Disturbance From Library Maintenance
Listen to a conversation between a student and the head of building maintenance.
Teacher: Can I help you?
Student: Yeah, I um……I’m taking summer classes right now and they put me in Robert’s Dormitory, offered by the library.
Student: And I guess they are painting the library or doing something to the outside of the building?
Teacher: Ah……yes, they are. They are replacing the bricks on the outside walls.
Student: Well, whatever it is, it’s like……really disturbing, for those of us with windows facing the library. They are working on the wall right opposite us. I mean, dust is everywhere coming in the windows, and, the noise, cos we are like…… what, ten feet away. And……well, it is just not a pretty picture.
Teacher: Right, well, that’s why we waited until now to start work on it. I mean, most students have already left campus for summer vacation.
Student: Yeah, but Robert’s Hall has been used by all the summer students.
Teacher: Really? The housing didn’t notify us of that.
Student: Yeah. It’s pretty full. I mean, I can’t sleep at night, because of the smell and the dust and……You know, I’d love to just like close the windows but you know (it’s) being summer now.
Teacher: Yes, I know. There is no air-conditioning in that building.
Student: Right! So I mean, we got five more weeks of classes left, and we were really wondering how much longer they are going to be working on that particular wall. Because maybe it’s going to be a while.Do you think they could maybe work on a different side of the building for now, one that's not facing people’s dorm rooms, and wait until the students are gone? To come back and finish this side? I mean, that way the dust and noise won’t be coming directly into our windows while we are here.
Teacher: You know, I wish it weren’t being done this way and it doesn’t make sense. But……this particular decision was made by a special committee and their plan was finalized several months ago. They just didn’t realize there would be students in Robert’s Hall now.
Teacher: Plus, well, the equipment is all set up, you know, the scaffolding is up on that side of the building and……oh it just won’t be practical to have the construction workers move everything to another side and leave a whole side of the library all torn out like that.
Student: I guess not. Isn’t there another dorm open anywhere?
Teacher: Not that I know. Oh, wait. I overheard someone saying today that Manchester Hall isn’t being used by the city’s summer camp after all. You know, most years they house their participants in that dorm all summer.
Student: Well, there is an idea.
Teacher: Now it’s a smaller dorm and it’s a little out of the way but……well, I bet……I bet they could move the affected student from Robert’s Hall.
Student: Wow, I think a lot of people would definitely appreciate that.
Teacher: Ok, well, let me call the housing people and I will get back to you. Leave your name and number, ok? And I will let you know what I find out.
Student: Great. Thanks.
Question 1 of 5
What problem is the student having?
A. His dormitory is in need of repairs..
B. He does not have summer housing..
C. He is bothered by construction on campus..
D. He is not able to use the university library..
Question 2 of 5
What does the student suggest that the construction workers do?
A. Stop their project until summer classes are over.
B. Start their work later in the day .
C. Work on a different building.
D. Work on a different part of the library.
Question 3 of 5
What does the woman imply about the construction plans? Click on 2 answers
A. They cannot be changed at this point..
B. It is unfortunate that they were approved..
C. They have been changed several times already..
D. They were not approved until very recently..
Question 4 of 5
What does the woman imply about moving students to another dormitory?
A. She does not think it is necessary..
B. She will need to get permission from the housing office..
C. Students will have to wait until the dormitory is available..
D. Students should contact the housing office for permission..
Question 5 of 5
What does the student imply when he says this:
A. The new library walls are not very attractive..
B. The view from the student's window is blocked by the construction..
C. The construction is causing damage to nearby buildings..
D. The construction is frustrating for many students..
Listen to part of a lecture in the United States’ Literature class. The professor is discussing Realism.
Professor: Ok, everyone. In our last class, we finished up Romanticism, right? So now let’s look at something completely different. Realism as a literary technic was most popular in U.S. literature from around 1860 till 1890. So it started pretty much around the time of the civil war. And I think you’ll see right away how it is different from Romanticism or any other kind of literature. There is a very specific point that makes it unique. And that is that it shows people as they are and get you to look at them and also you know the things that need to be changed in the society. And it doesn’t without being sentimental, not in that sort of over-emotional way, the way that romantic literature can. Realism tells it like it is.
Let’s look society as a whole. In the late 1800s, people were interested in the scientific method as well as rational philosophy, which says that people can discover the truth by using reason and factual analysis. So reason and facts, ok. And at the same time that realism was becoming popular, there were a lot of political and socioeconomic changes happening in the country. There was increased literacy, plus the growth of industrialism and urbanization, growth in population from immigration, and a rise in middle class affluence.
All these factors combined with the importance of reason and facts, meant readers were interested in really having a good understanding of all these changes, the changes going on in society. A scourer named Amy Chaplin says, and I’m just paraphrasing here, that Realism is a way to understand and deal with social change, which makes a lot of sense I think.
So then, let’s take a closer look at the trips of the trend, and how realist writers did their work. For one thing as we said, they focus on, express reality, and in great detail.They inferred verisimilitude. Shall I write down on board?
Professor: Ok. Verisimilitude means basically the same true or real, like say, a photograph rather than a painting in a way. In fact, that’s a good analogy. You see writers try to capture a moment in time and all its basic facts but without exaggeration, just like a camera does.
Anyway, the events, the things that happen in realistic literature are usually pretty much plausible. I mean, you figure that they can probably happen to anyone. And the characters are believable, too. And actually, they are usually even more important than the plot. There’re also……they talked the way the real people talk, authentic speaking styles from different regions, different parts of the country were captured in the text. Does that make sense? Ok.
So, besides verisimilitude, another important characteristic of realism is the narrator’s objectivity. Characters in the events were described without the narrator passing much judgment on them or anything or being too dramatic. Basically, you are reading a story without too much extra comment from the narrator.
Ok, now we have an idea of what realism was. So, who were the players? Well, two important realist novelists were Rebecca Harding Davis and Mark Twain. We’ll talk more about other realists tomorrow. But for today, let’s just start by looking briefly at these two.
Rebecca Harding Davis was an author and journalist who, like other realists, was concerned about all those social changes going on. She wrote mainly about some marginalized groups of the time, like women, native Americans, ah, immigrants. Now her best known book is a novella called The Life in the Iron Mills. It’s really a key text, because it’s one of the original realist works. Her works overall have been pretty much ignored for a long time. But some critics and scourers are starting to revisit them and study them more seriously. Probably more from the historical aspects of the works and……but I think that’s great.
But if we are talking about great literature, literature that’s read and enjoyed today as something more than just a way of looking at that era, the era when that was written. Well, a favorite of mine is Mark Twain. I’m sure you have read or heard of his most famous book, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. And Twain’s style, he goes back to what I said earlier, verisimilitude, the realistic way characters act and talk. You should realize too that this was quite a contrast to earlier writers in the U.S., who try to emulate the British writers, try to be very elegant, at the expense of Realism. You know, a lot of critics will tell you that American literature began with that book, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Question 1 of 6
What is the main purpose of the lecture?
A. To highlight realism's causes and characteristics.
B. To explore plot and character development in realist literature.
C. To examine realism's contribution to social change.
D. To show how two realist authors influenced literature in the United States.
Question 2 of 6
Why does the professor mention the scientific method and rational philosophy?
A. To give examples of subjects commonly chosen by realist authors.
B. To provide context for his discussion of realist authors.
C. To explain how the realist style had an effect in areas unrelated to literature.
D. To highlight changes in society that realist authors opposed.
Question 3 of 6
According to the professor, what are three characteristics of realist literature? Click on 3 answers.
A. Sentimental plot structure.
B. Concern for social change.
C. Well-developed characters.
D. Use of a narrator to complicate the plot.
E. Use of regional speaking styles.
Question 4 of 6
According to the professor, what makes Life in the Iron Mills by Rebecca Harding Davis notable?
A. It is unlike her other works..
B. It led to many changes throughout society..
C. It was one of the first examples of realist literature..
D. It influenced the more famous works of Mark Twain..
Question 5 of 6
What is the professor's opinion of the writing of Rebecca Harding Davis?
A. It is similar in quality to Mark Twain’s writing..
B. It provides valuable insight about the time period..
C. It was not successful in bringing about the changes it advocated..
D. Davis' style was not as realistic as Twain's..
Question 6 of 6
What does the professor imply about literature in the United States prior to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?
A. It did not yet have a distinct American style..
B. Very few books were published..
C. Romanticism and realism had started to combine..
D. British authors were using realism more than American authors were..
Listen to part of a lecture in a geology class.
Professor: Hi, class, let’s get started. Um, last time we finished up the section of coal, so we have just two fossil fuels left to talk about. Those are petroleum and natural gas. Today I will concentrate on petroleum and we will get into natural gas tomorrow. Like coal and natural gas, petroleum has been formed over millions of years, from remains of prehistoric plants and animals.
And like coal and natural gas, it’s found in the rocks of Earth’s crusts. In fact, the word “petroleum” literally means “rock oil”. And in its’ original state, the way we find it in Earth’s crust, it is called crude oil, sometime people will short it up, and just refer to it as crude.
Um, petroleum also contains natural gas, so usually the petroleum industry is naturally searching for and utilizing deposits of both crude oil and natural gas at the same time. In other words, companies might as well gather, use and sell both the oil and the gas when they find it, since both are valuable. And……
Student: But what kind of organic materials, I mean, specifically what kind of dead plant and animals make up petroleum exactly? Do you mean like trees and dinosaurs?
Professor: Well, apparently petroleum is usually made from simple, one-celled marine animals and plants, algae, for example. Um, what happens is this accumulated plant and animal material that originally came from the ocean gets covered by sediment. And then is…um, eventually exposed to earth internal heat and pressure, for millions of years. And over those millions of years, the heat cooks and the pressure molds that material, turning it into a thick, sticky liquid. And since petroleum is made from these ocean organisms, you can guess where it was found, it makes sense that we usually find it under the ocean or near shore, right? Yes, Ann?
Ann: I’ve heard people talk of……ah……live and dead oils?
Professor: Well, um, when crude oil has a lot of natural gas mixed up with it, it’s called live oil. But if the gas escapes from the mixture, then oil is said to be dead. And it’s heavy and more difficult to pump. Does anyone know how the gas separates from the oil? Sam, go ahead.
Sam: Doesn’t it happen when the oil shoots up to the surface?
Professor: Yes, that’s right. When oil reaches the surface of the Earth, there is less pressure on it. And with less pressure, the oil and gas were able to separate. The other way the crude oil was able to come up to the surface is by people pumping it up out of the ground. And, um, it’s the same thing that happens at the surface, there is less pressure, and, so the oil and gas separate. But when we talked about how would actually exists inside earth’s crust, most people think that there are huge, pools of oil sitting around in caverns somewhere under there. That’s really rare. The majority of petroleum is just filling in the tiny pores and cracks in rocks.
Now, um, a little more on the petroleum industry. As far as the extraction process the petroleum industry digs deep wells to reach underground oil fields where crude oil has accumulated over a large area and extract between layers of rocks. Then it pumps the crude oil out. Then its refineries have two main tasks, convert less valuable crude oil into a more valuable form and create usable products from refined oil. Basically, the refiner will do this by boiling the oil. When the oil cools off, the stuff that is left is turned into a variety of products, like gasoline, diesel fuel for cars and trucks, asphalt for roads, um, paints, plastics, even soaps. And check what you’re wearing, if you are wearing something with synthetic fibers, what that really means is that it is made of the petroleum. So you can see petroleum is essential to today’s industrial society.
Now, next week we will be joined the graduate students from the department of petroleum engineering to examine the comprehensive field study they’re working on in our local oil fields. And I’d like you to read over the pack of information I’m about to hand out to you before we go. It should familiarize you with the history of the oil field we will be touring as well as the details of their project.
Question 1 of 6
What is the lecture mainly about?
A. Efforts to increase the production of petroleum and natural gas.
B. Problems associated with the refining of dead oil.
C. Recent improvements in methods used to locate petroleum.
D. Background information essential to understanding the petroleum industry.
Question 2 of 6
According to the professor, why does the petroleum industry search for crude oil and natural gas at the same time? Click on 2 answers.
A. Both tend to be located together..
B. The industry can profit by exploiting both..
C. Natural gas is used to refine crude oil..
D. Natural gas is used to operate crude oil pumps..
Question 3 of 6
According to the professor, why does the petroleum industry usually look for petroleum under the ocean or near the shore?
A. Petroleum often rises to the surface of the water, where it can be easily seen..
B. Petroleum was formed from ocean plants and animals..
C. Water pressure from the ocean prevents petroleum from leaking away..
D. Oil drills can easily penetrate the ocean floor. .
Question 4 of 6
According to the professor, what determines the difference between live and dead oil?
A. The age of the oil.
B. The natural gas content of the oil.
C. The percentage of organic material in the oil.
D. The amount of heat the oil will produce when burned.
Question 5 of 6
Why does the professor mention crude oil that is found in pools?
A. To point out a common misconception about crude oil.
B. To explain why crude oil must be refined before it can be burned.
C. To describe the state in which most crude oil is found.
D. To support a previous statement about low pressure on crude oil.
Question 6 of 6
Why does the professor say this:
A. To clarify the meaning of the word "synthetic".
B. To demonstrate how important petroleum is in everyday life.
C. To show that the students need to do more research about petroleum.
D. To explain why synthetic fibers have useful characteristics.