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0976 Showing Immaturity

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Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 976 – Showing Immaturity.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 976. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Visit our website at ESLPod.com. Become a member of ESL Podcast and download a Learning Guide for this episode. This episode is a dialogue between Romero and Alice about someone who isn’t very mature – who doesn’t act like an adult. Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Romero: Are you going to tell Amber that she can’t have Saturday off of work or should I?

Alice: You’d better tell her. I don’t think she’s going to take it well.

Romero: I’ll do it, but I’m not looking forward to it. She can be really immature when she doesn’t get what she wants.

Alice: Yeah, that’s why I don’t like working with her. If things don’t go her way, she pouts and whines. I don’t know why they don’t fire her.

Romero: I think she’s just a little inexperienced. This is her first job, after all. Some of her behavior is pretty childish, but when she’s not kicking up a fuss or moaning about something, she does good work.

Alice: That’s like saying somebody is a good worker when they’re not napping!

Romero: She’s not that bad, but we do have to look past some juvenile antics when our employees are so young.

Alice: Yeah, too bad we can’t have seniors selling to teenagers.

Romero: I think that would open a whole different can of worms!

[end of dialogue]

Romero begins our dialogue by saying, “Are you going to tell Amber that she can’t have Saturday off of work or should I?” Romero is asking Alice if she is going to tell someone named Amber that she cannot have Saturday off of work. “To have a day off of work” means that you don’t have to work that day. “I have Saturday off of work” means I do not have to work on Saturday. Sometimes we just use the preposition “off” – “I have Saturday off.” That means I do not have to work on Saturday. Romero is asking Alice if she’s going to tell Amber that she cannot have Saturday off of work.

Alice says, “You better tell her,” meaning you should tell her, or it would be better that you told her. Alice says, “I don’t think she’s going to take it well.” “To take something well” or “to take something very well” means to receive bad news calmly, without complaining. If someone tells you bad news and you go, “Well, okay. I’m sorry to hear it. But that’s okay,” you are taking the news calmly. Romero then says, “I’ll do it,” meaning I will tell her, “but I’m not looking forward to it” – it’s not something I want to do. “She,” meaning Amber, “can be really immature when she doesn’t get what she wants.”

“Mature” (mature) normally means acting like an adult. To describe someone as “mature” means that they act like an adult, not like a child. Mature can also mean old in some circumstances, but here we are using it in the sense of someone who acts responsibly, acts like an adult. The opposite of mature would be “immature.” We often say that children and adolescents are “immature.” They’re not mature. They don’t act like an adult. They don’t act responsibly sometimes.

Alice says, “Yeah, that’s why I don’t like working with her. If things don’t go her way, she pouts and whines.” Alice is describing Amber here. She says that if things don’t go Amber’s way, “she pouts and whines.” When we say something “goes your way” (way), we mean it happens in a way that you want it to happen. If you are hoping that a certain baseball team wins the World Series, the championship, next year (say, for example, the Los Angeles Dodgers), and they win the championship – they win the World Series – then you can say, “Well, things went my way,” meaning they turned out or they had the result that you wanted them to have.

Alice says that if Amber doesn’t have things go her way, “she pouts and whines.” “To pout” (pout) means physically to take your lower lip and put it down in a way that indicates that you are unhappy or sad. When someone does that, especially a child, we would say they’re pouting. They’re feeling perhaps sorry for themselves, and they’re trying to show other people that they are unhappy. Normally, it’s something that a child does. An adult could also “pout,” although they may not actually change the expression on their face to do so. “Pouting” is usually considered something that children do, and therefore an immature act.

“To whine” (whine) means to make loud noises when you are complaining about something, when you don’t like something. You say things out loud that indicate that you don’t like the situation. We often associate whining with a high-pitched voice: “Oh, I don’t want to go to the store, Dad.” That would be a little child whining. Once again, whining, like pouting, is considered immature – not something an adult should do. Well, we don’t want our children to do it either, but we can at least understand it if they do because they are not mature yet.

Alice says, “I don’t know why they don’t fire her.” “To fire” (fire) means to tell someone that they no longer work at the place where they were working. “To fire” means to get rid of an employee. Romero says, “I think she’s just a little inexperienced.” “To be experienced” means to have a long time working with a certain project or a certain kind of job. “To be inexperienced” means to not have a lot of time doing that particular activity. Romero thinks that Amber is inexperienced; she’s not experienced.

He says, “This is her first job, after all. Some of her behavior is pretty childish, but when she’s not kicking up a fuss or moaning about something, she does good work.” “To be childish” (childish) means to act like a child, not like an adult. “To kick up a fuss” (fuss) means to do something or say something to indicate that you are not happy with the situation – to complain about something in such a way that you are trying to bother other people, or you are trying to get them angry, perhaps.

“To kick up a fuss” means to complain loudly in such a way that you are trying to cause what we might call a “scene” (scene). You’re trying to get other people to notice you. People “kick up a fuss” because they want someone to do something the way they want it, and when the situation is such that things are not going their way, they do this sort of complaining in order to get the person to do what they want them to do.

“To moan” (moan) is similar to the verb “to whine.” It means to complain, but instead of complaining in a high-pitched voice, “moaning” usually refers to people who complain in a low voice. “Ah, I’m really angry. I’m not happy” – that’s “to moan.” A “moan” can also be simply a sound that you make when you are disappointed or upset about something. If your favorite baseball team loses the World Series, you may go, “Ohh!” That is also “moaning.” Here, it really just means “complaining.” Romero then describes Amber as sometimes being “pretty” – or very – “childish.” “But when she’s not kicking up a fuss or moaning” – when she’s not complaining – “she does good work,” Romero says.

Alice says, “That’s like saying somebody is a good worker when they’re not napping.” “To nap” means to sleep for a short period of time during the day, when you wouldn’t normally be sleeping. Actually, many people say that napping in the afternoon for 30 minutes or an hour is actually good for you. You’re able to get more done. You have more energy in the late afternoons and evenings if you do that. Alice is making a joke here. She’s saying that Romero’s description of Amber – as someone who does good work when she’s not complaining – is like describing someone as a good worker when they’re not sleeping.

Romero says, “She’s not that bad,” meaning she’s not really bad. “But we do have to look past some juvenile antics when our employees are so young.” “To look past” something means not to pay attention to something so that you can focus on something more important. If someone is making small mistakes, but is overall doing a good job, we will probably look past his or her mistakes. We won’t worry about them because we know there’s something more important.

“Juvenile” (juvenile) is normally used as a synonym for “immature.” “Juvenile” describes someone who is not an adult. Usually, the word is used when we’re talking about teenagers. As an adjective, it’s usually used to describe an immature action, and that’s how the dialogue is using it here. Romero says that “we do have to look past some juvenile antics.” “Antics” (antics) are actions that are not appropriate – that are immature, in a way. “Juvenile antics,” then, would describe actions that are childish or that you would not expect of someone who was mature.

Alice says, “Yeah, too bad we can’t have seniors selling to teenagers.” “Seniors” (seniors) are people who are old, people who usually are over the age of 65 or 70 – maybe 75 nowadays. As people live longer and longer, the definition of “young” and “old” changes over time. I hope it keeps changing so I’m never old, but someday I will be a senior. “Teenagers” describe people who are between the ages usually of 13 and 20.

Romero says, “I think that would open a whole different can of worms!” Alice is suggesting that instead of having teenagers working for them, they have seniors working for them. Romero thinks that there would be other problems if that happened, and that’s why he uses the expression “open a whole different can of worms” (worms). The expression “to open a can of worms” or “a whole new can of worms” means to start talking about and getting involved in a new problem. You already have one problem, and now you are going to create a different kind of problem, and that’s what Romero is saying.

Having seniors working for their company instead of teenagers would not necessarily be a better thing, because it may create different kinds of problems, but still just as serious as the ones they’re having now.

Now let’s listen to the dialogue, this time at a normal speed.

[start of dialogue]

Romero: Are you going to tell Amber that she can’t have Saturday off of work or should I?

Alice: You’d better tell her. I don’t think she’s going to take it well.

Romero: I’ll do it, but I’m not looking forward to it. She can be really immature when she doesn’t get what she wants.

Alice: Yeah, that’s why I don’t like working with her. If things don’t go her way, she pouts and whines. I don’t know why they don’t fire her.

Romero: I think she’s just a little inexperienced. This is her first job, after all. Some of her behavior is pretty childish, but when she’s not kicking up a fuss or moaning about something, she does good work.

Alice: That’s like saying somebody is a good worker when they’re not napping!

Romero: She’s not that bad, but we do have to look past some juvenile antics when our employees are so young.

Alice: Yeah, too bad we can’t have seniors selling to teenagers.

Romero: I think that would open a whole different can of worms!

[end of dialogue]

Our scriptwriter never whines or moans. She works hard writing wonderful scripts for our podcast. Thank you, Dr. Lucy Tse.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us again right here on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast was written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. Copyright 2014 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
off of work – free from work; referring to a period of time when one does not have to work or is not scheduled to work, especially if one normally works on that day

* Art has a serious illness, so he’ll be taking a lot of time off of work for medical appointments.

to take (something) well – to receive bad news calmly, without complaining or making a fuss

* They lost everything they own in the flooding, but they’re taking it well, surprisingly.

immature – not demonstrating the emotional control and good judgment that would be expected at one’s age; less mentally or emotionally developed than would be expected

* Heather may be 17 years old, but she’s too immature to be anyone’s babysitter.

to go (someone’s) way – to happen in the way one wants; to occur in a way that one likes and that one finds beneficial or good

* I lost my glasses, spilled coffee on my suit, and got stuck in traffic this morning. Nothing is going my way.

to pout – to sulk; to push out one’s lower lip and have a very sad expression on one’s face, sometimes while crying, especially when talking about young children

* Jemima began to pout when her parents told her she couldn’t have more ice cream.

to whine – to make high-pitched, loud noises while complaining

* You can whine all you want, but it won’t change my decision.

inexperienced – without very much experience doing something; with little or no time spent doing something

* Recent college graduates struggle to get a good job because they’re seen as being inexperienced.

childish – acting like a little kid, not as an adult should

* Whenever Shane is around his parents, he becomes so childish, relying on his parents to do everything for him.

to kick up a fuss – to make a scene; to do and say things to complain and show that one is very unhappy with a situation, purposefully bothering other people

* Sharon really kicked up a fuss when she got a parking ticket.

to moan – to complain; to make long, low-pitched noises, sometimes while talking, to show that one is unhappy about something

* Having to work during the holidays isn’t much fun, but moaning about it doesn’t help.

to nap – to sleep for a short period of time during the day, not at night when one would normally sleep

* Their one-year-old child naps three times each day, and then sleeps at least ten hours at night.

to look past – to overlook; to not pay attention to something so that one can focus on something that is deeper or more hidden

* If you can look past the weird paint colors and ugly carpet, you’ll see that the house has some beautiful architecture and a lot of potential.

juvenile antics – childish behavior; actions that are considered inappropriate for adults, but are common among children

* Are you still pulling pranks on people? I thought you would have outgrown those juvenile antics years ago.

senior – an older person, usually older than 65

* Many restaurants and stores have one day each week when they offer discounts for seniors.

teenager – a person between the ages of 13 and 19

* It’s normal for teenagers to develop strong friendships and to spend more time with their peers than with their family.

to open a whole different can of worms – to begin discussing a different problem or to become involved in a different project or situation, especially a troublesome, difficult, or challenging one

* We thought that expanding overseas would increase our sales, but it has opened a whole different can of worms in terms of cross-cultural communication.

Comprehension Questions
1. What are they going to tell Amber?
a) That she has been fired.
b) That she can’t leave early on Saturday.
c) That she has to work on Saturday.

2. What does Alice mean when she says, “too bad we can’t have seniors selling to teenagers”?
a) She wishes they had more experienced salespeople.
b) She wishes older people could sell to young customers.
c) She wishes they had more teenage customers.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
to take (something) well

The phrase “to take (something) well,” in this podcast, means to receive bad news calmly, without complaining or making a fuss: “The way that doctors deliver bad news has a big effect on whether patients take it well.” The phrase “to take some doing” means to require a lot of effort to get something done: “It took some doing, but we finally finished painting the house.” The phrase “to take after (someone)” means to look or act like an older relative: “She takes after her mother in so many ways.” The phrase “to take (someone) on” means to hire someone: “How many engineers are you taking on this year?” Finally, the phrase “to take (something) down” means to write something down: “Wow, these are great ideas! Is anyone taking this down?”

to look past

In this podcast, the phrase “to look past” means to overlook or to not pay attention to something so that one can focus on something that is deeper or more hidden: “He’s really quite handsome if you can look past the purple hair.” The phrase “to look over” means to review something: “Please look over these numbers before the budget meeting.” The phrase “to look up to (someone)” means to admire and respect someone: “Chase has always looked up to his uncle as a man who makes the right choices.” Finally, the phrase “to look back on” means to think about something that happened previously: “The situation seems terrible right now, but someday we’ll look back on this and laugh.”

Culture Note
Young Philanthropists

Normally we think of “philanthropists” (people who donate a lot of money to help others) as wealthy, older adults who have achieved great success in life and now are ready to “give back to society” (make contributions to the people and organizations that have helped one achieve success), but some philanthropists are actually “quite” (very) young.

Some young children are passionate about helping other children with serious “medical conditions” (health problems). For example, one 12-year-old girl, Abby Miller, has become a “street performer” (someone who performs on city streets in the hopes that other people will give money to him or her), singing to collect money that will help another child pay her medical expenses. And an 11-year-old boy, Cameron Cohen, designed an iPhone app, and some of the “proceeds” (money made by selling something) are donated to buy things for children who are in the hospital. And a nine-year-old boy named Harry Moseley sells bracelets to raise money for brain tumor research.

Other young philanthropists are “motivated” (made to want to do something) to raise money for “conservation” (protection of the natural environment). An 11-year-old girl, Olivia Bouler, saw a TV program about an oil spill and wanted to help the animals that were affected by it. She began making drawings of birds and giving them to people who donate money to the National Audubon Society (a nonprofit organization that protects birds; see English Café 284), and her work has raised more than $200,000 for the organization.

Comprehension Answers
1 - c

2 - b