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Prenuptial Agreement

Some people unjustly regard with contempt unmarried couples who are living
together.
After dating for three years, Ryan and I moved in
together to minimize living expenses. We planned to get
married after I graduated from college.
Well, my family practically disowned me when we
told them we were living together! (His
His folks were more
broad--minded about it.)
broad
it
After Ryan and I had lived together for a year I
found out he has a terrible temper. The day he grabbed me
by my blouse and threw me against the wall so hard I
thought my shoulder was broken I walked out on him.
him I thank God I didnt marry Ryan.
What a fix Id been in if, after we were married and had a child, I had learned that he

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Prenuptial Agreement

was capable of physically abusing me!


The next man I fall in love with I will make sure I live with before making a
lifetime commitment.
commitment
Living together before marriage may be a sin, but its the only way one can
really get to know a person more before its too late.

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What Does It Mean?

(1) prenuptial agreement


(2) my family practically disowned me
(3) his folks were more broad-minded about it
(4) I walked out on him
(5) a fix
(6) a lifetime commitment

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Questions

(1) What do some people think about unmarried couples who live together?
(2) What was the reason the woman and Ryan began to live together?
(3) When did they plan to get married?
(4) How did her family react when they learned Ryan and she were living together?
(5) What did Ryans family think about it?
(6) After they lived together for a year, what did she find out about Ryans personality?
(7) Why does she thank God for not having married Ryan?
(8) Would she live with the next man she loves?
(9) What does she think the only way to get to know a person is?

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Discussion Points

(1) Do you think living together before marriage is a good idea?


(2) What would you say if one of your children were going to live with someone of
the opposite sex before marriage?

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Opinion Samples

(1) Strange to say, I now believe that couples who are serious about marriage should,
at least, take a few weekend trips together to test their compatibility.
(2) A prenuptial agreement is an excellent idea for both parties should the marriage
end in death or divorce. It does not necessarily mean that one doesnt trust the
other. In a prenuptial agreement, you should be more careful to protect your
interest. This has nothing to do with trust or the lack of it. Its the common sense
and beneficial for all parties concerned.
(3) The best advice I ever received was a suggestion for a prenuptial agreement. The
biggest mistake of my life was getting married without it. My recommendation:
Insist on it. If a man and a woman strike an equitable agreement, they probably
wont need it. If they cant reach an agreement, theyd better not get married.
(4) A prenuptial agreement is a vote of no confidence. I spend much time trying to
figure out what makes a marriage work. Albert Einstein once said, You cant
simultaneously prepare for and prevent war.

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Opinion Samples

(5) Some people insist on love at first sight, but I suggest that they calm down and
take a second look. There is no such thing as love at first sight. Some of those
attractive first-sight qualities may turn out to be genuine and durable, but dont
count on the storybook formula.
The other bromide, love is blind, is far more sensible. The young girl (or an older
one) who believes herself to be in love cant see the undesirable qualities in her
man because she wishes not to see them. To her, he is the handsomest, brightest,
smoothest, sweetest, most adorable man in all the world. Perhaps his professor or
his boss or his roommate may consider him irresponsible, ugly tempered, lazy, or
stupid, but she cant see any of this at all.
Prenuptial agreement is ones best ally in evaluating an individuals true character
and measuring mutual compatibility. No one can play a part forever. The mask
must fall sooner or later. It is for this reason that I plead with people in love to live
together for some time before they really get married.

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Panhandling

This is my experience with a homeless man carrying


a large Will Work for Food sign.
He was living in the bushes behind my husbands
place of employment. When police arrested him for
trespassing and vagrancy,
vagrancy they found $1,000 in cash in his
pockets. He told the police he had made the money by
standing at a busy intersection in town with one of those signs.
He also said that he could never do as well working because
he takes in $500 to $600 a day just holding up that sign.
Think about this: If one person at each stop signal gave you a dollar, and the
signal changed 30 times an hour, and you stood there for eight hours a day, you could
make $240 a day. Realistically, the figures are probably much higher.
higher
I recently saw a family (a mother, a father, and three young children) standing
at a busy intersection holding their homeless signs. Not only is this activity
dangerous, its also emotional blackmail.
blackmail

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What Does It Mean?

(1) trespassing and vagrancy


(2) he also said he could never do as well working
(3) Realistically, the figures are probably much higher.
(4) emotional blackmail

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Questions

(1) Why was the man with the Will Work for Food sign arrested?
(2) What did the police find in his pocket?
(3) How did he make the money?
(4) How much can he make a day by just holding up the sign?
(5) What does the writer think about this kind of panhandling?

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Discussion Points

(1) Do you usually give beggars money when you see them?
(2) How much do you usually give them?
(3) Do you feel guilty if you give panhandlers nothing?
(4) Do you agree that panhandling is emotional blackmail?
(5) Many people say that when you give money to panhandlers, it only makes them
beg more. What do you think of the theory?
(6) Do you think it is fair that panhandlers generally make much more money than
ordinary salaried workers do?
(7) Do you think the government should permit panhandling?
(8) Talk about ways preventing panhandling on the street?

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Opinion Samples

(1) I think we have no moral obligation to give anything to panhandlers if begging is a


very lucrative business and they generally make much more money than average
people do. Do you think it is fair that relatively poor people should give money to
the rich?
(2) The government shouldnt allow panhandlers on the street. They cause people
anxiety over whether to give something or not. Some people feel guilty when they
dont give them money. Thats why I think panhandling is emotional blackmail.

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Lottery

I need an unbiased viewpoint.


viewpoint My friend Ive known for 22 years came down
here to Florida to live. Since he was a close pal of long standing,
standing I invited him to stay
with me. We became roommates and got along fine.
We agreed that we would play the state lottery with the following
understanding: Each of us would purchase at least one lottery ticket every week, and
if any of those tickets were a winner wed split the prize.
Although I was unemployed for a period of time and
not eligible for unemployment benefits,
benefits I still managed to buy
a ticket every week. Often when I asked my friend if he had
bought his ticket he would say, I forgot, or The lines were
too long.
Well, I hit five numbers, won $5,000, and decided
not to cut him in on the money since I felt that he did not
keep his part of the agreement. Our lease was up and we parted. He has all but shut
me out of his life and Im sure this is the reason.

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What Does It Mean?

(1) unbiased viewpoint


(2) a close pal of long standing
(3) not eligible for unemployment benefits
(4) decided not to cut him in on the money
(5) Our lease was up
(6) He has all but shut me out of his life

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Questions

(1) When they played the state lottery, what was their understanding?
(2) Did the writer have a good job?
(3) Was he eligible for unemployment benefits?
(4) Did his friend but tickets every week as they promised?
(5) What were the excuses for not buying tickets?
(6) How many numbers did the writer hit and how much money did he win?
(7) Why didnt he give some of the money to his friend when he won?

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Discussion Points

(1) Do you think he did the right thing?


(2) What do you think about his friends shutting the writer out of his life?
(3) How can they make up?
(4) Do you buy lottery tickets? Why or why not?
(5) If you won 1 million dollars, what would you do with the money?
(6) Would you continue your job if you win a fortune from the lottery?
(7) What do you think about the government issuing lottery tickets for financial
support?

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Opinion Samples

(1) The agreement was sloppy, to say the least. Too bad there wasnt anything in
writing that invalidated the agreement under certain conditions. I would suggest
that he give his friend $500, for friendships sake, even though it could be argued
that his friend wasnt entitled to anything.
(2) He did nothing wrong. His friend didnt keep to the understanding, he just made
lame excuses. He had no obligation to give anything to his friend.
(3) At night I used to pretend that I had won a big jackpot and then I would imagine all
the things that would happen to me if I had a million dollars.
My husband, who drinks too much, would quit his job and turn into a full-blown
alcoholic. My teenage children, who are unmotivated and need constant prodding,
would drop out of school and loaf on a full-time basis. All of my freeloading
relatives (as well as my husbands) would be hitting on me to help them out.
full-blown: fully developed
freeloading: taking advantage of free food and lodging, etc., without giving them anything in return
hitting on: asking for favor

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Opinion Samples

I would be inundated with letters from slick promoters with worthy causes and old
friends with hard-luck stories. Suddenly I would be faced with big decisions, such
as what kind of house to buy and if I wanted to live in La Jolla or Palm Beach.
Then Id have to decide if I wanted a Mercedes or a Rolls-Royce.
After 15 minutes of envisioning my life as a millionaire I decide that I am better off
with thing the way they are.

hard-luck: unfortunate

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Platonic Friends

[A] My husband and I are trying to put our marriage back together after his
affair with another woman. Weve been in counseling and
learned a great deal about ourselves and each other.
I believe Rob when he says he wants to stay with me
and work things out. I also believe that he has been faithful since
we started counseling. There is one sticking point,
point however.
Rob insists that I accept this other woman as his
friend someone whom he can share his work and intellectual
interests. The friend has had more formal education than I, but
I am not a dummy.
dummy
Their friendship consists of phone calls, letters, and an occasional drink. I
know he continues to share personal information about our marriage with this woman
and she advises him.
him I cant believe that her input is unbiased, nor do I believe that
her own needs and desires dont affect her advice.
advice

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Platonic Friends

I must add that I have never cared whether or not my husbands friends were
male or female. He has other female friends, which is okay with me because I dont
feel they are a threat to our marriage. Im unable to be impartial toward this woman
because she tried to break up our home and hurt our children.
[B] I am a 44-year-old woman who is having a platonic relationship with a 35year-old man. There is nothing sexual involvedwe just have lunch together and
maybe see a movie every few weeks. My husband just began to grumble about our
relationship and ordered me to knock off those lunches and movies. But I think I am
an adult who is free to have lunch with any friend I choose, regardless of age, sex,
race, creed, or marital status.
status
[C] Im a 27-year-old single woman living in a fairly small town. Ive worked
with a married man for five years, and I would say we are good friends. He suggested
that we meet in another town, have a few drinks and get a hotel room. I was offended,
offended

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Platonic Friends

walked away, and refused to speak to him for three weeks. Hes 42 and has three
children.
I started talking to him again, and he hasnt harasses me in any way. Hes
well-respected in the community, and Ive told no one about his suggestion. I really
like him a lot, but I would never forgive myself if I were to become sexually involved
with a married man. If he had just suggested the drinks and not the motel room, I
might have accepted. I would like to know him better, and there arent many
opportunities to talk at work.
Is it okay for us to become closer platonic friends? I dont want to hurt his
marriage or his reputation, but Id like to know him better intellectually (not physically)
I could learn a lot from him. We have not discussed his suggestion since I turned him
down. Should I bring it up and make my feelings clear to him?

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What Does It Mean?

(1) put our marriage back together


(2) sticking point
(3) I am not a dummy
(4) she advises him
(5) I cant believe that her input is unbiased, nor do I believe that her own needs and
desires dont affect her advice.
(6) I am unable to be impartial
(7) platonic relationship
(8) knock off
(9) marital status
(10)I was offended

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Questions

[A]
(1) What is the sticking point over Rob and his wife trying to put their marriage back
together?
(2) Do Rob and his girlfriend enjoy their relationship?
(3) Why did the wife feel okay about her husbands female friends in the past?
(4) Why does the wife worry about this particular woman?
[B]
(1) How old is the womans friend?
(2) What do they do when they see each other?
(3) Does her husband accept the relationship?
(4) Why does she think she has the right to have a relationship with anyone she
chooses?

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Questions

[C]
(1) How long has she worked with the married man?
(2) What did he suggest recently?
(3) Why did she refuse his suggestion?
(4) Did he continue to rub her the wrong way after his suggestion was turned down?
(5) Why does she want to know him better?

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Discussion Points

(1) Is it possible for a man to see a woman as s friend after they have had a love
affair?
(2) Is friendship or platonic relationship possible between a man and a woman?
(3) If your spouse insisted that he or she had a platonic relationship with another
person, would you accept it?
(4) Would it be acceptable if the relationship were open?
(5) Have you ever had any platonic relationships with someone from the opposite
sex?
(6) Do you think that a common interest, a hobby, work, or the same intellectual
pursuits could be a good reason to have a platonic relationship?
(7) Do you think either husband or wife has a right to order that a platonic
relationship should be stopped?

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Opinion Samples

(1) It sounds as if he wants a wife and a girlfriend both. She should tell him she
refuses to settle for that kind of arrangement and the ball is now in his court.
(2) They talk on the phone, write letters, and meet occasionally to have a drink, and
he wants to call it platonic? Nonsense. I dont buy that.
(3) Her husband needs to grow up. The relationship is not secret and she says there
is nothing sexual involved. I think her husband has nothing to worry about. What
we really have to worry about is a secret relationship, which inevitably entails
sexual wrong doing.
(4) When one of the spouses has a so-called platonic relationship, its a dynamite
situation which will eventually explode. Married men and women dont date other
people. If they value their marriage, so they should stop the relationship
immediately. The relationship might start out very innocently, but may end up in a
motel room.

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A Classic MidMid-Life Crisis

After working hard for 20 years, I have attained


significant success in my field. Part of the reason was my
husbands belief in my potential and his constant
encouragement. Over the years, we celebrated my many
promotions.
promotions
But recently, Dave filed for divorce. My friends called
it a classic mid-life crisis. (He just turned 40.) I believe
the real reason for the divorce is my success.
Pop psychology experts have offered many glib explanations,
explanations but nothing
can alleviate the pain I feel. I worked hard, became successful, and lost the man I
love. Now, Im wondering if this is exclusively a male thing
thing. Ive never known a woman
who divorced her husband because he became successful.
What do you think about this? Should I have seen it coming and slowed down?
I love my career, but I also love Dave. Success is cold comfort in an empty bed.

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What Does It Mean?

(1) we celebrated my many promotions


(2) Pop psychology experts have offered many glib explanations
(3) if this is exclusively a male thing
(4) Should I have seen it coming and slowed down?
(5) Success is cold comfort in an empty bed.

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Questions

(1) How long did it take before she succeeded in her field?
(2) How did her husband help her gain success in her job?
(3) What does she think is the real reason her husband filed for divorce?
(4) Were psychology professionals helpful in lessening her pain?
(5) What is she working now?
(6) What does success mean to her?

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Discussion Points

(1) Are you for or against your wifes having a career?


(2) How would you feel if your wife were very successful and making more money
than you?
(3) Would you help your wife with housework or child care if she had a job outside
the home?
(4) Do you think it is true that a wife with a job tends to disregard her husband?

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Opinion Samples

(1) This world is filled with women who are more successful than their husbands and
they are still married. There must have been other problems that she was not
aware of.
The wise wife knows how to cut down the glare of the spotlight and move her
husband closer to center stage. I wonder if she made an effort to do this. If so,
there should be no self-recrimination. He would left anyway.
(2) I dont understand her husband if there were no other problem except her
successful career. Why should her success make him feel upset, jealous, and hurt?
If he feels that way, it proves that he doesnt really love her. He needs to grow up.

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TV Channel

Recently my husband and I were guests in my in-laws home, as well as my


husbands brother and sister-in-law. My father-in-law, my husband, the brother and his
wife became involved in a spirited game of spades, while I watched TV in the living
room. When a
program came on about sexual dysfunction, I, being of an
inquisitive nature and possessing a thirst for knowledge,
became interested.
After a few minutes came this voice from afarit was
my husbands brother demanding that I change the channel! I
told him I didnt want to change the channel and suggested that
he concentrate on his card game. A minute or so later, he stood
up and announced that he and his wife were going to bed
because I refused to change the channel!
My husband was furious with me for refusing to give
inand I was angry at being ordered to change the TV channel
while the card players entertained themselves as they pleased.

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What Does It Mean?

(1) spirited game


(2) inquisitive nature

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Questions

(1) Where did the writer go recently?


(2) What did she do there?
(3) What did the other family members do?
(4) What was on TV that night?
(5) Was she interested in the program?
(6) What did the husbands brother demand?
(7) How did she retort?
(8) Why did the brother and his wife go to bed?
(9) Why was the writers husband angry?
(10)Why was the writer angry?

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Discussion Points

(1) Can you imagine why the brother demanded that she change the channel?
(2) Was it right for the husbands brother to demand that she do so?
(3) Did her husband have good reason to get angry with her simply because she
refused to follow the brothers demand?
(4) Who is the most powerful person in your family in terms of TV channel selection?
(5) What kinds of programs on TV do you favor? Why?
(6) Do you think TV can be educational for children?

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Opinion Samples

(1) I understand the brother demanding her to change the channel because the
program on TV was not proper for a family gathering. The program was about
sexual dysfunction, which seems a very private matter. However, I say the brother
has no right to order her to change the channel, even though it was at his house.
All the people there except the writer were enjoying themselves by playing cards,
so she had a right to enjoy herself anyway she wanted.
(2) In many families the channel selection power has come into the hands of the kids
because of the parents lack of responsibility. Children seem to watch everything
they want. Parents tend to believe that watching TV is always educational and
dont seem to consider the possible side effects when children are exposed to TV
randomly for a long time. The right to decide what to watch should be in the hands
of parents. And parents should be intelligent enough to screen the childrens
programs and decide which is really educational.
(3) When kids are watching TV theyre doing nothing since not one skill is being
exercised. Television-watching inhibits initiative, curiosity, motivation, imagination,
reasoning and attention span. Because the action shifts constantly in time, it also

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Opinion Samples

fails to promote logical, sequential thinking, thereby causing problems in following


directions and anticipating consequences. And there is an ample evidence that
television-generation children, deprived of opportunities for discovery and
developing natural gifts, are less competent than previous generations.
I think it makes sense to keep a child away from television as much as possible
until at least the third grade, when he or she has learned to read well. After that,
there is no problem letting a child watch educational or sports programs, but I
recommend that parents allow no more than five hours of television a week.

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Do I Owe Him $1,000?

Twenty years ago I offered my brother $1,000 if he would quit smoking. I told
Sam that he would have to wait five years to collect because I needed time to save
that much money. I also wanted to make certain he wouldnt start smoking again.
Sams family and mine traveled together a great deal
and we had young children. His nonstop smoking was more
than my wife and I could handle. We were hoping he would
accept the offer and were very disappointed when he didnt.
Several months ago, Sam had a heart attack followed
by bypass surgery. The doctor ordered Sam to quit smoking.
He quit cold turkey and now says I owe him $1,000.
I havent seen very much of my brother these last few
years because he has moved away, and it no longer matters
to me if he smokes or not.
not Do I owe him the $1,000 or not?

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What Does It Mean?

(1) He quit cold turkey


(2) it no longer matters to me if he smokes or not.

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Questions

(1) Why did the writer offer Sam $1,000?


(2) Did Sam accept the offer?
(3) Why did Sam quit smoking?
(4) Did Sam quit smoking gradually?

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Discussion Points

(1) Does the writer owe Sam $1,000?


(2) Talk about ways to quit smoking.
(3) Which do you think is the best way to quit, by gradual withdrawal or cold-turkey?

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Opinion Samples

(1) He doesnt owe Sam the $1,000. His offer expired a long time ago. Sam quit
because the doctor ordered him to, but it was many years later.
(2) He owes Sam $1,000 because he offered him the money if Sam stopped smoking.
The offer didnt specify how or why and had no expiration date.

expired: came to an end

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Forgetfulness

I was accompanying my husband on a business trip. He was carrying his


portable computer with him and the guard at the airport gate
asked him to open the case. It was locked, and the guard had
to wait patiently as my embarrassed spouse struggled to
remember the combination.
combination At last he succeeded.
Why were you so nervous? I asked him.
The numbers are the date of our anniversary,
my husband confessed.

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What Does It Mean?

(1) the combination

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Questions

(1) For his business trip, what did the husband carry?
(2) What did the airport guard ask him to do?
(3) Was it easy for him to open the computer case?
(4) Why was he nervous when he tried to open it?

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Discussion Points

(1) Does your husband always remember special days such as your birthday and
wedding anniversary?
(2) How do you celebrate your birthday?
(3) How do you celebrate your wedding anniversary?
(4) How would you feel if your husband forgot your special days?
(5) What is the best way to make your spouse remember your special days?

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Opinion Samples

(1) My husband is so forgetful that he never remembers my special days. It took me a


lot of time and painful effort before I accepted the fact that he cannotnor will he
everprovide the love and interest that he should. Its not easy to insulate myself
this way, but it hurts less to expect nothing than to hope in vain. His handicap
makes it impossible for him to perceive my feelings. He is unaware of the pain
caused by his thoughtlessness. I accept him as a man with a permanent handicap
and shield myself from the ice pick of rejection.
(2) Just saying expect nothing, then you will not be disappointed sounds like a selffulfilled prophecy. Nor would I shield myself from rejection by regarding a
thoughtless man as one with a permanent handicap. Thoughtlessness need not
be permanent.
(3) Im sentimental! Birthdays are very important to me, so I start two weeks ahead of
time talking about mine. No nagging, whining or poor me stuff. I just tell the truth:
My birthday is a big deal to me. I cant wait for my birthday to come. It is only six
days away; where shall we go to celebrate?
prophecy: foretelling of what is to come
whining: complaining

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Deadbeat Dad

Our son, who is in his early 20s, has fathered a child with a young lady who
lives in another state. Prior to the knowledge of Dees
pregnancy, Boyd had intended to break up with her, so
pregnancy
apparently true love was not part of their relationship.
At this point, Dee hasnt demanded any financial
assistance, probably because she realizes that Boyd doesnt
have much to offer.
offer She would, however, like for Boyd to be
a part of their childs life, if only to show up a couple of times
a year, like on Christmas and the childs birthday.
The baby will soon be a year old, and Boyd has
expressed no interest in seeing him. We offered to buy him a
plane ticket. Which he refused to accept. Even though Dee
chased our son shamelessly,
shamelessly we believe he is being unfair by
ignoring her and their child.
Apparently Boyd is trying to forget his mistake, but we are afraid he wont

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Deadbeat Dad

be able to live with himself years from now if he continues to behave as if Dee and
his child dont exist.
We dont know if we should send a birthday gift to the youngster or not.
Under the circumstances were comfortable about establishing any kind of bond or
relationship.

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What Does It Mean?

(1) deadbeat
(2) Prior to the knowledge of Dees pregnancy
(3) Boyd doesnt have much to offer.
(4) Even though Dee chased our son shamelessly

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Questions

(1) What has the son done?


(2) When did he try to break up with the young lady?
(3) Why didnt she demand any financial assistance?
(4) What did she ask the babys father to do?
(5) Was he interested in seeing the baby?
(6) Do the parents think it is fair for their son not to see the baby?
(7) Do they want to have any relationship with the baby?

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Discussion Points

(1) Do you think the parents should have an intimate relationship with the girl and the
baby?
(2) Is a man responsible if his girlfriend gives birth to a baby against his wish?

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Opinion Samples

(1) The parents had better send a gift and be part of the grandsons life. The fact that
Boyd is behaving in an immature and irresponsible manner doesnt mean that his
parents must cut themselves off from their grandson.
In addition, Boyd should realize that he is obligated to support his own child. He
also needs to understand how important it is to accept his sonboth for the
childs sake and his own. Boyd has a bit of growing up to do.
(2) When a man makes it clear that he doesnt want a baby while dating, he must be
exempt from any financial responsibility or legal obligation, even if his partner
becomes pregnant. Since many kinds of contraceptives are available, if a woman
becomes pregnant under this conditions she must have done so deliberately to
trap the man into the marriage.

obligated: obliged morally or legally


contraceptives: birth control devices or drugs

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Search For Natural Parents

[A] My parents divorced when I was 4 years old. The divorce was very
nasty, and I saw my father only a few times before he
nasty
decided to move out of the state to avoid paying child support.
It wasnt until I became a father myself that I had a
desire to see my dad again. I then read a letter in the
newspaper stating that the Salvation Army locates longlong-lost
relatives. I saved that column, but waited for about five years
relatives
before I wrote to the Salvation Army about locating my father.
To my great surprise, two months later the Salvation
Army contacted me at my home in Sacramento, saying that they had found my dad
and that he wanted to communicate with me! I was told that he was ill, so I hurriedly
flew to Salt Lake City to visit him in the hospital. I spent the weekend there and we
had a very nice time catching up on the 30-year gap in our relationship.
Four days later, I received a call from the hospital, informing me that my
father had just passed away!

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Search For Natural Parents

In retrospect,
retrospect I suppose I should feel grateful for having had the chance to see
my dad before he died. Actually, I agonized over the fact that I hadn't tried to find him
sooner. I want to urge anyone who has a desire to locate a lost relative to do it today.
Tomorrow may be too late.
[B] You hear so much these days about adopted adults who want to find their
real mothers. I may be unusual because Ive never had any desire to find mine. My
mother gave me up at birth for my own good
goodand hers.
hers Im grateful to her because
the parents who raised me have given me a wonderful home.
I believe that most adopted adults who search for their birth mothers must be
unhappy with their parents or their own lives. I feel sorry for parents who have
adopted children and given them a good home, only to have them go looking for their
real mothers. I would never do that.
So to all you adopted people, appreciate your good fortune and dont go
poking around trying to find your real mother.
mother. The one you have couldnt be any
more real.

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

What Does It Mean?

(1) The divorce was very nasty


(2) Salvation Army locates long-lost relatives.
(3) In retrospect
(4) My mother gave me up at birth for my own good and hers.
(5) Dont go poking around trying to find your real mother.

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Questions

[A]
(1) When did the mans parents divorce?
(2) Why did his father move out of state?
(3) When did he get the desire to see his father?
(4) Can you imagine why he waited five years before he actually wrote a letter to the
Salvation Army locating his father?
(5) How long did it take for the Salvation Army to locate his father?
(6) Did he and his father have an argument?
(7) When did his father die?
(8) Why should he feel grateful?
(9) Then why did he feel agony?
(10)Is he for or against searching for ones natural parents?

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Questions

[B]
(1) Why does the writer think he is unusual?
(2) Why is he grateful for his natural mother?
(3) Does he believe that adopted adults should search for their natural parents?
(4) Why is he against searching for natural parents?

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Discussion Points

(1) Do you think it is natural for adopted adults to have the desire to search for their
natural parents?
(2) If you were an adopted adult, would you search for your natural parents?
(3) What would you say to your adopted children if they desired to find their natural
parents?
(4) Do you think adoptive parents are disappointed if their adopted children search
for their natural parents?
(5) So you think adoption records should remain sealed unless both the birth parents
and the adopted children agree to opening them?

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Opinion Samples

(1) Many adopted adults desperately want to know about their roots, regardless of
how wonderful their adoptive parents are. That is human instinct. If you were not
interested in searching for your natural mother, that might be okay for you, but
your real mother misses you a lot.
(2) Many adoptive adults have no desire to find their birth parents, so they are not
really unusualbut they are lucky. And some birth mothers prefer not to be found,
as is their right.
(3) Confidential adoption should be guaranteed. Adoptee should be permitted to learn
the medical history of their parents but nothing more, unless both the birth parents
and the adopted child agree to it.

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Different Taste

My husband and I recently received a wedding gift from a co-worker named


Andy. Andy loves to paint, so he gave us one of his paintings.
This painting is definitely not to our taste.
taste He must have
exhibited it in an art show because the price tag was still on
the back of it.
I suppose this painting has some special meaning to
Andy, and he probably spent many precious hours on it.
Should we keep the painting and hide it in the closet?
Or is there a tactful way to give it back to Andy so he can
enjoy it himself or give it to someone else who would appreciate it?

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

What Does It Mean?

(1) This painting is definitely not to our taste.


(2) tactful way

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Questions

(1) Do they like the wedding gift from Andy?


(2) How do they know the painting has been in an art show?
(3) What are three options in dealing with this situation?

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Discussion Points

(1) How would you handle this situation?


(2) Was it okay for Andy to give a painting with a price tag on it?
(3) Is it okay for a giver to ask the receiver what present to buy beforehand?

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Opinion Samples

(1) It depends on the couples relationship with Andy. If they return it, would he be
hurt? Insulted? Grateful? If Andy values the painting, Im sure hed rather have it
back than have it stuck away in some dark closet. This is a difficult decision to
make.
(2) I think giving any present with a tag price on it is against common courtesy. If I
receive one I would be upset because the giver has tacitly told me the value he
puts on our relationship.

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

I Want A Virgin

Im a single male in my mid-20s. Ive had many girlfriends and a great deal of
sexual experience, but now I am ready to settle down and get
married. I want to marry a virgin.
Although I have been around a lot,
lot I insist on having
an untouched woman for my wife.
wife I will not get married unless
I can find one.
I realized that as I get older, most virgins will be a lot
younger than I am. In fact, a friend I discussed this with recently said most virgins
today are 12 years of age or younger. Im not the kind of man who could date anyone
under 18. how can I find what Im looking for?

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

What Does It Mean?

(1) Although Ive been around a lot.


(2) untouched women for my wife

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Questions

(1) Is he a virgin?
(2) Is he looking for a virgin?
(3) What does he realize?
(4) What did his friend say about virgins?
(5) Will he date anyone under 18?

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Discussion Points

(1) Should your future spouse be a virgin regardless of your own sexual experience?
(2) Do you think you have a right to criticize some men simply because they want to
marry virgins in spite of their own sexual experience?
(3) What if you meet the perfect woman and it turns out that
(a) She is a widow?
(b) She was once raped?
(c) She was a victim of childhood sexual abuse
Would you still marry her?
(4) Would you voluntarily let your future spouse know about your sexual experience
if you are not a virgin? Or would you hide your sexual history?
(5) Would you ask your future spouse about his or her sexual experience?
(6) Would you tell the truth if asked about your sexual experience?

ENGLISH
STORY
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Opinion Samples

(1) What kind of man is it who believes its perfectly okay to hit the mattress with
every available female and then expect his future wife to be 100 percent pure? Do
these guys think virgins are just waiting around for some experienced male to
teach them about life?
I would rather have a man who knew absolutely nothing about sex than marry an
alley cat. After all, most people dont need lessons. They do what comes naturally.
A man who has fooled around as much as he has doesnt deserve and shouldnt
expect a pristine-pure bride.
(2) How can we condemn him just for wanting a virgin as his future bride? Even
though he has enjoyed many one-night stands, he has a right to have a pure bride.
If he does not talk about his sexual experience, who would know he is not a virgin?

alley cat: sexually promiscuous person


fooled around: had sexual adventures, especially adulterously
one-night stand: casual sex acts; brief sexual encounters

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Opinion Samples

(3) Most of the men Ive dated want sex within the first three dates. When I say Im
still a virgin and plan to stay that way until marriage, my date tells me he respects
me. That means I will never hear from him again.
I learned from bitter experience that a woman cant win. If she sleeps with a guy
on the first, second, or third date, he figures shes a tramp. If she doesnt, he
writes her off as a cold fish or maybe a lesbian.
(4) It didnt matter to me if my wife was a virgin, since I could trust her not to fool
around after we were married. When we started to go out, I invoked the policy the
Pentagon applies to gays in the militaryDont ask, dont tell. That way,
everybody gets a fair shake and a fresh start.

tramp: promiscuous woman


writes her off: discounts
lesbian: homosexual woman
a fair share: just or reasonable arrangement

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Love Affair

My husband and I spent a lot of time with his attractive assistant. After several
years of absolute misery, my husband and I ended up in a counselors office. It turned
out that in spite of his persistent denials, an affair had indeed taken place with his
assistant. She made the mistake, however, of assuming that because he was involved
with her he didnt love me. She began to pressure
him to get a divorce.
After a while, my husband resented the pressure and
ended the affair. The woman became extremely angry and
accused him of ruining her life. He was filled with guilt over
what he had done to her and grief
grief--stricken because of what
he had done to me. His successful business plummeted into
bankruptcy, and he became deeply depressed. Thats when
bankruptcy
we ended up in the counselors office.

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Love Affair

He asked me to forgive him and said he loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his
life making up for what he had done.
done We renewed our marriage vows and continued
counseling for 18 months. He apologized to our three adult children for what he had
put them through and asked for forgiveness, a healing has taken place in our entire
family.

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

What Does It Mean?

(1) Ended up
(2) assuming
(3) grief-stricken
(4) His successful business plummeted into bankruptcy.
(5) making up for what he had done
(6) marriage vows
(7) what he had put them through

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Questions

(1) What mistake did the mistress make?


(2) What did the mistress demand?
(3) What did the mistress do when the man ended the affair?
(4) What happened to the mans business after the affair?
(5) What did he finally do for his family members?

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Discussion Points

(1) What would you do if your husband had an affair?


(2) What would you do if your wife had an affair?
(3) Do you think having an affair should be punished by law?
(4) If one spouse is having an affair, do you think its justified for the other partner to
have one too?
(5) Can you believe your spouse is faithful to you even if you haven't noticed any
sign of fooling around?

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Opinion Samples

(1) There is no legitimate excuse for a spouse to have an affair. Marriage is a


partnership. Neither has the right to cheat on the other. If one feels abused or
taken for granted, he or she should talk it over with the errant partner and work
things out.
(2) When your husband has a love affair, you should dump him immediately so you
can feel relieved to be free of the bum. Your life is better focused, the agony and
humiliation are over, and you are free to make a meaningful life on your own.
Many divorcees report that the wandering mate asks if he can come back home,
only to find the doors locked.
(3) Most women think they know when their husbands are cheating. My husband and
I had breakfast and dinner together several days a week. He never went
anywhere in the evening without me. We were together every weekend. So when
did he have time to fool around? You guesses it. Lunch.

bum: tramp; worthless person

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Story

Opinion Samples

For ten years he met this dame at noon for a quickie. She supplied the apartment,
and he brought the food. I never caught on because I never dreamed there were
people who would settle for so little. Is my saga unique?
(4) My husband of 26 years has had the same mistress for 8 years, and I am all for it.
Here are my reasons: I am able to spend a lot of time alone (which I prefer), and
anything I do is fine with him because then hes able to spend more time with her.
He is not aware that I know whats going on and he treats me like a queen
because he has such a guilty conscience he feels compelled to make it up to me.
He is an excellent provider, and I have total freedom. I figure he will die at an early
age due to the constant stress he is under trying to hide his affair from me. Also,
he doesnt take care of his health. (He averages about three hours sleep a night.)
When he finally drops dead, I stand to collect several hundred thousand dollars in
insurance money, and all of our assets will be 100 percent mine.
dame: a woman; female
quickie: the sex act done very hastily
sage: story
for: in favor of; on the side of
provider: person who supports a family or another person

ENGLISH
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Story

Opinion Samples

The other woman is doing me a great favor.


(5) Ive been married to Jim for 20 years. Hes hard-working, honest, loyal and a
wonderful father to our three children. My friends say they would kill to have a
husband like Jim. So why do I have affairs? (Ive had three in the past 12 years.)
Because I need romance and excitement in my life. My lovers make me feel
desirable. Jims lovemaking is humdrum and matter-of-fact. He will not see a
counselor, but Ive seen two. They both tell me to leave Jim and start a new life,
but I didnt want to break up my home.
(6) Advice to a woman in love with a married man.
1. Stop fantasizing about your lover. That selfish creep has already stolen several
years of your life. Drop him like a bad habit.
2. Nobody is going to break your door down to marry you. Make yourself
humdrum: boring; dull
matter-of-fact: direct or unemotional
creep: boring, disturbingly eccentric person

ENGLISH
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Opinion Samples

3.
4.
5.
6.

available to eligible men. Get out of your comfortable routine and force yourself
to get a social life. Shut off the TV.
Lose some weight if you need to. Go on a supervised diet. Join a health club.
You will meet people there.
Do you swim, skate, ski, or play bridge or tennis? Not only can you meet
people when you take lessons but also afterwards.
Take evening courses at your local community college. There will be others
there who want to improve their lives.
Be a volunteer. There are many worthwhile organizations looking for extra
hands.

If you follow these six steps, you will meet your future husband.

eligible: qualified

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Stock Investment Blues

Im a young woman on my own, and Ive been selfself-supporting since I


graduated from college three years ago. I have a male friend who makes his living on
Wall Street and who knows a lot about stocks. He has done very well and insists that
buying and selling stocks is not a gamble if you know what youre doing.
doing
Well, this friend told me that he had a hot stock that would sure go up
immediately. I believed him and invested $5,000 in it. This
may not be a lot of money to some people, but it
represented my lifes savings.
savings
Instead of going up, the stock went down. It is worth
about $500 now. My friend felt guilty and offered to buy it
from me at the price I paid for it.
Should I let him buy it to relieve his conscience?
Or should I tell him Im a big girl?

STORY
English
Story

What Does It Mean?

(1) Ive been self supporting


(2) makes his living on Wall Street
(3) buying and selling stocks is not a gamble if you know what youre doing
(4) it represented my lifes savings
(5) Im a big girl.

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Questions

(1) How long has she been financially independent?


(2) What does her male friend do for a living?
(3) Under what condition does her friend think stock trading is different from
gambling?
(4) What caused her to invest?
(5) How much did she invest?
(6) Where did the money come from?
(7) What happened to the stock she bought?
(8) How much is her stock worth now?
(9) What did he offer to do for her?

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Discussion Points

(1) Would you accept his offer if you were in her situation?
(2) Who do you think is responsible for the loss?
(3) Do you think a stock brokers recommendation automatically means responsibility?

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Opinion Samples

(1) Since he advised her to buy the stock with her lifes savings, he had a moral
obligation to keep his eye on it. If I were her Id take him up on his offer.
(2) Even though her friend knows Wall Street well and recommended buying a
particular stock, the ultimate responsibility falls on the investor herself. How can
anybody be paid back for a loss in stock investment. Stock investment is an adult
game and guarantees no reimbursement.

reimbursement: repayment

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

The Last to Know

My husband was the quiet type the last person in the world anyone would
suspect capable of infidelity.
infidelity Nevertheless, he was.
I caught him with his girlfriend right in our bed when
I came home unexpectedly from a trip.
After I filed for divorce three of my neighbors told
me that for the last year they had seen this young woman
entering and leaving my home many times after I had left
for work. I wanted to scream, Why didnt you tell me?
You could spared me all this!
Then I realized that they probably thought that they were doing the right thing
by keeping quiet.
quiet Had I been told, perhaps the problem could have been ironed out
by counseling;
counseling or at least I could have filed for divorce earlier and be spared the
humiliation of walking in on such a scene.

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

What Does It Mean?

(1) capable of infidelity


(2) Why didnt you tell me? You could have spared me all this!
(3) They probably thought they were doing the right thing by keeping quiet.
(4) The problem could have been ironed out by counseling

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Questions

(1) What kind of person was her husband?


(2) When did she catch him and his girlfriend in bed?
(3) Why did her neighbors tell her after she filed for divorce?
(4) Why didnt her neighbors tell her earlier about her husbands infidelity?
(5) If she had been told, what could she have done?

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Discussion Points

(1) Do you think the neighbors should have told her about her husbands affair or
was it simply none of their business?
(2) Why do you think the neighbors were reluctant to inform her of her husbands
infidelity?

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Opinion Samples

(1) People are reluctant to inform on their neighbors. There is too much margin for
error. Furthermore, this case represents very personal matter, so they might not
be able to decide whether or not they inform her of her husbands suspicious
behavior, which in fact later proved to be a divorce-causing problem. The
neighbors may have suspected some strange behavior, but they couldnt know
what was really going on unless they asked the couple involved. And that was not
a thing they could ask.
(2) The husbands strange behavior continued during a whole year, and three
neighbors noticed something wrong was going on, so they had to find a way to
report to the wife. How about writing an anonymous letter?

margin: possibility

ENGLISH
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Story

First Move

I am a high school senior, and about 75 percent of my dates have come about
because the girl asked me. As a matter of fact, it was a girl who
asked me out on my first date.
It is a common practice for girls in my high school to
make the first move. Of all the girls I ever went steady with,
with
they all made the first move.
One day in school I received a secret admirer note
from a girl who said she had seen me at a football game and
would like to know me better.
better Because she took the initiative,
initiative
I dated her and we became very good friends, and we still date
every so often. If it werent for her making the first move I would
never have met her.
I say if a girl wants to know a fellow better, let him know it. She has everything
to gain and nothing to lose.

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

What Does It Mean?

(1) I ever went steady with


(2) secret admirer
(3) would like to know me better
(4) Because she took the initiative
(5) She has everything to gain and nothing to lose.

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Questions

(1) Who asked him out on his first date?


(2) Isnt it a common practice for boys to make the first move in the writers school?
(3) Why does the writer think the girls first move is a good idea?

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Discussion Points

(1) Do you think it is OK for girls to ask guys out?


(2) How do you usually let a prospective date know you are interested?
(3) How would you usually make the first move?
(4) How would you feel if you were approached by a girl?
(5) Do you think its OK for a woman to call a man first?

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Opinion Samples

(1) How ridiculous it is to ask who is going to make the first move! Is it necessary to
distinguish between the sexes? Love is a feeling, and feelings never discriminate
between sexes. If the feeling of love is shared by two people, who is going to
make the first move is the last thing to be considered.
(2) It is common sense that boys usually make the first move, and this tradition wont
change overnight. Im not saying that only boys should make the first move, but it
is more natural. Smart boys know when to move, and bright girls know when to
let them do so.
(3) If a man and a woman are attracted to each other it doesnt matter if the man calls
the woman or the woman calls the man. Women are people, and people
shouldnt play games.

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Church Etiquette

[A] While in church I saw a woman put a $5 bill in the collection plate and
take back $4. Is that considered proper etiquette?
[B] I am not overly religious but I do like to go to church once in a while. It
seems to me that every time I go I am dunned for money
money. I thought religion was free.
I realize that churches have to have some money, but
I think their behavior is getting to be a racket.
racket What
do churches do with all their money?

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

What Does It Mean?

(1) I am dunned for money


(2) a racket

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Questions

[A]
(1) What did the writer see in church?
(2) How much money did the woman give the church?

[B]
(1) How often does the writer go to church?
(2) When the writer does go to church, what happens?
(3) What did the writer think about religion?
(4) What does the writer realize?
(5) What doesnt the writer understand?

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Discussion Points

(1) Do you think the making change from the collection plate is against common
courtesy?
(2) Do you feel a duty to put money in the collection plate?
(3) How many church goers donate one tenth of their overall income?
(4) Do you think the churches are getting too rich?

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Opinion Samples

(1) God knows the woman put in a $5 bill and took back $4. She did nothing wrong
from any viewpoint.
(2) When people go to church they should be prepared with money for the offering. If
they really forget, rather than making change they should bring a little extra the
following Sunday. When people start digging around the collection basket, they
leave themselves open for suspicion. Why start a precedent by taking money out?
It will only tempt someone less honest to do something crooked.
Contributing generously at the end of the year in one lump sum is another
alternative.
(3) While the person who gives to the church once a year may be very generous,
those who see him passing the basket without putting anything in may assume
hes giving nothing.

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Opinion Samples

(4) Why does putting nothing in the collection basket at church set a poor example?
Maybe the person is out of work or has suffered some serious business reversal.
The only example that should be set is one of kindness. Poor people need the
fellowship of a church more than ever. People should give what they can, pass
the basket along, and mind their own business. If people choose to steal from the
collection they will have to answer to a higher authority than Churchgoer.
(5) Even priests, ministers, and rabbis must eat. Since they work full-time at their
tasks their churches must support them. Staff, professional choir members, and
musicians must also be paid. Buildings must be maintained, heated, lighted and
beautified. (And of course, they must be built!) Custodial staff must eat and feed
their families. Most churches engage in the philanthropic work; hence they have
financial obligations. Churches cant live on air. Religions, like water may be free,
but when they pipe it to you youve got to help for the piping. And the piper!

ENGLISH
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English
Story

Corporal Punishment

We should speak out against corporal punishment in our schools. Paddling


children with a board is child abuse. It also promotes child abuse in our communities
by sending the message that it is OK for adults to hit children.
Paddling creates fear in children and lowers their
self-esteem. This adds to the dropout rate and lowers the test
scores, as students lose interest in being educated in a
Nazi-like atmosphere. It also humiliates and angers children,
increasing vandalism and violence in the schools.
Schools that forbid paddling are more peaceful, and the students appreciate
being treated with respect. They return this respect to their teachers and to the
school.

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

What Does It Mean?

(1) We should speak out against corporal punishment in our schools.


(2) Paddling
(3) vandalism

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Questions

(1) How does the writer think corporal punishment affects our society?
(2) How does paddling affect childrens psyches?
(3) How does paddling affect childrens school life?
(4) What is the relationship between paddling and vandalism?

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Discussion Points

(1) Are you for or against paddling in school?


(2) What would you do if your child were paddled in school?
(3) We often hear a teacher say that he paddles children for the sake of their
education. Do you really believe that? Or does the paddling simply reflect the
teachers uncontrolled anger?
(4) Do you spank your child at home? If so, when?

ENGLISH
STORY
English
Story

Opinion Samples

(1) We realize that in this age of one-parent households, latchkey children and
increasing violence, we may feel we are losing control of the younger generation.
Thats partly because corporal punishment never goes out of fashion. Children
should be taught that violence causes more violence, and in that sense some
degree of corporal punishment is necessary.
(2) Children should learn through example, and the message a child receives when
he is struck, slapped, or paddled is that might makes right. Lessons must come
from the head and the heart not the first or the paddle.
And teachers and principals should not be expected to do the work of parents.
The job of parents is to prepare a child to get an education, respect ones elders,
and work cooperatively with others.
(3) I dont believe in hitting a child. A little slap on the wrist (just enough to hurt his
dignity) is all right. However, hitting a child hard enough to hurt him physically
may rid you of your hostilities, but it will only teach the child that violence is the
answer to all conflicts.
goes out of fashion: becomes unpopular as a style

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(4) Parenting is a challenging, sometimes very difficult, job. When pressures build up,
it is tempting to use physical punishment on a child. However, spanking a child
when you are angry can be dangerous. Children are often injured when an angry
parent loses control.
(5) This society seems to value the quick fix solution to everyday problems,
therefore it is easier to hit a child than help child learn self-control. Children who
are disciplined by constant hitting and spanking soon learn that the way to deal
with lifes frustration is to lash out physically at others. Teaching children discipline
is important. But discipline can be achieved without hitting or spanking. Children
will do as we do more than as we say. If parents want children to obey rules, to
solve their own problems, to control their anger, and to live in peace with
themselves and others, then the parents must set that example themselves.

lash out: strike vigorously


set that example: show a pattern or model, as of something to be imitated or avoided

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Pet Peoples Trouble

Our son, daughter-in-law, and grandson accepted our invitation for a Memorial
Day cookout party. They live about a 45-minute drive from our home.
Our daughter-in-law somewhat reluctantly agreed to leave
their dog home, knowing that my wife and I are not pet people.
Memorial Day morning, she telephoned to say that she was
sorry, she just couldnt leave the dog alone all day. Then she said
that the dog was a member of their family. She probably expected
me to cave in and say, Well, all right bring the dog.
Instead, I said, Im sorry youre not coming, but I
understand your feelings. Perhaps another time.
She said, Well, goodbye, and then she hung up. Neither she nor my son
has communicated with us since.

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What Does It Mean?

(1) Memorial Day


(2) pet people
(3) cave in

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Questions

(1) What were this family going to do?


(2) How far away does the sons family live?
(3) Do the grandparents like pets?
(4) Does the sons family like pets?
(5) Why did the daughter-in-law telephone the grandparents?
(6) Why havent the son and the daughter-in-law telephoned again?

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Discussion Points

(1) Who do you think was wrong?


(2) Who do you think should break the silence first?

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Opinion Samples

(1) Who is right or wrong is unimportant. The writer had the right to ban pets from his
home, and the daughter-in-law had the right to decline his invitation because she
couldnt bring the dog. The important issue here is maintaining a friendly
relationship among the family members.
(2) I understand the writer had a right to say no. But If the parents had said yes,
they might have looked very generous to their children and grandchildren, and
there wouldnt have been any estranged relationship among family members. The
party was just for a few hours or a day. If we want to have a good relationship, we
sometimes have to endure some unwanted things.

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Sneaky Father

Im a 16-year-old with a very heavy burden on my shoulders.


In May, 1992, my mom was hit by a car. She had brain surgery, and the
trauma brought back a manic-depressive condition she had shaken 10 years earlier.
Mom has been in and out of mental hospitals for the past six months.
My biggest problem right now is my father. Since mom has
not been able to be much of a wife to him,
him he has found himself a
mistress. Dad din not tell me about Denise. I learned from friends
hat he had been seen with this woman. I asked dad if it was true,
and he said, yes, but please keep quiet.
I am in a terrible bind because I dont want to hurt my
mother, but when dad calls every night with a lame excuse as
to why he will be home late it makes me furious.
My mother has no idea whats going on, and dad assumes that I will protect
him.

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What Does It Mean?

(1) mom has not been able to be much of a wife to him


(2) lame excuse

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Questions

(1) What happened to the boys mother in 1992?


(2) What kind of disease is his mother suffering from?
(3) Is his father faithful to his wife?
(4) How did the writer find out about his fathers affair?
(5) Why does the boy hesitate to tell his mother?
(6) Why does the father continue to fool around, even though the boy knows almost
his infidelity?

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Discussion Points

(1) Should the boy tell his mother about the fathers sneaking around?
(2) If he kept silent, would he be betraying his mother?
(3) Do you think its OK for one spouse to have another lover if the other spouse
doesnt do his or her role, especially concerning sex?
(4) Is it OK for the boy to take sides in his parents marriage?

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Opinion Samples

(1) Even though the boy knows his parents marriage is in danger, he should not be
forced to act as executioner. The boy should tell his father that he wants no part
in protecting him. And the boy should insist that his father behave responsibility
and quit sneaking around.
(2) Why should the boy keep silent? His father has a mistress, while his mother is
suffering from a disease. The boy should tell his mother immediately and make
his mother kick out her husband.
(3) This is a very sensitive subject between a couple, and the boy cannot intervene in
his parents affairs. The mother might know whats going on, but decided to
maintain her marriage anyway. So the boy should realize its not his business, but
his parents, and keep silent.

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Ive Got A Life, Too

Am I the only one who is sick and tired of the idea that an invitation from a
family member is a subpoena
subpoena?
A few months ago, I made (and paid for) plans to go away for a weekend.
Shortly after, I received an invitation to a family function for that very weekend.
Granted, the family affair was an important one. It was, however, totally unexpected
Granted
and on rather short notice.
notice
When I tried to explain that I had a previous commitment several family
members expressed such outraged that I gave in and
attended the family function instead of taking my paid-for
vacation. Now, Im not sure I did the right thing when I
permitted them to lay a guilt trip on me.
me
I always thought an invitation was a request that
a person has the right to refuse, without having to cave
in to pressure.

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What Does It Mean?

(1) subpoena
(2) Granted
(3) short notice
(4) previous commitment
(5) I permitted them to lay a guilt trip on me

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Questions

(1) What did the writer plan to do?


(2) What did he receive, after his plan was arranged?
(3) Did he expect any family get-together before he planned his trip?
(4) How did some family members react when he explained he had a previous
commitment?
(5) Did he go ahead with his own plan?
(6) What does he regret now?
(7) What does he think about invitations?

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Discussion Points

(1) Do you think he should have gone on with his own vacation plans?
(2) Do you think a person has a right to refuse an invitation regardless of where it
came from?
(3) Do you think a person deserves criticism from his family members simply
because he refuses an invitation?

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Opinion Samples

(1) As the writer argued, I accept the fact that an invitation is a request that everyone
has a right to refuse, especially on short notice. Family affairs should be done
democratically, and no one has a right to force another to do something against
his will. The family that no longer respects the individual is not a family a anymore
its a dictatorship.
(2) This was a family get-together and every family members had a moral
responsibility to participate. A family is a small society in which everyone must
sacrifice something for the common cause. Without individual sacrifice, a family
would collapse.

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Strange Payback

My parents, who are what I would call comfortably well off financially, lent me
$2,000 interest
interest--free
free. According to our agreement I was supposed to have paid off this
loan three years ago. However, some unforeseen things have
happened, and I still have every intention of repaying them,
but I dont know when this will be.
My parents have always sent me $200 for my birthday.
This year they sent me only a card and explained that now I
owe them only $1,800.

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What Does It Mean?

(1) interest-free
(2) unforeseen things

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Questions

(1) How much did the writers parent lend him?


(2) When was the due date according to the agreement?
(3) Why hasnt he paid his debt to his parents yet?
(4) Does he have any intention to pay them back?
(5) Does he know when he will be able o do so?
(6) What do his parents usually do for his birthday?
(7) What did they do this year?

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Discussion Points

(1) Should a loan between parents and children be interest-free?


(2) If parents demand bank-level interest, is it morally acceptable?
(3) Of parents refuse to lend money to their children, would they deserve any
criticism?

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Opinion Samples

(1) The $2,000 was not a gift, it was a loan. The fact that the writers parents
deducted $200 for his birthday and reminded him that he then owed them $1,800
was their way of subtly telling him that the debt remains outstanding.
He shouldnt let this debt go unpaid any longer. Any amount paid promptly every
month every month would probably be acceptable. He should set up a payment
schedule with his parents again and stick to it.
(2) A birthday present has a special meaning for both the receiver and giver. But the
writers parents calculated the value of his birthday present by deducting $200
from the debt. The debt is a separate matter and should be repaid by other
means, not by deducting his birthday present. A birthday present cant be valued
by money alone.
(3) The parents were very generous to the writer. They understand that the writer still
cant afford to repay the loan and that he doesnt know when he can pay them
back. So the parents suggested a way of being paid back without tightening his

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Opinion Samples

financial situation. They are good parents since, under no circumstances, should
parents let their children think that there is a free lunch.

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When A Man Hits A Woman

I would like to explain why a woman might cause a man to become physically
violent. I am in no way defending such actions. On the contrary, I am a nice guy who
treats women with respect . Recently, however, I had an experience that made me
understand quite clearly why a man might hit a woman.
Recently, a girl backed out of a date we had planned
a week in advance. I had been eagerly looking forward to
this date and had called during the week to confirm the time
and place. I set aside the evening,
evening saved the money I
needed, cleaned out my car, and even got an advice from
female friends to make sure the evening was perfect. I
wore new clothes and tried to look my best.
I showed up at the place we agreed to meet. Sally was 20 minutes late and
then told me our date was off because she already had a boyfriend and couldnt

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When A Man Hits A Woman

imagine why she had agreed to go out with me.


If a guy pulled that stunt, he would never live it down. Such humiliation could
result in violence. If more women were decent and fair, violent crimes against them
wouldnt be so prevalent.

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What Does It Mean?

(1) I am in no way defending such actions.


(2) a girl backed out of a date
(3) I set aside the evening,
(4) to make sure the evening was perfect
(5) our date was off
(6) If a guy pulled that stunt he would never live it down
(7) If more women were decent and fair, violent crimes against them wouldnt be so
prevalent.

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Questions

(1) Does the writer defend mens violence against women?


(2) What did he do to prepare for his date?
(3) Was he on time or late?
(4) When did Sally appear? What did she say?
(5) What does he think is the best way to prevent mens violence against women?

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Discussion Points

(1) Do you think mens violence against women can be justified in some cases?
Which ones?
(2) Why do men use violence against women?
(3) What would you do if your husband hit you and he repented just afterwards.
Would you forgive him? Or would you seek a divorce?
(4) People say its never appropriate for a man to strike a woman. But what if she
hits him first?
(5) Would you marry a man who hit you during your courtship, thinking that you can
change him after marriage?
(6) Is there any way to deter men from beating their wives?

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Opinion Samples

(1) What Sally did to him was lousy. But he described himself as a nice guy who
treats women with respect, even though he also said he can understand how
some men might be pushed to the outer limits. This suggests to me that he is
perfectly capable of doing just that. He sounds like a potential batterer to me.
(2) Most men never stop at hitting once, even though they swear that they will never
hit a woman again. If he hits his wife once, he would be a life time batterer nine
time out of ten. So how do we prevent this? The only answer to wife-beating is
immediate divorce. Forgiving a batterer means giving him a license to commit
violence against. Would-be wives must make it clear that under no circumstances
will their husbands hit them. If they do not make their case very firmly, there is a
high possibility that they will become victims of spousal violence.
(3) Many people comment that it is never okay for a man to hit a woman. I hope they
will reconsider their stand. On numerous occasions I have seen women slap men.
If anyone ever hit me, man or woman, I would not hesitate to hit that person back.
Thats how one gets respect. Saying that hitting does not get respect means
lousy: mean or contemptible

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Opinion Samples

nothing, it merely escalates the violence. No one has the right physically to abuse
another person. Todays society needs to recognize that women can be just as
abusive as men, and it is only fair that they be judged and punished the same way
an abusive man would be.
(4) Researchers are finding that violence during courtship is as pervasive as violence
within a marital relationship. Even more surprisingly, many individuals who are
beaten, slapped, kicked, punched, and seriously injured with knives or guns go
ahead and marry the abuser anyway.
Contrary to the popular belief than women are almost always the victims of
domestic violence, one study showed no significant difference violence, one study
showed no significant difference between the percentage of men and women
engaged in life-threatening violence.
Why do men and women enter into abusive relationships? People tend to believe
pervasive: present and perceived everywhere
domestic violence: violence in the family

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Opinion Samples

in the power of love to reform the loved one.


Abusers have a number of traits in common, including a background of family
violence, a low level of tolerance for stress, and zero self-esteem. A lack of
religious belief is also a major factor.
Violence may be also triggered by a variety of factors among couples who are
dating. The major ones are jealousy, drinking and disagreements over sex.
Spouse abuse is often also the result of arguments over children and
housekeeping. Inability to control anger tops the lists as the main cause of
violence. The inability to communicate is a close second.
Courtship, it seems, is a training ground for marriage. Unfortunately, it can also be
a training ground for spouse abuse.
(5) Battering is not an occasional beating. It is a system of controlling a woman
through terror, confusion, disabling, and every imaginable brain-washing
brainwashing: controlled systematic indoctrination especially one based on repetition or confusion

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technique. Many battered women are prohibited from leaving their homes,
forbidden to use birth control, prohibited from speaking to their friends, not
allowed to work. They have no access to money. Many women who started out
strong and self-reliant have been battered into feeling weak, powerless, and totally
dependent.
Battered women are often deprived of sleep and become confused by their
spouses unpredictable responses and crazy behavior. Living in a constant state
of terror is so debilitating that they lack the energy to think straight.
Statistically, a woman in a battering relationship is as likely as not (50 percent) to
come from a family where there was abuse.
There are, admittedly, some women who repeat self-destructive or co-dependent
patterns. A batterer, like a mugger, will deliberately choose a woman who seems
least able to defend herself. In addition, batterers can be extremely charming,
even downright charismatic.

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Opinion Samples

(6) The best way to protect women from male violence? I have a solution.
I think some people would call me a husband beater, but that does not mean Im a
violent person. The problem is really my husband.
Jim is as macho as anyone you will ever meet. When we were first married, he
ordered me around a lot. If I didnt do what I wanted, he would shove me. He
didnt actually hit me or anything, but he was physically rough. I noticed that when
Jim was angry with me, he would be especially rough in bed. I told him I didnt like
that kind of treatment, but he insisted it was all in fun and kept on pushing me.
Finally, I decided to fight back. I was a good athlete in school and used to
roughhouse with my brothers. Im also a runner and in pretty fair shape. When Jim
shoved me again, I let him have it. It turned into a real fight, and I beat the tar out
of him. Ive never seen him so mad. Over the next few months he started a few
more fights, and I beat him every time.
macho: dominating, domineering male
roughhouse: rough, disorderly play
shape: condition; state
beat the tar out of: defeated or thrashed thoroughly

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The bottom line is our marriage is much better now. I realized that husbandbeating pays.
(7) Although we all are aware of a few exceptions when mentally ill women have
assaulted men, the sobering facts regarding abused of women by men are
horrifying. Many studies indicate that most women are attacked, sexually
assaulted, raped or murdered in their own homes, and the attackers are their
husbands or boyfriends. Unfortunately, a surprising number of these men are not
prosecuted because the women refuse to press charges.
We need to get the message across that it is NEVER OKAY for a man to hit a
woman, regardless of the circumstances. She drove me to it is not a valid
excuse. Men are almost always bigger and stronger and able to walk away from a
dangerous situation. A great many males seem to believe it is perfectly okay for a
man to use force against a woman to prevent her from hurting him. The first time
a man hits a woman she should get out of the relationship. Stop believing a man
when he says, Im sorry, baby, Ill never do it again. Every study I have seen
bottom line: the result of any computation or estimate; a fundamental or crucial point or fact

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says he WILL do it again. Wife-beaters almost never stop.


Another thing to remember: Alcohol and drugs are almost always factors in wife
beating. The fact that the man is drunk or high does not give him a license to beat
or kill a woman. My advice to any woman who is going with or married to a male
who becomes violent is this: one strike and hes out.

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Disappointing Weekend

My husband and I, both in our 60s, recently had the


most disappointing weekend of our lives.
Our daughter and son-in-law invited us to their lake
home for the Mothers Day weekend. We were promised some
good fishing. We love to fish, and because we both worked
long hours and dont own a boat, we had really looked forward
to the weekend.
We drove two and a half hours to their home, and
found their front kitchen unlocked and a note on their kitchen
table saying they had taken some friends out on the lake. We could have cried. Dad
and I fished off the dock alone.
When the kids returned late that evening they said, We thought youd be tired
after that long drive, so when our friends stopped by we took them out on the lake to
fish. Not wanting to upset them, we didnt tell them how hurt we were.

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What Does It Mean?

(1) We were promised some good fishing

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Questions

(1) How old are the writer and her husband?


(2) Who invited them the writer and her husband?
(3) What were they promised?
(4) Do they love to fish?
(5) Do they have a boat?
(6) What did they find when they arrived at their daughters house?
(7) Did they cry?
(8) Did they drive back home?
(9) What did the kids say?

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Discussion Points

(1) Do you think the parents should have created a scene and told their kids how
hurt they were?
(2) Should the parents have driven back home before the kids returned?
(3) Does the kids statement that they thought their parents would be tired after two
and a half hours drive make sense?

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Opinion Samples

(1) Of course, they should have created a scene on the spot because the kids
showed no respect for their parents. I dont understand why the kids invited their
parents and then went fishing with their friends. The parents drove two and a half
hours, only to see a note that made them feel hurt. The fact that the parents said
nothing and pretended they were not upset and hurt gave the wrong signal to the
kids that breaking a promise with their parents would be OK as long as they made
a lame excuse.
(2) The parents showed how difficult it is to be real parents. Parents should always
be understanding and forgiving, especially concerning their kids, since parents are
always the models to follow. What would have been gained by creating a scene?
If the parents had created a scene, there should have been an argument. Parents
could teach their kids by behavior, not by an argument.

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Pro--Life Vs ProPro
Pro-Choice

This is a message to those men and women who try to prevent women from
entering abortion clinics and carry big signs that say, They Kill Babies Here!
Have you signed up to adopt a child? If not, why
not? Is it because you dont want one, cant afford one, or
dont have the time, patience, or desire to raise a child?
What if a woman who was about to enter a familyplanning clinic saw your sign, then decided not to have an
abortion and chose instead to give her baby to you? Would you accept it? What if
the mother belonged to a minority group or was addicted to drugs or tested positive
for AIDS?
Why are you spending your time carrying a sign? Why arent you volunteering
to baby-sit a child born to a single mother,
mother so she can work? Why havent you
opened your door to a pregnant teenager whose parents kicked her out when she
took your advice and decided not to have an abortion?

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Pro--Life Vs ProPro
Pro-Choice

As for the taxpayers who resent paying for abortions, who do you think pays
for foster care, welfare, social workers, and juvenile delinquency?
Lets talk about something money can not buy: love.
Have you ever visited a home for abused and unwanted
children? Have you ever been to juvenile hall and seen the
children who have committed crimes because they were born
to mothers who didnt want them?
Im not thrilled about abortion,
abortion but I dont think anyone
has the right to tell others not to have one unless he or she
has done all the things I mentioned above.
So, to those carrying those signs and trying to prevent women from entering
family-planning clinics, heed my message: if you are against abortion, dont be a
hypocrite, make your time and energy count.
hypocrite

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What Does It Mean?

(1) a minority group


(2) tested positive for AIDS
(3) single mother
(4) juvenile delinquency
(5) Im not thrilled about abortion
(6) If you are against abortion, dont be a hypocrite

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Questions

(1) Does the writer side with the pro-life or pro-choice movement?
(2) According to the writer, what circumstances force women to have abortions?
(3) What does the writer want pro-life demonstrators to do?
(4) Pro-life demonstrators grumble about taxpayers money paid for abortion. Is it
logical complaint?
(5) What does the writer call pro-life demonstrators?

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Discussion Points

(1) Do you think we must concede that unborn babies have the same rights as any
human beings?
(2) Whats the difference between killing unborn babies and killing a man on the
street?
(3) Is abortion an issue the government should intervene in or something individuals
must deal with by themselves?
(4) Is it justifiable for pro-life people to kill abortion-performing doctors, calling them
murderers?
(5) Do you think a wife should have the right to have an abortion without a yes from
her husband?

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Opinion Samples

(1) The argument for abortion seems to hinge on the rights of women. But what
about the rights of the children? If free abortion is abolished, unwanted babies will
be forced into the world, already grossly overcrowded and burdened with
problems that seem unsolvable. If there is a desire to deepen morality, the
criminalizing of free abortion and the opposing of family planning are not the way
to go.
(2) Do you think it is fair that killing born people is murder, but killing unborn babies is
not subject to criminal law? We all know that the right to life begins at conception,
dont we?
(3) Above all, we should focus our all efforts on preventing unwanted pregnancy
through information, education, birth control, and affordable, available
contraceptives. At the same time, we should also support a woman having the
right to make her own decision concerning her own body, and who thinks that a
woman who is not pregnant has no right to decide if one who is should have an
abortion or not. So I think the best policy is Respect the right, reduce the need.

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(4) If the church is really worried about saving the family and unborn children, why
doesnt it offer to take unwanted children under its wing and then either offer them
for adoption or raise them itself? It is of no use to show sympathy for unborn life
and be against abortion without suggesting a practical solution. Until the proper
solution can be found, women should have the right to decide for themselves
about abortion.
(5) Pro-life groups do encourage information on birth control (not just abstinence) and
sex education. They also promote the fact that all children, born and unborn, are
preciousand all human life should be afforded the respect and dignity that it
deserves.

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Adoption

Mom, Im pregnant.
Youre WHAT?
Im pregnant.
This cant be true. Are you sure?
Yes, Ive seen a doctor.
What are you going to do about it?
Im going to have the baby and put it up for adoption.
You have no obligation to go through with this. We
could arrange an abortion.
I dont want an abortion. Im going to have the baby.
We were sitting in a restaurant having dinner when this conversation took
place. If anyone told me that our daughter would get into this kind of mess I would
have questioned his sanity.
She was a college student, intelligent, a loving, all-around wonderful person.
In my widest dreams I never thought this would happen to her.

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Adoption

I told my husband. He had a difficult time accepting it. Her sibling knew and
was supportive. The next call was to her doctor. He confirmed everything and said
she was in perfect health and should have a normal delivery.
delivery
I telephoned an adoption agency. That was
the most difficult part. An appointment was set up for
our daughter and her father and me. I was afraid my
husband would fold at the last moment, but he didnt.
We talked to a gentle and compassionate
woman for over an hour. She assured us the baby
would be placed in a loving home with parents who had been waiting for a child for
many years. She made our daughter feel good about her decision and praised her
mature judgment.
The ensuing months were a challenge. We gave our daughter a great deal of
love and emotional support. The adoption agency provided excellent counseling to
prepare her for the trauma ahead. We all went through the process of dealing with

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Adoption

grief. The denial: Was this really happening to us? The guilt: What did we do wrong?
The anger: Why US? So many young women do the same thing and get away with it.
Then came the acceptance of what we couldnt change.
The birth was a difficult one, but the baby was healthy, alert, and beautiful. I
wept as I held my first grandchild in my arms. I knew she would not be mine for long
and I dared not become too attached to her.
The new parents were ecstatic when they came to the hospital to claim their
baby. There were many tears, hugs, and kisses as they left with their daughter in
their arms. They promised to give her the best home ever, and Im sure they will keep
their words.
Our daughter is back in college, making excellent grades, and is happy and
well adjusted. I now understand why she could never consider abortion. Why didnt I
consider it before? It should been obvious. She herself is an adopted child.

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What Does It Mean?

(1) In my wildest dream


(2) a normal delivery
(3) I was afraid my husband would fold at the last moment
(4) The ensuing months were a challenge
(5) trauma ahead

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Questions

(1) Where were they when the conversation took place?


(2) What were they talking about?
(3) What did mom suggest to her daughter?
(4) Did the daughter want to have an abortion?
(5) When the father was notified about the pregnancy, how did he feel?
(6) What did people do during the ensuing months?
(7) Was the birth easy?
(8) Describe the baby?
(9) What is the daughter doing now?
(10)Why does the mother think the daughter put the baby up for adoption instead of
having an abortion?

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Discussion Points

(1) If you were medically unable to have a baby, would you adopt one?
(2) If you were too poor to take care of your new-born baby, would you give him up
so he could have a better life?
(3) Do you think that giving up a baby for adoption, especially, just so he could get a
better living standard, is morally acceptable?
(4) If the natural mother changes her mind and decides later to get her baby back,
who do you think has the right to take care of the child, the natural mother or the
adoptive mother?

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(1) I would never give up my baby for adoption under any circumstances. Many
mothers think that doing so can be justified because their children could then be
brought up in a financially better off family. But nothing is more important to the
baby than to be brought up by its natural parents. To me, giving up a baby for
adoption can never be justified, and especially not for achieving better living
conditions.
(2) If you have a baby by mistake and are not in a position to take care of the baby,
what should you do? The best alternative is to apply for adoption. Adoptive
parents are carefully screened for eligibility by an agency. In general they are
financially well off, and there is no reason to believe that they cant be good
parents.
(3) I am 42 years old. My husband and I have been trying to conceive for eight years.
We are both successful professionals. We have a beautiful and no money
problems, and would be wonderful parents. We have been on the waiting lists of
three adoption agencies for two years and keep praying that one of them will call.

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If you are not able to take care of your baby, contact an agency through your
clergyman or your doctor and ask that the child be placed with a loving couple
whose empty arms long to hold a little one. You will be rewarded for this act of
generosity and feel good in your heart, forever knowing you have done the right
thing.

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Organ Donation

I received a letter from a man who was critical of organ donation. He felt it
was wrong to mutilate the body of a loved one.
I am a nurse in a busy critical care unit in Louisiana.
Although our hospital does not perform organ transplants, it
supports the organ donation program.
Not everyone is favorably inclined toward organ
donation. Unfortunately, some common misconceptions
exist that make a rational decision difficult. People need to
know:
1. Hospitals do NOT sell organs. It is against the law.
2. The agency performing the organ removal uses artificial structures to
replace to replace long bones or eyes so the donor will look natural.
3. When skin is removed it is taken only from areas of the body that will not
be visible in an open casket.
4. All bodies are handled carefully and with the utmost respect.

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5. The cost of surgery for organ donation is NOT charged to the family. It is the
family of the recipient who pays.
When the time comes. It is the next of kin who makes the decision about an
organ donation. Discussing this with your family while you are in good health will
improve your chances of having your wishes followed. And it is always wise to carry a
donor card in case of an accident.

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What Does It Mean?

(1) critical care unit


(2) Not everyone is favorably inclined toward organ donation.
(3) When the time comes, it is the next of kin who makes the decision about an
organ donation.

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Questions

(1) Do hospitals sell organs?


(2) Does the agency leave the removed part empty?
(3) Which area is taken off in skin removal?
(4) Who pays the cost of surgery?
(5) Who decides for or against organ donation when the time of death comes?

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Discussion Points

(1) Are you willing to carry an organ donation card?


(2) If your child were declared brain-dead, would you donate his or her usable
organs?
(3) What do you think about donating your body to medical research after you die?

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(1) Some people think it is just wonderful that a family donates the body of the
deceased to be cut up and given to people who need a new lung, a new heart,
new eyes, new kidneys, etc. And the skin could be used by someone who has
been badly burned.
I find it incredible that some people consider cutting a body to pieces an act of
enormous generosity. to me, it is just plain gruesome.
if my son were killed in an accident, I would never allow his body to be cut up for
any reason whatsoever. I would want the world to know that I loved and
respected him in death as in life, and I would see to it that he was laid to rest in a
dignified manner.
Where the hell do some people get off advising people to desecrate a loved ones
remains? It is just a twisted idea of do goodism.
(2) Let us assume for a minute that your son was suddenly stricken blind, and the

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doctors told you his sight could be restored by a corneal transplant. Would you not
thank God for the miracle of modern medicine and be enormously grateful to the
family that agreed to donate their childs eyes so that your child could see?
(3) Only organ recipients know that the need of organ donation is enormous and
there is no gift as great as this one. Organ recipients are deeply indebted to a
family they will never know. Organ donation turns a sad loss into tremendous joy
for the organ recipients and their families.
What better way is there to immortalize a loved one than by giving new life to
others? There are many people waiting for this medical miracle. Signing a donor
card and making your wishes known to others is easy, and it is a gift beyond
measure.

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Sex Appeal

I am in my mid-40s, still attractive, and know that the odds of finding a partner
drop tremendously at my age. Im engaged to a man that Im not in love with. I
admire, respect, and love himas a friend. We have a lot of fun together, and the
companionship is great. He supports me in my career
and accepts me exactly as I am. Hes handsome and
treats me like a queen, but there is no chemistry
chemistry.
Ive been married before and I have also been in
relationships where incredible electricity flowed,
flowed but one
of them turned out to be the most personally destructive
situation Ive ever been in. (He was handsome, charismatic
charismatic, and abusive
abusive.) I have
come to the conclusion that intensity often characterizes sick relationships and I wont
get into another one if I can avoid it. But I also know Im missing that wonderful feeling
of being in love.

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What Does It Mean?

(1) odds
(2) chemistry
(3) relationships where incredible electricity flowed
(4) charismatic
(5) abusive

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Questions

(1) How old is the writer?


(2) Does she think she could easily find a partner at her age?
(3) Does she love her fianc?
(4) How is her fianc?
(5) Does she hate sex-appeal relationship?
(6) Describe her most memorable relationship.

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Discussion Points

(1) Do you think sex appeal is an important factor in marriage?


(2) What would you rather choose in marriage, a partner with sex appeal or one
socially successful but without any sex appeal?
(3) How can you tell the difference between love and infatuation?

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Opinion Samples

(1) Although it is not necessarily true that the intensity often characterizes sick
relationships, the intensity seldom lasts in any relationship. Her fianc sounds like
a first-class catch. it depends on how important the sparks are. Some women
could never settle for a relationship that wasnt sexually exciting, while others
place a much higher premium on kindness, compatibility, good character, and
reliability.
(2) Infatuation is instant desireone set of glands calling to another. Love is a
friendship that has caught fire. It take root and grows, one day at a time.
Infatuation is marked by a feeling of insecurity. You are excited and eager but not
genuinely happy. There are nagging doubts, unanswered questions, little bits and
pieces about your beloved that you would just as soon not examine too closely. It
might spoil the dream. Love is the quiet understanding and mature acceptance of
imperfection. It is real. It gives you strength and grows beyond youto bolster
your beloved. You are warmed by his presence, even when he is away. Miles do
not separate you. You want him near. But near or far, you know he is yours and
infatuation: foolish or all-absorbing passion

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you can wait.


infatuation says, We must get married right away. I cant risk losing him. Love
says, Be patient. He is yours. Plan your future with confidence. Infatuation has
an element of sexual excitement. Whenever you are in one anothers company
you hope it will end in intimacy. Love is the maturation of friendship. You must be
friends before you can be lovers.
infatuation lacks confidence. When hes away you wonder if hes cheating.
Sometimes you check. Love means trust. You are calm, secure and unthreatened.
He feels your trust and it makes him even more trustworthy. Infatuation might lead
you to things youll regret later, but love never will.
love lifts you up. It makes you look up. It makes you think up. It makes you a
better person than you were before.

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Every Man For Himself?

The order to abandon ship automatically presupposes two rules: Women and
children go first, and the captain is the last to leave or goes down with his vessel.
Romanticized by novels and films as well as history, the maxim seems to have almost
the force of law. Thus, though all 571 people aboard the Greek cruise liner Oceanos
survived its spectacular sinking off the coast of South Africa recently, the ships
captain, Yiannis Avransas, was widely castigated as being cowardly and irresponsible.
Avranas, 51, left the Oceanos aboard a rescue helicopter while some 160 passengers,
including several elderly and infirm, still awaited
evacuation. He abdicated the heros role to a South
African entertainer, who not only operated the
shipboard radio and made certain everyone was safe
but also rescued Avranas own dog and released the
captains pet canary from its cage, before becoming
one of the last to quit the sinking vessel.
In reality there is no law of the sea that requires the captain to remain with

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Every Man For Himself?

his ship to the end. And Avranas, backed by his employers, argued that with
communications on board so bad, the evacuation was best directed from shore. But
the captains statements immediately after the disaster did not help his popular
standing. When I order abandon ship, it doesnt matter what time I leave, he said.
standing
If some people want to stay longer, they can stay.

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What Does It Mean?

(1) Romanticized by novels and films as well as history, the maxim seems to have
almost the force of law.
(2) But the captains statements immediately after the disaster did not help his
popular standing.

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Questions

(1) What are the two conventional rules when a ship is abandoned?
(2) What happened to the Greek cruise liner Oceanos?
(3) What did the ships captain do?
(4) To whom did the captain give up his life with his ship?
(5) Is there a law that forces the captain to give up his life with his ship?
(6) Did the employees criticize the captain?
(7) What did he say when he tried to justify himself?

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Discussion Points

(1) Do you think the conventional rule that requires captains to leave the ship last is
fair?
(2) Do you think Captain Avranas deserves criticism?
(3) What would you do if you were the captain of a sinking ship?

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(1) The traditional rule must be observed, even if not forced by law. That is the last
hope for the people aboard if they are faced with an emergency. If it were nothing
but empty rhetoric, no one would believed in the ships safety or crews morality.
And no captain could maintain his authority in an emergency situation, which
could result in even more casualties.
(2) This is about a mans life, not romantic feelings. No one can force a captain to do
unnecessary brave actions and risk his life. If he performs his duties as required
in an emergency, he should not be under any criticism. All lives are equally
important.

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