Daily English
Cultural English
Practical English

1147 Types of Students in School

访问量:
Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 1,147 – Types of Students in School.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 1,147. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Go to ESLPod.com and take a look at our ESLPod Special Courses in Business and Daily English. You can also like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/eslpod. And follow us on Twitter at @eslpod, of course.

In this episode, we’re going to listen to a dialogue between Cheech and Boo about types of students in the school – the names that we give different kinds of students in a school, especially a high school. Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Cheech: Is this your old yearbook?

Boo: Yeah, I found it while cleaning out my closet.

Cheech: Look at your picture! You look like you were an honor roll student.

Boo: Don’t be fooled. I was just an average student, not the valedictorian, but not a dropout either.

Cheech: Who is that? She’s very pretty.

Boo: That’s my friend Marlene. In high school, she was good at everything. She had a high GPA and took every available AP class.

Cheech: So she was a nerd.

Boo: No, not at all. She was also a jock, a member of lots of student clubs, and was student body president.

Cheech: Wow, she must have been popular.

Boo: She was, but she wasn’t stuck-up. She got along with everybody, not just the football players and cheerleaders. She was friends with geeks and goths, too. Everybody liked her.

Cheech: Where is she now? Do you still keep in touch?

Boo: Yes, of course. She’s doing very well and is very successful.

Cheech: And single?

Boo: Yeah, but you’re not her type.

Cheech: And what type is that?

Boo: You? Definitely a druggie.

[end of dialogue]

Cheech begins our dialogue by asking Boo, “Is this your old yearbook?” A “yearbook” (yearbook) – one word – is a book published at the end of a school year, usually for a high school, that has photographs of all the students and teachers in the school, as well as photos and perhaps stories about the athletic teams, the clubs, and other activities at the school. Most American high schools have a yearbook that students can buy. When I was in high school, I was the editor of my school yearbook, meaning I was the person responsible for picking the photographs and helping write the descriptions in the yearbook.

True story: I actually wrote something in the yearbook at the very end of the book that the teachers – especially the leader of the school, the principal – didn’t like, and so before the book was given to the rest of the students, they went through and cut out that piece of paper (half a piece of paper, actually) and then gave the books out so all the books were missing a half a piece of paper, a half a page at the end of the book. Well that’s a long story. We’ll talk about that some other time.

Anyway, back to our dialogue. Cheech asks Boo, “Is that your old yearbook?” Boo says, “Yeah, I found it while cleaning out my closet.” Cheech says, “Look at your picture! You look like you were an honor roll student.” The “honor (honor) roll (roll)” is a list of the best students in the school – or to be more precise, the students who got the best grades that quarter, or semester, or perhaps even year. Sometimes the schools will put up a list of the students with the best grades. The idea, of course, is to try to encourage students to get better grades.

Cheech says that Boo looks like she was an honor roll student, perhaps because she looks intelligent. I don’t know. Boo says, “Don’t to be fooled,” meaning don’t think that just because I looked smart, I was smart. She says, “I was just an average student” – that is, not a great student, not a bad student. She says that she was “not the valedictorian, but not a dropout either.” The “valedictorian” (valedictorian) is the best student in a given school.

The valedictorian is the student that has the highest grades, the best grades, throughout their entire time at that school. Usually at the graduation ceremony, when the school celebrates the end of the schooling of a certain group of students who are graduating from the school, there is a recognition of the valedictorian, and sometimes the valedictorian gets to give a little speech at the graduation ceremony. So, the valedictorian is the best student in the school. At the other end, we have someone who is a “dropout” (dropout). A dropout is a person who doesn’t complete their schooling.

In the United States, in many states you only have to go to school until you’re 16 years old. After that, if you don’t want to go to school anymore – to high school, that is – you can drop out. You will be a “dropout” – someone who doesn’t complete his schooling, his education. Of course, you can also go to college and then be a dropout, but we don’t normally talk about college dropouts. Usually when we talk about a “dropout,” we’re referring to a high school dropout.

Cheech says, “Who is that? She’s very pretty.” Boo says, “That’s my friend Marlene. In high school, she was good at everything. She had a high GPA and took every available AP class.” A “GPA” is a grade point average. Basically, it’s the number that is calculated from all of your grades. Traditionally, high schools give a certain number of points to a grade. So the grade of A is four points, the grade of B is three points, the grade of C is two points, and so forth. You take all of the grades and then you come up with an average grade. We call that the “grade point average,” or more commonly, simply the “GPA.”

Boo is telling us that her friend Marlene had a high GPA, which means she was a very good student, and “took every available AP class.” “To take a class” means to be a student in that class, to study that subject. “AP” refers to “Advanced Placement.” Advanced Placement or AP courses are special high school courses that at the end of the year have special exams. If you score very well on these exams, you can get college credit. Many universities will give you a certain number of credits if you get a high score on these exams.

These exams of course cost money, and most students who take the exams don’t get a high enough score to get credit. But of course the company, the private company that gives the exam still gets your money. So, it’s a great way for the company to make a lot of money. Not such a great way for students to get college credit. In any case, the Advanced Placement courses in a high school are considered the most difficult, often the ones that are hardest to get a good grade in. My high school didn’t have any AP courses, probably because we weren’t smart enough to be in those kinds of classes.

Cheech responds to Boo’s description of Marlene by saying, “So she was a nerd.” A “nerd” (nerd) is a smart person but one who doesn’t seem to be able to get along with other people or, perhaps more correctly, is a little socially awkward. A nerd is a person who can get good grades but doesn’t seem to be very good at talking to other people or relating to other people. Boo says, “No, not at all,” meaning Marlene was not a nerd. “She was also a jock, a member of lots of student clubs, and was student body president.”

A “jock” (jock) is an informal term for an athlete, especially a student who likes to play sports, although it doesn’t necessarily have to be a student. “Student clubs” are groups or organizations that usually the school itself organizes and are for students who have different interests. There might be a photography club or a writing club. These clubs usually have meetings after school or outside of the regular student classes. To be the “student body president” means to be the elected leader of all the students. The “student body” refers to the entire group of students, all of the students in the school.

It’s common in American high schools for the school to have an election where all the students vote for a president, and often vice president, of the entire school. Now, this is a little different from a similar term, “class president.” Each level in a high school (that is, in a typical high school), a ninth grade, tenth grade, eleventh grade, and twelfth grade – those are the four levels. Each of those levels also elects leader called a “class president.”

In addition, there is what’s called a “student government,” sometimes called a “student council.” That is the group that organizes events for the school. So, the “student body president” is, in a sense, the president of the student council, the leader of the student council. But everyone votes on who will be the student body president. And in addition, each class – each level, each grade – also has a president. So, there are lots of presidents in American high schools it would seem. Was I ever student body president or even student class president? Absolutely not.

Cheech says, “Wow, she,” meaning Marlene, “must have been popular” – that is, she must have been well liked. Boo says, “She was, but she wasn’t stuck-up.” The term “stuck (stuck) – up (up)” means arrogant, someone who thinks he or she is better than everyone else. It’s the kind of term that you would hear in a high school. You don’t hear people use that term very much in an adult conversation, but I suppose you could use it. Boo says that Marlene “got along with” – was friendly with – “everybody, not just the football players and cheerleaders.”

Boo means that Marlene was friendly and was able to get along with everyone, not just the people who you might expect a popular student to get along with – the football players and the cheerleaders. A “cheerleader” (cheerleader) is someone who, well, cheers or encourages people at a sporting event, typically, to yell and to support the athletic team that’s playing. In an American high school, boys on the football team and girls on the cheerleading squad, or the team of cheerleaders, are usually the most popular students in the school. Was I a football player or a cheerleader? Of course not.

Boo says, “She was friends with geeks and goths, too.” A “geek” (geek) is similar to a nerd. It’s a very smart person who knows a lot about especially scientific or technical topics, but might not be the most sociable person. A “goth” (goth) is a person who enjoys wearing black clothing (often leather, chains) and listens to a certain kind of music. Was I a goth? I would have to say no. Besides, there weren’t any goths in the school I went to. I must have gone to school before that became popular.

Cheech says, “Where is she now,” meaning where is Marlene now? Where does she live? “Do you still keep in touch?” – that is, are you still in communication? Do you still talk to each other? Boo says, “Yes, of course. She’s doing very well and is very successful.” Cheech then asks, “And single?” meaning is she not married or not involved in a romantic relationship?

Boo says, “Yeah, but you’re not her type,” meaning you’re not the kind of man she would be interested in. Cheech says, “And what type is that?” Here, Cheech is asking what type, what kind of person Boo thinks that he is, not what kind of person Marlene is interested in. Boo says, “You? Definitely a druggie.” A “druggie” (druggie) is a person who consumes illegal drugs. Was I a druggie when I was in school? No, not really. We didn’t have any drugs when I was in school. In fact, I’m so old there weren’t any drugs when I was in school. Yeah, it’s true.

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

[start of dialogue]

Cheech: Is this your old yearbook?

Boo: Yeah, I found it while cleaning out my closet.

Cheech: Look at your picture! You look like you were an honor roll student.

Boo: Don’t be fooled. I was just an average student, not the valedictorian, but not a dropout either.

Cheech: Who is that? She’s very pretty.

Boo: That’s my friend Marlene. In high school, she was good at everything. She had a high GPA and took every available AP class.

Cheech: So she was a nerd.

Boo: No, not at all. She was also a jock, a member of lots of student clubs, and was student body president.

Cheech: Wow, she must have been popular.

Boo: She was, but she wasn’t stuck-up. She got along with everybody, not just the football players and cheerleaders. She was friends with geeks and goths, too. Everybody liked her.

Cheech: Where is she now? Do you still keep in touch?

Boo: Yes, of course. She’s doing very well and is very successful.

Cheech: And single?

Boo: Yeah, but you’re not her type.

Cheech: And what type is that?

Boo: You? Definitely a druggie.

[end of dialogue]

If ESL Pod.com were a school, our valedictorian would be the one and only 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 2015 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
yearbook – a book published at the end of a school year, filled with photographs of students, teachers, clubs, teams, and activities, with some written descriptions of what happened that year

* On the last day of school, students sign each other’s yearbooks with messages like, “See you next year.” or “Have a great summer.”

honor roll – a list of the best-performing students; a list of the students with the best grades

* Study hard and stay on the honor roll, and you’ll have a good chance of earning a scholarship for college.

valedictorian – the top-performing student in the group of students graduation in a given year; the graduating student with the best grades

* Every year, the valedictorian gives a speech at the graduation ceremony.

dropout – a person who stops attending school before completing his or her education and without earning a diploma

* In the past, a dropout could get a decent job, but now, a high school diploma is required for almost any job.

GPA – grade point average; a single number calculated from all the grades that a student earned while studying at a particular school, typically presented as a number between 0.0 (all F’s) and 4.0 (all A’s)

* At McQ University, our incoming students have an average GPA of 3.5.

AP – Advanced Placement; high school courses that end with a difficult exam, so that if students earn a sufficiently high score, they can receive college credit

* Chelsea earned a 5 in AP Biology and a 4 in AP History, so she was able to get credit for both of those courses as a freshman in college.

nerd – a very smart, but socially awkward person; a person who knows a lot of facts and gets good grades, but does not interact socially easily with other people

* James is a complete nerd who spends all his time studying and playing video games online, but never hangs out with friends.

jock – an athlete, especially a student who plays a lot of sports and values sports above everything else

* Lionel is a jock. He’s captain of the football team, and he’s on the swim team and the baseball team.

student club – an school-sponsored organization for students with shared interests

* Giselda is the president of two student clubs: the Spanish club and the drama club.

student body president – the elected leader of all the students; a student elected by other students to represent them in interactions with teachers and administrators

* The student body president is working with the principal to improve the food in the cafeteria.

popular – liked and admired by many people, with a lot of friends

* All the popular kids eat lunch together and hang out after school at each other’s houses.

stuck-up – arrogant; thinking that one is better than everyone else

* Kevin is so stuck-up. He thinks he’s better than all the other students, just because his father is the mayor.

cheerleader – someone who cheers (makes encouraging sounds) and dances during sports events and other events, trying to excite the audience and motivate team members

* The cheerleaders shook their pom-poms in the air and yelled, “Go Spartans!”

geek – a smart person who knows about one or a few very technical topics, but may not interact well with other people

* Her brother is a computer geek who always offers to fix other people’s computers.

goth – a person who enjoys wearing black clothing, leather, chains and white and black makeup, and often listens to a certain type of rock music

* You’d never know it today, but Samuel went through a goth phase in high school.

single – not involved in a romantic relationship; not dating or married; available for a romantic relationship

* Where is the best place to meet attractive, single men in this town?

druggie – a person who consumes illegal drugs, especially someone who is addicted to them

* Druggies will lie, cheat, and steal to get more of the drugs their bodies crave.

Comprehension Questions
1. Who is most likely to be popular?
a) A nerd
b) A jock
c) A geek

2. What does it mean for Marlene to be single?
a) She is one of a kind and unique.
b) She isn’t in a romantic relationship with anyone.
c) She is extremely focused on her goals.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
honor roll

The phrase “honor roll,” in this podcast, means a list of the best-performing students, or the students with the best grades: “Each quarter, the local newspaper publishes a list of the high school students who are on the honor roll.” A “drum roll” is the rapid, continuous beats from a drum, especially used to make an important announcement or introduce someone or something: “And the winner is…drum roll, please…Jared!” An “egg roll” or a “spring roll” is an Asian food made by rolling a thin pastry around vegetables and/or meat and then frying it in a tube-like shape: “Should we order the vegetarian spring rolls or the shrimp egg rolls?” Finally, a “cinnamon roll” or a “sweet roll” is a breakfast or dessert item made from bread, sugar, and cinnamon: “These sweet rolls are delicious with a cup of black coffee.”

stuck-up

In this podcast, the phrase “stuck-up” means arrogant, thinking that one is better than everyone else: “Ever since Randall won that award, he has been so stuck-up.” A “stick-up” is a hold-up, or an attempt to rob someone by pointing a gun at him or her: “The police arrived after reports of a stick-up, but they were too late to catch the thief.” Finally, the phrase “to be stuck with (something or someone)” means to have to keep something or be with someone whom one does not want or like: “If you get a tattoo, make sure it’s something you love, because you’ll be stuck with it for the rest of your life.” Or, “We are the only two people who aren’t working on other projects so we’re stuck with each other on this tasks.”

Culture Note
Types of Schools

Most Americans attend “public schools,” or schools that are owned and “operated” (run) by the government. Public schools are open to anyone and are free, although students and their families often have to pay additional “fees” (money paid for a particular purpose), such as fees for participating in sports, drama, or music activities, or “lab” (laboratory; where science experiments are performed) fees, or expenses for “field trips” (excursions; outings; trips away from school).

Some Americans prefer to send their children to “private schools,” which are owned and operated by businesses or “not-for-profit” (not intended for earning money) organizations. Families must pay “tuition” (money paid to study at a particular institution) to send their children to private schools, and this tuition is often very expensive. However, some families think the expense is “worth it” (with a value that is greater than the expense or inconvenience) because they believe their children receive a higher-quality education, or are in a safer environment. Many private schools are “affiliated with” (connected to) a church, and families send their children there so that they can receive a “religious upbringing” (education within the beliefs of a religion).

A “magnet school” is a school that focuses on a particular area, such as science, foreign languages, or the “performing arts” (drama and music). These schools attract students that want to specialize in a particular area, and sometimes they attract too many students. In those cases, there is often a “lottery,” or a drawing to see which students will be invited to study at the school.

Finally, “charter schools” are schools that receive “public funding” (money from the government), but are run by a group of teachers, parents, or community groups and do not have to follow all of the rules of the city or state. Charter schools often have more freedom to teach what they want in the way they want to do it.

Comprehension Answers
1 -b

2 - b