More Than a Ride to School
The National Education Association claims, "The school bus is a mirror of the community." They further add that, unfortunately, what appears on the exterior （外部） does not always reflect the reality of a chosen community. They are right, and sometimes it reflects more! Just ask Liesl Denson. Riding the school bus has been more than a ride to school for Liesl.
Bruce Hardy, school bus driver for Althouse Bus Company has been Liesl's bus driver since kindergarten. Last year when Liesl's family moved to Parkesburg, knowing her bus went by her new residence, she requested to ride the same bus.
This year Liesl is a senior and will enjoy her last year riding the bus. She says, "It's been a great ride so far! My bus driver is so cool and has always been a good friend and a good listener. Sometimes when you're a child adults do not think that what you have to say is important. Mr. Hardy always listens to what you have to say and makes you feel important." Her friends Ashley Batista and Amanda Wolfe agree.
Bruce Hardy has been making Octorara students feel special since 1975. This year he will celebrate 30 years working for Althouse Bus Transportation. Company President, Larry Althouse acknowledges Bruce Hardy's outstanding record. "You do not come by employees like Bruce these days; he has never missed a day of work and has a perfect driving record. Recognized in 2000 by the Pennsylvania School Bus Association for driving 350,000 accident free miles, Hardy's reputation is made further evident through the relationships he has made with the students that ride his bus."
Althouse further added, "Althouse Bus Transportation was established 70 years ago and has been providing quality transportation ever since. My grandfather started the business with one bus. Althouse Bus Transportation is delighted to have the opportunity to bring distinctive and safe service to our local school and community and looks forward to continuing to provide quality service for many more years to come."
Three generations of business is not all the company has enjoyed. Thanks to drivers like Bruce Hardy, they have been building relationships through generations. Liesl's mother Carol also enjoys fond memories of riding Bruce Hardy's bus to the Octorara School District.
1 The word "mirror" in the first line could be best replaced by
2 How long has Bruce Hardy been working for Althouse Bus Transportation?
A For 30 years.
B For 70 years.
C Since last year.
D Since 2000.
3 Which of the following statements is NOT true of Bruce Hardy?
A He is cool.
B He is a good friend.
C He is impatient.
D He has driven 350,000 accident free miles.
4 Who founded Althouse Bus Transportation?
A Larry Althouse.
B Althouse's grandfather.
C Liesrs mother.
D Ashley Batista.
5 What has Althouse Bus Transportation been mainly aiming at?
A Making as much money as possible.
B Building up its fame.
C Developing its business.
D Providing the local community with quality service.
Don't Count on Dung
Conservationists （自然保护主义者） may be miscalculating the numbers of the
threatened animals such as elephants, say African and American researchers. The error occurs because of a flaw in the way they estimate animal numbers from the piles of dung （粪） the creatures leave behind.
The mistake could lead researchers to think that there are twice as many elephants as there really are in some regions, according to Andrew Plumptre of the Wildlife Conservation Society （WCS） in New York.
Biologist Katy Payne of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, agrees. "We really need to know elephant numbers and the evidence that we have is quite indirect," says Payne, who electronically tracks elephants.
Counting elephants from planes is impossible in the vast rainforests of Central Africa. So researchers often estimate elephant numbers by counting dung piles in a given area. They also need to know the rate at which dung decays: Because it's extremely difficult to determine these rates, however, researchers counting elephants in one region tend to rely on standard decay rates established elsewhere.
But researchers at the WCS have found that this decay rate varies from region to region depending on the climate and environment. Using the wrong values can lead the census astray （离开正道）, says Plumptre.
He and his colleague Anthony Chifu Nchanji studied decaying elephant dung in the forests of Cameroon. They found that the dung decayed between 55 and 65 per cent
more slowly than the dung in the rainforests of neighbouring Gabon. If researchers use decay rates from Gabon to count elephants in Cameroon, they would probably find more elephants than are actually around.
This could mean estimates in Cameroon are at least twice as high as those derived from decay rates calculated locally, says Plumptre. "However accurate your dung density estimate might be, the decay rate can severely affect the result."
Plumptre also says that the dung-pile census should be carried out over a region similar in size to an elephant's natural range. The usual technique of monitoring only small, protected areas distorts numbers because elephants move in and out of these regions, he says. "If the elephant population increases within the protected area, you can not determine whether it is a real increase or whether it is due to elephants moving in because they are being poached （入侵偷猎） outside."
Plumptre says that similar problems may also affect other animal census studies that rely on indirect evidence such as nests, tracks or burrows （地洞）.
6 The word "threatened" in the first sentence of the first paragraph could be best replaced by
7 Why do researchers estimate elephant numbers in an area by counting dung piles?
A Because elephants are difficult to catch.
B Because it is not possible to count elephants from a plane.
C Because it is not possible to keep track of elephants.
D Because elephants are shy animals.
8 Piles of dung can't be relied upon when it comes to estimating elephant numbers because
A they are different in size.
B they scatter all over the region.
C they are different in decay rate.
D they are different in quality.
9 According to Plumptre, the region over which a dung-pile census is carried out should be
A small enough.
B well protected.
C carefully monitored.
D large enough.
10 The first word "He" in paragraph 6 refers to
A Andrew Plumptre.
B Katy Payne.
C Anthony Chifu Nchanji.
D the writer of the article.
More Than Just Money
When Patricia Rochester decided to go back to school after ten years as a staff nurse at Toronto Western Hospital, her employer not only cheered her on, but also paid her tuition and gave her a day off with pay every week to study. Throughout her years at the hospital, Rochester has also taken workshops on everything from coaching peers to career development D courses that she believes have helped her advance at work. "I'm now head of the mentoring （指导） program for new hires, students and staff nurses," she says. "There's a lot of room for personal improvement here."
Perhaps as important, Rochester says her employer supports and values her work.
"If you put in overtime," the nurse points out, "you get your meals —— they'll order in pizza or Greek food or Chinese." And if staffers feel stiff and stressed from too many hours on the ward, they can call for a free 15-minute shoulder-and-neck massage （按摩） or even sign up for an eight-week evening course on meditation skills and stress-relief. If that's not enough, employees can take advantage of five family days a year that can be used if the kids come down with the flu or an aging parent needs ferrying to an important doctor's appointment. And they have access to a range of perks （好处） such as special rates on hotel rooms, drugstore purchases, and scholarships for employees' children.
You might wonder how an organization can provide such resources and still survive. But University Health Network is one of a number of progressive employers in Canada
that have discovered that investing in staff is good business.
If such initiatives help companies cut down on turnover （人员更替） alone, they're well worthwhile, says Prem Benimadhu, a vice-president at the Conference Board of Canada. It costs anywhere from $3,300 to rehire support staff, an average $13,300 for technical staff and a whopping （巨资） $43,000 for an executive position, according to one study of Conference Board members.
Innovative initiatives help companies attract talented employees, cut down on sick days （which cost Canadian businesses an estimated $17 billion a year, or an average of $3,550 per employee） and keep employees more interested in their work. With the substantial talent shortage that already exists in Canada and the prospect of mass retirement over the next five years —— as many as 50 or 60 percent in some sectors Benimadhu says that intelligent employers are putting a renewed focus on the people who work for them.
11 When Rochester decided to go to school, her employer
A persuaded her to change her mind.
B fired her.
C cheered heron.
D discouraged her.
12 Which of the following is NOT mentioned as a way to ease one's stiffness and stress?
A To take an eight-week evening course on meditation skills and stress-relief.
B To call for a free 15-minute shoulder-and-neck massage.
C To use five family days.
D To ask for sick leave.
13 Investment in staff has been motivated
A to attract the public's attention.
B to reduce staff turnover.
C to solve labor disputes.
D to show off financial resources.
14 Canada has been short of
A talented people.
C fresh water.
15 In paragraph 2, the phrase "come down with" could be best replaced by
A "shake off".
B "get rid of".
1. D 2. A 3. C 4. B 5. D
6. A 7. B 8. C 9. D 10. A
11. C 12. D 13. B 14. A 15. C