Interactive English: Reception

Reading and Listening

Listening: “Hands on a Hard Body”

on December 3, 2014

hands on a truck In the next class we will practice our listening skills focusing on using context to guess hard-to-hear words and phrases. We will listen to excerpts from a documentary called Hands on a Hard Body about a contest held every year by a Nissan dealership in Longview, Texas. Twenty-four people stand around a $15,000 hard body pickup truck. When the starting whistle blows, each person puts one hand on the truck. They wear gloves, so as not to mess up the paint job. And they stand there … and stand there … until one by one, people get tired and drop away, and one person is left standing. That person gets to keep the truck. We hear an interview with Benny Perkins, who won the truck one year ago and came back to try to win again. He says a contest like this is not easy. You slowly go crazy from sleep deprivation.

Choose ONE of the questions below and answer it in the comments. 1. Predict what you think Benny Perkins will tell us about the contest. 2. What kind of person do you think enters and wins a contest like this? 3. What might be some of the difficulties with this listening? …

These vocabulary words will be important: a contestant, one by one, a competitor, numb, self-worth, conceited


20 responses to “Listening: “Hands on a Hard Body”

  1. Hiroshi Yoshida(T4) says:

    I choose question 2.
    I think this event is something like active game which we usually do in workshop for elementary school students, and also this is not academic and never give us practical skills. So I think people who are free or don’t have stable job often enter this contest and people who like playing games will win this contest because these people are often easier to find the gimmick and technique of some games than others.

  2. Minami Iwakiri(T4) says:

    I will answer the question 2.
    In my opinion, participants have different speculations respectively. Some seriously go for the truck and others simply enjoy the contest as thought it were a game. And the serious challengers can be divided into two groups: someone who really loves the truck or who desperately wants property. The contest may be both trial of strength and that of spirit, so I think someone who has the best strength and the strongest attachment can win the truck.

  3. Mika Yamamori (T4) says:

    I chose the question 1.
    I think Benny Perkins might tell us that we need patience to win the contest. I think he was serious about winning the contest because people who were not eager to win that would give up and get tired easily. So, he might tell us how strong his will to win the contest was and how hard it was to compete with other contestants during the contest. Moreover, I think he might tell us that he thinks the contest is a good opportunity to try his patience.

  4. Mayu Morimoto(T4) says:

    I will answer the question No.1: Predict what you think Benny Perkins will tell us about the contest.
    I think he will tell us what do we need to win the contest and what he could learn through the contest one year ago. Benny Perkins might devise some during it to win, so I predicted he will tell us what it was. As Benny said, I think winning the contest is not easy because challengers will be required considerable perseverance. So, I wonder why Benny Perkins wanted to join it again. I predicted he might have learned something important for him through the contest one year ago, and that might be what made him try joining the contest again.
    I’m interested in this listening material because though I cannot imagine how long the contest will last, doing nothing without touching a truck for a while seems intolerable for me!

  5. Tao Ichino T4 says:

    I answer No.3.
    The difficulty of listening to such topics is that colloquial expressions and slang are used.
    There are two reasons.
    First, Benny Perkins maybe not a scholar. He is a normal person.
    And this interview is not for Japanese, but for English people.
    He will use a lot of colloquial expressions and slang.
    But we, Japanese people are not accustomed to these expressions. In Japan, it is important to be grammatical and teachers don’t want us to use such colloquial expression.
    Japanese people tend to make light of expression English people usually use.
    So we will suffer from a lot of expression we don’t know.
    Second, Japanese are not good at listening because we can pass entrance examination only with reading skills. Of course, we had to get listening skill to pass entrance examination of this university. But it is still hard to say we have enough listening skill.
    This fact make listening to a interview much harder. We have to listen to words we don’t know with immature listening skill!
    So we will suffer from interview because of colloquial expressions and slang.

  6. Wataru Kaneto (T4) says:

    I thought about question 1.
    I expected that Benny will tell us why he twice took part in such a strange contest and what he was thinking during the contest.
    Each of the participants might have had different reasons to join. For example, she/he really needed a great deal of money, or just wanted to put her/his patience to the test. I think that some easily dropped out while the others kept standing around patiently, and that every one of the participants felt something respectively.
    In addition, Benny will give us pieces of advice about what we need in the contest and in the end, he’ll show enthusiasm for his second win.

  7. Ayaka Sakuma(T4) says:

    I choose the question 1.
    I think he wants to tell us that we have to lose something if we want to get to keep something. In this contest, people standing around a truck have to take long time and can’t sleep well. They sacrifice their time and sleep to win the contest (or to get a truck). Benny Perkins said that a contest like this is not easy, which means that we cannot win the victory if we lose time and sleep. He tells us how hard it is to win or get something.

  8. Akane Okumura says:

    I choose question 1. I think he will tell us about the contest. For example, how hard they stand and put their hands on the car for a long time. But he is the person won the contest, so he will tell us how to overcome the difficulty of the contest. If I came to take part in this contest, I would participate in this with my family or friend, talk with them while the contest and beat my sleepiness.

  9. Tanaka Kotaro(T4) says:

    I choose question 2.

    In fact, I have watched contest like this. Japanese comedians tried to keep standing around a huge iron cube with their hands on the cube. The rule was almost same. The challenge was held in winter, so that statue was so cold. Most comedians couldn’t touch that, but one woman comedian stand till the rast. She wanted to be a star in a field of comedy. So she must get money to catch the dream.
    From this case,I guess that people who chase a big dream won’t never give up. I think these kinds game may try people. Big ambition and big dream make people win that game.

  10. Tamako(T4) says:

    I will answer question 3: What might be some of the difficulties with this listening?
    First, if the interview is in the field, maybe there are lots of noises and talking voices which make it difficult for us to listen to Perkins’ words clearly.
    Second, because its spoken words, the form of sentenses can be much more loose, which means we have more difficulty understanding what he says.
    And also, because it is about a particular kind of contest, some professional words we are not accustomed to can be used, and we should predict the meaning.

  11. Miho Hashimoto (T4) says:

    I answer the question 3.
    I guess the difficult point of this listening is catching the changing feelings of the participants of the contest. The contest seems hard to stand both physically and mentally. So at first people are excited to won the prize, but gradually be tired and lose motivation. I think these kinds of minds
    of the people would be important in this listening. I also guess some unkhown words related to cars will appear. Those words are unfamiliar to me, so I should imagine the meanings of them by listening other words carefully.

  12. Ryohei Kamiya (T4) says:

    I choose the question 1.
    I think Benny Perkins will tell us that in this contest they conpete for the lead in their love for cars. They have to stand next to cars for a long time. Moreover, they have to touch cars gently in order not to spoil the paint job. He thinks if they become crazy in standing next to cars for such a long time, their love for cars will defeat being crazy. In his opinion, love for something can be greater than anything.

  13. Akira Katagata says:

    I choose question 1.
    I think that person who can be winner in a difficult game like this has a strong heart. Such people never give up until they get a victory. They are very patient. Besides such difficult games, having a strong heart is so beneficial for us, fo example a bussiness world or sports. Famous athletes or successful bussinessmen usually tend to have it. But unfortunatelly, a strong heart is gifted talent,so all people cannot necessarily get it.

  14. Wataru Yamamura(T4) says:

    I answer the question no.2.
    Some participate contest to realize their dream , others participate for fun.
    Patience is important factor to win this contest because there is no change during the game.
    This contest seems to be easy, however, it is more difficult than I think.
    I have never heard the existence like this story,therefore next lesson may give me surprise.

  15. Chinatsu Fukunaga(T4) says:

    I choose question2. I think who participate this contest regard it as easy and have a confidence to it. But actually , in the end they would know that the contest have a lot of difficulties than they expected. So the winner has to hold staying power and not to be arrogant.

  16. Kentaro Ando says:

    I choose no3.
    We will listen a “documentary”,so this article is maybe for broadcasted on TV. In short, this was not made for listening only. That means speaker on this article speaks fast and does not explain in detail. It is the first point.
    Second, I am afraid that there are some people who have a dialect. According to below explanation, this story was happen in Texas. Therefore, there is a possibility some people have an accent.

  17. Shizuka Abe (T4) says:

    I choose the question 1.
    I think Benny Perkins will tell us the reason why he participated the contest at first time and second time, and the skill that required to win the contest.
    The condition of win the contest is simlple, however, to win the contest is very difficult because it requires patience. I also want to know why he participated the contest, which maybe hard thing, twice.

  18. Shota Nihi(T4) says:

    I choose the question 3.
    I’m not good at listening. I can’t often hear names of lands or person. These are what I haven’t ever heard. These words are unimportant in listening but I try to pick up all words including the spesific names so I can’t understand the texts.
    Also, the new concepts become difficulties. I don’t know such a contest so it’s hard to imagine the contest. I think images are important for listening, so if we cant’t get images, that’s may be difficulties.

  19. Ayano sato (T4) says:

    I choose 2nd question.
    I think people who want to change something of themselves by getting over a hard task participate in this contest. Some people might enter this contest just in order to gain a truck.
    To win this game, I think people need physical strength and patience. We can’t stand long hours without strong basic physical strength. I consider patience is more important bacause whether you can win or not depends on whether you can keep your mind to your goal when you feel tired and feel pain.

  20. Shintaro Murakami(T4) says:

    I choose Q2.
    I think long concentration is the key point at this contest.
    They say you slowly go crazy from sleep depriviation. So I think people who have strong mental and physical win the contest.

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