Ruth Lawrence is 11 years old. She made history yesterday when she came a clear first out of the 530 candidates who sat the entrance exam for St. Hugh's College, Oxford .The college is likely to offer her a scholarship. Ruth sat three three-hour papers – Algebra and Geometry; Calculus and Statistics; and Maths, Pure and Applied. «I was happy with the first two», she said yesterday, «but I wasn't sure about the third».
Ruth has never been to school. Her father, Harry Lawrence, a computer consultant, gave up his job when Ruth was five to educate her at home. Her mother, Sylvia, who also works in computers, is the family breadwinner.
Harry Lawrence explained that, besides mathematics, Ruth also enjoyed English, History, Geography, Nature study and other subjects. She began to read at four and started academic subjects at five. «We didn't think at first that she wouldn't go to school», he said, «but we enjoyed teaching her so much and we seemed to be making quite a good job of it, so we just carried on».
Because she doesn't go to school, Ruth hasn't mixed much with other children. «She enjoys serious conversation with adults», her father said, «andI don't think she will feel out of place at Oxford». He doesn't think she works harder than other children of her age, but concentrates on what she enjoys, principally Mathematics. «She watches television a little but not as a habit», he explained. «But she plays the piano and has quite a wide range of interests».
If she does well at Oxford, Ruth expects to take a further degree and eventually hopes to become a research professor in mathematics ambition she may achieve while still in her teens.
After M. Embry
Miss Trott's first form had n lesson in reading. Miss Trott called on Tim to read, but he did not know where to read. He stood and looked through the window. He saw a cat there. The cat sat on the balcony and looked into the classroom. He was a big grey-blue cat with largo bright eyes. It rained that morning and cats do not like rain. Miss Trott stood up, came to the window and saw the blue cat too.
«He want to come in,» Tim said. «Can we let him in?*
« No, no», Miss Trott said.
The blue cat hoard the teacher and looked at her with his largo eyes as if he said, «Why not?»
The boys and girls left their desks and went to the window to see the cat.
«He is cold! » Bess said. «Can he come in? » «Well, » said Miss Trott, «just for a few minutes then». She went to the door and called the cat, «Kitty-kitty kitty! » The cat came to the door and stood there. He did not try to come in.
«Come in, Kitty. You wanted to come in, » said Boss.
The cat walked into the classroom, went round the room, looked into the bookcases and then went to Bess. The girl touched the cat and said, «He is thin and he is hungry. »
«May I go to the dining-room and bring some milk for him? » asked Tim. «Yes, you may», said the teacher.
The cat liked the milk. When the saucer was clean he went to Miss Trott’s table and jumped on it. He set down on the exercise-book and began to wash his face.
«Go away», the teacher said, «He can't sit on my desk», she said to her pupils. The cat jumped down when Miss Trott pushed him. He walked round the room and then sat down in the corner and looked offended. Miss Trott told the children to take out their books. Then they began to do sums.
ABRIDGED FROM "HONOR AMONG THIEVES"
by Jeffrey Archer
When Scott Bradley entered the room there was a hush of expectancy.
He placed his notes on the table in front of him, allowing his eyes to sweep around the lecture hall.
"My name is Scott Bradley", said the youngest professor in the law school ,"and this is to be the first of fourteen lectures on constitutional law.
"I'd like to begin this first lecture with a personal statement", he announced. Some of the pens and pencils were laid to rest. "There are many reasons to practice law in this country", he began, "but only one which is worthy of you, and certainly only one that interests me. It applies to every facet of the law that you might be interested in pursuing, and it has never been better expressed than in the engrossed parchment of the Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America.
"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, tl that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness". That one sentence is what distinguishes America from every other country on earth.
"In some aspects, our nation has progressed mightily since 1770", continued the professor, still not having referred to his notes, "while in others we have moved rapidly backwards.' Each of you in this hall can be part of the. next generation of lawmakers or lawbreakers" - he paused -"and you have been granted the greatest gift of all with which to help make that choice, a first class mind.-When my colleagues and I have finished with you, you can if you wish to go out into the real world and ignore the Declaration of Independence as if it were worth no more than the parchment it was written, on, outdated and irrelevant in this modern age.
Abridged from « A Farewell to Arms»
When I came to the front we still lived in that town There were many more guns in the country around and the spring had come. The fields were green and there were small green shoots on the vines, the trees along the road had small leaves and a breeze came from the sea. I saw the town with the hill and the old castle above it; brown mountains with a little green on their slopes. In the town there were more guns, there were some new hospitals, you met British men and sometimes women, on the street, and a few more houses had been hit by shell fire. It was warm and like the spring and I walked down the alleyway of trees, warmed from the sun on the wall, and found we still lived in the same house and that it looked the same as when I had left it. The door was open, there was a soldier sitting on a bench outside in the sun, an ambulance was waiting by the side door and inside the door, as I went in, there was the smell of marble floors and hospital. It was all as I had left it except that now it was spring. I look in the door of the big room and saw the major sitting at his desk. He did not see me and 1 did not know whether to go in and report or go upstairs first and clean up. 1 decided to go on upstairs.
The room I shared with the lieutenant Rinaldi looked out of the courtyard. The window was open, my bed was made up with blankets and my things hung on the wall. The lieutenant Rinaldi lay asleep on the other bed. He woke when he heard me in the room and sat up.
O'Henry, a famous American humorist, is the author of many short stories. His short stories are very popular all over the world. This is what happened to him one day. He had an acquaintance whose name was Tripp. He was a young man but he looked forty. He never shaved, his face was pale and he often asked the waiter for a dollar, and then spent it on whisky. Once Tripp met a young girl in New York. She had never been to the city before. She stopped Tripp and asked him where she could find George Brown. She thought that the first man whom she asked could tell her that. She also told Tripp that she was going to marry a fanner, named Dodd. But before that she wanted to see George Brown and to have a talk with him. That's why she had come to New York. She had no money and didn't know where to look for George Brown. Tripp, who was kind by nature, could not leave the girl alone. He took her to a hotel and left her there. He told everything to O'Henry and suggested that they should go and see the girl whose name was Ada. Ada and George Brown loved each other dearly. The girl did not want to marry the farmer. She wanted to find George. Tripp suggested that the writer pay the bill at the hotel where Ada was staying and buy a railway ticket for Ada to get back home. He said that it would cost the writer three dollars. He asked for another dollar for himself. He wanted whisky. He added that the writer would be able to write a new short story. It would cost him only four dollars. Ada was really beautiful. She told them all the details. She and George were in love when the boy was eight and she was five. When George was nineteen, he left the village and went to New York. He promised to come back for Ada, but she never saw him again. On the day George left they cut a cent into two pieces till they met again. The two men very sorry for Ada and advised her to go home. They saw her to the station and then went home. When they were going to the bus-stop, Tripp took his cheap watch out of his pocket and the writer saw half of the cent cut in two. George Brown and Tripp were one and the same man. The writer took out a dollar and put into Tripp's hand.
Franklin and Jefferson
Many of the leaders of America's struggle for independence from Britain were strongly influenced by Enlightenment ideas. A number of Colonial American farmers educated themselves in Latin in order to be able to read the scientific works of Sir Isaac Newton. Newton was very popular in Colonial America and many Americans were; very optimistic about the role of science in a free society. These included Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, who, throughout their lives, participated in and encouraged scientific studies.
From the 1740s Franklin knew most of the scientists in the American colonies. He was the unofficial leader of the American scientific community. He also corresponded with many of Western Europe's leading scientists. In this manner, he served as a bridge for scientific information between the Old World and the New World.
Franklin was also a man of action, and in the 1740s he conducted a series of experiments to advance the understanding of electricity. Franklin attended two demonstrations on electricity and got very interested in the subject. He read about electricity in various European journals, then bought and borrowed some electrical apparatuses.
On the basis of experiments and observations, Franklin claimed that lightning is a form of electricity. This had been suggested before, but Franklin was the first to prove it.
Jefferson also stressed the practical aspects of science. For years he exchanged seeds, plants and botanical information in an effort to improve American farming. On his diplomatic trips, he collected seeds and information about crops in other countries. He introduced various types of rice, olives and grasses.
A NICE CUP OT TEA
The English custom of afternoon tea, it is said, goes back to the late eighteenth century when Anne, wife of the 7th Duke of Bedford, decided that she suffered from a "sinking feeling"1 around 5 p.m and needed tea and cakes to bring back her strength. Before long, complaints were heard that "the laborers lose time to come and go to the tea-table and farmers' servants even demand tea for their breakfast". Tea had arrived. Fashionable Tea Rooms were opened for high society, and soon tea became the national drink of all classes.
Today the British drink more tea than any other nation an average of 4 kilos a head per annum, or 1650 cups of tea a year. They drink it in bed in the morning, round the fire on winter afternoons and out in the garden on sunny summer days. In times of trouble the kettle is quickly put on, the tea is made and comforting cups of the warm brown liquid are passed round.
Tea has even played its part in wars. When George III of England tried to make the American colonists pay import duty" on tea, a group of Americans disguised3 as Red Indians dumped' 342 chests5 of tea into the sea in Boston Harbour6 — the Boston Tea Party which led to the War of Independence. In another war the Duke of Wellington sensibly7 had a cup of tea before starting UK-Battle of Waterloo, "to clear my head". In peace time official approval of the national drink came from the Victorian Prime Minister, Gladstone, who remarked: "If you are cold, tea will warm you, if you are heated it will cool you, if you are depressed it will cheer you, if you are excited it will calm you.1
What exactly is tea? Basically it is a drink made from the dried leaves of a plant that only grows in hot countries? The British first heard of tea in 1598, and first tasted it in about 1650, For nearly two centuries all tea was imported from China, until, in 1823, a tea plant was found growing naturally in Assam in India, Sixteen years later the first eight chests of Indian tea were sold in London, and today, London’s tea markets deal in tea from India, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), and Africa more than from China.