TOEFL iTP | Reading | Vocabulary Questions | Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo

We are back with a high-octane TOEFL iTP Reading! And in today’s question for understanding context, I have bigger vocabulary terms, prior knowledge, and energy. Get your popcorn ready!

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TOEFL iTP | Reading | Vocabulary Questions | The Black Widow

Another wonderful weekend and another wonderful podcast/video on The Black Widow…and I’m not talking marvel, either. Here are some vocabulary questions and ways to identify context!

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IELTS | Reading | 1 on 1 Coaching | Fill In The Blank: Polar Bears

We’re back with another IELTS Training session! In this video, both my student and I are doing an IELTS segment where we’re supposed to find the words (one word only) and fill it in.

In this session, however, I had a bit of a doubt about branch, indicating that it may be tool. And in the end, tool was the answer.

Fitness Gyms in Thailand & Fake Personalities

Well, I know this is more of an education website than anything else, but I’ll need to air out some things, especially because I’m great in SEO and stuff. So, it’s time to give my fair share of what this is about.

Boutique gyms, the gyms in Bangkok that have trainers and you join group classes. You can’t workout in these gyms by yourself, rather buy a package to be able to join the classes. Over the years, I was on a contract for a couple of years with The Lab which has since fallen (from 3 gyms to nothing). I’ve also joined ClassPass, a company that’s notorious for charging you for not showing up, and this year I wanted to get out of my comfort zone to join new gyms.

And to be honest, in each of the gyms, you can tell if someone is real or someone is fake: from crossfit gyms, to standard gyms that are known because influencers take their half-naked photos in the mirror before tagging and checking in to get the gym more notoriety. Let’s break down my experiences this year and why I believe developing your own discipline is best, rather than throwing away money to scams.

Encore – Sathorn Square

Loyalty had always been in my DNA for a long-time. The main gym trainer, David, and a co-investor of The Lab, at the time, Tuk, were the ones who formally opened the gym back in September of 2020. However, that same energy they had at the beginning vanished. First, Tuk, who’s all about money, tried to making a power-play on me (instead of others) when I asked about using some dumbbells during the 8-month COVID shutdown of 2021. When she told me the price to borrow, I said “damn, I mean, they’re going to be sitting their idle, and you want me to pay a per month price that adds up to me buying my own dumbbels?”

So I bought my own, but I did end up going back at the end of the year because I still had remaining sessions on the package. So, basically you have about 6 women, most of them housewives, and after the shutdown, they had a new Vietnamese trainer who was unbelievably egotistical. Let’s just say I bought a 10-session package (people, I advise you NEVERRRR to buy a double-digit package) because what happens is they may end up changing their energy completely. In just three sessions left, the energy was so low to the unbearable breaking point that I cut my losses and never went back.

Lesson learned? No way. BAD MUSIC, Terrible customer care, CEO being an ass (Tuk) and the trainers just being uninspired. NOT A PLACE TO GO!

The Hive – Not Keeping THE SAME ENERGY

This is a crossfit gym at the end of town. First time I went there, INSANE WORKOUT! So grateful to have met everyone there and my girlfriend even got good vibes from it, just by seeing the pictures and videos. However, when I would go in there in the afternoon, the trainers were snobby. Not only that, the same two that were super nice in the morning were now assholes in the evening. Bad, bad, bad. The consistency in energy was just not there over the days, and that’s they’re at the bottom of the list.

The Cubic Fitness Scam

Ahh, the scam of them all. This gym is full of influencers and women who want attention. It’s so frustrating trying to stay focused with all these clowns taking photos.

What really made me angry that the Spanish guy was super nice at the beginning. Shortly after, it was hard to keep a conversation going with him. He asked me how much classpass was and tried selling me on a package of theirs. The other CEO, Mack, was high-energy and SUPER NICE….but that was just because of the sales. After you joined the gym, Mack still somewhat kept that energy, but the frustration began to mount because the energy and fake connections in this gym, not being able to focus and get away from certain people, was always evident.

I decided to take some time off, pausing the last 22 sessions of my membership, and when I did, I was told at the beginning that I could pause my membership very easily.

The Spanish one, Nil, who’s the cofounder, told me to email — which I thought was head-scratching. So I decided to email and they ended up acting like immigration, asking for a travel itinerary to pause my membership.

I said to myself, “wow, I knew it. I knew something just wasn’t right with this place and knew all these happy faces were hiding something.” From the maid who looked very sad all the time, to the young Thai trainer who gave me ominous looks….I really wanted to dive deep into who these people were, but it was too late. When I saw that, I SAID, “I could never go back there and go to the gym again because I would call them out on the freezing of the membership.” The bridge had been burnt, and then that was it. I complained to paypal, got a call from them, but it was too late by that time.

Then the huge email I got June 18th, 49 days after the 30 session purchase “your membership has been cancelled.” This came 11 days shy of the cutoff date, and that’s when I went to google reviews and had to give them a one-star review because that’s fucking unacceptable. To cancel a membership 11 days before the expiry date….you could be taken to court and sued. Period. So now with this cancellation, I can go back to paypal and tell them they didn’t deliver on what was promised, and I should be able to get a reimbursement.

In a nutshell

Joining a gym has its ups and downs. A gym where there’s just equipment is great, but you have to consider the accounts and if they’re healthy or not. If gyms are trying to make big sales, it’s looked at as being fishy. Stay away from ALL boutique gyms and just invest into a home gym, or go to a functional gym that’s cheap. NEVER CONTRACTUAL! Never ever pay for a year or six months. 1 month is preferred. High premium? Worth it, because if COVID shut downs emerge again, you will lose months and they won’t give a fuck.

TOEFL iTP | Reading | Vocabulary Questions | Supernova

We’re back with some more vocabulary questions! As you may already know, I upload podcasts just 4 times a week now because I’m focusing on bigger projects, nor do I believe I need to upload so often. So, I hope you’re enjoying the schedule so you have time to digest each episodes! And in saying that, let’s dive in!

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A supernova occurs when all of the hydrogen in the core of a huge star is transformed to iron and explodes. All stars die after their nuclear fuel has been exhausted. Stars with little mass die gradually, but those with relatively large mass die in a sudden explosion, a supernova. The sudden flash of light can then be followed by several weeks of extremely bright light, perhaps as much light as twenty million stars.

            Supernovas are not very common; they occur about once every hundred years in any galaxy, and in 1987 a supernova that could be seen by the naked eye occurred in the Magellan Cloud, a galaxy close to the Milky Way. Scientists periodically detect supernovae in other galaxies; however, no supernovae have occurred in the Milky Way (the galaxy that includes the Earth) since 1604. One very impressive supernova occurred in the Milky Way on July 4, 1054. There was a great explosion followed by three months of lighted skies, and historical chronicles of the time were full of accounts and unusual explanations for the misunderstood phenomenon – many people believed that it meant that the world was coming to an end.

  1. A “supernova” in line 1 is which of the following?
  1. The iron component of a star
  2. The core of a star
  3. The hydrogen in a star
  4. Th explosion of a star
  • According to the passage, which of the following best describes the “Magellan Cloud” in line 7?
  1. A galaxy inside the Milky Way
  2. A cloud composed of Hydrogen
  3. A galaxy near the Earth’s galaxy
  4. A cloud in the sky above the Earth
  • The Milky Way in line 9 is
  1. Part of the earth
  2. A galaxy close to the earth
  3. The galaxy that is home to the earth
  4. A creamy-colored cloud in the sky
  • Which of the following is closest in meaning to “phenomenon” in line 12?
  1. Everyday occurrence
  2. Misunderstood event
  3. Common belief
  4. Unusual occurrence

TOEFL iTP | Reading | Vocabulary Questions | The Teddy Bear

We’re back! Thanks so much for the HUGE support in regards to my TOEFL iTP Video on YouTube! Appreciate it so much!
And with that being said, today I’ll break down how you can understand context in TOEFL iTP Reading (Vocabulary Questions).

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The teddy bear is a child’s toy, a nice, soft stuffed animal suitable for cuddling. It is, however, a toy with an interesting history behind it.

            Theodore Roosevelt, or Teddy as he was commonly called, was president of the United States from 1901 to 1909. He was an unusually active man with varied pastimes, one of which was hunting. One day, the president was invited to take part in a bear hunt; and insamuch as Teddy was president, his hosts wanted to ensure that he caught a bear. A bear was captured, clunked over the head to knock it out, and tied to a tree; however, Teddy, who really wanted to actually hunt, refused to shoot the bear and in fact demanded that the bear be extricated from the ropes; that is, he demanded that the bear be set free.

            The incident attracted a lot of attention among journalists. First a cartoon – drawn by Clifford K. Berryman to make fun of this situation – appeared in the Washington Post, and the cartoon was widely distributed and reprinted throughout the country. Then toy manufacturers began producing a toy bear which they called a “teddy bear.” The teddy bear became the most widely recognized symbol of Roosevelt’s presidency.

  1. According to line 1 of the passage, what is a “teddy bear”?
  1. A ferocious animal
  2. The president of the USA
  3. A famous hunter
  4. A plaything
  • In line 4, pastimes could best be replaced by
  1. Things that occurred in the past
  2. Previous jobs
  3. Hunting trips
  4. Leisure activities
  • The word “extricated” in line 9 is closest in meaning to which of the following?
  1. Released
  2. Tied up
  3. Hunted
  4. Shot
  • In line 11 “cartoon” could be best described as
  1. A newspaper
  2. A type of teddy bear
  3. A drawing with a message
  4. A newspaper article

TOEFL iTP | Reading | The Coelacanth Fish

We’re back! It’s been SOOO LONG since I’ve done one of these, but it has reemerged from the dead! So many of my Mexicans and Indonesians have checked out my blog over the past 2 years, and the numbers continue to climb. So, I wanted to come back and do more!

The TOEFL iTP Reading, Listening and Grammar courses are available down below in the links, if you’re interested!

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Unlike these fish, which are actually extinct, the coelacanth is a type of fish that was believed to be extinct. However, an unexpected twentieth-century rediscovery of living coelacanths has brought about a reassessment of the status of this prehistoric sea creature that was believed to have long since disappeared from the Earth.

            From fossil remains of the coelacanth, paleontologists have determined that the coelacanth was in existence around 350 million years ago, during the Paleozoic Era, more than 100 million years before the first dinosaurs arrived on Earth. The most recent fossilized coelacanths date from around 70 million years ago, near the end of the Mesozoic Era and near the end of the age of dinosaurs. Because no fossilized remnants of coelacanths from the last 70 million years have been found, the coelacanth was believed to have died out around the same time as the dinosaurs.

            The prehistoric coelacanth studied by paleontologists had distinctive characteristics that differentiated it from other fish. It was named for its hollow spine and was known to have been a powerful carnivore because of its sharp teeth many and a special joint in the skull that allowed the ferocious teeth to move in coordination with the lower jaw. It also had a pair of fins with unusual bony and muscular development that allowed the coelacanth to dart around the ocean floor. These fins also enable the coelacanth to search out prey trying to hide on the ocean bottom.

            In 1938, a living specimen of the coelacanth was discovered in the catch of a fishing boat off the coast of South Africa, and since then, numerous other examples of the coelacanth have been found in the waters of the Indian Ocean. This modern version of the coelacanth is not exactly the same as its prehistoric cousin. Today’s coelacanth is larger than its prehistoric relative, measuring up to six feet in length and weighing up to 150 pounds. However, the modern version of the coelacanth still possesses the characteristic hollow spine and distinctive fins with their unusual bony and muscular structure.

  1. The passage is about a fish
  1. That is extinct
  2. That once was extinct
  3. That is becoming extinct
  4. That, surprisingly, is not extinct

  1. 1. It can be inferred from the passage that the first dinosaurs most likely appeared on Earth around
  1. 150 million years ago.
  2. 250 million years ago.
  3. 350 million years ago.
  4. 450 million years ago.

  1. Coelacanths were believed to have died out after existing for
  1. 70 million years
  2. 140 million years
  3. 280 million years
  4. 350 million years
  • It can be inferred from the passage that the word coelacanth comes from the Greek for
  1. Extinct fish
  2. Hollow spine
  3. Sharp teeth
  4. Bony fingers
  • What is stated in the passage about the prehistoric coelacanth?
  1. It was a rather feeble fish
  2. It lived on plants
  3. It had a few teeth
  4. It moved its teeth in an unusual way
  • The pronoun “it” refers to
  1. Coelacanth
  2. Joint
  3. Coordination
  4. Jaw
  • According to the passage, why are scientists sure that the prehistoric coelacanth was a flesh-eater?
  1. Because of its hollow spine
  2. Because of the size of the skull
  3. Because of the shape and movement of the teeth
  4. Because of its unusual bony and muscular development
  • How many modern coelacanths have been found?
  1. Only one
  2. Only two
  3. Only a few
  4. Quite a few
  • What is NOT true about the prehistoric coelacanth, according to the passage?

  • It was smaller than the modern coelacanth
  • It measured as much as six feet in length.
  • It weighed less than 150 pounds.
  • It had a hollow spine and distinctive fins.
  1. Which paragraph describes the earlier version of the coelacanth?
  1. The first paragraph
  2. The second paragraph
  3. The third paragraph
  4. The fourth paragraph

Answers in video and podcast down below!


TOEFL iBT | 1 on 1 Coaching | Writing your Introduction with Intention

Newsflash: You won’t be given a line in your test, stating what the lecture is. So, most of these websites are deceiving because the line you actually see is the one you have to recreate. So, what are you actually listening for? What should you include? Everything is in today’s training.

TOEFL iBT | TOEFL Preparation Classes | SQ4: Implementing MI, SD, EX & CC

So, what are these acronyms, might you ask? MI: Main Idea SD: Supporting Detail Ex: Example CC: Conclusion A systematic approach to taking notes that will never leave you lost again, as well as seeing the four big areas and trying to work around. Today is a segment on the speaking question 4, which I should’ve started on with to begin with, but it was the listening lecture. Nonetheless, try applying this and tell me what you think!

TOEFL iBT | TOEFL Preparation Classes | Lecture: Masterpiece Note-taking

We’re back! It’s been two weeks, but I’m coming back with some amazing coaching classes between me and my students. In today’s segment, you’re going to see how we take notes, although the “how to” will be in the next video. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy this!