Get Down to Business in English
ReadOasis Step 2 (Part 1) A Big Decision As usual, the boss spoke clearly and in short sentences. “Okay, it’s decided. This meeting is over. You all know what to do.” One by one, the managers closed their notebooks and stood up. There were no jokes and no laughter.... Read more
ET and Intelligent Life
ReadOasis Step 2 The film ET warmed the hearts of millions of children and adults. It was funny and exciting. And it told a hopeful story about love and friendship. In one scene, ET points his finger to the sky. And he says, "ET phone home." This simple phrase... Read more
The Birth of Levi’s Jeans
ReadOasis Step 2 Rivets By Rohit Gowaikar (Creative Commons) Levi Strauss was born in Germany in 1829. At 18, he joined his brothers in America. They had a dry goods business in New York City. At that time, many people were moving to California in search of gold. Levi... Read more
A Giant of Business (Step 2)
By Tek Smith ReadOasis Step 2 Black liquid flew out of the ground and towards the sky. It was oil, black gold. And it had the power to light up homes. It had the power to run the engine of the American economy. It had the power to make... Read more
Serious About Humor (Step 2)
ReadOasis Step 2 It's early in the morning. A funny looking man is getting ready for work. He looks up at the clock on the wall. Then his eyes pop wide open. He's running late! He hurries to the kitchen. He opens the coffee jar and fills his spoon... Read more
Master of Words: Bob Dylan
ReadOasis Step 2 (Part 1) It was January 1961. In the cold north of Minnesota, a young man of 19 years packed his bags. He was going to New York City. By car, the trip would take over 18 hours. And he was travelling by his thumb. In other... Read more
Lady Sings the Blues
ReadOasis Step 2(Part 1) Southern trees bear strange fruit Blood on the leaves and blood at the root Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees These sad words open the song “Strange Fruit.” The song was written by Abel Meeropol, and it... Read more
Isaac Watts: Father of Hymns (Step 3)
ReadOasis Step 3 By Maria Sonora A hymn is a song of praise to God. In many cultures, people sing hymns at church services and on special celebrations like Christmas. Many prominent musicians today, such as Beyonce Knowles, Aretha Franklin, Johnny Cash, and Carrie Underwood mastered singing and performing... Read more
The Motown Sound (Step 3)
ReadOasis Step 3 The Motown Museum (Wikipedia) Soul music combines rhythm and blues and gospel. Like the blues, soul arose out of the black experience in America, and soul musicians took these styles out of the black church and into the world and the streets. They confidently and proudly... Read more
W.C. Handy: Father of the Blues (Step 3)
ReadOasis Step 3 (Part 1) "Then I saw the beauty of primitive music." W.C. Handy, Father of the Blues W.C. Handy at Age 19 W.C. Handy grew up in a small town in Alabama in the southern part of the US. His father was the pastor of a church,... Read more
Big Time Car Trouble
ReadOasis Step 2 US car makers are in serious trouble. Their sales fell about 35% in January compared with last year. Ford Motor Company sales dropped 42%. General Motors reported a 49% drop. But Chrysler was hardest hit. Their sales went down 55%. This decline in sales is not... Read more
I See You — Avatar
ReadOasis Step 2 (Part 1) Your name is Jake. You are a soldier. Since you lost the feeling in your legs, life has been awkward. But you got used to it. And when your brother died, your heart stopped feeling some, too. "Get used to it," you think. But... Read more
Paul Desmond and Take Five
ReadOasis Step 3 By Maria Sonora “I would also like to thank my father, who discouraged me from playing the violin.” These are the words of Paul Desmond. He is one of the most popular musicians to come out of the West Coast cool jazz scene. Surely, he liked... Read more
Fred Astaire, Dancer Extraordinaire
ReadOasis Step 3 "Some people seem to think that good dancers are born, but all the good dancers I have known are taught or trained." -- Fred Astaire It was a dark time. In 1929, the American economy crashed. Many people lost all their money. Almost half the banks... Read more
Drifting Cowboy: Hank Williams (Step 3)
By Maria Sonora ReadOasis Step 3 (Part 1) By MGM Records via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain) Hank would never make it to his destination. There were too many problems. It was icy cold outside. Covered with a blanket, he sat in the back seat of his light blue Cadillac.... Read more
Lean In
Book Trailer by Sheryl Sandberg ReadOasis Step 2 I entered the workforce believing that my generation was going to have equal responsibility and equal opportunity. And it didn't work out that way. Women are getting more college degrees, more graduate degrees, entering the workforce at every level. But in... Read more
Awarding Excellence: The Pulitzer Prize
ReadOasis Step 3 The Color Purple is a book about a black woman named Celie. The story tells of her life and struggles, as she grew up in the Southern United States during the 1930s. The book was written by Alice Walker. And the movie version was directed by... Read more
JK Rowling and Harry Potter (Step 2)
ReadOasis Step 2 After finishing university in 1983, JK Rowling was living in London. She worked for the human rights group Amnesty International. But in 1990, she decided to move to Manchester. After spending a weekend looking for an apartment, she took the train back to London. It was... Read more
A Force for Good in Music
ReadOasis Step 3 (Part 1) U2 in Concert It was a cool winter night in January 2002 in New York. The city that never sleeps was wide-awake and full of movement. Even in the cold, you could feel the energy of arts, entertainment, culture, and money. That week, top... Read more
Get Up Earlier than the Next Guy
By Tom Peters (Creative Commons) ReadOasis Step 2 Flying to Boston from London on Saturday morning. 7 hours. Professional woman sitting in front of me. I duly swear, she did not look up for 7 hours. She produced more on her laptop than I do in ... a week... Read more