Saturday, June 5, 2010

Alive: Adversity

A. Read the quotations below about dealing with adversity. Then work in pairs and discuss their attitude toward adversity they express. What do they mean and do you agree with them?

"I'm not afraid of storms for I'm learning to sail my ship." Louisa May Alcott, writer

"Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb, go through it, or work around it." Michael Jordan, athlete

"When it gets dark enough, you can see the stars." Lee Salk, psychologist

"The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing but in rising every time we fall." Nelson Mandela, statesman

"Adversity causes some men to break, others to break records." William A. Ward, writer and educator

"A certain amount of opposition is of great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with the wind." Lewis Mumford, philosopher

B. Talk to a partner:

1. Do you agree that adversity can be a positive experience? How so?

2. Do you find any of the quotations inspiring or relevant to your life? Explain.

3. Come up with different words that symbolize adversity and hope. Use your imagination with your analogies.

Adversity: Darkness, fear, etc

Hope: Sunshine, light, etc

4. Write your own quotation about dealing with adversity. Be creative and try to use some of the words you used to symbolize adversity and hope in the previous exercise.

C. Watch the segment below from the film Alive. They are Uruguayan survivors of a plane crash that took place in the 70's on the Andes. They were stranded on the mountains without food or water for over a month, and they had to go through enormous difficulties to struggle for survival. Their extreme measure, for example, was to eat the meat of their dead friends' corpses, frozen under the snow. Then discuss the questions that follow in pairs.


1. Describe the scene.

2. What did the survivors look like? Does it give any clues about what they had been through?

3. What were some of the adversities they have probably faced?

4. How do you think they managed them?

5. Who do you think is the man that is holding a red shoe on the helicopter? How do you know it?

6. Most of the survivors are best friends until today. How do you think this experience brought them together?

7. Would any of the quotations in exercise A apply to this situation in the segment? Explain.

8. Have you ever faced an extremely dangerous situation that made you think you were going to die or get seriously hurt? What happened? When and where was it? How did you deal with the situation? What lesson did you learn from this experience?