France métropolitaine • Juin 2016
Séries technologiques • LV1
Walking: taking life one step at a time
Document 1 The transformative properties of walking
In his book, Born to Walk, Dan Rubinstein describes the experiences of several walkers, including those of Matt Green.
Green used to have a girlfriend and a respectable career as a transportation engineer. Then the relationship ended and he found it difficult to justify doing a job he didn't enjoy for money he didn't need. Feeling anxious and craving adventure, he turned his back on five years of highway and roadway design and walked across the United States. Green departed from Rockaway Beach, Queens, in March 2010, wearing a reflective vest and pushing his camping gear in a running stroller, and arrived, five months later, in Rockaway Beach, Oregon. While preparing for the trip, he was bombarded by suggestions that sounded like commands: You have to go there, you need to see that. Instead, he plotted a direct line to Chicago, to visit his brother, and west to the Pacific.
Without specific destinations to anticipate, Green could appreciate anything he saw, anywhere he was, instead of counting the miles until he reached, say, South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore. “To see interesting things, you don’t need to know what you’re going to see,” he says. “That’s letting other people’s preferences prejudice your reaction. You can just walk across North Dakota. I’ve driven across places like that, and it’s incredibly boring.”
When he returned to New York, Green's plan to find a job and settle down was no longer palatable. Slowly, his next journey took shape.
New York, like all cities, is complex and bewildering. “Don't try to seek out anything particular, don't even bother trying to draw any conclusions,” he says. “Just listen to what the city has to tell you … and let your own unique instincts guide you.”
Green is mostly looking for those human moments that connect us to the urban web.
By the end of his New York odyssey, Matt Green will have covered roughly 14,000 kilometres.
“Do you ever get bored while walking?” I ask.
Some parts of the city, such as Harlem, are more lively than quieter, suburban places, like Long Island, he concedes. “But this walk has made me think about what boredom means. Nobody asked me that question when I was an engineer and I sat in a cubicle, under fluorescent lights, doing pretty much the same thing all day every day. Out here, it's always something new.”
Dan Rubinstein, Born to Walk: The Transformative Power of a Pedestrian Act, 2015.
Document 2 Arriving in town
Exeter took Harold by surprise. He had developed a slow inner rhythm that the fury of the city now threatened to overturn. He had felt comfortable in the security of open land and sky, where everything took its place. He had felt himself to be part of something bigger than simply Harold. In the city, where there was such short-range sight, he felt anything might happen, and that whatever it was he wouldn’t be ready.
He looked for traces of the land beneath his feet and all he found was where it had been replaced with paving stones and Tarmac. Everything alarmed him. The traffic. The buildings. The crowds pushed past, shouting into their mobile phones. He smiled at each face and it was exhausting, taking in so many strangers. He lost a full day, simply wandering. Each time he resolved to leave, he saw something that distracted him, and another hour passed. He deliberated over purchases that he hadn’t realized he required. Should he send Maureen a new pair of gardening gloves? An assistant fetched five different types, and modelled them on her hands, before Harold remembered his wife had long since abandoned her vegetable beds. He stopped to eat and was presented with such an array of sandwiches that he forgot he was hungry, and left with nothing. (Did he prefer cheese or ham or would he like the filling of the day, seafood cocktail? Or would he like something else altogether? Sushi? Peking duck wraps?) What had been so clear to him when he was alone, two feet on the ground, became lost in this abundance of choices and streets and glass-fronted shopping outlets. He longed to be back on the open land.
And now that he had the opportunity to buy walking equipment, he also faltered. After an hour with an enthusiastic young Australian man, who produced not only walking boots but also a rucksack, a small tent and a talking pedometer, Harold apologized profusely and bought a wind-up torch. He told himself that he had managed perfectly well with his yachting shoes and his plastic bag, and with a little ingenuity he could carry his toothbrush and shaving foam in one pocket, and his deodorant and washing powder in the other.
Rachel Joyce, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, 2012.
Texts 1 and 2
1 What activity do Harold Fry and Matt Green have in common?
2 1. Fill in the gaps with words from the list below.
Matt Green – reading – writing – his brother – working – Dan Rubinstein – walking – studying – driving – his girlfriend
The author, ………………, changed his life. He stopped ……………… and started ……………… and ……………… about other people’s personal experiences. One of his examples is about ………………, who also decided to change his life.
2. Why did Matt Green make that decision? (2 reasons). Find a quotation for each reason.
3 1. Look at the map and write down the different steps of Matt Green’s trip in chronological order. Associate each step with the appropriate letter.
Step 1 :
Step 2 :
Step 3 :
Step 4 : B. New York City
2. What did Matt do before leaving?
TO DO LIST
☐ Pack camping equipment
☐ Phone tourist offices
☐ Get safety clothing
☐ Book hotels on the way
☐ Hire a car
3. Conclusion: Matt’s slogan could be…
Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.
To be happy, plan your future step by step.
Time is money.
Enjoy the present, let life surprise you.
4 1. “When he returned to NY” (l. 20), what did Matt Green decide to do?
a) find a respectable, well-paid job.
b) rediscover New York City.
c) start a stable family with his partner.
d) become a municipal tour guide.
e) stay there and keep walking.
f) leave and explore the country.
2. What does he realise about his life before and his life now? Choose the right adjectives to complete the sentences.
Dangerous – repetitive – fascinating – confusing – healthy
a) When I worked as an engineer, my life was… (one adjective)
b) Now, my life has become… (one adjective)
5 Which movement best represents where Harold comes from and where he is now? Choose the right itinerary.
1. city → countryside
2. sea → land
3. city → another city
4. countryside → city
6 Choose the adjectives which best describe his feelings towards the places and pick out 1 quotation to justify each answer.
1. Where he comes from a) positive b) negative
2. Where he is now a) positive b) negative
7 1. Answer the questions by quoting the text.
a) What sort of food was he offered? (3 items)
b) What did he finally buy?
2. What is Harold’s main difficulty in the shops? Answer in your own words.
Texts 1 and 2
8 Answer the following questions about Matt Green and Harold Fry and justify in your own words.
1. Do they share the same opinion about the city?
2. Do they share the same opinion about following people’s advice?
3. Do they share the same opinion about living a simple life?
▶ Choose ONE of the following subjects. (150 words minimum)
1 Write an e-mail to a friend to explain your recent holiday (choose between trips 1, 2 or 3). Say what you enjoyed best and describe any problems you had.
Ghost City Tour
Go on a 15km evening’s adventure through the beautiful streets of Savannah, Georgia, U.S.A.
Visit haunted and historic homes, hidden cemeteries and many of Savannah’s secret, haunted locations.
Magic Wildlife Hike
Visit Scotland’s top wildlife site on the Isle of Mull and enjoy a 4 day walk with a wildlife expert.
Try delicious local food in the different hostels you stay in.
Hollywood film studios tour
Discover the sets where cult movies have been shot and make your own versions of your favorite movie scenes! 1 day.
2 You and a friend love outdoor sports and have decided to go to The Blue Mountains National Park in Australia. You are discussing the best 2 methods of transport to visit it. Write your conversation.
cross-country cycling - hot air-ballooning - canoeing - paragliding - horse riding - walking - climbing
Les clés du sujet
Dan Rubinstein est un journaliste canadien. Après avoir travaillé dans plusieurs organes de presse de son pays, il est maintenant journaliste indépendant et se consacre à sa passion : voyager à pied.
Pour en savoir plus : https://borntowalk.org/about/
Résumé du texte
Matt Green a quitté une vie confortable et conventionnelle pour partir à l’aventure, à pied, sans autre but précis que d’aller à la découverte des lieux et des gens. Où que l’on soit, la marche à pied permet sans cesse de découvrir quelque chose de nouveau.
Vocabulaire utile à la compréhension
To crave (l. 4) : brûler d’envie ; camping gear (l. 7) : équipement de camping ; stroller (l. 8) : poussette ; to prejudice (l. 17) : influencer ; palatable (l. 21) : acceptable ; bewildering (l. 23) : déconcertant ; to seek out (l. 24) : chercher ; don’t even bother (l. 24) : ne cherchez même pas à ; lively (l. 32) : vivant, animé ; boredom (l. 34) : ennui ; a cubicle (l. 35) : un box.
Rachel Joyce (1962-) est britannique. Après avoir écrit des pièces radiophoniques pour la BBC, elle a débuté une carrière de romancière avec The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, récompensé par plusieurs prix au Royaume-Uni.
Pour en savoir plus : http://www.rachel-joyce.co.uk/
Résumé du texte
Harold, habitué au rythme paisible et simple de la campagne, se sent déconcerté à son arrivée dans la ville d’Exeter, où tout va vite, où les magasins offrent tellement de choix qu’il ne sait pour quoi opter, en particulier lorsqu’il doit acheter un équipement de marcheur. Pour finir, il décide de se contenter de ce qu’il avait déjà.
Vocabulaire utile à la compréhension
Inner (l. 1) : intérieur ; to threaten (l. 2) : menacer ; to overturn (l. 2) : renverser ; short-range (l. 6) : à courte distance ; exhausting (l. 12) : épuisant ; to wander (l. 13) : errer, flâner ; bed (l. 18) : ici, plate-bande ; array (l. 19) : choix, étalage ; seafood (l. 21) : fruits de mer ; shopping outlet (l. 25) : magasin ; to long (l. 25) : brûler d’envie ; Peking duck wraps (l. 23) : roulés au canard laqué ; to falter (l. 28) : hésiter ; rucksack (l. 30) : sac à dos ; shaving foam (l. 34) : mousse à raser.
Les points de convergence
Les deux personnages sont des marcheurs : Matt est un passionné qui défend la marche comme seul vrai moyen de voyager, Harold cherche à acheter un équipement de randonneur. Les deux textes exposent le point de vue des personnages sur la ville. Pour Matt, la ville est riche en découvertes pour le marcheur qui sait regarder, tandis que Harold se sent perdu au milieu d’Exeter, où tout va vite, où il ne sait que choisir dans la profusion de biens de consommation mis à disposition.
Le sujet d’expression 1
Pistes de recherche
Quel que soit le type de circuit que vous choisissez, pensez à la mise en forme caractéristique d’un courriel : destinataire, objet, etc. Pensez aussi à utiliser le passé, puisqu’il vous est demandé de raconter un circuit récent.
Cherchez un élément ou un événement typique du lieu que vous visitez. Comme il a été suggéré, pensez à une mésaventure qui a pu vous arriver, en relation avec le lieu visité.
Trekking (randonnée) ; accommodation (hébergement) ; a sightseeing tour (un circuit touristique) ; a highlight (un temps fort, un moment marquant) ; a tourist trap (un piège à touristes) ; landscape (paysage) ; to spoil (gâcher).
Le sujet d’expression 2
Pistes de recherche
Choisissez bien deux activités parmi la liste qui vous est proposée. N’oubliez pas qu’il s’agit d’un dialogue. Les deux protagonistes pourront, selon votre choix, opposer deux activités et être en désaccord, ou au contraire choisir deux activités qu’ils considèrent comme complémentaires.
Hot-air ballooning (vol en montgolfière) ; paragliding (parapente) ; climbing (escalade) ; to be scared (avoir peur) ; to suit (convenir à) ; safe (sûr, en sécurité) ; opportunity (occasion) ; overview (vue d’ensemble) ; to afford (avoir les moyens de).