flesl.net paired stories: conversation: Eric Weihenmayer

web address: flesl.net/Reading/Stories/Series2/Eric_W/EricW_conversation.php

extreme:
exciting, dangerous

overcome:
fight successfully agains some disadvantage (handicap, poverty, illness, injury etc)

handicap:
physical or mental condition that makes it difficult to lead an ordinary life/p>

driven:
a person who is ‘driven’ is forced to act by some inner desire or need even if it is harmful to them

ambition:
the desire to accomplish something or become something (rich, famous, powerful etc)

psychological:
concerned with the mind (adverb: psychologically)

self-deception:
believing something about yourself even though you know ‘deep down’ it’s not true (noun: self-deception)

prove yourself:
show that you’re able to do something

fad:
an activity that’s popular for a while and then is forgotten

triumph: victory, if you have a ‘triumph’
you win (also a verb)

marketing: the ‘science‘ of selling things

• conversation activities for ‘Eric Weihenmayer’

story exchange guide

1: make groups of three or four

2: decide who is going to be A, who B, and who C. (In a four-person group there will be a c1 and a c2.)

3: A, tells the others in a story about one of the following:

a. My Most Extreme Adventure (or an extreme adventure of someone I know well)
b. How I (or someone I know well) Overcame a Handicap and Succeeded

4: B, repeats A’s story.

5: C (or C1 and C2), asks A questions about his or her story.

6: A becomes C (or C2), B becomes A, etcetera, and everything is repeated.

•Use questions like the following to stimulate conversation with the other members of your group.

about Eric:

• If you happened to meet Eric do you think you would like him?;

• Do you think Eric has close friends?;

• Do you think he has a happy marriage, children?

• Do you think he is a good teacher?

• Do you think that, if he had not gone blind, he would have become a mountain climber.?

about “driven” people:

• Are people who are driven by ambition (to do something no one has done before, to get rich, to rise to the top of their profession etc) generally happy or unhappy? Satisfied or dissatisfied?

• Are they psychologically healthy or unhealthy?

• Do they understand themselves, or are they self-deceived? (For example was Eric more interested in mountain climbing or in ‘proving’ himself.)

about “extreme sports”:

• Why do you think extreme sports such as (rock climbing, mountaineering, hang gliding, bungee jumping, buildering, storm chasing etc) have become so popular in recent years?

• Is it only a fad?

• Is it a triumph of marketing?

• Does it have something to do with the monotony and security consciousness of modern life?