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English Language Institute
PO Box 117051
315 Norman Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611-7051
Phone: (352) 392-2070
Fax: (352) 392-3744

UCIEP, University and College Intensive English Programs The ELI is a proud member of UCIEP, a consortium of University and College Intensive English Programs



Volume 4, Issue 2 Spring 2000


A Life-Changing Experience

Dae Soon Park
R/W 45
1st Place (Prose)

When I was in the military service in 1996, there was a disastrous, monsoon storm which nearly flooded all near my base. The monsoon nearly destroyed all the dams, and there was flooding everywhere. I can recall that day and remember every little detail because it was an event that changed my life.

It was late at night and everyone was asleep. All of sudden I woke up from my sleep because there was an alerting scream all around me. At first, I was not fully aware of what was going on; I thought it was just an emergency drill. My senior officer told us to get packed as quickly as possible and gather all of the necessary items to survive, and make sure--as always--to be protected and bring our weapons as if it were our lives at stake.

Within minutes we had to evacuate to the nearest mountain as soon as possible. While we were climbing the mountain I could recall looking back at my base getting wiped off the surface of the earth. It was something I had never seen in my life. If I could describe it, it's like ocean water going straight through a sandcastle.

My unit thought the worry was over and we diligently headed towards the peak of the mountain to get away from the flood. However, our unit was made up of more than three hundred soldiers, and we could not move as fast as we expected. We were marching through the woods and trying not to panic because the flood was catching up to us. We didn't know exactly which direction it was going to strike us, so we cautiously marched. The only kind of light we had through the woods was the dim from the moon and the stars. I remember cursing to myself what bad luck I had because I only had one more month to serve left in the service.

All of sudden while we were marching we could sense and hear the flood coming from the near river. Our commanding officer wanted to see the condition of the flood and see if there was anything we could do to stop or slow the flood which would destroy everything in the path, so we were ordered to go near the flood and check the condition.

While observing from the near ground, the ground I was standing collapsed and I fell in the flooding river. People say when you're in a life and death condition you see your life flash before your eyes, but me, all I could think about was my family and my friends. I didn't have time to think about dying; all I could remember was not to lose my K-2 (a Korean gun) in any condition. Here I was trying to survive out of the flood, yet due to the abusive training all I could think about was the consequence about losing my weapon. And despite of all this I was a terrible swimmer. If I could think it about it now, it makes me laugh. Anyhow here I was in the river drowning, doing whatever I could to save my weapon and get a breath of air because the current was forcing me under. I drank a lot of water that day.

Although the weapon almost cost my life in the beginning, it also saved my life. How ironic, huh, but yes the weapon is what eventually saved my life. While floating down the river over a night there was a broken branch of tree hanging near the bank. I used my K-2 to attach to the tree to hold on from going down the river. I wrapped the strap around my body and was hanging till the rescue team came to save me.At that moment I realized how beautiful life was and it changed my view towards life. I realized how insignificant human is against the power of nature. In the midst of all this I learned to appreciate nature and its wonder. It made me humble and see the beauty of nature. And I have learned and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.

Let's Love and be Loved

Veli Dogan
R/W 30
2nd Place (Prose)

Yunus Emre was a dervish, who had an outstanding role in shaping Turkish culture, literature and philosophy. He was also a poet like almost all Turkish philosophers were, and he might be regarded as the most important poet in Turkish literature. He was obsessed with love. His love was not a simple love; it was love of God, love of human being and love of the true mystic. He wandered with torn clothing all over Anatolia in the thirteenth century and told the people about true love with his poems. In his poems, the main ideas are usually similar to humanism, which is a philosophy emphasizing human values, and which has become important at the last two centuries. Let’s look at what he said,

"Mystic is what they call me,
Hate is my only enemy,
I harbor a grudge against none,
To me the whole wide world is one."

He preached to the people about brotherhood and peace. In his poems he called for social justice, having good character, helping others. He always tried to reach God in his life and always stood up against dogmatists.

"We regard no one’s religion as contrary to ours,
True love is born when all faiths are united as a whole."
"Do not look down on anyone, never break a heart,
The mystic must love all seventy-two nations."

I love Yunus Emre as a human and I like to read his poems. Because I believe that who even reads his poems will get free of anger, haughtiness and rancor. He lives seven centuries ago, but his ideas are still acceptable advice for humanity for a better world. His poems, his thougths, his life have been studied by scholars for years both in Turkey and also all over the world. His works also has been translated into several languages. The year 1991 was dedicated as "The International Yunus Emre Year" by UNESCO. He was also named one of the main cultural figures of the world. I hope, as he hoped that peace will be in the world, and everybody will love each other because the same creator created all. Let us finish with one of his poems,

"Let us love and be loved,
The world shall leave out nobody."

To Colombia

Maria Luisa Rodriguez C.
R/W 45
1st Place (Poetry)

Southamerican corner, tropical fruit,
minerals, forests, peasant country
far away, I miss your aromas
ripe guavas and warm coffee.
There are so many memories
there are so many feelings
there are so many threads
that fasten me to you.
My swindled land without peace
my sad emerald, my bloody orchid
one day, without noticing
the misfortune that came into you.
Despite fears and absences
I will find the hidden ways
between cumbias and palms
to arrive at the beginning of hope.

Gabriel Garcia M, Colombian Nobel laureate made famous the fragrance of guavas.
Colombian coffee and emeralds are known around the world.
Orchid: National flower.
Cumbia: most representative dance of Colombia.

Is it Time to Go or Stay?

Carla Decet
R/W 50

As we grow up we find new alternatives in life, which are based on the culture, education, principles, and wishes that we have acquired during our lives. In some cultures, like the United States or Japan, living with our parents after being twenty five years old can be viewed as a controversial thing; and in other cultures, like Latin American or Arab ones, this doesn’t matter. The fact is that there are emotional and practical reasons, in each culture, that determine when it is the right moment to leave home.

The emotional reasons, which are more important to Latin American and Arab cultures, are supported by two main arguments. First, the religion teaches them to help each other and share as much as possible, especially during holidays. Second, sons and daughters should take care of their parents, because they have an affection that brings them together and because they are grateful for all the sacrifices that their parents did for them. In more precise terms, people who are part of this culture think that family is family until they die, and they need to be together. In addition to these two arguments, there is a new argument that has been present in Latin American countries for a few decades; it is about having financial independence, which has been more difficult to get in the passing years. Thus sons and daughters stay longer in their homes.

On the other hand, the practical reasons, which are more important to the United States and Japanese culture, argue two main aspects. First of all, if some son or daughter finds a good job in another city or even in another country, they prefer to take the job. In fact, the idea of having an independent financial situation is more attractive than staying with their families. Second, young people also need privacy in what they do with their life and how they handle their behavior. Furthermore, as well as their parents, people need to develop their individual family in the way they want.

In spite of the specific inclination of each culture, it can also be possible that Latin American and Arab cultures worry about having a good job even though they have to leave their families. In addition, the United States and Japanese cultures are close to their families even though they don’t live together.

In my opinion, the family has been created to be together and to help each member of it. However, having good individual financial stability, even far from your family, doesn’t mean being separate from your family; even more, it is better to get what we wish. That is why I believe that there isn’t a right age to leave your family home, the only thing we have to care about is being happy and keeping your family and relatives happy.


Andres DeGenna
R/W 30

Gainesville is a good city because, it is small and, I like the small city. All stores are clear from my apartment. The people in Gainesville are very good. Gainesville has many restaurants, gas station and a big mall. For the next course I'm thinking to go to another place because, in Gainesville, there are many people who speak Spanish; for me, this is very bad because, it is difficult to speak English.


Miguel Nucete
R/W 45

Love is red and purple.
It tastes sweet and bitter.
It sounds like a waterful running.
And smells like fresh air.
It looks like a big ethereal mass flowing.
It makes you feel alive again.

My Childhood

Rosana Tavera
R/W 25

My childhood was very beautiful because all the things looked a dream. I had some friends in my neighborhood in Colombia and I played with them, but many of my plays become truth in my mind. For example, if I played to be a doctor I can to be a really doctor and in my games all the things around me were reality. When I was ten years old, I came to United States and I went to Disney World. There all the games looked for me bigger than reality. After I went to Disney again but all the games don't look the same as I thought, so I think this happened because I came when I was child.


JungYoup Han
R/W 45

Mankind has lived on improving technology. We can see examples of advanced technology in daily life. Technological advances have given people comfortable lives. For example, household electric appliances have made lives more comfortable and convenient. And as inventions of cars and airplanes, people can travel to far away countries in a short period of time. But although technology has brought a lot of advantages, it has also brought disadvantages. The biggest problem is environmental pollution, especially in Ozone layer destruction, global warming and water contamination.

First of all, the problem is destruction of the ozone layer. The ozone layer plays an important part as shelter because it absorbs 99% of a ultraviolet rays from the sun. So it protects all creatures from ultraviolet rays. But mankind invented refrigeration, semiconductors and various spray goods that use a lot of freon gas. And freon gas is the principal offender in destroying the ozone layer. Thus now, the hole has been formed at the ozone layer of the South pole and it has occurred another problem.

The other problem caused by the ozone hole is global warming. According to reports, the temperature of the earth has increased 35% since the development of industrial technology. Because of the ozone hole, the earth can't efficiently intercept ultraviolet rays. Therefore, the temperature of the earth was increased; moreover, as industrial technology improved, a lot of wastes have occurred and a rate of incidence of methane gas from wastes increased. So methane gas accelerated the increase of the temperature of the earth. Since, glaciers are being melted and the surface of the seawater is being raised more and more. Hence, the ground is gradually being sunk into the seawater. If the temperature is constantly increasing, most of the ground will be sunk in the seawater after a long time.

Another remarkable problem is water contamination. As technology improved, mankind needed to build many factories and naturally a lot of liquid wastes from factories occurred. For example, poisonous wastewater from factories has been discharged into rivers, so sometimes fish were annihilated by toxic material and deformed fish occurred. Also, birds that ate the polluted fish died. Besides this, mankind invented agricultural chemicals and fertilizers, and these things also flowed in rivers. So birds of natural monument that drank polluted water died. Like this, the water contamination caused the destruction of a ecosystem.

Like that, although technological advances have given a lot of benefits, environmental pollution, specifically in ozone layer destruction, global warming and water contamination are several negative results of advancing technologies. So now, mankind will have to use technology to protect the environment and improve technology to develop new antipollution goods. Moreover mankind have to make more stern antipollution laws.

Tolerance: A Spring Break Tale

Mergin Yilgin
30 R/W

It was a beautiful Sunday morning in Gainesville, the Spring Break weekend. My husband and I woke up early. We decided to go to Cedar Key to catch some fish. Cedar Key is a quite special place to catch fish. It is in the Gulf of Mexico coast. The Gulf of Mexico has abundance of different kinds of fish. We prepared our fishing gears the night before, because we didn't want to be late. We thought that if we went early, we would have a lot of time to relax and catch fish. This kind of relaxation is very important for people's health. We carried our fishing gear from our car to the long dock.

Then I cast my line in the water the first time, I caught a fish. Then, I cast my line the again. When I was waiting to catch fish, suddenly I fell down to the floor of dock. I didn't understand what was going on, because I was dizzy. When I held my head up, I realized that my head had been bumped by another fisherman's line. My head hurt, and the hook of the man had torn my scarf. I immediately placed some ices on my head. I think that I was lucky because the fisherman's hook only tore my scarf. It could have torn my ear or scratched my face. I really was lucky.

After the accident happened, I sometime fished, sometime watched the waves and the dolphins. Then I took a nap in our car. We stayed from 9am to 3pm in the dock. We left from the dock a little bit early because, we caught enough fish to share with our neighbors. Finally, two weeks later, my head returned to normal.

When I remember this incident, I know that the fisherman seemed afraid. Maybe, he thought we would sue him as Americans. He said that he felt bad and he looked really sad. After that, he left the dock. My husband and I thought this incident was unintentional accident. Anybody could have this kind of accident. For that reason, we never thought about a lawsuit against the fisherman. People should be tolerant to each other.


Miguel Nucete
R/W 45

Lonely and desperate, I can’t walk
I can’t even breathe, but still stand
I look nowhere, trying to find something
That makes me feel alive again.

English Education in Japan

Tomohisa Hagino
R/W 50

English is the one of the most important subjects in Japan. Almost all Japanese people learn English for 6 years in junior high school and high school. Nevertheless, many Japanese people cannot speak English well because they do not learn English speaking and pronunciation very much, and they have a little motivation to study English speaking.

Japanese school lays stress not on speaking but on grammar and reading in English education. Though Japanese students learn mainly English grammar and reading, they do not usually have any English conversation class. Moreover, one English teacher usually teaches about 50 students. It is difficult for a English teacher to take care of every student’s speaking. Therefore, most Japanese students do not learn speaking very much.

Japanese students do not learn English pronunciation very much in schools. English has 15 vowels compared with 5 vowels in the Japanese language. English consonants are also very different from Japanese. Nevertheless, Japanese schools teach very little English pronunciation. Therefore, many Japanese students are unfamiliar with not only stress and linking but also phonetic symbols. For these reasons, most of the Japanese people cannot speak English with a correct pronunciation.

It is difficult for Japanese students to keep motivation to learn speaking English. Most of them have few chances to speak English with foreign people. Nowadays many Japanese schools have a native English teacher. However, only one native teacher usually has to teach several hundred students. They can speak just a little with a native English teacher. Moreover, most school’s tests and entrance exams do not have speaking tests. As a result, Japanese students do not feel the necessity of English speaking.

As business is more internationalized, speaking English is becoming more and more important in recent years. However, most Japanese people are not good English speakers because of fewer speaking lessons, no pronunciation lessons and less incentives to speak English. Japanese school should make more of speaking English and produce students who can conform to internationalization.


Marcos Ivanowski
R/W 45

There exists a big distance
I don't know from where to where
It is not physical
But feelings
I feel in another life
I don't want anything
I have no thirst
I am not hungry
I don't fall asleep
I just am
Just me
I lost everything
What a anguish...
Tears go down easily
My mouth is dry
And wet
Today is Saturday and
I have no expectation from anything...

Japanese and American Traffic

Yukiko Ito
R/W 45

There are many cultural differences between Japan and America. It is interesting to compare traffic. Of course traffic rules are different from Japan to America, but there are some specific differences in both countries.

First, the roads are quite different. Japanese roads are crowded, very narrow, have many curves, bridges, and tunnels because Japanese land has many mountains and rivers. On the other hand, American roads are not so crowded, and do not have many tunnels and bridges, just have wide, straight roads. So, it takes more time to travel using Japanese roads than using American roads. In addition, Japanese roads have many traffic signals. It's not easy to drive Japanese roads like American roads.

Second, the highways are also different. Japanese highways are really expensive. Despite the fact that Japanese people already had paid a lot of tax, which is used for making roads and highways, they have to pay another toll roads fee when they use highways. Japanese highway roads are very clean and all pavement, but cost a lot. So, Japanese tend to try not to use highways except during big holidays. For example, during the holiday season, when roads become crowded, then people use highways. But normally, people don't want to use highways. This is another reason why Japanese roads are always crowded. In contrast, American highway roads are quite cheap. This is a big difference.

Third, the relation of cars and person is very unlike. In Japan, pedestrians and bicycle riders are prioritized in a intersection. First those persons cross the street, then cars can move. Cars have to wait at a center of intersection until pedestrians have finished crossing. However, in American intersection, cars move first, and then, walking sign is on. People have to cross quickly because the walking sign turns to blinking soon. American roads are made for cars. Conversely, Japanese drivers have to pay attention to pedestrians because there are many pedestrians and bicycle riders on roads. In America, there are few pedestrians on the roads so drivers don't have to care about pedestrians so much.

In conclusion, It is interesting to know about different points of traffic. American roads have many better points for drivers than Japanese roads. American roads are wide, straight, easy to drive, and cheap highway fees. Japanese roads are crowded, narrow, and expensive highway fees. But Japanese traffic is much safer for people don't drive. It is difficult to decide which country's road is better.


Serpil Gok
R/W 40

Do you think there is a perfect human in the world? Although I think the answer is no, people try to do what they can do the best. I have made too many mistakes in my life like other people. Results of my mistakes can be comic or sad. Now, I want to tell you a story about a mistake.
The event happened at the beginning of the last semester. I was new like freshmen, also I couldn't understand English well. After a couple months, I was to be a member of the Turkish Student Association, which is called TSA. One day, I received a mail about folk dance from TSA. They would practice folk dance on Saturday at 1pm at Reitz Union. They also invited members to join them. I was interested in this message because I love folk dance. Anyway, I decided to go there on Saturday.

Those days I didn't know exactly the campus, but I found there. Honestly, I couldn't find the room where they will practice folk dance. Finally I found the room. I was there on time, but nobody was there. I started to wait until 1:30pm. Then I took a walk outside the room. I was really bored. During the walking, I saw an exit. In that moment, I don't know why I wanted to leave there immediately. When I pushed the door, the alarm rang. In fact, this door could use just for emergency, but I hadn't known this. Then I ran away from door, went to the restroom on the same floor. I was panic. I didn't know what to do. When I was in the restroom, the alarm was still ringing. I was angry by myself. I had a question in my mind "Why Serpil why?" I needed to calm down. I heard something from outside. I thought some officers came, and the alarm didn't ring anymore. I was really regretful to come here. After I washed my face ,I felt good. When I went out, the officers were still there. They asked me "Do you know what happened?" I just told them "I don't know." Then I left Reitz Union. I still thought how I could this and why I didn't read the warning. It was unforgettable day for me. I'll never forget this in my entire life.

This is just a simple example of my mistakes. I think it is comic. After, I learnt some lessons from this. Before do something, think about it. Also to be attentive with your environment. Shortly, obey the rules. Now I am glad to live that event. I think mistakes cause of achievement. I still make mistake and also love folk dance, but hate alarm sound.

You Provoke Me

Marcos Ivanowski
R/W 45

For a long time
I will not listen to any music
From the classical until Backer
Because in everything is your memory,
Our memory will be
If you leave me now
I don't know what will happen with my life
Please don't go
Please don't go...
I feel burning,
The heart almost stops
At the same time explodes
My expression is closed
The sight is deep
I couldn't sleep last night...
Everything is strange
The sounds
The air,
Where am I?
Who am I ?
I am alive

The Taiwanese New Year

Yaping (Kate) Wang
R/W 30

In Taiwan, we usually have a lot of traditions and customs for the new year. The new year in Taiwan is very important for us. We use the lunar calendar to determine the day, so our new year is different form the new year in America.

In the new year, the family does not go to work and the student do not study. So, we have family reunions and we eat a lot of traditional foods. We have dumplings, which means money. We have rice noodles which means a long life; rice dumplings means togetherness; pineapple means luck will come to you; fish means you will save your money the whole year. When we finish the meal, we have fireworks. Then everybody watches TV, talks with each other and plays cards until morning. this is our custom for the new year. This is the only day in the new year that the family gets together and celebrates.

Parental Love

Jae-Hyun Jeong
R/W 30

Almost all parents are devoted to their children. A parents' love seems like steadfast love, like a divine love. We can see it easily in the movies and in books. If we have children, we can experience it. To be candid, many people will become a parent after they get married. Even if we are not married, we already know about parental love. Try to remember your childhood! How much did your parents love you? Maybe your parents' love will be ten times as much as yours for your parents.

This type of parental love was demonstrated to me, when I watched the movie named "Life is Beautiful". The movie's background was World War II. At that time, the German armies captured the Jews. Unfortunately, the main characters, a Jewish mother and father, were captured by the Germans along with their child. After they were captured, they lived in a war prisoners' camp. Even though the father was captured, he said to his child "It is a game and if you win, you will get a tank for a prize." He worried about his son's fear. On the day before the end of the war, he knew that the war would come to an end soon and they would move to Germany. So, he concealed his son in a box. After that time, he was captured and was executed by shooting. Afterwards, I gained an important insight. In the movie, the father helped his child to escape. Moreover, he sacrificed himself to save his son's life. How do we show love for our children and our family? Indeed, how many people would prefer another person to oneself ? Only a real parents' love could do this.
Parents have to love our children. It is our obligation. Most of us received a lot of love from our parents. But we didn't give as much love to our parents as our parents gave to us. In the world, almost all people have given love to their children instead of giving love to their parents. It is like "The Effect of Karma." However, we give love to our children as we got love from our parents.
In conclusion, a parent’s love is miraculous love. If we do not have a loving relationship with our family, our life has no meaning.

Is Cloning a Human Being a Good Idea?

Carla Decet
R/W 50

With the development of science, new ideas appear. Some of these ideas can help the world and people to have a better life, but others have controversial results. One of the controversial ideas that has been questionable for many years is cloning humans. Basically, there are two points of view: in favor of cloning and against it.

The reasons that are against cloning human beings are based on moral values. First of all, society is in decline because for many people, feelings and affections are not the first thing in their life anymore. Thus, how much love can a human clone receive if she/he is not a result of love between a couple. Ronald Cole-Turner, a United Church of Christ minister at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary said, "cloning would be an insult to the relationships of the family." In addition, science is not being completely discovered; it might have limits or not, and it is true that there are parts of science which still represent a mystery.

On the other hand, there are reasons that support human cloning very well, in spite of the fact it hasn’t been done yet and the results are not exactly known. In fact, there are people who prove that biologically there is no reason why cloning could not be developed for humans if we wanted. The first reason is that cloning makes possible the transplant of organs or parts of the body for people who need them to continue their lives. The second one is that cloning allows infertile couples to have children and grow a family. Perhaps the result can be as they expected.

In short, cloning human beings is not accepted and understood by everybody. Technology is growing faster than human development. I think that now is not the right moment to do it; I need more scientific proof and moral reasons to accept it. For example, to me, couples who cannot have children can adopt one from someone who doesn’t want the baby. Absolutely, it is a controversial topic that needs to be more discussed and proved.

Delight the English Experience, Come to the ELI

Octavio Amaya Mejia
R/W 500

When I came here, I wondered if Americans would be like people said and how I was going to live here by myself, but now That I am here I realized that they are people like I am and that with good friends you can live anywhere. Some people here will always have a place in my heart. To stereotype people is a bad thing. We should always judge people for who they are not by somebody’s opinion of them. So far in my two ELI semesters different groups of Americans have shown to me what real Americans are like: my interaction leaders of the last semester (Fall C), my American friends, and personnel at the ELI.

My first week here in the fall was a mess. I even got lost walking from the bus stop to the ELI. Thank God, I always had people who could help, two of whom were my interaction leaders. I think that it is in your first semester in Gainesville when you want to see everything and to know how everything works but you don’t know where to begin. That was when my interaction leaders helped me. First, they showed me step by step how to live here. Then, they explained to me what American culture is like, and most important they were available anytime.

Weeks later, I met three very friendly Americans who live in the same complex that I live in. Although they were a little cold in the beginning, they warmed up and we became very good friends. With them I knew how sensitive and helpful this culture could be. Also, they have always helped me with my informal English by doing activities such as cooking dinner, watching TV, decorating the house, going to UF activities, etc.

Last but not least, I have the ELI personnel. They have helped to build my English. They have been giving me the instruments to learn a second language, and to keep growing as a person. I don’t know if I was lucky or everybody has had the same things that I have had. For example each semester in each class I had class with special teachers and classmates who knew hot to make the ELI experience unforgettable. Also, it was here at the ELI where I received the real opportunity to help the community as a volunteer, and at the same time practice my English.

I think the most important thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter where you go, if you are a good person you always find other good people to be around. It was great being in two semester at the ELI because in the first one I discovered a new world and in the second one I could enjoy it and reveal this world to new people who wanted to be part of the ELI experience. An important thing that I learned is that we cannot stereotype a race, nationality, religion or belief. For example I always enjoyed asking people question about their country, culture, religion, etc., and now I can give you one advice "Don’t be afraid to ask the people, it is the best way to learn about culture and English."


Howard Ho
R/W 45

Love is...Love just is...
Love is the birth of a new life
- so precious, so loving
Love is the flowers that bloom in spring
- so colorful, so beautiful
Love is as open as the blue sky above us
- so wide, so vast
Love is like the branches of a tree
- always reaching, reaching always
Love is in the living of life
- so joyful, so playful
Love is the hand that reaches out to
you when you need it the most
- pull me up, life me up
Love is the eyes that see beyond the flesh
- beautiful soul, wondrous spirit
Love is the hug that warms your soul
- so loved, so loved
Love is in the real, not in the abstract
- so solid, so full
Love is a seeker and a finder
- seek me, find me
Love is a giver, not a taker
- so generous, so generous
Love is the favor that you did not ask for
- so nice, so appreciated
Love is freeing, not caging
Love is the feeling that sets our
souls at peace
- so warm, so loving
Love is the dance that free us
- to become you, to become me
Love is us in our most natural state of being
- so free, so free
Love does not ask, love just does
For love is all around us us
...above us
...below us
Because love is the answer, not the question
Love just is...
Love is all we know...
Love is all we are...
Love just is...
Love just is in the dying and setting our soul free

The Panama Canal

Alexandra Burgos
R/W 40

When you say Panama, you think about the Panama Canal. Since early times Panama was used as a route for transit. In 1880, when Panama was linked to Colombia, a French man, Ferdinand de Lesseps started to build the canal. De Lesseps and his employees had many problems in the construction because of the geographic position; also, they had to fight illness. In addition, The French managers were recognized in that time for their bad administration. For all these reasons, Colombia and France decided to stop the construction.

In 1903, after our independence from Colombia, Panama signed a treaty with United States to finish building the canal. Seventy five thousand men and women worked very hard for ten years to complete the construction. The total construction cost was $400 million.

The Panama Canal is 80 kilometers long, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific. A ship takes eight to ten hours to cross the canal. The Panama Canal started to function on August 15, 1914 and at the present time more than 700,000 ship have crossed it.

The United States operated the canal in agreement with many different treaties between the U.S. and Panama. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter and General Omar Torrijos signed one of the most important treaties in the history of the canal. In this treaty, the U.S. and Panama negotiated the canal’s future. The United States accepted two important things from Panama: their participation in the administration of the canal and the delivery of the canal to Panama on December 31,1999.
December 31, 1999 was an important day for Panama because on this day the United States gave the Panama Canal Zone and the Canal’s Administration to Panama. At the present time, Panama operates and administers the canal. Therefore, Panama has a big responsibility; they have to prove to the world that they can manage the canal.

Since 1977, after the treaty, Panamanians started working in the Panama Canal Zone and the Canal’s Administration. Managing the canal is hard work. However, Panama has many very intelligent people who have the knowledge to operate the canal correctly. Panama works harder than ever to continue operating the canal in the same way that the United States did.

The Panama Canal is one of the greatest structures in the world. It makes transportation of goods between countries easier. Also, it’s the main source of money and business in Panama.

Panamanians know their obligations to themselves and to the world. They know that they have to do a good job.


David Brown
R/W 45

Violent with the thunder
Amazing like the flash of lighting
No way unforgettable
Energic like the hurricane
Savage as your power
Sound as you are, I wrote this poety for you
And always unforgettable that I love you.


Abdelkrim Anajar
R/W 200

The Kingdom of Morocco is situated in the extreme north west of Africa between two oceans: the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, it’s still very accessible because it’s only 14 km from Spain via Straits of Gibraltar. Morocco was reigned by several civilizations such as Phoenicians….., Berbers,….., and Arabs. Arabic is the most common language in the usual life the majority of administration services and studies are in French. We can also find people who speak Spanish, English in some places. The Moroccan culture is rich with a lot of dialects such as Berber or Tamazirht and Tarifit encountered in the Atlas and Rif Mountains and other areas.

I invite you to see in Morocco during the year, festivities which celebrate local resources, it’s for very famous people how made an effect in the life of this place. We can attend folklore dance, fantasies and why not wear traditional costumes. I’m sure that you will be astonished by the Moroccan food like Couscous, which is a mixture of semoula, meat and vegetables. Another famous food is Tagine, which does not follow special rules; it can be cooked depending to regions. And when we put pastry stuffed with pigeon together we call that Bastella. I think it’s enough I won’t make you hungry.

Morocco, it’s a cool place it offers a lot to their visitors, the climate is warm in the fall and rainy in the winter. During the whole year and specially in the spring you can enjoy the beautiful scenery, tall palm in the south, deserted beaches either in the Mediterranean or in the Atlantic and all that is nothing behind Moroccan people’s hospitality. In the map, the imperial and biggest cities are: Casablanca, Rabat where I’m from it’s also the capital, Marrakech, Agadir, Fes but don’t forget Ouarzazat called also Hollywood of Morocco and Saouira for the surf enthusiastic and more…

Thus, people can play their lovely sports almost for nothing. Golf is offered in Caponeigro Luxurious place, Tangier, Marrakech has "Les Palmerais Hotels" but don’t forget Royal Golf Dar Essalam where the famous and the annual Hassan II trophy is played. For others don’t be angry if you like water sports, skiing, climbing mountains, exploring the desert by mule, 4x4 or bike you will find satisfaction there.

That’s it, now you have to decide but I’m sure that your decision is already made.


Patipol Kornkamonpruk
R/W 45

Never fall in love with anyone before
Anybody dont know my feeling
Telling about my feeling to people is not important.
Silent is the way i should to be
In love of her is not the same as other women
Never have this much feeling before
Endless love for her
Ever and never love any women again...forever love...

A Short Story in my Life

Hasan Yigit
R/W 200

I'm going to try to explain an event in my life. When I was five years old, I always used to go swimming. We had swum in the river. But I couldn't swim when it was deeper than my height. One day I was swimming where it is shorter than my height. After I saw that I could stay in the water without pushing on the bottom, I thought if I could stay here, stay there where it is deeper than my height. I said to my friends. They were swimming at the same place. They said to me, "If you drown, who is going to help you?" Because I will do it after everybody went. I decided what I would do. Everybody went and afterwards I jumped in the water where it was deeper than my height. And then I saw I could swim. I was very happy.


Masoud Fayadh
R/W 45

In the contemporary world family is in a crisis, so family should be supported by all and especially by decision makers and societal researchers. There are some principles that can help to establish the family such as initial establishment of family, the respect among family members , and the assumption of responsibility.

The initial establishment of family should be good. Every spouse should choose another spouse without any pressure from anyone , also the choosing should be compatible in many thing such as reasoning, education and age. This compatibility will save family and help children to growth in healthy environment without psychological problem which may happen if there are problem between parents.

Respect should be the basis of relationships among members. Every member should respect all opinion from any member. Also family decisions should be shared by consultation among members which will help them to get the right decision of family matters. Moreover, the old members should favor the young members, and young members should respect the old members which will make the relationship more strong among them.

Assumption of responsibility should be shared among family members. Every member should know his or her responsibility toward family that will distribute load among members and will help family to reach its targets east. Moreover, assumption of responsibility will help every member to be successful in future life.

All of all, saving family from the crises should be the responsibility of all because the family is a fundamental unite of the society, so if we have good families, we will have a good society. So if we want to save family, we should establish these principles and fallow them. Also call others to fallow them.

The Risk of Technology

Murat Ozden
R/W 45

Technology has improved tremendously in the last 25 years. Scientists have invented many products so that daily life became easier for human. But everything has its price. So, humanity has to pay some prices in order to use advantages of technology. The price appears in environmental pollution. Today, environmental pollution threatens all humanity and our planet. The affects of pollution can be seen in the following three areas: climate changes, toxins, and nuclear risks. All governments and citizens have to decide to protect our planet from these three risks.

Climate changes are the most important risk to the planet today. Governments and scientists have agreed that the problem is real and serious. There was a climate summit at Kyoto City two years ago. There was a big struggle between industrialized countries and developing countries. Developing countries criticized the industrialized countries about using carbon dioxide and other green house gases. Finally, Industrialized countries agreed to reduce the use of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, at least on paper. Industrialized countries have to follow these decisions in the real life. It is important, because climate changes occur so fast, ecosystems are unable to adopt. According to scientists, countries can only afford to release a limited amount of carbon into the atmosphere otherwise, the safe limits of climate change will be superceded.

Not only climate change, but also nuclear risk threatens our planet. Nuclear technology is used in the following two areas: nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. Using nuclear energy is more dangerous than nuclear weapons, because international agreements have prevented the use of nuclear weapons. A large amount of electricity is produced by nuclear reactors today. These reactors include some important risks. The best example of nuclear risk is the Chernobyl accident in 1986. According to Russian research center, 30 persons (staff of black and fire brigade) died receiving high doses of radiation in this accident. Four point nine million people lived near the Chernobyl reactor before the accident. All the population from 30 km zone was evacuated totally. All countries near Russia have been influenced by this accident.

Toxins are another big problem in the planet as important as climate change and nuclear risk. Toxins are the basic result of technology. There are different kinds of toxins that threaten our planet. But the worst toxins in the environment are known as POP’s or persistent organic pollutants. POP cannot easily be broken down by natural processes. On the other hand PVC one of the most used types of plastics, causes many illnesses like cancer and it is an important reason for environmental pollution. If governments and industry companies don’t reduce using POP and PVC, there will be important damages in the world near future.

If humanity wants to protect our plan from environmental pollution, some important decisions should be taken urgently. Climate changes, nuclear risks, and toxins are the most important dangers for us. These three problems must be fixed urgently. Tomorrow may be too late. We must not forget that the world was not given to us by our fathers, but that we borrowed it from our children.


Our Hodja

Veli Dogan
R/W 30

Nasreddin Hodja (Hodja means teacher) is one of the most famous characters in Turkish culture, in Turkey and also in the other Turkish countries such as Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzistan and Kazakhstan. He lived in Akshehir, a small town at that time in central Anatolia, in the thirteenth century. He was a teacher and had a regional position in his town. He was also the judge in the town. He was a very intelligent and funnyman, and he could answer almost all questions easily and quickly.

Nasreddin Hodja`s jokes have lots of comic events from his daily life, his ideas about relationship between persons or the things or the animals. They represent his cleverness, even though you may think that this man is stupid. People first laugh to his jokes, but they need to think about the jokes carefully after reading them. Because almost all the stories have a lesson one can use in life.

Nasreddin Hodja passed away a long time ago, but his stories have been told from generation to generation. Even some stories might have been added as if he had lived those; they also belong to him. In Turkey all children grow up with Hodja`s stories. Their parents tell the stories to them when they go to bed to sleep. They also read them in the schools. It is impossible to find a Turk who does not know Nasreddin Hodja.

I know that if I do not give some examples about his jokes, you might have trouble understanding what I mean and who Hodja is. Some of my friends at the ELI already know some stories about Hodja. This is because I have been sending a joke each day to them by e-mail for almost four weeks. The goal of doing that was to share our culture and to improve our English by reading at the same time.

I would like to give some examples and explain my thoughts on the lesson of each.


One day, a man had seen Hodja while he was thanking God. The man had asked him.

"What happened, Hodja? Why are you thanking God?"

"I have lost my donkey, and I am thanking God because if I were on it, I might have been lost."

The lesson from this story is that even if bad things happen, we should look at life in a positive way.


One day, Hodja had gone to his neighbor’s house to borrow a caldron. After one day he gave back the caldron with a small one in it. The neighbor had seen the small one, and he had asked him.

"What is this, Hodja?"

Hodja replied, "Your caldron gave birth to it." The neighbor was very happy when he heard Hodja`s answer.

Then, one day, Hodja had gone him to borrow the caldron again. This time, Hodja had not brought it back for days. The neighbor wondered what had happened. He had gone to Hodja`s house.

"Why did you not bring my caldron back, Hodja?" he asked.

"I am sorry, my dear neighbor, your caldron died yesterday. I could not tell you." He replied to Hodja angrily,

"That is impossible. Has a caldron ever died?" Hodja said,

"It can die, my dear neighbor, it can. Why do not you believe that as you believed that it could have a child?"

The lesson from this story might be that if you get an advantage from something, which you do not believe, but which you accept, you must expect that you can be faced with disadvantages as well.


A poor man with a piece of bread in his hand is walking on the street. He sees a restaurant. In front of the restaurant, some meat is being grilled. He is very hungry, and he smells the meat. Suddenly, he thinks, I can use the smell. He puts his bread over the meats. While he is doing that, the restaurant owner sees him and comes to near the poor man. He says, "Let’s go to the judge. you stole the smell of the my meat."

They go to the judge and tell him what happened. Nasreddin Hodja is the judge. He listens to them and gives the judgment. He takes his purse and shakes it. He asks the restaurant owner, "Do you hear the sound of the coins? This sound pays for the price of the smell of the meat. I am paying the bill instead of him."

The lesson for this story is the assignment for you. I want you to think about it and find out. Let’s think.

American Life

Nobuko Hirakawa
R/W 40

I have been staying in the U.S.A. for seven months, and I think American lifestyle is streamlined, especially eating habits. The supermarkets are very big and have many kinds of foods. There are many convenience foods, canned foods, frozen foods, etc. Many shops have cut vegetables that are fresh, canned or frozen, and there are sauces of many different tastes. We can cook a good tasting food if we don’t take a lot of time and energy.

If a wife uses convenience food for dinner in Japan, many people think she is a lazy wife. I think people are busy in present-day life. They have a job or study something. And if we use convenience foods or goods when we need to, we can save time and take more time for many things. Maybe someone wants to study more, another wants to take time for a hobby or another wants to rest.
I think all things shouldn’t be streamlined. There are many good things in traditional style. But there are advantages for our life if we streamline some part of our life. My impression of American life is not wasting time and money.

My New Friends

Yoonjae Sung
R/W 40

I have had 3 conversation partners. Their names are Jamie, Amie and Christina. Currently, I’m meeting Amie and Christina. Their majors are different. Jamie’s major is special education. Amie’s major is linguistics. Christina’s major is elementary education. I enjoy talking to them.

I became Jamie’s first conversation partner for her experience with a foreigner. Jamie is in senior year and she is already engaged. She has dated with her boyfriend for 6 years. Unlike young female student, she doesn’t like rock and heavy metal music. I think Jamie is a classical person.
Amie is an independent person. We always meet at Leonardo’s café. She is from southern Florida. In addition to her busy class schedule, she works at a restaurant around Oaks Mall as a bartender or waitress, and she sometimes does volunteer work. She likes quiet places like lakes. One time, she introduced me to a bar, but that bar was quite unlike other normal bars even if that place was so nice. At that time, I said to her, "You are so young, buy why do you like this place?" She laughed and replied, "This is just my style." Anyway, she is so kind to me and wants to continue to meet me. I like her.

Recently, I met Christina. Like Jamie, Christina met me as a foreigner for the first time. Because of that, she is a little shy. In other words, sometimes she doesn’t know what to do with me. She said that she wants to be a teacher at an elementary school. I hope she can be an excellent teacher.

Three young female college students, Jamie, Amie and Christina, are cherished by me. Experience with them will be in my heart for a long time. I truly hope that other ELI students have good relationships with their conversation partners, not fighters!

How to Avoid Getting Sick at the ELI

A Group Essay by R/W 55

It's horrible to get sick when you are away from home and there is no one to take care of you. Everyone is afraid of becoming sick, but fear is not a useful tool for avoiding contagious diseases. During the flu season, there are some simple precautions you can take to avoid getting sick, such as keeping a healthy lifestyle, avoiding sick people and taking some physical precautions.
Keeping a healthy lifestyle is very helpful if you want to avoid getting sick. First, you should always go to bed early. Getting a good night's sleep is necessary for your well-being because it keeps your body's defense system up. Eating well is also important. Eat every meal on time and drink a lot of water and juice. Good nutrition, eating a balanced diet including lots of fruits and vegetables and avoiding foods with large amounts of fat and sugar, is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Finally, it is you should exercise regularly and to be sure to give yourself time away from work. Recreation and relaxation will improve your overall physical and mental health.

Avoiding sick people is not as easy as you think, but sometimes it is necessary to stay away from them if you don't want to get sick yourself. You should avoid any physical contact such as kissing, touching and drinking from the same glass. Also, you should convince them to stay at home, but behave politely and try not to upset them or make them feel embarrassed. It is, however, important to distance yourself from people who have contagious diseases, even if it means hurting your friends' feelings.

Taking a few simple physical precautions can also help you to avoid getting sick. Try to stay warm and dry by wearing appropriate and sufficient clothing and use an umbrella when it is raining. Also, many hospitals and clinics offer inexpensive flu shots which can protect you from catching this highly contagious disease. However, the most important and easiest physical precautions you can take are to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes and mouth. This will decrease the possibility of infecting yourself with the germs that contaminate your physical surroundings.

In conclusion, to avoid getting sick, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle, stay away from sick people, and take some simple physical precautions. Remember, you have to take care of yourself when you are away from home and you are more susceptible to illness in a foreign country. This advice should help you stay healthy while you are here. Good luck!

Differences Between Relationships

Carlos M. Joniaux
R/W 45

There are many differences between Ecuador and U.S.A. These differences are huge in politics, economics, standard of living, etc., but I want to focus on the differences in the relationships, could be when they are boyfriend, dating, marriage and financial management.

First, in U.S.A., is very popular to live together before marriage, looking at the statistics we can see that more than half of the young men and women have already live together with a boyfriend. This cohabitation is a good way to avoid the risk of divorce, and also the couples who live together can share expenses and learn more about each other. In contrast, in Ecuador it is almost impossible for young couple to live together before marriage. If the couple decide to do that, all the rest of the people is going to do bad comments about your relation, doesn't matter if the cohabitation is a good way to know each other and avoid a possible divorce. In Ecuador the virgin women are very important in the most of the cases.

Second, when they finally decide to get married, in U.S.A., there isn't a specific rule about who have to pay for what in the wedding ceremony, but it is why popular to divide the money that they are going to spend in the whole party. However, in Ecuador it is very different, in the wedding there are some kind of rules to follow. For example, the women is who pay almost for everything, the food, the place for the celebration, the invitations, etc., and the men only have pay for the rings, the drinks, and the music.

And finally, when they have a family, here in U.S.A. both of them have to pay all the bills, and sometimes they have to have their children with a relative or maybe with a babysitter because they don't have enough time to be in home. In Ecuador, it is very different. Until now in a lot of cases the only person who has to work are the men because in Ecuador the people will think that the children have grow next to the mother. The women have to do all the housework, but by now it is changing, because the economic situation in Ecuador is very hard, so now both of them have to work.

Looking at these differences, they can have a nice and clear idea about the relationships in each country. Each one have good thing and bad thing, but it very depend on your customs, and also where did you grow because everything can affect your way to see the situations but they have now the options.

A Wonderful Surprise

Sonia Estrada
R/W 30

I left Gainesville for one week during Spring Break and, when I came back, I had a big, wonderful surprise. In only one week, the gardens and the trees had many beautiful flowers. In each garden of the city, the azaleas, petunias and dogwood were in full bloom.

Every morning when I go tot he ELI by bus, I see a special tree in front of the bus stop inside my complex. it’s special for me because, one week ago, all its branches seemed dry and brown and the tree didn’t have any leaves. I thought that this tree was dead. Many small birds flew around stand they, at he sometime, were standing in its branches. This image was so beautiful, it seemed like a picture.

Now the tree is green and it has many leaves and many white flowers. I admire the same view in the ELI garden.

It is the first time that I see a seasonal change and I arm very happy because I can admire this landscape. I love the flowers.

Although this event is normal for many people; however, for me, Gainesville after Spring Break is spectacular.

A Funny Accident

Kaoru Hoshino
R/W 30

While my husband and I were visiting in Key West, we had a funny, embarrassing accident.

When this accident happened, we had been in Key West for three days. One afternoon, when we came back to the hotel, we were very thirsty because of the strong sunshine. Then we started to drink very cold beer on the balcony. After five minutes, when we tried to open the window to bring out some snacks, we noticed that the window was locked. We locked ourselves on the balcony! Our room was on the third floor. We shouted to some men walking under the balcony. "Excuse me, excuse me. We are locked out. Could you call to the front desk?" One man noticed us. Then that man called to the front desk for us. After fifteen minutes, our room door was opened by the staff of the hotel. Next, they opened the window, and we could return to our room.

This accident was embarrassing, but we had fun. When we return to Japan, we will be reminded of this accident in our mind and laugh!

Latin American Music

Omaira Bolanos
R/W 30

Last February, at the University of Florida, the Center for Latin American Studies and the Center for World Arts, presented the Latin American Music and Dance Festival.

I think that every year Latin American music has been assuming more importance for North American people. Ten years ago, only a few people knew our music. But, little by little, in some cities like New York and Miami, some songs and singers became important and famous. Singers like Santana and Gloria Estefan have "opened the door" for others singers from Latin American. For example, now North American people know Ricky Martin and the group "Mana". These singers represent the modern music that young people like very much. Then the more important part of the Latin American Music and Dance Festival was the performance of traditional music like Mambo, Salsa, Tango and Samba. This music is a symbol of our history, our culture and our identity. It represents passion sensuality and romanticism: it expresses our feelings, some sad and some happy.

The Festival was a wonderful gift for North American and Latin American people. This too was a great opportunity to unite the people who come from different countries.


Sukru Ilhan
R/W 30

Family is a small piece of community; however, families create the community. If the structure of families is strong, the communities will be strong. As you know, people’s ideas always change, so their ideas about family change too. I think there are two kinds of families. The first one includes the mother, the father and the children. We can say it is a base form of the family or a seed family. However, the other kind of family is more general; it also includes the grandmother and the grandfather.

In my opinion, the different strength of families should indicate differences in the economic development of countries. Which countries have the strongest families? Those countries should have the strongest economies. However, as a Turkish citizen, I can say that there is no relationship between family structure and development. Turkey has very strong families, yet it is still developing. So, we can’t say that development is equal to strong families. On the other hand, other countries, which are still developing, have strong families. I think this seems like a contradiction. What do you think?

European Cars vs. American Cars

Enrique Armenta
R/W 45

There has been a deep war between the American and the European car industry throughout the 20th Century. They have both struggled to invent and improve technology and for a market share. In fact, there are some fundamental differences and objectives between these two industries. The European factories’ goals have been security, austerity, sober design and exclusive technology. While American factories’ goals have been comfort, luxury, showy design and technology for everybody.
Both styles have had a main objective: the European factories developed security as their main objective, while the Americans chose comfort instead of safety. For example: Volvo, the Sweden famous factory, was the first to implement the air bag and the side bag, to protect owner’s lives when the car crashes it. Today they have spreads throughout the car industry. On the other hand Ford and General Motors, through the Lincoln and Cadillac, put in to the market a perfect suspension system. This system makes driving very smooth. Safety and comfort are the new features right now.

European factories have characterized themselves by austerity. In general, the dashboard of the Citroen, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Seat and Renault are very simple. In contrast, Americans opted for luxurious styles in the interior. For example: Chrysler New Yorker, Cadillac, and Mercury Grand Marquis, among others. The austere styles are prevailing more than the luxurious for the new models. In consequence, Europeans have used a discreet deign and Americans have used a show design. Currently, the European design is more commercial in the world markets. Discreet design is more elegant.

Finally, the use of the technology is decisive in both industries, however, the European have been implemented high technology exclusively in top models. In contrast, the American factories have made popular the high technology applying it in all cars of their industry. The "disk break" is a good example that American industry used in almost every car. Other example is hydraulic steering. As Europeans only use it in the more expensive cars. High technology for popular cars is a hit for the last years.

In conclusion, both industries have contributed for the current competitive market. Furthermore, the joining of both industries is the future in that field. For example: Daimler Benz bought Chrysler. If we collect both styles, both technologies and both goals, we will have extraordinary products.

Thanks from the Editor

Wow! It’s amazing how much support I got for this issue of the Student Voices. There are so many people to thank for the success of this issue. To Noreen Baker, for procuring the gift certificates for the prizes. To the HUB, for providing the gift certificates. To Kent Trickel, for publicizing and publicizing the upcoming deadlines. To all the reading and writing teachers, for encouraging (however strongly) their students to submit their work. To Lynn Hazen and Susan Salminen, for volunteering their limited end-of-the-semester time to read and evaluate submissions. To Diane David, for taking care of the printing. To Gina Gugliazza, for being flexible about stuffing envelopes AND for stuffing them. To the students, your submissions were all excellent and creative. We have a wealth of talent at the ELI. Thanks to everyone. Patti


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