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Reading Between the Lines Practice Exercises

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Updated on Aug 25, 2011

Read the following study guide for a concept review:

Reading Between the Lines Study Guide

Read these practice passages actively and carefully. Then answer the questions that follow.

Note: If you come across unfamiliar words, do not look them up until after you've completed this practice exercise.

Exercise 1

For or Against?—That Is the Question

Andy is the most unreasonable, pigheaded, subhuman life form in the entire galaxy, and he makes me so angry I could scream! Of course, I love him like a brother. I sort of have to because he is my brother. More than that, he's my twin! That's right. Andy and Amy (that's me) have the same curly hair and dark eyes and equally stubborn temperaments. Yet, though we may look alike, on most issues we usually take diametrically opposite positions. If I say day, you can count on Andy to say night.

Just this week, the big buzz in school was all about the PTA's proposal to adopt a school dress code. Every student would be required to wear a uniform. Uniforms! Can you imagine? Oh, they won't be military-style uniforms, but the clothes would be uniform in color. The dress style would be sort of loose and liberal.

Boys would wear white or blue button-down shirts, a school tie, blue or gray pants, and a navy blue blazer or cardigan sweater. Girls would wear white or blue blouses or sweaters, blue or gray pants or skirts, along with a navy blue blazer or cardigan sweater. Socks or tights could be black, gray, blue, or white. The teachers are divided: Some are in favor of the uniforms, others are opposed. The principal has asked the students to express their opinions by voting on the issue before decisions are made. She will have the final word on the dress code.

I think a dress code is a good idea. The reason is simple. School is tough enough without worrying about looking cool every single day. The fact is, the less I have to decide first thing in the morning, the better. I can't tell you how many mornings I look into my closet and just stare, unable to decide what to wear. Of course, there are other mornings when my room looks like a cyclone had hit it, with bits and pieces of a dozen different possible outfits on the bed, on the floor, or dangling from the lamps. I also wouldn't mind not having to see guys wearing oversized jeans and shirts so huge they would fit a sumo wrestler. And I certainly would welcome not seeing kids showing off designer-labeled clothes.

Andy is appalled at my opinion. He says he can't believe that I would be willing to give up my all-American teenage birthright by dressing like—well, like a typical teenager. Last night, he even dragged out Mom and Dad's high school photo albums. What a couple of peace-loving hippies they were!

"Bruce Springsteen never wore a school uniform. Bob Dylan wouldn't have been caught dead in a school uniform!" he declared. Andy was now on his soapbox. "When I am feeling political, I want to be able to wear clothes made of natural, undyed fibers, sewn or assembled in countries that do not pollute the environment or exploit child labor. If I have to wear a uniform, I won't feel like me!"

To which I replied, "So your personal heroes didn't wear school uniforms. Big deal! They went to high school about a million years ago! I feel sorry for you, brother dear. I had no idea that your ego is so fragile that it would be completely destroyed by gray or blue pants, a white or blue shirt, a tie, and a blazer."

That really made him angry. Then he said, "You're just mimicking what you hear that new music teacher saying because you have a crush on him!"

"That is so not true. He's just a very good teacher, that's all," I said, raising my voice in what Mom would call "a very rude manner."

"You have always been a stupid Goody Two-shoes, and you know it!" he snapped.

"Is that so? Anyone who doesn't agree with you is automatically stupid. And that's the stupidest thing of all!" I said.

Fortunately, the bell rang before we could do each other physical harm, and we went (thankfully) to our separate classes.

The vote for or against uniforms took place later that day. The results of the vote and the principal's decision will be announced next week. I wonder what it will be. I know how I voted, and I'm pretty sure I know how Andy voted.

How would you vote—for or against?

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