They had learned English, mastered American civics, undergone extensive background checks and adapted to a new culture.
But this group of 1,000 new US citizens had waited too long for this day to be expected to file into orderly lines for their freshly printed citizenship certificates.
Smiling broadly and waving small American flags, they swamped tables at Saint Louis University’s Chaifetz Arena to claim the piece of paper certifying their new status.
“It’s the best thing that could happen to anybody. My family have been crossing their fingers, waiting for this day,” said Jude Patrick Okafor, 47, from Nigeria. “You have a choice. You’re free. You can aspire to anything you want to be. It gives you confidence and self-worth. In Nigeria, you’re more like a number.”
B.J. Malek, 52, of Jordan, said he was so excited, “I feel like it’s my birthday today.” The suburban St. Louis gas station owner said his struggles to learn English kept him from passing the citizenship test the first time, but he persevered.
The new citizens could trace their backgrounds to more than 100 countries. The majority were from India (16 percent), Bosnia (15 percent) and China (seven percent).
The reasons they sought US citizenship ranged from seeking work here to fleeing war in their home country.
Nedim Ramic, a 26-year-old who came to St. Louis in 1999 as a Bosnian refugee, said he’s feeling “overwhelmed with all these great things coming together at the same time.”
He graduated from Saint Louis University’s School of Law in May, passed the Missouri bar exam and became a citizen all in the same week.(AP)
1. civics n.
公民學 (gong1 min2 xue2)
例: Hannah believes the study of civics is very important.
2. certificate n.
證明書 (zheng4 ming2 shu1)
例: Dale was delighted to receive his graduation certificate.
3. aspire v.i.
嚮往 (xiang4 wang3)
例: Henry had aspired to be a doctor since he was in elementary school.
4. refugee n.
難民 (nan4 min2)
例: The war created several thousand refugees.
cross your fingers
When you cross your fingers for somebody, you hope they will be successful. In the article Jude Patrick Okafor’s family hoped he would be successful in getting his US citizenship.
For example: “When Lisa entered the county horse trials, her family sat in the bleachers with their fingers crossed hoping she would win,” or “Fingers crossed, Les will pass his driving test.”
當你為某人「cross your fingers」，表示你希望他們能成功。文章中，裘德．派屈克．歐卡佛的家人希望他能成功拿到美國公民的身份
Phil: If you could become a citizen of any country in the world, which one would you choose?
Walter: That’s a tough question. I think I would probably choose to become a citizen of Brazil.
Phil: Cool! Why would you choose Brazil?
Walter: Well, I love Brazilian barbecues. And the weather in Brazil is great too.
Phil: Any other reasons?
Walter: Yeah. The carnival and the beaches look out of this world!
out of this world 極好的
If something is out of this world, it’s really amazing. For example: “The latest Batman movie is out of this world. You have to see it.”
如果某事「out of this world」，就表示它好得令人吃驚。例如：「最新的蝙蝠俠電影棒極了！你一定要去看！」
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