Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Speakout Advanced p 23. A Living Library. Listening

The speaker says that nowadays when we need to (0) ___research_____something, we tend to do it on the net.
He mentions the event he attended was organised by the university to  (1) __________/ ___________.
He looked through the catalogue of available books to (2)____________ himself in, as ‘a student’.
Next to 'student' were written things like 'lazy', (3) ___________________ / ___________________, 'do useless degrees'. And also 'wastes (4) ___________________ money' 'can't cook' and 'spends all his money on beer'.
Sitting in the waiting room was rather (5)____________ and he was beginning to have (6)___________________ / ___________________.
The two men compared experiences: student life in the I960s, with the (7)___________________ and protests and the ambitions they had of changing the world and student life now.
The man thinks the (8)_______________ of the experience was (9) ___________________.
The (10)____________ discussion makes people have an (11)____________ about things, which is good. 
One of the persons taking part in the living library is Karry, who's visually (12) _________________.
She lost her sight (13)____________ illness.
Saba comments that the thing that (14) ___________________ her about Karrie was the fact that she is (15)_____________ independent.
Karry wants to (16) _____________/ __________/ _____________ that just because a person can't see, they can't do anything for themselves.
Some blind people around the world have had a (17)________/ _________ on society because they have been successfully employed, or taken (18) ___________________ / ___________________ and participated even in Olympic events.
Karrie believes that she is a good (19) __________________/ _________/  ___________________ because she is able to 'see' people on the inside.
Sighted people may judge others by their clothes or by a (20)_____________ they may have.
Karrie taught the reader not to be (21) ___________________ about disability

Related stories:

1. tackle prejudices
tackle something to make a determined effort to deal with a difficult problem or situation. E.g. The government is determined to tackle inflation. I think I'll tackle the repairs next weekend. Firefighters tackled a blaze in a garage last night.

prejudice: /ˈpredʒudɪs/ an unreasonable dislike of or preference for a person, group, custom, etc, especially when it is based on their race, religion, sex, etc. E.g. a victim of racial prejudice. Their decision was based on ignorance and prejudice. There is little prejudice against workers from other EU states.

2. sign
sign in/out / sign somebody in/out to write your/somebody's name when you arrive at or leave an office, a club, etc. E.g. All visitors must sign in on arrival. You must sign guests out when they leave the club.

Against: close to, touching or hitting somebody/something. E.g. Put the piano there, against the wall. The rain beat against the windows.

3.  politically apathetic

4. taxpayers'

surreal: /səˈriːəl/ very strange; more like a dream than reality, with ideas and images mixed together in a strange way. E.g. surreal images. The play was a surreal mix of fact and fantasy.

6. second thoughts
have second thoughts: to change your opinion after thinking about something again. E.g. You're not having second thoughts about it, are you? I was beginning to have second thoughts. 

Rail: To express objections or criticisms in bitter, harsh, or abusive language. Scold. 
rail against someone or something to complain vehemently about someone or something. E.g. Why are you railing against me? What did I do? Leonard is railing against the tax increase again.
rail at someone (about something) to complain loudly or violently to someone about something. E.g. Jane railed at the payroll clerk about not having received her check. I am not responsible for your problems. Don't rail at me!
a rail of: E.g. A constant rail of accusations and insults. 
a hail of something a large number or amount of something that is aimed at somebody in order to harm them. E.g. a hail of arrows/bullets. A hail of abuse. The proposals met with a hail of criticism.  Another group would be subjected to a hail of accusations.

7. riots
riot: /ˈraɪət/ a situation in which a group of people behave in a violent way in a public place, often as a protest. E.g. One prison guard was killed when a riot broke out in the jail.

8. directness
directness: /dəˈrektnəs/ /dɪˈrektnəs/ /daɪˈrektnəs/ the quality of being simple and clear, so that it is impossible not to understand. The quality of being direct, honest, straightforward. E.g. ‘What's that?’ she asked with her usual directness.He presents his case with refreshing clarity and directness.

9. eye-opening
eye-opening: causing one suddenly to learn or understand what was not previously known. E.g. an eye-opening look into the private machinations of the governor.

eye-opener: an event, experience, etc. that is surprising and shows you something that you did not already know. E.g. Travelling around India was a real eye-opener for me.

10. candid
candid: saying what you think openly and honestly; not hiding your thoughts. E.g. a candid statement/interview. To be candid, I can't stand her.

11. open mind
have/keep an open mind (about/on something) to be willing to listen to or accept new ideas or suggestions.

12. impaired
-impaired: having the type of physical or mental problem mentioned. E.g. hearing-impaired children. Nowadays we say someone is ‘speech-impaired’, not dumb. Karrie is visually impaired.

13. due to

due to something/somebody caused by somebody/something; because of somebody/something. E.g. The team's success was largely due to her efforts. Most of the problems were due to human error. The project had to be abandoned due to a lack of government funding. Due to staff shortages, we are unable to offer a full buffet service on this train.

14. struck
strike, struck, struck: (of a thought or an idea) to come into somebody’s mind suddenly. Strike somebody The first thing that struck me about Alex was his amazing self-confidence. An awful thought has just struck me. I was struck by her resemblance to my aunt. It suddenly struck me how we could improve the situation.

15. fiercely
Fiercely:  used for emphasizing what you are saying, especially how strong or severe something is. E.g. Publishing has become a fiercely competitive industry.

16. challenge the stereotype 

17. great impact
impact (of something) (on somebody/something) the powerful effect that something has on somebody/something. E.g. The environmental impact of tourism. Her speech made a profound impact on everyone. Businesses are beginning to feel the full impact of the recession. Social support to cushion the impact of unemployment.

18. Advanced degrees

19. judge of character 

20. scar 
scar a mark that is left on the skin after a wound has healed. E.g. a scar on his cheek. Will the operation leave a scar?

21. narrow-minded
narrow-minded: not willing to listen to new ideas or to the opinions of others. E.g. a narrow-minded attitude.

The book – Alex: Now, you might think of a library as a dusty old place full of books that nobody uses any more. After all, when we need to research something, we tend to do it on the net nowadays. But in a ‘living library’ the books are real people. People who can share a significant personal experience, or a particular perspective on life. I volunteered to be a book at a living library event in Sheffield. The event was organised by the university and was meant to tackle prejudices. Arriving in a bit of a hurry, I looked through the catalogue of available books to sign myself in, as ‘a student’. Against each ‘book’ are a few of the typical prejudices and preconceptions people might associate with your ‘title’. Next to ‘student’ were written things like ‘lazy’, ‘politically apathetic’, ‘do useless degrees’. And also ‘wastes tax payers’ money’ ‘can’t cook’ and ‘spends all his money on beer’. Thinking back to the previous night, I wasn’t sure how I was going to tackle any of these accusations. Sitting in the waiting room was rather surreal, with ‘books’ asking each other ‘Who are you?’ and already I was beginning to have second thoughts. When the public started coming in, it was like sitting on a shelf, waiting and hoping that someone would choose you, and hoping that you would be able to find something to say when they did. Luckily, I didn’t have to wait long. An older man, grey hair and a suit, came to collect me. As we walked over to our designated corner, I planned my responses to the rail of expected accusations. In fact, as we talked over coffee, we compared experiences – student life in the 1960s, with the riots and protests, wild music, and the ambitions they had of changing the world. And student life now. Interestingly, we found that we shared a lot of the same ideologies, that many things haven’t really changed. I think the directness of the experience was eye-opening really. The candid discussion forces people to keep an open mind about things, and that has to be good.

The reader – Saba: If, like me, you’re the kind of person that is curious about other types of people that you don’t know personally, then I think you’d enjoy the ‘living book’ experience. I went to a three-hour session in Norwich, and was surprised at how much I learned. It gives you a chance to really talk to people, who may be from a different religion, or culture – people who you don’t normally get to talk to in your everyday life. I met all kinds of people, some wonderful people. One of them was Karrie, a blind woman. Karrie is visually impaired, having lost her sight due to illness when she was a child. The first thing that struck me about Karrie is that she’s fiercely independent. She doesn’t like other people doing things for her, so you can imagine that can be a bit difficult. Her mission was to tackle the stigma that people attach to blind people, that they are helpless. She wants to challenge the stereotype that just because a person can’t see, they can’t do anything for themselves. Karrie lives a perfectly normal life, gets dressed by herself, goes to work, goes out socially – and does all the things that the rest of us do. Well, she can’t drive, but that was really one of her few limitations. She told me about successful blind people around the world who have had a great impact on society – people who have been successfully employed, er taken advanced degrees, published books, written music, and participated in athletic and even Olympic events. These are the people that have been Karrie’s inspiration. She also talked about how many blind people use their other senses, which happen to be quite developed. So, Karrie feels that she is quite a good judge of character, because she is able to ‘see’ people for who they really are, on the inside, rather than just how they want to present themselves, or how you may judge them because of the clothes they’re wearing, or the scar they may have. As she put it, she is able to ‘see with her heart’ rather than her eyes. My conversation with Karrie gave me a whole new perspective. It taught me not to be narrow-minded about disability, and I thank her for that.

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