第一篇： Oops, think I forgot
There was a company with a good reputation. My brother, a senior, wanted to work there. Up to the last interview, he had done well and made a good impression on the manager. If he passed the last "barrier" ? interview ? he would be the only lucky one and his dream would come true.
The day came and my brother went for the interview by bike with his gloves on because of the cold weather. After entering the office, he drew off his gloves and put them on the side table. The interview began.
The manager asked him a lot of questions and my brother answered smoothly. My brother was very satisfied with what he had done and went out of the hall with confidence and delight. On the way home, he felt cold and realized that he had left his gloves behind. So he hurried back to take them.
The next day, the spokeswoman of the company told my brother that he had not been accepted because of the gloves he had forgotten. "It shows that you are not careful enough," said the spokeswoman.
By Yu Erlong, Shanxi
第二篇： Not very easy to get
SPEAKING for an inexperienced sophomore, me, 25 yuan per hour is really a great temptation. So without hesitation, I was on my way to make a fortune. I used to think it was easy getting a job as a tutor. However, it couldn't have been worse than this time.
I was seated in a hard and cold chair. And over piles of books I finally saw my student ? a big boy who seemed very unhappy with my visit. Giving me an indifferent look as a response to my "hello," he sat down impolitely with his Walkman on.
The father ordered me to take out my certificates. Having examined every line, he insisted that I take a test so that he could judge by himself.
Anyhow, I finished the test. With a red pencil in hand he began to check the answers. I really wondered who on earth was the teacher, as he was checking it time and again regardless of his son's obvious impatience.
"OK." He finally raised his eagle eyes. "Your accuracy is 90 per cent." "Is that enough?" I asked.
"It's enough. But don't you think your reading speed is low and ..."
"And Sir," I couldn't help interrupting him. "It's also enough for me to not have to bear this here."
I stood up and went away, leaving him astonished.
By Zhang Rui, Tianjin
第三篇： Mistaken identity
MY first job-hunting moment ? the worst ? is still fresh in my mind.
The office building was huge and it took me quite some time to figure out where the elevator was before I could get to the door of the studying abroad consulting company. I had already
made it halfway inside the office when I remembered to step back and knock at the door. Only one employee raised his head, so I headed for him. "I wonder if you need a translator or interpreter?" was the mosquito's voice that slipped from my throat. Even I myself didn't know what I was talking about.
As his routine, he welcomed me and inquired about which country I was interested in. Three minutes later, he finally found out what this shy and blushing girl was doing there. Then he gave me a glass of water and showed me to the manager who had overheard our conversation. My trembling hand spilled out some water just as the manager approached from behind. I looked up and saw a frown and a serious face ? Jesus ? it was my former English teacher! "Oh, it's you!" he blurted out.
I was so ashamed.
By Zhu Ye, Beijing
What makes an essay stand out
WHEN one reads a lot of essays, as I do, the problem is that they tend to blur into each other. So I am always looking for something that makes a particular piece of writing stand out from the crowd; something that makes it different or special.
Unless they are numerous, or make understanding difficult, I usually ignore spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, at least at the first reading. These are things that can be edited out. What I am looking for is a sense that the writer has control over his or her material and over the structure of the ideas being expressed. I am also looking for accurate, sensitive and appropriate observations of life.
Let us look at the three essays published this week about the experience of job-hunting ? a tough business that can sometimes be cruel. All three essays, as it happens, tell stories of failure, though they do so in different ways. What was it that made them stand out for me?
In the first, the writer's control of language struck me. The story is simple, though it has a cruel ending, and the writer has told it in simple, straightforward language without any unnecessary embellishment. Notice how few adjectives and adverbs there are. The weather is simply "cold." This is enough to explain why the brother was wearing gloves and it would not have helped the story to have added anything.
The essay also shows control of the ideas and structure; a plain narrative that is concluded by the critical event. The writer has sensibly avoided putting any moral lesson or commentary at the end. It is quite clear to the reader how the brother must have felt and the stark and almost brutal ending speaks for itself ? no expression of regret, unhappiness, or complaint about the cruelty of life. None is needed. My one criticism of the essay is the choice of title, "Forgetting the gloves shows carelessness." I think this is too explicit and takes away from the surprise ending. It would have been better simply to call it "The gloves" and left the reader to wonder what the connection between gloves and job-hunting was.
The second essay stood out because of the sudden and very unexpected twist to the story ? an apparent success which is then rejected. Again, the writer has controlled her story well and kept the ending simple and effective. Notice once more the relative absence of adjectives, with only one that is metaphorical ? "eagle eyes." All the others are factual descriptions, giving the basic information that makes the story "real."
Finally, the third essay. The overall structure of the story is quite well controlled, though the logical links between individual events could be improved. For example, the employee "showed her to the manager", so she was going towards him, but then the manager "approached from behind." Finally, she "looked up and saw a frown", which again suggests that she was facing him. But these are errors that can be corrected with careful thought. What really made this essay different from all the others was a single phrase that leapt off the page at me ? "mosquito's voice." This phrase,unexpected and metaphorical, shows precise observation of life. It clearly expresses a complex set of features in the way the writer spoke. Think of the nights when you hear the high-pitched whine of a mosquito in the dark. You don't know where it is and you flap your hands madly trying to hit it, but usually without success. Now think about the writer: Her voice was high-pitched, from nervousness probably, and she probably had the feeling that it came from somewhere else and was not under her control ? just like the mosquito. A striking and very effective image that lifted this essay out of the crowd for me.
By John Hilton
The author is a professor of English at the University of International Business and Economics. He has worked in China since 1995.