Episode 20: Through the stones of Craig na Dun

We are back with another episode for intermediates and advanced students.

In this episode, Jennifer discusses the series Outlander. The series already has 3 seasons and season 4 is on its way. Do you know Outlander? Do you also cheer for Jamie and Claire? Are you excited for the next season?

From now on we will have episodes for intermediates and advanced students every 2 weeks again. Hope you enjoy it! By the way, ideas on topics are more than welcome! Do you have any favorite movies and series for me to watch and talk about?

If you want to read the transcript, just click bellow.

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Good morning! It’s been a long long time, people! How have you been? How is the new year treating you? Are you improving your English? Did you maybe start classes? Point is, never stop having contact with the language and learning new things.
Today I’m going to talk about one of my favorite series, Outlander. I wanted to talk about it for quite some time already, but somehow Always decided to talk about something else. Or maybe it’s because there is so much to tell, that I’m afraid I won’t do a good job of it. And the series and the books are so great! They deserve a well thought review.
So, what’s it all about then? Why do I like it so much? When you first hear or read a summary about the story many men go like, this is a romance. So, it’s just for girls. And they are not completely wrong. But the story goes way beyond just a love story. In the beginning of the story we basically have 2 lines of time: 1945 and 1743, so 200 years in the past.
The story begins with the end of the Second World War. Claire, one of the main characters is a nurse. She hasn’t seen her husband for years. They had gotten married just at the beginning of the war. Claire and Frank decide to go to Scotland on a second honeymoon, so that they can get to know each other again and Frank, who is a Historian, can research about his family history there. This is also around the time for Halloween.

They are enjoying each other and Scotland very much. It seems like life is going to get back to normal after all. Even after Claire saw so many awful things during the war, while Frank had to work with the intelligence department. They visit many historical places, some of them where a member of his Family, Jack Randal, supposedly stayed or had been at some point.

Frank also gets acquainted with the local priest, as he is a history buff and has gathered many documents about the local history over time. They spend a lot of time together, trying to find documents about Frank‘s great grandfather and discussing history. Meanwhile, Claire talks to the housemaid. We find out later on, that she is some sort of druid. She is also focused with her new passion: botany. On Halloween night, they follow a group of druids to a circle of stones, a bit similar to Stonehenge called Craig na Dun. There they see them perform a ritual, dancing around the stones. In the books, she forgets a handkerchief there. In the series she wants to collect a plant and that’s why she decides to go back alone later that day.
That’s when the story begins. When Claire touches one of the stones she gets unconscious. When she wakes up again she realizes that her car is gone, as well as the road that she took to get there. She doesn’t know it yet, but she just travelled 200 years to the past. The world she knows is gone. Her husband doesn’t exist yet. She is alone in a time that’s not hers. She hears guns being fired and she starts running. At some point she meets a man by the river who looks just like her husband Frank. To her surprise, that’s not Frank, but his great grandfather Black Jack Randal. And he has nothing to do with the kind and gentle Frank. As he was attacking her, she was saved by a stranger. He is one of the Scots that were fighting the British soldiers. By the way, Claire is British. She is also sort of their enemy.
This stranger takes her with him to a cabin, where his friends are gathered. That’s when she finally meets Jamie. The second or third main character from this story. The first book and season of the series are focused on Claire trying to figure out how to survive and get back home to Frank. Claire but also we get to know during this time a little bit about how it was when there were still clans in Scotland. How their society was divided, their habits.
I love history. So for me, series like this or stories like this are a gift. Because I can learn and at the same time enjoy a nice story. When there is a good dose of romance, battles and intrigue it’s even better! Many found the second season a bit boring after all the excitement from season 1. And I can understand. In book and season 2 the focus is more on the political side of things. Claire will also try to change the past in season 2. Will she succeed? She wants to avoid the death of many people. But I found season 2 fundamental for season 3. It helps understand a lot of decisions made by the main characters.
So yes, if you are watching season 2 and thinking: man this is boring! Just hold on! Get over it and get ready for season 3! It is totally worth it! My favorite book so far is book 4, so I am looking forward to see the new season this year. Right now I am reading book 6 and it is good! Book 5 was very long and the first half was quite boring. But towards the end it got very interesting again! You will see that season 2 is basically in France. And the focus is around the whole Jacobite movement. Claire and Jamie try to avoid a war. If you ever wondered how life in the French court was, you will like this season too. The rhythm of season 2 is a bit like Downton Abbey. We see a lot of daily life. I found it quite interesting nonetheless.
In season 3 we will see quite a few different places: USA, England, Scotland, the Caribbean… And in season 3 time goes by very quickly, we see a summary of what happens in something like 20 years of their lives. And we will meet quite a few different people who will be very important for the future of the story and that will cross paths with our main characters quite a few times.
So, what do you think of Outlander? Have you watched it yet? If yes, what did you think? Are you anxious for season 4? And if you have never watched it. Do you think you would give the series a chance? Oh, by the way. If you are watching season 1, you better be prepared for episode 15!
I wish you an amazing week! Talk to you soon everyone! Bye bye!


#7: Murder on a train

Welcome to episode number 7 of the OTLE podcast for beginners and intermediates.

Today, Jennifer will discuss about the movie Murder on the Orient Express. Have you watched it? It is a great movie based on a famous book by Agatha Christie.


#6: The Circle for a transparent life

Welcome to episode number 6 of the OTLE podcast for beginners and intermediates.

Today, Jennifer will discuss about the movie The circle. Have you seen it? It is a great movie that discusses the influence of social media in our lives and how much privacy we lose because of it.

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What’s up everyone! How are you this week? And the year is passing so fast! We are already in the middle of February! How was your 2018 so far? Are you prepared to make it an amazing year?
This week we will talk about the movie The Circle. Did you see it? If yes, what did you think? Did you like it? I liked it!
Emma Watson is Mae, one of the main characters of this movie. She is poor, she doesn’t have many opportunities. Her best friend Annie works for a big and famous company called: The Circle. This is a big tech company that is a mixture of Google, Facebook and much more in just one company. With Annie’s help, Mae also gets a job at the company and is very happy. She has now a good salary, benefits…
The company’s moto is that: sharing is caring. And they believe that knowing is good, but knowing everything is better. Does that sound familiar, maybe?
She and the other employees live and spend all their free time inside the company, doing things with the colleagues and sharing. The company develops a new type of camera and they want people to be transparent. What does that mean? To have a camera recording everything you see and do 24 hours a day, every day. With only a few offline minutes when you go to the toilet.
The movie is very interesting and makes you think and question a few things , especially about social media and its use. I really like how the movie criticizes social media. How we all share more and more online. And how we will probably share even more in the future. What about our private life?
The relationship between Mae and her family and friends also changed. Mae changes after she starts to work for The Circle. She doesn’t visit her family so often. She is always busy or doing something inside the company.
I don’t want to give many spoilers. Maybe you didn’t watch the movie!
But there are a few surprises!
Sharing can be good, but when is it too much? Can it be dangerous? Or liberating? Would you accept to have a camera recording everything
you do, 24 hours a day? Like an endless Big Brother? Mae has to deal with those questions at some point during the movie.

Do you think it could be good if people couldn’t lie or hide? What about the people who don’t want to be part of it? Today already people who
don’t use any social media are already considered strange. Do you think total transparency is good? Why? If you like technology, a bit of a
suspense, a good story you will like this movie! It also has some amazing actors!

Is there anything you did not like about the movie? And if you didn’t watch it. Do you want to watch it now? Just tell me what you think! I
hope you enjoyed it. And please yes, like, share, comment on iTunes or on our website. We always love to hear from you. And its also very
very important for us to see what you want, what you don’t want. What you like, what you don’t like. Okay guys? So, I will talk to you soon
again on the next episode! Bye bye!

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#5: 12 Monkeys to change the past

Download the transcript HERE

Hello everyone! How are you this week? Are you ready for a new episode? This week we talk about the series called 12 Monkeys.
There are a lot of series about the apocalipse or a post apocaliptical world. There are also some series about time traveling. But there are not many that have both.
12 Monkeys is about a group of people trying to change the past. They want to do that so that 6 billion people don’t die because of a plague. This plague kills almost everyone and because of that society as we know it doesn’t exist anymore. No government, no laws.
A small group of scientists create a time traveling machine. In 2042 they send a man back to the past. This man has to find the person responsible for the plague and stop him. Every time he gets a new information or accomplishes his goal, he goes back to the future. He travels to the past and to the future all the time. But very soon he understands that stopping the plague isn’t as easy as stopping a man.
Season 3 finished and season 4 was already confirmed. This series isn’t an expensive production like GOT, so there are some mistakes, some effects aren’t so good. But the story is in general well developped. It also makes you ask questions like:
Is it possible to change the past?
Is it possible to change the future?
If you change the future, what could be the consequences?
There are many moments when I had to stop the video and ask myself: is this possible? I am not so good with numbers, but I love learning about theories. And in this series you can find some very interesting ideas. Some crazy. Some not so crazy.
Do you know what a paradox is? In the series, you see a paradox when 2 things from 2 different times touch or are very close. This creates an explosion. If time is not a line can this happen? Do you believe one day we can travel to the past? And to the future? Where and when would you go?
In every season we have a new enemy. Like the next phase on a video game that is more difficult. The criativity of the producers and people writing this series is amazing. When you think they found the person responsible, think again.
I am not sure how many more seasons they can do that, though. After a time it gets boring. But I must say that the name, the identity of the witness was a surprise, a big big surprise.
Do you watch 12 Monkeys? What do you think? Are you excited for season 4 next year? If you don’t watch it, are you curious now? Let me know what you think! And don’t forget to share, comment and like us. Talk to you on the next episode! Bye bye!