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The night that a blind man help me to see

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1 The night that a blind man help me to see
Unit 6 The night that a blind man help me to see Lifting the Veil By David Lambourne

2 Pre-reading Task Discuss
Lifting the Veil Pre-reading Task Discuss Text Practice

3 Pre-reading Task Discussion
Is it sensible for a blind man to go sightseeing? Do you believe that a blind man can help us normal people see things more clearly? Why or why not?

4 Lifting the Veil It was late afternoon when the chairman of our Bangkok-based company gave me a last-minute assignment: I would leave the next day to accompany an important Chinese businessman to tourist sites in northern Thailand. Silently fuming, I stared at my cluttered desk. The stacks of paper testified to a huge backlog of work, even though I had been putting in seven-day weeks. How will I ever catch up? I wondered. Early the next morning I met a polite and elegant man wearing fine clothes. After a one-hour flight, we spent the day visiting attractions along with cameras and souvenirs. I remember feeling disdain for this collection of ogling humanity.

5 Lifting the Veil That evening my Chinese companion and I climbed into a minibus to go to dinner and a show, which I had attended many times before. While he chatted with other tourists, I exchanged polite conversation in the darkness with a man seated in front of me, a Belgian who spoke fluent English. I wondered why he held his head motionless at an odd angle, as though he were in meditation. The truth struck me when I saw the pale-coloured cane beside him. He was blind. The man told me he had lost sight in an accident when he was a teenager. But this did not prevent him from traveling alone. Now in his late 60s, he had mastered the skill of sightless tourism, using his remaining four senses to create pictures in his mind.

6 “I’d be happy to,” I replied.
Lifting the Veil Turning to face me, he slowly extended a hand, which, like a soft animal, explored the contours of my face. Behind me someone switched on a light, and I could see his luxuriant silvery hair and strong, craggy face. His eyes lay misted and deep in their sockets. “Could I please sit beside you at the dinner?” he asked. “And I’d love it if you’d describe a little of what you see.” “I’d be happy to,” I replied. My guest walked ahead toward the restaurant with new-found friends. The blind man and I followed, caught up in a long string of tourists. My hand cupped his elbow to steer him, but he stepped forward unfalteringly, his shoulders squared, his head high, as though he were guiding me.

7 He smiled. “And these small instruments are made of…?”
Lifting the Veil We found a table close to the stage. As we waited for our drinks, the blind man said, “The music seems out of tune to our Western ears, but it has charm. Please describe the musicians.” I hadn’t noticed the five men performing at the side of the stage as a prelude to the show. “They’re seated cross-logged, dressed in loose white cotton shirts and baggy black trousers with bright-red sashes. There are young, one middle-aged and one elderly. One beats a small drum, another plucks a wooden stringed instrument, and the other three have smaller, cello-like pieces they play with a bow.” He smiled. “And these small instruments are made of…?”

8 “Yes, yes, I see them,” the blind man said quietly, smiling.
Lifting the Veil I look again. “Wood…but the spherical sound box is fashioned out of a whole coconut shell,” I said, suppressing my surprise. As the light dimmed, the blind man asked, “What do your fellow tourists look like?” “All nationalities, colors, sharps and sizes,” I whispered. “Very few are neatly or tastefully dressed.” As I lowered my voice further and spoke close to his ear, the blind man leaned his head eagerly toward me. I had never before been listened to with such rapt intensity. “Very close to us is an elderly Japanese woman, whose profile is partially lit from the stage,” I said. “Just beyond her a blond Scandinavian boy about five, with a cute turned-up nose, is leaning forward, creating a second illuminated profile just below hers. They’re motionless, waiting for the performance to start. It’s the perfect living portrait of childhood and old age, of Europe and Asia.” “Yes, yes, I see them,” the blind man said quietly, smiling.

9 Lifting the Veil A curtain at the back of the stage opened. Six girls in their early teens appeared and I describe their sarong-like silk skirts, white blouses with shoulder sashes, and gold-coloured head-dresses like small crowns, with flexible points that moved in rhythm with the dance. “On their fingertips are golden fingernails perhaps four inches long,” I told the blind man. “The nails accentuate each elegant movement of their hands. It’s a delightful effect.” He smiled and nodded. “How wonderful----I would love to touch one of those fingernails.” When the first performance ended, I excused myself and went to talk to the theater manger. Upon returning, I told my companion, “You’ve been invited backstage.”

10 Lifting the Veil A few minutes later he was standing next to one of the dancers, her little crowned head hardly reaching his chest. She timidly extended both hands toward him, the metal fingernails glinting in the overhead light. His hands, four times as large, reached out slowly and clasped them as though they were cradling two tiny exotic birds. As he felt the smooth, curving sharpness of the metal tips, the girl stood quite still, gazing up into his face with an expression of awe. A lump formed in my throat. As the evening progressed, the more I observed and was rewarded with excited nods of the head, the more I discovered: colors, patterns and designs of local costumers; the texture of skin under soft lights; the movement of long, black Asian hair as elegant heads angled to the music; the intense expression of the musicians as they played; even the flashing white smile of our waitress in the half-darkness.

11 Lifting the Veil Back at the hotel lobby, with my Chinese guest still in the company of others, the blind man extended a large hand, which gripped mine warmly. It remained there for a moment, the traveled to my elbow and shoulder. Heads turned in surprise as the cane fell with a clatter to the marble floor. He made no attempt to retrieve it, but instead pulled me toward him and hugged me tightly. “How beautifully you saw everything for me,” he whispered. “I can never thank you enough.” Later the realization struck me: I should have thanked him. I was the one who had been blind. He had helped me lift the veil that grows so quickly over our eyes in this hectic world, and to see all those things I’d failed to marvel at before.

12 I was not able to tell him that the magic had been done to me.
Lifting the Veil About a week after our trip, the chairman summoned me to his office and told me ha had received a call from the Chinese executive, who expressed great satisfaction with the trip. “Well done,” the chairman said, smiling. “I knew you could the magic.” I was not able to tell him that the magic had been done to me.

13 Practice Comprehension work A Probe the story Discuss the following questions. What was the narrator’s assignment? Why wasn’t the happy to do it? How did the narrator feel about visiting attractions and watching the show? What did the narrator meet in the minibus? What was unique about the man? What did the Belgian ask the narrator to do throughout the show? What did the narrator finally realize about his encounter with the blind man? What does the veil refer to?

14 Discuss the following questions and then write your opinions down.
Practice B Essay questions Discuss the following questions and then write your opinions down. What is the magic the blind man did to the narrator? What can we learn from the blind man? Comment on the following remark made by Ralph Waldo Emerson: If the constellations appeared only once in a thousand years, imagine what an exciting event it would be. But because they’re up there every night, we barely give them a look.

15 The first one has been done for you as an example.
Practice 2. Language work A. Get the right words Do you still remember the words or expressions used by the writer to describe the following? Find them from the text. The first one has been done for you as an example. About the age of the six dancing girls: in their early teens About the blind man’s hair: About the Belgian’s becoming blind in an accident: luxuriant silver hair lost his sight

16 About the manner of the blind man’s walking :
Practice About the manner of the blind man’s walking : About the effect of the golden fingernails in dancing: About the face of the blind man: About the movement of the dancers: About the manners in which the old man listened to the explanation: step forward unfalteringly delightful effect strong craggy face elegant movement listen with rapt intensity

17 About the narrator’s desk: About the blind man’s shoulders:
Practice About the narrator’s desk: About the blind man’s shoulders: About music which is not very pleasant to listen to: About one’s anger: cluttered desk shoulders squared/ squared shoulders out of tune fuming

18 B Work with sentences Rewrite the following sentences with the expressions from the following box. feel disdain for testify to be caught up in be fashioned out marvel at summon…to (be ) seated in rhythm with The artist felt contempt for the pretentious businessman who offered to buy his new painting. 2. His generous donation proved his love for the people of the flood-stricken areas. The artist felt distain for the pretentious businessman who offered to buy his new painting. His generous donation testified to his love for the people of the flood-stricken areas.

19 3. He could not understand why he finally got into such a dilemma.
4. At the summit of Mount Tai the tourists admired the magic work of nature on the mountains. 5. The schoolmaster ordered the trouble-maker to come to his office. He could not understand why he finally got caught up in such a dilemma. At the summit of Mount Tai the tourists marveled at the magic work of nature on the mountains. The schoolmaster summoned the trouble-maker to come to his office.

20 6. The man took a look at the passenger sitting next to him.
7. The girls danced gracefully on the stage to the accompaniment of the music. 8. The instrument is obviously made with a piece of wood. The man took a look at the passenger seated next to him. The girls danced gracefully on the stage in the rhythm with the music. The instrument is obviously fashioned out of a piece of wood.

21 1.由于路上交通繁忙,父母亲必须亲自陪同他们的孩子上学。(accompany)
5 Translation Put the following sentences into English 1.由于路上交通繁忙,父母亲必须亲自陪同他们的孩子上学。(accompany) 2.我背着包裹,无法走快。(load) Parents must accompany their children to school because the traffic is too busy on the road. Loaded with packs, I was unable to walk fast.

22 3.他参加了好几次高考,最后才通过了考试。(make … attempt)
4.年轻人往往看不起过时的东西。(distain for) 5.他的这部小说表明,他对这个部落的文化了解得非常多。(testify to) He made several attempts before finally passing the university entrance examination. Young people tend to feel distain for anything old-fashioned. This novel testifies to his knowledge of the culture of the tribe.

23 6.由于大量的书面材料来不及写,公司只好推迟了与应聘人员的见面。(backlog)
7.老师说,他的演奏中仍然有一些地方走调了。(out of tune) Due to a backlog of paper work, the company had to put off interviewing the job applicants. The teacher pointed out that there were several places in his performance that were out of tune.

24 1. testify v.(动词) 1 )v.intr.(不及物动词) To make a declaration of truth or fact under oath; submit testimony: 作证:发誓宣布事实或真相;作证: witnesses testifying before a grand jury. 目击证人在陪审团面前作证 To express or declare a strong belief, especially to make a declaration of faith. 声明:表达或宣布一种强烈的信仰,尤指信仰的表白

25 To make a statement based on personal knowledge in support of an asserted fact; bear witness:
证明:基于个人经历支持一种假设事实的陈述;证实: the exhilaration of weightlessness, to which many astronauts have testified. 许多宇航员都证实了失重的兴奋感 To serve as evidence: 证实: wreckage that testifies to the ferocity of the storm. 证实风暴猛烈的残骸

26 string n.(名词) A cord usually made of fiber, used for fastening, tying, or lacing. 绳子,带子:通常由纤维构成的线,用于加固,绑或系 Something configured as a long, thin line: 线丝:被成形为长而细的线条的东西: limp strings of hair.柔软的发丝 a string of beads.一串珠子

27 v.(动词)及物动词) To fit or furnish with strings or a string: 上弦:用多根弦或根弦装上或配上: string a guitar.结吉它上弦 To thread on a string.调弦 v.intr.(不及物动词) To form strings or become stringlike. 成线形:形成线型或变得象线状 To extend or progress in a string, line, or succession. 呈线型或连续地延伸或进展

28 illuminate及物动词) To provide or brighten with light. 照明,照亮:给予光亮或用光使发亮 To decorate or hang with lights. 以灯装饰:用灯光进行装饰或把灯吊起来取得装饰效果 To make understandable; clarify: 解释,说明:使某物能被理解;说清楚: “Cleverly made attacks can often serve to illuminate important differences between candidates, as well as entertain the voters”(New Republic) “灵活的攻击往往能突出竞选者之间的重大区别,同时又能取悦于选民”(新共和国) To enlighten intellectually or spiritually; enable to understand. 启发,阐释:智力上或精神上进行启蒙;使别人懂某事

29 v.intr.(不及物动词) To become lighted; glow. 发光:变亮;闪烁 To provide intellectual or spiritual enlightenment and understanding: 启发:提供智力或精神上的启示和理解: “Once you decide to titillate instead of illuminate, you're on a slippery slope”(Bill Moyers) “当你决定仅从中取乐,而不好好思考时,你的行动就可能招致失败和耻辱。”(比尔·莫耶斯) To be exposed to or revealed by radiation. 暴露于射线:被辐射发现或曝光

30 retrieve及物动词) To get back; regain.取回;重新获得 To rescue or save.营救或挽救 To bring back again; revive or restore. 重新恢复;使复苏或恢复 To rectify the unfavorable consequences of; remedy. 纠正…的不利后果; To recall to mind; remember.追忆;记起 To find and carry back; fetch. 找回;取来

31 v.intr.(不及物动词) To find and bring back game: 取回来:找到并带回猎物: a dog trained to retrieve. 受训能找到并带回猎物的狗

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