M: Would you like me to take those suitcases for you, madam? I can take them up to your room for you while you check in.
W: Thank you. That would be great. Here's $5 for your trouble.
W: Your office looks good. You must have a good system for organizing everything. My office looks like something exploded inside it.
M: I put a new shelf in the corner for all my files. It makes a big difference.
M: You need to eat. You didn't eat this morning, and you've been in bed all day. Let me make you some soup.
W: It's okay, really. You don't have to stay with me. Go back to work, and I'll just get some food delivered.
M: Excuse me, could you tell me when the next train to London leaves?
W: Well, trains to London leave every three hours. You just missed the 8:30 train by 10 minutes, I'm afraid.
M: How many more do you need? There are people waiting in line, you know...
W: Just one more, OK? I want you to stand in front of the statue and put your arm around your sister. Ready? One, two, three...
M: Thanks for helping me out, Elizabeth. My parents said I have to get this done before they get home.
W: No problem, Dave. I'm happy to help. What do you want me to do?
M: First, I need you to bring me a towel. There is one behind the door.
W: OK... Now what?
M: I'll wash the windows and the wheels, and you clean everything on the inside of the car. Make sure you look under the seats.
W: Wow! There is a lot of garbage back here. I wonder what it looks like under your bed!
M: Trust me; you don't want to know...
W: So, how did you do on your English final, Raymond?
M: I was happily surprised, actually. I had thought I was going to do much worse. What about you?
W: Nothing special, really. I got the grade I had thought I would get. I guess that's a good thing. Were you able to finish the entire test?
M: Everything but the last section. It was the section about the novel we read.
W: That's too bad. I did those questions first because they were the longest. I had trouble with the grammar section, though.
M: Me, too. I admit that I guessed some of the answers when I was running out of time. Luckily, I did really well on the poetry section.
W: Me, too!
M: I just have one more exam after lunch, and then I'm finished. Next week will be so easy.
W: You're lucky. I have one at ten o'clock tomorrow morning. I'll be studying all night for it.
M: Well, good luck!
M: That's strange. I didn't get a straw with my drink.
W: They don't use straws anymore here.
M: Starbucks is doing that, too, right?
W: That's correct. By 2020, all plastic straws will be removed from their coffee shops. I'm never going to use a straw again. They end up in our oceans.
M: I know. I've seen pictures of ducks with straws in their throats.
W: I just saw the saddest video. A turtle had a plastic straw stuck in its nose. It makes me feel terrible to think I may have contributed to that. Scientists believe that by 2050, there will be more plastics in the ocean than fish.
W: And we throw away 50% of the plastics immediately. It's so silly.
M: So, what should we do?
W: People can switch to steel straws. You can clean them and use them again. M: That will make a lot of people mad at first.
W: It's better than killing the fish in our oceans. After we eat, I'll take you to a gift shop where they sell recycled products. It's just around the corner from this restaurant.
W: I've seen you hanging around with the horses a lot lately. Are you here to just look at them, or is there anything else you're interested in?
M: Actually, I'd like to help take care of them. Do you have any work I could do?
W: How much experience do you have with horses?
M: Well, my grandfather owned a farm while I was growing up. I learned how to take care of all the farm animals, including horses. They were my favorites, so I spent most of my time with them when I visited my grandparents each summer.
W: Sounds like you know a lot. Did you learn how to wash and brush them?
M: Yes. My uncle Dan taught me everything. He was in charge of the animals. I even learned how to make the horses put shoes on.
W: That's a very good skill. I can tell you'll be useful here.
M: Do you mean you'll give me a job?
W: I'd like to talk to your parents first. If they agree, I'll find plenty for you to do.
M: Great! Thank you! I'll ask my father to call you tonight.
W: I would prefer to meet him in person. Give me your email address and we'll figure on what day to meet.
Today I'd like to talk about the important Chinese art of writing — calligraphy. The Chinese written language began to develop more than 3,000 years ago. It eventually developed into five basic script types. All of them are still in use today. The earliest writing looked like detailed pictures. They represented entire ideas and were cut onto rocks and bones. The written language then took the more standardized form of the "seal script". It is also called Zhuanshu in Chinese. It was usually used in the personal seals of important people. By the late Han Dynasty, a new standard form known as Lishu, or the "official script", was being used by government clerks. Flexible brushes came into regular use. And more artistic effects were possible for the first time. Two "handwritten" writing forms — the "running script" or Xingshu and the "cursive script" or Caoshu, also developed around this time. In the "cursive script", individual characters were written in the short form. And two or more characters could be linked together in a single movement of the brush. As the "official script" became more and more artistic, the "regular script" or Kaishu was born. In this elegant form of writing, the movement of the brush is clear and strong. So, it resulted in the most balanced one of all calligraphy styles. Over the years, calligraphers were free to write in any of the five script styles, depending on the text's function.