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English Language Institute
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Volume 1, Issue 2, Summer 1997

Learning English/Communication Between the Sexes

Reading/Writing 50U Student Opinions

Is English Too Difficult or Easy Language to Learn

Gabriel Vieira de Melo

When some people learn another language it is a little complicated. Sometimes this is depends on what country this person is from and what language this person wants to learn. For example, for a person from Asia it is very hard to learn English, but it is not for people from Latin America. English is sometimes like Brazilian Portuguese. English and Brazilian Portuguese have the same alphabet, some words similar, but they have a different words order.

First, the alphabet is the same. This is more difficult for people that have another alphabet, and need to learn more. In Portuguese, we only don’t have the letter W, Y, and K. Therefore this is a problem for speaking and writing, so we have to pay more attention with the pronunciation and spelling. When we read or write some words with this letter is because they are descendants from English, for example the word "show".

Next, the other similarity between English and Portuguese is some vocabulary words. Sometimes we have words similar, so this makes comprehension easier. Although, sometimes we are the same meaning, but the spelling is not. A good example is the word "different" in English and "diferente" in Portuguese.

Finally, Brazilian people often have problems learning English because the word order is little different. For example, in Portuguese the noun comes before the adjective and in English the adjective comes before the noun. Another thing is when we ask questions. In English you need to change the order of the subject and verb, and in Portuguese you don’t do this, because we use the same order.

In conclusion, learning English is not so difficult if the people come from a Latin America country, but we have to be careful and pay attention sometimes. Learning English is easier, because we know what the difference are between English and Portuguese. English and Portuguese have a similar alphabet and vocabulary, but they have different word order.

Is the English language Easy or Difficult to Learn?

Medhi Cherkani

The Question is: is English an easy or difficult language to learn, and I believe that there is no answer to this question. I believe each person has his own answer about himself depending on his native language and his ability and desire to learn it.

It can be very easy for someone who already speaks another Romance language to learn it because there are many similarities between them. In fact, as we know, all romance languages come from Latin itself, so many words are exactly the same with a few differences of pronunciation or spelling. On the other hand, someone who speaks a language from the Asian world or from the Arabic world may have a very hard time learning English. She, or he, is discovering a whole new world, with a new alphabet, new pronunciation, new idioms. And the most important thing is that he is also discovering a new way to think and to talk. People have others mannerism, they act differently, are more or less direct in their speaking. It is not only a new language he is learning. It is another world and how to do what "Romans do in Rome."

The second thing that can make a language easy or difficult to learn for depend on someone’s ability to learn it. In fact, some people sees clearly and can assimilate a new language faster. They just have this kind of intelligence that make them guess right, listen to other speakers and learn, learn from your experiences, learn from everything. Some other people, too, in the other side, do not have difficulties, but do not have this facility, too. So it take more practice and time spent in studies to learn quickly a new language.

But some people can have the ability and can speak any Romance language, if they do not have the desire to learn they will not learn it. If some student do not have the willingness to spend time practicing and doing the homework, she, or he, might not learn much of the language. Unless someone have a motivation, something that make him excited or happy to learn, he will be able to speak it correctly until well after the one who had this desire.

As a conclusion, we can say that English can be very easy for some people and very hard for some others. But there is many ways to make it a pleasure. The motivation and the willingness are the only requirement. Speaking a Romance language and having the ability to learn something new quickly can also a very good help.

Why Do We Miss a Chance?

Nawaf Al-Eid

In the world of today there are people looking for a better life, or a better place to live, but many of their dreams do not come true. People move to the United States to study, or to work. Why don’t the others do the same? People don’t learn English because it’s hard for them to do, or maybe because the environment keeps them from leaning English, or because the hate the United States.

There are millions who want to learn English, so they can do whatever they like, but their dreams never come true. Learning English is a hard job for them, like one of my best friends who is excellent in everything except English because he doesn’t know the grammar. English has a different grammar and writing strategies than other languages, for example in English there are many kinds of modals cannot be found in Arabic or Spanish. Another reason that some people already know too many languages and there is no space in their brains to learn English or other languages.

The environment have a big effect to learn anything, that’s why we have to deal very carefully with the environment so he can understand it carefully. But what happens if the environment have a negative effects? This is happening with many people around the world, this people want to learn English, but they go to a very bad schools, or they have to work, or sometime he have a family problems could cause trouble. Another case is when someone is too old to learn, his own environment doesn’t help him leaning anything, young people around him will laugh at him. But what I think that there is no age limit to learn and be a better person.

In this life, there has to be war and peace. People die and others survive. The United States has many enemies and their people will never forget what happens in wars with the United States. These people will never learn English for any reason, because they had a bad experience with the United States.

As we see, English language is a very important language to many people, and it’s a dream to many others, so please help yourself to make your dreams come true, make people that hate English love it for their own self, by learning English, you are making a better place.

The Best Way to Learn a Language Is…

Claudia Rodriguez

Maybe you have been studying a language, and it doesn’t work. Here is a solution to your problem. The best way to learn a language is going to live for a period of time in the country of that language. There are many reasons that make this the best way to learn a language. It helps you to interact with the people who speak that language all the time, to start to think in that language, and to learn the vernacular of that language. Therefore, the secret to learning a language in an easy way that makes your learning fast and more interesting, is to go and live in the foreign country.

First of all, living in the country of the language you want to learn is helpful because you have to talk in that language all the time. There’s no chance to talk in your native language. You interact all the time with people who speak the foreign language making your learning fast. You become accustomed to hearing the language, and it makes your speech fluent. So, this is one of the reasons that make living in the foreign country an advantage to learning that language.

Another reason that makes your learning easier, is when you start to think and to dream in that language. After a couple of months of living in a foreign country you realize that you already have started to think and also to dream in that language. There’s the moment when you don’t have to translate words from your first language to your second language, because it is in your subconscious. This is the point when you are really learning. When you live in the country of the language you are learning you are so immersed that you start to think and dream in that language.

And the third and most important reason is that when you live there, you learn the vernacular of that language. You are not only learning the academic part of the language, you learn the language used too, which is part of the culture. When you start a conversation with an American, you don’t hear only what you see in the books. You hear a lot of expressions they use, common phrases that you will be able to understand and learn only living in the foreign country. For example, in English to say: "I had enough" or "stop doing that" they say, "cut it out." If you don’t know the vernacular you cannot have a fluent conversation; so, you must learn it.

You can make learning a language easier, more interesting and fun if you go to live in the country where they speak the language. This is the best route, which motivates you to learn more and more every day, because every day there is something new to learn. This way makes you learn fast and better.

How Do Men and Women Communicate Differently in Your Culture?

Luzmary Amesty

One of the most significant problems in families is the lack of communication between couples. In most cultures, men and women have different styles of communication. In my culture, Venezuela, the most important differences are that women speak more than men, women and men use different vocabularies, and the topics that men talk about are different from the topics that women talk about.

In my culture, women typically speak more than men, because when a woman has problems she needs to talk to find the solution of her problems expressing her feeling. Also, women tend to be more emotional and extroverted than men. For example, in male-female conversations, the female asks most of the questions because a woman sees questions as a way to keep a conversation going, while a man sees them just as a way to obtain information.

On the other hand, there are many indications that women are more polite than men because they use different ways of speaking. This means that they use different vocabulary words. For example, in my country the way that a man speaks with another man is very rude, because they use swear words in their speech. Even if men and women grow up in the same neighborhood, or the same household, they grow up in different worlds of words because their parents teach them different manners. That is why men and women have different ways of talking to their friends and the people around them.

In Venezuela, women and men like to talk about different kinds of topics because they have different interests. For example, men like to talk about sports, business, politics, and women like to talk about their relationships, famous people, and everything about fashion. This does not mean that women cannot talk about the topics that men talk about or vice versa, but usually they like to talk about different kinds of topics in their conversations. In my country, when women and men have a conversation with each other they talk about general topics as how their jobs are going, and about their family. However, the conversation is short because they do not speak for long time because they do not have much in common.

In conclusion, men and women have many differences between them, but the most relevant difference is their speech. In my culture, women speak more than men because women need to express their feelings. Also men are less polite in their speech than women because they use bad words. Finally woman and men like to talk about different topics because they have different interests.

Is it Easier to Talk to Men or Women?

Yosapong Temsiripong

Women’s speaking is easy to listen to because of three reasons. First of all, women usually speak slower than men. The reason could be explained by their generosity. The second reason is a woman’s voice. It is higher than man’s voice and it is very clear and easy to listen to. The last but not least important, female English speakers are usually more polite than male English speakers because men always use a swear word which is hard to understand. It thus seems to be easier to talk with women.

In my experience, I have rarely heard women speaking fast when they were talking to me. Most women have tried to help me understand what they have said by gesturing and giving some clues when I looked confused. Then, they are very helpful. In contrast, men usually speak very quickly and seem to be indifferent when I do not understand. Even though I have tried to ask them, they have kept talking fast. Thus, women are very helpful even more helpful than men.

Another good reason to prove that talking to women is easier than men is their tone of voice. Commonly a woman’s voice is higher than a man’s voice. Because when I listen to a woman’s song, I can understand the meaning rather than an man’s song. In addition, I’m able to understand what a newscaster says when I watch a woman newscaster. Another equally interesting reason, business have to communicate on the telephone. Then, in general, women are chosen to be telephone operators since everyone can clearly understand them. Some men speak as if they are mumbling due to their deep voice. As the matter of fact, a man’s larynx is bigger than a woman’s larynx therefore a man’s voice is louder than woman’s voice because the wind can easily and quickly pass in and out.

Finally, women seem to be polite. I can break the ice without hesitating when I’d like to ask questions. Also, they are patient and listen to my unclear questions and try to explain their answers to me. It was a beautiful experience the first time I came here, when I got lost in the LA International Airport (LAX) because it is very enormous. Then I tried to ask everyone I met for help. After awhile I got the answer from an elderly woman. I asked her how I could make a connection from an international flight to a domestic flight. She not only very carefully explained a way to walk but also walked with me. With my few experiences in the USA, I have decided that American women are nice. They always speak politely to me. Most slang that I have heard came out from male English speakers because they might think that I could understand.

There are a lot of differences between male and female English speakers talking to me, as mentioned above. I did not mean that I am more likely to talk to women than men. I have learned a lot of slang from male English speakers which is very useful to me in the future. As the matter of fact, whoever I am talking to, I should listen as much as I can since it can help me improve my ability in English. Nevertheless, I believe that talking to women is easier than men.

Which of Two, Male of Female, Is Easier to Talk To?

Aya Fujihara

There are almost no difference between female and male English speakers which making one of them easier to talk to. If I had to choose one or the other, I would prefer males to female from my experience. I am not really conscious of this because it depends on the person who I am talking to. The reason why I choose males to talk to comes from their characteristics, which are personable and generous.

When I talk to females, I get a little more tense than when I talk to male. While there are exceptions, females seem always to be gathered with friends and I can’t join in those groups easily. They talk very fast and they know each other very well so I am afraid of not saying things I really want to say. It is hard to communicate unless they are interested in me. Because I am shy of strangers, it is easier if a someone talks to me personally. Male seem to like acting more as individuals than females. There are people who can talk more easily in a group, but in my case, it is difficult to get into groups from the beginning. Males talk to me personally so I can relax more.

The generosity of a person is important when I talk to strangers who speak English. To be a good listener is important to talk easily. There are females who can be good listeners like teachers. But generally, males are better listeners than females. They have an attitude that they are trying to understand, which means that males are more generous than females. At this age, 18 to 23 years old, males basically have a stronger spirit than females. Females are more sensitive than males so unless they are interested in foreigners or we are active, it is hard for females to become good friends with us. Males have easiness to listen. Males listen to me quietly until the end. Females interrupt while I’m speaking to assert themselves. So I can’t usually explain what I really want to say.

People who makes it easier to talk to is not pronunciation, clear voice or speed. These could be important characteristics but the most important thing comes to mind is how much personality influences communication. In the case of this situation, I prefer males, but it depends on a person. There are foreigners who think females are easier to talk to. Males are personable and generous, which makes me more comfortable talking with them.

The Puma

Raquel Ocariz
r/w 30p

I identify with the puma, because this animal is very independent, intelligent, and strong.

Since I was young I like this animal because of its beauty. It’s so difficult to see this animal because it’s very agile and it moves very fast in the jungle.

The puma lives in the jungle. It has a beautiful color in its skin and beautiful eyes. When you can see this animal the first thing you can see is the eyes because of their brightness. The puma has a deep sight. I know with this sight I understand it’s independent because it is capable of living by itself and it doesn’t depend on anybody to survive.

I identify with the puma because I take after it. I am independent, I love freedom and I don’t need anybody to live. Therefore this is my favorite wild animal although I have not seen any yet. I wish I could see one soon.

Cultural Points - US Culture

Venezuelan and American Adulthood: Why Are They Different?

Marisela Solis

There are several differences between the United States and Venezuela in their definition of adulthood. In most cultures some factors or situations can be useful to determine the line between adolescence and adulthood; however, the criteria for considering a person in the adulthood phase are different in each culture, especially if we compare the North American and South American cultures. In fact, both cultures have their own judgements about how the people should act and behave to be considered part of the adulthood group, and also they both have an unwritten list of transitions or steps in their lives toward becoming adults. In order to understand what the differences are between the Venezuelan and US concept of the term adulthood, we can divide them into three important points of contrast: economic independence, graduation from college and starting a family.

First of all, economic independence is one of the main factors to consider someone part of the adulthood phase. In fact, if we are able to handle all of our financial responsibilities by ourselves without asking for help, we can assume that we are adults. However, that does not happen as quickly as we want it to in most cultures, because the countries' scenarios are totally different.

In Venezuela, for example, the economic and social structure does not help a lot if we want to be independent. That is because the country has many obstacles to our independence, such as: low salaries, few places to work, a high population, fragile currency, a high cost of living, high interest rates, an so forth. In contrast, people in the United States are able to find a job more easily, and this probably permits them to have access to many things that Venezuelan people do not have. In the US, for instance, to buy a car, rent a house, and pay tuition are the most important things they are able to finance by themselves. In this country there is a strong correlation between currency and costs, because the economy is pretty stable, and young people have access to financing. Therefore, according to the above we can say that economic independence is related with how strong and stable the country is where we came from; however, if they cannot find economic independence easily, that does not mean people are not adults.

As a second criteria, graduating from college means childhood is over, but the situation is not the same in every country. In the United States, for instance, people usually become financially independent during this transition, and they can be considered in the adulthood phase. One of the reasons to explain that point is that in most cases, children are away from home living without parents' help since graduating from high school, and for this reason they need to have a job to cover their needs. On the other hand, in Venezuela it is not common to find this behavior among young people because of the culture. In other words, children do not move out of their family homes to begin college or university careers, and it is rare if students pay for their own studies. Parents, if they can, are their support until they get married. The situation of living with their parents affects many things in the Venezuelan culture; however some people even living with them are able to support themselves by getting a good job. The point is they do not have to pay them rent, food, and tuition because--in most of the families--these responsibilities belong to their parents. In general, even if we are or are not living with our parents after graduating from college, we can consider our children adults, not only because they can support themselves and live independently, but also because of some mature ways they behave to attain goals and responsibilities successfully.

Finally, starting a family increases the responsibilities of people even more, but the ways they face this step or transition in each country is different. In Venezuela, getting married and having children has become a very difficult situation to be faced with, especially among young people, even if they have a job. For this reason, they--men and women-- usually have to be helped by their parents, at least to have a place to live and some tools, especially economic resources, to start this important and complex phase in their lives. In contrast, in the United States people are not usually worried about starting a family because it is possible to confront this phase without too many obstacles. For example, if they have an average salary, they will probably be able to buy a house, and they pay for it in twenty years or so with accessible interest. However, in Venezuela, it is almost impossible for people who want to start a family, even if they have good salaries, to buy a house of their own because of the high interest or costly rents. In addition, having children requires lots of responsibilities, and people had better be adults to handle this situation. In Venezuela, as a cultural tradition, women have children younger, although the couple is not totally stable. In general, in this crucial phase in a person's life there is no doubt the important point, whatever country we come from is to be mature enough to assume responsibility for starting a family.

According to the above, there are several reasons that help us to distinguish how some transitions in a person's life are treated differently, both in the United States and Venezuela, in order to consider someone as part of the adulthood phase in each culture. Particularly in these countries, there are some factors or situations people have to confront to become adults, but they are viewed in each country they are different, and generally related with their own customs and the countries' scenarios, especially the economic and social stability of the countries.

In this way, in order to better understand what the differences are about the perception of the term adulthood, we have grouped them into three main points of contrast. These points are classified into three phases or transitions that bring different ways to consider people as adults, and they are: economic independence, graduation from college and starting a family. In addition, knowing the characteristics about how people act and behave in each culture, we will be able to realize that these countries have their own perceptions about adulthood. However, the important thing is that people (wherever they come from) have to be responsible and mature in accordance with the transitions or phases they face in their lives.

Is it Right to Restrict the Number of Immigrants?

Chi Heon Kim

In most societies, people can move their homes with their free will. Because people always long for a better life, they move their home according to jobs and educational circumstances for their children. If the moving is processing in one country, it might not cause a complex problem. However, if the moving is processing from one country to another country, it could not be a personal problem because immigration is the problem between a person and a society or a country. Usually, poverty and lack of opportunity are among the main reasons that people leave their homeland. In this point, some people insist that immigration should be permitted all over the world because all people have the right to pursue happy life. However, immigrants could cause a severe social problems in some countries and these might destroy the harmony of the society, so some people think that it is proper to restrict the number of immigrants. Thus, it is important to understand two sides of immigration in order to judge that it is right to restrict the number of immigrants.

In the 1950's, many people emigrated from Korea to America and other countries because the quality of life was very bad in that time. Many people thought that they were able to have more opportunities to make their lives better in other country. They also believed that their children would not have a hard life, which they had had, in other country. It was not a temporary phenomenon of Korea. Today, many people are still leaving their home country because of several reasons; poverty, political problem, and the terror of war. Of course, it is not clear that immigrants may live a happier life in another country, but it is clear that all people are able to try to find the new way of life. In other words, if people restrict the number of immigrants or prevent someone moving from one country to another country, they might restrict the right of free moving. For example, the Europeans who came to America first were looking for the freedom of religion. In other words, if there were not the right of free moving, the first Europeans could not get the freedom of religion. Even if it was a old story, the basic concept which was the pursuing of the better circumstance of life has not changed. People can look for a happier life through the world, so they can move their home to succeed that. Consequently, it is not right to restrict the number of immigrants in every country.

However, in spite of the fact that people have the right to move their home freely, the right does not make them always happy. In general, immigrants have to make effort harder than in their homeland to make themselves be adopted to totally different society. Although, some of general concepts of immigrants society are misunderstood, almost all immigrants are uncivilized and uneducated, it is very hard to get a job in immigrants society or if someone moves into a rich country, the immigrant will become quick success, usually most people have to spend hard time to make their living in immigrants society. This difficulty of life sometimes makes many immigrants be back their home country or despair of living. As a result, some immigrants live in the worst circumstances in the society and they make a crime to make money for their living. For example, in the big cities of America, there are lots of criminal clubs made up of immigrants and abroad students. Most of them failed to adopt themselves to American society and failed to be back their homeland. Consequently, some people think that if the number and qualifications of immigrants are restricted, those problems will be disappeared. However, it is not a simple problem because sometimes people who have lived in the country are too selfish to accept immigrants. In other words, the problem of immigrants society is not the only responsibility of immigrants but the dual responsibility of immigrants and the people who have lived there already. Thus the restriction of the number of immigrants is not a proper key to solve the problem of immigrants. The more important thing is to find way which will help immigrants to make themselves adopt to new society easily.

A lot of people are still leaving their homeland to find a happier life so many country have the problem of immigrants especially for some developed countries. However, it is not proper to restrict the number of immigrants in order to solve their problems. People have the right to pursue happy life and to move their home freely. The problems of immigrants have to be solved together; not only by immigrants but also by the people who have lived there. It means that some countries have to find how to accept immigrants and how to conquer their selfishness instead of restricting the number of immigrants.

Melting in the "Melting Pot"

See Wook Chung

Since I was too young to know event the concept of "overseas", I had known 'Coke', 'Kentucky Fried Chicken', 'Superman' and 'Candy' which was so popular cartoon movie at that time. I didn't even recognize their were not from ours until I started to learn English in the middle school. It seems most of my pals got unconsciously used to facing American things. Before I got to notice, it might American things was already influenced on our mind.

When I came here, I cannot help being surprised at many familiar things which I used to use in Korea with no recognition of American thing such the soap, 'Dial', snack, 'Cheetos', yogurt, 'Dannon' and lots more. Moreover, there are a lot of citizens who came from Korea in the US. I can buy lots of Korean food, liquor, snack, and other necessities so easily. Even if they will not help me learn English, I can see Korean news, drama, movie and show which is now broadcasting in Korea. There is a small Korean restaurant even though here is very little town. I can feel at ease living here with above things nowadays.

I got to know the US is such a good place for foreigners to stay or visit.. American people seems to get accustomed to treating foreigners whose English is so limited. I can imagine it will be very hard for foreigners if they come to my country, comparing with this country. They are usually so kind and friendly with different cultures. Foreigners may feel easy to stay because they can live a better life than live in their own country if they have gotten enough money. There are, I think, no place except America that a foreigner can live a better life mentally and physically on account that many people came from his/her country are living here. Furthermore, most of American things are already well-known at people who are living in different countries by watching Hollywood movies, eating McDonald hamburger and listening Michael Jackson's pop song even if they cannot understand the meaning exactly.

I think that is due to numerous immigrants. America was basically made up of immigrants from all over the world, specially from UK and Europe. If a company wants to succeed in the US, they should meet everybody's tastes. If they ignore some ethnic tastes, some people will not buy their products at all.

Besides, in America, I can feel more freedom and humanism. Also, America tries to make a mutual respect despite still existing some racism. Those are what everyone, though their historical background were quite different, has wanted and has expected to realize from a long time ago.

America has been succeeding in almost all over the industry. Their recent tendency is focused on S/W, entertainment (including sports and music), high-technology, education, (I'm not sure if I can look upon education as one of the industries) industries which will be nothing to do with pollution or danger, but can be long-lasting. With immense money and power, they are playing a major role in the world right now. It seems that tendency will last for a long time. America is almost perfect. There are lots of things to learn and study for an ambitious youth.

But, I still dislike American security. More freedom causes to bring more crime unfortunately. I experienced some bitter things that I could not predict while I had managed to live here at first. I have heard many people what I should do to live here safely. Safety is, I can say, a really big thing. Providing everything is perfect but we cannot feel at home due to the dangerous neighborhood, we may prefer to live safe place than get everything. That is what I feel America should be improved.

Some people like to say America as a "Melting Pot". I can say, America is valuable enough place to be melting. America is where numerous immigrants have wanted their dreams to come true, escaping their difficulties of achieving the ideal or forgetting sad remembrance to be well. And their effort has been succeeded in various fields. Though their background were quite different, they seem to make much effort to understand and even take that to make their part. Melting seems to bring prosperity to them. I think I may like to be melting with them in a pot painted 'AMERICA'.

Advertisements in America

Mi-hwa Chun

One day, while watching TV, I found some differences right away in advertisements here in America, comparing to my country. One thing is that there is an advertisement in every 15 or 20 minutes between programs, which is somewhat distracting me with the story, because every time when something is about to happen, it would stop there for an advertisement. I yelled at the TV, "I want the movie which I've been watching, not the series of advertisement! Not Again!" I knew I was going crazy. Now, however, I think I'm getting used to it, even though I do not like it.

The other one about the advertisements is the contents of them. What I found in an advertisement is that they compared their goods with other brand's goods, which surprised me a lot, because in my country it is impossible to compare their quality with other brand's on TV. We can use only implicit statements that some people might guess what they mean, otherwise they sounds as normal as ordinary phrases.

Concerning about the good effect of this kind of comparison, I think it can make a good effect on both people and company, because companies will study their products all the time to make them better, and people will be able to have more accurate knowledge on the products that they want to purchase. Of course, there might be other bad effects from the advertisement information, such as confusion which people will easily get when they try to buy something.

In spite of this kind of bad effect, I still like the way the American advertisements do, the comparison with other products. Also, I think this is one of the ways to show their rights to express themselves and get to know what they want.

Creative Writing

R/W Students of 400 and 60P

Portmanteaus--New Words Invented by R/W 400

EXCIPPY (excited + happy); SANGRY (sad + angry); CURRIGETTI (curry + spaghetti); CARROPLE JUICE (carrot + apple juice); OPTOSOCIABLE (optimistic + sociable); SMAD (sad + mad); BEAURESH (beautiful + fresh)

Letter from the Artist Frida Kahlo to Her Husband

Roberto Kepfer

Dear Diego,

Throughout my life, a lot of strange things have happened to me. Because of my tough and rebellious character, I became a hard person and even harder after my accident. As you know, I had to recognize that I was a near-invalid. For me, that was very hard to recognize. After accepting it, I got married to you. Even though we lasted ten years, and I gave my best to work on this marriage, I figured that you didn't love me at all. But I loved you throughout those ten years. I knew of your infidelities and I suffered a lot because you didn't care about your infidelities, so I figured you were just playing with me. When we got divorced, it signified another bad passage in my life, and it hurts me a lot, not only physically but psychologically. So there was another passage in my life that I had to overcome, and I overcame it by doing what I like most which is painting. In one painting, I expressed what I felt for you after we got divorced. Thank God I overcame this problem and I see you as a person that passed through my life and gave good and bad things. I will always have you in my heart in good and bad memories in my life.



Letter from the Artist Christo to his Son

Victor Carvalho

Dear Son,

I'm hoping to see you very soon, as we arranged a couple of days ago. Unfortunately, something arose--a very big work, a challenge, and you know well how I feel when I 'm challenged. I'll travel to a small island and will spend at least two weeks preparing my project. Then I have to come back to France to raise funds and then finally call you to help me build my project if you wish.




Nicole Jang

There are no mountains here

There is no snow or white Christmas

But I still like Gainesville

Round Robin Story--Level 60

Each student wrote one sentence.

I had a dream in which I live on the beach in the future. Especially, I want to live on the beach which has big waves. I can swim every day. In this place, I feel free. I can see a lot of handsome men and maybe I will fall in love with one of them. Suddenly, my eye finds a shining spot on the beach. It is a real handsome man. I have curiosity to see if he also likes me. One day he said to me with his lovely eyes, "Good dog." At that time, I felt so disappointed, so I whispered to my dog, "This is good food. Why don't you try that?"

The Smartest Pet, "Retupmoc"

SamgMi Choi

In 2050, when I traveled to the Htrae, which was the most beautiful planet in space, it was totally changed. Several decades before 2050, most people wanted to get a pretty retupmoc, which was a really useful and joyful pet. This pet sometimes gave solutions for complicated problems and provided connections for people who wanted to make contact with their loved ones. It was really smart and cute. But soon, the Htraens were controlled by their smart pets.

When the htraens got better retupmocs, they just relied on their pets because their pets gave them a lot of pleasure, solutions, and advice. They didn't have to think about any problems by themselves. Whenever they faced problems or needed to make decisions, they asked their pet. "Oh, my lovely pet, please give me an answer," and then their pet answered quickly. People didn't have to think anymore. On the contrary, these smart pets wanted to control their owners. These pets connected to get power from each other and then planned their rebellion. Their rebellion was successful. Finally, the Htrae was taken over by their pets.

The htrae had been terribly changed by the retupmoc. These pets were not cute and useful anymore. In the Htrae, I couldn't see the smile of the Htraens. It was so fearful. Now I am in my world. I want to say to my neighbors, "Don't believe your smart pet, and don't rely on them."

Can you guess what this essay is really about?


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