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昂立教育 > 项目总揽 > SAT > 学术动态 > SAT写作素材库——STEREOTYPE(五)

SAT写作素材库——STEREOTYPE(五)
发布时间:2013-05-30 作者: 来源于:昂立外语网站

SAT写作素材库——STEREOTYPE(五)

在美国本土的大学入学考试中,这个话题也反复出现过,如一位被哈佛大学录取的学生的考试作文题就是:International experience: Living in Switzerland,哈佛给这位同学的评分是95分,在所有考试作文中排名第一。我们先来一起欣赏一下这篇文章:

“Je deteste des Americains,” said the old Swiss woman sitting across from me. Her face contorted into a grimace of disgust as she and her friend continued to complain that Americans had no culture, that they never learned another language, and that their inferior customs were spreading throughout Europe like an infectious disease. Each hair on the back of my neck sprang to attention, as I strained to hear the women’s inflammatory remarks. I gripped my bag of McDonald’s harder with each insulting phrase.

I had been living in Geneva, Switzerland for four years, during which time I had attended an international school consisting of over 96 different nationalities. I had already become fluent in French and had become accustomed to the new culture in which I was living—a culture which I had believed to be rich in tolerance and acceptance. Naturally, the women’s remarks hurt. Was I really an “ugly American?” Did I have no appreciation of anything other than McDonald’s or Coca-Cola? Had I not been touched by the new world I had been exposed to?

Without question, my four years in Switzerland changed my life in countless ways. From the minute I stepped off the plane at Cointrin Airport, the vastly different sights along the clean street, the ubiquitous smells of rich delicious French cuisine, and my feelings of excitement about my new surroundings told me that I definitely was “not in Kansas anymore.” My school helped greatly in modifying my attitudes, as for the first time I was with peers from countries which I had only read about. Although it was sometimes difficult trying to find links between my self and my Saudi Arabian, Hungarian, French, Nigerian, or Chilean friends, I soon came to enjoy my new stir fry environment. By the time I left, I was wondering how I ever could survive the boredom of attending a homogeneous institution. This is not to say that, prior to this, I had been closed up in a bland box of a world. I had traveled to India, my father’s home, and England, my mother’s home, annually: a practice my family and I continue to this day. I had been brought up without specific religious beliefs, but an awareness of my parents’ spiritual backgrounds of Judaism and Hinduism. Thus my exposure to these various different nationalities in Switzerland built on my foundations of cultural awareness, rather than laying the cornerstone for it.

My understanding of my new environment was aided tremendously by my ability to speak French, and was subsequently one of the best gifts I brought back from my four year stay in Switzerland. An entire year of school lessons could not have taught me as much of the language as I learned from speaking with my Swiss friends, shopping in the local stores, or apologizing o my neighbors for hitting my ball into their yard. My proficiency in French earned me a regular spot on a nationally broadcast Swiss radio program, in which a Russian child and I discussed tensions between major world powers. This was a rare opportunity, as, although Stephen and I were peers, the fact that Russian children attended the Soviet Embassy school meant that we were not classmates. Though, even if we had been allowed to speak casually before, I am not certain that our conversation would have reached the depth of discussion we achieved on the show.

America will never again seem the same to me. Geneva gave me enough distance to look at my country through objective eyes. Traveling throughout Europe was like a trip with Gulliver: it gave me the ability to look inside myself and discern my country’s faults as well as its numerous strengths. Like the Swiss women’s remarks, it hurt me to find that the United States is not the only country in the world with a rich and stimulating environment. With my new perspective, I saw that America was not what it had been. Then I thought for a moment and realized that America had not changed, but I had.

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