Report from Engine Co. 82 Test | Final Test - Hard

Dennis Smith (firefighter)
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How did Smith's attitude toward cockroaches change as an adult?

2. To which classical literary figure does Smith refer when describing the wounds on the young girl assaulted by her stepfather in Chapter 9?

3. Why did Smith not eat hamburgers when fellow firefighters prepared them for the station dinner?

4. Why were the teens carrying the items out of the Simpson Street apartment building?

5. Why did Smith think his school principal and mother were wrong to lament his dropping out?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why were some of the firefighters unwilling to help out at the department's occasional parties for neighborhood kids?

2. What were Smith's initial views of firefighting before he joined the department?

3. Did Smith feel that the rich New Yorkers mentioned in Chapter 7, who were raising money to bail out Black Panthers, had any real understanding of need?

4. Does Smith feel that society has become more violent over the years, and if so, why?

5. Why were the men uneasy as they begin the training drill in Chapter 6?

6. How did the elementary student, Cynthia, approach her interview with Smith in Chapter 9?

7. How did Smith distinguish between acts of shoplifting and looting within poor neighborhoods?

8. Is the poverty seen by Dennis Smith in the South Bronx different than the poverty in which he grew up?

9. Describe the character of Lieutenant Collins.

10. Why did Smith think it was useless to argue with the sneering youths hanging around a fireman's car in Chapter 10?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Why was Smith so affected by the interview with the student, Cynthia? Why did his encounter with her leave him feeling both heartened and concerned? Did he ultimately feel uplifted or overwhelmed by what she represented?

Essay Topic 2

Smith discusses dropping out of school because he wanted to start making money and states that he found his own way to survive. In retrospect, was his decision to drop out a good, bad, or neutral one? What could he have more easily accomplished had he earned his diploma? Are there things that he learned while working that he could not have learned in school?Could he have put those things off until after school?

Essay Topic 3

In Chapter 2, a young boy was injured when a driver known for hot-rodding sped through the neighborhood; the driver was beaten by the gathered crowd before being rescued by police. Smith pointed out that while the boy never cried, the driver was weeping in the police car because he was worried he wouldn't be protected. How did the firefighters react to the man's attitude? In what way is physical pain sometimes easier to handle than mental pain? Does knowing you have been guilty of a crime cause pain? Did the man's crying indicate that he felt remorse for what he had done or was it simply cowardice? Is it ever easy to face up to despicable acts?

(see the answer keys)

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