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Getting Up

Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 2: Getting Up This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode number two. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

This episode begins a special 10-part series covering basic vocabulary for everyday actions, from getting up in the morning to going to bed at night and everything in between. We’ll start with getting up.

Let’s get started!

[Start of story]

The worst part of the day for me is definitely when I have to get up. Waking up, that I can handle. But getting up? That, I hate. The covers I have on my bed are heavy, mostly because I have a comforter as well as a light blanket. I sleep with two pillows, which for some reason have different color pillowcases. Well, at least the sheets match.

I sometimes wake up before the alarm goes off. I like to keep the alarm at a low volume, with some classical music, nothing too jarring. My old roommate used to like the terrible buzzer that you find on most alarm clocks nowadays, which always used to drive me nuts. As I was saying, I sometimes wake up before the alarm, usually because of some noise outside the house-a car door slamming, an alarm going off, gunfire-well, okay, not gunfire, but man, is my neighborhood noisy! Of course, when I’m staying in a hotel, it’s usually easier to just get a wake up call from the hotel than set the alarm.

I’m not really an early riser, so I don’t jump out of bed ready to take on the world.

I get up very slowly, usually one foot on the floor at a time. Every once in awhile I’ll oversleep, but not too often. I really love the weekends, when I can sleep in.

[End of story]

Our story begins by me describing how much I do not like getting up. To get up means to get out of your bed, to stand up after you have been lying down on a bed. I say that, “The worst part of my day is when I have to get up. Waking up, that I can handle.” To wake up “wake up” (two words) means that you are sleeping and you stop sleeping and now you are awake. The verb is to wake up.

So, you can wake up while you are in bed, and then, you get up-you stand up after lying down.

I said that “waking up” is something “I can handle.” To handle (handle) here means to be able to control-something that I can manage-something that I can accept; it’s not a problem. Another expression would be something I can deal with. To deal “deal” with something is the same, in this case, as to be able to handle something.

I say that “getting up” is something that “I hate.” The covers I have on my bed are heavy.” The covers (covers) are the things that you put over you to keep you warm. Usually, the covers include a blanket, sometimes a comforter and usually, what we would call the top sheet or flat sheet. A comforter “comforter” is a very thick blanket, a very heavy blanket. A blanket (blanket) is something that you put over you when you are sleeping to keep you warm.

Blanket is a general term; a comforter is a kind of blanket, a heavy blanket. The opposite of a comforter would be a light blanket. A light (light) blanket would be the opposite, and that is a blanket that will keep you warm, but if it gets very cold, it might not keep you warm, it might not be sufficient.

So, we have a comforter and we have a light blanket. Usually, there is a top sheet (sheet) that you put over you in between your body and the blankets, and this top sheet is sometimes called a flat sheet. The sheet that goes on the bed itself, that goes onto the corners of the bed, that’s called a fitted sheet, a fitted (fitted) sheet. So, we have a fitted sheet on the bed that you sleep on top of, then we have a top sheet and then a blanket, sometimes, if it’s very cold, a comforter as well.

I say in the story that “I sleep with two pillows.” A pillow (pillow) is what you put your head on when you sleep. Now, “for some reason,” I say I “have different colored pillowcases.” This is true, actually; I have a black pillowcase and a blue pillowcase for my two pillows. I think the reason is I am too lazy to go and buy a new pillowcase.

Well, the pillowcase “pillowcase” (one word) is the thing that you put over the pillow so the pillow doesn’t get dirty; we call that the pillowcase. I say, “Well, at least the sheets match.” We already know what a sheet is. When we say the sheets match (match), we mean that they are the same color or two colors that look good together. We use that verb, to match, when we are talking about clothing as well, or anything where you have two colors.

“I sometimes wake up before the alarm goes off.” When we say the alarm “goes off,” we mean that the alarm starts to make a sound. Your alarm (alarm) is a machine that makes noise at a certain time; usually it has a clock. Well, I sometimes wake up before my alarm makes noise, my alarm goes off. “I like to keep the alarm at a low volume,” meaning not very loud - at a low volume - “with some classical music, nothing too jarring.” When we say a sound is jarring (jarring), we mean that it is loud and it causes you to jump or to be surprised. It’s something that is not very nice, not very pleasant. A jarring noise would be one that bothers you, perhaps because it is very loud or it is not a very nice sound.

So, I don’t want my alarm to have a jarring noise; instead, I play classical music.

Now, “My old roommate”-the person I used to share an apartment with- “used to like the terrible buzzer you find on most alarm clocks.” This, again, is true. I had a roommate that had a very loud and bad sounding buzzer; it was a terrible buzzer. The buzzer (buzzer) is when the alarm clock doesn’t play music, but it just plays a sound. Sometimes it is like a bell ringing; that’s the buzzer. Well, this buzzer always used to drive me nuts. “To drive someone nuts” (nuts) means to drive them crazy, to make them crazy, to make them go crazy.

I continue the story by saying, “As I was saying.” We use that expression, “as I was saying,” when we are talking about one thing then we start talking about a second thing, and now we want to go back and talk about the first thing again.

So, when you interrupt yourself when you are talking, and then you change the topic, change what you are talking about, and then want to go back to your original topic, you say, “As I was saying.”

“As I was saying, I sometimes wake up before the alarm, usually because of some noise outside the house.” When we say there is some noise, some sound, outside the house or outside of the house - you can say either one - we mean that someone is making a noise that is very loud. Some of those noises are “a car door slamming.” The verb “to slam” (slam) means that you close the door usually very quickly and you make a loud noise. Someone closes their car door very fast, it will make a noise. We call that “slamming the door.”

My mother always used to tell me when I was young, “Don’t slam the doors,”

meaning when I come in and close the door, I should close it slowly and quietly.

Of course, I was not a good boy so I would sometimes slam the door.

As I was saying, an alarm goes off, that’s another noise that can wake you up outside and this would be a car alarm. Here in Los Angeles, everyone has a car alarm, and sometimes those alarms go off at night. Another noise is gunfire; “gun (gun) fire (fire).” Gunfire is when someone shoots a gun and it makes a noise. This is, again, Los Angeles, so we sometimes have gunfire - but of course, I’m joking. I say, “Well, okay, not gunfire,” meaning I’m just kidding, that isn’t actually true, although, it is true sometimes.

I then say, “Man, is my neighborhood noisy!” That expression, “man,” is just a way of expressing your emotion when you are saying something that you really mean or really want to emphasize. “Man, is my neighborhood noisy!” - that means my neighborhood is very noisy.

“Of course, when I’m staying at a hotel, it’s usually easier to just get a wake up call from the hotel.” A “wake up call” (call) is when the hotel calls you on the phone to wake you up so you don’t have to set your own alarm. “To set” (set) an alarm means to turn it on and to put a certain time that you want to get up. Well, sometimes people have problems with their alarm clocks and so, if they are in a hotel, they can ask the hotel to wake them up with a wake up call.

At the end of the story I say, “I’m not really an early riser.” An “early (early) riser (riser)” means someone who wakes up and gets up very early in the morning.

You could be an early riser; you could be a late riser. The word “riser” comes from the verb “to rise (rise)” which, in this case, means to get up. Well, “I’m not really an early riser,” I say, “so I don’t jump out of bed.” “To jump out of bed”

means to get out of bed very quickly. “I don’t jump out of bed ready to take on the world.” “To take on the world,” means I’m ready for the day. It’s an expression we use to say that I am ready to go out into the world and do my best.

“I’m not an early riser, I don’t jump out of bed ready to take on the world.”

Instead, “I get up very slowly, usually one foot on the floor at a time.” So first, I get up and I put one foot on the floor, and then another foot on the floor, and then I stand up.

“Every once in awhile,” I say, “I’ll oversleep.” “To oversleep” (oversleep) - one word - means that you sleep later than you should. For example, you are wanting to get up at seven o’clock in the morning and you sleep until 7:30. You don’t realize that you are sleeping too late; we call that “oversleeping.” To oversleep means you sleep longer than you wanted to.

At the end of the story I say, “I really love the weekends” - Fridays and Saturdays - “when I can sleep in.” “To sleep in” means that you don’t get up at your normal time; you sleep longer than you normally do. So, if you normally get up at seven, on Saturday or Sunday if you don’t work, you may sleep in until nine a.m.

Now let’s listen to the story, this time at a native rate of speech.

[Start of story]

The worst part of the day for me is definitely when I have to get up. Waking up, that I can handle. But getting up? That, I hate. The covers I have on my bed are heavy, mostly because I have a comforter as well as a light blanket. I sleep with two pillows, which for some reason have different color pillowcases. Well, at least the sheets match.

I sometimes wake up before the alarm goes off. I like to keep the alarm at a low volume, with some classical music, nothing too jarring. My old roommate used to like the terrible buzzer that you find on most alarm clocks nowadays, which always used to drive me nuts. As I was saying, I sometimes wake up before the alarm, usually because of some noise outside the house-a car door slamming, an alarm going off, gunfire-well, okay, not gunfire, but man, is my neighborhood noisy! Of course, when I’m staying in a hotel, it’s usually easier to just get a wake up call from the hotel than to set the alarm.

I’m not really an early riser, so I don’t jump out of bed ready to take on the world.

I get up very slowly, usually one foot on the floor at a time. Every once in awhile I’ll oversleep, but not too often. I really love the weekends, when I can sleep in.

[End of story]

Her scripts are never jarring, but always as wonderful as classical music.

speak, of course, of our scriptwriter, Dr. Lucy Tse. Thank you, Lucy!

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

Contributors to this series are Jeff McQuillan, Lucy Tse, and Jessica Brown.

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