Idiom of the Week: Fly-by-Night

Meaning: Untrustworthy or undependable; usually used to describe businesses or salespeople.

Examples:

There are many fly-by-night providers of goods on the internet, so buying products online only from reputable websites is probably a good idea.

A fly-by-night salesman at the market yesterday sold me a flawed product that doesn’t even work.​

My uncle lost his savings by getting involved with a fly-by-night investment company.

 

Pop Quiz:

What should you do if someone calls a company fly-by-night?

A.  Avoid this company.

B.  Try to do business with this company.

C.  Apply for a job with this company.

To see the correct answer, click on “Continue reading”:

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Our Family Table

Here’s a video called “Our Family Table,” highlighting how University Settlement helps people in NYC – please share!:

 

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My Hands Are Tied Revisited

Here’s a classic country song for you using our latest Idiom of the Week.

“My Hands Are Tied”
Merle Haggard

She came here to see me today

In prison where I have to stay

But this time she came here

To tell me goodbye

 

Pretending that I understood

I held back the tears best I could

But I know that she knew

I wanted to cry

 

Because my hands are tied

I’m locked here inside

I want her, I need her, I love her

But my hands are tied

 

Her visits kept my world alive

Our love found a way to survive

But now it’s all over

I’ve lost her for good

 

She waited with arms open wide

Till somebody else stepped inside

But I know she waited

As long as she could

 

Because my hands are tied

I’m locked here inside

I want her, I need her, I love her

But my hands are tied

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Our Lives in New York, Too

Class 2P also wrote about their lives in the Big Apple. Read one below and then take the quiz afterwards to test your understanding:

Yan Zhen Deng

My Life

My name is Yan Zhen Deng. I’m from China. I speak Chinese.

I have a son. He is four years old. He is so cute. He is average height but he is thin. He has short black hair. He is sporty and restive but he is warm. I really love him. Every day we take a bus to school. He is so happy because he likes all the cars. Also in my house we have a lot of toy cars. When he finishes school, the first thing he does is play with his cars. One day I asked him, “Why do you like to play with cars?” He told me, “When I grow up, I want to be a driver. That is a great job.” I like this job and my son does too. It is very interesting.

Now about my life. I am a student right now. Every day I wake up at 7:00 am. And then I brush my teeth, wash my face, make up my face, and get dressed. After that I try to wake my son up. But my son is a lazy boy. He likes to sleep. So when I tell him to wake up and get ready for school, he always tells me, “I don’t want to go to school. I am so sleepy. Give me more time.” At 7:40 am we go to take a bus. Sometimes we are late and miss the bus. We will wait for ten or fifteen minutes. It is so crazy. At 8:20 am I drop off my son at school and I take the train home and eat breakfast.

After breakfast I take the N train to my school. My classmates are easy-going and friendly. Sometimes they are stubborn but funny. And my teacher is funny and kind. I am so happy studying English with my classmates and my teacher.

Oh, I forgot! Now I live in New York. It is a beautiful city. It is crowded but flourishing. I can’t say any more because I want to cook dinner for my son. That is my life. If you want to know more about my life, let me know. Bye.

To read more, click here.

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Idiom of the Week: My Hands Are Tied

Meaning: To be powerless; to not be able to do something.

Examples:

The customer wanted a refund but I told him that my hands were tied: he could only get store credit.

“The flight is delayed three hours? But I need to be in New York by 9 pm!” “I’m sorry, sir. Our hands are tied.”

Your mom already said you can’t have any more candy, so my hands are tied. Sorry, son.

 

Pop Quiz:

If someone tells you that their hands are tied, they mean…

A.  They can maybe do something.

B.  They can definitely help you.

C.  They can do nothing to change the situation.

To see the correct answer, click on “Continue reading”:

Continue reading

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Our Lives in NYC

Class 3A recently wrote about their lives in New York City. Read one below and then take the quiz afterwards to test your comprehension:

Ruzan Ghazaryan

My Lazy Life

Hello, my name is Ruzan. I am 30 years old. I am from Armenia. Armenia is a very small country, with 2 million people, but it is a very beautiful country with mountains and rocks. I moved from Armenia to New York one year ago with my husband. Now we are living in uptown Manhattan, near Riverside Park.

In my free time I read books, watch movies and TV shows, play tennis, ride bicycle, walk, and explore New York. Also every day I go to my English class at the University Settlement Adult Literacy Program on Eldridge Street. On the way to my class I read a book. It’s a very good way to improve my English and spend my time, but sometimes when I am very tired I just sit and watch people on the train. Some of them don’t like it. That’s why I love and hate the New York subway. You lose a lot of time on it but you can find interesting ways to pass the time.

In New York I work at a cat shelter. It is a volunteer job, but I love it. In general I love all kinds of animals. That’s why I applied to the veterinarian assistant program at CUNY College. I hope I will be accepted and can help more animals. I have a dream to build a shelter in Armenia, because my country doesn’t want to spend money on homeless animals, and there are two NGOs that help animals with people’s donations. When I was in Armenia I worked in those shelters too.

I am very lucky because in every crazy thing I do my husband supports me. We go hiking and camping when we have free time, or sometimes we work in the shelter with each other. Both of us are Nature lovers. I think life doesn’t have any meaning, but I found something: it is love—love to people, animals, nature, even to insects (for example, spiders).

To read more stories, click here.

 

 

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