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A University Degree

II. Listening Exercises
Listen to the conversation again by pressing the Play Audio button and read along with the conversation. Review the Key Vocabulary and the sample sentences.

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Daughter: Uh, Dad. Are you going to miss me when I leave for college next week?

Father: Yahoo!

Daughter: No, Dad . . . seriously. I mean you're always talking about how much money you'll save on food, hot water, and gas while I am gone.

Father: Of course I will . . . no, uh, well, I'll miss you, of course. No, honestly, I'll miss and worry about you, and you've really tried to prepare yourself. You know, I'm proud of you for that. You know, getting a university degree is a real accomplishment.

Daughter: Exactly.

Father: But, let's go over the to-do list. Do you have everything ready? I mean, did you pay your tuition and housing fees by the deadline? [Yeap.] Because, you know, if you don't, you'll lose your class schedule, and you have to register all over again.

Daughter: Yeah, I paid for that a few days ago.

Father: Okay, did you sign up for the meal plan at the university so you don't have to eat instant noodles everyday?

Daughter: Yeap. But Mom said I could take some food from home to get me started.

Father: Uhhh, well, yeah. The oatmeal is in the pantry.

Daughter: Dad! Mom said I could take a bag of rice, some canned food, and . . .

Father: . . . and grandpa's old army rations.

Daughter: Ugh! Not that old stuff. Mom!

Father: Okay, okay. And you know you should set up an appointment to meet with your academic advisor to help you select future classes, right? [Yeah.] You know, business administration will be a great major for you.

Daughter: Well, Dad, uh . . .

Father: And future possibilities . . . a great salary, opportunities to make a difference in the community, and [Dad. I changed my major.] supporting . . .

Father: What? You changed you major . . . you switched majors!?

Daughter: Yeah. I really thought about it. After talking it over with Mom, I've decided to major in wildlife science.

Father: What? What are you talking about?

Daughter: Yeah. I want to degree in wildlife science. You know, analyzing, maintaining, and conserving national forests and wildlife.

Father: What? Uh, uhh . . .

Daughter: Dad. You can close your mouth now. I mean, I've ALWAYS been interested in working with nature; [Well.] You know that, and this field will give me the opportunity to live out my dream. [Well . . . ] I've also looked through the online university catalog, and I actually qualify for a two-year, full tuition scholarship.

Father: Wait. When did this all happen?

Daughter: I can even go on to graduate school and further my education . . . after Todd and I get married, of course.

Father: Graduate school . . . Todd? Wait, wait, wait!! Who's Todd? Ah, what's next?

Daughter: Thanks for the credit card. Mom said it was a present. And I just tried it out to make sure it worked, and I had no problem buying my new laptop computer. [Oh, I'm doomed!] Uh, Dad, where are you going?

Father: Uh, I've decided to enroll in night school to get another degree. That's the only way I'm going to pay for your college.


Key Vocabulary [Top]

  • yahoo (interjection): shouted when you are excited about something
    - Yahoo! I won two tickets to the concert.

  • accomplishment (noun): something successful you do after a lot of hard work
    - The company recognized my father's accomplishments and gave him a promotion.

  • tuition (noun): the money you pay to take classes and be taught
    - I had to work all summer at two jobs to earn enough money for college tuition.

  • pantry (noun): a small closet or storeroom where food is kept.
    - My sister took a lot of food from the pantry before she left for college.

  • rations (noun): an amount of food given out for each meal, particularly when there is not much available in times of war or emergency
    - The soldiers survived on rations during the darkest days of the war.

  • talk it over (phrasal verb): discuss a problem or situation before you make a decision
    - You really need to talk it over with your parents before you decide to transfer to another school.

  • analyze (verb ): examine carefully
    - The rescue workers quickly analyzed the situation before they entered the building.

  • maintain (verb): take care of something so it stays in good condition
    - You really need to maintain all of your hiking gear in good condition because you never know when you'll need it.

  • conserve (verb): protect something from destruction or loss
    - If the missing hikers conserve their energy and food, they should be able to survive a few more days.

  • live out (phrasal verb): do something you have planned or hoped for
    - Although my grandfather was quite old, he was able to live out his dream of graduating from high school, something he wasn't able to do 60 years ago.

  • further (verb): help forward or promote
    - The university wants to further educational opportunities by providing additional scholarships.

  • be doomed (verb): certain to die or be destroyed
    - My sister's plan to go to college was doomed from the beginning because she had terrible grades in high school, and she hadn't saved any money for tuition.

  • enroll in (verb): go to or attend
    - More and more students are enrolling in computer science because they see a future in that field.

Vocabulary Activities [Top]

Now, do these exercises to review the vocabulary. Then, return back to the Post-Listening Exercise to use the vocabulary in real conversations.


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