Lesson Eight My Personal Manager Margaret Goff Clark
Introduction to the background knowledge The structure of the text Detailed discussion of the text Conclusion of the text Assignment Teaching Procedures
About the author Margaret Goff Clark is a prolific author. She wrote stories about teenagers. The books she wrote cover the following themes: mysteries, science fiction, human relationship and wild animals.
About The Text Plot: the regaining of the heroine’s self- confidence with Carlos’ help Setting: at school Protagonists: “I” (Karen) and Carlo Herrera Theme of the story: Young people should have confidence and be themselves.
The structure of the text Part 1 (paras. 1—4):Suspense of the story Part 2 (paras.5-6):The first day I met Carlos Part 3 (paras.7-8):Carlos became my personal manager Part 4 (paras.9-14): The success of us
Detailed Discussion of the Text Question 1: How does the author begin this story? Why? Para. 1 is what happens after they have met each for some time. Carlos tries to promote himself to Karen. From Para. 1, we can see the personalities of the two characters: “I” not confident enough, and “Carlos” very confident. Carlos recommends himself to be Karen’s personal manager. Therefore Para. 1 may be considered as the rough sketches of the whole story. The author writes it in this way in order to arouse our interest. In Para. 2, the author begins a series of flashbacks and vividly presents the story in front of us by using conversations.
Detailed Discussion of the Text Question 2: How do you understand the word “golden” in the sentence “It was one of those golden days in late October”? The word is a pun. Literally the word in the phrase “golden days” means the days when the weather is fine. But when we read further, the word “golden” makes us form an image in our mind, that is in a golden day, Karen’s life is not full of sunshine and may be described as quite gloomy. But we should also realize that it’s also a day which can be considered as a turning point in Karen’s life to make her shed off the inferiority complex.
Detailed Discussion of the Text Question 3: When Carlos first came to the class, the class laughed two times for different reasons. What did the class laugh at for the first time, and what was Karen’s response? What can you infer from Karen’s response? When the girl bumped into Carlos, he first “looked up” and then said “My, you’re tall”, the whole class laughed. Karen became very angry and sat down silently. Karen was worried if her idol Reed laughed with the others, she would break down. This episode shows that Karen was not confident and felt inferior because of her height.
Detailed Discussion of the Text Question 4: Was Carlos quickly accepted by his classmates? How did he manage to do that? From which sentence in the text you can draw the inference? Carlos quickly became popular with his classmates by confidently presenting himself to Mr. McCarthy and by facing his physical defect bravely and humorously by saying “I need a couple of dictionaries” when the teacher assigned him one seat in the back of the room. This time the class laughed, but this time they were not laughing at him but with him together. So we can see that Carlos soon became a hit. He was very confident.
Detailed Discussion of the Text Question 5: What do you think Karen and Carlos had in common and what were their differences? Both of them had some physical defect with Karen being very tall and Carlos very short. But they had different attitudes toward it. Carlos has made best of his physical defect and managed to live as himself, whereas Karen couldn't make it at the very beginning of the story.
Detailed Discussion of the Text Question 6: In Para. 9, when Carlos offered Karen a lead part in a play, Karen said that she did not want to be funny. How do you interpret the girl’s words? Carlos promised the play was funny. But Karen quickly took the subject of “being funny” to be herself. From her response, we knew that Karen still thought she was a laughing stock of the others. Although Carlos had done a lot to change her appearance and her participation in activities, she had not achieved a complete transformation.
Detailed Discussion of the Text Question 7: When did Karen become confident? When she went on stage and became the focus of the audience, she became confident. The audience enjoyed their play, which was an immediate success.
Detailed Discussion of the Text Question 8: When Reed Harrington asked Karen for a date, Karen refused and said that she would have a date with Carlos, what is the implication of it? After the success of the play, Karen realized that one’s physical defect accounted for nothing in being herself. She could be just like Carlos and be proud of herself. She completed her transformation into her real self.
Conclusion of the text One problem that often troubles young students is a lack of confidence or self-esteem. It may come from what they consider as physical defects or their poor academic performance, or other causes. And often young students have trouble handling the situation. The problem the hero and heroine in this story encounter may seem trivial, but it is very real, and unless they learn how to deal with it, it is bound to have serious consequences.