Vocab Rehab - Intl Workers Day

Vocab Rehab – International Worker’s Day

This International Work’s Day, learn some vocabulary and follow the links to learn about the origins of this day.

Vocab Rehab - Intl Workers Day
  • May Day – Also known as International Worker’s Day, on the 1st of May, traditionally celebrates the beginning of spring (click here to learn more) and now marks a day to honor those that fought for the 8-hour work day and other worker’s rights. Learn more by clicking here.
    • Since May Day falls on a Saturday this year, we won’t get a day off from work, but we will celebrate it by remembering how grateful we are to have strong worker’s rights.
  • Protest / Demonstration– both words describe an event where people show a strong complaint against something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc.
    • Every Friday, the pensioners protest in front of the Parliament building to demand their rights.
    • There is another demonstration programmed for this Friday.
  • Riots – an event where a large number of people behave in a noisy, violent and uncontrolled way in public, usually occurring at a protest.
    • The peaceful protest quickly turned to riots when the police began to use force.
  • To go on strike – to refuse to continue working because of an argument with an employer usually about working conditions, pay, job loss, etc.
    • The employees went on strike last week and will not return to work until they are promised the over-time they deserve.
  • Unions – short for Trade Union – is an organization that represents the people who work in a particular industry by protecting their rights and working conditions, discussing their pay, etc.
    • Since the employers did not seem to pay any attention to the union‘s demands, they are organizing a strike.
  • anarchism – a political belief that people should freely work together and rely very little on formal or governmental organization to society.
    • People often believe that without strong rules and regulations there would be anarchism, but our employees are quite good with setting their own time schedules while still doing their work as needed.
expressions sessions eggs

Expressions Sessions – Idioms with eggs

Expressions with the word egg.

  • to egg someone on – to urge someone to do something, especially if it’s negative.
    • Stop egging him on. He doesn’t have to jump if he doesn’t want to.
  • to be a good egg – a good and reliable person.
    • She always has her homework done. She’s a good egg.
  • to be a bad egg – a person who does bad things
    • He’s such a bad egg. He’s always lying and hurting people.
  • egg on your face – to feel embarrassed because of something silly you did
    • The government really ended up with egg on its face due to this latest scandal.
  • to put all eggs in one basket – to put all your success in one person, action or plan in a risky way.
    • I don’t like to put all my eggs in one basket so I diversify my stock options.
  • to walk on eggshells – to be very careful not to offend or hurt someone.
    • I’m always walking on eggshells with him because he upsets easily.
  • to have a nest egg – some money saved to spend on a certain occasion.
    • We have a nest egg saved up to travel to Mexico next year.

Vocab Rehab – Common Problems in meetings

There are lots of reasons why we all hate meetings. But by avoiding some of these common traps, you can have meetings that are efficient and effective. Don’t forget to read the definitions and examples below the post!

  • Late starts – when the meeting begins after the scheduled time.
    • Looks like it’s going to be another late start for today’s meeting. Joe is still not here!
  • Over-runs – when the meeting fails to finish at the scheduled time.
    • We can’t have another over-run at tomorrow’s meeting because I have to leave at the scheduled time.
  • Groupthink – the practice of thinking or making decisions as a group, resulting typically in unchallenged, poor-quality decision-making
    • Hiring a more diverse staff is a great way for our company to shy away from this model of groupthink that is halting our innovation.
  • Hidden agenda – when someone has a secret agenda or intentions
    • I feel like there is a lack of transparency occurring. He always seems like he has a hidden agenda and it makes me not trust him.
  • Inadequate preparation – attending a meeting without preparing beforehand the necessary information to discuss the topic at hand.
    • It’s clear that there was a level of inadequate preparation that took place and that’s why we were unable to reach any real decisions on the day of the meeting.
  • Communication barriers – things that make people reluctant to share and/or talk
    • There is a clear communication barrier taking place between the manager and his team. I think they are afraid to say anything in case of getting fired.
    • We need to find a good translator or hire someone who speaks fluent German in order to get past the communication barriers we are facing with our international partners.
  • Communication breakdowns – misunderstandings
    • Knowing the language but not understanding the culture and the meanings behind that language can cause some severe communication breakdowns that can lead to real disputes in meetings.
    • We are having some real communication breakdowns because the employee job descriptions are not clearly outlined.
  • Point-scoring – when there is competition between colleagues for attention, a new job, recognition, etc.
    • I’m so annoyed with Janet and Dave continuously trying to point-score with the boss during the meeting. I don’t know why they can’t share the success of their work.
  • Pulling rank – when someone uses their status to get what they want
    • Although most of us voted to move the deadline back a week, the boss pulled-rank and said that we needed to maintain the original date.
  • Time wasting – causing someone to spend time doing something that is unnecessary or does not produce any benefit.
    • Reviewing information in a meeting that could be given in an email is a time wasting method of information sharing.

off the cuff episode 8: spring has sprung

off the cuff: Episode 8: Spring has sprung

The spring has come
The flowers’s ris
I wonder where the birdies is
The people say they’re on the wing
But that’s absurd
I always thought the wing was always on the bird.


  • On the wing – migrating
  • Sesame StreetBarrio Sesamo
  • Calving  – referring to spring time when cows give birth to
  • Lambing  –  the time in spring when sheep give birth to lambs calves.
  • Kooky – Strange
  • To set on fire – to cause something or someone to start burning
  • Fatalities –  a death caused by accident or on purpose
  • Sechseläuten (Switzerland Spring festival)  – a Swiss spring festival where they burn a stuffed snowman to highlight the beginning of spring. Learn more here: https://www.zuerich.com/en/visit/sechselaeuten
  • Hollowed out – to make an empty apace inside something
  • Polish decorative eggshttps://lamusdworski.wordpress.com/2016/03/13/pisanki/
  • Mass – a religious ceremony that often takes place in a church.
  • The Stations of the Cross – a series of 14 pictures showing the last days of the life of Jesus Christ which are put up on the walls inside many Roman Catholic Churches. To do the Stations of the Cross, the story about the 14 pictures was told during a mass.
  • Good Friday –  The Friday before Easter Sunday
  • Black Friday – In Ireland, people would call Good Friday, ‘Black Friday’ since they were not allowed to drink and bars were closed.  
  • Nonsensical  –  an action or behavior that is not logical 
  • Take precedent over – to be more important than something else
  • Economically sound – to not waste money, to be economically good for someone or something
  • To have a black cloud over your head – an idiom to express irritation, disturbance or feelings of misfortune
  • Guilt – a feeling of worry or unhappiness that you have because you have done something wrong
  • Easter lily – a flower (cala in Spanish) that was worn on Easter day to commemorate those that died during the 1916 uprising in Ireland. Learn more here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Lily_(badge)
  • Stickies – people who wore stickers (pegatinas) to represent themselves as part of the Sinn Féin political party. Learn more here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Lily_(badge)#%22Stickies%22_versus_%22Pinheads%22
  • Sinn Féin – In Irish, Sinn Féin means ‘We Ourselves’ or ‘Ourselves Alone’. They are a left wing political party in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland who strive to end the political partition of the island of Ireland. Learn more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinn_F%C3%A9in#:~:text=Sinn%20F%C3%A9in%20(%2F%CA%83%C9%AAn,of%20Ireland%20and%20Northern%20Ireland.
  • In favor of – in support of
  • Pin – a small thin piece of metal with a point at one end, especially used to hold something temporarily in place
  • 1916 uprising – Also known as the Easter Rising or Easter Rebellion – a six day battle where the Irish Republicans aimed to establish an independent Irish Republic against the British rule. Learn more here   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Rising  
  • Politicized – to make something or someone political
  • Explicit – clear and exact
  • Cimburijada – Bosnian spring celebration – Bosnians in Zeneca share scrambled eggs by the river to celebrate new life. Learn more here: https://www.sarajevotimes.com/traditional-cimburijada-in-zenica-marked-the-first-day-of-spring/  
  • That wraps it up – to finish something successfully
Easter eggs

Easter Eggs / Huevos de Pascua

Since I was a little girl, in my home and in the homes of many people in the US and worldwide, we dyed hard boiled eggs at Easter time. Today I still enjoy the tradition with my kids and it is really easy to do. Here are 6 simple steps to creating your own Easter eggs. Give it a try!

Step 1: Hard boil the eggs. Place the eggs in a pot, cover them with water and bring them to a boil. Lower the heat and let them simmer for about 12 minutes. Immediately remove them from the hot water and run under cold water to stop them from cooking more.

Step 2 (optional): Decorate the eggs. We decorate our eggs first using crayons (the wax doesn’t dye, so the image stays) or rubber bands to create designs. Be creative! You can draw animals, flowers, people, words, etc. Note that we put an old placemat underneath so the dye doesn’t stain our tablecloth.

Step 3: Prepare the dyes. Fill a glass with a half a cup of water (113g) and one teaspoon of white vinegar. Add at least 20 drops or more of liquid food coloring. Mix red and yellow to make orange, blue and yellow to make green and red and blue to make purple.

Step 4: Leave the eggs 5 minutes in the dye. The longer you leave them, the stronger the color will be. When they have the color you want, remove the egg with a spoon.

Step 5: Dry the eggs on an oven wrack. Remember, the dye will stain your clothes and your tablecloth, so make sure you put something underneath the wrack to catch the water and dye that drips. Once the eggs are dry, you can remove the rubber bands to see the design.

Step 6: Store the eggs in the refrigerator. Once the eggs are dry, save them in the egg carton they came in. The colors are vibrant and the eggs are 100% edible. You can hide them in the house and have kids look for them or eat them with a bit of salt. Enjoy!