Article eleven

The following describes the meaning of rats, the lives of illegal immigrants, methods of stress reduction, methods of protecting consumers’ rights, and incidents caused by mistaking.

Article 1: The meaning of mice

When Spring Festival arrives on February 7, the rat will start the 12 – year animal cycle. Yes, it is the Year of the Rat.

In your English vocabulary, the words rat and mouse may mean the same and be interchange-able.

But in fact, it is net the ease. Mice and rats can be summed up nicely with two English phrases: “as quiet as a mouse,” and “a dirty rat.”

Rats are considered dirty because they are often found in sewers and other unclean places. They are also responsible for carrying the Black Plague disease that wiped out much of Europe’s population in the 15th century.

Having a rat in your house is bad news. They smell terrible and usually make a lot of noise.

Calling someone a “rat” in English means they are not to be trusted and are suspicious.

Saying “Rats!” is also a way to show one s annoyance . Charlie Brown in the Snoopy comic strips often says this.

Rats appear as mean and evil in some books and novels. However, a recent movie, Rata-touille, in which a rat plays a creative chef, has helped give rats a better image.

Mice, on the other hand, are seen as quiet and cute. They are smaller than rats and often kept as pets.

Walt Disney’s famous character Miekey Mouse helped give them a lovable image among chil-dren.

Jerry, from the Tom and Jerry, cartoons, represents mice as playful creatures that like to play tricks on their friends.

Article 2: The life of illegal immigrants

As the United States continues to argue over the future of illegal immigrants traveling across its borders, I went on a journey to discover what hardships people crossing the border from Tijuana must face.

I worked at a soup kitchen, where I came into contact with many poor citizens who had recently arrived in Tijuana.

One of the people I served was a Guatemalan named Juan, who washed cars for low pay in the US.

After we spoke for 10 minutes, Juan introduced me to his girl-friend, a local stripper who offered to give me a free lap dance if I ever de-cided to visit the club across the street.

I certainly didn’t need to respond to this.

I also visited a shelter for the recently deported and those who have recently arrived in Tijuana from other Mexican states.

Tijuana is home to more than 1.5 million people and is populat-ed by many migrants who arrive and leave mostly for reasons of employment.

Having dinner at the shelter, I talked with those who planned to stay the night. Seated at my table was a man in his 40s.

He had recently been deported from Los Angeles for not having the proper legal documentation.

The only belongings he carried with him were a few clothes and an album filled with pictures of his wife and three daughters in Los Angeles.

I was surprised by how open he was in sharing his story. I feel bad for not learning his name before I left.

Returning to my country on the final day of my trip awakened a strange feeling inside me.

I went on this trip with an open mind and heart and was given the chance to communicate with so many different people that I wouldn’t have met in my everyday life.

I felt guilty for taking so many things for granted, while people a few hundred miles away are already satisfied with the simpler things that they have.

Article 3: Methods to reduce stress

Follow the following tips to reduce your stress to manageable levels!

Avoid “Must” think. Let go of the idea that you must do something in a certain way—for ex-ample, “I must get a great score on a test, or else.”

This thought pattern only adds to the stress you’ll feel. Evaluate your situation coldly and logically, and not as a “life or death” situation.

Watch the Mess. Don’t study in a messy or cramped area. Clear yourself a nice, open space that’s free of distractions.

Set Manageable Goals. Break large projects into smaller and doable parts and you’ 11 feel a positive sense of accomplishment as you finish each part.

Ocean Dumping. Imagine yourself walking on a beautiful beach, carrying a sand bucket.

Stop at a good spot and put your worries into the pail.Drop the bucket and watch as it drifts away into the ocean.

Think Good Thoughts.Create a set of positive but brief affirmations and mentally repeat them to yourself just before you fall asleep at night, and you will feel a lot more positive in the morning.

Imagine Yourself Succeeding. Close your eyes and remember a real life situation in which you did well.

Imagine facing your stressful situation with the same feelings of confidence.

Use Your Bed for Sleeping, Not Studying. Your mind may start to associate your bed with work, which will make it harder for you to fall asleep.

Comforting Sounds. If you want to play music, keep it low in the background. Classical mu-sic especially can aid the learning process.

Take a Hike, Pal. Need a study break? Take a short, brisk walk. Clear your mind.

Article 4: Methods of Consumer Rights Protection

When a consumer finds that something he or she bought is faulty or in some other way does not live up to what the producer says for it , the first step is to present the warranty,or any other records that might help, at the store of buying.

In most cases, this action will produce results. However, if it does not, there are various means the consumer may use to gain satisfaction.

A simple and common method used by many consumers is to complain directly to the store manager.

In general, the “higher up” the consumer takes his or her complaint, the faster he or she can expect it to be settled.

In such a case, it is usually settled in the consumer’s favor, taking it as true that he or she has a just right.

Consumers should complain in person whenever possible, but if they cannot get to the place of buying, it is acceptable to phone or write the complaint in a letter.

Complaining is usually most effective when it is done politely but firmly, and especially when the consumer can show clearly what is wrong with what was bought in question.

If this can’t be done, the consumer will succeed best by presenting specific information as to what is wrong, rather than by making general statements.

For example, “The left speaker doesn’t work at all and the sound coming out of the right one is unclear” is better than “This tape recorder does not work.”

The store manager may advise the consumer to write to the producer, if so, the consumer should do this, stating the complaint as politely and as firmly as possible.

But if a polite complaint does not achieve the expected result, the consumer can take a step further.

He can threaten to take the seller to court or report the seller to a public organization responsible for protecting consumers’ rights.

Article 5: An incident caused by a wrong take

Enid’s wedding dress arrived at five o’clock in the evening just seventeen hours before her marriage!

“I must try it on, Mother!” she cried, as she ran upstairs.

Three minutes later Enid’s cries brought her mother in.

The dress was much too big for her. It was baggy in the front, and the neckline looked all wrong. Enid was in tears.

“Take it back to dressmaker’s,” Mrs Bale said. “She must alter it tonight. Hurry now. Take it off and go.”

The dressmaker’s shop was closed. “CLOSED FOR ONE WEEK’S HOLIDAY” said a notice on the door.

Fresh tears rose to Enid’s eyes. She ran home again to her mother.

“This is unlucky, ”Mrs Bale said.” But what are we going to do? Shall I ask Mrs Peters to help? She was a dressmaker once. I’m sure she could alter it for you.”

Mrs Peters was brought in and began to work. She could see what was wrong. She had to take in a lot of material at the front, and that was a big job.

Then she altered the neckline—in fact she made it again. At ten o’clock the work was finished, and Enid tried the dress on. It fitted her beautifully.

The three women were having a cup of tea when the doorbell rang. Mrs Bale answered it and looked into the worried eyes of a fat young woman.

The woman was carrying a large, flat box.

“Does Miss Enid Bale live here?” she asked breathlessly.

“Yes. She’s my daughter.”

“Oh, I’m glad I’ve found you! There’s been a mistake.

Your daughter has my wedding dress, and I’ve got hers. And I’m getting married tomorrow! She held out the box to Mrs Bale.

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