An Extraordinary Achiever: BSEM Class 10 English (Course) notes

An Extraordinary Achiever
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Get summary, textbook solutions, questions, answers, notes, pdf, and extras to the chapter “An Extraordinary Achiever” which is a part of Class 10 English (Course Book) syllabus for students studying under BSEM. The notes should, however, only be seen as references only and changes should be made according to needs.

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Sunita Williams is an extraordinary achiever who has pushed the boundaries of human potential through her remarkable career as a naval aviator, test pilot, and astronaut. She was born in the United States to an Indian father from Gujarat and a Slovenian mother, inheriting a diverse cultural heritage.

From a young age, Sunita was instilled with a spirit of adventure and a drive to excel by her close-knit family. She excelled in sports like swimming and running marathons while in school in Boston. After graduating from college, she joined the U.S. Naval Academy to pursue her passion for flying.

At the Naval Academy, Sunita trained rigorously as a navy diver, helicopter pilot, and test pilot. Her skills and experience eventually led her to be selected by NASA for the astronaut program – a lifelong dream fueled by seeing Neil Armstrong walk on the moon as a child.

Sunita’s journey into space began in 2006 when she was launched aboard the space shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station (ISS). During her remarkable 195-day stay on the ISS, she performed four spacewalks totaling 29 hours and 17 minutes – setting a new world record for the most spacewalk time by a woman on a single mission.

On the ISS, Sunita had to adapt to living and working in zero gravity conditions. She carried items of cultural significance like the Bhagavad Gita, a Ganesha statue, and a letter from her father. Exercise was crucial to maintain her health in weightlessness.

Sunita developed a close connection with the Indian-American astronaut Kalpana Chawla, learning about Indian classical music and drawing inspiration from Kalpana’s grace and passion. Tragically, Kalpana perished in the 2003 Columbia disaster, but Sunita kept her dreams alive.

After returning to Earth in 2007, Sunita went on another expedition to the ISS in 2012, spending a further 127 days in space. In total, she has spent an incredible 322 days orbiting the Earth across both missions.

Sunita Williams’ extraordinary feats stem from her tenacity, discipline, courage, and willingness to constantly push her limits. But she also benefited immensely from the unstinting support of her parents and siblings who nurtured her talents from childhood.

Her life is a shining example of how an ordinary person can achieve extraordinary things through perseverance, positive attitude and the pursuit of their deepest passions. Sunita has made India proud by becoming one of the most accomplished astronauts in history.

Textbook solutions

Answer the following questions in one, two or more sentences

(a) Why is Sunita Williams regarded as a woman of many parts? 

Answer: Sunita Williams is considered a woman of many parts due to her diverse accomplishments and roles, including being a naval aviator, helicopter pilot, test pilot, naval diver, swimmer, marathon runner, and astronaut, as well as setting a world record in spacewalking. 

(b) Who is an astronaut? 

Answer: An astronaut is a person who is trained to travel in a spacecraft. 

(c) What is space walking? 

Answer: Space walking refers to the act of walking in space, outside of a spacecraft. 

(d) What does ‘sojourn in space’ mean? 

Answer: A ‘sojourn in space’ means a temporary stay or residence in space. 

(e) What are the new world records set by Sunita? 

Answer: The new world records set by Sunita include the longest spacewalk by a woman, totaling 29 hours and 17 minutes, and spending 195 days in space, which is also a new record for female space travellers. 

(f) What is the name of the High School where Sunita studied from the tenth to the twelfth grade? 

Answer: Sunita studied at Needham High School in Boston from the tenth to the twelfth grade. 

(g) After High School, which college did she join? 

Answer: After high school, Sunita joined Wellesley College. 

(h) After college, where did Sunita study? 

Answer: After college, Sunita studied at the US Naval Academy (USNA). 

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(m) What did Sunita carry to the Space Station? 

Answer: Sunita carried a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, a small statue of Lord Ganesha, and a letter written by her father to the Space Station. 

(n) Why is exercise necessary on the ISS? 

Answer: Exercise is necessary on the ISS to maintain bone and muscle health in a condition of weightlessness. 

(o) How many days did Sunita spend in space? 

Answer: Sunita spent 195 days in space during her mission. 

(p) What is the duration of Sunita’s space walks? 

Answer: The duration of Sunita’s spacewalks is 50 hours and 40 minutes. 

(q) When did Sunita return to the Earth in her second expedition? 

Answer: Sunita returned to the Earth on November 17, 2012, in her second expedition.  

Answer the following questions

(a) Describe the family of Sunita Williams and the role it played in promoting her career. 

Answer: Sunita Williams was born into a loving family that played a pivotal role in nurturing her inherent talents and supporting her ambitions. She is the youngest of three children of Dr. Deepak N. Pandya, an Indian from Gujarat, and Bonnie Zalokar Pandya, a Slovenian from Europe. Her parents and siblings provided a foundation that encouraged her to explore her limits and pursue her dreams, significantly contributing to her success as an astronaut. 

(b) What are the heritage and values colouring Sunita’s blood? 

Answer: Sunita’s heritage is a blend of Indian and European cultures, stemming from her father’s Indian background and her mother’s Slovenian roots, both of whom are naturalised Americans. This diverse heritage, combined with the values of determination, hard work, and exploration she imbibed growing up in America, have shaped her character and ambitions. 

(c) How did Sunita become an astronaut? 

Answer: Sunita Williams became an astronaut through a combination of hard work, discipline, and persistence. Her journey began with a fascination for space exploration at a young age, inspired by Neil Armstrong. She pursued rigorous training, first as a naval aviator and test pilot, which led her to the U.S. Naval Academy and eventually to NASA’s Astronaut Programme, where she was selected to work on the space station project. 

(d) How was she trained at the US Naval Academy? 

Answer: At the U.S. Naval Academy, Sunita Williams received training as a navy diver and navy aviator. She was initially trained as a helicopter pilot before being selected for training as a naval test pilot. This comprehensive training prepared her for the challenges of space exploration. 

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(g) What were the factors leading to Sunita’s extraordinary achievement? 

Answer: Sunita Williams’ extraordinary achievements can be attributed to her hard work, discipline, courage, persistence, and the willingness to push herself to the limit. Additionally, the unwavering support and encouragement from her family, friends, and mentors played a crucial role in her success, enabling her to set new records in space exploration. 

Observe the following excerpt from the text

The father, an Indian from Gujarat, and the mother, a Slovenian from Europe, lived now in the USA as naturalized Americans. In the above sentence, the bold-faced word, naturalized, is an adjective qualifying the noun, ‘American’. But the word naturalized is the perfect form of the verb ‘naturalize’. In this way the perfect forms of many verbs are used as adjectives.

Now, give the perfect forms of the following verbs and form sentences of your own using them.

(a) reject _ ____________
(b) want _ ____________
(c) celebrate _ ____________
(d) corner _ ____________
(e) decorate _ ____________
(f) amend _ ____________
(g) fortify _ ____________
(h) hang _ ____________
(i) love _ ____________
(j) hate _ ____________
(k) fear _ ____________
(l) damn _ ____________
(m) fall _ ____________
(n) affect _ ____________

Answer: (a) rejected – The rejected manuscript found a new home with an independent publisher. 

(b) wanted – The wanted poster featured prominently in the post office. 

(c) celebrated – The celebrated chef opened a new restaurant downtown. 

(d) cornered – The cornered animal looked for an escape route. 

(e) decorated – The decorated veteran shared stories of valor and camaraderie. 

(f) amended – The amended constitution included several new rights. 

(g) fortified – The fortified city withstood the siege for months. 

(h) hung – The hung painting added a touch of elegance to the room. 

(i) loved – The loved teacher received many gifts at the end of the school year. 

(j) hated – The hated policy was eventually repealed due to public pressure. 

(k) feared – The feared competitor entered the race at the last minute. 

(l) damned – The damned souls were said to haunt the ancient ruins. 

(m) fallen – The fallen tree blocked the road after the storm. 

(n) affected – The affected areas were declared disaster zones.

Study the following sentence

Today, Sunita is exploring space.
The present continuous tense expresses

(i) an action going on at present, e.g. is dancing.
(ii) a future action: I am going there tomorrow.

The present continuous tense is not generally used with verbs denoting a feeling or emotion or verbs of knowing, thinking etc. e.g. believe, feel, see, hope, know, love, wish, etc.

Other verbs not used in this tense form are consist, contain, matter, possess, resemble etc.
The future continuous tense presents an action going on at some future time, as in

(i) She will be dancing at the forthcoming dance festival.
(ii) I shall be running at that time.

Present continuous tense expresses something developing, as in

(i) The latest action movie is coming soon.
(ii) She is finishing Higher Secondary course in two months.

Now, frame sentences using the present continuous form of the following verbs:
drive, charge, explain, shake, forsake

Now, correct the following sentences if necessary.

(a) I am thinking about your proposal.
(b) Are you believing what he says ?
(c) The water is boiling – shall I make tea ?
(d) Why are you smelling the bread ? Is it not good ?
(e) She is always losing her temper.
(f) This test tube is containing hydrochloric acid.

Answer: Here are sentences using the present continuous form of the given verbs:

  • He is driving too fast on the highway.
  • The phone is charging slowly due to the old cable.
  • The teacher is explaining the concept patiently to the students.
  • The earthquake is shaking the buildings violently.
  • She is forsaking her old habits to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Corrected sentences:

  • a) I think about your proposal.
  • b) Do you believe what he says?
  • c) The water is boiling – shall I make tea? (Correct)
  • d) Why are you smelling the bread? Doesn’t it smell good?
  • e) She always loses her temper.
  • f) This test tube contains hydrochloric acid.

Write an essay on “The Importance of Adventure”

To most people, adventure means doing something unsafe or unwise. But to me, adventure is what makes life exciting and worth living!

Most folks are content to follow the same old routines day after day. Not me! I crave new, thrilling experiences. Why waste your life doing the same boring things over and over?

Each day, I wake up hungry for something different and daring. Your “bucket lists” of safe activities seem so dull to me. I want to really embrace the present moment by pursuing extreme adventures – exploring wild places, facing fierce animals, jumping from untested heights.

To you, those sound like chaotic and dangerous pursuits. But your fear just shows how bored and lifeless you must feel inside. I pity those who can’t grasp the amazing thrill of taking risks and brushing up against the mysteries of life.

So go ahead, stick to your defined, approved versions of “adventure” like climbing plastic walls or bungee jumping with harnesses. I’ll be the one strapping myself to a meteor, plunging towards the sun itself! Now that’s a real adventure, if I’m lucky enough to survive it. Either way, it’s better than wasting my life in boring tedium like you do.

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