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Pet Peeves

2006-05-12 10:29

  A pet peeve is a term in English associated with something specific that gets on your nerves. One little thing will throw yousintosa tantrum for hours and make you lose your mind. I don't know how to say it in Chinese, but the meaning is something that just makes you incredibly mad.

  In this world, I have only three pet peeves that will drive me crazy. Number one is racism. Two, those who don't respect what I've done. Three is lying to my face. I absolutely can't stand any of these three.

  Mr. Ward had a single pet peeve. Cheating.

  It is considered unprofessional to let your pet peeves or annoyances get in the way of your job. When you let anger take you over, you make decisions that you will regret.

  I remember many times after tests, Mr. Ward found that the students sitting around me had better scores than the others and the further away a student was from me, the worst his grade. Mr. Ward suspected that some of the juniors "accidentally" got some of my answers.

  So he and I had a very interesting talk about cheating.

  He told me that he really couldn't stand the idea that all that he was teaching didn't even reach the student and the student would rely on cheating to pass the class. That is a very valid statement, if I were a teacher and caught someone cheating, I would be very unhappy. Mr. Ward stays behind after school for office hours and because he always teaches until everyone understands, cheating is just a kick in the face for all of his hard work.

  Mr. Ward once told me of some of the ways students have tried to cheat. The list sounds like a resume for the movie "Dumb and Dumber".

  1.Student A intentionally "drops" his pencil an unusually far distance from his desk. So he stands up and waltzes slowly across the room to retrieve it. On the way he passes an innocent victim who's paper is left slightly in the open. He glances at the papers looking for circles, which indicate finished answers. He bends over slowly to get the pencil and walks back slowly glancing at papers left and right. The funny thing is during multiple-choice objective tests; the pencils seemed to fall quite a lot. Whereas short answer and proof tests had some magical spell over the pencils to keep them from falling.

  2.The old cheat sheet has been used for decades even before I went to school. The idea is you get a piece of paper and you write down all the formulas, rules, notes, definitions, and everything else that you will need for the test. And some how get access to it, during the test. The most common way that Mr. Ward said he has seen this done is with a tiny bit of paper taped to the inside of the kid's palm. The paper is no bigger than a half dollar, so the smaller you can write, the more formulas and definitions you can fit on it. Mr. Ward told me that one time he caught a student doing this when he was handing in his test, the student gave the test with the hand with the cheat sheet stuck to it and Mr. Ward saw it instantly.

  3.This is by far the stupidest thing I have ever heard, well stupidest thing to do to cheat. Two students who were very good friends decided that they didn't want to study for a test one day and they came up with an idea. One student remembers half of the formulas and the other remembers the other half. So when it came to test time, they would each take their half of the test and then tell the other person the answers. How was this done? Listen to this. The kids sat right next to each other, but they couldn't look over otherwise Mr. Ward would see them. So what did they do? The answer was Morse code, with pencils. Well it really wasn't Morse code. One kid would tap his pencil lightly five times indicating he needed the answer to number 5. Then the other kid would tap what ever the answer was. They had a whole system worked out for fractions, decimals, equations, and everything else. No they knew what they were doing so they didn't tap too loudly or frequently. They would change from pencil taps to taps on the chair to taps with their feet. Well it ended up working out like this. Mr. Ward walked over and both would stop tapping, he walked away and they would start again. He then figured it out after some really strange answers to the some of the questions, but that didn't matter because neither scored very high.

  These incidents aren't very rare.

  The last day of the entire school year, all I have left is my math exam and I would be home free for summer. We walkedsintosthe classroom and sit down; there seemed to be some definite tension in the air because this is the biggest test of the year. I saw some kids trying to do some last minute studying, some trying to calm themselves down by breathing slowly and some saying a silent prayer.

  Mr. Ward goes to the front and starts handing out the tests by rows. After explaining the rules of the test, he said very clearly and concisely, "If you cheat, I will take your test and tear it up. You will get a 0 for the biggest grade of the year. So folks, if you haven't figured it out, that's a bad thing." Mr. Ward had somewhat of a robotic make up not only mentally but physically also. He moved very effortlessly and efficiently about the room and during every test he goessintosa sort of RADAR mode. He sat at the front and scans the room for anything that may look like cheating. During this RADAR mode, if you were cheating, you would be caught. Guaranteed.

  Our test started and I was sitting there and working away quite quickly. I looked around with 15 minutes left, because I had finished and was checking my test.

  I noticed something very peculiar!

  Mr. Ward was staring right at one of the kids that seemed to be only half way done with his test.

  Every test we took, there was always that one guy scrambling at the last minute to finish his test. He would turn the pages and you saw blank spot after blank spot. Sometimes I even saw entire pages that were left blank.

  Mr. Ward did not take his eyes off of this kid, it seemed weird to me. For the remainder of the test, Mr. Ward watched that kid as he struggled furiously, flipping papers back and forth and writing furiously and erasing even more furiously. He seemed to use his calculator a lot more than he needed.

  After the test was finished, Mr. Ward gave his end of the year speech. Basically along the lines good luck and good job. Then I saw him beckon to the kid he was watching and tell the kid to go in the hall.

  Mr. Ward walked out of the room andsintosthe hall silently. He closed the door and from that moment on, I heard about 4 minutes of Mr. Ward yelling at the kid. He got his test ripped up and a zero for the end of the year exam and also failed for the quarter and had to take summer school.

  That was the first and the last time that I have seen Mr. Ward ever yell like that. Apparently the guy had written his answers inside the sleeve of the calculator and every time he was "using his calculator" he was really looking at the formulas and other stuff he had written inside of the sleeve, which was all in vain because Mr. Ward spotted it a mile away.

  “Pet peeve”指一种总是烦扰你,让你感到不安、厌烦的小东西,这个小东西能让你生几个小时的气,让你失掉理智。不知道中文应该怎么译才好,反正它比较准确的意思就是你讨厌的东西。



  考场上作弊是件令人恶心的事,这也是沃兹先生的“pet peeve”——最讨厌的事。





















  沃兹先生按照惯例给我们作了年终讲话。无非是些“Good luck”,“Good job”之类的话。







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