1. Are you a student or do you work?
I’ve just finished high school. I’m now anxiously waiting for the results of my graduation exams, which were a little more challenging than expected.
2. How often do you look at the sky?
Well, being a city-dweller, I don’t think I often look at the sky at night, but probably in the daytime, especially when there are dark clouds signaling it’s gonna rain. I would say… nearly every day in the rainy season.
3. Is there a good place to look at the sky where you live?
It sounds kinda weird. Actually, I’ve never thought of that. Perhaps… on a cruise ship traveling along the Saigon River. I did it twice.
4. Can you see stars at night where you live?
Sure, but… it’s not really easy with all the nighttime light pollution we have today in a big city like this.
5. Did you have anything to share with others recently?
Like many friends of mine, I’ve got the habit of sharing whatever I find interesting or useful on social media, and for the past two weeks, I’ve shared some meaningful e-books with my Facebook friends.
6. Did your parents teach you to share when you were young?
Of course they did. They knew sharing is an important skill in life, so they taught me to share dolls or other toys with my little sister, who was born when I just finished primary school.
Describe a time that someone did not tell you the whole truth about something.
You should say:
- When this happened
- What the situation was
- Who you were with
- And why the person did not tell the whole truth
(… clearing the throat …) OK, I’m now gonna tell you a story about a time when I was told a white lie about my uncle’s health problem. As far as I can remember, that was around 7 years ago – when I was in primary school… in grade 5, to be more exact. I was very close to an uncle of mine, who often bought me eye-opening books and told me mind-blowing stories.
One day, after school, I returned home but didn’t see my uncle, who visited us every single day cuz he lived just a few houses away. I was a bit surprised, and disappointed, not to see him, but my mom told me that he was busy with his job in another city and would soon come back. Somehow I felt there was something wrong cuz my mom’s voice was kinda unnatural. It was a little trembling at the time, but I thought she had a cold that day, which affected her voice one way or another. I didn’t really know the harsh truth until 3 weeks later: my uncle was in the terminal stage of an incurable brain disease, which was kinda a malignant brain tumor or something, and the doctor’s prognosis was extremely pessimistic. The moment I knew the truth was the afternoon when my uncle passed away. Being a girl, and a pre-teen girl, at the time, I burst into tears when my mom told me the sad news. After all these years, I’ve realized why my mom told me that white lie: she didn’t want me to feel shocked or be distracted from my semester exam focus. Thanks, mom…
That’s all I can remember. Thank you.
1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of telling lies?
It’s obvious that telling lies normally has many problems, such as forming a bad, or morally bad, habit of trying to avoid letting others know about our wrongdoings. For example, a kid steals some money from his parents to buy a toy, but he doesn’t admit doing so, or a student doesn’t do his homework cuz he’s lazy, but he tells his teacher he’s busy doing a lot of household chores. But sometimes telling a lie is beneficial, like telling a cancer patient that she’s got a health problem because of old age rather than cancer, and that the doctor’s prognosis is not serious. A lie like that is sometimes called a white lie.
2. Have your parents ever told lies?
I think they have, but not to do me, my sister, or others any harm, as far as I know. Like, you know, they told me and my sister that Santa Claus was real, he came to visit us every year all the way from the North Pole and he would give us presents we wished if we were good girls. Funny things like that. As for other lies for other purposes, I’m not really sure if they have told any.
3. Should adults share with their children how to avoid being lied to by others?
This question is a little tricky. The point here is parents should always teach their children some basic techniques in how to tell whether someone is telling the truth or a lie based on things like facial expressions. Sometimes an adult may be telling a child a small lie for fun, together with an eye wink, so the child needs to know that in order not to be fooled by such a funny lie. But actually, this issue is really complicated cuz even adults may not be able to distinguish which is which.
4. What do listeners benefit from telling lies?
When it comes to how lies benefit listeners, I can only think of white lies where the teller is trying to conceal the truth for fear that the listener, who is a patient or an old family member, may be seriously affected by the sad truth. Ah, there are also white lies where the listener is a woman and the teller is a man who doesn’t wanna hurt her because of a certain brutal truth about her age or beauty. The main purpose of telling white lies in these situations is to comfort the listener rather than to deceive them, so it’s kinda good for them.
5. Telling lies is sometimes seen as a way to justify a wrongdoing. Do you think so?
I guess it’s not really a morally good way, but it’s so common these days. Often times, people tend to make up a story, or an excuse to be exact, when they do something wrong, or illegal, or against a certain policy. This is normally used to explain why something bad happens and to make the relevant situation more acceptable. A typical case is to blame heavy traffic, or traffic congestion, for causing an employee to be late for work. This type of excuse is so commonly used that nearly everyone today knows that it’s actually not working very well anymore.
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