Listening – TED Talk by Stacey Kramer: The best gift I ever survived

Stacey Kramer is a co-founder of Brandplay, a brand strategy firm, and Word for Word, a naming and branding consultancy serving national and global companies. She has traveled the world helping to create names and brands for growing companies.


A. Pre-viewing
  Before watching a video in which Stacey talks about her life-changing story, familiarize yourself with the following entries:
  1. acquaintance - a person that you have met but do not know well
  2. adoration - very strong love or worship for someone
  3. admiration – having high opinion, approval and respect for someone or something
  4. recalibrate - make corrections or major changes
  5. gourmet - very high or very special quality of food/ drink
  6. truckload – a large amount of something (that can be carried by a truck)
  7. vitality - energy and strength
  8. humble – having or showing that one is not very important, unassuming
  9. serenity - peaceful and calm; worried by nothing
  10. nirvana - a place or state characterized by freedom from or oblivion to pain, worry, and the external world. In Buddhism, it is the highest state of consciousness, in which the soul is freed from all desires and attachments. Colloquially, the word is used to express the highest level of peaceful happiness.
  11. Amazon - Online retailer of books, movies, music and games along with electronics, toys, apparel, sports, tools, groceries and general home and garden items.
  12. gem – a jewel, a precious stone
  13. Hemangioblastomas - tumors of the central nervous system 
  14. profoundly - deeply or extremely

B. Listening Comprehension
Watch the video and answer the following questions:

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Video ©

1. “I'd like for you to picture it (a gift) in your mind. It's not too big -- about the size of a golf ball. So envision what it looks like all wrapped up.”

to envision =
  to be prepared for a situation in the future, especially a situation you intend to work towards
  to imagine what a situation will be like in the future, especially a situation you intend to work towards
  to correctly predict what a situation will be like in the future, especially a situation you intend to work towards
2. What can the ‘gift’ do for you? (you may select more than one option)
0   a. make you look incredible
0   b. bring you to your family
0   c. find you a lover
1   d. connect you to people you haven’t been in contact with for years
0   e. make you become overwhelmingly attractive
1   f. recalibrate what’s most important in your life
0   g. redefine your sense of responsibility
0   h. make you physically stronger
1   i. give you unsurpassed vitality and energy
1   j. give you an eight-week vacation
1   k. provide you with good drugs
1   l. give your life a new meaning
1   m. give you serenity and nirvana
3. How much is the ‘gift’?
4. What does Stacey think about the price of the ‘gift’?
  She thinks it’s indescribable.
  She thinks it’s an incredible deal.
  She thinks it’s a credit bill.
  She thinks it’s an incomparable deal.
5. When did Stacey receive the ‘gift’?
   ten months ago
  four months ago
  six months ago
  five months ago
6. Stacey describes her brain tumor as …
  a raw gem
  a rare gem
  a raw germ
  a rare germ
7.Does Stacey treasure the experience of having a brain tumor?
  not given
8. How has the brain tumor affected Stacey?
  It altered her life miserably.
  It profoundly changed her life.
  It made her feel unwanted.
  It made her future uncertain.

Imagine, if you will -- a gift. I'd like for you to picture it in your mind. It's not too big -- about the size of a golf ball. So envision what it looks like all wrapped up. But before I show you what's inside, I will tell you, it's going to do incredible things for you. It will bring all of your family together. You will feel loved and appreciated like never before and reconnect with friends and acquaintances you haven't heard from in years. Adoration and admiration will overwhelm you. It will recalibrate what's most important in your life.
It will redefine your sense of spirituality and faith. You'll have a new understanding and trust in your body. You'll have unsurpassed vitality and energy. You'll expand your vocabulary, meet new people, and you'll have a healthier lifestyle. And get this -- you'll have an eight-week vacation of doing absolutely nothing. 
You'll eat countless gourmet meals. Flowers will arrive by the truckload. People will say to you, "You look great. Have you had any work done?" And you'll have a lifetime supply of good drugs.
You'll be challenged, inspired, motivated and humbled. Your life will have new meaning. Peace, health, serenity, happiness, nirvana. The price? $55,000, and that's an incredible deal.
By now I know you're dying to know what it is and where you can get one. Does Amazon carry it? Does it have the Apple logo on it? Is there a waiting list? Not likely. This gift came to me about five months ago. It looked more like this when it was all wrapped up -- not quite so pretty. And this, and then this. It was a rare gem -- a brain tumor, hemangioblastoma --the gift that keeps on giving.
And while I'm okay now, I wouldn't wish this gift for you. I'm not sure you'd want it. But I wouldn't change my experience. It profoundly altered my life in ways I didn't expect in all the ways I just shared with you.
So the next time you're faced with something that's unexpected, unwanted and uncertain, consider that it just may be a gift.
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