Read (he following excerpt from the book "Live with Lightning" by Mitchell Wilson. Retell it following the points in the outline. Make use of the word combinations listed below each point:

The physics department had two undergraduate divisions for freshman physics. The division in which Erik taught was meant only for those students who intended to devote themselves professionally to engineering, medicine, or to one of the physical or biological sciences.

Fifteen hours of laboratory teaching a week required a minimum of five additional hours to correct reports and quizzes and another three or four hours to prepare for the demonstrations. This in itself was a full-time schedule; but to Erik, it had to be subordinated to his own studies. His lectures consumed another fifteen hours a week and -this in turn required a minimum of an additional fifteen hours of reading. His work began at eight o'clock, and he went to bed, when he finished at midnight, too exhausted to read any further, and too dull to talk, and only vaguely satisfied that he had just managed to complete the minimum of all the work he had planned.

In whatever spare time he could find, the read the current research journals, trying to understand the implications of the experiments which were being performed throughout the world; but he always bogged down. He didn't know enough. Sometimes he despaired of ever learning anything at all.

Through the rushing time of that year, Erik lived on two levels - one of complete absorption in his work, a driving passionate desire to stuff himself as full of knowledge as he could; and the other one of hurried meals, of exhausted sleep and comparative loneliness.


1. The division where Erik teaches (the physics department; to be meant for; to devote oneself to).

2. The conditions under which Erik works (to require a minimum of; to correct reports and quizzes; to prepare for demonstrations; a full-time schedule; to be subordinated to; to consume time; in return; at midnight; to be too exhausted to do smth; to manage to do smth; to complete smth).


3. Erik tries to find time to work for his doctorate (to find spare time; to read the current research journals; to understand the implications of the experiments; to despair of doing smth).

4. Erik lives on two levels (complete absorption in one's work; to stuff oneself as full of knowledge as one can; hurried meals; exhausted sleep).

Topics for Oral and Written Composition

  1. Your Institute obligations - studies and social work.
  2. The biography of a famous scientist.
  3. Your summer vacation.

Render the contents of the poem in prose. Memorize it.


By H. Wolfe (1885-1940)

Listen! The wind is rising
and the air is wild with leaves;
we ha've had our summer evenings;
now for October eves!
The great beach trees lean forward,
and strip like a diver. We
had better turn to the fire
and shut our minds to the sea,
Where the ships of youth are running
close-hauled on the edge of the wind,
with all adventure before them,
and only the old behind.


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