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Unit 2. Personality Part 1. Vivien

Ex.1. Read the text and pick up the terms referring to the topic.

I’m five foot height. I’m not sure what that is on the metric scale − I think it’s one meter seventy, or some­thing like that. So I’m quite tall. I’m overweight I think, although people say I'm not. I don’t know how much I weigh, 'cause I always find it too depressing to weigh myself. I don’t feel I take as much exercise as I should. I used to go to a gym, but I found it really boring. My main exercise is walking, I walk every­where and swimming, which is fine for giving you good stamina and broad shoulders, and it’s good for your heart and lungs. I have very short hair. I had it cut recently, because if you go swimming every day, which I try to, then it’s much more convenient to have really short hair. It doesn’t get in the way, you can dry it really quickly, and you don’t have to take gel and all sorts of hair products to the swimming pool every time you go. It’s light brown. It’s much fairer in the summer, and in the winter it gets darker. I have blue eyes. I wear contact lenses − well I wear one, in one eye.

I think I’m quite easy-going. I get more stressed out than I used to, but I think it’s just the pressure of work, as journalism can be quite stressful. As a journalist, you always have deadlines. You have to write something by a certain time and if you don’t get it done, then the editor gets really mad. I think I’m quite shy. I never really used to like meeting people, and got quite shy and nervous and had nothing to say for myself, but now I feel much more comfortable. If you have a job or you have something you can tell people about, you can have self-confidence.

I’m not particularly religious. My family isn’t religious at all. We never went to church. The only times I’ve been to church recent­ly were for weddings and funerals. I remember when I was little though, I used to really love singing. At the age of about seven, I wanted to go to church because I want­ed to sing the hymns, as they have good tunes. So my attitude to life is not particularly religious, although I do believe in some kind of spir­itual life. In the spiritual world, I find the Eastern religions much more appealing. So, when I wrote about Hungarian Buddhists, it was particularly interesting. I think reincarnation is a fascinating sub­ject and I believe in it to some extent. I feel you always have to keep an open mind, be prepared to learn new things and meet new people, and always try to live in the best way that you can and not hurt other people.

You learn through the experiences of all the things that happen to you. Whenever life is really bad, you have to think: “That well, you know, maybe you can learn something from it?”, so if you have a bad time or something really sad happens in your life you have to try to find a positive side to it. All kinds of terrible things happen all through your life, there’s death and violence and all the awful things you read about in the newspapers every day, and you just have to... I suppose... try not to get too depressed by everything and think about the positive side of things.

I don’t know if I’m particularly obsessive, habit wise. I like to do different things each day. That was why I started being a freelance journalist, because every day is different. I hate being in some kind of routine which is always the same every day and I can easily get bored if I don’t have some kind of intellectual stimulation all the time. That’s why it’s interesting to live abroad, in another country. There’s always something that’s different, there’s always something new, something to learn.

I’m similar, I think, in personality to my mother. People always say that she’s really calm and easy-going. She’s always very friendly to guests and visitors, and if I take friends home to stay, she’s always really nice and charming to them, although she can be quite critical of peo­ple. I don’t know if this is a particularly English thing, where on the surface people seem so polite and friendly, but maybe behind somebody’s back they’re not quite the same person, but it has been in my experience. My mother always has an interesting out­look on life, and she’s very perceptive. She often points out little things that I don’t notice.

My dad is very placid, he’s very calm and very sweet. He’s a great big man, over six foot tall, but now he’s had a hip operation, he can hardly walk, which is sad because he has had such an active and sporty life. He’s still quite cheerful generally, but the pain makes him really grumpy and depressed at times. He watches TV a lot now that he’s retired and he still bets on horses, a great hobby of his. He’s very soft and sweet, not a typical strict father, and he’s always been very easy-going. When I was a child, both my parents were very relaxed, and I could do what I wanted to most of the time. I could learn to drive when I was seven­teen, take the car out and go and visit friends, and they would never say things like “You must be home at twelve o’clock!”, or “Where have you been?”. They would always be almost disinterest­ed in a way, kind of detached. They had an attitude like “Let the children get on with their own lives and don’t interfere!” Maybe it might seem like they didn’t care, or that they were cold, but I don’t know, it’s just the English way. They don’t want to interfere as much in other people’s lives, and let people get on with their own thing.

I sometimes think I hardly know my brothers, because when I was little, while I was growing up, they weren’t at home. One was away at boarding school and the other one at university, so I hardly ever saw them. I’ve seen my brother Nigel much more recently. He’s very funny, he’s always really witty and you can have a good laugh with him and joke about. I’ve seen my other brother so rarely of late, but we talk on the phone a bit these days. He calls me from Hong Kong or sends me E-mail at work, and that’s quite nice, to reestablish con­tact. I think we’re all quite similar. We’re all quite easy-going, hard-working, and enjoy being busy all the time and don’t like just sitting around and doing nothing.

My friend Jo lives in London. She’s now a television producer. She makes films for BBC and for Channel about all kinds of really strange and inter­esting subjects. We met at university when she was study­ing Spanish, and for a while I studied Spanish, so I knew a lot of people in that depart­ment. I think we became friends through social activities though. We used to go out to discos all the time, or concerts and we ended up sharing a flat in Leeds, but then we lost touch with each other for quite a long time. She’s very artistic, one of these people who’s very intense and highly-strung, so she can be very sensitive, or then suddenly she can be very affec­tionate, and then very angry...

Ex.2. Suggest the Russian equivalents to the English ones.

To find something depressing, take much exercise, to weigh, to find something boring, stamina, to have one’s hair cut, easy-going, to get stressed out, deadlines, by a certain time, shy, self-confidence, not to be particularly religious, attitude to life, spir­itual life, appealing, to some extent, to keep an open mind, to hurt people, fascinating sub­ject, to learn through the experiences, to find a positive side to something, violence, to get depressed, to think about the positive side of things, to be in some kind of routine, to be similar, to have some kind of intellectual stimulation, to be charming to somebody, to be quite critical of peo­ple, calm, to have an interesting out­look on life, to have an active and sporty life, to reestablish con­tact, to have a good laugh with somebody, to enjoy being busy all the time, to lose touch with each other, to be intense and highly-strung.

Ex.3. Suggest the English equivalents to the Russian ones.

Иметь избыточный вес, угнетающий, удобный, сушить, выходить из себя, добродушный, нервничать, самоуверенность, отношение, сохранять здравый ум, обыденная жизнь, обижать, учиться на опыте, находить положительную сторону в чем-либо, скучать, быть похожим, критично относиться к людям, проницательный, указывать, мягкий, спокойный, «сладкий», хмурый, быть на пенсии, мягкий, строгий, вмешиваться, заботиться, интернат, восстановить связь, посмеяться с кем-либо, факультет, подружиться, снимать квартиру, потерять связь друг с другом, активный, невыдержанный, чувствительный, приятный, заниматься спортом, сильный, веселый, любящий.

Ex.4. Fill in the gaps in the sentences.

  1. Vivien always … weigh herself.

  2. She … which is fine for giving her good stamina.

  3. Vivien … than she used to, but she thinks it’s just the pressure of work.

  4. Vivien’s … is not particularly religious.

  5. Everybody … that happen to him or her.

  6. Vivien tries not … by everything and think about the positive side of things.

  7. Vivien hates … which is always the same every day and she can easily … if she doesn’t have…

  8. Vivien … in personality to her mother.

  9. Vivien’s mother has an interesting out­look on life, and…

  10. Vivien and her friend … through social activities.

Ex.5. Complete the sentences.

  1. Vivien she thinks she is…

  2. If you have something you can tell people about…

  3. The editor gets really mad if…

  4. Vivien never really used to like meeting people, and…

  5. She thinks everybody always has to keep an open mind…

  6. If somebody has a bad time or something really sad happens in her or his life, he or she…

  7. Vivien likes to do different things each day, so she…

  8. It’s interesting to live abroad, in another country because…

  9. If Vivien takes friends home to stay, her mother…

  10. People seem so polite and friendly, but maybe behind somebody’s back…

  11. Vivien’s brother is always really witty and you…

Ex.6. Are these statements true or false?

  1. Vivien is short and slim.

  2. She finds it necessary to weigh every day.

  3. She enjoys taking exercises.

  4. Vivien thinks there is no point in walking.

  5. She is a very complicated person.

  6. Her profession is rather quiet.

  7. An editor patiently waits for the material to be done.

  8. Vivien is very religious. She often goes to the church.

  9. Vivien’s attitude to life is particularly religious. Christian religious appeals her.

  10. Vivien says people learn through the experience of other people.

  11. She prefers being in some kind of routine.

  12. As she is a very nervous and а loner person, she is similar in personality to her father.

  13. Vivien’s mother considers people to be the same persons as they show themselves.

  14. Mother’s outlook on life is strange enough.

  15. Vivien’s father is nervous and rude.

  16. Nigel doesn’t like to joke.

  17. Vivien and Nigel like to waste their time doing nothing.

  18. Vivien and Jo have become friends at work.

Ex.7. Answer the questions.

  1. Does Vivien think that she is overweight?

  2. Why does Vivien prefer not to know how much she weighs?

  3. What kind of exercise does Vivien find to be boring?

  4. What is her main exercise?

  5. Why does Vivien consider that it’s much convenient to have really short hair?

  6. Why does Vivien get more stressed than she used to?

  7. Why does the editor get really mad?

  8. Why didn’t Vivien like meeting people?

  9. Why does Vivien feel more comfortable?

  10. What occasions has Vivien been to church recently?

  11. Why did she want to go to church?

  12. What is Vivien’s attitude to life?

  13. Why did she start being a freelance journalist?

  14. When does Vivien get bored?

  15. Whom is Vivien similar in personality?

  16. Why can Vivien’s father hardly walk?

  17. What is Vivien’s father hobby?

  18. What was Vivien’s parents attitude?

  19. How does Vivien prove that she and her brother are all quite similar?

  20. How did Vivien become friends with Jo?

  21. The girls lost touch with each other for quite a long time, didn’t they?

Ex.8. Translate the sentences into English.

  1. У него избыточный вес.

  2. Меня это угнетает.

  3. У Вас удобная квартира?

  4. По утрам после душа он сушит волосы.

  5. Вы часто выходите из себя?

  6. Мой сосед – добродушный человек.

  7. Посмотрите на Тома. Почему он нервничает?

  8. У Вас развито чувство уверенности в себе.

  9. Как он относится к жизни?

  10. Вы всегда сохраняете ясную голову?

  11. Не обижайте животных!

  12. Она учится на собственном опыте.

  13. Вы находите положительное во всех ситуациях?

  14. Не скучайте!

  15. Внучка похожа на бабушку.

  16. Она критикует своих соседей.

  17. У неё развита интуиция.

  18. Перестаньте указывать!

  19. Сегодня море спокойное.

  20. Моя бабушка на пенсии.

  21. Их отец был очень строг.

  22. Почему Вы вмешиваетесь? Сейчас я пишу письмо.

  23. Наши родители не заботились о нас.

  24. На углу улицы находится интернат.

  25. Мы с моей подругой восстановили связь друг с другом в прошлом году.

  26. Они любили посмеяться с учителем во время перемены.

  27. На каком факультете ты учишься?

  28. Мы подружились, когда учились в университете.

  29. Я и моя одногруппница снимали квартиру в прошлом году.

  30. Вы потеряли связь друг с другом?

  31. Спортсмены – активные люди.

Ex.9. Give a summary of the text.

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