Friday, April 6, 2012

THE WIND BENEATH HER WINGS - English exercise

Pre-reading questions:


1. From the title try to predict or guess what the following text is about.
2. Who does ‘her’ refer to – a bird or a person or a plane?


“What uttar nonsense Jane! None of the jobs you have listed are women’s jobs. Women flying planes! Absoultely  impossible. Here, take your composition, be more practical!”. The teacher almost threw her notebook at Jane. She had given her fail marks and also written bad remarks. A tearful Jane hung her head in shame. She was in the third standard in a small village in Northern California in the US and the year was 1959.

Jane had been asked to write a composition on her ambition. She had always wanted to be a pilot like her father Mr. Harper. He was the only crop dusting pilot for the many villages around and was very much in demand.Jane had always admired him and wanted to help the crop grow. She had also loved to do parachute jumping, cloud seeding to get good rains, fire-fighting and air-lifting sick people. But her teacher thoroughly disapproved of all these jobs.

Jane showed her composition to her dad. Mr. Harper read the essay carefully and admired Jane’s imaginative yet powerful writing. He praised her but Jane silently pointed out her teacher’s remarks. Mr. Harper said “Oh, don’t you know about Amelia Earhart? She is a woman and she flies. It a woman wants to, she can take up any job. Don’tyou ever give up your dreams. You can become a pilot if you try hard, if you tain well and responsible. and are. Live up to your dreams”.

As Jane grew, whenever she shared her ambition for a career, she was laughed at, “Girls can’t become airline pilots.” So, as she began to grow up she forgot her ambition. In standard X her teacher Mrs.Slaton wanted the students to write about what they would be doing ten years from then. Jane thought at least she could be an airhostess but she was not pretty enough. Perhaps she could be a waitress and worte it down.

Two weeks later, the teacher returned the composition and asked the class this question. “Class, if you had unlimited money, unrestricted admission to the finest schools, unlimited talents and abilities, what would you choose to do? Write that below what you had already written. Alter they had finished she said “Those who have written the same answer, put up your hands,” Not a single hand went up. Mrs. Slaton looked around at the wistful expression on the faces of her students. She said, “Class, you do have unlimited potentials, you can raise unlimited money if you really tried. When you leave school this year, if you don’t work to achieve your goal, no one else will do it for you. Come on, what do you want your life to be like? Go for it.”

Mrs. Slaton was so sincere and enthusiastic that Jane’s buried ambition was rekindled. After class, Jane went up to Mrs. Slaton and shared with her, her dream. Mrs. Slaton listened to her and said, “You want to be a pilot? Fantastic! Just do it! Go ahead.”

Jane did just that, it was not easy at first. She took flying lessons, became a pilot in a private airline but always only as a co-pilot. Her employers were hesitant about promoting her because she was a woman and overlooked her and promoted very junior or less-experienced men.

Jane did all that she had always wanted to do. She did crop dusting, parachute jumping, and seeding clouds. In 1978, at last, she became one of the first three female pilot trainees ever accepted by United Airlines. Eventually she became the captain of Boeing 737 and enjoyed it. She could realize her dream because she worked hard “ My teacher Mrs. Slaton inspired me to pursue my dream. Yes, any woman can do all that I have done and more.” Kalpana Chawla and Ms. Williams are two Indian women
astronauts. So never let your gender prevent you from pursuing your lofty dream.

I. Glossary :
absolutely - completely
crop dusting - spraying plants with pesticide from a plane to
keep them healthy
cloud seeding - the technique or process of scattering
substances such as silver iodide into clouds
from an aircraft in order to precipitate rain
unrestricted - without any limits
potential - capability



II. Skill Development: Scanning
Read the first two pages of the text quickly. Spot the words / phrases and fill in the blanks.
1. Jane lived in a village in ----------- - ------ —-------------- .
2. She wrote the composition in --------------------- standard.
3. Jane’s father was a --------------- — ------------------ .
4. Jane’s father’s name was Mr. ---------------------- .
5. -------------------------------- was a woman who flew planes.

III. Comprehension:
A. Choose the best answer.
1. “Woman flying planes! Absolutely impossible....” said
a. the airline trainer b. Jane’s X standard teacher
c. Jane’s III standard teacher d. Jane’s grandfather.
2. Jane’s ambition was ----------------------
a. crop dusting from a plane b. parachute jumping
c. seeding clouds d. doing all the above
3. Jane could succeed only with great difficulty because--------
a. she was not good enough as a pilot
b. she was quite junior in the company
c. her employers saw her only as a woman.
d. she did not bribe the boss.
B. Read the following statements carefully and write A if you agree with them and DA if you disagree with them.

Example:  A woman can be an astronaut. (A)
                 Only women can manage the house. (DA)
1. Women can fly air-planes. ( )
2. Men are not good at caring for their babies. ( )
3. Denying technical education to women is unfair. ( )
4. Denying education to anyone because of their gender or caste is a social crime. ( )
5. Men and women should work together to create a just society. ( )
C. Discuss your answers in your groups and say why you agree or disagree with the statements.
D. Answer the following questions briefly.
1. Why did Jane’s teacher fail her?
2. What jobs did Jane’ want to do?
3. Why did her teacher disapprove of these jobs?
4. Were there women pilots before Jane?
5. Why was Jane only a co-pilot?
6. Did Jane realize her dream finally? What enabled her to achieve her goal?

IV. Vocabulary:
A. Compound words can be formed in many ways. Read the second paragraph of the text and fill in the table given below.B. You can learn more compound words easily. Here are some wards related to sports and games. These belong to the semantic group of sportys.
1. horse + r -- --(e) + ing Horse racing
2. --- + rid (e) + ing -----------------
3. W-- --d + S-- -- f + -- -----------------
4. b-- -- t + rac(e)+ -- -----------------
5. rock + cl-- -- -- + -- -----------------


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