Friday, November 29, 2013


This brilliant video was sent in by my dear friend and fellow teacher Yağız Tanlı. Watch it carefully and write a brief summary.Try also to state the main idea.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


bbc. /news
Fatal accidents and injuries cause a lot of people’s death every day. But there is something worse than death: paralysis and incurable injuries. Is euthanasia acceptable in situations such as this? The issue became topical once again following the case of Vincent Humbert.
Vincent Humbert had a terrible accident that left him mute, blind and completely paralyzed except for his right thumb three years ago and he described his situation as a living death. He wanted to die because he was completely dependent on others. He wrote a letter to president Chirac asking for the right to die. Euthanasia is illegal in France so his request was turned down but his mother gave him what he wanted by putting an overdose in his drip. Two days later, the young man was dead. Before his death, he had written a book using his right thumb which is called “I ask for the right to die”.
In these conditions, Vincent Humbert must have felt desperate and wished to escape from the eternal darkness and empty life. He couldn’t move or see; he could only hear and think so it’s normal for to have wanted to die. The president might have thought that he was right to want it but he had to obey the law. He turned down Vincent’s request but he could have helped him to cross the border to another country where euthanasia is legal. Forcing someone who doesn’t want to live and has a logical reason for wanting to die to live is not fair. Vincent’s mother, Marie Humbert, did the hardest thing for a mother: she killed her son. By doing so she showed that she understood Vincent’s feelings and respected his decisions.
Which is better to allow someone in this situation to die or to force him to live? It is very hard to say. One is as bad as the other. One thing is certain: Marie Humbert shouldn’t be arrested but probably this is impossible according to the law.
                                                                                           İREM GÜNGÖR / INT; third week of 


Every day lots of accidents happen all over the world and as a result many people die or are injured very badly. One such person was Frenchman, Vincent Humbert, who was involved in a terrible accident and lost the ability to see, talk and move.
Vincent Humbert, who was 22 years old, died two days after his mother put an overdose in his drip. He was mute blind and paralyzed. He was just able to hear and think. He had lived in this situation for three years and knew he would never recover. He and his family suffered a lot of pain. It was impossible to communicate with other people for a man who could only use his thumb but he wrote a letter to President Chirac. In his letter, he explained his situation and asked him for the right to die but naturally, Chirac couldn’t accept his request. Before he died, his mother announced her plans to the media. After three long years, Vincent Humbert finally died peacefully.
Of course this situation was easy neither for Vincent or his mother.  He must have been sorry about his mother and his friends. He must have thought that there was no way out except for death. Can you imagine not being able to see, talk or move despite being able to hear and think? Maybe he finally became tired of his pitiful life. On the other hand, it is very hard for a mother to kill her own son. She had to make a really hard decision and she finally decided to stop her son’s pain.
In France, more than 80% of the people think the law against voluntary euthanasia should be changed. In various European countries, euthanasia is legal and maybe it will be legal in France too. Whether it is legal or illegal, it is really hard to be in that kind of situation and almost impossible to decide what the right course of action is.
                                                                                EGE KAYA / INT; third week of November

Mountain climbing is a sport which is very dangerous. It involves team work and requires ambition and physical fitness. In this sport, as the height of the mountain to be climbed increases so does the satisfaction derived. That is why Mount Everest is so popular with climbers. However, climbing Everest is very different from climbing any other mountain. It is one of the hardest climb and many climbers have died or were injured in the attempt. Nevertheless, the story of David Sharp differs from all the others.
David Sharp, an unlucky young man who tried to climb Everest, had been left behind by his own team for an unknown reason. This is not the weirdest and most tragic part of the story: another group of 40 climbers headed by Mark Inglis found him frozen but still alive and able to move his eyes. Because they were blinded by ambition and the desire for glory, none of them stayed with him to take care of him and continued their journey to the summit. No one knows what David Sharp’s last hours were like and how long it took him to die.
The question we need to ask ourselves is this: could they have done anything else? In my opinion a group of people could have turned back in order to save a human life and could have carried him down the mountain. They could have tried at least. However, according to the words of Mark Inglis’ team, he wasn’t healthy enough to withstand the journey.  We don’t know if this is true but if it is, there is something else that they could have done: one or two members at least could have forgotten about their ambition and could have stayed with him so that he could die in peace. I think making a person happy in his last hours is much more important than any success in life.
To sum up, this story is a controversial one; there may be some who would disagree but the decision to leave David Sharp alone is ethically wrong, in my opinion. If the weather conditions had been bad or if there had been some danger for the other climbers, it would have been excusable but this was not the case. In short, the behavior of Mark Inglis and his team was completely unjustified.
                                                                              BATIHAN TOSUN /INT; last week in November


Based on the text “My Daughter Deserved to Die for Falling in Love” which was posted on The Guardian website;
Honour killings are still common in some areas of the world. Many people have been killed for extremely strange reasons although they were innocent. Rand Abdel- Quader’s death was an honour killing too.
Rand Abdel-Quader, 17, was murdered by her father and two brothers due to being in a “relationship” with a British soldier. While she was helping displaced families as a volunteer, she met a British soldier, Paul. Being a student in the English department at Basra University, she knew English and acted as interpreter. They were working together and naturally they talked.  A few compliments by the British soldier led her to think she was in love.   Although Rand fell in love with him, Paul, the soldier, didn’t know about it. When her father discovered this, he and his two sons killed her. He said he didn’t regret anything and didn’t have a daughter. Surprisingly, he was released from police custody after what he had done and even congratulated by the officers. After the killing, Rand’s mother left home and got a divorce. Her ex-husband continues to live at home and draw a salary from the hospital he used to work at but doesn’t go into work.
Rand was studying English at Basra University and was the one person who spoke English. She was helping the Iraqi volunteers who she was working with to communicate with Paul. According to her father, she humiliated him by speaking to a foreign soldier. She didn’t sleep with Paul and their relationship was nothing more than a friendship but that was enough for her father.  He believed she deserved to die. Obviously, people have been misinforming people concerning religion. Everyone should be educated to prevent such misunderstandings. The officers’ attitude was also very odd: even though Rand’s father should have been punished, he was supported and congratulated. This is enough to see how bad the situation is in Iraq. Rand’s mother said that her husband was a different person on the day he murdered their daughter. It is possible that he bowed to public pressure which can be very strong in such communities. Such pressure can push people to commit crimes that they would never commit under normal circumstances.
Honour killings sound unreal and ridiculous but a lot of people are suffering from these wrong beliefs. The only way to stop them is to educate future generations.
                                                 İREM GÜNGÖR/ INT; mid. December


 Same topic as above. This one is your typical 60: grammatically correct, simple and straightforward but lacking the sparkle of the previous essay. I will leave you to decide which one deserves the higher grade. After all, no one is going to use the same style when writing about movies and the law of diminishing returns for example… So why should we worry?
There are a wide range of activities available when one is bored or feels sad. Some people go swimming, some go fishing; it changes from person to person. Watching a DVD at a cinema and watching a DVD at home are enjoyable pass times too.  Watching a film at a cinema has far more advantages than watching a DVD at home.
First of all there are some preparations one has to make before going to the cinema: for example, purchasing a ticket, dressing, leaving the house and so on. These preparations are necessary when watching a film at a cinema but not if you are staying home. After all these preparations, people can go to a cinema without any problems. Although going to a cinema is more tiring, it is better than staying in your living room. Because always staying in the same place is boring, people want to go to other places. Thus, going to the cinema becomes more exciting. Watching a film at a cinema is worth everything for some other reasons too. For Example, the sound quality is much better than the DVD player. The effects are better too.  People can watch all the details easily at a cinema because the screen is large and there are more than six loud speakers. While watching a DVD at home, people usually fall asleep due to the comfortable chairs. Tickets cost more than buying a DVD and you can watch a DVD again and again but going to a cinema once affects one much more than watching a DVD at home. Both my friends and I watched Avatar. When we compared our experiences, they were different since I went to a cinema and they watched it at home.
In conclusion, watching a film at a cinema brings more satisfaction. Because the quality is better, it is worth everything.
              AHMET ORHAN/ INT, first week of January


Watching a film at the cinema or watching a DVD at home.
The first version is not a style that is “approved” officially, but no one can deny that it is very, very proficient, which is why I am posting it. If a student can write like this, is it right to slap him down? I think not… Also, it is very unwise to get too hooked up on specific “types of compositions”. Most essays are, after all, basically opinion essays of one form or another.
The cinema industry has developed very fast in the last century. There are lots of films on the market in which millions of dollars have been invested. Thanks to technology, perfect visual effects – even 3D sound effects – make movies more attractive. So where is the best place to watch these movies? Is it better to go to the cinema or do you think none of the seats in the movie theatres equal your sofa? I think if you have the technology, it’s better to watch films at home.
DVD players are more useful than one may think. Consider the things DVD players do. Imagine you are going to go to the cinema with your girl friend: first you get dressed, leave the house get in your car, then you go and pick up your girl. When you arrive at the movie theatre, you must purchase tickets and start to wait. If you are lucky, you can find a place at the back of the theatre. If not, when the movie begins, there will be people who are late who will pass in front of you. Believe me; there will always be people who are late. Think about that little girl crying in the front row; don’t you want to wring her neck? Now you see what DVD players can do. You call your girl friend; she comes over. There’s no waiting, no late comers and no howling child.
The advantages of the DVD player don’t stop there. You can pause or turn the volume up or down whenever you like. The late Michael Jackson apparently closed down a movie theatre to watch Jurassic Park. If you were him, you could do the same thing at the cinema but this is not the case for the average John. Consider the size of the screen: now you can buy 120 inch 3D lead TV’s and really good home theatre systems. I have tried it and it really rocks. Another superiority of a DVD is that you save money. Buying a DVD costs less than going to the cinema. Plus, if you like the film you can watch the DVD again.
Of course it is a really good activity to go out to the cinema with your friends and family but it is an expensive hobby if, like me, you watch movies every day. Watching films is supposed to be relaxing and we don’t have to make it stressful by worrying about being late or finding a seat in the front row.  “Home sweet home” this is the best option.
           SARP YILDIZOĞLU /INT, first week of January.

COMPARISON CONTRAST ESSAY: CHOOSING A HOUSE (Students are given a worksheet with the photographs of two radically different houses. Information concerning the houses is also provided. They are then told that a couple with two teenage children and two cars need a house and told to decide which one they should buy. They are told they have got to do this by comparing the two houses)
Mr. and Mrs. Jones are looking for a house in Smalltown where they have both found new jobs. They have two children of school age and can afford to pay 350.000 pounds. They have two cars. The local estate agent in Smalltown , Grab and Grab, have sent Mr. and Mrs. Jones information about two houses. One of them is a modern house and the other is an old house.  On looking at them, it is clear that the old house would be a much better choice.
 Regarding accommodation, the family has two children so the house should have three bedrooms at least. While the old house has three bedrooms, one single and two double, the modern house has two double bedrooms. But the two houses are similar to each other in that they have two reception rooms. But there is one important difference: there is a large open fireplace in one of the reception rooms of the old house. The new house’s kitchen is well equipped; however, the old house’s kitchen is attractively large; with some modernization, it will be more useful and beautiful than the other one. The new house has a double garage which can house their cars but the old house has a huge garden and they can park there.
 As regards location, both the old and the new house are near the town center. However, the old one is a bit farther: it is 30 minutes on foot and 10 minutes by bus. One can’t really say that that is too far; they have two cars or they can walk. The old house is on the edge of Mary Ann’s Wood and is approached by a private road, which must be very attractive. On the other hand, the new house is in a residential area. It is also in very good nick unlike the old house which needs some repairs.  There is one similarity between the houses: they both have gardens. While the new house has a front garden, the old house has front and rear gardens as well as an orchard. Also it is surrounded by woodland so it is a peaceful place far from the hustle and bustle of the town.
As for price, the old house is 320.000 pounds whereas the new one is 350.000. If the family chooses the old house they will have to pay 30.000 pounds more; money they could use for renovation. There is another important difference between the houses though: the old house is freehold which means it will be theirs for keeps whereas the new one is leasehold. This makes the old house a better buy financially as well.  Therefore, they should go ahead and buy the old house without wasting another minute.

                                                                      İREM GÜNGÖR / INT. Third week of December


Choosing a house is the hardest decision a family can make. When trying to decide whether or not to buy a house, it is a good idea to try and evaluate all the features of the house we are considering. There are thousands of different kinds of houses built for all sorts of different families. Mr. and Mrs. Jones, who have two children and are moving to Smalltown because they have found jobs there, should buy The Haven.
Everyone wants to live in an old classic house. In such a house, the owner can smell the scent of history in every part of the house.  Unfortunately, most people have to own new houses as there aren’t enough old antique houses to go round in cities or towns. This family can easily afford to buy The Haven and save 30.000 pounds with which they can easily modernize the old places and build a garage in one of the big gardens for their two cars. Every house has a garden but only a few of them have such big ones. The Jones family will be able to do organic farming in the orchard if they buy The Haven. They have two children so they should have three bedrooms; hence, the first house is not convenient for them. They could possibly divide one of the bedrooms with a partition wall but it may not be feasible.  Every woman’s dream is having a large kitchen but in modern houses the kitchens are smaller. Because of this The Haven, the old house, will be better for Mrs. Jones.  What is even better is the fact that they can have a romantic time in front of the fireplace in The Haven. How would this be possible in a modern house?  The Haven is farther to the town center but they can drive, take the bus or walk to town. They could walk through the woodland which would be good exercise and very pleasant.
There is one more point: The Haven is freehold, and freehold houses are much better value than leasehold houses. What’s more, they could get a mortgage if they buy The Haven, which would give them plenty of money for renovations in the short term. We don’t make these kinds of decisions everyday so we should be very careful when we decide to buy a house where we will live for the rest of our lives.    
                                               ILGAZ ÇAKIN /INT. Third week of December                                                        


 ( Students should be taught the relevant media jargon and/ or allowed to study, with your help, an article classifying papers where the said jargon may be observed in situ.)
Newspapers are the oldest vehicle used for conveying the news to the community. However, in contemporary times, newspapers have evolved from pieces of paper to lifestyle. To be specific, in Turkey, they can be considered in terms of socio-economic factors and political bias which in turn can help categorize readers in terms of their choices of newspaper.
Regarding the socio-economic class of readers, working class and middle class people generally choose cheaper newspapers such as Posta, Haber Türk without any regard for their quality. On the other hand, rich and educated classes focus on the content of papers much more than the other factors and their choices are generally related to their interests and biases. Due to this, Milliyet is read mostly by these classes.
On the other hand newspapers can also be categorized into groups according to their political views. Due to Turkey’s current political climate, there are only two groups in this category: pro government papers and anti government papers. Zaman, Vakit and Sabah are examples of papers that support the government with their conservative views. Conversely, Cumhuriyet, Milliyet and Bugün are opposed to current government policies championing a more secular world view. Unfortunately it is not possible to discuss right wing or left wing papers in Turkey in the real sense as political bias in Turkey centers around conservatism and secularism. Due to this, there are very few newspapers which support the far right or the far left.
In conclusion, newspapers in Turkey may be categorized into various groups according to various criteria. However, people can also be categorized into groups according to their preferences as all newspapers not only provide insight into events but also into the types of people who read these papers providing  realistic insight into the composition of Turkish society.
                                                                       BAYRAM AKDENİZ / INT. The beginning of 


This brilliant task was prepared in its entirety by Özlem Gündoğdu, a remedial student at this university in the fall of 2013. I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her contribution.
Nuclear disarmament or at least nuclear non-proliferation has been a dream that none of us really want to give up on. In a world where technology is developing at a break-neck pace, it is once more necessary to evaluate the evidence and see if we can put a stop to nuclear proliferation and achieve disarmament. Do your research and write an argumentative essay.
Refer to my second blog, The Essay Archive, for sample essays:  
Reading material to annotate
1.       “The future of nuclear disarmament – Going to zero:  Feasible? Practical?
2.       “A world without nuclear weapons – feasible and desirable”
3.       “Is a world without nuclear weapons really possible?”
4.       “Q&A Nuclear disarmament”
Videos to watch and make notes on:
1.       “Which countries have nuclear weapons?”
2.       “Embrace! A world free of nuclear weapons”

3.       “Testimonies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki”

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Continual developments in technology and especially IT are vastly improving our connectivity as a species and revolutionizing the way we relate to each other, do business, socialize, learn and even receive an education. Part of the teacher’s role has already been taken over by the internet and all the wonderful applications made possible by technology. In this emerging view of education, the teacher is becoming ‘the facilitator’ providing guidance for students seeking knowledge and self development. With this in mind, is ‘MOOC’ the future of education? Do your research and discover what exactly ‘MOOC’ is and then take notes on the pros and cons. Once you have done so, write an argumentative essay explaining your own views: are our classrooms going to remain as they are or are they going to undergo a transformation?
Refer to my second blog, The Essay Archive, for sample essays:  
Reading material to annotate
  1. “MOOCS: Top Ten Sites for Free Education with Elite Universities”; Note to the student: if you scroll down, you will find a fantastic, informative video as well.
2.       “MOOC List”
3.       “MOOC Definition from Financial Times Lexicon”
5.       “How MOOCS Are Changing the Way People Learn”
6.       “The Dark Side of MOOCS: Big Problems with Massively Open Online Courses”
Videos to watch and make notes on
2.       “What is MOOC”


Violence against women is a long standing human rights issue which still threatens millions around the world. Nothing seems to be able to curb it so0 what are the reasons for domestic violence? What are the tell tale signs and what are the effects? Do your research and make notes before writing an essay discussing both the causes and the effects. In your conclusion suggest solutions.
Reading material to annotate:
2.       “Violence against women: what is the route cause?”
3.       “Violence against women”
4.       “Violence against women”
5.       “Violence against women in Turkey”
6.       “Domestic violence against women: recognize patterns, seek help
Videos to watch and make notes on:
1.        “Violence against women – it is a men’s issue” By Jason Katz
2.       “New violence against women act includes historic protection…”

Film reviews to read and films to watch:
1. "Take a look behind the legend of Deep Throat: Lovelace"
2. "Unbelievable tales from a land not far away, not so long ago... The Magdelen Sisters"( Scroll down from the previous one)

3.       You are required to find two more videos related to the topic to add to the list. You will have a lot of choice so select wisely

      Refer to my second blog, The Essay Archive, for sample essays:  

Monday, November 25, 2013


This wonderful talk delivered by Prof. Carol Dweck was discovered and used as a basis for a summary task by Sümeyra Nur Yatkın whom I would like to thank for sharing it with us. I have checked out the video and Prof Dweck speaks very clearly and slowly; the video is very easy to follow and could lead to a variety of different writing tasks.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Whether children and young people are better off at single sex schools or coeducational schools is a matter of debate. Both systems have been tried but the modern trend is for coeducational schools. Do you agree or disagree? Do your research over a few days, make notes and write an argumentative essay. The material, links to which have been provided below, will present you with a balanced argument; it is up to you to decide.
Refer to my second blog, The Essay Archive, for sample essays:  
Reading material to annotate
1.       “Coeducation and same sex schooling”
2.       “Arguments for and against single sex schools”
3.       “The disadvantages of schools segregated by sex”
4.       “Pros and cons resulting from splitting up girls and boys in school”
5.       “Coed versus single- sex ed”
6.       “Single sex and coeducational schooling”
Videos to watch and make notes on:
1.       “Advantages and disadvantages of coed schools”
2.       “Single sex versus coed schools”
3.       “Single sex or coeducational schools for girls and boys”
4.       “Single sex education study”
5.       “Single sex schools versus coed schools”

6.       “Single sex versus coed schools”


Thanks are due to my dear friends and colleagues Füsun Savcı and Serhat Çelikel for this wonderful short story, accompanying video and reading task
The Story:
“The Last Lesson” by Alphonse Daudet
The Video:
“The Last Lesson” By Alphonse Daudet
The Reading Task:
“The Last Lesson” By Alphonse Daudet
Writing Task
Write a reaction (response) essay

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


A recent “Economist debate” titled “Can solar energy save the world?” posed this question and the votes were overwhelmingly in favor of the motion. In order to decide where you stand, click the link below, read and take notes on the arguments for and against and write an argumentative essay where you support your own views and refute counterarguments. If you wish, you could send your essay in to the economist which, if you are lucky, may publish it under “Comments from the floor”. Are you up for the challenge?

Refer to my second blog, The Essay Archive, for sample essays:  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


The emerging surrogacy market in India has once more drawn attention to this highly controversial mode of having a family. Is surrogacy an act of generosity enabling infertile couples to taste the joys of parenthood or is it a completely unnatural, unthinkable medical development. Should making babies be big business or is this area of human life sacred? Do your research and write an argumentative essay on this highly topical issue which is trending now.
Refer to my second blog, The Essay Archive, for sample essays:  
Reading texts to annotate:
1.       “Foreigners are flocking to India to rent wombs and grow surrogate babies”
2.       “The Baby Factory: in a huge clinic in India, hundreds of women are paid 5000 dollars each to have Western couples’ babies”
3.       “Womb for rent: surrogate mothers in India”
5.       “Surrogate motherhood in India”

Videos to watch and make notes on:
1.       “Fertility doctor offers low cost surrogates to foreigners”
2.       “Ethics of outsourcing pregnancy to India”

Sunday, November 17, 2013


“Great works of art can help us deal with life’s challenges”
By: Alain De Botton
Published: The Wall Street Journal; November 3, 2013; , The Saturday Essay Alternatively, just google the title and author’s name
Level of Difficulty: ****
Access the following site and read the short article titled “Practice Looking at Art”.  When you have finished, start the slide show and practice what you have learnt.
Thanks are due to my dear friend and colleague Füsun Savcı for this wonderful pre reading activity.
1.       Read the first three paragraphs of the text and answer the following questions: Use your own words.
·         What is the reason for the first two paragraphs?
·         What is the function of the third paragraph?
·         What kind of an article is this going to be?
2.       Why does the writer believe the purpose of art should be pinpointed? Because it needs to ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
3.       What is the purpose of art according to the writer?
4.       Art is described in the text as the apothecary for the soul. What is necessary for art to fulfill this role?
5.       Access the soft copy of the text and start the slide show. Study “At the Linen Closet” closely. The picture depicts a very ordinary topic. What is the artist’s message?
6.       Read the description of Van Utrecht’s picture and study it in the slide show on your screen. What message does the artist aim to convey via this painting? It reflects…………………………….
7.       What is the take home point for 21st century man? We should learn…………………………………….
8.       Read the description of “North Atlantic Ocean, Cliffs of Moher” and study the photograph in the slideshow. What does “This” refer to in the phrase “This has a tranquilizing effect”?
9.       What important antidote to the daily hassle does the photo produce?
10.   Now read the description of “Christ Crucified” by Velazquez carefully and study the picture in the slide show. What does “that” refer to in the sentence “This picture of the crucifixion achieves that”?
11.   What is the take home point of this picture?
12.   Read the section describing “The Twilight of Life” and study the picture in the slide show. What feeling does the picture inspire in us?
13.   What makes this picture appealing?
14.   Read the description of the Venetian glass and study the picture in the slide show. Why is the glass fragile?
15.   What is the implication of the above for human society?
16.   What are CEOs supposed to take note of?
17.   Read the section titled “Hope and Cheer” in full and study the pictures. The common concern linked to the popularity of works like “Bridge Over a Pond of Water Lillies” and “The Dancer” is that……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
18.   What is the take home point concerning the message of these two paintings?
When this article was going for publication, two sections were accidentally omitted. Your task is to write these sections taking into account all you have learnt in the pre reading activity and the passage you have just read. The first is by Pablo Picasso: Guernica and the link is:
It is so refreshing to be able to enjoy an article on such a subject and better still, to be able to write questions for it. I took great pleasure in putting this task together and I hope you will enjoy working on it. Neither the pre reading activity nor the writing ting task follows the norm, which could be refreshing for more creative people and there is certainly no harm in learning to look at an art work correctly.
1.       They express the current attitude to art both by the public and the current art establishment.
This is where the writer states his view point.
This is going to be an argumentative piece of work where the writer has a view and defends it while refuting counter arguments
2.       Deserve its privileges
3.       Art matters for therapeutic reasons
4.       We have to put aside customary historical reading of works of art in order to invite art to respond to certain quite specific pains and dilemmas of our psyche
5.       The big themes of life – the search for prosperity, happiness and good relationships are always grounded in the way we approach little things; OR, If we recognized the value of ordinary routine, many of our burdens would be lifted.
6.       A delight in human ingenuity and an appreciation of the vast achievements of labor and trade.
7.       To appreciate what really goes in to providing these pleasures
8.       The fact that the black at the bottom becomes the white at the top through a multitude of tiny stages
9.       A tranquil state of mind
10.   Identifies our need for our suffering to have some honor and dignity
11.   It strengthens us a little and offers consolation for the hard tasks of our life.
12.   Love, in which we are moved by the need of the other, by generosity
13.   The fact there is always a fragile bit of us but we keep it very hidden
14.   As a consequence of its search for transparency and refinement and its desire to welcome sunshine and candle light into its depth.
15.   One of the duties of civilization is to allow the more delicate forms of human activity to thrive, to create environments where it is OK to be fragile.
16.   The fact that being mature and civilized means being aware of the effect of one’s strength on others.
17.   The actual conditions of life – war, disease, political error, immorality – are in danger of being forgotten. OR, the fondness for this kind of art is a delusion. OR, we are complicit in a dangerous delusion.

18.   Cheerfulness is an achievement and hope is something to celebrate. Nothing else will do. Everything else is support for this idea so if you have succeeded in locating it, good on you.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


“Forget dated ideas about the left and right hemispheres. New research provides a more nuanced view of the brain”
By: Stephen M. Kosslyn and G. Wayne Miller
Published: October 18, 2013; The Wall Street Journal; Alternatively, google the title and writer’s name.
Level of Difficulty: ****
·         Access the online copy of the article, scroll down and find the link to the quiz: “What kind of thinker are you?”. Do the quiz and discuss the answers if you are doing this with friends or in class.
1.       What does “it” refer to in the sentence “Except that it isn’t”?
2.       What is the truth concerning how the brain works?
3.       16 patients allowed the Caltech team to sever their corpus collosums because ……………………..
4.       The growth of the left brain / right brain myth was the result of:
·         Overgeneralization
·         Lack of attention to detail
·         Superficial publicity
·         All of the above
·         None of the above
·         Other: please specify
5.       Read the theory of Cognitive Modes. In what fundamental way does it differ from the left brain / right brain theory?
·         It is based on studies with rhesus monkeys.
·         It is based on detailed scientific research.
·         It focuses on Oprah Winfrey, the Dalai Lama, Tiger Woods and Elizabeth Tailor
·         All of the above
·         None of the above
·         Other: please specify
6.       We understand from the text that the duty of the top brain is to…………………………………while the duty of the bottom brain is to ………………………………………………………………………………………..
7.       In what respect can the brain be compared to a bicycle?
8.       What conclusion can be drawn from the restaurant example?
9.       Oprah Winfrey, the Wright Brothers and Bill Francis Jr. are all classified as mover mode because………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
10.   What general advantage do people who operate in perceiver mode provide for the people they work with?
11.   What seems to be the basic difference between people who operate on mover  mode and those who operate on stimulator mode? What is the reason for this?
12.   Why do people who operate on adaptor mode “form the backbone of an organization, carrying out essential operations” and not people who operate on perceiver mode?
13.   What conclusion can we draw from the paragraph describing the major and her staff?
Refer back to the quiz you did at the beginning and the result. Now refer to the article and your own experience to prove what mode your brain operates in. You are writing an argumentative essay so defend your point of view and refute counter arguments – that you operate in one of the other modes. Have fun and remember your essay should be factually correct as well!
Imagine you are head of human resources for a big multinational which is setting up a subsidiary in a very competitive business hub; let us say Singapore, and you know what mode the applicants operate under. Who would you hire for the sales team, the research department and human resources and why? Justify your answer.
This mind blowing text just happens to have lent itself to some tough comprehension questions and an interesting and original writing task, all of which makes me very happy. Those of you out there who are interested in science will find this riveting. If you have the background, you could compare this theory to the left brain / right brain writing task as well.
1.       The left brain / right brain difference
2.       The brain works as a single interactive system, with all parts contributing in concert.
3.       They were seeking relief for their intractable epilepsy
4.       All of the above
5.       The second
6.       Figure out which goals to try to achieve; allow us to confer meaning on the world
7.       With respect to the fact that all the parts work together
8.       Although the top and bottom parts of your brain are always used during all of your waking lives, people do not rely on them to an equal degree; OR: Beyond what is required by a particular situation, all of us can use the top and bottom parts of the brain in optional ways.
9.       They are most comfortable in situations that allow them to plan, act and see the consequences of their actions.
10.   They try to make sense in depth of what they perceive; they interpret their experiences, place them in context and try to understand the implications. They can make sense of events and provide a bigger picture.
11.   The latter fail to register consistently and accurately the consequences of acting on their plans. They don’t update or correct their plans when events unfold in unexpected ways.
The reason: People who operate on mover mode utilize top and bottom brain functions in optional ways but those who operate on stimulator mode utilize the top brain but not the bottom brain.
12.   In case of the perceiver brain, the bottom brain is highly utilized but in the adaptor mode, neither the top brain nor the bottom brain systems are highly utilized.
13.   Individuals who operate in different modes can complement each other to form a successful team.