Interactive English: Reception

Reading and Listening

Achievement Check 2

on June 23, 2015

On June 30th we have our second Achievement Check. During the check we will listen to a radio program from the series called This American Life. This radio series tells true stories that are sometimes funny, sometimes sad, but always unique and interesting. The story we will listen to is about a woman named Sandra who finds out a very surprising and kind of funny secret about her strict father.

The reading for the check is an article from the music magazine Spin. It is written by a 45-year-old reporter who goes to a Goth music festival.

In the comments, please answer ONE of the questions:

1) What do you think Sandra’s father’s secret might be?

2) What do you think the reporter will write about the Goth music festival?


26 responses to “Achievement Check 2

  1. Emi Tanaka(T4) says:

    I will answer question 2.
    The introduction says the writer went to the Goth music festival and I guess he wrote the performances of some Gothic rock or punk bands. I have heard Goth music has various kinds of styles (punk, metal, alternative music and so on) and the melody is usually so dark and heavy. Moreover, the musicians wear the black clothes and make them up.
    He reported what the festival was like, that is, what tune the band played, how the performance was, what they talked about during the live, how the audience’s reaction was, and what the writer felt. Being 45-year-old, he was either an enthusiast or the beginner of Goth music.

  2. Yuka Hattori(T4) says:

    I guess what the reporter wrote about the Goth music festival.
    I think that the 45 yeards old reporter was really surprised by the looking of participants of the festival and wrote about his surprise of the mosic style and fashion. This is because their fashion style is characteristic. They are in almost all black. In addition, hair style and makeup scares me.
    I have never heard Goth mudic,so I watched a movie about Goth. First of all, I was shocked by fashions of the participants of festivals,so I
    thought senior may be more shocked than me.

  3. T4 Yuki Yokomizo says:

    Hello! I’m Yuki.
    I’ll answer question 1.
    We have no information about Sandra’s father except for his having a funny secret and being strict. So, we can imagine freely! But his secret is funny in spite of his being strict… All things considered, a good idea occurred to me that he actually wears his toupee. I think he was cautious (= strict) because he had to keep his wig. Ha ha ha… If I happen to know that my father’s hair is ,in fact, poor, I will get a big shock. Although he is O.K. now… Ha ha ha…
    Anyway, Sandra might have been always afraid of her father, but she found out his funny secret, and she felt relieved and got the warmth or something like that, I think. That is, I think this is a good and warm story. Thank you.

  4. Ayumi Nakahara(T4) says:

    I will answer question 1.
    We have to make Sandra’s secret funny, so we should make a gap between her father’s look and his secret. I guess that he is collecting many goods of Hello Kitty, such as soft toys, posters, or clothes. He sleeps every day wearing pajama which is printed Kitty’s face and holding soft toys of Kitty. Sandra will laugh when she finds out her father’s secret. I think she and her father will become more close than before because of this event. I think all people have some secrets. However, this is not a bad thing. Gap makes people interesting!

  5. Mika Osada(T4) says:

    I will answer the question 1. I will predict the story baced on the information we know; Sandra finds out a very surprising and kind of funny secret about her strict father. He always has a serious look on his face and rarely laughs.
    Sandra’s father runs a hospital in New York. He is an able doctor and is also a strict father. He always seems to think about his job. The hospital is closed on Sunday. Sandra wants to be with father on Sunday because he is too busy with his work on week days, but he goes out on Sunday by himself. Sandra has been thinking that he was out because of his job.
    One Sunday, Sandra goes to see the broadway musical with her boyfrind. This is the first time for her to see the broadway musical. Their seats is the front row and they can see the performance clearly. At the dance scene, Sandra has a strange feeling. She is really familiar with one of the dancers. That is her father.

  6. Takuto Kase(T4) says:

    Hello, Mr.Matt.
    I choose question No.1.
    Judging from the text, I can only know that Sandra’s father is strict. So, her father’s secret can be contrary to being strict, I think. His secret is surprising and funny, so I think that his secret is that he loves something pretty such as small animals or that something humorous such as tricking people or something like that. Anyway, I think that the story must be something funny!

  7. Yu Kobashi(T4) says:

    I will answer question 2 .
    I think Sandra found out that her father is actually crybaby . He always told her not to eat what is in the refrigerator as she pleases and if she did that, he scolded her. She cried because she was a lttle girl then. After she became adult , she heard a story of him from her mother. She said “your father sometimes eat something from refrigerator selfishly”.So she told him not to do that. Then he started crying.
    She noticed that her father is not only strict but rybaby.
    See you on Tuesday.

  8. Minami Shimoura(T4) says:

    I’ll answer the question 1.
    Information about Sandra’s father is the only one that he is strictly. So I guess what he is strict with, and I think about my father. I think that fathers are ordinary stern with their children’s grades, so maybe Sandra’s father is too. Next, I think about her father’s secret. It is difficult because there are many interesting and surprising secrets I can imagine. But I chose this one that he was a bad boy when he was a child, so his grades were bad. It is interesting that he has told her to get a good grade but he never got a good grades. And it is surprising if he is now a doctor or layer. His daughter will be surprised to know her excellent father was a bad boy when he was child as her.

  9. Rika Morofuji(T4) says:

    I would like to answer question No.1.

    I guess that her father has some interesting hobby, such as unique dancing or exercising. He has made it secret, because his strict image can be broken.
    One day, when Sandra opened her father’s room, she found him dancing. They were confused each other at first. But, eventually, they enjoy dancing together, and their bond becomes deeper.

  10. Xiuzhong Niu says:

    I guess the 45 year-old reporter would be shocked by the Goth music festival.
    Personally speaking,I like goth music and almost everything of goth style can catch my eye.And I think this style is of character.But I know ,for many people,especially those in middle age,cannot accept the gothic style.The black and silvery costumes and hair and ornaments,as well as the amazing make-up.So the reporter may be not an exception.Therefore,he may described a lot about how the music festival shocked him.And ,maybe he fell in love with goth music after the music festival.
    All in all,I love the gothic singer Kerli who came from Estonia and the Japanese Gothic band KIRYU.I recommend them to you if you are also interested in goth music.

  11. Ichiyo Shimizu says:

    Question (1) : Sandra’s father would often tell her not to eat any potato chips when she was small. She thought that was just because they were not good for health and she followed what her father was saying. One day, she was looking for something in the drawer. Then, she found a picture of a fat boy that she doesn’t know. Because she was curious about that picture, she asked her mother. According her, that boy was exactly her father ! Sandra’s was so surprised that he was far from what he is now ,who is in good shape. Sandra’s mother talked about her father’s childhood. He really liked potato chips and he used to eat a lot of snacks every day. He was not at all worried about his appearence, but one day, he happened to hear a one of classmates which he secretly thought was pretty to say, ” I hate someone overweight.” He was so shocked that he decided not to eat snacks any more. “That’s why he doesn’t let you eat any snacks. He doesn’t want you to feel like him, I think”, Sandra’s mother said. It was unexpected that he had such a cute experience and Sandra was a little bit happy to feel her father’s love.

  12. Keishu Joi (T4) says:

    I’ll answer question1.
    I think there are many kind of strict fathers. For example, some strict fathers don’t allow their daughter to go out so often. And some of them are not good at telling their children off in words, so use violence.
    But I think all strict fathers are usually full of love to their children. Because of those love feelings, some fathers really warried about their children.
    So I guess Sandra’s strict father really loves her. And a very surprising secret is a kind of his love feeling to Sandra.

    Thank you,

  13. Chikako Tsuge(T4) says:

    I will answer to question 1. I guess the secret might be, her father likes teddy bear so much. Since he is strict, she has never thought that he likes cute things like this, but one day she found so much teddy bears in his closet accidentally. It was very surprising and funny, but she will like her father more.

  14. Reina Inoue(T4) says:

    I’ll answer question 1.
    I have many idea about strict father’s secret. For example his father was also strict or he just doesn’t know how to be kind to his children… But these are not FUNNY, but little bit serious. I think father’s fanny secret is having a dog under a bridge!! He said children not to keep any animals. One day he found a little mean dog. He wanted to help. But he can’t take him to his house because he said don’t so that to his kids. So he decided to take him to under bridge… He should have say true to his family!!

  15. Akari Yamada (T4) says:

    I choose question1.
    From the description “her strict father”, I guess the secret is something little crazy one.
    I expect that he has a weakness for sweets. He always say “I don’t eat such sweets.” but oneday Sandra found many sweets in his drawer.
    Because he is strict, maybe they didn’t get along. Sandra, however, loves eating sweets too so she asked him to eat with him at popular sweets shop. And then, they started getting alone each other because sweets make us very smooth-faced. After that they share lastest information of sweet.

  16. Rio Sato(T4) says:

    I will answer the question 2.
    Judging from the text, there is only one information, Sandra’s father is strict.
    However her father’s secret must be funny, I think that the gap is important.
    So I wonder her father likes small animals very much (including hamsters, rabbits, squirrels). He rears these animals in his room in the secret, but Sandra find it!

  17. Aiko Narasaki (T4) says:

    On TV, I often see someone reports a culture that he or she doesn’t know. In these situations, the reporter is surprised at first. But it seems that at last, the reporter gets interested in the culture.
    I think, the article we will read in the next lesson will be something like that. You can’t be interested in a story unless the speaker or the writer is not interested in.
    I have some friends who like goth fashion so I’m looking forward to the article.

  18. HI,Matt!
    I’ll answer Question 2 because it looks easier. it is shoter than another one.
    But, unfortunately, I couldn’t find the article that is referred to spin’s origin and Goth music festival.
    There may be perhaps no article about the festival.
    Anyway, I could know that the founder had a lot of hardship while he tried to found it.
    To accomplish a big stuff, effort will be also incredible, I think.

  19. Natsumi Mizumura (T4) says:


    I’ll answer the Question1.
    Because my father is strict person, so I imagine easily this question. I guess Sandra’s father is a strict about her acting like my father. For example, he always keeps quietly and him dignity, and he get angry at trifles. But he conceal his lovely hobby. It’s that he likes a small animals like a kitty, and he set up his smartphone’s wallpaper cute kitties. Always strict father, but he is a person, it is not strange thing. He is careful of being found his daughter his hobby. It may break his dignity. But, if she knows her father’s one of his side, she will feel familiarity with him as me.

  20. Annie(T4) says:

    Hi, Matt! I’m Annie in T4. I’d like to answer question 2.
    I think the reporter will first write about the history and the origin of the festival. Such as when did it begin? Who created it? How did it come into being? Then, he will describe what he had seen and heard on the festival. Such as the clothes people wear, the music they played and the special activities they held. At last, he will write his feelings about the festival, something like whether he enjoyed it or not. If he has been to a similar festival before, he may also tell the readers some differences he found between the two festivals.
    That’s all, thank you.

  21. Nishibori Hibiki(T4) says:

    I choose question No.1
    As the text says, Sandra’s father is strict, for example he don’t allow her to come home late or he decide the time when Sandra gets up and go to bed; you have to get up at 5:00 and go to bed at 22:00 everyday!
    Moreover he said that you should not eat snacks and fast foods because these things do harm to your health! One Day, however she entered his room and found that there were a lot of snacks such as chips. She was surprised.

  22. Ayaka Kishino(T4) says:

    I choose question 1.
    I think I will fail to guess the truth of Sandra’s father’s secret, because I only have a little information about him!
    My father and the fathers of my friends are so friendly and funny people,so I’ve never met real strict father. Therefore my image of a strict father is made from what I’ve read in novels or what I watched in dramas.
    I guess Sandra’s father is so strict that he never allows the family members’ with and hate changes in his house.
    Some day,however, Sandra took in a little and dirty puppy deserted in a park nearby. The father ,of course,became really angry and ordered her to desert it again. Sandra was kind girl and really sorry for the puppy, so she washed it and hide it away in her room.
    The very secret is…the father love puppies so much!!
    So he stole into her room in the midnight and brought the puppy to his own room. In the next morning, Sandra was in panic and she search all the room. Then,at last,she find her father was sleeping in his bed happily with holding the puppy in his arms.

  23. Ling(T4) says:

    I will answer question 1.
    I think the secret Sandra found out from her father is a thing that his father often do but not fit his character.Maybe his father often play games with children and often do something like a child.On Saturday or Sunday,father often goes to park and play very childish games with children between 3 to 5 years old.But he is very strict with me and always orders me to work hard and behave like an adult.

  24. Miki Kashiwa says:

    One sunday,Sandra and her family go to an aquarium although her strict father is reluctant to go.However,when he finds penguins,he runs to them and watches them happily for long hours…
    The secret is that he loves penguins so much…

  25. Atsushi Igarashi(T4) says:

    HI Matt. I’m sorry for leaving a comment lately.
    I’ll answer question1. The information we have about Sandra’s father is just that he is strict. So we have to think about his secret with our imagination. I think he is SUPERMAN!! When he is with family, he LIves a life as a strict father, but when someone gets in trouble, the father wear SUPERMAN suits and go to help!!

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