Script: Listening Exercise 53

Script: Listening Exercise 53


Billy has got an excellent end-of-term school report. All his family is very proud of him. At a family dinner, three of his relatives, Aunt Annie, Uncle Norman and Aunt Jean start to talk about what they were like at school. Listen to what they say and then answer the questions.

Aunt Annie: Oh, I hated school, Billy. I was okay at primary school and the first couple of years at secondary school, but when I got to thirteen or fourteen I couldn’t wait to leave school. I knew what job I wanted to do and I couldn’t see the point of going to school. The only thing I wanted to do was leave and get on with work. I wanted to be a hairdresser and no lessons at school prepared me for that. When I got a Saturday job in a hairdresser’s, things got worse. I used to skip school so I could go in and work. It was very bad of me, I know, but that’s what I did. And the manager of the salon was wrong letting me go in when I skipped school. I didn’t do it too often because I didn’t want to get found out. The only subject I liked at school was history, but I was rubbish at the rest. I didn’t do my homework, I day-dreamed in lessons and I never did well in exams. But I didn’t care! When I started work, I was a different person. I was so happy. And I’ve done well. I was the manager of a salon at 22 and Hairdresser of the year at 24. I got my own salon at 26 and now I’ve got three salons. No, school did nothing for me, I'm afraid.

Uncle Norman: I loved every minute of my school days and the day I left was one of the saddest days of my life. I wasn’t a perfect pupil at school, don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t a goody-goody, but I did work as hard as I could in most of my lessons. I always got good school reports saying what a conscientious worker I was. But my reports also said that I was a bit too talkative in class. I liked to talk to the friend I was sitting next to. My favourite subject was always art. I had a brilliant art teacher, Mr Yu, all the time I was at secondary school. He was a superb cartoonist and painter. It was Mr Yu that inspired me to become a graphic designer. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him. When a kid gets a teacher like that, his whole life changes. But I know that I couldn't only be good at art if I wanted to go into design as a job. Mr Yu suggested that I became an art teacher like him, but I didn’t want to do that. I wouldn’t have had the patience to teach. I was really sad the day that I left secondary school. I have kept in touch with Mr Yu, and he knows how grateful I am for what he did for me. A brilliant teacher and a great man. He is still teaching at my old school, but he must be getting near retiring age. Have you got a favourite teacher, Billy?

Aunt Jean: I was so shy at school, I hardly had any friends. There was one girl in my class who lived on the same floor in our block of flats and she was friendly. We used to walk to school together. But at school, I hardly said a word. Can you believe that, seeing how much I talk now?? It was painful whenever a teacher asked me a question. I used to go bright red and stammer. I think some of the teachers thought I wasn’t as bright as I was because I wouldn’t say anything in class. I always got quite good grades for my homework and I got good results in exams. I hated English lessons where we were expected to speak a lot. I liked lessons when the teacher spoke a lot and we just got on with reading and writing. I remember I was quite good at writing stories in English, but when the teacher asked me to read them out in front of the class, I almost failed. We once had a poetry speaking competition and it was the worst day of my life. I liked the poem and learnt it perfectly. I could recite it wonderfully well in my bedroom looking into the mirror. But when my time came to do it in front of the class, I just froze. I managed to get the first line out, but that was it. My brain and mouth just stopped working. I was so embarrassed. The teacher shouted at me and made me go out of the room and stand in the corridor. But I don’t have any trouble talking to people now, do I? In fact I think it’s time I shut up!


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