Quaking in its Boots
Read the passages given below and answer the questions that follow them:
Our entire class is quaking in its boots. The reason, of course, is the forthcoming meeting in which the teachers decide who’ll move up to the next form and who’ll be kept back. Half the class is making bets. C.N. and I laugh ourselves silly at the two boys behind us, C.N. and Jacques, who have staked their entire holiday savings on their bet. From morning to night, it’s “You’re going to pass”, “No, I’m not”, “Yes, you are”, “No, I’m not”. Even G.’s pleading glances and my angry outbursts can’t calm them down. If you ask me, there are so many dummies that about a quarter of the class should be kept back, but teachers are the most unpredictable creatures on earth.
I’m not so worried about my girlfriends and myself. We’ll make it. The only subject I’m not sure about is maths. Anyway, all we can do is wait. Until then, we keep telling each other not to lose heart.
I get along pretty well with all my teachers. There are nine of them, seven men and two women. Mr Keesing, the old fogey who teaches maths, was annoyed with me for ages because I talked so much. After several warnings, he assigned me extra homework. An essay on the subject, ‘A Chatterbox’. A chatterbox — what can you write about that? I’d worry about that later, I decided. I jotted down the title in my notebook, tucked it in my bag and tried to keep quiet.
That evening, after I’d finished the rest of my homework, the note about the essay caught my eye. I began thinking about the subject while chewing the tip of my fountain pen. Anyone could ramble on and leave big spaces between the words, but the trick was to come up with convincing arguments to prove the necessity of talking. I thought and thought, and suddenly I had an idea. I wrote the three pages Mr Keesing had assigned me and was satisfied.
Word-Meaning: Quaking in its boots— shaking with fear and nervousness, डर से कापना Form— class,श्रेढ़ी Staked— put money on the bet शर्त पर पैसा लगाना unpredictable— (here) uncertain जिनकी भविष्यवाणी न की जा सके Old fogey— an old-fashioned person, पुराने ढर्रे का व्यक्ति chatterbox— a person who talks too much, बातूनी , बहुत बात करने बाला Ramble on— talk or write aimlessly for long, निरुदेधेस्य लिखना Convincing argument— a statement made in such a manner that people believe it, संतोषजनक तर्क
1.What was the condition of the students in the class?
2. Why were they in such an uneasy situation?
3. Who were the two students who had staked their entire holiday savings on their bet?
4. Why are teachers called the most unpredictable creatures on earth?
5. Name the subject that was a cause of little concern for the narrator.
6. What was the extra homework the narrator assigned with?
7. Why was Mr Keesing annoyed with the narrator?
8. When was she satisfied with herself?
1. The students in the class were worried and shaking in their boots.
2. They were uneasy as their teachers would decide who would move up to the next class and who would be kept back.
3. C.N. and Jacques were the two boys who had staked their entire holiday savings on their bet.
4. Teachers are considered to be the most unpredictable creatures as they could move up or hold back students according to their own assessments.
5. Maths was the only subject the narrator was not sure of herself.
6. Mr Keesing asked the narrator to write an essay on the subject, `A Chatterbox’.
7. Mr Keesing was annoyed with the narrator as she talked so much in the class.
8. She was satisfied with herself only after she had written three pages on the subject.
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