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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 67 of 84
In Progress

Before You Read

Kunthea May 27, 2021

Chapter Focus:

  • The siesta tradition
  • Summarizing
  • Learning word forms

1 A big meal and a long nap is still a way of life in Madrid.

Birds do it. Cats do it. And Spaniards most especially do it—every day,
in broad daylight. They nap. Grown adults—executives, teachers, civil
servants—wink off in the middle of the workday. From 1 or 2 o’clock
5 to 4:30 or so every afternoon, Spain stops the world for a stroll home,
a leisurely meal, and a few z’s. Common Market technocrats have
informed the Spanish that this is not the way things will get done in
a unified Europe.

At a time when productivity is the world’s largest religion, the siesta
10 tradition lives on. In Spain, work operatesunder the command of life,
 instead of the other way around. No task is so critical that it can’t wait a
couple of hours while you attend to more important matters like eating,
relaxing, or catching up on sleep. When the midday break hits, offices
empty and streets clear. Befuddled foreigners quickly learn that they have
15 entered a new circadian order.[8]

“At first, I kept looking for things to do in the afternoon, and I just
couldn’t believe that nothing was open,” recalls Pier Roberts, an Oakland
writer who lived in Spain for several years. “I walked the streets of Madrid
looking for somewhere to go. It was a thousand degrees outside, you
20 could see the heat waves, and it was like a ghost town.”

Taking a long break in the middle of the day is not only healthier than
the conventional lunch, it’s apparently more natural. Sleep researchers
have found that the Spanish biorhythm may be tuned more closely
to our biological clocks.  Studies suggest that humans are “biphasic”

25 creatures, requiring days broken up by two periods of sleep instead of one
“monophasic” shift. The drowsiness you feel after lunch comes not from
the food but from the time of day.

“All animals, including humans, have a biological rhythm,” explains
Claudio Stampi, director of the Chrono Biology Research Institute in
30 Newton, Massachusetts. “One is a 24-hour rhythm—we get tired by
the end of the day and go to sleep—and there is a secondary peak of
sleepiness and a decrease in alertness in the early afternoon. Some people
have difficulty remaining awake, doing any sort of task between one and
four in the afternoon. For others it’s less difficult, but it’s there. So there is
35 a biological reason for siestas.”

Unlike the average lunch break, the siesta is a true break in the action
because there is no choice but to come to a full and complete stop. You
can’t do errands; the shops are closed. You can’t make business calls;
nobody’s at the office. Most people go home for lunch, or get together
40 with family or friends and nod out afterwards.

The Spanish need their sleep. They’ve got a long night ahead of them
because another key component of the siesta lifestyle is its nocturnal
orbit.  After the afternoon work shift, from 4:30 to 8 p.m. or so, they may
join friends for a drink. Dinner starts at 9 or 10 p.m., and from there it’s
45 out on the town until one or two in the morning.

“It’s a bad night in Madrid if you get home before six in the morning,
” laughs Roberts. The siesta’s origins he in climate and architecture. Like
people in other places around the globe that are blast furnaces much of

the year, Spaniards turned to shade and stillness to avoid incineration
50 in the middle of the day. At night, packed, simmering dwellings drove
people into the streets to cool down.

While climate is still a factor, the siesta lifestyle today is driven
primarily by the social imperative of Spanish life, which places an equal,
if not greater, emphasis on life outside the office. “We are not so obsessed
55 only with work,” says Florentino Sotomayor of the Spanish Tourist Board.
“We take a break and have the opportunity of having coffee with friends
and thinking and talking about different issues, not only work.”

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