1. Before you listen to the tape, briefly describe the forms of financial support that students in China or elsewhere can get. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
Scholarships grants student loans part-time jobs work/study programs parents
Then, as you listen to the tape the first time, circle the form(s) of aid that Priscilla is most interested in.
2. In your experience (or imagination!), is the conversation on the tape very different from what usually happens at a university financial aid office?
Holding Onto a Dream
While preparing to graduate from high school in 1987, Priscilla Vazquez waited anxiously for her letter from the University of Washington, hoping she would be the first person in her family to attend college. When the acceptance letter arrived, she was overjoyed.
There was just one problem: The University of Washington didn't have any grant money to give Priscilla. It offered her only a small loan and expected her family to come up with the rest. "My family was making enough money to get by, but not enough to pay that much for me to go to school," she said.
Priscilla called the financial-aid office for advice. They told her that prospective students seeking more financial aid are eligible only if they have lived apart from their parents for a minimum of two years. During that time, their parents cannot have claimed them as a dependent on the family's tax forms. "Hearing this, I was totally stunned," Priscilla recalls. "I realized I was going to have to take some time off, work, become financially independent from my parents, and then reapply to school. Postponing my dream hurt, but it was the only possibility."
Within a month, Priscilla had found a job at a restaurant and moved into a cheap apartment in a poor neighborhood of Seattle. She also signed up for a job-training program in the city, to learn to be a secretary. It was a hard lifestyle to adjust to. "I got up at 6 a.m. for a long commute to school, finished class at 2 p.m., started work at three, got off my shift at 11 p.m., and then I came back home and collapsed."
Priscilla soon found that her restaurant job just didn't pay enough for her to make ends meet. "So I went to the landlord of my apartment building and asked if there was any cleaning work I could do. Since he felt sorry for me, he agreed to give me thirty hours a month."
The job-training program was designed to last six months. Priscilla finished it in four. "They taught me various office skills and word-processing programs. I also learned to answer the phone in an office setting, and write proper business letters," she said. The program helped Priscilla find employment as a secretary with a small company. "It was my first decent job," she says. "I was nineteen years old, living on my own, and making $15,000 a year."
Priscilla reapplied to the University of Washington and was accepted. She qualified for financial aid because she had been independent from her parents for more than two years. As of the fall of 1990, Priscilla was finally a college student — working full-time during the day as a secretary and going to school full-time at night.
Balancing work and school was difficult. "I was staying up late studying, and going to work early every morning. I was having a hard time concentrating in class, and a hard time on the job because I was so tired," she says. But she ended up with two A's in her first semester anyway.
Priscilla decided to pursue an archaeology major, and in the summer of 1992, she got her first opportunity to really test out her interest in the subject. The archaeological field school of Washington State University was sponsoring a summer research project at a site alongside the Snake River in Washington. Priscilla threw herself into the work, and the project supervisors were impressed. At the end of the summer, one of the professors offered her a job. "He said,‘We just got a contract for a project in North Dakota. We want to hire you if you're willing to take a semester off from school.'" The offer was a diversion from Priscilla's pursuit of her BA. "But by then I no longer doubted that I would ultimately finish school, so I felt comfortable grabbing this opportunity," she says.
When the North Dakota project ended, Priscilla moved to California, where she could live rent-free with one of her brothers. "I ended up working three jobs, trying to make as much money as I could," she recalls. "I was tired of working full-time and being a full-time student. My goal was to save enough money to let me go back to school, study full-time and work only part-time." Priscilla's brother ran a house-cleaning service, and he agreed to give her work. And she decided to enroll at a local community college where the tuition was much cheaper.
Priscilla took some art classes (she was an amateur photographer) and helped organize a gallery exhibit of students' artwork, including her own. In the spring of 1994, she graduated from Wenatchee Valley College with a two-year Associate of Arts degree. After graduating, Priscilla applied to the University of Washington once more. She was accepted and enrolled in the fall of 1994. Not having to work so many hours allowed her to make school her priority. "This was such a luxury, I was almost sorry to graduate!" Priscilla laughs. "But I was awarded my BA in January of 1996."
As Priscilla looks back on her years of struggle to make her dream come true, she is cautiously encouraging toward others working their way through school. "To balance work and school, you have to know yourself," she says. "You have to know what you can take and what you can't take. You need a lot of discipline, and you have to stay focused, even when you run into barriers and distractions and delays. But mostly you need determination. If you get put down once, just get back up there and keep fighting."
a. extremely pleased; full of joy 万分高兴的，欣喜若狂的
n. 1. sth. which is lent, esp. money 贷款；借出的东西
2. the act of lending 借；出借
vt. (esp. AmE) lend （主美） 借出；贷予
a. potential, possible 可能成为…的；未来的；预期的
a. fulfilling the conditions necessary for some special privilege or status 符合被推选条件的；合格的
n. & a. (of) the smallest possible amount, degree, etc. 最小量（的）；最低程度（的）
a. as little as possible 最小的；尽可能少的
vt. 1. ask for, take, or state that one should have (sth. to which one has a right) 对…提出要求
2. say that sth. is true 声称；主张
n. 1. （书面）要求；索赔
n. a person who depends on another for a home, food, etc. 依赖他人生活者；受扶养者
a. (on, upon) needing the help or support of sb. or sth. else 依赖的；依靠的
vi. apply again 再次申请，重新申请
vt. (until, to) delay; move to some later time 延迟；使延期
n. a person from whom sb. rents a room, a building, land, etc. 房东；地主
n. 1. the place or type of surroundings where sth. is located or takes place 环境；背景
n. 1. paid work 职业，工作
2. the state of being employed 雇佣
3. the act of using 使用
n. 1. the state of being unemployed 失业
2. the number of people without work 失业人数
a place outside of campus for educational activities 教学与科研实验基地
n. a favourable moment or occasion 机会；时机
vt. 1. support by paying some or all of the expenses connected with sth. 资助；赞助
n. 1. 赞助人；保人
prep. & ad. next to; in addition to 在（…）旁边；和（…）在一起
n. 1. a turning aside from a course, activity or use 转向；转移；偏离
2. sth. that amuses 娱乐；消遣
ad. 1. in the end; finally 最终地；最后地
2. fundamentally 首要地；基本地，根本地
a. 1. (the) last or farthest distant; being at the end or happening in the end 最远的；最后的；终极的
2. considered as an origin or base, fundamental 根源的，基本的
ad. & a. without payment of rent 不收租金地（的）
n. money paid regularly for the use of a room, building, TV set, etc. 租金
vt. 1. pay rent for the use of 租用
2. allow to be used in return for rent 出租
v. make (oneself, or another person) officially a member of a group （使）注册入学；（使）入学；（使）入会
n. (esp. AmE) the price of or payment for instruction （主美）学费
vt. make pictures of 给…拍照；拍摄
n. 1. a room, hall, or building where works of art are shown and sometimes offered for sale 画廊，美术馆
n. 1. (AmE) exhibition; a public show of objects （美）展览；展出
vt. show (in public) 展览，展出，陈列
n. 1. work of art 艺术作品；艺术制品
2. [总称] 插图
n. a degree given after two years of study in the US, usu. at a junior college （某些美国高等专科学校授予的低于学士学位的）准学士学位
Associate of Art degree
n. 1. sth. that needs attention, consideration, service, etc., before others 优先考虑的事
2. the state or right of coming before others in position or time 优先（权）
a. coming or planned before 在前的，在先的
n. 1. a pleasure which one does not often have the opportunity to enjoy 难得享受到的愉悦
2. great comfort as provided without worry about the cost 奢侈；奢华的生活
a. acting carefully to avoid danger 谨慎的；十分小心的
n. the quality of using great care and attention, esp. in order to avoid danger 小心，谨慎，慎重
n. the act of distracting or the state of being distracted; sth. that distracts 分心，精神不集中；分心的事
n. 1. the ability to make firm decisions and act in accordance with them 坚定；果断；决断力
2. the fixing of sth. exactly; the deciding of sth. 测定；决定
Phrases and Expressions
try to keep; stick to; not give up 抓住；坚持
come up with
1. manage to produce (a sum of money needed) 提供（钱款）
2. think of and suggest (a plan, reply, etc.) 提出，想法
1. have enough money for one's needs or way of life （勉强）对付过去
2. be good enough but not very good; be acceptable 过得去
separately from 与…分离着
take (time) off (from sth.)
leave (school, a job, etc.) for a period of time 暂时放下（学业、工作等）；休假
go and live in (a different place) 搬入，迁入
sign up for sign an agreement to take part in sth. 签约从事
make (both) ends meet
get just enough money for all one's needs 使收支相抵；勉强维持生计
(AmE) from (the time stated) （美）自…起
not go to bed 不睡觉
throw oneself into
do or take part in eagerly and actively 投身于；积极从事
end up with
get in the end 结果是；以…告终
end up doing sth.
eventually do sth. different(ly) than planned 以…结束，以…告终
make one's dream come true
realize what one has wished for or dreamed of 使梦想成真
work one's way through school
pay for one's own education by work 靠做工挣钱完成学业
can ('t) take sth.
can ('t) bear or deal with (trouble, hard work, etc.) 能（不能）经受（困难、艰苦努力等）
get put down
be defeated 被击败
Bachelor of Arts 文学士；学士
Wenatchee Valley College
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