[Listening Medium] Back to School Supplies – KEY

Pre-Listening Exercise

What kinds of school supplies do you usually need to buy before the start of a new academic year (e.g., pen, pencils, laptop or desktop computers, smartphones, calculators)?


rolling in money” = have a lot of money
Just remember that I’m not rolling in money, so I can’t buy you the latest calculator.”

do without something” = do okay without a particular item
I don’t need new notebooks for school, but I can’t do without a few pencils.”

Listening Exercise

A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.


Girl: Dad, I need a few supplies for school, and I was wondering if . . . .

Dad: Yeah. There are a couple of pencils and an eraser in the kitchen drawer, I think.

Girl: Dad, I’m in eight grade now, and I need REAL supplies for my demanding classes.

Dad: Oh, so you need a ruler too?

Girl: Dad, I need some high-tech tech stuff like a calculator, a Palm Pilot, and a laptop computer.

Dad: Uh. I didn’t have any of that when I was in middle school, and I did just fine.

Girl: Yeah, and they weren’t any cars either, WERE there. [Hey] And things are just more progressive now.

Dad: Well, we can rule out the hand pilot [Palm Pilot, Dad]. Whatever, AND the computer . . . unless mom lets you sell the car. And as for the adding machine [Calculator]. Yeah, I think mine from college is kicking around here somewhere.

Girl: Dad, I need a calculator for geometry, and I have heard you can download free software from the Internet.

Dad: Great. My daughter will be playing video games in geometry class.

Girl: Dad.

Dad: Okay. How much is this thing going to cost me?

Girl: Well, I saw it at the store for only $99, WITH a $10 mail-in rebate, or you could buy it online.

Dad: Oh. Do they throw in a few aspirin so your father can recover from sticker shock?

Girl: Dad. Please!!!. Everyone has one [I’ve heard that before.] and you always say you want me to excel in school, and I’ll chip in $10 of my own, and I’ll even clean up my room [Hey!!].

Dad: Hmmm, 100 bucks.

Dad: Well, you’ll be supporting me in my old age, so, I guess so. When do you need it?

Girl: Now, right now. [Now!] Mom’s already waiting in the car for us. [Huh?] She said she would buy me an ice cream if I could talk you into buying it for me today. 


Vocabulary and Sample Sentences

  • demanding (adjective): requiring great effort or work 
    – My history teacher is very demanding. She expects students to memorize so many facts.
  • mail-in rebate (noun): refund or return of money sent to the purchaser after buying goods 
    – It took two months to receive my mail-in rebate from that company.
  • throw in (phrasal verb): add as an extra item 
    – The computer store threw in a free set of speakers when I bought a computer.
  • sticker shock (noun): great surprise at the sales price of an item 
    – I can’t get over the sticker shock of seeing the price of cars these days.
  • excel (verb): do well, surpass 
    – If you really work hard, you can excel in many things in life.
  • chip in (phrasal verb): add or contribute 
    – My father chipped in money so I could buy my first laptop.
  • buck (noun): informal for dollar 
    – It only costs a few bucks to buy some folders and notebooks for school.