Study Guide: Listening Is an Act of Love

B. Reading the Stories

7. CURTIS CATES interviewed by his wife CINDY CONNOLLY CATES

Pre-reading statement of opinion:  Do you agree that childhood should be the happiest time of our lives?  Why or why not?

Post-reading guided summary:  Explain why Cindy Connolly Cates idolized her father and in retrospect does not believe she had a happy childhood.  Describe Curtis Cates’s “greatest accomplishment” (136) and how humor has been his “coat of armor” (137).  Comment on this couple’s “two tortured mutts” (137) status and how it has ensured the nurturing of their common bond.

Personal response:  Write your reaction to one or two aspects of the summary you have written, and try to connect this response to the opinion that you expressed before reading the StoryCorps transcript.