Idioms

Idioms are very important in English, as you know. Some have a story behind them. Here are some common idioms and their meanings. If you look underneath the idioms and their meaning here, you will find three stories. Can you match  the  stories  to the right idioms?

Idioms

1. Ride out the storm

2. We are all in the same boat

3. To be out of line

4. Cut to the chase

5. Find your feet

6  Bite the bullet

7. Hear through the grapevine

Meanings

1.  To not be harmed during a difficult period.

2.  We are all facing the same challenges

3.  To behave in a way that is unacceptable or unexpected

4.  Leave out all the unnecessary details and get to the point

5.  Become more comfortable in whatever you are doing

6. To accept something difficult and try to live with it.

7. To hear news from someone who heard the news from someone else

Stories

A: The wires that were used in America’s first telegraph stations often draped and twisted in different patterns. When people looked at them they made comments that the wires looked like the branches of grapevines.

B: In the US in the years of the Wild West and before the invention of anaesthesia, the only relief surgeons could offer to the people who were about to undergo an operation was whisky and a lead bullet between their teeth

C: In the army during a battle, if a soldier fell out of line it meant that he compromised the unit’s efficiency and ability to win the battle. It meant that he did not stick to the principles that held the unit together and it was reason for punishment.

A teacher’s story…!

I learned how to study by myself. Through trial and error mostly! In my reality teachers assigned homework and students did it.

I entered a different reality when I moved to London at 18.  The first day of classes’ professors spent the entire session explaining how many hours of homework we should put in, how to do homework, how to do research and what it meant to be ready for class. I was a bit taken aback and found them mildly annoying. Four weeks after we had begun classes a professor returned a test to me with the sarcastic comment that apparently I had good “cramming skills”. My jaw hit the floor and then I got hopping mad. Some students giggled. Surprise just turned to defiance. Why is it their business how we study? This was not just a new school. This was another PLANET where everybody told everybody else what to do and how to do it!!!

In my defence, those were the days of live rock concerts and punks on Sloane Square. All I wanted from life was walk in the streets and look around.

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So I decided that on this new planet where people told people what to do, I would do things my way and I … did. For a while!

For a short while… because after a couple of weeks my relaxed and confident attitude began to wane…

Professors complained and classmates didn’t give me their notes. Group projects proved a torture. I was habitually late in a country where punctuality is a value of life!

Then the aforementioned professor said I should go see him during his office hours. I arrived late. He didn’t even look up when I walked in. He didn’t offer me a seat. “I’d like you to know how you budget you time” he said gently, “I want you in my class. I’d hate to lose you”. Then he looked up and smiled. “That’ll be all.”

The professor was an enlightened teacher. Setting boundaries and budgeting my time allowed me to work, study, live and be happy in Lonon.

Then I became a teacher and taught hundreds of students over the years. My interest in what motivates students, the way they study and the way they cope with difficulties has never ceased. It turns out that students have their own ways of studying and usually know what is best for them. There’s no prescription or recipe. Still, I like to know how students study and what helps them learn a language.

 

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Learning is like rowing upstream

I didn’t keep my promise to myself; I didn’t come back every day as I had hoped! A good friend at work though found the blog, got excited about it and wrote a comment! I came home to check and see the comments and they were nowhere to be found. I thought the blog  needed time, and gave it a day. The next day when I didn’t find the comments, I thought again! Tough!

It took some time to realize what was going on. I finally stumbled upon the right clicks. I hope I remember them next time.

Is blogging like rowing upstream? All the way for me!

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

Ok! I started. Now what? I’am at home and I decide to go it alone! I write the url I jotted down when I started this with my colleagues and the Internet doesn’t know I exist.  I can’t even log in! I don’t know how!!! I’m thinking I’ll google the question ” how do I log in my blog?”  As I type the question I realize how ridiculous that sounds, but the Net is huge and mercyful. Somebody else has lost their blog too! The advice they get works for me. I’m in! Ok! This is my on line blog. I’m actually in! I’m happy. I browse around, there are two-minute videos “how to…, how to… They are helpful, short and to the point. They don’t just tell you what to do, they show you! I wish I had more time. I find it interesting but I need time to get used to it.  I’ll take it one step at a time. I’ll come  back every day for a bit until I  get the hang of it. I think this will be helpful for me, coming back as often as possible.