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(c) Alexander Sokol, Riga, 2000, contacts@thinking-approach.org

Preliminary Points
How to Choose a Text
Functions of Tasks
Types of Tasks

Texts Samples
Tasks to the Texts
Students’ Works

Students' Responses

IT KILLS ME by J D Salinger

Task 1 (The Model Vision of the World1)

Mary Dobrovolska (Form 10):

A person from the audience describes what’s going on in Old Ernie.

The narrator: Lady Amanda Rosenberg, 74 years old.


“It was an excellent evening yesterday! It was probably the best evening in my long  life!”

I’ve felt so lonely since Henry died, I miss him so much! These Christmas days I was alone again: Maggie couldn’t come because her twins are ill (as usually, by the way).

                Well, I was sitting in my study, near the fire, and was thinking about my life. It was horrible! And then I decided to visit my good friend (and ex-school friend!) – Ernie. Now they call him Old Ernie, because he owns a night club with the same name. I like the atmosphere in his club very much – it somehow reminds me of my old days, Henry, my youth… I like Ernie, too – he’s very funny and a brilliant piano player! When he plays, I always start crying – it’s so.. touching!

                That was a beautiful evening… I observed all these young people who were laughing, telling stories, dancing… They looked like henry and me when we were young and in love with each other… Ernie played and I couldn’t stop the tears again. His music was so… holy!… The young people in the club were listening to the music and looked so inspired…

                I came home and started thinking about my life. I think I’ve done a lot and my life was one of full value…”

(Lady Rosenberg doesn’t see the reality – she is living in her dreams, thoughts… she’s living in memories…) 



Task 3 (The Main Model for Description of an Element)

Mary Dobrovolska (Form 10)


Relationships between dates:




Where they like to go together

·         Cinema;

·         Theatre;

·         Restaurants;

·         Night clubs;

·         Walk in a park.

Why they need each other

·         Money;

·         To get a higher social scale;

·         Just go-out partners;

·         Sexual partners;

·         Mutual interests, hobbies;

·         Kindred souls.

What they feel to each other

·         Delight;

·         Respect;

·         Indifference;

·         Friendship;

·         Love;

·         Curiosity;

·         Interest;

·         Gratitude;

·         Tolerance.

Their mutual future plans

·         Just one-night stand;

·         ‘Let’s see what happens tomorrow’;

·         ‘Let’s stay good friends’;

·         Marriage.




Task 5 (The Full Scheme Model of World Elements)

Mary Dobrovolska (Form 10):



Possible Objective factors

Possible Subjective Factors

“People always clap for the wrong things.”

·         Old Ernie’s playing isn’t very qualitative;

·         Behaviour of the audience – their inability to distinguish between good and bad playing;

·         Old Ernie’s piano is out of tune.

·         The narrator is in a bad mood – he doesn’t like anything in the club;

·         The narrator can’t distinguish between good and bad playing himself – not only jerks in the club;

·         The narrator doesn’t like Christmas music.

“All Ivy League students are bastards.”

·         The conversation between the “Ivy-League-guy’ and his date isn’t rich in content;

·         The narrator knows some more of the Ivy-League students – they are all bastards.

·         The narrator doesn’t like the clothes of the guy;

·         The narrator is envious because the guy has a good-looking girl by him;

·         The “Ivy-League guy’ is giving the girl a feel under the table. The narrator is envious.

“You could hardly check your coat – it was so crowded.”

·         He has ‘bad experience’ with coats in jam-packed night clubs;

·         His coat is very expensive;

·         Jam-packed night clubs are not the most cosy places at all…

·         Waiting for a table irritates him;

·         He wants to have a drink.



Task 7 (The Main Model and the Full Scheme Model)

Mary Dobrovolska (Form 10):


Night Clubs




Audience (age, profession, interests, …)2

·         16 years old, over 18, over 30, etc.

·         businessmen, students, killers, etc.

·         punks, ravers, gays, etc.

Level of prices

·         high;

·         average;

·         low.


·         comfortable/uncomfortable;

·         cheap/expensive


·         live

·         DJ

Working time

·         From … to…


Features important from me:

·         If I come to a night-club I don’t want to take place on top of somebody. That means I’m not crazy about jam-packed clubs…

·         The music has to be qualitative. If possible then without loudspeakers! (I remember an Argentinean night club in Stuttgart. I was with my sister and our friend Rene.  Loudspeakers were horrible. It was deadly, really).

·         The interior of the club has to be comfortable – no 100% bright colours, not too much disco-light, etc.

·         A night club where I would like to go must have my favourite drink – Ginger Ale (alcohol free!) – a very important feature.


Features important for other people:

·         Good drinks (usually for men);

·         A lot of music, famous musicians (most people like music and want to see famous people);

·         Striptease shows;

·         A place to ‘show’ yourself (new clothes, etc.) and meet interesting people friends (usually for teenagers and young people who like dancing and meeting friends somewhere nice…)


1 - Here and further on in the text the reference is given to the groups of the OTSM-TRIZ Skills

2 - It is sometimes necessary to analyse features as elements which can be described by means of the Element - Name of Feature - Value of feature (E-N-V) model. Such attempts should be encouraged by the teacher. 





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21 Nov 2000