Document Sample

Week             2 :    Looking at Problems in a Global Context

      A.    Listening
            1.    Explore the opportunities for obtaining comprehensive information and
                  varying perspectives about looking at problems in a global context
            2.    Analyze and evaluate listening texts in points of accuracy and validity

      B.    Speaking
            1.    Indicate affirmation of and/or objections to ideas expressed in a discussion
                  on global problems
            2.    Agree/disagree with other people’s outlook on a given issue

      C.    Reading
            1.    Read critically the assertions and proof statements made
            2.    Get information about global problems and their solutions from various
            3.    Point out how challenges, frustrations and despair are necessary conditions
                  for growth and development

      D.    Vocabulary
                  Determine the meaning of words through context clues

      E.    Language Form in Use
            1.    Report statements, expressions made using indirect speech
            2.    Use helpful expressions in giving advice and comments

      F.    Literature
            1.    Express appreciation for human nature presented in literature
            2.    Discriminate between positive and negative values
            3.    Stress worthwhile values as portrayed in a literary text
            4.    Interpret ideas by using previous experiences and by synthesizing them for
                  clearer understanding of the world of man and his work

      G.    Writing
            1.    Organize ideas logically
            2.    Use outlines to show orderly classification and relationship of ideas


       A.   Selections
            1.    Varied Reactions of People on Global Problems
            2.    a.    ―The Eagle‖, Virginia Diving Hawk Sneeve
                  b.    ―The Wants of Man‖, Stuart Chase, Communication Skills IV, pp. 39-
                        40, Gabriel and Martires
                  c.    ―The Man in Asbestos: An Allegory of the Future,‖ Stephen Leacock,
                        CV4, pp.314-321, Corazon P. Dadufalsa, et al.
            3.    a.    ―Life’s Constant Pressures,‖ pp. 221-223
                  b.    ―The Human Costs and Problems of Migrant Workers and Their
                        Families‖, Meeting My Needs IV, pp 185-189, Ma. Lourdes Tayao, et

       B.   Language Forms in Use
            1.    Changing plain statements from direct to reported speech
            2.    Helpful expressions in giving advice or comments

       C.   Writing
                  Writing an outline

       A.   Previewing
            Out in the Fields to Win…

                 Read this passage and find out if it will inspire you to face our present day

                                                 ―The Spirit, the will to win,
                                                 and the will to excel are
                                                 the things that endure.
                                                 These qualities are
                                                 so much more important
                                                 than the events
                                                 that occur.‖
                                                             – Anonymous


      B.    Listening
            Activity 1. A Group Consensus… Be Open!
                 Form small groups and identify the global issues/problems in the list of the
            topics below. Rank them from the most pressing to the least pressing. Tabulate
            and read the group’s figures, and find out the overall figures/results. Use this as
            the basis for discussion.
                 a. Racial Discrimination               j.   Hunger
                 b. Environmental Abuse                 k. Poverty
                 c.    Information Technology           l.   Unemployment
                 d. Child Abuse                         m. Graft and Corruption
                 e. Global Warming                      n. Politics
                 f.    Pollution                        o. Economic Recession
                 g. Traffic
                 h. Human Rights Violation
                 i.    Terrorist Attacks

            Activity 2. Reaction to problems
                 Still with the group, look closely at the list and check the expressions
            specifying your possible reaction to the problem you pointed out in Activity 1.
            Read and rank the reactions from the most possible to the least possible.
                       ignore it
                       let it pass
                       take drugs
                       do nothing
                       write about it
                       think of death
                       walk aimlessly
                       blame anyone
                       face the problem
                       avoid the problem
                       complain endlessly
                       ask somebody for help
                       consider oneself a failure
                       find and work for solutions


            Activity 3
            Which one?
                  Listen to your classmates read various reactions of people in life and find
            out which speaker talks more about problems and which speaker emphasizes
            solutions more.

               TOPIC                                      SPEAKER                                   TOTAL

                              1             2         3             4       5              6



            Activity 4
                 Listen for the second time and point out how these persons react to
            problems in life. Complete the entries in the table.

               SPEAKER            PROBLEM                      REACTION                          ATTITUDE
                                                                                               DISPLAYED BY
                                                 POSITIVE     INTERESTING       NEGATIVE       THE SPEAKER


            Speaker 1

                       On the way to the 21st century, material, intellectual and spiritual
                  poverty stands as a major roadblock to world development, peace and
                        The choices our young people make today will determine the
                  quality of our lives in the next millennium.
                      Amid new challenges and the changing trends of modern society,
                  our youths deserve a social environment that provides them with
                  opportunities to make the right life-changing decisions.


            Speaker 2

                       When things are bad, we take comfort in the thought that they
                  could always be worse. And when they are, we find hope in the
                  thought that things are so bad they have to get better.
                                                                     – Malcolm S. Forbes

            Speaker 3

                  Always remember to forget
                  The things that made you sad.
                  Always remember to forget
                  The troubles that passed away.
                  But never forget to remember
                  The blessings that come each day.
                                        – Anonymous

            Speaker 4

                      The trouble is, it’s not always easy to say what you think,
                  especially if an adult or a bigger kid is doing something you think is
                  wrong. But if you don’t try to do something, you may always regret it.

            Speaker 5

                          We have been forced to a point where we’re going to have to
                  grapple with the problems that men have been trying to grapple with
                  through history, but the demands didn’t force them to do it. Survival
                  demands that we grapple with them. We have been talking, for years
                  now, about war and peace. But now no longer can they just talk about
                  it. It is no longer a choice between violence and non-violence in this
                  world, it’s non-violence or non-existence.
                                                                – Martin Luther King, Jr.

            Speaker 6

                       The president called the attention of the MMDA and the mayors
                  of 17 cities and municipalities in Metro Manila to do something about
                  floods. Likewise, he also called the attention of the officials in the
                  Department of Public Works, Housing and Urban Development as well
                  as sectors who can join hands in order to help implement plans for the
                  projects which will control garbage dumping and disposal, slums,
                  crimes, diseases and other serious problems in the metropolis.


            Activity 5. Your Slip Is Showing
                 Listen again and check the character traits displayed by each speaker in
            terms of their reactions to problems.

               CHARACTER                                   SPEAKER                  TOTAL
               DISPLAYED             1           2         3     4   5    6






              Strong willed


            Activity 6
                 Remember and do something about …
                 In small groups, present a panel discussion on what the people can do to
            help solve the most pressing problem pointed out in Activity 1.
                 Each member of the group chooses a role to play like that of a:
                 a. mayor                              f.   president
                 b. businessman                        g. senator
                 c.   priest                           h. laborer
                 d. nun                                i.   media man
                 e. congressman                        j.   education secretary

            Activity 7
                 Design an ad and a poster that will promote the ideas of the panelists as
            well as the ideas you strongly believe in. Decide on what is to be highlighted in
            the poster.


            Activity 8
                Describe your feelings about a problem or a conflict among students in a
            school setting. Consider the following:
            1.    What kind of problem/conflict occurs in a school?
            2.    Why do conflicts occur in schools?
            3.    Who are directly affected by this problem?
            4.    How do conflicts affect students and teachers?
            5.    Can conflicts be stopped? What measures can be undertaken to stop it?

            Activity 9
                 Imagine you have been given complete control of the earth. What are the
            things you would do to improve the conditions of life here on earth? Explain how
            you would go about them. Share your plans with the rest of the class.

      C.    Reading
            Activity 1
                  During what particular time in our life do we need this prayer most? Why?

                                      Dear Lord:
                                            Be within me to strengthen me,
                                            Over me to shelter me,
                                            Beneath me to guard me,
                                            Before me to guide me,
                                            After me to forward me,
                                            Around me to rescue me.

            While Reading
            Activity 2
                  Half Pyramid Puzzle
                  Skim the essay and look for words having the same meaning as the
            following words/phrases. The first and last letters are given.


            a.    a sarcastic sneering person           C           C
            b.    gave up                               W               D
            c.    condemn                               D                   E
            d.    include; consist of                   C                       E
            e.    of beauty                             A                           C
            f.    necessary                             I                               E
            g.    basic; essential                      F                                   L

            Activity 3
                 Read ―The Wants of Men‖ by Stuart Chase and answer the questions after
            the selection.

                                                 The Wants of Man
                                                    Stuart Chase

                        The wants of man are impossible of exact definition. They are
                  constantly growing, shrinking, changing. In a certain sense, they are
                  different for every living person. One man’s meat is sometimes another
                  man’s poison. Any allowable definition of the wants of man must be
                  built without a roof – it must be open to the sky.

                        What does a man want? Life! A more abundant life! Bread and
                  beauty, if you please, Our cynic as well as our artist must agree to this.
                  What constitutes a more abundant life? More bread, more beauty. And
                  we cannot permit cynics and artists to argue that does not include
                  certain unchanging classifications of wants which the facts as to man’s
                  place in nature render imperative. Thus everyone must eat – and he
                  must eat certain combinations of protein, fats, carbohydrates, together
                  with the accessory vitamins, or he sickens and dies, and his aesthetic
                  wants become a matter of very secondary consideration. He must in
                  certain climates have clothes to wear to keep him from cold or heat,
                  and in nearly all climates he must have a house or shelter of some sort
                  which to live, and particularly to protect his children.

                        Food, shelter and clothing comprise the most elementary wants
                  of man. After them follow other classifications almost equally essential
                  to mankind in civilized communities. The development of commu-
                  nication between people—channels without which human society is
                  impossible—an alphabet, a language, books, education are all
                  imperative wants of man. Religion of some sort he wants. Art he
                  demands—music , painting architecture and design, poetry, literature


                  and the theatre. Recreation and play he wants—dancing, running,
                  swimming, mountain climbing, games. The latter is a very fundamental
                  want, for the body declines rapidly if it is not satisfied. Health he wants,
                  and the services of doctors, nurses, hospitals, sanitary measures.
                  Love he wants—not only sexual, but all the pleasant relationships of
                  family and friends. Some men just want to know. They are moved by a
                  divine curiosity. We call what they do pure science and it is one of the
                  most precious of man’s wants.

            Work with four (4) of your classmates.
            Group 1
            1.    Why are the wants of men difficult to define?
            2.    Explain: ―One man’s meat is another man’s poison.‖ Which of the two
                  keywords represents the problem? Which one represents want?

            Group 2
            3.    What are the basic wants of man?
            4.    Which of them leads to a global problem?

            Group 3
            5.    Which can be used as a solution? Prove your point.
            6.    Why is pure science one of the most precious of man’s wants? Can it serve
                  as a key in solving our global problems?

            Group 4
            7.    Can man be truly happy if his material needs are satisfied? Explain your
            8.    Think over Chase’s views on wants of men. Which of these do you believe
                  most? Which of his arguments would be most relevant today in solving our
                  problems and making the world a better place to live in? Explain.

            Group 5
            9. What do you think is Stuart’s purpose in his essay?
            10. Epigram is a device used by the author to clarify his points in life. Choose at
                least two epigrams of Chase that you consider best. Explain.

            Group 6
            11. Which action of Stuart Chase do you want to do? Why?
            12. Explain how Stuart Chase inspires you to react to problems positively.


            Group 7
                 Choose a part of the essay ―The Wants of Man‖ which you find interesting
            and relate it to—
                 a) a movie or T.V. program you have watched
                 b) a short story/ novel you have read
                 c) a news report you have heard
                 d) a personal experience or
                 e) a story you heard from a friend, neighbor or relative
                  Point out their similarities.

            Group 8
                 Write a letter of thanks to Stuart Chase for inspiring/helping you face
            problems. Mention also other questions you wish could be answered by him.

            Group 9.      Thank you and…
                 Imagine you are Stuart Chase and you received a letter of thanks from the
            readers. Respond to him/ her by sharing your thoughts, feelings and other ideas
            you intend to add to your article. Show your appreciation for the reader’s gesture.

      D.    Language Form in Use
            Activity 1
                  What would you say when you are asked…
                                   ―What is good?‖
                                        I asked in a musing mood,
                                   ―Order,‖ said the law court;
                                   ―Knowledge,‖ said the school;
                                   ―Truth,‖ said the wise man;
                                   ―Pleasure,‖ said the fool;
                                   ―Love, ― said the maiden;
                                   ―Beauty,‖ said the dreamer;
                                   ―Home,‖ said the sage;
                                   ―Fame,‖ said the soldier;
                                   ― Equity,‖ said the seer;
                                   Spoke my heart full sadly,
                                   The answer is not here.
                                   Then within my bosom
                                   Softly this I heard,
                                   ―Each heart folds this secret;
                                   Kindness is the word.‖
                                                         – Anonymous
                  If you were asked the question ―What is good?‖ what would you say?


            Activity 2
                 Recall the following lines culled from the poem. Consider how they are
            1.    ―Love is good‖, said the maiden.
            2.    My heart says, ―The answer is here.‖
            3.    ―Each heart holds this secret,‖ my bosom said, ―Kindness is the word.‖

                  How will you report the above statements to another person?

            Study the following pairs of sentences.
            1.    a.     The man says, ―The developing world provides public support to family
                         planning programs.‖
                  b.     The man says that the developing world provides public support to
                         family planning programs.

            2.    a.     ―Some underdeveloped countries can reduce their problems,‖ the
                         chairman said.
                  b.     The chairman said that some underdeveloped countries could reduce
                         their problems.

            3.    a.     ―I give my support to our country,‖ she said, ―and we will give our
                         contribution tomorrow.‖
                  b.     She said that she gave her support to our country and they would give
                         their contribution the following day.

            4.    a.     He stated, ―Efforts to raise man’s living standard are welcome.‖
                  b.     He stated that efforts to raise man’s living standards were welcome.

            Abstraction of details
            1.    What changes occurred as we changed the statements above from direct to
                  reported speech?

            2.    Comment on the changes in the
                  a. position of the introductory clause
                  b. verbs inside the quoted area
                  c. pronouns inside the quoted area
                  d. adverbs inside the quoted area

            3.    What words are deleted and what are added?


            Activity 3
                  Report the following excerpts in indirect speech:
            1.    Albert Einstein said, ―The significant problems we face cannot be solved at
                  the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.‖
            2.    ―Our country can be right or wrong, when right to be kept right, when wrong
                  to be put right,‖ said Carl Shurz.
            3.    ―I believe that the common sense of the Pakistani will prevail,‖ Chris McVey
                  stated firmly, ―That is a good ground on which to work and something to
                  hope for.‖
            4.    Cicely Tyson said, ―I dream of harmonious people in this world.‖
            5.    ―One of the problems facing many centuries is that of population growth
                  rate,‖ they say.
            6.    ―We are faced with a lot of constant pressures,‖ she stated.
            7.    ― A lot of people are suffering from hunger this time,‖ the missionary says.

            Activity 4
                  Expand the following:
            1.    Nido says that ________________________________________________.
            2.    She muses that _______________________________________________.
            3.    We stated that ________________________________________________.
            4.    He added that ________________________________________________.
            5.    She answers that _____________________________________________.
            6.    They emphasized that _________________________________________.
            7.    The group emphasized that _____________________________________.

            Activity 5. A Positive World View
                 Make up a dialog with a friend. Create imaginary characters. Imagine
            you/they are talking about terrorism. Use direct speech, then change the
            sentences to reported speech.

            Activity 6. Pluses and Minuses
                  Imagine that the presidents of two countries are talking about global
            problems/ issues. Write down their reactions to these issues and organize them
            into a dialog. Use direct and indirect speech.


            Activity 7
                 Imagine the mayor is asking you to help him solve a problem in the city.
            What advice would you give him? Write out your advice and the mayor’s
            reaction. Use direct and reported speech.

                  Some helpful expressions we can use when we give advice or comments:
            Activity 1
            1.    It’s a great idea to wait for other’s suggestions.
            2.    That’s a fantastic idea in order to solve one problem.
            3.    This is sensational and it moves them too.
            4.    You’ve got a splendid view so he believes you.
            5.    It’s the best suggestion to avoid graft and corruption.
            6.    That’s an incredibly good plan you hit this time.

            Activity 2
                 Work in groups of seven (7) and work out some ideas on each of these
            topics. Express your views and make suggestions, or give out pieces of advice
            using the above mentioned expressions.
            Group 1 – a good way to avoid a problem momentarily
            Group 2 – a good movie to see
            Group 3 – a good book to read
            Group 4 – how to change world politics
            Group 5 – how to fight terrorism

      E.    Literature
            Activity 1
                  Do you agree with this saying?

                        ―When troubles grow more than any man can bear, then hope
                  shall creep into his heart and he shall feel that life is still worth living.‖
                                                                           – Greek Mythology
            1.    Think of an example to support this quotation.
            2.    Brainstorm on other related quotations or opposite quotations.

            Activity 2. Vocabulary Alert
                The twenty-two words and phrases below can be divided into eleven pairs,
            each pair having the same meaning. Identify the pairs.


                         WORD                                       MEANING

                1.    asbestos              a.   babbling foolish person
                2.    appalls               b.   of utmost importance
                3.    lethargy              c.   any of the fibrous materials used for fireproofing
                4.    faddish               d.   twist or coil around
                5.    momentous             e.   100 years
                6.    harangue              f.   fills me with dismay
                7.    millennium            g.   lead you to the wrong path
                8.    convolute             h.   state of laziness and indifference
                9.    inveigle              i.   long, angry speeches
                10. blatherskite            j.   fashionable but only for short time
                11. allegory                k.   a story in which symbols are used to present
                                                 moral truths

            Activity 3
                 Predict what the story will be given the title, ―The Man in Asbestos: An
            Allegory of the Future‖ by Stephen Leacock.

            Activity 4
                Read the ―The Man in Asbestos: An Allegory of the Future‖ by Stephen

                       To begin with, let me admit that I did it on purpose. Perhaps it
                  was partly from jealousy. It seemed unfair that other writers should be
                  able at will to drop into a sleep of four or five hundred years, and to
                  plunge head –first into the distant future and be a witness of its
                         I wanted to do that, too.
                        I always have been, I still am, a passionate student of social
                  problems. The world of today with its roaring machinery, the unceasing
                  toil of its working classes, its strife, its poverty, its war, its cruelty
                  appalls me as I look at it. I love to think of the times that must come
                  someday when man will have conquered nature, and the toil-worn
                  human race enter upon an era of peace.
                         I loved to think of it, and I longed to see it.


                        So I set about the thing deliberately.
                       What I wanted to do was to fall asleep after the customary
                  fashion for two or three hundred years at least and wake and find
                  myself in the marvel world of the future.
                        I made my preparation for the sleep.
                        I bought all the comic papers that I could find, even illustrated
                  ones. I carried them up to my room in the hotel; with them I brought up
                  a pork pie and dozens and dozens of doughnuts. I ate the pie and the
                  doughnuts, then sat back in the bed and read the comic papers one
                  after the other. Finally, as I felt the awful lethargy stealing upon me, I
                  reached out my hands for the London Weekly Times, and held up the
                  editorial page before my eyes .
                        It was, in a way , straight suicide, but I did it.
                        I could feel my senses leaving me. In the room across the hall
                  there was a man singing. His voice, that had been loud, came fainter
                  and fainter through the transom. I fell into a sleep the deep
                  immeasurable sleep in which the very existence of the outer world was
                  hushed. Dimly I could feel the days go past, then the years and then
                  the long passage of the centuries.
                       Then, not as it were gradually but quite suddenly, I woke up, and
                  looked about me.
                        Where was I?
                        Well might I ask myself.
                        I found myself lying, or rather sitting up, on a board couch. I was
                  in a great room, dim, gloomy, and dilapidated in its general
                  appearance, and apparently from its glass cases and the stuffed
                  figures that they contained, some kind of museum.
                        Beside me sat a man. His face was hairless, but neither old nor
                  young. He wore suites that looked like a gray ashes of paper that had
                  burned and kept its shape. He was looking at me quietly, but with no
                  particular surprise or interest.
                       ―Quick,‖ I said, eager to begin; ―Where am I ? Who are you? What
                  year is this, is it the year 3000, or what is it?‖
                        He drew in his breath, with a look of annoyance on his face.
                        ―What a queer , excited way you have of speaking,‖ he said.
                        ―Tell me,‖ I said again, ―Is this the year 3000?‖


                       ―I think I know what you mean,‖ he said, ―but really I haven’t had
                  the faintest idea. I should think it must be at least that, within a
                  hundred years or so; but nobody has kept track of them for so long, it’s
                  hard to say.‖
                        ―Don’t you keep track of them anymore?‖ I gasped.
                        ―We used to,‖ said the man. ―I myself can remember that a
                  century or two ago there were still a number of people who used to try
                  to keep track of the year, but it died out along with so many other
                  faddish things of that kind. Why,‖ he continued, showing for the first
                  time a sort of animation in his talk, ―what was the use of it? You see,
                  after we eliminated death –‖
                        ―Eliminated death!‖ I cried, sitting upright. ―Good God!‖
                        ―What was the expression you used?‖ queried the man.
                        ―Good God!‖ I repeated.
                        ―Ah,‖ he said, ―I never heard it before. But I was saying that after
                  we had eliminated Death, and Food and Change, we had practically
                  got rid of Events, and _‖
                        ―Stop!‖ I said, my brain reeling. ―Tell me one thing at a time.‖
                       ―Humph!‖ he ejaculated. ―I see, you must have been asleep a
                  long time. Go on then and ask questions. Only, if you don’t mind, just
                  as few as possible, and please don’t get interested or excited.‖
                        Oddly enough the first question that sprang to my lips, was —
                        ―What are those clothes made of?‖
                      ―Asbestos,‖ answered the man. ―They last hundreds of years. We
                  have one suit each, and there are billions of them piled up, if any
                  anybody wants a new one.‖
                        ―Thank you,‖ I answered. ―Now tell me where I am.‖
                        ―You are in a museum. The figures in the cages are specimens
                  like yourself . But here,‖ he said, ―if you really want to find out what is
                  evidently a new epoch to you, get off your platform and come out on
                  Broadway and sit on a bench.‖
                        I got down.
                       As we passed through the dim and dust-covered buildings, I
                  looked curiously at the figures in the cases.


                       ―By Jove!‖ I said, looking at one figure in blue clothes with a belt
                  and baton, ―that’s a policeman!‖
                      ―Really,‖ said my new acquaintance, ―is that what a policeman
                  was?‖ I’ve often wondered. ―What were they used for?‖
                       ―Used for?‖ I repeated in perplexity. ―Why, they stood at the
                  corner of the street.‖
                        ―Ah, yes I see,‖ he said, ―so as to shoot at the people. You must
                  excuse my ignorance‖ he continued, ―of some of your social customs
                  in the past. When I took my education, I was operated upon for social
                  history, but the stuff they used was very inferior.‖
                       I didn’t in the least understand what the man meant, but had no
                  time to question him, for at that moment, we came out upon the street,
                  and I stood riveted in astonishment.
                         Broadway! Was it possible? The chance was absolutely
                  appalling! In place of the roaring thoroughfare that I had known, this
                  silent, moss-grown desolation. Great buildings fallen into ruin through
                  the sheer stress of centuries of wind and weather; the sides of them
                  coated over with a growth of fungus and moss! The place was
                  soundless. Not a vehicle moved. There were no wires overhead – no
                  sound of life or movement except, here and there, there passed slowly
                  to and fro human figures dressed in the same asbestos clothes as my
                  acquaintance, with the same hairless faces, and the same look of
                  infinite age upon them.
                      Good heavens! And was this the era of the Conquest that I had
                  hoped to see! I had always taken for granted. I do not know why, that
                  humanity was destined to move forward. This picture of what seemed
                  desolation on the ruins of our civilization rendered me almost
                       There were little benches placed here and there on the street. We
                  sat down.
                       ―Improved, isn’t it,‖ said the man in asbestos, ―since the day when
                  you remember it?‖
                        He seemed to speak quite proudly.
                        I gasped out a question.
                        ―Where are the street cars and motors?‖


                      ―Oh, done away with long ago,‖ he said; ―how awfully they must
                  have been. The noise of them!‖ and his asbestos clothes rustled with a
                        ―But how do you get about?‖
                       ―We don’t ‖ he answered. ―Why should we? It’s just the same
                  being here as being anywhere else.‖ He looked at me with an infinity of
                  dreariness in his face.
                        A thousand questions surged into my mind at once. I asked one
                  of the simplest.
                        ―But how do you get back and forwards to your work?‖
                      ―Work!‖ he said. ―There isn’t any work. It’s finished. The last of it
                  was all done centuries ago.‖
                        I looked at him a moment open-mouthed. Then I turned and
                  looked again at the gray desolation of the street with the asbestos
                  figures moving here and there.
                        I tried to pull my senses together. I realized that if I was to unravel
                  his new undreamed of future, I must go at it systematically and step by
                       ―I see,‖ I said after a pause, ―that momentous things have
                  happened since my time. I wish you would let me ask you about it
                  systematically, and would explain it to me bit by bit. First, what do you
                  mean by saying that there is no work?‖
                       ―Why,‖ answered my strange acquaintance , ―it died out of itself.
                  Machinery killed it. If I remember rightly, you had a certain amount of
                  machinery even in your time. You had done very well with steam,
                  made a good beginning with electricity, though I think radial energy
                  had hardly as yet been put to use .‖
                        I nodded assent.
                       ―But you found it did you no good. The better your machines, the
                  harder you worked. The more thing you had, the more you wanted.
                  The pace of life grew swifter and swifter. You cried out, but it would not
                  stop. You were all caught in the cogs of your own machine. None of
                  you could see the end.‖
                        ―That is quite true,‖ I said. ―How do you know it all?‖
                      ―Oh,‖ answered the man in asbestos, ―that part of my education
                  was very well operated – I see you do not know what I mean. Never


                  mind, I can tell you that later. Well, there came, probably almost two
                  hundred years after your time, the Era of the Great conquest of Nature,
                  the final victory of Man and Machinery.‖
                       ―They did conquer it?‖ I asked quickly, with a thrill of the old hope
                  in my veins again.
                        ―Conquered it,‖ he said, ―beat it out! Fought it to a standstill!
                  Things came one by one, then faster and faster; in a hundred years it
                  was all done. In fact, just as soon as mankind turned its energy to
                  decreasing its needs instead of increasing its desires, the whole thing
                  was easy. Chemical food came first. Heavens! The simplicity of it. And
                  in your time thousands of millions of people titled and grubbed at the
                  soil from morning till night. I’ve seen specimens of them-farmers they
                  called them. There’s one in the museum. After the invention of
                  Chemical Food, we piled out enough in the emporiums in a year to last
                  for centuries. Agriculture went overboard. Eating and all that goes with
                  it, domestic labor, housework—all ended. Nowadays one takes a
                  concentrated pill every year or so, that’s all. The whole digestive
                  apparatus, as you knew it, was a clumsy thing that had been bloated
                  up like a set of bagpipes through the evolution of its use!‖
                        I could not forbear to interrupt. ―Have you and these people,‖ I
                  said, ―no stomach – no apparatus?‖
                         ―Of course we have,‖ he answered, ―but we use it to some
                  purpose. Mine is largely filled with education –but there! I am
                  anticipating again. Better let me go as I was. Chemical Food came
                  first: that cut off almost one-third of the work, and then came Asbestos
                  Clothes. That was wonderful! In one year, humanity made enough
                  suits to last forever and ever. That, of course, could never have been if
                  it hadn’t been connected with the revolt of women and the fall of
                       ―Have the Fashion gone?‖ I asked, ―the insane, extravagant idea
                  of‖—I was about to launch into one of my old-time harangues about
                  the sheer vanity of decorative dress, when my eyes rested on the
                  moving figures in asbestos, and I stopped.
                        ―All gone,‖ said the Man in Asbestos. ―Then next to that we killed
                  or practically killed, the changes of climate. I don’t think that in your
                  day you properly understood how much of your work was done to
                  shifts of what you called the weather. It meant the need for all kinds of
                  special clothes and houses and shelters a wilderness of work. How
                  dreadful it must have been in your day-wind and storms, great wet
                  masses—what did you call them?—clouds—flying through the air, the


                  ocean full of salt was it not?—tossed sad torn by the wind, snow
                  thrown all over everything, hail, rain – how awful!‖
                         ―Sometimes ,‖ I said , ―it was very beautiful. But how did you alter
                         ―Killed the weather!‖ answered the Man in Asbestos. ― Simple as
                  anything- turned its force loose one against the other, altered the
                  composition of the sea to that the top became all more or less
                  gelatinous. I really can’t explain it, as it is an operation that I never took
                  at school, but it made the sky gray, as you see it, and the sea gum-
                  colored, the weather all the same. It cut out fuel and houses and an
                  infinity of work with them!‖
                       He paused a moment. I began to realize something of the course
                  of evolution that had happened.
                      ―So,‖ I said, ―the conquest of nature meant that presently there
                  was no more work to do?‖
                         ―Exactly, ― he said, ―nothing left.‖
                         ―Food enough for all?‖
                         ―Too much,‖ he answered.
                       ―All you like,‖ said the Man in Asbestos, waving his hand. ―There
                  they are. Go out and take them. Of course, they’re falling down—
                  slowly, very slowly. But they’ll last for centuries yet, nobody need
                        Then I realized, I think for the first time, just what work had meant
                  in the old life and how much of the texture of life itself had been bound
                  up in the keen effort of it.
                       Presently my eyes looked upward; dangling at the top of a moss-
                  grown building I saw what seemed to be the remains of telephone
                       ―What became of all that,‖ I said, ―the telegraph and the telephone
                  and all the systems that it had been suppressed centuries ago. Just
                  what was it for?‖
                       ―Why,‖ I said with enthusiasm, ―by means of the telephone we
                  could talk to anybody, call up any anybody, and talk at any distance.‖
                      ―And anybody could call you up at any time and talk?‖ said the
                  Man in Asbestos, with something like honor. ―How awful! What a
                  dreadful age yours was, to be sure. No, the telephone and the rest of


                  it, all the transportation and intercommunication was cut out and
                  forbidden. There was no sense in it. You see,‖ he added, ―what you
                  don’t realize is that people after your day became gradually more and
                  more reasonable.‖
                       ―Take the railroad, what good was that? It brought into every town
                  a lot of people from every other town. Who wanted them? Nobody.
                  When work stopped and commerce ended, and food was needless,
                  and the weather killed, it was foolish to move about. So it was all
                  terminated. ―Anyway,‖ he said, with a quick look of apprehension and a
                  change in his voice, ―it was dangerous!‖
                        ―So!‖ I said, ―Dangerous! You still have danger?‖
                       ―Why, yes,‖ he said, ―there’s always the danger of getting
                        ―What do you mean?‖ I asked.
                        ―Why,‖ said the Man in Asbestos,―I suppose it’s what you could
                  call being dead. Of course, in one sense there’s been no death for
                  centuries past; we cut that out. Disease and death were simply a
                  matter of germs. We found them one by one, I think that even in your
                  day you had found one or two of the easier, the bigger ones?‖
                        I nodded.
                          ―Yes, you have found diphtheria and typhoid, and, if I am right,
                  there were some outstanding disease like scarlet fever and smallpox,
                  that you called ultra-microscopic, and which you are still hunting for,
                  and others that you didn’t even suspect. Well , we hunted them down
                  one by one and destroyed them. Strange that it never occurred to any
                  one of you that Old Age was only a germ! It turned out to be quite a
                  simple one, but it was so distributed in its action that you never thought
                  of it.‖
                      ―And you mean to say,‖ I ejaculated in amazement, looking at the
                  Man in Asbestos, ―that nowadays you live forever?‖
                         ―I wish ,‖ he said ―that you hadn’t that peculiar, excitable way of
                  talking; you speak as if everything mattered so tremendously. Yes,‖ he
                  continued, ―we live forever, unless of course, we get broken. That
                  happens sometimes, I mean that we may fall over a high place or
                  bump on something, and snap ourselves. You see, we’re just a little
                  brittle still, - some remnant, I suppose, of the Old Age germ-and we
                  have to be careful.‖ In fact, he continued, ―I don’t mind saying that
                  accidents of this sort were the most distressing feature of our
                  civilization till we took steps to cut out all accidents. We forbade all


                  street cars, street traffic, airplanes, and so on. The risks of your time,‖
                  he said with a shiver of his asbestos clothes, ―must have been awful.‖
                       ―They were,‖ I answered, with a new kind of pride in my
                  generation that I had never felt before, ―but we thought it part of the
                  duty of the brave people to—‖
                       ―Yes, yes,‖ said the Man in Asbestos impatiently, ―please don’t be
                  excited. I know what you mean. It was quite irrational.‖
                        We sat silently for a long time. I looked about me at the crumbling
                  buildings, the monotonous, unchanging sky, and the dreary, empty
                  street. Here, then was the fruit of the Conquest; here was the
                  elimination of work, the end of hunger and of cold, the cessation of the
                  hard struggle, the downfall of change and death-nay, the very
                  millennium of happiness. And yet, somehow, there seemed something
                  wrong with it all. I pondered, then I put two or three rapid questions,
                  hardly waiting to reflect upon the answers.
                        ―Is there any war now?‖
                       ―Done with centuries ago. They took to settling international
                  disputes with a slot machine. After that all foreign dealings were given
                  up. Why have them? Everybody thinks foreigners are awful.‖
                        ―Are there any newspapers now?‖
                        ―Newspapers! What on earth would we want them for? If we
                  should need them anytime there are thousands of old ones piled up.
                  But what is in them, anyway: only things that happen, wars and
                  accidents and work and death. When these went newspapers went
                  too. Listen,‖ continued the Man in Asbestos, ―you seem to have been
                  something of a social reformer, and yet you don’t understand the new
                  life at all. You don’t understand how completely all our burdens have
                  disappeared. Look at it this way. How used your people to spend all
                  the early part of their lives?‖
                      ―Why,‖ I said, ―our first 15 years or so were spent in getting an
                        ―Exactly,‖ he answered; ―now notice how we improved on all that.
                  Education in our day is done by surgery. Strange that in your time
                  nobody realized that education was simply a surgical operation. You
                  hadn’t the sense to see that what you really did was to slowly remodel,
                  curve and convolute the inside of the brain by a long and painful
                  mental operation. Everything learned was reproduced in physical
                  difference to the brain. You know that, but you didn’t see the full
                  consequences. Then came the invention of surgical education-the


                  simple system of opening the side of the skull and engrafting into it a
                  piece of prepared brain. At first, of course, they had to use, I suppose,
                  the brains of dead people, and that was ghastly ― – here the Man in
                  Asbestos shuddered like a leaf –―but very soon they found how to
                  make molds that did just as well. After that it was a mere nothing, an
                  operation of a few minutes would suffice to let in poetry or foreign
                  languages or history or anything else that one cared to have. Here, for
                  instance, ―he added, pushing back the hair at the side of his head and
                  showing a scar beneath it, ―is the mark where I had my spherical
                  trigonometry let in. That was, I admit , rather painful, but other things,
                  such as English poetry or history, can be inserted absolutely without
                  the least suffering. When I think of your painful, barbarous methods of
                  education through the ear, I shudder at it. Oddly enough, we have
                  found lately that for a great many things there is no need to use the
                  head. We lodged them – things like philosophy and metaphysics, and
                  so on –in what used to be the digestive apparatus. They fill it
                        He paused a moment. Then he went on:
                        ―Well, then, to continue, what used to occupy your time and effort
                  after your education?‖
                        ―Why,‖ I said, ―one had, of course, to work, and then, to tell the
                  truth, a great part of one’s time and feeling was devoted toward the
                  other sex, toward falling in love and finding some woman to share
                  one’s life.‖
                      ―Ah,‖ said the Man in Asbestos, with real interest. ―I’ve heard
                  about your arrangements with the women, but never quite understood
                  them. Tell me; you say you selected some woman?‖
                        ―And she became what you called your wife?‖
                       ―And you worked for her?‖ asked the Man in Asbestos in
                        ―And she did not work?‖
                        ―No,‖ I answered, ―of course not.‖
                        ―And half of what you had was hers?‖


                        ―And she had the right to live in your house and use your things?‖
                        ―Of course,‖ I answered.
                       ―How dreadful!‖ said the Man in Asbestos. ―I hadn’t realized the
                  horrors of your age till now.‖
                       ―He sat shivering slightly, with the same timid look in his face as
                       Then it suddenly struck me that of the figures on the street, all
                  had looked alike.
                        ―Tell me,‖ I said, ―are there no women now? Are they gone too?‖
                       ―Oh, no,‖ answered the Man in Asbestos, ―they’re here just the
                  same. Some of those are women. Only you see, everything have been
                  changed now. It all came as part of their revolt, their desire to be like
                  the men. Had that begun in your time?‖
                       ―Only a little.‖ I answered; ―they were beginning to ask for votes
                  and equality.‖
                       ―That’s it,‖ said my acquaintance. ―I couldn’t think of the word.
                  Your women, I believe, wore something awful, did they not? Covered
                  with feathers and skins and dazzling colors made of dead things all
                  over them? And they laughed, did they not, and had foolish teeth, and
                  at any moment they could inveigle you into one of those contracts!
                        He shuddered.
                       ―Asbestos,‖ I said (I knew no other name to call him), as I turned
                  on him in wrath, ―Asbestos, do you think that those jelly-bag Equalities
                  out on the street there, with their ash-barrel suits, can be compared for
                  one moment with our unredeemed, unreformed, heaven-created,
                  hobble-skirted women of the twentieth century?‖
                        Then suddenly, another thought flashed into my mind –
                        ―The children,‖ I said, ―where are the children? Are there any?‖
                       ―Children,‖ he said, ―no! I have never heard of there being any
                  such things for at least a century. Horrible little hobgoblins they must
                  have been! Great big faces, and cried constantly! And grew, did they
                  not? Like funguses! I believe they were longer each year than they had
                  been the last, and—‖
                        I rose.


                       ―Asbestos!‖ I said, ―this, then, is your coming civilization, your
                  millennium. This dull dead thing, with the work and the burden gone
                  out of life and with them all the joy and the sweetness of it. For the old
                  struggle – mere stagnation, and in place of danger and death, the dull
                  monotony of security and the horror of an unending decay! Give me
                  back,‖ I cried, and flung wide my arms to the dull air, ―the old life of
                  danger and stress, with its hard toil and its better chances, and its
                  heartbreaks. I see its value! I knew its worth! Give me no rest,‖ I cried
                  aloud –
                       ―Yes, but give rest to the rest of the corridor!‖ cried an angered
                  voice that broke in upon my exultation.
                        Suddenly my sleep had gone.
                        I was back again in the room of my hotel, with the hum of the
                  wicked, busy old world all about me, and loud in my ears the voice of
                  the indignant man across the corridor.
                      ―Quit your blatting, you infernal blatherskite,‖ he was calling.
                  ―Come down to earth.‖
                        I came.

                  Form groups of ten (10) and answer these questions:

            Group 1
            1.    What was the narrator’s initial attitude towards the present world?
            2.    How did the narrator meet the man in asbestos?
            3.    How does the man in asbestos look like? Do you know of any other
                  character in science fiction who resembles him?

            Group 2
            1.    Of all the radical changes that the narrator learned about the distant future,
                  which one shocked him most? Why?
            2.    What was the narrator’s attitude towards the distant futuristic world of the
                  Man in Asbestos?

            Group 3
            1.    How did the Man in Asbestos regard our present world?
            2.    What kind of man is the Man in Asbestos? Could you still consider him as a
                  human being? Why?


            Group 4
                 What do you think of the Man in Asbestos’ criticisms about various aspects
            of our present world like:
                 a. Women’s positions, fashion, and women’s rights
                 b. Children—their noise and growing up problems
                 c.   Communication and travel
                 d. Other problems and concerns

            Group 5
            1.    If you were given a choice between the two kinds of world presented in the
                  selection, which would you choose? Why?
            2.    Does the narrator’s experience change your impression/reaction to our
                  present world condition?

            Extension Activities
            Activity 5
                 Observe the same grouping in activity 4, and discuss a universal/global
            problem with your groupmates. Talk about the causes and effects of solutions to
            problems. Report back to class.

            Activity 6
                  Choose a ―theme-tune‖ to suit ―The Man in Asbestos‖ and present a skit
            highlighting the most interesting part.

            Activity 7
                 In the story, asbestos is mentioned as molds used for human brain insertion
            and other surgical operations. Investigate on the present day surgical operations
            that serve as solutions for man’s problems. Use an encyclopedia, health and
            medical digest or other reference materials for your report.

      F.    Writing
            Activity 1
                  Below are the ideas presented in a report entitled ―Dog Shows.‖
                  Group the related ideas. You’ll have four groups. Determine which should
                 be the first, second, third and fourth heading.
                         Awards                               How Dogs are Shown
                         Popularity of Dog Shows              Standards for Judging


            Activity 2
                 Below are words or phrases supporting the main idea in Activity 1. Decide
            which supports are appropriate for main ideas/headings 1, 2, 3, 4.

                                In Germany                        Walk Best of show
                                On platform                       Champion
                                Texture of coat                   Best of breed
                                Shape of head                     In Great Britain
                                Color                             Placement of ears
                                In the U.S.                       In judging rings

                                         GROUP 1          GROUP 2           GROUP 3           GROUP 4

             Main Idea:

             Supporting Ideas:

            Activity 3
                 Read the following selection and study its organizational plan as shown in
            the outline after the selection.

               The Human Costs and Problems of Migrant Workers and Their Families
                     (Excerpt from a position paper submitted by the Commission on Filipino Rights)

                         The economic, political, and legal aspects of overseas employ-
                  ment have increasingly received national attention. Unfortunately, very
                  little consideration has been given to the social, psychological, and
                  religious/spiritual implications of this phenomenon.
                      This position paper seeks to highlight some of the emerging
                  human costs borne by the Filipino families involved in the overseas
                  employment program, particularly to the Middle East.
                      Preliminary survey findings, interviews with and communications
                  from the affected workers and their families reveal that foremost
                  among these problems are the following.


                  The Human Problems of the Filipino Workers Abroad
                       The situation of the Filipino contract worker abroad represents
                  dislocation—the physical separation from family, native society, and
                  culture, with attendant psychological alienation and culture shock in
                  varying levels.
                        Generally, the workers dismiss these difficulties as part of the
                  deal. Something they must learn to cope with in order to fulfill the
                  economic goals they have set for themselves—mainly the economic
                  betterment, the financial gains of a good job. It is recognized as part of
                  the trade-off which, in their minds, are offset by the beneficial aspects
                  of their employment abroad, and the sense of satisfaction derived from
                  their ability to provide a higher standard of living for their families.
                         The main psychological difficulty may be described as loneliness.
                  In their letters to wives and families, and the stories they tell when they
                  return, they affirm the separation from the loved ones as their greatest
                        Homesickness is a prevalent condition of their lives abroad, and
                  is one of the major causes for the breaking of contracts. Letters and
                  taped messages from home become the high point of the week. ―Were
                  if not for the tapes you have been sending me,‖ writes a worker, ―I
                  would have already flipped.‖
                        Male overseas workers generally experience a great deal of
                  anxiety regarding family health and welfare, the wife’s fidelity, and the
                  discipline of the children. Threats to their marital relationship and the
                  stability of their family life are magnified by rumors and gossip about
                  broken homes and unfaithful wives.
                         A value disorientation may also occur, a veering from cultural,
                  familial, and religious patterns established at home. Workers find it
                  difficult, often impossible, and even dangerous, to worship and practice
                  their religious faith. At pre-departure, workers bound for Saudi Arabia
                  are advised by their recruiting agencies to hear their last Mass. ―We
                  literally shed tears of joy,‖ says a migrant worker, ―when we hear the
                  name of Christ in the land of Allah.‖ A source of further dislocation is
                  the alien culture— differences in values, customs, and manners, and
                  the prejudice sometimes shown towards Filipinos.

                  Impact on the Families
                       Wives and children of overseas workers tend to find that their
                  improved economic conditions are encountered by serious social-
                  psychological problems resulting from the absence of husbands and
                        Wives suffer most from loneliness and anxiety. Accounts of wives
                  turning to other men for companionship and comfort, causing marriage


                  and family breakdowns, are often the subject of gossip in communities
                  with a sizeable number of their men folk working abroad.
                        With the absence of fathers, mothers are now faced with the
                  responsibility of solo-parenting and its attendant problems. Being
                  father and mother is especially problematical in disciplining adolescent
                  children who are most vulnerable to gambling, drugs, and related peer
                  group pressures. Meddling in-laws and relatives compound the wives’
                        The sudden increase in income, often resulting in a shift of
                  lifestyles, leads to disorientation of values, according to the judgment
                  of many wives themselves. Instead of a productive use of money,
                  some overspend on material goods; others succumb to gambling;
                  many do not know how to invest their income and their time.

                  Some Conclusions
                        The situation of the workers’ families at home has a tremendous
                  impact not only on the families themselves but also on the workers
                  toiling abroad. It is generally recognized that, where the home situation
                  is healthy, stable, and secure, the head of the family working overseas
                  will not be burdened with tensions, anxieties and pressures that are
                  bound to affect his physical, psychological, and mental state, and
                  performance as a worker. Furthermore, the fulfillment of the
                  psychosocial and spiritual needs of the worker cannot but redound to
                  the mutual benefit of the workers themselves and of the companies,
                  which employ them.

                       It is strongly recommended therefore that the various Philippine
                  laws, Presidential Decrees, and Letters of Instructions regarding the
                  welfare of the Filipino workers abroad be strictly and fully implemented.

            The Human Costs and Problems of Filipino Migrant Workers
            I.  The Human Problems of the Filipino Workers Abroad
                A. _________________________________________________________
                B. _________________________________________________________
                        1.    _____________________________________________________
                        2.    _____________________________________________________

            II.   Impact on the Filipino Families
                  A. _________________________________________________________
                  B. _________________________________________________________
                        1.    _____________________________________________________
                        2.    _____________________________________________________
                        3.    _____________________________________________________


                  C.    _________________________________________________________
                        1. _____________________________________________________
                        2. _____________________________________________________
                        3. _____________________________________________________

      G.    Closure: Looking back/checking on/reviewing…
            1.    Look back at your outline and see if you have included what you have
                  learned about the topic ―Looking at Problems in a Global Culture.‖
            2.    Reflect on and answer the following questions:
                  a. What was the best thing about the lesson?
                  b. What did I enjoy most?
                  c.   What did others enjoy most?
                  d. How did we react?
                  e. What would I change about the lesson if I had to study it again?
                  f.   At what points in the lesson could I have engaged myself more? How?
                  g. Which part of the lesson/activities helped me change or strengthen my
                       feelings and perception about looking at problems in a more global

           Think back about how your ideas on looking at problems in a global culture have
      changed. Analyze a present day global problem, then formulate ways on how you can
      help solve it. Write down your ideas in paragraph form. Make an outline of your
      concrete ideas as well as suggestions for taking the concrete action.


Shared By: