ELI STUDENT VOICES
Volume 8, Issue 3
Commencement Ceremony Speech
Ki Don Kim
Hi, everyone. Do you know my name? You seem so
happy now because the semester is finished and you will have a
long break time. Some people are going to go to New York or
their countries or stay in Gainesville and take care of the UF.
We have walked a long time but too fast. In the fall
semester, we had many great issues: 5 hurricanes, the Gators
had the first win against FSU since 1986, Christina's wedding,
and so on. Maybe the reason of these issues is why I am here.
I had to choose the English institute before I made a plan to
study abroad. That work was very difficult. However, I am
happy to meet the ELI at UF because you know, the ELI has a
good organized system.
First, the homepage of ELI is great. We can get the
information about the ELI and English studying. Probably, you
had contacted the ELI's homepage before you came here.
Second, teachers in the ELI are handsome and
beautiful. They have a variety of teaching methods and good
personalities. Also, I have always felt their great passion. If we
feel our improved ability, it is from their passion, especially, I
really thank my teachers now: Tina, Todd, Dr. Chan, James.
Third, I thank the ELI officers and managers. They
have always assisted our whole life in Gainesville. If we didn't
receive their help, we couldn't get housing, solve immigration
problems, understand the US cultures, and meet conversation
partners. I thank you again.
Fourth, if I skip these people, they are so angry and
sad. They are the LAs. (not Los Angeles but Language
Assistants). They are our close friends. They have spent a lot of
time with us, even weekends. They attended our party and we
drank together. Despite our poor speaking and listening ability,
they always listened carefully with patience. I suggest we give
our big applause to them.
However. I want to suggest to the ELI as follows:
First, when most students chose the ELI, we were just
introduced by family and friends. They attended the ELI or they
are UF students. This means that information from people is
important to us so the ELI has to focus on current and returning
students. If they receive good impressions from the ELI, they
spread the information of UF's ELI to their neighbors and
Second, the teacher has to develop teaching methods
and update teaching materials. The teacher is most important to
us because a good teacher gives the chance to improve a
student's ability and passion.
Another part, I want to say something to students.
First, you are great for me. The summer and fall
semester's students are great people. You always give me a
competitive sense and passion for studying. Also, I have felt
Before I came here, I had worked at a petrochemical
company for 5 years. When I made this plan to study abroad
and finished my job, my friends said, "Are you crazy?" You
know this meaning. I had to have some goal. I had to study with
clever young students so I made the scholarship my goal. That
goal helped my studying and sprit. You are so important people
for your parents, family, friends, and country so please love
yourselves, your time, and your goal.
Second, you paid the tuition about $3,000. This cost is
expensive for your country. Most students receive this money
from their parents. Please, don't be absent and tardy. Also,
please attend all activities. This action is important to maintain
your passion for English.
Third, don't forget your original purpose. If you want
to attend one more semester, you will have the same feeling in
the middle of next semester because you will be tired at that
time and many students may just waste time. If you want to
enter a university in the US, you have to focus on the academic
English. Indeed you should study for TOEFL. If you want to
improve just speaking ability, please don't ignore writing,
reading, and grammar class. Language is life and culture so we
have to study all sections of English.
Fourth, you are a diplomat of your country. This
means you have to take care of your life, speaking, and
personality. If you show you are a lazy, stupid, and rude person,
other people get s bad impression about you and your country.
Be careful. Again, you are an important private diplomat.
I'm so happy because I can finish two semesters safely
and my wife was very happy because she could save money. If
the ELI maintains and develops until 20 years later, I can bring
my son. I really want to keep in touch with the ELI and my
I remember that at the ceremony in the summer
semester Steve said, "This time isn't finishing. This time is a
new beginning." I like these words.
I want to finish my speaking by bowing for you. In
Korea, we normally bow to show respect for a person. I have
always respected you because you are my friends and my
teachers regardless of age.
Thank you everybody.
ELI Student Voices 1
Cultural Identity (1st Place)
Hsiao-Hsuan Liang (Linda)
My country, Taiwan, is a small island which lies
anchored off the coast of Mainland China. But actually, Taiwan
is not a country in the world at all. The reason why Taiwan is
not a country is because of politics. It's been almost 60 years
since Taiwan was politically separated from Mainland China.
Although our government, lifestyle, economic situation, and
political policies are totally different from Mainland China, we,
traditionally, have inherited the Chinese culture. Therefore,
under the military and economic force of Mainland China,
Taiwan becomes a part of Mainland China, from their point of
view, and it's no more a country that has its own culture. Not
only does Mainland China have influences on Taiwan, but also
the US affects Taiwan. We are in between Mainland China and
the US. We often can't make our own decisions, or once we
make a decision, we need to be approved by Mainland China or
the US. If Mainland China is unsatisfied by our decision-
making, we are going to be under the threatening military
rehearsals. This really depresses people in Taiwan and makes
people in Taiwan afraid of telling what they really want.
In order to survive this sticky situation, our governors,
even our people, are used to pleasing whoever has strong power
or strong effects on us. As a result, we lose our cultural identity
in some way. We always accept all kinds of cultures, such as
American culture and Japanese culture, but we never try to
create or develop our own culture. Moreover, we don't know
whether exactly "Taiwanese culture" exists or not.
Recently, I have been thinking about "What's my
nationality?" and "Am I a Chinese or a Taiwanese?" a lot.
Especially when I go abroad, some documents and papers that I
need to fill in always make me feel confused. Should I write
down "Republic of China" or "Taiwan" in the nationality? Is
Taipei our "capital" or "main city"? I feel sad about this
situation. I really want to see this condition changed. In my
mind, I want to be a Taiwanese who can say out loud my
"country" name, who can sing the national anthem in
international formal occasions, and who can see the national
flag in the other countries. Despite the political influence, I am
still proud of being a Taiwanese. We speak Chinese and some
dialects, we have traditional Chinese way of thinking, we have
long Chinese history, and we are willing to receive new
cultures. We have produced a certain mixed culture. Nowadays,
we are trying very hard to gather our people who may speak
different dialects together to live a better and more respectful
life. Only by doing this, can we earn respect from other
countries all around the world and really become a part of the
When I attempt to explain and describe my cultural
identity, I come up with confusion. I even don't know how to
start or how to make people understand who I am and what kind
of place Taiwan is. I only know about the paradox of being a
country that is not a country. Eventually, I understand the
reason why I can't just say what makes me a Taiwanese. It's
because the history of Taiwan is so young that we are still in the
process of establishing a new culture in which everyone is more
open-minded, accepting, and open to change. Besides, we are
always questioning and curious about everything. All these
features included, a unique culture combining traditional and
modern is being founded. That is, Taiwanese culture is a brand
new culture developing just like an unfinished book in need of
being continued. I hope Taiwan can create an own-style hybrid
culture of which every Taiwanese will be proud in the future.
The Curse of the Bambino
Takahiro // hil
"The Bambino forgives Boston," said lots of Boston
Red Sox fans on October 27th, 2004 at Bush Stadium in St.
Louis, Missouri. "The Idiots," which are Boston's players'
nickname, won the World Series, and became the world
champions. They have not been the world champions for 86
Babe Ruth, George Herman Ruth, was known most
by Americans as a legendary home run batter in Major League
Baseball (MLB). There are many legends about his play, which
have been passed from person to person for a long time, and
never forgotten among lots of baseball fans. The term
"Bambino" relates to Babe Ruth. It means baby. Today, I want
to introduce you to the curse of the Bambino.
He had played in Boston from 1914 to 1920. While
playing in Boston, he led the team 3 times to the World Series.
At the time, he was also famous as a pitcher. He had played as
both pitcher and batter. His pitching records were unbelievable.
He played 3 times as a pitcher in the 1915, 1916, and 1918
World Series and contributed to getting the world champion
rings for Boston. His pitching at the World Series was excellent
because he went without losing 29 2/3 innings straight.
Baseball fans were surprised by Ruth's trade in the
1920 postseason. Ruth was traded from Boston to the Yankees.
He was sold off for $ 425,000 to the Yankees. It was surprising.
It was said that in those days that Boston's owner, Hurry Fraser,
needed money for show business in New York City.
After being traded to the Yankees, he developed the
art of batting. He hit 54 home runs in 1920. In 1927, he broke
his own personal record and hit 60 home runs. This season
home run record was not broken until 1961 by Roger Maris of
the Yankees. He won the home run king title 11 times in 13
seasons from 1919 to 1931. After getting Ruth from Boston, the
Yankees totally changed. The Yankees had never been the
world champions until 1923. Since they first became
champions, they have been world champions 26 times. On the
other hand, Boston had never again won the championship
since Ruth's trade in 1920. They led the World Series 5 times
since 1920, but they never won. People began to say that
Boston was cursed by Ruth. It has been called the curse of Ruth
or the curse of the Bambino.
I present 3 facts to prove the curse of the Bambino.
The first was the play-offs in 1978. Boston and the Yankees
each had 99 wins and 66 losses, and played for the
championship of the American League east division. Bucky
ELI Student Voices 2
Dent of the Yankees hit a home run in 7th inning. This home run
gave victory to the Yankees. Until Bucky hit the home run,
Boston had led by 2-0, and the dream of Boston was crushed.
That year the Yankees shone as the world champions. The
second was game 6 of the 1986 World Series. It was
unbelievable. Boston was winning until two outs in the 10th
inning against the New York Mets. However, the curse was
alive. A Mets batter hit, and the ball rolled in front of the first
baseman, Bill Buckner, who let the ball go through his legs. In
fact, Boston was defeated good-bye. Therefore, the truth of this
curse increased. The third incident was the 2003 American
League Championship. For 8 innings in game 7, Boston had led
by 5-2 against the Yankees. It became a desperate struggle.
Boston's ace pitcher, Pedro Martinez, tied the game. The way to
the World Series was shut down for Boston after 11 innings by
the game-ending homer of Aaron Boon of the Yankees. These
were called the curses of the Bambino.
Boston has positively tried to break the curse in the
2003 postseason. In the 2004 season, Boston's players called
themselves "idiots." They tried to change team personality from
smart to wild, strong, and idiotic. This means that they got the
championship ring, even though their plays were neither elegant
nor fair. During the season, they kept playing in a greedy way.
Especially against the Yankees, they played violently and
wildly. On July 24th, the game was very violent because they
quarreled because of a bean ball. Both teams fought violently.
As a result, the commissioner suspended some players for a
couple of games. Boston really wanted to break the curse.
Boston had more wins than losses against the Yankees.
Actually Boston won eleven games and lost eight games in the
regular season. However, the season ranking was second. Of
course, the Yankees were first. People said, "The curse is still
alive." However, Boston was not eliminated because they could
be in the playoffs as a wild card. They could get the chance
again to beat the Yankees and the curse.
Both teams smoothly won the first round of the
playoffs, and on October 12, 2004, they fought again in the
American League Championship series. This game was their
20th game this season. Boston's players were confident. Every
player was triumphant. The regular season result against the
Yankees gave them confidence. They also were enthusiastic to
beat the Yankees. However, the Yankees stood strong and
wanted to beat Boston's dream. Boston's pitching staff
collapsed against a strong offense, and they lost 3 games in a
row. Most people thought that Boston was beaten once again,
but they again became alive like a zombie. After losing three
games straight, they won 4 games straight. A victorious goddess
helped Boston. Cart Schilling, the game 2 starter pitcher, also
came out as a starter in game 6. When he played game 2, he
was knocked out completely. In this game, he broke his right
ankle, and his injury was very serious. His teammates had
already abandoned him in this league champion series because
his ankle was cut, and around his ankle was blood. However, he
entreated Boston's manager to play. He just believed in his
strength and Boston's triumph. The 2004 American League
Champion Series "miracle" was accomplished with four
wonderful successive victories. The last four games were very
tough. The players of both teams fought until they exhausted all
of their energies. It is remembered as a one of the best series of
the MLB playoffs.
Boston finally got to the World Series. They fought the St.
Louis Cardinals. In the 2004 World Series, the Boston Red Sox
showed the fans their overwhelming strength. With the first
game, and afterward they overwhelmed St. Louis. Their
strength was conspicuous. St. Louis was absolutely helpless.
Boston swept St. Louis. And, on October 27th, the curse of the
Bambino dissolved. October 27th, 2004 became one historical
day in the American baseball.
Studies have found that somewhere in-between 30 and
40% of American college students are cohabitating at any given
time. Cohabitation was not a big deal until the late 60s. It
actually came along with liberation. It was the result of the
sexual revolution movement among young people, and they
started to neglect the traditional tenet that is "You do not live
together until you get married." However, it is not always
considered good thing to do because for many years we do not
think it is the right thing to do. I am opposed to cohabitation,
especially young couples'. My opinion about cohabitation is not
based on morals but is based on experience which I got when I
saw young couples' ones and studies.
If we ask young cohabitating couples why they live
together, they might say that they live together to practice
marriage. To determine compatibility is very important to
cohabitating couples as well as married couples; however, to
find successful marriages from cohabitating couples are rare.
Only one couple out of five who cohabitate ends up getting
married. What happens to the couples who cohabitate before
they get married? They have an 85% higher divorce rate. It
means only 3% of cohabitation ends up in successful marriage.
They have twice the rate of violence, physical abuse and
infidelity than a married couple. Interestingly, according to
studies, when we ask cohabitating couple whether they are
going to get married, the overwhelming response of girls is
"Yes!" but guys' is "No!" The young men's number one reason
for cohabitation is readily available sex. Men tend to take a
relationship much more casually and accept sex as just part of
the friendship while women take the relationship very seriously
and accept sex as being 'the wife.'
Another reason for cohabitating couple is money
because it is cheaper. They say they are going to split expenses
50/50, but studies have found that women support men. They
spend more than 70% of the money in their cohabitating
relationships. Her money tends to go for rent, food and things to
support their relationship, and his money tends to go for his
personal things and things that what he wants to do. His money
is 'his,' and her money is 'ours.'
The last reason why young people live together is sex
roles and division of labor. Even though most young people
want an egalitarian marriage, studies have found that in reality
most cohabitating relationships move into traditional role
ELI Student Voices 3
patterns. Male dominant, female submissive. Women find
themselves doing the laundry, cleaning, cooking, washing
dishes, etc., something that contradicts an egalitarian marriage.
She is doing whatever he wants her to do, and there is going to
be a conflict.
Cohabitation is good for him but not for her. It is a
really economical and convenient relationship for guys, and
they do tend to take their relationship less seriously than
women. The other problem of cohabitation is lie. They are
always on edge whether their parents find out their relationship,
so sometimes the whole of their relationship turns out a lie.
When this relationship ends, the person feels lost, abused and
used. They often are left in an extreme state of rejection,
devaluation and loss of self esteem. When married couples get
divorced, there is a legal structure to protect them; on the other
hand, there is not any legal protection or legal right for
cohabitating couples. They just chose to live together, and now
they choose not to.
I don't think there are too many differences between
cohabitation and marriage except for legal paper, but the legal
paper itself makes people much more serious about their
relationship. I want to recommend to young couples not to
cohabitate. Cohabitation is not a winning position, especially
for young women. They don't have to contribute more money,
labor, and faith to support their not even married relationships.
The man whom you live with doesn't even think about the
marriage with you.
Thai's Cultural Identity
Thunwarat Pimukmanaskit (Bee)
Are you an American? Are you a Westerner? Are you
an Oriental? Are you an Asian? How can you explain to other
people who you are? Sometimes it's not so easy to find an exact
answer and reason. Although there are some general icons that
are used for identifying your culture such as religion, language,
geography, race, tradition or history, only some icons influence
Thai's cultural identity.
For me, the most powerful icon that shows Thai's
cultural identity is the Thai language. Hundreds of years ago
King Ramkhamhaeng the Great created the Thai alphabet from
the Old Khmer script, a southern Brahmic script. At that time
we had 44 consonants, 28 vowels and 4 tone marks. Because of
the combination of tonality, orthography, relational markers,
grammar and phonology, it is so difficult for foreigners, even
Thais, to learn Thai language.
Actually, there are many cultures in Thailand. In the
North, there are ancient tribes who have been living there for a
long time before there was Thailand. In the South, there are
Thai Muslims--like Malaysia, our neighbor. Then the Thai
government divided administration into 4 regions: Central,
Northern, Northeastern and Southern. Also, most of the Thais
are mutts; mixing Thai with Chinese identity, because of
immigration since a very long time ago. As a result, there are
many linguistic and cultural diversities; differences in foods,
music and costumes.
Most of the Thais, even our royalty, are Buddhist. Its
teachings have a lot of influence on Buddhists. A lot of Thais
have at least a small image of the Buddha or a famous priest.
We are taught to be open-minded, to be logical, to avoid sin, to
accept changes, etc. When we were high school students, we
had to learn about Buddha's teachings in our curriculum. We
have many Buddhist public holidays. For example, on Buddhist
Lent day, Makabucha day and Visakabucha day, a lot of
Buddhists will go to Thai temples to give alms and listen to
preaching. However, there are some Thais who are Christians
and Muslims, especially in the south of the country.
The last point that presents Thai's cultural identity is
royalty. We have used the institution of monarchy for more than
700 years, and we have never been controlled by other colonies.
We have a constitution which even our king has to follow. Now
our king has a lot of influence on Thais. Everyone respects,
loves and reveres this king. You can see this in theaters. Before
a movie starts, everyone has to stand up to pay respect to the
King of Thailand. In addition, every morning and evening we
will hear the Thai anthem from media such as a TV and radio.
Our king and queen's birthdays are public holidays, and we will
have big celebrations on those days. Also, Thailand has many
holidays for commemorating our royal dynasty, the Chakri
dynasty, such as Chakri day and coronation day.
Besides language, religion and royalty, there are other
factors that can identify Thai's culture. Some cultures have
already disappeared into time. Some cultures were also affected
by other cultures. However, we should understand those
cultures and screen which cultures are suitable to our country.
Don't accept everything!!
Success and Luck
Ki Don Kim
There is no correlation between success and luck.
Success refers to one's ability to achieve the superior part of his
or her goals in a lifetime, which in turn leads to a correlation
between success and income since the accomplishment of such
a natural goal as to provide a good future for one's loved ones
demands the means. What is the simplest and most lawful way
to earn enough to be considered a successful person? People
have to receive a good education and find a good job. Both
receiving an education and making a career presuppose one's
readiness to work hard, and success without hard work is
simply not possible for the vast majority of the world's
First of all, considering an education and a career as
key factors of success, one will choose to pursue a degree from
a college or a university. One wishing to be admitted to the
university will have to take several tests. If people want to be so
lucky, people have to know something. People could pass the
test with a high score. A low score means failure, and that test
taker will not likely be admitted. Therefore, in order to be
successful, one should prepare for the tests and work hard,
because a good education will provide people with a good job
and an opportunity to accomplish some of people's goals and
ELI Student Voices 4
dreams. In my lifetime, I have never met a person who could
graduate from college without studying hard.
Secondly, it is impossible to make a career if one is
lazy and lacking knowledge, at least in developed countries.
Luck plays no role in achieving this success. Even if people are
unbelievably lucky enough to become a manager though not
being qualified enough, people will be asked to resign in the
near future because of inability due to lack of knowledge and
experience to make correct decisions. For instance, my friend
used to work for a very small company owned by his uncle.
This company was later closed because of the bankruptcy. The
cause of bankruptcy was wrong strategies and decisions made
by the owner. After the failure, my friend went to a university
and worked for another company so that he could obtain
experience and become a successful businessman. Nowadays,
my friend considers himself a successful person because he had
turned his two biggest dreams of producing consumer goods of
high quality and making charitable donations to needy people
Thirdly, sometimes, people want to make a big fortune
at one stroke, so they buy lottery, horse racing ticket, and
gamble in Las Vegas. However, we can't see many people who
get a lot of money by lottery, horse racing ticket, and gambling.
Needless to say, they can get money first, but they have greed
and then squander their money or run into debt. Finally, they
lose their money, family, health, job, dream, and so on. We can
see this story from neighbors and mass media. We have to
control our thinking about success. We just have to keep a
rightful mind and do our best. Most people like free material,
time, and so on because people don't like to work and study
hard. In the Bible, we can see the following sentence: who
doesn't work, doesn't eat. We were made to work hard for life.
We can get a lot of money by all methods, but people must
know the rightful methods for success and earning.
In sum, as long as people understand success as an
ability to turn some of his or her dreams and goals into reality,
people will have to work hard because people will need money.
People's chances to earn that money will increase remarkably if
people graduate from a college and make a career. All of these
things are simply not possible without hard work. Luck has no
place in such a scheme of events.
My Friends' Betrayal
When I was a little kid, four years old, there was a
dangerous incident which made me feel that I was betrayed.
At that time, I lived in a small, poor town with a small
river, not so deep but deeper than my height. On the riverside,
there was an irrigation water pipe, pumping water from the river
to the fields. My several friends lived there. I was the only kid
who had a bicycle in the town. My friends envied me, so I often
helped them to ride on my bicycle, one by one. One day, I went
out in order to play with the bicycle. Many friends had gathered
and I was riding around the town. When I was passing by the
river, a water pipe was about to fall into the river. I thought that
I would block its fall and told my friends to help me. We went
there and tried to pull the machine with our best effort, but it
didn't move at all. So I went to the back of it and pushed the
machine. Suddenly, I was shocked by the strong electric power.
I felt that I was hovering in the air for about ten seconds. Then I
fell down into the river. I could not swim at all. Although
nobody helped me, I came out of the water by myself with
much effort. I have no idea how I came out the river and how
much time I spent in escaping from the stream. At that moment,
I could not see my friends. I went home and put new clothes on;
then, I came out and looked for my friends and my bicycle.
When I found them, I saw that my friends were just playing
with the bicycle. I thought that they had not cared about me. I
felt that they betrayed me.
After the incident, I didn't think about it again for long
time. But whenever I recall the incident, I wonder why they did
not help me. I think that they should have helped or cared for
me. It is a bad memory from my childhood days.
Complication Between Different Genders
Kamolwan Paramee (Joy)
We often see men and women fight for various
reasons. Women think their boyfriends don't understand what
they want while men think their girlfriends talk too much.
Women usually say men don't listen to them while men say
women think too much. At the waiting area in a mall people
who use a couch or a bench are usually men. The opposite is
true at a store with sales: most of people are women who are
trying to find clothes at cheap prices while men stand beside
them or sit on a small chair waiting for them. Women can talk
all day while men don't know what they should talk about. All
of these activities happen because of the effect of nature and
nurture in men and women which lead to different ideas of
communication, interests, etc.
"You just don't understand" is commonly spoken
between men and women. Most of the time, it is because of a
communication problem between them. The problems arise
from the different styles between men and women when they
are speaking and listening. According to Tannen's study
"Intimacy and Independence," women tend to be more
concerned with intimacy and men focus more on independence.
Men always think communication is a tool to preserve their
independence, hence men speak less. Women use
communication to build closeness and intimacy, hence women
speak more. Men think a best friend is one who he can do
things with while women think a best friend is one who they
can sit and talk with anytime. As I already mentioned, women
use talking as a tool for closeness and intimacy with friends or
their loved ones but it doesn't apply to men. This makes men
misunderstand why their women constantly talk and talk. All
these facts remind me of a picture of a man sitting and reading a
newspaper while his wife continuously talks at the breakfast
Another style that women use when they talk is
"problem talk." Women always talk about problems, problems
ELI Student Voices 5
about their friends, family, job etc. Communication is
represented as a connection for women. She expects her man to
tell his problems while she tells her problems. That makes her
feel close to him. But for men, "problem talk" is seen as an
advice so he gives only the solution for that problem. This kind
of answer makes a woman feel like a man tries to cut her off
from a conversation or a man just wants to get away from her
problem. Compared to a woman, a man thinks when he gives a
solution for the problem he is supportive and he doesn't know
that she is trying to encourage him to join and share himself
with her. This kind of communication also causes dissent
between them. For example, after a man listens to the problem
he will give a solution or advice to his partner. However,
women still talk, sticking to the same problem and avoid or
dismiss the advice. Men become confused and angry at the end.
As a result, you can hear a man say "women complain all the
time." This man thinks women are experts at talking about
nothing while a woman thinks men don't care about her since
men don't talk the way that makes her feels close to them.
In addition, men and women have different interests.
One obvious different interest is the way they think towards
shopping. For men, shopping is a thing that they don't want to
do at all. Some men are saved from shopping by their wives or
girlfriends but some men aren't. They still need to go shopping
for themselves. For men, shopping is "task oriented," go to a
store, buy the item and then leave. They never ask themselves
questions like "Do they really need this item?" or "Should I buy
it now or wait until it's on sale?" Women tend to treat shopping
as a sport that they enjoy to play. Men will buy a special
present at the last minute. They will go to a store and look for
the present that was already wrapped or ready to go. Men spend
less time in shopping but spend more money while women use
more time but spend less money. There is a saying for this kind
of activity, "She signs the cards and he signs the checks."
According to Entrepreneur magazine by Scott S. Smith, "60%
of men who take jeans into a fitting room end up buying them,
compared with just 25% of women," and "86% of women look
at price tags when they shop, compared with 72% of men."
However please keep it in mind that there are also some men
who like to shop and some women who don't.
We know that shopping is the thing that men loathe to
do. But there are some exceptions. They like "boy stuff' such as
electronics or computers, etc. Referring to the research
conducted by Stacy "men like shopping provided they're going
out to buy a Learjet or a Porsche or a Computer or
something-a toy for a boy," showing that men also take
interest in shopping for certain types of products. However this
doesn't mean women don't like to shop for these kinds of
products. Women also like to shop for electronics, computers or
"boy stuff'. Therefore there is a small difference between men
and women in buying things like TVs. Men want to get a
bigger, wider TV screen because they mainly just want to
replace the old one. Compared to men, women care more about
the price, ease of use and compatibility so women prefer
warranty products while men don't care maybe because men
like to fix things.
Finally, numerous research articles and books have
been written relating to the different genders with all of them
drawing a conclusion that men and women speak different
languages. In order to overcome these problems they just need
to understand, respect the differences and similarities between
men and women. Since they live in the same world they have
the same fears, desires and needs. They need to understand their
opposite partners and at the same time they also need to be
understood by the opposite genders. Everything that is related
to the emotions or feelings is certainly not easy to understand
because of all the complications. Therefore "We just need to
understand," should be the key words to make a good and
lifelong relationship between men and women.
The US Presidential Election
Chaiwat Sill i/,it i
Last month before the Presidential Election Day in the
United States, I learned a lot about US politics in class. I was
really excited and was also lucky because the presidential
election is held once every four years. I wanted President
George W. Bush to win this election. Because, in fact, he did
many things--Iraq wars, big economic problems- so some
people said "He made a mistake". If he is still president, he can
prove himself, which he did well. In other words, I thought that
Senator John Kerry was not strong enough; he had no power to
dominate the country; therefore, I did not support him.
An election campaign on television was shown with
both candidates; they were interested in talking about their
policies and strategies to persuade people to vote for them. I
sometimes saw supporters at street intersections where they
held election signs and asked drivers to press their horns and to
vote for them. The election campaigns in the US are different
from Thailand-there are a lot of view boards beside roads,
trees or buildings and you could see huge pictures in Thailand.
I watched the presidential debate two times with my
cousin who had so much knowledge about US politics; it was a
new experience for me since my country didn't have debates
that were very formal like in US. In my opinion, the debate was
a good way to illustrate and discuss about their policies as well
as attitudes. People could understand the view of persons who
were running for the president and then they could make a
decision when voting. In the presidential debate, I thought that
President Bush did not feel comfortable and also he jumped to
answer questions many times. Maybe he was really angry
because all the time Senator Kerry said to him that he did
everything wrong and he was not suitable to be a president. And
President Bush could not respond well in everything he did.
Senator Kerry was more comfortable and more confident to
answer questions; he spoke clearly and slowly as well as he
showed that he had sufficient abilities to be president as well.
On other hand, the vice presidential debate between Vice
President Cheney and Senator Edwards was very significant,
too. Cheney, who had served the government many terms, had
so much experience; therefore, he could speak to convince
people to vote for Republicans easier than Edwards could to
vote for Democrats. However, Edwards looked younger and
more handsome as well as having a very wonderful speech; he
ELI Student Voices 6
did not have such strong arguments that convinced people to
vote Democratic. I believed that both of the debates did not
change adult people's minds when voting because they had
already made decisions to support either the Republicans or the
Democrats. Teenage people who were new supporters could
change the direction of the election. The debates and the
campaigns were influential for them.
Near Election Day, both President Bush and Senator
Kerry traveled to many places, especially the battleground
states-for instance Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Those
states were significant for both candidates because people did
not exactly decide who they were going to vote for, so there
were many big fights in those states. For example, President
Bush, Vice President Cheney and Senator Edwards came to
Gainesville for their campaigns. They were surprising people in
Gainesville because no President had come here for a long time.
It was a good opportunity to participate in the US Election;
unfortunately I did not have time to go to see them; I had to
study for both TOEFL and GRE very hard because I did not
pass them yet.
In my opinion, I was quite sure that most people and
students in Gainesville supported the Democrats since I saw
many people with Kerry's buttons or Kerry's stickers on their
bags. Also my classmates did not like President Bush because
of the Iraq war, so they were against him to be president again
and they supported Senator Kerry to win in this election.
Two days before Election Day, I studied about "How
to be a voter" and "How to become a president" in the US. It
was definitely different from my country; in Thailand, we did
not need to register before voting and another thing, the ballot
was easier to vote than in the US; we use a number to refer to
candidates. I thought the ballot in the US was complicated for
people who did not have such knowledge about politics;
however, I liked the early voting idea because if you were busy
on Election Day, you could vote before Election Day. The last
thing I learned was that voters did not directly choose the
president. They chose electors to select the president in the
Electoral College for them. That means the popular vote was
not necessary to be the president while in Thailand, we count
the popular vote.
On Election Day I was watching the result of the
election with my cousin; we discussed who was going to win.
We were very excited; we followed the result until midnight.
Finally President Bush won in both the popular vote and the
electoral vote, but we have to wait for the vote in the Electoral
College to make sure who will be the president.
I believe that there were many people who were
disappointed in this election; however, they could not change
anything. The popular vote shows that many American people
really wanted President Bush to still be the President. Even
though the President was going to be either President Bush or
Senator Kerry, it is not too important because both of them
want to develop the US, take care of the American people and
help other countries; they have the same goal.
I learned much about US culture, especially about the
election, thanks to my teacher who gave us such knowledge and
many election activities in our class.
"I Can Do Everything I Want to Do"
Most people have opportunities to make their lives
better. These opportunities help people to improve. I had an
opportunity like this also. This happened during my first month
in the South Korean army, and I learned, "I can do everything I
want to do."
I have three older sisters. They are very kind.
Therefore, before I went to the army, I always depended on my
sisters. Also, when I had trouble, they always helped me. For
example, when I could not do my homework, they helped me to
do my homework.
When I was 19 years old, I went to the army. When I
went to my company in the army, I was chosen as an
administration soldier. Administration soldiers always need
good typing ability, but I had poor skills only 60 hits/min. (In
South Korea, typing skill is measured by hits per minute, not by
words per minute as in the US.) Therefore, I could not work
quickly enough so my work piled up continuously and my
supervisor kept rushing me; he would say, "Hurry up, hurry
up!!" He told me that I seemed to be a "turtle." I was very tired
because I slept only 3 hours a night for 2 weeks so I asked my
supervisor to help me. However, he refused that and he said,
"This is your work." If my sisters had been next to me, they
would have helped me. I missed my sisters and I recognized
there was nobody to help me.
However, I changed my attitude and I thought, "I can
do this." For 2 weeks, I practiced typing while reducing my
sleeping time. I discovered a new fact: my ability was rapidly
increasing. After 1 week, I got better 300 hits/min and after 2
weeks more, I got up to 400 hits/min. So, I had self-confidence
and I could do other work well, also. Finally, I got a good score
at inspection and I got 5 holidays as a reward.
Now, I don't depend on my sisters. Whenever I have
trouble, I think about this occasion. So I fix my problems by
myself. I can do everything I want to do.
Critical Period Hypothesis and the Limit
in Second Language Learning
Language is a tool that allows people to communicate
with one another. When people learn their language in their
young age, they seem to acquire how to use it naturally. If you
have any experience observing children's language using
process, you might think they can learn language without any
effort, but it is not true. When they start speaking, they repeat
Most discussions about age and acquisition center on
the question of whether there is a critical period for language
acquisition: a biologically determined period of life when
language can be acquired more easily and beyond which time
language is increasingly difficult to acquire (H. Douglas Brown,
ELI Student Voices 7
2000). In my opinion, it is true that acquisition of first language
is totally applied to Critical Period Hypothesis, whereas
learning a second language can only be partly applied to the
Some linguistic researchers noted early learning
second language is a better way to acquire a language like
native speakers. However, upon reviewing the research on age
and accent acquisition, we know about powerful evidence of a
critical period for accent and pronunciation, but for accent and
pronunciation only! Pronunciation of a language is not by any
means the sole criterion for acquisition, nor is it really the most
CPH (Critical Period Hypothesis) has led some to
assume, incorrectly, that by the age of twelve or thirteen you are
"over the hill" when it comes to the possibility of successful
second language learning. According to some neurological
theories: for example, Stephen Krashen's theory (1973) that the
development of the charge-language part in the left brain
finishes by the age of 5, CPH has limits to explain successful
second language learning.
As another support idea, we can see Genesee's theory
(1982). He found support for the participation of the right brain
in the complex language process. Adult learners, especially,
might have benefits from more encouragement of right-brain
activity in the classroom context. Ausubel (1963) claimed that
adult learners have such significant cognition ability that they
can acquire second languages easier than children. In short, they
showed difficulty in learning a second language not because
they missed the chance of critical period, but they didn't
Finally, the learning of a language doesn't mean only
pronunciation or accent. Some people might still be afraid of
speaking a second language with native speakers. And they
might think the reason they can't speak fluently is because of
their age or that they didn't learn like native children. But, they
should think about their behavior before blaming their age.
Even adult learners have the ability to learn second languages if
they want. It doesn't matter whether they are old or not. Be
confident when you speak another language. Adult learners
have a possibility to successfully learn second languages
because their right brain can help their learning process!
My Cultural Identity
Diana M. Mejia
If I ask myself who am I the first thing that comes to
my mind is my country, the place where I came from, in which
I grew up and formed myself as a person. I think it is not going
to be easy to define myself as a person as if I was enclosed in a
frame; however, I still could outline some factors that can tell
others about me and define a part of the qualities and features
that express who am I. Basically I can enumerate some factors
as following: geography, weather, culture, history, and
Geography is definitely an important factor because it
is the place where I was born and I grew up. Located in
Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, and
bordering the North Pacific Ocean, Colombia is a beautiful
country that is very appreciated by tourists. My country has a
tropical rainforest, fertile valleys, snow-covered mountains,
white-sand beaches and astounding architectural treasures built
by the ancient Indians. Cali, the city where I was born, is a
major commercial and industrial center where sugar, coffee,
cotton, bananas, rice and, corn are raised. All of these exist
because of the tropical weather typical in a torrid-zone country.
Weather is a second factor. There is not just one kind
of weather in Colombia. We have a diversity of weathers. We
have no seasons, or maybe we could say we have winter and
summer, but there is not a special definition about when the
winter begins or when the summer finishes. The weather is
tropical; warm in some places especially the ones close to the
coasts and cooler in the highlands. The tropical weather
identifies and defines us as a warm, joyful and friendly people.
Agriculture, economy, industry and culture are defined because
of the weather, even our ways of dressing.
Another important factor is culture, in which I will
include language. Spanish is the principal language in my
country. It was introduced by missionaries and it defines us as
Latin People. Also arts, like music, are important characteristics
that define Colombian culture. Salsa style music and dancing
are symbols of unity and national pride, especially in my city,
Cali, famous for "La Feria de Cali", which is a special feast that
we celebrate during Christmas (five days) and we have many
kinds of events like concerts, parades, competitions, bull
baiting, food selling, sports and of course, music. "Every self-
respecting calefio (from Cali) must participate in 'La Feria de
Cali"', is one of our quotes. Cali's Feria is very famous in the
whole country. Many compatriots from other cities like Bogota
and Medellin take advantage of this event to visit Cali, enjoy
parties and meet friends. Besides Cali's Feria other carnivals,
arising from Europe culture, are famous in cities like
Barranquilla, Manizales and Pasto. No one can escape from
enjoying parties because we have them everywhere in different
year's epoch. Entertainment and culture, principal objectives of
these celebrations, define us as a friendly, warm, and cheerful
History, a crucial factor too long to come out in a short
essay, is what gave us our identity. The place we name
Colombia was inhabited in ancient times (before 1500) by some
tribes that came from North and Central America and
established their homes in different places in South America.
The most outstanding ones were named Tayrona, Sinfi, Muisca,
Quimbaya, Calima and, San Agustin. The richness of these
native people attracted some Hispanic colonizers who came to
our lands to establish their residences there. For example, Cali
was founded in 1536 by a Hispanic settler called Sebastian de
Thanks to that combination between Hispanics and
American Indians, which occurred more than 500 years ago,
various racial groups descended: Indians, black, and whites,
which were mixed together to originate mestizos (50% of the
population), whites (25%o), and mulattoes, zambos, black and
Indians with the remaining percentage. Therefore our physical
appearance, defined by skin and hair color, hair texture, face
ELI Student Voices 8
and body shape is a combination from all of these mixes. With
those things in mind it is not going to be difficult for others to
recognize us as a Latin people.
All of those factors mentioned above provide a good
profile about Colombia and its people. Significant aspects like
diversity, history, origin, and culture define what we are, our
ways of feeling, and our ways of thinking. In spite of the hard
crisis we are facing which is weakening our identity, we are
energetic, idealistic, joyful, positive-minded and proud, who
certainly will have someday our desirable peace.
Ki Don Kim
Some people are ready to quit easily when they cannot
endure the difficulties of some work or cannot find a way to
finish the required task. Those kind of people usually become
upset and disappointed of failure and lose their self-confidence
that they can really get the work done. On the other hand, there
are people who become more confident, organized and hard
working when they experience some difficulties. In my view,
the second type of people are more willing to succeed in life,
have a betterjob, and enjoy many friends. The motto "never,
never give up" is very important in people's lives because those
people who follow it can survive almost everything and take the
opportunities of the next step in their lives.
First of all, a positive attitude can help a person to
survive and live with some disease or when he suffers an
inconvenient situation or disaster. In fact, many people endure a
disease or obstacles that put them in a desperate situation.
However, only ones with a positive view and unbelievable hope
make the difference and find a way to overcome their
disabilities and continue to live and enjoy life. On the other
hand, people who lose hope and give up end in awful situations
and are more inclined to addiction to alcohol and drugs or
Second, a strong positive attitude can help a person to
make bigger career. From my observation, people who do not
quit because of some obstacles but keep working make
inevitable progress in their job and studies. For example,
students with positive attitude who fail a quiz or do not do well
on an important test are more willing to try again and do well
the next time. This is true for the working people too. Indeed,
many executive managers save their almost bankrupt company
and success primarily because they do not quit.
In conclusion, believing in a second chance is very
important for an individual because we live in a constant
changeable society that forces us to endure many difficulties in
our studies, complicated situations in ourjobs, unexpected
events like car accidents or a disease or natural disasters. There
is not insurance that can save us of from happening of these
things. However, the attitude of never give up can help us to
endure and overcome the difficulties and make a progress and
achieve our goals.
Toothpaste: Luck or Superstition
I have always felt lucky since I was a kid especially
when I needed luck a lot. When I was in the military in
Taiwan, I worked as an emergency rescuer at the emergency
room. It was an easy job to do if I compared it with other
soldiers. When soldiers were training under the sun, I was
working in the ER with air-conditioning on. When they were
running on the field, I was sitting in the ambulance waiting for
the injured. That was my good luck during military service.
All the jobs we would do were decided by the lottery
at the end of our rookie training and toothpaste was involved. I
went through rookie training before I worked in the ER. It was
a really hard time. I did not have any vacation for six weeks;
that was why every one of us wanted to get out of training
faster. However, we were all scared of the lottery which told us
about our future jobs in the army. If we had bad luck, we
would serve in a bad position. One of my friends gave me a
fantasy talk the night before the lottery day. He told me to
wash my hands with toothpaste before I touched the tickets. I
did not believe him at all but I still washed my hands with
toothpaste just for luck.
When we entered the lottery room I saw about fifty
kinds of positions on the wall and there was a position working
in the hospital; however, there was only one ticket for that
position. I really felt hopeless. I could even almost imagine
myself running and sweating on the field under the sun.
Anyway, I used my lucky hand with toothpaste on it to pick my
ticket and showed the ticket up high. Believe or not, the ticket
showed I got the position working in the hospital!
That was how I got my easy job during my military
service. I still can't believe the probability of that lottery even
now. Maybe the toothpaste was really helpful for the lottery.
Or I can say that I am a really lucky guy.
Women use a telephone for 2 hours to talk with their
friend, and before they hang up, they say, "And let's talk details
tomorrow." In contrast, men use their phone for just 1 minute to
ask something or say hello. Men try to figure out what their
children are thinking, but it is impossible for them. On the other
hand, women know everything about their children, for
example when they have to go dentist, what their friends' names
are, what they want for dinner, etc. Throughout our life, we
experience these different traits between men and women, and
it could be not only a pleasant happening but also horrible
trouble. In my class, we discussed the best requirements to
choose a partner or spouse, and I could find an interesting thing
from the result list. Intelligence, wealth, enthusiasm,
responsibility, and even good cooking, these things were the
parts of the requirements for men and women to choose their
partner, and both men and women wanted to rely on their
partner. I admit that this survey cannot be 100 % reliable, but I
ELI Student Voices 9
could see that most of the students recognized a gender
difference, and they wanted to take advantage of each other.
Men and women basically have a different characteristic,
behavior pattern, and thought. And when these things are
revealed as a gender difference, trouble, sometimes, occurs
between men and women. However, the relationship between
men and women is a very important part of our life, so they
have been living, and will live with each other. In this
unavoidable situation, it is necessary to realize clearly gender
differences, such as their different interest, way of
communication, and ability forjob, and try to consider how to
solve troubles between men and women to make a better
If a man and woman don't have a common interest, it
is hard to build a good relationship between them. And it is true
that everybody wants to meet a person who has a common
interest. When I was young, I liked to enjoy and challenge
dangerous things though I could meet a big risk. I wanted to
break windows in my school and sometimes I imagined that I
was beating someone with my friends. Actually, my friends and
I often went to a field of construction work to break everything,
and astonished people with a firecracker or gunpowder.
However, my friends who were not boys were very different
from us. They usually liked to read a book or play with a little
thing like a pebble, doll, and colored paper. So I thought girls
are very strange creatures that cannot play soccer, catch an ugly
bug, and fight with me. Eventually, they were not my friends
but just known-people, and my friends and I believed that
getting along with girls is not good behavior. While I've been
growing up, my childish thinking has appeared, but I have met
another different interest between men and women. Between
those new different interests, shopping was one of the best
advantages for women to overwhelm men. Mitch Stacy,
Associated Press writer, said in The Gainesville Sun that
women generally feel more comfortable to go shopping and
enjoy it more than men. According to this article, men usually
don't like to go shopping, especially domestic shopping, and it
can cause even serious health problem for men. However, there
is an interesting thing that, in some cases, men don't feel
stressful to go shopping but like to buy some products which
they have interest in like a computer, toy for kids, or a Porsche.
We generally think that men hate to go shopping, but it is not
true. They CAN go shopping if they are going to buy a
computer or screwdriver. In contrast, if we make women go
only to 'Sears' or 'Best Buy' with men to buy these things, they
might feel sick about it. That is, the general idea that men are
shopping-denied-animals is wrong, but they just don't have an
interest about the shopping.
There is another gender difference between men and
women in communication that generates many side effects like
a quarrel. Therefore, sometimes no conversation is better in
their relationship though a man and woman haven't talked to
each other for a long time. In speaking style of men and
women, men usually use more violent and insulting words,
which could make women get frightened or dreadful. They are
generally tough and strong whereas women are expected to be
obedient and passive. Besides, women speak more indirectly
than men, so it is possible that comments from women can
make a misunderstanding for men because of unclear
communication between them. These troubles are basically
caused from men and women's different characteristic and
expected nurturing role, so they could have hardship in their
communication. And there is actually another difference
between men and women that people haven't considered. Men
are usually regarded as not good listeners in conversation, and it
was scientifically proved by the research "Men Listen with Half
of Brain," written by Lindsey Tanner, AP medical writer.
Women could feel that men are not listening to them or don't
care that much when men and women talk to each other. It is
not just because men are too lazy to listen however, according
to this research, it is a kind of natural reason that men use only
left sides of the brains, whereas women use both sides when
they listen to conversation. Therefore, women who have a good
advantage to listen to conversation might feel upset with men
who are not listening to them. Although the conversation,
between men and women, could be the strongest arms to solve
their problems, all these things are actually the worst things to
make troubles in the communication.
Can you imagine if there is a football or wrestling
match between a male and female? Both male and female are
affected by nature and nurture while they have been growing
up, and it finally causes a big gap in their physical or mental
ability. Now, these differences are eventually affecting a job
choice for men and women, and, sometimes, inappropriate
discriminative thoughts could be a problem in the society.
Especially in Korea, it is still common for women to be
discriminated against because of their sex. They are regarded as
incompetent people and have a restriction about promotion,
kinds of job which they can choose, and even opportunity to
work. It is very inappropriate, and this thinking should be fixed.
However, there are definitely acceptable different abilities
which can affect job choice for men and women. When I was a
young elementary student, my teacher asked boys to move
heavy desks in the classroom, and girls to sweep and scrub the
floor. It was quite a good idea with consideration for both boys
and girls because they had a big physical difference. Like this
case, there are many reasonable situations; for example, there is
a much higher number of men who go to military or work
physical hard labor than women. In addition, because women
have much more emotional sense and they are good at listening
to a conversation, a counselor can be a better job for them than
men. Of course, we must not give up to reduce these differences
which can be a discrimination however, we should admit it, and
respect each other's differences to make a better relationship.
There are a lot of cases about gender differences
around us. A different interest, way of communication, and
ability for job, these are just parts of things to show the
differences between men and women, but very common things
that make a trouble in our life. In my personal experience, I
couldn't get along with girls well when I was young because
girls had different interests from me, I couldn't succeed to make
a good conversation with them, and they couldn't do what I
could do. The big barrier, which blocked me from girls, was not
easy to break because I was too young to understand differences
between boys and girls. There are always big tensions between
men and women in our life as if a little war. Because of gender
ELI Student Voices 10
differences, we might be faced with troubles; however, we
know how it is necessary for men and women to get along as
my class survey showed. To solve problems in men and women
relationship, we have to realize the differences between each
gender, and consider how we can be a crutch for each male or
female to fill their weak points. Without knowing each gender,
men and women will just insist that they are right and
reasonable. We definitely have a big difference; however, if we
put our first step to try to know this difference, we might make
an effort to make a good relationship between men and women.
I was walking early in the morning down the street to
my job. The air was cool and dry, the sky big and blue light,
without a cloud, and the birds had been singing for two hours
already. It was the beginning of a hot summer day in France. I
was walking and thinking about the insurance problems of a
client, when suddenly a little smell interrupted my thoughts. I
stopped and sniffed. A delicious smell of fresh bread was
coming from a near bakery. A picture of a golden croissant
dispelled my concerns. I walked around the corer, and five
minutes later I reappeared triumphant with my croissant in a
paper bag. I sat on a bench and ate my booty with delight,
forgetting my contracts.
This is an example of a situation that always happens
to someone walking near a bakery and by accident thinks about
a croissant. Nobody can resist the desire of eating one. How can
it be that a so little and innocent piece of puff pastry has such
impact on the people? Anybody who wants to understand why
it is so good has to try to make it. The secret is in the recipe,
which needs all the care, patience, and time.
First of all, dissolve 20 grams of yeast into 200
milliliters of lukewarm water. Pour it in 500gr of white flour
and add 50gr of sugar and a teaspoon of salt. Knead it until
obtaining a firm dough. Add more water if necessary. Cover it
with a cloth and let it rise 1 hour in a cool temperature.
After that, knead it a few minutes and put it in the
refrigerator half an hour. Meanwhile, on a baking sheet, spread
300gr of butter with a rolling pin in a square shape, not too
Then take the dough out of the refrigerator and spread
it with the rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. It has to be
1cm thin, in a rectangle shape bigger than the butter square.
Next, put the butter down on the center of the dough, wrap it
with the dough's borders, and flatten it in a rectangle shape.
Now, fold the ends of the rectangle toward its center, refold it in
2, and chill it 10 minutes in the refrigerator. Then flatten it
again in a rectangle, fold it in 3, and chill it 10 minutes. Begin
the same operation again, and chill it 30 minutes.
After that, spread the dough in a rectangle 32cm wide
and 4mm thick. Cut it in 2 in the length, and, in each strip, cut
out triangles of 10cm of base. Roll each triangle on itself
starting from the base. Cover them with a cloth and put them
near a source of heat. After 1 hour, their volume will have
doubled. Brush them with egg and bake them in the oven
preheated at 377 Fahrenheit. After 15 minutes, they are golden
and finally ready to eat.
In conclusion, the croissant recipe is somewhat long
and difficult, but the result is highly satisfactory. Moreover, it
can also be used for baking the famous "pains au chocolate ;
instead of cutting triangles, cut rectangles and roll each with a
piece of chocolate inside. Also, by putting in only 30gr of
sugar, the croissants become salty; fill them with jam, cover
them with grated cheese, and serve them with a green salad.
The Best Pet
Tae Hong Chang
I think the best pet is quite a personal view. Therefore,
it differs in accordance with each owner's personality or
lifestyle. Actually, if you ask people about the best pet, almost
everyone says dogs or cats. However, some of them say other
pets like goldfish, mice, or rabbits.
Anyway, the best pet has to have a minimum of two
characteristics. The first quality is to be satisfying to the owner.
Simply, how useful is the pet? Second, the pet should not be
harmful to the neighbors or its owner if at all possible.
The first requisite of the best pet is this. A human
being has strong egoism. Consequently, the pet which merely
wants something is just an encumbrance. No matter how you
love that pet, it is useless. And think about this situation. You
like a wild dog, and your roommate likes a cute dog. This is a
big problem when you go to the pet market to buy a dog,
because if you buy a Doberman pinscher, your roommate might
even hate it. And also, if you buy a poodle, your roommate
might like it, but you won't be satisfied. Accordingly, the pet
has to follow the master's personality.
The next requirement is some kind of polite manners
for the neighborhood. Think, if your neighbor rears a dog and
you really like that dog. However, the dog is too noisy. Of
course, you're very happy and don't care about that noise the
first time. But you are probably irritated by the bark when it
continues. Thus, the best pet doesn't cause any damage to its
This is just my opinion about the best pet. Surely,
impossible. However, if you need the BEST PET, you ought to
think about how it influences other people and how useful it is
Learning English the Korean Way
Ki Don Kim
English is the language that the greatest number of
people use all over the world, so it is called an international
language. A country cannot survive by itself; all countries have
to help each other. That's why English is very important as an
international language. The English-speaking world as well as
the non English-speaking world needs to speak English. English
ELI Student Voices 11
is a very important subject to get ajob orjoin a needed
University. But it's hard to learn English in Korea. This essay
discusses the problems and difficulties faced by Korean
students learning English, and how they can overcome them.
The basic problem for Korean students learning
English lies with the difference of grammar structure between
the two languages. For example, if you look at a simple
sentence, "I go to school," English has a pronoun, a verb, "to"
and the subject. But the Korean equivalent of that sentence
would go, "I school to go." This makes Korean students
learning English get confused when they are trying to write up
sentences often missing many prepositions some of which are
not existent in Korean language. Poor vocabulary would be
another problem. English having a totally different origin
compared to Korean, learning new vocabulary is much harder
than learning Japanese that has many similar words because of
the use of Chinese characters. Also, many Korean students find
it difficult to pronounce English words properly.
For students to overcome such problems, they should
be exposed to English as much as possible. However,
considering the Korean education system, this is very difficult.
Having up to 15 subjects to study, many high school students
only have around 4 to 5 English lessons per week. They don't
have sufficient time to put in to studying English only. Even if
they want to, there are not many native English speakers who
can help them improve their learning of the language. So in
order to have more exposure to English, many students choose
to attend school or universities outside their home countries.
Students who have gone to study abroad have more
opportunities to increase their knowledge in learning the
language and culture of the host country. Unlike the situation in
their own country, the students are put in a situation where daily
communication is possible only in the target language. In
addition, everything around them, including TV shows, movies,
shopping or visiting the barbershop displays the target culture.
As months and years go by the foreign students find themselves
gradually adjusting to this new environment. This process of
acculturation is another good reason for studying abroad
because it will broaden their mental horizon as well as enrich
their life. The downside of this is that it costs a lot of money to
live and study overseas and many students simply will not be
able to afford it.
In my opinion, the best way for learning English
without going overseas would be trying to be exposed to
English as much as possible through listening to the tapes,
reading books, watching movies and writing.
Learning English makes Korean students to be
confused because it is very different from their mother
language, Korean, especially, in pronunciation, grammar,
vocabulary, and so on. Even if they learn and study English a
lot, they don't have many chances to put their knowledge of
English to practical use. In order to have more exposure to
English, some students choose to study abroad. However this
costs a lot of money and not a very affordable way for most
students. So in my opinion, students learning English should try
to make opportunities to read, write, listen and speak English as
much as possible to improve their ability to master the
Coqui, The Puerto Rican Nocturnal Singer
The Coqui is a Puerto Rican nocturnal singer. It is
very symbolic for the Puerto Rican people because it always
sings for them. Therefore, the Coqui is our unofficial symbol.
First of all, it is a little frog; it has a brown color belonging to
one of the two males whose species sing "jCo-qui, Co-qui!."
The species "Eleuterodactylus coqui" is found in almost all the
towns and fields of the island and has a somewhat slow song.
On the other hand, the species "Eleutherodacylus
Portoricensis" is found in the mountains and sings faster and in
a higher tone. That unique song serves two purposes: the "co"
is to call to the female and the "qui" is a warning to the other
males in the nearby area. The Coqui of Puerto Rico is
specifically different from any other coqui or frogs. All the
efforts to introduce the Coqui in other places had bad results
since they do not survive outside of Puerto Rico. However, a
species of the Eleuterodactylus has been brought to Hawaii with
successful results, but the Hawaiians do not appreciate their
song and they have tried to exterminate them without success.
In other words, the Coqui is very important and symbolic to
Puerto Ricans, because when we do not hear it, it is very
strange and we miss it. We have different kinds of Coqui and
the Hawaiians do too. In Puerto Rico the people say
sometimes: "I'm as Puerto Rican as a Coqui." (Soy de aqui
como el Coqui)
Japanese Cultural Identity
Sushi is the most famous Japanese food. Believe it or
not, this traditional Japanese food tells us what Japanese
cultural identity is. This little portion, beautiful shape, simple
ingredients, complicated cooking technique, and harmonized art
world are an essence of Japanese characteristic.
The sound of Sushi reminds us of, of course, fish,
especially raw fish. Representative Sushi is a combination of
fish and rice. Japanese use not only fish but also use many kinds
of vegetables and eggs, even meat. Here is the first
characteristic of Japan: geography. Japan is surrounded by the
oceans and shaped like a long narrow country. The
northernmost island's latitude is the same as Calgary, Canada,
and the southernmost island's the same as Jacksonville, Florida.
Mountain ranges run through Japan just like a human's
backbone, and mountains cover the land more than 70%.
Japanese have little flat land to live on. This means that we are
very close to both mountain environment and ocean
ELI Student Voices 12
environment. We can easily get products of the sea and riches
of the soil. Then we got an idea to combine those natures.
As I mentioned, Japanese use a lot of kinds of raw fish
for Sushi. This raw fish explains the other Japanese
characteristic. In fact, many Asian countries eat fish: Chinese,
Korean, Indonesian, and so on. But none of them eat fish raw as
much as Japanese do. The reason why is that Japanese prefer
nature and simplicity. We enjoy the natural taste of food itself
and we think it is the most luxurious and important. This belief
is common to Japanese lifestyle. For example, when we
decorate our room, we put the main garnish in it and few sub-
garnishes support it. We never fill the wall with pictures,
posters, and paintings, like western decoration. The other factor
of decoration is color. We don't use vivid colors, such as red,
blue, green, etc., and don't mix them up. We prefer to use
natural colors, such as white, brown, light green, and pale
yellow. We don't want to make a gorgeous room but a
comfortable room. Originally, Japanese culture came from
ancient China. But now it's totally different from it. (Chinese
use vivid red a lot.) We like to live closer to nature, and respect
it as a part of our life. "Simple is the best" is our favorite
We eat a lot of raw fish for Sushi. It looks very simple
and easy to cook, but actually, a Sushi chef uses high cooking
techniques for it. They don't just cut fish but they use different
spices, cutting styles, way of cooking, and timings based on
every kind of fish and seasons. For example, mackerel is
marinated but salmon isn't. White meat fish are served with
citrus juice. Eel is necessary to put sweet soy sauce dip on it.
Salmon roe is on rice surrounded by seaweed. These
complicated Sushi cooking techniques show our Japanese
curiosity and ingenuity. We found differences among the fish,
tried many ways, and sought the best use of each fish. I can say
this is the same as development of Japanese high technology. It
is the most important factor of Japanese characteristic to
improve something to adopt and adjust for people. For instance,
we imported computers a long time ago. Early computers were
like raw fish. They had many possibilities to be improved. We
found differences between business use and personal use,
difference of way of use among countries, and adopted them,
improved them, adjusted them, and made top-level computers
in the world. This Japanese characteristic was nurtured by
geographical conditions. Japanese land doesn't have many
natural resources, so since an ancient period, we needed to
import important stuff from foreign countries, mainly from
China. We imported Japanese letters, cloths, religions, food,
technology, and so on; basically all life-living stuff. We have
managed to make the best use of limited resources and
environment. Interestingly, poverty of land created Japanese
Nowadays, many kinds of toppings are used for Sushi.
The most famous new Sushi topping is California roll. This roll
shows our Japanese curiousness and cooperativeness. The roll
uses salmon, avocado, and mayonnaise. Fifty years ago, nobody
could imagine that avocado and mayonnaise would be used for
Sushi. But now, California roll is a very popular roll in the
world, of course in Japan, too. Not only California roll but also
curious Japanese adopted and use a lot of western culture:
language and food. For example, Japanese use a word "Paso-
Kon." This means a personal computer in Japanese. We took
the beginning of both letters and connected them and made our
original Japanese-English. Also we have many American food
restaurants: McDonald's, Wendy's, T.G.I. Friday's, Hard Rock
Caf6, and so on. Now they even threaten traditional Japanese
culture. However, our curious blood cannot stop doing this. We
don't have resistance against importing the other cultures
because from an ancient time, Japanese have been importing
culture. Japanese have to keep seeking new interesting stuff due
to the blood history. The other aspect of California roll,
Japanese traditional food allowed using western ingredients,
such avocado and mayonnaise, because it is delicious and many
people like it. If many people are happy, that's a good thing. If
many people like it, that's okay. When Japanese judge the
situation, we think about other people's feeling first. When
Japanese talk to someone, they think about the person's
situation whether the person has time to talk with them. When
Japanese make a phone call they avoid dinner time and morning
time because dinnertime is for the family to have relaxed time
and people are usually busy to get ready for the day in the
morning. If Japanese disturb someone, they feel very sorry
about it. This cooperative character was also formed by
geographic situation. We don't have enough land to live so our
community is literally small. Due to living in a small society,
we developed the ability of cooperativeness.
Sushi, such a tiny food, but it contains uncountable
elements of Japanese characteristics. It's developed by
geographic situation, preference of nature and simplicity,
seeking the best use for improvement, adoption and
adjustment, historical curiosity and cooperative blood. And I
believe that a representative Japanese identity essence is
"curiosity." Geographically, Japan is isolated and it made us
homogeneous but our curiosity encourages trying new
influence and helped to develop our country. Our cultural
identity never changes, until we lose curiosity formed by
geographical and historical situations. And those two
elements never can be changed.
How My Friend's Cat Changed My Mind
My American friend has a cat, a really big, black cat!
When I saw her cat for the first time, I was really scared! I don't
like cats, but some younger people in Korea like cats.
Generally, the older generation in Korea does not like cats,
because they are symbols of bad luck. There is even a Korean
proverb that says cats turn good into evil. I used to agree with
that and prefer dogs anyhow. Unlike Koreans, my American
friend loves her cat. Her cat is like her boyfriend! She told me
that cats are cleaner than dogs. It seems weird to me! My friend
told me that her cat wakes her up every morning at 7 a.m. At
that time, the cat is always crying: mew...mew...! That means
she has to get up, otherwise she will be late for her class. So,
she can't keep sleeping. Her cat is very intelligent and has
ELI Student Voices 13
become her alarm clock. I thought that was a very interesting
story, and after I heard her story, I changed my opinion about
Jack O' Lantern
YiFeng Kao (Lwind)
I didn't buy that pumpkin, but there is one question left in
"What are you going to wear for a costume?" Samir asked
me in Publix on the day before Halloween last year.
"I don't know," I said. "I am not an American. Do I have
"Yes, you have to." Samir grinned.
"All right," I said, "I guess I will dress up as an Asian."
"Oh man!" Samir yelled. "It's Halloween! Look around!
Look at the brooms, capes and pumpkins. Look at the people.
Can't you feel? It's Halloween! We're going to celebrate!"
As he wished, I looked at the brooms, looked at the capes,
and looked at the pumpkins. And then I saw a person standing
in front of those pumpkins and picking.
"Right!" Samir said, "Look at that guy, that's what we
should do. Buy a pumpkin to make a lantern."
Samir and I walked to the pumpkins. That person didn't
notice us because he was choosing a pumpkin very carefully. I
felt he was weird when we were close to him. I don't like
criticizing people's appearance, but his eyes and mouth were
really bigger and darker than normal. And he was speaking to
the pumpkin in his hands, "Yes, it is. The very, very beautiful
pumpkin." That made me uncomfortable.
He used his nail to mark a small letter "J" on the bottom
of the pumpkin, and put it back to the basket. He didn't buy that
pumpkin and left. Then, Samir bought THAT pumpkin.
"Bad Samir! You are so mean!" On our way back, I said
to Samir, "Maybe he just went home for money."
"He should've brought money or a credit card to the
market," said Samir. "It's really a beautiful pumpkin, ain't it?"
"It's not your pumpkin." I was a little angry.
"No, it will be my lantern," Samir answered, "and you
will see how beautiful the lantern is."
On Halloween, Samir dressed up as a vampire and I
dressed up as a student right, I didn't do a costume. And
Samir showed me his pumpkin lantern. I had to say, that was a
really nice craft. In addition to the new moon eyes and wavy
mouth, Samir made a lightning scar on its forehead, and he
called the lantern Jacky Porter. The Vampire with Jacky Porter
and I walked around in the town. We had a lot of fun that night.
But Samir didn't go to school after Halloween, so I went
to his place after school at the third day. I went to his room
although his mom told me that he didn't want to see anyone.
"How are you?" I asked Samir who laid on the bed. He
used the blanket to cover his body and head.
"Leave me alone," Samir said.
"Are you sick?" I asked again. "Do you need the notes for
"I said, leave me alone."
"Don't be mean, dude. We are friends, aren't we?" I said
and took his blanket away.
Then I saw Samir's face. His eyes were different, and
there was a shallow lightning scar on his forehead.
"What ... what happened?" I was scared.
"You are right," Samir yelled. "I should've not bought
"What?" I said, "What happened?"
"I am becoming my lantern!!" Samir cried. "Jack is
looking for his heads. Don't you understand? I made his head!
And I am becoming his head! You are damn right!"
I didn't understand what curse it was. I am not an
American and I don't really know Halloween. I was sad I
couldn't help Samir, and his mom didn't let me see him
anymore. Samir stopped going to school and I've not seen him.
Yesterday, I went to Publix for groceries, and I saw
Samir. I knew it was him.
"Samir!" I tried being nice. "It's me, Windy, where have
Then I saw his face when I walked to him. It was scary.
He had new moon eyes, a big wavy mouth, and a deep lightning
scar on his forehead, just like his lantern. Samir didn't notice
me. He stared at the pumpkin in his hands and repeated one
sentence, "Right, the very, very beautiful pumpkin."
Samir marked a small letter "J" on the bottom of the
pumpkin, and put it back to the basket. He didn't buy it and left.
I wanted to say something to him, but suddenly I didn't know
what I should say. I looked at that pumpkin with "J" and I knew
Jack is still looking for his heads.
So I didn't buy that pumpkin. But the only question left is
My Small Classroom
It is a cold morning and I am on my way to my small
classroom; I hope to get there soon, because it is warm there.
When I finally get there I find a lot of things in it. In the front,
there is a green blackboard: it is always full of white chalky
letters, so I can find ino\ all over the place. I can see three
huge windows on the left side; those are the ones that let the
sunshine in. And there is a little white clock telling us in its own
unique rhythm every second that has passed. Sitting close
together are people from around the world; we are learning
English now, so we can talk between us.
The Difference Between Men and Women
Are the women and men the same? Or are they different? If
they are the same, why do they always complain about the
opposite sex: "He doesn't understand me" and "She always
ELI Student Voices 14
misunderstands what I mean?" If they are different, what are the
differences between each other? When can the war between
both sexes stop? If we spend some time to analyze and realize
the difference between females and males, we will find out a
very interesting phenomenon between females and males. After
that, maybe it will be easier for us to get along with each other
There are at least three parts where we can detect the
disagreements between both sexes. The first part is interest. The
most obvious part of the interests is shopping habit. For
females, shopping is a very important part of their lives. If I
exaggerate the shopping's importance that will be "females live
for shopping." And I've heard women say "Shop till you drop."
For example, women can spend all day in one mall, even
though it's just Wal-Mart or Publix. They won't feel exhausted
and if they have much more time they can keep shopping.
Shopping, shopping, keep shopping, until they bought
everything including something they need or something they
don't need. Is it ridiculous? If your answer is "yes" then I can
guess you are a male person. For men, the greatest waste of
time in the world is shopping. I have already verified the
viewpoint from my boyfriend, both of my brothers, and my
father. It doesn't mean they don't shop. They still buy
something, but only "boy's toys." And before they go shopping
they usually have specific shopping plans or they already know
what they are going to buy. They seldom just look around if
they don't have plans to buy something. But for females they
don't have to have shopping plans, they canjust look around
then buy a lot of things. Furthermore, according to the article
"Shopping too tough for men," maybe part of the reason that
males dislike to shop is when males are exposed to crowded
environment, their heart rate and blood pressure will rise. No
matter natural or nurturing reason, they are quite different, thus
the war between both sexes starts.
One of the unreasonable reasons for women's zeal for
shopping maybe is self-image. This part is the second apparent
difference between females and males. Females value their
body image much more than males do. According to the article
"Swimsuits affect math ability" which was taken from The
Gainesville Sun, it said that when women wore swimsuits they
usually felt ashamed, instead of feeling funny or stupid, which
were men's feelings. Due to the most common expectation
about women's body shape, that is pretty women should be
thin, women always stand in front of the mirror to decide which
clothes to wear, when they have a date or they have to go
outside. After that, they have to put on makeup, and polish nails
etc. Women always have to spend a lot of time getting ready.
On the other hand, men just choose clothes that are not dirty or
not wrinkled, and then they can go out quickly. Sometimes,
men feel women overvalue their appearance and they spend too
much time and money on such worthless stuff, but they don't
understand that part of women's self-image pressure is from
men. For men, one of the most common topics between male's
conversations is how sexy the women look who are just
walking past them. So the war between both sexes starts again.
Finally, the third obvious difference between females and
males is the thought about intimacy and independence. Humans
need both intimacy and independence; however, compared to
women, men pursue independence more than women do.
Furthermore, females and males have different definitions of
intimacy and independence. For females, the intimacy means
when each of them wants to make a decision, even a small not
vital decision, he or she should discuss with the other. This
behavior shows they respect each other and they value the
other's opinion and feelings. If not, it means we are not an
intimate couple; instead of discussing with me, you just inform
me about your final decision. But for men, if they should
discuss with their wives or girlfriends before they make any
decision, they will feel like children who require permission
before doing something. This feeling about asking for
permission is so bad for them. However, for females, it doesn't
mean asking for permission, it is just about intimacy and caring
about each other. Such a big gap between the definitions about
one simple word "intimacy" sometimes could result in big and
worse problem, such as divorce or break up.
When God created creatures he created two kinds of sexes,
males and females. If they are the same, he didn't have to create
both sexes. Thus men and women are destined to be different
and maybe the war between both sexes is destined to keep
going. However, due to these disagreements between both
sexes, our daily life is no longer boring, instead it is full of a lot
of fun and challenges. Are you ready for the challenge? Good
A Scary Flight
During my flight to the USA, I passed through a most
anxious time because I am so scatterbrained and unorganized.
On the 10th of August this year, I had a flight to the
USA with my friend Gosia. In the airport in Frankfurt, a nice
male airline employee gave us 1st class tickets. We didn't
realize it until we went on the plane. We were so excited
because it was our first time in the 1st class section. During the
flight, a steward gave us sheets of paper we needed to fill out to
present at immigration when we landed. Then the nightmare
started. First, I couldn't find my passport or Gosia's; then I
couldn't find our tickets in my purse either. I thought that we
had left them in the airport in Frankfurt. I was so scared, so I
asked the steward to give me my carry on-luggage. Fortunately,
I finally found them; however, that was not the end. After I
thought everything was OK, I started to read the documents
with my passport. While I was reading, I found the information
sheet linked to my student visa; I read that students can not
come to the USA more than 30 days before they started school.
I was shocked and scared because we were already on the plane
and it was 2 months before our school started. It meant that we
were already not following the law, and we could be returned to
Poland because I hadn't read this information before. Finally,
we met a very nice man at the Washington airport, and, luckily,
he didn't look closely at our immigration documents and notice
Now I laugh when I think about this incident. I got a
very good lesson: that I have to pay more attention to my
ELI Student Voices 15
documents and read everything very carefully. I should be more
attentive before my scatterbrained ways ruin me.
A Dream Come True
My favorite band is Incubus; I have been listening to
them since 2000, but the band began in 1997. I already have all
their CD's; people can notice the evolution of their music from
the first CD to their last CD. So, earlier this semester I saw the
band playing live; even though it was difficult, I got tickets
through my father's effort.
As soon as I got to the TD Waterhouse Centre in
Orlando, I couldn't believe I was really there, and so near the
stage. I started to have goose pimples! When the concert began,
everybody was singing, jumping and screaming, including me.
It was so loud that you could feel the music bounce in your
head. I never sat; I was always standing up seeing every move
the musicians made. I like to play the drums; that's why the
drummer is my favorite; he has a nice funk style. I would like to
play like him one day soon. So during the concert, I was
visualizing me playing all the songs just like the drummer.
Now, I'm very grateful and happy because I saw them
in concert; it was an unbelievable experience that for years I
thought would be an impossible dream.
Men and Women: Different But
Diana M. Mejia
Men and women, intelligent and perfect creatures, with
similarities and differences have cohabited since their first
appearance on Earth. Can we imagine how men and women
could live separate from each other in the world? How the
world would be if only men existed? How about only women?
Even though some women assure they do not need men for
anything in life, and possibly a disappointed and depressed man
could think the same if he finds himself in a break up in his
relationship, we must not ignore both sexes need each other.
When the Bible says in Genesis 2, 18: "The LORD
God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a
helper suitable for him "' it is not difficult to perceive the good
intentions God had when he created the man for the
development of earth. Later in Gen. 2, 22, the Bible says "Then
the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of
the man, and he brought her to the man. According to this,
God did not want for men or women to be alone;
notwithstanding, He wanted them to live together, help
themselves and share their feelings with each other.
God's intentions were not fulfilled completely in
normal life. When men and women discovered they liked them
each other and decided to live together, at first they were happy
and they did not imagine that their differences could make a big
breach between them. But when this was realized they started
fighting each other, and in the worst cases they decided to
separate to live by themselves. Divorce is very common in the
modern world. Men and women think differently, feel
differently, communicate feelings and ideas differently and in
most of the cases diverge in the way they make decisions.
The existence of these dissimilarities has not been
ignored during the passage of time. Nowadays, men and women
concerned about it maybe have perceived their differences but
they still do not take it seriously. Several investigations have
been done, and scientists, doctors, psychiatric and
psychologists have provided some results. They have focused
basically on four aspects as following: communication,
relationships, interests and navigation.
An assistant radiology professor at Indiana University
School of Medicine studied the brain activity of a group of
women and men who were asked to wear headphones and listen
to a passage from a book. The experiment showed more blood
flowing between both hemispheres of the brain of women while
men's brains revealed more activity in their left hemisphere, in
which it is thought language and speech take place. This
investigation showed that men of course do hear, but differently
than women, contrary to what many women think about the
lack of listening from their partners. Hopelessly many wives
and girlfriends complain about their husbands and boyfriends
assuring their lack of understanding and listening. Maybe ladies
do not want an opinion or a wonderful and exact solution to
their problem. Sometimes they want for their mates to just listen
in a comprehensive way.
Since men and women have their own way of
listening, it is not difficult to assume that communication
sometimes could break apart their relationship. Women like to
talk and their tendency is to express their emotions easier than
men, however men's tendency is to speak only when it is
absolutely necessary. A fatigued wife getting home from work
could not find support in her adorable husband when she wants
to share with him everything in her workday. Disappointed and
sad she will probably think she made a mistake when she chose
him as her spouse. But this does not end here. Women are more
willing to make plans and make decisions jointly, for example,
a lady will like her husband to consult with her about inviting a
friend to come home. Men do not think this is necessary; on the
contrary, they feel like a child asking for permission.
Things seem to turn arduous when couples have to
make decisions about shopping for stuff for the home. Men do
not need to think too much in choosing things while women
need to go to many stores to make sure they will buy exactly
what they want. Hopelessly, for men shopping has to be done
quickly, which is almost impossible for women. In fact, men
hate to go shopping; their hearts beat as if they were in danger,
unless they want to buy equipment like cars, toys or computers.
Indeed, women want to share this activity with their husbands,
especially if they are going to buy something for home. Men
seem to agree to buy and, then just come back. Women do not
just go shopping, they like to look, to hang around, and to enjoy
the stuff at the store, especially clothing even though it is not in
their minds to buy it. In my own experience I can say that when
I go shopping with my boyfriend he almost wants to run away
when I am taking too much time looking at clothes or jewelry.
ELI Student Voices 16
He immediately starts asking me: "Are you going to buy this?
Now? Just decide." But, If I say, "I just want to look," he seems
to be in a hurry and not interested. Of course, he turns different
when we look at computers, machines or stuff like that.
Another aspect in which men and women diverge is
navigation. According to Dr. Matthias Rieppe, neurologist of
the University of Ulm in Germany, men use the left
hippocampus, a curved-shaped part of the brain that plays a
special role in navigation, while women use the right one when
finding their ways. Studies suggest that men tend to associate
directions with maps or geometry whereas women depend on
landmarks to navigate. Life experience shows that men believe
they are really good in navigation. They use their own mental
map that tells them where the point is they need to go. Even
though when they find themselves lost, or in an unknown place,
they do not like to ask for help as women would do it is because
they feel sure their own scheme is going to work. But if the
woman insists in asking for help, finally they accept and,
paradoxically, they would say: Oh, it was like I just told you"
or "I was pretty sure it was this way." Now we can understand
why we see more frequently men taxi drivers than women.
In spite of those differences that scientists have found
and maybe others not mentioned here men and women can still
learn from each other to understand their differences, minimize
their conflicts, diminish their burdens, and have a better
relationship. This does not mean that they are not going to
diverge in ways of thinking since this is one of the rights for the
human beings, but they can cooperate in order to construct a
relation based on respect and mutual comprehension.
Thanks from the Editor
Thank you students for sharing your writing with everyone. I
hope you enjoy reading your fellow students' essays. Also
thanks to Megan Forbes and the HUB for arranging the gift
certificates, to Todd Allen for publicizing this issue of Student
Voices, to the Reading/Writing instructors for supporting their
students in their writing, and to Valentina Komaniecka, Chak
Chan, Meredith C. Stephen, A.J. Atala, Darion Hutchinson, and
Todd Allen for reading and evaluating the entries.
English Language Institute
PO Box 117051
315 Norman Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611-7051, USA
Phone: (352) 392-3354
Fax: (352) 392-3744
ELI Student Voices 17