Hello Sobat samalangaku.com semuanya, pada kesempatan kali ini kami akan membagikan audio mp3 percakapan dalam bahasa inggris yang sangat cocok buat sobat semua untuk melatih dan meningkat kemampuan mendengar dalam bahasa inggris. Seperti kita tau bahwa listening adalah salah satu skill yang sangat penting dalam memahami Bahasa Inggris karena kalau kita tidak paham maka kita akan kesulitan untuk memahami isi percakapan lawan bicara kita. Sering kali listening menjadi satu aspek yang sangat sulit kita kuasai diantara aspek lain dalam Bahasa Inggris seperti Speaking, Writting dan Reading bahwa Listening menjadi momok yang sangat menakutkan saat kita mengikuti tes TOEFL atau IELTS. Hal ini disebabkan karena kita sebagai orang Indonesia masih sangat jarang memiliki lingkungan yang berbicara full english. Oleh karena itu untuk mengatasi kelemahan kita dalam mendengar kita harus sering-sering mendengar percakapan dalam Bahasa Inggris, kita bisa menemukan percakapan tersebut sangat mudah kalau melihat kemajuan internet saat ini, kita bisa membuka youtobe atau situs lainnya. Akan tetapi pada postingan kami ini semua MP3 nya sudah kamu seleksi untuk cocok digunakan bagi anda yang ingin meningkatkan kemampuan listening anda, karena MP3 kami ini sangat mirip dengan audia yang sering kita jumpai saat mengikuti tes TOEFL atau IELTS.
Semua audio yang kami bagikan ini adalah audio yang kami dapatkan ketika kami mengikuti kursus Speaking di salah satu BIMBEL 3 tahun yang lalu. Kami memutuskan untuk membagi audio ini karena sudah terbukti sangat membantu kita dalam meningkatkan kemampuan mendengar kita. Pemilik BIMBEL juga tidak mengatakan untuk tidak memperbanyak audio ini alias ketika kami membayar untuk kursus di sana maka kami mendapatkan audio ini yang bisa kami manfaatkan untuk latihan kami di rumah. Jadi, seperti tidak sempurna kalau cuma kami saja yang memiliki audio bagus ini, kami juga anda semua bisa memanfaatkan audio ini dengan sebaik-baiknya.
Sebelum kami ingin mangatakan bahwa menurut pengalam sebagian besar orang yang belajar Bahasa Inggris khususnya dalam Listening, kita harus benar-benar menguasai triknya karena kalau tidak mengetahui triknya kita akan kesulitan dalam menangkap isi percakapan yang sedang kita dengar. Berikut beberapa trik yang sudah kami rangkum dengan singkat, diantaranya;
Fokus, ini adalah hal utama yang harus anda miliki ketika anda sedang mendengar percakapan MP3 karena ketika fokus anda hilang maka anda akan kehilangan bagian-bagian percakapan, apalagi kalau yang anda lewatkan adalah bagian penting dalam percakapan tersebut.
Putar Berulang, Sering kali kita hanya mendengar sekali kemudian kita buru-buru menentukan isi percakapan, padahal kita belum sepenuhnya tau. Oleh karena itu ketika dalam proses pembelajaran jangan bosan untuk terus memutar sampai anda benar-benar memahami isi percakapan tersebut. Semakin sering anda dengar maka semakin tajam pendengaran anda, sehingga kedepannya anda mungkin akan lebih cepat memahami, misalnya saat ini anda baru memahami isi audio setelah anda putar sampai 5 kali, maka kedepannya jika anda konsisten mealakukan kebiasaan ini maka tidak bisa di pungkiri kalau anda akan memahami isi audio dalam 2 kali putaran atau bahkan sekali putaran walau dengan audio yang berbeda alias baru anda dengar.
Tulis, cara ini sangat ampuh untuk mempercepat atau memperkuat ingatan anda tentang isi percakapan yang sudah anda dengar.
Review, pada postingan kami di bawah ini kami melengkapi dengan teks yang merupakan isi dari audio yang anda dengar. Kami sarankan untuk tidak langsung melihat teks seblum anda mendengar audio tersebut.
Setiap orang memiliki cara yang berbeda untuk memahami sesuatu termasuk untuk memahami apa yang sedang mereka dengar, cara di atas hanya secara umum jika anda merasa cocok dengan cara anda silakan anda praktekkan namun jika anda merasa kurang cocok silakan anda coba cara lain yang menurut anda cocok untuk anda. Akan tetapi, untuk siapapun kalau ingin meningkatkan kemampuan mendengar dalam bahasa inggris maka dia harus lebih sering mendengar percakapan bahasa inggris.
120 MP3 English Conversation
Berikut ini kami siapkan untuk anda dalam tiga versi dimana anda bisa mendengar langsung MP3 tersebut, kami juga menyediakan teks percakapan untuk setiap percakapan dan anda juga bisa mendownload MP3 tersebut.
Sara Smith, a Pasadena resident, went shopping. She is 30, and has lived at 3037 N Foothill Street since 1992. Sara has been married to John for seven years. They have two children; Bob is five years old and Nancy is three. Sara owns a 1995 four-door blue Toyola. At 9 a.m., Sara got into her car and drove to Barget, a department store a mile away.
Barget was having a holiday sale. Sara bought a four-slice toaster for $29.95 plus tax. The regular price was $39.95. She paid by check. On her way home, Sara stopped at MilkPlus to buy a gallon of nonfat milk. The milk was $3.50. Sara got 50 cents back in change.
Sara arrived home at 10 a.m. John and the kids were still sleeping. She woke them up and then made a hot and nutritious breakfast for everyone.
Jerry Baldwin was 30 years old. He was the manager of a pizza restaurant. He lived in an apartment about one mile north of the restaurant. He walked to and from work. When it was raining, he took the bus.
Jerry loved gangster movies. When a new one came out, he would go to the theater and watch the new movie three or four times. Then, when it went to video, Jerry would buy the video at Barney’s Video Store. Jerry had a home collection of over 1,000 gangster videos. Old ones, new ones, color, black and white, English, Spanish, Japanese–he loved them all. He could tell you the name of the movie, the director, the stars, and the plot. Did you say you liked “Pulp Fiction”? Well, Jerry would rattle off all the details of that movie. And then he would invite you to his place to watch it some time. He was a nice guy.
Jerry finally decided that he would like to own a gun, just like the gangsters. So he saved his money for a couple of years. Then he went to a gun store and bought a used .38 caliber revolver for $300. While there, he also bought a couple of boxes of ammunition. The following Saturday morning, he went to the gun club to practice with his new revolver. He was in the club for only 10 minutes when he accidentally dropped his pistol. The gun went off, and the bullet went into Jerry’s right knee. Jerry now walks with a limp and a cane, just like some gangsters.
Sam, an unemployed piano tuner, said it was only the second thing he had ever won in his life. The first thing was an Afghan blanket at a church raffle when he was 25 years old. But this was much bigger: it was $120,000! He had won the Big Cube, a state lottery game. To win, a contestant must first guess which number a spinning cube will stop on. The cube has six numbers on it: 1X, 10X, 50X, 100X, 500X, and 1000X. If he is correct, the contestant must then guess which of two selected variables is going to be greater. So, just guessing which number appears on the cube does not guarantee that you will win any money.
Sam correctly guessed 1000X, but he still had to choose between two variables. One variable was the number of cars that would run the stop sign at Hill Street and Lake Avenue in six hours. The other variable was the number of times that a teenage boy would change TV channels in a three-hour period. This was a tough decision.
Finally, Sam flipped a coin. It came up heads, so Sam picked the teenager. He picked right. The stop sign was run only 76 times, but the teen clicked 120 times. Sixty-year-old Sam jumped for joy, for he had just won 1000 times 120, or $120,000. Sam dreamily left the lottery studio. Talking excitedly on his cell phone while crossing the street, he got hit by a little sports car.
Sam is slowly getting better. He was in the hospital for a month. His hospital bill was $110,000. And the insurance company for the little sports car’s owner sued Sam for $9,000 worth of repairs. Also, Sam still has to pay federal taxes on his winnings. Sam doesn’t play the state lottery any more. He says it’s better to be unlucky.
Two mayors made a bet on the outcome of the Vegetable Bowl, the annual football game between their high school teams. If Arvada’s team lost, the mayor of Arvada would send the mayor of Boulder ten pounds of sliced potatoes, ready for frying. If Boulder’s team lost, the mayor would send ten pounds of sliced tomatoes, ready for sandwiches or salads.
Unfortunately, before the game started, the mayor of Boulder overheard the Arvada mayor tell someone: “They grow the worst tomatoes. If they lose and send us their tomatoes, I’m going to give them all to my pig.” The mayor of Boulder was upset to hear this, because he thought Boulder’s tomatoes were the best in the state. So he gave the matter some thought.
The following week, the big game was played. Boulder lost its star quarterback in the first half when he tripped over a cheerleader and sprained his big toe. The quarterback glumly watched the rest of the game from the bench. His team ended up losing, 38 to 12. The two mayors shook hands after the game, and the Arvada mayor said, “I’m really looking forward to those tomatoes.” As the Boulder team left the stadium, some unhappy fans threw ripe tomatoes at them.
A week later, the mayor of Arvada received a package of beautifully sliced tomatoes. He took them straight to his pig, which gobbled them right up. That night the mayor of Boulder asked his wife if Arvada’s mayor had called. “No,” she said. “Why?” “Because I mixed a pint of hot sauce into the tomatoes and I wanted to know how his pig’s doing.”
Goats are being hired to do the work of men in a neighborhood just outside of San Diego. The fires that occurred in Hillborough four years ago destroyed thirty homes, most of which have been rebuilt. While contractors were rebuilding the homes, nature was regrowing the grasses, bushes, and shrubs. The area is now so overgrown in brush that it again poses a major fire hazard.
The city council asked for bids to remove the brush. The lowest bid they received was $50,000. And that was if the city provided breakfast and lunch for the work crews for the six weeks it would take to clear the overgrown area. The city countered, offering unlimited coffee (black only) and a doughnut a day for each crew member. When that offer was rejected, the city asked for help on its website.
A sheepherder in Montana and a goat herder in San Bernardino read about the city’s plight while surfing the web on their laptops. They both offered to do the job for $25,000. The council chose the goat herder because he lived closer. When told that the city dump was overflowing, the goat herder said, “No problem. My goats will eat everything in your dump. Except for the automobile engines, of course.” So, for another $5,000, the city killed two birds with one stone. If all goes well, they will invite the goat herder and his “family” back every three years. The goat herder said he will probably visit San Diego while his goats are in the dump. “I want to take one of those hang-glider rides. I just hope we don’t crash. My goats would miss me a lot,” he said.
The owner of a missing cat is asking for help. “My baby has been missing for over a month now, and I want him back so badly,” said Mrs. Brown, a 56-year-old woman. Mrs. Brown lives by herself in a trailer park near Clovis. She said that Clyde, her 7-year-old cat, didn’t come home for dinner more than a month ago. The next morning he didn’t appear for breakfast either. After Clyde missed an extra-special lunch, she called the police.
When the policeman asked her to describe Clyde, she told him that Clyde had beautiful green eyes, had all his teeth but was missing half of his left ear, and was seven years old and completely white. She then told the officer that Clyde was about a foot high.
A bell went off. “Is Clyde your child or your pet?” the officer suspiciously asked. “Well, he’s my cat, of course,” Mrs. Brown replied. “Lady, you’re supposed to report missing PERSONS, not missing CATS,” said the irritated policeman. “Well, who can I report this to?” she asked. “You can’t. You have to ask around your neighborhood or put up flyers,” replied the officer.
Mrs. Brown figured that a billboard would work a lot better than an 8″x11″ piece of paper on a telephone pole. There was an empty billboard at the end of her street just off the interstate highway. The billboard had a phone number on it. She called that number, and they told her they could blow up a picture of Clyde (from Mrs. Brown’s family album) and put it on the billboard for all to see.
“But how can people see it when they whiz by on the interstate?” she asked. “Oh, don’t worry, ma’am, they only whiz by between 2 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. The rest of the day, the interstate is so full of commuters that no one moves.” They told her it would cost only $3,000 a month. So she took most of the money out of her savings account and rented the billboard for a month.
The month has passed, but Clyde has not appeared. Because she has almost no money in savings, Mrs. Brown called the local newspaper to see if anyone could help her rent the billboard for just one more month. She is waiting but, so far, no one has stepped forward.
A man accused of failing to return more than 700 children’s books to five different libraries in the county was released from jail yesterday after a book publisher agreed to post his bond of $1,000. The publisher said, “There’s a story here. This is a man who loves books. He just can’t let go of them. He hasn’t stolen a single book. So what’s the crime? We think that Mr. Barush has a story to tell. We plan to publish his story.”
When asked why he didn’t return the books, Mr. Barush said, “Well, how could I? They became family to me. I was afraid to return them, because I knew that kids or dogs would get hold of these books and chew them up, throw them around, rip the pages, spill soda on them, get jam and jelly on them, and drown them in the toilet.”
He continued, “Books are people, too! They talk to you, they take care of you, and they enrich you with wisdom and humor and love. A book is my guest in my home. How could I kick it out? I repaired torn pages. I dusted them with a soft clean cloth. I turned their pages so they could breathe and get some fresh air.
“Every week I reorganized them on their shelves so they could meet new friends. My books were HAPPY books. You could tell just by looking at them. Now they’re all back in the library, on the lower shelves, on the floors, at the mercy of all those runny-nosed kids. I can hear them calling me! I need to rescue them. Excuse me. I have to go now.”
The 36-year-old bachelor ate his usual lunch at home. He had an apple, a ham sandwich with a sliced dill pickle, a bowl of chicken noodle soup with a couple of soda crackers, and a small candy bar, all washed down with an eight-ounce glass of milk.
After he finished breakfast, Ed put everything in the sink, poured a little dishwashing soap onto a Teflon pad, and scrubbed the soup bowl, the sandwich plate, and the milk glass. Then he switched on the garbage disposal to grind up the few bits of food that he had scraped off his plate. He left the kitchen to go brush his teeth. But he felt something wet on his bare foot. Sure enough, he looked down and saw some water on the kitchen carpet. “What is this?” he said aloud.
Opening the cabinet door under the sink, he saw no dripping water. He went to the closet and got a flashlight. When he shined the light into the cabinet under the sink, he saw drops of water on the sides of the dark blue steel cylinder. It looked like he had a leaky garbage disposal. To test his theory, he turned on the switch, and a stream of water flowed out of a seam onto the cabinet floor and then onto the kitchen carpet. Ed had a problem, but he didn’t have time to fix it now. He had to run some errands. He put some tape over the switch so he couldn’t accidentally turn the disposal on again.
Ed came home from his errands and put the groceries into the cupboard and the refrigerator. He grabbed a flathead screwdriver and a pair of pliers from his toolbox. In the kitchen, he got down on his hands and knees and turned on the flashlight. After a couple of minutes of looking, he decided what to do. He had never opened up a disposal before, but there is a first time for everything.
The cylindrical disposal was about 7 inches in diameter and had a horizontal seam dividing the top half from the bottom half. The halves were held together by three screws. Ed jiggled the bottom half of the disposal; it was loose because two of the three screws were corroded. Only one screw was still doing its duty. Ed unscrewed it.
The bottom half of the disposal was now lying on the cabinet floor. Ed thought for sure that it would be full of months-old food, but there was no food, only a hardened, torn, useless gasket. The next day Ed went to the hardware store to buy some screws and a new gasket. The employee told him that they did not carry those gaskets and suggested that he write to the manufacturer. Ed returned home. He created his own gasket by using gasket sealant that comes in a tube. He applied the sealant, screwed the two halves back together, and crossed his fingers.
The next day he turned on the water and switched on the disposal. When he saw the water pouring out of the seam, Ed knew one thing: it was time to buy a new disposal. The good thing was that new disposals started at $79. The bad thing was that it would have to be installed by a plumber. Plumber rates started at about $80 an hour. Ed decided that since the disposal used a lot of energy and the world needed to use less energy, from now on he would put his scraps into the kitchen garbage bag. He reminded himself to tell everyone at work tomorrow about how he was now helping to solve the world’s energy problems.
An elderly woman told the police that, as she entered a restroom, she was jostled by a woman behind her. A few minutes later, as she was about to pay for a moustache remover at a nearby store, she discovered that her wallet was missing from her purse. Apparently the woman who had bumped into her had cleverly stolen her wallet. This type of theft is called pick-pocketing.
Perhaps an even more personal kind of theft is known as housebreaking, or burglary. After such an intrusion, the victims often report a feeling of violation. They seldom regain the comfort and security level they used to have in their home. They constantly feel like they are being watched; they feel that if they go out, the burglars will again come in. They feel uncomfortable when they are home, and they feel uncomfortable when they aren’t home.
Burglars get lucky or make their own luck. Sometimes homeowners forget to lock all their windows or doors. Sometimes burglars will break a window, cut through a screen door, or force open a side door.
Thieves have no shame. They will steal from anyone that they think is vulnerable. Of course, that means the elderly are their frequent victims. Some thieves are very clever; some are very lucky. All of them make an honest person’s life more difficult. It’s too bad that all of them can’t be caught and converted into honest people.
Imagine that: a world with no larceny, a world where you can park your bicycle unsecured on the sidewalk, or leave your purse unattended in your shopping cart. Is this only a dream? Some say that if you can dream about it, it can happen.
Easter Sunday was a cloudy but festive day in Memorial Park for about 100 kids from local orphanages. An Easter egg hunt started at 10 a.m. when a fire engine blasted its horn. Boys and girls, ranging in age from 2 to 6, dashed throughout the park, yelling and screaming, walking and running, and quite often, falling down. One little girl, Amanda, found her first egg less than a minute after the horn blew. Instead of putting it into her basket and continuing to search for more, she sat down. Then she spent the next 10 minutes examining it, unwrapping it, and eating it piece by piece. When she finished, she put the wrapper into her basket, wiped her hands on her white dress, and went to hunt for another egg.
Meanwhile Jeff, one of the older boys, filled his basket to overflowing. He asked one of the firemen to hold it for him, and then took off running for more candy eggs. As soon as he found some, he put them into the basket of the child closest to him. Two little toddlers both saw a candy egg at the same time, and they both bent over to pick it up. They banged heads, and both of them sat down bawling. A couple of volunteer nurses picked them up and told them that everything was going to be all right.
By 11 a.m., the search was over. Most of the kids were studying their candy, exchanging it with others, or eating it. But then the fire engine horn blasted again, causing three-year-old Jenny to cry. A fireman on a bullhorn told everyone to gather around, because a special guest had arrived.
Once everyone was settled, the Easter Bunny climbed down out of the fire engine. The bunny was 6’6″ tall. Most of the kids cheered and ran toward him. Even Jenny stopped crying for a moment. She stared at the bunny and at all the kids running toward the bunny; then she started crying even harder. The Easter Bunny hugged the kids, and they hugged him. Then the Easter Bunny sat on a fire engine step, and one by one the kids came up, sat on his lap, and got their pictures taken. After that, the older kids were allowed to explore the fire engine itself.
The festivities ended about 3 p.m., when the orphans climbed into the buses for the return trip home. Most of them said they had a fun time. Six-year-old Sara asked, “Can we do this every Sunday?” And more than one boy asked, “Can I drive the fire engine next time?”
A man and a woman died in an apparent murder-suicide last night in Altadena. The man was 74-year-old Dominic Vittorio. The woman was his 70-year-old wife, Victoria. The couple had been married for 50 years. In fact, their 50th anniversary occurred just a month ago, according to their next-door neighbor, Mrs. Allen. The couple was childless and had no close friends. Mr. Vittorio was a retired carpenter who had emphysema and was blind in one eye because of a cataract. His wife was a diabetic who had already had one foot amputated because of complications from the disease. Her eyesight was almost completely gone.
“They were such a nice couple,” said Mrs. Allen. “I’ve lived next to them for the last 20 years or so. I’m widowed, and Dom always used to help me with things like changing light bulbs and fixing appliances. They had no kids, but they were always friendly to the neighborhood kids. Every Halloween they handed out tons of candy and fresh fruit. But about eight years ago Vicky came down with diabetes, and things just haven’t been the same for her or Dom. They used to be so friendly and full of life, and then they just seemed to get quieter and quieter.
“She used to come over to my place once or twice a week and we would talk about all kinds of things and have the nicest time. But that happened less and less as she got sicker. So I would go over to her house about once a week and we would talk. But the conversations steadily got shorter, and she seemed to lose interest in listening and in talking. She didn’t say it, but you could tell she was in a lot of pain.”
Mrs. Allen said she hadn’t even talked to either of the Vittorios in almost a year. They never came out. Even food was delivered to them by a local agency. She said she heard two gunshots last night—”It scared me half to death!” She immediately called the police. “Such a sad ending for such nice people,” she said. “Together in sickness, but alone in the world.”
A work crew consisting of 150 volunteers worked for eight hours in a light drizzle on Saturday to clean Carson Creek of almost nine tons of debris. “A job well done,” smiled Alan Specter, the director of the event. “We’re scheduled to come back here one more time, three years from now. Of course, we hope that there won’t be nine tons of garbage next time.”
The garbage came in all shapes, sizes, and colors: cans, bottles, bicycles, car tires, auto batteries, sofas, furniture, clothing, shopping carts, bowling balls, plastic bags, dolls, baby carriages, TV antennas, and portable radios. There was even a golf bag with a full set of golf clubs.
Much of the backbreaking work was done by two community groups—the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, and two environmental groups—Save the Bay and Watch the Whales. Concerned retirees and volunteers from police and fire departments assisted. Everyone was issued boots, gloves, and rain gear. The work occurred along a two-mile stretch of streambed. The debris was hauled roadside, where trucks lined up to take the trash to the landfill. More than 500 big yellow trash bags were filled.
No one found anything of great value, although a five-year-old boy found an earring that he thought might be worth a million dollars because it was so shiny. He said he would sell it. Then he would donate half of the proceeds to Watch the Whales, and use the other half to buy a triple-scoop ice cream cone every day for the rest of his life.
A company in Phoenix, Arizona, says that it can now clone your cat. “Actually,” said Felix Lee, President of Twice Is Nice, Inc., “you don’t even have to wait until your beloved cat dies. We already have clients whose clone lives with its donor.”
The price is steep. A clone of your cat will cost $50,000. First, your veterinarian must do a biopsy of your cat. This is sent to TwIN, Inc., where it is cultured to grow fresh new cells. These new cells are stored in liquid nitrogen until you notify TwIN, Inc., that you are ready for the clone. At this time, you pay half the amount ($25,000). A cultured cell is implanted into a female cat that is in estrus, and if all goes well, a kitten is born about 60 days later. The new kitten is weaned in about eight weeks. TwIN, Inc. delivers the kitten to you after it receives the remaining $25,000.
“We are a growing company,” said Lee. “Our facility can handle about a dozen births a year now, but our goal is to produce about 50 kittens and 50 puppies a year.” The company is currently experimenting with stray dogs. Some canine clones seem to be perfect, but some have been bizarre. Nevertheless, Lee believes that they will be successfully cloning dogs in about a year.
The mountain town of Canton is at an elevation of 6,000 feet. It is surrounded by thick underbrush and pine trees. Because of six years of drought, these plants are a major fire hazard. Thousands of trees and tons of underbrush are going to be removed over the next five years at a minimum cost of $3 million. The brush will be removed first, then the trees will be toppled and removed. A cleared nonflammable area will then safely surround the town of 4,000.
Residents look forward to the work, because it will help their town survive a future inferno. “But there are two problems,” said one resident. “All the extra trucks are going to make traffic pretty bad. Once the area is cleared, we have to make sure dirt bikers don’t try to make the cleared area their personal playground.”
A recent fire burned 4,000 acres and destroyed 11 homes in nearby Hamilton. The fire was raging toward Canton, but a sudden rainstorm put it out. Residents know that they won’t get lucky twice, so they are looking forward to this massive clearing operation.
Ninety percent of the cutting and clearing will be paid with federal funds. Unfortunately, if the trees are on private property, they must be paid for by the residents themselves. Prices can range as high as $1,000 to cut and remove one tree. Officials say that residents can apply for state and federal loans if necessary.
“Well, what good does that do me?” asked Thelma, a 65-year-old widow. “I’m living on social security. I’ve got four trees on my property. The government’s not going to loan me money when they know there’s no way I can pay it back. So what am I supposed to do? These planners with all their big ideas ought to think of the little people.”
Summer is almost here, which means it is time to sign your kids up for swim classes again at the Community Pool. Classes begin on Monday, May 1, and will continue throughout the summer. Fifteen swim classes are being offered. Each class lasts ten hours. A new class starts each week of the summer. Each class costs $20. The pool is big enough for six students per class.
Classes will increase in difficulty each week. The first week is for children up to six years old. The last week is for advanced swimmers who want to improve their race and endurance skills.
Students can sign up for as many classes as they like, but they must pass the skills level test. For example, students who sign up for Level 4 (Stroke Readiness) must show their certificate for completing Level 3 or must demonstrate the front crawl and backstroke. Children cannot sign up for a level they are not ready for. Children who have never attended Community Pool classes must show up April 29 or 30 for a swim skills evaluation. Instructors will rate the students and assign them to a particular skill level.
Swim classes are fun for all. Children learn new skills and make new friends. Parents get to meet other parents in the community. Swimming, like bicycling, is a healthy and valuable skill that, once learned, is never forgotten.
“It’s a joy to teach young children,” said Ginger, the lead instructor for swimming programs. “More than half of them are terrified when we put them into the water the first time. Two months later, they’re begging their parents to go to the pool every day.”
All seniors 55 and older are invited to a special meeting next Tuesday in the Senior Center. The meeting will begin with cookies and lemonade. The speaker will be James Carter, the director of a nonprofit organization dedicated to making the golden years fun and interesting.
“We have too many seniors who act old because they think they’re old,” said Carter. “Our goal is to help seniors realize that they’re as young and active as they want to be. Getting older does not mean sitting around waiting to die. It means getting out and doing all the things you never had time to do while you were working and raising a family.”
Carter will identify the services and activities that are available to seniors locally and statewide. Included are legal aid, tax advice, discounts for bus and taxi travel in the city, and free blood pressure testing on the first Monday of each month. Testing for diabetes and for cataracts is offered four times a year for a nominal fee. The city also provides inexpensive dinners called Meals on Wheels. Volunteers deliver these meals to seniors who are homebound because of illness or injury.
An Internet class begins this month for seniors who want to visit the World Wide Web. “Many seniors still use typewriters,” said Carter. “They see no need for a computer. But after they take this course, some of them may decide to buy their own laptops.”
New activities at the Senior Center include Bingo on Friday and Saturday nights, with a grand prize of $50 each night. The center is also offering Strength Training classes. “As you get older,” said Carter, “you need to keep both your mind and your body active. An active mind helps prevent Alzheimer’s, and an active body helps prevent osteoporosis.”
A 20-unit apartment building burned for about an hour before firemen were able to extinguish it. The fire started in the attic at about 10:30 p.m. yesterday evening. The damage was estimated at $1.5 million. A fire department spokesman said the fire might have been set deliberately.
The tenant who first saw the blaze banged loudly on the door of every unit in the building. Occupants of 15 units were already in bed or preparing for bed. No one responded in the other five units because the tenants were not home. Those tenants who were home escaped with nothing more than the clothes on their backs, their pets, their cell phones, and their laptops.
Many tenants went across the street to watch the fire from a safe distance. They were all hoping that their units would be spared. Some of the pets were so disturbed by the noise, crowds, flames, and smoke that their owners could not hold on to them. They clawed their way out of their owners’ arms and dashed away. The younger children were similarly frightened. They cried in their parents’ arms.
Two fire engines arrived at 10:45 p.m., but the entire roof was ablaze by then. Smoke and flames were visible in most of the units on the top floor.
At about 11:35 p.m. the flames were extinguished. Most of the roof had disappeared. The top floor of the two-story building was about 80 percent gone. Water was seeping into the ground-floor units, ruining most of them. The tenants were crying or speechless. They were happy to be alive, but now they had no home. Where were they going to live?
Firemen discovered a charred gasoline can in the attic. This was the second suspicious apartment fire in a month.
A middle-aged man with a long beard was arrested by the police for disorderly conduct and property damage. “More charges might be added later,” said a police officer.
The man, identified as Bill Wild, checked into the Motel Five last night about an hour after sunset. Telling the clerk that he would be staying four nights, he paid cash in advance. He then asked her where a grocery store was. She said that the nearest grocery store was John-Johns, which was only two blocks away.
The police said that Wild went to John-Johns and purchased three gallons of honey and four gallons of chocolate syrup. The checker asked him what the occasion was. He replied, “I’m trying to become a sweeter person.” The checker smiled at the joke.
Wild drove back to the motel. He opened all seven containers and poured them into the bathtub. He added warm water to the mix. Then he placed his boom box on the bathroom floor next to the tub. He tuned the radio to an opera station. He got undressed, hopped into the tub, and started singing loudly with the music.
Fifteen minutes later, the lodgers in the room next door phoned the clerk. She banged on Wild’s door, but he kept singing. She phoned his room, but he didn’t answer. Then she called the police, who arrived quickly.
“Well, at least he paid in advance,” said the clerk. “That money will help pay for the plumber.” The bathtub drain was completely clogged. The tub remained full of chocolate and honey.
“You just never know about people,” said the clerk. “He seemed so nice and friendly. Who’d have thought he was a bathtub-singing nut?” The police said this was the third time that Wild had been arrested for this kind of behavior.
Crime in the city of Clio hit a 30-year low last year. “This is absolutely wonderful for our citizens, our businesses, and our visitors,” said Police Chief Louis Gates. Clio has a population of 28,000, but it has at least 30 gangs. The gangs make most of their money from dealing drugs and offering “protection.” They also commit violent crimes, such as murder, battery, and rape.
There were 1,486 thefts last year. Most of the thefts involved cars. Thieves also robbed the people at gunpoint or pickpocketed them. They broke into houses and businesses at the alarming rate of two a day two years ago, but that rate was down to only one a day last year. “That’s a 50-percent decrease in one year,” beamed Gates. “I think the officers deserve a big pat on the back. Even better, maybe they’ll get that 10-percent raise that they are all hoping for next fiscal year.”
Citing an example of how the police force has helped reduce crime, Gates talked about bicycle thefts. “For years and years, kids were locking up their bikes at bike stands in front of schools, libraries, and malls. About 10 percent of the time, the kids would come out of the school or wherever and discover that their bike was no longer there. Someone had cut the lock and stolen their bike. We wracked our brains trying to find a solution to this problem. Finally, at the beginning of last year, we hit upon it. We simply removed most of the bike stands. Then the bicycle theft rate came down quickly.”
Most cities in the state have similar problems. They all involve too many people, too much crime, too few police, and too little funding. These problems are part and parcel of civilization everywhere. They might diminish, but they will probably never disappear. All people can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
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