Friday, November 21, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Week

Since we've been concentrating on job interviews this week, we don't have a lot of vocabulary.  You can practice (a rather strange assortment of words) here.

This week's idioms were:

  • to be bummed out
  • to throw in the towel
  • to give someone a hard time
  • to let someone have it
  • to clean up (pronoun) act

I will take next weekend off for Thanksgiving  and be back in December.  Until then I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving, in my opinion, is the best holiday we have, and it's a holiday for everyone everywhere because it is not from any religion or any culture.  It is simply a day to say thank you for everything you have:

your family
your health
the roof over your head
the food on your table
your friends
your work
your school 
your ability to read in at least 2 languages
and ....

And , I want to say Thank you to you for reading this.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Let's Get A Job!

This week we've been talking about jobs in the US, applications, and job interviews.  Click here for our vocabulary (there's a lot!)

Also this week we had these idioms:

  • to crack me up/ to crack up
  • to blow it
  • to be ripped off/ to be a rip off
  • to have it in for someone
  • to be on the same page

And, here are this week's tongue twisters.  They make no sense, but they're a lot of fun!

1.     Seven slick slimy snails, slowly sliding southward.
2.    Chicken in the car and the car can go, that is the way you spell Chicago.
3.    The thirty-three thieves thought that they thrilled the throne throughout Thursday.
4.    If two witches would watch two watches, which witch would watch which watch?
5.    If you understand, say ""understand"". If you don't understand, say ""don't understand"". But if you understand and say ""don't understand"". how do I understand that you understand?
6.    Whether the weather: Whether the weather be fine, or whether the weather be not.
7.    Whether the weather be cold, or whether the weather be hot, We'll weather the weather whether we like it or not.

Here's the link to hear me pronouncing them:

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Back to Business

This week we discussed ways to interrupt in meetings -- and had a lot of fun doing so.  Here is the vocabulary we studied.  Remember if you can't get to the premium activities,  log in as VOTPstudent.  Your password is 750.  You should be able to do all the games and take the vocabulary test too.  If you have a problem, please tell me or email me at

We also studied these idioms & expressions over the past week:

  • to put something on the back burner
  • to have a pity party
  • to rub (it) in
  • to be on a slipper slope

Sunday, November 2, 2014

It's Been An Exciting Week...

in San Francisco!

First the Giants won the World Series and there was a GIANT parade Friday for them. And to give you a taste of a Giants game and why Giants fans don't stop believing, here's Steve Perry singing:  

 Friday was also Halloween.  In honor of Halloween we read this is class:

Two Witches 
       By Alexander Resnikoff
There was a witch.
The witch had an itch.
The itch was so itchy.
 It gave her a twitch.
Another witch admired the witch, so she started twitching though she had no itch.
Now both of them twitch, so it's hard to tell which witch has the itch ,and which witch has the twitch.

If you want to hear me reading the poem, click  here.

And this week in class we had the most wonderful presentations from all the students.  All I can say is:

  • Way to Go!
  • You Knocked Them Dead!
  • You Rock!

We'll be back to our regular work next week and more vocabulary.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

It's almost Halloween!

Halloween is on Friday, but who can think about that when the S.F. Giants are in the World Series!  Right now it's tied - 2 games to San Francisco and 2 to Kansas City.

GO .........

In other news, we've been planning presentations.  I did a presentation on the Beach Chalet.  

Get information here: 

Be sure to visit if you can or at least check out the great murals

This week's idioms were:

  • to come clean
  • to make fun of
  • a big deal/not a big deal
  • to stick to (review)
  • a piece of cake
  • to get out of hand
  • in a nutshell
  • a long story        

Finally, here are this weeks vocabulary words:

Have a good week and happy trick or treating!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Time Flies...

I can't believe we're half-way through the semester already!

This week our idioms are:

  • give it a go
  • give it a shot
  • go to bat for someone
  • fill me in
  • cheer up!
  • on the other hand
Do you know what they mean?

You can practice the other vocabulary we learned here.

And here are 5 tongue twisters: (Remember these are silly sayings that work on your pronunciation.  They don't make any sense!)

1.     Can you can a can as a canner can can a can?

2.    Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair, Fuzzy  
      Wuzzy wasn't very fuzzy, was he?

3.    How many cookies could a good cook cook if a good cook could cook cookies? A good cook could cook as much cookies as a good cook who could cook cookies.

4.    How many cans can a cannibal nibble, if a cannibal can nibble cans? As many cans as a cannibal can nibble if a cannibal can nibble cans.

5.      I thought, I thought of thinking of thanking you.

6.     Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,  Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

Click here so you can hear me say them:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Blue Angels are Here

I don't like the noise and I'm always afraid they're going to crash, but they are really amazing to see.  Just in case you missed it -- or you're not in SF -- here's a video I found from 2012.  It's almost 20 minutes so you don't need to watch the whole thing, but do see some of their amazing stunts.

Back to class, last week we studied these idioms & expressions:

  • to hit the ceiling
  • off track
  • times up
  • to hang in there
  • to fall/fell down on the job
  • to call the shots
  • to make a good impression
  • to get on ___ nerves
  • to make a good impression
  • a picture's worth a thousand words
And here's the link to this week's other vocabulary.

Finally, for some reason, the word chimney came up in class.

The thing where the smoke comes out is the chimney

That reminded me song about chimneys from Mary Poppins.  Here it is: