AGENT: Good morning. MIC House Agency.
PAUL: Good morning. I’m ringing about the problems I’ve been having with my apartment.
AGENT: Yes, of course. If I can just take a few details first… What’s your name?
PAUL: Paul Smiley.
AGENT: How do you spell that?
AGENT: OK, and what’s the address?
PAUL: Apartment 2, 16 Rose Lane.
AGENT: Rose Lane… and that’s in… ?
PAUL: In Newton.
AGENT: Oh yes, I know the property. Could I just ask how long is the lease?
PAUL: It’s for one year.
AGENT: And you moved in… ?
PAUL: Last week, on 27th June.
AGENT: Fine, thank you.
AGENT: And what are the problems that you’ve been having?
PAUL: Well, no one thing is really dangerous or anything, but you know, it’s just been building up.
AGENT: Yes, of course.
PAUL: Well the first thing is the washing machine. It’s been leaking a little and it’s beginning to get worse. Because we have a small child, we really need to get that Example done straight away.
AGENT: OK… that’s a washing machine for immediate repair.
PAUL: And then there’s a niggling problem with the cooker…
AGENT: Ah ha . . .
PAUL: The door’s broken.
PAUL: It’s nothing serious and it can be used, but if you can send someone over in the next couple of weeks or so that’d be great.
AGENT: Fine, I’ve got that.
PAUL: Then we are worried about all the windows.
AGENT: Are they broken?
PAUL: No, but there are no locks on them . . . and you know with the insurance these days…
AGENT: And when would you like those done?
PAUL: Oh, that’s not really urgent… but you never know when there’s going to be a break -in…
AGENT: No, we’ll get those done for you next week, don’t worry.
PAUL: And then there’s the bathroom light … it’s getting quite annoying. It flickers quite badly and it’s giving me headaches. I’d really like to get that replaced right away.
AGENT: That’s no problem.
PAUL: And then the last thing on the list is the kitchen curtains. They’re torn.
AGENT: Oh, right. We do have quite a few spare ones in stock and can get those to you in the next week; if that’s alright with you?
PAUL: Yes, that’d be fine.
AGENT: Anything else?
PAUL: No, that’s all.
AGENT: OK, fine. What we’ll do is get someone over to you this afternoon, if you’re in.
PAUL: Well, I’m going to be out for a short time.
AGENT: Well you tell us your preferred times.
PAUL: Well the best time is about 1.00.
AGENT: I’ll have to check that with him. And if he can’t make it then, what would be your second preference?
PAUL: Any time up to 5 pm would be fine.
AGENT: OK, I’ve made a note of that.
PAUL: Great, well thanks very much for your help.
AGENT: That’s fine. Thank you for calling.
Great. Well, hi, everyone! My name’s Jody and I’m one of the four recreation officers here at Rainforest Lodge. My job is to make sure that you all have a great stay here with us and go away feeling relaxed and refreshed. As you can see, we’re literally in the middle of nowhere at the Lodge. There are no newspapers or TVs and there’s only one phone and that’s in the office. The Lodge is a complete ‘getaway from it all’ experience: a place to unwind and appreciate the world without a lot of interruptions and distractions.
From your cabin balcony, you’ll find that you can’t see anyone else and the only noise you should hear is the birds. When the luggage comes, one of the guys will take it across to your cabin for you and make sure you know the way back here to the main centre for dinner in the restaurant. Dinner will be served in about an hour or so.
All the times of each day’s activities are printed on the blue sheet you should have got in the information guides that were handed out on the coach. Each Explorer trip has a different focus, so it doesn’t matter how many you do or on what day because there’s always something new to discover in the rainforest.
Tomorrow I think we’ve still got places on the Orchid and Fungi Tour. This is on foot and takes you to different parts of the rainforest. Or, if you’d prefer, there’s the Four- Wheel-Drive tour to the waterfalls, or the fishing trip where I promise you we’ll catch some lunch, and last but not least, the famous Crocodile Cruise that leaves at 11 am each day. (Just in time for the crocodile’s lunch!) Plenty to choose from here at Rainforest Lodge or just sit on your balcony, relax and unwind and enjoy the views. In the evenings there is the Spotlight Tour, one of my favourites. The Spotlight Tour leaves at sundown and lets you catch a glimpse of some more of the rainforest’s wildlife as it comes out at dusk to feed. That’s a great trip and if you can, I’d really try to make sure you do it during your stay.
You’ve chosen to visit the rainforest in March, which is just at the end of the wet season, so you’ll soon notice how well the waterfalls are running and also how damp the ground is. Things can tend to get a bit slippery, too, so if you didn’t bring any walking boots I’d advise you to hire some from the office. You’ll also be much better off in long trousers rather than shorts because they will give your legs more protection, and socks are a good idea too.
There’s no need to be nervous of the rainforest provided that you treat it with respect and common sense. Most of the animals and wildlife are gentle and harmless. There are some venomous snakes to beware of, but really they’re much more frightened of you than you are of them. The other thing is that certain plants can cause irritation if you touch them with bare skin.
Well, that’s about all for the time being. The guys are here to take you and your luggage to the cabins…
COUNSELLOR: Hello, John, What can I do for you?
JOHN: Well, I heard about these counselling sessions from a friend doing a science course and I was really interested. I think they should be compulsory really.
COUNSELLOR: Well to be quite honest, John, I think they would be useful for everybody but well, everybody has their own way of going about things. I prefer people just to drop in when they can.
COUNSELLOR: I find that talking to students about the requirements of a course helps to clarify what needs to be done. I mean the biggest difference between college and school is that new college students really have to do a lot of work on their own, and it’s sometimes useful to get advice on how to take control of your time and work effectively.
JOHN: Yes. I mean, it seems like a very light workload until assignment time comes and then I seem to be working all night sometimes. I’m not the only one. It’s ridiculous. The resource centre is very good but it closes so early. It’s in the library and so you’d think you could use it more. It’s a real problem for me.
COUNSELLOR: Well, you’re certainly not the only person in that position, as I’m sure you’ve found. It really comes down to using every available hour in a systematic way. If you do this with a plan, then you’ll find that you still have time for yourself and your hobbies as well.
JOHN: Yeah. I’ve heard from Thomas that you made him a sort of plan like this, and he’s going away for the weekend with all his work handed in, whereas I haven’t even started.
COUNSELLOR: I need to find out a few more things about you first. I’ll give you this form to fill in about your lectures and things before you leave.
COUNSELLOR: Now, what are your main problems?
JOHN: Well, what most concerns me is I’m still not doing very well in my assignments.
COUNSELLOR: Well, I know that you plan your writing carefully, but this can come to nothing if the assignment doesn’t answer the question. That really is the key. You must read the question carefully and give it a great deal of thought before you even start planning or writing your first draft. It’s also vital to check your work for errors. Everybody makes them, and they can influence the person marking the work. So, always take time at the end to check what you have written.
JOHN: As far as listening is concerned, I find it hard to keep up sometimes in lectures, especially two-hour ones. I sometimes just seem to go off into a dream.
COUNSELLOR: It’s a good idea to find out from your lecturers if they mind you recording the lectures. You only need one of those small cassette recorders. The quality is pretty good and a second listening can really clarify things. Something else you can do is – check your notes with a friend after the lecture.
JOHN: Yes. That’s a good idea. Thanks. It’s hard to do all that all the time, though, especially when there’s so much reading to do.
COUNSELLOR: Yes. It’s important, though, not to confine yourself to reading on your subject. You should also read things of general interest that appeal to you. You know, novels, newspapers, that kind of thing. Do you have a good dictionary?
JOHN: Not really. I’ve never bothered with one.
COUNSELLOR: Mmmm. It would probably be a good idea to get one. Dictionaries are not expensive and they can help a lot. Also, you can underline or highlight new words and…
TUTOR: Well, good afternoon. In today’s session, John Upton will be sharing some of the findings of his research project from last term. John…
JOHN: Thanks. Well, first of all, a little bit about the background to the project. Our title, as you can see, is pretty straightforward: ‘car safety’. But these days there’s a lot more to it than the usual injunctions about drinking and driving or speeding.
I had been interested and horrified by several newspaper reports on what people call ‘road rage’. For example the famous incident of a man getting out of his car in a car park and hitting the driver of a van who had overtaken him earlier. It seemed to me that there were almost as many serious problems when cars were parked … i.e. were stationary … as when they were travelling at 90 miles an hour. So I decided to make this the focus of the project.
For our research we depended mainly on talking to individuals, asking them questions rather than using written questionnaires. We stopped people at a selected garage on the motorway over a two-day period, and asked them questions about what they’d observed or experienced themselves. Our respondents were both men and women, but the women were just slightly in the majority. We were pleased by the public’s willingness to stop and chat to us … in the end, we talked to a total of 135 drivers over those two days.
So what were our findings? Well, as you can see, 93% of respondents had had some kind of problem. A surprisingly large percentage – 24% had had their car damaged in some way, but the main type of incident was being shouted at – 79% had experienced that. 15% had experienced violence on their own persons . . . they’d actually been hit by someone. The police tended only to be informed when there was physical violence involved.
So what strategies had people developed to ensure their own safety? Let’s have a look at the figures here. Well, first of all, it was quite striking that there were often distinct answers from the men and women. It was mainly women, for example, Example who said one shouldn’t ever stop to find out how to get somewhere. Whereas it was men who said you should try to avoid looking directly at other drivers. Both men and . . . oh! sorry no . . . it was women who said you had to tell someone when you were due to get to a particular destination. Then, I had thought that it would be mainly men, but both sexes made the point that it’s much safer to get keys out well in advance as you go towards your car. Men were very aware that muggers or whatever might be concealed behind the car. They also made the point that you should leave plenty of room when you park your car so you can make a quick getaway if you need to. Finally, locking doors at all times … men didn’t think it was quite as important as women, but both gave it a high safety rating.
When we asked them what they thought the best improvements had been in the last five years in helping with road rage problems…