Graduate On Elvis

Time for some light-hearted news to start the weekend. The Portuguese fanclub provided us with this information. In Portugal, 12th degree students must do final exams to graduate from high school and apply for university. This year's English exam had two parts and the first one was all about Elvis. Both parts worth the total of 200 points. Elvis's part alone was worth 120 points. This is the first part of the exam: Read the following text: "ALL SHOOK UP" Vernon and Gladys' happy, if dirt-poor existence came to an abrupt end in 1938, when Vernon, to his lasting shame, was caught forging a $4 check and sent off to prison. Unable to make ends meet, Gladys lost the house and moved in with relatives, who later recalled that she and Elvis were devastated by Vernon's absence. Elvis would sit on the porch "crying his eyes out because his daddy was way", one remembered. And Gladys, a friend said, "had always been lively, but after [Vernon] went to prison, she was awful nervous". Even after being reunited eight months later, Elvis, Gladys and Vernon all experienced sleepwalking episodes - os "action nightmares", in one cousin's colourful Southern parlance. Salvation was found where it was sought, at the Assembly of God services. His parentes may have gone for spiritual inspiration, but for young Presley, the fascination was always with the music. As Gladys recalled, "He would slide down off my lap, run into the aisle and scramble up to the platform. There he would stand looking at the choir and trying to sing with them." Presley's vocal talent was in evidence at an early age. Not only would he sing along with the congregation, but sometimes he'd join his parents in the church choir. "It was a small church, so you couldn't sing too loud", he commented in a 1965 interview. But he didn't have to pipe down outside the church. By age 10, he had grown bold enough to enter a talent contest at Tupelo's annual Mississipi Alabama Fair and Dairy Show. Broadcast live by a local radio station, that performance of the tearjerker "Old Shep" marked Elvis Presley's public singing debut. For his next birthday, his parents bought him a guitar, even though he had asked for a bicycle. Gladys reasoned with him: "Som, wouldn't you rather have the guitar? It would help you with your singing, and everyone does enjoy hearing you sing." TV Guide, Special Collector's Edition, This Is Elvis, 3 September, 2002 (adapted) 1. Justify the title of the text above 2. Explain the meaning of the following expressions in this context: 2.1. "to make ends meet" 2.2. "crying his eyes out" 2.3. "he didn't have to pipe down outside the church" 3. Comment on the role Elvis' parents played in his career. 4. Justify the use of inverted commas around "action nightmares". 5. Account for the use of the form "awful", rather than "awfully", as it occurs in line 7. 6. Change the final section (from "Gladys.") into indirect speech. 7. Relate the dates 1938 and 1965 to the origin of rock'n'roll as a post-war phenomenon. Use between 70 ans 100 words.
Source: Burning Star / Updated: Aug 5, 2005 
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