Podcast

Episode 57 • School

57

Turn in

Paper

Skip school

Perfect attendance

Play hookie

Story

[Bell rings]
Girl: I’m so nervous, Alice.
Alice: Why?
Girl: What do you mean “Why”? Because today is the day we have to turn in our papers for Mrs. Willow’s class.
Alice: What? That was today?
Girl: Yeah, silly. It’s like 50% of our final grade. How could you forget?!
Alice: Oh, my gosh. What am I going to do?
Girl: Go home and pretend you’re sick.
Alice: What?! No, I’m not skipping school, I’ve got perfect attendance!
Girl: Well, I don’t see another way… You either play hooky or get an F…
Alice: Oh, man. Alright, fine. I’ll go home. Tell Mrs, Willow I’m sick, okay?
Girl: Alright. Now go, before she sees you.
Alice: Okay, bye!
[Bell rings]
Teacher: Good morning, guys! So, I’ve decided I’ll give you one extra day to finish your papers, so you can bring them tomorrow. Alright, let’s begin…
Girl: Oh man, Alice is going to kill me when she finds out…

Questions

Ready for today's expressions? I feel I've woken up a little bit more after reading the story.

Turn in

'Because today is the day we have to turn in our papers for Mrs. Willow's class.'

• What do you usually turn in at school? A project, some homework or a talk?

A project, some homework, or a talk, or you usually turn in something that's physical, something that you can touch. We're talking about maybe a project sometimes or some homework.

• If you turn something in, do you give it to your teacher or do you get it from your teacher?

Well, the idea of turning something in is that you do it at home or maybe in class and then you give it to your teacher. You turn it in.

• Have you ever forgotten to turn in some homework when you were at school? What happended?

I'm sure it happened. Actually, I was a very good student when I was younger. Then when I started going to high school, things didn't go too well for me. I'm sure I forgot my homework at some point in my life. It was nothing serious. I got an extra day. Basically, the teacher told me, "You can bring it in tomorrow. You can turn it in tomorrow." I'm sure it happened quite a few times in my life.

Paper

'Because today is the day we have to turn in our papers for Mrs. Willow's class.'

• Is a paper a multiple choice test or a piece of writing?

A paper is a piece of writing. Maybe you heard the term essay. That is the same thing. A paper, something that you write, a long text.

• Do teachers usually give you a topic your paper should be about or not?

Yes, most often than not, they're going to tell you, "Write a paper on pollution. Write a paper on your family, whatever." They usually give a topic, then you write a few lines. Sometimes they give you the amount of words or the amount of lines that you have to write.

• Are kids in school required to write papers in your country? Do you think it’s important?

Back in the day when I used to go to school, I had to write papers. It was one probably a month. I'm pretty sure they still do it. I think it's really important. I hated doing it because, obviously, you have to be creative a lot of the times. You're also stressed because you have a time limit. It's not the same thing. Now if I want to write an episode, it's like, I've got the whole afternoon, whatever. I get inspired, but there you're like, "It's 8:10." You've got two hours, you've got to think of a story or of a way to put together some information and you've got to do it without mistakes and you cannot check it again and you also get a grade. That's very stressful. I think it still teaches you a lot. I think papers are good.

Skip school

'I'm not skipping school.'

• If you skip school, do you go to school?

No. Exactly the opposite. You don't go to school if you skipped school.

• And what do you do if you skip school, do you stay at home or go somewhere else?

Do you stay at home or go somewhere else? It could be either one. Sometimes you could stay at home, or you could go somewhere else.

• Do your parents know that you’re skipping school?

That also depends. Sometimes it's a decision that you make together. Let's say that you're sick and you want to stay at home, you're going to decide that you can skip school, or sometimes maybe your parents want to go on vacation even though it's school time and they're going to bring you with. In that case, you're still skipping school. It depends, or maybe you just don't want to go to school but your parents obviously want you to go to school and you skip school, don't tell anybody and maybe either stay at home if your parents are not at home, or you go to the mall just to make sure that they don't see you.

• How often would you skip school when you were younger?

When I was super young, not very often. Like I said, I was a good student. My mom was a teacher, she cared a lot about this stuff. I think when I turned 14, if I could have missed every day of school, I would have, I just did not like it. I did not like going to school. I think I would skip school maybe, I want to say 10, 15 days in a year on average. I'm not really sure, but it was more than once a month I think I would stay at home. I think.

Perfect attendance

'I've got perfect attendance!'

• In order to have perfect attendance, can you miss school?

No, that's the thing about perfect attendance, it means that you've never missed a day of school.

• What about when you’re sick?

They can't blame you for being sick. It's not your decision. Well, unfortunately, if you are sick and stay at home, you still do not have perfect attendance. Perfect attendance, it means no matter what happens in your life, you're going to school. You're not missing a day.

• Do kids in the U.S. get something for having perfect attendance?

I'm not sure about your country, but in the US, it's a big deal. It's really important for some kids, if they care about school, to have perfect attendance. They will get an award, sometimes certificate at the end of the year to celebrate and reward them for the fact that they have perfect attendance. It doesn't change a whole lot, but it's a matter of pride for a lot of students and for their parents, especially.

• Did you ever have perfect attendance when you were going to school?

Oh god, no, never. [laughs] No, no, no, no, quite the opposite. Like I said, I did not care one bit. When I was younger, I would get sick, so I had no option but stay at home. Also, I just loved, loved to stay at home. I didn't care about perfect attendance. Any chance I had, I would just stay home.

Play hooky

'You either play hooky or get an F...'

• If you play hooky, do you go to school or do you skip school?

We're reusing another expression that we've seen earlier. If you play hooky, you skip school. Let's look at the differences.

• Do your parents usually know you’re playing hooky?

No, they don't know. That's a big difference because skipping school is just a generic term. It can mean that you're sick, it can mean that you're away with your parents. If you're playing hooky, it means that you don't want your parents to find out. That's the big difference. You're still skipping school, but you're doing it without your parents knowing.

• Why do some kids play hooky?

I don't know. Sometimes you just don't feel like going to school. Sometimes there's a test and you don't want to take the test. Sometimes you just rather do something else, like I said.

• Have you ever played hooky?

I've played hooky a few times in my life, not many times without being caught. I think I probably did it-- I think I've already told the story actually. I used to play hooky all the time and not go to my French class in the afternoon. You start by doing it once. I played hooky once and then it was like, "My mom didn't find out, so I'm going to do it again." Then you get cocky. You feel like, "She's never going to find out," so you do it more and more. Eventually, she did find out that I was playing hooky. She got really mad. Really mad.

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