Interactive English: Reception

Reading and Listening

Listening: “Hands on a Hard Body”

on December 9, 2015

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. 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

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

  1. Yu Kobayashi (T4 ) says:

    I will answer question 3.
    I think this has two main difficulties.
    Fist, one sentence is long and connected with AND or COMMA. So while listening, it is difficult for me to understand which words or phrases are related to which parts.
    Second ,this contest is unique and I don’t have knowledge of this .So,it is not easy to imagine. Predicting. some difficult words or phrases from context is much harder than topics which I already know.

    See you tomorrow !

  2. Yao T4 says:

    Hi, Matt! I’m Yao.
    I’d like to answer the question 3. Because we are going to hear the excerpts from a documentary,so there could be some different situations and different people talking from different perspects. Expecially the interview part, the sentences may not be well organized. And there could be a lot of informal expressions and some jokes or slang that are hard to understand. And the speed may be fast,and even with some noise. I’m always nervous about listening. There’s too much uncertainty.

  3. Rio Sato (T4) says:

    I will answer question 2.
    I think that people who have a lot of free time and who are patient will enter and win a contest like hands on hard body contest.
    If you want to participate in this contest, you need so much times to win. I think I will participate in it when I have a lot of free time and I have nothing to do.
    Also I think the contest require patience. I think just standing is so boring! I can’t stand so long with nothing to win the contest.

  4. Rio Sato (T4) says:

    I will answer question 2.
    I think that people who have a lot of free time and who are patient will enter and win a contest like hands on hard body contest.
    If you want to participate in this contest, you need so much times to win. I think I will participate in it when I have a lot of free time and I have nothing to do.
    Also I think the contest require patience. I think just standing is so boring! I can’t stand so long time with nothing.

  5. Rio Sato (T4) says:

    I will answer question 2.
    I think that people who have a lot of free time and who are patient will enter and win a contest like hands on hard body contest.
    If you want to participate in this contest, you need so much times to win. I think I will participate in it when I have a lot of free time and I have nothing to do.
    Also I think the contest require patience. I think just standing so long time with nothing is so boring!

  6. Ichiyo Shimizu says:

    I’m answering the question 2.
    People who think that they can get a truck if they win such an easy contest will enter this contest, and only who are able to make their minds vacant or empty will win the contest, I think. In my opinion, contests like this need so much patience that during contests, participants shouldn’t think about anything. If they start counting the number of the rest, they cannot concentrate and they will get tired, so what is important is closing eyes and waiting quietly for the time to pass, I think.

  7. Rika Morofuji(T4) says:

    I would like to answer the question No.2.
    In such games, I think endurance is important. When you feel tired, the real competition starts. It is important to keep fighting as long as you can. Such types of games are fighting with yourself. If you mind that the results of the game depend on your patience, you will be able to keep standing longer.A person who never gives up early will win the contest, I think.

  8. Chikako Tsuge(T4) says:

    I will answer to the question 1.
    I think he will tell us how he won the contest. He must have suffered from the tiredness for a long time, it’s beyond our imagination. He maybe give us tips to kill time by myself, how to keep awaking and stand there for many hours. Anyway I think it’s really boring, tiring and killing challenge, and it’s so hard to win the contest.

  9. Keishu Joi(T4) says:

    Hi matt!

    I chose number 3.
    I am really looking forward to next class, because I like this kind of documentary. Especially in the next class, the excerpts we will listen to will be strange, but I think it might be fun, contents. I have never dreamed such a fool contest, but , as is often happened with those documentary, we will be listen to some interesting things.

    However, we will have dificulties in listening to the excerpts, because they speak broken English we Japanese are hard to listen. So we should concentrate on important phrases which are emphasized with loud voice.

    Thanks,

  10. reina inoue T4 says:

    I’ll answer the question2.
    I could not understand details of “truck” but I got some sense of it…
    I think the most patient person who has the strongest passion to win will be the winer !! Someone like Yuzuru Hnyu, a Japanese top skyter. He has strong passion to exprrece through his perfomans and be the No.1 !! Those people practice harder than any other people, and do anything to do the best.

  11. Miki Kashiwa says:

    I choose the question 2.
    The person who has an ardent desire to keep the truck will enter and win, I think.
    That’s because I can’t endure just standing for nothing, however, for eating famous delicious cakes, I can stand no matter how long I have to wait to eat them.

  12. Akari Yamada (T4) says:

    I’ll answer question1.
    In my opinion he will tell us what he did during the contest. To be more specific, what only he can do is “touch” but he also can think. In a word maybe he will tell us what he thought during the contest. For example, the future after he won this contest, the place he want to go, food he want to eat right now and so forth. To keep touching for a long time is soooo boring and probably make us little bit crazy, so all participants think about strange things.

  13. Aiko Narasaki says:

    I will answer question 1.
    I can’t imagine the detail of the contest, but I think we will hear how he could win.
    For example, what he was thinking about during the contest, or what he could do while he was standing.
    I think those are useful in some way because it takes me nearly an hour standing on train to get to school.

  14. Yuka Hattori says:

    Hi,Matt!
    I will answer puestion No.1. I think he tells us that what does it need to win a conpetition. He was a champion of that contest once. He may tell us that how did he win the previous centest and why did he come back this time. He is sure to speak a detail of contest because he is a precious winner of it.
    Also, he more or less say about his present situation. He must have a reason why he decided to join the contest. I guess that he was recommended to perticipate in it because of his great record.
    I am really interested in that and looking forward to listening to his story.

  15. Keisuke Koyama (Chankei) says:

    Hi,Matt!
    I chose Q2.
    The answer is absolutely a person who is terribly patient.
    I think those patient are likely to be hardworking. It is very important when tackling an incredibly challenging work.
    Meanwhile,Japanese people are said to be, in general, patient and hardworking, but I wonder if it is true or not. However, it is surely ture that we can feel happy in Japan, thanks to the patience and hardwork of our ancesters.

  16. Ayumi Nakahara(T4) says:

    I will answer question 1.
    I don’t want to enter this contest, because it’s hard for me to stand for a long time. Therefore, I think people who have perfect confidence in their own strengths enter this contest. However, there are more important thing to win in this contest. That is “imagination.” If you think about some happy things, such as “If I win this contest, I will receive an award! How I use this…”, you can forget a tiredness fairly. I’m looking forward to listen this excerpts!

  17. Mika Osada says:

    I will answer the question 2.
    I think that those who are patient and have strong feelings that to be second to none enter and win in a contest like this. To make preparations is the key to win in the contest I think. It is important to have enough time to sleep before the contest. Those who have short sleep every day would tend to survive.
    When you lose your concentration, you rethink you cannot give up if you have a clear goal to win in the contest. However, if you don’t have clear reason to participate in the contest, you cannot win against the sleepiness.

  18. Emi Tanaka(T4) says:

    I choose question 3.
    Documentary shows us a lot of information as they are and sometimes a speaker talks about things which we are unfamiliar with. When we hear one phrase that we don’t know well and the speaker continue to talk on the topic, we can’t concentrate on what he/she is talking.
    And it is difficult for us to imagine what he/she says by not a picture or character but auditory information.

  19. Kenji (T4) says:

    I choose question 2.
    Since that contest sounds so tough for me to stand through, person like Terminator will won.

  20. Ayaka Kishino(T4) says:

    I choose the question no.3.
    I guess that there are the two difficulties below.
    First,the speaker will tell us about the competition with the excitement,so the speaking will be so fast.
    Second,I think the result of the competition related to the psycological activity and the speech will include many medical terms which we never met,so it will be difficult for us to hear and catch the right meanings.

  21. Yuki Yokomizo(T4) says:

    Hi, Matt! I’m Yuki.
    I will try to answer No.3.
    Frankly speaking, I can’t understand what this contest is like.
    I guessed this was like the contest where 24 people competed with each other about the power of their bodies by pushing a car.
    I think unknown documents are difficult to listen to because we usually don’t know the knowledge of them, so we can’t get the outline well. In this case, it’s hard for me to imagine what we will hear, too.
    Thank you.

  22. Yuki Yokomizo (T4) says:

    Hi, Matt! I’m Yuki.
    I will try to answer 3, but frankly speaking I can’t understand what this contest is like.
    I guessed this is the contest where 24 people compete with each other about the power of their bodies by pushing a so heavy car.
    I think unknown documents are hard to listen to because we usually don’t know the knowledge of them, so we can’t get the outlines well.
    In this case, it’s difficult for me to imagine what we will hear, too.
    Thank you.

  23. Atsushi Igarashi(T4) says:

    I’ll answer the question3. I have never heard about this contest so far, so I cannot predict what I will listen to. Before listnenig to the story, Information I have is one picticture and introduction, which are not both easy to understand obviously. while listening,I try to guess the story, finding some key words from the introduction like “truck” or “stand”

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