過去這個週末學生考了 2019 年 4 月的 ACT 考試。如果這是你最後一次考 ACT，恭喜你完成了一個艱難的任務！
我們整理了 2019 年 4 月 ACT 考試當中的 4 篇閱讀文章，幫助學生準備未來的考試。
首先，讀這些文章。你覺得他們讀起來很簡單還是很難？裡面有沒有很多生字，尤其是那些會影響你理解整篇文章的生字？如果有的話，雖然你可能是在美國讀書或讀國際學校、也知道 “如何讀跟寫英文”，但你還沒有足夠的生字基礎讓你 “達到下一個階段” （也就是大學的階段）。查一下這一些字，然後把它們背起來。這些生字不見得會在下一個 ACT 考試中出現，但是透過真正的 ACT 閱讀文章去認識及學習這些生字可以大大的減低考試中出現不會的生字的機率。
在我們的 Ivy-Way Reading Workbook（Ivy-Way 閱讀技巧書）的第一章節裡，我們教學生在閱讀文章之前要先讀文章最上面的開頭介紹。雖然你的 ACT 考試不會剛好考這幾篇文章，但你還是可以透過這些文章找到它們的來源，然後從來源閱讀更多相關的文章。閱讀更多來自這些地方的文章會幫助你習慣閱讀這種風格的文章。
所有 2019 年 4月 ACT 考試閱讀文章
The following excerpt Is adapted from the short story “Unaccustomed Earth” by Jhumpa Lahiri (©2008 by Jhumpa Lahiri).
Ruma Is trying to decide whether to ask her lather, who is visit-
ing, to move In with her famity.
“My dad’s planting flowers in the backyard,” she
told Adam that night on the phone.
“Does he plan to be around to take care of them?”
His flippancy irritated her, and she felt defensive
on her father’s behalf. “I don’t know.”
“It’s Thursday, Ruma. How long are you going to
She didn’t feel tortured any longer. She had
planned to tell Adam this, but now she changed her
mind. Instead she said. “I want to wait a few more days.
Make sure everyone gets along.”
“For heaven’s sake, Rama.” Adam said. “He’s your
father. You’ve known him all your life.”
And yet, until now, she had not known certain
things about him. She had not known how self-
sufficient he could be, how helpful, to the point where
she had not had to wash a dish since he’d arrived. At
dinner he was flexible, appreciating the grillcd fish and
chicken breasts she began preparing alter the Indian
food ran out, making do with a can of soup for lunch.
But it was her son Akash who brought out a side of her
father that surprised Ruma most. In the evenings her
father stood beside her in the bathroom as she gave
Akash his bath, scrubbing the caked-on dirt from his
elbows and knees. He helped put on his pajamas,
brush his teeth, and comb back his soft damp hair. When
Akash had fallen asleep one afternoon on the living-
room carpet, her father made sure to put a pillow under
his head, drape a cotton blanket over his body. By now
Akash insisted on being read to at night by her father,
sleeping downstairs in her father’s bed.
The first night Akash slept with her father she
went downstairs to make sure he’d fallen asleep. She
saw a sliver of light under her father’s door and heard
the sound of his voice, reading Green Eggs and Ham.
She imagined them both under the covers, their heads
reclining against the pillows, the book between them.
Akash turning the pages as her father read. It was obvi-
ous that her father did not know the book by heart. as
she did, that he was encountering it for the first time in
his life. He read awkwardly. pausing between the sentences,
his voice oddly animated as it was not in ordinary
speech. Still, his effort touched her, and as she
stood by the door she realized that for the first time in
his life her father had fallen in love. She was about to
knock and tell her father that it was past Akash’s bed-
time. that he should turn out the light. But she stopped
herself, returning upstairs, briefly envious of her own
The garden was coming along nicely. It was
a futile exercise, he knew. He could not picture his
daughter or his son-in-law caring for it properly. noticing
what needed to be done. In weeks, he guessed. it
would be overgrown with weeds, the leaves chewed up
by slugs. Then again, perhaps they would hire someone
to do the job. He would have preferred to put in vegetables,
but they required more work than flowers. It was a
modest planting, some slow-growing myrtle and phlox
under the trees, two azalea bushes, a row of hostas, a
clematis to climb one of the posts of the porch, and in
honor of his wife, a small hydrangea. In a plot behind
the kitchen, unable to resist. he also put in a few toma-
toes. along with sonic marigolds and impatiens; there
was just time for a small harvest to come in by the fall.
He spaced out the delphiniums. tied them to stalks.
stuck some gladiola bulbs into the ground. He missed
working outside. the solid feeling of dirt under his
knees, getting into his nails, the smell of it lingering on
his skin even after he’d scrubbed himself in the shower.
It was the one thing he missed about the old house, and
when he thought about his garden was when he missed
his wile most keenly. She had taken that from him. For
years. after the children had grown, it had just been the
two of them. but she managed to use up all the vegetables.
putting them into dishes he did not know how to
prepare himself. In addition, when she was alive, they
regularly entertained, their guests marveling that the
potatoes were from their own backyard. taking away
bagfuls at evening’s end.
He looked over at Akash’s little plot. the dirt care-
fully mounded up around his toys. pens and pencils
stuck into the ground. Pennies were there, too, all the
spare ones he’d had in his pocket.
“When will the plants come out?” Akash called
out from the swimming pool, where he stood crouching
over a little sailboat.
“Not so soon. These things take time, Akash. Do
you remember what I taught you this morning?”
And Mash recited his numbers in Bengali from
one to ten.
This passage is adapted from Me book Mantle by Senon Winchester (©2010 by Simon Winchester)
The Ifinown and Phoenicians are ancient cultures known for
sailing the Atediarranean See. The Pillars of Hercules are the
rocks on each side of the Strait 01 Gibraltar. which separates
Spam from Morocco.
The Phoenicians were the first to build proper
ships and to brave the rough waters of the Atlantic.
To be sure. the Minoans before them traded with
great vigor and defended their Mediterranean trade
routes with swift and vicious naval force. Their ships—
built with tools of sharp-edged bronze—were elegant
and strong: they were made of cypress trees, sawn in
half and lapped together, with white-painted and sized
linen stretched across the planks, and with a sail suspeded
from a mast of oak, and oars to supplement
their speed. But they worked only by day, and they voy-
aged only between the islands within a few days’ sail-
ing of Crete; never once did any Minoan dare venture
beyond the Pillars of Hercules. into the crashing waves
of the Sea of Perpetual Gloom.
The Minoans, like most of their rival thalassocracies,
accepted without demur the legends that enfolded
the Atlantic, the stories and the sagas that conspired to
keep even the boldest away. The waters beyond the Pil-
lars, beyond the known world, beyond what the Greeks
called the oekumen, the inhabited earth. were simply
too fantastic and frightful to even think of braving.
There might have been some engaging marvels: close
inshore, the Gardens of the Hesperides. and somewhat
farther beyond, that greatest of all Greek philosophical
wonderlands. Atlantis. But otherwise the ocean was a
place wreathed in terror: I can find no way whatever of
getting our of this gray surf, Odysseus might well have
complained, no way out of this gray sea. The winds
howled too fiercely. the storms blew up without warning.
the waves were of a scale and ferocity never seen
in the Mediterranean.
Nevertheless, the relatively peaceable inland sea of
the Western classical world was to prove a training
ground, a nursery school, for those sailors who in time,
and as an inevitable part of human progress, would
prove infinitely more daring and commercially ambitious
than the Minoans. At just about the time that Santorini
erupted and. as many believe. gave the final fatal
blow to Minoan ambitions, so the more mercantile of
the Levantine. awoke. From their sliver of coastal
land—a sliver that, in lime, would become Lebanon.
Palestine. and Israel—the big Phoenician ships ventured
out and sailed westward, trading, battling,
When they came to the Pillars of Hercules. some
time around the seventh century B.C.. they, unlike all of
their predecessors, decided not to stop. Their captains,
no doubt bold men and true, decided to sail right
through, into the onrushing waves and storms, and see
before all other men just what lay beyond.
The men from the port of Tyre appear to have been
the first to do so. Their boats, broad-beamed,sickle-
shaped “round ships” or galloi—so called because of
the sinuous fat curves of the hulls, and often with two
sails suspended from hefty masts. one at midships and
one close to, the forepeak—were made of locally felled
and surprisingly skillfully machined cedar planks, fixed
throughout with monist and tenon joints and sealed
with tar. Most of the long-haul vessels from Tyre.
Byblos, and Sidon had oarsmen, too—double banks of
thirteen oarsmen on either side of the larger ships,
which gave them a formidable accelerative edge. Their
decorations were grand and often deliberately intimi-
dating—enormous painted eyes on the prow, many-
toothed dragons and roaring tigers tipped with metal
ram-blades. in contrast to the figureheads of women
later beloved by Western sailors.
Phoenician ships were built for business. The
famous Bronze Age wreck discovered at Uluburun in
southern Turkey by a sponge diver in 1983 (and which.
while not definitely Phoenician, was certainly typical of
the period) displayed both the magnificent choice of
trade goods available in the Mediterranean and the vast
range of journeys to be undertaken. The crew on this
particular voyage had evidently taken her to Egypt, to
Cyprus, to Crete. to the mainland of Greece. and possibly
even as far as Spain. When they sank, presumably
when the cargo shifted in a sudden storm, the holds of
la the forty-five-foot-long galloi contained a bewildering
and fatally heavy amassment of delights, far more than
John Masefield. who wrote a poem about ships’ car-
goes, could ever have fancied. There were ingots of
copper and tin. blue glass and ebony, amber, ostrich
eggs, an Italian sword, a Bulgarian axe, figs, pomegranates.
a gold scarab with the image of Nefertiti. a set of
bronze tools, a ton of terebinth rosin. hosts of jugs and
vases and Greek storage jars, silver and gold earrings,
and innumerable lamps.
assage A is adapted from the article “Heroes and Wretches” by Suzie Mackenzie (©2004 by Guardian News and Media Limited). Passage B is adapted from the article “Alice Neel: The Art Modernism Neglected” by Jeremy Lewison (©2010 by Telegraph Media Group Limited)
Francis Bacon used to say that no artist in their
lifetime can possibly know whether or not he/she is any
good. Only time. he said, could sort out the twin perils
that beset every artist: theory, by which “most people
enter a painting”. and fashion—what an audience feels
it should or should not be moved by. Bacon reckoned
this “sort ow” period to be somewhere between 75 and
100 years. by which time the artist would most likely be
dead. For this reason, he also said, success in an anises
lifetime is no indicator of greatness—on the contrary.
Every artist works within a void and will never know”.
In this sense, if no other, the American portrait
artist Alice Neel can be said to have been lucky. She can
never have had any expectations, because to be a
woman and an artist on the cusp of the 20th century
was to cast yourself into a void. Neel was born in 1900,
into a middle-class Philadelphia family, at a time when,
as Henry James had observed only 19 years earlier, to
he a lady was to he a portrait. She worked all her long
life: against the prevailing theory of what it was to be a
woman, that it was not becoming for a woman to be an
artist, to have a public life, that women were framed for
the interior. And against fashion: she remained a figurative
artist when the rest of the New York art establishment
was in the grip of abstract expressionism. Neel
doesn’t seem ever to have had any notion of “becoming”
an artist, or even “being” an artist. She simply was
an artist. Even after the mid-1970s, when she finally
did become “fashionable”—helped by a major retrospective
at New York’s Whitney Museum of American
Art in 1974—Ned rarely took commissions. She
painted for herself.
At the Victoria Miro Gallery in London is the first
ever solo exhibition of Neel’s work in Europe—a col-
lection spanning three decades, conned by Jeremy
Lewison. Looking back now. 20 years after Neel’s
death, it is possible to see how she took a quintessentially
bourgeois form—the portrait—and radically
transformed it. while making the innate constraints of
portraiture work for her. Hers are not portraits as advertising,
they don’t flatter the sitter or inspire envy in the
viewer. You don’t look at a Neel painting and recognise
power, affluence, beauty—though these ingredients
may he there. Her greatest gift as a portraitist. Lewison
says, is her psychological acuity.
Neel had a natural flair for paint. She painted thick
and thin, dry and wet, and in the later stages of her
career ignored any conventions of finish, rather deciding
for herself when a work was complete enough. At
times she felt that a painting had reached a point where
to go further would spoil it. In some instances she
painted a second version. Ultimately what mattered to
Neel was to keep the painting fresh and alive.
In our present era portraiture has been relegated to
a minor art. The portrait survives largely in the wooden
paintings commissioned by academic colleges or
national portrait galleries from artists who have facility
but little flair or psychological understanding or vision.
Photography has replaced painting as the means of
choice for portraiture but photography is concerned
with capturing the moment. Painting is about the syn-
thesis of time. Moreover a photograph, with its smooth
reflective surface, printed by a chemical reaction or
digitally manipulated with no material depth or
presence, is entirety tlitlerent from a painted portrait.
Neel’s work is an assimilation of many different
moments and moods, a distillation of many hours of
scrutiny of the subject that concludes in a single summarising
image where the impressions captured over
time are related not simply through an image but
through the material quality of paint, the flicks of the
wrist and the movements of an arm, paint laid on
hastily and contours outlined slowly.
Neel’s art displays a range of marks made in the
service of communicating an image rather than at the
behest of any conceptual programme, for Neel is a natural
painter and apparently unselfconscious.
Looking at Neel’s work now is to see a review of
the twentieth century in New York. She represents
changes in fashion and social mores, racial and gender
issues. class differential, political agendas, feminist
advances: in short her work effortlessly reflects a century
of change as much as that of any photographer
from the same era. With the abandonment of the modernist
project, museums and galleries now make room
for multiple voices to he heard, to uncover the art of
those whom modernism neglected.
This passage is adapted lrom Lost Dis coveries; The Ancient Roots of Modern Science-from the Babylonians to the Maya by Dick Teresi (©2002 by Dick Teresi)
Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (1743-1794) was a
financier,established a system of weights and measures
that led to the metric system, lived through the early
turmoil of the French Revolution, and was a pioneer in
scientific agriculture. He has been called the father of
modem chemistry, and, in the course of his busy life, he
brought Europe out of the dark ages of that science.
One of Lavoisier’s early contributions resulted
from his boiling water for long periods of time. In
eighteenth-century Europe. many scientists believed in
transmutation. They thought. for instance, that water
could be transmuted into earth, among other things.
Chief among the evidence for this was water boiling in
a pot. Solid residue forms on the inside surface.
Scienlists proclaimed this to be water turning into a new
element. Robert Boyle, the great seventeenth-century
British chemist and physicist who flourished a hundred
years before Lavoisier, believed in transmutation.
Having watched plums grow by snaking up water, he
concluded, as many had before him, that water can be
transformed into leaves, flowers, and berries. In the
words of chemist Harold Goldwhite. of California State
University. Los Angeles. “Boyle was on active
Lavoisier noticed that weight was the key, and that
measurement was critical. He poured distilled water
into a special “tea kettle” called a pelican. an enclosed
pot with a spherical cap, which caught the water vapor
and returned it to the base of the pot via two handlelike
tubes. He boiled the water for 101 days and found sub-
stantial residue. He weighed the water. the residue, and
the pelican. The water weighed exactly the same. The
pelican weighed slightly less, an amount equal to the
weight of the residue. Thus, the residue was not a trans-
mutation. but part of the pot—dissolved glass, silica,
and other matter.
As scientists continued to believe that water was a
basic element, Lavoisier performed another crucial
experiment. He invented a device with two nozzles and
squirted different gases from one into the other, to see
what they made. One day, he mixed oxygen with hydro-
gen, expecting to get acid. He got water. He percolated
the water through a gun barrel filled with hot iron rings,
splitting the water back into hydrogen and oxygen and
confirming that water was not an element.
Lavoisier measured everything, and on each occasion
that he performed this experiment, he got the same
numbers. Water always yielded oxygen and hydrogen in
a weight proportion of 8 to 1. What Lavoisier saw was
that nature paid strict attention to weight and proportion.
Ounces or pounds of matter did not disappear or
appear at random, and the same ratios of gases always
yielded the same compounds. Nature was predictable …
and therefore malleable.
Ancient Chinese alchemy. circa 300 to 200 B.C..
was built around the concept of two opposing principles.
These could be, for example.,active and passive,
male and female, or sun and moon. The alchemists saw
nature as having a circular balance. Substances could
be transformed from one principle to another, and then
rendered back to their original state.
A prime example is cinnabar, known commonly
today as mercuric sulfide, a heavy red mineral that is
the principal ore of mercury. Using fire, these early
alchemists decomposed cinnabar into mercury and
sulfur dioxide. Then they found that mercury would
combine with sulfur to form a black substance called
metacinnabar, “which then can he sublimed into its
original state, the bright red cinnabar, when once more
heated.” according to science historian Wang Kuike.
Both mercury’s liquid quality and the cyclic transformation
from cinnabar to mercury and back again gave it
magical qualities. Kuike calls mercury “huandan, a
cyclically transformed regenerative elixir” associated
with longevity. These ancient practitioners became
familiar with the concept that substances could be
transformed and then come full circle to their original
state. They developed exact proportions of the amounts
of mercury and sulfur, as well as recipes for the exact
length and intensity of the heating required. Most
important, according to Kuike, these operations could
be performed “without the slightest loss of the total
It would appear that the ancient Chinese
alchemists were empirically familiar with the conserva-
tion of mass fifteen hundred years before Lavoisier’s
experiment. He and his alchemist precursors discovered
that the weight of the products in a chemical reaction
equal the weight of the reactants.