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Select Readings – Intermediate

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  1. Chapter 1: Answering 6 common interview questions
    Before You Read
  2. Working With Reading
  3. After You Read
    2 Practices
  4. Building Vocabulary
    2 Practices
  5. Reading Skill
    2 Practices
  6. Discussion And Writing
  7. Chapter 2: Young Women Changing the world
    Before You Read
  8. Work With Reading
  9. After You Read
  10. Building Vocabulary
  11. Reading Skill
  12. Discussion And Writing
  13. Chapter 3: Students Learning teams
    Before You Read
    2 Practices
  14. Working With Reading
  15. After You Read
  16. Building Vocabulary
  17. Reading Skill
  18. Discussion And Writing
  19. Chapter 4: Learning to Speak
    Before You Read
  20. Working With Reading
  21. After You Read
  22. Building Vocabulary
  23. Reading Skill
  24. Discussion And Writing
  25. Chapter 5: The Man in the Moon Has Company
    Before You Read
  26. Working With Reading
  27. After You Read
  28. Building Vocabulary
  29. Reading Skill
  30. Discussion And Writing
  31. Chapter 6: Culture Shock
    Before You Read
  32. Working With Reading
  33. After You Read
  34. Building Vocabulary
  35. Reading Skill
  36. Discussion And Writing
  37. Chapter 7: Private Lives
    Before You Read
  38. Working With Reading
  39. After You Read
  40. Building Vocabulary
  41. Reading Skill
  42. Discussion And Writing
  43. Chapter 8: A Young Blind Whiz
    Before You Read
  44. Working With Reading
  45. After You Read
  46. Building Vocabulary
  47. Reading SKill
  48. Discussion And Writing
  49. Chapter 9: How to Make a Speech
    Before You Read
  50. Working With Reading
  51. After You Read
  52. Building Vocabulary
  53. Reading Skill
  54. Discussion And Writing
  55. Chapter 10: Conversational Ball Games
    Before You Read
    2 Practices
  56. Working With Reading
  57. After You Read
  58. Building Vocabulary
  59. Reading Skill
  60. Discussion And Writing
  61. Chapter 11: Letters of Application
    Before You Read
    2 Practices
  62. Working With Reading
  63. After You Read
  64. Vocabulary Building
  65. Reading Skill
  66. Discussion And Writing
  67. Chapter 12: Out to Lunch
    Before You Read
  68. Working With Reading
  69. After You Read
  70. Vocabulary Skill
  71. Reading Skill
  72. Discussion And Writing
  73. Chapter 13: Public Attitudes Toward Science
    Before You Read
  74. Working With Reading
  75. After You Read
  76. Vocabulary Skill
  77. Reading Skill
  78. Discussion And Writing
  79. Chapter 14: The Art of Genius
    Before You Read
  80. Working With Reading
  81. After You Read
  82. Vocabulary Skill
  83. Reading Skill
  84. Discussion And Writing
Lesson 43 of 84
In Progress

Before You Read

Kunthea May 27, 2021

Chapter Focus:

  • Talents and abilities
  • Identifying pronoun references
  • Understanding compound nouns

Sometimes, a perceived disability1 turns out to be an asset on the
job. Though he is only 18 years old and blind, Suleyman Gokyigit
(pronounced gok-yi-it) is among the top computer technicians and
programmers at InteliData Technologies Corp., a large software company
with several offices across the United States.

“After a merger last October, two disparate computer networks
 were driving us crazy,” recalls Douglas Braun, an InteliData vice
president. “We couldn’t even send e-mail to each other.” In three weeks,
Mr. Gokyigit, a University of Toledo sophomore who works part-time
10 at InteliData’s office in the city, created the software needed to integrate
the two networks. “None of the company’s 350 other employees could
have done the job in three months,” says Mr. Braun. “Suleyman can
literally see’ into the heart of the computer.”

Mr. Gokyigit’s gift, as Mr. Braun calls it, is an unusual ability to
15 conceptualize4 the innards of a machine. “The computer permits me
to reach out into the world and do almost anything I want to do,” says
Mr. Gokyigit, who is a computer science engineering major with straight As.

Like most blind people who work with computers, Mr. Gokyigit uses
a voice-synthesizer that reads the video display on his monitor in a
20 mechanical voice. Devices that produce Braille screen displays are also
available, but Mr. Gokyigit says they “waste time.” Instead, he depends
on memory. Turning the synthesizer to top speed, he remembers almost
everything he hears, at least until a project is completed. While the
synthesizer talks, Mr. Gokyigit mentally “maps” the computer screen
25 with numbered coordinates (such as three across, two down) and
memorizes the location of each icon on the grid6 so he can call up files
with his mouse.

The young programmer is also at home with hardware, thanks partly to
a highly developed sense of touch. Mitzi Nowakowski, an office manager
30 at InteliData, recalls how he easily disconnected and reconnected their
computer systems during a move last year. “Through feel, Suleyman can
locate connectors, pins, and wires much faster than most other people
with sight,” she says.

Mr. Gokyigit was born in Turkey, where at age two he developed
35 an eye condition that left him blind. His parents brought him to the
Mayo Clinic in the U.S., but nothing could be done. “His doctors kept
emphasizing, ‘Never shelter him or pity him,’” recalls his father, Hasan.
Today, Mr. Gokyigit’s co-workers call him “Suleyman the Magnificent,”
after the 16th century Turkish sultan who greatly expanded the
40 Ottoman Empire.

Several months ago, on a trip to San Francisco, Mr. Braun had difficulty
accessing the company’s mainframe using his laptop. He needed specific
numbers to get into four InteliData files. Instead of asking someone to
manually search a thick logbook of computer addresses, he called Mr.
45 Gokyigit, who had committed the logbook to memory and produced the
proper numbers “in ten seconds,” Mr. Braun says.

Much of the student programmer’s speed comes from his ability to
block out distractions while at the computer. When typing, he listens
intently to the synthesizer. His long, thin fingers fly over the keyboard.
50 “Nothing seems to shake his concentration,” says Ms. Nowakowski, his
immediate boss.

Mr. Gokyigit is the only company employee on call 24 hours a day.
“We consider him our top troubleshooter,”11 says Mr. Braun.

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