作为一个普通人,我是怎么看待维族人的

最近总是在推上看到很多“维族人“跳出来,说一些54321的。我觉得他们说的肯定是真的居多,但任何事物都有两面,我想说一些我看到听到的另一面。

第一,大家知不知道这些年我们民警被维族暴民杀死多少,大家知不知道前几年维族暴民曾经荷枪实弹攻击一个县政府和警察局。

第二,大家可能不知道,现在新疆偏远乡村在某种程度上,已经不在中国政府有效管辖下了。实际控制人是当地的拉轰,也就是宗教领袖。而这些拉轰,他们听谁的?这个就不知道了,中东、土耳其,其他,都有可能。从80年代起就有很多只手进入新疆。大家肯定都看过伊朗女性穿着的对比,在新疆亦如是

第三,当政府部队进入这些偏远乡村的时候,我援过疆的武警同学和我说,就像当年打越南一样。他们不敢分,也分不出,谁是恐怖分子,谁是普通老百姓。因为之前很多武警战士就是被看起来像老百姓的人突然拿出枪打死的。

所以,我在想,如果我是政府,我会怎么办?我可能也会考虑杀毒软件一样来处理,全量选择隔离、筛选、体验现代生活,然后把愿意脱离极端教义的普通回民搬离原生活地。

我爱书单

ILR = I Like Reading
在博客中,增加一个页面,

  1. 记录自己正在计划阅读书籍、观看的电影
  2. 推荐自己可能会喜欢的内容

setp2 挖掘内容自己可能会喜欢的电影、剧集、书籍采集电影后,在计算哪些电影可能喜欢的时候。
可以根据电影导演、演员等参数计算可能喜欢分数

目标功能
根据个人提供的书名,自动整理出一个清单。
自动化功能如下:

  1. 自动匹配关联网络资源
    1. 豆瓣页
    2. 亚马逊、京东实体书购买链接
    3. 电子书(亚马逊、豆瓣)购买链接
  2. 自动获取书评
    1. 豆瓣评分
    2. 豆瓣高质量书评
  3. 自动获得书籍基础信息
    1. 作者: 俞敏洪
    2. 出版社: 中信出版集团
    3. 副标题: 俞敏洪写给年轻人的8堂创业课
    4. 出版年: 2017-1-1
    5. 页数: 255
    6. ISBN: 9787508668277
    7. 书封面

清单排序

  1. 根据豆瓣评分排序

恭贺所有好朋友2019年新猪快乐

不知不觉又是一年

我们在加拿大这片土地

成长,生活,学习,恋爱,也可能是养儿育女

这365天里

加拿大的冰雪和蓝天也一样抚育着我们

让我们在辞旧迎新的一天里

把过往的欢乐和喜悦分享给亲朋好友

也把对家人、故土和新乡的感恩

对彼此表达

这一年我想要

感谢27号小屋为我们遮风挡雨

我们对你的修缮是我们最诚挚的供奉

感谢后院的4只松鼠每天早上的演出

你们在树梢间欢快的跳跃让我们开始美好的一天

感恩4位老人对我们小家的支持

不远千山万水来帮我们

更感念妻儿这一年对我的包容和支持

希望我逐渐接近你们心目中的丈夫和父亲

当然我也对所有的好朋友

不论你们生活在地球的哪一片神州

谢谢大家这一年的相伴

寻常日子里成长出来的友谊

更是让人欢喜与珍贵

最后祝愿大家

在未来一年

学习进步

家庭和睦

工作事业

一帆风顺

此外

我还要单独祝福所有

和我一样

想要开枝在散叶的朋友们

勤勤恳恳耕田地

春夏秋去小猪来

谢谢

懒惰了大半年的远山,在多伦多祝福大家!

2019年2月4日

9 Making Dinner, Eating Dinner

Complete Transcript

Welcome English as a Second Language Podcast number 9: Making Dinner, Eating Dinner.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode number nine. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

In this episode, I’ll talk about making and eating dinner. I especially like the eating part. Let’s get started.

继续阅读

8_The Commute Home and Running Errands

Complete Transcript

Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 8: The Commute Home and Running Errands

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode number eight. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

In this episode, I’ll talk about commuting home and running some errands.

Let’s get started!

[Start of story]

It’s five o’clock and it’s quitting time. I put a few

7_ At My Desk, on Break, and at Lunch|ESLpod

Complete Transcript

Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 7: At My Desk, on Break, and at Lunch

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode number seven. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

In this episode, I’ll talk about working at my desk, going on a short break, and going to lunch.

Let’s get started!

[Start of story]

On the way to the office, I was thinking about what I have on my agenda today. When I get to my desk, there is a stack of new memos and papers in my inbox. When I turn on my computer, I see at least two-dozen emails I need to go through. Just as I start in on the email, my phone rings. It’s my project manager, Julie, asking me to come in for a conference call with our head office. I don’t get back to my desk for nearly two hours. By that time, I was ready for a break.

At 10:30, I head down to the break room and get some hot water at the water cooler to make some tea. There were a couple of other people on break, having snacks out of the vending machine and reading the new notices on the bulletin board. I run into Sam, one of my friends at work, and we chat a little before going back to work.

Before long, it’s time for lunch. I usually bring my lunch with me to work and eat it at my desk. If I don’t have time to pack a lunch, I sometimes go across the street for some take-out. The only trouble is, it’s always so busy during the lunch hour and I always have to stand in line. That’s usually a pain. On Fridays, I usually go out to lunch with a few friends from work. On casual Fridays, we can kick back a little and take it easy.

[End of Story]

Part six is called “At my Desk, on Break, and at Lunch.” Notice the use of those prepositions. Prepositions are very difficult to translate and many people get confused when you start learning another language trying to figure out those little words – which word should you use. There’s a difference between “at my desk” and “on my desk” and “in my desk.” Those all mean different things.

“On your desk” means something is on top of your desk, like your computer. “In your desk” means something is inside one of the drawers of your desks. “At your desk” means that you are sitting next to your desk – you are, we hope, working, like you’re supposed to be working right now, instead of listening to this episode.

“On break” is the expression we use when you are stopping work for a short time, usually ten, 15, maybe 20 minutes. “At lunch” means you are going to lunch – you are eating. We don’t say, “in lunch” or “on lunch,” we say, “at lunch.” The best way to learn those little prepositions is just to read and to listen more and more, and eventually, you will know them without even having to study them.

Our story begins by me saying that, “On the way to the office, I was thinking about what I have on my agenda today.” Your agenda, “agenda,” means your plan for today – what are the things that you have to do today. This could include meetings; it could include phone calls; you could have many different things on your agenda.

There’s another expression, “to have an agenda.” To have an agenda means that you have a plan, sometimes a secret plan that you don’t tell anyone about that makes you want to do a certain thing. It’s like having an opinion and trying to get other people to do what you want them to do; that’s to have an agenda. But here, agenda just means a list of things that you’re going to do.

“When I get to my desk, there is a stack of new memos and papers in my inbox.” Stack, you’ll remember, is when you have thin things on top of each other. You can have a stack of pancakes; here we have a stack of papers and memos. A “memo” (memo) is short for memorandum, and it is usually like a letter that you send to someone in your company – in your office. Your “inbox” (inbox) can be a little box on your desk where people put things for you to do, your boss, for example. And, when you are done with them, you can put them in your out box. Those terms, inbox and out box, are also used for email programs now.

When I turn on my computer, I have at least two-dozen emails I need to go through. The expression, “to go through,” here means I have to read them and maybe respond to them. Someone may say, “I have to go through my email,” they mean I have to read my email, and I have to respond, sometimes, to my email. I have to do that everyday, just like you do, but most of my emails come from you.

“Just as I start in on the email, my phone rings.” The expression “to start in on something” means to begin to do something. So, I start in on my phone calls, that means that I have many phone calls and I start making them – I begin making them.

There’s a different expression, to start in on someone – on a person, and if you start in on a person – on your brother, on your wife – that means that you are criticizing them – you’re saying something bad – something negative about them. When I was younger, if I didn’t do my homework, which was often, my mother would start in on me, meaning she would criticize me. “Jeffrey, do your homework!” The only person who calls me “Jeffrey” is my mother.

Back to our story, I said that my phone rang and it was my project manager, Julie. The manager is the person that is in charge of a certain group of people – someone who is the boss – and a project is just a set of things for you to do, usually related to each other. Well, my project manager, who’s like my boss, asked me to come in for a conference call with our head office. A “conference, (conference) call” is a telephone call with three or more people. And, that’s very common in American business and in international business to have a conference call so more than one person can talk on the telephone. The head office (head) is the same as the main office, and this is where the company has most of its important people who are working, it’s sometimes called its headquarters. The head office is the main office. The opposite of head office would be a branch office (branch). A branch office is a smaller office.

We were having a conference call with someone in our head office, and I didn’t get back to my desk – I didn’t return to my desk – for almost, or nearly two hours. By that time, I was ready for a break. At 10:30, I head down to the break room. The “break room” (break room) – two words – is a place in a building – in your office, where people can go and read and relax, perhaps eat their lunch, or eat some food, It’s a place for you to stop work and to relax a little or to talk to other people. I use the verb “to head down,” that simply means to go to somewhere. We sometimes use that expression when we are talking about going to a different place. “I’m going to head down to the boss’s office” – I’m going to go over to the boss’ office.

Well, “I head down to the break room” – I go to the break room – “and get some hot water from the water cooler.” The “water cooler” (cooler) is a little machine that has water and you can get hot water or you can get cold water. That expression, the water cooler, is very common. When people say, “I heard it at the water cooler,” or “around the water cooler,” that usually refers to people who are gossiping – who are talking about things they probably shouldn’t.

Well, I went to the water cooler and I made myself some tea, because I love drinking tea. There are “a couple of other people on break,” notice that we use that expression “on break” – people who have stopped working – “having snacks out of the vending machine.” A “snack” (snack) is a piece of food that you eat between breakfast and lunch, or between lunch and dinner, or between dinner and going to bed. A “vending machine” (vending) is a big machine where you can buy, usually, food. The verb “to vend” (vend) means to sell. So, it’s a place where you can sell food and you put your money in and you can press a button and you get things like cookies and potato chips, all the things that are not good for you in the vending machine.

Some people are also reading the new notices on the bulletin board. The “bulletin board” (bulletin board) – two words – is a big piece of usually wood or plastic where people put important messages for other people to read. You can have a bulletin board at your work; you can have a bulletin board in a school, and usually, it’s a place where different people can come and read the news or new things or new announcements.

“I run into Sam, one of my friends at work.” The verb “to run into” means I meet him although I was not expecting to meet him. So, “I run into Sam, and we chat a little before going back to work.” “To chat” (chat) means to talk, usually about something not very important.

“Before long, it’s time for lunch,” meaning after a short time, it’s time for lunch. Before long, means a short time or after a short time. “I usually bring my lunch with me to work and eat it at my desk.” Notice that use of “at my desk,” means I’m sitting by my desk and I’m eating my lunch – sounds kind of lonely.

“If I don’t have time to pack a lunch, I sometimes go across the street for some take-out.” “To pack” (pack) a lunch means to make your lunch at home – a sandwich, for example – and put that into a bag or a box that you take with you to work; that is to pack a lunch. If I don’t pack a lunch, I usually eat “take-out” (take-out.”) Take-out is when you go to a restaurant but you don’t eat at the restaurant – you don’t “dine in,” we would say, (dine) in, you don’t dine in, you do take-out. You could also have the restaurant deliver the food – bring the food to your house, or bring the food to your office, and we would call that delivery. So, you can dine in; you can do take-out, meaning you go to the restaurant, or you can have delivery – someone brings the food to you.

“The only trouble is,” I say, “it’s always so busy during the lunch hour.” The “lunch hour,” in most American companies, is from noon to one or 1:30, or 11:30 in the morning to maybe one o’clock in the afternoon. It’s usually longer than an hour, though in some companies, you only get one hour. Some companies, you only get 30 minutes to eat.

“I always have to stand in line” because it’s so busy. To stand in line means to wait behind other people. In England, they would say to queue; in the US we say to stand in line. I say, “That’s usually a pain.” When we say something is a “pain” (pain) we mean that it’s very inconvenient or uncomfortable – something you do not like. People will also say a pain in the neck or a pain in the “butt” (butt). Those are the same basic meanings. Something that’s a pain in the neck or a pain in the butt means it’s not something that you like, it’s very inconvenient.

“On Fridays, I usually go out to lunch” – I go to eat somewhere else – “with a few friends from work. On casual Fridays, we can kick back a little and take it easy.” “Casual” (casual) is the same as informal. In many companies in the United States, they have casual Friday, and that’s a day where you do not have to wear as nice of clothing. Maybe you’ll wear a t-shirt and not a suit jacket, or you don’t have to wear a tie, and it’s also a day where people feel a little more relaxed. Usually it has to do with what you can wear to work.

Well, in the story I say that “On casual Fridays, we can kick back a little and take it easy.” “To kick back” (kick back) – two words – means to relax. It’s an informal expression that means that you are relaxing, and take it easy also means relax. Kick back is a little more informal; it’s something that you might do, for example, with your friends. And, if you drink alcohol, you might have some alcohol and relax; that’s to kick back.

Now let’s listen to the story, this time at a normal speed.

[Start of story]

On the way to the office, I was thinking about what I have on my agenda today. When I get to my desk, there is a stack of new memos and papers in my inbox. When I turn on my computer, I see at least two-dozen emails I need to go through. Just as I start in on the email, my phone rings. It’s my project manager, Julie, asking me to come in for a conference call with our head office. I don’t get back to my desk for nearly two hours. By that time, I was ready for a break.

At 10:30, I head down to the break room and get some hot water at the water cooler to make some tea. There were a couple of other people on break, having snacks out of the vending machine and reading the new notices on the bulletin board. I run into Sam, one of my friends at work, and we chat a little before going back to work.

Before long, it’s time for lunch. I usually bring my lunch with me to work and eat it at my desk. If I don’t have time to pack a lunch, I sometimes go across the street for some take-out. The only trouble is, it’s always so busy during the lunch hour and I always have to stand in line. That’s usually a pain. On Fridays, I usually go out to lunch with a few friends from work. On casual Fridays, we can kick back a little and take it easy.

[End of story]

She always writes us a great script before kicking back at the end of the day. I speak of our scriptwriter, Dr. Lucy Tse. Thank you, Lucy!

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan, thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us again right here on ESL Podcast.

This course was produced by Dr. Jeff McQuillan and Dr. Lucy Tse. Copyright 2006.

Glossary

agenda – schedule; calendar used to write down important dates or events

* Let me check my agenda to see if I have an afternoon free next week.

memo – a short document used in business to give information, usually within a company or organization

* She needs to write a memo to all the employees about the new vacation policy.

inbox – a container on one’s desk or a place in an email program filled with messages or documents that needs to be read and responded to

* Don’t you ever read the papers in your inbox? I put all the information you requested there last week.

to start in – to begin work on something; to begin to sort through something

* If you’ll start in on making the salad, I’ll get the chicken ready for baking.

project manager – a person responsible for a project

* Daniel isn’t a good project manager because he doesn’t understand how to follow a budget.

conference call – a phone call with more than two people

* In a conference call, it is sometimes difficult to know who is speaking. That’s why people should always say there names before making comments.

head office – the main office building in a company that has offices in more than one location

* Jacob is happy about his promotion to the head office but his family doesn’t want to move to Los Angeles.

to head down – to walk downstairs; to walk along a hallway

* Let’s head down to the basement and find out why the water heater isn’t working.

break room – a room where workers can relax, eat, and talk during their breaks from work

* In her company, the break room has free coffee and cookies all day.

water cooler – a machine that stores drinking water and has two openings: one for cold water and one for hot water

* The water cooler is empty but the water containers are too heavy for me to lift. Can anyone help me?

on break – taking a short, relaxing pause (usually 5-15 minutes) during the workday

* I often take a short walk when I’m on break. The fresh air helps me think more clearly once I’m back in the office.

vending machine – a machine that accepts coins and dollar bills and gives out food, such as candy, cookies, chips, sandwiches, sodas, juices, and coffee

* This vending machine is full of cookies and chips. I wish there were some healthier foods in it.

bulletin board – a place on a wall where people can hang notices and announcements

* When she lost her dog, she put announcements on all the local bulletin boards asking people to call her if they found her dog.

to pack a lunch – to bring food from home to eat at the office or at school during the lunch break

* Ruth always packs the same lunch for herself: a turkey sandwich, an apple, and orange juice.

take-out – food that is bought at a restaurant but eaten at another place

* This restaurant has the best food in town, but it’s too noisy to eat here. Let’s order take-out.

lunch hour – an hour during the day when an employee eats lunch, often 12:00-1:00 p.m.

* I would like to eat during my lunch hour, but I often use the time to run errands like going to the bank and getting my hair cut.

casual Fridays – days when office workers are allowed to wear less formal clothing

* On casual Fridays, the bank lets its employees wear jeans and t-shirts, but shorts are never allowed.

to kick back – to relax

* After a busy week, all I feel like this doing is kicking back with a good movie.

Culture Note

Eating on a Busy Schedule

Families today “lead” (have; live) busy lives “balancing” (making enough time for) work, school, and play. Our busy schedules often mean that we don’t have time to make “meals” (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) for ourselves and find ourselves “grabbing” (getting quickly) food “on the go” (while going from one activity or place to another). Sometimes this food isn’t the healthiest for us.

The food we make at home “tends to be” (usually is) cheaper and healthier for us. Did you know that in 1960, 26% of the money spent on food in the United States was on food eaten away from home, and by 2011, that number had “jumped” (increased a lot) to 49%? That’s nearly half of the meals Americans eat.

Americans now buy and “consume” (eat) food away from home an average of four times a week, which can mean an extra eight pounds a year. The more we eat away from home, the more weight people tend to gain.

Our busy schedules don’t mean we have to eat unhealthy foods. We can “plan ahead” (prepare) and make a meal or a “snack” (small amount of food eaten in between meals) to take with us on days we know we’ll be “rushed” (hurried; without enough time). On the days when we don’t have time to plan ahead we can order healthier meal or smaller sizes.

6 The Commute to Work | ESLPod

Complete Transcript

Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 6: The Commute to Work

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode number six. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

In this episode, the fifth of our 10-part special series on daily English, I’ll talk about commuting or traveling to work.

Let’s get started!

[Start of story]

I open my car door and throw my briefcase in the back seat, and get comfortable for my drive. I put my coffee mug into the cup holder, put the keys in the ignition, find the gas pedal, and start the car. My wife drove the car last night, so I have to re-adjust the rear view mirror and the side mirrors. I turn on the radio to listen to the drive time traffic report. I take the transmission out of park and into reverse, back out into the driveway into the street, close the garage door, and put the car into drive. I used to drive a stick shift, but as I get older, I like my automatic transmission more and more.

I usually take the freeway to the office, so I get on the onramp for the freeway and drive to where I have to get off. My office is only a few miles from the exit. I pull into the parking garage, swiping my key card to get in. I park, grab my briefcase and coffee, and head toward the elevator. And that only took 40 minutes!

[End of story]

Part five is called “The Commute to Work.” “Commute” (commute) can be both a noun and a verb. It means to go from your house to your work. Usually, if you live a long distance from your work, you would say, “I have a long commute.” Or, if you live close to work, you would have a short commute. If it’s a very long commute with lots of traffic, you might say, “I have a terrible commute” – a very bad commute.

The story begins by me saying that “I open my car door and throw my briefcase in the back seat.” So, I open my “front door” – the door that we would call the driver’s side, where the driver gets in, and in an American car, that is on the left side. Cars in Britain are on the right side, is the driver’s side. So, I get into the left side in the front door. If you have a car that has a back seat, you could have a two-door car or a four-door car. “Four doors” means that you have separate doors for the back seat.

The “seat” (seat) is what you sit in. So, the back seat is where people can sit behind you – behind the driver and behind the person next to the driver. We call the seats the passenger seats and the driver’s seat. The right side of the car is usually called the passenger side of the car.

I “get comfortable for my drive” – for my commute – notice we use drive there as a noun; it can be a verb and a noun. “I put my coffee mug into the cup holder.” A “mug” (mug) is just a big cup. We talk about coffee mugs, they’re big cups that you put your coffee into. In many cars, there is a special place for a cup or a bottle, and that’s called a “cup holder” (holder). It holds the cup so you can have your coffee in your car.

I “put the keys in the ignition.” The “keys” are, of course, what starts your car. It’s the piece of metal that you open your car door with – you unlock it. Well, you also start the car with your keys, and you put them into something called the “ignition.” And, the “ignition” (ignition) is the part of the car that starts the engine. Usually it makes a certain sound – a certain noise, and once the engine starts, then you don’t have to put the key forward, you just leave the key there, you take your hand off of it. The word ignition comes from the verb “to ignite” (ignite) which means to start a fire – to start something burning, and of course, a car burns gasoline, that’s what the engine does in order to make the car move.

After I put the keys into the ignition, I “find the gas pedal.” A “pedal” (pedal) is something you use to control with your feet usually the speed of something. So the gas pedal is the pedal that you press down to go faster, it gives the engine more gas. That word, pedal, can also be used as a verb. If you are on a bicycle, in order to make the bicycle move, you have to pedal because the things that your feet are on, on a bike, or a bicycle, are called pedals. Well, you don’t pedal your car, but you do have a gas pedal.

I “start the car,” and because “My wife drove the car last night, I have to re-adjust the rear view mirror.” “To re-adjust” means to adjust again. That prefix (re) means again in English, usually. “To adjust means” to-to move them so that I can see properly – I can see into the mirror. There are two types of mirrors on your car: there’s the “rear (rear) view (view) mirror” and that is in the front of the car, on the front window of the car. The front window of your car is called your “windshield” (windshield) – the windshield. So, on your windshield, on the top in the middle, is your rear view mirror, and that allows you to see cars behind you. There are also mirrors on the side of the car, usually on both sides, and those are called the side mirrors.

“I turn on the radio to listen to the drive time traffic report.” “Drive time” is the time of day when most people are either going to work or coming back from work. So, in the morning the drive time in Los Angeles, for example, is 7:30 to 9:30. Most people are going to work during those hours. In other cities it could be different; in some cities, it’s earlier than that. There’s also a drive time at the end of the day, between 5:00 and 7:00 here in Los Angeles, that’s when people are coming home from work.

So, the drive time traffic report is an announcement on the radio telling you if there are any accidents on the roads, if there is any “construction” – that is the government is fixing the road and it may be closed. And, it tells you if you are going to take a long time or not a long time. So, traffic reports tell you how fast the cars are moving on different, usually, freeways in American cities.

“I take the transmission out of park and into reverse.” The “transmission” (transmission) is the part of the car that determines how fast you go. It also determines if you go forward or backwards – if you’re going straight ahead or behind; that’s the transmission. Sometimes it’s called a “transmission box” (box) and inside of that box there are little wheels called “gears” (gears) and depending on the gear you are in, we would say, depending on the gear you are using, you will either go very fast or not very fast, or you will go in “reverse” (reverse). To go into reverse means to go backwards – the car moves backwards.

Well, before I go anywhere, I have to “take the transmission out of park,” (park). “Park” is when the car is not going forward or going backwards. We say you put the transmission into park, and you take it out of park. And when you take it out of park, you either go forward or backwards. Well, here I’m going in reverse, and I “back out into the driveway.” “To back out” means to go backwards. Usually that verb, to back out, is used when you are talking about a car or a truck that is leaving a garage, and it’s going in reverse – you back out of the garage. “I back out into the driveway” onto the street, or “into the street.” The “driveway” (driveway) is what connects the garage to the street. It’s the space that is in between your street and where your car is parked, your garage.

Some people actually don’t have a garage, and so they park in their driveway. They drive off the street and they park their car in the driveway, that piece of land where you can put your car. I like to park my car on my neighbor’s driveway so I have more room on my driveway. He doesn’t like it though. So, I back out of the garage, and then I “close the garage door, and put the car into drive.” Here’s another use of that word, drive. In this case, it means I’m putting it in a gear that will take me forward. So, to put a car into drive means that you change the position of the transmission so that your car will go forward and not backwards.

“I used to drive a stick shift, but as I get older, I like my automatic transmission more and more.” There are two kinds of transmissions – two kinds of cars. One is what we call an automatic transmission, where you put your car either into reverse or into drive, and that’s it. You don’t have to change anything.

Another kind of car is called a stick shift, or a manual transmission. “Manual” (manual) is the opposite of automatic; it means by hand. So, if you have a manual transmission, or a stick shift, you have to move the transmission each time you want to go faster or slower. The word “stick (stick) shift (shift)” (two words) is the same as a manual transmission. Some people say, “I drive a stick,” they mean, “I drive a stick shift.”

The word “shift” is also a verb, “to shift,” and that means to change. So, if you have a manual transmission – a stick shift – you shift from one gear to another. If you want to go faster, you have to shift into a higher gear. Well, if you don’t have a manual transmission, you don’t have to worry about it.

If you have a stick shift, you have an extra pedal in the car. Remember, we said that a pedal can be a gas pedal – something that makes you go faster. You also have a brake pedal that will slow or stop your car. And, if you have a stick shift, you have a third pedal, which we call the “clutch” (clutch). And in order to change from one gear to another, to go faster or slower or to go into reverse, if you have a stick shift, you have to press on or put your foot on the clutch so that you can change, or shift, gears.

“I usually take the freeway to the office, so I get on the onramp for the freeway.” The “onramp” (onramp) is what connects the street to the freeway. So, just like a driveway connects the street to your garage, an onramp connects the street to the freeway. The opposite of an onramp would be, of course, an off ramp, and that’s where you go off of the freeway and back to the street.

Well, I get onto the onramp, or “I get on the onramp and I drive to where I have to get off. My office is only a few miles from the exit.” The “exit” (exit) is where you leave the freeway. It can be a noun or it can be a verb. “To exit” means to leave, and normally, in a public building, a hotel or other areas, they have a sign that says, “exit,” so you know in case there is an emergency how to leave the room or leave the building. On an airplane, we have something called the emergency exits, and those are doors that you use if the plane is having problems. I hope you never have to use the emergency exits.

Well, this is an exit from the freeway, and “my office is only a few miles” after I get off of the freeway. “I pull into the parking garage,” the place at my work where you park or keep your car, and I swipe my key card to get in. A “key card” (key card) – two words – is like a credit card. It’s an electronic card that the company gives you that allows you to get in and out of a garage, in and out of the building, maybe even in and out of your office, and it’s an electronic card, like a credit card. To swipe is the verb we use when we talk about credit cards or key cards. “To swipe,” (swipe) means to take the card and put it into what we would call a reader very quickly. So, for a credit card, the clerk will swipe the card – will put it through the machine very quickly. For a key card, you put it through the machine so you can get into somewhere. It’s a key – an electronic key.

I “park my car,” I “grab my briefcase and my coffee” – very important, my coffee – and I “head toward the elevator.” “To head toward something” means to walk in that direction or move in that direction. So, I walk toward the elevator, and my whole trip “only took 40 minutes.”

Americans love to complain about how terrible their commutes are. In some cities, 30 or 40 minutes is considered a long commute, and in some cities, like Los Angeles, it’s considered an average commute. In other countries, some people commute an hour or an hour and a half in order to get to their work.

Now let’s listen to the story, this time at a regular speed.

[Start of story]

I open my car door and throw my briefcase in the back seat, and get comfortable for my drive. I put my coffee mug into the cup holder, put the keys in the ignition, find the gas pedal, and start the car. My wife drove the car last night, so I have to re-adjust the rear view mirror and the side mirrors. I turn on the radio to listen to the drive time traffic report. I take the transmission out of park and into reverse, back out into the driveway into the street, close the garage door, and put the car into drive. I used to drive a stick shift, but as I get older, I like my automatic transmission more and more.

I usually take the freeway to the office, so I get on the onramp for the freeway and drive to where I have to get off. My office is only a few miles from the exit. I pull into the parking garage, swiping my key card to get in. I park, grab my briefcase and coffee, and head toward the elevator. And that only took 40 minutes!

[End of story]

That concludes part five of “A Day in the Life of Jeff: The Commute to Work.” In part six, we actually get to work and go to lunch.

This course has been a production of the Center for Educational Development, in beautiful Los Angeles, California. Visit our website at eslpod.com.

This course was produced by Dr. Jeff McQuillan and Dr. Lucy Tse. Copyright 2006.

Glossary

back seat – the rear (second row) seats in a car, where passengers (not the driver) sit

* On the long drive across the country, they took turns driving. While one person drove, the other slept in the back seat.

cup holder – a round hole on the inside of a car for holding cups or cans of soda

* He tried to put his can of soda in the cup holder while he was driving and ended up spilling it all over the floor.

ignition – a small opening near a steering wheel into which one puts a key to start the car

* They accidentally locked their car while the keys were still in the ignition!

gas pedal – a piece of metal that a driver pushes with his or her foot to give the car more gas and to make it go faster

* She pushed the gas pedal to the floor because she was in a big hurry.

rearview mirror – a rectangular mirror near the driver’s head that allows the driver to see behind the car

* I stopped my car when I saw the police car in my rearview mirror.

side mirror – a small mirror outside the car near the front windows that allows the driver to see the side of the car and behind the car

* Grandma drove too close to the building and hit her side mirror against the wall.

drive-time traffic report – a radio announcement during rush hour (times of heavy traffic) that tells drivers where there are accidents and slow traffic

* According to the drive-time traffic report, there were three accidents on the freeway, so we drove home using Main Street instead.

transmission – the system that passes energy from the car’s engine to its wheels

* I couldn’t believe it when the mechanic said that I needed to replace my car’s transmission and that it would cost more than $2,000!

out of park – to take the car out of an unmoving position into a moving position

* I took the transmission out of park, but nothing happened because there wasn’t any gas in the car.

reverse – backward motion; going back

* Driving in reverse is always more difficult than driving forward.

driveway – a short length of road leading from the main road to the entrance or garage of a house or office building

* When she gets home from work everyday, she walks down the driveway to pick up the mail from her mailbox.

drive – forward motion; going forward

* He put the car into drive and started to leave, but then he stopped because he remembered that he had left some important papers at home.

stick shift – manual transmission; a car in which the driver uses a lever to put the car in gears 1 through 5 or in reverse

* Driving a stick shift requires a lot of concentration for me because I’m always worried that I’ll shift into reverse by accident.

automatic transmission – a car in which gears 1 through 5 change automatically without the driver needing to do anything

* Many people prefer driving automatic transmissions because it leaves them with one hand available to change radio stations or to hold a cell phone.

onramp – a short road for cars to speed up and enter a highway or freeway

* The first onramp was closed due to an accident so we had to drive to the next onramp to get on the freeway.

exit – a short road for cars to leave a highway or freeway and connect to other roads

* Do you know which exit we need to take to get to the beach?

parking garage – a large building with many floors for cars to park

* This parking garage only charges $5 for three hours, so let’s park here.

to swipe – to quickly pass a card through a machine that reads it

* I tried to swipe my credit card several times before realizing that it was broken.

key card – a plastic card that tells a machine whether a person has permission to enter a building

* When he lost his key card, he had to talk to security for two hours before they would let him into the building.

Culture Note

High School Teachers

High school teachers help prepare students for life after “graduation” (completion of their degree). They teach “academic” (related to reading, math, science and other traditional school subjects) lessons and various skills that students will need to attend college and to enter the “job market” (group of people available and looking for work).

High school teachers generally teach students from the ninth through twelfth (9-12) grades to students between 13 and 19 years of age. They usually teach one or two of the subjects or classes a student has throughout the day. For example, they may teach U.S. government and history.

Most high school teachers work in either public or private schools. All states require teachers in public schools to be licensed, which is frequently referred to as a “certification.” Those who teach in private schools are not required to be licensed.

Requirements for certification vary by state. All states require public high school teachers to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Most states require high school teachers to have “majored in” (had as the focus of their university study) a content area, such as chemistry, English, or history. While majoring in a content area, future teachers typically also “enroll in” (register for) a teacher preparation program and take classes in education while in college.