Albert Einstein at School, Explanation, Line by Line, Meaning of Difficult Words, English CBSE Class 11 NCERT Snapshot Chapter 4


(Explanation and Meaning of difficult words)

This narration is about a famous scientist Albert Einstein. It is about his schooldays.

Word Meaning
Prussians Germans
French People of France
Waterloo The battlefield where Prussians and French faught

The history teacher asked a question to Einstein. He asked in which year Germans had defeated French in the battle of Waterloo. Einstein replied that he did not know about it.



The teacher asked him why he did not remember about it. He had been told many times about it. Einstein replied that he had forgotten. The teacher asked him if he tried to memorise about it. Einstein replied in negative. Einstein replied honestly without thinking what would happen to him.



Word Meaning
Speechless Not able to say anything
Do not see any point Do not think it is useful
Look up To find out

Einstein further told that according to him it was not useful to remember these dates. Anyone can find these in a book. Mr. Barun, his teacher could not say anything for some time.




Word Meaning
Amaze Surprise
At last Finally, In the end

Finally teacher spoke and asked Einstein if he thought that one could find most of the facts in books. Do you think it is true for everything that you are learning at the school. Einstein replied, “Yes sir.”


Word Meaning
I suppose I think, I assume
Frankly Honestly, Openly, Really

“May I assume that you do not think useful to remember facts”, the teacher asked Einstein. Albert replied that he really thought so. The teacher asked if Einstein believed in taking education. He replied that he believed in education but he did not want to memorise the facts.



Word Meaning
Sarcasm Satire
Flushed Felt shy

With a great satire teacher requested Albert to kindly explain his theory of education to the class. Einstein felt quite shy.




Einstein replied that he thought facts are not of much importance. He thought that it was not important to remember date of the battles. It was also not important to know which army killed more soldiers. I want to learn why these soldiers were trying to kill each other. He wanted to know the reason of the battle.



Word Meaning
Cold Without any emotions
Do you much good Will help you much

Mr, Braun, the teacher told Einstein to stop speaking. His eyes were without emotions but cruel. He said that they did not want any lecture from Einstein. You will stay in the school for an extra class. But the teacher thought that the extra class will not help Einstein.



Word Meaning
Disgrace Insult, Dishonour, Stigma
Ungrateful Unthankful, Thankless,
Ought to be Must be
Take you away Withdraw you from the school

The teacher said that it would not help the school also. You are an insult to the school. I do not understand why you keep coming to school. Einstein replied that he too did not want to come to school. The teacher said that Einstein was a thankless boy. He should be ashamed of himself. He advised Einstein to ask his father to withdraw him from the school.




Word Meaning
Miserable Very unhappy, Very dejected
Hateful Unpleasant, Something that generates hate

That afternoon when Albert left school, he was feeling very unhappy. His unhappiness was not because the day was bad for him. Most of the days in school were bad for him. He was feeling sad because next day he will have to again go to that unpleasant place.



He had a wish that his father would withdraw him from the school. But it was useless to make a request. Albert knew the answer of his father. His father would tell him to continue going to school till he completes his diploma.



Word Meaning
Cheer To make or become happy
Lodgings Place of stay. House
So little money to spare Very less money to spend

Returning to his house from school did not make Albert happy. His father had very less amount of money for spending. Albert was living in a room located in the poorest locality of Munich.




Word Meaning
Lack Shortage, Something being less
Squalor Garbage

He was not troubled by bad food, shortage of comfort, dirt and the garbage. But he did not like the violence that occurred there. The landlady of the house used to often beat her children. Every Saturday her husband came come after drinking. He used to beat his wife.



Word Meaning
Called around Met for a brief meeting

Yuri met Albert for a short period of time in the evening. Yuri told Albert that he should be happy that at least he has a room of his own. Albert replied that Yuri should be happy that he was living among civilized people, though they were poor.



Word Meaning
Duel Fight between two people

Yuri said that those people are not civilized. You must have heard that last week in a fight between two people one person was killed. Albert asked what happened to the person who killed.




Word Meaning
Scar Mark of injury
Badge of honour Sign of respect

Yuri told that nothing had happened to the other man. He is proud that he had killed a person. He is worried because authorities have told him not fight. He is also very upset that he did not any mark on his face during the fight. He would have considered the scar as a sign of respect or bravery.



Word Meaning
Exclaimed Say something because of surprise
Glumly Unhappily, Disappointedly

With a surprise Albert asked if they were students. Yuri replied that someday Albert would also be a student. Unhappily Albert said he had doubt about being a student. He thought that he might not pass the exam of school diploma.



Next week her cousin Elsa came to Munich. Albert told her the same things that he might not pass the exam. Normally Elsa lived in Berlin. Her father had a business in Berlin.




Word Meaning
More stupid Less intelligent, More foolish
Get through Pass

Elsa told Albert that she was sure that he would study more to pass the exam. She knew many boys who were less intelligent than Albert but passed the exam.



Word Meaning
Learn by heart Memorise

Elsa informed that those boys had told a method to pass the exam. You need not know anything. You need not understand anything. In exam you should repeat whatever is explained in the class. Albert replied that that was his problem. Albert is not able to memorise things.



Word Meaning
Learn like a parrot Memorise without understanding

Elsa explained to Albert that you need not be good at your studies. Anyone can memorise just like a parrot. But you are not trying to memorise. In spite of that I always see that you always have a book with you. Elsa asked which book Albert was reading.



Albert replied that he was reading a book on geology. Elsa was surprised and asked if this subject was taught in the school. Albert replied that subjects of science were not taught in the school. Elsa asked why he was reading the book. Albert said he likes the book therefore he is reading it. Elsa took a deep breath.



Word Meaning
Apart from In addition to
Landlady The lady owner of the house

Elsa said to Albert that he was right. But that would not help him pass his diploma exam. In addition to books of science, Albert liked only music. He used to regularly play his violin. But one day the landlady asked him to stop playing violin.



Word Meaning
Wailing Shouting, (Noise of violin)
Get on my nerves Disturbs me
Howling Shouting
Tempted to point out Wanted to say , About to say

She said that noise of violin disturbed her. There is already lot of noise in the house because my kids always shout. Albert was about to say that most of the time kids were shouting because of her. But he decided that it would be better not to speak anything.



Word Meaning
Absurd Foolish, Ridiculous
Go on Continue
Turn out Emerge, Result into, Appear

After being six months in Munich, Albert told Yuri that he wanted to move away from the school and the city. It is foolish that I should continue to study here. In the end it will appear as if I have wasted money of my father and everyone’s time. It would be better to stop going to school.



Word Meaning
Milan A city in Italy
Gleamed Started shining
Friendly doctor A doctor known to somebody

Yuri asked Albert what he would do if he stopped going to school. Albert said he did not know. If he went back to Milan, his father would send him back. Suddenly he had an idea and his eyes started shining. He asked Yuri if he knew a friendly doctor.



Yuri replied that he knew a lot of medical students. Some of them are friendly to me. But I do not know any doctor. I never had adequate money to pay their fees. Yuri asked Albert why he was asking about a friendly doctor.



Word Meaning
Nervous breakdown Severe depression, stress or anxiety

Suppose I have a severe depression, thought Albert. And a doctor certifies that it is bad for me to go to school and that I should be immediately taken out of the school. Yuri replied that no doctor would ever tell this about Albert. But Albert wanted to try. He wanted to find a doctor who was specialist of nervous system.



Word Meaning
Reluctantly Unwillingly, Hesitantly

Yuri told that there are many doctors of nervous system. He stopped for a moment and then unwillingly told that he would ask some students about it. Albert thanked Yuri. His eyes were shining with hope. Yuri reminded Albert that he has not yet found a doctor.



Word Meaning
Willing Ready
Merrily Happily

Albert replied that Yuri will find a doctor. Yuri said that the doctor might not be ready to help. Albert declared that doctor will surely help. I will have a real nervous breakdown. Therefore it will be easy for the doctor to give the certificate.



Yuri told Albert that he had never seen Albert looking nervous. Albert assured Yuri that after a day or two in the school he will start looking nervous. Yuri met Albert after some days. Certainly Yuri found him less energetic and less active.



Word Meaning
Cannot stand any longer Cannot tolerate any more
Lit up Started shining
When can I see him When can I meet him

Albert said that he cannot tolerate school any more. I surly have a breakdown that will satisfy a doctor. Yuri said that he had found a doctor for Albert. Face of Albert started shining because of hope. He asked when he can meet the doctor.



Yuri told Albert that appointment with doctor is scheduled tomorrow in the evening. He gave the address to Albert in a piece of paper. Name of the doctor was Ernst Weil. Albert asked if he is specialist of nervous troubles.



Word Meaning
As a matter of fact Actually

Yuri accepted that the doctor was not the specialist in nervous troubles. Actually he became doctor last week. Albert could be his first patient. Albert asked if Yuri knew the doctor since the time he was a student. Yuri replied that he knew Ernst for many years. Then he warned Albert that Ernst was not a fool.



Word Meaning
Pull the wool over his eyes Deceive him, To fool him
Pretend Feign, behaving unreally
You are world’s worst liar You get caught while speaking lie

Albert did not understand. Yuri explained that Albert should not try to deceive Ernst. He should freely talk to Ernst. But Albert should not talk about the problem he does not have. You will not be able to deceive him because you get caught while speaking lie.



Next day Albert was thinking what should he would tell the doctor? At the time of appointment he was so worried that he was really very nervous. He told Dr. Weil that he did not know how to express about his problem.



Dr. Weil, with a friendly smile, told Albert not to make an attempt to say anything. He told that Yuri had already told everything about him. Albert asked what was told by Yuri. Dr. Weil talked about the nervous breakdown. He also talked about unwillingness of Albert to go to school.



Word Meaning
Oh dear An expression of disappointment
Face fell Looked disappointed

Albert was disappointed and told that Yuri should not have told that to the doctor. The doctor replied that Yuri should have told because that was the truth. Albert expressed to the doctor that now it has become a problem. You will say that there is no problem with me and I should go back to the school.




Word Meaning
Too sure Very certain
Pretty sure Quite certain
Wide-eyed Saw with eyes wide open

Doctor advised Albert not to be so sure about his own opinion. The doctor actually thought that Albert was nervous about going to school. Albert said that he had not told anything to the doctor. His eyes were open wide with surprise.



The doctor told that Albert had come to see him is an indication that Albert has a nervous breakdown. Doctor asked if he gave certificate of nervous breakdown with an advice to not go to school, what will Albert do?



Albert replied that he will go to Milan in Italy, where his parents stayed. Doctor asked what he would do there. Albert replied that he would go to a college. Doctor said that without school diploma he would not get admission in a college.



Albert replied that he would request his maths teacher to give him a certificate about his studies. He thought that such certificate could be sufficient to get admission in a college. He said that he has studied maths subject quite well in the school. He said these lines because Dr Weil had a doubt about his admission to a college.



Word Meaning
Come off Succeed,

The doctor expressed that plan of Albert is not likely to succeed. But he was sure that it was not useful for Albert to go to school. He asked for how much time Albert wanted his recommendations for staying away from school. He again asked if six months would sufficient.



Albert thanked the doctor for his kindness. The doctor replied that he had recently passed out of a college. So he could understand feelings of Albert. Dr. Weil gave the certificate to Albert and wished him good luck.



Albert asked how much money he should pay for the certificate. Dr. Weil said nothings was to be paid. If Albert had some money he should take Yuri for a dinner. Because Yuri is common friend of both of them.



Word Meaning
Supper Dinner

Albert did not have extra money but he wanted to give an impression that he had money. So he took Yuri to a hotel for dinner. He showed the certificate to Yuri and said it was really wonderful.



Yuri agreed that it was good to obtain the certificate. This way you will not be actually leaving the school. In the worst situation you could always come back to school to complete your diploma.



Albert assured Yuri that he will never study in the school. Tomorrow he will take the certificate to the principal. And that would be his last day in the school.



Yuri reminded Albert to take the recommendation letter in writing from maths teacher. Mr Koch was the maths teacher. He readily gave the recommendation letter to Albert.



Mr Koch proposed to write that he could not teach more maths to Albert. Very soon Albert would be able to teach me. Albert said that it will be very high recommendation. Mr. Koch said that it was the truth. But he agreed to write the letter in a different manner.



Word Meaning
Glowing Excellent
Made the point Affirmed, Emphasised

The letter was still an excellent recommendation. Mr. Koch had confirmed that Albert was ready for an immediate admission into a college to study maths.



Mr. Koch told that he was happy that Albert was leaving the school. He thought it was a waste of time for Albert to attend his class. Albert thought that maths was the only class that he liked. So it was not waste of time. He again asked how did Mr. Koch knew that he was leaving the school.



Mr Koch said otherwise Albert would not have asked for letter of recommendation or reference. Albert said he thought that Mr Koch would be surprised. Mr. Koch replied there was nothing to get surprised. I knew it before you knew about you leaving the school.



Word Meaning
Puzzled Could not understand, Confused
Found out Came to know
Head teacher Principal
Interview Discussion
Summoned Called

Albert could not understand what teacher meant to say. Soon he came to know about it. He was called to meet the principal in his room. This happened before Albert could make a request for a discussion with him. Albert thought it was good. Because it will save his one or two hour of waiting time outside the room of principal.



Word Meaning
Hardly bothered to wonder Did not worry to think
Sent for Called
Vaguely Slightly
Supposed Guessed

Albert did not worry to think why he was called. He approximately guessed that it could be to punish him again for his bad work and laziness. He had been punished many number of times.



Word Meaning
Any longer Hence forth, Now onwards

Albert was surprised when the principal said the he did not want to punish Albert. The principal said that work done by Albert was very poor. He was not ready to allow Einstein study in the school now onwards. He wanted that Einstein should leave the school.



Word Meaning
Dazed Greatly surprised, Not able to think anything
Expel Dismiss, To force out

Albert was greatly surprised and repeated, “leave the school now”. The principal confirmed it. Albert again asked if he was being dismissed from the school.



Word Meaning
Take it Consider it
Not mincing words Say directly,
Of your own accord As per your own wish

The principal replied that Albert could consider it that way if he wanted to. The principal was saying everything directly without hiding his thoughts. He suggested that it would be better if Einstein left the school as per his own choice. Then the school will not need to expel him.



Word Meaning
Crime Mistake
Constant Regular,
Rebellion Disobedience, Revolt

Albert wanted to know his mistake. Principal said that because of his presence teachers were not able to teach and students were not able to learn. You do not want learn. You regularly disobey teachers. Teachers cannot do their work while you are in the class.



Word Meaning
Burning a hole in his pocket Eager to show

Albert felt the eagerness to show the medical certificate to the principal. But he said that he was about to leave the school. The principal said that at least this time we are having similar thoughts.



Word Meaning
Tempted to tell Wanted to tell
Stalked out Walked out angrily
Holding head high Feeling proud

Albert wanted to tell what he thought about the principal and the school. But he did not tell. He controlled himself. Without speaking any word he proudly but angrily walked out of the room.



The principal loudly said to Albert to shut the door while leaving. Albert neglected his instruction.



Word Meaning
Straight on Directly

He walked directly out of the school. He had spent five horrible years in this school. He considered his time spent in school as a waste. While walking out he did not look back to have a last look at the school. He could not think of anybody to whom he wanted to meet before going out of the school.

Meaning that he was dejected. Also that he did not have any friend in the school.



Word Meaning
Indeed Actually, Really

Actually Yuri was the only person he wanted to meet before leaving the town. He hated the town as much as he hated his school. His cousin Elsa had gone back to Berlin. He had no other real friends in Berlin.



Yuri said goodbye to Albert and wished him good luck. He said that Albert was going to a good country. I hope you would be a happier person there.





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