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Rules

Part 3

This episode's vocabulary


  • Broad (adj.) - very wide.
  • Applicable (adj.) - affecting or relating to a person or thing.
  • Principle (noun) - a basic idea or rule that explains or controls how something happens or works.
  • To internalize (verb) - to accept or absorb an idea, opinion, belief, etc. so that it becomes part of your character.
  • Offender (noun) -a person who is guilty of a crime.
  • Withdrawal (noun) - an act of taking something back, removing something, or moving something back..
  • Restorative (adj.) - something that makes you feel better or more energetic if you are feeling tired or ill.
  • Approach (noun) - a way of considering or doing something.
  • To reinforce (verb) - to make something stronger.
  • Boil down to sth (phrasal verb) - if a situation or problem boils down to something, that is the main reason for it.
  • Limit (noun) - the greatest amount, number, or level allowed or possible.
  • Clamp (noun) - a device used to hold something tightly.a device used to hold something tightly.

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Questions and Answers


M: What's the rules students should follow at school?

R: Well, the ones that make sense, like, for example, being respectful, ready and responsible, though, in other words, they should show awareness they're learning with others, and to be respectful of that, be prepared to learn and try their best to look after the shared space. They seem like broad enough to cover the more important parts of being at school.

M: Are the rules at school good or bad?

R: Well, I suppose that depends on the school and the rules, doesn't it? I mean, I find three or four simple, short and broadly applicable principles to be quite effective. But if you have, like a small book on every single possibility, then that's impossible for people to internalize. So that's not a good set of rules. In my opinion.

M: What can teachers do to make students obey the rules?

R: Well, I think by asking them to and explaining why they should is usually enough, though, in extreme cases, it might be necessary to have some punishments or consequences for repeat offenders.

M: What kind of punishments?

R: I think the punishment should reflect the crime. So basically, withdrawal of privileges or involving restorative approaches.

M: Should students be involved in making school rules?

R: Well, to a certain extent, they already are, I mean, by following the rules, you show they're worth something. So you're reinforcing the ideas behind them. And if you repeatedly break them, for whatever reason, then you're inadvertently involved in making or reforming them. But if you mean, they should be included in the conception of the rules, then I don't see why not. That's how real life works.

M: But why do you think that students should be involved in making school rules?

R: Because that's how real life works. If the purpose of school is to prepare students for the world, then that's useful.

M: What rules are there in the workplace?

R: Well, which one? In general, there are like pages and pages, but they mostly boil down to don't be horrible to your colleagues, try to be professional and don't damage the company or wherever it is you work.

M: What rules should children follow at home?

R: Whichever their parents decide on and are in line with the broader culture. I'm sure they're similar to what I just said. And I imagine some rules about having a proper bedtime and being polite and not being rude are quite common.

M: What rules do families usually have?

R: Watch your language was always a popular one when I was growing up. Try to control your behavior is another. I imagine there are like limits on bedtimes, parties having friends over and other aspects of childhood.

M: And do you think these rules are the same in different countries in different families?

R: Well, no, it depends on the culture. So in, in some countries, the rules will be much stricter compared to others.

M: Why do some people refuse to follow the rules?

R: Well, usually, it's because the rules don't make sense for them, or even they don't apply or they don't seem to apply. Like imagine if you were constantly asked to do things that don't make sense. Or the rules were constantly changing, you'd probably give up trying to go along with them too. Other people would just feel the rules don't apply to them.

M: And do you think that nowadays more people follow the rules than they used to?

R: I don't know how you'd begin to measure that. I want to say it's probably not changed. We're just more aware of it.

M: And what about the future? Do you think more people will be law abiding, more people will follow the rules?

R: I think human nature is really difficult to change. So with that in mind, I think it will stay pretty much constant. The proportion of people who break rules, compared to the proportion of people that follow them will stay largely the same. And most people follow the rules most of the time.

M: How are people punished when they park their cars in the wrong place?

R: Well, usually they get a parking ticket with a fine, they have to pay. I think in some areas, you have clamps placed on your wheels too. And in extreme cases, like where it keeps happening or if there's a traffic hazard, then your car could get towed too, couldn't?

M: Thank you, Rory, for your answers!


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Discussion


M: So, rules, and regulations, and laws. In the previous episode, we discussed different verbs that could go with the rules. Another one is obey the rules. Yeah? So we follow the rules, so we obey the rules. That's the same, follow or obey, right? Obey the law.

R: Oh, you obey the law, but you don't follow the law? Well, you do follow laws, I suppose. There must be a difference.

M: Yeah, but usually we say follow the rule. But we obey the law. Right?

R: No, I think it's to do with your willing participation. So if you follow the rules, then you agree with them. Whereas if you obey the rules, then you just do as you're instructed to? Which makes sense? Because like, if you follow people on Twitter, for example, then you're actively involved in that process of following.

M: Right. So school rules, you said that, be respectful, be responsible. Interesting, you didn't say anything about like smoking or do homework or wear school uniform. They're also rules, right?

R: Yeah. But like that fits in with being respectful, ready and responsible. So like, if we talk about not smoking in school. Well, if you smoke around people who don't want to have that in their face, is that being respectful?

M: Nah, maybe.

R: No, no, it is not. It's disrespectful. It's also not responsible.

M: It's interesting, just how you phrase it, because usually, like, if you open school rules, they would go okay, like don't damage school property. No smoking in the toilets, don't write on the walls. So they would just be very specific. Whereas you kind of you give us this a more sophisticated way.

R: How is that sophisticated? If anything that's simpler to understand the idea of being respectful to people and being ready to learn and being responsible for your shared space. That's, that's easier than saying, You can't do this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this this, like 100 things you can't do. You're not going to remember all of those things. Your active memory only remembers like, what 12 bits of new information?

M: Yeah.

R: Sorry, your working memory. But like, that's the point.

M: And then we can say principles, we can paraphrase rules, like applicable principles, effective principles, like effective rules, in terms of school rules, being bad or good.

R: And you have to make sure that they're broadly applicable. So broadly means they work in a variety of situations, narrowly means very specific situations.

M: Yeah, and you've used the word applicable. So the rules which are applicable... To or for this situation?

R: Could be applicable to or applicable in this situation.

M: And also we can use it as a verb. Apply. So people don't follow the rules, because they think they don't apply. So we apply rules, again to something or the rules just don't apply. They just don't apply. They don't work well, right? So we apply the rules, the rules are applicable. Alright? In this particular situation, or to something. Okay. And then Rory talked about punishments. So when teachers make students obey the rules, or follow the rules, there could be some punishments. And then as an examiner, I asked Rory, like what do you mean punishments, like for example, so the examiner could ask you follow up questions. So if you say something in general, the examiner could go oh, what do you mean exactly? Could you give me an example? So what kind of punishments. So the examiner can ask you to be more specific. And Rory was very nice. Rory didn't say beat up children or something else.

R: It's probably important to point out though that I don't believe in punishments. I believe in consequences, but I don't believe in punishing people.

M: Oh, yeah. Because you said some punishments or consequences.

R: Yeah.

M: And then I go what kind of consequences and punishments? And you go withdrawal of privileges. So that's like, could be a usual punishment. So withdrawal of privileges? What does it mean?

R: It just means you take away someone's access to something that they get. So like, for example, if you were disrespectful and you wasted five minutes of someone's time, then you lose five minutes of your time. And that's the consequence.

M: And then the question is, should students be involved in making rules? So we make rules. So usually, the school teachers or the school administration makes rules. So should students be involved? That's like an interesting question.

R: And I really like... Because I'm, because I'm a teacher, like I know lots about the philosophy of making rules, which is why my answer is maybe more complicated than it should be. But you do. When you when you choose to follow or choose to break the rules, then you're making a choice about keeping them or changing them. It doesn't have to be an effective choice. It's still a choice, though.

M: Yeah, and you said like, reinforce the ideas behind the rules. Students make school rules by following the rules, reinforcing the ideas behind them. Really sophisticated. And then we go with if, if blah blah, then blah, blah, blah.

R: We talked about making the rules. Another way of talking about that is the conception of the rules, which is like creation.

M: The consumption of the rules, the creation of the rules, yeah. And our favorite phrasal verb, it boils down to. Or they, the rules boil down to.

R: Which is another way of saying in a nutshell.

M: In a nutshell.

R: But don't say in a nutshell, even though I'm probably going to say it later on.

M: No, don't say in a nut shell.

R: It's so stupid.

M: Yes, it's kind of, everybody says that.

R: Especially when people say in a nutshell, and it's like, why are you stressing the idiomatic expression?

M: God, yes. Don't do that. Yeah, it's kind of what rules do we have at work? Well, there are pages and pages of rules. But they boil down to be nice to colleagues. Be professional. don't damage the company. Don't burn the office.

R: Yeah.

M: Yeah. And again, you can speak about like, usual rules, right? So no smoking, no drinking. Not turning up drunk at work. Children at home. So we have rules about having a proper bedtime. Being polite. And what else? Coming home at a certain time? Yeah. And then you keep going, you kept going with what's your language rule? And try to control your behavior rule?

R: Yeah. Which I feel is like, well, there are rules that you carry with you into adulthood most of the time. So most adults try and control their behavior. Most of the time we watch our language. Most of the time.

M: And parents would tell you, watch your language. What's your language, mister, or young boy. Watch your language young boy, young man. Young man.

R: Young man, yeah. Young boy...

M: You watch your language young man, young boy. Young child. When I was a young child. No, we don't say like that. So yeah, limits on bedtimes, limits on parties, limits on having friends over. When you have friends over you have them over to your place.

R: They stay. Sometimes they never leave.

M: Yeah, they stay and they just keep living with you.

R: That's how I make most of my friends. I just never left.

M: Ah, you never left. So they invited you, you stayed, and the you just like never left. Okay. Nice.

R: Topic specific vocabulary for when talking about punishments for bad parking, having your car clamped, paying a traffic fine or a parking ticket or posing a hazard, a traffic hazard and getting your car towed. Taken away.

M: Towed. Yes. So my car was towed. It was taken away by this special machine that we all dislike so much.

R: In America you have your car impounded. But I think in the UK it's either you get your car towed or taken away.

M: Hmm. Okay. And then you said like, there are clamps, they use clamps. Clapms.

R: Yeah, it's like something they put on your wheels to stop you from driving. So you have to stay and pay your fine.

M: Yeah, that's a very specific word. Clamp. And also you mentioned a traffic hazard. If there is a traffic hazard.

R: It's dangerous wherever there are people on the road. So there you have it, dear listener, a set of vocabulary for rules, following them. Interacting with them, and topic specific vocabulary for the road. But I think it's time we hit the road. And moved on to our next topic. See you next time!

M: Bye!

R: Bye!

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