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Aug 31, 2009


It's great to be back podcasting for you, my listeners. And what an exciting time of year it is! Back to school. For some of us, it is back to work. It seems that for most of July and August, here in the States, there are advertisements everywhere for the children's clothes and supplies for school. Unlike in England, here each child has a long list of supplies that their parents must buy for them for the start of school in September. The list includes: pencils, paper, books, pens, kleenex, sanitary wipes, coloring pens, paints, and the list goes on and on. My children were very excited when I came back from the store with lots of bags full of their stuff. They took them and ran up to their bedrooms to make piles of their new supplies under their desks, or in a special place. It is quite funny to see them on the first day of school, because their backpacks are crammed full. They can hardly zip them up! I think that it is exciting for them because it helps them feel prepared for a new school year with new friends, a new teacher, and a new schedule. They probably feel a little nervous about the newness of it all, and so, getting organised with their stuff makes them feel ready.

 Grammar notes.

Useful vocabulary: supplies, kleenex, sanitary wipes, piles, to cram.


Our most important emergency supply is bottles of water.

You must use a kleenex if you have a runny nose.

Instead of using bleach water to clean the countertops, I use sanitary wipes.

There were piles of dirty clothes all over the laundry room. Can't people just put them in the washer?

The little boy crammed the blueberries in his mouth.


So, I found myself a few weeks ago in Fred Meyer. It is a huge, general store in East Wenatchee where you can buy anything from milk to shoes, plastic bags to eye drops, or toys to trees. It's a great place if you want, what they call over here, 'a one stop shop' experience. They also have a wonderful place called 'Playland' where you can drop off your little children in a safe, supervised, 'kids only' room, so they can play and have fun while you do all of the boring shopping. What a great idea. But I wasn't doing normal shopping that day. I was on a mission. School supplies. To be honest, with four kids, it's all a bit of a headache. Thankfully though, these shops are not only ready to receive our money, but they are also ready to help us find what we need very easily. There were two very long aisles of school supplies, organised very clearly, to direct the grumpy, unwilling mothers, like myself, into the full shopping experience. I had sheet of paper in my hands with lists for each age group. Pencils first I think; okay, a pack of ten or a dozen. Is there an important difference. What's the big deal if I get the wrong one? Okay Anna, let's keep a good attitude. Next, paper. Young kids need wide ruled paper, not college ruled which is narrower. That makes sense. And so, I spent about an hour choosing, browsing, picking things up, putting them back, comparing, and selecting. And, finally it was done. Well, that wasn't too difficult after all.

Grammar notes.

 New expressions and vocabulary: 'a one stop shop', to drop off, to supervise, grumpy, narrow/ narrower.


It's so easy to shop in that store. It's my one stop shop.

I will drop the kids off at my mother's tomorrow.

Those rowdy boys really need to be supervised.

I wish he wasn't so grumpy. It's difficult to talk to him; he's so negative.

That road is narrow, but the other one is narrower.