9. 1973/nineteen seventy-three
14. (two) cows
The part of the text containing the answer is underlined with the question number given in square brackets . If you still struggle with FCE Listening, please refer to Listening tips.
Woman: I think I’ve managed to build up quite a good team of staff here at the hotel, although of course there’s always more you could do. When I started, there was a bit of a tendency for leaving early among some of them and I had to be firm in putting a stop to that. I don’t think people should get fixed in one particular role, so I have them rotating their duties – reception desk, waiting, cleaning – from week to week , and if I see someone shows talent, I recommend they try for further training or something like that.
Man: So well it’s OK Mum. I’ve not done much actual studying yet. More just registering for the library, things like that. I’ve got as far as meeting all my teachers, and I’m happy that they all seem nice. And I’ve settled into my room now, you know, got pictures up on the walls. It’s really close to everything, the centre, the campus.  There are loads of other students in the same building, of course, and they seem OK, most of them, so I expect I’ll get to know them over the next few weeks.
Woman: Yes, I’m calling about the way some colleges are cancelling training courses. I was listening to the last caller and I thought it’s terrible , this business of simply telling people no, sorry, it’s not running after all. In my case, I’d paid a deposit, I’d arranged to have the time away from work, so when the course was cancelled it was really bad news. I’m sure there are other listeners out there with the same experience. So, what can be done about it? Who’s responsible?
Man: Overall, this documentary is worth watching. I’m not sure it’s going to win an award this year, however, since it’s short of being really inspirational. The locations are great, but in some ways the camera work lets the rest of it down. I’m not saying there’s anything actually poor, but by today’s standards, I’d have expected tighter close-ups, a few more night scenes using infra-red techniques.  I think this is particularly true if you’re going to feature the kinds of smaller animals that they went for here, ones that don’t naturally fill the screen. The voice-over was strange, very downbeat, almost flat, which actually gave an odd sense of excitement to it.
Man: I’m so sorry I am so late…
Woman: Don’t worry. I was fine, checking my messages here…
Man: I got here as quickly as I could, but just as I was leaving the office, I got a call from the camera shop to say my photos of my friend Richard were almost ready … but they had some questions – ‘just take a moment, sir’ – well, it was a funny kind of moment!
Woman: No problem…
Man: Anyway, they’ll be done just in time to pick up tonight, so I can take them over to Richard’s house after this.
Woman: I’m sure he’ll be pleased.
Man: Well every show’s different, of course, a fresh challenge. What works brilliantly in one venue may flop in another, so I always focus on the idea of the audience, how they will experience the performance… and then I try to bury myself in the music they’ll be playing, playing it over and over again, until it’s inside me, until I start to get a main idea , and then I refine that. I might also look at some classic films, like old black-and-white ones, to get ideas about light and dark, contrast… it depends on the kind of music I’m dealing with.
Woman: What this city needs is a free bike-hire system, like they have in some other places. It would do a great deal for the quality of life here.  And it’s up to the local government to pay for it. It’d probably reduce bike thefts as well as reducing traffic congestion!
Man: Well, I’m not sure about the crime angle, but the environmental benefits for the city would be clear.But I think it needs wider involvement than just the local council. It’s such a serious issue…
Woman: Well, it’s not a national issue like gun crime or something, is it?
Man: No, but it’s a deeper problem than people seem to appreciate.
Woman: Yes, I’d say that is my favourite film of all time. Ever. There is no limit to how many times I could watch it, and every time I watch it, I’m still absolutely hooked, to the exclusion of all else. I mean, yes, I fully acknowledge that not that much actually happens. Maybe it is a tiny bit slow by today’s standards, but the laughs still work, the jokes are still well delivered , and there’s just enough romance involved to make the whole thing quite sweet – and the last line is still one of the best in any film.
Carl: Hi there. My name’s Carl Halford and I work at the local museum, where I’m the director. The museum’s recently re-opened its antiquities section which has been closed for over a year. Let me tell you all about it.
Firstly, we wanted to give it a complete new look. As you know, the Museum was founded in 1902 and remained unchanged, barring the extension in 1958, until our last renovation project in 1973 , so it was high time we freshened things up a little. We’ve made a lot of changes and not only to the exhibits themselves. Like, we’ve replaced the display cabinets and so on. People notice new cabinets and signs, but often not the fact that the lighting has been improved, although it can change the whole way they see an object.  And it’s an area in which great technical progress has been made in the last few years.
So, what about the exhibits themselves? We’ve altered the selection on show. Part of our collection of around 650 objects is actually still stored underground, and so we’ve got 429 out on display, compared to 390 previously.  A significant change we’ve made is in the organisation of the exhibits, so that where before they were grouped according to their place of origin, we’ve now created a pathway through the museum that allows you to view them in order of age, starting with the oldest as you enter the gallery.  We’ve also provided more information on the signs, such as who first discovered them, how we think they were used, and so on.
I’m often asked to talk about some of your favourite pieces. And it’s hard to choose. But there’s a fascinating cup, just a simple cup, which is over four-and-a-half thousand years old. Round the side you see this quite lovely flower pattern and then if you pick it up and look underneath you can see the shape of a leaf there.  It’s a sort of mystery as to why someone would have put that there. And it’s survived so long.
Another little mystery is a little set of figures. There’s a farmer with two cows.  Although they’re certainly not horses or oxen, they do seem to be ploughing a field. But it’s not 100 per cent clear, because one’s pointing forward, the other’s pointing the opposite way, so how would that work? We’ll probably never know.
The exhibits attract all sorts of visitors – young and old. Though some of them are a bit scary for younger children. Like there’s one statue that’s got a big head with lots of curly hair, and eyes that seem to follow you round the room.  You notice kids looking back at them nervously. It’s obviously a deliberate part of the design. And in fact, a lot of ancient art was about terrifying things.
Like there’s a special vase, which we’ve lovingly restored, that’s painted all the way round with this amazing scene. You see this man, the hero, sailing with his soldiers and then battling with a monster , and yet, we’re not told – we don’t know the outcome, who wins that fight!
But there’s a lot that’s interesting on a smaller scale too. We’ve included quite a few coins in the display, because they’re such good tellers of historical tales. There’s one of a famous emperor that’s special because the decoration on it is remarkably detailed , and you’d never think so much information could be included in one small object, but you can see the shape of his ears, his nose, and so on. At the other end of the artistic scale, we have a small rock, just a basic, natural thing, not a statue, but we like to think about the young man – we assume he was a young man – out by the river, and how he carved, or just scratched, the image of a fish onto it . Perhaps he caught an extra big one, and wanted to celebrate the fact. Again, we’ll never know for sure, but I love the simplicity.
I fully accept that everyone’s different, so of course different teachers will suit different types of children and teenagers. Throughout my education, though, the teachers I responded to best were the ones that tried to push me along a bit by getting me to try a little bit harder.  Because the problem for me is that I’m naturally quite a lazy person, and I’ve always been more interested in life outside the classroom than inside it. So I’m the kind of person that’s perhaps a bit of a headache for teachers, the sort they’re not really thinking about when they’re studying for their teaching qualifications.
Most of the time a teacher’s just doing his or her job, I guess. I mean, they’ve done their qualification, they’re in the classroom, they’ve got to write your report at the end of term saying how you’ve done, haven’t they? Sometimes, you might want to be able to ask your teacher something before or after class, get some advice or extra information, or tell them about some problem.  It’s the teachers who’re there for you in those situations that are special, who take an individual approach. And I don’t think it’s too hard for them to do that, give you a couple of minutes.
Well, I’m a firm believer in the importance of the subject. If a teacher can get the kids absorbed by the subject, be it maths or geography or cookery or whatever, then the job is basically done. The best teachers are the ones who make it look easy, because they make it seem fun.  Then the kids are fascinated, even amused, by the subject, so they want to learn, and each and every one of them makes progress. I think this often involves the teacher getting everyone to see the relevance of the subject in the wide world, beyond the confines of the classroom.
Fashions come and go in teaching, just as in everything else. We’re at a stage at the moment where there’s a lot of focus on the individual, and getting every child to take responsibility for their own learning, that kind of thing. But you can’t just tell kids to be better, to study harder, you also have to demonstrate what you mean by this. So the teacher needs to put in the hours, to mark the homework, to prepare lessons carefully.  If kids know the teacher’s doing it, then they’ll want to do their part too. I think that’s the way to do it, never mind what’s in fashion.
Perhaps the best thing is for teachers to reflect on how they themselves got to be teachers. How did they achieve success in their qualifications? How did they manage to do well at school? It’s down to a question of each and every student making his or her own way – and they only know if they’re doing well if they’re told by their teacher that they’re doing well… or badly. You need to be told the facts about how well you’re managing with your studies, in class and in your homework.  The truth is that learning’s not a game, not just fun, but hard effort.
Interviewer: My guest today is Rosie Carnes, who teaches people to sing. Rosie, is it difficult to sing well?
Rosie: Well I guess the first thing to mention is that when we sing, we ourselves cannot truly know how we sound to anyone who’s listening to us. We have to sense what it must be like through a combination of what we can hear and what it feels like to make sound. When I was a child and I created a sound I felt excited. When I take in breath, I know I’m not just taking in air, I’m taking in the basis of sound. That’s exciting too!
Interviewer: And is it important to warm up before you sing?
Rosie: Yes, you’ll ruin your voice if you’re not warmed up, and you’ll sound rubbish. Your throat is quite small, and it’s what you have to push the air through into your mouth, which is what will frame your music. But in fact you need to begin with your spine, which wants to be stretched and made flexible.  That way, your whole body is prepared. The importance of whole body readiness cannot be overstressed. The way you stand affects the way you sing.
Interviewer: And your knees are important apparently.
Rosie: That’s right. Your knees want to be over your heels rather than the balls of your feet, and not completely straight, but a little angled.  Avoid crossing your legs tightly, or pressing them against each other, because you’ll be too tense.
Interviewer: And to maintain your voice in good condition?
Rosie: That’s crucial. As a professional singer, you’ve got to look after your voice, your pride and joy, your source of income. If you get a cold or an irritated throat, steam is usually very effective at reducing the inflammation, so get a bowl of steaming water and sit over it with a cloth on your head. If that’s not possible, sucking a sweet or two may help repair the voice – although the important thing is keeping it in good condition in the first place, for which you need to drink anything up to eight glasses of water every day , and avoid smoky places, shouting, that kind of thing.
Interviewer: And what about learning the words of songs?
Rosie: That’s a big part of being a singer. There are various ways of trying to push the limits of your memory, but mine’s never been very strong. I’ve driven several friends to the edge of despair when they’re trying to test me, and now I go it alone, going over them again and again and again during the course of an ordinary day, until the meaning sinks down into me.  It’s never easy. Anyway, it takes all sorts, and I hope that people will find their own way.
Interviewer: What advice do you have for wannabe singers?
Rosie: Well, nothing is easy about singing. It’s all hard work, I’m afraid to report, but then the rewards are beyond anything else, so it’s a fair deal. So, if you’re wanting to have a career as a singer, and if you’ve got a good voice, then treasure it. Don’t panic if it does get hurt – it’s impressive how it’ll recover. The important thing is to use it. Get out there. Take every chance you can to sing in public. This experience will also help to feed and build your ambition to go on, to be better.  Singing on stage to an appreciative audience is as good as life gets.
Interviewer: And if public performance isn’t your thing?
Rosie: Well, if you’ve got a good voice – then maybe you’ll be like my friend Diana. Although she conquered most of her anxiety about performing in public a few years ago, she still prefers studio singing, performing directly for CDs and so on. Nobody really sees her outside her home and the studio. Even warming up her voice for a recording performance is something she does in private, making weird noises while sitting in her car outside the studio building.  I think she’s alarmed a few passers-by in her time!