Assignment: Reading vs. Listening
Instructions: Write a three-paragraph
response that compares your experience of reading the text independently with
your experience of seeing and hearing the speech as it is read aloud.
comparison should focus specifically on the following questions:
- How does the meaning or message
change when you read the speech vs. hearing and seeing it read aloud?
- Why do you think these changes in
meaning or message occur?
- Which format is easier to
understand? Explain your answer.
Excerpt from President John F. Kennedy’s speech at Rice University,
September 12, 1962
William Bradford, speaking in 1630 of the founding of the Plymouth Bay Colony, said that all great and
honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and both must be enterprised and overcome
with answerable courage.
If this capsule history of our progress teaches us anything, it is that man, in his quest for knowledge and
progress, is determined and cannot be deterred. The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join
in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader
of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space.
Those who came before us made certain that this country rode the first waves of the industrial
revolutions, the first waves of modern invention, and the first wave of nuclear power, and this generation
does not intend to founder in the backwash of the coming age of space. We mean to be a part of it--we
mean to lead it. For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond,
and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of
freedom and peace. We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction,
but with instruments of knowledge and understanding.
Yet the vows of this Nation can only be fulfilled if we in this Nation are first, and, therefore, we intend to be
first. In short, our leadership in science and in industry, our hopes for peace and security, our obligations
to ourselves as well as others, all require us to make this effort, to solve these mysteries, to solve them
for the good of all men, and to become the world's leading space-faring nation.
We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and
they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all
technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man,
and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can we help decide whether this new
ocean will be a sea of peace or a new terrifying theater of war. I do not say the we should or will go
unprotected against the hostile misuse of space any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use
of land or sea, but I do say that space can be explored and mastered without feeding the fires of war,
without repeating the mistakes that man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours.
There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all.
Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation many never
come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why
climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not
because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure
the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are
unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear
as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the office of the