M: I'm afraid you can't leave your car there, Miss.
W: But I shall only need a few minutes. My friend is coming here soon.
M: Please look at the sign "No Parking". You can park in the next street. It's usually quiet there.
W: Textbooks are so expensive. I've spent ＄200 on them already! Let's share one for chemistry, since we're in the same class.
M: Good idea. I haven't bought mine yet. The chemistry book is ＄100, so I'll give you ＄50 tomorrow.
W: What are you watching, Andy? It sounds like a Spanish movie.
M: Close. It's an Italian film. I'm going on a trip with my family to Sicily. I learned both French and Italian at home growing up, but it's been a while.
M: We're almost on the ground. Did you put the bags above us? I hope they're easy to find.
W: No, they're two seats ahead. There wasn't much room since the flight was packed.
W: I feel so lazy since school ended for the summer. Gym classes every day and after school football practice kept me fit and strong. What can I do now?
M: How about joining a swim club?
W: That's a great idea for summer. Thanks!
W: How long have you played the piano? You're great!
M: Thanks! I've been playing since I was nine.And now I'm 17! I have to practice for two hours every day, but I love it.
W: That's good, since you do it so much. I wouldn't be able to sit still that long! Why do you like it?
M: Well, now that I have more experience, I write my own music. I feel creative, and I enjoy making people happy as they listen to me.
W: That's cool! I feel that way when I play soccer. When I play, I feel good about using my skills. And people like to watch me. You know what I mean?
W: What a happy ending!
M: So, David finally came back?
W: That's right. Lillian had been waiting for six months. Every morning, she would put fresh flowers in the vase by the window. Every afternoon, she would fix her hair and makeup, hoping he would come home from the mountains. And every evening, she would set the table for two. She never gave up hoping that he would come back.
M: He is so lucky. He was missing for so long...
W: Until a few days ago. You didn't hear how it ended. David had gone to research the language of people living in a faraway village. He became very sick while he was there and couldn't get in touch with anyone. Finally, he got better and was able to find his way back. After walking through the jungle for two days, he reached the main road and found a ride to town.
W: Hello, Martin. Long time no see! I heard you went to France to study. How was that?
M: I was only there for a year, then I took a year off to travel around Europe.
W: Where did you go?
M: I went to Switzerland first, and then Germany and Austria. I was planning to end my trip in Italy, but it didn't work out.
W: Oh, well. Is it good to be back?
M: Of course, but I'm returning to France to finish my degree. It's a four year program.
W: Oh. So you're just back to Beijing to visit your family?
M: Yeah. I'm here for another two months.
W: Any plans?
M: In July my mother is turning seventy, so we'll do something special for her. Next month we're going to drive to the coast. Then I will be back to France before September 1st.
W: Good for you. Do you think you could fit me into your busy schedule?
M: Ha ha. I can always make time for my friends. How about tonight?
W: Hong, it seems like you really struggle to learn English. Is this level too hard for you?
M: I don't know... I think it's just boring. I don't like the workbooks, because the lessons talk about baby things. I'm not a little child. I want to learn something more exciting.
W: Hmm... I have an idea that you'll like. This week, you can do a special project for class.
M: Oh? What's that?
W: I want you to watch some YouTube videos of people speaking in different English accents. I'll send you the links for the ones you should watch. They're very funny. One person speaks with 30 different accents in ten minutes!
M: Wow, that's great! But won't it be harder for me to learn English if I'm listening to so many different ways of speaking the language?
W: It shouldn't. This is just a fun project to help you get more interested in the lessons. There's a more serious side to it, though. I want you to write a one-page essay about the videos and tell the class about your project on Friday. You can show some of the videos during your presentation, too, if you like. I think the whole class will benefit from this.
M: I can't wait to get started! Thank you, Ms. Winters.
It is strange how sometimes even the smallest conversation with someone can change how you think. For me, it happened last Sunday. Twice a week I run through the park by my house. There is an open area in the park, with a beautiful lake in the middle. Sometimes I can see turtles swim in the lake. The last couple of weeks I had noticed an old lady sitting on a bench with some turtles. My curious nature finally made me approach her, and I asked her what she was doing. She told me she was cleaning off the tiny plant life from the turtles' shells. She said that it builds up and prevents their shells from being healthy and strong. Apparently, she had been doing this once a week for the last year. I also learned that even though this lake was not polluted, this was a common problem for turtles. I was amazed at this lady's commitment to helping out these helpless animals. So I asked her, "If what you say is true, then how will this really matter in the end?" She carefully set a turtle free back into the lake and watched it swim away. "I like to think that every little bit of help counts. And I think if they could talk, they would say it matters to them."