日期:2012-06-26 14:09


Chapter XIX
When I began my second year at the Gilman school, I was full of hope and determination to succeed. But during the first few weeks I was confronted with unforeseen difficulties. Mr. Gilman had agreed that that year I should study mathematics principally. I had physics, algebra, geometry, astronomy, Greek and Latin. Unfortunately, many of the books I needed had not been embossed in time for me to begin with the classes, and I lacked important apparatus for some of my studies. The classes I was in were very large, and it was impossible for the teachers to give me special instruction. Miss Sullivan was obliged to read all the books to me, and interpret for the instructors, and for the first time in eleven years it seemed as if her dear hand would not be equal to the task.
It was necessary for me to write algebra and geometry in class and solve problems in physics, and this I could not do until we bought a braille writer, by means of which I could put down the steps and processes of my work. I could not follow with my eyes the geometrical figures drawn on the blackboard, and my only means of getting a clear idea of them was to make them on a cushion with straight and curved wires, which had bent and pointed ends. I had to carry in my mind, as Mr. Keith says in his report, the lettering of the figures, the hypothesis and conclusion, the construction and the process of the proof. In a word, every study had its obstacles. Sometimes I lost all courage and betrayed my feelings in a way I am ashamed to remember, especially as the signs of my trouble were afterward used against Miss Sullivan, the only person of all the kind friends I had there, who could make the crooked straight and the rough places smooth.
Little by little, however, my difficulties began to disappear. The embossed books and other apparatus arrived, and I threw myself into the work with renewed confidence. Algebra and geometry were the only studies that continued to defy my efforts to comprehend them. As I have said before, I had no aptitude for mathematics; the different points were not explained to me as fully as I wished. The geometrical diagrams were particularly vexing because I could not see the relation of the different parts to one another, even on the cushion. It was not until Mr. Keith taught me that I had a clear idea of mathematics.
I was beginning to overcome these difficulties when an event occurred which changed everything.

  • overcomevt. 战胜,克服,(感情等)压倒,使受不了 vi. 获
  • solvev. 解决,解答
  • conclusionn. 结论
  • bentbend的过去式和过去分词 adj. 下定决心的,弯曲的
  • roughadj. 粗糙的,粗略的,粗暴的,艰难的,讨厌的,不适的
  • letteringn. 印字;刻字;书写的文字 v. 用字母写;用印刷体写
  • instructionn. 说明,须知,指令,教学
  • confidenceadj. 骗得信任的 n. 信任,信心,把握
  • apparatusn. 装置,器具,器官,机构,组织
  • constructionn. 建设,建造,结构,构造,建筑物