The Windmill by Kenneth Weller

Today I have a guest blogger1.  He is Dr. Kenneth Weller, retired president2 of Central College3.  He is a good representative4 of what many of us Americans do after we retire5:  we volunteer6 in different ways to help different organizations in which we have an interest.  He will now explain his volunteerism7.


I am a volunteer guide8.  I show people around and explain the working9 of a huge Dutch windmill10.  It is a reproduction11 of one built in the Netherlands12 150 years ago.  In fact, it was designed and built by descendants13 of a family of millmakers14 who have been fashioning15 mills for four generations16.  You may be surprised to learn that although it was built recently in the Netherlands it was taken apart and reassembled17 and now stands where I live in the middle of the United States, in Pella, Iowa.


Pella, Iowa, has a strong and continuing relationship with the Netherlands and its people reaching back over 150 years to the first settlers who came directly from the Netherlands to Pella in much the same way that others came to different locations in the US from Africa, Asia, Europe, and all over the world.


When I show people around Pella’s authentic18 Dutch mill which soars19 high above the highest rooftops, I tell them that it is more than a tourist attraction20; it is a museum.  I hope that they enjoy it, but as a museum it also should teach them something about the past that will shed light21 on problem areas22 of today such as immigration management23 and sustainable energy24.


As people of Pella25 we acknowledge26 in our museum, our architecture27, our gardens and our customs28 that we are connected with another ancient culture.  We offer a symbolic29 way to all Americans as a reminder of their own personal connections30 with some other culture or mixture of cultures that go back many centuries31 and lend meaning to their lives32.  As we read in today’s newspapers of our struggles33 with managing immigration, we cannot forget that almost all Americans are the descendants of immigrants, and therein lie both challenge and opportunity34.


The same newspapers are filled with concerns for finding environmentally friendly, sustainable sources of energy35.  Visitors to the mill will experience in the swishing36 of the arms37 and the rumbling38 of the immense grind stones39 the simple but astounding40 potential41 inherent in42 new adaptations43 of simple ancient methods for capturing power from the wind44.


And so, if you are in Pella, Iowa, look for a little old, round man45 with a blue cap and a big smile.  I will entertain46 you and challenge47 you to look for wisdom of the past for solving problems of today.  But if you don’t plan to come to Iowa, I am sure that if you look around wherever you are, you will find someone else volunteering just like me. 



1. guest blogger (特邀写博客者): a person who does not usually write blogs, but who has written this blog because he knows the details and is willing to share them.

2. president: the chief administrative officer of a college (校长).

3. Central College: a small liberal arts college located in Pella, Iowa.

4. representative: a person who speaks for or serves as an example of a larger group (代表).

5. retire: leave a place of employment or a career after having served for a given period of time ( 退休).

6. volunteer: offer ones time or service to help in some activity or endeavor (做义工).

7. volunteerism: 义工服务

8. volunteer guide: one who leads a group through a tour of a place, a museum, etc. without being paid to do so (义务导游).

9. working: the way something such as a system, piece of equipment, or organization works (运行、工作方式).

10. Dutch windmill [荷兰风车()]: a type of wind driven set of machines designed in the Netherlands by Dutch  people who specialize in constructing these machines which may produce power to do jobs such as to grind grain, pump water, produce electrical power, etc.

11. reproduction: an exact copy of another thing, i.e. in this instance, a windmill copied from a preexisting windmill in the Netherlands (仿制品、复制品).

12. Netherlands: the country, also called Holland, where the residents are called Dutch (荷兰).

13. descendents: people who have come from a direct line of ancestors (后裔、后代).

14. millmakers: workmen who are skilled in the making of windmills (风车房制造者).

15. fashioning: shape or make something, using your hands or only a few tools (手工制作).

16. generations:代

17. reassembled: put together again from pieces which had previously been part of a whole (重新组装).

18. authentic: genuine or real (地地道道的).

19. soars: flies or glides in the air, or is located high above the ground (高耸).

20. tourist attraction: something which draws the attention of tourists (吸引旅游者的景点).

21. shed light (on): make something easier to understand, by providing new or better information (使……更容易理解).

22. problem areas: things which cause difficulties or challenges for a group of people or a nation, etc. (存在问题的方方面面).

23. immigration management: 移民管理

24. sustainable energy:可持续使用的能源

25. Pella: the name of a city in south central Iowa, founded by a group of immigrants from the Netherlands about 1846 (美国爱荷华州中南部的一个城镇).

26. acknowledge: 承认……的重要性.

27. architecture: a specific type or style of building pattern or design of houses, etc. (建筑风格).

28. customs: practices of a given group of people; the way in which a group behaves in expressing their cultural heritage (风俗习惯).

29. symbolic: characterized by exhibiting or using ways that are representative of a group (有象征意义的).

30. personal connections with: 个人与……的关系

31. centuries: (许多) 世纪

32. lend meaning to their lives: 为他们的生活增添了意义

33. struggles: difficulties or problems which people must deal with.

34. therein lie both challenge and opportunity: challenge and opportunity come from the situation (that almost all Americans are the descendants of immigrants) [(几乎所有美国人都是移民的后代,) 挑战和机遇都是由此而产生的].

35. finding environmentally friendly, sustainable sources of energy: 找到对环境有利、可持续利用的能源

36. swishing: a noise associated with the movement of something through the air (嗖嗖的声音).

37. arms: the sails or the extended flat portions of a windmill which catch the movement of the wind, and thus are rotated (风车的转动臂).

38. rumbling: the loud, low pitched noise of machinery or other items being moved about (隆隆声).

39. grind stones: 石磨的磨盘.

40. astounding:惊人的

41. potential: 潜能,潜力

42. inherent in : 在……固有的

43. adaptations: small changes made in something (变化,改变).

44. simple ancient methods for capturing power from the wind: 从风力中获取能量的简单又古老的方法

45. round man: a colloquial way of indicating a fat person, or a person who is rather wide, but not very tall (圆滚滚或矮墩墩的男人).

46. entertain: furnish or show something of interest to another person or persons (接待).

47. challenge: cause another person to respond to something said or asked (提问,盘问).




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