Some Family History


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Making it easier

Read all the exercises before you listen to the audio.
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Making it harder

Listen to the audio before you read the exercises.
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Play the whole audio without a break.
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Now, listen to the audio and do the exercises on the following tabs.
If you do not complete all the question, you can play the audio again. After that, read the dialog to make sure that you understand all word in the audio.
How many siblings are in the speaker's family?
What does the speaker say about her relationship with her younger sister?
They are closer than they were in childhood.
They get along best in the family.
It is not very good right now.
It is very different from her relationship with her older sister.
What did all her grandparents have in common?
They all came to the U.S. as immigrants.
They met each other at Ellis Island.
They came because of war.
They were all from the same village.
Why does the speaker say her grandmother left Crete?
She wanted to go with her cousin.
Her husband wanted to leave.
She was having trouble finding an intelligent husband.
Her family wanted her to go to school abroad.
When she thinks of her grandparents, what does she say she often wonders about?
How they were able to find each other
How they could leave everything they knew behind
How they were able to save enough money to come
How they could live without electricity
What does the speaker mainly discuss in this talk?
Her immigration experience
Her family life
Her grandparents' lives
Her heritage
I'll tell you about my family.
I have an older sister, she is two years older than me.
She lives in Florida now and she teaches at a college there.
She teaches Asian religions.
She lived in India for a few years and, she still works, translating hymns from, Sanskrit.
She does a lot of traveling and speaking.
Then I have a younger sister who is seven years younger than me.
And she lives in Texas.
She is a lawyer.
My two sisters are very different from each other.
So my relationship with each one is, different.
It expresses a different part of me.
Then I have a brother who is two years younger than me.
He lives in Philadelphia and he's a chiropractor.
And, he's also a jazz musician.
My parents live in South Jersey, still.
They came to New Jersey from Boston.
My father worked as an electrical engineer.
He studied physics and he's still very interested in, ideas, and... Different ideas about the universe and things.
My mother is more down to earth, and she really puts up with a lot, from us huhu.
They are both very involved in their church.
They do a lot of activities through the church.
My grandparents came here_ all of them came as immigrants.
They came into Ellis Island and had their names changed, to sound more American.
One grandmother came, from Turkey.
She came because there was a civil war in her country.
So, all the women had to leave the village, go into the city.
And her village was destroyed.
She came here with her cousin.
My other grandmother also came_ she came from Crete.
She was about eighteen.
She came all alone.
I can't imagine how she did that.
But I think she mostly came because, she liked to read, and, the men in her village_ she couldn't find anyone intelligent enough to marry.
She had to hide her books because the other people made fun of her.
So maybe that had something to do with why she came.
And my grandfather, also came from Crete.
He lived in Egypt for a little while, then he came over also, to New York, and then to Boston.
And my fourth grandfather came from right outside of Athens.
When he came here he had, a, a vegetable truck.
He sold vegetables off the back of his truck.
And I often wonder how it would be for them.
How they, could leave everything, their families and their homes, and have no telephones, never be able to see or talk to their families again.
And I think that, their parents, my great grandparents, lived in villages without electricity or plumbing or running water.
They lived, in such an, ancient way, yet they were not very_ it wasn't very long ago that so many changes, took place in the world in so short, a period of a time.
That it's amazing to think about sometimes.
So, now I live here in this country.
And the age that I am now, my mother had children.
My grandmother, probably had grandchildren.
I don't know.
The way I live is very different than how I would have lived if we were back in the village.
So some things are good about that and some things, are not.
But that's how it is.