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Ignacy J. Paderewski, former president of Poland, once performed a piano recital at Stanford University. Two eighteen-year-old students at the university organised a musical concert on campus to raise money for their education. They had been struggling to pay their fees, and needed a well-known name to be part of their concert, in order to draw the crowd.

Paderewski's manager demanded a guaranteed fee of two thousand dollars for the piano recital. The boys agreed and worked to make the concert a success. Unfortunately, they had not managed to sell enough tickets. The total collection was only $1600. Disappointed, they went to Paderewski and explained their plight. They gave him the entire $1600, plus a cheque for the balance. They promised to honour the cheque as soon as they could.

'No,' said Paderewski, `This is not acceptable.' He tore up the cheque, returned the $1600 and told the two boys, 'Here's the $1600. Keep the money you need for your fees and just give me whatever is left.' The boys were surprised, and thanked him profusely. It was a small act of kindness. However, it clearly marked out Paderewski as a good human being. Why should he help two people he did not even know? We all have come across situations like these in our lives. The truly great people think, 'If I don't help them, what will happen to them?'

Paderewski later went on to become the Prime Minister of Poland. He was a great leader. Unfortunately when World War II began, Poland was shattered. There were more than 1.5 million people starving in his country, and there was no money to feed them. The war had left Poland in ruins. Paderewski did not know where to turn to for help. He reached out to the US Food and Relief Administration for help. The chief administrator was a man called Herbert Hoover -- who later went on to become the President of the United States. Hoover agreed to help and quickly shipped tons of food grains to feed the starving Polish people.

Quick action saved the day, for disaster was averted in Poland. Paderewski was relieved greatly that his people were saved. He decided that the least he could do was to go to the United States to thank the man who had saved his countrymen. He arranged to meet Hoover and personally thank him. When Paderewski began to thank Hoover for his noble gesture, Hoover quickly interjected and said, 'You shouldn't be thanking me, Mr Prime Minister. You may not remember this, but several years ago, you helped two young students pay their university fees. I was one of them.'

   

Answer the following questions using complete sentences

 

1.

From paragraph 1, why did the students organise a music concert at their campus ?

 

2.

a) From paragraph 2, what was the reason to get a well-known person to be part of the concert ?

b) From paragraph 3, why did Paderewski act the way he did ?

 

3.

a) From paragraph 4, what makes this act of kindness special ?

b) From paragraph 5, how did Paderewski solve the food problem ?

 

4.

From paragraph 6,

a) which word describes how Paderewski felt when his people had food ?

b) why did Paderewski go to the United States ?

c) what made this meeting unusual ?

 

5.

What kind of a man was Herbert Hoover ? Give one quality and provide a reason to support your answer.

 

6.

Based on the passage given, write a summary of :

* how Paderewski helped Hoover get an education, and

* how Hoover helped Paderewski feed his people

Your summary must not be longer than 130 words, including the 10 words given below

The big day of the concert arrived but unfortunately, the ...

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Answers
 

1.

They needed to pay their university fees.

 

2.

a) He would help to attract the crowd.

b) He did so because he wanted to help the boys pay their fees.

 

3.

a) Paderewski did not expect anything in return.

b) He appealed to the US Food and Relief Administration for help.

 

4.

a) Relieved

b) He wanted to personally thank the man who helped his countrymen.

c) Paderewski found out that Hoover was the man he had helped in his university days.

 

5.

Quality: Hoover was a hard-working man who did not forget those who helped him.

Reason: He worked hard to make sure he got his education and never forgot that Paderewski helped him pay his fees.

  6. The big day of the concert arrived but unfortunately, the two boys had not sold enough tickets. Disappointed, they went to Paderewski and explained their plight. They gave him the entire collection but he returned the money and told them to deduct their expenses and keep the money for their fees. He took only the remainder. The boys thanked him profusely. Padereski later became the Prime Minister of Poland. However, the country was in ruins. The people were starving and there was no money to feed them. Paderewski did not know what to do. So, he asked the US Food and Relief Administration for help. The head, a man called Herbert Hoover agreed to help and quickly shipped food grains to feed the Polish people. Thus, a disaster was averted. (130 words)
 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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