OG Test 3 - Passage III

Questions 21-30 are based on the following passage.

HUMANITIES: This passage is adapted from the essay "My Life with a Field Guide" by Diana Kappel-Smith (©2002 by Phi Beta Kappa Society).
I was seventeen when it started. My family was on
vacation, and one day we went on a nature walk led by
a young man a few years older than I. Probably I
wanted to get his attention-I'm sure I did-so I
5pointed to a flower and asked, "What's that?"
"Hmmm? Oh, just an aster," he said.
Was there a hint of a sniff as he turned away?
There was! It was just an aster and I was just a total
10And I remember the aster. Its rays were a brilliant
purple, its core a dense coin of yellow velvet. It focused
light as a crystal will. It faced the sun; it was the sun's
Later that day, a book with a green cover lay on
15the arm of a chair under an apple tree. It was the same
volume that our guide had carried as he marched us
through the woods. The book had been left there, by
itself. It was a thing of power. In the thin summer
shadow of the tree, quivering, like a veil, the book was
20revealed, and I reached for it. A FIELD GUIDE TO
cover said. Its backside was ruled like a measuring
tape, its inside was full of drawings of flowers. By the
end of that week I had my own copy. I have it still.
25Over the next several years this field guide would
become my closest companion, a slice of worldview, as
indispensable as eyes or hands. I didn't arrive at this
intimacy right away, however. This wasn't going to be
an easy affair for either of us.
30I'll give you an example of how it went. After I'd
owned the Peterson's for about a week, I went on a hike
with some friends up a little mountain, taking the book
along. Halfway up the mountain, there by the trailside
was a yellow flower, a nice opportunity to take my new
35guide for a test drive. "Go on ahead!" I said to my
hiking companions, "I'll be a minute ... " Famous last
I had already figured out the business of the
book's colored tabs. I turned in an authoritative way to
40the Yellow part and began to flip through. By the time
the last of my friends had disappeared up the trail,
I'd arrived at a page where things looked right. Five
petals? Yes. Pinnate leaves? Whatever. Buttercup?
There are, amazingly, eleven buttercups. Who would
45have thought? However hard I tried to make it so, my
item was not one of them. Next page. Aha! this looked
more like it. Bushy cinquefoil? Nope, leaves not quiiite
right, are they? As the gnats descended, I noticed that
there were six more pages ahead, each packed with
50five-petaled yellow flowers-St. Johnsworts, loose-
strifes, puccoons
Why I persisted in carrying it around and consult­-
ing its crowded pages at every opportunity, I have no
idea. The book was stubborn; well, I was stubborn, too;
55that was part of it. And I had no choice, really, not if I
wanted to get in. A landscape may be handsome in the
aggregate, but this book led to the particulars, and
that's what I wanted. A less complete guide would have
been easier to start with, but more frustrating in the
60end. A more complete book would have been impossi­-
ble for me to use. So I persisted in wrestling with the
Peterson's, and thus by slow degrees the crowd of plant
stuff in the world became composed of individuals.
As it did, the book changed: its cover was stained by
65water and snack food, the spine grew invitingly lax, and
some of the margins sprouted cryptic annotations.
By the time the next summer came, I had fully dis­-
covered the joy of the hunt, and every new species had
its trophy of data-name and place and date-to be
70jotted down. If I'd found a flower before, I was happy
to see it again. I often addressed it with enthusiasm: Hi
there, Solidago hispida! I discovered early on that a
plant's Latin name is a name of power by which the
plant can be uniquely identified among different spoken
75tongues, across continents, and through time. The
genus name lashes it firmly to its closest kin, while its
species name describes a personal attribute-rubrum
meaning red, officinale meaning medicinal, odoratus
meaning smelly, and so on. It all makes such delightful
My friend Julie and I identified individual plants
in our rambles, but from the particulars we began to
know wholes. Bogs held one community, montane
forests held ah.other, and the plants they held in
85common were clues to intricate dramas of climate
change and continental drift. So from plant communi­-
ties it followed that the grand schemes of things, when
they came our way, arrived rooted in real place and per­-
sonal experience: quaternary geology, biogeography,
90evolutionary biology all lay on the road that we had
begun to travel

Question 21

The passage is best described as being told from the point of view of someone who is:

  • A tracing her developing interest in identifying flow­ers and in the natural world.

  • B reexamining the event that led her to a lifelong fascination with asters.

  • C reviewing her relationships with people who have shared her interest in flowers

  • D describing how her hobby of identifying flowers became a profitable career

Question 22

As portrayed by the author, the young man responded to her question about the flower with what is best described as:

  • F acceptance.

  • G surprise.

  • H condescension.·

  • J anger.

Question 23

What name, if any, does the author report assigning to the yellow flower she came across during a mountain hike?

  • A St. Johnswort

  • B Loosestrife

  • C Puccoon

  • D The passage doesn't name the flower.

Question 24

Looking back at her early experiences with the Peterson's, the author most strongly implies

  • F daunting at fitst, but in retrospect preferable to either a more or a less complete guide.

  • G easy to use in the beginning, but more frustrating in the end than a more complete guide would have been.

  • H impossible for her to follow until she started pair­ing it with a different guide written for beginners.

  • J appealing initially until she realized how poorly illustrated its crowded pages were

Question 25

As it is used in line 56, the phrase get in most nearly means:

  • A arrive at a physical location

  • B be chosen for group membership.

  • C truly understand the subject.

  • D be friendly with someone.

Question 26

The passage best supports which of the following con­clusions about Julie?

  • F She has more experience than the author has in identifying flowers.

  • G She owns a house that's close to either a bog or a montane forest.

  • H She sees value in understanding the various com­munities of plants.

  • J She stopped using the Peterson's as her primary source of flower information

Question 27

The author states that the Peterson's became her closest companion over a period of several:

  • A days.

  • B weeks.

  • C months.

  • D years.

Question 28

In the context of the passage, the author's statement in lines 56-58 most nearly means that she:

  • F learned to understand landscapes by looking at their overall patterns rather than their details.

  • G found that landscapes lost their appeal the more she tried to understand them logically.

  • H hoped to paint attractive portraits of landscapes by paying careful attention to details.

  • J sought a deeper knowledge of landscapes through learning about their individual parts

Question 29

The details in lines 64-66 primarily serve to suggest the:

  • A poor craftsmanship the publishing company used in producing the Peterson's.

  • B transformation the author's copy of the Peterson's underwent as a result of heavy use.

  • C strange writing the author often encountered in reading the Peterson's.

  • D carelessness with which the author used the Peterson's, much to her later regret.

Question 30

The author refers to Solidago hispida as an ex

  • F had great trouble identifying the first time she stumbled upon it.

  • G hopes to finally come across on one of her nature walks.

  • H was pleased to encounter again after she had learned to identify it.

  • J feels has an inappropriate name given the plant's characteristics


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