☈ PART Ⅰ
- Conflict ①
Mistaken identity grows into an awkward problem
DEAR ABBY: I have an embarrassing dilemma. I have a baby with a man I am no longer with. Our romance ended before I knew I was pregnant. He is not in our lives anymore -- his decision. I have moved on and am now in a solid, loving relationship.
My problem is my OB/GYN has always been under the impression that my child's biological father and I are together and that we're married. The father attended some of the obstetrical appointments with me and was even there for the birth.
When my doctor initially referred to him as "my husband," I didn't correct him because I didn't feel I needed to spill the beans about such a personal issue. But now when I go for my annual examinations, he always asks me how "my husband" is. I feel it's too late to say, "Oh, by the way, he was never my husband" since I didn't correct him to begin with.
I need a graceful way to finally tell my doctor that we were never married, especially since I am now involved with a different man whom I plan on marrying and will eventually have another child with. Please help me find the words. -- STUCK -- DOWN SOUTH
※ Word check
* OB/GYN: the branches of medicine concerned with the birth of children 산부인과 (의사)
* obstetrical: of or relating to the profession of the care of women during and after pregnancy 산과의
* spill the beans: tell sb sth that should be kept secret or private 비밀을 털어놓다
DEAR STUCK: Here are the words. The next time your doctor asks how your "husband" is, say: "We're no longer together." Period. No further explanation is necessary, and don't offer one.
- Conflict ②
Baby boy isn’t pretty in pink to some members of family
DEAR ABBY: My daughter recently had a baby boy. Mother and baby are doing fine, but the problem is the sonogram during pregnancy showed a baby girl, according to the doctor. So now our grandson has a slew of pink blankets, jammies and clothes given by friends before little Jack was born. I say, no big deal.
My wife says it is a big deal. No way a boy should be dressed in pink. She's worried the color will give the wrong message to people, who will then treat our grandson like a girl in a way they won't even be aware of, even though they're told he's a boy. She worries that this will somehow make him a cross-dresser when he's grown up and make him gay.
Our daughter and son-in-law are in a quandary, too, over the pink clothes. What do you think?
JACK'S GRANDPA IN GUERNEVILLE, CALIF.
※ Word check
DEAR GRANDPA: As long as the baby gifts have not been used, there should be no problem exchanging them for items in the "right" color.
However, please tell your wife that her fears are groundless. Even if her grandson decides to become a cross-dresser later in life _ which, by the way is ‘not’ related to what color clothes a man wore as a baby _ it won't make him gay. The majority of cross-dressers are heterosexual.
※ Word check
Humility in the face of pandemics
The number of Spanish troops that conquered the Aztec Empire when they invaded the New World in 1519 was only 600.
Was it because the intrepid military skills of the conqueror Cortez were superior to those of the conquered? Or was it due to the overwhelming military might of the Spanish troops who were armed with rifles and other weapons that the Aztecs and other civilizations here did not posses?
The truth is that the enigmatic “invisible hand” that helped the Spanish win was nothing else but smallpox.
The wild spread of smallpox among the Aztecs was the source of the victory. While the Spanish soldiers were immune to the plague, the natives of the New World helplessly fell victim to the disease, which was newly introduced there.
In the eyes of the Aztecs, the Spanish soldiers’ strength in the face of smallpox proved that they were none other than “the descendants of God.” They decided to convert to Christianity, deserting their traditional gods.
As smallpox, which was first introduced in Mexico, spread to South America, the Inca Empire lost two-thirds of its population to the epidemic. Like the Aztecs, the Inca Empire was weakened by smallpox and was forced to surrender to Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro’s army in 1533.
Historically, the most severe damage mankind suffered from an epidemic was when the Black Death swept through Medieval Europe in the 14th century. The terrible disease, now thought to have been the bubonic plague, halved the population of Europe.
Influenza, which is generally taken lightly today, can also be a deadly disease. The 1918 flu pandemic caused more casualties than those from World War I.
The history of human beings is the history of struggle against the spread of contagious diseases. The outbreak of new virus breeds have not only caused disastrous damage to mankind, but have also changed the course of history.
Whenever such disasters took place, mankind managed to overcome them and continued to develop science and civilization. But viruses evolve too, and no matter how much we innovate, there will always be new diseases.
Moreover, the outbreak of a new flu variety like the A(H1N1) virus should shake our modern complacency about disease.
We must listen to nature’s warning and be both vigilant against and humble in the face of the A(H1N1) virus and future pandemics.
※ Word check
* pandemics: 전염병
* intrepid: 용맹한
* enigmatic: 수수께끼의
* smallpox: 천연두
* desert: 버리다
* Black Death: 페스트
* bubonic plague: 선(腺)페스트
* halve: 2등분하다
* casualty: 사상자
* vigilant: 방심하지 않는
* humble: 겸허한
※ Comprehension Question
1. What is the main subject in the article?
2. What was the invisible hand which helped the Spain win?
※ Discussion Question
1. Do you think the new flu like the A(H1N1) virus is dangerous to us now?
2. How often have you gotten a flu or a cold? And whenever you got a cold, how did you overcome the disease? Tell us your wise way to cure it.
3. What is the worst disease in the world you think? And why do you think so?
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