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Episode 123 Transcript – Listening Time
Transcript – “Listening Time” Episode 123
Welcome to the Listening Time podcast. Hey everybody, this is Conner, and you’re listening to Episode 123 of the Listening Time podcast. I hope you’re all doing great. At the time of recording this, it’s the very end of summer here in the northern hemisphere. And so, autumn is just around the corner. In English, when we say that something is “just around the corner,” we’re saying that it’s about to appear, or it’s about to happen. It’s going to happen very soon.
So, fall is just around the corner, and a lot of people are really happy about this because a lot of people here like this season. They like autumn. They like to see the colors changing. They like the seasonal food. There are a lot of different types of food that people start to eat during autumn that they don’t eat during the spring or summer. And so, a lot of people like this season.
One fun thing about this season is that there are a lot of activities for children… for example, pumpkin patches, these places where they sell pumpkins, but they also have a lot of activities for kids. And me and my family, were planning on going to a couple pumpkin patches this season. And I think that I’ll do an episode on pumpkin patches. So, you’ll get to hear about that, hopefully.
And I was thinking about this topic of fun activities for children, because I was thinking about pumpkin patches, and about different things like that. And I decided that I wanted to do an episode about some of my favorite activities that I did when I was a kid. So, my childhood activities… specifically, things that I did outdoors, things that I did outside. I thought it would be fun to look back and remember my childhood and some of my favorite things that I did outside. So, I hope that this will be an interesting episode for you today.
And before we start, I want to remind you that my new podcast is available now, US conversations, where I talk to different English teachers from around the US. And we talk about many things and have natural conversations at normal speed. And you have the transcript available with the definitions of key words and phrases that we use. So, make sure to sign up for that if you’re interested. The link is in the Episode Description below this episode. That’s www.patreon.com/USConversations
And if you want my specialized training to help you understand native speakers when they speak fast, then make sure to join my membership. The link is also in the Description below this episode. So, click on that and join if you’re interested in getting my specialized training.
And of course, if you’re a Spanish or a Portuguese speaker, you can also check out my ebook if you want to start reading fiction in English. Those links are down below as well. And if you like this podcast, please share it with anyone else you know who’s learning English, and please give it a five-star rating and write a review. Alright, let’s get started.
Alright, let’s talk about some of my favorite childhood activities that I did, some of my favorite things that I did outdoors. Because I did some things indoors as well. I had some fun activities that I did inside, but I want to focus on the outdoor activities today.
So, the first one that I want to talk about is building a tree house. So, you’ve probably seen this in movies or TV shows before, where the kids build some type of
house, in their backyard, maybe, in a big tree. And this is something that is a pretty classic tradition here in the US. People like tree houses, this is a fun thing for kids.
However, I built a tree house that was a little bit different from what you’re probably imagining. We didn’t build a house that was a closed box, like you see in the movies, usually. We built a tree house where we just had these different platforms on different branches of the tree. A “platform” is just a flat space, and in this case, a space where you can stand on.
So, my friend and I, we built this tree house that had many different platforms at different levels and on different branches. And we would have to climb to the different platforms using these steps that we also built. We used wood, and nailed the wood into the tree to build steps that we could step on. By the way, when we say that you “nail” something, we’re saying that you use a nail, this sharp little tool, and you use that and you hit it into the object. You nail it.
So, we nailed these wooden steps into the tree trunk, so that we could climb the tree to get to the different platforms. I know that this might be a little difficult to visualize, but that’s probably the best way that I can describe it. And building this treehouse was really fun. I think we had more fun building the treehouse than we did playing in the treehouse. So, it was really fun to construct this.
And we were pretty young when we built this. I think I was like 10 years old, maybe. So, we were young. It was probably a little dangerous, but we did it anyway. And this was the first time that I really used a hammer and nails on my own. So, I learned how to hammer things when I built this treehouse. And it was a great place to play and to use our imagination to create games, and things like that, in this treehouse.
And in general, I always really liked climbing trees as a kid. That was always something that I enjoyed. And so, this was a perfect project for me, because I got the chance to climb this tree and also build something, use my imagination, play, etc. So, that was one of my favorite activities as a kid.
Another childhood activity that I wanted to mention is that I actually collected bugs for a time. The word “bug” just means insect, right? So, I actually collected bugs during a brief time in my life. Now, when I look back on this, it seems kind of gross to me. The word “gross” just means disgusting. So, it seems kind of gross when I think back to all the bugs that I collected.
I remember that, in particular, I collected caterpillars… you know, these things that turn into butterflies, right? So, I collected caterpillars, and I remember putting them in a container, and I tried to create a good environment for them in this container. I put leaves and sticks and things like that inside. And I fed them fruit. I remember feeding them cantaloupe, actually. If you don’t know what a cantaloupe is, this is that type of melon, that’s orange on the inside. That’s cantaloupe.
So, I remember feeding them cantaloupe and cleaning the container. And I don’t know why I was so interested in them, but for some reason, I liked to collect them and watch them interact with each other in this container.
And I also remember collecting some beetles. I remember doing that, I don’t remember all of the other specific bugs that I collected, but I just remember that I liked to watch them interact with each other. I would combine some different bugs together and watch what they did, to see if they would get along or if they would fight or whatever.
By the way, the phrasal verb “get along” means that you are in harmony with another person or another animal. So, it means that you don’t fight with each other. You get along. So, I think that I liked to experiment a little bit and see if these bugs would get along with each other. So, that’s another activity that I did as a kid.
And another one was making paper airplanes. So, I loved making paper airplanes as a kid, especially because I loved trying to find the different combinations of folds that would result in the best airplane. I don’t know if you have much experience making paper airplanes, but of course, it really matters how you fold the paper. So, if you fold the paper in certain ways and you follow a certain design, you can make a pretty impressive airplane, actually. Some airplanes that we made, actually stayed in the air for quite a while.
And I remember that we had one design in particular that was the best one. So, my neighbor and I found this perfect design that we would recreate time and time again, and create these airplanes and try to make them fly as high and as long as possible. And so, it was a very intricate design. The word “intricate” means that something is very detailed. And so, this was an intricate design.
I still remember how to make this paper airplane, even now as an adult. That’s how many times I made it. I made it so many times that I still have that muscle memory. I still remember exactly how to make this airplane. So, we found that perfect design, and we always tried to improve it or find an even better design.
So, we found some other combinations of folds that worked pretty well, but we never ended up beating that one really good design that we found. But it was really fun to do that and to experiment with different types of designs. I really like that. I like experimenting with different options and trying to create different designs with things like that. That’s something that I enjoy, and I really enjoyed it as a kid. So, that was another good activity that I had.
And another one… this one was an activity that I did more as a teenager… this was airsoft. So, if you don’t know what “airsoft” is, this is a sport where you use these fake guns. They’re fake in the sense that they’re not real guns with real bullets, obviously. They’re guns that shoot these BBs, we might call them, these airsoft BBs, these round little things, these things that you shoot out of the gun that hurt you, but not too much.
It’s painful when you get hit, if it hits you on your skin, and you don’t have any protection, but it doesn’t really injure you that much. So, in general, it’s okay to shoot each other from a safe distance if you’re well protected, and especially with eye protection. So, if you play this sport, you should wear some type of glasses, or something like that, because obviously, you don’t want to get hit in the eye.
So, we wore eye protection, and we didn’t really wear much other protection besides that. So, when we would actually hit each other, or shoot each other, it hurt. Not that bad, like I said, but it hurt. And so, there was a little bit of a punishment for getting shot. So, this added more motivation to try to do your best and not get shot by the other person.
We had a lot of fun with this game. I played mostly with my neighbor. But I also had some other friends that also liked airsoft. And I had pistols and I had rifles. I had different types of airsoft guns, and I would practice with them to try to get better at aiming. When you “aim,” this means that you point the gun to where you want to shoot
it. This is “aiming.” So, I didn’t have very good aim, but I tried to practice this and get better at it.
And we used our surroundings, our environment here around my house, to create a place that was fun to play airsoft. So, we would use trees and the tall grass and different walls. We would use these to hide behind and to recreate a war-type experience, where we would hide and then come out and shoot. And of course, you can imagine teenage boys, we had a really good imagination to play this type of sport. So, that was something that I played around the outside of my house, behind my house, because there was open land there.
And I remember one time when we didn’t play at my house… we actually played inside my friend’s house. And this was the dumbest thing that we could’ve done. We actually played airsoft inside his house. We were shooting at each other inside. And this was dangerous, and we almost broke windows and other things like that. So, I have that memory, and I’ll always remember playing inside that one time.
But when I think back and I remember that, I think about how dumb I was in certain situations when I was a teenager. But yeah, I had to mention that because that’s something that always comes to mind when I remember my airsoft days. So, that was another activity.
And another one was something that we called card boarding. So, we would slide down this big hill on pieces of cardboard. “Cardboard” is that material that is used to package items, to transport them or ship them to another place. By the way, when we say “shipping,” when we say that an item “ships,” we’re saying that it is sent from one place to another. So, cardboard is that material that’s used to ship items to package them and ship them. So, we would cut big pieces of cardboard from these different boxes, and we would sit on them, and then slide down this big hill that was behind my house.
So, this was something that my friend came up with. By the way, when we say that you “come up with” something, we’re saying that you think of an idea. So, this is something that he came up with, and I joined in. And we had a lot of fun doing this. It didn’t always work really well, because sometimes, the grass grew in a way that didn’t allow us to slide very well. So, we had to work around that and do our best to be able to make it to the bottom of the hill on this cardboard.
But it was actually a little bit dangerous because we weren’t able to stop very well. You don’t really have a brake system with this type of cardboard, obviously. So, if we made it to the bottom of the hill on the cardboard, sometimes we wouldn’t be able to stop well, and we would kind of fall off of it. And maybe, it would hurt a little bit. Or we might run into something, and we would crash. Right? So, it was a little bit dangerous. And I think there were a few times when I got hurt, but nothing serious… just minor things.
But that was an activity that was a fun one in the sense that we created it, and it wasn’t something that other people really did. We didn’t learn about it from anyone else. My friend just created it. He had this idea, and we just did it. And we were the only ones that we knew who did this type of activity. So, that was pretty cool. It was born out of kids’ imagination, right? It was just something that we decided to do because it sounded fun and we had the material, and we made it work. We did it until
we found the perfect way to do it, and then we had fun with it. I really like when kids come up with interesting games and activities like that. I think that’s really cool.
And speaking of that, the last activity that I want to talk about is playing make believe. In English, when we say that you “make believe” or you “play make believe,” we’re saying that you create situations and games from your imagination, things that aren’t real, but you imagine them and then you play this game, or you do this activity.
So, I played make believe a lot when I was around the age of six or seven, around that age. I remember playing with my old neighbor in my old house, my first house. And I remember inventing different games together, where we would have to make believe, we had to pretend and imagine these different situations.
By the way, in this context, the word “pretend” means that you imagine something that isn’t real, but you act like it’s real. Okay? So, for example, if I pretend that I’m a superhero, this means that I’m acting and imagining that I’m a superhero, even though it’s not real, right? So, I remember pretending, and coming up with all of these different scenarios with my neighbor. And we just went through these whole storylines and pretended that we were different characters doing different things. And it was tons of fun.
I remember that our favorite thing to pretend was that we were on a big boat. We called it “The Boat Game.” And we pretended that we were these sailors on this big boat, and we were navigating the open seas, and we encountered all of these different complications and problems. I don’t know where we got that idea from. I have no idea how we started that. But I just remember that we loved playing this boat game, and using our imagination.
So, I really like that type of activity, that make believe-type of activity because I think it’s really good for kids. It helps kids use their imagination and not just rely on being given the stimulation from a screen, or from something else. Kids have to think of things on their own and create things from nothing. I really like that.
And I think it’s also beneficial in the sense that it helps kids become more social, right? You have to work with your friends, and you have to agree with each other and get along with each other while you’re imagining these situations and playing in this context. And I think it also helps kids become a little more independent, and it helps them begin to play on their own, and not just need their parents to play with them, for example.
So, I think that there are a lot of good benefits for kids to play make believe. I really like that. And I’m interested to see when my son will start to play make believe and create scenarios like that, that are imaginary. I’m looking forward to that stage in his life. I think that will be fun.
Alright. Why don’t I stop there? I hope this episode was interesting for you. Remember that you can sign up for my new podcast, US Conversations. It’s an exclusive podcast, so you need to sign up. And you’ll get one new conversation every month, where I talk to a different person from a different part of the United States. And you have the transcript available with the definitions of key words and phrases that we use. So, the link is in the Description below this episode. That’s www.patreon.com/ USConversations
And if you want help understanding native speakers, if you want my training, then make sure to sign up for my membership. The link is also down below. And if you
like this podcast, I’d appreciate it if you could share it with anyone else you know who’s learning English, and please give it a five-star rating and write a review. Alright, thank you for listening to this episode, and I’ll talk to you on the next episode of Listening Time.
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