033 – Lori burns her arm – Real English Conversations

Hello, it’s really good to be back again! It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? I think the last time I was here speaking to you was back in 2010. And I think it’s no coincidence that the topic of that episode was procrastination and perfectionism. I’m not going to bore you with a bunch of apologies and explanations; I think it’s better to just dive right in with a new conversation. But before you listen, you’re going to need some background context. So here’s what I think it will be helpful for you to know as you go in to listening to the conversation.

You’re going to hear me and my mom. And we are at my sister’s house in Santa Barbara, California. It’s early in the morning. In fact, I think we were meeting in the kitchen to get our first cup of coffee and we were still in our pajamas!

The night before, I had burned my arm really bad when I was trying to make a cup of tea. And it wasn’t a serious burn; I didn’t have to go to the doctor, but it was super painful. So in the conversation, you’re going to hear how my mom tried to help me and whether or not she was successful.

So if you’re ready, let’s get the ball rolling and get right into the conversation!

Conversation Transcript

Mom: How’s your arm?
Lori: Oh my gosh! That aloe vera stuff is freaking witch-doctor voodoo magic.
M: I’m so glad! Really!
L: Seriously. Seriously, look! [Lori displays her burn] You can see…you can barely see it.
M: Well, I told you what the lady had told me about her leg…
L: Yeah.

Lori's burn and aloe vera

Does aloe vera really help if you burn yourself?

M: …and I’ve never tried it because I’ve never had a burn like that, but I mean, any port in a storm, it’s all we had.
L: Yeah. Seriously, it hurt so…when I went in to you it hurt so bad. I was…really…
M: I know, I could tell you were almost losing it.
L: I was almost going to cry. If I didn’t know that crying just doesn’t help I would have been crying…and
M: Well, that never stops me! [laughs]

Want to read the rest of the conversation?

031 – Telling Time in English – Real English Conversations

Hi, Lori here welcoming you to another episode of Real English Conversations from BetterAtEnglish.com. Today’s conversation is about some of the differences between American and British English usage when it comes to telling time. This conversation also marks the first appearance of my very own mom here on B@E. She give us her perspective on American usage, while my English friend Michael (whom you know from earlier podcasts) returns this episode to cover the British point of view. This episode follows directly from the previous episode, number 44, so if this is your first time listening to our podcasts you should listen to episode 44 first.

The pdf that goes with this episode contains the full transcript, the vocabulary list, the image of clocks that I used to elicit time expressions from my mom and Michael, and some usage notes about time expressions in British and American English. You can download it directly in iTunes, or visit betteratenglish.com and download from there. I think that’s enough introduction for today — let’s get on with the conversation!

Conversation Transcript

[Lori:In this informal language experiment, I showed my mom a picture of four clock faces and asked her to read me the times. This was to see what prepositions she would use, particularly if she would avoid the preposition past as Yvette’s former teachers claimed Americans do.]

Mom: OK, well starting on the top left I have ten m minutes after nine, and then the next one to the right is twenty-five after seven, and then on the bottom left is five past six and the last one on the bottom right is a quarter past twelve.
Lori: OK! Perfect! You scored 100%

Continue reading…

032 – Perfectionism and Procrastination 3 – Real English Conversations

Hi! Lori here, welcoming you to another episode of Real English Conversations from BetterAtEnglish.com. In today’s conversation, my friend Yvette returns to help me finish our earlier conversation about perfectionism and procrastination. This time we focus on the strategies that we’ve found helpful in our own battles with this debilitating problem. As always, you can find the vocabulary notes and full transcript of this podcast on our website, www.BetterAtEnglish.com.

OK, here we go!

Conversation Transcript

Lori: Actually, there was one thing that I think in our last conversation about perfectionism and procrastination that we didn’t really cover
Yvette: OK
Lori: …and that’s what you do to get out of the procrastination habit once you’ve identified that you have a problem with it. Like if you have any methods that you’ve used to help you over the fear of starting or working on whatever it is you’re supposed to be working on.
Yvette: [Laughs] You’re asking me?
Lori: Yeah, yeah we didn’t talk about that.
Yvette: How you actually get out of it? Wow…
Lori: If there’s anything you do…
Yvette: If you find out, let me know. I mean, that’s kind of tricky. Wow, that’s something to think about. Well, usually I start with a plan. You break it down and smaller bits…so… the way that I can do it sometimes is to just say, “There is…I need to do a task and let me just first open the file folder.” That’s my first step. Once I’ve got that opened up and I’ve got the file maybe even opened in my browser — whatever I needed to be in — then I can start working on it. But it really is just kicking my butt…giving myself a good kick and going, “Come on, you can do it today.” But I tend to just find 15 other things to do first, which is clear my desk…oh yeah, I need lunch…oh, I need to do to the — let me do the groceries right now instead of later, so I don’t get interrupted by that. Um, so I tried to get rid of things, but I don’t know, I try to plan it better, but that usually doesn’t work — for me anyway.
Lori: Uh huh. Well, it sounds to me, when you mention that, for example, if it’s a writing project, that you start by just opening the file…. Continue reading…