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.

5 Getting Dressed & Ready for Work | ESLPod

Complete Transcript

Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 5: Getting Dress and Ready for Work

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode number five. 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 getting dressed and ready for work.

Let’s get started!

[Start of story]

I go back into my bedroom and open up closet door. I have about 30 dress shirts, 10 pairs of pants, a half-dozen ties, and some sweaters, suit jackets, and t-shirts. I pull out a clean pair of socks and underwear, and then decide which shirt I’m going to wear today. I’m terrible at color coordinating, so I usually bring my wife in at this point to help match my shirt and pants. I put on my belt with the silver buckle and polish my shoes. I put my cell phone and car keys in my front pocket, and my wallet in the back one.

I put on my glasses and check myself in the mirror to make sure I look okay, and then go into the home office to get my bag. I used to carry a more traditional briefcase, but now I just use my computer bag to hold my laptop and my papers. Now it’s back into the kitchen to grab my Thermos on the way out the door. I lock the door and then hurry to my car in the garage. I’m usually running late and today is no exception!

[End of story]

Part four is called “Getting Dressed and Ready for Work.” We began by me going into the bedroom and opening up my closet door. “To open up” means here to open the door. A “closet” (closet) is a place, usually in your bedroom, where you put clothes—you store your clothing. You can also have a closet in other parts of your house, and it’s usually a place where you keep things—you store things.

Well, I “open up my closet door” and I look at my dress shirts. My “dress (dress) shirts” – two words. are the nice shirts, the shirts that I can wear to work. The opposite of a dress shirt would be a “casual shirt” (casual). A dress shirt is a nice shirt; something that usually has a collar on it. A “collar” (collar) is the top of the shirt, what goes around the neck.

Well, I look at my dress shirts and I look, also, at my “pants” (pants). Pants are what you put on your legs. You can have different kinds of pants. Jeans is a type of pants. We might say dress pants for nice pants that you would wear to work. I also have “ties”. A “tie” (tie) is a long, thin thing that goes around your neck that men usually wear—often wear to work, and it comes in different colors, and that’s your tie.

A “sweater” (sweater) is something that keeps you warm. It’s like a shirt that’s very thick. You usually put a sweater over your shirt so that you can be warm. “Suit jackets” (suit jackets) – two words – are jackets that you wear that are for a formal occasion. So, if you are going to work, especially if you were going to an interview, you would wear a suit jacket. The word “suit” (suit) refers to a formal set of clothing for, in this case, a man. For a man it would be pants and a, probably, white shirt and a suit jacket that goes over your shirt. Usually, you would also have a tie that you wear. That’s a suit. Well, a suit jacket is part of a suit.

A “t-shirt,” spelled (t-shirt)is a plain shirt that you usually wear underneath a dress shirt. So first, you put on a t-shirt—a white t-shirt—then you would put on your shirt, and then you would put on you jacket. T-shirts can also be used by themselves as your main shirt. It is usually an informal occasion that you would just wear a t-shirt. You probably wouldn’t wear a t-shirt to your office, for example, though some people do. And, many people have t-shirts that have things on them—that say things on them. T-shirts usually do not have a collar like a dress shirt does.

“I pull out a pair of socks and underwear.” “Socks” (socks) are the things you put on your feet before you put your shoe on. Socks can be dark, or they can be light or white socks. Normally you don’t wear white socks with a formal suit; you would wear black or dark blue socks.

“Underwear” is the piece of clothing that you put on and it covers up all of the—how should we say—things that you want to cover so that you can keep your pants and shirt clean. Underwear is something that goes over your back of your body, your butt or your rear, as well as the front of the body, whatever you have there. Underwear can come for men in two basics styles usually. There can be boxer underwear, or “boxer” shorts (boxer) and that’s a kind of short—or rather, a kind of underwear that it is loose on the bottom. So, it’s almost like a pair of shorts. The opposite of that would be “briefs” (briefs). Briefs would be underwear that is not loose at the bottom; it’s tight at the bottom of the underwear. Usually it’s a little smaller as well.

I “then decide which shirt I’m going to wear today. “I’m terrible,” I say, “at color coordinating.” “Color coordinating” means you wear things that have similar or matching colors. So, if you wore a pink shirt you would probably not wear green pants because they don’t do together, we would say; they don’t look very good with each other. Color coordinating is finding the right colors that you wear on your—with your shirt, and your pants, and your tie, and your jacket, and your socks, and your shoes. All of those have to be color coordinated. The verb “to coordinate,” (coordinate) means to put two things together so that they work well together, in this case.

Well, since I’m so terrible—I’m so bad—at color coordinating I usually bring in my wife, that is I go and ask my wife to come into the room. So, I “bring my wife in”—to the room— “at this point to help me,” meaning at this time, when I’ve already picked out some things, then I bring my wife to help me “match my shirt and pants.” I want them color coordinate.

“I put on my belt with the silver buckle and polish my shoes.” A “belt” (belt) is what you use to keep your pants from falling down. A buckle is the piece of, usually, metal in the front that connects the belt so it forms a circle around your body. I have a silver buckle that I put on with my belt.

I also “polish my shoes.” “To polish” (polish) means to clean and to make “shiny” (shiny). When we say something is shiny, we mean that it’s bright—it reflects light. So, when you polish your shoes, you want them to be clean but you also want them to look like they are bright—they are reflecting light. I polish my shoes and my head, so it’s very shiny!

“I put my cell phone,” my cellular or mobile phone, “and car keys in my front pocket.” You have front pockets and you have back pockets in a pair of pants. So, I put my keys and cell phone in the front pocket “and my wallet in the back” pocket. My “wallet” (wallet) is where I put my money and my credit cards and my driver’s license; all of those things go in my wallet.

“I put on my glasses,” because I cannot see without my glasses very well, and I “check myself in the mirror.” “To check yourself” means to look at yourself, usually in a mirror, and you can see how you look. I usually look pretty ugly. I check myself in the mirror, and then I go into my “home office,” or my office in my house and get my bag. I used to carry a more traditional briefcase.” A “briefcase” (briefcase) – all one word – is not something that you put your underwear in—your briefs. A briefcase means the thing that you carry papers in when you are going from your home to your office. Usually a briefcase is square and it usually has hard sides on it, many times it has a lock on the top; that’s a briefcase. A lot of people nowadays do not use a briefcase; they use a computer bag—a bag that they can put their computer and other information in, including their papers.

Well, I put my things into my computer bag, then I go “back into the kitchen to grab my Thermos,” to get or take my Thermos with my coffee in it “on the way out the door.” The expression, “on the way out,” means that you are about to leave or you are leaving your house, in this case. Somebody may call you on the phone and you are getting ready to go to dinner, you could say, “I can’t talk right now, I’m on my way out the door,” means I’m just getting ready to leave.

Well, before I leave—before I’m going out the door—I “grab my Thermos. I lock the door,” to my house, “and then I hurry to my car in the garage.” The “garage” (garage) is the place where you keep your car.

“I’m usually running late and today is no exception!” When you are running late, you are behind your schedule; you’re behind time that you want to be somewhere. “To run late” means the same as to be late or to be tardy (tardy). Usually that word, “tardy,” is only used in school. We say a student is tardy, we mean that they are late for school or late for class. To be running late means that you are not on the schedule that you want to be on—that you did not leave at the time you wanted to leave.

I say “I’m running late and today is no exception!” That expression, “is no exception” (exception) means that today is the same as every other day—it is not different. An exception is when something is different. Well, today is no different, that means today is no exception—it is not different.

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

[Start of story]

I go back into my bedroom and open up my closet door. I have about 30 dress shirts, 10 pairs of pants, a half-dozen ties, and some sweaters, suit jackets, and t-shirts. I pull out a clean pair of socks and underwear, then decide which shirt I’m going to wear today. I’m terrible at color coordinating, so I usually bring my wife in at this point to help match my shirt and pants. I put on my belt with the silver buckle and polish my shoes. I put my cell phone and car keys in my front pocket, and my wallet in the back one.

I put on my glasses and check myself in the mirror to make sure I look okay, and then go into the home office to get my bag. I used to carry a more traditional briefcase, but now I just use my computer bag to hold my laptop and my papers. Now it’s back into the kitchen to grab my Thermos on the way out the door. I lock the door and then hurry to my car in the garage. I’m usually running late and today is no exception!

[End of story]

Her scripts are always great, and this one is no exception. I speak of our wonderful scriptwriter, Dr. Lucy Tse.

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

Glossary

closet – a very small room or a piece of furniture for storing clothes and shoes

* Kevin needs to stop buying so many clothes. He can’t even close his closet doors!

dress shirt – a man’s shirt worn for office work, with a collar, buttons, and long sleeves

* Do you think it’s okay for a man to wear a pink dress shirt to work?

pants – clothing worn over the legs

* Jennifer couldn’t decide whether she wanted to wear pants or a skirt, so she chose a dress instead.

tie – a long, narrow piece of fabric worn around a man’s neck

* He doesn’t like wearing ties because he says they make it hard for him to breathe.

sweater – a heavy, knitted shirt made of cotton or wool yarn (material that looks like a thick string)

* It’s very cold outside, so you and your sister should put on your sweaters if you want to play at the park.

suit jacket – a piece of formal clothing worn over a shirt, with long sleeves and buttons on the front, usually worn in formal business settings

* The sleeves of his suit jacket are too short. He needs to buy a new one for his interview.

t-shirt – a comfortable, casual, short-sleeved cotton shirt with no collar, often with a design or picture on the front

* You don’t have to dress up to come to my party. I plan to just wear a t-shirt and jeans.

socks – clothing worn on one’s feet

* In the winter, I wear socks and shoes, but in the summer, I prefer to wear sandals without socks.

underwear – clothing worn next to the skin and under other clothing

* We have to do laundry today because I don’t have any clean underwear!

to color coordinate – to identify things that look good together because they have the same or colors that look good together

* Her bedroom walls, floors, pictures, and toys are all color coordinated. I have never seen so much green in one room!

buckle – a piece of metal used to connect two ends of a belt, shoe, or bag

* American cowboys often wore large belt buckles with images of their daily life.

to polish – to rub something to make it shine

* Before going to the wedding, I need to polish my black shoes so they’ll look nice with my suit.

wallet – a piece of leather or heavy fabric with many pockets that is used to store money and credit cards

* He needed to clean out his wallet because it was too full of business cards and receipts to fit in his pocket.

to check (oneself) – to look at oneself, searching for something that looks wrong or is out of place

* I wish I had checked myself in the mirror before the big meeting because I had food between my teeth.

briefcase – a flat bag with a handle to carry documents, usually used by office workers to carry papers between their home and the office

* She forgot her briefcase at home and had to ask her husband to bring it to her at the office so she’d have her notes for the presentation.

garage – a room in a house for parking cars

* They have so many things in their garage that they almost don’t have room to park their car!

to run late – to be delayed; to be behind schedule; to be in a hurry because one needs to be somewhere very soon

* I didn’t have time to say goodbye to everyone at the lunch meeting because I was running late for my flight back to New York.

today is no exception – today is the same; today is not different

* I usually receive a lot of emails and today is no exception. This morning I had 238 messages in my inbox!

Culture Note

Reducing Access to Sugary Beverages Among Young People

“Sugar-sweetened beverages” (drinks made sweeter with sugar) are the largest source of added sugars in the “diet” (what people eat and drink each day) of U.S. “youth” (children and teenagers). Drinking these beverages increases the “intake” (putting into the body) of “calories” (units of energy for the body), which “contributes to” (adds to) “obesity” (being very fat or overweight) among youth across the country.

In the United States, childhood obesity has more than “tripled” (multiplied by three; x 3) in the past 30 years. In recent “decades” (periods of 10 years), drinking of sugar-sweetened beverages among children and teenagers has also increased. A national 2010 “survey” (questionnaire; piece of research) showed that although water, milk, and 100% fruit juice were the beverages most commonly “consumed” (drunken) during the seven days before the survey, daily drinking of regular soda, sports drinks, and other sugar-sweetened drinks were also very common.

Parents should help children and teenagers to make healthy beverage choices by making available or only buying certain drinks at the store. By doing this, parents can encourage their children to drink water and low-fat or fat-free milk, and/or limited amounts of 100% fruit juices.

Since young people spend a “significant portion” (large part) of each “weekday” (Monday through Friday) in school, making sure that healthy beverage choices are available—and that less “nutritious” (good for the body) ones are not—is “critical” (very important). “Implementing” (establishing) school “policies” (rules) that “restrict” (limit) access to sugar-sweetened beverages is an especially important for reducing childhood obesity and improving students’ nutritional health.

4 Eating Breakfast | ESLPod

Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 4: Eating Breakfast

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode number four. 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 third of our 10-part special series on daily English, I’ll talk about eating breakfast in the morning.

Let’s get started!

[Start of story]

I walk into my kitchen and turn on the coffeemaker. I always put the coffee, filter, and water in the night before so it’s ready to go. Next, I open the door of the cupboard where the cereal is stored. I would love to have ham and eggs for breakfast every morning, or maybe a stack of waffles, but the truth is that I just don’t have the time to cook.

So, I pour myself a bowl of cereal and put in a glass of skim milk, making sure I take a spoon out of the silverware tray. I go outside and pick up my newspaper, and sit down at the kitchen table. I love reading the paper in the morning, though usually I just have time to read a few of the stories. When I’ve finished my cereal, I grab a banana and maybe make a slice of toast with jam. I rinse off my breakfast dishes in the sink and put them in the dishwasher. By that time, my coffee is ready so I pour myself a cup and put the rest in a Thermos for work.

[End of story]

In this episode, we are eating our breakfast. I begin by walking into my kitchen and turning on the coffeemaker. Notice these verbs, “to walk into” or “to walk in,” “to turn on.” Those two-word verbs are very common in English. So, I don’t just walk to my kitchen, “I walk into my kitchen and I turn on the coffeemaker.”

The “coffeemaker,” (coffeemaker) – all one word – is the machine that, you can guess, makes the coffee; that’s the coffeemaker. Usually, a coffeemaker has water on the top—place where you put the water—and then, it has a place for the actual coffee. Now, you take the coffee and you put it into a piece of paper or a piece of plastic called a filter. The “filter” (filter) is something that allows the water to go through it, but doesn’t allow the coffee to go through it.

So, you put the coffee into the filter and the hot water goes through the coffee, it goes out of the filter and goes into the “coffee pot” (pot) the coffee pot is on the bottom. So, you have the coffee, the coffee filter, and the coffee pot. After the water goes through the coffee, what you have to throw out—what you have to remove when you are done—are called the “coffee grounds” (grounds)

Well, “I put in the coffee, the filter, and the water the night before,” meaning, in this case, last night, “so that it is ready to go,” meaning when I walk into the kitchen, it is already ready, I just have to turn it on. Some coffeemakers have clocks that will automatically turn your coffeemaker on in the morning.

“Next, I open the door of the cupboard where the cereal is stored.” The “cupboard” – cupboard – which looks like the word “cup” and the word “board” put together, but is pronounced cupboard — a cupboard is like a cabinet. It’s a place where you store things — a place where you keep things. “To store” (store) – as a verb, means to keep something in a place — to keep something in a cupboard, or cabinet, or a box. Well, the cupboard is what we call the cabinets that are in the kitchen. They’re the like wooden boxes that have doors on them that you can put things in. Usually, if it’s a big cupboard, you have different “shelves” (shelves) the singular is “shelf” (shelf).

Well, I go into the cupboard and I get the cereal out. The “cereal” (cereal) is a very popular breakfast in the United States. It’s usually dry and you put milk in a bowl, with the cereal, and eat the cereal and the milk together. I love cereal in the morning. I really do; I have cereal every morning. Since I was, I think, five years old, I’ve been eating cereal.

I take the cereal out — where it is stored in the cupboard — and I prepare my breakfast. I say in the story that “I would love to have ham and eggs for breakfast every morning.” “Ham” is a type of meat that comes from a pig; it usually has a lot of salt in it. Another kind of meat that’s popular in the morning for breakfast is “bacon” (bacon) which is also meat that comes from a pig. It is long and thin usually; it’s cut to be long and thin. Eggs are the things that come from chickens — or does the chicken come from the egg? I’m not sure.

Anyway, we have ham and eggs, which is a very popular American breakfast. Many people in the United States eat what we would call a very heavy breakfast, meaning there’s lots of fat and there’s lots of food. In some countries, this is not done, but in the United States it’s very common for people to have eggs and ham for breakfast. My father used to have eggs every morning for breakfast before he went to work.

Well, I say, “I would love to have ham and eggs for breakfast every morning, or maybe a stack of waffles.” A “waffle” (waffle) is something that is made from batter. “Batter” (batter) when we talk about cooking is a liquid, made usually with eggs, and flower, and perhaps milk, and you combine these things together and you get a thick liquid, which we call batter, and you take the batter and you put it into a special cooking machine, which we call a “waffle iron” (iron) And, a waffle iron has a certain shape, usually it’s square, and when you put the batter in, you close the top of it and you cook it from both sides. And, when you take it out, it has little squares in it, and this is called a waffle. It’s a kind of almost like a bread. And, after you make the waffle, you usually put some special type of liquid sugar, which we call “syrup” (syrup). Often, this comes from trees; the best syrup comes from maple leaf trees. It’s called maple syrup; it’s very good. And, you put that thick sugar liquid on top of the waffle. You can also put some sort of fruit on top of the waffle also; I just like the sugar, myself.

Something similar to a waffle is a “pancake” (pancake) – all one word – and a pancake is also made from this batter — this liquid — thick liquid — except it goes into a flat pan on your stove and you flip it over. So, it’s completely flat, there are no squares in it, usually it’s round, and that’s called a pancake.

Both waffles and pancakes can be in stacks. A “stack” (stack) is when you have one long, thin thing on top of another. So, you can have a stack of paper, pieces of paper one on top of the other. The same is true with a waffle or with pancakes. You can have a stack of waffles, one waffle on top of another, or a stack of pancakes. Usually, we talk about a stack of pancakes. If you go to a restaurant and you order breakfast and you want pancakes, sometimes they will ask you if want a “short stack,” meaning just one or two, or you might have a regular stack, which could be four or five. Remember, Americans eat a big breakfast, that’s why there’s so many big Americans.

Getting back to our story, I am not having ham, eggs or waffles; I’m having a bowl of cereal. And, to prepare my cereal, I put it into a bowl and I pour skim milk on top. “Skim (skim) milk” is milk with no or very little fat in it. Milk comes in four different types: you have whole milk, which has the most fat; you have two percent milk, which has somewhat less fat; you can have one percent, which is even less fat; or you can have fat free, or skim, milk, which has little or no fat at all. Well, because I don’t want to be a big American, I have skim milk.

In order to eat my cereal, I have to take a spoon out of the silverware tray. The
“silverware” (silverware) – all one word – is the name we give the knife, the fork, and the spoon together. Sometimes those are called silverware even though they are not made of silver. Other people in a restaurant may call them utensils. “Utensils” (utensils). If you go to a restaurant and you sit down and you don’t have a spoon or a fork or a knife, you would ask the waiter or waitress for some utensils, or you could just say, “I need some silverware.”

A “silverware tray” (tray) is a place where you put the silverware — you put the utensils, the forks, the spoons, the knives — in a drawer. And, usually a tray is like a little box that has holes in it for specific things. That word, tray, can also be used to describe a small, flat piece of plastic or wood that you use to carry things on, like your dishes.

Well, I get my spoon, and I go out and I get my newspaper, which, of course, is what has the news, the sports, and the international and national news. Many Americans like to read a newspaper in the morning, just like people all over the world do. “I “sit down at the kitchen table and I read the paper.” Sometimes we call a newspaper just the paper. Someone says, “I read it in the paper this morning,” they mean the newspaper.

Usually I just have time to read a couple of stories, a few of the stories. When I’ve finished my cereal, I grab a banana and maybe make a slice of toast with jam.” “To grab” (grab) means to take something, usually with your hand. “To grab something with your hand” means to pick it up — to take it with your hand. “I grab a banana,” which I like to eat, and “a slice of toast with jam.”

“Toast” (toast) is bread that you put in something called a “toaster” (toaster) and the toaster heats up the bread until the bread is brown on the outside. “A slice of toast” (slice) is a piece of toast. We use the words slice when we are talking about one piece of bread, or one piece of cake. You can have a slice of cake; you can also have a slice of pie.

This is a slice of toast, which is bread that we put in a toaster, and we toast the bread. We can use toast as a verb as well. And, after I toast the bread, I can put butter on it or I can put “jam” (jam). And, jam is made from fruit — such as strawberries — and sugar, and they put them together and it makes a thick liquid that you can put on a piece of toast. We would say we spread the jam on the toast. We use that verb “spread” (spread) to talk about putting butter or putting jam on a piece of toast, usually with a knife.

When I am done with my breakfast, “I rinse off my breakfast dishes.” “To rinse” means to clean something with water. To rinse off is the verb. You could just say, “I rinse my breakfast dishes,” but we like those two-word verbs in English and so we would probably say, “rinse off my breakfast dishes.”

I rinse them off in the sink, and I put them in the dishwasher. The “dishwasher” (dishwasher) is a machine that cleans the dishes. Some families have dishwashers. The joke that we make sometimes in English is that someone —when someone says, “Oh, do you have a dishwasher?” and you say, “Yes, I am the dishwasher,” which means you don’t have a machine that washes your dishes; you wash your dishes by yourself. We would say you wash them by hand.

But the time I’m finished rinsing off my breakfast dishes, my coffee is ready and so, I pour myself a cup. Notice the use of that verb, “pour.” We use that verb when we are removing liquid from a bottle and putting it into a cup or a glass. We also used that verb, “pour,” when I said, “I pour myself a bowl of cereal.” Now, cereal isn’t liquid, but it is something that you can put into another container, in this case, into a bowl, and it comes out of the bigger container and into the smaller container. So, it comes out of the cereal box and goes into the bowl. So, we use that verb usually when we talk about liquid things like water or milk, but you can also use it when we talk about cereal.

Well, “I pour myself a cup” of coffee and I “put the rest in a Thermos for work.” A Thermos, which is “Thermos,” is a bottle that keeps hot liquid hot and cold liquid cold. So, if you have hot coffee and you put it into a Thermos, the Thermos—this bottle—will keep it hot for a long time.

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

[Start of story]

I walk into my kitchen and turn on the coffeemaker. I always put the coffee, filter, and water in the night before so it’s ready to go. Next, I open the door of the cupboard where the cereal is stored. I would love to have ham and eggs for breakfast every morning, or maybe a stack of waffles, but the truth is that I just don’t have the time to cook.

So, I pour myself a bowl of cereal and put in a glass of skim milk, making sure I take a spoon out of the silverware tray. I go outside and pick up my newspaper, and sit down at the kitchen table. I love reading the paper in the morning, though usually I just have time to read a few of the stories. When I’ve finished my cereal, I grab a banana and maybe make a slice of toast with jam. I rinse off my breakfast dishes in the sink and put them in the dishwasher. By that time, my coffee is ready so I pour myself a cup and put the rest in a Thermos for work.

[End of story]

You’ll want to grab a copy of anything written by our scriptwriter, Dr. Lucy Tse. It is sure to help you with your English.

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

Glossary
coffeemaker – a machine that makes coffee by passing hot water through ground coffee beans

* Scott has a very small coffeemaker that makes only two cups of coffee each time.

filter – a thin piece of paper that allows liquid to pass though, but prevents the ground coffee beans from getting through

* This morning, his cup of coffee had a lot of small pieces of coffee beans in it because he forgot to put the filter in his coffeemaker.

the night before – the previous night; yesterday night

* I always choose my clothes the night before, so that I can get dressed more quickly the next morning.

cupboard – a wooden box with shelves and a door that hangs on a kitchen wall and is used to store plates, glasses, and other things

* Please dry the plates and put them back in the kitchen cupboard above the stove.

cereal – a food made from grains (wheat, oats, barley) that is eaten with cold milk for breakfast

* I’ve never known anyone who liked to eat cereal as much as he does. He eats it for breakfast and dinner!

to store – to keep; to put something in a place to use later

* Where should we store these bicycles? Do you have room in the garage?

ham and eggs – a traditional American breakfast of fried, salted pork and eggs

* I’m like to order some toast to go with my ham and eggs.

stack – a pile of objects resting on each other that goes up

* When her boyfriend saw that she was carrying a huge stack of books to her class, he offered to help her.

waffle – a square piece of thick, sweet bread with small square shapes on each side, usually eaten for breakfast with syrup, honey, or jam

* To make waffles, you will need flour, sugar, salt, eggs, and milk.

skim milk – milk that has no fat

* She asked her assistant to get her a cup of coffee with a little skim milk and no sugar.

silverware tray – a container that holds forks, knives, and spoons

* Once the forks are dry, please put them in the silverware tray.

newspaper – large pieces of paper printed with news and advertisements, usually produced daily or weekly

* We get the Sunday newspaper delivered to our house so we don’t need to go to the store to buy it.

to grab – to quickly take something with one’s hand

* He grabbed the child’s hand and pulled her away from the busy street.

slice of toast with jam – a crispy, heated piece of bread covered with sweet, mashed fruit

* I usually have a slice of toast with jam for breakfast, but today I didn’t have time.

to rinse off – to use water to remove dirt or small pieces of food from an object

* She didn’t have time to wash the dishes this morning, but she rinsed them off so that it wouldn’t be too difficult to wash later.

dishwasher – a machine that washes dishes

* The dishwasher broke right before the party and we had to wash all of the dishes by hand.

thermos – a container that has a tight lid that keeps liquids warm or cold

* He always carries two thermoses to work, one for his coffee and the other one for his soup.

Culture Note
Dentists

Dentists “diagnose” (identify the source of a problem or illness) and treat problems with a patient’s teeth, “gums” (the soft, pink material that helps to hold teeth in place), and related parts of the mouth. They provide advice and instruction on taking care of teeth and gums and on “diet” (what one eats and drinks) choices that affect “oral” (mouth) health.

Dentists use a variety of materials and equipment. They wear “masks” (covering over the mouth or face), “gloves” (covering over the hands), and “safety glasses” (covering the eyes) to protect themselves and their patients from “infectious” (able to be transmitted or transferred from one person to another) diseases.

Dentists also use different types of equipment, including “x-ray machines,” which take pictures of the body under the skin, and “drills,” tools that turn very quickly to make holes in hard surfaces.

Most dental students need at least a bachelor’s degree before entering dental school. All dental schools require applicants to have completed certain required science courses, such as “biology” (the study of living things) and “chemistry” (the study of the substances that matter or things are composed of). “Majoring in” (selecting as one’s main focus of university study) a science, such as biology, might increase the chances of being accepted, but no specific major is required to enter most dental programs.

College undergraduates who plan on applying to dental school must usually take the Dental Acceptance Test (DAT) during their “junior year” (third year) of college. Admission to dental school can be “competitive” (difficult to achieve or get). Dental schools use these tests, along with other factors such as “grade point average” (the average of one’s grades from individual courses) and recommendations, to admit students into their programs.

Dentists must be licensed in all states; requirements vary by state. In most states, a license requires a degree from an “accredited” (official, having met state or federal requirements) dental school and passing a written and “practical” (using one’s hands to complete tasks) exam.

Welcome to the Gutenberg Editor

Of Mountains & Printing Presses

The goal of this new editor is to make adding rich content to WordPress simple and enjoyable. This whole post is composed of pieces of content—somewhat similar to LEGO bricks—that you can move around and interact with. Move your cursor around and you’ll notice the different blocks light up with outlines and arrows. Press the arrows to reposition blocks quickly, without fearing about losing things in the process of copying and pasting.

What you are reading now is a text block the most basic block of all. The text block has its own controls to be moved freely around the post…

… like this one, which is right aligned.

Headings are separate blocks as well, which helps with the outline and organization of your content.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Handling images and media with the utmost care is a primary focus of the new editor. Hopefully, you’ll find aspects of adding captions or going full-width with your pictures much easier and robust than before.

Beautiful landscape
If your theme supports it, you’ll see the “wide” button on the image toolbar. Give it a try.

Try selecting and removing or editing the caption, now you don’t have to be careful about selecting the image or other text by mistake and ruining the presentation.

The Inserter Tool

Imagine everything that WordPress can do is available to you quickly and in the same place on the interface. No need to figure out HTML tags, classes, or remember complicated shortcode syntax. That’s the spirit behind the inserter—the (+) button you’ll see around the editor—which allows you to browse all available content blocks and add them into your post. Plugins and themes are able to register their own, opening up all sort of possibilities for rich editing and publishing.

Go give it a try, you may discover things WordPress can already add into your posts that you didn’t know about. Here’s a short list of what you can currently find there:

  • Text & Headings
  • Images & Videos
  • Galleries
  • Embeds, like YouTube, Tweets, or other WordPress posts.
  • Layout blocks, like Buttons, Hero Images, Separators, etc.
  • And Lists like this one of course 🙂

Visual Editing

A huge benefit of blocks is that you can edit them in place and manipulate your content directly. Instead of having fields for editing things like the source of a quote, or the text of a button, you can directly change the content. Try editing the following quote:

The editor will endeavor to create a new page and post building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless, and has “blocks” to make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or “mystery meat” embed discovery.

Matt Mullenweg, 2017

The information corresponding to the source of the quote is a separate text field, similar to captions under images, so the structure of the quote is protected even if you select, modify, or remove the source. It’s always easy to add it back.

Blocks can be anything you need. For instance, you may want to add a subdued quote as part of the composition of your text, or you may prefer to display a giant stylized one. All of these options are available in the inserter.

You can change the amount of columns in your galleries by dragging a slider in the block inspector in the sidebar.

Media Rich

If you combine the new wide and full-wide alignments with galleries, you can create a very media rich layout, very quickly:

Accessibility is important — don’t forget image alt attribute

Sure, the full-wide image can be pretty big. But sometimes the image is worth it.

The above is a gallery with just two images. It’s an easier way to create visually appealing layouts, without having to deal with floats. You can also easily convert the gallery back to individual images again, by using the block switcher.

Any block can opt into these alignments. The embed block has them also, and is responsive out of the box:

You can build any block you like, static or dynamic, decorative or plain. Here’s a pullquote block:

Code is Poetry

The WordPress community

If you want to learn more about how to build additional blocks, or if you are interested in helping with the project, head over to the GitHub repository.


Thanks for testing Gutenberg!

👋

3 Cleaning Up | ESLPod

Complete Transcript

Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 3: Cleaning Up

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode number three. 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 second of our 10-part special series on daily English, I’ll talk about getting cleaned up in the morning to go to work.

Let’s get started!

[Start of story]

I go into my bathroom sometime around 6:45 a.m. My sink and medicine cabinet are on the left when you enter my bathroom. The toilet is next to that, with the tub in front. Anyway, I turn on the lights, and try to find the mouthwash in the medicine cabinet. I pour a small amount into a cup, swish it around for 30 seconds, gargle, and spit. Not pleasant, but necessary. Then I get out the floss. When I’m done flossing, I pull out the toothbrush and the toothpaste. I brush and then it’s off to the shower.

I pull the shower curtain aside, step into the tub, and pull the curtain back. I turn on both the hot and the cold water, looking for the perfect temperature. I lather up with soap, put some shampoo in my hair, then rinse and dry off. Now it’s shaving time. I used to own an electric razor, but I found it didn’t shave close enough. So now I’m back to the old hand razor. I lather up with shaving cream, and I start to shave. I rinse the razor and throw the disposable blades in the trash. It’s about 7:00 AM, and I’m on to breakfast.

[End of story]

In this episode, we are “Cleaning Up,” or making ourselves clean.

“I go into my bathroom,” I begin the story, “sometime around 6:45 a.m.” Notice that we say a.m., but you could also say “in the morning.” 6:45 is also the same as quarter to seven. “My sink and medicine cabinet are on the left when you enter my bathroom.” In your bathroom and in your kitchen there is usually a sink and a faucet. The faucet “faucet” is where the water comes out, and normally you have hot water and cold water. The sink is where the water goes into. Usually, it is a round or a square white bowl, really, that has a hole at the bottom and we call that hole the drain (drain). That’s where the water goes down into the pipe, it’s where the water goes out of the sink. If you want to fill your sink with water, you usually have to stop the drain. “To stop a drain” means to put something over it so that the water doesn’t go down.

So, we have a faucet and we have a sink, and in your bathroom, you often have a small box, sometimes with a mirror on it so you can see yourself, that we call the medicine cabinet. A “cabinet” (cabinet) is like a small box where you put things, but it’s a box that hangs on the wall; it is attached to the wall. You can have cabinets in your kitchen, where you put your dishes. So, they’re containers, they’re things that you used to put and store or keep things.

A medicine cabinet is a place where you have medicine, but also, it’s a place where you put your other things that you use in the bathroom – things like mouthwash, shaving cream, razors, and so forth. We’ll talk about those in a second. So that’s your medicine cabinet.

In my bathroom, the “sink and the medicine cabinet are on the left” side when you walk into the bathroom; the toilet is next to that. “The toilet” (toilet) is what you use to go to the bathroom, what you use to get rid of things from your body, we might say. When you are done using the toilet, you then flush the toilet. The verb, “to flush” (flush) is when you get rid of what’s inside the toilet after you’re done using it, usually with water.

There is a tub in my bathroom. A “tub” (tub) sometimes called a bathtub, is where you can take a bath. You can fill the tub up with water and you can get into the water.

“Anyway,” I say in the story, “I turn on the lights.” Notice the use of the word “anyway.” It’s very common in English to use that word when you want to get back to something you were talking about before. We can also say, “As I was saying,” it means something similar here.

“Anyway, I turn on the lights, and try to find the mouthwash in the medicine cabinet.” The “mouthwash” (mouthwash) – all one word – is a liquid like water, but it has something in it that helps clean your teeth, clean the inside of your mouth; that is mouthwash. So, you take the mouthwash and you “pour a small amount into a cup.” The mouthwash usually comes in, or is in, a bottle. This bottle, you take and you pour some mouthwash into a cup. To pour means to take something that is liquid, like water or mouthwash, and put it somewhere else. In this case, it’s into a small cup.

After I put it into the cup, I “swish it around for 30 seconds.” “To swish (swish) something around” means to move it around, and we use that verb usually when talking about something that is liquid like water or mouthwash that you move back and forth very quickly. So, when you put the mouthwash in your mouth, usually you take your sides of your mouth, what we would call your “cheeks” (cheeks), your cheeks, and you move them back and forth, so that the mouthwash covers and cleans all of your teeth.

After “I swish it around,” I “gargle.” The verb “to gargle (gargle) means to take water and to put it into your back of your mouth. I will have to demonstrate this. It’s easier to understand if you can hear it. [Gargling sound] That’s to gargle. That’s just an extra little bonus for listening to this episode; you get to hear me gargle!

Well, after I gargle, I have to get rid of or remove the water from my mouth, and I do that by spitting. “To spit” (spit) means to take something that’s liquid, like water, and to remove it from your mouth. Usually, you make a certain sound like [spitting sound] – something like that.

Well, now we’ve gargled and spit. I say these are “Not pleasant, but necessary,” not necessarily something nice but something I have to do. After I use the mouthwash, “Then I get out,” or take out, the floss. “Floss” (floss) is a piece of string that you put in between your teeth to clean; we call that floss. And there’s a verb, “to floss,” which means to use that little piece of string.

“When I’m done flossing,” when I have finished flossing, “I pull out,” or take out, “the toothbrush and the toothpaste.” The toothbrush is what you use to clean your teeth; the toothpaste is like the soap that you use to clean your teeth. But, we do not call it tooth soap. We call it toothpaste. It comes in a container that we call a “tube,” and the tube (tube) is where the toothpaste is, and you usually squeeze the tube (squeeze) to get the toothpaste out of the tube.

So, I put some toothpaste on my toothbrush and then I brush. We use that verb, “to brush,” to mean to clean my teeth. But, we don’t say, “I’m going to clean my teeth.” Usually we say, “I’m going to brush my teeth.” That same verb, “to brush,” can also be used with your hair, when you are trying to put your hair in a certain place, a certain position. I don’t brush my hair, of course, because I don’t have any hair, but I used to, when I was younger, brush my hair.

I finished brushing my teeth, so now I’m going to take a shower. There’s a difference between taking a shower, where the water comes from the top of the wall and goes over you, and a bath, which means to fill your bathtub with water and get in. Most American homes have the tub and the shower in one place. Some homes have a separate shower and a separate tub.

In the story, I say that “I pull the shower curtain aside.” The “curtain” (curtain) is what you use to keep the water in the shower from going onto the floor. It prevents the water from leaving the shower area. We use that word, “curtain,” also for the things that you can put over your window in your house or apartment, so nobody can see inside; that’s also called a curtain.

Well, “I pull the shower curtain aside,” meaning I put it to one side, the left side or the right side. I “step into the tub, and I pull the curtain back,” I put it back in its original position. “I turn on both the hot and the cold water.” “To turn on” means that I turn the faucet on so that the water comes out. Remember, the faucet is where water comes out for a sink; it’s also where the water comes out for a tub or a shower. Actually, for the shower, the top of the shower, we don’t normally call that a faucet; we call that a showerhead (head). So, the showerhead is where the water comes out when you’re taking a shower. And, if you are drawing a bath, meaning if you are putting water into your tub to take a bath—to draw a bath—then you use the faucet. The water comes out of the faucet spout (spout). That’s the part of the faucet where the water actually comes out of.

I step into the shower, I turn on “the hot and cold water, looking for the perfect temperature,” not too hot, not too cold. “I lather up with soap.” “To lather” (lather) or to “lather up” means to take soap and put it on your skin and then put water on it, and you rub the soap and the water together until you make little bubbles, until the soap and water covers your skin. That is to lather or to lather up.

Well, “I lather up with” some “soap,” and then I “put some shampoo in my hair.” “Shampoo” (shampoo) is the soap for your head, for your hair, if you have hair. So, you take this special soap, usually it is a liquid soap, and you put it on your hair and that is called shampoo. You can also lather up your shampoo. You take your hands and you move them back and forth quickly, and that would lather up your shampoo.

Well, after you do that, then you have to get rid of the soap and the shampoo, and you do that by rinsing. “To rinse” (rinse) means to take water and get rid of the soap and the shampoo that are on your body. After you do that, then you have to dry your body off. “To dry off” means the same as to dry, but we use that expression, “to dry off,” to mean to dry, in this case, your body with a towel.

Now, it is time for me to shave. “To shave” (shave) means to remove hair, usually from your face. If you are a man and you don’t shave, you will grow a beard and a mustache; you will have hair on your face. Well, I don’t like beards and mustaches, so I shave – I use something to get rid of the hair.

The thing I use to get rid of the hair is the “razor” (razor). A razor is like a knife. It has a blade (blade) and the blade is the thing that actually cuts the hair, that removes the hair. So, you have a razor that you use to shave the whiskers from your face. A “whisker” (whisker) is the name we give the hair on your face, at least for a man, we call those whiskers. So, you can have an electric razor, like I used to have, or you can have a hand razor. A hand razor is one that is not electric that you just take and you shave by moving the razor back and forth on your face.

Before I shave, I have to “lather up with shaving cream.” We already know that word “lather up” – it means to mix the soap with water and make bubbles so that it spreads across your skin. “Shaving cream” (cream) is the special kind of soap or special kind of liquid material that you put on your face to make it easier for you to shave, so you don’t cut yourself or hurt yourself when you are shaving.

“I rinse the razor” after I am done shaving, and I “throw the disposable blades in the trash.” The blades are the things that go on top of the razor that cut the whiskers, or remove the whiskers. “Disposable” (disposable) comes from the verb “to dispose” (dispose), which means to throw away, to put in the trash, to put in the garbage. That is disposable. If something is disposable, you use it once or twice and then you throw it away. Well, these are disposable blades.

Now it’s seven o’clock when I finish showering and shaving, and I am “on to breakfast,” meaning now I am going to have my breakfast.

Let’s listen to the story again, this time at a native rate of speech.

[Start of story]

I go into my bathroom sometime around 6:45 a.m. My sink and medicine cabinet are on the left when you enter my bathroom. The toilet is next to that, with the tub in front. Anyway, I turn on the lights, and try to find the mouthwash in the medicine cabinet. I pour a small amount into a cup, swish it around for 30 seconds, gargle, and spit. Not pleasant, but necessary. Then I get out the floss. When I’m done flossing, I pull out the toothbrush and the toothpaste. I brush and then it’s off to the shower.

I pull the shower curtain aside, step into the tub, and pull the curtain back. I turn on both the hot and the cold water, looking for the perfect temperature. I lather up with soap, put some shampoo in my hair, then rinse and dry off. Now it’s shaving time. I used to own an electric razor, but I found it didn’t shave close enough. So now I’m back to the old hand razor. I lather up with shaving cream, and I start to shave. I rinse the razor and throw the disposable blades in the trash. It’s about 7:00 AM, and I’m on to breakfast.

[End of story]

Her scripts are always pleasant. I speak, of course, of our wonderful 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.

Glossary

sink – a kitchen or bathroom container that is attached to the floor and wall, holds water, and is used for washing dishes or brushing teeth

* When Lily came home, she was disappointed to see that the sink was full of dirty dishes.

medicine cabinet – a small, flat cabinet on a bathroom wall that is used to store medicines, toothbrushes, lotions, and other things, and has a mirror on front

* If you have a headache, take an aspirin. There’re in the medicine cabinet.

toilet – a large bowl and pipe attached to the floor and wall in a bathroom, used to collect body waste

* Cleaning the toilet is my least favorite household chore.

tub (also bathtub) – a large, long container that you fill with water and then sit in to take a bath

* Marsha relaxes by filling her tub with hot water and taking a bath while listening to classical music.

mouthwash – a liquid that cleans one’s mouth and makes breath smell better

* After eating foods with strong flavors like garlic and onion, you should use mouthwash because it covers the smell.

to swish (something) around – to quickly move a liquid around the inside of one’s mouth without drinking it

* The dentist said that I should swish mouthwash around for at least 30 seconds every morning.

to gargle – to move a liquid into the back of one’s throat without drinking it.

* Harry believes that the best cure for a sore throat is to gargle warm water with lemon juice and salt.

to spit – to push food or liquid out of one’s mouth

* When Jack was six years old, he had trouble taking medicine. He didn’t like the taste and would spit it out.

floss – a thread that is moved between teeth to clean them

* A toothbrush cleans the front and back of your teeth, but only dental floss can clean between teeth.

shower curtain – a large piece of plastic or cloth that hangs from the ceiling to the floor in front of a bathtub or shower to keep water from entering the rest of the room

* This morning Uncle Kenny forgot to close the shower curtain, so there was water all over the floor.

to lather up – to cover oneself with soap or one’s hair with shampoo

* We ran out of hot water immediately after I lathered up, so I had to wash off the soap in cold water!

shampoo – liquid soap made for cleaning hair

* People with long hair use more shampoo than people with short hair do.

to rinse off – to use water to remove soap from something

* Kelly’s son cried when she rinsed him off because she accidentally got soap in his eyes.

to shave – to remove hair from the body by using a razor that cuts the hair near the skin

* In the United States, many women shave their legs to make them look smoother.

electric razor – an electronic device for shaving

* When I was a child, I always woke up to the sound of my father using an electric razor to shave his face.

hand razor – a plastic or metal tool for shaving, held in one’s hand

* When he started shaving, he often has cuts on his chin because he didn’t know how to use a hand razor.

shaving cream – a cream, foam, or lotion that is put on the skin before shaving

* If I shave without shaving cream, my skin becomes red and itchy.

disposable blades – the flat, sharp piece of metal in a hand razor that cuts the hair and can be thrown out and replaced

* Disposable blades are more expensive than traditional blades but they never need to be re-sharpened.

Culture Note

Men’s Health

Men can take daily steps to live safer and healthier lives, and protect themselves from “disease” (illness) and “injury” (getting hurt). If you’re a man, make healthy living a part of your “daily routine” (things one does every day). There are many things you can do every day to improve your health and stay healthy. Many of them don’t take a lot of time and cost very little.

Get enough sleep: “Insufficient” (not enough) sleep is “associated with” (connected to) many “chronic” (lasting a long time) diseases and conditions, such as “cardiovascular” (related to the heart) disease and “obesity” (being very overweight). In general, adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep.

Avoid smoking and “secondhand smoke” (smoke from other people’s cigarettes): “Inhaling” (breathing in) other people’s smoke causes health problems similar to those of smokers. Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits. Within 20 minutes after smoking that last cigarette, your body begins a series of positive changes that continue for years.

“Be physically active” (exercise): Be active for at least 2.5 hours a week. Include activities that increase your breathing and heart rates and that strengthen your “muscles” (material in your body that gives you strength). You don’t have to do it “all at once” (all at the same time). “Spread” (divide) your activity out during the week, and break it into smaller “chunks” (sections; periods) of time during the day.

Get your “check-ups” (standard medical exams): Certain diseases and conditions may not have “symptoms” (signs), so check-ups help “diagnose” (identify) issues early or before they can become a problem.

Get “vaccinated” (shots to prevent disease): Even if you had vaccines as a child, “immunity” (inability to get a disease) can “fade” (disappear slowly) with time. Whether a young, middle-aged, or older adult, we all need vaccinations to keep us healthy.

ESLpod | 2 Getting Up

Complete Transcript

Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 2: Getting Up

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

This episode begins a special 10-part series covering basic vocabulary for everyday actions, from getting up in the morning to going to bed at night and everything in between. We’ll start with getting up.

Let’s get started!

[Start of story]

The worst part of the day for me is definitely when I have to get up. Waking up, that I can handle. But getting up? That, I hate. The covers I have on my bed are heavy, mostly because I have a comforter as well as a light blanket. I sleep with two pillows, which for some reason have different color pillowcases. Well, at least the sheets match.

I sometimes wake up before the alarm goes off. I like to keep the alarm at a low volume, with some classical music, nothing too jarring. My old roommate used to like the terrible buzzer that you find on most alarm clocks nowadays, which always used to drive me nuts. As I was saying, I sometimes wake up before the alarm, usually because of some noise outside the house—a car door slamming, an alarm going off, gunfire—well, okay, not gunfire, but man, is my neighborhood noisy! Of course, when I’m staying in a hotel, it’s usually easier to just get a wake up call from the hotel than set the alarm.

I’m not really an early riser, so I don’t jump out of bed ready to take on the world. I get up very slowly, usually one foot on the floor at a time. Every once in awhile I’ll oversleep, but not too often. I really love the weekends, when I can sleep in.

[End of story]

Our story begins by me describing how much I do not like getting up. To get up means to get out of your bed, to stand up after you have been lying down on a bed. I say that, “The worst part of my day is when I have to get up. Waking up, that I can handle.” To wake up “wake up” (two words) means that you are sleeping and you stop sleeping and now you are awake. The verb is to wake up. So, you can wake up while you are in bed, and then, you get up—you stand up after lying down.

I said that “waking up” is something “I can handle.” To handle (handle) here means to be able to control—something that I can manage—something that I can accept; it’s not a problem. Another expression would be something I can deal with. To deal “deal” with something is the same, in this case, as to be able to handle something.

I say that “getting up” is something that “I hate.” The covers I have on my bed are heavy.” The covers (covers) are the things that you put over you to keep you warm. Usually, the covers include a blanket, sometimes a comforter and usually, what we would call the top sheet or flat sheet. A comforter “comforter” is a very thick blanket, a very heavy blanket. A blanket (blanket) is something that you put over you when you are sleeping to keep you warm.

Blanket is a general term; a comforter is a kind of blanket, a heavy blanket. The opposite of a comforter would be a light blanket. A light (light) blanket would be the opposite, and that is a blanket that will keep you warm, but if it gets very cold, it might not keep you warm, it might not be sufficient.

So, we have a comforter and we have a light blanket. Usually, there is a top sheet (sheet) that you put over you in between your body and the blankets, and this top sheet is sometimes called a flat sheet. The sheet that goes on the bed itself, that goes onto the corners of the bed, that’s called a fitted sheet, a fitted (fitted) sheet. So, we have a fitted sheet on the bed that you sleep on top of, then we have a top sheet and then a blanket, sometimes, if it’s very cold, a comforter as well.

I say in the story that “I sleep with two pillows.” A pillow (pillow) is what you put your head on when you sleep. Now, “for some reason,” I say I “have different colored pillowcases.” This is true, actually; I have a black pillowcase and a blue pillowcase for my two pillows. I think the reason is I am too lazy to go and buy a new pillowcase.

Well, the pillowcase “pillowcase” (one word) is the thing that you put over the pillow so the pillow doesn’t get dirty; we call that the pillowcase. I say, “Well, at least the sheets match.” We already know what a sheet is. When we say the sheets match (match), we mean that they are the same color or two colors that look good together. We use that verb, to match, when we are talking about clothing as well, or anything where you have two colors.

“I sometimes wake up before the alarm goes off.” When we say the alarm “goes off,” we mean that the alarm starts to make a sound. Your alarm (alarm) is a machine that makes noise at a certain time; usually it has a clock. Well, I sometimes wake up before my alarm makes noise, my alarm goes off. “I like to keep the alarm at a low volume,” meaning not very loud – at a low volume – “with some classical music, nothing too jarring.” When we say a sound is jarring (jarring), we mean that it is loud and it causes you to jump or to be surprised. It’s something that is not very nice, not very pleasant. A jarring noise would be one that bothers you, perhaps because it is very loud or it is not a very nice sound. So, I don’t want my alarm to have a jarring noise; instead, I play classical music.

Now, “My old roommate”—the person I used to share an apartment with— “used to like the terrible buzzer you find on most alarm clocks.” This, again, is true. I had a roommate that had a very loud and bad sounding buzzer; it was a terrible buzzer. The buzzer (buzzer) is when the alarm clock doesn’t play music, but it just plays a sound. Sometimes it is like a bell ringing; that’s the buzzer. Well, this buzzer always used to drive me nuts. “To drive someone nuts” (nuts) means to drive them crazy, to make them crazy, to make them go crazy.

I continue the story by saying, “As I was saying.” We use that expression, “as I was saying,” when we are talking about one thing then we start talking about a second thing, and now we want to go back and talk about the first thing again. So, when you interrupt yourself when you are talking, and then you change the topic, change what you are talking about, and then want to go back to your original topic, you say, “As I was saying.”

“As I was saying, I sometimes wake up before the alarm, usually because of some noise outside the house.” When we say there is some noise, some sound, outside the house or outside of the house – you can say either one – we mean that someone is making a noise that is very loud. Some of those noises are “a car door slamming.” The verb “to slam” (slam) means that you close the door usually very quickly and you make a loud noise. Someone closes their car door very fast, it will make a noise. We call that “slamming the door.”

My mother always used to tell me when I was young, “Don’t slam the doors,” meaning when I come in and close the door, I should close it slowly and quietly. Of course, I was not a good boy so I would sometimes slam the door.

As I was saying, an alarm goes off, that’s another noise that can wake you up outside and this would be a car alarm. Here in Los Angeles, everyone has a car alarm, and sometimes those alarms go off at night. Another noise is gunfire; “gun (gun) fire (fire).” Gunfire is when someone shoots a gun and it makes a noise. This is, again, Los Angeles, so we sometimes have gunfire – but of course, I’m joking. I say, “Well, okay, not gunfire,” meaning I’m just kidding, that isn’t actually true, although, it is true sometimes.

I then say, “Man, is my neighborhood noisy!” That expression, “man,” is just a way of expressing your emotion when you are saying something that you really mean or really want to emphasize. “Man, is my neighborhood noisy!” – that means my neighborhood is very noisy.

“Of course, when I’m staying at a hotel, it’s usually easier to just get a wake up call from the hotel.” A “wake up call” (call) is when the hotel calls you on the phone to wake you up so you don’t have to set your own alarm. “To set” (set) an alarm means to turn it on and to put a certain time that you want to get up. Well, sometimes people have problems with their alarm clocks and so, if they are in a hotel, they can ask the hotel to wake them up with a wake up call.

At the end of the story I say, “I’m not really an early riser.” An “early (early) riser (riser)” means someone who wakes up and gets up very early in the morning. You could be an early riser; you could be a late riser. The word “riser” comes from the verb “to rise (rise)” which, in this case, means to get up. Well, “I’m not really an early riser,” I say, “so I don’t jump out of bed.” “To jump out of bed” means to get out of bed very quickly. “I don’t jump out of bed ready to take on the world.” “To take on the world,” means I’m ready for the day. It’s an expression we use to say that I am ready to go out into the world and do my best. “I’m not an early riser, I don’t jump out of bed ready to take on the world.” Instead, “I get up very slowly, usually one foot on the floor at a time.” So first, I get up and I put one foot on the floor, and then another foot on the floor, and then I stand up.

“Every once in awhile,” I say, “I’ll oversleep.” “To oversleep” (oversleep) – one word – means that you sleep later than you should. For example, you are wanting to get up at seven o’clock in the morning and you sleep until 7:30. You don’t realize that you are sleeping too late; we call that “oversleeping.” To oversleep means you sleep longer than you wanted to.

At the end of the story I say, “I really love the weekends” – Fridays and Saturdays – “when I can sleep in.” “To sleep in” means that you don’t get up at your normal time; you sleep longer than you normally do. So, if you normally get up at seven, on Saturday or Sunday if you don’t work, you may sleep in until nine a.m.

Now let’s listen to the story, this time at a native rate of speech.

[Start of story]

The worst part of the day for me is definitely when I have to get up. Waking up, that I can handle. But getting up? That, I hate. The covers I have on my bed are heavy, mostly because I have a comforter as well as a light blanket. I sleep with two pillows, which for some reason have different color pillowcases. Well, at least the sheets match.

I sometimes wake up before the alarm goes off. I like to keep the alarm at a low volume, with some classical music, nothing too jarring. My old roommate used to like the terrible buzzer that you find on most alarm clocks nowadays, which always used to drive me nuts. As I was saying, I sometimes wake up before the alarm, usually because of some noise outside the house—a car door slamming, an alarm going off, gunfire—well, okay, not gunfire, but man, is my neighborhood noisy! Of course, when I’m staying in a hotel, it’s usually easier to just get a wake up call from the hotel than to set the alarm.

I’m not really an early riser, so I don’t jump out of bed ready to take on the world. I get up very slowly, usually one foot on the floor at a time. Every once in awhile I’ll oversleep, but not too often. I really love the weekends, when I can sleep in.

[End of story]

Her scripts are never jarring, but always as wonderful as classical music. I speak, of course, 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.

Glossary

to get up – to get out of bed; to leave one’s bed

* This morning I got up very quickly because the baby was crying.

to wake up – to awaken; to stop sleeping

* She always leaves her curtains open so that she can wake up with the sunlight.

to handle – to manage; to deal with; to control

* Are you sure that you can handle taking six classes this semester?

covers – the layers of fabric that cover a bed; the cloth material that covers a bed and that keep one warm

* When my husband sleeps, he always steals the covers and then I get so cold at night!

comforter – the top-most, thickest cover for a bed, usually made of feathers or other warm material

* In the winter, they sleep under a very thick comforter, but in the summer they don’t use it.

light blanket – a thin cover for a bed, made of wool, cotton, or other material

* When Marcos saw Maria sleeping on the sofa, he covered her with a light blanket so she wouldn’t be too cold.

pillow – a soft cushion for one’s head in bed, usually filled with feathers, cotton, or other material

* Why do people decorate their beds with so many pillows? I only need one to sleep on.

pillowcase – the fabric covering a pillow; the material that covers a pillow to keep it clean

* They bought new pillowcases to match the color of their bedroom walls.

sheets – two pieces of large, thin fabric placed on a bed – one to lie on and one to lie under

* How often do you change the sheets on your bed?

to match – to have the same color or colors that look good together; to make a good combination; to look good together

* Do you think that this sweater matches these pants?

to go off – to make a loud noise very suddenly

* When my alarm went off at 6:00 a.m., I was in the middle of a very good dream.

jarring – irritating, unpleasant, or annoying to one’s ears

* The children were fighting during the car trip and their arguments became very jarring to their parents.

buzzer – an electronic device that makes a long, continuous buzzing sound, similar to that of a flying insect like a fly

* Many TV game shows use a buzzer when participants answer a question incorrectly.

to drive (someone) nuts – to make someone angry, irritated, or crazy

* Please stop singing that song over and over again. You’re driving me nuts!

wake-up call – a hotel service that calls guests at a time the guest wants to wake them up in the morning

* He missed his flight because the hotel forgot to give him a wake-up call.

early riser – a person who enjoys waking up early in the morning

* Because Samuel is an early riser, he usually makes breakfast for his wife so that she can sleep a little later.

to oversleep – to sleep too late; to sleep past the time that one is supposed to

* Sasha overslept and missed her biology exam. Do you think her professor will let her take it another day?

to sleep in – to sleep later than usual

* Teenagers love to sleep in on weekends. Sometimes they don’t wake up until noon!

Culture Note

Librarians

Librarians help people find information from many sources. Most librarians, such as those in public and “academic” (school or college) libraries, maintain library “collections” (materials) and do other work as needed to keep the library running.

In small libraries, librarians are often responsible for many or all aspects of library “operations” (the daily activities and service provided). They may manage a “staff” (group of workers) of library assistants. In larger libraries, librarians usually focus on a specific area, such as helping users or “overseeing” (supervising) technology, while others focus on specific areas of knowledge, such as science or literature.

Librarians often help “patrons” (users of services) find the information they need. They listen to what patrons are looking for and help them research the subject using both “electronic” (computer-based) and “print” (paper-based) resources. Librarians also teach patrons how to use library resources to find information on their own. This may include familiarizing patrons with “catalogs” (listings or files organized for easy finding) of print materials, helping them access and search “digital” (electronic) libraries, or educating them on “Internet search techniques” (how to find information on the Internet).

Most librarians need a “master’s degree” (two-year degree after completing one’s bachelor’s degree) in library science. A bachelor’s degree is needed to enter a graduate program in library science, but any undergraduate “major” (focus of study) is accepted.

Colleges and universities have different names for their library science programs. They are often called Master’s in Library Science (MLS) programs but sometimes have other names, such as Master of Information Studies or Master of Library and Information Studies. Many colleges offer library science programs, but, as of 2011, only 56 programs in the United States were “accredited” (given official recognition or permission) by the American Library Association. A degree from an accredited program may lead to better job opportunities.

ESLpod | 1.Introducing Yourself

Complete Transcript

Welcome to Daily English 1 – Introducing Yourself.

This is Daily English number 1. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

This episode is a story about me, introducing vocabulary you need to talk about yourself. Let’s get started.

[start of story]

Let me tell you a little about myself.

I was born and raised in Minnesota and I’m a native of the city of Saint Paul. I grew up there with my parents and my eight brothers and two sisters. I’m the eleventh child, so you could say I’m the baby of the family, but I swear I wasn’t spoiled.

That’s right, I’m part of a big family, probably the biggest family in the neighborhood, perhaps the biggest family in the state!

I had a happy childhood, for the most part. My father and mother didn’t have a lot of money, but because they both worked hard, we never felt deprived.

I wasn’t much interested in sports, like my brothers were. I enjoyed reading and listening to music while growing up. I went to grade school near my house, and then to high school about two miles away from our home.

After graduating from high school, I went on to the University of Minnesota for my bachelor’s degree. It took me a while to learn the ropes at the university, but I finally graduated about six years later. Better late than never, as my father used to say.

I then went to Mexico for a couple of years to teach English and to study Spanish. When I returned, I decided to become a teacher, so I went back to school to get my master’s degree. After teaching high school for a few years, I was offered a job in California, so I moved to Los Angeles in 1991. After working here for a few years, I went back to school (again!) to get my Ph.D. I was starting to become a professional student.

Well, I completed my Ph.D. in four years and then taught at the university for several years. Now I work at a small research organization here in Los Angeles. I am happily married, and I still enjoy reading and listening to music, and of course, creating ESLPod.com lessons.

[end of story]

Our story begins by me saying, “Let me tell you a little about myself.” I’m going to give you some information about me. I start by saying, “I was born and raised in Minnesota.” “To be born” (born) means, of course, to come out of your mother, to be separated from your mother’s body. “To be raised” (raised) means to be cared for as a child until you are an adult. We might also use the phrasal verb “to be brought (brought) up.” You may, for example, be “born” in one city and “raised” in another, if your parents moved soon after you were born.

In the story I say, “I was born and raised in Minnesota.” Minnesota is a state in the north-central part of the U.S. on the border of Canada. I continue by saying that I am a “native” (native) of the city of St. Paul. A “native” is a person born in a specific place. I am a native of St. Paul because that’s the city where I was born. I could also say, “I’m a native of Minnesota,” because I was born in the state of Minnesota. I could say, “I’m a native of the United States,” because I was born in the United States. So, depending on what place you want to use, you can say you are a “native” of that particular place.

Well, I was a native of St. Paul. I grew up there with my parents and my eight brothers and two sisters. I say then, “I am the eleventh child, so you could say” – that is, you could call me – “the baby of the family.” The “baby” (baby) here means the youngest person in the family, or the youngest child of your parents. We call that person “the baby of the family.” The word “baby” usually refers to a child from the time he is born until maybe two or three years old, but if someone says, “he’s the baby of the family” or “she’s the baby of the family,” he means that person is the youngest of the family. We would say the youngest “sibling” (sibling). Your “siblings” are your brothers and sisters.

Now, in many families, the baby of the family is “spoiled.” “To be spoiled” (spoiled) is to get whatever you want and often to not behave very well, especially if you’re a child. If parents spoil their children, the children get whatever they want, and because of that, they often don’t behave or act like they should. They don’t act politely. Well, I was not spoiled even though I was the youngest, or baby of the family.

“That’s right,” I say, “I’m part of a big family, probably the biggest family in the neighborhood.” A “neighborhood” is an area inside of the city where you live. Most cities have several neighborhoods or areas. I say that “I had a happy childhood.” Your “childhood” (childhood) refers to the period during which you were growing up, from the time you were a baby until you became an adult or perhaps a teenager – 13, 14, and so forth. That’s your “childhood.” Some people have a happy childhood. Some people have a sad childhood.

I say that my childhood was happy “for the most part.” That expression “for the most part” means mainly or in most cases – or in this case, perhaps the majority of the time. Sometimes, of course, my childhood was not happy, but usually it was. I explain that my mother and father “did not have a lot of money” – they were not rich – “but they both worked hard,” meaning they worked a lot. Because they worked a lot, they had enough money to give us what we needed as children. Therefore, or because of that, we never, I say, “felt deprived” (deprived). “To feel deprived” means to not have everything you need to be happy, not have the things that you want to have in order to have a good life.

I say that “I wasn’t much interested in sports.” I didn’t like playing sports, but my brothers did. I instead “enjoyed reading and listening to music while growing up.” I say that “I went to grade school near my house.” “Grade (grade) school” is also called, in the U.S., “elementary school.” It’s the first five to eight years of a child’s education, depending on the school. Sometimes these are also called, in certain areas, “grammar school,” although that isn’t a term as commonly used now as it was, say, 50 years ago. We usually refer to grade schools as elementary schools, nowadays.

I then went on to high school, which in the U.S. is normally grades 9 through 12, though it might be grades 10 through 12 depending on the school system. My high school was grades 9 through 12. “After graduating” – that is, after completing high school – “I went on to the University of Minnesota for my bachelor’s degree.” “To go on to” means to move to the next level – in this case, the next level of my education, which was college or the university. I went to the University of Minnesota for my “bachelor’s (bachelor’s) degree (degree).” A “degree” is a certificate or recognition of study at a certain school. A “bachelor’s degree” is given after typically four years of study at a college or university.

I say that, “It took me a while” – that is, a long time – “to learn the ropes (ropes) at the university.” The expression “to learn the ropes” is an idiom meaning to learn how things are done in a certain group or organization, or to learn how to do a certain kind of job. In this case, I was learning how things worked at the university. I say that “I finally graduated,” or completed my studies, “about six years later.” That is, instead of taking the normal four years at university, I took six years because, well, I’m just not very smart.

I then say, “Better late than never.” The expression “Better late than never” means it is better to do something, even if you don’t do it quickly, as long as you are able to complete it or finish it. So, my father used to say, “Better late than never” about my university studies because it took me so long to finish, but I did in fact finish. Well, at least my bachelor’s degree. “I then went to Mexico for a couple of years to teach English and to study Spanish.”

“When I returned, I decided to become a teacher, so I went back to school” – that is, I returned to the university – “to get my master’s degree.” A “master’s (master’s) degree” is a one, sometimes two-year degree that is given for studying about a certain topic after you complete your bachelor’s, or typically four-year, degree. A “bachelor’s degree” is sometimes called an “undergraduate degree,” and a “master’s degree” is a graduate degree.

There are actually two graduate degrees that are common. One is a “master’s degree,” done immediately after or at least at some point after finishing your bachelor’s degree. There’s also a “doctoral” or “doctorate degree.” That takes longer. There are many different kinds of graduate degrees, however, but “master’s” and “doctorate,” which we also call a “Ph.D.,” are the most common graduate degrees.

“After teaching high school,” I say, “I was offered a job in California,” which is true, “and I moved here in 1991. After working here for a few years, I went back to school again to get my Ph.D.” A “Ph.D.,” as I mentioned, is a graduate degree. It usually takes somewhere between four and seven years to complete. After you get your Ph.D., you can be called “Doctor.” “I started becoming a professional student,” I say.

I then finish by saying that “I completed my Ph.D. in four years and then taught at the university for several years.” I taught at a couple of different colleges after I got my Ph.D. “Now I work at a small research organization.” “Research” (research) is used to describe efforts to learn more about something, either in a scientific or other disciplined way. I work at a research organization here in Los Angeles.

I say, “I am happily married.” “To be married” (married) means to have a husband or a wife. “I am happily married, and I still enjoy reading and listening to music, as well as, of course, making these ESLPod.com lessons.”

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

[start of story]

Let me tell you a little about myself.

I was born and raised in Minnesota and I’m a native of the city of Saint Paul. I grew up there with my parents and my eight brothers and two sisters. I’m the eleventh child so you could say I’m the baby of the family, but I swear I wasn’t spoiled.

That’s right, I’m part of a big family, probably the biggest family in the neighborhood, perhaps the biggest family in the state!

I had a happy childhood, for the most part. My father and mother didn’t have a lot of money, but because they both worked hard, we never felt deprived.

I wasn’t much interested in sports, like my brothers were. I enjoyed reading and listening to music while growing up. I went to grade school near my house, and then to high school about two miles away from our home.

After graduating from high school, I went on to the University of Minnesota for my bachelor’s degree. It took me a while to learn the ropes at the university, but I finally graduated about six years later. Better late than never, as my father used to say.

I then went to Mexico for a couple of years to teach English and to study Spanish. When I returned, I decided to become a teacher, so I went back to school to get my master’s degree. After teaching high school for a few years, I was offered a job in California, so I moved to Los Angeles in 1991. After working here for a few years, I went back to school (again!) to get my Ph.D. I was starting to become a professional student.

Well, I completed my Ph.D. in four years and then taught at the university for several years. Now I work at a small research organization here in Los Angeles. I am happily married, and I still enjoy reading and listening to music, and of course, creating ESLPod.com lessons.

[end of story]

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

English as a Second Language Podcast was written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. Copyright 2017 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary

to be born – to exist as a result of birth; to have come from a mother’s or parent’s body

* Jeb and Chris are brothers and were born about two years apart.

to be raised – to be brought up as a child; to be cared for as a child until one is an adult

* Omar was raised in the countryside and enjoys horseback riding and outdoor sports.

native – a person born in a specific place; a person from a particular place

* Many people who live in Los Angeles are not natives to the city, having moved there from somewhere else.

baby of the family – the youngest sibling; the youngest child of a set of parents

* Ricky is the baby of the family and complains about being told what to do by all of his sisters.

spoiled – a child who gets whatever he or she wants and doesn’t follow rules, behaving badly as a result

* Jiyoung’s granddaughter is really spoiled and doesn’t listen when other people tell her no.

childhood – the years during which a person is a child; the state of being a child

* What are your happiest childhood memories?

for the most part – mainly; in most cases

* Beatrice arrives to work on time for the most part. The only time she is ever late is when her children are sick.

deprived – not having what one needs to be content; not being allowed to have or to use something

* If I don’t follow my parents’ rules, I’m deprived of my videogames for a few days as punishment.

grade school – elementary school; a school for the first five to seven years of a child’s education

* Did you learn to read well in grade school?

to go on to – to proceed to; to move forward to; to move to the next level

* When you’re finished with page one of the exam, turn the page and go on to page two.

bachelor’s degree – an undergraduate degree, typically earned after four years of study at a college or university

* Clara has a bachelor’s degree in computer science, but she’s working in finance.

to learn the ropes – to learn how things are done in a particular organization; to learn how to do a particular job or activity

* It’s expected that new employees will make a few mistakes until they learn the ropes.

to graduate – to complete a course of study or a course of training

* Sophie plans to graduate from college this spring and hopes to find a job in her field.

better late than never – a saying meaning that it is better to do something late than to not complete it at all

* A: Here are the chairs I promised to bring for the party.

B: You’re two hours late, but better late than never.

master’s degree – a graduate degree that is given to a student by a college or university after completing one or two years of study after a bachelor’s degree

* If you want to be a pharmacist, you’ll need a master’s degree to work in most pharmacies.

Ph.D. – a graduate degree that is given to a student by a college or university after several years of additional study following a master’s degree

* Kwame hopes to become an English professor at the local college after he gets his Ph.D.

research – efforts to learn more about something, often in a systematic and scientific way

* Will breast cancer research lead to a cure in the next 50 years?

happily married – feeling content and happy in one’s marriage

* Pat and Mary are still happily married after being together for over 50 years.

Culture Note

Improving Bicycle Safety

Riding a “bicycle” (a vehicle with two wheels ridden with one’s feet while steering with a bar called “handlebars”) is part of many people’s childhoods. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a “federal” (national) government “agency” (section of the government) within the Department of Transportation. Its “mission” (goal) is to, “Save lives, ‘prevent’ (keep from happening) injuries, reduce vehicle-related ‘crashes’ (when two vehicles hit each other unexpected and violently).”

The NHTSA has advice for bicycle riders to try to “reduce” (make smaller or less) accidents. Their advice includes:

Wear a bicycle “helmet” (hard hat with a strap under the chin) that is “fitted” (sized) properly to protect your “brain” (organ in your head that allows you to think and control your body).

“Adjust” (make changes to) your bicycle to fit your body. There should be 1 to 2 inches between you and the top “bar” (long hard piece) if using a “road bike” (bicycle intended to be used on streets) and 3 to 4 inches if you are using a “mountain bicycle” (bicycle used for rough paths). The seat should be “level” (having the same height) front to back. The seat height should be adjusted to allow a “slight” (small; little) “bend” (curve) at the knee when the leg is “fully extended” (at full length). The “handlebar” (piece of a bicycle or motorcycle a rider holds) height should be at the same level with the seat.

Make sure you’re able to see well and others are able to see you. Always wear bright colors when riding day or night. Also wear something that “reflects light” (throws back light), such as reflective “tape” (material that I sticky on one side) or markings, or “flashing” (going on and off repeatedly) lights. Remember, just because you can see a driver doesn’t mean the driver can see you.

“财务自由”终极书单:从入门到进阶

“财务自由”终极书单:从入门到进阶

理财就像是一张新的人生地图,打开以后,一个全新而积极的世界在我的面前展开。

而比单纯学习赚钱技巧而言,理财更是理人生,所融会贯通的思维方式才是这三年最宝贵的财富。

01 行动是输出的一部分

今天,我正好在看关于柳比歇夫坚持56年的时间统计法,书名叫《奇特的一生》。引起我注意的是附录里有一段关于“输入输出统计法”的讨论:

“要让知识和经验产生链接,也就是学以致用,最好保持输入和输出的平衡,但不是绝对的相等,输出要更多一些。”

  • 输入
    很好理解,便是指阅读、听课、独自思考等获取能量的方式.
  • 输出
    而输出则包括分享(讨论或写作,正如我现在正在做的一样)、 输出 (给他人建议、提供协助等)、把想到的事情付诸实践。

我很喜欢这个时间统计的维度,尤其是原来行动也是输出的一部分!于是我立刻拿出一本空白的笔记本,统计了自己的时间,发现输入远远大于输出。嗯,我得有意识地提高自己的输出比例。

02 送你一份书单

过去我一直在想这几个问题:

  • 在理财理人生的道路上,到底要看多少书算入门?
  • 到底哪些书值得看?
  • 到底该先看哪些书,再看哪些书呢?

现实中对投资领域感兴趣的小白为数不少,但能坚持钻研下去的寥寥无几,原来很多人一上来就着急去啃经典名著,发现里面好多术语,完全看不懂,无奈只得半途而废。久而久之,求知的热情也被浇灭了。

简七小伙伴 @色了目 对此也深有感触。作为一个曾经摸着石头过河的小白,他特别留心记录学习过程中读过的各种好书,并按主题分门别类,每个主题又按书的难易程度依次罗列,保证知识点的前后衔接连贯。

于是我们制作这样一份“知识地图”,目的是让每一个投资小白今后都能由浅入深、循序渐进地学习,始终明确自己的前进方向,不用再担心自己会迷路。

在此我把这份书单分享给大家,希望它能成为所有自学者前进道路上的一盏明灯!

“财务自由”终极书单:从入门到进阶
(共11大类60本)

1. 财商启蒙

1)《小狗钱钱》

迈出财务自由的第一步,从理财童话开始。适合全年龄段阅读。

2)《穷爸爸,富爸爸》

一代人的理财启蒙书。罗伯特·清崎列出财务自由必备的四项技能:会计、投资、市场营销、法律知识。

3)《The Richest Man in Babylon》

乔治·克拉森的“巴比伦富翁”系列风靡欧美,翻译过来有很多版本。

4)《邻家的百万富翁》

从统计数据中总结出富人共同拥有的习惯,强调了节俭的重要性。

5)《苏黎世投机定律》

没有人能靠打工赚取薪水而致富,敢于冒风险的人才有大作为。练武术之前要学会挨打,想通过投机发财先要学会风险管理。

6)《The Millionaire Fastlane(百万富翁快车道)》

作者认为创业比投资复利能更快实现财务自由,很多观念具有颠覆性。目前只有英文版。

2.投资工具入门

1)《银行行长不轻易说的理财经》

用接地气的语言介绍各种理财工具,末章理财规划案例是一大亮点。适合上班族小白。

2)《解读基金:我的投资观和实践》

基金入门代表作,基友们的最爱。

3)《股市操练大全》共8册。

从K线、量价、均线等基础知识教起,零基础股民可参考。看完这套书,技术分析派向左,价值投资者向右。

4)《史丹·温斯坦称傲牛熊市的秘密》

相对靠谱的一本技术分析书籍,核心思路是利用简单技术指标,判断价格运行的可能阶段进行长线投机。据说这套系统比威廉·欧奈尔的CANSLIM法则和亚历山大·艾尔德的三重滤网更实用。

5)《可转债投资魔法书》

有想了解可转债的不妨一读。

6)《分级基金与投资策略》

系统化介绍分级基金的一本书。

3.经济、金融、商业入门

1)《人人都爱经济学》

内容平实的经济学通俗读物。作者另有一本姐妹篇《写给中国人的经济学》,书后附经济学进阶书目。

2)《七天读懂宏观经济》

哈佛商学院课程讲义改编。没有复杂的公式和函数,宏观经济学的脉络被梳理得清晰易懂。

3)《果壳里的金融学》

手把手教你用EXCEL计算现金流贴现,债券久期、凸性等金融模型,文科生看起来会有点累。

4)《竞争战略》

“波特五力模型”经常用作企业定性分析。作者是20世纪国际商学界三大师之一迈克尔·波特(另外两位是彼得·德鲁克、菲利普·科特勒)

5)《巴伦金融投资词典》

目前最好的中英双解金融词典。

6) 视频

【合集】10分钟速成课:经济学【预告+全35集+花絮】

http://www.bilibili.com/video/av5525125/

4.会计学基础

1)《听故事学会计》

会计入门书的代表作,描述了一个企业(卖柠檬汁)完整的运营过程,适合纯小白。

2)《财务智慧》

用最简洁的语言把重要知识讲明白,就像一条线,把知识点全部串连起来,巩固之前学的知识。

3)《明明白白看年报》

通过阅读财报掌握基本面分析。注意!如果没有一定的会计基本功,直接啃财报书绝对会晕。

4)《财报就像一本故事书》

台湾人写的书,通过财务报表理解企业竞争力,活学活用。

5)《轻松读财报》

日本“理财天后”胜间和代的著作,说实话比上面的深一些。

6)《挖出财报中的秘密》

亮点是讲三大报表之间的关系,教你跳出局部、用整体眼光把握财报。其余部分基础知识都是老生常谈,可略过。

5.投资基本理念

1)《漫步华尔街》

投资入门的经典之作,也是众多民间高手的启蒙书。散户想长期稳定盈利的方法只有一个:买入指数基金,并一直持有。全书主要就讲了这么一件事。

2)《投资者未来》

用统计数据证明,股票的长期投资收益最好。书中对于“低预期(市盈率)、高增长率、高股利”公司特别重视。

3)《学会估值,轻松投资》

这本书教你如何估值,简单易学,适合对数学头疼的人。

6.价值投资入门

1)《股市真规则》

最系统阐述价值投资的书籍,价投入门书。

2)《巴菲特的护城河》

将巴菲特的“经济护城河”理论划分成四种类型进行系统性阐述。最好和上一本结合起来读。

3)《股市稳赚》

书中介绍了一个“神奇公式”,通过基本面筛选出既好又便宜的股票。

4)《投资最重要的事》

总结了关于股票投资最重要的18个要点,属于纯理念或哲学层面的内容,没有谈到任何操作层面的问题。巴菲特说自己看了两遍。

7.大师著作

1)《股票作手回忆录》(寰宇出版)

描写“投机天才”利弗莫尔操盘生涯的小说体传记,不仅阐明了交易的本质和精髓,还有一套完整的“坐庄”手法。繁体版推荐台译本(附有插图和专访);简体版推荐丁圣元译本(最全面、专业水平好)

2)《聪明的投资者(第4版)》

一代宗师格雷厄姆专门为业余投资者所著,科普版的《证券分析》,价值投资者眼中的“圣经”。巴菲特为该版撰写序言和评论。

3)《怎样选择成长股》

公司定性分析指南。巴菲特说他的投资哲学是“85%格雷厄姆加15%费雪”。此书中译本质量较差,建议读英文原版。

4)《彼得·林奇的成功投资》

了解彼得·林奇的第一本书,译者刘建位是中国数一数二的巴菲特研究专家。

5)《战胜华尔街》

上一本书讲的是方法,这一本书讲的是实例。 推荐上海财经大学版。

6)《戴维斯王朝》

戴维斯家族祖孙三代在华尔街投资的历史,著名的“戴维斯双击”效应发明者。

7)《邓普顿教你逆向投资》

上个世纪最著名的逆向投资者,擅长通过基本面分析在全球范围寻找便宜货,一旦发现更便宜的目标马上更换。

8)《约翰·聂夫的成功投资》

著名的低市盈率投资者,总结出七条低市盈率投资法则是全书的精华。

9)《安全边际》

价投大师卡拉曼的代表作。本书出版于1991年,已绝版,且没有公开发行过中文版。

10)《机构投资的创新之路》

史文森管理的耶鲁捐赠基金是校产基金中业绩最好的,他在资产配置上的操作值得普通人借鉴。

8.巴菲特专题

1)《巴菲特传:一个美国资本家的成长》

侧重写老巴的投资经历和投资思想的变化,是迄今为止最好的巴菲特传记。

2)《巴菲特写给股东的信》(财信出版)

编者劳伦斯将巴菲特历年致股东信按照内容分类,读来轻松有趣、条理清楚,更便于理解。台译本翻译比较流畅。

3)《投资大家巴菲特》张志雄版

共11本,非公开出版物。除股东信以外,还搜集了大量巴菲特的演讲、访谈、股东大会问答实录,以及其他投资大师关于巴菲特的一些言论。

4)《穷查理宝典》

巴菲特的黄金搭档查理·芒格的代表作。

5)《巴菲特之道(第3版)》

将巴菲特思想引进中国的第一本书,国内价值投资者最早的启蒙书籍。

6)《巴菲特的投资组合》

重点介绍数学计算和投资心理等方面。

7)《从牛顿、达尔文到巴菲特》

介绍芒格的“格栅理论”,从六大学科的基础概念中寻找出能够运用于投资的思维方式。后改名《股票投资的大智慧》重新出版。

8)《巴菲特法则》

巴菲特前儿媳所写,运用实际案例阐述价投理念的典范。

9)《价值投资:从格雷厄姆到巴菲特》

分析了价值的3种源泉:资产、盈利能力、成长性。巴菲特无疑是这三方面的集大成者。

10)《巴菲特与索罗斯的投资习惯》

比较两位大师的投资策略,总结出23个制胜习惯、12种评价要素、7种错误信念。

9.华尔街风云

1)《伟大的博弈》

侧重介绍华尔街的历史,属于资料翔实的鸿篇巨著。

2)《客户的游艇在哪里》

刻画了华尔街的众生相,满满的美式幽默,但对外行来说很难get到槽点。

3)《说谎者的扑克牌》

所罗门公司债券部门的陈年八卦,估计也只有内行能看出点门道。

4)《门口的野蛮人》

用小说的形式还原当时华尔街最大的一笔收购,后被拍成同名电影。个人不太习惯这种琐碎的写法。

5)《乱世华尔街——一位华人交易员的经历》

用轻松戏谑的语言带你走进华尔街,可读性比上面几本要强。

10.行为经济学

1)《非理性繁荣》

2013年诺贝尔经济学奖得主希勒代表作,书中提前预测美国互联网泡沫的破裂。

2)《非同寻常的大众幻想与群众性癫狂》

介绍历史上著名的投机泡沫,不局限于金融领域。

3)《逃不开的经济周期》

各种流派的经济周期理论汇总。

11.拓展书目

1)《学习学习再学习》张志雄推荐了55本投资理财类的经典书籍,并做了较为详尽的导读。

2)《一生读书计划——经济书架》重点推介了80本经济学读物,后附参考阅读书目。

细心的人会发现,这份书目还是比较侧重于价值投资。虽然对大多数人来说,价值投资可能是最简单最安全的投资方式,获得满意投资回报的概率也更高些,但世上没有绝对正确的投资理论,每个人的投资风格都不一样,找到适合你的才是最好的。

03 彩蛋留在最后

除了书籍,最后顺便再安利一些经典的财商游戏,算是今天的彩蛋吧:
1)《大富翁》最经典的财商类桌游,许多人童年的回忆。
2)《富爸爸现金流游戏》罗伯特·清崎为解释这套游戏写了本书,没想到书倒火了。
3)《金融帝国2》最好的一款商业模拟游戏,真实模拟了资本世界的运作。
4)《铁路大亨》一款模拟经营游戏,通过铁路建立自己的商业帝国。
5)《股神大战华尔街》模拟股票投资的游戏,推荐给炒股的同学。

我相信,这些书或游戏多少能够为你带来对金钱、对周围世界、乃至我们自己一些全新的看法和感受。衷心希望越来越多的人能学会如何将知识转化为财富,一步步迈向更美好的生活。

如果你觉得这份“知识地图”靠谱的话,请记得分享给更多的小伙伴,相信他们也一定会感谢你的!