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Aug 7, 2015

Summer can be such a relaxing time. If you're a teacher, it's your turn for a long vacation. However, if you have kids at home, sometimes that summer can become downright (1)stressful. "Mum, Jenna can't come over, and I'm so bored!" said my daughter to me with a look of pain on her face. Her friends are everything to her, and life is just not as colorful(2)when they're not around. I didn't say it, but I thought of something my mother used to say to me whenever I was bored, "Only boring people get bored," she used to say. Well, I decided not to use that phrase; it wasn't very helpful. "Do you want to use my laptop?" I asked, knowing that it would help her get some ideas. "Ok," she half-protested(3). Later, my son Robert came into the kitchen and also complained about being bored, again as if he was in pain. "How about your bike?" I suggested. He went into the garage and didn't come back. "Oh good," I thought to myself, "he must be riding his bike."                                  

About an hour went by. The house was quiet, so I became curious. Were my kids ok? Were they asleep? What had happened? Just then, Robert came running in, "Mum, tell Domini to come out. I drew a racing track on our driveway with chalk(4). It's perfect for racing her Crazy Cart." And then Domini came running down the stairs, "Hey mum, listen to this piece of music I just made on Garage Band." They had both become creative, and had forgotten about being bored. So now the plan was to video the Crazy Cart race, and put it to her music. What a plan! They took turns racing around the driveway while Domini's music played. It was a burst of creative energy. I was impressed. 

1. 'Downright stressful'. Downright is a very emphatic way of saying 'very' or 'completely'. It is usually used when emphasizing something negative, although I have heard it used in sentences like: "She is downright gorgeous."

a. That book was downright boring!

b. The service in that restaurant is downright sloppy!

2. 'Life is just not as colorful..' this expression here is figurative when talking about Domini's friends. The idea of something adding color or light to life is often used in English. The word 'colorful' is used to mean interesting even to an extreme.

a. His language was very colorful (this can mean that he used a lot of rude words).

b. You light up my life, darling.

3. 'Half-protested.' The 'half' here indicates that the action carried out was weak, soft, or not very determined.

a. "Here he comes now," she half-whispered.

b. When he told me that bad news, I half-laughed out of shock.

4. 'I drew a racing track on our driveway with chalk.' This practice is very common here in the U.S, especially in summer. Children will often draw images, tracks, and even gameboards in chalk, and then play on them.

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