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2017/02/21 第302期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份直接訂閱

America's First Lady: Mrs. Michelle Obama  出身平凡 魅力非凡 ── 蜜雪兒•歐巴馬
by Bruce E. Bagnell

As with all United States' first ladies, Mrs. Michelle Obama had her own agenda.

  Mrs. Michelle Obama has caught everyone's attention. Wives of presidents of the United States, referred to as "First Ladies," usually play second fiddle to their husbands, as one would expect. Mrs. Obama is no different in that regard. She gave up her own work as a lawyer and Chicago city administrator to attend to the couple's children and her husband's career, as in campaigning nationwide for him. As first ladies do, Mrs. Obama has also focused on particular issues close to her heart.
  Among these issues are improving the lives of military families, encouraging youths to continue their education, and promoting healthful lifestyles to include organic food and exercise. Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, made launching the United Nations one of her personal projects, which she succeeded in accomplishing. Laura Bush, Mrs. Obama's predecessor, focused on health, education, and literacy, much as Michelle Obama has. Mrs. Bush was a librarian, so it is no surprise that she would encourage education and literacy. Mrs. Obama, from a poor family, was impressed with how education makes a difference in people's lives.
  Mrs. Obama is no stranger to controversy, despite her popularity. In 2008 she said, "For the first time in my adult lifetime I am proud of my country." Many people interpreted this as blatantly racist and anti-American. At the 2016 Democratic National Convention, she said, "I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves." True, but she did not mention that freed African-Americans, European immigrants, and especially Scots — brought in by the Scottish architect of the White House — also labored on the building. Despite these gaffes, Mrs. Obama has worked hard to make life better for American society.

1. What topic concerning Mrs. Michelle Obama is NOT mentioned in the article?
(A) Her former employment.
(B) Her current family life.
(C) Her focus on issues.
(D) Her comparison with other first ladies.

2. What issue promoted by Mrs. Obama is NOT mentioned in the article?
(A) Her encouraging youths to stay in school.
(B) Her making Americans conscious of healthful eating.
(C) Her attention to reducing poverty.
(D) Her concern with the well-being of military families.

3. Why are first ladies Eleanor Roosevelt and Laura Bush mentioned?
(A) To provide evidence of first ladies' focus on issues important to them.
(B) To show how important education is to their personal issues.
(C) To distinguish these first ladies from each other.
(D) To explain the role first ladies play in their husbands' political policies.

4. What does the word gaffes in the last sentence of the article most nearly mean?
(A) Lessons to be taught to others.
(B) Unfeeling or embarrassing remarks.
(C) Intellectually stimulating ideas.
(D) Quotations from famous people.


agenda n. 規劃;議程
administrator n. 行政官員;管理人
nationwide adv. 在全國
衍: worldwide adv. 在世界各地
predecessor n. 前任;原有的事物
librarian n. 圖書館員
blatantly adv. 公然地
racist a. 種族歧視的 & n. 種族主義者
convention n. 大會,會議(可數)
gaffe n. 失態,失禮(尤指社交上的出醜)
quotation n. 語錄

  1. refer to A as B  把 A 稱作 B
    衍: refer to...  指的是……;查閱/參考……
    Lily always refers to her dog as her best friend.
    During the test, you may refer to your notes if necessary.
  2. play second fiddle to sb  遷就某人;擔任某人的副手
    fiddle n. 小提琴
    I'm tired of always playing second fiddle to Brian. I'm going to quit.
  3. attend to...  照料……
    Kate attended to her father-in-law when he fell ill last winter.
  4. succeed in N/V-ing  在……獲得成功
    My parents have faith in my ability to succeed in whatever I do.
    *faith n. 信心
  5. make a difference  有影響;使有所差別
    Joe got involved in politics because he wanted to make a difference.
  6. interpret A as B  把 A 解讀為 B
    interpret vt. 解釋,說明
    People often interpret a frown as a sign of disapproval.
    *frown n. & vi. 皺眉頭
  7. distinguish A from B  區分 A 與 B
    Individuals who are color blind often cannot distinguish red from green.

Mrs. Obama is no stranger to controversy, despite her popularity.
be no stranger to...  對……不陌生/很熟悉
Taiwan and Japan are no strangers to earthquakes.

  1. campaign vi. 從事競選活動 & n.(為達到目的而發起的)運動
    With the election just around the corner, the candidates will be campaigning in full force.
    The organization is going to launch a campaign against corruption.
    *corruption n. 貪污
  2. particular a. 特殊的,特定的
    衍: particularly adv. 特別地,尤其
    = in particular
    Steve has a particular interest in architecture.
    Everyone in our company works very hard, particularly Mark.
  3. issue n. 議題
    衍: take issue with sb over sth  就某事與某人看法不同;就某事向某人提出異議
    I have to take issue with you over that matter.
  4. encourage vt. 鼓勵,激勵
    衍: encourage sb to V  鼓勵某人做……
    Cindy's mom encouraged her to go to graduate school for further study.
  5. promote vt. 提倡,推廣;使升遷
    Our company promotes education by offering scholarships to the poor.
  6. healthful a. 有益健康的
    Regular exercise is healthful for your body.
  7. accomplish vt. 完成,實現
    衍: accomplishment n. 成就;才藝
    You can accomplish anything you set your mind on doing.
    Helping others gives Christine a sense of accomplishment.
  8. literacy n. 識字能力,讀寫能力
    反: illiteracy n. 文盲,不識字
    Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a literacy rate below 50%.
    尼泊爾是世上最窮的國家之一,其國民識字率低於 50%。
    The government is trying to address the problem of illiteracy in the country.
  9. controversy n. 爭議
    The minister caused controversy when he bought himself a car with church funds.
    *minister n. 牧師;部長;首相,總理
  10. labor vi. 勞動,工作 & n. 勞工;勞力
    Harry's father labored in the summer sun, building a treehouse for his son.
    Good management involves a careful division of labor.
    *division n. 分開,區分
  11. conscious a. 有意識的
    衍: be conscious of...  意識到/察覺到……
    Many teenagers aren't conscious of the dangers of smoking.
  12. remark n. 言論
    Andy's rude remark compelled me to say something back to him.
    *compel vt. 強迫,迫使
  13. intellectually adv. 智力上
    Teaching jobs can be both physically and intellectually demanding.
  14. stimulating a. 振奮人心的;刺激的
    衍: stimulate vt. 刺激
    The best lessons are particularly lively and stimulating.
    *lively a. 生動的,活潑的
    To stimulate the economy, the government is lowering interest rates.

出身平凡 魅力非凡 ── 蜜雪兒•歐巴馬
  蜜雪兒•歐巴馬已經引起所有人的關注。可想而知,美國總統的太太 ── 被稱為『第一夫人』── 往往願意遷就她們的丈夫退居第二位。歐巴馬夫人在這一方面沒有不同。她放棄自己身為律師和芝加哥市行政委員的職務來照料孩子以及丈夫的職涯,同時在全國各地為他競選。正如同第一夫人會做的,歐巴馬夫人也將注意力集中在她非常關注的特殊議題。
  儘管歐巴馬夫人相當受歡迎,她仍然飽受爭議。她在 2008 年說道:『在我的成人生活當中,我第一次為我的國家感到驕傲。』許多人將這一席話解讀為公然的種族歧視和反美國行為。在 2016 年的民主黨全國代表大會上,她說:『每天早晨,我都在一棟由奴隸建造的房子中醒來。』確實是如此,但她沒有提到獲釋的非裔美國人、歐洲移民以及特別是蘇格蘭人 ── 由白宮的蘇格蘭建築師帶進來的 ── 也費盡千辛萬苦興建該建築。儘管曾經失言,歐巴馬夫人仍然竭力讓美國社會的生活更加完善。

1. 本文並未提及下列哪一項與蜜雪兒•歐巴馬夫人有關的主題?
(A) 她先前的職業。
(B) 她目前的家庭生活。
(C) 她所關注的議題。
(D) 她與其他第一夫人的比較。
題解:全文皆在講述歐巴馬夫人的職涯、她關注的議題以及與其他第一夫人的比較,僅 (B) 項未被提及,故為正選。

2. 本文並未提及下列哪一項蜜雪兒•歐巴馬夫人所提倡的議題?
(A) 她鼓勵年輕人繼續求學。
(B) 她讓美國人注意健康飲食。
(C) 她對減少貧窮情形的關心。
(D) 她關注軍人家庭的福利。
題解:根據本文第二段,這些議題包括改善軍人家庭的生活、鼓勵年輕人繼續接受教育以及提倡健康的生活方式,僅 (C) 項未被提及,故為正選。

3. 為什麼本文提及愛蓮娜•羅斯福與蘿拉•布希這兩位第一夫人?
(A) 為第一夫人關注她們認為重要的議題提供證據。
(B) 展現教育對她們個人議題而言有多重要。
(C) 將這些第一夫人區別開來。
(D) 解釋第一夫人在她們丈夫政治方針中所扮演的角色。
題解:根據本文第二段,美國前總統富蘭克林•D•羅斯福的妻子愛蓮娜•羅斯福將開創聯合國當作她的個人規劃之一,而歐巴馬夫人的前輩蘿拉•布希著重於健康、教育以及識字能力,和蜜雪兒•歐巴馬一樣,故 (A) 項應為正選。

4. 本文最後一句的gaffes一字最接近的意思是什麼?
(A) 教導他人的課題。
(B) 無情或令人難堪的言論。
(C) 激盪腦力的點子。
(D) 引述名人的名言。
題解:gaffe 一詞意指『失禮、失態』,與 (B) 項意思最為接近,故為正選。

答案:1. B 2. C 3. A 4. B

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