1. The facilities and skills of the teachers were probably well above average for the United States at that time. —— The facilities and skills of the teachers were perhaps much better than those in most schools in………学校的设施、教师的水平在当时的美国要远远高于平均水平。
well： adv. quite， rather
The work is well done. 这件工作干得很好。
It's well past midnight， I think it’s more time you went home.早过了午夜，我想你该回家了。
2. ………how much I don't yet know. ——how much I don’t know up till now.我至今依然不了解的东西太多。
yet： at this point in time
3.Sometimes I think how grateful I would be today if I had learned more back then about what really matters.——I would be grateful today if I had learned more at high school about things that are really important.有时候， 我想那时要是能多学点真正重要的东西，那么今天我会多么地心存感激。
I would be ………if I had learned 虚拟语气， 主句表示现在，从句表示过去
I would not be so sleepy if I had slept well last night.
back then： back in my high school days
what really matters： what is important matter is used as a verb——
eg： Does it matter much whether he will not pass the exams？ 他能否通过考试是否很重要？
4.in some respects……； the only thing I ever heard in school about Napoleon was that the U.S made the Louisiana Purchase from him.
In some respects在某些方面；in respect of就某方面
5.On a planet where some 95% of the inhabitants are not Americans， the only history that was thought worth teaching was American history.——The population of the US accounts for only about 5% of that of the world. But in my high school days taught American history only because it was thought that the history of other countries was not important for Americans to learn.在一个约95%的居民不是美国人的星球上，学校当局认为只有美国历史才值得讲授。（此处作者也是委婉批评了美国教育部门的狭隘与偏见。）some： about； approximately
worth teaching——be worth doing值得做
6.Perhaps all the deficiencies have since been rectified.——Perhaps schools have overcome all the shortcomings and improved greatly since I left school.或许自那以后，该教而没有教的缺陷已经得到了纠正。
This disease is caused by Vitamin D deficiency.
He left home in 1980 and has not been heard of since.他于1980年离家，此后便音信全无。
7. ……often more a matter of attitude and perception than the simple memorization of facts………——Students should not merely be taught facts to memorize， but they should also be taught to cultivate their ability to judge what is happening around them and take the right attitude towards this.（该教的）与其说是简单的对事实的记忆问题，还不如说是态度问题。
For me， music is more a way of life than an interest.对我来说，音乐与其说是一种爱好，还不如说是一种生活方式。
matter， n. （讨论、考虑的）问题
a matter of principle原则问题 a matter of time时间问题 a matter of opinion看法问题
a matter of life and death生死攸关问题
8.That's one of the few things that we do better than the other species on our planet. In most things man’s fellow creatures on earth are better， but in learning man does better.这是人类在这个星球上比其他物种做得好些的为数有限的几件事中的一件。
9. Every student should regularly experience the “Aha！”when something you never understood， or something you never knew was a mystery， becomes clear.——Students should be constantly learning new things so that they can experience the joy of learning and of discovering things they didn't know or understand before.每个学生都应该经常体验一下说出“啊，原来是这么一回事！”时的感受——也就是你以往不懂的事情，一下子变得豁然开朗时的感受。
Aha：Ah， I see！ /Now I understand！
10. The Greek philosopher Socrates said this was one of the greatest of human joys， and it is.
of the greatest of human joys： “the+ 形容词最高级+名词”的用法：the most beautiful of the places最美的地方
the greatest of scientists最伟大的科学家 the best of my friends我最要好的朋友
and it is： learning is still one of the greatest of human joys today
11. While you learn a little bit about many subjects， make sure you learn a great deal about one or two.——On the one hand， you should have a wide scope of knowledge； on the other hand， you should learn one or two subjects thoroughly.
make sure：to do sth. in order to be sure that sth. else happens
eg： We'll do our best to make sure that everything is ready before the sportsmeet.
12.It hardly matters what the subject is， as long as it deeply interest you， and you place it in its broader human context.
It hardly matters what： 句型“it +否定词 + matter（s） + wh-”eg：
It doesn't matter how you do it as long as you finish it on time.你如何做并不重要，但只要按时完成。
as long as： so long as： （表示条件）只要
You will succeed as long as you work hard.
We will be able to understand why this event happened if we see it in its historical context.如果我们能够从该事件的历史背景来考虑，就能理解事件为何发生。
13.But don't get trapped by the first subject that interest you， or the first thing you find yourself good at.——But you shouldn’t limit your study to anything that attracts you immediately or anything you first find yourself good at不要把自己的学习限制在最初吸你的范围或者你最初擅长的范围。
Be/get trapped： to be in a bad situation someone from escaping from dangerous place陷于，被困于
More than 50 miners got trapped in the pit following yesterday's explosion.50多名矿工在昨天的爆炸发生后被困在矿井中。
get trapped： （fig.）to get so deeply involved that one finds it hard to be interested in anything else
They got trapped when they were doing the experiment
14. The answers can be a gateway to real insights.
a gateway to——通向——途径；获得——手段
A good education can be a gateway to success.良好的教育是获得成功的手段。
The Suez Canal is a gateway to Europe from East Asia.苏伊士运河是从亚洲通向欧洲的通道。
15. And don't confine your learning to schoolwork.不要把自己局限于课堂
They managed to confine Sars to a definite area.他们设法将“非典”控制在一定的范围。
16. It's much braver to ask questions even when there’s a prospect of ridicule than to suppress your questions and become deadened to the world around you. 明知会引起嘲笑而提问要比把问题埋在心里、对周围的一切变得麻木不仁要勇敢得多。
prospect ：something that you expect or know is going to happen预料会发生的事
He doesn't like the prospect of having to live alone.他将不得不独居，这事他可不喜欢
become deadened to sth.对——变得麻木
He has become deadened to failures， for he has experienced so many.
Deaden sb. to sth.使——对——麻木
17. Many conversations are a kind of competition that rarely leads to discovery on either side.——Often， when people talk they show off： they try to show they are smarter， or that they know more than the person they are talking to； this kind of conversation gives you nu useful information or understanding.经常，人们谈话时总是争相表现自己，这类谈话对双方都无多大益处。
Lead to ：to result in； to bring about通向；导致
All roads lead to Rome.
Hard work can lead to success.
18. …。try to understand………what you can learn from or about them
——try to learn something from what they say， or try to find out the kind of person they are.而是设法搞懂他们说的是什么，什么样的经历才能使他们说这些话，你从这些话中能学到什么，你对说这些话的人又能了解到什么情况等。
19.The only embarrassment is in not learning from your mistakes.
Be in： lie in/exist in 在于；存在于
The cause of the accident was（lay/existed） in the drinking of the driver.事故的原因在于驾驶员喝酒了
20……often for some short-term advantage when the long term implications are unknown.——often for some quick profit now， when you don't know possible harm or danger might arise in the future.我们往往为了短期的利益，在尚不了解（这些做法）长远影响的情况下——
The citizens of any country should have at least something to say about the direction in which we are doing.——All people in the world have the right at least to express their views on the future of our planet.任何一个国家的公民至少对我们人类要走向何处有发言权。
Have sth. to say： have a say， have a right to make a decision about sth.
21.This is a deflation of our pretensions， to be sure. （链接）……——Undoubtedly， to accept the fact that the earth is not the center of the universe is the shatter the importance of human beings.毫无疑问，这就挫杀了我们人类的傲气。
to be sure：undoubtedly， certainly， of course “to do……”在此处是个独立成分，修饰全句，此类不定式短语可放在句首，也可置于句尾。
to tell you the truth； to be frank； to be honest etc.
22. ……——far from being the center of the universe，……
far from： 远非；根本不
The result of the exams are far from his parents' expectation. 考试的结果远出他父母的预料。
What he said was far from the truth.他所说的远非事实。
23. Gain some exposure to （链接）the great works of literature， art and music.——Read the great works of literature， and get to know art and music and gain some insight into the profound thoughts in them.感受一下文学、艺术和音乐名篇的熏陶。
exposure to： 接触——，感受——的熏陶；受到——的影响
Living in Europe for a year， she gained some exposure to western culture.在欧洲生活了一年，她接触了一些西方文化。
Be exposed to 接触；受影响
Have you ever been exposed to ancient Chinese culture？
24. If such a work is hundreds or thousands of years old and is still admired， there is probably something to it.既然一部作品已存在了几百年或者几千年， 今天仍然受到赞赏，那么它大概确实是有些名堂。
Eg： If I said that， I didn't mean to hurt anyone.如果我说过这话，但我的本意并不想伤害任何人。
there is something to/in： 确有道理、见地、不同凡响之处
There is something to what he just said.他刚才说的话很有见地。
25. ……it may takea little work on your part to discover what all the fuss is about.——you have to make some effort to find out why people admire and are crazy about those works of the past.
it takes effort/energy， etc. To do sth. ： it needs or requires the specified amount， quality or action for a person to complete a certain task or process to do sth.
eg： It takes courage to ask “stupid” questions.
It takes two to make a quarrel.
Cf： It takes sb. Time to do sth.
It took him two years to write the book.
26. In a world as tightly connected as ours is， don't restrict your attention to American or Western culture.——In our age， countries and regions are closely related； what happens in one country or region can affect others. Therefore we should not only study American culture and Western culture. We should also pay attention to other cultures——Asian， African and Latin American.
In a world as tightly connected as ours is：在介词短语“in a world……”中，过去分词短语as tightly connected as ours is 起形容词作用，作定语，修饰a world； 在as……as 表示形容词同级比较的结构中，第二个as引出比较从句ours is
restrict oneself/sb./sth. （to sth./ doing sth.）： to put a limit on
Families in China are generally restricted to （having） one child.中国家庭一般只允许生一个孩子。
Nowadays women are no longer restricted to domestic work.当今妇女不再只限于做家务活。
27. Humans are capable of great mutual compassion， love， and tenderness.
be capable of sth/doing sth.： be able to do有能力做某事；有潜力做某事
He is capable of overcoming the difficulties.他有能力克服困难。
Under the leadership of our Party and our governments， we are capable of winning the battle against Sars.在党和政府的领导下，我们有能力取得抗击Sars这场战役的胜利。
28. Look at the delight a one-or two-year-old takes in learning， and you see how powerful is the human will to learn.
Look……，and： do sth. and you （will）： 如果——，你就会——，这里该句型相当于条件从句。
Eg： Work hard and you will pass the exam. 如果你努力学习，你就会通过考试。
Show me the evidence and I will believe you.如果你拿来证据，我就相信你。
take （a） delight in sth. /doing sth.以——为乐
eg： The old man takes great delight in playing chess.这位老人从下棋中得到很大乐趣。
We should never take delight in others' failures.我们不应该对别人的失败而幸灾乐祸。
see的宾语从句how powerful is the human will to learn 是倒装句，由于主语the human will to learn较长而置于系动词is之后。
29. Our passion to understand the universe and our compassion for others jointly provide the chief hope for the human race.——We have a strong desire for learning and we are kind and tender towards one another. With these two fine qualities， the human race will have a bright future.我们有渴望了解宇宙的热忱，我们有对他人的同情心，人类的希望主要寄托于此。
passion热忱；激情 compassion 同情心， 作者在此用了passion 与compassion 两个谐音词来表达他对人类的希望。谐音词是一种修辞手法，用来取得一定效果。
provide sth. or sb. For sb. Or sth./ provide sb. Or sth. with ……： to supply sb. With……
eg： Our school has provided every teacher with a notebook computer.
The organization provided a lot of food and clothes for the children.