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Roughing It
Roughing It English, baby! Video Lesson

Learn English with this survival English lesson

Date: Jan 22 2013

Themes: Soap Opera, Travel

Grammar: Count and Noncount Nouns


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What’s your idea of a dream vacation? Is it a week at a five-star hotel, with expensive sheets and lots of room service? Or is it a week in the woods, sleeping outside and cooking your meals over a fire? If you chose the second option, chances are you’re into roughing it.

Rough is the opposite of smooth. Rough means bumpy, or coarse. Rough also means not easy. Choosing to rough it means deciding against modern conveniences or luxuries. It means going back to nature, or to an older way of doing things, even if it might be more difficult.

Since everyone is stuck at the office without beds or food, it looks like it’s going to be a night of roughing it. And some people, it turns out, enjoy roughing it more than others. Find out who prefers luxury in this English lesson.




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Amanda:  What the?

Jeff:  That’s where I hid the provisions!

Amanda:  You hid this stuff here?

Jeff:  Of course! You can never be too prepared! I was a Boy Scout. Of course, not for long. I got in trouble with tying knots…Anyway, you can never be too prepared.

Amanda:  OK. So what you’re saying is, you’re used to roughing it?

Jeff:  Yeah. Sure.

Amanda:  Come on. I’ll carry the box.

Marni:  No, I feel like I should get the couch. I hope that’s OK with everybody. I kind of don’t want to be by Jeff, because he’s really creeping me out lately. Do you think we could move it?

Mason:  Yeah…I’m just a little worried about these pillows, I’m pretty used to memory foam.

Amanda:  Are you guys really still working on the bedding? What is going on? You haven’t done anything!

Mason:  I’m just worried we’re not going to be that comfortable.

Jeff:  Comfortable? What is comfort when the siege is upon us!

Marni:  What is he going on about? What are you doing with those sticks?

Amanda:  So what he’s talking about is roughing it. You guys better get ready to get your hands a little bit dirty and your bodies a little bit uncomfortable! Yeah. Except for you, you have an excuse with your condition, Marni. I will give you that. But I can not even forget about that “camping trip” that we all went on.

Marni:  That was nice.

Amanda:  No no no, we were in a hotel, with room service, not camping.

Mason:  Wait, you like camping?

Jeff:  You guys. You have to remember Boy Scout Rule #1, “be cool.”

Marni:  I thought it was “always be prepared”?

Mason:  Wait Marni, lay off him. I mean, I miss my Snuggie as much as the next guy, but Jeff just might be the best hope we’ve got in this terrible situation.

Marni:  Oh boy.

Amanda:  Yikes.


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Amanda discovers a box full of water, food, and other supplies in the hallway. It turns out Jeff hid the box there, in case of an emergency. He was a boy scout, and he believes it’s important to always be prepared.

Meanwhile, back in the office, Mason and Marni are supposed to be getting the sleeping arrangements ready. Marni wants the couch, and she doesn’t want to sleep near Jeff. Mason is worried that he won’t be comfortable, because he doesn’t have the kind of pillow he’s used to.

Amanda can’t believe that they are moving so slowly. She is frustrated because she knows that Marni and Mason care too much about being comfortable. She remembers a time they were supposed to go on a camping trip, but ended up in a nice hotel.

Clearly, people in the office are getting stressed out. And Jeff might be the only one with the “roughing it” skills to get them through the night.

Was there ever a time when you had to rough it? Do you prefer camping or staying in hotels? Do you keep prepared for an emergency situation?



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Good and sincere post Snoopy.  Praise the Lord that  I don´t remember a day in my life that  I went to bed  with an empty stomach .      

09:12 PM Jan 22 2013 |




     Was there ever a time when I had to rough it? Yes there was; when I left my mother’s house. She was on the brink of a divorce with my step father and she would vent her anger on me over the silliest things. I felt that I had to escape the oppressions I was under in order to jumpstart and focus on my own aspirations. That was a turning point in my life and it wasn’t an easy decision to make. I had to weigh all the responsibilities I had to take into account. The prospect of living alone dreaded me greatly.  I started thinking about all the privileges I would have to leave behind. Things that I took for granted while I was living with her suddenly began to weigh on my shoulders and got me asking questions like: Who’s going to cook for me? Who’s going to do my laundry? How could I ever afford to pamper myself if I have bills to pay? At that point, I realized that I would have to cut down on certain things and brace myself to rough it until I could find a better paying job.  

     After months of pondering and hunting for an affordable place to live, I finally made up my mind one gloom evening and announced my departure to my mother. She was a little bit startled but didn’t insist on me staying either, in fact, she only asked if I needed a lift to my new home. Well, it wasn’t so much of a home; it was a squalid place, just one step above living in a manhole. After she helped me cramp my stuff in this tiny room she wished me luck and we parted and didn’t speak to one another for months afterwards.  I spent months living off on the cheapest can foods money could buy , I had no TV, no internet, and no nothing, just four walls that seemed to be closing on me every day. I was roughing it. Things proved more difficult than I anticipated; every month after rent was paid I was literally scraping by with the meager sum that was left in my bank account. There were nights I wanted to crawl back to my mother’s house and beg for a hot chicken drumstick or hook up on her internet to browse the web : ) but my pride wouldn’t let me.  Eventually I grew tired of the conditions in which I was shackled to and went to look for a second  job. I remember this particular day; I must have filled out a thousand of job application forms in many lines of work. I even applied for a mortician position ;) kidding.

     A week hadn’t passed when the calls began to flood in. My phone was ringing off the hook, and I had to pass on some interviews because they coincided with other ones I’d chosen to attend. I ended up settling with a job at a warehouse because the pay was attractive and my place was in proximity to the store.  With the extra income things were starting to look up and I was even able to put some money aside for purposes like school, better lodging and whatnot. After months of saving I eventually moved out of my horrible place to a better house in a nicer neighborhood . I maintained both jobs and provided for myself amply. But the catch was that I was worn out most of time and that I couldn’t squeeze in any time for school in my schedule. Then I found myself facing a difficult choice, I had to choose between padding my wallet working two jobs or work one job while attending school. I chose the latter with firm determination.  Because, my primary ambition was always to clinch a degree to arm myself with credentials that could land me a generous job in the future. So far I don’t regret the decision I took even if I had to make a few arrangements and rough it on my living again: ). But the good is that things aren’t as bad as they were when I left my mother’s house and I will fight to avoid  that.  But I will never know  for sure what life will put in my path, so like the lesson suggests, I’m prepared to make do with the minimum I have when circumstances call for that.

    Those experiences made me look at the things I used to take for granted with brand new eyes. It makes me think of those who really have to rough it on a daily basis, not because they had moved out on their own or had to make sacrifices to pursue an education or because they’re trapped in a storm. I’m referring to the disabled homeless, the sick and poor, those who are trapped in war-ridden territories, those who are forsaken. Sometimes we don’t realize how fortunate we are until we see someone with practically nothing smiling.

07:47 PM Jan 22 2013 |



in my work as a mountain guide we use to camping outside and i can assume that’s wonderful night i passed in the mountain and always roughing it,i agree with this sleeping under the stars and cooking in the fire…love it

02:52 PM Jan 22 2013 |




i’m ready but i want the beggener plasce thank you 

by talking with some one  than kyou


01:59 PM Jan 22 2013 |




WANNICHO,  at least once in a life time a good spa-resort to be pampered with , I agree with you !!!!

01:45 PM Jan 22 2013 |




I am on both sides of the line, hotel amenities and camping out in nature roughing it  but enjoying the beauty  that surround us  in the  national parks . It pays off  the sacrifice of having to get by   eating tuna fish  and  bathing in  cold waters  streams. :)))) 

12:17 PM Jan 22 2013 |



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10:15 AM Jan 22 2013 |




yes, when u r not financially well-off, u have to be always rough it , thats the only way to getting by. _ sometimes when just rough it for sth , like education , or apartments ,even a coming wedding ceremony…which are getting costly n costly nowadays , if money is not the issue , i will stay in a nice hotel, won’t we all had enough about our lives? so we just deserve a nice treatment for a vocation …

09:29 AM Jan 22 2013 |




There were many situations when I had to rough with my family because We all like nature and in summer we often go out  for piknic to the forest or seaside.And we had to take provision with us and its considered that we are in roughing it.But  rest in a good hotel is expensive and we have to look for other ways.

09:18 AM Jan 22 2013 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

i love camping in the desert and mountain and iran have very very nice places for camping.you should come here and see them.

04:47 AM Jan 22 2013 |

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