Free Lessons

What is AA?

Alcohols Anonymous is a fellowship (meeting of people) who come together to solve their drinking problem. The meetings are FREE and are in every state. There is NO age requirement. You are NOT asked for your personal information.   You don’t’ have to join or do anything, you can walk into any meeting. You can walk into the meeting and sit down. You can participate or choose only to listen.   There are different meeting places, meetings are held at all different times. You can go to multiple meetings a day, week, etc. AA usually has some meetings in other languages and also some online.   To find a meeting or additional information go aa.org to find the AAs in your state.   **DISCLAIMER:** This in general information used for the purpose of teaching English. This is general information. I was not paid or given anything to write this. Please contact your local AA if you need help.


Thanksgiving

We are 1 week away from Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is a U.S. holiday that celebrates and remembers the Pilgrims and the Native Americans.   First, a little history lesson… The Pilgrims were a group of about 100 people that left England because of religious persecution. The Pilgrims sailed to the New World (United States of America) in their boat called the Mayflower. They planned to go to Virginia, but they went off course and landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. The Pilgrims were starving and did not know how to grow food in the new land. A group of Native American Indians called the Wampanoag Indians taught the Pilgrims how to grow food. In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims held (had) a three-day feast called Thanksgiving and invited the Native American Indians to give thanks for a successful harvest with plenty (lots) of food to survive the winter. The Pilgrims and the Native Americans did not share the same religious views, but they celebrated the harvest they had. Thanksgiving is an interfaith holiday; a holiday that people of all different faiths celebrate. Thanksgiving is about being thankful for what we have.   Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. It is a federal holiday; all banks, schools, and federal offices are closed. Most businesses are closed for Thanksgiving.   How do people celebrate Thanksgiving? (What do people do on Thanksgiving?)   The most common tradition is for family and friends gather for a big meal. Most often turkey is severed, with many different side dishes. Typical side dishes are, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes or yams, corn, carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts, green beans, cornbread or rolls. For dessert, there is often pie. The most common pie is apple pie, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie. However, there can…


Veterans Day

Veterans Day is a day to remember all of our servicemen and women. Veteran’s Day is celebrated on November 11th. It is a federal holiday; therefore, all banks and federal offices are closed. However, some schools remain open to teach students about history, and veterans. Schools sometimes invite veterans to honor them. There are parades on Veteran’s Day. Also, many restaurants thank veterans with free things on Veteran’s Day as long as they show their military ID.


Election Day

When is Election Day? Election Day Election Day is the day that U.S. citizens vote their elected officials into office. Election Day is always the first Tuesday in November. Schools are often closed on Election Day. Many schools are closed on election day because schools are used as polling places (places people vote). Who can vote? Almost all U.S. citizens that are above the age of 18 can vote. Citizens must be a registered voter to vote on election day. It costs nothing to vote. Where do people go to vote? Where you go to vote depends on where you live. It is usually at your local school or church. Depending on the state, there are different options for people to vote before election day. Absentee Ballot? If a person is not going to be in the area or unable to vote on election day, they can request to complete an absentee ballot and vote ahead of time. In some places, the lines to vote can be very long. Therefore, many people vote early, going in person to vote during a specific time period before election day. How do you vote? On Election Day, you go to your local “polling place”, where you are supposed to vote. This usually goes by your address. Polling places are usually open 6am-8pm. People use a ballot to vote. A ballot is the piece of paper where you mark your vote. What is a term? Each elected official position has a specific term. A term is the number of years that the elected position allows someone to serve. After a term is up (finished), a new election is held. For example, the term for the U.S. presidency is 4 years. What is an incumbent? The incumbent (person who currently holds the elected official position)…


Terminated/Let go/Got fired vs. Laid Off

There are many different terms to use when saying that a person was terminated/fired (dismissed from their job). When discussing a person being terminated/fired due to employee performance:   Formal: In a “work/office” environment. A company will use the phrase “terminated”. This is an H.R. (Human Resources) term that is used within the company.   In the “workplace” environment, in order to remain professional people may say, a person “was let go” or he/she “no longer works” there.   Informal: You will commonly hear people say someone “got fired”. This is a neutral phrase. It isn’t the most professional thing to say. However, it isn’t the worst thing to say.   You may also here the terms, a person “got sacked” or “got canned”. These phrases, are very negative.     Being “laid off” is NOT the same as being fired. When a company has made changes and needs to reduce the number of employees, they downsize. Therefore, the employees are laid off.   When a person is laid off, it is due to changes in the company, not the person’s performance. A person who is laid off will say, “I was laid off.”


FAQs

If you see FAQs on a paper or website? It means Frequently Asked Questions The company or organization usually will show questions that they are frequently asked and the answers to them. This is supposed to save you and them time. Companies put this on their website, papers, and/or brochures in hopes of saving your time and theirs. They are hoping to answer some of yours, so you won’t need to contact them.


What does Kelley Blue Book value mean?

Kelley Blue Book is a website that has been around for a very long time. People and dealers (car dealerships) use it to estimate the value of a car. It is a free website. If a person wants to sell their car, they will go on kbb.com and answer questions to determine a cars value. This way, they know how much to sell their car for. If you are buying a car you can go to kbb.com and look up the value of a specific make, model, etc. of a car. This way, you will know what a fair price is so that you don’t overpay for the car. The website for Kelly Blue Book is kbb.com When people are negotiating the price of a car, they will say, “you know that Kelly Blue Book value is ….”   There is another website that will estimate car values, NADA. Some dealers might use Kelly Blue Book or NADA guides. The website for NADA is nadaguides.com.   FYI (For Your Information), I was NOT paid by Kelley Blue Book or NADA Guides to write about them. Nor did I receive anything from them. I honestly believe, people in the U.S. can benefit from knowing about Kelly Blue Book and NADA guides.  


What is AAA? Why Millions of American Have a Membership.

AAA is called “Triple A”. It is an automotive club. They offer 24-hour roadside assistance. If you have a flat tire, your car battery is dead, need your car towed, locked your keys in the car, ran out of gas, they usually arrive within 1 hour to help you. If you are at home, work, at a family or friends house, on vacation, etc. they will come to you. If your car battery is dead, they have “battery trucks” that will come an install a battery wherever you are.   Having a AAA membership offers drivers peace of mind. The website for AAA is AAA.com There are different memberships. See the photo below, that Membership is under $100 a year. Think about how much a tow truck would cost.   FYI (For Your Information), I was not paid by AAA to write about them. Nor did I receive anything from them. I honestly believe, people in the U.S. who have a car can benefit from a having a AAA membership.      


Memorial Day

Memorial Day is to remember all of the fallen soldiers (people who died while serving our country). Memorial Day is always the last Monday in May. Many cemeteries will put a flag on each fallen soldier’s grave. Many towns and cities have parades. Memorial Day is a federal holiday; all banks, federal offices, and public schools are closed. Also, Memorial Day weekend is the considered the office start of the summer season. This is the weekend when beaches and parks start charging for admission, if they do. Many Americans have a barbeque (BBQ) / “cookout” or a picnic and spend time with family or friends. If the weather is nice many people head to the beach or their local pool.


Minimum Wage

In the U.S. We have a minimum wage (minimum hourly pay). It is the wage/pay, an employer must pay their employee per an hour. In Connecticut, the current minimum wage is $14 an hour. In Massachusetts, it is $14.25. If you go to the movies at night, the ticket is $12.50. Right now, a gallon of gas is over $4.00. It is very hard to survive on minimum wage in America.