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Select Readings – Intermediate

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  1. Chapter 1: Answering 6 common interview questions
    Before You Read
  2. Working With Reading
  3. After You Read
    2 Practices
  4. Building Vocabulary
    2 Practices
  5. Reading Skill
    2 Practices
  6. Discussion And Writing
  7. Chapter 2: Young Women Changing the world
    Before You Read
  8. Work With Reading
  9. After You Read
  10. Building Vocabulary
  11. Reading Skill
  12. Discussion And Writing
  13. Chapter 3: Students Learning teams
    Before You Read
    2 Practices
  14. Working With Reading
  15. After You Read
  16. Building Vocabulary
  17. Reading Skill
  18. Discussion And Writing
  19. Chapter 4: Learning to Speak
    Before You Read
  20. Working With Reading
  21. After You Read
  22. Building Vocabulary
  23. Reading Skill
  24. Discussion And Writing
  25. Chapter 5: The Man in the Moon Has Company
    Before You Read
  26. Working With Reading
  27. After You Read
  28. Building Vocabulary
  29. Reading Skill
  30. Discussion And Writing
  31. Chapter 6: Culture Shock
    Before You Read
  32. Working With Reading
  33. After You Read
  34. Building Vocabulary
  35. Reading Skill
  36. Discussion And Writing
  37. Chapter 7: Private Lives
    Before You Read
  38. Working With Reading
  39. After You Read
  40. Building Vocabulary
  41. Reading Skill
  42. Discussion And Writing
  43. Chapter 8: A Young Blind Whiz
    Before You Read
  44. Working With Reading
  45. After You Read
  46. Building Vocabulary
  47. Reading SKill
  48. Discussion And Writing
  49. Chapter 9: How to Make a Speech
    Before You Read
  50. Working With Reading
  51. After You Read
  52. Building Vocabulary
  53. Reading Skill
  54. Discussion And Writing
  55. Chapter 10: Conversational Ball Games
    Before You Read
    2 Practices
  56. Working With Reading
  57. After You Read
  58. Building Vocabulary
  59. Reading Skill
  60. Discussion And Writing
  61. Chapter 11: Letters of Application
    Before You Read
    2 Practices
  62. Working With Reading
  63. After You Read
  64. Vocabulary Building
  65. Reading Skill
  66. Discussion And Writing
  67. Chapter 12: Out to Lunch
    Before You Read
  68. Working With Reading
  69. After You Read
  70. Vocabulary Skill
  71. Reading Skill
  72. Discussion And Writing
  73. Chapter 13: Public Attitudes Toward Science
    Before You Read
  74. Working With Reading
  75. After You Read
  76. Vocabulary Skill
  77. Reading Skill
  78. Discussion And Writing
  79. Chapter 14: The Art of Genius
    Before You Read
  80. Working With Reading
  81. After You Read
  82. Vocabulary Skill
  83. Reading Skill
  84. Discussion And Writing
Lesson 37 of 84
In Progress

Before You Read

Kunthea May 4, 2021

Chapter Focus:

  • Having a special place to go to reflect on life
  • Identifying supporting ideas
  • Learning noun suffixes

1 Life seems a little less fragile when you can depend on a special place to
always be there for you.

There is a tiny slice of the Gulf of Mexico that belongs to me.
Looking across the water, or down the shoreline, I see the past
5 20 years play over and over, like an old Super 8 movie.

I’m 16, writing poetry while sitting on a bench at sunset. I’m
floating atop the salty sea on my yellow raft. I’m sitting at the water’s
edge, gathering a rainbow of shells. I’m in college, burgundy hair
glistening. I’m a working woman, thinking about my career, paying
10 the bills. I’m heavy, I’m thin. My hair is long, short, long again. I’m
happy, sad. Growing older, growing up.

My parents and I moved from North Carolina to St. Petersburg,
Florida, when I was just about to start my senior year of high school.
It was a difficult time to be uprooted; I had lived in North Carolina
15 all my life. But I loved the water, so Florida seemed an okay place to
live. I can’t remember how I first chose my special beach at the end of
Eighth Avenue. But once I chose my spot, I never switched beaches.

Almost daily, I swam and sunned there. I watched the sun set. I thought
about life. On weekend nights in college, I hung out4 at the beach with
20 friends, playing music or just listening to the waves. My bedroom at my
parents’ house holds no memories for me. My memories of Florida are all
a mile away, at Eighth Avenue beach.

I live in Boston now and visit my parents in Florida twice a year.
Whenever I visit, I spend many hours at my beach, usually under a hot
25 sun, but sometimes at night, when the sand is cool and the sea seems to
offer answers it won’t share during the day. I go to my beach not only to
relax and think, but also to feed off the sea. The waves are gentle, the
water soothing. But more important to me is the sea’s permanence and
sheer force. I want to be strong like that.

30 During one visit to Florida last year, I was sad about the end of a
relationship, and I knew that my sadness would worry my parents. I had
to stop at Eighth Avenue before I could see them. After flying in from
Boston, I drove straight to the beach. It was late afternoon in May, and the
sun had softened. When I reached the beach, I parked at the end of Eighth
35 Avenue and slowly walked barefoot to the water. I tasted the Gulf, and
with it, some hope.

I have taken a few friends to my sanctuary,7 but its not a place I share
with many. Five years ago I brought Jack, a former boyfriend, and I’m
glad I did. Now when I look down the shore or across the water, he is
40 there, too, laughing at the pelicans as they dive for food, holding me
while we watch the sunset from the edge of the water.

Jack will always be there. So will my friend JoEllen, who came to Eighth
Avenue with me a couple of years ago. We walked and walked until the sun
and sand had exhausted us. Sometimes I talk my mother into8 going to
45 watch the sunset, and we sit on the bench, appreciating our time together.

Last year, I had planned to take Tom to Eighth Avenue. He was going
to be the most important visitor of all, the person I thought I would spend
 the rest of my life with. A few days before we were supposed to leave, he
changed his mind, about the trip to Florida and about us. I’m glad he
50 never saw my beach.

As long as my parents are alive, I will go to Eighth Avenue. It has
occurred to me that I will probably mourn their deaths there, listening to
the waves and watching the gulls. I wonder how often I will see my beach
after my parents are gone. I’m sure I will go there from time to time, maybe
55 even stay in one of the cottages nearby that I’ve passed so often. But it
doesn’t matter. My tiny slice of the Gulf of Mexico is always within reach.

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