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Lesson Transcript

Small Talk
When people ask me what I do, it always throws me.
I know the question is coming; it is, after all, standard small talk; but I never seem to be prepared for it.
It's like asking me what I am, and that is, by no means, a small subject.
Right now, what I do and what I am are Mommy.
When I tell people that I am a stay-at-home-mom, most nod and say, "Oh, uh-huh," and then look frantically around the room for an easy way out.
I think that they assume I am about to launch into a detailed, scrapbook-aided description of my daughter and our days together.
The thing is, I know that most people are not interested in those details.
They wanted a simple answer like "I work in IT" or "I'm a teacher."
Not that either of those answers are simple. It's just that they are easy to understand and easy to dismiss.
But when what I did, and what I was were teach, I would occasionally get the follow-up small-talk question.
"Oh, what do you teach?"
When they heard "English," there was usually a nervous chuckle and one of the following, "Oh, I guess I better watch my grammar around you, huh?"
or my personal favorite "I hated English in high school, no offense."
Now why would I take offense? I didn't teach them.
It seems ridiculous to me that people treat what you do and what you are as fodder for small talk.
Why not ask about my earrings or my favorite sitcom?
These are subjects that I have no real emotional attachment to.
If the person who has just engaged me in conversation gets bored and looks away, I will not be offended.
After all, I do not attach my personal worth to my love of "CSI."

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EnglishClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 06:30 PM
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Small Talk

When people ask me what I do, it always throws me.

I know the question is coming; it is, after all, standard small talk; but I never seem to be prepared for it.

It's like asking me what I am, and that is, by no means, a small subject.

Right now, what I do and what I am are Mommy.

When I tell people that I am a stay-at-home-mom, most nod and say, "Oh, uh-huh," and then look frantically around the room for an easy way out.

I think that they assume I am about to launch into a detailed, scrapbook-aided description of my daughter and our days together.

The thing is, I know that most people are not interested in those details.

They wanted a simple answer like "I work in IT" or "I'm a teacher."

Not that either of those answers are simple. It's just that they are easy to understand and easy to dismiss.

But when what I did, and what I was were teach, I would occasionally get the follow-up small-talk question.

"Oh, what do you teach?"

When they heard "English," there was usually a nervous chuckle and one of the following, "Oh, I guess I better watch my grammar around you, huh?"

or my personal favorite "I hated English in high school, no offense."

Now why would I take offense? I didn't teach them.

It seems ridiculous to me that people treat what you do and what you are as fodder for small talk.

Why not ask about my earrings or my favorite sitcom?

These are subjects that I have no real emotional attachment to.

If the person who has just engaged me in conversation gets bored and looks away, I will not be offended.

After all, I do not attach my personal worth to my love of "CSI."

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 12:50 PM
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Hello @My grammar hurt jeje, @Far East Man and @Chihiro,


Thank you all for joining us! ๐Ÿ˜„


@Chihiro - Thanks for helping out!


We have a great team of teachers here at EnglishClass101.com and we are happy to help you with your learning needs.


@My grammar hurt jeje - If you would like further assistance or if you're still having problems understanding this lesson I suggest contacting your teacher through the 'MyTeacher' feature on our site. Your personal teacher will be more than happy to assist you!๐Ÿ‘


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ร‰va

Team EnglishClass101.com

My grammar hurt jeje
Tuesday at 10:53 PM
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Hi everyone , I was blocked when I saw ( was and were together ) and I don't know how to use it in a specific case.

Far East Man
Monday at 10:14 AM
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Ah, that was why she mentioned about sitcom. Thank you!

Chihiro
Monday at 09:31 AM
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Hi Far East Man,


CSI stands for "Crime Scene Investigation" and it's the name of a popular TV show.

Far East Man
Saturday at 10:38 AM
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Hi,


Could anybody tell me what the CSI in the last part stands for? I don't understand what this woman loves.