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Read the passage carefully. Then choose the correct answer.
 

Returning from her vacation, my teacher had not only given my hands an unforgettable aesthetic treat, but also aroused in me a lasting curiosity for things unknown. Capturing the essence of her task, she had created in me a wondrous will to observe, an encouragement to wonder and an environment in which to ask genuine scientific questions.

Once awakened, my curiosity knew no bounds. Picking seashells along the Tunnels Beach, I longed to know their names and the habits of the animals that built them. Legend has it that the puka shell-necklace craze began here in the 1960s. Miss Alohi willingly parted with some of her prized possessions and my classmates bought me souvenirs of the sea from their oversea trips. By the following year, the beginnings of my collection in decorated shoe boxes expanded when my father decided to purchase a showcase to store my little friends and notes about them.

Kono enthusiastically read aloud books and Internet articles since the existing Braille books in libraries were wholly inadequate. While he read, I transcribed names of places, descriptions of shores and facts about sea life. Kono illustrated my notes, filling page after page with faithful Braille renderings of sea weeds, jellyfish, crabs, shells and fishes. With this extraordinary dedication, my family broke the information barrier by making available to me the full richness of the print media.

My obsession was often likened to any boy's fanciful dream of becoming an astronaut or lawyer. My parents knew their handicapped boy would, sooner or later, settle on a career consistent with his limitations. Yet, I received only unanimous and unreserved encouragement as I made my way through school and managed to succeed as an undergraduate at Princeton University.

I was intent on pursuing doctoral studies in marine biology and oceanography. The Australian National University was my preferred choice as I learnt that researchers there were doing exciting work on clams. Convinced that only through face-to-face meetings could the varsity judge me adequately, I requested for interviews as a selection criteria.

The Director of Graduate Studies at the Biology Department had an air of benevolent authority but his skepticism was palpable. Handing me a shell specimen from the university museum, he graciously asked, "Do you know what this is ?" My fingers and mind raced a I felt the wide and glossy ribs and confidently stated, "Harpa major". Another shell passed hands. "Channeled suture, narrow opening. It's oliva sayana," I declared. The Director was speechless !

He had planned the little exercise to test my capabilities. Now that I had passed, he underwent an instant metamorphosis. Full of enthusiasm, he promised me his support and I left, knowing that my acceptance was assured.

     
  1. The phrase 'unforgettable aesthetic treat' (paragraph 1) refers to ______.
       
    (A) the writer viewing the seashells
    (B) the writer's hands exploring the seashells
    (C) the writer picking up seashells from the beach
    (D) the writer receiving the seashells from his teacher
       
  2. Kono had read books and articles regarding marine life to the writer because ______.
       
    (A) this helped the writer to better absorb the information
    (B) the writer had difficulty going to the library as he was paralyzed
    (C) the writer did not believe the information from the books he read
    (D) there were too few publications which catered to the visually-impaired
       
  3. The use of the phrase 'fanciful dream' (paragraph 4) suggests that the writer's ambition was ______.
       
    (A) limited
    (B) simplistic
    (C) attainable
    (D) unrealistic
       
  4. Why do you think the writer had 'requested for interviews as a selection criteria' (paragraph 5) ?
       
    (A) He was ashamed of his disability.
    (B) He wanted to be evaluated for his ability.
    (C) He wanted to show that he was visually-impaired.
    (D) He wanted to prove to himself that he could pass the interview.
       
  5. The director was speechless because ______.
       
    (A) the writer was as talented as he had imagined him to be
    (B) the writer had surpassed his expectations despite his disability
    (C) the writer did not have the capabilities that he was looking for
    (D) the writer had the audacity to come for the interview despite his disability
       
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  Answers : 1B   2D   3D   4B   5B
 
 
 
 

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