Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Pre-1: Before you read, think about what you already know about this topic. Write a summary of what you already know in English!
During and after reading, answer these questions:
1. What are the symptoms of an EHEC infection?
2. What is special about the current strain of EHEC?
3. How is this bacteria spread?
4. What can you do to avoid an infection with this bacteria?
Read the article here: http://blogs.nature.com/news/2011/05/critical_hours_for_e_coli_outb.html
Sunday, May 1, 2011
1. To which two stories does the author compare the royal wedding?
2. How is the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton similar to these stories?
3. What are some things about the royal wedding that served as reminders of Prince William's mother, Princess Diana?
Send your answers to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Some reading tips: This article is a very high level of English, if you have trouble with it, read it and just try to understand the main points. Some words and phrases may be new or difficult for you, but try not to get stuck on them. First, pull out the main ideas, then you can read it again for detail, and when you read a third time you can look up individual words or phrases in the dictionary.
By MAUREEN DOWD
In the ’70s, feminists found her insipid, waiting in the ashes for her prince. But they didn’t give her enough credit.
Teaming with the spirit of her dead mother, Cinderella cleverly rescues herself from servitude, conjures up her own glittery makeover and then saves the prince from the same torment she endured living with her hideous stepsisters.
The Grimms’ version doesn’t end with any Disneyesque pablum about Happily Ever After. It finishes with a gory Hitchcockian wedding scene featuring two vengeful birds from the grave of Cinderella’s mother: as the bridal party leaves church, the white doves fly from Cinderella’s shoulders to pluck out the eyes of the wicked stepsisters.
Those unsisterly sisters messed with the wrong girl.
In real life, however, many of our Cinderella brides have taken tragic turns — from Jackie Kennedy to Grace Kelly to Carolyn Bessette to the doe-eyed Diana Spencer.
Yet the power of the fairy tale was vividly illustrated once more with the luminous wedding of comely commoner Kate Middleton to a charming Prince William, and a hypnotic new film adaptation of “Jane Eyre,” Charlotte Brontë’s gothic take on the Cinderella story.
The enduring fable is a female version of “The Odyssey.” Our heroine, starting with a family disadvantage, faces hypocrisies, cruelties and obstacles on a perilous journey to a thrilling new world, and uses her wits and integrity to triumph.
The newly christened Duchess of Cambridge only had to rise above a middle-class background, the hydra-headed press beast and Will’s understandable hesitation about marriage.
But her task is herculean: to help save a stiff-necked monarchy sent into a shame spiral by Diana’s humiliation and confessions.
A central element of the stories of Cinderella, Jane Eyre and Charlotte Brontë herself was a mystical connection to a mother who died too young. And that was certainly present at Westminster Abbey, but this time the bride lamented the mother-in-law she would never know.
Diana complained that Camilla Parker-Bowles crowded her out of her marriage to Charles. And Camilla (not a wicked stepmother) was in the congregation for William’s wedding as she had been for Diana’s 30 years ago.
But for the throng who turned out to see the Dress and the Kiss, Diana was the more palpable presence, hovering over her sons and Kate.
Prince William chose to have his wedding in the same cathedral where Diana’s funeral was held. He and Harry walked down the same long aisle where as heartbroken boys they followed behind their mother’s coffin.
The first hymn sung at William’s wedding was the last one sung at Diana’s funeral. Kate wore Diana’s sapphire engagement ring and Diana’s older sister Sarah wore the diamond earrings Diana wore at her wedding. Diana’s brother Earl Spencer, remembered by all for his rant against the royal family at her funeral, was seated not with the Windsors but, like the rest of her family, with the Middletons.
You could sense a collective prayer among the spectators that Kate, with her Cinderella coach, Cartier tiara and satin slippers, was not a lamb being led to slaughter. Many assured the invading celebrity journalists that Kate was older and more grounded than the virginal and high-strung 20-year-old who married an older man who loved another woman.
Jane Eyre is not as lovely as Kate Middleton. Charlotte Brontë, who never felt attractive herself, wanted to show her sisters that a plain heroine could be just as compelling as a beautiful one.
Poor little Jane also has a wedding, wearing a beautiful white dress and veil, to the wealthy man of her dreams. When the wedding is shattered by the news that there’s already a Mrs. Rochester, Jane listens to her former master’s anguished explanation about his mad, vampirish wife in the attic.
He begs her to stay and be “my comforter, my rescuer.” When a dazed Jane goes to bed, she looks out the window and sees the moon start to blaze as if “a white human form shone in the azure, inclining a glorious brow earthward. It gazed and gazed on me ... it whispered in my heart, ‘My daughter, flee temptation.’ ”
Jane answers, “Mother, I will,” picks up her slippers and flees Thornfield Hall.
In the end, after Rochester has been widowed and mutilated for his sins, Jane returns. She rescues her dark prince even as he rescues her.
When Rochester first meets Jane, he calls her a “curious” sort of caged bird, “a vivid, restless, resolute” one.
When she returns and sees him blind, with one hand gone, she describes him as a “caged eagle, whose gold-ringed eyes cruelty has extinguished.”
Now on a footing of equality, because she has inherited money and is less dependent on him, and he has lost his mansion and sight and is more dependent on her, they release each other from their cages.
Reader, she marries him. It’s a bare-bones ceremony with only a parson and a clerk present. There’s no coach or tiara. But it’s very much a Cinderella ending.