Please listen to a short passage carefully and prepare to answer some questions.
Listen to the tape again. Then answer the following questions with your own experiences.
1) For what two reasons did Gail and Mark live together?
2) How did Gail's father and mother react to the news about the wedding plans?
3) In what ways are Gail's and her father's views different?
Marriage Across the Nations
Gail and I imagined a quiet wedding. During our two years together we had experienced the usual ups and downs of a couple learning to know, understand, and respect each other. But through it all we had honestly confronted the weaknesses and strengths of each other's characters.
Our racial and cultural differences enhanced our relationship and taught us a great deal about tolerance, compromise, and being open with each other. Gail sometimes wondered why I and other blacks were so involved with the racial issue, and I was surprised that she seemed to forget the subtler forms of racial hatred in American society.
Gail and I had no illusions about what the future held for us as a married, mixed couple in America. The continual source of our strength was our mutual trust and respect.
We wanted to avoid the mistake made by many couples of marrying for the wrong reasons, and only finding out ten, twenty, or thirty years later that they were incompatible, that they hardly took the time to know each other, that they overlooked serious personality conflicts in the expectation that marriage was an automatic way to make everything work out right. That point was emphasized by the fact that Gail's parents, after thirty-five years of marriage, were going through a bitter and painful divorce, which had destroyed Gail and for a time had a negative effect on our budding relationship.
When Gail spread the news of our wedding plans to her family she met with some resistance. Her mother, Deborah, all along had been supportive of our relationship, and even joked about when we were going to get married so she could have grandchildren. Instead of congratulations upon hearing our news, Deborah counseled Gail to be really sure she was doing the right thing.
"So it was all right for me to date him, but it's wrong for me to marry him. Is his color the problem, Mom?" Gail subsequently told me she had asked her mother.
"To start with I must admit that at first I harbored reservations about a mixed marriage, prejudices you might even call them. But when I met Mark I found him a charming and intelligent young guy. Any mother would be proud to have him for a son-in-law. So, color has nothing to do with it. Yes, my friends talk. Some even express shock at what you're doing. But they live in a different world. So you see, Mark's color is not the problem. My biggest worry is that you may be marrying Mark for the same wrong reasons that I married your father. When we met I saw him as my beloved, intelligent, charming, and caring. It was all so new, all so exciting, and we both thought, on the surface at least, that ours was an ideal marriage with every indication that it would last forever. I realized only later that I didn't know my beloved, your father, very well when we married."
"But Mark and I have been together more than two years," Gail railed. "We've been through so much together. We've seen each other at our worst many times. I'm sure that time will only confirm what we feel deeply about each other."
"You may be right. But I still think that waiting won't hurt. You're only twenty-five."
Gail's father, David, whom I had not yet met personally, approached our decision with a father-knows-best attitude. He basically asked the same questions as Gail's mother: "Why the haste? Who is this Mark? What's his citizenship status?" And when he learned of my problems with the Citizenship department, he immediately suspected that I was marrying his daughter in order to remain in the United States.
"But Dad, that's harsh," Gail said.
"Then why the rush? Buy time, buy time," he remarked repeatedly.
"Mark has had problems with citizenship before and has always taken care of them himself," Gail defended." In fact, he made it very clear when we were discussing marriage that if I had any doubts about anything, I should not hesitate to cancel our plans."
Her father proceeded to quote statistics showing that mixed couples had higher divorce rates than couples of the same race and gave examples of mixed couples he had counseled who were having marital difficulties.
"Have you thought about the hardships your children would go through?" he asked.
"Dad, are you a racist?"
"No, of course not. But you have to be realistic."
"Maybe our children will have some problems, but whose children don't? But one thing they'll always have: our love and devotion."
"That's idealistic. People can be very cruel toward children from mixed marriages."
"Dad, we'll worry about that when the time comes. If we had to resolve all doubt before we acted, very little would ever get done."
"Remember, it's never too late to change your mind."
n. 1. [C] mental or moral qualities that make a person, group, nation, etc., different from others （指个人、民族、社会特有的） 天性, 性格, 本质, 特征
2. [C] all those qualities that make a thing, a place, an event, etc., what it is and different from others （事物、地方、事件的） 特点, 特性, 特征
n. 1. [U] willingness or ability to accept sth. 容忍，宽容
2. [U] the ability to bear sth. unpleasant, or to continue existing in spite of bad conditions 忍耐力
n. [C, U] giving up of certain demands by each side, so that an agreement may be reached which satisfies both to some degree 妥协，折衷，和解
vi. settle a difference, etc., by making a compromise 妥协，折衷
vt. bring sb./sth./oneself into danger by foolish acts 危及……的安全，使受牵连
a. 1. not easy to tell or describe; fine; slight （因细微、精巧或微妙而） 难于觉察或描述的；精巧的；巧妙的
2. secret; tricky 诡秘的；狡诈的
n. [U] very strong dislike; hate 痛恨，憎恨
n. 1. [C] a false idea, belief or impression 错误的观点、信念或印象
2. [C] a thing that a person wrongly believes to exist; a false idea 假象
a. 1. having a husband or wife 有夫或有妻的，已婚的
2. of marriage 婚姻的
a. 1. (of feeling or an action) felt or done by each to the other（指感情或行动）相互的
2. shared by two or more people （两人或多人） 共同的，共有的
a. 1. (of people, ideas, differences, etc.) suitable; able to exist together （指人、思想、论点、原则等）适合的；可共存的
2. (of equipment) able to use together （指设备） 兼容的，配套的
a. not able to live or work happily with sb. 不能愉快地一起生活或共事的
vt. 1. fail to see or notice sth.; miss 漏看，没注意到；忽略
2. pretend not to notice; forgive 不予注意；宽恕
3. have or give a view of (a place) from above 俯视，眺望
n. 1. [U] firm belief that sth. will happen; hope of getting sth./that sth. will happen 期待，期望
2. (pl.) confident feelings (about sth.)（对某事）有信心的指望
n. 1. [C, U] lawful ending of a marriage 离婚
2. [C] separation; ending of a connection 断绝关系, 分离
v. end a marriage by a lawful process 离婚
vt. separate sb./sth. from sth., esp. in a false way 使分离，使脱离
vi. produce buds 发芽，萌芽
n. [C] a small part of a plant which sticks out from a branch and will develop into a flower 芽，花蕾
n. 1. [U] being against sth. 反对，敌对
2. [U] (sing.)(action of) using force to be against sth./sb. 抵抗, 对抗
n. 1. (pl.) words that show pleasure about one's good fortune or success 贺词，赞词
2. praising sb. and saying that you are pleased about a special or unusual success 祝贺,道喜
vt. advise; give advice and support to 劝告, 忠告；辅导, 提供咨询
n. [U] advice; ideas 劝告，意见，建议
a. later, following 后来的，随后的，继起的
ad. after that, afterwards 后来，接着
vt. 1. keep (sth.) secretly in one's mind 心怀，怀有
2. give shelter to (a criminal, etc.); protect 庇护，窝藏（罪犯）；隐匿
n. [C, U] place of shelter for ships 港，港口
n. 1. [U, C] (esp. pl.) spoken or unspoken limit which prevents one's agreement with a plan, or accepting of an idea, etc. （讲出或未讲出的）保留条件，限制条件
2. [C] order of seats, etc. 预订座位（车票、机票等）
n. [C] opinion, or like or dislike of sb./sth. , that is not founded on experience or reason 偏见，成见
vt. 1. cause sb. to have a prejudice; influence sb. 有偏见 (或偏爱)
2. cause harm to; make weak 伤害，损害
n. [U] power of pleasing or attracting people; attractiveness 魅力；吸引力
vt. attract，delight, or influence by charm 使高兴, 使迷醉, 吸引
n. [C] (informal) man （非正式）家伙，伙计
n. [C] husband of one's daughter 女婿
n. darling 心爱的人
a. much loved 心爱的，亲爱的
n. [C, U] words, sign, etc. that shows sth.（暗示某事物的）言语，姿势，标记
vt. 1. prove (a report, an opinion, etc.) true or correct 证实，证明，确定
2. make (a plan or meeting) certain, often by telephone or writing （通过电话、书信）确定，确认（安排、会议）
vt. 1. have an idea of the existence or truth of (sth.); believe 猜想，疑有；觉得
2. feel doubt about (sth.); mistrust 怀疑；不信任
n. [C] a person suspected of a crime, etc. 嫌疑犯
a. not to be trusted; possibly false 靠不住的，不可信的，可疑的
a. 1. cruel; severe 严厉的，残酷的，苛刻的
2. unpleasantly rough or sharp, esp. to the senses 刺耳（眼）的
v. 1. be slow to speak or act because one feels uncertain or unwilling; pause in doubt 犹豫, 踌躇, 迟疑
2. be reluctant 不愿，勉强
vt. 1. say that (sth. already planned and decided upon) will not be done or take place 取消
2. cross out (sth. written) 删去
vi. 1. go to a further or the next stage; go on 着手；继续进行
2. make one's way; go 前进，行进
v. repeat the words that sb. else has said or written 引用，引述，援引
n. [C] a group of words taken from a book, play, speech, etc. and used again, usually by sb. other than the writer 引语
n. 1. [C] conditions causing severe suffering 艰难情况，困境
2. [U] severe suffering and discomfort 苦难，困苦，贫困
n. person who believes that other races are not as good as his/her own and, therefore, treats them unfairly 种族主义者，种族主义分子
a. 1. based on facts rather than on feelings or illusion; practical 实际的（根据事实而不根据感情和幻想）；务实的
2. appearing to be existing or happening in fact 逼真的，像实际存在或发生的
vt. 1. end (a problem or difficulty) 解决，解除
2. decide; determine 决定，决心
PHRASES AND EXPRESSIONS
ups and downs
the changing of good and bad luck 好运和坏运的交替；盛衰；浮沉
develop in a certain way; turn out 按某种方式发展；结果为
for a time
for a short period 暂时，一度
encounter sth.; experience sth. 遭遇，受到；经历
all the time; from the beginning 始终；从开始一直
have nothing to do with
have no connection with; avoid 与……无关；不跟……往来
on the surface
when not observed, thought about, etc. deeply 表面上, 外表上, 从表面上看
at one's worst
showing the most unpleasant side of sb. 最差的一面
become aware of (sth.) through information or observation; realize 获悉，听说；认识到
take care of
be responsible for; deal with 负责；处理