Speaking (Photography & Crime)


Idioms & Expressions:

shutterbug (noun used for a person who’s always taking pictures, shooting (verb that can be used for “taking” pictures or video)

My brother bought a camera and now he’s turned into a shutterbug.

pretty as a picture (an expression that means something is attractive or visually pleasing)

She looked pretty as a picture in her new dress.

a picture is worth a thousand words (this expression means it’s easier to simply show a picture of something rather than explain)

do your time (an expression that encourages people to get through their punishments or bad situations without complaining – can be used in other situations besides prison)

If you get in trouble, you have to go to prison and do your time.

crime doesn’t pay (an expression that means pursuing criminal activities is a bad option, because you will be caught)

partners in crime (a lighthearted expression that is used to describe best friends)

We’ve been best friends and partners in crime for ten years.

the punishment fits the crime (an expression that is used to discuss whether someone’s punishment is fair or not)

The problem with the young man’s conviction was that the punishment didn’t fit the crime.

pig (a derogatory term for “police officer”)

I was driving on Sunday and got pulled over by the pigs.

institutionalized (adjective used to describe someone who has been in prison too long to re-adapt to society after they’ve been released)

After twenty years in prison, he was institutionalized and didn’t know how to function in society.

reoffend (verb, this means to commit the same crime after you’ve been released from prison)

Many prisoners reoffend after they’re released from prison.

parole (noun and verb = if you’re “paroled,” then you’re let out of prison early).

I was paroled after serving five years of a six-year prison sentence.

Part I: Group Discussion

Do you like to take photographs?

I do like to take photographs, but I’m not very good at taking them. I believe it takes talent and skill to take a good photo, and I don’t have the requisite talent or skill to take an amazing photo right now. But if I see a beautiful view, I want to take a photo of it!

Do you prefer to take pictures of people or of scenery?

Scenery, mostly. I’m not good at taking portraits of individual people. Scenery is usually more impressive, I think.

Where do you often take photographs?

Wherever I am, especially if I’m in a new place. When I first travel somewhere, I take a lot of photos of it. As time goes on, I take fewer and fewer, because I’m familiar with the place.

What kind of people do you find annoying?

Loud people. I don’t like it when people make loud noises or shout. I guess I prefer a peaceful atmosphere. That’s why I usually carry around headphones, so that I don’t have to listen to other people.

Who’s a famous person you would like to meet?

I think I’d like to meet Chris Evans. He’s the actor who plays Captain America in the Marvel superhero movies. I’d like to see what he’s like in real life and how he acts when he’s not playing a character. He also seems like a really fun guy to hang out with.


Part II: Group Discussion (Con’t)

Why do some people commit crimes?

Some people are inherently evil, but other people commit crimes out of necessity. When people are hungry, they’re going to try to find a solution, even if this means breaking a few rules. That’s why I think that there’s an economic solution to crime.

Is the statement, ‘Once a criminal, always a criminal’, true?

I don’t see how this could possibly be true. The problem is that everyone makes mistakes, especially when they’re young, but people can always grow and change. Especially if you label traffic offenders as “criminals” – this kind of thinking makes the idea of “once a criminal, always a criminal” seem ridiculous.

What’s the positive and negative things about prison?

I think prison can be beneficial if it fulfills its intended purpose, which is to rehabilitate the offender. However, prison conditions can be brutal and can push people deeper into a life of crime. Additionally, sentences are often far too long, because the punishments don’t fit the crime.

How will crime change/develop in the next few decades?

One would hope that as economic opportunities become more available for everyone, the crime rates will indeed decrease. Unfortunately, I do think that economic disparity will only increase in the future, which will lead to higher crime rates.

Part III: Individual Presentations

Describe a time when you got in trouble for something. You should say:

where you were and what you did wrong

why you did it

how you were punished

and whether or not you think the punishment was fair.

I was driving a friend’s car to work in Malibu, California in 2009. The speed limit was 50 miles per hour, but I think I was going 55 miles per hour. A cop pulled me over and wrote me a ticket for driving too fast, not being registered on the car I was driving, not having insurance for the car I was driving, and also for having an out-of-state driver’s license. I had a court date to go to a few months from then. I thought this was very unfair, because I hadn’t been going too fast – and everyone speeds. I think the cops was just bored, and decided to do as much damage as he could. I ended up not having to go to court, because the courthouse lost my ticket. But I think it was very unfair, and the punishment could have been very severe, all because I was going a little faster than the stated speed limit.