Grade 9 Business Lesson 122

Schwab, How to Write a Good Advertisement, Part 7. “The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches,” by Joe Karbo.

  1. The ad sold a book.
  2. According to the company that still sells it, he sold 2,786,500 copies . . . at $10 each.
  3. There has never been a direct-response ad for a book that comes close.
  4. He came to this project late in life.
  5. He had always been a marketer.
  6. He adopted a “think and grow rich” approach to selling.
  7. Dr. North does not endorse this approach.
  8. The value of his book is on marketing techniques.
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Grade 9 English Lesson 22

Today I learned about Kourdakov, Part 2. Chapter 3: The Missing Family”

  1. Grandfather’s legend
    1. Cossack
    2. White Guard: anti-Communist
    3. Married a “princess.”
    4. Successful farmer in 1928: horse, plow, mower
  2. Stalin’s collectivization of agriculture
    1. Reign of terror
    2. Confiscation, and starvation
    3. Stolen products were exported
  3. Grandfather crushed a bureaucrat to death.

“But my grandfather was not one to give in easily to anyone. When the Communist intruder turned around, my grandfather grabbed him in a Russian bear hug and, giant man that he was, squeezed until all the man’s ribs and backbone were broken, then dropped him in a lifeless heap on the ground. Immediately my grandfather was arrested and sent off to a special hard-labor camp in Siberia, there to spend nine bitter years, from 1928 to 1937.” (p. 15)

“In October 1937, he was transferred to a lumber camp on the Chulym River in Siberia, and given the job of transporting logs from the river to a narrow gauge railway. Once when the machinery broke down, my grandfather picked up a heavy log, put it on his shoulder, and carried it to the railway car. In doing so, he strained his back and abdomen severely. He died shortly after that.” (p. 15)

His father’s betrayal

“In 1928, when grandfather was exiled to Siberia, Father was sent along with him. At that time he was put into a school close by and raised in a state children’s home. Soon afterward, while still quite young, he became an ardent Communist. Because his father was a prisoner in a labor camp, one of the first things he had to do was to cleanse his record and purge himself of all poisonous family relationships. He renounced my grandfather.” (p. 16)

“For the short time I knew my father, I remember how I loved him and how, when I was a child of three of four years, he would come into my room to say good-night. Even now I can see his piercing black eyes and almost feel his long, curly mustache tickling my face as he leaned over to kiss me. I remember also that he liked to drink and usually when he came home, he immediately sat down at the table with a bottle in front of him. Being in the military, he was often gone for long periods. But when he was home, we had great fun together.” (p. 16)

“The last time I saw my brother Vladimir, he came into the room where I was lying on the bed and told me he was sorry for what happened. He told me I’d be a big, tough guy someday and that a little accident never really hurt anyone. Then he hugged me and said good-bye and walked out of the room, and out of my life. I have never seen him since, and I lost all track of him.” (p. 17)

The story of his father, told by a heavy-drinking colonel.

“Your father was a most interesting and capable man. He felt he had to wash away the sins of your grandfather and so he became a real soldier in the Communist army. Though he had only finished the fourth grade in school, he was such a fine soldier and political activist that he went very high up. he fought in many battles, risking his life for the Communist party again and again, especially in Turkestan, where he headed up the brigade that crushed a number of revolts. Then when the Finnish war broke out, the first thing he did was volunteer for duty on the Finnish front. He led a brigade there and served heroically.” (p. 18)

Stalin died in 1953. Khrushchev came into power in 1956. (Dates not provided.)

“You ask why they took him away? I can see the question on your face. Well, Sergei, you must understand that Krushchev was taking power from Stalin and there was a great fight in the higher levels of the party. They cannot change things quickly, but slowly, degree by degree. To consolidate his own power, Krushchev was ordering the elimination of those high-ranking officers who were known to support Stalin. It had to be done quietly and a little bit at a time so as not to arouse suspicion.” (p. 19)

“That’s why your father was taken in the middle of the night. He served Communism as few other men I have known. But like so many others I knew, he just disappeared. The second day after they took him, another man came to our headquarters, here at the base, and announced that he was now the new base chief. He said, ‘Kourdakov was a very bad man and is under investigation.’ That’s the last I heard of your father. He simply disappeared from sight, never to be seen again.'” (pp. 19-20)

“The colonel went on. ‘Of course, your mother didn’t last long after your father disappeared. She died about four months later, I think. Sergei, it was really of a broken heart from the pain she suffered. She just lost the will to live. I remember when she died and that’s when we lost track of you. I don’t remember what happened to you after that. If I could have found you, the son of an old comrade and friend, I would have helped you all I could.”
“By the way, Sergei,” he asked, “what did happen to you after your mother and father died?'” (p. 20)

Chapter 4: A Street Orphan

  1. At age 4, he was taken in by a family.
  2. He was treated well by the adults.
  3. When he was 6, their son tried to drown him.
  4. He fled to become a street child.
  5. He found shelter in the train station.

“Then I remembered the small coin in my pocket and I had an idea. I wandered over to the wheat cake stand once more and had a look around the stand. There, in back on the floor, I noticed a square sheet of metal on which the attendant stood. I walked over to the metal sheet, looking as innocent as I knew how, then, fishing around in my pocket and pulling out my last little coin, I tossed it onto the metal. It landed with a loud noise and began to roll.” (p. 25)

“The clattering sound on the metal caught the woman’s attention and, thinking it was her own money falling on the plate, she swung around and looked down. Quickly I dashed over, grabbed a handful of wheat cakes, and ran away as fast as I could. Behind me I could hear her excited shouts: ‘Stop that little boy! He’s a thief! Stop him, stop him!’ But I was too far away and quickly disappeared in the crowd. I found a quiet corner, far from the food stands, and sat down to eat. Hungrily I gulped down all but two of the cakes. Those two I decided to save for later. I was learning fast! Then I searched and found a dark corner at the far edge of the train station, where I huddled up for a good night’s sleep. I had survived my first day in the big world.” (p. 25)

A policeman caught him after ten days. He was sent to an orphanage.

“On March 1, 1958, I celebrated my seventh birthday. It was a big day. Now I could go to school next term! When I was enrolled, the teacher told us, ‘All children in grades one to three must join the Octobrianiks.’
“I had never heard that work before. But the teacher explained that it was the Communist organization for children in the first three grades. ‘You don’t belong to your parents any longer; now you belong to the Communist state.’ Since I didn’t have any parents, it didn’t matter to whom I belonged. The teacher said that to be Octobrainiks meant we were now ‘grandsons of Lenin.'” (p. 28)

“Lenin? Who is he? I had heard the name and read it on posters at the train station, but knew very little about him.”
‘Lenin is the greatest man who ever lived. He not only lived, but he lives now and will always live,’ she said. ‘Who wants to be grandchildren of Lenin and go on outings and activities?’ the teacher continued. And I, along with the others, joined up eagerly. Me, a grandson of Lenin! That’s great, I thought.” (p. 28)

“I made friends with the other children at the home, and I also made some discoveries. I had thought this was an orphanage for homeless children who, like me, had no parents. I soon learned differently. One day I talked to a boy who was sobbing and asking, ‘Why do I have to be here? I have a mother and father. Why can’t I be home with them?’ That was the first I knew that not everyone in the home was an orphan. Only later did I realize that these homes were primarily for children taken from their parents – mothers and fathers who were declared unfit by the state because of their religion or political beliefs or for some other reason.” (p. 28)

“I tried to comfort this little boy, but I couldn’t explain to him why he had to be away from his parents when they were close by. I couldn’t understand it myself. He had parents. Why couldn’t he be home with them? Whenever I missed my own mother’s caresses and my father’s bushy kisses, I thought about that little boy and wondered why he didn’t go home to be with his parents. If I had parents, I’d run away to them. Why didn’t he?”
“But more and more, I came to accept things as they were. After all, a nine-year-old boy has friends and games and other things to think about.” (p. 29)

What to conclude from this?

  1. Politics was dominant: grandfather, father.
  2. Drinking was common among leaders: father, colonel.
  3. By age 6, he was resourceful: a survivor.
  4. Lenin was a father God/godfather.
  5. The state owned the children.

Grade 9 Business Lesson 121

Today I learned about Schwab, How to Write a Good Advertisement, Part 6. Chapter 4: Persuade People to Grasp This Advantage.

  1. Put wheels under the benefits.
    1. Clincher copy
    2. It reiterates, reminds, sums up.
  2. It prepares the reader for the call to action.
  3. Paint a verbal image of the benefits.
  4. The keys: concreteness, vividness, drama.
  5. Final straw that breaks the camel’s back

Chapter 5: Ask for Action

  1. Action, not excellence
  2. Too many ads have no call to action.
  3. If you want the reader to act, ask him to act.
  4. He must see action as a benefit to him.
  5. Decide what you want him to do.
  6. This may be a step in the sales process.
  7. Offer a believable reason to take action now.
  8. Make it easy to take action.
  9. Delay is the enemy of the sale.
  10. Talk to him in print.

What to conclude from this?

  1. Paint a verbal picture of the benefits.
  2. Make it worth his while to act now.

Grade 9 English Lesson 21

Today I learned about Sergei Kourdakov, The Persecutor, Chapters 1, 2. The power of description. Chapter 1: Storm on the Pacific

  1. He begins with a story: “It was a dark and stormy night.”

“For several days and nights our ship had been fighting its way through a violently convulsed Pacific Ocean. The storm had started abruptly when a freezing gale out of the north had collided with a cyclone-bearing blast of warm air flowing from Japan. The air masses had exploded in a fury of wind and wave, with us caught in the center, off the Canadian coast. Though our ship, the Russian trawler Elagin, was large and built to ride out the wildest storm, it had, for some sixty hours, bobbed about as if it were no more than a fisherman’s skiff on that angry sea.” (p. 1)”After days of such punishment, the trawler, like its crew, was tired. It creaked and groaned, struggled, strained, and pulled wearily. Even in the radio room, specially built with noise-killing insulation, I could feel the vessel’s great mechanical pulse, as every part of the machine seemed to fight the storm’s violence.” (p. 1)

“I had slept very little during the previous few days. My job as radio operator was to transmit data back to our naval base in the Soviet Union, and the storm had kept me almost constantly on duty. The tempest outside, though, contributed far less to my discomfort than did the emotional storm within me. After months of cautious planning and preparation, I was at last nearing the time for my escape to freedom. Inside Canada’s coastal waters, which we had asked permission to enter to ride out the storm, I was fearfully close to my goal. I anxiously awaited my opportunity to flee.” (p. 1)

“The bow of the ship dipped below the mountainous waves, then rose again and again. The whole ship shuddered from the impact of the waves. The night, normally inky dark, was even blacker under the heavy storm clouds. Seafaring men spoke of such a night with fear. This was the night of September 3, 1971. Ten of the Soviet vessels as well as my ship had received permission to ride out the storm inside Tasu Sound, on Queen Charlotte Island.” (p. 1-2)

The theme of the book: Escape

“A glance at my watch showed me it was 8:30 P.M. Sergei, in few hours you might be free or you might be drowned. Or you could be worse than drowned — picked out of the water and taken back to a Siberian labor camp as a naval deserter, then eventually shot. It was a time when anyone in my spot would have second thoughts.” (p. 2)

“Here I was, Sergei Kourdakov, a second lieutenant cadet officer in the Russian Navy, a decorated Communist youth leader, chosen the head of every Communist youth organization in every school I had been in since I was eight years old, chosen the Communist youth leader in charge of teaching Communism to twelve hundred Soviet naval cadets. In five days I was scheduled to head back to the naval base, where I would be admitted to full membership in the Communist party and had a very good job with the Russian police waiting for me. To be completely practical, I had everything in the world to go back to Russia for. But it was not enough. Whatever it was that I needed, I knew I would not have it in the Communist system I had seen so much of.” (p. 2)

The challenge

“Three and a half miles, I mused, making some quick mental calculations. I would only be safe in the village itself. That had to be my goal. If I merely reached shore, a half-mile away, a search party could come and get me. Only the village and people would be safe. That meant it would take about an hour at most to reach the village. I had already checked the water temperature. It was about forty degrees Fahrenheit. This far north, time in the water would be a matter of life and death. I estimated that I could survive four hours at most in the cold seas. I was in excellent physical condition, due to regular exercises and workouts with weights. It’s now or never, I told myself. I knew in my heart it would have to be now.” (p. 3)

Final minutes

“Pushing hard against the wind and wild spray, I reached my quarters. I opened the door, stepped inside, and locked it behind me. A surprise intrusion now could be fatal, ending any possibility for escape. Uneasily, I glanced at my watch again. It was now 9:45. I had less than fifteen minutes left for final preparation. The casual talk on the bridge had used up precious seconds. Now I had to move fast to make my moves during the few remaining minutes, while the deck was still deserted. The minutes the storm let up, men would be all over the ship, checking for damage.” (p. 4)

A life’s collections

“I reached under my bunk and pulled out something I had been working on for some time – a large, waterproof, bag-like belt. I had made it out of heavy rubber for the outside and waterproof plastic for the inside. Reaching into my cabinet drawer, I took out the things I treasured most and planned to take with me: photos of friends, comrades, and familiar places back in Russia, none of which I would ever see again.”
“These few cherished items would be all I carried with me out of the old life into the new, except scars – physical and emotional – and lots of memories.” (p. 4)

“This is all I have to show for my life, I thought, looking at the little pile of papers. No mother or father. This little pile is my life. Many of the items would become meaningless — My Komsomol membership card, my naval papers. Others, like my birth certificate, I must keep always. If I survived this night, I would need these documents to prove who I was. If I didn’t at least when my body was found there would be a name to go on the gravestone.” (pp. 4-5)

The decision to jump

“But now I had to act fast. The ship rose on the crest of a large wave and I stood about the height of a two-story building above the water. I planned to wait until the ship was down in a trough, then dive into the water. I waited until the last breaker had hit the ship. Then I climbed over the railing. Balancing myself momentarily, I made ready to dive headlong, straight down into the furious black sea.” (pp. 5-6)

Chapter 2: Battle for Survival

  1. Get away from the ship
  2. Getting his boots off
  3. Getting through the fog

    “Without compass or visibility, I had little hope of finding my way to shore and safety. I was unable to see more than three feet in front of me. By now I had been in the water for two long exhausting hours. The battle with the boots had cost me precious energy. I had swallowed enormous amounts of water. The cold was now getting to me, too. I could feel the deadening numbness beginning. I gave myself just two more hours. If I didn’t make shore by then, it was unlikely that I ever would.” (p. 8)

  4. Facing death

    “I tried to get to my bearings. Which way was shore? This way? That way? How could I possibly tell, when I could see only a couple feet around me? I stopped all forward movement. I was turning in circles, trying frantically to decide which way to go. I realized I was utterly lost.”
    “Sergei, you’re finished. You’re going to die. No one knows. No one cares. No one. (p.10)

  5. Prayer
  6. Strength
  7. Direction
  8. Rock

“I swam strongly towards the sound. As the fog and driving rain cleared for a moment, I peered through;  there it was – a huge, tall rock rising out of the water! A real rock! The noise I had heard was the roar of the breakers crashing against it. It was rock – good, solid rock! I had reached land! I’ve made it! I’ve made it! My heart leaped for joy.” (p. 11)

“But no! My heart sank. It seemed I was not on shore at all. The village was across a bay of water – about two miles away. I would have to swim more! By now, I was becoming delirious. I couldn’t take stock of my situation. My only thought was a blind, compelling drive to get to the village quickly before they came for me. But it all seemed impossible. My energy was gone. I was frozen and shaking violently. I moved towards the edge of the high rock, then began climbing down to the waterline. Suddenly I slipped and fell ten feet down the sloping edge of the rock. I fell and hit again and again and again.” (p. 12)

“What was I doing there, on that cold morning of September 4, 1971, so near death and so far from home? What had caused me to forsake the life of a naval officer and Communist youth leader in Russia and brought me here, at the point of death, to the alien, rocky Canadian shore?”
“That story really began long ago in Russia with my grandfather and grandmother.” (p. 13)

What to conclude from this?

  1. The storm made possible his escape to freedom.
  2. The storm threatened his life.
  3. The choice was clear: risk death.
  4. He had little to show for his life.
  5. He came close to his goal, but not yet.

Grade 9 English Lesson 20

Today I learned about the Summation of Jim Lehrer’s A Bus of My Own. I also have to write a 500 word essay.

Today I will write an essay on the following topic. What is the story that I remember the best? Describe it from memory. What was it that grabbed me? What did he do that made it grab me? This question is not that easy. Lehrer makes it easy to remember his stories, no two are alike. So what I will be doing here is choosing one of the many stories I remember from his autobiography.

The story that I remember most is his recovery from the heart attack. This story spans over a couple chapters. Let me break it down for you. After his heart attack, he spends time in what he and a couple of his friends call the Romper Room, a children’s show. There he describes his previous diet, which consisted of things that should have been eaten weekly at the very least (He describes them in one really long sentence, using commas and semi-colons). Then he describes his new diet which contains nothing from his old diet (He describes each item with a period in between). He even gets a phone call from the president. Then in another chapter, he describes the return to work. He starts getting back to work by pitching in a the morning meeting by phone. Then one day, he goes to work for the meeting, and uncovers his abandoned desk. He starts some new habits, like taking an afternoon rest, and replacing his pastrami with mayo on rye with a homemade healthy lunch. One day he goes to work in a suit, saying today’s the day, and at this point his recovery is mostly complete, besides think about another heart attack, which eventually goes away too.

This story really grabbed me, because it was a turning point of his life. He shows you what habits he had before, which were very unhealthy, and then shows you what he had to do because of it. The long list of foods he had eaten really stood out, there was nothing else in the book like it. When talking to a physician he described how much he loved his job, he loved those he worked with, calling them perfect. As Dr. North says, heart attacks and other things are hard to imagine to people who haven’t had them. It’s only through things like autobiographies, and some biographies, that you get a window into what it’s like.

What Lehrer did with his writing, is he put things into relateable terms. Using the heart attack as an example, you might not understand what the medical terms mean, but when he says it felt like a truck was rolling on his chest, you might have a chance at imagining what it feels like. He is good at doing this with his writing. The way he puts things, he is also warning you about certain things. He makes it very clear that certain things made the heart attack happen, so that you can understand to avoid them.

That was the story that stuck out to me the most, and why it stuck to me.

Grade 9 Business Lesson 119

Today I learned about Schwab, How to Write a Good Advertisement, Part 4. Chapter 3: Prove It

  1. Lead with the benefit. Follow with the proof.
  2. Why facts are necessary
    1. Justify conviction.
    2. Conviction justifies a purchase.
  3. People are skeptical of your claims.
  4. They want reasons and excuses for buying.
  5. Proof builds belief.
  6. The heart dictates to the head.
  7. Good copy involves digging for facts.
    1. Facts justify the emotional decision to buy.
    2. The right facts must be selected.
    3. Facts may give insight into why people buy.
    4. Pre-emptive facts are best..
    5. They need not be unique facts if they are first.
  8. What kind of facts?
    1. Technical specifications
    2. Performance specifications
    3. Testimonials
    4. Third-party test results
  9. Facts should ring true.
    1. Inherently believable
    2. Numerically precise
  10. Begin from the buyer’s point of view.

What to conclude from this?

  1. Proof should support benefits.
  2. Proof should provide justifications for buying.
  3. Proof balances emotion.
  4. Proof must be believable by the buyers.
  5. Proof is hard to assemble and select.

Grade 9 English Lesson 19

Today I learned about Lehrer, Part 18. Chapter 16: Finally.

Finally

  1. He no longer checks the hospital when he travels.
  2. Seven years until a new bypass is needed.
  3. He may live longer because of his heart attack: lifestyle changes.
  4. He still takes is afternoon nap.
  5. He stays at his target weight.
  6. His family made the difference.
  7. Get a job where people care about you.
  8. He is pleased with his writing.

    “My words to live and write by are no longer solely from Hemingway. I am now a E.B. White man too, He once wrote:
    “I think the best writing is often done by persons who are snatching time from something else – from an occupation, from a profession or from a jail term – something that is burning them up, as religion, or love or politics, or that is boring them to tears, as prison, or a brokerage house, or an advertising firm. A great violinist must begin fairly early in life to play the violin; but I think a literary artist has a better chance of producing something great if he spends the first forty years of his life doing something else – grinding a lens, or surveying a wilderness.” (p. 256)

  9. He has plans for more books.

    “I have no problem “snatching” the time to write. That is thanks mostly to Kenny Kent and his encouraging me to eliminate as many energy – sapping happenings from my life as I could. It has left me with plenty of time to do what I want to do, which includes socializing, traveling and otherwise enjoying myself, as well as working and writing. The downside is that since my heart attack I have become passionate about what I want to do.” (p. 266-267)

    “The writing goes on no matter what else is going on. When I am into a Mack story or a play or something else I am writing, it is like having a low-grade fever. It is with me all the time. I go away from it to do my work at the NewsHour or something else, but when I’m finished with that I can always come back to my story right where I left off. Without missing a beat. The daily nap also helps. It divides my day in two short hunks and makes it possible for me to write early in the morning before I go to the office and again in the evening after I get home.” (p. 267)

  10. He would like to research his maternal grandparents’ lives.
  11. He would like to be a real bus driver for a week
  12. He drives his bus for a few miles at a time.
  13. He still collects.
  14. But the Dixie-Sunshine Trailways gap still exists.