Sarah: Boy, this cafeteria food is a far cry from my mother’s cooking.
Babak: I know what you mean. It’s by no means a five-star restaurant. But what can we expect? By and large, institutional food is pretty tasteless.
Sarah: I agree. Besides the food, how do you like the university?
Babak: I love it. My older brother went to UBC, so I’m following in his footsteps. I’m going to be a civil engineer just like him. How about you? Do you like it here?
Sarah: It’s okay, but it’s very different from high school where I knew everybody. I feel like a fish out of water. And tuition is costing my family an arm and a leg, so I need to find a part-time job to make ends meet.
Babak: I guess I’m lucky that my grandparents are helping to put me through school. They’re chipping in to help my parents out. Otherwise, I might have to get a job too. Was UBC your first choice?
Sarah: No. I was accepted at two local colleges, but when I was accepted here, there was no way I was going to pass up coming to one of the best schools in the country.
Babak: Me neither. This school is anything but run of the mill. It stacks up well against the other universities in the country.
Click on the audio recording below to hear the lesson.
institutional: cooked for large groups of people
civil engineer: designer of roads, bridges and other things for society
UBC: University of British Columbia
otherwise: if this were not true
• a far cry from inferior to, not as good as
• by no means in no way
• by and large mostly, generally, on the whole
• follow in (someone’s) footsteps do what someone else has done
• a fish out of water someone outside of his/her usual environment
• cost an arm and a leg cost a lot of money
• make ends meet have enough money to pay one’s bills
• put (someone) through support (someone) financially while attending school /
make (someone) have a bad experience
• chip in (on/for) contribute money or time
• pass up not choose, not accept
• run of the mill ordinary, common
• stack up against (something) compare with (something)
By no means and not at all have the same meaning
Put (someone) through has 2 meanings. The other meaning is “make (someone) have a bad experience.”
Example: Our first cat was declawed, but I won’t put my other cat through that.
Stack up against (something) can also take the word “well.”
Example: This restaurant stacks up well against the one we went to last week.
© 2013 Ambien Malecot