Podcast

Episode 18 • Sport

18

Jump to conclusions

Pick sides

A low blow

Sink or swim

Step up to the plate

Story

My parents recently got me a drone. One of those small drones you can control with your phone. My younger brother and I went to the park to play with it. After a while, he asked me to use it so I let him. I get distracted for a second and I hear him scream. Something had hit him in the eye. We went home right away. I knew my parents would jump to conclusions and think that it had been me. Maybe not my mom because she doesn’t like to pick sides, but my dad… As soon as we walked in my brother screamed ‘Look what Rob did to me!’. What a low blow! I hadn’t done anything. I could see my dad was about to get angry and I knew it was either sink or swim. I took out my phone and played the video from the park, while everybody watched. There it was… my brother flying the drone… suddenly losing control and then BAM!, the thing flew right into his face! He finally stepped up to the plate and admitted he’d only accused me because he was jealous that I had a drone and he didn’t! I’d probably be pretty angry with my brother if that video wasn’t just so dang funny!

Questions

All right then, it's time for the expressions.

Jump to conclusions

'I knew my parents would jump to conclusions.'

• If you jump to conclusion, do you judge a situation having all the facts or only some of the facts?

If you jump to conclusions, it's because you only have some facts. You're not entirely sure of everything that's happened.

• Do you normally jump to conclusions?

I think I do sometimes, for example, when I was at school, there would be some kids that used to cause more trouble maybe than others. If something bad happened in class, I would immediately jump to conclusions and think that it had been them, the ones that cause more trouble. Sometimes I was right, sometimes I wasn't.

Pick sides

'She doesn’t like to pick sides.'

• If two people are arguing and you pick sides, do you support one of them or both of them?

Picking sides or choosing sides means that when there's two people arguing in front of you, you decide to support only one of them. You decide you pick whose side you're on.

• If two friends or two family members are having a fight, do you normally pick sides?

I don't. I don't think it's a good idea. It causes more problems to you than anything. If you pick a side, you're only going to make things worse.

A low blow

'What a low blow!'

• If something you say or do is a low blow, is it kind or unkind?

A low blow is something unkind.

• And is it fair or unfair?

It's something that you shouldn't have done. It's unfair.

• Is a low blow something expected or unexpected?

I love low something that you do not expect. Like in the story, the kid goes home and his brother unexpectedly accuses him. That's unkind, that's unfair and totally unexpected. It's a low blow.

• Can you think of something that someone said or did to you that was a low blow?

Yes. I do have an example. This one time I went to a Christmas party with my ex and we got there a little late and he's usually the one who's late, but that time it was my fault and I admit it. As soon as we walked in, people make comments because they knew that he's normally late, people make comments being like, "Oh, you're late again." He said, "Well, this time it's not my fault. It's Laura's fault." I thought, what a low blow? It's very unkind that you would put me in this position in front of your friends. It's totally not fair. They're your friends. You could have protected me. You didn't even have to say anything. I did not expect it at all. That was a little bit of a low blow.

Sink or swim

'It was either sink or swim.'

• If you find yourself in a situation where you can only sink or swim, what are the two possible outcomes of the situations?

In the case you sink, it's a bad outcome, that means you fail. If you swim, it's a good outcome, it means that you succeed.

• If you’re in a situation where it’s either sink or swim, can you count on anybody’s help?

Imagine you're in the middle of the ocean and it's either sink or swim. You don't have anybody else to help you. It's up to you. You can either decide to let go and fail or you can survive and swim and make it.

• Have you ever been in a situation where you were left to sink or swim?

Going back to something I mentioned in the last episode, I feel like when I first started teaching, I was left to sink or swim because I didn't know that much about teaching because I only just started. I started working for this company and they sent me to the school with no preparation, no lesson plans, no materials. I felt like I was left there to sink or swim, and I tried to swim, but it was really hard.

Step up to the plate

'He finally stepped up to the plate.'

• When do you need to step up to the plate? In a crisis or in a good situation?

You step up to the plate when it's a moment of crisis, it's a moment of difficulty.

• If you step up to the plate, do you accept or deny responsibility?

Stepping up to the plate means accepting responsibility. Let's try to picture a situation to help you understand how to use this expression. Imagine that it's really cold and nobody in the house wants to go out for food, but the fridge is empty. Is this a crisis? Yes. You need food. Nobody wants to go. It's cold. Oh, man. Terrible.

• Imagine a situation in which it’s really cold and nobody in the house wants to go out for food. Is this a crisis? And then imagine you offer to go. Can you say you’ve stepped up to the plate?

Yes. It's a crisis. You decide to take responsibility and do something a little uncomfortable that nobody else wants to do, but that's got to be done. You're stepping up to the plate. Good for you.

• Is it easy for you to step up to the plate in difficult situations?

No, it's not easy. I let other people do it. I'm the kind of person that if someone offers to do something that I don't want to do, I'm not going to be like, "Oh no, please let me do it." I'm just like, "Fine. If you want to do it, go ahead." Let's say, if nobody shows interest in doing something and it's got to be done, then I will step up to the plate.

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