Speaking (Mirrors, Studying & Teaching)


Idioms & Expressions:

strutting like a peacock (a phrase that means someone is behaving in an excessively arrogant way after they’ve accomplished something)

The players were strutting around like peacocks for a few months after winning the championship.


pride comes before the fall (an expression that means that arrogant or overconfident people will usually fail at some point)


second nature (noun; refers to having learned something extremely well)

After months of practice, shooting a basketball became second nature to him.


master (verb; to master something means that you have become an expert at it)

She mastered the task of driving a car through the snow after a few months of living in Alaska.


have it down to a science (an expression that means someone has found the most efficient way to do something)

I have my morning commute down to a science – I can get from my home to the office in 20 minutes.


the bane of my existence (noun; something in your life that greatly stresses or challenges you)

Calculus is a very hard subject for me. It’s the bane of my existence.


burning the midnight oil (to stay up late working on something)

I have an exam tomorrow morning so I’m going to be burning the midnight oil tonight.


up to your eyeballs in _____ (an expression that means someone is dealing with a lot of something; generally a negative connotation)

I am up to my eyeballs in homework tonight.


it’s not rocket science (an expression used to signify that something is not difficult to understand)

Don’t worry about learning your grammar; it’s not rocket science.



Part I: Group Discussion

  1. Do you like mirrors? Why?

I guess so. I think I look at myself whenever there’s a reflective surface around, but I think everyone does that. So I don’t think I look at myself in the mirror any more or less often than most people do.

  1. Do you buy any mirrors?

Not at all (I think this is a pretty silly question). I think you only need to buy a mirror when you’re furnishing a new home, which probably isn’t that often.

  1. Do you think a mirror is useful for decoration?

They’re not necessary, but I think they’re good to have in your house. If you have one in your bathroom then you should be all set.

  1. When you shop for clothes, is the mirror important? Why?

Of course! You have to see what you look like in the clothing you’re trying on.


Part II: Individual Presentations

Describe a degree you would like to do or a course you would like to take. Please say:

          What is it?
When and where would you like to study?
Why would you like to do it?

At some point I would like to take an immersive Spanish or Mandarin course. There are programs where you can sign up to move to a Spanish or Mandarin-speaking city and study the language for a few weeks or months. You have to sign a pledge that you will not use your native language the entire time you’re there, which I think is the best way to learn something. I would like to do this within the next few years – I just need to pick a language first.

Part III: Class Discussion

  1. Do you think people need good teachers?

Of course. It’s hard to learn anything without a good teacher. A teacher should be empathetic and patient and have good knowledge of the material.

  1. How would you describe teaching?

I think it’s a difficult job that requires a diverse skill set, but with enough practice it can become second nature and pretty easy.

  1. Do you think Math and Sports teachers should have similar qualities?

Sort of — but sports (PE teachers) need to be more energetic and have different knowledge (of sports and games) than a math teacher, who must have detailed knowledge of mathematical theorems and principles.