Finally I’m Hip[1]

This morning my daughter Kim said to me, “Hey, Mom, you’re finally hip!”  Over the years she has referred to2 me in many ways, but never as hip.  As a teenager she often told me I was too strict3 because I insisted on certain hours4 for her and her brother to return from places, or because I always wanted to be sure of exactly where they were going.  She still teases5 me about being old fashioned6 about standards of manners7, good behavior8 etc. (though I notice she now follows those standards herself in many respects.)  So I was really shocked9 when she actually referred to me as “hip,” so shocked that I went to my trusty10 dictionary to see if there was a new meaning I perhaps have missed11.  No, it still means the same as it did12 in 1904 when it entered Webster’s dictionary13 for the first time:  “characterized by a keen informed awareness of or involvement in the newest developments or styles.”


My answer to her was, “Good for me! But how do I happen to be ‘hip’ now after all these years of being old fashioned as far as you’re concerned? 14  She then showed me what she was reading on line15, which was a long article on how hip knitting has become16.  Well, I could have told her that.  All I have to do is look at the latest women’s magazines, my knitting magazines etc. to demonstrate that.17  It is an interesting and heartwarming trend18 as far as I’m concerned19 because I love to knit; in fact I love it so much that my friends and family have teased me about it over the years.  Finally I am justified20!


My mother and grandmothers were not knitters21.  They did other handwork22 but not knitting.  I really wanted to learn how, so when I was an undergraduate23 in college and made a friend who knew how to knit I prevailed24 on her to teach me, and then my love affair with knitting25 began.  By the time I went to graduate school I was an avid26 knitter and could make complicated27 sweaters, socks etc.  At that time I also met Don, who played on the university basketball team.  As a busy graduate student28, I didn’t have much time for knitting, so I would take it with me when I went to basketball games to see him play.  (Frankly29, I was much more a fan of knitting than of basketball, but if Don and I were to go out after the game I should have been there.)  Well, I horrified30 and embarrassed31 his father and brothers by knitting during the game.  Nonetheless32, they cheerfully33 accepted me into the family when Don proposed34 marriage.  I became known throughout his family as “the knitter.”  Don’s father always liked me because I would sit and knit while he recounted stories from his youth35, stories which I heard many times and which were knitted into the stitches36 of the things I created.


For many years knitting was not popular, but that has certainly changed.  After the 9-11 terrorist attacks37 on the U.S. it seems that people wanted to go back to some of the old, comforting ways, and that has included knitting.  I agree that there is something comforting38 about the rhythmic repetition39 of knitting and the sense of accomplishment one has as the ball of yarn40 turns into a pretty and useful item.  I read an article in a woman’s magazine this past week about knitting as a “stress buster41.”  I could have told them that years ago.42   When I first started my career of college teaching, we used to have to go to monthly faculty meetings43.  I didn’t enjoy them and often thought them a waste of time44, so I started taking my knitting.  That surprised most of the other professors, but since no administrator45 ever said anything to me because of it, I continued it for my whole teaching career46 and felt that something positive finally came from faculty meetings.  I hear that now other people knit at faculty meetings that I no longer have to attend.  Good for them!


I have rambled on47 long enough.  After all, I could be knitting.  I’m trying to finish a sweater for the daughter of our visiting Chinese professor from Zhejiang University.  I want to give it to her for Christmas.  Tomorrow I’ll also attend a group knitting session of knitters of all ages.  We’re all hip.



1. hip: doing things or done according to the latest fashion (新潮的,时髦的).

2. referred to: thought of, or regarded as (提到,称之为).

3. strict: expecting people to obey rules or to do what you say (严格的).

4. certain hours: particular time (特定的时间).

5. teases: laugh at someone and make jokes in order to have fun by embarrassing them (取笑).

6. old fashioned: not modern, not up to date (老派,不时髦).

7. standards of manners: 举止标准

8. behavior: the way one acts in public; ones conduct (行为,举止).

9. shocked: quite surprised or amazed (震惊,惊愕).

10. trusty: reliable (信得过的,靠得住的).

11. have missed: have failed to hear or understand (没听说,不理解).

12. as it did in 1904: as it meant in 1904 (正如这个字在1904年时的意思).

13. Websters dictionary: 韦氏词典

14. But how do I happen to be hip now after all these years of being old fashioned as far as youre concerned?: 在你看来我老派了那么多年,现在我怎么新潮了呢?

15. on line: connected to the Internet (联网地,在网上进行地).

16. how hip knitting has become:编织变得如何新潮

17. All I have to do is look at the latest womens magazines, my knitting magazines etc. to demonstrate that:要证明这一点我只需看看最新的妇女杂志、我的编织杂志这类刊物就行了。

18. heart warming trend: a cheerful or sympathetic change in direction (令人高兴、可喜的潮流).

19. as far as Im concerned: as I think or believe about something (就我而言,以我之见).

20. justified: proven right; correct in the matter (证明是对的).

21. knitters: people who knit.

22. handwork: a product made by hand (手工活).

23. undergraduate:大学生

24. prevailed on her: convinced or persuaded her (说服她,劝说她).

25. my love affair with knitting: my strong enjoyment of knitting (我对编织的热爱).

26. avid: 热衷的

27. complicated:复杂的

28. graduate student:研究生

29. frankly: truthfully (坦率地)

30. horrified: made someone feel very shocked and upset or afraid (令人震惊).

31. embarrassed: caused someone to feel uncomfortable or ill at ease (令人尴尬).

32. nonetheless: however

33. cheerfully: happily, with merriment.

34. proposed marriage: asked a person for marriage (提出结婚).

35. recounted stories from his youth: told someone stories of earlier experiences (讲述年轻时的故事).

36. knitted into the stitches:编织到一针针的织物里去了

37. 9-11 terrorist attacks: the bombing of New York Trade Centers and Washington D.C. by an organized group of anti-American s on September 11, 2001 (911 恐怖袭击).

38. comforting: making one feel less worried, unhappy, or upset (令人宽慰的).

39. rhythmic repetition: process of doing something with a stylistic pattern of action (有节奏的重复动作).

40. ball of yarn: a round, tightly wound length of yarn that can be easily and conveniently used for knitting an item (毛线团).

41. stress buster: something that can relieve stress, or cause to relax (能消除紧张的东西).

42. I could have told them that years ago: 很多年以前我就能告诉他们这一点。Could have told 是虚拟语气。

43. monthly faculty meetings (每个月的教工会): members of a faculty or group of teachers discussing and acting upon academic and governance issues of a school, college or university.

44. a waste of time:  浪费时间

45. administrator: a person in a position of leadership (行政官员).

46. teaching career: 教学事业

47. ramble on: talk or write for a long time in a way that other people find boring (啰里啰嗦地讲、写).



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