|IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH NEWS
2010 IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH GRADUATES!
Tim Tran, BS, Biology, San Jose State University,
is going to Tufts Dental School in New York.
Julia High, AB, History (Honors), UC Berkeley, is working
for Lindamood Bell this summer while studying for the Law
School Admissions Test, which shes taking in October.
Tim Lee, a graduate of Lynbrook High School in San
Jose, is going to MIT.
An Bui, from Kings Academy, is going to UC Santa
Deepak Lingam, a graduate of Mission High School in
Fremont, is going to Johns Hopkins University.
Jeffrey Wang, a graduate of Palo Alto High School,
is heading to UC Berkeley.
Sakthi Sankarraman, a graduate of Monta Vista High
School, is going to Syracuse University for engineering.
|University of Santa
Located 36 miles from the San Jose airport, UC Santa Cruz (UCSC)
is the closest UC campus for most readers of this newsletter. The
university is made up of 10 different smaller colleges, all nestled
upon a hill surrounded by countless redwood trees. The natural beauty
of the campus is a point of nostalgia for many alumni.
The campus is greatvery different from city life,
says Dong Nguyen (09). I remember when I was a freshman
at College 8, seeing deer feeding on the lawn. I was astounded.
I didnt know whether I should go through the backdoor or sneak
UCSCs academic ranking is very high. Among California universities,
only three private institutionsStanford, Caltech, and USCreceived
higher ratings in both the just-released Washington
2010 rankings and those of U. S. News and World Report.
And although most students will find it easier to be admitted to
Santa Cruz than to most of the other UC campuses, it is important
to remember that the UC system itself contains some of the best
schools in the nation.
astronomy department manages the Lick Observatory east of San Jose
on behalf of the entire UC system. It is also a managing partner
of the Keck Observatory in Hawaii.
The faculty includes two of the University of Californias honored
university professors, 20 members of the American Academy of Arts
and Sciences, 13 members of the National Academy of Sciences, and
31 members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
According to Princeton Review, the student-to-faculty ratio
is 19:1, creating an environment that encourages close relationships.
Alumna Jessica Tsang says, UC Santa Cruz is a place where
you can call your departmental faculty advisor, and he or she knows
who is on the line.
More than 16,000 undergraduates pursue course work in 63 majors,
35 minors, and 52 concentrations in the fields of arts, engineering,
humanities, physical and biological sciences, and social sciences;
graduate students work toward advanced degrees in more than 30 different
Science Watch magazine says, UCSC ranked first in
the nation for its research impact in the field of physics, according
to an analysis conducted by Thompson Scientific.
UCSC pairs its strength in the sciences with an emphasis in critical
thinking, interdisciplinary thought, and intellectual innovationan
emphasis which the Writing Program promotes in its high standards
for student writers. With a long list of resources outside the classroom,
from volunteer peer tutors to graduate students, the school produces
competent, confident student writers, no matter what their backgrounds.
Ive met plenty of great friends for whom English is a second
language, says Nguyen. After taking a Writing 2 class,
[their English] improved dramatically.
It is also the only school in the nation to offer a graduate science
writing program that requires a degree in science and experience
in research. Graduates of the UC Santa Cruz Science Writing Program
have gone on to write for National Public Radio, prominent science
magazines, the National Institutes of Health, and newspapers across
The UCSC Banana Slug is one of the more unusual mascots because
of its slimy translucence and yellow color. The slug is part of
the ecosystem surrounding the campus, which includes 10,000 acres
of old-growth redwood. It is an enduring mascot to many students
and alumni, and when someone asks, What was your college mascot? students answer, The feared Banana Slug!
To learn more about becoming a Banana Slug, please check the UCSC
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Improve Your English
Strunk and Whites
Part Two: That clauses vs. Which clauses
by Steve High
Punctuating a clause
beginning with that or which can be tough. The
short answer is which clauses require commas and that
clauses do not.
Strunk & White
has a tale of two broken lawn mowers in Section IV: Words
and Expressions Commonly Misused. One lawn mower belongs
to a golf course, the other to a family like yours or mine.
But we have only one lawn mower at our house. The golf course
has many lawn mowers.
Look at the difference
between the that clause and the which clause.
mower that is broken is in the garage.
(Tells which one.)
mower, which is broken, is in the garage.
(Adds a fact about the only mower in question.)
A that clause
is a restrictive clause. A which clause is a nonrestrictive
clause. Because the meaning of these terms is not obvious,
editors and English teachers have dreamed up quite a few synonyms
for restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses in
an effort to make the distinction clear:
All the terms in
the left-hand column describe that is broken in
the sentence about the country clubs garage. All modify
the meaning of the noun lawn mower so that we
can tell it apart from all the other lawn mowers.
All the terms in
the right-hand column describe which is broken
in the sentence about the lawn mower at our house. Note that
which is broken can be removed without destroying
the meaning of the sentence.
You can remember any or all of the terms to keep the Rule
#3 distinction clear in your mind.
Rule #3 applies
to many more kinds of expressions than just that and
which clauses. If Strunk & Whites concise
rule is too brief for you, read about this rule in Write
It Right. Another excellent discussion is in chapter
7, Abused Relatives, in Bruce Ross-Larsons
often add needless words to your sentences. Edit Yourself
makes this point with an amusing example.
a nonrestrictive clause can be cut, which often is the
fate it deserves.
a nonrestrictive clause can be cut.
To test your knowledge
of Rule #3, including Part
One, try our simple quiz.
For a more challenging test on the Rule #3 principles used
by the Associated Press, go here.
answers to specific writing questions, email us here.
knows? Your question may
inspire our next article on Writing
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to Improve Your English
by Nat Crawford
director of tutoring
During his long career, Rudyard Kipling wrote of English
outcasts making their way through India; former British soldiers
who set themselves up as governors of exotic lands; Roman
centurions on the eve of the Christian era; and other curious,
colorful, or ambiguous characters. He had a novelists
eye for detail and, in much of his writing, a novelists
indifference to the morals of those he described. Yet he himself
strongly believed in the Victorian virtues of stoicism, self-discipline,
and obedience to law. These seemingly bland virtues have never
had a more engaging advocate than one of Kiplings most
didactic works, The
The bulk of The
Jungle Book, and its sequel The
Second Jungle Book, relates stories about an Indian
boy named Mowgli, raised by a family of wolves to follow the
law of the jungle. This law tells the tiger where he
may hunt, tells wolves how to admit outsiders to their pack,
tells strangers how to greet each other, and forbids the eating
of certain foodsincluding man. In Kiplings fable, this
law is as rigorous and far-reaching as any system of human
law. Learning to follow it requires incredible discipline.
Now, if you talk to a person about following the law, he
might ask you if he will regret giving up his freedom. But
the word freedom has two senses, both of which The
Jungle Book explores. On the one hand, freedom can
mean the freedom to do what one wishes whenever one wants
to, from marrying to committing murder; on the other hand,
freedom can mean the freedom from the bondage of injury, chance
events, and the violence of othersand thus a greater
degree of freedom over ones own destiny. Freedom in this
second sense creates space in the soul for the virtues of
honor, courtesy, and self-respect to grow. By contrast, freedom
in the first sense is destructive, both to societies and to
individuals. Kipling illustrates as much in the first three
chapters of The
When young Mowglis family flees from a ravenous tiger,
the child finds a new family in a pack of wolves. To live
in the pack, he must learn the law of the jungle from the
jungle teacher, the old bear Baloo. These learning scenes
are an amusing window into Victorian pedagogy. When Mowglis
mentor Bagheera, the panther, asks Baloo to go easy on the
little child, Baloo responds quickly:
there anything in the jungle too little to be killed? No.
That is why I teach him these things, and that is why I
hit him, very softly, when he forgets.
Softly! What dost thou know of softness, old Iron-feet?
Bagheera grunted. His face is all bruised today by
Better he should be bruised from head to foot by me
who love him than that he should come to harm through ignorance,
Baloo answered very earnestly.
This passage, taken from Kaas
Hunting, shows Kiplings gift for dialogue.
The chapter contains many more amusing conversations between
strongly drawn characters who possess camaraderie and a sense
of humor. (As one might expect, Mowglis lessons do end
up saving his life.)
In the same chapter, Mowgli encounters the Bandar-Logthe
monkey peoplewho live outside the law of the jungle
because they lack the self-discipline to follow it. The Bandar-Log
capture Mowgli with the intent of making him their leader,
but they quickly reveal their inability to hold to a course
of action, from gathering food to weaving baskets. Mowgli,
at one point entranced by the vision of the pleasant, idle
life that they had promised him, quickly grows disenchanted
when he sees the consequences of living without law. The Bandar-Log
reply by describing the virtues of their freedom:
Bandar-log began, twenty at a time, to tell him how great
and wise and strong and gentle they were, and how foolish
he was to wish to leave them. We are great. We are
free. We are wonderful. We are the most wonderful people
in all the jungle! We all say so, and so it must be true,
As it turns out, the Bandar-Log have none of the virtues
that they pride themselves in; they are neither wise nor strong
nor even gentle, and Kipling suggests that no people can have
these virtues if they live free of law. This passage would
be more amusing were it not clear that the Bandar-Log are
destructively selfishand were it not clear that their
lazy sanctimony is present in the real world, its preachers
just as foolish and, in their hearts, just as violent as Kiplings
In the fate of the wolf pack that adopts Mowgli, Kipling
shows what happens when a society loses respect for law. At
the beginning of The
Jungle Book, the wolves pride themselves on being
known as the free people. By this they mean that
they are free to make their own decisions, regardless of what
other jungle creatures think. They have this freedom because
by following a leader and a law, they make their society strong.
As Mowgli ages, however, the pack loses its discipline. Some
of its members begin to choose the easy path by following
the tiger Shere Khan for the scraps of food he leaves behind,
and by eating people, which the law of the jungle forbids.
At the end of the third chapter, when Mowgli, after a long
absence among humans, returns to the leaderless pack, the
wolves show that they recognize what true freedom requires:
us again, O Man-cub, for we be sick of this lawlessness,
and we would be the Free People once more.
Nay, purred Bagheera, that may not be.
When ye are full-fed, the madness may come upon you again.
Not for nothing are ye called the Free People. Ye fought
for freedom, and it is yours. Eat it, O Wolves.
The wolves recognize the value of what they have lost but
realize that they lack the strength to regain it. Here, Kipling
depicts the wistful whimper that marks the end of every civilization.
As what builds up a civilization, Kipling would say that
it requires strong, independent, stoic individuals. He expresses
his opinions most concisely in the poem If, written
for his son Jack. In this poem, Kipling counsels his son to
endure adversity and to tolerate the people responsible for
lifes slings and arrows:
If you can keep
your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too...
Poets often praise dreaming, and philosophers often praise
thinking, but Kipling says that a complete person must give
dreaming and thinking a purpose: If you can dreamand
not make dreams your master; / If you can thinkand not make
thoughts your aim. Following these lines, Kipling adds a
withering condemnation of both exultation and despondency:
If you can meet with triumph and disaster / And treat
those two imposters just the same. Kipling brings his periodic
sentence to a conclusion that one can fairly describe as stirring:
If you can fill
the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds worth of distance run
Yours is the Earth and everything thats in it
Intellectuals have been sniggering at If since
the early 20th century. However, just as the Seeonee wolf
pack mourned its loss of a leader, todays societies may someday
find themselves mourning lost virtues praised by If.
Jungle Book and The
Second Jungle Book, Kipling shows Mowgli learning
about and developing these virtues through a series of episodes
stretching from Mowglis youth to his decision to return to
human society. How
Fear Came is a fable that describes how the creatures
of the jungle lost their original happy community (in which
even the tigers were vegetarians) for a world in which the
herbivores fear the carnivores and all animals fear humankind.
in the Jungle tells of Mowglis revenge against
the village that cast him out; it shows the fragility of human
civilization measured against natures lasting fecundity
and power. The
Kings Ankus is an amusing morality tale about
human greed. Red
Dog introduces a new enemy and a new threat to the
jungle law, allowing Mowgli to showcase his generalship and
giving the reader one final image of the Seeonee wolf pack
united against a common threat. The
Spring Running brings the story of Mowglis
sojourn in the jungle to its bittersweet conclusion.
The name Jungle
Book is a misnomer, for both books contain stories
that have nothing to do with the jungle. They all display
Kiplings gifts as a writer. One is his ability to describe
the world from the perspective of his characters. In The
White Seal, Koticks father curses, Empty
clam shells and dried seaweed, when he hears that
his baby is an albino. Mowgli shows his scorn for his mortal
enemy by saying, Some
bats chatter of Shere Khan. In Rikki-Tikki-Tavi,
Darzee the tailorbird thinks it unfair to kill a cobras
children because they were
born in eggs like his own. And through the varied
idioms of all these creatures we can hear the voices of actual
Kiplings characters lack the depth of, say, Jane Austens;
one would never read The
Jungle Book to watch a character carefully analyze
the winding paths of her motivations. What Kipling offers
instead are jewels of descriptive detail, passages built around
the most fleeting elements of sight, touch, sound, and smell.
Here is his description of riding an elephant through a forest
a tuft of high grass washed along his sides as a wave washes
along the sides of a ship, and sometimes a cluster of wild-pepper
vines would scrape along his back, or a bamboo would creak
where his shoulder touched it. But between those times he
moved absolutely without any sound, drifting through the
thick Garo forest as though it had been smoke.
Those who have been to Asia might know that Kipling does
not exaggerate an elephants soundlessness.
Some of Kiplings finest descriptions appear throughout
Miracle of Purun Bhagat. In the following passage,
Kipling captures the feeling of waiting out a rainstorms
that time he heard nothing but the sound of a million little
waters, overhead from the trees, and underfoot along the
ground, soaking through the pine-needles, dripping from
the tongues of draggled fern, and spouting in newly-torn
muddy channels down the slopes. Then the sun came out, and
drew forth the good incense of the deodars and the rhododendrons,
and that far-off, clean smell which the Hill people call
the smell of the snows.
Here Kipling also shows the writers gift of using concepts
from one language to stimulate the imaginations of those who
Thanks to infamous lines in Take Up the White Mans
Burden, Kipling has been typecast as a supporter of
British imperialism. That he was; but his collected works
contain much more than homilies on expanding one particular
civilization throughout the world. In The
Jungle Book and its sequel, Kipling does the work
of every great writer: he shows the crooked timber of human
beings and their institutions in vivid prose, suffusing the
whole with jokes, wry observations, some mockery, and a little
sorrow. Time, suggested W. H. Auden, pardoned
for writing well.
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