Idiom of the Week: Let the Cat Out of the Bag

Meaning: To reveal a secret.


As we were planning our mom’s surprise birthday party, my sister reminded me not to let the cat out of the bag.

You didn’t hear they’re having a baby? I guess I let the cat out of the bag!

He finally let the cat out of the bag and confessed to the crime.


Pop Quiz:

Which of the following is an example of letting the cat out of the bag?

A.  Reminding someone to take out the garbage.

B.  Telling someone what someone else is going to give them for Christmas.

C.  Sending an email to your teaching saying that you and your classmates have gotten a copy of next week’s test.

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

Continue reading

Tagged ,

Free Lowline Workshop

Just click on any of the images for a larger view:

Tagged , , ,

Advocating for Adult Literacy

Earlier today students from the University Settlement Adult Literacy Program attended a rally at City Hall to support funding for adult education programs in New York City.

From the New York City Coalition for Adult Literacy (NYCCAL):

Over 100 immigrants, adult learners, educators and their allies will gather for a press conference at City Hall on March 22nd at 9:30am to call attention to their plight. Thousands of students across the City are currently enrolled in adult literacy classes not scheduled for renewal in the Mayor’s budget. They say they need English classes more than ever, particularly as misinformation and fear about the President’s immigration orders and ICE raids permeates low-literacy immigrant communities.

The press conference is organized by the New York City Coalition for Adult Literacy (NYCCAL), a citywide coalition of community based organizations, CUNY programs, libraries and union training programs. Students, teachers and allies will be joined by City Council supporters, including Immigration Committee Chair Carlos Menchaca.

2.2 million adult New Yorkers currently lacking English proficiency and/or a high school diploma – 1/3 of the entire adult population of the city – yet the Mayor’s Preliminary Budget did not renew $12m in funding included in last year’ budget, an investment advocates called historic at the time.

Literacy programs provide a pathway to economic mobility, social integration, parent-child engagement, improved health outcomes and improved community safety.  However, these programs are dramatically underfunded and less than 3% of those in need can access adult education programming. A 2015 survey by NYCCAL revealed at least 15,000 New Yorkers were waitlisted for adult literacy classes where they sometimes waited for over a year.

Here are more pictures:

To learn how you can take action, click here.

Tagged , , , , ,

Pull Yourself Together Again

Here’s a short but sweet clip from the movie The Incredibles using our latest Idiom of the Week:

Tagged ,

Awesome Adjective: Obnoxious

Meaning: Very rude or annoying.


You have to be nice to customers all the time – even if they’re being obnoxious.

There was a really obnoxious guy on the train this morning who almost started a fight.

A lot of people become very obnoxious when they’re drunk.


Pop Quiz:

Which of the following describes obnoxious behavior?

A.  Quietly sitting and reading.

B.  Laughing loudly and cursing.

C.  Helping someone pick something up that’s fallen on the floor.

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

Continue reading

Tagged ,

Idiom of the Week: Pull Yourself Together


Meaning: To calm down.


Everybody’s looking at you! Pull yourself together!

After hearing the bad news I needed a few minutes to pull myself together.

Pull yourself together! It’s just a little problem and nothing to get worked up about!


Pop Quiz:

When would you say to someone, “Pull yourself together!”

A.  When they’re falling asleep.

B.  When they’re quietly watching a movie.

C.  When they’re doing yoga.

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

Tagged ,

More Food, Glorious Food!


Here’s another food story for you from Class 3P. Remember to take the quiz when you’re finished!

Bitter Melon

Nian Ci He

Bitter melon is a vegetable. It is green and the shape is oval. Chinese medicine says bitter melon is a healthy food. It can help clean your stomach.

I remember when I was a child, my mom usually cooked bitter melon once a week because my dad had a habit of smoking. My mom thought bitter melon could help detox his body. She knew my brother and I didn’t like bitter melon because it tastes very bitter, so she cooked it in different ways, like bitter melon fried eggs, bitter melon braised ribs, bitter melon pig bone soup, etc., but we still didn’t like to eat it.

One time, we only had bitter melon braised ribs and rice for dinner. I didn’t like to eat bitter melon, but I didn’t have any choice, so I just ate ribs, one piece, two pieces, three pieces… My dad looked at me. He was angry. He said, “Bitter melon is good for you! You should eat it! Try it!” I was very afraid of my father, so I had to take a piece of bitter melon into my mouth, but I really did not like the taste, too bitter. Eating, eating, my tears flowing out.

Later my dad saw me eat so hard, and he said, “Forget it, do not eat it” and told my mother to put some other dishes out. When I saw the other dishes, my sadness turned to happiness.

Now every time I eat bitter melon, I think of this thing as a child, and I think of my dad. I miss him a lot.


To read more, click here.

Tagged ,