A conversation between two students in their first class of the term
Listen to audio recording and answer the questions
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Listen to a conversation between two students in their first class of the term.
Arthur: Morning, Myra.
Myra: Oh hi, Arthur! You're taking Ecology Three Eleven, too?
A: Looks like it. It's my only elective this term.
M: Really? What happened?
A: Oh, I just took too many my second year, and now I've got to pick up all the required courses I've been ignoring. University's just too much fun, I guess.
M: Too many parties?
A: No. (laughs) Well, yeh, that too. But you know-- there're just so many interesting things to learn about, and we've only got four years here to explore them. I've been having too good a time at it, that's all. But it has helped me decide my major, finally.
A: Bus Ad. I've learned a lot here, and one thing I've learnt is that most fields don't hold out a lot of promise for gainful employment! So I'm playing it safe and going for my BA in business administration.
M: So, why Three Eleven? An ecology course isn't going to help you in your office job at some corporation.
A: Prob'ly not, but... it still seems interesting-- and important. We all need to know about the environment, no matter what we do for a living.
M: Yeah, you're right. And maybe you will be able to use it. Maybe you'll end up working for a green company or something.
A: Could be. There's more and more of those every day.
M: And thank goodness. Poor old Earth!
A: Is that why you're taking this?
M: Well, it's not an elective for me. I need Three Eleven for my BS program. We need several cross-field courses to "broaden our understanding", and this is one of them. Actually, though, I'm looking forward to this course: "Nature's Influence on Man-- Man's Influence on Nature"! Sounds like a really useful topic, doesn't it? And Dr Forsythe is supposed to be a very engaging lecturer.
A: Well, his website is a gas, at least! He's got an hilarious little eco-game on it: shoot the wolves and see how many deer reproduce and eat all the grass!
M: Hmm. I suppose that would teach, uh, fifth graders about the balance of nature.
A: Hey, it was fun! Anyway, he's also got some good information there-- it'll probably come in handy when he gives us homework.
M: Wow, you're right! I better take a look at it myself. Can you give me his URL?
A: It's listed right in the course guide where they describe the course, but if you can't find it, I'll give it to you next time. Or I could email it to you-- what's your address?
M: That would be great, thanks. Myrasweetie@umail.com. Here, I'll write it down for you. Did you pick up your textbook yet?
A: No. I've been looking for a secondhand copy before I spring for a new one. It's expensive-- forty-five bucks!
M: (sighs) They all are, aren't they? Why do poor college students have to pay so much for their textbooks? It ain't fair.
A: It's just economics. Nobody reads them except the students that take the courses. The publishers probably didn't print more than a few hundred copies of our text, you know.
M: Still, they could print them in paperback, couldn't they? That would save us some money.
A: And on newsprint-- sure! (laughs) Some students do keep them, though, for reference after they graduate, if they're working in that field. In that case, they need to be durable. My dad's still got his college accounting textbooks-- and he uses them all the time.
M: I suppose you're right. Where you gonna find a used copy? At the bookstore?
A: They don't have any there now-- I checked. I put up some notes on the Science Building bulletin boards yesterday. Maybe someone there's got one they don't want to keep anymore.
M: Well, uh, if you hear about two of them, will you let me know? I'd like to save a little money, too.
A: Sure. If I do, I'll buy it for you and you can pay me back. How much are you willing to pay?
M: Oh, anything under thirty-five dollars'll be fine. A penny saved is a penny earned. But if you haven't found one by next Monday, I'll have to buy a new one then, so email me Sunday night either way, will you?
A: You bet. Oops! Here's Dr Forsythe now.
Why is the man taking this course?
Why is the woman taking this course?
What will they do next?
What is the purpose of this conversation?
Why does the young woman say this: "I suppose that would teach, uh, fifth graders about the balance of nature"?