TOEFL iBT | Speaking | 1 on 1 Coaching | Question 4: Declining Frog Populations & How Eggs Stay Moist

Yay! We’re just shy of the New Year, and I just want to quickly update you guys that there’s a (buy 1 get 1 free) buddy deal from December 25th-31st. This means if you want online coaching, you can bring another friend — free of charge. Take advantage of this because price increases begin in January!

Now, onto the podcast. There’s a lot to cover, and because I’m uploading this in advance, I’m making a prediction of 96 for Paula’s TOEFL score on December 20th. I will edit and write the score down below. She wants just an 80, but I hate lowering expectations.

In addition to that, this podcast is about how you focus on the ramble instead of the substance. Very critical for a lot of you out there.

Update: She got a 24 in reading and 28 in listening, making that 52 out of the 80 points she needs. She’s currently waiting on her speaking and writing score.

10 Ways to make your dream come true

1. Be Yourself

SOME people might say you’re too fat, you’re too short, too straight, too gay. Whatever your sexual preference is, color of your skin, perception of life, values…just know that there will never be another YOU on this planet. In order to make your dreams come true, you have to be 100% authentic about who you are. If you’re even just slightly off, that could have a catastrophic effect on your passion.

Wheel of Life: March 2020 Edition – Quarantine

We’re back with another Wheel of Life edition! Big special shout out to the people who have read this for years already, and this is a deep special because this was the life-changing moment I needed.

Who would’ve ever thought that quarantine would be great. Losing my job for about 6 weeks ended up being the pusher for me to transform my subconscious mind. But before I get into that, in brief, here are the categories to rate yourself in:

  • Personal development
  • Physical environment
  • Health
  • Wealth
  • Career
  • Family & friends
  • Fun & hobbies
  • Romantic Relationships

In this blog, I should finally discuss the transformation and leave the podcast down below for you to listen to the other categories. Be sure to share your scores!

Personal Development

Mira Butler had come forth in an idea and we acted on it. She wanted to create a UDEMY course, but even before that, we were having long, hilarious chats about a variety of things until we finally said “let’s do this.” I went through her personal transformation course, and everything that had hindered me in the past finally dispersed. The level of consciousness, the gratitude, and the unbelievable opportunities that are coming into my life is because I no longer have a hindrance. Are you ready for this podcast? Let’s do it!

Spartan Races Galore in Thailand — 2020!

I’m sitting in front of an executive at one of the biggest banks in Thailand and abruptly he says, “registration opens tomorrow!” It was a random comment at the time since we had been discussing the ever-so-annoying-coronavirus, but I shifted my attention to him and said: “huh?”

He said, “Spartan Race Thailand!”

I was in disbelief. I was in awe. I didn’t know what to say. Should I ask him where? How? When? What? Who said? What’s happening? I told him, “get the hell outa here! Show me!” He quickly went to his phone and there it was, three spectacularly magnificent dates of the race here in Thailand this year.

After going on a one year hiatus after the Spartan Trifecta in Hua Hin, people rambled about it having poor reviews, complaints, etc. I thought it was perfectly placed, but the mountains and going through 13km of hills was a daunting task for my joints.

2019 it was crickets. I had already opted out of races for the subsequent year because that 2018 ripped the soul out of me. I just felt, “man, f*** that! That was just soul-crushing. I damn near died!” Not only me, but another massive trainer (bodybuilder) by the name of Vishal, who works at the lab, was found by me….crouching over, eyes red beyond comprehension and gasping for life during the bucket carry towards the end of the Spartan Beast. However, that was a resurgence and gave me a ton of energy to finish because I said, “wow, I’m not in this condition and have about 25% of the muscle!”

I finished, stopped doing Spartan Races, then flirted with the potential of doing one in Vietnam this year (as a matter of fact, tomorrow).

I said, “man, I just don’t have it in me. I just don’t wanna do it. What are you trying to prove, Arsenio?”

Until I saw dates at Chiang Mai (not interested), but the ultra-gorgeous Krabi (beach camp) and a forest camp in GORGEOUS Songkhla!


Arsenio’s ESL Pronunciation Course | Phase II | Debut!

We’re finally here! The second phase of my pronunciation course is here, and I’m happy to tell you guys that this is the beginning of the core of videos that I will be delivering. 1.5 hours worth of content and 6 videos with interactive lessons awaits you. Remember, before going into that course, make sure you do the prerequisite course down below.

First Course

Here’s what the new course entails.

  1. The difference between voiceless and voiced sounds. 
  2. The pronunciation of voiceless and voiced consonants at the beginning of words, as well as the end of words. 
  3. The pronunciation of grammatical word endings -s/ -es and -ed
  4. The effect of grammatical endings on the number of syllables in a word. 
  5. The importance of linking the end of one word to the beginning of the next word in a phrase. 

The outcomes will be….

  • Be able to enunciate syllables correctly. 
  • Enunciate the beginning and end of words correctly. 
  • Say the word all the way through and understand the different sounds of past tense words. 
  • Learn the beginning stages of linking consonants together. 


As part of the interactive exercises that I have that you must submit to me, here are some of them.

– Record and submit sentences/paragraphs.

– Learn how to self-monitor -s/ -es and -ed endings.

What you’ll learn

  • Sounds and Syllables

Are there any course requirements or prerequisites?

  • Phase I (previous course)

Who this course is for:

  • Intermediate and higher

For any questions or if you want to book a call to discuss further, here are some links.

Book a Call

Second Pronunciation Course

Podcast Preview

Next Vacation & Spartan Race: Taiwan!

You read it correctly. Your main man, who goes by the name of Arsenio Buck, is reentering Spartan after a bit of a hiatus.

When I was trekking through the foothills in Hua Hin, sucking in dust particles like it was oxygen, I told myself: “man, FUCK THIS!” I said I would never do it again. However, after listening to my body and feeling how strong I’ve become, my body is craving that immense pain once again!

I made an oath to myself at the beginning of the year that I was going to take a year off from Spartan races because the Beast in Hua Hin last year was just so unbelievably demoralizing. However, after sorting out my visa situation here in Thailand, micro trips to Malaysia and Singapore are NO MORE!

I can’t let just a few assholes at Immigration in Hong Kong determine the outcome of me traveling everywhere. Yes, Taiwan will be another very difficult country I need to acclimate with, but because I will be be the “not-so-thumb-sticking-out,” that means I won’t have a problem recording and documenting my stories. Will the Spartan Super go as planned? I have no idea. I will need to adapt very quickly and once I land in Taoyuan International Airport, I’ll know what I’m up against.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 75 – Grammar – Mixed Conditionals

Arsenio's ESL Podcast
Arsenio's ESL Podcast
Arsenio's ESL Podcast: Season 3 - Episode 75 - Grammar - Mixed Conditionals

Welcome back to another ESL podcast, everyone! Mixed conditionals is on the menu for today, so let’s get into it!

Mixed conditionals are a mixture of the second and third conditional. They can describe an imagination present situation and its past consequence.

If I liked that group I would have gone to see them in concert.

Or they can describe an imaginary past situation and its present consequence. If I’d had breakfast, I wouldn’t be hungry now.

If + past simple….would/wouldn’t have + past participle.

If I wanted a coffee, I would have asked for one.

If + past perfect….would/wouldn’t + infinitive.

If I had passed my driving test, I’d drive to university.


  1. If I’d studied photography…..

A. I take photos for a newspaper.

B. I would take photos for a newspaper.

C. I would have taken photos for a newspaper.

2. I would have gone to the cinema if……

A. I like science fiction movies.

B. I liked schieve fiction movies.

C. I had liked science fiction movies.

3. She would be ill now if…..

A. she doesn’t take the medicine.

B. she didn’t take the medicine.

C. she hadn’t taken the medicine.


Interviewee #026 – Moustafa Sano – The Marathon Man!

I brought Moustafo on a long time ago, and here I am bringing him on again because there was a particular pain threshold he passed that I’m very captivated by.  Being able to overcome the amount of pain, a rain storm, fatigue and other things is just AMAZING. Reminds me of David Goggins, so here is my Malaysian fitness entrepreneur again!

Get in touch with Moustafa Sano


Things we discussed:

Dieting before the race.

How much sleep before the marathon.

The entire experience of the marathon itself.

Body usage.

The moment you want to give up is the 40% threshold.

Individuals hitting that threshold, ultimately giving up during the race.

Eating and recharging after the marathon.

Pain thresholds.

Listen to “Interviewee #026 – Moustafa Sano – The Marathon Man!” on Spreaker.

Thank you for listening!


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Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – TOEIC Coaching – Episode 005 – Understanding Conjunctions

Arsenio's ESL Podcast
Arsenio's ESL Podcast
Arsenio's ESL Podcast: Special - TOEIC Coaching - Episode 005 - Understanding Conjunctions

Welcome back to another Facebook live/coaching Saturday/Tuesday! Yes, I’m adding in both days and both titles so no one gets confused. With that being said, let’s get into the basics.

A. Conjunctions are used to join two parts of a sentence together and express their relationships.  What you need to do is look at two halves of the sentence before and after the conjunction to help you choose the correct word.

Words: and, nor, but, or, because

  1. We decided not to buy the parts ___________ the cost was too high.
  2. We passed the first interview ___________ failed the second interview.
  3. Workers can apply now __________ wait until the position becomes available, ok?
  4. The restaurant is famous for its delicious food ___________ its friendly staff.
  5. Neither the price _________ the quality of service met our requirements.


Other conjunctions occur in natural pairs.  Learn to recognize these and remember that so you can choose the correct answer quickly.


not only……..but also




Task: You have ten seconds for each item.


  1. We have the service to suit you,……….you want to travel in luxury or are on a tight budget.

a. not only

b. whether

c. both


2. Entering the building requires not only a keycard, ………a fingerprint scan.

a. but also

b. or

c. and


3. We will ……. have to take the bus or get a taxi in order to reach the office in time.

a. neither

b. both

c. either


Tactic Practice

Dear Mr. Buck,

I am writing in response to your letter, which was sent ___________ us on 15th of March, inquiring about the availability of replacement parts for the CX232 fan heater.

Unfortunately, this place has been experiencing difficulting at one of their plants, ____________ this has caused a delay in the delivery of replacement parts.  This means we will not have the parts __________ the 16th of this month.


  1. A) to, B) with, C) of, D) from
  2. A) but, B) and, C) because, D) whether
  3. A) in, B) across, C) since, D) until





Spartan Bag for The Beast

On the dawn of the monster, let’s take a look at what’s important for a Spartan Beast!


Hydration Pack

Energy Gels

Protein Bar

Two pairs of socks

Arm sleeve of some kind to protect you


Compression (shirt and shorts)

Distance running shoes

Waist belt

  • The hydration pack, given the distance, is absolutely essential.  Because I’m running in such a sweltering and humidity-filled climate, dehydration, especially during the beast, will lead to a lot of problems on the course.  Yes, water stations will be scattered, but that won’t be good enough to defeat a course that’s 21km long. I bought one of these packs recently and I’m super excited to use it. Option: run with a bottle, but I totally wouldn’t recommend it.
  • Energy gels made their debut when I first ran the Spartan in KL, a very memorable monster I had to defeat and befriended a Malaysian entrepreneur during the process.  In a 13km race, I probably took one around the 5-7km mark and maybe towards the end (not even needed).  In a sprint, it’s not needed at all.  However, the Beast is an entire new beast, and it’s absolutely needed for the beating your body will take.  I did a Tough Mudder three years ago, and that I didn’t have ANYTHING to help me through the entire course.  The climate wasn’t suffocating, though.  Coll temperatures (around 15 degrees celcius and maybe went up to about 20-25) made it the most enjoyable race (maybe not the best — Bali’s Tough Mudder was pure heaven). Thailand, on the other hand, isn’t like that.  Stack yourself with gels.
  • Any form of food during the race will work.  Getting some food, protein, carbs or anything that has energy in you will significantly reduce all the negative effects that will take place during the race.  However, having a melted protein bar will do you no good, so stash a bar or two in the refrigerator (or even the freezer for an x amount of time) to have it nice and cold before race time.  1-2 hours in, it’s a edible bar.
  • Doubling up on socks reduces the chances of having to take off your shoes over, and over, and over during the race, smacking it against the ground to get those imaginary (what it seems like during the race) and microscopic rocks out of your shoes.
  • Arm sleeves and gloves are your best friend! Honestly, don’t be the big-tough-guy-bonehead that says “gloves are for __________.”  Carrying, dragging, holding buckets, etc will get increasingly difficult after the 10km mark, so please, don’t be the idiot.  Your arms will look like Freddy Kruger got a hold of you after the race.  Keep those arms looking gorgeous and protect yourself.
  • The waist belt I bought a couple years ago is still durable and still works.  This has gone through about 3-4 Spartan races and plenty of city runs.  Having this enables me to carry my protein bars and gels; and even if I have to crawl, I can rotate it to the back so it doesn’t get ruined.  SMART!

One of the biggest problems I had with running shoes back in 2015 had to be the only pair I had at the time.  I bought a pair of under armour shoes that I KNEW wouldn’t survive during the race, but didn’t want to use the other ones (in the video down below) instead.  I decided to wear them and probably halfway through the race, I was limping because it was painful and I had a pinching sensation on the outer portion of my right knee.  Problematic to say the least.  Test your shoes, in the grit, and see if they hold up.