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All topics of Mindy

Mindy, Discussion Leader:


A bit about myself: I grew up in Northern New Jersey. I am an international school teacher. I have taught in the United States, Spain, Singapore, China and now Russia. I have been living in Moscow for about a year and a half. My hobbies include traveling, running, reading and swimming. And... I enjoy being a discussion leader for the Moscow English Communication Club as it has been great being able to meet so many wonderful people.



Most people in the world have similar superstitions. Here are some of them:

  1. It's extremely unlucky to walk under a ladder proper against a wall or building. But if you must pass under a ladder? You can avoid bad luck by crossing your fingers and keeping them crossed until you see a dog.
  2. It's unlucky to spill salt. If you do, you must take a pinch and throw it over your left shoulder.

Lost and Found

Questions for discussion:

  1. What do you think of this story?
  2. Do you think that triplets should be allowed to be separated?
  3. Do you think it was fate that they found each other?
  4. What would you do if you found out that you had a twin now? Would you be happy or sad about it?
  5. Are twins and triplets common in Russia?
  6. What do you think plays a bigger role in developing your personality: nature verses nurture?



Reading Passage:

Before I go on vacation, I always plan my trip. First I usually look at books or go online to read about possible places to go. Then, I look at how much it would cost to travel to different places. If I'm going by plane, then I have to compare prices to fly on different airlines. If I'm traveling by train, then I have to look into train tickets. I also need to find a hotel. I don't mind staying at cheap hotels. Finally, I try to budget money for meals and going to places for sightseeing. If I plan carefully, I usually have a good time.

Having Difficult Conversations

Considerate – being thoughtful towards other people; kind
Disgusting – gross
Embarrass - to cause shame

Reading Passage:
Here is a letter to the ‘problem page’ of a magazine.
Dear Abigal,
I have one of the most thoughtful, kind, considerate men on the planet but he has this really disgusting habit that I can’t stand and I can’t decide how to tell him.


Thanks a million

Generosity (n) - readiness or liberality in giving
Empathetic (adj) – the ability to emotionally relate to another individual's emotional state; the action of understanding and being sensitive to the feelings of another person
A heart of gold (n) – a very good and caring person
Altruistic (adj) - unselfishly concerned for the welfare of others
Philanthropic (adj) - showing concern for humanity, especially by performing charitable actions, and donating money

Old Enough To Be Her Grandfather! Age Differences in Dating

Generation gap - a lack of communication between one generation and another, brought about by differences of tastes, values, outlook, etc.
Disabled - crippled; injured
Elderly –people of an old age
Intentions - An aim that guides action

Questions for discussion:

  1. Which of these relationships do you think is okay?
  2. - A 33 year old man going out with a 19 year old woman?
    - A 33 year old woman going out with a 19 year old man?

Weird But True. Part 2

Shoplifting - the act of stealing goods from a shop during shopping hours
Astonished – amazed; surprised
Fishy – strange; suspicious
Fabulous - exceptionally good; marvelous
Cross dresser – to dress in clothing typically worn by members of the opposite gender
Wacky – weird; crazy
Penalty – punishment


Weird But True. Part 1

Amusement Park - an open-air entertainment area consisting of games, rides and shows
Pitch in – to help out
Genetics - inherited traits passed down from the generations before
Gorging – stuffing with to much food

A 280 pound (127 Kilograms) British woman shocked people at a seaside amusement park when she went down a waterslide and got stuck in one of the tubes. The water pump had to be turned off and three fire-rescue crews had to pitch in to free her.


Ideal – a conception of something in its perfection
Evolved – to develop gradually
Trait – characteristic, especially one that distinguishes an individual from others
Genes - the basic physical unit of heredity

Questions for discussion:

  1. What features do you consider to be beautiful?
  2. Do you think the beauty ideal changes by country?
  3. Which people do you think are beautiful?

Surprise! It’s Your Wedding!

Questions for discussion:

  1. How would you feel if someone surprised you like this? Would you go through with it?
  2. Do you think it was right or wrong of Lynn to do what she did?
  3. Do you think their marriage will last?
  4. Would you ever do something like this to someone?
  5. Do you think it is important to be married?
  6. What are wedding ceremonies and receptions like in Russia?


Matrimony (n) - the ceremony of getting married


Questions for discussion:

  1. What features do you consider to be beautiful?
  2. Do you think the beauty ideal changes by country?
  3. Which people do you think are beautiful?
  4. Do you think inner beauty is more important than outer beauty or visa versa?
  5. Where do you think these ideas of beauty evolved from?
  6. Is being thin considered to be a beauty ideal in Russia?
  7. Are there any beauty ideals that you do not agree with?
  8. What do you think about people getting plastic surgery procedures?


What Does It Mean?

  1. He put his foot in his mouth.
  2. That was a piece of cake.
  3. He got a taste of his own medicine.
  4. He is all bark and no bite.
  5. We are all in the same boat.
  6. That costs an arm and a leg.
  7. She is the apple of my eye.
  8. Don’t be a back seat driver.
  9. Blood is thicker than water.
  10. Don’t cry over split milk.
  11. You are driving me up a wall.
  12. Don’t let the cat out of the bag.
  13. Mums the word.
  14. I’ll go with you when pigs fly.

Telling Lies

Questions for discussion:

  1. Why tell a lie?
  2. Have you ever told a white lie? What was it?
  3. Have you ever told a lie about any of the following?
  4. - Your qualifications in a job application
    - To your parents about something important
    - Your age
    - When someone asked to borrow money from you
    - When you were late for school or work
    - When giving someone your phone number

  5. Can you tell when someone is lying?
  6. Have you ever caught someone in a lie? If so, what was it?


Questions for discussion:

  1. What do you think are some of the best inventions?
  2. Do you there are some inventions that have been more harmful than helpful?
  3. If you were to invent something what would you invent?
  4. What inventions do you think we might see in the future?
  5. What are your thoughts on the invention of the internet?
  6. What are some famous inventions that came from China?
  7. Would you use any of these new inventions?


Puppy Love

Story for discussion: Puppy Love

Questions for discussion about a story published above:

  1. What do you think of this story?
  2. Would you swim that long for someone you love?
  3. Do you think a dog is capable of love?
  4. Do you have (or did you ever have) a dog?
  5. What is the most romantic thing someone ever did for you?
  6. What is the most romantic thing that you ever did for someone else?



Unique –not typical; unusual
Characteristic – a distinguishing quality, attribute, or trait
Extraordinary – very unusual, remarkable
Exceptional -unusually excellent; superior
Astonish - to fill with surprise or wonder; amaze

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