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Unit Eight:Honesty:Is It Going out of Style?

2011-07-26    来源:    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

TEXT

Ever thought about cheating on a test? Of course not. But some students are not quite so honest …

Honesty: Is It Going Out of Style?

Stacia Robbins

According to a recent poll, 61 percent of American high school students have admitted to cheating on exams at least once. It can be argued such a response my not mean much. After all, most students have been faced with the temptation to peek at a neighbor's test paper. And students can be hard on themselves in judging such behavior. However, there are other indications that high school cheating may be on the rise.
More and more states are requiring students to pass competency tests in order to receive their high school diplomas. And many educators fear that an increase in the use of state exams will lead to a corresponding rise in cheating. A case in point is students in New York State who faced criminal misdemeanor charges for possessing and selling advance copies of state Regents examinations.
Cheating is considered to be a major problem in colleges and universities. Several professors say they've dropped the traditional term paper requirement because many students buy prewritten term papers, and they can't track down all the cheaters anymore.
Colleges and universities across the nation have decided to do more than talk about the rise in student cheating. For instance, the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland launched a campaign to stop one form of cheating. As 409 students filed out of their exam, they found all but one exit blocked. Proctors asked each student to produce an ID card with an attached photo. Students who said they'd left theirs in the dorm or at home had a mug shot taken. The purpose of the campaign was to catch "ringers," students who take tests for other students.
The majority of students at the University of Maryland applauded the campaign. The campus newspaper editorial said, "Like police arresting speeders, the intent is not to catch everyone but rather to catch enough to spread the word."
We frequently hear about "the good old days", when Americans were better, happier, and more honest. But were they more honest? Maybe yes, a long time ago when life was very different from what it is today.
School children used to know the story of how Abraham Lincoln walked five miles to return a penny he'd overcharged a customer. It's the kind of story we think of as myth. But in the case of Lincoln, the story is true … unlike the story of George Washington and the cherry tree. Washington's first biographer invented the tale of little George saying to his father, "I cannot tell a lie. I did it with my ax." What is important in both stories, however, is that honesty was seen as an important part of the American character.
And these are just two stories out of many. Students in the last century usually didn't read "fun" stories. They read stories that taught moral values. Such stories pointed out quite clearly that children who lied, cheated, or stole came to bad ends.
Parents may have further reinforced those values. It's difficult to know. We do know that children didn't hear their parents talk of cheating the government on income taxes - there weren't any.
A clue as to why Americans may have been more honest in the past lies in the Abe Lincoln story. Lincoln knew his customer. They both lived in a small town. Would a check-out person at a large supermarket return money a customer? It's less likely. On the other hand, would overnight guests at an inn run by a husband and wife, steal towels? It's less likely.
Perhaps this tells us that people need to know one another to be at their honest best.
The vast majority of Americans still believe that honesty as an important part of the American Character. For that reason, there are numerous watch-dog committees at all levels of society. Although signs of dishonesty in school, business, and government seem much more numerous in recent years than in the past, could it be that we are getting better at revealing such dishonesty?
There is some evidence that dishonesty may ebb and flow. When times are hard, incidents of theft and cheating usually go up. And when times get better such incidents tend to go down.
Cheating in school also tends to ebb and flow. But it doesn't seem linked to the economy.
Many educators feel that as students gain confidence in themselves and their abilities, they are less likely to cheat. Surprisingly, some efforts to prevent cheating may actually encourage cheating - a person may feel "they don't trust me anyway," and be tempted to "beat the system." Distrust can be contagious. But, so can trust!

NEW WORDS

honesty
n. freedom from deceit, cheating, etc. 诚实
style
n. fashion 时髦
poll
n. survey of public opinion by putting questions to a representative selection of persons 民意测验
admit
v. state or agree to the truth of; confess 承认,供认
admission
n.
temptation
n. the act of tempting or being tempted 引诱;诱惑
peek
vi. look (at sth.) quickly, esp. when one should not 偷看
behavio(u)r
n. way of behaving 行为
behave
v.
indication
n. sign or suggestion 迹象

competency
n. ability; being competent 能力;胜任
diploma
n. official paper showing that a person has successfully finished a course of study or passed an examination 文凭
corresponding
a. matching 相应的
criminal
a. of crime
misdemeano(u)r
n. crime that is less serious than, for example, stealing of murder 轻罪
charge
n. accusation 指控
possess
n. have, own 占有,拥有
advance
a. made available before the date of general publication or release 预先的
regent
n. member of a governing board (学校董事会的)董事
drop
vt. give up; discontinue 放弃;革除
traditional
a. of or according to tradition 传统的
tradition
n.
requirement
n. sth. required; sth. demanded as a condition 要求;必要条件
prewritten
a. written beforehand; written in advance
psychology
n. science of the mind 心理学
psychological
a.
launch
vt. start, set going 发起;发动
campaign
n. series of planned activities for some special purpose 运动
file
vi. march or move in a line 排成纵队行进
exit
n. way out of a place 出口(处)
proctor
n. 临考人
ID card
n. identity card 身份证
dorm
n. (short for) dormitory 宿舍
mug
n. the face or mouth
shot
n. a single photograph
mug shot
n. (sl.) photograph of a person's face, used for purposes of identification 面部照片
ringer
n. any person who pretends to be another 冒名顶替者
applaud
vt. praise esp. by striking one's hands to gether 拍手称赞
campus
n. university; the grounds of a university, college, or school 大学;校园
editorial
n. leading article 社论
arrest
vt. seize (sb.) in the name of the law 逮捕
speeder
n. person who drives an automobile at a higher speed than is lawful 违法超速驾驶者
intent
n. purpose; intention
frequently
ad. at short intervals, often 频繁地
overcharge
vt. charge too much 对...要价太高
customer
n. person who buys goods from a shop, esp. regularly 顾客
myth
n. 神话
unlike
prep. not like, different from
cherry
n. 樱桃
biographer
n. person who writes about another person's life 传记作家
ax(e)
n. 斧子
character
n. mental or moral qualities that make one person, race, etc. different from others 性格,品质
moral
a. concerning principles of right of wrong 道德的
reinforce
vt. encourage of strengthen 加强
tax
n. 税,税款
clue
n. sth. that helps to find an answer to a question 线索
check-out
n. desk where one pays the bill of the goods one has chosen 结帐处
supermarket
n. large shop where one serves oneself with food and goods 超级市场
overnight
a. for or during the night 住一夜的;一整夜的
inn
n. small hotel 小旅馆,客栈
towel
n. 毛巾
vast
a. very big
numerous
a. many
watch-dog
a. organized or acting as a watchful guardian, esp. against unlawful practice 起监督作用的
dishonesty
n. the quality of being dishonest
reveal
vt. make known 揭露
evidence
n. sign or proof 证据
ebb
vi. (of the tide) flow back from the land to the sea; grow less; become weak or faint 落潮;低落,衰退
flow
vi. (of the tide) come in; rise; run or spread smoothly (潮)涨;上升;流
incident
n. event; happening 事件
theft
n. (the act of, an instance of) stealing
tend
vi. have a tendency 易于,往往会
link
vt. join or connect 连接;联系
economy
n. 经济
anyway
ad. at all; in any case 究竟;无论如何
tempt
vt. attract (sb.) to do sth. wrong or foolish 引诱
system
n. 体制;制度
systematic
a.
distrust
n. lack of trust; mistrust 不信任,怀疑
contagious
a. tending to spread easily from person to person 传染的

PHEASES & EXPRESSIONS

out of style
no longer fashionable 过时的,不再流行
according to
as stated or shown by; in a way that agrees with 按照,根据
(be) faced with
面对
be hard on
对...过分严厉
on the rise
increasing steadily 在增长;在加剧
a case in point
a very good example 恰当的例子
all but
all except 除了...都
(be) different from
unlike, not the same as 与...不同
think of ... as
regard as
in the case of
就...来说,至于
come to
arrive at a particular state or position 变成(某种状态)
lie in
exist in 在于
on the other hand
from the opposed point of view 另一方面,反过来说
at one's best
in as good a state as possible 处于最佳状态
go up
rise; increase 上升;增加
go down
fall; decrease 下降;减少

PROPER NAMES
Stacia Robbins
斯泰茜娅.罗宾斯
Maryland
马里兰(美国州名)
Abe
艾贝(Abraham的昵称)
Abe



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