Interactive English: Reception

Reading and Listening

Achievement Check 1

on November 9, 2012

For the achievement check next week, you will have one listening component and one reading component. Look at both of the questions below and answer one of them in the comments.

1. The listening component is named “Music and the Mind”. What do you expect to hear? Is there anything you can share with us about music and/or our minds?

2. The reading component is an opinion article from a British magazine covering the topic of globalization. What do you expect to read about? Is there anyting you can share with us about different opinions on globalization?

Also, as you read pages 86-103 of Paranoid Park, keep track of the characters and map and answer the following questions (make sure all information is in your journal):

1. What does he mean on pg89 by “I was getting sloppy”?

2. Do you agree with his English teacher who said “Character is fate”? Why or why not?

3. Why do you think he lies to Macy about the skate shop downtown?

4. What do you think “rat-ball” (pg101) is exactly?

5. Why do you think there are so many streeters in Portland?

6. What do you think will happen in the next 20 pages?

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7 responses to “Achievement Check 1

  1. Ayumi Sugaya says:

    1. The listening component is named “Music and the Mind”. What do you expect to hear? Is there anything you can share with us about music and/or our minds?

    I think the story will be about some effects our minds recieve when we listen to music. Different types of music have different effects for our minds. People feel like listening to music in many scenes, and the selection of music is influenced by a state of mind. For example, many athletes listen to music before a match to relieve the tension. It is also said that classic music have good effects for prenatal training. Some people use music when they want to concentrate on study or work. I think the story we will hear in the next class will explain such things scientificially.

  2. Satomi Togari says:

    2. The reading component is an opinion article from a British magazine covering the topic of globalization. What do you expect to read about? Is there anyting you can share with us about different opinions on globalization?

    I think we’ll be reading about how modern technology promoted a new kind of globalization by enabling communication around the world (ex: people in almost every single country use computers nowadays), or maybe about the negative aspects of this ever-growing community becoming an excessively homogenized one. I think while the world is becoming smaller and smaller, we seem to be forgetting the traditions, customs and cultures of each individual country at the same time. Westernization is not the only feature that makes up globalization, but I feel that we all realize the power of the Western countries making up our own daily lives and becoming the “norm” of the way we think, spend our lives etc. (ex: “We see a McDonald’s on every corner of the world”, English is usually the first foreign language taught at schools etc)

    Here’s one story of how our views are sometimes based on Western values and virtues…

    Usually when we (here let’s say people in Japan) think of “a beautiful person”, we imagine a young woman with shiny hair, large eyes and long limbs, a tiny waist and a “perfect” figure. The image of beauty depends on each person, but these conditions to “be beautiful” mentioned above are probably subconsciously shared by the majority. Parallel eyelids (二重まぶた) are considered “better” and “prettier” than eyelids that aren’t (一重まぶた), and glue-like cosmetics that create parallel eyelids are still popular among young girls. It hurts to hear this, because we’d be happier accepting what we were born with than trying to “become” happier by gaining something we don’t need just for the sake of being what is thought to be “pretty” by the media, friends, etc.
    When a researcher showed a group of indigenous people living in an isolated area (I forgot what their tribe’s name was, but I think they were Native American) a picture of a fashion model, one of the women said “THIS is supposed to be pretty among you people? I’m not afraid to tell you that I’m much prettier.” She didn’t have the facial features that we usually consider to be “pretty”, but she was confident in her looks and knew she was beautiful inside out whether or not we thought so.
    This story tells us how strongly influenced we are by the so-called “norm” that was partly created by globalizing (and homogenizing) our culture, values and views, and the impact of it is huge.
    Therefore, I think we should start reviewing them before judging things, because we are already biased to begin with in this globalizing community.

  3. Takumi Nakanishi says:

    The listening component is named “Music and the Mind”. What do you expect to hear? Is there anything you can share with us about music and/or our minds?

    I think that as the first said we will hear about effects of music on our minds.
    As people often say that listening to classical music enhances your concentration and soothes your mind, listening to music is believed to have an effect on one’s mind.
    I think so, too. For example, I feel like throwing up when I listen to such kinds of music as J-Pop.

    By the way, I’ve caught a cold and I couldn’t deal with any homework. I had a cold last week, and this week I’ve caught a cold. How weak I am. If I feel good enough to go to college the day after tomorrow, I hope that I will listen to a scientific article on what kind of music has an effect on one’s health.

  4. saya says:

    1. The listening component is named “Music and the Mind”. What do you expect to hear? Is there anything you can share with us about music and/or our minds?

    I guess it is about effects to mind music has and recommendation of music in various situations. For example, “If you are dissapointed, you had better listen to this music beacuse~, if you want to uplift your spirits, this piece is perfect….”
    Music can heal our spirit. Music can make you excited. If you want to change your feeling, listening to music is the best way. But choise of the music is important because if you listen to wrong music, your emotion will get even worse. So, this listening componet ,if my prediction is correct, will give you tips based on scientific experiment to choose proper music for every kind of situations.

    As for me, when I want to relax, I listen to waltz. When I feel like crying, I listen to slow music whose lyrics are sentimental. When I want to be excited, I listen to uptempo jazz.

    I don’t want to take tommorow’s test… Bye.

  5. Wataru Okubo says:

    Hi.
    1. The listening component is named “Music and the Mind”. What do you expect to hear? Is there anything you can share with us about music and/or our minds?

    I’d like to believe there is an impeccable relation between music and the mind. What is called music is just a combination(pattern) of sounds, which are just waves in air. However, we somehow distinguish music from the sounds of speech, natural sounds or noises. Some say animals other than human also make music, but I think there is one huge difference, that is “the reason why one produces music”. While animals’ music is intended for communication within a group or finding a partner, music in human society has a variety of purposes and meanings, including one that pursues nothing but music itself (absolute music). Therefore, we can say that music only exists when we perceive it. It is the mind that determines music. No mind, no music!

    Generally we believe that music affects our minds. Mozart Effect shows it well: listening to Mozart makes you concentrate on studying or Mozart’s music makes children really smart. (and I’m writing this comment listening to Sonata K.448) I guess this is something like a placebo effect. Or even if it actually has good effect on memorizing or understanding things, it may not be as effective as it sounds to be. For him, writing music might have been as normal a part of his life as eating, or for making people enjoy or getting paid, but it’s very unlikely that he did it to help people score high on IQ tests.
    Moreover, it sounds more reasonable if we think that it’s ourselves that determines the value of music. When it comes to the connection with emotion, it is clear that everyone doesn’t get the same feeling from the same piece. This is I think because the way we receive depends on extrinsic/intrinsic factors. As we live surrounded by music, we connect certain music with other extrinsic things. So when we listen to it, we receive not only music but also some information from memories. On the other hand, we also love certain music for no reason, which is by intrinsic factors. From a wider view, culture can be an important factor as well. We don’t have the same feeling for Wagner or Beethoven as the German people would do. Nevertheless, there must be universal, instinctive sense or reaction to certain type of music, too. So, what I want to say here is that every piece of music has character, which is fate, but we can feel it differently if we see it in a different light.
    The key point would be extrinsic factors, or representations. One of the most important roles that music has done is to connect people. World Cup game is a good example. We hear the national anthems of each team and different chants from each side. Music then represents each team’s nationality. Also, there are many other things it can represent such as the pride of ethnicity, solemnness of divinity, wonder of universe, inspiration from nature and admiration for different cultures.
    One feature of music is that no one can play or hear it without “time”, which means it has the beginning and end and we expect what comes next every second. That’s why pattern is important. I think this is the reason most songs don’t stick at first, or we grow to like one song by listening to it over and over. The recognition of structure makes the experience much more enjoyable because then we can immerse ourselves deeper in the music.
    Thus, in regard with the relation between music and the mind, what we have to do is not believing in Mozart Effect or what record companies say, but listening to music actively! If our views toward music changes, we can see the same piece more deeply and the experience will be more pleasant and exciting. And I believe the ability to enjoy such process enriches our lives more than having the latest electronic devices. So I think (I hope) we’ll hear how to obtain such ability and mindset.

    Even if you don’t have interest in Pakistani music, check out Coke Studio! It’s really a nice program to enjoy various types of music, as well. My favorite is “Daanah Pah Daanah”.
    Well, well, well, speaking of Pakistan, I heard a top-secret rumor that Pakistani food is really good but that’s all I can say about it now… (Hint: next week)

  6. Shogo Inoue says:

    1. The listening component is named “Music and the Mind”. What do you expect to hear? Is there anything you can share with us about music and/or our minds?

    I think the article will be about how the music affect our mind when we listen to it. When we listen to music we our mind gets affect by it. There are different music style, so it can be used in different purposes. For example, classic can be used to relax yourself. When you go to a expensive restaurant you usually hear classical music. This is so that the customer can relax hen they come to an shop to eat. another example would be when athletes go to a match. It depends on the athletes but, I used to listen to rock when I usually went to a soccer match. It is interesting to see how music affect people.

  7. shino yanagimura says:

    I once heard that music links with our memory, so if you once heard a particular music when your sad, you will feel sad even when your no

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