Part I Pre-Reading Task
Listen to the recording1 two or three times and then think over the following questions:
1. What happened to the singer?
2. What helped her pull through all the hardships she suffered?
3. What is the tone of the song?
4. Is the song related to the theme of the unit — overcoming obstacles?
Look at the following two sayings and then see if the story of Michael Stone bears out the points they make.
The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.
—— Charles A, Beard
His palms were sweating. He needed a towel to dry his grip. The sun was as hot as the competition he faced today at the National Junior Olympics. The pole was set at 17 feet. That was three inches higher than his personal best. Michael Stone confronted the most challenging day of his pole-vaulting career.
The stands were still filled with about 20,000 people, even though the final race had ended an hour earlier. The pole vault2 is truly the highlight of any track and field competition. It combines the grace of a gymnast with the strength of a body builder. It also has the element of flying, and the thought of flying as high as a two-story building is a mere3 fantasy to anyone watching such an event.
-As long as Michael could remember he had always dreamed of flying. Michael's mother read him numerous stori