English Challenge 11

I.  Article

A. The Power of Doing Only One Thing – Link / Excerpt and Questions /

B. Excerpt to Read and Record

  1. This idea of doing only one thing was sparked by an event that happened this week.
    I decided to delete all podcasts on my phone and only keep the Tim Ferriss Show.  In other areas of my life, I’ve done the same.

I’ve selectively gone into each area and chosen one thing.

  1. All the other things in the same category have been discarded. Here are some examples:
  • I had two pairs of earphones and now I have one.
  • I’d read multiple books at the same time — now I do one at a time.
  • I had multiple tools to cure stress and now I have one — meditation.
  1. I then took this minimalistic approach from how I handled material possessions and applied it to what I do each day. Here are some examples:
  • I only pursue one passion now instead of many.
  • I only execute one vision instead of many.
  • I only use my free time for one activity instead of many.

Assess what you do and you’ll see one thing.

  1. If you look at each category of your life, you’ll see that you spend a disproportionate amount of time in one area. I’ve normally had a few passions, but if I evaluate the last five years, most of my efforts have been put towards blogging.  I had a few other passions, but I didn’t spend a lot of time doing them.

When I committed to doing one thing, I made a decision to stop pretending I cared about my other passions.

  1. I listened to lots of podcasts until recently, and I was constantly trying to keep up with the latest episodes. I found many of the podcasts shared similar messages and only one of them was life-changing in my eyes — The Tim Ferriss Podcast.
  2. Now that I only listen to one podcast, I can finally enjoy it, quit rushing, and even play back episodes I’ve listened to already. Seeing the podcast screen with only one show on there is so refreshing!
  3. Look at your life, and you’ll see similar patterns.

It creates focus.

  1. Doing one thing gives you extreme focus. This focus can be channeled towards tasks that lead to mastery instead of trying to dabble in lots of unrelated passions.  Focus is how you reach states of flow and achieve results that look impossible.
  2. Doing one thing causes you to focus and practice more. Through this process, you can see your failures, areas of improvement, and areas that you’re good at.  This form of reflection gives you real-time feedback that can further compound your results.

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

It avoids overwhelm.

  1. We can’t compute too many things at once. The power of doing one thing is that you avoid overwhelm.  We can all manage one thing in each area of our life.  The moment we introduce too many choices, we end up with decision fatigue.

Overwhelm is selling yourself the false reality that you have to do everything to be successful.

  1. I’ve learned it’s the complete opposite. To be successful, you have to focus and do one thing.  Being successful is about not giving up, and if you consistently put yourself into a state of overwhelm, then you’ll simultaneously increase your negative thought patterns.
  2. This milkshake of negativity will mix together and end up in failure if you let it. Overwhelm is the enemy of passion and energy.  Passion and energy become hyper-focused when you focus on one thing.
  • One podcast
  • One business
  • One romantic partner
  • One vision
  • One passion

Embrace the power of doing one thing

C. Comprehension Questions

  1. What is the main idea of this article?
  2. What is the enemy of “overwhelm” and why?
  3. Explain what the author means by “focus”.
  4. Explain what the author means by “overwhelm”.
  5. Do you agree or disagree with the main idea of this article? Why or why not?

D. Grammar Analysis

  1. In Paragraph 3, what is meant by “material possessions”?
  2. In Paragraph 6, how is “seeing” used in the sentence (what function – subject, verb, etc.)?
  3. In Paragraph 8, what do you think “dabble” means?
  4. In Paragraph 10: “The power of doing one thing is that you avoid overwhelm.”
    What is the function of “that” in this sentence?
  5. In Paragraph 11, list all prepositions.
  6. In Paragraph 12, what does “hyper-focused mean”?

II.  Song

A. In the Year 2525 – Song Video / Lyrics and Questions /

B. Story

[Students tell me.]

C. Lyrics

  1. In the year 2525, if man is still alive,
    If woman can survive, they may find…
  2. In the year 3535
    Ain’t gonna need to tell the truth, tell no lie.
    Everything you think, do, and say
    Is in the pill you took today.
  3. In the year 4545
    You ain’t gonna need your teeth, won’t need your eyes.
    You won’t find a thing to chew.
    Nobody’s gonna look at you.
  4. In the year 5555
    Your arms hangin’ limp at your sides,
    Your legs got nothin’ to do,
    Some machine’s doin’ that for you.
  5. In the year 6565
    You won’t need no husband, won’t need no wife.
    You’ll pick your son, pick your daughter too
    From the bottom of a long glass tube.
  6. In the year 7510
    If God’s a coming, He oughta make it by then.
    Maybe He’ll look around Himself and say,
    “Guess it’s time for the judgment day.”
  7. In the year 8510
    God is gonna shake His mighty head.
    He’ll either say I’m pleased where man has been
    Or tear it down, and start again.
  8. In the year 9595
    I’m kinda wonderin’ if man is gonna be alive.
    He’s taken everything this old earth can give,
    And he ain’t put back nothing.
  9. Now it’s been ten thousand years.
    Man has cried a billion tears
    For what he never knew, now man’s reign is through.
    But through eternal night, the twinkling of starlight,
    So very far away, maybe it’s only yesterday.
  10. In the year 2525, if man is still alive,
    If woman can survive, they may find…

D. Questions for the Students

  1. What do you think Stanza 2 means?
  2. What do you think Stanza 3 means?
  3. What do you think Stanza 4 means?
  4. What do you think Stanza 5 means?
  5. What do you think Stanzas 6 and 7 mean?
  6. What do you think Stanza 8 means?
  7. What do you think Stanza 9 means?
  8. What do you think Stanzas 9 and 10 are trying to say?

E. Grammar Points

  1. This song uses the principle of parallelism in grammar.  How would you describe or define “parallelism”?
  2. This song uses bad grammar to make the words fit the rhythm of the song.  List three examples of bad grammar used in this song.
  3. In Stanza 6:  “If God’s a coming” — Convert this into good grammar.
  4. In Stanza 6, the year intervals changed a little.  Why do you think this happened?
  5. In Stanza 9:  “now man’s reign is through.” – What does this mean?
  6. Stanza  10 is a repeat of Stanza 1.  What do you think the song writers are trying to imply by doing this?
  7. If you had to assign ONE word to EACH stanza (i.e., Stanzas 1 through 9) to crystallize its point or essence, what would these nine words be?


A. What Would Happen If You Didn’t SleepLink / Excerpt & Questions /

B. Read and Record – Excerpt

  1. In 1965, 17-year-old high school student, Randy Gardner stayed awake for 264 hours. That’s 11 days to see how he’d cope without sleep.  On the second day, his eyes stopped focusing.  Next, he lost the ability to identify objects by touch.  By day three, Gardner was moody and uncoordinated.  At the end of the experiment, he was struggling to concentrate, had trouble with short-term memory, became paranoid, and started hallucinating.  Although Gardner recovered without long-term psychological or physical damage, for others, losing shuteye can result in hormonal imbalance, illness, and, in extreme cases, death.
  2. We’re only beginning to understand why we sleep to begin with, but we do know it’s essential. Adults need seven to eight hours of sleep a night, and adolescents need about ten.  We grow sleepy due to signals from our body telling our brain we are tired, and signals from the environment telling us it’s dark outside.  The rise in sleep-inducing chemicals, like adenosine (uh ”DEN uh ‘SEEN) and melatonin (‘MEL uh ”TON in), send us into a light doze that grows deeper, making our breathing and heart rate slow down and our muscles relax.  This non-REM sleep is when DNA is repaired, and our bodies replenish themselves for the day ahead.
  3. In the United States, it’s estimated that 30% of adults and 66% of adolescents are regularly sleep-deprived. This isn’t just a minor inconvenience.  Staying awake can cause serious bodily harm.  When we lose sleep, learning, memory, mood, and reaction time are affected.  Sleeplessness may also cause inflammation, hallucinations, and high blood pressure, and it’s even been linked to diabetes and obesity.
  4. In 2014, a devoted soccer fan died after staying awake for 48 hours to watch the World Cup. While his untimely death was due to a stroke, studies show that chronically sleeping fewer than six hours a night increases stroke risk by four and a half times compared to those getting a consistent seven to eight hours of shuteye.  For a handful of people on the planet who carry a rare inherited genetic mutation, sleeplessness is a daily reality.  This condition, known as Fatal Familial Insomnia, places the body in a nightmarish state of wakefulness, forbidding it from entering the sanctuary of sleep.  Within months or years, this progressively worsening condition leads to dementia and death.
  5. How can sleep deprivation cause such immense suffering? Scientists think the answer lies with the accumulation of waste products in the brain.
  6. During our waking hours, our cells are busy using up our day’s energy sources, which get broken down into various byproducts, including adenosine. As adenosine builds up, it increases the urge to sleep, also known as sleep pressure.  In fact, caffeine works by blocking adenosine’s receptor pathways.  Other waste products also build up in the brain, and if they’re not cleared away, they collectively overload the brain and are thought to lead to the many negative symptoms of sleep deprivation.
  7. So, what’s happening in our brain when we sleep to prevent this? Scientists found something called the Lymphatic System, a clean-up mechanism that removes this buildup and is much more active when we’re asleep.  It works by using cerebrospinal fluid to flush away toxic byproducts that accumulate between cells.  Lymphatic vessels, which serve as pathways for immune cells, have recently been discovered in the brain, and they may also play a role in clearing out the brain’s daily waste products.
  8. While scientists continue exploring the restorative mechanisms behind sleep, we can be sure that slipping into slumber is a necessity if we want to maintain our health and our sanity.

C. Comprehension Questions

  1. What do adenosine and melatonin do for the body?
  2. In the USA, do most people get an adequate amount of sleep?
  3. List five harmful effects that may be caused by sleeplessness.
  4. What do scientists believe is the reason that sleep deprivation causes so many problems with the body’s functions?
  5. How are adenosine and caffeine related?
  6. Explain what the body’s Lymphatic System does.
  7. Paragraph 2 mentions that non-REM sleep repairs the body. This implies the existence of “REM sleep”.
    1. What does REM stand for? (some lookup will be needed)
    2. What does REM sleep do for the body? (some lookup will be needed)

D. Grammar Analysis

  1. What is the opposite of sleeplessness? (the antonym is used in this article)
  2. What is the difference between sleep, shuteye, and slumber?
  3. In Paragraph 1: “17-year-old high school student”
    Why are the hyphens needed in this expression?
  4. In Paragraph 1, some “linking expressions” are used to link sentences to each in a logical manner. List four phrases that act as linking expressions.
  5. Paragraph 2: “making our breathing and heart rate slow down and our muscles relax”
    “Making” is a present particle that is half-adjective and half-verb.  Since it is half-verb, it can take direct objects.  What are its direct objects in this sentence fragment?
  6. Paragraph 5 uses the noun “deprivation”. What is its verb form?
  7. Paragraph 6 uses the phrasal verb “build up”. The next paragraph uses another word as a synonym for “build up”.  What is this word?
  8. Paragraphs 6 and 7 contain “build up” (two words) and “buildup” (one word). Why are these two uses spelled differently?
  9. In Paragraph 7, list an example of a nonessential (nonrestrictive) relative clause.
  10. In Paragraph 7, list an example of an essential (restrictive) relative clause.




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