Idiom of the Week: Wandering Eyes

Meaning: To look at something you shouldn’t be looking at. Sometimes expressed as “roaming eyes” or “roving eyes.”


We’re taking a test now, so no wandering eyes!

His wife was angry at him because he had wandering eyes.

The teacher can never tell if he’s paying attention. He has wandering eyes.

Pop Quiz:

If a teacher says, “No wandering eyes,” what does she mean?

A.  You can look at a classmate’s paper.

B.  You cannot look at a classmate’s paper.

C.  You should close your eyes.

To see the correct answer, click on “Continue reading”:

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Autumn in New York

Here’s a classic song by the late, great Billie Holiday having to do with fall in the Big Apple:

Autumn in New York
Written by Vernon Duke
Performed by Billie Holiday

Autumn in New York
Why does it seem so inviting?
Autumn in New York
It spells the thrill of first-nighting
Glittering crowds and shimmering clouds
In canyons of steel
They’re making me feel
I’m home

It’s autumn in New York
That brings the promise of new love
Autumn in New York
Is often mingled with pain
Dreamers with empty hands
May sigh for exotic lands
It’s autumn in New York
It’s good to live it again.

Autumn in New York
The gleaming rooftops at sundown
Autumn in New York
It lifts you up when you’re let down
Jaded roué and gay divorcée who lunch at the Ritz
Will tell you that it’s

This autumn in New York
Transforms the slums in Mayfair
Autumn in New York
You’ll need no castle in Spain
Lovers that bless the dark
On benches in Central Park
Greet autumn in New York
It’s good to live it again.

Idiom of the Week: Ancient History

Meaning: Used to describe something in the past that is no longer important or relevant.


I know I used to be a bad person – but that’s ancient history.

You’re still angry about that? I thought it was ancient history!

We broke up. She and I are ancient history.

Pop Quiz:

For which remark is “That’s ancient history” an appropriate response?

A.  We’re out of milk! When are you going to buy more?

B.  Socrates was executed by the Athenians in 399 BC.

C.  Why don’t you exercise? You used to be in shape back in high school!

To see the correct answer, click on “Continue reading”:

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Changing Every Day

Changing Cover

Ladies and gentlemen, we proudly present to you  Changing Every Day, the brand-new writing collection from the University Settlement Adult Literacy Program and the NYU Gallatin Writing Program. The following story, along with the other stories in the collection, comes from the Advanced Writing Class taught by Prof. June Foley of NYU Gallatin with the help of undergraduate student-teachers. Enjoy!

subway trains

Click here or on the cover above to read more.

Awesome Adjective: Awkward

Meaning: Used to describe an uncomfortable or embarrassing situation.


The party was really awkward because no one knew each other.

The man giving the presentation didn’t realize his fly was open. It was very awkward.

It was awkward when I ran into my ex-girlfriend. We didn’t know what to say to each other.

Pop Quiz:

Which of the following is an example of an awkward situation?

A.  Sitting next to a really tired man on the subway whose head keeps falling on your shoulder.

B.  Having coffee with someone you don’t like very much.

C.  Inviting someone to go out to eat and then forgetting your wallet at home.

To see the correct answer, click on “Continue reading”:

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Idiom of the Week: Set in Stone

Meaning: Used to describe something that cannot be changed, usually referring to future plans.


“When are you getting married?” “April 1st – but it’s not set in stone yet.”

He likes to keep his options open – with him, nothing’s ever set in stone.

Sorry, I can’t change my vacation dates. They’re set in stone.

Pop Quiz:

Your teacher says, “Our spring break is April 6th to the 10th. That’s set in stone.” What does she mean?

A.  Maybe spring break is April 6-10.

B.  Spring break is definitely April 6-10.

C.  You can take spring break sometime around April 6-10.

To see the correct answer, click on “Continue reading”:

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