Hannah Brechner Ted Talk Quiz

Quiz Questions

Print out the questions or simply write down the answers on a sheet of paper.

1.  What does Hannah mean when she says, “I was just looking for some sort of scribble, some unkempt cursive from my mother.”

a.  She wanted money from her mother.

b.  She wanted a phone call from her mother.

c.  She wanted even a quickly-written letter from her mother.

d.  She wanted a type-written letter from her mother.


2.  Hannah said that: “Overnight, my inbox morphed into this harbor of heartbreak." Which of these is NOT an example of the types of people who sent her messages:

a.  A single mother in Sacramento.

b.  A girl being bullied in rural Kansas.

c.  A young man who wanted to ask Hannah on a date.


3.  Hannah says that today’s generation has grown up in a world where everything is paperless, and where many of their personal conversations have happened upon a screen.

a.  True

b.  False


4.  When Hannah is traveling on the subway a man asks her: “Well, why don’t you use the Internet?” This makes Hannah think: “Well, sir, I am not a strategist, nor am I specialist. I am merely a storyteller.”

What does Hannah mean by this? (check ALL answers that are correct)

a.  Hannah is not interested in efficiency.

b.  Hannah feels letter writing is a form of art.

c.  Hannah thinks the internet is dangerous.

d.  Hannah is not trying to communicate as quickly as possible.


5.  Hannah believes that hand-writing letters can be as important for the sender as it is for the person who receives the letter.

a.  True

b.  False


Quiz Answers

1.  c

Answer explanation: She wanted a note or letter from her mother so much it was okay if it was messy and written very quickly.

An scribble / unkempt scribble or cursive is a note that is written quickly and therefore can be messy. The person writing the letter is not being careful when they are writing. They are not trying to make their hand-writing perfect. They are just writing something down on the paper quickly.


2.  c

Answer explanation:

“Overnight, my inbox morphed into this harbor of heartbreak” means that suddenly she started to get a lot of very sad messages in her email inbox:

Overnight (very quickly), her (email) inbox morphed into (the number of messages in her mailbox grew very large) this harbor of heartbreak (a place where strangers felt it was safe to send her messages about their problems).

And therefore, the “single” mother from Sacramento wrote to her about the problems she had trying to raise her child by herself. The girl in rural Kansas had problems because other children were “bullying” her (teasing her and bothering her). These are examples of heartbreak, their hearts are broken because they are sad, lonely and afraid.


3.  true

Hannah says that most young people do not write letters to friends or write about their lives in diaries. Instead, she says they “diary our pain onto Facebook” and they “speak swiftly in 140 characters or less” (write their feelings on Twitter in 140 characters or less).


4.  a, b, d

Hannah feels letter writing is a form of art when she says: “…all the parts of her, the signing, the scripting, the mailing, the doodles in the margins.”

By this, she means that the way someone writes the letter, their handwriting, the way they sign the letter and the little drawings (“doodles”) in a letter make it art.

Hannah is not interested in efficiency (doing something very quickly without much work): As she explains, “The mere fact that somebody would even just sit down, pull out a piece of paper and think about someone the whole way through, with an intention that is so much harder to unearth when the browser is up and the iPhone is pinging and we’ve got six conversations rolling in at once, that is an art form that does not fall down to the Goliath of ‘get faster,’ no matter how many social networks we might join.”


5.  true


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