An Apple for the Teacher
American schoolchildren occasionally present anapple to the teacher. Obviously the custom containsan element of bribery 1 — you offer sweet fruit toauthority figures to “sweeten” 2 their disposition3. In school children's case, the apple is offered tomake their grades more favorable. Therefore, theapple has more or less acquired a corrosive4 reputation and maybe for this reason, in slangEnglish “to applepolish” means“to flatter or fawn” and an applepolisher is a flatterer.
But the custom might also be explained as a fair payment for the teacher's instruction. In theearly days of public education, school teachers were not always salaried. Often they would bepaid in goods and services, offered by either the school, or the pupils or the parents. . ..Therefore, the occasional gift of an apple for the teacher in today's classroom should be awelcome reminder of the era when education was one -to-one and when teaching meantenlightening the students rather than identifying their rankings.
Caps and Gowns
For students, the most exciting moment may be the graduation ceremony 5: parents, relativesand friends are invited to the ceremony; all the graduates are wearing black square flat capsand gowns. They all await the president to announce in the end,“Now, please move yourtassels from right to left. ”
The caps and gowns worn by high school and college graduates today are survivors of theeveryday dress worn by members of the academic community in medieval Europe. Themajority of scholars in the Middle Ages6 were churchmen, or soon to become so, and theirdress was often strictly regulated by the universities where they taught and studied. Thestandard clerical dress throughout Europe was the long black cope. The original preferencefor black was changed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, as such colors as red, violetand purple came into fashion; but by the Renaissance black was back, as the color blacksymbolized simple and plain, or austere way of life in the sixteenth century. With fewexceptions, modern universities keep that ceremonial austerity.
The origin of the square flat cap, or mortarboard7 , is obscure, though it probably derives fromthe medieval biretta . Such a tufted square cap is considered the badge of the 024 mastership, and is later adopted by undergraduates and schoolboys. The term mortarboard does notappear in English until the 1850 s. The tassel that graduates transfer from one side to anotheras a signal of their elevation is an outgrowth of the medieval tuft. The tuft still appears onthe modern biretta, worn by bishops throughout the Church of Rome .
Ⅰ. True o r false :
1. Nowadays, American pupils always offer an apple to the teacher in order to get a bettergrade.
2. In the early days of public education, schoolteachers were paid in money.
3. In America, the caps and gowns are only adopted by college graduates during graduationceremonies.
4. Before the Renaissance, the standard clerical dress was black.
5. The biretta was considered the mark of scholarship.
6. That the graduates move the tassel from one side to the other is a signal of elevation.
Ⅱ. Questions :
1. According to the passage, when you say somebody is an apple polisher, what do you reallymean by saying that?
2. For students, when is the most exciting moment?
3. After graduation, which side should you put your tassel, right or left?
Ⅰ. 1. T 2. F 3 . F 4 . F 5. T 6. T
Ⅱ. 1. It really means that he is flattering orfawning some figures.
2. For students, the most exciting moment is thegraduation ceremony, especially the moment whenthe president makes the announcement.
3. After graduation, the tassel should be put to theleft side.
美國的學童經常會送蘋果給老師。很明顯, 這個習慣做法有點行賄的意味——— 給當權 者一些甜頭來軟化他們的態度。對學童來說, 他們送老師蘋果只是為了得到更令人滿意的 成績。為此, 蘋果的榮譽多少受到些損害, 而且可能就是這個緣故, 英語俚語“to applepolish”的意思就是“ 阿諛奉承, 溜須拍馬”, 而“ applepolisher”則指“ 馬屁精”。 這一習慣做法同樣可以看作是對老師授課的一種合理報答。公立教育早期, 學校教師 并不總是拿薪水的。通常情況下, 他們得到的報酬是學校、學生或學生家長提供的實物或服務。因此, 在今天的教室里時常出現的送老師蘋果的現象應該算是對那個年代的一種 美好回憶。那時的教育是一對一式的, 而且那時的教學是為了使學生受到教育, 而不是為 了區分他們的社會地位。
對學生而言, 激動人心的時刻莫過于畢業典禮。父母及親朋好友都被邀請來參加典 禮。所有的畢業生都頭戴黑色的方平帽, 身穿黑長袍。他們等待著校長在后一刻宣布: “ 現在, 請將你的流蘇從右邊移到左邊。” 今天的高中生和大學生戴的學士帽, 穿的學士服是由中世紀歐洲學院里學者們的日常 著裝演變而來的。中世紀時, 大多數的學者要么是牧師, 要么將要成為牧師; 他們的著裝經 常受到他們任教或學習的大學的嚴格控制。在整個歐洲, 標準的牧師服都是黑色的長袍。 13 和14 世紀的時候, 人們初偏愛黑色的狀況得到了改變, 諸如紅色、紫羅蘭色和紫色這 樣的顏色開始流行起來。但是到了文藝復興時期, 黑色又流行回來, 因為黑色代表了簡約 樸素和16 世紀嚴謹的苦修方式。現代大學都少有例外地保留了那種肅穆簡樸的儀式。方平帽或者學士帽的起源不甚了了, 不過這很可能是從中世紀的法冠演變而來。這種 植絨的方帽被看作是學位的象征, 后來被大學本科生和高中生采用。學士帽這個術語直到 19 世紀50 年代才傳到英國。畢業生們將其從一邊移到另一邊, 作為一種晉級標志的流蘇 其實是中世紀時的帽穗的派生。現代羅馬教會的大主教們戴的法冠上仍保留著這種穗子。