Interactive English: Reception

Reading and Listening

Free Reading Day

on January 3, 2013

booksHappy new year everybody!!! In our next class, on January 15th, we will have a free reading day. You are welcome to choose from one of the books/magazines I bring to the class or you can bring one of your own (in English, of course). We will read for about 20 minutes, write our thoughts in the journals, then briefly discuss what we have read. If there is time, we will repeat this process.

Choose one of the questions below and answer in the comments:

1. What was something interesting your read or listened to over the new year’s holiday?

2. What book, magazine, radio show, movie, etc… would you recommend to us to read/listen to during the holidays?

As you read the final pages of Paranoid Park, check the glossary for each page. Also, answer the following questions in your journal and write the place names on the map.

1. On p151, why do you think he almost confessed to Macy?

2. How has his view of Macy changed?

3. On p156, what does he mean by saying, “That Macy and I… that we could…”?

4. On p158 he says, “time healed all wounds, but it couldn’t erase the scars.” What does he mean? Do you agree?

5. Without using a dictionary, can you guess what a “muddled brain” is? (p169

6. The protagonist is writing all of his thoughts and feelings to make himself feel better. Do you think doing something like this helps? Why or why not?

7. On p179, he says that adults are “more screwed up than teenagers.” What does he mean by this? Do you agree?

8. What do you think the character will be like in 5 years? In 10?

9. What was challenging about reading this book? Share one thing you liked and one think you didn’t like about this story.


6 responses to “Free Reading Day

  1. tufsmatt says:

    Hi guys! Recently I have been listening to a lot of podcasts from The Memory Palace. They publish very short and interesting historical stories. Even if you are not interested in history, you might like the stories anyway. They are sometimes moving, sometimes humorous, but always unique and surprising – historical stories you definitely have never heard before.
    Check it out:

  2. Satomi Togari says:

    Hello! Happy New Year !!

    Since I love history, I’ll definitely check out The Memory Palace! I sometimes listen to the BBC’s “A History of the World in a Hundred Objects”, so I’m sure I’ll love this podcast too. 🙂

    1. What was something interesting your read or listened to over the new year’s holiday?

    I haven’t done much this winter to be honest, but I did read a book for a report due this month; “The Burmese Harp”. It’s about a Japanese army who became captives in Burma during the WWII. They occasionally sing their hearts out along to a fellow soldier playing the harp, but when that soldier is asked to mediate a shooting he disappears, leaving his group in anxiety.
    I liked the plot and message it carries as well as the elaborate style of writing, but I’m supposed to “carefully analyze” the book and do “critical reading”, so I guess I’ll have to read it from a different perspective when I write the report. 😦

  3. Wataru Okubo says:

    1. What was something interesting your read or listened to over the new year’s holiday?

    The Coast of Chicago by Stuart Dybek: A collection of 14 stories that take place in Chicago around in the 60’s. Most stories are based on the memories recalled from childhood and early adulthood, as the epigraph says: “Out of the whole of memory, there’s one thing worthwhile: the great gift of calling back dreams.” I liked how it creates the evanescent atmosphere of Chicago throughout the book. It was also amazing how it made me feel nostalgic even though I have no connection with the city. It has a map of Chicago in the book so it helped me follow the plot and imagine what it’s like to be there. I learned that Chicago is called the “Windy City” and a lot of the Poles (Polish people) live there. Along with Portland, it’s now on my list of where to visit in the future!

    Latvian Jokes: In cold weather like today we need this. Here’s my favorites:

    -Knock knock.
    -Who’s there?
    -Latvian who?
    -Please open the door. Is cold.

    -Is so cold.
    -How cold is?
    -Very. Also dark.

    -What are one potato say other potato?
    -Premise ridiculous. Who have two potato?

    Two Latvian look at clouds. One see potato. Other see impossible dream. Is same cloud.

    By the way, I found Life of Pi (the book I read for the book report) on the list of the Academy Awards Nominees! (Also I found Argo on it.) This is a story of Pi, an Indian boy, who goes through shipwreck and has to survive on a lifeboat with a hyena, a zebra, an orang-utan and a Bengal tiger. I haven’t watched the movie yet but I feel the book would give you a certain experience that can’t be turned into a movie. So I recommend reading the book as well!

  4. saya says:

    1. The music I found so fascinating during this winter holiday was pieces from ミ・ベルモ, which is a saxophone orchestra and is composed of 21 great sax players. It was the first time for me to see so many saxes on one stage.(it was DVD) Maybe you haven’t seen that scenery either. It is worth listening. It is just powerful. And although this orchestra composists only saxophone, there is a range of expression, from soft sound to strong one.

    I also got absorbed in 矢野顕子, who was a popular singer in 80s. When I was surfing You Tube, I encounterd one of her best pieces, 中央線(the train line I use everyday for commuting) by chance. I somehow burst out crying. I searched who was that who sings this beautiful song. It was 矢野顕子. Then I suddenly remembered that my father was a big fan of her and her songs ware always being played in the car in my childhood. I searched for songs we used to listen to, such as ごはんができたよ,ひとつだけ. They reminded me of the old memory. Although I couldn’t understand the message of her songs when I was young because she is too artistic, now I can see how wonderful the lyrics, melody, her way of singing, her piano are. I realized I share the same preference with my father. Now I seldom go out with my father by car and I have few opportunity to listen to songs in the car together. But I felt stong connection with him when I came across music from 矢野顕子.

  5. Shogo Inoue says:

    1. What was something interesting your read or listened to over the new year’s holiday?
    During the holiday I read the book called Brave new World by Aldous Huxley. It’s about a world where there is no suffering and could get anything that you want, even the girl or boy you want. The theme is about a Utopia. It was pretty difficult to understand at the beginning of the book. The writing style is quite unique so, it needs time before you get used to it. Did I like it? Not quite. It does write about a topic that is important to human being but, I recommend, The giver if you want to read about a novel on Utopia.
    I also read the children’s book called “Inheritance” by Christopher Paolini. It’s the last book of the series “Eragon”. His writing isn’t very good but I enjoyed the plot very much throughout the series. We could also see the improvement in his writing throughout the 4 books, though it still needs some work.Though the ending was very disappointing. He took a long time writing the last book, so I wish he ended the book differently.

  6. Takumi Nakanishi says:

    1. What was something interesting your read or listened to over the new year’s holiday?
    I read some articles in Scientific American Mind, and what interested me most is the article, the essence of Optimism. In the article written are how one interprets an event, depending on one’s ingrained habit of thinking, a emerging field known as cognitive-bias modification, and so on.

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