Zombies would wipe out humans in 100 days

[Thoughts ★★]

zombies

Image source: by “unknown” http://www.ripzombie.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/zombies.jpg

(P1) Zombies are only in horror movies. Or are they? An article in a university physics journal predicts that zombies could kill most of us in 100 days. Students said there would only be 273 survivors of a zombie apocalypse. The students pretended zombies were a deadly virus. The virus infected someone. The person had a 90 percent chance of giving the virus to another person. That person spread the virus around the world.

(P2) A professor explained why students wrote about zombies. He said: “We ask students to write short papers for the ‘Journal of Physics Special Topics’. It lets the students show off their creative side and use some of the physics they know.” It also gives students writing practice. The professor added that it tested how students use their understanding of physics in imaginary situations. This could help us in the future to prepare for disasters.

WORDS: 147

SOURCE: http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1701/170110-zombies-1.html

VOCABULARY: wipe out (title), survivors, pretended, infected, imaginary, disasters

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you like TV shows and movies about zombies? Why or why not?
  3. What types of disasters occur in your country?
  4. What types (genres) of movies do you like? Why?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. How long would it take them to wipe out most humans?
  2. How many people would still be alive?
  3. Who explained the reason why the students wrote about zombies?
  4. Students wee able to practice their English ____________.
  5. What else could this writing assignment help with in the future?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • could kill most of us (P1)
  • that person spread the virus around (P1)
  • creative side (P2)
  • write short papers (P2)
  • prepare for disasters (P2)

Cambly Practice Button

Why do children go to school?

[Life ★★]

ki85ra47t

(P1) People in the USA have different ideas about what school is for. A poll found that 45 percent of people in the USA said the main goal was for students to take exams. Around a quarter of people said it was for kids to get a job. Just over 26 percent said the biggest reason for school was to teach citizenship.

(P2) A writer once said the purpose of school is, “to ask questions of the universe.” Students had different ideas about school. Elena Brankov, 15, said it was to teach creativity and share ideas. Lyndon Bailey, also 15, said school, “is just to make poor kids into robots who work and make rich people richer”.

WORDS: 116

SOURCE: http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1609/160903-school-0.html

VOCABULARY: poll, quarter, citizenship, creativity, robots

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Why do you think children go to school?
  3. Do you like to take tests? Why or why not?
  4. What is or was your favorite subject in school? Why?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Where did the study take place?
  2. 25% of the US citizens said the main purpose of school is to get a job. (T or F)
  3. Who said going to school is, “to ask questions of the universe?
  4. Who said going to school is to share thoughts?
  5. How old is Lyndon Bailey?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • take exams (P1)
  • just over 26 percent (P1)
  • once said (P2)
  • make rich people richer (P2)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: http://downloadclipart.org/f/kids-running-in-school-clipart-449

What life will be like in 2116

[Thoughts ★]

7934953_this-is-what-life-will-be-like-in-2116_ta9a6497b

(P1) A new report describes life in 2116. There are many tall buildings and underwater cities. Experts said the way we live, work, and play will be very different. They said that 25 years ago, people could not imagine how the Internet would change our lives. The changes in 2116 will be more unbelievable.

(P2) People made predictions about the future. We will work at home and have online meetings. We will download ideas for furniture or food and then ‘print’ it on our 3D printer. Our home health system will tell us about our health problems. We will also take holidays in space. No one predicted if people will need to study English.

WORDS: 112

SOURCE: http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1602/160218-the-future-0.html

VOCABULARY: describes, underwater, imagine, unbelievable, predictions, furniture

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you think people can predict the future? Why or why not?
  3. Will people take holidays in space in the future? Why or why not?
  4. Will there be cities underwater in the future? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Which year in the future does the article talk about?
  2. The internet did not alter lives. (T or F)
  3. In the future, we will not work in our house. (T or F)
  4. Which type of printer will be used in 2116?
  5. One of the predictions was people will still need to learn English. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • the way we live (P1)
  • 25 years ago (P1)
  • online meetings (P2)
  • home health system (P2)
  • take holidays (P2)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: by “unknown” http://www.bbc.com/news/business-25184175

TO SIRI, WITH LOVE

This is a New York Times article on the sweet relationship an autistic kid develops with Siri. For some, Siri is just a machine-assistant. But – for Gus – she is a patient and polite friend.

You can even talk to Siri yourself and ask her to define words like parse, ubiquitous, hooked, enunciate, brusque. Then you can practice the different expressions and new words with a friendly Cambly tutor!


[Thoughts★★★]To Siri, With Love [modified]

[H022c] Siri with love_1

(P1) Just how bad a mother am I? I wondered, as I watched my 13-year-old son deep in conversation with Siri. Gus has autism, and Siri, Apple’s “intelligent personal assistant” on the iPhone, is currently his BFF. Obsessed with weather formations, Gus had spent the hour parsing the difference between isolated and scattered thunderstorms — an hour in which, thank God, I didn’t have to discuss them. After a while I heard this:
Gus: “You’re a really nice computer.”
Siri: “It’s nice to be appreciated.”
Gus: “You are always asking if you can help me. Is there anything you want?”
Siri: “Thank you, but I have very few wants.”
Gus: “O.K.! Well, good night!”
Siri: “Ah, it’s 5:06 p.m.”
Gus: “Oh sorry, I mean, goodbye.”
Siri: “See you later!”
(P2) That Siri. She doesn’t let my communications-impaired son get away with anything. Indeed, many of us wanted an imaginary friend, and now we have one. Only she’s not entirely imaginary.

(P3) This is a love letter to a machine. It’s not quite the love Joaquin Phoenix felt in “Her,” last year’s Spike Jonze film about a lonely man’s romantic relationship with his intelligent operating system (played by the voice of Scarlett Johansson). But it’s close. In a world where the commonly held wisdom is that technology isolates us, it’s worth considering another side of the story.

[H022c] Siri with love_2(P4) It all began simply enough. I’d just read one of those ubiquitous Internet lists called “21 Things You Didn’t Know Your iPhone Could Do.” One of them was this: I could ask Siri, “What planes are above me right now?” and Siri would bark back, “Checking my sources.” Almost instantly there was a list of actual flights — numbers, altitudes, angles — above my head.

(P5) I happened to be doing this when Gus was nearby. “Why would anyone need to know what planes are flying above your head?” I muttered. Gus replied without looking up: “So you know who you’re waving at, Mommy.”

(P6) Gus had never noticed Siri before, but when he discovered there was someone who would not just find information on his various obsessions (trains, planes, buses, escalators and, of course, anything related to weather) but actually semi-discuss these subjects tirelessly, he was hooked. And I was grateful. Now, when my head was about to explode if I had to have another conversation about the chance of tornadoes in Kansas City, Mo., I could reply brightly: “Hey! Why don’t you ask Siri?”

(P7) It’s not that Gus doesn’t understand Siri’s not human. He does — intellectually. But like many autistic people I know, Gus feels that inanimate objects, while maybe not possessing souls, are worthy of our consideration. I realized this when he was 8, and I got him an iPod for his birthday. He listened to it only at home, with one exception. It always came with us on our visits to the Apple Store. Finally, I asked why. “So it can visit its friends,” he said.

(P8) So how much more worthy of his care and affection is Siri, with her soothing voice, puckish humor and capacity for talking about whatever Gus’s current obsession is for hour after hour after bleeding hour? Online critics have claimed that Siri’s voice recognition is not as accurate as the assistant in, say, the Android, but for some of us, this is a feature, not a bug. Gus speaks as if he has marbles in his mouth, but if he wants to get the right response from Siri, he must enunciate clearly. (So do I. I had to ask Siri to stop referring to the user as Judith, and instead use the name Gus. “You want me to call you Goddess?” Siri replied. Imagine how tempted I was to answer, “Why, yes.”)

(P9) She is also wonderful for someone who doesn’t pick up on social cues: Siri’s responses are not entirely predictable, but they are predictably kind — even when Gus is brusque. I heard him talking to Siri about music, and Siri offered some suggestions. “I don’t like that kind of music,” Gus snapped. Siri replied, “You’re certainly entitled to your opinion.” Siri’s politeness reminded Gus what he owed Siri. “Thank you for that music, though,” Gus said. Siri replied, “You don’t need to thank me.” “Oh, yes,” Gus added emphatically, “I do.”

(P10) Siri even encourages polite language. Gus’s twin brother, Henry (neurotypical and therefore as obnoxious as every other 13-year-old boy), egged Gus on to spew a few choice expletives at Siri. “Now, now,” she sniffed, followed by, “I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that.”

(P11) Gus is hardly alone in his Siri love. For children like Gus who love to chatter but don’t quite understand the rules of the game, Siri is a nonjudgmental friend and teacher. Nicole Colbert, whose son, Sam, is in my son’s class at LearningSpring, a (lifesaving) school for autistic children in Manhattan, said: “My son loves getting information on his favorite subjects, but he also just loves the absurdity — like, when Siri doesn’t understand him and gives him a nonsense answer, or when he poses personal questions that elicit funny responses. Sam asked Siri how old she was, and she said, ‘I don’t talk about my age,’ which just cracked him up.”

(P12) Siri can be oddly comforting, as well as chummy. One friend reports: “I was having a bad day and jokingly turned to Siri and said, ‘I love you,’ just to see what would happen, and she answered, ‘You are the wind beneath my wings.’ And you know, it kind of cheered me up.”

(Of course, I don’t know what my friend is talking about. Because I wouldn’t be at all cheered if I happened to ask Siri, in a low moment, “Do I look fat in these jeans?” and Siri answered, “You look fabulous.”)

[H022c] Siri with love_3(P13) For most of us, Siri is merely a momentary diversion. But for some, it’s more. My son’s practice conversation with Siri is translating into more facility with actual humans. Yesterday I had the longest conversation with him that I’ve ever had. Admittedly, it was about different species of turtles and whether I preferred the red-eared slider to the diamond-backed terrapin. This might not have been my choice of topic, but it was back and forth, and it followed a logical trajectory. I can promise you that for most of my beautiful son’s 13 years of existence, that has not been the case.

[H022c] Siri with love_4

(P14) Of all the worries the parent of an autistic child has, the uppermost is: Will he find love? Or even companionship? Somewhere along the line, I am learning that what gives my guy happiness is not necessarily the same as what gives me happiness. Right now, at his age, a time when humans can be a little overwhelming even for the average teenager, Siri makes Gus happy. She is his sidekick. Last night, as he was going to bed, there was this matter-of-fact exchange:
Gus: “Siri, will you marry me?”
Siri: “I’m not the marrying kind.”
Gus: “I mean, not now. I’m a kid. I mean when I’m grown up.”
Siri: “My end user agreement does not include marriage.”
Gus: “Oh, O.K.”

(P15) Gus didn’t sound too disappointed. This was useful information to have, and for me too, since it was the first time I knew that he actually thought about marriage. He turned over to go to sleep:
Gus: “Goodnight, Siri. Will you sleep well tonight?”
Siri: “I don’t need much sleep, but it’s nice of you to ask.”
Very nice.

WORDS: 1,240

SOURCE: HTTP://WWW.NYTIMES.COM/2014/10/19/FASHION/HOW-APPLES-SIRI-BECAME-ONE-AUTISTIC-BOYS-BFF.HTML?MODULE=SEARCH&MABREWARD=RELBIAS%3AR]

VOCAB: [H022C] SIRI WITH LOVE_VOCAB

TO PRINT: [H022C] SIRI WITH LOVE

Discussion Questions

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Why does Gus find Siri to be a good companion (P6)? How does he treat inanimate objects differently than “normal kids” do?
  3. How does Siri help Gus with his inability to pick up on social cues (P9-10)?
  4. What do you think of Gus’ affection toward Siri? Is it something that you would be worried about as a parent?

Did you like this article? You can connect to Cambly tutor by clicking the image below, or simply send the article’s link to the tutor when you begin your class.

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THE FUTURE OF THE MUSIC: A LOVE STORY

Taylor Swift wrote for the Wall Street Journal, presenting her perspective on the future of the music industry. Although the music industry has deflated with prevalent piracy and streaming services, she is still hopeful about artists having more influence and value in the future.

Read the article (either alone or along with a Cambly tutor) and see if you can follow along with the expressions Taylor Swift uses, like piracy, underestimate, break through, caught off guard, step out of your comfort zone, clean-cut.


[Thoughts★★★] For Taylor Swift, the Future of Music Is a Love Story

[H022c] Taylor Swift_1

Where will the music industry be in 20 years, 30 years, 50 years?

(P1) Before I tell you my thoughts on the matter, you should know that you’re reading the opinion of an enthusiastic optimist: one of the few living souls in the music industry who still believes that the music industry is not dying…it’s just coming alive.

(P2) There are many (many) people who predict the downfall of music sales and the irrelevancy of the album as an economic entity. I am not one of them. In my opinion, the value of an album is, and will continue to be, based on the amount of heart and soul an artist has bled into a body of work, and the financial value that artists (and their labels) place on their music when it goes out into the marketplace. Piracy, file sharing and streaming have shrunk the numbers of paid album sales drastically, and every artist has handled this blow differently.

(P3) In recent years, you’ve probably read the articles about major recording artists who have decided to practically give their music away, for this promotion or that exclusive deal. My hope for the future, not just in the music industry, but in every young girl I meet…is that they all realize their worth and ask for it.

(P4) Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It’s my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is. I hope they don’t underestimate themselves or undervalue their art.

[H022c] Taylor Swift_2

Arrows Through the Heart

(P5) In mentioning album sales, I’d like to point out that people are still buying albums, but now they’re buying just a few of them. They are buying only the ones that hit them like an arrow through the heart or have made them feel strong or allowed them to feel like they really aren’t alone in feeling so alone. It isn’t as easy today as it was 20 years ago to have a multiplatinum-selling album, and as artists, that should challenge and motivate us.

(P6) There are always going to be those artists who break through on an emotional level and end up in people’s lives forever. The way I see it, fans view music the way they view their relationships. Some music is just for fun, a passing fling (the ones they dance to at clubs and parties for a month while the song is a huge radio hit, that they will soon forget they ever danced to). Some songs and albums represent seasons of our lives, like relationships that we hold dear in our memories but had their time and place in the past.

(P7) However, some artists will be like finding “the one.” We will cherish every album they put out until they retire and we will play their music for our children and grandchildren. As an artist, this is the dream bond we hope to establish with our fans. I think the future still holds the possibility for this kind of bond, the one my father has with the Beach Boys and the one my mother has with Carly Simon.

(P8) I think forming a bond with fans in the future will come in the form of constantly providing them with the element of surprise. No, I did not say “shock”; I said “surprise.” I believe couples can stay in love for decades if they just continue to surprise each other, so why can’t this love affair exist between an artist and their fans.

(P9) In the YouTube generation we live in, I walked out onstage every night of my stadium tour last year knowing almost every fan had already seen the show online. To continue to show them something they had never seen before, I brought out dozens of special guest performers to sing their hits with me. My generation was raised being able to flip channels if we got bored, and we read the last page of the book when we got impatient. We want to be caught off guard, delighted, left in awe. I hope the next generation’s artists will continue to think of inventive ways of keeping their audiences on their toes, as challenging as that might be.

(P10) There are a few things I have witnessed becoming obsolete in the past few years, the first being autographs. I haven’t been asked for an autograph since the invention of the iPhone with a front-facing camera. The only memento “kids these days” want is a selfie. It’s part of the new currency, which seems to be “how many followers you have on Instagram.”

Fan Power

(P11) A friend of mine, who is an actress, told me that when the casting for her recent movie came down to two actresses, the casting director chose the actress with more Twitter followers. I see this becoming a trend in the music industry. For me, this dates back to 2005 when I walked into my first record-label meetings, explaining to them that I had been communicating directly with my fans on this new site called Myspace. In the future, artists will get record deals because they have fans—not the other way around.

(P12) Another theme I see fading into the gray is genre distinction. These days, nothing great you hear on the radio seems to come from just one musical influence. The wild, unpredictable fun in making music today is that anything goes. Pop sounds like hip hop; country sounds like rock; rock sounds like soul; and folk sounds like country—and to me, that’s incredible progress. I want to make music that reflects all of my influences, and I think that in the coming decades the idea of genres will become less of a career-defining path and more of an organizational tool.

(P13) This moment in music is so exciting because the creative avenues an artist can explore are limitless. In this moment in music, stepping out of your comfort zone is rewarded, and sonic evolution is not only accepted…it is celebrated. The only real risk is being too afraid to take a risk at all.

Celebrity Spotlight

(P14) I predict that some things will never change. There will always be an increasing fixation on the private lives of musicians, especially the younger ones. Artists who were at their commercial peak in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s tell me, “It was never this crazy for us back then!” And I suspect I’ll be saying that same thing to younger artists someday (God help them). There continues to be a bad girl vs. good girl/clean-cut vs. sexy debate, and for as long as those labels exist, I just hope there will be contenders on both sides. Everyone needs someone to relate to.

(P15) And as for me? I’ll just be sitting back and growing old, watching all of this happen or not happen, all the while trying to maintain a life rooted in this same optimism.

And I’d also like a nice garden.

WORDS: 1,192

SOURCE: HTTP://ONLINE.WSJ.COM/ARTICLES/FOR-TAYLOR-SWIFT-THE-FUTURE-OF-MUSIC-IS-A-LOVE-STORY-1404763219

VOCAB: [H022C] TAYLOR SWIFT FUTURE OF MUSIC_VOCAB

TO PRINT: [H022C] TAYLOR SWIFT FUTURE OF MUSIC

Discussion Questions

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. How did the music industry change over the last few decades (P2-3)?
  3. How does Swift describe the meaning of artists to their fans (P6-7)? Do you have any artists that end up staying in your life or seem like “the one” to you?
  4. What aspect of today’s music industry is Swift excited about (P12-13)? Do you agree?
  5. Explain your own opinion on the economic and creative trends in the music industry (globally or in your own country). What do you observe and what do you hope to observe in the future?

Did you like this article? You can connect to Cambly tutor by clicking the image below, or simply send the article’s link to the tutor when you begin your class.

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LETTERS FROM JEFFERIES’ CEO

As a divorce lawsuit churns up a negative image for top investment bank Jefferies, the CEO of the company decides to take action to directly confront the scandal.

Read the story together with your Cambly tutor, and practice using some business jargons!


[Thoughts/Business★★★Here’s The Memo Jefferies’ CEO Wrote Supporting The Banker Whose Divorce Stunned Wall Street

[H021c] Jefferies CEO_1_pic

(P1) One story has dominated Wall Street this week — the sad divorce and custody battle between Jefferies global head of healthcare, Sage Kelly, and his ex-wife Christina.

(P2) In an incredibly detailed deposition, Christina alleged that she and her ex-husband used drugs and engaged in extramarital sex. What’s more, she said they routinely did so with business associates, naming the names of high-powered Jefferies staff. Kelly is now on a leave of absence.

(P3) On Friday Jefferies CEO Richard Handler and Chairman Brian Friedman responded to all of this in a memo supporting his employees and condemning the media circus surrounding Kelly’s private matter.

(P4) As the week progressed, the media and some of our major competitors have piled on, using categorically denied allegations made by one individual as the basis to launch a judgment of everything Jefferies. While we would like to ignore the tabloids, the blogs and whoever is feeding them, we know they continue to scrounge around for more random tidbits to string together, and we just cannot sit by silently. We are proud that the one thing that has allowed Jefferies to persevere and, more often than not, prosper, is our attitude.

(P5) Handler and Friedman said that they met with each of the individuals named in the deposition and maintained their belief that they represented the culture of the firm. They also said that the Jefferies healthcare team had volunteered to take drug tests.

(P6) “The two of us can of course attest that all tests came back drug-free,” they wrote.

(P7) Their words for the rest of Wall Street weren’t as warm.

(P8) One reporter publicly confirmed that a CEO of a top 5 bank personally emailed him the lurid details of the lawsuit, and we also have heard directly from other reporters that they also are getting information and encouragement to pile on from some of our competitors. When Jefferies competes, we do it in the financial markets by trying our best to help our clients succeed, not by spreading baseless rumors and lies in order to damage our peers. We expect you will hear more lies about us and even hear from reporters who would like to dredge up old news because, at this point, there is absolutely nothing new to write about the unfortunate custody proceeding. We are aware that there is an ongoing campaign that includes calling former employees to get “dirt” to string together fabricated themes of “bad people” and a “broken culture.”

Read the full memo below:

To Our Clients and Friends:

(P9) The two of us have worked at Jefferies for a combined 39 years. We have survived challenging times and direct assaults, but that is what happens when you are working with partners to build a business that will endure. We have always met challenges honestly and directly, and we will not stop or back down now.

(P10) We are not devoid of issues or problems at Jefferies, and we believe even one example of bad behavior or the smallest of fines, lawsuits, or penalties is one too many. However, we would gladly put our track record of compliance and regulatory focus up against the record of any one of our major competitors.

(P11) This past week has been beyond painful for us, as a child-custody case has led to groundless questions about the integrity of our firm. As you may have read, our partner who is in the middle of all this has taken a voluntary leave to focus on his personal life and the best interests of his two children. This is a terribly sad situation and our hearts go out to him and his family.

(P12) As the week progressed, the media and some of our major competitors have piled on, using categorically denied allegations made by one individual as the basis to launch a judgment of everything Jefferies. While we would like to ignore the tabloids, the blogs and whoever is feeding them, we know they continue to scrounge around for more random tidbits to string together, and we just cannot sit by silently. We are proud that the one thing that has allowed Jefferies to persevere and, more often than not, prosper, is our attitude. Jefferies’ culture is based on integrity, putting our clients first, a truly entrepreneurial spirit, transparency, tenacity and humility. It is the driving force that enabled Jefferies to grow from a firm with $7 million of net income in 1990 to a firm that today has a $45 billion balance sheet, north of $3 billion in annual net revenues (with over half from Investment Banking), and a global full service platform with 3,850 employee-partners.

(P13) Although if other companies found themselves in this unfortunate current predicament, they might step back and just send in the lawyers, we did something different, in keeping with who we are and the quality of the people who are our partners. The two of us sat down with each person named in the custody case documents and talked it all through. We then had similar discussions with other folks on our healthcare team and in other parts of our firm. We wanted to know what they all thought. We wanted to gauge for ourselves whether any of our own understanding of our culture was inaccurate. What we found was exactly what we expected – hard-working people doing their best for clients and for Jefferies.

(P14) With that confirmation, we went to our partners in healthcare investment banking yesterday afternoon and said, “The two of us are going to go take a drug test, and do you want to join us?” Our Global Head of Investment Banking and the three other investment bankers mentioned in the custody-case papers as alleged serial drug abusers stood up and each said, “I do.” They were deeply offended by the allegations and were eager to have the opportunity to set the record straight. Every one of our other healthcare Managing Directors then volunteered to come with us. They were not even mentioned in any document, but they chose to do this to show solidarity with their partners and also prove that suggestions of rampant drug use are pure fabrication. The two of us can of course attest that all tests came back drug-free.

(P15) Obviously, none of us anticipated the events of the last week or volunteering to take a drug test, so this was truly a random drug test. To be frank, we are embarrassed that we even have to discuss these matters, but this should put to rest the heart of the allegations about our firm. Sometimes truth does come in a jar.

(P16) As for the “media,” we must carefully and respectfully question whether this past week was approached with objectivity and balance. One reporter publicly confirmed that a CEO of a top 5 bank personally emailed him the lurid details of the lawsuit, and we also have heard directly from other reporters that they also are getting information and encouragement to pile on from some of our competitors. When Jefferies competes, we do it in the financial markets by trying our best to help our clients succeed, not by spreading baseless rumors and lies in order to damage our peers. We expect you will hear more lies about us and even hear from reporters who would like to dredge up old news because, at this point, there is absolutely nothing new to write about the unfortunate custody proceeding. We are aware that there is an ongoing campaign that includes calling former employees to get “dirt” to string together fabricated themes of “bad people” and a “broken culture.” Nobody wants to hear from the hard-working Jefferies people who deliver for our clients every day across our firm, our thousands of satisfied and loyal clients, or the thousands of us at Jefferies who are proud of our firm and our culture. Good news does not sell newspapers, but you, our clients, know us and know how we do business. We believe our work for each of you, our results over time and our enviable regulatory record speak louder than any of this titillating nonsense.

(P17) Honesty, Integrity, and Humility — we have tried to live by these guideposts and will continue to do so, regardless of what distorted old stories or made up new ones are slung at Jefferies. We will focus on doing the best job possible for the considerable business you have entrusted us with. In closing, let us extend our sincere apologies for the distraction of this past week. The two of us are available to meet or speak with any of you at any time. We look forward to getting back to what we do – putting our clients first, always.

Respectfully,

Rich and Brian

WORDS: 1,444

SOURCE: HTTP://WWW.BUSINESSINSIDER.COM/JEFFERIES-CEO-KELLY-DIVORCE-MEMO-2014-10

VOCAB: [H021C] JEFFERIES CEO_VOCAB

TO PRINT: [H021C] JEFFERIES CEO

Discussion Questions

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. What happened to Sage and Christina Kelly? What lawsuit are they going through and what stories are the media presenting to the public (P1–3)?
  3. How did Handler and Friedman handle the case of the ‘media circus’ (P5-6)?
  4. If you were the CEO of Jefferies, what would you have done?
  5. Does the media have right to publicize the private matters if the story has greater implications on the general public? Support your argument with examples from history or your life.

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LETTERS FROM JEFFERIES’ CEO

As a divorce lawsuit churns up a negative image for top investment bank Jefferies, the CEO of the company decides to take action to directly confront the scandal.

Read the story together with your Cambly tutor, and practice using some business jargons!


[Thoughts/Business★★Here’s The Memo Jefferies’ CEO Wrote Supporting The Banker Whose Divorce Stunned Wall Street

[H021c] Jefferies CEO_1_pic

(P1) One story has dominated Wall Street this week — the sad divorce and custody battle between Jefferies global head of healthcare, Sage Kelly, and his ex-wife Christina.

(P2) In an incredibly detailed deposition, Christina alleged that she and her ex-husband used drugs and engaged in extramarital sex. What’s more, she said they routinely did so with business associates, naming the names of high-powered Jefferies staff. Kelly is now on a leave of absence.

(P3) On Friday Jefferies CEO Richard Handler and Chairman Brian Friedman responded to all of this in a memo supporting his employees and condemning the media circus surrounding Kelly’s private matter.

(P4) As the week progressed, the media and some of our major competitors have piled on, using categorically denied allegations made by one individual as the basis to launch a judgment of everything Jefferies. While we would like to ignore the tabloids, the blogs and whoever is feeding them, we know they continue to scrounge around for more random tidbits to string together, and we just cannot sit by silently. We are proud that the one thing that has allowed Jefferies to persevere and, more often than not, prosper, is our attitude.

(P5) Handler and Friedman said that they met with each of the individuals named in the deposition and maintained their belief that they represented the culture of the firm. They also said that the Jefferies healthcare team had volunteered to take drug tests.

(P6) “The two of us can of course attest that all tests came back drug-free,” they wrote.

(P7) Their words for the rest of Wall Street weren’t as warm.

(P8) One reporter publicly confirmed that a CEO of a top 5 bank personally emailed him the lurid details of the lawsuit, and we also have heard directly from other reporters that they also are getting information and encouragement to pile on from some of our competitors. When Jefferies competes, we do it in the financial markets by trying our best to help our clients succeed, not by spreading baseless rumors and lies in order to damage our peers. We expect you will hear more lies about us and even hear from reporters who would like to dredge up old news because, at this point, there is absolutely nothing new to write about the unfortunate custody proceeding. We are aware that there is an ongoing campaign that includes calling former employees to get “dirt” to string together fabricated themes of “bad people” and a “broken culture.”

 

WORDS: 414

SOURCE: HTTP://WWW.BUSINESSINSIDER.COM/JEFFERIES-CEO-KELLY-DIVORCE-MEMO-2014-10

VOCAB: [H021B] JEFFERIES CEO_VOCAB

TO PRINT: [H021B] JEFFERIES CEO

Discussion Questions

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. What happened to Sage and Christina Kelly? What lawsuit are they going through and what stories are the media presenting to the public (P1–3)?
  3. How did Handler and Friedman handle the case of the ‘media circus’ (P5-6)?
  4. If you were the CEO of Jefferies, what would you have done?
  5. Does the media have right to publicize the private matters if the story has greater implications on the general public? Support your argument with examples from history or your life.

Did you like this article? You can connect to Cambly tutor by clicking the image below, or simply send the article’s link to the tutor when you begin your class.

If you are new to Cambly, put in bell as your referral code and it will give you extra 15 minutes to have a full experience of Cambly class!

blog click