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Kerala State Syllabus 10th Standard English Solutions Unit 4 Chapter 1 The Scholarship Jacket (Short Story)
The Scholarship Jacket Textual Questions Activities & Answers
What was the tradition followed in the small Texas school?
The tradition followed in the small Texas school was that a beautiful gold and green jacket was awarded to the student who had maintained the highest grades for eight years. The award was given during the passing out function (in the USA they call it graduation) of the 8th graders.
What do you think the letter ‘S’ on the jacket represents?
The letter ‘S’ represents “scholarship”.
‘This one, the scholarship jacket, was our only chance.’Why does Martha say so?
She says it because her parents were very poor. To take part in the school sports, a lot of money had to be paid by way of registration fees, uniform and outside trips. So Martha’s brothers and sister had no chance of getting any jacket by being a member of any team or by winning any sport event.
How does Martha describe herself?
She was pencil thin, without any curve anywhere. She was called ‘beanpole’ and ‘string bean’.
What were Martha’s teachers arguing about?
They were arguing about Martha. If merit was the only consideration, the scholarship jacket should go to Martha. That is what Mr. Schmidt, her history teacher wanted. But her maths teacher named Mr. Boone wanted it to be given to Joann as her father is a Board member and owns the only store in town.
Why was Mr. Boone arguing in Joann’s favour?
Mr. Boone was arguing in Joann’s favour because her father was a Board member and owns the only store in town.
‘It seemed a cruel coincidence…. ’ Why did Martha sayso?
Martha said so because the argument she overheard between Mr. Schmidt and Mr. Boone was about herself, about the giving of the scholarship jacket. When she was called to the principal’s office she knew why she was being called.
Why was the principal ‘uncomfortable and unhappy’?
He was uncomfortable and unhappy because that year a new rule was brought by the Board that the student who is to be given the scholarship jacket should pay an amount of 15 dollars. He knew that Martha deserved the jacket, but since she was too poor to pay, the jacket will have to be given to someone else. He knew it was a ploy by a Board member to enable his daughter Joann to get the jacket.
Why was Martha shocked?
She was shocked because the principal told her that she would have to pay 15 dollars if she wanted the jacket. Until that year it was given free to the best student.
Why was the winning the scholarship jacket important to Martha?
It was important to Martha because it represented 8 years of hard work and expectation.
Why did Martha’s grandfather refuse to pay the money?
He refused to pay the money because he thought that if she pays for it, it will not be a scholarship jacket anymore.
Why was the principal disturbed when Martha’s grandfather refused to pay the money?
The principal was disturbed when Martha’s grandfather refused to pay the money because then the jacket will have to be given to someone else. The principal knew full well that Martha deserved it and he did not want herto lose it. The principal also knew that the grandfather’s reasoning was right. It is not that the grandfather does not have 15 dollars as he owns a 200-acre ranch.
Why did the principal change his mind?
The principal was an honest man and he knew that Martha’deserved the jacket. He also thought that by making a student pay, a scholarship jacket would not remain a scholarship jacket any more. It would be like a jacket bought in the market., Moreover he sympathized with Martha.
How did Martha wish to express her joy?
She wished to express her joy by yelling, jumping, running the mile or doing something.
Who really helped Martha get the scholarship jacket? How?
Mr. Schmidt. He must have told the principal that he was not ready to tell lies or falsify records. He must have threatened to resign from his job if Martha was not given the jacket.
‘His face looked happy and innocent as a baby’s, but I knew better.’ What does the expression ‘but I knew better’ suggest here?
She knew that it was Mr. Schmidt who argued for her and convinced the principal to give the jacket to her instead of giving it to Joann, whose father was a Board member.
What did the teacher mean by the statement ‘Martha is Mexican’?
This statement was made by Mr. Boone, Martha’s Maths teacher. He was in favour of giving the scholarship jacket to Joann, the daughter of a Board member, who owned the only store in town. To add weight to his argument he was bringing in the racial issue. His argument is why to give the scholarship jacket to a Mexican, instead of giving to an American? From this we see that even in schools there is racial prejudice. In fact teachers must be above such petty considerations. In schools only merit should count and not religion, sex, race or nationality.
Narrate the events that led to Martha’s winning the Scholarship Jacket.
Martha comes from a poor family and as her parents could not afford to keep her, she is given to her grandparents to bring her up. But she is a hardworking girl who has been at the top of the class for all the 8 years. In the Texas school where she studied, there was a custom that the student who maintained the topmost grades for all the 8 years would be awarded a scholarship jacket on the passing out (graduation) function. The jacket was free. But that year a Board Member wanted her daughter to get the scholarship jacket. For that a rule was made that only if the student pays 15 dollars the jacket would be given.
The member and some of his supporters among the staff know that Martha is too poor to pay and thus Joann could get the jacket. When Martha goes home and asks her grandfather to pay 15 dollars, he refuses to pay saying that if the money is paid it will no more be a scholarship jacket. Martha goes and says this to the principal. Some teachers, like Mr. Schmidt, Martha’s history teacher, had already insisted that the jacket should be given to Martha as she is the one who. really deserves it. Finally the principal decides to award it to Martha.
Pick out instances from the story that reveal the role played by them and complete the table given.
Paragraphs about each:
The grandfather: We see him always working in the field. He is a rich man with a 200-acre ranch and he does a lot of the work himself. He is very logical. He says that if money is to be paid for scholarship jacket, it will no more remain a scholarship jacket. His argument wins in the end.
The Principal: We see the principal calling Martha and telling her that from that year there is a policy change and she has to pay 15 dollars to get the scholarship jacket. From his behaviour we know he is unhappy about the decision of the Board as he knows Martha deserves the scholarship jacket. He is a good man because he finally decides to give the jacket to Martha. This may offend the father of Joann and also teachers like Mr. Boone.
Mr Boone: He is a bad teacher. He wants the scholarship jacket to go to Joann because her father is a Board member and he owns the only store in town. He also says Martha is a Mexican and so the jacket should go to Joartn. He is a racist in the sense that he does not give due consideration to merit, but to race and nationality. Such teachers are a shame to the profession.
Mr. Schmidt: He is a good example for a nice teacher. He insists that the jacket should be given to Martha. He is not ready to tell lies and falsify records to favour Joann. He even threatens to resign his job, if the jacket is not given to Martha. We see him happy in the end because he knows justice is done. He must have been jubilant when Martha gave him an affectionate hug.
Prepare the speech and present it before the class.
Respected Principal, my dear teachers and friends, It is with joy and sorrow that I stand here. Joy because I have passed the 8th grade and received the scholarship jacket. Sorrow because I have to leave this school and my beloved teachers that have made me grow wiser and my friends with whom I have spent 8 years of my childhood. I thank the Principal and my teachers and my classmates who have helped me in getting this scholarship jacket. My sister had earned it a few years ago and now I am getting it and I am sure my family members will be proud of me. I take this opportunity to especially thank my History Teacher, Mr. Schmidt who has helped me in different ways. I will always remember him with gratitude.
Before I conclude, I would like to make a suggestion. This year the Board had decided to charge 15 dollars for the jacket. But fortunately for me the Principal was kind to make an exception and that is why I am getting this jacket. I want to say to everyone concerned that a scholarship jacket will not remain a scholarship jacket, if one has to pay for it even a single dollar.
I once again thank everyone for making my stay in this school a memorable one. I wish all my classmates a successful future.
The management decides to change the policy regarding the Scholarship Jacket. The principal feels uncomfortable and unhappy about this change. He expresses his resentment in a letter to the management. Write the likely letter.
Management of the Texas Rural School
16 June 2016
Sub: CHARGING FEE FOR THE SCHOLARSHIP JACKET
I am much grieved at the decision of the Management to charge a fee of 15 dollars from the student who is eligible to get the scholarship jacket. Our school has been in existence for 80 years and all these years the jacket was given free. Now, making a sudden change in the policy is not advisable for many reasons.
The biggest reason is that the eligible student may be from a poor family and he/she may not be able to make the payment. Thereby the student will lose his/her chance to get the jacket. This is injustice. Money should not become a criterion for receiving such honors.
Secondly charging a fee for the scholarship jacket will reduce the significance of the scholarship jacket. If one has to pay a fee for that jacket, it will be like any other jacket bought in the market.
Many of the teachers are against the decision of the Management to charge a fee for the jacket. It breaks an honorable tradition set by this school and also it prevents poor students from having the reward for their continuous hard work.
So please reconsider the matter and once again make the scholarship jacket what it actually is – a scholarship jacket.
Here Martha tells her own story. Imagine that you are a friend of Martha and you know everything that happened in her life in connection with the issue of the Scholarship Jacket. If you narrate the story, how would you do it? Write the likely narrative.
Martha is an intelligent and hardworking girl. But because her parents were poor, they gave her to her grandparents to bring up. Her poverty did not stop her from hard work and she has been scoring top grades all the years.
In the Texas school where she was studying, there was the custom of awarding a scholarship jacket to the best outgoing student. The jacket was given during the valedictory function for the 8th grade students. The eligible student should have constantly scored the top grades in all the 8 years of his/her stay there. Martha was sure she would get it and she was eagerly awaiting it.
There was a girl called Joann in her class. She was nowhere near Martha in her grades. But her father was a Board member and he made a plan to keep Martha away from the Prize. He knew that Martha was too poor to pay any money to get the jacket. He and some his friends took the initiative and made the Board change its policy from that year. They decided that to get the scholarship jacket the student has to pay 15 dollars. By this he knew that Martha won’t get it and it could then be given to Joann.
But a good teacher named Mr. Schmidt was against this scheme. He persuaded the principal to make the scholarship jacket free. The principal also realized it would be an injustice to Martha if the jacket was not given to her. So, finally, Martha got it because of the goodness of Mr. Schmidt and the principal. Martha was very happy.
Martha is awarded the Scholarship Jacket by the Vice-Chancellor of the University. Prepare a news report of the award ceremony.
Texas, March 3: The Texas Rural School Scholarship Jacket is awarded to Martha Stevenson, who has been scoring top grades in all the 8 years of her study there. Presenting the Scholarship Jacket, Dr. Bill Mason, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Texas, said that Martha should be made a role model by all the students. Although coming from a poor family, Martha has been able to maintain top grades throughout her study in the school. He wished her to continue to work hard so that she can reach greater heights in life.
The Board had decided to charge a fee of 15 dollars for the scholarship jacket. But the principal made an exception in the case of Martha, considering her merit throughout her stay in the school.
When asked what her future plan was, Martha said she would study Law as she wanted to become a solicitor.
Let’s Learn More About Words
Some words from the story are given in Column A. Match the words in Column A with their appropriate meaning in Column B.
|Column A||Column B|
|valedictorian||to give up|
|agile||to behave nervously or restlessly|
|despair||slang for a tall, thin person|
|falsify||to gather; to summon up|
|resign||to listen secretly to a private conversation|
|coincidence||loss of courage in the face of trouble|
|fidget||able to move quickly and easily|
|muster||to make false by adding or changing|
|vie||an accidental sequence of events|
|eavesdrop||a student with the highest academic rank in a class|
|beanpole||to lose hope|
|Column A||Column B|
|valedictorian||a student with the highest academic rank in the class.|
|agile||able to move quickly and easily|
|falsify||to make false by adding or changing|
|resign||to give up|
|coincidence||an accidental sequence of events|
|fidget||to behave nervously or restlessly|
|dismay||loss of courage in the face of trouble|
|muster||to gather, to summon up|
|Eavesdrop||to listen secretly to a private conversation|
|Bean pole||slag fora tall, thin person|
Write the word that best completes each sentence. You may use the words given in Column A of Activity 1.
1. …………. people are usually good athletes.
2. Martha tried not to …………. over the bad news.
3. ‘What a ………….! I wasn’t expecting to see you here, the principal said to Martha.
4. She could not help but ………….
5. Mr. Schmidt was not ready to …………. the records to hide the truth.
6. The thought that she may lose the Jacket was the reason for her ………….
7. The …………. comments of Mr. Boone made her upset.
8. She couldn’t …………. enough courage to ask
Look at the examples given below and try to find out the meanings of the words highlighted from the contextual clues given in the sentences.
1. Manu is a polyglot. He knows several languages.
2. The hurricane began as an amorphous mass – a shapeless group of clouds.
3. When I disparaged him, he put me down in the same way.
4. She was not simply happy to receive the gift; she was euphoric.
5. The sleep clinic treats somnambulists, people who walk in their sleep.
1. one who knows many languages.
2. without any clear shape or form
3. regard as worthless
4. extremely happy.
5. people who walk in their sleep
Read the notes on page 123 Given below are sentences which contain idiomatic expressions. Read the sentences and write the meaning of the idioms.
Read the following sentences from the story.
(i) The principal muttered something I couldn’t understand under his breath and walked over to the window.
(ii) His face looked as happy and innocent as a baby’s, but I knew better.
Here the idiom ‘knew better’ means to be wise enough to recognize something as wrong or not possible.
1. We can argue on the issue till the cows come home ………….
2. Oh! It is raining cats and dogs ………….
3. Radhika was tickled pink by the good news ………….
4. This dress costs an arm and a leg ………….
5. We all are in the same boat ………….
6. I’ll clean the toilet when pigs fly ………….
1. for a long time.
2. raining very heavily.
3. very delighted.
4. a lot of money.
5. the same difficult situation
The Scholarship Jacket About Author
Marta Salinas was born in 1949. She is a native of Coalinga, California. She graduated in creative writing from the University of California. She has published several short stories.
The Scholarship Jacket Summary in English
1. I attended a small Texas school. It had a tradition. Every year during the 8th grade passing out function a beautiful gold and green jacket was awarded to the student who had maintained the highest grades for 8 years. The jacket had a big gold ‘S’ on the left front side and your name written in gold letters on the pocket.
2. My eldest sister Rosie had won the jacket a few years back. I also expected it. I was 14 and in the 8th grade. I had been an ‘A’ student from the first grade. My father was a farm labourer. He could hardly earn enough to feed his 8 children. So when I was six, I was given to my grandparents to be looked after.
3. We could not participate in sports at school as there were registration fees, uniform fees and trips out of town. So we would never have a school sports jacket in our home. The scholarship jacket was our only chance.
In May, close to the passing out day, spring fever struck as usual. No one paid any attention in class. We stared out of the window and at one another. We wanted to finish the classes. I was unhappy whenever I looked in the mirror. I was pencil thin. Not a curve anywhere. I was called ‘beanpole’ and ‘string bean’. I knew I looked like that. I was thinking like this when I walked from the history class to the gym. Another hour of sweating in basket ball, and showing my toothpick leg. I remembered that my PE shorts were in a bag under my desk where I had forgotten them. I had to walk all the way back to get them. Coach Thomson was strict with the PE shorts. She had said that I was a good forward. She even tried to persuade Grandma to let me join the team. Grandma refused.
5. I was almost back at the classroom when I heard angry voices. I stopped. I did not know what to do. I needed those shoes. I was getting late. But I did not want to interrupt an argument between my teachers. The voices I recognized: Mr. Schmidt, my history teacher and Mr. Boone, my maths teacher. They were arguing about me. I could not believe it. I stood flat against the wall as if I were trying to blend with the graffiti.
Theard Mr. Schmidt. He sounded very angry: “I refuse to do it! I don’t care who her father is. Her grades don’t even begin to compare to Martha’s. I won’t lie or falsify records. Martha has a straight A-plus average and you know it.” Mr. Boone’s voice was calm and quiet. “Look, Joanne’s father is on the Board. He owns the only store in town. We could say it was a close tie and …”
6. I could not hear the rest of what he said clearly. But I could hear some words here and there. “Martha is Mexican …. resign … won’t do it…” Mr. Schmidt rushed down the opposite way and went into the auditorium. He did not see me.
I was shaking. I waited a few minutes and ran into the room and collected my bag. Mr Boone saw me, but did not say anything. To this day I don’t remember how I got through the PE. I went home very sad. I cried into the pillow so that Grandmother would not hear me.
7. It was a cruel coincidence that I heard that conversation. When the Principal called me to his office the next day, I knew what it was for. He looked unhappy and uncomfortable. I looked him straight in the eyes. He looked away and pretended to be looking at some papers.
He told me that there was a change in the policy regarding the scholarship jacket. It used to be free. But this year the Board has decided to charge 15 dollars which will not even cover the cost of the jacket.
8. I stared at him in shock. A sound of surprise came from my throat. He still avoided looking in my eyes. “He said that if I could not pay 15 dollars, it would be given to the next one in line. I knew who it was.
9. I told him that I would speak to my grandfather and let him know the next day. I cried as I was returning home from the bus stop. By the time I got home my eyes were red and puffy.
I asked Grandmother where Grandpa was. He was working in the bean, field at the back of the house.
10. I met him there. He was walking between the rows of plants with a hoe in his hand. I went to him thinking how I could present my demand. There was a cool breeze and sweet smell of mesquite fruit in the air. I wanted that jacket so much. It represented 8 years of hard work and expectation. I knew I had to be honest with Grandpa. He saw my shadow and looked up.
11. I cleared my throat. I held my hands behind my back so that he would not see them shaking. I told him that I wanted to get a big favour from him. I spoke in Spanish. He knew only Spanish.
12. I explained to him that this year the scholarship jacket was not free. It would cost 15 dollars. If I didn’t pay the money tomorrow it would be given to somebody else. Grandpa looked up and leaned his chin on the hoe handle. He looked at the field and finally asked, “What does a scholarship jacket mean?”
13. I answered quickly: “It means you’ve earned it by having the highest grades for 8 years and that’s why they are giving it to you.” I realized the significance of the words too late. Grandpa said nothing and went back to weeding the field. Finally he spoke as I turned to leave, crying.
“If you pay for it, Martha, it is not a scholarship jacket, is it? Tell your principal that I will not pay the 15 dollars.”
I walked back and locked myself in the bathroom for a long time. I was angry with Grandpa although knew he was right. I was angry with the Board. Why did they change the rule when it was my turn to get the jacket?
Those were days of belief and innocence. The next day I went to the Principal’s office very sad. This time he looked me in the eyes. When he asked what my grandfather said, I told him he would not pay the 15 dollars.
15. The Principal muttered something. He walked to the window and looked outside. He looked bigger than usual. He was a tall, thin and bony man with gray hair. Finally he asked, “Why won’t your grandfather pay? He.has a two-hundred acre ranch.”
16. I looked at him forcing my eyes to stay dry. Then I told him the reason grandfather gave for not paying. I stood up to leave. I told him: “I think you’ll have to give it to Joann.” It had just slipped out of my mouth. I was near the door when he called me, “Martha, wait.”
17. I tumed and looked at him, waiting. What did he want now? My heart was pounding and something bitter tasting was in my mouth. I thought I would vomit. I did not want any sympathy speeches. He sighed loudly and went back to his desk. Then he told me that they would make an exception and give me the jacket.
18. I could hardly believe my ears. I thanked him. I felt great. I did not know about adrenalin then but I knew something was pumping inside me. I wanted to yell, jump, run, do something. I ran out so I could cry in the hall where nobody would see me. At the end of the day, Mr. Schmidt winked at me and said that he heard that I was getting the jacket.
19. His face looked happy. I gave him a quick hug and ran to the bus. I cried on the walk home again. This time I cried as I was happy. I ran into the field to tell Grandpa. I started pulling weeds. Grandpa worked alongside me for a few minutes. He did not ask what had happened. After collecting a pile of weeds I faced him. Then I told him what happened.
20. Grandpa said nothing. He gave me a pat on my shoulder and a smile. He wiped his sweat with the crumpled red handkerchief he always carried in his back pocket. He asked me to see if Grandma wanted any help with supper.
Iran back to the house whistling some silly tune.
The Scholarship Jacket Summary in Malayalam
The Scholarship Jacket Meanings of Words And Phases