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0039 Cleaning and Relaxing

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Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 39: Cleaning and Relaxing

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 39. I'm your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development, in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

In this episode, we're going to see Lucy clean up around the house and then relax. Let's get started.

[Start of story]

I am feeling pretty energetic when I finish my three cookies and decide to do a little cleaning. I take out a rag and start dusting the living room. I dust the TV and the lamps. I wipe the coffee table, too. The rug looked filthy so I get out the vacuum and vacuum it. I pick up around the room and put things away. The bathroom needs cleaning, too, but by this time, I am starting to feel tired. Mopping the bathroom floor and scrubbing the tub will have to wait for another day.

I turn on the TV to watch the newscast, but I missed the national news. I flip though the channels but all I see are commercials. My favorite reality show doesn’t come on for another hour so I turn off the TV. I put down the remote, and pick up a magazine. I thumb through it for few minutes and then the phone rings. It’s my best friend Marlene, so I put down the magazine and spend the half hour chatting with her. There’s nothing like a good talk with a good friend to end a busy day.

[End of story]

Lucy starts by saying that she's "feeling pretty energetic," or very energetic. Energetic, "energetic," comes from the word energy, "energy." Energy is the same as power. When we say someone is energetic, usually we mean that they have a lot of willingness to do something - they have a lot of energy. We also use that expression, she has a lot of energy; that means she has a lot of strength to do things - she doesn't get tired very easily. It's the opposite of being tired. It's to be energetic, like the host of ESLPod.com's courses, very energetic!

"When I finish my three cookies," Lucy says, that is, when I finish eating my three cookies, I "decide to do a little cleaning," she says. So, Lucy takes "out a rag" and starts "dusting the living room." A rag, "rag," or a rag, depends on what part of the country you are from, in my part of the country, we say rag, "I take out a rag and start dusting the living room." A rag is a small towel; usually it's a small towel you use for cleaning. To dust, "dust," means to take a rag or a small towel and remove the little bits of dirt, what we call dust, off of a table or television or other furniture. Dust can be both a noun as well as a verb. As a noun, it's the little dirt - pieces of dirt. As a verb, it means to remove those pieces of dirt.

Lucy says that she dusts "the TV and the lamps." She wipes "the coffee table, too." To wipe, "wipe," is similar to dust. It means taking a rag or a towel and cleaning something up. The difference is that dusting is only used when we are talking about these little pieces of dirt that you find after a few days in your house. When you say I'm going to wipe something, however, usually that means there's some water or some other dirt - something bigger than just little pieces of dust. So Lucy says she will "wipe the coffee table" also.

"The rug" that Lucy has looks "filthy." Filthy, "filthy," is another word for dirty. So, the rug on the floor looks dirty, so she gets "out the vacuum" and vacuums it. The vacuum, "vacuum," is a machine that removes dirt from the floor - from carpet or rugs - by sucking the dirt out. Vacuum can also be a verb, so when you say, "I'm going to vacuum my rugs," you mean you're going to use a vacuum to clean your rugs.

Lucy picks "up around the room and puts things away." To pick up can mean to take with your hand and grab something and lift it, but in this case, to pick up means that Lucy is going around and putting things where they belong - taking the newspaper out and throwing in away or making sure that the table looks nice, that it's been dusted. This is to pick up - to take things that don't belong in the room and move them somewhere else. When you move them somewhere else, we say that you are putting them away. So, to put something away means to put it where it belongs. Often, this means putting it in a closet or somewhere where you store it or keep it so that people can't see it. So, Lucy picks "up around the room and puts things" that don't belong there - that should not be there - "away."

"The bathroom needs cleaning" as well, Lucy says. Lucy sure does have a dirty apartment! "The bathroom needs cleaning" also, "but by this time," she says, "I'm starting to feel tired. Mopping the bathroom floor and scrubbing the tub will have to wait for another day." Mopping comes from the verb to mop, "mop." A mop is both a noun and a verb. As a noun, it is the thing you use to clean floors with water and soap. It looks a little like a broom. A broom, "broom," is what you use to clean dust and dirt off the floor. A mop is what you use with water to clean a floor. So, the floor would not have a carpet or not have a rug on it, it would just be wood or linoleum or some other material.

Well, in the story Lucy says that she needs to mop her bathroom and to scrub her tub. Scrub, "scrub" is a verb, which means to clean something by using a lot of energy - by using a lot of force. Taking a towel, for example, and rubbing it back and forth several times; that would be to scrub something. Lucy says that she's too tired, so that the mopping and the scrubbing "will have to wait for another day." Or, if this were my house, it would be another year!

Lucy turns on the television "to watch the newscast." A newscast, "newscast," is the same as a news program or a television news show that you will watch usually either on your television, although you could have a newscast on the radio as well, or on a podcast.

Lucy says that she was too late to watch the national news; she "missed the national news." The national news, of course, would be news about the whole country, not just about your particular area. If it is news just about your city, we would call that local news.

Lucy flips "through the channels but all" she sees "are commercials." The channels, "channels," are the stations on the television. If you have a cable television, you may have 100, 150, 200 channels - 200 different television stations you can watch. In this case, Lucy is flipping through the channels. To flip, "flip," through the channels means to go from one channel to another, usually somewhat quickly. You want to see what programs are on the television right now, so you flip through the channels. Unfortunately, all Lucy sees "are commercials." Commercials are just advertisements. These are things that you see on television that try to get you, usually, to buy something.

"My favorite reality show," Lucy says, "doesn’t come on for another hour." A reality, "reality," show, "show," is a television program that does not have professional actors or actresses; it is a show where there is a contest between people or groups of people. Lucy says her show "doesn't come on," or isn't going to be on the television, "for another hour" so she turns the television off.

She puts "down the remote." The remote, "remote," is the same as the remote control, and that's the little thing you use to change channels - to flip through the channels, means the same thing, to change channels - to flip through. It's also what you use to increase the volume - make it louder - or decrease the volume - make it quieter. This is called a remote control. Sometimes we just call it a remote. In my house, for example, if I'm watching television, I have to have the remote control. If my wife has the remote, it drives me crazy!

Back to Lucy, Lucy says that she picks "up a magazine" and she thumbs "through it." To thumb through, "thumb" through (two words) means to look at a magazine or a newspaper, but you're not looking at it very closely. It's sort of like flipping through the channels. You're flipping through, or thumbing through, the magazine to see what stories are in it or what pictures are in it. That's what I do; I just look at the pictures.

After a "few minutes," Lucy's "phone rings" and it's her "best friend Marlene," and she says, "Well, come on Marlene, let's talk," and so she puts "down the magazine" and she spends a half an hour "chatting with her" friend. To chat, "chat," means to talk to someone, usually about something that isn't very important. She ends her story by saying, "There’s nothing like a good talk with a good friend to end a busy day." There’s nothing like means that this is the best - the best possible thing. The best possible thing is a good talk - a good conversation - with a good friend. There's nothing like listening to ESL Podcast to improve your English. There's nothing like it! I hope you agree. Even if you don't, we're going to listen to the story now at a native rate of speech.

[Start of story]

I am feeling pretty energetic when I finish my three cookies and decide to do a little cleaning. I take out a rag and start dusting the living room. I dust the TV and the lamps. I wipe the coffee table, too. The rug looked filthy so I get out the vacuum and vacuum it. I pick up around the room and put things away. The bathroom needs cleaning, too, but by this time, I am starting to feel tired. Mopping the bathroom floor and scrubbing the tub will have to wait for another day.

I turn on the TV to watch the newscast, but I missed the national news. I flip though the channels but all I see are commercials. My favorite reality show doesn’t come on for another hour so I turn off the TV. I put down the remote, and pick up a magazine. I thumb through it for few minutes and then the phone rings. It’s my best friend Marlene, so I put down the magazine and spend the half hour chatting with her. There’s nothing like a good talk with a good friend to end a busy day.

[End of story]

Thanks to our fantastic scriptwriter, Dr. Lucy Tse, for all of her hard work. And thanks to you for listening. From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Come back and listen to us again here on ESL Podcast.

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
energetic – full of energy; with a lot of energy; being very active

* Many people drink coffee when they want to feel energetic in the morning.

rag – an old piece of fabric (cloth) used to clean things

* His t-shirt was falling apart so he cut it into smaller pieces to use as cleaning rags.

to dust – to move a piece of cloth over furniture and shelves to remove the dust (dirt) that covers them

* Can you dust the top shelves for me? I can’t reach that high.

to wipe – to move one’s hand or a piece of cloth over something to clean it

* The man, who had been walking in the sun for an hour, wiped his hand over his forehead to stop the sweat from getting into his eyes.

filthy – very dirty; extremely unclean

* Your shoes are filthy! Please take them off before going inside.

vacuum (also vacuum cleaner) – an electronic machine that has a handle and is moved on wheels to clean carpets by pulling up dirt

* The vacuum needs to be emptied because it is full of dirt and dog hair

to pick up – to make something tidy and organized

* Please pick up your room! There are clothes, toys, and books all over the floor.

to put (things) away – to place objects where they belong

* After doing the laundry, Jim put away his shirts and socks.

to mop – to clean floors by dipping a stick with a long handle and soft material at one end into water and then moving it over the floors

* When the spaghetti sauce spilled, she asked me to help her mop the floor.

to scrub – to clean something by rubbing it hard

* This red wine won’t come out of the white carpet no matter how hard I scrub.

newscast – a news program on television or radio

* They often listen to the newscast on the radio while they eat breakfast.

national news – information about what happened in the country that day

* I think that the local news is more interesting than the national news.

to flip though the channels – to quickly change television channels (stations), looking for something interesting, but not watching any one channel for very long

* I was flipping through the channels but I stopped when I saw the news story about the plane crash.

commercial – an advertisement on television

* We always turn off the sound during commercials because they are so annoying.

reality show – a television show with video of real people (not actors) in their daily life or in special situations

* I wouldn’t want to be in a reality show. It would be very strange to have cameras following me around all day.

remote (also remote control) – a small electronic device that has buttons to change channels and volume on televisions and stereos

* The remote isn’t working very well. Maybe it needs new batteries.

to thumb through – to quickly turn the pages of a book, magazine, or newspaper, looking for something interesting

* She always thumbs through a magazine while riding the bus.

to chat – to talk in a friendly and informal way

* Many teenage girls like to chat with their friends over the phone for hours.

Culture Note
Veterinarians

Veterinarians “treat” (give medical care for) the injuries and illnesses of pets and farm animals. They provide treatment for animals that is similar to what a doctor would do to treat people. They diagnose, treat, or research medical conditions and diseases of pets, “livestock” (animals raised for food and to make products), and animals in “zoos” (places where animals are kept in cages and people can see them), “racetracks” (places where animals participate in races or competitions), and “laboratories” (places where research is done).

Veterinarians who treat horses or livestock must travel between their offices and farms or ranches. They work outdoors in all kinds of weather and may have to perform “surgery” (cutting open a body or animal), often under “unsanitary” (not clean or healthy) conditions. Veterinarians who work in “food safety and inspection” (checking to see that food is handled correctly and safe to be sold and eaten) must travel to farms, “slaughterhouses” (places where animals are killed for food), and “food-processing plants” (where food is processed and packaged for sale).

Veterinarians must complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M. or V.M.D.) degree at an “accredited” (given recognition or permission) college of veterinary medicine. As of 2012, there are 28 colleges in the United States with accredited programs.

All states require veterinarians to have a license. Licensing requirements “vary” (are different) by state, but all states require “prospective” (expecting or wanting to be) veterinarians to complete an accredited veterinary program and to pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Exam.