Letter to a B Student Robert Oliphant. Teaching Points. Pre-reading Questions About the Author Structural Analysis Language Points Key Words and Phrases. Pre-reading Questions.
1. What grades do you mostly get for the English courses you have been taking? Are you happy or are you disappointed with the grades you get?
2. Imagine yourself to be a teacher and that you are to write a letter to a student who is disappointed with the grades he gets. What would you say to him in the letter?
Robert Oliphant is an English professor at California State University at Northridge. The text is an excerpt of a sensitive and thoughtful letter to a student on keeping a sense of perspective on grades. It appeared in Liberal Education in 1986.
The text is taken from a letter which is
from a teacher to a student. But it is
incomplete with only the first half of it.
It is composed of four parts and the main
idea of each part is as follows:
Introduction to the topic of the letter
Pert II (Paragraph 2-5):
Grades do not mean anything
Part III (Paragraph 6-8):
Getting a B in class does not mean one will always
be a B performer in life.
Part IV (Paragraph 9-10):
In a complex society like ours, labels are
necessary but they should be kept in perspective.
The visiting team turned out to be far superior to the host team in teamwork.
a superior officer / court
Mother superior( in charge of convent)
A gentleman is supposed to be a man of decency, i.e. decent in speech and behavior, so Gentleman’s C simply means a decent grade (尚可的、过得去的分数).
Reference books are not to be removed from the library.
The doctors decided to remove the tumor on his liver immediately.
Do you mind if I ask you to remove your hat so that I can have a better view of the screen.
eligible a.to be eligible to do something: to be able or allowed to do something
Citizens above the age of 18 are eligible to vote and to be voted
Only those who have worked in this company for at least three years are eligible for housing allowance.
merry-go-round: a machine that turns around and around, and has model animals or cars for children to sit on ( carousel )
a situation in which if one person gains an advantage from it, someone else involved in it must suffer an equivalent disadvantage.
a situation in which you receive as much money or advantages as you give away
The extra cost for traveling to work is offset by the lower rent here.
What the company donates to charity can be offset against tax.
This is a special type of negation. The author is not negating the importance of winning; rather, with the sentence that follows the negative one, the author gives the utmost emphasis to the importance of winning.
1.I have to admit that he is a smart guy.—He is not smart, he is very smart.
2.You’d better bring enough food because we will have to have a long journey.—It’s not a long journey, it is a very long journey.
3.To improve your oral English, practicing is not the most important thing—it’s the only thing.
4. I heard that Professor Li is a difficult teacher.—He is not difficult, he is very difficult
Think it over yourself.
The river is apt to over flow when there is a heavy rain.
He is apt to get excited when people start to talk about football.
This year we had quite a few apt students in our class.
He made an apt comment that nicely summed up what every one of us had in mind.
The American FBI corresponds to the British M15.
His story of what happened that night does not correspond with the witness’s version.
The date written on the letter does not correspond with that stamped on the envelope.
correspond with: to communicate with by writing letters
For many years they have never stopped corresponding with each other.
when I got out of the army…
Usually the plural form “services” is used to refer to the three armed forces, i.e. the army, the navy, and the air force.
Military services: the system in which every adult, or every male adult, in a country has to spend a period of time in the army, navy, or air force [↪ draft]
Cf: armed forces, the military, the services
He knows best how to handle a problem of
He found great fun in handling a yacht.
We have got to speak to the person who handles the company’s accounts.
to deal with a person or behave towards them in a particular way, especially in order to keep them happy
to take particular care to do something
He makes a point of jogging 6 miles every morning, rainy or shiny.
To prevent loss of data, I always make a point of making a copy on a floppy disk of what I have done during the day.
No matter what a long day he has, he makes a point of checking his E-mail box…
GI (pl. GIs or GI’s) is an American soldier, especially an enlisted one. GI-Bill or the GI-Bill of Rights is the popular name for the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, which provided US World War II veterans with special assistance.
Here “men who had…and identities” refers to former GIs, who, like the author himself, had taken off their army uniforms and changed their identities from servicemen to civilians. Many of these men had been officers of various ranks.
He resented having to get up early to catch the
I strongly resent his snobbish manner in dealing with different people.
She bitterly resented his mother's influence over him.
Paul resented the fact that Carol didn't trust him.
The word “gear” originally means a device in a vehicle which controls the rate at which the energy being used is converted into motion. While driving, a driver sometimes shifts or changes gear. In our sentence, the shifting or gear refers to the change in the instructor’s manner of dealing with his students. When drinking with the students in the pub, he was easy going and friendly; but in the classroom, he became stern and severe.
When wear clothing, you want to coordinate your pant and your shirt, so you don't look silly.
2) n. one of a pair of numbers or letters that show the exact position of a point on a map or graph座标
These coordinates should show you your position.这些座标将为你显示出你所在的位置。
Most societies make a distinction between the status of an unmarried woman and a married one.
In the government’s education proposals there is a clear distinction made between academic and practical training.
Search efforts were hampered by strong winds and fifteen-foot waves.
Staff problems are seriously hampering the work of the government central computers.
She tried to run, but was hampered by her heavy suitcase.
n. a large basket that you put dirty clothes in until they can be washed
a basket with a lid, which is used for carrying food or sending it to someone as a present: