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Mark tells Jill about his soccer-filled weekend. The two of them also discuss the popularity of soccer among Canadian children.
Mark: Mark Kaufmann here again for the EnglishLingQ Podcast.
As usual, I’m joined by Jill Soles.
What’s new today Jill?
Jill: Not a whole lot.
Jill: What’s new with you? It’s Monday. How was your weekend?
Mark: Weekend was good; weekend was good.
Actually, we were just talking about this before we started the podcast how Saturday…well, we were talking about the weather and how we were supposed to have a nice sunny weekend and it wasn’t.
It was okay, but it wasn’t nice and sunny.
At the end of the week last week we had some nice days, so I was saying how it might not have been sunny, but the weather was a bit like it is today, which is overcast, but no rain.
I said that’s a good Saturday for us here especially since most Saturdays I seem to be spending watching my kids play soccer and when I’m not watching in the rain that’s a good Saturday for me.
Jill: Yeah, it’s true. Soccer season here, maybe everywhere, is what? Starts September?
Mark: Yeah, I don’t think it’s everywhere at all, but certainly the season here is September basically through until the end of March.
Jill: Which, you know, September is usually a pretty decent month here and sometimes in October you can get some nice weather, but the rest of the months are terrible in Vancouver.
Jill: Very rainy, very wet and I think it’s quite common for kids to play soccer here; although, Canadians are not known for their soccer that’s for sure.
Mark: Well I think part of the reason why Canadian soccer players aren’t very good is because they never play soccer in decent weather, you know.
I mean, it’s always wet and when we have nice weather nobody plays soccer.
Jill: That’s right.
Mark: From April through to September there is no soccer.
Jill: No, there’s some softball and…
Mark: It makes no sense at all.
Mark: And so soccer starts up in the fall and maybe you get some good weather in September and then it’s pretty wet the rest of the way.
Jill: I know a lot of kids might try it.
I know my little sister tried soccer one year and after that she hated it.
She didn’t want to do it again because she was freezing all the time just standing there, especially when you’re little.
You don’t do a lot of running around initially and you just stand there shivering half the time.
Mark: Oh yeah, it’s miserable.
Jill: And it’s miserable for the parents who have to…
Mark: Especially miserable for the parents because at least the kids are moving around.
The parents are standing there and it’s, you know, 4 degrees and raining and it’s just…oh, it’s just not pleasant at all.
I just don’t understand it.
Jill: I’m never introducing soccer to my kids.
They can play any other sport, but not soccer.
I just don’t want any part of soccer.
Mark: Yeah, well that’s the thing.
It’s a great game and everybody can play and they run around and their friends play and that’s all great, but I tell ya’.
My son plays hockey and you’d think hockey on the ice it would be cold, but no, it’s much more comfortable.
Jill: And dry at least.
Mark: It’s dry.
It’s a bit cool in the arenas, but a lot of the arenas have heaters where the parents sit and watch.
There are heaters, it’s inside, right; it’s just much more comfortable.
We’re standing on the sideline at soccer and I know we’re whining and it’s not that big a deal, but it gets irritating when it’s every Saturday.
You’ve got three kids playing and you’re standing there.
Jill: And it’s for six months of the year.
Mark: Soccer season seems to go on forever.
My biggest problem with it is it can’t be good for their soccer.
You’re running around in the slop, mud, dirt, whatever, all winter long and, you know, how good is your ball control going to get when the ball is slipping the whole time.
It reminds me of during the Rugby World Cup the, I don’t know, English or Irish announcers that were announcing the game.
I think maybe Argentina was playing.
I can’t remember who was playing.
They were saying oh yeah, well, you know, they really handle the ball well, but, you know, they play in those dry weather conditions all the time, which really makes it easier to develop your ball handling.
The implication being the weather in Britain being wet most of the time isn’t as conducive to ball handling, so their game tends to be a little more…a little less skillful I should say in terms of ball handling.
I was thinking yeah, sort of like the soccer here; no wonder we’re no good at it.
Jill: No wonder we excel at hockey and not soccer.
Mark: Well, that’s right.
What’s funny is in the rest of Canada they don’t play in the wintertime because it’s too cold.
They play in the summer and here, for some reason, we think well, because you can actually play here because it’s not frozen, like it’s not snow and ice it’s just cold and wet, we have our soccer season in the wintertime, but I don’t think it makes any sense at all.
The nicest weather of the year here nobody plays soccer; it’s crazy.
Jill: Yeah, I don’t know if it has to do with not enough fields because of baseball season being in the spring or if it’s just that they think because a lot of people go away in the summer that people won’t be around enough.
I don’t know what the rational is.
Mark: Those are two of the reasons that you hear.
Jill: Oh, really?
Mark: Baseball and that people go away in the summer, but people go away in the rest of Canada too and it’s not like people are away all summer.
People might go for a week here, a week there, so you miss the odd game; at least the rest of the time you’re playing and the sun is shining.
Jill: Yeah, exactly.
Mark: You know?
Jill: And the parents are out getting a tan instead of shivering with an umbrella.
Mark: I know.
As for baseball, I don’t know if you’ve ever watched kids’ baseball, but my eldest daughter played one year of T-ball.
Jill: It was painful.
Mark: I said never again; painful, oh.
Jill: Well, T-ball and when they’re first starting when they are that young.
Mark: It’s just horrible and they don’t get any exercise they just stand around; lots of parents shouting instructions trying to explain the rules, which make no sense to a little kid.
No, no, little guys, they should throw the ball, play catch with each other, you know, try and hit the ball a little bit that’s all.
There is no need for organized baseball.
Boy, that is just a…
Jill: Until they get a little older and can actually understand.
Mark: It’s a complete waste of time, yeah.
Jill: Yeah, I know my sister does still play ball.
She’s young though; she’s 16, but she’s played for years and years and years.
Like I said, she tried soccer and hated it, but I think mostly because of the season.
Jill: Softball…actually, she plays baseball, is from April to June.
Actually, we can have quite a lot of rainy weather in that period as well, but it’s not cold at least.
Jill: We also can get some really nice sunny weather, so.
I know some of her tournaments this past year in June were pouring rain for the whole weekend, but then there were other tournaments that were beautiful sunshine so, you know, she likes it and she has stuck with it for years, but soccer…I think a lot of kids play it for a year and just aren’t interested or the parents aren’t into it.
Mark: Yeah, I know.
Jill: They don’t want to stand out there every single Saturday in the rain for six months.
Mark: I know; it’s terrible.
Jill: I don’t care if it’s, you know, selfish.
I don’t think I’m going to expose my kids to soccer.
Mark: Yeah, no kidding.
The thing is…like soccer has got a higher participation rate than hockey for sure and not just because so many girls play, even amongst boys.
There are more boys that play soccer than play hockey.
Jill: Oh, really?
Mark: Yeah, I’m pretty sure.
Jill: I think it’s also a less expensive sport to play, right?
Mark: Much less expensive to get into for sure.
Jill: And so the people who really can’t afford to put their kids in hockey and buy all the equipment and skates and then I think just the registration for hockey is quite a lot as well.
Mark: Yeah, it is.
I mean, soccer you have to pay for registration too because the fields need maintenance.
I was going to say, ice time costs money too, that’s why the hockey costs are maybe higher for enrollment, but soccer is just an easy game.
Kids who maybe aren’t necessarily that athletically inclined, parents will just put them in soccer.
As you say, there’s no equipment required.
Here, go run around a little bit.
Jill: You can run around, yeah, whereas hockey you have to at least be able to skate.
Mark: Yeah or you learn to skate, but it’s more of a commitment and getting all the equipment.
Yeah, it’s more of a commitment.
Jill: Also, as you play hockey more and more you get into those…I remember my brother…you know, 6:30 a.m.
practice times and even earlier I think, which a lot of parents aren’t interested in.
Mark: No. This year for the first time, Wednesday morning 6:45, my son has practice and I’m the coach.
Which, you know what, once you’re up, you’re up, you’re out there, but it’s early.
Like they are going, they are getting up early, they are practicing before school and, you know, charge from there to school, but that’s how it is.
There is so much demand for ice time and there’s not enough ice to go around, so.
Jill: And it’s been that way forever because it was 20 years ago that my brother played organized hockey as a kid; more than 20 years ago it was the same.
It was, you know, 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning that they played and I can tell you my mom wasn’t very interested in that.
Mark: No, neither was my mom when we had them.
I can remember…actually, they were quite happy when I turned 16 and I was able to drive myself to my 5:45 practice on Saturday morning.
Jill: And on a Saturday especially; oh my goodness.
Mark: …in high school, how do you like that?
That was, yeah…
Jill: I guess that’s a good way also to weed out the sort of unmotivated and not very dedicated people because only the 16 year olds who are really motivated and love hockey are going to get up at 5:00 a.m. on a Saturday.
Mark: Well, that’s the thing, right?
Those times will start to only be distributed to the higher level teams because the other guys, the recreational guys, won’t get up and play at those times so, yeah; something to look forward to.
Jill: Oh, I think I need to have girls, all girls; no hockey and no soccer.
Mark: They can just sit around all day watching TV.
Jill: Oh no, no, no, they’ll be active, but I’m not sure, in organized school sports and skiing and hiking and things like that I think.
Mark: Well, you’ll see.
Jill: We’ll see, yeah.
Mark: You’ll see. What if they come home and say I want to play soccer?
Jill: I don’t know; we’ll have to wait and see. Chris can deal with it.
Mark: You have some time to think about it.
Jill: And so, I guess now maybe we’ll answer a few questions we had on the forum.
Mark: Sure, we can move into some questions Jill you pulled off the forum.
Jill: And they are all from Ayako.
Mark: Ayako, Ayako, I guess, yeah.
Jill: Ayako from Japan who’s very active on our forum, our new LingQ forum, and was also very active on our Linguist forum.
She’s one of the few people who is using Ask Your Tutor Forum regularly and so I took a few questions from the forum and they’re all from her.
Mark: Good, thanks Ayako.
Jill: Yeah, for keeping our forum alive.
Mark: Keeping us busy.
Jill: The first one is “in the next day or two”, which really means exactly what it says, what it sounds like; day or two, so one day or two days, so over the next several days.
Mark: Right. First thing I’m interested in about this question is it’s from one of our previous podcasts; nice!
Jill: Yeah, one that you and I did.
Mark: Yeah, so Ayako was studying it on LingQ and then had some questions.
So yeah, in the next day or two…you know what’s funny too with a phrase like that, at least for myself, I say is that not obvious?
You know, but obviously it’s not and it requires a bit of explanation.
Essentially, it means exactly what it says.
In the next day or two something is going to happen.
In this case, the forum is going to be implemented.
Jill: So, we’re not quite sure if it’s going to happen today or tomorrow or maybe the next day, but within that period of time; in a few days it’s going to happen.
Mark: Exactly and there’s nothing more complicated; nothing more to it than that it’s…
Jill: …quite simple, yeah.
Mark: In the next day or two.
Jill: And…I mean if we knew for sure we would have said tomorrow.
Jill: The forum will be implemented tomorrow, so…
Mark: …or two days from now.
The next one is “to meet their monthly rent”, which I actually find not extremely common.
I wouldn’t normally say, he was unable to meet his monthly rent.
I would generally say, he couldn’t afford his rent or he wasn’t able to pay his rent.
Mark: Couldn’t pay his rent; pay the rent.
Jill: We sort of assume, we know, it’s implied, that rent is a monthly thing, a monthly bill.
Jill: Couldn’t meet, in this case, just means wasn’t able to pay it; didn’t have enough money to pay it.
Mark: Really, as you say, meet your rent is really not something that is…it’s not an expression that’s commonly used.
Mark: So, it’s probably not something that you should be remembering or trying to use.
Jill: …worrying about, right.
Mark: Yeah, the most common expression is “pay your rent.”
Jill: Exactly, pay your rent and so she asked “what would be another example of meet?” I came up with to meet a deadline and that’s much more common.
Jill: We often say, you know, if you have a project that is due on a certain date that’s a deadline.
You have to meet your deadline and that’s a much more common usage of meet.
Mark: For sure.
I was trying to think if there are other instances.
I mean, obviously, you meet people, which is the most common.
Jill: Meet your quota.
To meet your quota for something is common.
Mark: Yeah, I guess another common use…little phone call there to interrupt the proceedings.
Hopefully, they don’t try to phone back again, which they did.
I’ll just keep hanging up on them and we can continue.
Jill: And just one more from Ayako, which is “grant.” “What is a grant; a grant program?” Basically, my understanding of a grant is the government…not always the government though, it could be big organizations or companies…give money to another person or organization and it’s not a loan.
You don’t have to pay it back.
Mark: That’s the biggest thing, right?
A grant is money that doesn’t have to be paid back.
Mark: Very often governments or companies or universities that do provide grants also provide loans and so they provide some people with grants and some people with loans the only difference is, of course, that people that get the loans have to pay them back.
Jill: Exactly or sometimes you get part of the money as a grant and part of the money as a loan.
Jill: Very common for university students is they are given $4,000.00 as a grant and $6,000.00 as a loan, for example.
Mark: Right, exactly.
Jill: So, that’s it.
Well, it was another wonderful chat and we’ll pick it up again next time.
Jill: Yes. Thanks, bye.
Mark: Bye, bye.