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Lesson Transcript

Jonathan: A Long-awaited American Reunion. I’m Jonathan...
Dede: And I’m Dede!
Jonathan: In this lesson, we’ll listen to a conversation between Dave and Isabel.
Dede: Dave and Isabel got back together and are at an election night party waiting to hear the results of the election Dave has been working on.
Jonathan: As they are dating again, they will be speaking very casually. They are both nervous and excited.
Dede: Alright, ready to go?
Jonathan: Let's listen to the conversation.
Dave: Isabel, I'm so happy we got back together.
Isabel: Me too sweetie, I was being impulsive before.
Dave: And I really should have considered your feelings more when I was talking to you.
Isabel: Anyhow, it’s ancient history now. I’m glad I got to come out to see you in Oregon for election night…
Dave: Oh look, the polls are closing soon! I’m so excited! This campaign has been such a rush and election nights always give me pins and needles.
Isabel: Calm down! I know what you’re talking about though. It is fun to watch the returns come in. I don't think quite as much is at stake for me though...
Dave: Yeah, that's for sure. It's going to be a close one too, I'm so nervous that I’m shaking like an earthquake. What do you think about the rest of the country? Who do you think is going to win nationally?
Isabel: I think that if the Democrats can win in Ohio, they'll win nationwide; it's such a bellwether state.
Dave: Maybe, but if they take Ohio but lose Florida, it will be really tough to see who gets a majority.
Isabel: Yeah, it’s just a shame that the Democrats struggle in the South. If the Democrats won in Alabama, they could win anywhere. This year it's a tossup, anything could happen.
Dede: Sounds like they are having a good time at the election party!
Jonathan: Most candidates hold large gatherings for their campaign staff, supporters, and volunteers so that they can watch the returns come in, and, hopefully, celebrate their candidate’s victory. In addition to official election night gatherings by the candidates, many politically active people gather with friends to watch the results of important elections together. It can be a fun social experience for those that love politics.
Dede: I remember one time that I went to an election party!
Jonathan: How was it?
Dede: It was great! We had a bunch of TVs on the different cable news channels and were even playing games betting on who would win what.
Jonathan: (laughs), Yeah, if you’re interested in the issues at hand, and the candidates, it can be a lot of fun! Heck, even if you aren’t, you’ll probably become interested after going to one!
Dede: Definitely!
Jonathan: Well, want to move onto the vocab?
Dede: Sure!
Dede: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
The first word we shall see is:
Jonathan: impulsive [natural native speed]
Dede: hasty, not careful, too quick
Jonathan: impulsive [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: impulsive [natural native speed]
Jonathan: to consider [natural native speed]
Dede: to think about, to take into account
Jonathan: to consider [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: to consider [natural native speed]
Jonathan: ancient [natural native speed]
Dede: extremely old
Jonathan: ancient [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: ancient [natural native speed]
Jonathan: poll [natural native speed]
Dede: voting location
Jonathan: poll [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: poll [natural native speed]
Jonathan: rush [natural native speed]
Dede: an exciting feeling, from “rush of adrenalin”, adrenalin is the chemical that makes you feel excited
Jonathan: rush [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: rush [natural native speed]
Jonathan: pin [natural native speed]
Dede: a small, sharp metal object for holding fabric together
Jonathan: pin [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: pin [natural native speed]
Jonathan: returns [natural native speed]
Dede: results from the polls on election night
Jonathan: returns [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: returns [natural native speed]
Jonathan: at stake [natural native speed]
Dede: at risk, good or bad depending on the result
Jonathan: at stake [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: at stake [natural native speed]
Jonathan: bellwether [natural native speed]
Dede: predictor, indicator
Jonathan: bellwether [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: bellwether [natural native speed]
Jonathan: tossup [natural native speed]
Dede: unknown result, unpredictable situation
Jonathan: tossup [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Jonathan: tossup [natural native speed]
Dede: Let’s take a look at three phrases from the dialogue.
Jonathan: Sure thing, what’s the first one?
Dede: "pins and needles", which means "an excited feeling someone gets when they are nervous." In the dialogue, Dave says “Election nights always give me pins and needles.”
Jonathan: As we learned from the vocab section, a pin is a sharp metal object. You probably also know what a needle is. When we say something “gives us pins and needles” we are referring to the exciting sharp feeling we get when we are nervous and unsure about the outcome of something.
Dede: So, Jonathan, what exactly is it that gives you pins and needles?
Jonathan: Hmm, I think listening to my favorite music sometimes gives me pins and needles!
Dede: Oh yeah, me too! I know exactly what you mean. I also get it right when I get the results of a test and I am nervous and excited.
Jonathan: Yeah! We can also use it in a more physical sense, like a tingling feeling you get after something is numb.
Dede: Right, like if you sit funny and your leg falls asleep, when you stand up, you usually get “pins and needles”
Jonathan: Ready for the next one?
Dede: Sure, Isabel says “Anyhow, it’s ancient history now.”
Jonathan: As we learned, "ancient" means extremely old. So when we call something “ancient history” we mean that it is old news and does'nt really matter any more. We usually say this about a negative event to show that we have gotten over it.
Dede: Hey, remember way back when I spilt coffee on you?
Jonathan: Yeah…
Dede: I’m really sorry about that.
Jonathan: Are you kidding? It’s ancient history! Let’s get back to modern times with our last phrase.
Dede: (laughs) OK. Next is "toss-up", meaning "an unpredictable situation".
Jonathan: In the dialogue, Isabel says “This year it’s a toss-up. Anything could happen.”
We use the word toss-up to indicate when we can’t predict the result, usually in something that is a competition, like an election, a sports event, or an important decision.
Dede: We can use the preposition “between” to talk about who the decision is affecting.
Jonathan: So who do you think is going to win the World Series this year?
Dede: Hmm, I think it’s a toss-up between the Phillies and the Yankees.
Jonathan: Well I, for one, really hope it’s the Phillies!
Dede: Okay! Ready to move forward with the lesson focus?
Jonathan: Sounds good!

Lesson focus

Jonathan: The focus of this lesson is using similes and metaphors to express strong feelings
Dede: Dave says “I'm so nervous that I’m shaking like an earthquake.”
Jonathan: Similes and metaphors are literary devices we can use to enhance the way we express our emotions.
Dede: They are useful to make our speech more creative and stronger and also to express our feelings in interesting ways.
Jonathan: While it is great to use similes and metaphors sometimes, try not to overuse them or you will sound unnatural.
Dede: Our listeners might not be quite sure what the definitions of metaphors and similes are, though.
Jonathan: Good point. A metaphor is a comparison made between two unrelated objects to highlight a common characteristic.
Dede: And a simile is a metaphor that highlights a similarity between the two objects with “like” or “as”
Jonathan: Let’s look at a couple of common similes and metaphors you might hear
Dede: Let’s start with metaphors
Jonathan: "She was in a stormy mood."
Dede: "Stormy" means unstable and potentially dangerous. Someone in a “stormy” mood might be the same way.
Jonathan: "My heart froze when I saw him."
Dede: When you feel scared or nervous, you can say your heart froze.
Jonathan: "We were in the dark about the rescheduled meeting."
Dede: “In the dark” means you cannot see what is going on, so it means that they did not know about the rescheduled meeting.
Jonathan: Okay, now, let’s take a look at a few similes.
Dede: "That dog is as big as a horse!"
Jonathan: No dog is as large as a horse, but by making this comparison we express how large it seems.
Dede: "The teacher screamed at me like a drill sergeant."
Jonathan: Drill sergeants are known for being loud and mean, so we know that the teacher was really loud and scary when she screamed.
Dede: "He ran like a cheetah."
Jonathan: Cheetahs are extremely fast, so this means he ran very quickly.
Dede: Let’s listen to a few more metaphors and similes. Listeners, why don’t you try and figure out what they mean!
Jonathan: If you can’t guess the meaning, check out the Lesson Notes!
Dede: The first is “I felt like a bird soaring in the sky.”
Jonathan: And the next one is “She slept as soundly as a log.”
Dede: Here’s another “He is a monster when he plays baseball.”
Jonathan: And the last one is “We’re so hungry we could eat a horse!”
Dede: Metaphors and similes are a great way to express yourself creatively.
Jonathan: But remember not to overuse them!


Dede: But my, time flies! We are at the end of the lesson!
Jonathan: Wow, that went by as fast as a jet!
Dede: Thanks for listening!
Jonathan: We’ll be back soon for the very last lesson of Upper Intermediate Season 1!
Dede: Be sure to join us then.
Jonathan: Thanks for listening everyone!
Dede: See you all next time.