I'll Never Forget Christmas at Grandma's 01/24/2012
By Lois Smyth
This teen's most memorable Christmas came the year her mother taught her about giving.
When my father died in 1947,Mother went to work to support us ,taking a job as a cherk in a ladies' wear store.She scrimped,took loans to pay off loans and resolved to keep the family together.
And she did! I don't recall ever feeling deprived during those tough years. Instead, I remember our home as a warm and welcome gathering spot for young people and other friends,filled with laughter and good times.
By the time I was 18 and had finished high school, I was happy and looking forward to spending Christmas with my friends. But 2 weeks befor Christmas,Morther told me we were going to my grandmother's house for the holiday.
My grandmorther and bachelor-uncle Henry lived on a farm some 15 miles out of town . They had no electricity or running water and lacked what I considered the "good things "in life."They also made no plans for Christmas.
But I had ! I was holding down my first job and feeling quite grown up .I intened to share this special holiday time with my friends, not some relatives at an old farm. But as the day drew near,I realized that no amount of coaxing would change Mom's mind.
When Christmas Eve arrived, Mom told me in her best "I-mean-it"voice to remove all the decorations from our tree. She packed those up,along with all the makings for a complete turkey dinner with the trimmings.
Christmas moring dawned perfectly ,with the sun shining brightly across a fresh blanket of snow.But I sulked silently in the backseat of the car as we made our way to Grandma's.This was going to be the worst Christmas ever!
Grandma was surprised to see us as we walked up to her door. "What on earth are you doing here?" she stammered.“We weren't expecting anyone.It's Christmas,and I don't even have a turkey to cook for you."
" I knew that ."Mom said as we set boxes of goodies on the kitchen table."That's why we brought one with us."
They Needed a Tree
Mom warmed herself by the old wood stove in the kitchen,then scolded Uncle Henry for not having a Christmas tree.
" We must have a tree," Mom insisted."Otherwise,what will we do with all these decorations?"
Uncle Henry quickly caught Mom's sprirt. Donning his heavy coat and boots , he called me to join him,and we scoured the wooded hillside until we found the perfect Chirstmas tree.
Soon the house smelled fresh and piney as we decorated the tree ,and the day took on a festive air. The turkey dinner was exceptionally good, too. I was actually beginning to enjoy unusual Christmas Day!
Dessert was forgotten until Mom came out with the final surprise---a flaming Christmas pudding.
" MerryChristmas.Morther,"Mom said.
"Dear me!” Grandma gasped. "I haven't seen a flaming pudding since I felt England before I was married. This is the best Christmas ever!"Tears of joy filled her eyes.
I couldn't keep the tears from my eyes, either . I knew then that Mom had also given me the best Christmas present ever---she had taught me what a beautiful thing it is to give.
On the Shoulders of a Hero 12/06/2011
By Parade Hank Whittemore
My father went into intensive care , his heart not working right . As word went out, each of his six grown children sped toward Venice Hospital in Florida , where he lay attached to various machines . Late that night ,we stood around him with our mother , holding his hands and speaking close to his face as he strained against some powerful force that kept on pulling him away .
"Good-bye,Dad," we said . "We love you .Thank you ,Dad . Oh, no ...."
A breath left his body under our hands ,and we turned to watch the numbers on the machines .Then we made an invol-untary,collective groan, and he was gone . He was 75 years old.
With his passing, I was abruptly stripped of any illusions about my own immortality ; no longer might I comfort myself with the thought that he was in line ahead of me . I was newly alone and vulnerable and ,more than ever ,responsible for my life .
Then I remembered one morning when I was five years old .After a snowstorm, Dad carried me on his shoulders for the mile from our apartment into town. As he marched bravely through the snowdrifts, I put my hands around his head to hold on , inadvertently covering his eyes with my mittens ."I can 't see ,"my father said ,but he walked on nevertheless, a blind hero making his way with me on his back through a strange ,magical landseape of untrodden snow. He had returned from World War II ,and this ride would become my first experience with him to take hold as a genuine , lasting memory .
As he was buried ,other memories flooded in ,and I found myself trying to put my feetings about him into perspective. How much of a father ,really,had he been? Why hadn't I grieved more over losing him? Had I ener forgiven him for his shortcomings?
From my teen-age years onward ,I had expeeted a great deal of encouragement from my dad ,but it seldom came . I told him , after senior year of high school ,that I wanted to beecome an actor . He launched into a speech about the instability of such a career:" The odds are you'd wind up holding a tin cup on the corner."
On time , after we had argued over my decision to take acting lessons in New York, he stormed up to my room . I met him at the doorway . We stood toe-to-toe,and I held up my fist and glared at him, trembling ,and said the issue was settled unless he wanted to fight . The red fury drained from his face, and he turned ,shoulders slumped ,to walk away.A rite of passage had taken place in a second, leaving me on my own without his resistance.
But his general air of caution continued . After I did become a professional actor , he came to see me in a Broadway show and later remarked : "Of course ,it would he wise to have something else to fall back on ."
I fell back ,so to speak, on newspaper work ,only to quit when my first book was published ." Now ," he said , " is the perfect time ,with this credential , for you to apply to a corporation." When I told him I intended to remain self-employed for as long as possible ,he fell silent .
As the years went by,his expressions of doubt in response to my unspoken pleas for a father's blind faith became predictable. And I came to realize that my father's warnings were his way of relating to me . In earlier years I had thought he didn't care, but I came to understand that he was offering what he could .
I also realized that he had even inspired me--not by words ,but by what he had done . He had come home from a terrifying war to raise six kids in a house with a yard . He had returned ,with so many other men of his generation ,to create stability and safety for those in his care and to give them a future .
He spent two decades in advertising and longers in real estate, meanwhile always taking us on vacations and sending us through colleho . By providing a foundation, he enabled his children to feel strong enough to go their individual ways. As we scattered, he wrote frequent letters and planned our reunions.
Just two weeks befor he died, my father held a birthday celebration for Mom . We flew from our separate homes to Florida and, during our stay ,joine him on a fishing trip. Dad did not look well.
We had no idea then how perilous his condition had become . As I look back ,it's clear that he had deliberately kept all of that hidden us to avoid sporling our fun.
The morning we went to leave Florida ,he pulled me aside and pointed to a mysterious box about there feet long and two feet deep .Inside ,to my astonishmentl were hundreds of clippings relating to almost everything I had done in my life ."I figured you might like to have this ," Dad said.
We hugged each other, not knowning it would be for the last time ,but my father must have sensed that he would not be around much longer.
Lifting the heavy box, I suddenly understood that no matter how negative his conerete act of filling the box. All that time ,it turned out ,he had been there----sharing my life.
Then came word that he was dying ,and then came the months of thinking about him .Now a full year and a half have gone by without him ,and I miss him beyond words .What I miss most ,ironically, is that time long ago when I was a boy through life and to protect him . The security lay in simply knowing he was there.
One day I found myself walking along with my own son,Benjimin, who was five years old .When I lifed him onto my shoulders, he reached his hands around my head so they covered my eyes. "I can't see," I said ,but his little fingers maintained their grip. I walked on in the sudden darkness, groping ,feeling his weight above me ,the way my father had done for me when I was the same age. I felt, then, the first surge of hot tears since Dad died, and found myself becoming a new blind hero in the strange,magical land of fatherhood , where the journey always begins,in hope and uncertainty,over again.
为规范相关培训和考试工作，根据《中华人民共和国行政许可法》的有关规定及国家商务部人事司的指示精神，从2007年起商务部中国国际贸易学会 在全国范围内组织开展“全国国际商务英语认证考试”工作，旨在通过培训和认证使大多数的国际商务从业人员取得上岗资格证书，并逐步在全国范围内推行持证上 岗制度，从根本上促进整个国际商务领域的健康发展。为了切实做好这项工作，特别成立“全国国际商务英语培训认证考试中心”，考试中心设深圳职业技术学院。
由深圳职业技术学院应用外国语学院院长徐小贞教授担任考试中心主任。考试中心在中国国际贸易学会的直接领导下，具体负责全国国际商务英语培训认 证考试工作，随时掌握商务部、中国国际贸易学会关于开展全国国际商务英语培训和认证考试的最新政策及要求;负责各地培训中心、考试点申请的初审工作;承担 考试的命题、阅卷、成绩登录、成绩统计分析、题库建立与管理等项工作;承担“全国国际商务英语培训师”的培训和组织工作;组织实施并指导各省的试卷运送、 考场安排、维护考场秩序和保密工作等。
而据报道：剑桥大学ESOL考试委员会发布的BEC成绩报告显示，中国考生的通过率明显低于其他非英语国家考生通过率。2006年5月全球 BEC平均通过率总通过率是43%，而中国考区只有37%，而除中国在外的全球通过率为57-58%。中国考区的通过率却一直处于低迷徘徊阶段，严重拖累 了世界的BEC通过率。
官方网站地址暂无，联系方式请见“中国教育考试网”，网址为 WWW.NEEA.EDU.CN 。或拨打剑桥大学ESOL考试中心中国代表处电话：86 10 6270 2106咨询
Business English Certificate(BEC)剑桥商务英语证书是剑桥系列考试中专为学习者提供的国际商务英语资格证书考试，考察真实工作环境中英语交流能力，被欧洲 乃至全球众多教育机构、企业认可，将其作为入学考试或招聘录用的英语语言水平要求。例如英国超过60所大学承认 BEC高级证书作为工商管理(MBA)课程的语言能力要求;越来越多的公司使用BEC，用以评估雇员、受训员工和应聘者的语言技能。其中包括全球著名企业 如IBM, Citibank, 国际卫生组织，世界银行，摩托罗拉，联合国，可口可乐，西门子等。
Que Sera Sera 11/27/2011
When I was a little girl ,
I asked my mother, What will I be?
Will I be pretty?
Will I be rich?
"It will be will be." that's my mordar's answer.
BEC剑桥商务英语于1993年由中国教育部考试中心和剑桥大学外语考试部合作引入中国，经过16年的发展，剑桥商务英语（BEC）以其权威性和规范性 得到了众多企业、教育机构及社会各界的认可，其考生人数始终占据职业类外语考试的第一位，被誉为求职者就业的一把金钥匙。近年来，随着计算机技术的发展， 信息交换技术应用更为安全灵活，剑桥大学外语考试部开发出计算机化剑桥商务英语考试正式登陆中国。
据剑桥大学外语考试部中国代表何梅子女士介 绍，计算机化BEC考试在考试级别、试题形式和证书方面与纸笔考试完全一样，所不同的是BEC机考的阅读、写作及听力部分在计算机上完成。考生在考试过程 中容易修改答案，也可以变换答题的顺序。对于已经习惯在电脑上工作，学习的大学生及白领们，计算机化考试将是一个更加灵活快捷的选择。同时，考生可以随时 了解考试剩余时间及答题进程，及时调整答题速度。考场环境相对封闭不易受干扰。
BEC机考每年设有5次考试，纸笔考试仍是每年2次，这样 全年考试次数共达到7次，主要是为了满足近年BEC考生人数迅猛增长的需求。BEC机考的另一大好处是，考试结束后，只需4周考生就可以拿到成绩和证书， 对于需要向应聘单位出示语言能力证明的考生来讲，缩短了等待证书的时间，大大增加了应聘成功的法码。
教育部考试中心海外考试处处长张进发 言在发布仪式上介绍说："目前教育部考试中心建立的机考考点已经涵盖了北京、上海、广州、天津、杭州武汉等十几个城市，2009年将举办5次机考考试，在 未来我们还将进一步扩大机考的考点及次数。相信计算机化商务英语证书考试的推出，将为中国考生参加BEC考试提供更多的便利条件。"