Practical English, Book II. Unit 5 Part A. My Advice to Students: Get a Sound, Broad Education. Unit 5: Part A. Text A Practice. Unit 5: Text A. Text-related Information Intensive Study. Text-related Information. Bill Gates and Microsoft.
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Practical English, Book II Unit 5 Part A My Advice to Students: Get a Sound, Broad Education
Unit 5: Part A • Text A • Practice
Unit 5: Text A • Text-related Information • Intensive Study
Text-related Information • Bill Gates and Microsoft William (Bill) H. Gates is chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft Corporation, the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. Microsoft had revenues of US$32.19 billion for the fiscal year ending June 2003, and employs more than 55 000 people in 85 countries and regions.
Text-related Information Born on Oct. 28, 1955, Gates grew up in Seattle with his two sisters. Their father, William H. Gates II, is a Seattle attorney. Their late mother, Mary Gates, was a schoolteacher, University of Washington regent, and chairwoman of United Way International. Gates attended public elementary school and the private Lakeside School. There, he discovered his interest in software and began programming computers at age 13.
Text-related Information In 1973, Gates entered Harvard University as a freshman, where he lived down the hall from Steve Ballmer, now Microsoft's chief executive officer. While at Harvard, Gates developed a version of the programming language BASIC for the first microcomputer - the MITS Altair. In his junior year, Gates left Harvard to devote his energies to Microsoft, a company he had begun in 1975 with his childhood friend Paul Allen. Guided by a belief that the computer would be a valuable tool on every office desktop and in every home, they began developing software for personal computers. Gates' foresight and his vision for personal computing have been central to the success of Microsoft and the software industry.
Text-related Information Under Gates' leadership, Microsoft's mission has been to continually advance and improve software technology, and to make it easier, more cost-effective and more enjoyable for people to use computers. The company is committed to a long-term view, reflected in its investment of more than $6.8 billion on research and development in the current fiscal year.
Text-related Information In 1999, Gates wrote Business @ the Speed of Thought, a book that shows how computer technology can solve business problems in fundamentally new ways. The book was published in 25 languages and is available in more than 60 countries. Business @ the Speed of Thought has received wide critical acclaim, and was listed on the best-seller lists of the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and Amazon.com. Gates' previous book, The Road Ahead, published in 1995, held the No. 1 spot on the New York Times' bestseller list for seven weeks.
Text-related Information Gates has donated the proceeds of both books to non-profit organizations that support the use of technology in education and skills development. In addition to his love of computers and software, Gates is interested in biotechnology. He sits on the board of ICOS, a company that specializes in protein-based and small-molecule therapeutics, and he is an investor in a number of other biotechnology companies. Gates also founded Corbis, which is developing one of the world's largest resources of visual information - a comprehensive digital archive of art and photography from public and private collections around the globe.
Text-related Information Philanthropy is also important to Gates. He and his wife, Melinda, have endowed a foundation with more than $24 billion to support philanthropic initiatives in the areas of global health and learning, with the hope that as we move into the 21st century, advances in these critical areas will be available for all people. To date, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed more than $3.2 billion to organizations working in global health; more than $2 billion to improve learning opportunities, including the Gates Library Initiative to bring computers, Internet
Text-related Information Access and training to public libraries in low-income communities in the United States and Canada; more than $477 million to community projects in the Pacific Northwest; and more than $488 million to special projects and annual giving campaigns. Gates was married on Jan. 1, 1994, to Melinda French Gates. They have three children. Gates is an avid reader, and enjoys playing golf and bridge.
Intensive Study • Introduction • Outline of the Text • Language Points • Summary of the Text
Introduction to Text A Bill Gate, one of the founders of the world-famous Microsoft Company, was once a drop-out of Harvard University. His success gives rise to a series of interesting questions among students and their parents such as whether it is OK for students to drop out of high school or college, what education will lead children to success, and how to strike a balance between deep interests in a subject and wide academic interests. In this passage, Bill Gates gives us advice about education and answers to the above-mentioned questions.
Paras. 1-3 Paras. 4-9 Paras. 10-18 Paras. 19 Paras. 20-21 Outline of the Text I. General advice about education. II. Advice about whether it is OK to drop out of high school or college. III. Advice about receiving broad education in high school and college IV. Advice about when to choose a specialty. V. Advice about what high school students should learn .
Para. 10 Paras. 11-12 Para. 13-14 Para.15-18 Outline of the Text III. Advice about receiving broad education in high school and college . Transitional paragraph. The writer's personal experience to show the importance of having wide academic interests in high school and college . The mistake of the 15-year-old high school student who failed to learn broadly . The wrong idea of some children who limit the scope of their interests .
Intensive Study My Advice to Students: Get a Sound, Broad Education 1Hundreds of students send me e-mail each year asking for advice about education. They want to know what to study, or whether it's OK to drop out of college since that's what I did. 2 A smaller number of parents send messages, often poignant, seeking guidance for their son or daughter. "How can we steer our child toward success?" they ask. 3 My basic advice is simple and heartfelt: Get the best education you can. Take advantage of high school and college. Learn how to learn.
Intensive Study 4 It's true that I dropped out of college to start Microsoft, but I was at Harvard for three years before dropping out -- and I'd love to have the time to go back. As I've said before, nobody should drop out college unless they believe they face the opportunity of a lifetime. And even then they should reconsider. 5 Kathy Cridland, a six-grade teacher in Ohio, wrote to say, "Several of my students claim that you never finished high school. Since you are a success, my students perceive that as a reason not to care much about getting a good education."
Intensive Study 6 I finished high school! 7 The computer industry has lots of people who didn't finish college, but I'm not aware of any success stories that began with somebody dropping out of high school. 8In my company's early years we had a bright part-time programmer who threatened to drop out of high school to work full-time. We told him no. 9 Quite a few of our people didn't finish college, but we discourage dropping out. Having a diploma certainly helps somebody who is looking to us for a job.
Intensive Study 10 College isn't the only place where information exists. You can learn in a library. But somebody handing you a book doesn't automatically foster learning. You want to learn with other people, ask questions, try out ideas and test your ability. It usually takes more than just a book. Education should be broad, although it's fine to have deep interests, too. 11 In high school there were periods when I was highly focused on writing software, but for most of my high-school years I had wide-ranging academic interests. My parents encouraged this, and I'm grateful that they did.
Intensive Study 12 Although I attended a lot of different kinds of classes in college, I signed up for only one computer class the whole time. I read about all kinds of things. 13 One parent wrote to me that her 15-year-old son "lost himself in the hole of the computer." He got an A in Website design, but his other grades were sinking, she said.
Intensive Study 14 This boy is making a mistake. High school and college offer you the best chance to learn broadly -- math, history, various sciences -- and to do projects with other kids that teach you first-hand about group dynamics. It's fine to take a deep interest in computers, dance, language or any other discipline, but not if it jeopardizes breadth. 15 I think kids sometimes trap themselves into a narrow identity. I wonder if they've just decided, "OK, I'm the person who's good at accounting." 16 A friend asks, "Hey, what have you been reading?"
Intensive Study 17 "Well, I'm reading about accounting. " 18 It's just their sort of self-definition, and it's probably comfortable for them. But it's unfortunate if it comes at the sacrifice of learning about the broader world, or learning to work cooperatively. I'm as impressed as the next person is when an 11-year-old can do calculus and is learning to think logically. But a kid who is reading about Robison Crusoe is thinking logically, too. It's not completely different.
Intensive Study 19 In college, it's appropriate to think about specialization. Getting real expertise in an area of interest can lead to success -- unless the specialty ends up being a dead end or you're not good at it. Graduate school is one way to get specialized knowledge, although extended college education isn't always a good investment from a purely economic standpoint.
Intensive Study 20 Choosing a specialty isn't something high-school students should worry about. They should worry about getting a strong academic start. There's not a perfect correlation between attitudes in high school and success in later life, of course. 21 But it's a real mistake not to take the opportunity to learn a huge range of subjects, to learn to work with people in high school, and to get the grades that will help you get into a good college.
drop out: 1) (of) to stop going to school before you have finished it e.g. • Kelly dropped out of high school after one semester. • Too many students dropped out of college after only one year.
drop out : • to leave an activity or competition before you have finished it • e.g. • She was injured in the first round and had to drop out. • 3) to decide not to have an ordinary job or life because you do not want to be part of society • e.g. • He decided to drop out and spend his life traveling.
seek: to ask for something or try to get something e.g. • Seek medical advice if your symptoms last more than a week. • She was encouraged to seek counseling for her marriage problem. • I think it's time we sought legal advice. • She managed to calm him down and seek help from a neighbour.
steer (towards / away from something): to influence the way something happens or the way people behave e.g. • I try to steer my children towards healthier foods. • The main task of the new government will be to steer the country towards democracy. • The police are constantly searching for new ways of steering young people away from a life of crime.
heartfelt: strongly felt and sincere ... e.g. • Please accept my heartfelt apologies. • heartfelt sympathy / thanks
take advantage of: to make use of something well, properly, etc.; make use of an opportunity e.g. • Students should take advantage of computer labs on campus. • We take advantage of the Internet to get authentic English materials. • She took advantage of the children's absence to tidy their rooms. cf. • He took advantage of my generosity.
the chance, opportunity, etc. of a lifetime: a wonderful opportunity, etc. that you are not likely to get again e.g. • Winners of the competition will receive the holiday of a lifetime. (= Winners of the competition will receive the best holiday they will ever have). • the experience / holiday / vacation / trip of a lifetime • When she was offered the job she knew it was the chance of a lifetime.
e.g. claim: to say that something is true or is a fact although you cannot prove it and other people might not believe it • He claims to have met the President, but I don't believe him. • All parties have claimed success in yesterday's elections.
perceive: to understand or think of something in a particular way e.g. • This discovery was perceived as a major breakthrough. • A science degree and artistic interests are often perceived as incompatible.
(be) aware of: knowing about a situation or a fact e.g. • They're aware of the dangers of smoking. • Doctors want to make people aware of the risks.
begin with: to be the first thing that happens in an activity or process e.g. • All meals begin with a short prayer. • Each chapter begins with a quotation. • The competition began with one of the teams being disqualified.
discourage: to try to prevent something from happening, especially because you do not approve of it or think it is harmful e.g. • Some parents discourage their children from getting involved in extracurricular activities. • Measures have been taken to discourage the use of cars in downtown areas.
diploma degree certificate diploma: a document showing that you have completed a course of study or part of your education A degree is usually the qualification that you get by completing a course of study at a college or university: a bachelor's degree I got my degree in 1987. In British English, it can also mean the course itself: She's doing a physics degree.
diploma degree certificate Diploma and certificate are both words for official documents that show you have done or achieved something. Diploma is used for degrees and other courses of study but certificate can be more general: a High School diploma a degree certificate a certificate of attendance a swimming certificate. In British English, the qualification or course of study can also be called a diploma or a certificate: a two-year diploma course I'm studying for the First Certificate in English.
look to/toward someone for something: to hope or expect to get help, advice, etc. from someone e.g. • Cities are looking to state governments for aid. • As young children, we looked to our parents for guidance.
foster: to encourage the development or growth of (ideas or feelings) e.g. • This approach will foster an understanding of environmental issues. • The club's aim is to foster better relations within the community. • They were discussing the best way to foster democracy and prosperity in the countries.
try out: to test someone or something to see what they are like or whether they are suitable or effective e.g. • John hopes to try out his new running shoes this weekend. • I could hardly wait to try out my new bike. • They're trying out a new presenter for the show.
focus on: to give attention, effort, etc. to one particular subject, situation or person rather than another e.g. • Schools should not focus exclusively on exam results. • Each exercise focuses on a different grammatical point. • Attention has been focused on the dangers of nuclear reactors.
wide-ranging: including or dealing with a large number of different subjects or areas e.g. a wide-ranging interview / review / investigation / discussion / report
be grateful to sb. for sth. / that: to feel that you want to thank sb. because they have given you sth. or done sth. for you e.g. • I'm very grateful for all your help with my research. • You should be grateful that I didn't tell your wife your secret.
sign up for:to agree to do something or to join a course or organization e.g. • She decided to sign up for music school. • Over 30 people have signed up for the self-defense class.
lose oneself in sth.: to become so interested in something that it takes all your attention; become totally absorbed in something; be so interested in something that you do not notice what is happening around you e.g. • I soon lost myself in the excitement of the story. • Small children have the ability to lose themselves in imaginary worlds.
discipline: a branch of learning e.g. • If you are not good at history, you'd better choose another discipline. • This article covers the various disciplines of physical science
jeopardize:to risk losing or spoiling something important or valuable e.g. • Cuts in funding could jeopardize this vital research work. • Three women refused to testify, fearing it would jeopardize their careers.
trap: (usu. passive) to be unable to change a way of thinking or a bad situation e.g. • I feel trapped by my marriage. • They are trapped in a cycle of violence.
it is unfortunate that:used to say you do not approve of something or you wish it had not happened or had happened differently e.g. • It is unfortunate that so few people are willing to help. • It is unfortunate that some people have criticized the film without even seeing it.