32 High School

Kerys talks about her rough and tough school days back in England.

Todd: OK. Kerys, we're going to talk about high school. What was high school like for you?

Kerys: It was a very interesting experience. I was in a high school in a, quite a run-down area.

Todd: Oh, OK.

Kerys: So it was the norm for girls to get pregnant at 14, leave school and then come back at 16 and do their exams.

Todd: Wow!

Kerys: So it was quite unique.

Todd: At 14?

Kerys: At 14! Yeah.

Todd: Oh, my gosh.

Kerys: So it was quite a strange environment to be in for somebody who didn't get pregnant and..

Todd: Wow! Was it a rough neighborhood?

Kerys: Yeah.

Todd: OK.

Kerys: Yeah. Yeah.

Todd: But did you have a good time?

Kerys: Yeah, I enjoyed myself. It was great, you now as..I kept myself out of trouble.

Todd: Wow.

Kerys: Which was hard. Cause everyone was getting into trouble but yeah, it was fun.

Todd: Oh, OK. What do you remember most about high school?

Kerys: I remember that the school dinners were disgusting.

Todd: OK. And did you get good grades in high school?

Kerys: Yeah.

Todd: OK, what was your favorite subject?

Kerys: It's drama.

Todd: OK. Do you still act?

Kerys: No.

Todd: OK. Do you still go to theatre?

Kerys: Yeah.

Todd: OK.

Kerys: To watch.

Todd: Just to watch. Great! Thanks a lot Kerys.

Kerys: No worries!

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

run-down area

I studied in a high school which is in a quite run-down area.

A 'run-down area' is an area that has not been maintained or fixed the way it should.  These places can be ugly and have many broken things.  Notice the following:

  1. The school looks pretty run-down now.
  2. This town has turned into a really run-down area.

the norm

It was the norm for girls to get pregnant, leave school, and then come back again.

'The norm' is what is normal for a certain group of people.  Notice the following:

  1. What is the norm for the number of years to finish school?
  2. They generally follow the norm.

rough neighborhood

It was a rough neighborhood, a strange environment to be in.

A 'rough neighborhood' is an area where the people are very tough and in many cases violent.  There is usually a lot of crime in these parts and the people who live there are generally poor.  Notice the following:

  1. This used to be a rough neighborhood, but there have been lots of improvements.
  2. She grew up in a really rough neighborhood.

keep out of trouble/get into trouble

It was hard to keep out of trouble, because everyone was getting into trouble.

To 'keep out of trouble' is to stay away from things or decisions that will cause you problems or to follow the rules.  When we 'get into trouble' we don't follow the rules and somebody catches us.  Notice the following:

  1. I was surprised he kept himself out of trouble at school.
  2. He got into a lot of trouble when he was growing up.

no worries

[Thanks a lot.] No worries.

We can tell someone 'no worries' when something is not a big deal.  Another way to say this is 'no problem' or 'don't worry about it.'  Notice the following:

  1. I can give you a ride home.  No worries.
  2. He told me it would be no worries to fix the car by next week.


Answer the following questions about the interview.

Keep Listening

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
run-down • the norm • rough
keep out of • no worries
  1. It's for people to be interested in celebrities.
  2. about picking me up. I have a ride home.
  3. Their house has gotten really in the last few years..
  4. She works hard to trouble at her new school.
  5. That part of town can be very for foreigners.