LISTENING 7 “LIBRARY”
Narrator: Listen to part of a conversation between a student and a librarian.
Librarian: Hi, how can I help you?
Student: Hi, I’m looking for some material on reserve for Business 210.
Librarian: Okay. Well, who’s the professor? You see, we keep the files under the professor’s name because there are a couple of sections and the requirements are a little different…
Student: Oh, okay. Its, uh, Dr. Parsons.
Librarian: Umhum Parsons? I don’t see any books …
Student: I think it’s a DVD.
Librarian: Oh. yes. Here it is … Oh. wait, actually, there are two of them. But that’s all right. Now all I need is your student ID.
Student: No problem.
Librarian: There you go Now, these will be due back at the desk in two hours.
Student: Two hours? But that won’t even give me time to go home and ..
Librarian: Oh. you can’t leave the library with reserve materials. You have to use them here. But we have some DVD players in the booths behind the reference section. I think there are several free now.
Student: But I have to take notes and. uh. uh, I don’t think I can get everything done in two hours.
Librarian: Well, you can’t take materials out again until someone else has used them because the professor only left one copy of each. Sorry. Look, maybe two hours will be enough.
Student: I don’t think so. These are case studies, and we’re supposed to be able to discuss them.
Librarian: Oh. I see. Well, when do you have class?
Student: Tomorrow morning. I know I should have come in earlier, but this isn’t my only class. I had an exam earlier today, and I was just waiting to get that out of the way.
Librarian: I see. Well, look, why don’t you…
Student: Isn’t there any way to get an exception to the policy?
Librarian: I’m afraid not.
Student: Oh. Okay then, let me just check out one of the DVDs. That way. if I finish it, I can check out the other one for two hours, right?
Librarian: Sure. That’s perfectly fine. And, here’s a thought. I don’t know if it will work for you since you have a morning class, but if you check out reserve material less than two hours before the library closes, then you can have it overnight…
Librarian: Yes, but you have to have it back when the library opens the next day and …
Student: But I could do that Oh. I’m sorry, you were going to say …
Libranan: Well, if you don’t return the material to the reserve desk when the library opens, then there’s a ten–dollar fine for the first hour and a five-dollar fine for every hour after that… that its late, I mean. The usual fee is one dollar for every hour but when it’s an overnight…
Librarian: It’s a stiff fine because we need students to take the privilege seriously. Otherwise, other students who need to use the reserve matenals wouldn’t have access to them.
Student: Oh. I understand.
Librarian: And another thing. Sometimes more than one person is trying to use the overnight privilege so … so sometimes when you wait until the end of the day …
Student: Oh. And there isn’t any way to put your name on a list or anything?
Librarian: No, not really, tfs first come, first served.
Student: Okay. Okay. Then, I think I’ll go ahead and take the one DVD out now because I can still try to get the second one tonight overnight, can’t I?
Librarian: Sure. I tell you what. Come back a little before nine.
Student: Okay. Will you be here? I mean. I’d rather come back to you.
Librarian: I’ll be here until the library closes.
Student: Well, then.
Librarian: Do you still want to take out one of the DVDs?
Student: Yeah. I might as well get one of them out of the way so I’ll only have one left to watch.
Librarian: Wait a minute. Your ID.
Student: Oh, I’m sorry, I thought I showed it to you.
Librarian: You did, but I need to keep it here at the desk until you return the materials.
LISTENING 8 “LITERATURE CLASS”
Narrator Listen to part of a lecture in a literature dass.
Today we’ll discuss Transcendentalism .. .Transcendentalism .. .which is a philosophical and literary movement that developed in New England in the early nineteenth century. Transcendentalism began with the formation in 1836 of the Transcendental Club in Boston, Massachusetts, by a group of artists and writers. There’s evidence that the group was involved in somewhat of a protest against the intellectual climate of Harvard. Interestingly enough, many of the Transcendentalists were actually Harvard educated, but they never met in Cambridge. Remember, at this time Harvard had only eleven professors, and at least eleven members could be expected to attend a meeting of the Transcendental Club. So their intellectual community was large enough to rival the Harvard faculty.
All right then. Their criticism of Harvard was that the professors were too conservative and old fashioned. Which, come to think of it, isn’t an unusual attitude tor students when they talk about their professors. But. in fairness, the classroom method of recitation that was popular at Harvard required the repetition of a lesson without any operational understanding of it. In contrast, the Transcendentalists considered themselves modem and liberal because they preferred a more operational approach to education. Bronson Alcott translated Transcendentalism into pedagogy by encouraging the students to think, using dialogues and journals to develop and record their ideas. Language was viewed as the connection between the individual and society. In 1834, Alcott established the Temple Schod near Boston Commons and later founded a form of adult education, which he referred to as Conversation. This was really a process whereby the give and take in a conversation became more important than the doctrine that a teacher might have been indined to pass on to students, an approach that stood in diametric opposition to the tradition at Harvard that encouraged students to memorize their lessons.
The Transcendental group also advanced a reaction against the rigid Puritanism of the penod, especially insofar as it emphasized society at the expense of the individual—the Puritans. I mean. According to the Transcendentalists. the justification of all social organizations is the improvement of the individual. So, in the literature of the time, the Transcendentalists insisted that it was basic human nature to engage in self-expression, and many interpreted this as encouragement for them to write essays and other opinion pieces. One of the most distinguished members of the dub was Ralph Waldo Emerson, who served as editor of the Transcendentalist s literary magazine, the Dial. His writing stressed the importance of the individual In one of his best-known essays, Self–Reliance,” he appealed to intuition as a source of ethics, asserting that people should be the judge of their own actions, without the rigid restrictions of sodety. You can imagine the reaction of the church, in particular, the Unitarian Church, in which many of the intellectuals held membership. If individuals were responsible for their own code of ethics, then the clergy, and the entire church organization was threatened.
Perhaps because they were encouraged to think for themselves, the Transcendentalists came up with several options for living out their philosophies. Many were devoted to the idea of a Utopian society or at least to a pastoral retreat without class distinctions, where everyone would be responsible for tending the gardens and maintaining the buildings, preparing the food, and so forth. And quite a tew were involved in some sort of communal living. Brook Farm was probably the most successful of these cooperatives, although it lasted only six years. Brook Farm and some of the other experimental communities brought to the surface the problem that the Transcendentalists faced when they tried to reconcile a cooperative society and individual freedom. Both Emerson and Thoreau declined to partidpate in Brook Farm because they maintained that improvement had to begin with an individual, not a group.
From 1841 to 1843, Emerson and Thoreau lived and worked together in Emerson’s home, exchanging ideas, developing their philosophies, and writing Upon leaving Emerson’s home, Thoreau built a small cabin along the shores of Walden Pond near Concord. Massachusetts, where he lived alone for two years. Devoting himself to the study of nature and to writing, he published an account of his experiences in Walden, a book that’s generally acknowledged as the most original and sincere contribution to literature by the Transcendentalists.
But I’m getting ahead ot myself. Transcendentalism didn’t change the educational system, and it certainly didn’t reform the church in any significant way, but it did. in a sense, change the direction of American social and political culture because Transcendentalism evolved from its initial literary roots into a force that shaped the way a democratic society was interpreted on the North American continent.