In this week’s bonus episode, Andrew talks about why he had to cancel his trip to Canada at the last moment. Plus in the vocabulary lesson, he teaches you a useful expression for telling bad news: all around.
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Note: The transcript has been edited for clarity.
Andrew: Hey there, everyone, how’s it going? My name’s Andrew and you are listening to the Culips English Podcast. Thanks for pressing play on this episode and joining me today for another English study session. It’s great to kick off a new week with you this way. I’m an English teacher from Canada, but I’m currently living in South Korea. And here at Culips, my team and I, we make audio lessons for intermediate and advanced learners that are designed to develop your English communication skills, and build your vocabulary with useful and natural words and expressions, and also teach you about the culture of English-speaking people and English-speaking countries. Now, each week, we start the week off with a bonus episode, and that’s what you’re listening to right now. The bonus episode comes with a transcript that’s absolutely 100% free. And you can download it from our website Culips.com or by clicking the link in the description for this episode.
So, guys, how are things going? What’s going on? What’s new? Of course, I hope everything is good in your neck of the woods, in your life. As for me, things are a bit crazy in my world lately. If you listen to the last bonus episode from last week, you’ll know that my wife and I were planning to go back to Canada. In fact, I was hoping that I’d be able to record this bonus episode for you from Canada. But it didn’t work out that way. I’m actually not in Canada right now. I’m still in Korea, in my apartment, in my little office where I usually record Culips content. So then, what happened? I know you’re dying to know, right? Can you guess? I wonder if you could guess. Well, after over two and a half years of successfully avoiding the Coronavirus, everyone, it finally happened, and we finally caught it. The timing really couldn’t have been any worse. Just three days before we were supposed to leave, my wife’s friend sent her a text message and told her to go and get a COVID test. I guess that friend had just tested positive for the virus and my wife had spent some time with that friend a couple of days before. So right away after getting that text message, my wife did a home test, and it came back negative. We both breathed a sigh of relief. We breathed a sigh of relief. We were like, “Woah! That was a close call.” That was a close call. A close call. Have you heard that idiom before a close call? If something is a close call, it means that you almost got into trouble, or an accident, or a bad situation, but you were able to just barely avoid it. So, we thought it was a close call. My wife had been hanging out with a friend, that friend tested positive for COVID. We thought for sure, “Oh no, my wife is going to get COVID as well.” But then we tested, she didn’t have COVID, so we thought, “Phew, that was a close call.” And we were so thankful that she didn’t have it.
At least, that’s what we thought at first, because the next day when my wife woke up, she had a sore throat, and a slight headache. But she did another test, and again, it came back negative. But we were worried about her being sick at this point. So, we went to a clinic in our neighborhood to get her checked out, and to get some medicine. At the clinic, the doctor did another COVID test, and that test came back negative as well. So, after three negative tests in a row, two at home and one at the doctor’s office, I thought, OK, she probably actually doesn’t have COVID, she’s just sick, just a little bit under the weather. To be under the weather means to be slightly sick, like if you have a cold or something. So, I thought she was just under the weather, and that she was probably OK, the doctor gave her some medicine, and we were hoping that the medicine would be effective, and that she would start to feel better right away, and that we could still go on our trip to Canada. But at the same time, I was pretty worried. In fact, that night, I didn’t really sleep very well. I started to research about the rules for visiting Canada in this kind of situation. Of course, Canada, like probably your country, as well, has many special COVID rules, and since my wife is not a citizen, it seemed like it would have been practically impossible for her to visit, even if she didn’t have COVID, because she was having COVID like symptoms.
And so, I started to get pretty stressed that if my wife didn’t start to feel better, ASAP, as soon as possible, that she might not be able to go on the trip. Well, as I said, that night when I went to bed, I didn’t sleep very well. And when we did get up the next morning, my wife was full-blown sick. Full-blown sick. Full-blown sick means, like 100%, or completely sick. So, she was really sick at that point with all of the classic COVID symptoms, a sore throat, headache, she was really tired, she had a fever. And to me the most scary symptom that she had was that she actually said her ears were really sore, and that she felt like her hearing was going away. So of course, I was pretty worried at this point, and I think so was she. So that morning, just after waking up, my wife did another home test. And unfortunately, that test did come back positive. So, she went to the clinic again to get an official test and that result came back positive as well. The doctor gave her some medicine and sent her on her way home. And at that point, it was clear to us that we were going to have to cancel the trip. As I said, since my wife isn’t a Canadian citizen, it would have been illegal for her to try and enter the country while positive. And as well, it’s just not a good thing to do traveling when you’re positive with the virus. It also would have broken Korean laws because you have to quarantine once you test positive. So, at that point, I realized that unfortunately, we were going to have to call the whole trip off. Now as for me during this time, I totally felt fine. I did COVID tests at home when my wife did, and I was testing negative. Now despite this, my wife and I right now are quarantined in our apartment, and we haven’t been going outside at all or anything. And actually, this morning, I did start to have the very slightest of a sore throat. Like on a 10-point pain scale, I would say it’s like a .05 out of 10. So, it’s a very, very slight, sore throat. So, I did go to a testing center near my house to get a test, I did that this morning, and I’m waiting on the results right now. But to be honest, I do expect the test to come back positive and thankfully it seems like I will have a practically symptomless case. You know, my wife on the other hand, she’s quite sick, although she’s starting to get better now, maybe the worst is over, but she’s still pretty sick right now. But for me, like I said, just a very slight sore throat and other than that I’m doing great. So, I’ll have to wait on the official test results to come out. I’m expecting that any moment, but I’m acting like I have the virus and I’m quarantining here with my wife in our home. And I’m just glad that we’re both not really sick, because I think that would be a pretty difficult situation. But yeah, I’m doing fine. I’m doing well. And thankfully, I’m able to take care of my wife while she’s sick right now.
So anyways, guys at the end of the day then, we did have to cancel our trip to Canada. And it sucks! We were both looking forward to going and I hated to have to cancel it at the last moment like that. I think more than us, my parents were the most disappointed, they were really looking forward to meeting their new daughter-in-law for the first time. And for those listeners who don’t know, my wife and I got married last year, but because of COVID, again, and the travel restrictions at that time, they weren’t able to come to the wedding, which was here in Korea. So, it’s just a disappointment all around, but we’ll try to reschedule our trip for some time early next year. And hopefully at that time, we’re feeling better, and the travel situation is better too. And we can finally go to Canada, at least for a little bit just to see my family and friends. And of course, so that I can introduce my country to my wife.
In English, we have a saying and that saying is: it’s no use crying over spilt milk. Have you heard that one before? Maybe you have a similar expression in your language, I imagine that most languages from around the world have a similar kind of expression. Can you guess what it means just from hearing it, it’s no use crying over spilt milk? It just means that you shouldn’t spend time worrying or stressing out about things that you can’t control. So, here, do a little experiment with me, a little thought experiment. Imagine you’re going to drink a glass of milk. Do you like milk? Actually, it’s hard for me to imagine because I never drink milk, I kind of find it disgusting to drink, in fact. But that’s not important, stay with me here. Imagine you’re going to drink a glass of milk. So, you pour yourself a glass of milk. And just as you’re about to lift the glass off the table, you accidentally knock it over, and the milk spills all over the floor. And at that point, when that happens, the milk is now wasted, right? There’s no way to get the milk back in the glass and drink it again, you’re not going to like suck up the milk with a straw or something, that’s crazy. So the milk is gone, and you just have to clean it up and move on with your life. In that situation, there’s no point in crying or complaining about the milk being gone and wasted because it’s too late to fix the problem. That’s the kind of imagery behind this expression. And I think it fits well, for the situation that happened to me. Although I did really, really want to go back to Canada with my wife. And it’s unfortunate about the COVID situation, there’s no use crying over spilt milk. It is what it is. It’s totally out of our control. So, we won’t let it bother us, and instead we’ll just focus on getting healthy again.
So, everyone, I hope your week was better than my week. And to be honest, it was a bit of a rough one. To look on the bright side, though, I suddenly have a lot more free time than I was initially expecting. And thankfully, I’m able to do a lot of work on cool new Culips projects that we have happening over here on our end. And one of the things I’m working on is a brand-new Fluency Files episode. The Fluency Files is our special series that’s for Culips Members only. And each episode features a short audio story that’s perfect for intensive English study. So, things like repetitive listening, or shadowing, or dictation, and more. There are many, many ways that you can study with the Fluency Files. And this episode that I’m working on right now, it will be episode number 61. So, I’m just putting the final touches on the study guide that will go with that episode. So, if you’re a Culips Member, please look for it to be uploaded to the Culips Dashboard here very soon within the next few days or so.
And now it’s time for this week’s vocabulary lesson.
All right, everyone, so I like to wrap up the end of each bonus episode with a short vocabulary lesson, and I’m going to teach you a great expression, one that you likely won’t find in dictionaries or textbooks, but one that’s really, really natural to use when talking about bad situations. Now, you may have heard this expression before, but maybe not used in this way. So let me break it down and teach you all about it. But first, I’ll introduce the expression itself, it is: all around. K? Two words: all A-L-L. Second word: around A-R-O-U-N-D. And when we say it quickly, it sounds like all around, all around. And we usually use this expression when we want to say that a person, or a place, a situation, or a thing is completely, 100%, bad or terrible, or some kind of other negative quality. K? All around like 360 degrees. From viewing it from every viewpoint, you can see that it’s just a bad or terrible situation. Did you hear when I used this expression in this episode? Why don’t we rewind, go back, and listen to that part of the audio a few more times?
So, it’s just a disappointment all around, but we’ll try to reschedule our trip for some time early next year.
So, I was talking about not being able to go back home to visit Canada. And I said it was a disappointment all around, it was a disappointment all around. Notice where I put the all around in that sentence, I put it after the noun, right? I could have just said it was a disappointment. But then I added that all around. And that really, really strengthened the sentence. It was a disappointment all around, 100%. It has the same meaning as saying it was a complete or a total disappointment. So, the placement here, everyone, is really important. If you want it to sound natural, you should always put all around after the noun or the adjective that you want to modify. So, for example, maybe you want to talk about a basketball player who is a really terrible basketball player, and you could say something like, “He’s a horrible player all around.” Or another example, if you want to complain, maybe about your bank, OK? Banks or something that people like to complain about often, me included. Maybe let’s imagine that you want to complain about your bank because they raised their fees. And now it’s more expensive than ever to bank with them. In that situation, you could say, “Oh, my bank is awful all around.” OK? It’s completely, 100%, a terrible bank. I’ve prepared a few more example sentences to help us understand how to make complaints or talk about bad situations with this expression. So, let’s listen to those examples now.
Example sentence number one.
Did you hear about Steve? Apparently, he got in a car accident yesterday. His car is totaled, and even worse, the people he hit are injured and in the hospital. It’s just a terrible situation all around. Let’s break that example sentence down. So, in that example, we hear about a guy named Steve and Steve was in a car accident. He totaled his car. If you total your car, it means that your car is completely broken. It’s impossible to fix it or repair it, it’s gone. And in that car accident, unfortunately, Steve injured some other people, and those people are in the hospital. So, the speaker of this sentence said it’s just a terrible situation all around. It means that the whole situation of the accident, and the car being totaled, and the people that are injured and, in the hospital, all of these things are 100% terrible. It’s a terrible situation all around, completely terrible.
Example sentence number two.
The officiating in this game is so crappy all around. Why do the refs keep missing all these fouls? Let’s break that example down. So, in that example we heard a speaker complaining about the officiating in a soccer game. Officiating is the work that the referees do. So that speaker was complaining that the officiating is so crappy, all around. So of course, crappy means, like, really, really bad. And in fact, it’s kind of a polite way to say the word shitty, and often in informal situations amongst friends, like if you’re hanging out with your friends watching a soccer game on TV, in that situation, most people won’t say crappy. In fact, they’ll say shitty, and that’s a really common phrase, actually, if something is shitty all around. So anyway, the speaker in that example, was saying that the officiating is so crappy all around, so shitty all around, just like 100% bad, the referees are doing a terrible job, and they’re missing all the fouls. So, the players are breaking the rules, but the officials, the referees, are doing nothing about it.
Example sentence number three.
Today is just so awful all around, I was late for work, and my boss was angry with me. Then I spilled coffee on my suit, and now I have a splitting headache. I can’t wait to go home and just go to bed. Let’s break that example down. So, in that example, the speaker was having a really, really bad day. He said that today was awful all around. Today was awful all around, it was completely totally terrible. OK? That guy was late for work and his boss was angry at him. He spilled coffee on himself. And he has a splitting headache. A splitting headache is a very, very, very painful headache. Almost like your head is splitting down the middle into two parts, like your head is cracking open. A very, very severe headache. So, the speaker of that example just wants to go home and go to bed.
That’s it for this episode, everyone. Thanks as always for listening, I appreciate it. And congratulations on completing another English study session with me. If you like Culips, and you find it helpful for building your English skills, please support us. The best way to support the work that we do here is by becoming a Culips Member. Members get lots of special bonuses and perks and are key to keeping Culips going. For all the details about becoming a member and to sign up, just visit Culips.com. You can also support us by telling your friends who are learning English to check us out, following us on social media like Instagram, or by leaving us a five-star rating and a positive review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts. So, guys, I’m sorry that this episode wasn’t full of good vibes, but that’s life for ya, right? So have a great week. Good luck with your English learning. Take care, and we’ll meet again soon on the next episode. Until then, goodbye.
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