557 High School

Mark and Todd remember high school.

Mark: Hey, Todd, when you look back on your high school experience, do you, in general, do you see it as a positive or a negative experience?

Todd: Oh, definitely positive. It was one of the best times of my life.

Mark: Yeah.

Todd:Oh, it was awesome. I mean, it was being with your friends,and you know, driving for the first time and having your first part-time job and playing sports and going to dances. It was great.

Mark:Now did, a lot of high schools in the states, I went to high school in the states and a lot of high schools have, there are these clicks, you know, there's like a popular group of kids, and then there are other kids who don't really feel like they belong (right) Yeah, I know you Todd. You strike me as you were probably one of the popular kids, so of course you're gonna think high school was great.

Todd: Well, no, actually, I wasn't one of the popular kids, but I was in the popular group, so I played sports so I was one of the jocks.

Mark: Yeah, one of the jocks, always, they get into the popular clicks easier. So do you, can you imagine like how somebody might feel that wasn't in one of those groups, that they might have hated high school?

Todd:Well, I don't know who hated high school but I remember there were the motor heads. Those were the guys that were always working on their car. They had really nice cars they fixed up. They probably didn't like high school too much, then there were the drama freaks, and the drama freaks were, they dressed really different and they were kind of into punk at that time. They were very artistic and very creative, very smart, and because they were so different, I think a lot of kids made fun of them, so maybe they didn't like high school.

Mark: Now were you one of the kids that made fun of them?

Todd: Definitely not. I mean, I was never that way. Actually, I was the kid that somehow was friends with everybody because even though I was with the jocks, I wasn't a good jock. I was a terrible athlete, so I was maybe just surviving by being friends with them anyway, but yeah.

Mark: Now, you're a good baseball player though, right?

Todd: Actually I was but I didn't play baseball because I, in high school because I, foolishly I wanted to make money. I wanted to get a part-time job and get a car, so I stopped. I played football and basketball, though.

Mark: OK, now most high schools, just about every high school, after ten years, you have a high school reunion. Did you go to your 10-year high school reunion?

Todd: You know, I did not go to my high school reunion. My friends went and, you know, they said it was a pretty good time and everyone had changed, but I didn't go. Have you been to yours?

Mark: I did. I went to mine last year.

Todd: Oh, really. Did everybody still look the same?

Mark: For the most part. What I found interesting is the popular clicks, that I talked about before, they still existed. It was ten years later and it was like all the popular, you know, they're not kids anymore, but all the popular people were hanging out together and all the nerds were kind of standing around on the side and looking lonely and depressed.

Todd: Wow.

Mark: Yeah it as kind of sad.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson


Having your first part-time job.

In a 'part-time job,' you work less hours than you would in a full-time job.  A full-time job is considered to be forty hours a week, so a part-time job is anything less than forty hours.  A true part-time job is around twenty hours a week.  Notice the following:

  1. He was working three part-time jobs to try to pay for his education.
  2. I am going to look for a part-time job, because I need a little extra money.

feel they belong

There are other kids who don't really feel they belong.

If you feel comfortable and included in a place, then you 'feel you belong' there.  This usually refers to being in the company of other people who are similar to you.  Notice the following:

  1. I never felt I belonged in high school.
  2. Do you feel you belong in my family?

you strike me

You strike me as you were probably one of the popular kids.

If you 'strike me' as one of the popular kids, then you have the appearance or attitude of a popular kid.  It is easy for me to imagine you as a popular kid, because you fit the profile.  Notice the following:

  1. He didn't strike me as a criminal.
  2. It struck me as a bad idea, but I did it anyway.

make fun of

I think a lot of kids made fun of them.

'To make fun of' someone is to laugh at him for the way that they are naturally or things they do that are different than other people.  You do not make fun of someone if he does something funny, but usually if he does something that you don't think is normal.  Notice the following:

  1. My brother always made fun of my sister when we were children.
  2. Don't make fun of her for being short.


All the nerds were kind of standing around on the side and looking lonely and depressed.

A 'nerd' is a person who is very focused on his studies or takes interest in a subject that other people find to be boring.  Usually a nerd is very academic and can be socially awkward.  Notice the following:

  1. I love to read.  I'm a nerd like that.
  2. The other kids always made fun of him for being a science nerd, but now he's famous.


Answer these questions about the interview.

Keep Listening

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
part-time • belong • strike
make fun • nerd
  1. I still don't really feel like I at my new school.
  2. You me as someone who cares a lot about her appearance.
  3. Kids used to of him for his big ears.
  4. He goes to school, does sports and has a job.
  5. My teacher is the biggest about science. He really gets excited about it.