feel guilty about not being gainfully employed when I was qualified and capable? As a certified teacher, did I feel obligated to work in the field of education? Did I feel entitled to sleep in late each day, or would that bother my conscience? Would I simply grow old gracefully or would feel that ridiculous? My instincts told me that although I would feel grateful for my good health, curiosity about other countries and lifestyles would overtake the desire to spend my time with senior citizens, playing board games, such as chess all day. Wouldn’t I rather learn about other cultures and at the same time be an ambassador for my own country? I began to inquire about opportunities and whenever I searched the internet for jobs, I always seemed be drawn like a magnet to the category of teaching. It did not take long before I found that there were countless positions available in many countries. Amid the listings I identified several that were for teaching positions in China. I decided that I would communicate with some of the people offering these positions. I sent e-mails and made phone calls to several prospective employers. The feedback
that I got from most of them was that they expected me to bring all the resources necessary. How could I pack enough in my baggage to provide what was needed? I was inclined to look for a situation where books were provided. I wanted to sign a contract for only one semester but found that most positions were for one or two years. I could sympathize with the amount of paper work needed to arrange for a person to accept one of those positions and realized that it was wiser for people to spend a year or two in one location. I attended seminars by companies trying to recruit teachers. I found several companies that captured my interest. I began to review my options. I asked specific questions about the positions with companies that sincerely interested me. I inquired about how many suitcases I would be allowed to bring and what the living accommodations would be. It was refreshing to realize that there was a big demand for people who could teach English. Several positions seemed superior in their benefits and they sparked my interest even more. I especially wanted to teach students at the secondary or high school level rather than middle school. I could hardly believe that I was contemplating dong this at this age of my life. At times I felt that it was a radical idea but I also realized that I had always had the desire to have this kind of experience but circumstances never seemed quite right. Now they were. I decided to proceed. I made an oral agreement with a company. I read their written contracts, clause by clause; to be sure nothing had been omitted from the oral agreement. In spite of wanting the clause about staying two years to be deleted, I signed the legal contract after a few minor changes were made and initialed in the margin. There were many details to consider. After choosing the company that I wanted to work for, I still had to take a long time look at my circumstances. I decided that I would sell my car, put my personal belongings in storage and rent my house. A lot of time and effort was required to make all the arrangements. I decided to tackle one aspect at a time. The first thing I targeted was to sell my car. As a matter of principle, I felt that the value of the car would depreciate over the time I was out of the country. The sensible strategy was to sell it. Fortunately, my niece wanted to buy the car. I made a list of things to take with me. I was advised to take auxiliary light. I packed battery-operated flashlights to be used to case of power failure. I included a waterproof jacket in case I needed to walk to school in the rain. I needed to sort my belongings. I had to decide what to save and what to pitch out. For example, I decided I no longer needed my typewriter, as I only used my computer for word processing now, so I decided to give it away. I made many lists and developed a cold as a way to catalogue my possessions. As I packed items in cardboard boxes, I made a list regarding the contents on the outside of each box. I packed dishes in towels to protect them. Many times I had to undo a box
because I forgot to list the contents. When I finally snapped the lid of a box shut, I sealed it with transparent tape and checked to be sure that it would not loosen. I also included another tag, which gave each box a number because all cardboard boxes look identical. I was careful not to abbreviate the names of items in the lists lest that would mislead me as to the contents. I continued with this method, which also created an index of items. It seemed the rational way to coordinate and organize things. I remarked many times during this phase of my preparations that I had not realized I had so much gear. At times I had to laugh at myself. My activities seemed like they would make a good script for a comedy. Maybe I should write a play about what I was doing and copyright it. It certainly would be good for a few scenes on a soap opera. On the spur of the moment I decided to loan my sofa and my rug to my niece who was moving to a larger home. That would mean a few less things to put into storage. I fulfilled my obligation to provide proof of good health. I had a chest x-ray taken. I had a complete physical examination. I had dental check up. Because my health reports all indicated I was in excellent health, all of the health care professionals I visited encouraged me to pursue my adventure. I renewed my passport, my proof of identity as a Canadian citizen. I knew that once I arrived in China I would also be registered with the Canadian Embassy. My family’s reaction when I told them about my plans was as expected. Although they sanctioned my idea and supported me the endeavor(努力,尽力), they were sad to think that I would be half way across the world for such a long time. The frown on my grandson’s face told me that the situation would be especially difficult for him and that he might feel neglected by me. Although I could scarcely argue with the comments of my family about their feelings, for their sake I talked about the time away from home as if it was just a few short days. I would be backing home before they knew it. They suggested that I come back after one year for the summer and then return for the second year. I agreed to this plan. Five years ago, would I have thought that this was in the realm of possibility? I doubt that I would have. But here I am in China, in my second year of living in this amazingly progressive civilization, and I can honestly say that I have never once regretted my decision to teach in China. I must also admit that I have learned far more from my students than they have learned from me. I admire their thirst for knowledge and they seem to thrive on challenges. They never seen tempted to take a short cut, always working hard and giving a supreme effort. Their tolerance for their English teacher’s lack of familiarity with Chinese customs has been appreciated. They always are positive in their attitudes toward me and have helped me whenever they could. At times they have insisted on doing things for me that was capable of doing myself. It has become a habit to surrender to their wishes to assist. One student in particular always takes on the job of
carrying my packages, saying that it is his pleasure to be my porter. When I started to plan this adventure I had only a vague idea of what the country of china would be like. I could recognize their flag but was not even familiar with their national anthem. My comprehension of the customs of the country was very limited I felt almost ashamed at how little I knew. I did not know if they used the metric or the imperial system of measurement. Would I buy fluids such as milk and soda in quarts or liters? Would I need to learn the Chinese word for gram or for inch? Indeed I had never heard the word ‘jin’ before. I knew little about the food I would be eating. Would dairy products such as skim milk and cheese and yoghurt be available? Would I eat only rice and noodles or would the variety of foods be endless? May be I would be enjoying a rack of lean pork ribs as a delicious treat. I was unaware that there were so many dialects in the Chinese language. I had no idea how I would communicate but when I arrived in china, I soon found myself having a limited dialogue with Chinese people. They would try to speak a few words of English and I would attempt a few words in Chinese. However, I resorted to sign language more than words. How much I have learned! It has been a wonderful, rewarding experience and the one comment that comes to my mind is “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!” 7 A History of Christmas 圣诞节的历史
Christmas is the most cheerful and holy of holidays in the Christian world, which boasts of an estimated 1.8 billion people. Although the origin of this holiday was purely religious, it has evolved into a highly secular celebration each year. However, strong religious components are still conveyed in various ways each year. The two are intrinsically mixed in the midst of modern commercialism and attached to. Christmas day fall on December 25th each year, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of a carpenter living over two thousand years ago. Christianity, the movement following the teachings of Christ, roused the world over the next many centuries. It is said that the first celebration of Christmas took place in 336 A.D. in Ancient Rome. No one seems to know for sure if December 25th was actually the date of Christ’s birth, but it is possible that Christian leaders in Ancient Rome wanted to replace pagan religious holidays that occurred around the same time. Many secular symbols of Christmas have emerged over several centuries. Santa Claus, in his present form, is a fairly recent development whereas his origin, in part, goes back to Roman times. St. Nicholas was an early Christian Bishop of Patara of the Lycian seaport (in present-day Turkey) in the 4th century A.D. The Roman Emperor Diocletian, who
persecuted Christians, imprisoned him because the practice of Christianity was illegal. The first Christian Emperor of Rome, Constantine, later released him. Nicholas’ reputation for generosity, kindness and miracles earned him a widespread reputation and eventually sainthood. He is said to have brought back life to the children who had been chopped into pieces by their butcher father. He is reputed to have placed some gold coins in stockings, hung by a fire to dry by three poor girls. He had hoped that the girls would be able to use the money to marry to avoid living on prostitution, the common destiny of such girls at that time. From this gesture came the tradition of empty oversize stockings hanging on fireplaces at Christmas time for Santa to fill with little gifts. From these roots, the present-day Santa Claus seems to have emerged. In some European countries, the image of Father Christmas is identified more closely with Saint Nicholas than with Santa Claus. The red and white suit, that Santa wears, is said to have come from the traditional color of early Christian Bishops’ robes. Santa, flying in a sleigh pulled by reindeer, and going down chimneys, originated from an American poem written in the 1820’s, another American made an engraving called “Santa’s Workshop” in which Santa, is portrayed in a lovely sunset, scratching his chin, reading letters and checking a list activities which was revived every year in music and stories told to children during the yuletide (Christmas) season. Every year children write letters to Santa Claus before Christmas, asking him to bring favorite toys. Santa traditionally navigates the frosty night skies December 24th without using a compass or a chart to plot his course. He, in his sleigh pulled by nine reindeer, usually lands on slippery sloped roofs. Clumsily, with his big bag heaped with toys and slung over his shoulder, he jumps down chimney and dumps toys under Christmas trees. Gifts often include a doll for a little girl or a train for a little boy. He does all of this without disturbing the inhabitants. Santa then crawls vertically back up the chimneys and, without a trace, flies off, exclaiming the resounding phrase, “Merry Christmas to all, good night”. He is back at his home at the North Pole before dawn on Christmas morning, tired but very happy after his very speedy sweep around the world. After a big yawn, Santa falls asleep. Christmas carols, or Christmas religious songs, began in the middle Ages when people danced and sang religious songs on village greens (central gathering areas in small towns and villages) in Anglo-Saxon England. A Christmas carol today is a religious tune without the dance associated with it. A strong religious tradition today, as in other times, is to go to church at midnight of Christmas Eve or on Christmas morning. A priest may say mass (in a Catholic Church) or preach a sermon about the significance of the birth of Christ. Another very prominent symbol of Christmas is the Christmas tree. There are several explanations for its origin. One story suggests that Martin Luther was walking through a wood on a clear winter night admiring the beauty of the bright stars glowing
through the branches of trees. He decided to cut down a small evergreen tree and take it home. He put candles in it to represent the stars he had seen earlier because he wanted to share that beautiful image with his family. Another story tells of the bringing of an evergreen tree inside the home during winter solstice (December 21st) symbolizing the renewal of life in the dead of winter. It became associated with Christmas, which occurs only four days later. The Christmas tree was firmly established as a Christmas symbol by the Germans who eventually brought it to America. In Victorian England, people hung cakes and candies on it and later, fruit made of paper adorned the branches. Modern commercial tree decorations appeared in the 1880’s at Woolworth’s Department Store in the United States, and electric Christmas tree lights made their debut in 1882. The first Christmas cards were sent in the 1840’s in both England and America. Gift giving probably stems from the Bible where it is written that three kings, bearing gifts from the Orient, visited Bethlehem when Jesus was born. We know that St. Nicholas also gave gifts. A later tradition developed, whereby gifts were given on each of the twelve days of Christmas, from December 25th, when Jesus allegedly was born, to January 6th, when Jesus was apparently baptized (the Epiphany). There is a popular song called the “Twelve Days of Christmas” that keeps this tradition alive each year. We understand that Macy’s Department Store in New York City introduced the annual Christmas or Santa Claus Parade during the 1880’s. Today, in late November, or early December, a Christmas Parade is held in almost every city and town in Europe and America. Early on the night before Christmas (Christmas Eve), children are encouraged to go to bed early if they expect Santa to come. They lay their heads on their pillows with visions of what the next day will bring. Santa is invisible to children since no one has actually seen him, his sleigh, or reindeer on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, families usually get together for a roast goose or turkey dinner served with mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and pie or pudding for dessert. Grown-ups will pour a glass or two of wine or other spirits. Together, families will openly exchange gifts and gratitude. Children, including cousins, nieces and nephews, often kneel on the floor in front of the tree, excitedly trying to find presents with their names on them. On that day, warm receptions are extended to everyone, friend or stranger. For many merchants, Christmas has become the economic boom season of the year. It is estimated that a major percentage of the annual yield of revenue from sales is generated during the month or more of intense Christmas shopping before Christmas. As a matter of fact, there has been some debate for years that Christmas has become too commercialized and that the true meaning of Christmas is gradually disappearing. An escalating tendency has been to buy more and more expensive gifts each year. Some
people go into debt, sometimes owing more than they can easily pay back. Some people are personally beginning to rethink this commercial approach to Christmas. However, toy manufacturers and their contemporaries in advertising make a killing during this period. Christmas shopping hits a peak on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, when stores offer great discounts to unload the unsold Christmas merchandise. This is usually the busiest shopping day of the year. Christmas has spread far and wide across the globe. My wife and I lived in Beijing last year. During the Christmas season, we saw many Christmas decorations and heard a lot of western Christmas music in department stores. It seemed little different from Toronto, Canada. We celebrated Christmas much as we would have in Canada, except that we weren’t with our families in our homes during that very special family-oriented holiday season. We have great memories of Christmases of the past and look forward to many more great Christmas memories in the future. 8 A Time to Say Hello 相知相识
The year began softly. The weather in Southern China was warm and so were the students. The unexpected events of the year to come began to unfold, much too soon to become only an innocent treasured memory. Something precious should be held tight and not let it go. It was to be a year of surprises and a year of love. The Chinese have an expression for it, “Yuan fen”. A westerner would only question why and how. With your permission let us share the experience together. He sat at the front of the classroom looking anxious but attentive. In those first few days, his eyes bright with anticipation sought approval from me, his teacher. He claims now that he understood very little content in the lessons of the first few weeks. However, he successfully managed to give the appropriate illusion of understanding well. He made me laugh and his peering was also delighted in his sense of humor. He dressed with attention to detail, and his neat appearance, whether in jeans or current fashion, was distinct, a cool guy! There was always something enchanting in his smile, he was charming and handsome and he knew it! Moreover, he was a gentleman. His eyes revealed so much when they crinkled with laughter, the mask removed, or conversely remained inscrutable like still pools of liquid chocolate, containing only a hint of belief. His first writing assignment revealed the fact that he liked me and that he hoped we could be friends, “very good friends”. At that time neither of us suspected just how true that prophecy would eventually become. Inwardly, I just laughed. This was the first of several laughs that showed how little I understood. His presence permeated my classroom and my world. About a month later our lives began to intertwine and the delicately woven pattern of our lives began to become more intricate in the coming year. Relationships occur on
many levels. Layer upon layer must separate in order for us to speak of inner feelings. It is up to the individual to analyze the variety of feelings at each level. As time passed, we shared our viewpoints and feelings through conversation while chatting over tea and coffee, arousing the emotion deep in our hearts. One day flowed smoothly into another. Familiar experience for me proved to be exciting and stimulating for him. Western festival celebrations like Halloween, Christmas and Valentine’s Day provided an avenue to celebrate together, to share warmth and good times. Traveling to new places introduce me to an enticing new world. Every day there was laughter and underlying cares that carried both of us along to some degree of happiness. We learned together English and learned about life that year. Strangely the gap in our ages did not create any barrier for our friendship, he young and vital, and I was feeling young again. He offered his assistance, whenever I needed it. He offered his company for comfort, when death visited my door. What did he drive from this agenda, but a few paltry words in a foreign language? May be it was all worthwhile, maybe it will open a window wide and provide a pass port to a new world for his future. Time continues to slip by as a rushing river. You no longer inhabit(居住于) my daily world, only my memory. From a distance your voice informs me that you are continuing to learn, you are growing. Some days you are happy, others not quite so much. However, here around me, there is nothing, only a ghost-like figure, waving from your window and a familiar waft of fragrance as I stand alongside your newly occupied desk. There is nothing and yet there is everything. My mind remains idle, with only fragments of images drifting in and out. I can no longer be absolutely certain whether this was only a dream. We no longer occupy the same space, but I remind myself that we still occupy the same world. When we chance to meet, hands reach out; hearts embrace, and once again confirm the same magic feeling. Such friendships come rarely in a lifetime. Thereby, I feel blessed and lucky. 9 A Preface to Murder 谋杀端倪 Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Sometimes life deals a bad hand. Sometimes it is hard to go on. Sometimes evil triumphs over good. Nancy sighed heavily as she pulled her daughter’s diary from the drawer. She leaned forward to examine the familiar writing. A postcard with a colored sketch fell onto the floor from the book the drawing was a picture of a long curved sandy beach on a tropical island; of course it would be Montserrat. She felt clumsy as she knelt to retrieve the picture. Under no circumstances could she forgive or forget the criminals who tortured her beautiful Megan. It was difficult not to feel bitter about the events of the preceding year.
She had shed so many tears in the past year since her daughter’s murder. Nancy recognized that she was suffering from psychological problems and had really become indifferent to the events in her daily life. She began to shake and then to weep. When would there be an answer to this damn nightmare? Megan had attended secondary school at a private girls’ school five hundred kilometers from home. In junior school she had been a straight A student. Now in high school she continued to study hard, play sports, join the school orchestra, plus a variety of school clubs. As a joke, her friends labeled her a genius, often just to make her angry. As well as being a high academic achiever she had a great capacity for fun. She thrived on an active social life. Slender, pretty and vivacious, she was the apple of her parents’ eye. Every year in accordance with school policy, a student candidate was chosen to travel and live in another commonwealth country for six months. As Megan had an interest in a diplomatic career after completing university, she figure she would be considered a prime applicant if she applied for the position. A detailed essay was necessary to provide the committee with a clear idea of her intention. The selection committee would spend a fortnight reviewing the applications in an attempt to identify the ideal student. Megan also needed to undergo a rigorous personal interview, which would validate her academic background and evaluate her general behavior. The interview preceded well, Megan taking the initiative to underline her strengths. After school some of her friends gathered for coffee in the café near the school. They confessed to Megan that they were rather envious of the opportunity she might have to live in another country. They enquired about the details of the interview. Two weeks later Megan received a phone call notifying her of the successful results of the interview. Her parents were slightly nervous experiencing some negative feelings about Megan leaving the safety of home to live in another country. They knew the experience would broaden her horizons however, her destination, Montserrat, within the past year had a huge volcano erupt, disrupting people’s lives. Unstable conditions, loss of homes and fear of more eruptions all tended to breed trouble among the poor of the island. Her parents’ concerns were for Megan’s safety. Departure day dawned clear and bright. Farewells were made to family and friends and she was off for the adventure of a lifetime. Megan’s arrival on Montserrat was both welcoming and initially uneventful. The island family where she was to live for the next six months, made her feels right at home. As the pace of life on the island was more relaxed that at home, she was very happy. Her new schoolmates included her in their lives and she adapted quickly. Swimming in the warm ocean water, and sitting underneath waving palm trees in a mild climate, was a pleasant change from the cold northern winters. One Saturday evening a gang of kids piled into a taxi, heading off for a barbecue on
the beach. Some of the girls decided to walk along the beach. Megan joined them, lagging slightly behind. She knew she ought to hurry to catch up but the moist sand felt good under her feet. Water lapped at her toes; the tide was coming in. the violet light of dusk began to darken the sky. In the growing darkness a van pulled alongside her, stopping with a squeal of brakes. Before she knew what was happening two masked men leapt out of the car and began to chase her, grabbing her and finally throwing her to the ground. The gross attack that followed was brutal and unexplainable. Initially Megan tried to fight off her attackers by clawing at their faces with her nails. Using a coil of rope to bind her hands, the men were free to proceed. First a fist broke her upper jaw leaving her unconscious. Then the hoodlums(无赖,流氓) used a metal rod to crush Megan’s skull(头颅) and finally a knife blade penetrated her neck piercing an artery. After the crude act was completed her body was bundled into the back of a cab and discarded in a ditch in an isolated district far from the beach. Realizing that Megan had disappeared, her friends dialed an emergency number, notifying the authorities of the situation. Once Megan’s body was discovered, a warrant was issued for the immediate arrest of the two wanted men. Megan’s parents were notified by the embassy. They in turn retained legal counsel and an intense inquiry began into the case. Those officials with an intimate knowledge of the island felt that the mugging was a case of mistaken identification and a complete misunderstanding, a misguided outlet for mounting frustrations on the island. Megan’s parents, Nancy and Don, cancelled all their immediate plans and flew to the island. Rather than wait for the small island ship to transport them to the island they were flown in by helicopter. After hiring a lawyer as an advocate for their cause, they began to work with the local police tracking down any angle of the case that would bring these creeps first to court and then to trial before a jury, who in turn would convict them to lengthy jail sentences. As the days slipped by without any answers, they experienced severe emotional fatigue and life became a living hell. The investigation seemed to lag at first, but they were reluctant to interfere. The initial reports from this mess were inconclusive; many of the details not being addressed. As paying clients they lodged a complaint with the Governor of the island. After several months passed, the authorities had a frank discussion with Megan’s parents stating that as each day passed they were less and less liable to solve the murder. They cited other examples of unsolved cases and encouraged Nancy and Don to return home. Feeling both annoyed and frustrated, they decided they had done all they could here for the moment. Once at home again, Nancy withdrew from community life choosing to spend her time alone. These days, if you went looking, you could often find Don in a local pub having
a pint or two of beer. He, too, is unable to come to terms with the sequence of events that tore his family apart this year. Just thinking about Megan brings a lump to his throat and makes his head spin. As time passed, it was becoming more and more evident that the stack of paperwork pertaining to his daughter’s case was not going to provide any answers immediately, if ever. Tips provided by the public proved to lead nowhere. The records will remain open until the case is solved, however for the moment the natural rhythm of life has been destroyed. Can a family withstand such a tragedy? Only time will tell. 10 Canada Becomes a Nation 加拿大建国 Before Canada became a nation in 1867, the area of North America that now compose Canada was a large expanse of widely scattered communities of British and French origins. It was an area with diverse landscapes that physically divided them from the north of the United States. There was little connection among communities politically or economically. These colonies of British North America traditionally traded with Britain and with the United States, very little among themselves. These colonies even had customs duties that, to some extent, restricted such trade. In the mid 1800s, important events and changes took place. Britain repealed the Corn Laws and Navigations Acts, which had been economically beneficial to the colonies at the same rate it applied to all other trading countries, a situation to which the colonies had never been accustomed. From 1861to 1864, Americans were involved in a major civil war. Britain had traditional economic ties with the southern part of the United States that provided cotton to British markets. In the meantime, since the war was essentially between the North and the South, the North resented Britain’s connection with the South. In addition, during the last year (1864) of the American Civil War, the American Government of the dominant and ultimately victorious North, refused to renew a ten-year free trade agreement with United Canada, the large British colony in the central part of British North America. These arbitrary events brought concern and even fear to these colonies. With the loss of traditional trading arrangements and the end of the civil war, the North being victorious, the colonists feared that the Americans might turn on the British colonies in retaliation for Britain’s moral support for the South. The need for new markets, and a solid defense system from potential invasion by the United States, brought an acute awareness to these diverse colonies that they should look to each other for resolutions to these problems. They felt uneasy trying to cope against these adversities on their own. Sir John A. Macdonald from United Canada, the dominant personality at this time, also saw the acceleration of American settlers moving north and spreading throughout the flat prairie lands to the west. This would potentially put a wall
between the colonies in the East and the lonely western British colony in what is today part of British Columbia on the west coast of North America. Macdonald felt that the situation was urgent. In the summer of 1864, the maritime colonies of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New found land scheduled a meeting to discuss the possibility of a customs union or free trade area to compensate for the latest setbacks in trade relations with Britain and the United States. Macdonald managed to get permission for some delegates from United Canada to attend as observers. For a number of years, United Canada was experiencing problems of political deadlock. Canada West was predominantly English-speaking Canada East was predominantly French-speaking. A central government, set up in 1841, required a majority from both Canada West and Canada East for all legislation to become law. It was very difficult to pass significant legislation when two opposing views were constantly being debated and legislative bills were constantly being defeated. The Canadians saw a new, wider union, a potential new national institution or central government, as a possible solution for breaking out of this constant political disorder. The Canadian delegates sailed on board a cruise ship down the St. Lawrence River, into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, to Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island. This convention expanded to discussions of the possibility of all the British colonies uniting into one nation. After much complicated debate at another convention in Quebec City that same year, the delegate submitted a draft of an agreement for the formation of the dominion of Canada. The bulk of the work had been done by a group of men of seemingly high virtue, who became know in history as “the Fathers of Confederation”. United Canada was divided into the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Some allowances were given to Quebec because it was a predominantly French-speaking Catholic province and had special needs, unlike other provinces. The colony of Nova Scotia was divided into Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. These four provinces formed the original new nation. A flexible approach, in later years, persuaded other colonies to join. A federal system, with powers distributed between the central and provincial governments, was created. The provinces were assigned powers to have their own governments to deal with more local or provincial issues, the federal system would promote harmony among provinces, with different perspectives on nationhood. This was a compromise, so that the bigger provinces of Ontario and Quebec wouldn’t completely dominate the smaller provinces. The country was to be called the Dominion of Canada, but would still remain loyal to Britain as a member of the British Empire. The new legislation that created Canada was a British act of Parliament called “The British North America Acts of 1867”. Canada officially became a nation on July 1st, 1867. This would be the anniversary occasion each year, for joyous celebration of a national holiday commemoration the birth of Canada.
The development of the country, as we know it today, was an evolutionary process over more than eight decades. Manitoba became a province after some controversial events involving the federal government and the Metis, French-speaking descendants of French fur traders who married American Indian girls. This ethnic group settled near Fort Gary, the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba what is called today. John A. Macdonald, the new and first Prime Minister of the new nation, made a deal with the western-most colony in Vancouver guaranteeing on the building of a railroad from the east to the west if that colony would join Canadian Confederation. The property of the Metis, to which the letter felt legally entitled, was in the path of the new railway. The federal government essentially took the land. The Metis were compelled to move further west, but not without a fight. (The Metis and the federal government were on an inevitable collision course. Twice, Metis revolts rested the might of the federal government and relationship between French-and English-speaking in Canada). The federal government was able to defeat the Metis in both clashes. Louis Riel, the leader of the Metis was hanged for treason in 1885 for his leading role in resisting the federal government. He became a martyr to French-Canadians. His death only added fuel to the growing discontent between French and English Canada. Throughout this whole period, 1869 to 1885, the federal (or central) government ignored the appeals of the Metis. It appeared that, according to Macdonald and his followers, the creation of the new nation was more important than relieving the plight of a relatively small minority group. The Metis probably deserved much better of the federal government. Different versions of these events are still debated in Canadian classrooms today. Macdonald was also criticized for concealing the fact that he took some money illegally to complete the railway. In 1873 as “The Pacific Scandal” became known, the construction of the railway suspended temporarily. The determined Macdonald and his government, obsessed by the possibility of the Americans moving in and taking over the west, boldly pushed railway construction to completion. Manitoba became a province in 1870, British Columbia in 1871, Prince Edward Island in 1873, Alberta and Saskatchewan in 1905. The admission of Newfoundland into Confederation in 1948 completed the Canadian Confederation of ten provinces from sea to sea, as they exist today. The railway, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) was completed before the agreed deadline. Canada’s becoming a nation was not an easy road. Canada’s remaining a nation has perhaps been an even harder road. There were many challenges facing it over the first one hundred or more years. The most serious challenge has been, and still is, staying together as a country. Relations between French-speaking and English-speaking Canada have been difficult to improve. This persistent theme in Canadian history began with the
defeat of New France by Britain during the Seven Years War from 1756to 1763 (or the French-Indian War, as it was known in North America). In the last twenty years, referenda held in Quebec for possible separation from Canada, were narrowly defeated. This challenge still lies ahead. So far, the country has remained strong, and has traditionally played a significant role in international affairs. Canada has much promise for the 21st century. It will need to find creative diplomatic strategies to keep the internal rumblings beneath the surface from exploding into self-destruction. It will need to find a way to fulfill the dreams of “the Fathers of Confederation” of so many years ago. A good guess is that the odds are in favor of Canada achieving those dreams and truly becoming the nation that was originally intended. 11 Sky Watch 天空观察 Today the wind and rain drove fiercely against my apartment window. It was the tail end of a typhoon. Every year, as the calendar indicates the approach of autumn, these destructive tropical storms account for both death and destruction along Asia’s coasts. On an average there may be fifteen such storms every year. Although many civilians adopt a casual attitude towards these events, awareness is advisable. As the water dripped from my balcony and accumulated into free-flowing rivers on the road beneath, I was reminded of the extreme weather that affected the residents of North America. Hurricanes, tornadoes, snowstorms, ice storms and electrical storms are all examples of extreme weather that may challenge an entire community. Each storm is unique in character, contributing its own particular fascination and fear. Every fall hurricanes slam the United States coast. They upset boats, fell mature trees, wash away sections of public beaches and often cause death. Fortunately with the advantage of modern prior warning systems authorities are able to keep the chaos to a minimum. Regardless, some sectors of the population still ignore the warnings. The burden of rescuing these irresponsible adults falls on the authorities. Mean while government budgets are strained. To assemble enough aid to assure assistance for all regions in a country stretches finances. Hurricanes seldom reach Ontario, Canada, but in 1954 Hurricane Hazel exposed the residents of Toronto to an awful night of flooding and terror. Responding to the disaster required the supreme effort of all the rescue departments. In Ontario where a brush winter extends from November until April, snowstorms are regular occurrence. People adjust their travel plans, sports activities and especially their mode of dress when the weather forecasters predict a severe snowstorm. Automobile drivers must be more cautious under these circumstances. Snow removal becomes a major expense for northern cities. Families adjust their weekend plans and stay together
at home, sitting safely in front of a blazing fire, and viewing a video, the beauty of fluffy white snow can be appreciated when it blankets stately evergreens standing against a deep blue sky. In 1998, Ontario residents were crippled by a severe ice storm. People’s lives came to a grinding halt when power lines crumpled under the weight of the ice. People lived without electricity for weeks. Remote parts of the province resumed normal living conditions after several months. Rocks, trees and lakes abound in the Canadian Shield area of Ontario. Electrical storms provide spectacular entertainment for summer evenings. Zigzag bolts of lightening flash across the sky the clap of thunder echoes across the water. Each storm provides a remarkable drama, one without parallel in nature When individuals encounter the impressive forces of nature we are reminded that we are indeed weak and insignificant! 12 The Duet Tape 管道胶带 Among the contents of the toolboxes of most people in the western world you would expect to find a hammer and nails, a drill, screwdrivers(螺丝起子) and some screws. But if you were to ask people from North America what the most useful item in their toolboxes was, the majority of people would undoubtedly tell you that it was duct tape. Indeed, it has become an indispensable addition to every person’s perception of what constitutes necessity. Maybe you have never heard of duct tape. It is the brand name of a tape. Not only is it a tape, but also it is a special kind of tape. The name of the tape comes from the fact that it was designed as an insulating tape that can be used in duct work (channels or conduits that are used for heat to travel through to get to different areas of a building). Incredible though it seems, someone actually put a picture of a duck on the packaging of the tape from one manufacturer perhaps just as a joke or maybe because the design artist did not understand the origin of the name. Neither the word duck nor duct was on the label. Presumably, it was assumed that everyone could identify the product. You can recognize the genuine tape because of its silver grey color. The color was likely chosen because it closely resembles the color of the pipes the color of the pipes it would be used on. That was the primary intended use of the tape. It was unlikely that the inventor realized how many other uses could be found for this product. Ingenious(善于创造发明的) people have found many alternative uses for this tape. The binder(粘合剂) on the tape is of good quality and it will stick to most surfaces. The tape is of great strength. It is impossible to tear the tape. It must be cut. The durable nature of the tape is one of its main assets(益处,优点). It comes in a variety of widths and the length of the tape on the roll will vary as well.
The number of centimeters wide and the number of meters long will determine the price of the roll. The duct tape is acquiring fame as the number of its uses for it exceeds the thoughts possible. The number of uses for this tape will amaze you. One internet Website(环球网的 站点) started out trying to identify 101 uses for the duct tape and the list has well over 200 uses on it now. Maybe there are an infinite number of uses. Some of the items it lists involve an imagination but others are quite genuine. Not even a kindergarten student requires instruction on how to use it. One idea seems to generate another, inspired by the unique way someone else has decided to make use of the tape. However, some of the uses are not feasible to execute. For instance, the use of the tape as a bandage is not recommended. It could cause injury when it is removed. You must evaluate the list with a sense of humor as some of the uses could embarrass a person. The commercial value of the tape is undoubtedly tremendous with huge profits resulting from the sales. The product practically promotes itself without much need for publicity. Sometimes you see people, usually male rather than female, wearing shirts that have a slogan written on them that says, “I can fix anything”——and then there is a picture of a duct tape below the saying. The implication presumably is that the duct tape replaces skill. Another good marketing strategy that people enjoy is the use of a calendar. There is one page on the calendar for every day of the year and each page shows and describes a new use of the duct tape. One of the typical uses of the duct tape is to repair a leak in a faucet or water tap. If the hose of a vacuum cleaner has a hole in it, the duct tape will come to rescue. Almost every household in North America has at least one roll of duct tape. People keep it handy and use it to repair almost everything. No one would think it necessary to justify the purchase of extra rolls of tape, so the sales continue to increase. Many people like to boast about how often they use the tape. They say that the usage of duct tape has allowed them to simplify their life and to decrease the cost of repairs. It can be used indoors in the interior of a house but there are abundant uses outside the house as well. If there is a chip out of a glass object, the duct tape can be used to protect the user from being injured. Repairing or reinforcing a joint on an aluminum ladder that a person is using would be a valuable use of the tape. The tape has proved to be bargain. Even if the manufacturers charged twice as much for the tape, it would still be a best seller in the western world. The retail price is very reasonable. In addition it is convenient to store, and despite the number of apparent uses, people are always finding more ways to utilize it. It has become a vital item for every
household. The glue on the tape is a wonderful adhesive agent and will bond well to anything from a piece of crystal to the handle of a broom. There have been reports of people using the tape to trap insects. Crickets, for example, were found stuck to the tape by one person. Maybe the glue was able to attract them or maybe they just were in the wrong place. Criminals have been known to use the tape on their victims. During a robbery, a robber used the duct tape on the witnesses to keep them from reporting the crime until he had escaped. It was apparent that the robber came armed with the duct tape, anticipating the need for its use. One evening a sea breeze was causing a window on a campus dormitory to crash repeatedly as the clasp on it had been broken. The Duct tape put a swift end to the nuisance of the constant banging. Although it was obvious it was not a permanent solution of the problem, nevertheless, the temporary use of the duct tape was appreciated until the window could be replaced or someone could install a better latch. You can even accomplish repairs on vehicles, which sometimes means the difference between being stopped in traffic or being able to continue your journey. Many motorists have had to resort to the use of the duct tape in an emergency situation. Drivers often keep a roll of duct tape in the trunk of their car for that reason. It is a tremendous relief when you are able to wrap a piece of duct tape around a leaking hose that you discover at a time when it is not convenient to replace it. Thanks to the duct tape, the driver can become mobile again. The fear of being stranded on a lonely stretch of highway is lessened when you carry a duct tape. Other forms of transportation make good use of the tape as well. Usage for it can be found on boats, and also on airplanes. For instance, a sky driver once reported that jumping out of a small airplane did not scare her as much as riding in a small plane that appeared to have lots of duct tape. Sports and recreational activities make good use of this tape as well. If you’re audio cassette player will not stay closed, use a piece of duct tape to position the tape holder. It might look odd but it will serve the purpose. If a hockey stick needs to be taped, use duct tape! It can be used to compress a package, making more cargo fit in a carrier. You can use it repair a leaky toilet, or to fix a crack on a toilet seat. If you wrap duct tape around a newspaper, it can be used to make a dog’s chew toy. If you get an opportunity to use this product, you will also discover many uses for it and you will agree that it is one of the world’s best inventions. 13 Norman Bethune: a Canadian Hero in China 诺尔曼 白求恩：一个在中国的加拿大英 诺尔曼·白求恩 白求恩： 雄
Norman Bethune was born in Graven Hurst, Ontario, Canada in 1890. His family had a long history of human service, a fact that undoubtedly shaped his life in later years. From the outset, as a young university student, he developed a mission, or goal in life, of compassion and commitment to helping the less fortunate to find freedom from the chains of poverty. In earnest, he developed a selflessness that dominated his whole life, but not without personal sacrifice. He was in a troubled marriage that consequently ended in divorce. Progressive medicine and humanitarian deeds became the sole purposes of his life. Understandably, his much younger wife, Frances, could not tolerate this situation. From 1911to 1912, Bethune worked as a lumberjack and teacher in a remote area of Ontario. He taught at “Frontier College”, a unique school that provided basic education to adult workers at the lumber camps. During the First World War, he became a stretcher -bearer (helping to carry the wounded from the battlefields). He, himself, was wounded by shrapnel (fragments of exploding shells). He was confined, as a patient, to hospitals for months, receiving therapy and recuperating from his injuries. After the war, he completed his internship at the hospital for sick children in London, England, leading to a certificate as “A Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons”. Later, in the United States, Bethune came in contact with poverty and deprivation, but his skills as a doctor also attracted wealthy patients who were willing to pay for services usually denied to the poor. He began to appreciate how money was corrupting the medical system. He developed an acute concern for the unattended(未被注意的) medical needs and suffering among the poor. His mission was to relieve, as much as he could, the plight of the less fortunate. He was appalled at the indifference shown by governments to these conditions. It was at his time that his own health suffered a setback. He had developed tuberculosis of the left lung and had to undergo a successful but dangerous operation. This episode with his health had a tremendous impact on his life. It stimulated an interest in thoracic medicine, especially the surgical aspects in this field and for a couple of years he worked at a tuberculosis hospital in the United States. Following this interval in the United States, in 1929, he began to specialize in thoracic medicine at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal. He also began to write in medical journals, outlining new surgical techniques. Later, he invented developed and refined surgical instruments. In 1935, he journeyed to the Soviet Union to attend the International Physiological Congress. The Communist Parties of Canada and the United States had made arrangements for him to go. By this time, Bethune had become a member of the Communist Party of Canada. Returning to Canada, he was convinced, more than ever, that democratic societies needed to develop publicly financed health care for all of their citizens. Bethune had earlier set up a free medical clinic in Montreal. His conscience
dictated that he should work for this goal. The Struggle of the Spanish Republic against Fascist(法西斯主义着) aggression took him to Spain for a medical adventure and challenge. In Madrid, he pioneered a mobile blood transfusion unit in the field. He collected blood, which was then transported to where it was needed for the wounded along the 600-mile battlefront. These efforts were reported to have reduced deaths from war by up to 75%. Thousands of people owed their lives to Dr. Bethune. His bedside manner became legendary, and it was another measure of this man. He returned to Canada to go on a speaking tour to raise money for humanitarian efforts among the Spanish people. During this circuit of speaking engagements, Bethune elaborated eloquently on the desperate needs of these people. His ability to communicate effectively made this tour a success. His undisputed talents were attracting widespread attention. Dr. Bethune became the ultimate international volunteer to help less fortunate people whatever he could. In the meantime, Japan was resuming its aggression against China. The decade of the 1930’s was the era of Fascist aggression throughout the world. Bethune’s knowledge of the long history of western aggression and exploitation in China made him conclude that his services were needed there. In January 1938, he sailed to Mainland China. He stated that he refused to condone (or support) wars which greedy men make against others. He went on to say that Spain and China respectively were parts of the same battle (against Fascism). The Japanese had chased the Chinese into the northwest part of the latter’s country. Mao Tsedung met Bethune only once, but they remained acquaintances by correspondence. Bethune almost immediately set out for the hazardous surroundings of the mountain ranges of Yen an. In the company of the Eighth Route Army, Bethune practiced his profession as best as he could. There were no mobile units and there was a desperate need to recruit medical trainees and convey his knowledge and skills to meet the needs of the soldiers. Consequently, there was an urgent requirement for illustrated medical manuals. Both soldiers and peasants required a good deal of medical attention. Again, under very trying conditions, and with a lot of nerve, determination and courage, Bethune and his crew of Chinese assistants were eventually able to establish and coordinate over twenty medical and nursing teaching hospitals. Because of shortages of personnel and other difficulties, Bethune himself routinely operated for days without reasonable breaks. In one period, he worked continually for sixty-nine hours on a total of one hundred and fifteen patients. His ability to endure such hard conditions and retain his sanity was little short of a miracle It was under these conditions that his life became abruptly doomed. In October of 1939, possible suffering from extreme fatigue, he accidentally cut his left hand
with the blade of his scalpel. Without proper medical supplies and with germs everywhere, his hand became infected and blood poisoning (a disease called septicemia) spread. He died on November 12, 1939. Dr. Norman Bethune’s stature became even greater in death. The affection of the Chinese people for him swelled Emotions ran high upon the news of his death. His capacity to move people, and his insight into humanity was never so evident as during this period. The Chinese people were extremely grateful that such a man had crossed their paths. During this solemn time, tributes to Bethune came from many parts of the world. He was described as an activist, a writer, a teacher, an administrator, and above all, a great doctor. Mao said of him, “… We must all learn the spirit of absolute selflessness from him.” After a very simple funeral, as he, had requested, Dr. Norman Bethune was buried in the Mausoleum of the Martyrs in Shih Chia Chuang, southeast of Beijing. The Chinese named a medical school and a hospital in his memory. Many other memorials have been erected in his memory over the years. One ironic tragedy of all of this was that, up until 1973, Dr. Bethune had never received much recognition from his native country of Canada. Furthermore, he was not even acknowledged for his accomplishments, presumably because of his communist connection. In 1973, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, another Canadian who had spent a good deal of time in China in his earlier years, convinced his Government to purchase the Bethune house in Graven Hurst, Ontario, and dedicated it as “Bethune Memorial House”. Dr. Bethune’s impact on medicine was not singular. His career was very comprehensive, as noted above, as he attained an extraordinary list of accomplishments of highest merit. Among his many goals, was one goal that was not fulfilled until after his death? In 1938, while in china, he recommended a universal health system for Canada. Ironically, Donald Sutherland, the Canadian actor who played Bethune in the movie about the latter’s life, called “Bethune: the Making of a Hero”, had been married to the daughter of Douglas. Douglas, when he was the Socialist Premier of Saskatchewan, a western province in Canada, set up a social medicine scheme in his province. Later, in the 1960’s, as a Member of Parliament in the national government, Douglas Played a significant role in establishing a national health system. He later became known as the father of Canada’s Medicare system, as it was eventually called. Bethune is probably best known for his introduction of the mobile blood bank to the battlefield, and giving blood transfusions in the midst of heavy fighting. China worships him almost as a saint. Upon his death, the Chinese gave him a fond farewell. The charity of his soul still lives on among many Chinese. As Canadian teachers in China, we are often greeted by Chinese people, who make references of praise to this Great Canadian Doctor and humanitarian. Unfortunately, many Canadians know little about the incredible
work for humanity undertaken by this remarkable man. This decent, in many ways, simple man was, indeed, one of the great world ambassadors who fought for the poor and less fortunate. 14 Future or Fantasy? 远景还是幻想？ 远景还是幻想？
What will our world be like in the future? Can we look ahead twenty five years and dream about the transformations that will take place? The scholars who make it their business to try to predict the future are not all in agreement about what the future holds. If you visit displays at places like Disneyworld, you can get a glimpse of what some of the predictions are for our lives. As we fantasize about what our life might be like a few decades from now, we can speculate about different aspects of our lives. Personal Clothing styles change from year to year and also from culture to culture. Do you think that we will have sleeves in our shirts and blouses? Will we wear socks to protect our feet? Will plastic gloves be used routinely as part of everyday life to avoid transmission of germs? Will we still use buttons to fasten our clothing? Will we all wear the same kind of jeans or pants (like a uniform) or will each culture be different? What textiles will be used in manufacturing our clothing? Will a type of nylon fabric be used in an effort to make our clothing more durable? Synthetic fibers which will not fade can be produced in bright colors such as pink and purple in addition to all the other colors of the rainbow. When it comes to matters of personal cleanliness, will we soak in a bath? Will we spray ourselves with water or some other substance in a shower? Will we have a choice of which to use? Will we go to visit a barber for a haircut or will we be able to control the growth of our hair? If growth of a beard could be slowed, the daily ritual of shaving would be unnecessary for men. Health In the western world the number of people who smoke cigars or cigarettes has diminished substantially in the last several years. Maybe the use of tobacco will be eliminated completely.Will we be able to heal illnesses and diseases as soon as the symptoms are identified?A cure for cancer would be considered a miracle. Could the disease be conquered with adequate commitment of federal funds to furnish financial resources? Accomplishment of this project would be a triumph of enormous proportions. It would be equivalent to sending several rockets to Mars simultaneously. It would improve the welfare of all humanity. Instead of using a thermometer to take our temperature, maybe we will have sensors implanted in our bodies that will be read by a personal health care monitor. The machine could tell us if we are in need of more oxygen in our blood or if the food we just ate in difficult to digest because of too much acid in our stomachs. Will an appointment with a
doctor be automatic if we are in need of treatment or will that profession become obsolete? The monitor might also have the ability to prescribe a lifestyle program for us. A woman might be able to determine if she is pregnant from the use of this machine. A remedy for a sore limb might be verified if the person is uncertain how to treat it. A sore throat, a cough or a stiff neck might also be diagnosed and treatment prescribed. Tension in parts of our body can be caused by stress and precautions and preventative steps could be recommended. A machine might be used for the administration of medicine as well. Could you adjust to the idea of having an injection given to you by a robot using a needle? In fact, the precise dosage might be easier to attain using this method. It seems logical to make use of equipment that evaluate symptoms and interpret data if the performance proves reliable. Critical illnesses could be diagnosed earlier and we could be confident that even the diagnosis of a complex disease could be clarified and the disease could be treated before it becomes fatal. Supposing a life-threatening virus could be controlled, by inference viruses would no longer constitute a threat to our well-being. The concept or idea of people living to an extremely old age has been suggested. Will the consequence of that possibility be that people could also maintain their intellect as they age? Will people be able to make arrangements to have their body or its parts used after they die? The donation would help others to have some of their body parts replaced. Will people still have funerals and be buried in a grave as is the current custom or will cremation be the common practice? If we wear corrective lenses now, perhaps our vision could be improved or restored through laser surgery. We would no longer need to wear glasses. The tragedy of a stroke and the resulting mental disability could be prevented if a monitor could analyze the person’s condition and recommend changes in lifestyle or treatment that could avert a stroke or a heart attack. An ambulance equipped with sophisticated portable medical diagnostic equipment could have the ability to assess multiple injuries of the victim of an accident. Recovery would be assisted by the provision of prompt treatment. The prospect of a joint that swells, being treated by a restraint that causes lack of motion, is not a new idea, but will a synthetic joint be used to replace the joint instead of being treated in the current familiar way? Will replacement of a hip joint become more commonplace? Could a doctor operate on one of our organs without having to invade our bodies? Could surgery be performed with the aid of a small that it would be measured in
millimeters? The opening required to insert the camera into our body would be tiny. Could a microscope be used in the study of biology to watch the development of a specimen of synthetic bacteria and then the specimen is used to create a treatment for the disease being studied? Food Our diet might contain come of the same foods that we eat now. Will we still use flour to make a loaf of bread? Maybe there will be ways to preserve our food so that bread never goes stale. Will we still eat common food combinations such as liver and onions? Will our favorite meal be roast beef or sausage and be cooked with cabbage? Will a typical breakfast menu include toast and jam? Maybe we will have a substitute for butter which tastes good. Food might not be purchased from a grocer or from a supermarket. Instead, as customers, we might order our food, using the internet and have it delivered to our residences. Maybe an automatic recorder would be placed when food is removed from a refrigerator. Preparation of food might be eliminated but because people enjoy eating, maybe there will be the option of nourishing our bodies through food or using some other means. Perhaps a series of pills will provide adequate nourishment. Fruits such as grapes, peaches or pears might still be available in several forms such as frozen or dried for our consumption. Candy would be difficult to give up for anyone who enjoys eating sweets. Pie for dessert is a favorite with some people and maybe a way will be found to produce a pie that tastes good and yet will be a healthy food for us to eat. A hot bowl of soup not only nourishes but also comforts people and we would not want to relinquish(放弃) that. Protein sources that have not been used before will become evident. Provision of a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch might be available through a special appliance that takes our food order and prepares the food and delivers it to us. Ice-cream could be made, with the option of using either artificial sweetener or sugar. Will we fry foods like bacon and steak or will we be able to cook them by other means? We could combine foods such as peas and carrots with garlic to gain an abundant supply of vitamins from one dish. Household What kind of accommodations will we enjoy? We are used to having more than adequate housing so we would not enjoy having to convert to a smaller residence. The access to our homes might be controlled for security reasons. Our entry might be gained by having a computer read our fingerprint to see if it will correspond to detect if the right person is trying to enter the residence. Some suggestions are that it would be better to use the print of a thumb so the thumbprint would be used instead of a fingerprint. Both are a possibility. Our garbage will be put in a garbage disposal unit that will eliminate the need for
trash collection. Light bulbs will seldom need to be replaced, as they will be made to last a minimum of five and a maximum of ten years. To decorate our homes, we might just give a description of what we want and have it completed by an interior decorator with little interaction required from us. We could have our choice of background music played throughout the house, or varied from room to room. We might hear a symphony orchestra in one room and jazz in another. Will we have the luxury of having a maid do our cleaning or will that be unnecessary, as our home will become self-cleaning? Will we use soap and water to do our laundry or will another method that is friendly to the environment be developed? Will we use a furnace to heat our home or will we control the micro climate indoors by the use of solar power? For people who live in a home in the suburbs will the tedious chore of mowing the lawn be accomplished in an efficient way by a robotic mower? Will weeds in our grass merely vanish as the mower emits a time release chemical to destroy them? Transportation Will we float over highways or drive on the road surface as we do now? Will the cost of a gallon of fuel still be our concern? What will our vehicles look like? Will the profile of our automobiles look like the shape of space age aircraft? Will the notion of using paint to protect the car’s exterior be obsolete? Perhaps the coating on the car will give a durable shine and we will never to wax or polish it. What kind of battery will we use to power our car? Will we still have a mechanic repair our car at a service garage or will robots that are computerized do it? Will the motor be powered by a new kind of petroleum product or by hydrogen? Will the cars still be equipped with horns as a warning signal or will a new device be available? Will there be a gauge to warn us if our speed is too fast or will radar be used to guide the car so that driver error is no longer a concern? Electronics Will we be able to play any musical instrument such as a guitar easily with a process the machine teaches us? Will other media, such as movies, be interactive? Will we have access to optical discs that can be played by laser? Digital images will more closely imitate reality. They will be so realistic that it will be virtually impossible to tell them from the real thing. Our enjoyment of watching a video will be enhanced by the quality of the images. Will we have equipment capable of manipulating ideas, eliminating the need for journalists to write and edit the news? Will computer software be available to modify what we type so that our errors are corrected automatically? Will computer hardware include massive amounts of memory that will allow us to file an enormous amount of material? Will we be in the habit of carrying a small device with us that can be used as a cell phone, a fax, a microphone and an internet connection? Summary Look at the world around you and consider some of the concepts discussed in this
document. Careful observation will lead you to the conclusion that many of these things have already happened. I urge you to reread each paragraph of this article to see if perhaps they are all things that are available somewhere in the world currently. If that is the case, then you will agree that the future is now!