Happiness is one of the most precious things in life. _______ it, a man will feel that his ill fate has taken charge of him and the world is utterly dark and dreadful. As a result, too many people _______ of happiness as their ultimate goal of life. What is happiness? Many people think that when they become rich and successful, happiness will _______ follow. Let me tell you that nothing is further from the truth. The world is full of very rich people who are as _______as if they were living in hell. Besides, we have read stories about movie stars who _______suicide or died from drugs. It is _______ that money is not everything.

Happiness is not an end _______ in itself but is more of a way of life. If you’re waiting for happiness to _______, it’s likely that it never will! The only time to be happy is right now! When you’re always wanting something more and always looking forward to a time when you’ll be “happy”, you’ll never _______ that goal. Happiness is not a set of accomplishments or the ________ of material things. You must accept that life will always have ________ and things will not always go your way. Instead of feeling disappointed when things don’t ________ the way you’d hoped, you’d better feel ________ for the experience. ________ dreaming of a brighter, happier and richer tomorrow, you’d better make today as wonderful as you can.

Happiness is not some state we will one day reach for good, but a ________ process of honest, productive work which makes a real contribution to others and makes you feel you are a useful and ________ person. Just as a famous saying goes, “There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.” Happiness is a ________ decision that you can make right now. Thinking of the future and having aspirations is essential to ________ a happy and fulfilled life.

In a word, ________ waiting for happiness to arrive and simply decide to be happy! It’s not some great goal or destination, but a journey and a ________.

1.A. For B. Without C. Before D. After

2.A. think B. refer C. regard D. consider

3.A. naturally B. constantly C. eventually D. deliberately

4.A. puzzled B. changeable C. disappointed D. miserable

5.A. condemned B. claimed C. committed D. commanded

6.A. possible B. obvious C. strange D. difficult

7.A. dream B. promotion C. goal D. success

8.A. show up B. swell up C. speed up D. split up

9.A. analyze B. arrive C. distinguish D. reach

10.A. distribution B. evaluation C. combination D. accumulation

11.A. rewards B. appreciation C. challenges D. fantasy

12.A. carry out B. work out C. let out D. figure out

13.A. grateful B. guilty C. sympathy D. sorry

14.A. On top of B. In spite of C. On account of D. Instead of

15.A. serious B. humorous C. continuous D. various

16.A. worthy B. modest C. kind D. generous

17.A. reasonable B. conscious C. proper D. temporary

18.A. spending B. wasting C. leading D. consuming

19.A. remember B. prevent C. try D. stop

20.A. lifestyle B. criterion C. demand D. target


Void Star by Zachary Mason

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 400 pages

Zachary Mason creates a world in which the line between human and computer is completely erased, yet he still manages to make the reader feel for all the characters—both man and machine—equally. Add that to a highly addictive plot and an exploration of memory’s impact on our identity, and you’ve got one of the most richly complex novels of the year.

An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back by Elisabeth Rosenthal

Penguin Press, 416 pages

It’s not uncommon to come across a complete takedown of the American healthcare system as it stands today. But what is uncommon is what Elisabeth Rosenthal has done in this must-read exploration of what we are (and aren’t) doing right: She has the answers we’ve all been searching for in a potential post-Obamacare world. An American Sickness is the frontline defense against a healthcare system that no longer has our well-being at heart.

A History of Violence: Living and Dying in Central America by ?scar Martínez

Verso, 288 pages

El Salvador and Honduras have had the highest homicide rates in the world over the past ten years, with Guatemala close behind. Every day more than 1,000 people—men, women, and children—flee these three countries for North America. Step outside yourself for a couple hours and immerse yourself in one of the most incredibly vivid, well-reported journeys through Central America that you will ever experience.

Sunshine State by Sarah Gerard

Harper Perennial, 384 pages

Sarah Gerard deftly takes the reader through the most essential issues of our time—homelessness, addiction, incarceration—via a coming-of-age lens in the state of Florida, where, as we all know, anything goes.

The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day

William Morrow Paperbacks, 432 pages

An incredibly complex and smart novel, The Day I Died contains all the features of a small-town murder mystery but takes it one step further with a narrative about a woman’s unbreakable search for the answers to not just a crime but about her own identity.

1.If you want to know about social problems in the US, you will probably choose _______.

A. Void Star B. A History of Violence

C. The Day I Died D. Sunshine State

2.Which statement is NOT true according to these books?

A. Void Star is a science fiction with a highly addictive plot.

B. The American healthcare system is favored by all Americans.

C. A History of Violence perhaps involves violence problems.

D. The Day I Died is a novel not only about a murder mystery.

Dear Amy,

My in-laws are all the products of failed marriages, so there are blood relatives and step relatives to deal with on both sides of the aisle.

For years, my in-laws have told my children that my wife’s stepmother’s grandchildren are their cousins.

This alone is not true, since these kids are only involved in our lives due to marriage. I just keep talking to my kids and explaining to them the way the family tree works and that these kids are not their cousins.

At one point, my oldest son got mad and told one of these kids that he was not his real cousin, and then my in-laws confronted my son about what he said. They were apparently upset about it.

Amy, I am not going to create a world that does not exist. They are stuck on taking in these kids that have zero actual blood relation to them at all.

I stand my ground on this, and my wife just thinks that I am being an ass. Your thoughts?

Disturbed Dad

Disturbed Dad,

Before you spend the rest of your life carefully studying a family tree at every potluck dinner, remember that “family” isn’t some exclusive club that you get to join by having two or more of the same biological relatives.

People in highly functioning and inclusive families will tell you that all you have to do to be a part of any family is to be considered part of the family. This means being included, regardless of your biological status, and reveling in relationships that are auntlike, grandparent-like or cousinlike. It is wise to explain truthfully all of these many and varied relationships to your children, but to use loaded terms like “real family” only underlines your emotional ignorance about relationships.

Your in-laws are doing a wonderful thing accepting these children, so put down the genealogy chart and apologize. After all, if we follow your logic, then your in-laws shouldn’t be accepting you as family either; you aren’t related to them by blood, so you aren’t their “real family.”

The good news is, if you continue to treat your wife’s family this way, you won’t have to worry about keeping the blood relatives and the step-relatives in this family straight — given your lack of good manners, these family members might disregard you in favor of someone who is more open, accepting and inclusive.


1.The Disturbed Dad’s in-laws were upset because _______.

A. they all had failed marriages B. they knew of the Dad’s thoughts

C. one of the grandsons got mad D. some kids had no blood relation

2.What’s Amy’s attitude towards the Disturbed Dad’s opinion?

A. Objective. B. Negative.

C. Doubtful. D. Cautious.

3.Amy may agree that _______.

A. the Dad shouldn’t be narrow-minded about the family tree

B. it’s necessary to consider biological relationships in a family

C. the Dad shouldn’t be accepted as family by their in-laws

D. it’s good news for the family members to disregard the Dad

Have you been told you have penicillin allergy? Did your parents tell you that you had a reaction as an infant or child, so you should never take it again? Has it been so long since you had a reaction to penicillin that you don’t remember what happened? If you fit any of these descriptions or are just not sure if you have penicillin allergy, there’s good news for you: Chances are, you probably don’t have it.

Between 10 to 20 percent of Americans believe they have a penicillin allergy, but a recent study at Mayo Clinic found that only 10 percent of those people are truly penicillin allergic. In other words, 9 out of 10 people who think they have penicillin allergy are avoiding it for no reason. Even in people with documented allergy to penicillin, only about 20 percent are still allergic 10 years after their initial allergic reaction. It’s not necessarily a permanent condition.

Why is this important? Aren’t there many other antibiotics you can use if you have penicillin allergy? Penicillin has been around since 1928. Penicillin and its related medicines include amoxicillin, methicillin and amoxicillin-clavulnate. These medicines are highly effective treatments for many bacterial infections, such as strep throat and ear infections. Of course, there are alternative antibiotics, but these are often much more expensive and carry a higher risk of side effects. Typically, these alternative antibiotics are broad-spectrum, meaning they fight many types of bacteria, both good and bad. That can lead to development of drug-resistant bacteria, or deadly “superbugs”. This increases the risk for all of us in the future of not having an effective antibiotic to treat our infection.

How do you find out if you have penicillin allergy? Board-certified allergists can test you. First, the allergist will get a history from you about your possible allergy. Typical questions include: How long ago did you have the reaction? What type of reaction occurred, and how soon after you took the penicillin did the reaction appear? The testing is done on the forearm by pricking the skin with a needle. If the results are negative and there is no reaction, penicillin will be injected in the skin. These tests are not painful, and results are available in 15 minutes. A positive reaction may lead to some swelling and itching where the test was placed, which usually goes away within an hour.

In very rare cases, an allergic reaction occurs. This can include hives, swelling, wheezing and/or difficulty breathing. The allergist is trained to treat this rare condition quickly if it happens. If all skin testing is negative, you may be given an oral dose of penicillin in the office. The oral drug challenge is used to verify that you don’t have penicillin allergy. Usually, you’ll be observed in the office for 30 minutes to make sure you have no problems.

If you find out you don’t have a penicillin allergy, notify your physicians that it’s now safe for you to take penicillin. They can take “penicillin allergy” off your chart for good!

1.What can we know about penicillin allergy according to the passage?

A. Most people believe that they are penicillin allergic.

B. People with documented allergy will have it forever.

C. About 90 percent of people are truly penicillin allergic.

D. Many people with initial allergy can avoid it later.

2.Which is NOT the drawback of the alternative antibiotics?

A. They cost much more than penicillin.

B. They can treat many bacterial infections.

C. They can result in drug-resistant bacteria.

D. They also fight good bacteria when used.

3.If you have a positive reaction in skin tests, _______.

A. you can’t leave the office within an hour

B. your skin is supposed to swell and itch

C. it is not safe for you to take penicillin

D. you’ll be given an oral dose of penicillin

4.Which can replace the underlined word “verify”?

A. confirm B. attach

C. declare D. control

My timing has always been a little off with Elizabeth Strout. I’ve read and pretty much admired everything she’s written, but, for whatever reason, the books of hers I’ve picked to review have been the good ones, like Amy and Isabelle and The Burgess Boys, rather than the extraordinary ones, like Olive Kitteridge, which won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize. Anything Is Possible is Strout’s latest book and it’s gorgeous. Like Olive Kitteridge, Anything Is Possible reads like a novel constructed out of linked stories. In fact, it’s hard to know exactly what to call this — a novel or a short story collection. In any case, these stories are animated (栩栩如生) by Strout’s signature themes: class humiliation, loneliness, spiritual and, sometimes, reawakening. When Strout is really on her game, as she is here, you feel like you’ve been carefully lowered into the unquiet depths of quiet lives.

Strout began working on Anything Is Possible at the same time she was writing her novel My Name Is Lucy Barton, which was published last year. Lucy, a dirt-poor child who grows up to become a celebrated writer, floats in and out of these interlocking stories. Some characters catch a glimpse of her being interviewed on TV; one travels to see her at a bookstore. An older Lucy even appears “in the flesh” in one story when she returns home to the small town in rural Illinois where most of these tales are set to visit her troubled brother; but Anything Is Possible also stands on its own. Indeed, a few of the characters here would be ticked off if they thought their stories depended in any way on that Barton girl. Strout’s writerly eye works like a 360 degree camera, so that a character or place that’s on the margins of one tale takes center stage in a later one. This technique sounds contrived, but Strout carries it off lightly.

__ One of the most powerful stories here is called “Dottie’s Bed & Breakfast,” which is an establishment we readers glimpse earlier in the book. Dottie desires to be middle-class and she harbors a grudge (怨恨) against life because she’s had to rent out rooms to make a living. Dottie also possesses a sensitive nose for sniffing out the lower-class origins of some of her guests.

__ “Shoes always gave you away,” comments a woman in a story called “Cracked” about a houseguest’s too-high cork wedges(坡跟鞋). And, in the final story here, called “Gift,” a once-poor man made good says, “The sense of apology did not go away, it was a tiring thing to carry.”

__ But, back to Dottie. When an elderly doctor and his wife come to stay at her guesthouse, Dottie bonds over tea with the wife, Shelley, who shares a story about a long-ago social humiliation.

__ At breakfast the next morning, however, Shelley obviously regrets that confidence and becomes the Doctor’s wife again. She freezes Dottie out and puts her back in her place as the inn-keep.

There’s comic satisfaction in seeing Dottie secretly spitting into the breakfast jam, but the more profound rewards of this story have to do with its recognition of the many varieties of human insecurity — or, as Lucy Barton herself more bluntly puts it, the many ways “people are always looking to feel superior to someone else.”

Other stories have to do with sexual shame, or with the tragic ways close neighbors or family members misread each other; but I’m making Anything Is Possible sound too grim when, in fact, so many of these stories end in an understated (低调的) gesture of forgiveness. Strout is in that special company of writers like Richard Ford, Stewart O’Nan and Richard Russo, who write simply about ordinary lives and, in so doing, make us readers see the beauty of both their worn and rough surfaces and what lies beneath.

1.The author of the article may have reviewed these books EXCEPT_______.

A. Amy and Isabelle B. The Burgess Boys

C. Anything Is Possible D. Olive Kitteridge

2.What can be inferred according to the second paragraph?

A. The book Anything Is Possible depends wholly on that Barton girl.

B. The character Lucy floats in and out of these disconnected stories.

C. An ordinary character in one story can be a leading role in another.

D. Elizabeth Strout isn’t skillful at describing small characters in life.

3.Shelley freezes Dottie out the next morning because _______.

A. she feels she is superior to Dottie

B. Dottie spits into the breakfast jam

C. Dottie desires to be middle-class

D. she regrets the confidence in Dottie

4.The sentence “Indeed almost all of Strout’s characters have sharp eyes and even sharper observations to make when it comes to that great American subject: class.” should be put in ______.

A. ① B. ②

C. ③ D. ④

5.The tone of the article can be described as _______.

A. depressing B. critical

C. appreciative D. indifferent

6.What might be the best title for the passage?

A. Anything Is Possible — unquietness depths of ordinary lives

B. Elizabeth Strout — an outstanding Pulitzer Prize Winner

C. Anything Is Possible — a collection of grim short stories

D. Elizabeth Strout — a writer with clever writing techniques

Music is a Universal Language

“Music is the universal language of mankind.” – Henry Longfellow

Everyone has the inborn ability to understand and enjoy music. There are many theories as to why this is, but it has become a part of human beings. Since the beginning, humans have expressed themselves through music. Simple tribal rhythms evolved into many types of more complex music, including classical, rock, jazz, and R&B. While the styles between these many types of music may vary, everyone is able to understand and relate to them.

What are the essential parts of a language? Every language uses vocabulary, or a set of words, to create sentences that convey messages. The tone and style of the sentences convey different feelings or emotions. Music is exactly the same way. Twelve tones, or notes, are combined to create phrases that also convey emotion. Music can even be written, like most other languages. Conversations even take place in music. Two saxophonists can play melodies back and forth, expressing different styles and feelings, building off of each other, responding to each other. Music changes over the years like other languages. Most people who speak fluent English cannot read one of Shakespeare’s plays because the language has changed so much. Music is also affected by time, and over a long period, many new types of music and instruments have emerged to create different sounds and convey different messages. There are so many similarities between vocal language and music that they must be same.

I recently had a chance to experience conversation through music. In 2008, I traveled to Manila, Philippines to participate in a high school jazz exchange where many students from all over Asia came together to share their talents. Everyone was mixed into different small groups to prepare for a concert at the end of week. Few people spoke fluent English so vocal communication was very tough. However, it wasn’t needed. Everyone seemed to understand each other simply through the music and there were few times where direct translation was needed. At the performance, every group played for a live audience. They all sounded phenomenal and it felt like they were in perfect time and harmony. During my group’s performance, I was able to improvise with a Korean boy who spoke very little English. But we managed to have a conversation through our instruments, building off each other’s riffs until we were creating our own melody on the fly. It was a great experience.

Because of the many similarities that music shares with other languages, it is a very effective way to communicate with others. Music brings us together, connects us with other people, and allows us to express ourselves in ways that are different from speech and writing. It has the ability to convey emotions and messages to the core of people, which is why Henry Longfellow is absolutely correct when he states that “music is the universal language of mankind.”

Music is a Universal Language


● Human beings have the ability to appreciate music since they were


● Despite the different types2. from simple tribal rhythms, everyone is able to understand music.

3. between language and music

● The tone and style of the sentences convey different feelings or emotions, 4. does music.

● Like most other languages, music even has its 5. forms.

● Both language and music have gone 6. many changes over the years.

● Conversations even take place in music.

● Time also has a great 7. on music. New forms of music and instruments come up to convey different messages.

My chance of 8. conversation through music

I participated in a high school jazz exchange in Philippines in 2008, where students came from all over Asia. While there were language 9. between us, we still managed to communicate well by music.


Music is a very effective way to communicate with others. Just as Henry Longfellow 10. it, “music is the universal language of mankind.”

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