This week's talking point is heroes. Before getting together with the members of your conversation group, go over the questions below so that ideas flow more easily when you meet up with your friends and you can work out vocabulary problems beforehand.
Which of these people is the most heroic? Say why.
1 A climber who reaches the top of Mt Everest without oxygen.
2 A nurse who has never had a day off sick in 25 years.
3 A businessperson who has created thousands of jobs.
Can you think of a self-made man or woman you feel admiration for?
Who would you say are some of your heroes or heroines? Why do you admire them?
What is the difference between a celebrity and an icon?
Which modern icons do you admire?
Can you think of an unsung hero you know? What are they like?
Can you think of a hero you used to admire but who had feet of clay?
What fallen idols can you think of? What happened to them?
What folk heroes are there in your country?
Who are some of your country’s national heroines?
Do you think their heroic status is justifi ed?
Have you ever had a moment of glory?
What characteristics do you think a modern-day hero should have? Choose from the list below or add your own ideas.
have a sense of humour
be open to bribery
give up easily
To illustrate the topic you can watch the press conference Australina Jessica Watson gave after completing a southern hemisphere solo circumnavigation at the age of 16. Do you think she is a hero?
I then, you know, I can do this, yeah, you know it was a waste of, all the boys did it, so can I!
What was it like, how daunting was it for you as you were sailing through the Heads?
I haven’t seen a person for almost seven months and suddenly seeing people everywhere, you know, faces, so much colour, so much noise, so much everything, you know, all I have seen for so long, is just empty waves, so it was just amazing and very overwhelming.
How do you feel keeping the First Minister of Australia waiting for three hours?
I’m sorry to keep everyone waiting. All I can say is that I was honestly having an amazing sail out there.
Just wondering what was the best moment of the entire journey, would you say?
You know, it’s a tough question what was my favourite part because obviously, you know, Cape Horn and today was absolutely amazing, but I think the thing I loved most about it was just like every day, you know, is simple and like just sailing alone, just getting a kick out of the small things, I suppose.
There was some divide whether you went up high enough, whether you followed the correct course. Give us your thoughts on that and also on whether you’re going to be spending any more energy fighting those sorts of crowds?
No, it’s really simple. I mean, if I haven’t sailed around the world I’d be lost the world I’d spent the last seven months doing so it’s not something that worries me because there always have been and there always will be, you know, some people who don’t choose to acknowledge the record and for me it was never was actually about the record, so I’m not worried at all.
I’m just wondering, did you have moments of doubt and when were they and how did you deal with that?
Yeah, obviously there were definitely moments of doubt, I mean, it’s pretty expected and before, but obviously then I had an amazing team of people around me and later when I was out of the water. I actually did mentally a lot better than I ever thought I would. I thought, you know, that would be one of the biggest challenges but amazingly I just enjoyed it much, much more than I ever thought I would and handled all the challenges better than I thought, which is, yeah… bonus I suppose, just you don’t actually have a choice, in the middle of a storm you’ve been knocked down, what are you gonna do, you can’t fall apart, you just have to keep going and get through.
Just wondering, what do you have to say to young women your age that are aspiring to do such amazing things that you’ve just done?
Yeah, it’s really simple. I mean, it’s just… you just have to believe in that anything is really possible if you want it enough and you put the effort in it, whatever it is you can go and go for it.
I know you said you want to get your driving licence next but what other adventures might be in store for you? Climbing Mount Everest, any other adventures around the world?
No, I definitely love to do a little bit more sailing, tons of sailing, and some impossible racing I’d love to get into that, but for now I’m really just happy to do some more slightly normal things, have a quiet few years to finish school, that sort of thing. We’ll see where sailing takes me after that.
How have you changed, how do you think you’ve changed on this voyage since you’ve been away?
Interesting one. Yeah, I suppose I really thought about it tons, yeah, but I’m definitely growing up, I mean, you know, I’m a year older… I suppose I’m much older and some of the experiences I’ve had obviously changed me a little bit but I think the one thing I also learnt is that it’s definitely about having fun and just don’t take it too seriously.
Yes, she really is a remarkable girl.
It’s been such an emotional and triumphant day for Jessica, her family and her supporters. And what a wonderful welcome home she’s had.