Title: ELI student voices
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089997/00021
 Material Information
Title: ELI student voices
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: English Language Institute, University of Florida
Publisher: English Language Institute
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: Spring 2009
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00089997
Volume ID: VID00021
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Spring, 2009

Eugene Onegin
Jiin Jung (First Place)
(EDITOR'S NOTE: In this piece, Jiin Jung shares her
impressions of a famous opera, Eugene Onegin, by Pyotr Ilyich
Tchaikovsky. Jiin has also translated verse written by the
famous Russian poet, Alexander Pushkin, from Korean into
English. This verse was used in the opera.)

During my childhood, I used to follow my father whenever he
went to a barbershop on whose wall some pictures were hung
depicting a hut near a water mill on plains at dusk and a garden
in spring. Even in my childish mind, it seemed to show off its
masterly skill as if it had been printed, so I guessed there may
be hundreds of the same pieces in the world. Later on, I became
to know they were called "Barbershop Pictures." In those days,
they were just like a mass-produced cheap candy, containing
some artificial dyes and saccharin. It is what we call "kitsch,"
referring to works of art or objects that are popular but that are
considered to have no real artistic value and to be lacking in
good taste.

There was a poem as well as the pictures in the barbershop. It
opened with, "Though life conspires to cheat you, do not
sorrow or complain." Even though it was in my language, I
thought that it would be something abstruse beyond my
imagination; I completely forgot the poet afterward. It occurred
to me again when I went to a bookstore where I found a familiar
name, the name written at the bottom of the poem in the
barbershop. The poet was "Alexander Pushkin," one of the
master writers in Russia. How the famous poem came to
decorate the wall of the barbershop in my country didn't
concern me that much; I was able to assume that it would be
used as a shallow trick of the trade. As supposed, for some time,
we could see the poem wherever, such as souvenirs in a tourist
attraction, picture postcards, pencil cases, plastic sheets and so
on. However, the fact that all of a sudden, the work of great
labor of Pushkin in Russia was to be degraded to "kitsch" in my
country made me fascinated with Pushkin and his works.

Pushkin, named "The Barbershop Poet" to us, became well
known as a forerunner of modern literature, and he was a
courageous intellectual practicing his will of social reform
through his literary works. Moreover, he greatly contributed to
the development of music in Russia because the gem of their
works, the operas 'Eugene Onegin' and 'The Queen of Spades'
by Tchaikovsky and 'Boris Godunov' by Mussorgsky, were

bor in his literature, by which the footing of Russia's opera
was able to be established.

Among them, the opera 'Eugene Onegin,' a novel in verse by
Tchaikovsky, one of the best works, has been performed around
the world since the current accepted version was published in

Its plot is as follows. One day, a young poet Lenskey and his
friend Onegin come to the house of his fiance Olga where
Olga's sister, Tatianna, falls in love with Onegin at first sight
and sends a letter to convey a declaration of love to him;
however, Onegin, a licentious man not believing in true love,
rejects Tatianna's love saying that he is not an appropriate
bachelor for marriage, and he is not interested in being a
husband or a dad.

While Tatiana is suffering from a broken heart with a sense of
shame and insult, her name day celebration comes near.
Lenskey and Onegin go to Tatiana's place where a ball is given
with a military band. By chance, Onegin arrives to hear people
whispering about him and feels bad. Resenting that Lenskey
brought him to the ball, he means to provoke Lenskey to fury,
and he flirts and dances with Olga, Lenskey's fiance, all
through the party. With this, Lenskey challenges him to a duel
burning withjealously.

The next morning, Lenskey waits for Onegin at a snow-covered
field, where he sings a tragic and poignant aria, reminiscing
about the good old days with Olga. After the song, he is shot to
death by Onegin.

Pushkin wrote the final soliloquy of Lenskey in Eugene Onegin
nine years before he passed away; however, did he have a
premonition of his gloomy destiny befalling him? The
barbershop's poet, Pushkin, also ended up dying in vain by
fighting a duel for love at thirty eight years of age. After all, the
aria was for Pushkin, himself. How fickle the finger of fate is!

Oh! Where, where has it gone?
Golden day of my youth!
What did I prepare for myself coming tomorrow?
Vainly, I just look at it
Everything is veiled in the dark
Yet, whatever it is
The way of destiny is always right
Though an arrow of destiny kills me
And takes me away
It has nothing to do with me

ELI Student Voices 1

Volume 13, Issue 1

Though I open or close my eyes
Everything moves at the set time
There will be bliss in days of an anxiety
There will be bliss in days of darkness
Tomorrow, morning twilight shines
Glorious sunshine twinkles
I will go a mysterious shelter
A young poet's reminiscence
Will be swallowed up in a wave of the river Lethe
Yet, though the world forget me
Only you will remember me!
You, Olga!
An incarnation of beauty!
Only you will come to my grave
Only I loved you
You will shed tears too late
My life like a rainstorm
Was sacrificed for only you
Tell me, you, a beautiful lady!
Are you coming to me?
I am your love
I am waiting for you. My love!
Come on let's hurry to your love

Oh! Where, where has it gone?
Gold day of my youth!
The young poet, Lenskey sings the last song in his life on a
snow-covered field, where a white birch grove is seen, while it
dawns. The long prelude of this aria, ominous and dismal,
forebodes that he is nearing his end.

The first libretto of the aria in Russian, 'KudaKuda' in phonetic
spelling in English, touched my heartstrings although I don't
understand its meaning. Lenskey's clear and flowing voice in
the aria sounded as if the sorrow of life had been purified by a
filter, so even his lament for his hard fate seemed to be sublime.
For sure, music must be such a thing, transcending language. It
also would be impossible if there wasn't Tchaikovsky's music
giving a shape to a latent meaning of the phrase.
Lenskey's lover, Olga!
Though the name "Olga" consists of two sounds, I guess how
many significant meanings it has in a brief syllable: love, love
and hate, regret, and so on. Tchaikovsky seems to obtain a
rather dramatic effect by contracting them in two sylables.

Lenskey asks her this; are you coming to me?

Then the last question of the young poet, destined to die,
vanishes into the air.

It would be also Pushkin's void question and monologue about
his life and youth.
In the meantime, how is Onegin after Lenskey's death?

Onegin, going gypsying about the world feeling guilty, appears
with a haggard face in a magnificent ball in the Gremin Palace
in St. Petersburg. When Prince Gremin and his wife appear,
Onegin is very surprised at finding that Tatiana is now Gremin's

Tatiana had become a polished and elegant woman in society,
not the countrywoman of the past.
From that moment, Onegin anguishes; his love flares up like a
flame. He sends a love letter to Tatiana as she sent him one in
the past, but she doesn't respond. Unbearably, Onegin comes to
her in the Gremin's parlor where she says that she still loves
him, but she will be faithful to her duty as a wife of the prince
Gremin. The opera ends with Tatiana's rejection of Onegin's
continuing proposal and troubles between them.

About the time when the opera came to end, I found myself
give a low groan at the bitterness of love and wished earnestly
that love had died out of the world before we died for it. At that
moment, we were all sick for love. Their ardent love and
agonies of broken heart drove them mad with jealousy and to
despair and death rashly, which hurt my heart bitterly; for a
moment, I thought that I might not get over it. Nevertheless,
that we still can't give up love in our lives shows human frailty
and limitation that we can't live without love for a single
moment. It represents that even the greatest artist Pushkin was
to be a mere human being not being above love.

Coming to the USA for First Time
Aldo Schenone (Second Place)
RW 41

Can a fish live in the desert? When
someone visits another country, he/she can realize how different
every place is in the world, and how difficult the adaptation to
the new environment can be. Everybody experiences changes
from different point of views. Gulsah's experiences of coming
for the first time to Gainesville had some challenges that she
had to go through like language, food and transportation.
The main problem for Gulsah in her first visit to the
USA was the language. She arrived in Gainesville, and she
didn't know how to speak English, so she felt like a fish out of
water. For example, every time she went to the supermarket she
felt afraid due to the impossibility to understand the cashier.
However, that wasn't enough to break her spirit, and she found
a new better way for communicating-with gestures. Language is
one of the most frequent problems for foreign people in the
USA, but it's something that a person can beat if he/she uses
The second challenge was the huge difference in kinds
of food between Turkey and the USA. These two countries have
as many differences in food as dissimilarities in religion, and
one of the victims of this situation was Gulsah. She was used to
eating healthy and salty foods. Nevertheless, she found only
junk food that was too sweet surrounding her. Once Gulsah
went to a restaurant and ordered a huge tasty steak, but she
couldn't eat it as a result of the strange taste to her. The key to

ELI Student Voices 2

success is flexibility, but when the problem is food, it's really
hard to handle.
The third problem that Gulsah experienced in
Gainesville was transportation. When a person is used to living
in a metropolis and comes to a small city like Gainesville, this
is the first problem that stands out. Because Gainesville's
transportation services only provide a few buses, so Gulsah
frequently had to wait a long time or walk a huge distance to
arrive to her destination. One day she got lost downtown, and
she couldn't find a way back home due to the lack of buses.
Thankfully, two UF students drove her safely home. In
conclusion, transportation in the daily activities is as necessary
as the sun for the flowers, and it's a huge problem if the person
used to live in a big city.
In conclusion, Gulsah's coming to the USA for first
time could be considered as a daredevil experience. Arriving to
a new city so far away from your country, culture, family and
friends is like taking a fish to the desert where everything is
complete different and strange. For Gulsah the challenge and
the main problems were language, food and transportation.
However, this experience, in spite of these problems, improved
Gulsah's ability of adaptation, so she learned to be like the river
that makes a path between the rocks.

Dark Night
Talal Almeelbi

One day, when I was hunting with my friend in middle
of the desert in Saudi Arabia, we had a car accident. It was ten
o'clock at night. I was following a rabbit and traveling very
fast. I did not see the large pile of rocks in front of me when we
crashed into it and the car then flipped on its side. At that
moment, I could not see anything, but I could feel the dust in
the air and hear my friend calling my name. "Talal, are you
ok?" he asked.
I was very happy that we were alive, but then I realized
that we were in the middle of the desert, and had driven two
hours outside the city. On the way there, I had not seen any
other cars around, so I was worried that we would not be found.
I was tired, did not know where I was, and not wanting my
friend to lose his confidence in me, did not tell him these things.
We first tried to use our cell phones to call for help,
but there was no signal. The worst thing that could have
happened at that time would have been if we had died in the
accident, so it did not matter if we died somewhere else. So, we
decided to walk in search of help, not knowing where we were
It was dark, and the hot summer air was blowing.
What made it even worse was that I started to feel thirsty and it
was impossible to find water anywhere nearby. While we were
walking, we also heard creepy sounds. After walking for about
three hours, we were about to give up, when we saw a light. We
decided to continue walking towards the light, because we
thought it must be close by. However, in the empty desert, it is
possible to see light from far away. We ended up walking for
five more hours before we reached it!

The sun had begun to rise, and we were now able to
see more of the things around us. When we arrived at the source
of the light, we saw a small shack and an old car. At that point,
I felt safe and I was filled with hope. I began shouting for help,
and a man came out of the house carrying a gun. I was shocked
and thought he was going to kill us. He began asking us many
questions at gunpoint and I had to answer all of the questions
quickly, fearing for my life.
After he heard my answers, he believed our story and
he offered to help us. He gave us water, something to eat, and
even served us coffee. I told him that I did not want the coffee
and that I needed to go home. He said that serving coffee is an
Arab tradition, and that I should respect it. After he drove us
home, I decided that this was the last hunting trip for me.

My Change
Megumi Ishikawa

I had a lot of first experiences since I came to the US. I
never had been to the foreign countries until I came to
Gainesville so I have lived in only Japan and I stay in only
Japan. I didn't know different country's manner and culture.
And I didn't know that in the US, they who are foreigner use
Japanese company product, for example TOYOTA, NISSAN,
saw Japanese company's name, I was surprised. I realized that I
didn't know many things.
When I came here, I had many questions. In Japan, the
traffic signal changes automatically, but here if we want to
cross the crosswalk, we have to push the button. I didn't have
the habit that we push the button when I cross the crosswalk, so
I couldn't understand it. Also, when we go to the restaurant, we
have to pay tip. In Japan, we don't need to pay tip, and almost
all Japanese use cash. Here, it is natural that we use the credit
card. I didn't know that how to pay the tip. My friends taught
me that we have to indicate our own signature and tip price on
the receipt. Since that, I didn't notice this part on the receipt.
The US and Japan have many different manners.
I changed dramatically since I lived here. One of them,
I can kill a cockroach. I lived alone for about eight years but I
couldn't kill a cockroach. When I lived in Tokyo alone, I
couldn't enter my apartment because there was a big frog in
front of my apartment door. I was afraid even of the frog. But
now, I can kill a cockroach by myself. When summer comes, I
will look for the cockroach many times, in addition the
cockroach will be very big. I hope that I can kill a cockroach
when I see it.
When I lived in Japan, I had my family and many
friends. If I had trouble, they helped me anytime in Japan.
However, when I came here soon, I didn't have any friends, so I
couldn't depend on anyone about anything. I had to do
everything by myself. So, I became strong enough to kill the
cockroach by myself. Now, I have many friends, so if I have the
trouble, they will help me. I also can help them if they need my
help. If you have trouble, let me know, and I will help you.

ELI Student Voices 3

Good Parents and Good Children
Denver Morales
RW 3

According to Webster's dictionary, a human
relationship is a connection, or association between two or more
persons. A good parent-children relationship requires hard
work, but it worth it. Growing is a natural process during which
children learn how to make their own decisions, but based on
experiences that are not only their own. Also, to be a parent
isn't easy, if you are a parent, you might know how difficult it
is to keep order without repressing children's desires or altering
children's feelings. Parents and children have to find a way to
keep their relationship strong. Actually, there are two
mandatory things to be a good parent or good children: to be
happy and to love your family; however, there are many
important items that can strengthen the parent-children
relationship, such as: communication, agreement, respect and
tolerance, understanding, and goodwill.

Parents and children are required to listen to each
other's ideas, sharing their individual opinions, and asking for
advice in order to get and strengthen new insights. Mostly
common problems begin with bad communication. Even though
everyone knows that communication has adopted an important
role in politics, writing, and other fields, children and parents
must know how important a healthy communication is in a
human relationship. Communication is the imparting or
interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech,
writing, or signs [1]. In other words, to establish good
communication there must be present at least one transmitter
and one receptor. Children and parents must listen to each
other. Children must understand that parents have been living
for more time, and they might know things that children
couldn't understand just by guessing; on the other hand, parents
must figure out that times change and the things are not the
same; new ideas could let you adapt easier to the changes.

Parents and children must agree about behavior and
actions because it helps keep order in the parent-child
relationship. Agreement could be used as a bound or limit
between what is allowed and what is not. For example,
adolescent children can go out, but he/she isn't allowed to drink
until he/she gets 21 years old. It's an agreement. Small
children must agree about being supervised because they are not
aware about the consequences that their acts could generate.
Also, it is the first step in order to keep respect and tolerance.

Respect and Tolerance
They are extremely important to control and adapt
your opinions and needs in order to achieve harmony. Parents
should respect children's decision because they have to have
their own experiences. Parents must not argue in a rude way.
For example, a parent shouldn't yell to children because they
have made a mistake, or violated an agreement. They must

explain the consequences of children's acts, giving examples
about their experiences; this is probably the best way to achieve
children's understanding. Children might feel that they aren't
doing anything wrong, but they have to show respect to older
people. They shouldn't be rebels, and they shouldn't shout at
their parents and think that they are just right. Actually no one
is really right, each life is different, and everyone knows that,
but there are customs and social rules that everyone should
adapt to it; nevertheless, it's not obligatory For example, there
is nothing wrong yawning without covering the mouth;
however, it's a social rule that you ought to cover your mouth
meanwhile you are yawning; therefore, you should do it.

Parents and children must understand each other's role.
Parents must understand that a child needs to face all the good
and bad things of life; otherwise, they won't be able to realize
whether they are "good" or "bad". No one can live our life;
nobody can explain the consequences of actions until they have
lived them. Parents must know how to explain and how to
understand even when they do not agree with the actions. On
the other hand, even when children might be doing the right
things, they could be wrong, and parents are the closest people
to them. They would always try to ensure that their children are
just fine; therefore, children must understand their parent's
behavior. For example, sometimes, if a child did an action that's
not agreed by parents, or it is against respect and/or tolerance, a
parent could get nervous and argue because he/she could be just
worried. Children ought to should understand it. Usually,
parents get worried about children; that is the role of being

Both, parent and children, have to bear in mind that
they must make a good decision in reference to other people.
You ought to act in the way you want, as long as this doesn't
affect or alter other's feelings and needs. Parents are required to
teach, advice and be there at any moment for their children

Communication, agreement, respect and tolerance,
understanding, and goodwill are the main things that could help
strengthen the parent-child relationship. Parents have to bear in
mind that they were once children, and children have to accept
that they will be parents; moreover, a parent ought to be one of
the most significant people of their children, a friend, somebody
who become a hero for them, just like my parents have been for

[1] Dictionary.com, 2009, online resource:

Being Nervous on April 1st

ELI Student Voices 4

RW 31

April 1st is a day to make jokes with friends and enjoy
the time but that didn't happen to me because I felt so nervous
on that day. The day began as usual. I woke up at 7:00 am. I
had the breakfast at home, and took the bus to school. When I
arrived at my first class at 8:30 am, I would have never
imagined that this day would be so dramatically.
After one hour Reading and Writing class we had a
break, and I stayed in the classroom. I have a lot of homework
this week so I decided to finish it during the break. Four
minutes before the end of the break, my teacher asked me why I
didn't go to the main office to greet Chelsea, the receptionist.
At the first moment I thought that it would be a bad
idea, and I thought it was unnecessary. I told my teacher that I
just wanted to drink some water. Therefore, I left the classroom.
The water filter is on the same way to the main office. After I
drank water, I couldn't resist the temptation to go there because
it has already become my habit. Every day, I enjoy too much
speaking with the beautiful Chelsea and my mother in USA,
Sonya. They are so kind to me, and I could practice my
listening and speaking skills with them.
I decided to go there, without thinking about the
warning that my teacher just gave me. Unfortunately, Chelsea
wasn't there. She was in a meeting with the administrators of
the ELI. However, my "mom" was there. She gave me a very
warm greeting as usual, and she asked about how is going the
problem of my country's government and the tuition. I told her
that they denied my application to approve the permission to
buy dollars with the official cost. We talked about 20 minutes
and I completely forgot the time, so I walked back to the
classroom feeling very relaxed. To my surprise, when I entered
the classroom, my teacher asked me "How do you feel now for
being late? "NERVOUS" was my answer.

How to Drive Lili crazy
Arturo Alonso
RW 31

Lili is my Reading & Writing teacher, and she has a lot
of patience. Everybody in the ELI thinks that she is calm at all
situations. Therefore, my classmates and I decide to work out a
guideline drive her crazy!
First of all, Jean will speak with a fast frenglish. She
might ask a lot of unclearly questions, and she will beg pardon
every two minutes "my bad... I'm sorry... I'm so sorry
Lili.....". Lili will answer as usual "you don't have to worry
Jean; you don't need to apologize" with a big and sweet smile.
Then, Jose will start to use his Black Berry cell phone
throughout the class. He will send a lot of text messages and
make unbearable noise when he types the keyboard of the cell
phone. We hope that Lili would lose some patience but she
would control herself and say Jose, you know that cell phone
is not allowed in class" with a smooth voice.
After the break, Arturo and Lucas will return to the
classroom very late. They will talk loudly about the qualifying
soccer games for the World Cup, and they might enter the

classroom without apologizing to Lili. She will be mad as a
hell. Maybe she would punish them with a strong voice but very
polite "Hey guys, I know you are very excited with the soccer
games ofyour teams but we are in class now and you are
i..,,h...i.. your classmates and me".
The next step is to use our native language in the
classroom. All the students from Saudi Arabia will talk about
their country's traditional food in their native language. They
would laugh without paying any attention on Lili. At this
moment, Lili would start to lose control.
Our next weapon of driving Lili crazy is that
everybody wouldn't do the homework. When Lili checks our
homework, our answer would be "I didn't do it. I have had a lot
of homework this week. It is so boring".
Finally, everybody would start to pack their bags
fifteen minutes before the end of the class. Then, all the
students will stand up and say: "Bye Lili, we are so starving. It
is time to have a delicious lunch and relax. We decided to
change the due time of the Essay from Sunday to the next
Thursday. This weekend is the Barbecue of the ELI and we
want a free weekend without worrying about the homework."
We believe that she would run back her office crying alone.
To sum up, if you want to drive Lili crazy or other
Eli's teacher follow these steps: ask a lot of question mixing
your language with English and beg pardon all the time; use
your cell phone during the entire class; return late to the
classroom after the break; speak other language not English in
the class; don't do the homework and leave the class before the
normal hour. If you implement this guideline into practice, your
mission would be accomplished!

The Real Meaning of the Student Life
Anne Traub

When I was 18 I was very anxious about going to the
University. In that order of ideas, my father always told me and
my sibling that university was interesting, educational and
formative, but overall, the most fun and free days he had ever
had. He remembered those days with happiness and some sort
of nostalgia. That is why he gave us all the necessary tools to
reach this worldwide youth dream. I studied in Chile in one of
the most popular universities and I really involved myself in the
student life. Now, without even choosing it by myself, I am
living in Gainesville and I have had a second chance to live like
a student and to participate in and enjoy the university
activities. After experiencing both universities' lifestyles, I can
certainly illustrate some differences and similarities between
them like how to apply and get a position to enter into the
university, the youth attitude regarding political issues and their
In Chile there are a lot of universities. Most of them
are private and the others are public. The desire of almost
everybody is to get a position in a prestigious public university
because even today, they are recognized as the better. To reach
this purpose it is required that all the applicant students take a
special test. The day and time have been scheduled one year

ELI Student Voices 5

before. The score you get on the test allows you to choose a
better or worse university. Also, the grades you got in high
school are valued. On the other hand, in the USA every
university has its own test and you have to take it if you want to
apply to this university. Notwithstanding the score you get in
the test is important; there are other things that the university
takes in mind when it does the selection process. In fact, the
grades you got in high school and the personal interview are
appreciated. Moreover, the special qualities and less common
talents you have are essential at the moment to make the
decision to accept you or not. For example, if you are a very
good football player you have more chance to get it.
Continuing with some differences between my country
and the USA, lifestyle, which means the way the students
develop their life, has some variations. For example, in the USA
when you are 18 you leave your parents' home and move to a
place with a roommate or some friends. In Chile when you go
to the university you still live with your family, except when the
university where you were admitted is located in another city.
Every student stays at home and almost nobody works during
the university years. Indeed, the universities are very tough and
the schedule is very busy. Furthermore, nobody has scholarship
and you don't have enough money to solve your expenses. Your
parents pay the tuition and all your other expenses. Conversely,
in the USA the students almost never get money from their
parents to pay their costs, with the exception of the university
tuition, and some of them work in restaurants or other places to
earn some money. Finally, in the USA the students have more
access to borrow money from the finance system than in Chile.
The banks lend money to the youth in a very expeditious way
and almost without asking for guaranties. The consequence of it
is that they live carrying important liabilities, a lot of debts, but
a good quality of life, great cars and beautiful places.
Another aspect that is attractive to compare between
Chile and the USA is the youth interest in politics and their
level of involvement. In both countries we are living the same
phenomena. Youth are apathetic, political issues are no matter
of their concern. The main reasons of such attitude are that they
lost faith and don't trust in politics. People who conduct politics
have been involved in lot of pathetic scandals and youth reject
it. Another explanation regarding their position is the change
from socialism to capitalism. Nowadays youth don't involve in
problems and social issues that are not affecting them in a direct
manner. The students are less idealistic than in the past; they
don't try to change the world!
The life of a student in USA, Chile, and other
countries is different and has some particularities. Obviously
people have different customs, traditions and styles of life, but
without taking in consideration these few cultural gaps when we
go to the university all of us are following the same target and
the same dream: Live, involve and absorb the so called
iU mi\ nicli Life." The university is the only moment in our life
when we are completely free; we don't have to care about
anything else than pass our lessons. Everybody can be more
idealistic. We can try a lot of thing, we can meet a lot of people,
and we can make mistakes...you can do all these things because
you are maturing and discovering your preferences; you are on
the way to be an adult. You can search and reach your

happiness. You can find your best friends for your whole life.
The university where I studied in Chile says to their new
students: Welcome to the beginning of the best days of your

My Experiences When Coming to the USA
Ameera Mouzen
RW 41

"It is better to be Roman, when you are in Rome."
When people move to another country, some of them decide to
follow the customs of the new country. Others who prefer to
keep their own customs have different challenges. My friend
Samantha moved to the USA to complete her PhD. At first, the
most difficult things for her were using the language, the
transportation, and the communication problems. Now I am
going to tell you about her challenging.
The first challenge Samantha experienced when she
started living in the USA was learning to speak English for
academic purposes. In fact, she was very scared when anyone
tried to speak with her, she was afraid because she didn't
understand them at all. For example, one day she went to the
cell phone store to change her plan, but because she couldn't
explain what she wanted plus she couldn't understand the
salesman, she made a mistake. Then she paid more than $100
per a month. So far, this is some of Samantha challenging that
she face when she came to the USA.
The second issue for Samantha was the huge
difference in the transportation system between Korea and
Gainesville. In addition, the traffic system in Gainesville was
very limited, the buses didn't go everywhere, especially on the
weekends there is no bus service, which is the time when
everybody wants to have fun and enjoy his/her weekend. On the
other hand, compared with her city, the transportation was very
flexible. They can use the buses, subways, and trains, every ten
minutes, 24 hours, 7 days a week to every single place.
Also, another challenge for her was the communication
problem. The first time when she arrived, she was prepared for
culture shock. She tried to adjust as much as possible as a way
to improve her relationships with people. For example, the way
that people check in USA is very different in her country.
However, Samantha thinks when people move to some new
country they should follow their own customs but also respect
the customs of the new country.
In summary, moving to another country includes many
challenges. The language, the food, the transportation, and the
different cultures. In my opinion, many people move to another
country to seek a better life, and consider good things. So
people who say I can't change myself, really make me sad.

Easy Steps to Convince Your Boyfriend to
Marry You
Kathleen Marinelli

ELI Student Voices 6


Love is in the air when Valentine's Day comes, and
brings with it lots of proposals. To achieve the always wanted
"Yes, I do" from your boyfriend you may want to follow these
easy steps. First of all, prepare a delicious meal (or buy it if you
are not a good cook). It is important to keep his stomach full
while you are suggesting marriage. A juicy steak or an
aphrodisiac food would be a good option. After you have
satisfied his needs with food, start suggesting some ideas about
marriage and hand him a beer; that way you will get his
attention again and at the same time you will make him happy.
In addition, watch a football game with him (or his favorite
sport), just to make him feel that you like the same things as he.
It is important to remember that you should not talk or ask for
explanations during the game, just cheer the team with him.
After all these steps he will be so fascinated with you and your
abilities that he will agree with everything you want to ask,
including marriage.

My Mother
Sohyun Kim

If there is only one word to describe my mother, it
should be "Wonder Woman." She is short and thin but because
of her powerful energy, she doesn't look small. She is pretty,
especially her eyes. I wish that I had my mother's eyes. She has
beautiful but sturdy dark brown eyes with double eyelids. She
not only has this beautiful "Wonder Woman" appearance, but
also her life has been busy and active like "Wonder Woman."
When she was at home, she was always doing something:
making food, cleaning house, washing dishes, etc. Anyway,
most of the time, she wasn't at home. Before my family moved
to China, she had been working since I was five years old. She
was a hard working saleswoman. She left home very early in
the morning and came back home after sundown. Sometimes,
she even came back home after midnight. No matter how late
she came back home, she always started doing housework,
again. Though, she had never forgotten to ask us about our daily
life in school. It could be nothing for a non-working mother to
do but it was a very meaningful thing in our relationship. That
question tells us my mother thought us and cares us even
though she can't be with us in daytime. She has said that she
feels sorry for my sister and me. She thinks that she didn't care
enough us because she had a job, but I already know how
difficult her life was and I don't think that she didn't care for
us. She did care for us in her own way although she couldn't do
same as other mothers who are just housewives. She totally was
a smart business woman but she also has been our great mother.
In my heart, she has always been my hero, my "Wonder

Student Life in Venezuela and the United
Veronica Perez

The college life is a phase in our life that some people
have the privilege to get. In Venezuela the education system
started in 1950 and since that date has been changing slowly
and the student life since that date has been changing too. The
college life in Venezuela and around the world plays an
important role for everyone because the education is an
essential thing to succeed. The college life in Venezuela has
some differences between the United States that were caused by
political, lifestyle, social and economical reasons but those are
basically suffered by the students.
One difference between college students in Venezuela
and United States is the lifestyle. In Venezuela the students are
used to life with their parents; they start their college while they
are living with their family until the moment they find their first
professional job and own a house. In the United States, in
contrast, the students start to live without their family since the
moment they end high school, and when they start college that
is considered like one phase of independence because they start
to do the chores by themselves. While in the United States the
universities and colleges have their dorms on campus or have
apartments around for the students to live, in Venezuela the
universities do not have a place on campus or around to live.
About political difference which affects the students
life. In the United States the students have strong beliefs in the
political system; they wanted the control of their country back
and they are trying to get it back. That has been reflected since
a few years ago. However, in Venezuela the students have been
affected by the politics, and since a long time ago they have
always had the control of the country. Both countries have
suffered political scandals but in Venezuela those have been
more continuous; the reactions against the government by the
students have been very serious and have caused suffering to
With respect to the economy, in Venezuela the
economic problems are getting worse like around the world but
that does not stop the rights of education. The shortage of
money does not affect the standard of the education, which just
has been affecting the maintenance of the university areas
whereas in the United States the economic crisis has been very
strong. Also the lack of money has caused the closure of
programs and colleges around the country and also some people
have been losing theirjobs.
Despite the fact that both Venezuela and United States
are countries where the education is a right, the college life in
those has a lot of difference, caused by economic or political
problems and also are affected by the lifestyle of the students.
We can consider that the most relevant difference is shown if
we talk about the lifestyle because in this one is when the
students start to realize that they have to overcome what can
only be achieved with their personality and their teachings. In
both countries the educational system is good but the difference
is relevant with respect to the personal view of the student.
Changes in the Venezuelan Family
Arturo Alonso
RW 31

ELI Student Voices 7


The most important event to affect the Venezuelan
family in the past 60 years was the change in the economy.
Before the 1950s the economy of Venezuela was supported by
the exportation of coffee and corn, but after those years the
production and exportation of oil dominated the market. This
change had a domino effect in the farming and city family
culture. In the farming areas, there was a decrease in the
opportunities to find good jobs and salaries.
On the other side, with the beginning of the oil era
began the industrialization of the country, especially in the
principal cities. The development of urbanism was accelerated
resulting in new jobs, better salaries and the creation of new
universities. All these events affected the Venezuelan family.
For example, before oil became the main export, most families
consisted of many members making them bigger. Men worked
in the fields and women at home. Only a few young people
went to high school in their hometown, and less than that had
the opportunity to go to the university. In that time, they were
located only in the most important cities of Venezuela.
However, after the 1950s, all changed because of the
high cost of living. Families became smaller. Families also
moved to the big cities to have more opportunities and to find
betterjobs and salaries. The men would change their farms for
oil factories. Before 1950, my mother's father worked in a corn
farm but after that year he had to work in an oil company 2
hours away from his hometown. My mother's mother only did
housework. My grandfather was only the breadwinner of his
family. My grandparents had 5 children: 3 sons and 2
daughters. Each of them had to travel far away to a big city to
go to a university for a career.
Now I live in a small family: mother, father and 2
sons. We have been living in a big city since I was born. Both
of my parents are physicians and the breadwinners of our
household. My brother and I had the opportunity to go to high
school and the university in the same town. We don't need to
move to other place to find jobs with a good salary. I can say
that we are a lucky family now.

Sake Bomb
Arturo Alonso
RW 31

Sake Bomb is a special drink from the Japanese culture
mixed with the occidental culture. If you want to make this
drink, follow the easy steps: 1) Fill a shot glass with sake (sake
is the traditional Japanese liquor, made it through the
fermentation process of the rice, it is the final product, a kind of
alcoholic beverage) 2) Fill a larger cup with beer (it doesn't
matter what brand of the beer, whatever you like it will work)
but not until the end, and put it onto the surface of a table 3) Put
two chop sticks or bamboos (pieces of wood used to eat in the
Asian countries on the top of the cup filled with beer, in a
parallel form, with a small space between them. 4) Then, put
the shot glass filled with sake onto the chop sticks 5) Finally,
You should hit the surface of the table with one of your hands

very near of the cup to drop the shot glass into the beer cup and
then you drink it all at once.
This is a drink for everyone over 21 years old,
especially who likes Japanese culture. It is common only to find
it in the Japanese restaurants, those who make sushi. The sake
alone can be used like a digestive after the meals.
If you want to sing happy birthday song to one partner,
and you are celebrating the birthday in a Japanese restaurant, it
is an excellent opportunity to try with sake bombs. Your
partners and you could have one sake bomb for everyone, after
you sing happy birthday and just at the end of the song, you hit
the table and everyone drinks!! One recommendation, if you are
the designated driver of the day, you shouldn't drink more than
one drink because over one drink you could get you out of
control and then you could not drive back to your home. I won't
want to feel guilty if something happen to you because I was
the creator of the original idea about this drink, and shared with
you. Take care of yourself!!

An Important Thing Around the World
Jonathan Vazquez

Globalization is extending to other or all parts of the
globe. Globalization is really important because people can
improve their factories and enjoy these benefits. The global
advance affects everyone around the world because there are
many factors that involved, for example technology, languages,
and food.
Technology in the world has been evolving from the
1960's to 2000's. Now technology continues to evolve. It's very
important because people can communicate with other people
anytime also technology is used in cars to give comfort and
security for passengers. Technology was used in military
science to protect or preserve a country. People apply
technology to explore the world and space to learn more about
how to live better there.
Languages are very important for everyone because in
the there are different speakers. A long time ago people didn't
understand other people but years ago specialist studied the
different languages. Today there are a principal's language
(English, Spanish) that it's important for all to know about these
languages because we can communicate through them.
In the past, every culture had a traditional food. Today
there are different cultures around the world is because people
immigrate to other countries. For example in Venezuela
everyone knows about hamburger, sushi, and pasta. Nowadays,
food is the most important businesses in the world. Food has a
high rate around the world for example McDonald's, Taco Bell,
and Chili's.
Globalization in the world helps people because they
can enjoy technology and we know about other languages and
different kinds of food. It's important to know about other
cultures, today are different cultures live in the same country
Living in the USA for the First Time
Ramon Padilla

ELI Student Voices 8

RW 41

Is it easy for you to change everything? There were a
lot of difficulties for me, when I come to the USA the first time.
Language, family, and food were the most important aspects
that affected me because I could not communicate, I felt very
sad being far away from my family, and sometimes, I wanted to
have the good taste of food from home.
First, the language was the most essential because if
you can not communicate you can not get anything. For
example, being in the airport was very difficult to me ask to
someone where to find the right place to get my plane. I could
not get a good haircut because I could not explain very well
what I wanted. This situation made me very shy and limited me
to express my feeling. This created a lonely person.
Second, the family is so special and when we are
alone, we begin to feel the necessity to be closer to our loved
ones. I spent time and money using my phone because I wanted
to be in contact with my wife and my children. Living in a new
country is difficult because it is hard to find people with whom
we can share.
The last difficulty for me, food is very important
because it has special characteristics in every country. The
ingredients are different. How people cook and give flavor to
food is special. This is the main reason why every person
misses your home or your country when they eat your lunch or
Therefore, living in a foreign country is very difficult
especially if we do not know the language, miss our family, and
we can not get used to the new food taste. These are some of the
reasons it was hard for me when I was in the USA for the first

Arranged Marriage vs. Love Marriage
TaeHwan Hyeon (Will)

One day, my friend said that his girl friend would meet
a man whom her parents introduced. I said, "What? How can
she have an arranged meeting even though she loves you?" My
friend said, "She said that there were many differences between
love and marriage. Actually, I could not fulfill the requirements
that she was looking for. She wants to get married with a person
who has a good condition." I was very surprised. Until now, I
thought that most people have love marriages, and only few
people have arranged marriages. In Asia, many young people
prefer arranged marriages over love marriages for several
reasons. What makes them choose arranged marriage?

1. Definition and History of Arranged Marriage
Traditionally, the meaning of arranged marriage is to
get married to a person whom parents introduce. Since ancient
time, in Asia, most of the marriage was an arranged marriage.
At that time, marriage was a way to unite between a family and
a family. Although there was a love marriage, that was a few.
Arranged marriage was done regardless of status. A person,

whose social position was high, got married to a person whose
social position was the same or similar, and a person, whose
social position was low such as a servant, got married a person
whom their owner introduced. For these reasons, there were
many cases that people who got married could see a face of
their partner only after marriage. Marriage was a union of two
families, so they lived together until they died. A divorce was
not accepted even if they didn't love each other. However, in
the present, the meaning of an arranged marriage is different
from ancient time. Today's arranged marriage is that to meet
each other before marriage, and getting married after they know
many things about their partner whom parents or matchmaking
company introduce. Today's arranged marriage is that to meet
each other whose condition is matched, raising their love, and
to get married on the based of that love, not the marriage that
their parents force like ancient time's marriage.

2. Definition and History of Love Marriage
Love marriage means that to meet a person whom they
love, to maintain that love, and to get married. Since the
twentieth century, in Asia, people who have love marriage were
increased because of the industrialization. As beginning of
industrialization, young people had a tendency to get married
with a person whom they loved, not whom their parents
introduced. Why was this trend stronger than ever? First of all,
young people could earn money by themselves in a society of
industrialization. It led to independence from their parents. The
thinking that people should improve their lives by oneself
spread out. So many young people got married with a person
who they had chosen by themselves. Second, it was related with
improving status of women in that society. In the past, it was
whole of women's working that to support parents, husband,
and children. By industrialization, however, women's activities
were increased, and this resulted in the improving of status of
women in the society. Women had a strong tendency to get
married with a person who they found by themselves rather
than man. For these two reasons, the rate of love marriage had
slightly increased in the beginning of twentieth century, and
after the middle of twentieth century, the rate had sharply
increased until 1990's.

3. Analysis and Comparison
Nowadays, the rate of divorce is much higher than
ever. The average rate of divorce of OECD is 40%. That means
that if 10 couples get married, 4 couples would be divorced.
Particularly, the rate of Asia reason is incredibly increased.
Thirty years ago, the average divorce rate of Korea, Japan,
Taiwan was 20%. According to the Federal Census, the divorce
rate of couples who had love marriage is more than 50%, and
the rate of couples who had arranged marriage is 20-30%.
Why the divorce rate of love marriage's couples is
much higher than arranged marriage's couple? First, in love
marriage case, people have many expectations to the future
before they get married, but these expectations would be
deprived after marriage. Although they got married with love,
as time goes by, emotion of love is fainted, and a feeling of
forfeiture is occupied in a relationship of a couple. This
forfeiture is connected to disappointment to their partner, after

ELI Student Voices 9

all, they get divorced. Second, marriage can not be maintained
only by love. In fact, people get married because they love their
partner too much. However, couples who have love marriage
don't concern about many things related living except their
love. Many problems, most of that is economic troubles, that
they never know before marriage occurs, and they get divorced
in the end.
If so, why is the divorce rate of arranged marriage
lower than love marriage. First of all, people who want to have
arranged marriage are looking for partner's conditions before
marriage. They know that marriage is a reality. For this reason,
their marriage is affected by the other parts, not love, such as
money, status in society, appearance, and character. There is
few forfeiture to their partners because expectations to their
partners are not bigger than love marriage's couples. Secondly,
there would be no problem among family if a person gets
married by arranged marriage. In Asia, most parents have many
expectations to their children. This leads expectation of mate of
their children. If parents do not like a person who their child
introduces, most parents strongly disagree with their marriage.
Sometimes, this occur the split of the family. However, in case
of arranged marriage, a mate is sufficient to parents'
expectations, so there is no conflict that love marriage has, and
they would get married in a blessing of everyone.

In the present, a society has been changed quickly, so
people spend almost their time to adapt the changing. There is a
few time that people meet a person to get married. Why there
are so many matching companies, and why many people use
these companies. The present society makes a different
marriage form that borrows the name of arranged marriage.
This marriage form is suitable to the modem people.

Tips for a Newer English Speaker
Abdullah Alghamdi
RW 42

There are some tips for you that can help you to
communicate with others through your daily activities if you are
new to the English language. First, when you go to a fast food
restaurant, don't try to pronounce the meal's name, because I
have tried this before and it didn't work. I was lucky because
one of the customers was foreign and helped me. So, just say
the meal number and the size whether medium or large. Second,
when you are at the bus station waiting for your bus and one of
the passengers talks to you, just reply by "Yeah. What can we
do?" because s/he is complaining about the bus system. Third,
when you are walking on campus and someone with a foreign
accent stops to talk to you, reply by "Sorry. I don't know. I am
also new," because s/he is asking you about a direction. But if
s/he has an American accent, reply, "Sorry. I am late for my
class," because s/he is asking you to join or vote for one of the
university clubs. Finally, when someone calls you on your cell
phone, don't answer at the beginning. Let her/him leave a voice
mail first and then ask one of your friends to translate the voice
mail before you call her/him back. If you do my tips, you can

communicate well with others without someone making fun on

The Poverty Problem in the World
Yu-Cheng Lin
RW 42

When we look back in human history, we will notice
that human beings have never experienced real wealth. Even in
the 21st century, there are more than 1 billion people living
under the poverty line. What is the poverty line? In short, it
means you can't have enough nutrition for your daily life,
usually equal to $1 dollar of purchase-power parity (PPP) in
1993 a day. The definition from the United Nations is the
absence of two of the following eight items: 1. food, 2. safe
drinking water, 3. sanitation facilities, 4. health, 5. Shelter, 6.
education, 7. information, and 8. access to service.
Different regions in the world have different reasons of
poverty. For example, because of poor development and a low
education rate, sub-Sahara and south Asia occupy 70% of
world's population who live under the poverty line. On the
other hand, in industrial countries, 12% of the population lives
under the poverty line. The reason of these wealth countries is
because of their huge income gap. Wealthy people in rich
countries lead high price in food, utilities, and service, however,
poor people in rich countries can't afford the relatively high
price in their countries, so their quality of comes down.
However, wealthy countries usually have better social welfare
and better organized charities to help their poor population to
satisfy their need in life. If we look at the case of poor
countries, the poverty problem usually comes from ineffective
systems in policy, medical, education, agriculture, and
infrastructure. It is more complex and hard to resolve.
What can we do to against poverty in poor countries?
We can refer to the examples of China and India. Both of them
have had a huge decline in poverty in the past three decades. In
the 1970s, there was more than 60% of the Chinese and Indian
population lived under the poverty line, and it was as serious as
Africa in that era. However, the policies to develop their
economy changed their life a lot. Both governments opened
their borders to encourage foreign direct investment, learned
new technology, and extended education to their citizen. The
government of China encouraged farmers to improve their
agriculture technology, provided preferences to companies to
hire extra labors from rural areas, and established several cities
in different area to develop technology and industry. The
policies of India stimulated the development of service,
industry, and software which transferred their labor force from
agriculture to higher income occupations. Both of them had
huge success, especially in China. There, they reduce their
poverty rate from 65% in 1975 to 8% in 2009. The huge success
of China let them become a success story for reducing poverty.
Today, the most serious poverty problem in the world
happens in the sub-Sahara. The national poverty rates in this
region are usually higher than 60%, and it has been lasting for 3
decades. However, the cultivated lands of this region have
become more and more vulnerable. Desertification, pasturage,

ELI Student Voices 10

and over-irrigation lead the soil of sub-Sahara become hard or
unable to cultivate. Besides problems with the land, the sub-
Sahara is also one of the most dangerous areas in the world. The
wars between races and nations, and health problems have
destroyed most of their labor population, and these problems
become a huge burden of economic development.
In order to solve the poverty problem in Africa, we
have to encourage more help from wealthy countries. There is
no doubt that donated food can resolve their starvation problem
directly. However, food aid can't reduce poverty. The charities
and governments in wealthy countries have to study closely to
understand the real needs of Africa. The reasons that cause
poverty are always complex, but the wealthy countries can try
to resolve the problems by helping with policy, education,
infrastructure, and importing new technologies. As the example
of China, after the poor countries become rich, the world would
become more stable and people can have a better life.

True Stereotypes?
Veronica Perez

Despite the fact that women and men are both humans
and both share a lot of common qualities, incredible differences
exist between them. At the moment you focus your attention to
some qualities and compare those with the other sex, that
moment is when you will realize those differences. Most of
those differences are more reflected in the habit of
communication, which would be considered a stereotype, but
somehow they will be true; we can study male and female
manners of speech in three common areas of development such
as communication in a workplace, in the house and in
Considering that men and women usually have the
same privilege of work, the way of speech manners in that area
is highly variable. Men tend to be more competitive so they like
to have the control of the situation showing superiority in front
of everyone. Women, in the other hand, try to be cooperative
with their coworkers regardless their status of dominance. At
the moment of a meeting, women tend to keep control by
making a sympathetic agreement between the people whereas
men try to dominate talk time. Women seem to be more likely
to negotiate consensus, taking time to make the people agree,
and being sure of the decision and being more patient. Men, on
the other hand, are declarative. They are considered task-
oriented because they do not wait for the others, and they
usually just give a solution.
Referring now to the place where we live, the house,
there is the major dilemma of stereotype for both men and
women. While women tend to share the tasks of the house, men
just want to do nothing. The perfect example for defining a man
in the house is "caveman" because he looks for rest after a hard
day of work. They consider the house like a cave where they
can forget all the stress outside. Women, in contrast, consider
the house a place where the responsibilities are divided; the
chores are spread between everyone. Also the way of request
for help of women is indirect. They usually make questions or

make suggestions when they need something; however, men are
direct. If they need something they just say it regardless of the
Women speak a language of intimacy and connection,
while men speak independence. So for men, conversations in
relationships are primarily to maintain status in their social
environment. Women's communication is typically called
"rapport talk," which refers to the type of communication that
maintains and makes stronger the relationship; for that reason,
women are more emotionally expressive. Men, on the other
hand, use "report talk," which refers to the type of
communication that is basically for solving problems and
focused aggressively on their objectives. Some of the qualities
of speech by women in a relationship are indirect, collaborative
and affective oriented, while men are characterized by being
direct, autonomous and referentially oriented.
Considering the above, one can conclude that a lot of
differences exist between women and men about gender speech.
Most of those differences are reflected depending on the
environment and situation. In the case of a workplace the
women try to be collaborative while men just try to be the best;
focused at the house the men just try to rest and do nothing
whereas women try to share the chores; and finally, in
relationships you can note the difference while women are
"rapport talk," men are "report talk." These are only the
differences between women and men about conversations that
can help you to understand the interpersonal relations between
the sexes.

The Death Penalty
TaeHwan Hyeon (Will)
RW 42

Over several decades, societies have taken great pains
about the death penalty. Should the death penalty be maintained
or abandoned? This problem has caused many conflicts, and it
has not solved until now. Many people have opinions that the
death penalty should be abolished because human life is the
most valuable thing, and nobody has a right to take it. However,
I agree that the death penalty should exist. The death penalty is
necessary to realize a society of justice and to protect people
from dangerous criminals.
People are social animals. So they make societies and
live together. While living together, it is an unavoidable to
cause disagreements and quarrels. As a result, people make a
law for the safety of their society. The law is a minimum
promise and must be impartial. So people have punished
criminals as their guilt based on the law. In this way, societies
seek regulation and are maintained peacefully. If so, what is the
punishment of the law about murder, which the most atrocious
crime? There is no punishment expect the death penalty because
a murderer takes a person's life that is the most valuableness of
people. If the law exists for to realize a society of justice, the
correct punishment is the death penalty. For this reason, the
death penalty is essential.
In addition, the possibility that murderers kill people
once more is very high. According to Doctor Robert Hare as a

ELI Student Voices 11

psychologist, a psychiatrist, and expertise of psychopath, 90%
of the consecutive murderers are psychopaths. "Psychopath is
currently defined in psychiatry and clinical psychology as a
condition characterized by lack of empathy or conscience, and
poor impulse control or manipulative behaviors." A second
conviction rate of these psychopaths is 80% and major crime
rate is 40%. There is an example that one psychopath who was
punished by life imprisonment, but he killed a prison guard
after three months. I have a question that the death penalty
should be abandoned ignoring these situations. If the purpose of
the law is to protect people's life and to prevent chaos of
societies, the death penalty should be maintained.
People who assert the abolition of the death penalty
worry that people who are not guilty may be executed by wrong
justice. As long as we are people, we can make mistakes.
Merely a few decades ago, many people were executed
mistakenly by the law. However, in contemporary societies,
there is no wrong execution by mistake. Hugo Adam Bedau
said, "False sentimentality to argue that the death penalty
should be abolished because of the abstract possibility that an
innocent person might be executed." He investigated the 7000
executions in the U.S.A. from 1893 to 1971, and he found that
such case has never occurred. The death penalty is atrocious
punishment. Therefore, a judge decides a criminal's guilt
through holding many courts, inspecting all evidence, and using
every modern scientific method before the death penalty is
practiced. While passing through these steps, the possibility of
misjudgment is more and more reduced, and in the end, the
possibility of misjudgment reaches 0% before execution. For
this reason, the possibility that people are executed by
misjudgment is nothing.
Human rights are very important and criminal's rights
are important too. However, human rights are respected when
one respects the rights of other people. There is an old saying,
"An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." When one destroys the
rights of other people, their rights are effaced. That is, anyone
who commits a crime should be punished by the law. If it is not
observed, our society will collapse. A discussion of the death
penalty will continue for long time. However, I agree that the
death penalty to realize a society of justice and to protect people
from dangerous criminals.

My Challenges in the USA
Ockshin Kim
RW 41

Going to the unknown world makes me become
curious as well as feel nervous, like a boat on the vast expanse
of water. My curiosity and troubled mind in the unknown new
world weaken day by day, instead, I adapted myself to the new
environment, people, culture, and language. Because it requires
time to accept new changes, I put up with temporary
inconveniences and challenges. I overcame and absorbed new
changes. Even though there are several challenges, I would like
to mention the lifestyle, the weather, and regulations, for these
troubled me a lot.

Before coming here, I had never prepared the meals,
cleaned up my room, done the dishes and laundry, and so on;
these had not been my responsibilities. Among me and my
family each role was divided, so I had to do my work, that is to
say, making money and the housework is none of my business.
In the USA, however, I have to do everything from the
beginning to the end. In addition, homesickness has me feel
melancholy. My Korean community, like the Korean Church,
helped me get over these problems.
Another challenge is to acclimate myself to was the
scorching hot weather and diurnal temperature difference. It is
very hot in summer in Gainesville; even though the air cooling
system is well equipped not only in the classroom, but also in
the house, it is not easy for me to adjust to the difference of
temperature outside and in the room. Therefore, I need to
change my clothes and bathe frequently. There is no other way,
but adjusting myself to the new environment.
When you go to Rome, you must follow the Roman
Law. Regulations such as traffic rules, smoking prohibitions,
drinking age, etc are my third challenge. I have to keep in mind
and obey these regulations; these are much different from that
of my country. Unless I follow them, I will be given the penalty
and it will likely be to be expelled from this country. What is
more, I memorize so-called American taboos, for example, do
not ask a woman about her age, salary and don't talk about
politics etc, or I will be a rude foreigner.
It is said cultural shock is dissolved through conflict,
harmony, and reception. Because I am aged, I could not get
over the problems easily. In short, a challenge is worthy to defy
it at any cost, so on account of the feelings of accomplishment
my mind and spirit are going to be ripened.

The Challenges of Living in the USA
Seung Hei Cho (S.i,,intihi,)
RW 41

Departing familiar things, and living in a new
environment would really be a big challenge for most people.
Thus, people often are scared when they move to a new
environment. Moreover, if the new environment is in a new
country, the nervousness and fright will be more serious
because there are a lot of obstacles such as a new language and
a strange culture as well as new people. Also, for me, moving to
Gainesville was a nervous task and a huge challenge. When
moving to the U.S., speaking English, Gainesville's
transportation system, and the multicultural environment were
the most difficult things to adjust to in the new life.
The biggest challenge was speaking English. Living in
the U.S. meant I have to use English wherever I go and use any
facilities. It is the hardest thing because when using a new
language, you make mistakes in communication. When I came
to Gainesville at first, I went to a cell phone shop to open my
cell phone account. At that time, I just needed a plan to use 450
minutes a month. However, the shop manger didn't understand
my speaking very well, and I couldn't understand his speaking.
Therefore, he made some mistakes in selecting my plan and
opening my account. Just opening a cell phone account is not a

ELI Student Voices 12

hard thing in my country. Kids can do that without any
mistakes. However, it became the hardest task for me after I
moved to Gainesville.
The second biggest challenge was using the
transportation system, especially in Gainesville. When I was in
Korea, I lived in Seoul, which is a capital city of Korea. There
are various public transportation systems such as a bus, a
subway, a taxi, a train, etc. Hence, we could easily go
anywhere, and any place using public transportation system
even though people didn't have a car. Actually, using a public
transportation system it is easier to go some places rather than
using a private car. Moreover, people who want to escape
traffic jams, usually use the public transportation system
because a bus and a subway use special routes, and those routes
are usually not busy. However, people who don't have a car can
use just a bus or an expensive taxi in Gainesville. Furthermore,
people can't use transportation during the weekend. Therefore,
now making some plan to go any place during the weekend
became a hard thing for me.
The third challenge was adjusting to the multicultural
environment. There are various ethnic groups and people who
have various nationalities in the U.S. That means many cultures
and customs coexist everywhere. Thus, sometimes problems
can occur between people who have different cultures and
nationalities because of misunderstanding each other.
Therefore, people should be more seriously cautious to not
make mistake to people who have a different background. Even
though this is not huge challenge for me, still I am very careful
to talk with other people. In addition, people try to don't touch
emotion between people who have different nationalities in
special situations such as the Olympic Game.
There are lots of difficulties such as different language,
a culture, an environment, and people to live in a new country.
However, in my case, the biggest challenges are using a new
language, using a public transportation system, and the
adjusting in multicultural environment. These can be kinds of
obstacles to be a real member of the new society. Thus, if
people want to live well and look like people who were born in
American, people should overcome those obstacles.

Special Day
Haifa AIAli
RW 30

I was sitting in the stadium one day when suddenly, I
saw a team enter. I sat to watch the game. There were many
people there. Because the game was between two strong teams,
many people came to watch. After that, the game began and the
players began to play. All people started to encourage the
players. When the game started, I was excited.
Since the game started until thirty minutes, everything
was perfect. While the players were playing, it started to rain.
The game was more difficult for the players. After that, it
became a storm and the players could not play well. Everything
was triple for the players.
Finally, I heard someone knock on the door. Then I
woke up. All this was a dream. I have never gone to watch a

game. I dream a lot, but I like this dream so much. I can't
forget this dream.

Challenging in the U.S.
Abdulghadir Alamri
RW 41

Do you know how much trouble you will be in when
you go to a different culture? Coming to the U.S was an
important step in Aldo's life. He had to express himself in many
situations, and to learn from that. However, there were some
difficulties and challenges that Aldo found when he come to the
U.S for the first time including the language, the weather, and
the culture. These challenges were all on the way to success for
The first challenge was the language. Aldo came to the
U.S to learn English. However, he had to live for month before
he started going to the school. It was difficult for him to
understand Americans when they talk. They speak fast and use
a lot of slang that Aldo did not know about. When he tried to
talk and make a conversation with Americans nobody
understood him. That made it very difficult for him.
The next challenge was the weather. Gainesville was
too cold in the winter when Aldo arrived in. His hometown,
Valencia, is sunny and never gets cold. Aldo had to buy a lot of
cloths .It was not easy for him to live in a cold place when he
was not used to be in cold weather.
Another challenge was the culture. Aldo was used to
living in a culture where he can talk and communicate with
others easily. People in the U.S do not like to shake hands and
they have a different way of communicating than Aldo used to.
In fact, he could not make a lot of American friends He felt like
if he lived alone.
In conclusion, it might not be easy to live in a different
culture, but you will learn a lot from it. Aldo found many
challenges in the U.S where the culture is not totally different
and not too strange to him. Do you think he is going to pass
these challenges after a few months learning the language and
living with Americans?

Special Day
Mina Lee

When I arrived in the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, I
suddenly thought football game. I watched the TV which was
playing a football game last year. Our school's football team
won the national championship. Just then, I saw a football game
that was my first time. When the game of our football team
finished, my friends and me went to the street because we were
delighted and excited.
When we reached the street of UF, many people had
already arrived in Main Street or the street between the Griffin
Stadium and the O'Connell Stadium or University Avenue.
Many people shouted loudly "Go Gators." Also, many people
were shaking hands and embracing each other during one hour.

ELI Student Voices 13

I was feeling I kept on living owing to I was really
indescribably happy. The next day, due to a ceremony,
Gainesville and UF was quiet. I didn't understand because an
instance of South Korea, pleasure and excitation lasts for a long
time such as the World Cup of 2002.
Now, a lot of people are talking about the national
championship that UF's football team won. I also remember the
feeling when our football team won and the street ceremony
with many students of UF and residents of Gainesville.

Knowledge Gained from Experience vs.
Knowledge Gained from Books
Raeda AlKhars
GM 60

It has been said," Not everything that is learned is
contained in books." There are two common ways of pursuing
knowledge and using resources which are either books or
experience. In one hand, some people prefer to gain and gather
knowledge from traditional resources such as books for some
reasons such as the more academic way of restating,
paraphrasing and sighting the resources for the researches such
as the dates, authors and how to locate the information if
someone wants to refer to the same book or reference. One the
other hand, some people prefer to gain knowledge by
sharpening their skills with the real experience that add a lot of
real practice for them that they never forgotten.
Some classical authors and academic educators
advocate the usage of the books as a traditional way for
gathering information and acquiring knowledge for some
reasons. First, they think that this way is more accurate and
academic for rewriting, tracking and documenting for the other
generations. For instance, the written transcripts and ancient
documents passed out from the past generations represented the
first attempts for seeking the knowledge which were the initial
steps for the modern civilization or the recent knowledge. Also,
using written forms such as the books allows the writers to
complete the voyage of a research that has been started or
answer a question that another researcher couldn't find a clue
for. So, I agree with those people that, it will be more truthful
way of pursuing the knowledge that can be diffused and
become widely acknowledged by various groups of readers
from diverse ages and nationalities.
The other group of people advocates the importance of
practice or sharpening the skills by getting the information from
real learning contexts where the experience will be such as
drawing on a stone that won't be removed. For example, they
can master crossing the mini Bridge. By following the same
way, repeating the same instructions and steps people know by
experience how to cross or master the task by doing it more
quickly and accurately. Moreover, they believe that experience
comes by learning from our mistakes or keeping practicing. So
this matches the anonymous saying that "Experience is
something you get too late to do anything about the mistakes
you made while getting it."

According to Adams, John the second president of
the United States, "Liberty cannot be preserved without a
general knowledge among the people." I agree with Adams in
one point in this saying that people learn from each other or by
the passage of knowledge which allows them to get rid of
liberty. The liberty could be removed by reading a lot of books
and writing a lot of references and documenting the information
for the other generations to look at and to use as a fundamental
stone for advanced academic achievements and paths of
To conclude, while some people prefer gaining
knowledge from traditional resources such as books that has the
advantage of documenting and passing the knowledge from one
generation to the other generations. There are some people who
advocate the importance of practice and mastering the
experience by learning from mistakes and know how to pass or
cross bridges. I agree with the valuable importance of
documenting and using written books as references for
gathering the information and mastering the knowledge that
helps societies to get rid of liberty and leads to more academic
and bright future.

VanHaitsma,Dennis,Dillbeck Barbara, Learning to Give
Curriculum Division of The League, Lesson five, as retrieved

The Problems of a Foreign Student
Mario Suanno

Do you think that is easy for a young man to study in a
different country? Being a foreign student is one of the most
difficult decisions that you will made in your life. For example,
my roommate, Aldo Schenone, had incredible experiences
when he moved here and therefore, he had a lot of things
happen to him. When he moved to the US, he didn't know how
to speak English, also he had a huge economic problem with his
county, and worst of all he had difficulties adopting to the US
First, the goal of his trip to the United State was to
learn English, so it was so hard for him speak and understood
the language. As a result, Aldo spent several hours trying to
settle down in a complex, because nobody understood him. A
similar situation happened with the telephone company. Now
you can see, the English language was a huge obstacle to
overcome when moving to the US.
Next, Aldo didn't have enough money to feed himself
or pay rent, CADIVI, which is the organization responsible for
distributing the dollars to the citizens in Venezuela, rejected his
application. However, his greatest concern was paying the
tuition to the ELI. Because of that, Aldo's father had to take the
money from their savings to pay Aldo's bills, but his problems
do not end there.
Then, when the bad times where gone, Aldo had to
face another concern; the cultural clashes. He had to learn about
all the traditions of the people in the US, because he was from a

ELI Student Voices 14

Latin country, and the different between their cultures are from
heaven to earth. It was a process which took about one month,
and later, he felt very comfortable surrounded by US people. As
a result, their friends started asking him to go out, that is
something that makes Aldo very happy. Finally, things were
apparently going well.
In conclusion, being a foreign student can be an
incredible experience, you can have bad times, but also, tons of
great memories. Therefore, you have to fight for what you want,
no matter what. In addition, you can take these experiences for
a lesson in life, that's why you have to take all the chances that
life gives to you.

A Tour of One of the Roman Ancient
Cities in Libya: Leptis Magna
Hanan h tefi
RW 60

Leptis Magna was added to the UNESCO World
Heritage List in 1982, as one of five historical places in Libya.
Specifically, Leptis Magna earned a reputation for having the
most complete and impressive Roman ruins in all of North
Africa. It is located 75 miles east of Tripoli (the capital of
Libya) on the western coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
Leptis Magna was originally a Berber settlement about
3000 years ago where after the Phoenicians make it into a
trading center. Around the 6th century BC, Leptis Magna was
probably colonized by Carthage. Then it was invaded by the
Romans and became part of the Roman Empire in 111 BC.
Under the influence of one of its citizens, Septimius
Severus, who was born in 193 BC in this city and became the
first African Roman Emperor, Leptis Magna became an
extraordinary city and an important trading port. The city had a
steady income from the slave trade, gold, ivory and metals
between Africa and the Roman Empire.
Leptis also enjoyed a monumental architectural
development. The architecture includes the colonnaded streets,
the Severn Forum decorated with the Gorgon head, and the
massive Basilica. The Hadrianic Baths are still impressive, and
one of the pools, measuring 28 by 15 meters, remains intact.
The bath house was one of the largest that was ever built
outside Rome itself. Although the great monuments of Leptis
Magna might make it a bit difficult to point out highlights, the
beautiful Amphitheatre is clearly one as it has a splendid view
from its upper tiers. Its diameter is 70 meters long. Large parts
of the structure have retained their ornamentation, and many
statues were left in good condition.
Another splendid place is the circus which almost a
kilometer away from the site remains partly excavated. With its
size of 450 by 100 meters, it was one of the largest in the entire
Roman world. Nobody should miss out on the important
museum located near the entrance of the city which has the
distinctive Roman Statue and several tools used by the Romans
at that time.
Because of all that rich history and wonderful
architectural sites, Leptis Magna attracts a lot of tourists and

visitors from all over the world every year, especially those who
are interested in Roman civilization.

Source: www.temehu.com/Cities_sites/LeptisMagna.htm

Taiwanese and American College Student
Ying-Ju Chen (Maggie)

Every college student is a unique individual, and
everyone has distinct conceptions about different objects in
every single field. It is common knowledge that there are
immense differences between Asian college students and the
western college students. Recreation, the way of receiving the
grades and the sense of having jobs in college life for American
college students and the Taiwanese college students are
Recreation is very different between American
students and Taiwanese students. This is related to the different
cultural backgrounds. In Taiwan, students like to go to karaoke
for relaxing or celebrating specific events. In general,
Taiwanese students are more introverted than American
students, and they prefer to express themselves when they have
enough confidence or when they feel that they are in the best
condition. Fortuitously, karaoke provides a perfect environment
for Taiwanese students, and they feel comfortable to be in there.
Taiwanese students also like hanging out in night markets. The
food in night markets is various and it is much cheaper than
eating in a restaurant, and they have almost everything, for
example, clothes, shoes, accessories, cosmetics, arcade games
and even pets. The college students usually do not have too
much money to eat or shop, and also the locations of night
markets usually are very close to schools. Therefore the
Taiwanese college students usually go to night markets after
school or on the weekends. On the other hand, the American
college students usually get together in restaurants, nightclubs,
or in their own places. To compare with the Taiwanese college
students, the American college students are more extroverted.
The American college students like to make new friends more
and talk, drink, dance, or have fun with all of their friends.
Furthermore, there are not any night markets in the United
States and the American college students, in general, cook for
themselves, buy to-go food or eat out. If they want to go
shopping, they may go to shopping malls, outlets, or department
stores. Also the clothes, shoes, accessories, or cosmetics of
some well-known brands in the United States are much cheaper
than those in Taiwan. In other words, the American college
students can find many good buys in shopping malls,
department stores, especially in outlets, so they do not need to
go to "night markets" to find cheaper stuff.
The differences between American college students
and Taiwanese college students are not only in the recreations,
but also in the way of receiving the grades in school. In Taiwan,
teachers or professors grade students in numbers from zero to
one hundred points, and sixty points is the threshold of getting a
credit. Nowadays, the universities and community colleges are

ELI Student Voices 15

getting more and more, there is more competition among
schools, and therefore teachers or professors of some schools
have to give good grades to students by pushes from school
administration. Otherwise, the schools will lose more students
and cannot afford the salaries of the faculty and staff. In
addition, the threshold of entering a university is way too
simple, so students have fewer pressures for competing with
each other, and they think they can get a credit very easily.
Because of this situation, most Taiwanese high school students
can go to college or university fairly readily without studying
and the college students can get the diploma extremely easily in
some schools. In contrast, universities use letter grades- a D to
an A or a F in the United States. The D is equal to the sixty
points to sixty-nine points in Taiwan, and a C is the same as
seventy points to seventy-nine points, and so on, and a F means
fail which is the same as the score from zero to fifty-nine points
in Taiwan. Additionally, the condition is not like it is in
Taiwan. Because there are more high school students desiring
to go to college or university, the high school students are more
competitive for entering a college or university. In other words,
they have to spend longer and longer time studying to get a
good score and obtain the scholarships to pay for the college or
university tuition. According to a survey of American college
students in the past and present, although two-thirds of
professors think that most students lack basic skills for college
level work, the college students are still more active and
aggressive than Taiwanese college students because it is still
hard to maintain their scholarships.
In addition to the way of receiving grades in school,
another difference between American college students and
Taiwanese college students is the sense of having jobs in
college life. In the Asian culture, the only purpose of going to
college is learning. Of course, in Taiwan, the families will try to
provide everything that the college students need. Most parents
do not like their college student children getting a part-time job,
even a full-time job, when they are studying. The parents do not
want the college students to worry about anything but studying.
Therefore they will give the college students enough money for
living and for recreations. However, even though most of the
college students have enough money to survive in college, they
still like having a part-time job for fun. They like to experience
something else they are also interested in. Some of the college
students at this moment do not have good sense of spending
money. They spend money without considering their financial
conditions, so sometimes they have to get a job to pay their
bills. On the contrary, over forty-seven percent of American
college students are concerned that they have to have ajob in
2004. In American culture, after the high school students
graduated from school they will leave home to live outside for
their new college lives and become independent. Many of the
college students are concerned about their financial conditions.
Therefore, the American college students need to find a job to
pay their apartment rentals, gasoline, electric bills, water bills,
cell phone bills, and recreational costs. Furthermore, many of
the college students have a job because they want to prove
themselves. If they have more work experience, it is also an
advantage for seeking a properjob in the future.

To conclude, the American and Taiwanese college
students have differences in recreation, the way of being graded
and the sense of having jobs in college life, and these are
merely some aspects where American and Taiwanese college
students are different. Although there exists so many
differences between American and Taiwanese college students,
their primary goal of attending colleges is finding a better job or
making more money to improve their lives in the future.
Because of the economic downturn, most American and
Taiwanese college students are readying themselves to face a
harder future.

Living in the U.S. for First Time Can Be
David Vasquez Perez

When I came here alone, I felt that everything was
different; the rules, the lifestyle, and the food. First, I had some
luck, because I came with my brother and my cousins. But in
the other way I wasn't so lucky, I missed my family and
friends. There are many differences between Venezuela and the
U.S., and I will explain three of them.
The first thing that I noticed was the different rules. In
Venezuela, we have more freedom to do some activities. For
example, about the driving rules in the U.S., we must be
cautious of breaking a rule. The driving laws in the U.S. are
taken very seriously. Another thing that we have to be cautious
is about is doing something against the law because we are
international students, and we can be deported to Venezuela.
The second thing is the family and the lifestyle. In
Venezuela, I had really good parents and they helped me a lot to
keep going and reach my goals. They helped me in everything
at home, like cooking, and cleaning. Here, I have to take care of
myself and do all my stuff. This is one of the hardest
The last problem is the difference between the kinds of
food. When I buy something in the market, like meat or
chicken, and I cook it, the taste of the food is very different
from my country's food. Another difference in the food is the
cook; in my house my mom was a very good cook and did a
good job, however, here I have to do it. That changes the taste
of the food a lot.
In conclusion, here in the U.S. I feel a lot of
differences; it can be the taste of the food, the lack of family, or
the presence of too many rules. In the end, we have to become
accustomed and accept the differences. Just take the good
things, accept them and forget about the bad things.

Stadium Fight
Ehab Musharbash

ELI Student Voices 16

I was sitting in the stadium one day when suddenly I
saw how the players fight in the stadium it was amazing
because I never seen in my life how the players fight in the
stadium before that day. First, they started fight in a small group
but after one hour they started again to fight and the second
time was scary because the fight was big not like the first time.
After that, the police officer came over to stadium because
people started fight with each other. After four minutes the
policeman fixed the problem. Then, I saw how some people
were bloody because they were fighting with the policeman too;
however, after that, I was still in the stadium because it was
Sunday and was nothing for me to do so I still looking to the
stadium how big is because it was my first time when I go to
the stadium I felt myself free and I didn't know why I felt that
feeling maybe because I was alone in that moment, and I didn't
feel how the time Gan fast, maybe because I was writing when I
was in the stadium about my feeling how was my first day in
the stadium after that I still coming to the stadium to write what
I feel or if I have a bad mood I come here, because every needs
to be alone sometimes and now am here in the stadium and
writing for you this history with all my feeling because the
weather is nice sunny and a little bit hot and I like this weather
and I recommend if someone want's to be alone or has a bad
mood to come over here to make a happiness.

To Reach Your American Dream!
Gulsah Billor
RW 41

People who move from overseas to the U.S. every year
to study have the American Dream. They want to have a good
career in the future. However, it is not easy to adapt to a new
culture. There are difficulties and challenges when coming to
the U.S. for the first time. Aldo is one of my classmates. He
came from Venezuela. Before I came to the U.S., I thought
Latin America culture was close to American culture, but he
told me when he came to the U.S. he experienced some
problems. The problems included; culture, language, and
weather. We can say all these problems are common for
Aldo told me when he came to the U.S. his first
problem was the culture. He experienced cultural shock when
he came to the U.S. He thinks Americans are more
individualistic than Venezuelan people. They don't like to talk
much and they don't like to use body language (hugging,
kissing, etc.).He told me in Venezuela people always like to talk
and touch each other. When he rides the bus, no one makes eye
contact with him. Instead, everybody listens to mp3 players and
they are looking somewhere, but he doesn't understand what
they are looking at. Therefore, he feels lonely even though he
came to Gainesville with his other Venezuelans friends.
Aldo's second problem was language when he came
here. He had studied English in Venezuela, and had visited the
U.S. before. However, it is difficult to understand Americans
when they are talking because of their accent and their fast-
talking. At first, he couldn't understand anything, so he felt like

a fish out of water. I can relate to him because when I came to
the U.S. I felt like Aldo. In addition, this was my first
experience in the U.S.
Weather was another problem for Aldo. He told me in
Venezuela the weather is always sunny, but when he first came
here, he froze even though he was in Florida because the
weather was so much colder than his expectations. I cannot
imagine if he went to Canada. What would he do?
In conclusion, everyone will have some problems
when arriving in a new country and being introduced to a new
culture. Some people can adapt easily, while others find it
difficult to adapt and some cannot adapt at all. We came to the
U.S. to achieve our dreams about America. Therefore, we
should try to adapt without losing our identity. In addition, if
you like to meet new people and learn a new culture, it will be

Differences Between Men and Women:
Who does What?
Anne Traub

Every day, when I get up in the morning I see the same
picture: the dining is room completely messy and dirty. I can't
understand why there are four empty cups of coffee, three half-
drank diet coke glasses, and the chocolate milk out of the
fridge. It drives me crazy. My husband studies until 3 AM every
day and, of course, he is tired. I scold him, but peacefully he
answers me, "I am sorry, I can't avoid it." Then, I start to clean
the house up, and, immediately, he takes the garbage out. That
is how our day begins. Taking in mind these reactions I think to
myself every time: Why are Rodrigo and I so different? Is his
"exhaustion" the main reason why he doesn't put the glasses
and cups away? The answer to that lays in the gender
differences of style of behavior, brain structure, and specific
Men and women conduct their actions in two very
different ways. While men use fewer words, talk almost always
only when it is necessary, and speak with declarative
statements; women speak almost every time, invent new issues
when the last topic is over, and use question statements in their
speech. The same occurs when both discuss; most of the time
men give a short and unfriendly answer, like: "I am sorry, I
can't avoid that." However women try to be more polite and
look for a real solution to the problem. Sometimes, just a "no"
answer would be hurtful for a woman, but in some cases, it
tends to be more assertive and could avoid an imminent
struggle between man and woman.
Another important topic between the gender
differences is the brain predisposition. Men are single-minded.
It means that they cannot do more than one thing at a time. If he
is studying, he just pays attention to it and unquestionably he
performs very well in his lessons. Clearly, there is no relation
between the disaster in the dining room and Rodrigo's
exhaustion; he never remembers to clean it up because it is not
a matter of his concern, it does not cause any problem to his
studies' purposes. On the other hand, women are multitasking;

ELI Student Voices 17

their brain organization allows them to do a lot of things, more
than their typical-preassigned chores. Indeed, if a woman has a
problem with her car, obviously she will try to solve it by
herself before calling her husband for help. However, if a man
has a problem with a classic women task, such as cooking,
probably he will not try to solve it by himself. The most
probable reaction would be to call his wife to say, "Honey,
something strange is happening in the kitchen, can you please
come here and take a look???"
Regarding the eventual reaction of a man doing a
woman chore, it is proven that men and women undoubtedly
have different occupations and culturally it is so understood.
Men belong to the mines, construction, army, air force and
police. On the other hand, women fit in better in nursing,
elementary school, and of course fulfilling all the house tasks.
Regarding these home chores, sometimes men have some
prefixed duties and they respond only to them. In the case
described before, his work is to put the garbage away, and he
never forgets it, but cleaning the kitchen and washing the cups
and glasses are tasks not included in the agreement between
them. In conclusion, he doesn't understand that he could have
done it. In his head these jobs are only for women.
The differences regarding genders in subjects like way
of conducting themselves, intellect configuration, and jobs
maybe cause that men and women don't understand each other,
but finally, at the end of the day, those dissimilarities between
them certainly make the world function better, because men and
women provide different and independent valuable things to the
life and environment. Men perform in a direct, assertive, but
more inefficient manner. However, women act in a sensible,
polite and more productive way. It is true that women complain
about men and men nag about women, but, it is more certain
that they cannot live without the others and nobody imagines a
world without both of them. In conclusion, the one is the
"support" or "little engine" of the other and an indescribable
necessity exists between them.

First Moments Passed in the USA
Fofana Oumou
RW 41

Have you ever woken up one morning, and found that
you're in another country where everything is different
compared to your home country? This is what all those for
whom English isn't the native language are confronted with
everyday. Indeed, this is one among all kinds of problems.
These could be limited to three main ones: speaking English,
which is new for them, the food and the new culture. During
this essay, we'll explain in detail those three issues.
First of all, the new language is English. The problem
of coming here for the first time without speaking English is a
serious change. As a result, they feel lost and isolated. They
can't watch TV or listen to radio in their native language.
Furthermore, most of the time, they have some difficulty in
reading and understanding the highway driving laws. Namely,
they can't drive or cross the street safely. To sum up, the fact
that they aren't English speakers in an English speaking country

is very difficult for them. However, English isn't the only one
Next, when they come to the USA, they have to adapt
themselves to eating local USA food. Indeed, most of the
foreigners complain about USA food, because they find that it's
not spicy enough. On the other hand, most of the foreigners find
that fast food is eaten too often here, despite the fact that it's not
very healthy. Lastly, they also complain about the taste of the
food. They find that USA food is tasteless compared to their
country. In essence, changing eating habits such as no spicy
food, fast food or tasteless foods, tends to disorient foreigners.
Finally, a third issue can also contribute to the
problems; it's the new culture. The foreigner finds himself in a
new culture when arriving in the USA. The foreigner, often,
don't know much about tipping rules, eye contact, and
American football, the most popular game in the USA. On the
tipping rules for example, they don't know that they must give a
tip for services such as the restaurant or on an order delivered at
home. Next, most of the time, they aren't aware about the eye
contact, which is very important in the USA. It's the same for
the American football game; they ignore the rules most of the
time, and don't feel involved during the big championship
games. Finally, the foreigners have to experience a new culture
and new manner such as tipping, eye contact, and American
To summarize, coming to the USA for the first time
can be challenging. The new entrants have to face three
different issues: the new language (English), the new food, and
the shift in eating habits. Nevertheless, coming to the USA can
also be interesting and pleasant because it's always good to see
new places, new faces, and try to be immersed in a new culture,
especially, for persons who are seeking for new sensations.

When I Came to the U.S.
David Lorente
RW 41

"A mountain, when you have no knowledge about it,
you see the mountain like a mountain, but when you begin to
have knowledge, you stopped seeing it like a mountain." Have
you ever heard this before? For me, this means a lot, when you
don't know about something, you see things easily. However,
the more knowledge you have, then the more you realize that it
is more complex than you thought. Some of the things that you
have to deal with are the language, the food, and finally, the
First, once I thought that my English in Spain wasn't
bad at all. But I only needed one day in the U.S., to find that my
English level wasn't even a good beginning. Thus, you have to
deal with many different accents here in the U.S., which are
really difficult to understand. This is one of the main
characteristics in this country, as well as it is a multicultural
country. Then, when you finally are able to understand
something and try to answer it, you feel blank and nervous. This
is the moment when you realize that there are a lot of
improvements in English that you need to make.

ELI Student Voices 18

The next thing that I had to handle was the food. As it
is different from the food of my country. I find it difficult to get
used to. The food of the U.S. is spicy and doubles its size so
you have to control what you eat, if you don't want to gain
weight. This is why you have to adapt your mind and your body
to this new experience that you are living.
Finally, I want to talk about the transportation in the
U.S. compared to the ones in Spain. Here in the U.S., you have
to have a car if you want to go anywhere. The distances are
longer than in Spain where if you want to buy some bread you
only need to go to the street and walk three steps to get it, so
driving everywhere is also a new aspect that you have to get
accustomed to.
In conclusion, going to live to another country has its
pros and cons. You have to deal with a lot of different situations
such as the language, the food and also the transportation.
However, this is an experience, which I would recommend to

Gender Differences
Deborah d'Abreu Regina

Since the time of Adam and Eve we can see the
differences between those two sexes, but does it change
anything? Does sex matter? We always have many questions
about the differences of genders--the way they think, how they
behave in many situations, among other diversities. We already
know that male and female are entirely poles apart. Feminists
claimed in the 60th that both the female and male sexes should
be exactly the same; however, things changed and they become
unequal by the way society started to treat them. Researchers
still find some differences in those genders the way they act in
relationships, at work and at home.
Women usually tend to be more sensitive than men in
most of those situations. For example, they always like to have
more intimacy and be very close to their partners. It is the way
they show their love; on the other hand, men want to have more
privacy. They know their partners want to be close, but they do
not accept that. The other characteristic is the way they talk to
each other. Usually women are more patient than men and they
tend to make questions even when they are sure what they are
talking about like "Are you sure?" or "I was wondering" or
even "Don't you think?" Contrary to women, men have a
tendency to be stricter. Men never make questions when they
are sure about what they are talking about. For instance, men
always use phrases like "You a wrong" or "I am sure" or even
"Don't say that." Women at all times like to spend most of the
time with their partners even if they want to enjoy their friends;
however, men tend to spend more time with their friends by
themselves, which is very healthy for the relationship for the
relationship because everybody should have their social life
outside of the home.
Not only can they be different in day-to-day
relationship, emotionally, but also they can be very different in
the workplace. Women are constantly more susceptible when it
comes to male-female interactions in this field. For example,

when it comes to giving orders, men and women can act in
different ways. Women are more likely to soften their demands,
using tag lines more harmoniously. Moreover, they tend to use
phrases like "I think you could" or "Maybe it is better in the
other way" or even making questions like "How about...?" or
"Don't you think...?" When it comes to a demand, women tend
to make suggestions instead of give orders. Men, on the other
hand, tend to be bossy at all times. Usually, they do not ask -
they demand. Phrases like "You should do it that way!" or "I
don't like it." Making suggestions is not common for men.
Another important difference between men and women is that
women normally ask more questions than men. Of course men
ask questions as well, but with the other completely different
purpose. Men ask questions to collect information. Women, in
contrast, ask questions to either obtain information or just to
confirm what they already know the answers. It occurs because

they want to show attention in what the other person is saying.
It is a way to promote a good relationship.
Asking questions is a natural habit of women; for
example, they are more likely to ask questions in all the
situations above. Women are used to asking questions all the
time even with their families, even though they know the
answer for those questions. They do it for many reasons. The
most important reason is to have a good relationship with their
families. In the home, women tend to ask questions to give
orders, as they do in their jobs; however, sometimes this kind of
attitude does not work the way they want; on the contrary, they
irritate members of their families by using "Why?", "How so?"
among other questions. On the other hand, sometimes it is very
helpful because when they want to demand, they do it politely
by using "Could you, please...?" or "Would you, please....?"
However, men still tend to be straighter to demand, even at
home. They use phrases like "Do it!" or "This way is wrong!"
are very common in men's attitudes.
Relationships are like those two poles of a battery.
There is no energy without both of them. Without it there is no
power and without power the relationship can fail. Each gender
has its particularity; hence, it's is very important to respect the
other person's sex. They can be either more emotional or more
rational, but we always need both characteristics to have a good
connection. As a result, men and women should work together
on their relationships together for a healthy liaison; so, there is
no waltz without a pleasant couple.

Tu Table Etiquette
Haiyan Xing

Nowadays, more and more people realize that the table
etiquette is a hot topic. It's undoubted that the etiquette is very
important part of folk culture, and it plays an important role in
people's life. But, due to the different backgrounds, there is
different table etiquette in many countries. In China, because
there are 56 ethnic groups living together, you can find a lot of
table etiquette in the customs. Now let us give an example to
introduce some rules of Tu's table etiquette. If you visit the

ELI Student Voices 19

Tu's family, you must understand their customs and pay
attention to three rules.
The Tus are especially hospitable. All guests,
including passersby and anyone that should ask for an
accommodation, are welcomed with open arms. They believe
the visitors can bring good luck. They have some special foods,
a kind of round cake called 'Tahuri', for a rare visitor.
Traditionally, guests are treated to a five course meal, such as
buttered tea, deep fried noodles with stewed beef ribs, a variety
of stuffed buns, meat eaten with the fingers. The last course of
the Tus' specialty is homemade long noodles.
Firstly, you should wait for the older people to sit
down before you find your seat. As the guests enter, they are
seated and join the dinner, but you must to wait if there are
some old people in the dinner because the old people must be
seated in the middle seat. In the Tu's opinion, the middle seat is
related to the folk religion. And you can't touch any foods
before the eldest man does.
In the second place, Tu nationality has another custom
that shows their respect to you. The host will propose three
toasts for you, and sing some old folksongs when they give you
three cups of wine. If you don't drink, you must use dip your
finger in a little wine and spray it into the air three times. This is
symbol of your prayer to sky, earth, and ancestors. It is
impolite that you eat anything before you do it.
Thirdly, even though many people have lunch or
dinner together, every body must keep quiet, because it is very
rude when someone at the table is talking loudly, especially
when he has some food in his mouth. In addition, you must be
attentive to other people on the table, and usually use your
chopsticks give them some food, such as vegetables, fruits,
meats and so on, when you find other people's plate is empty.
In short, the Tus has an interesting table etiquette as part
of their customs. For example, they respect their guests and
their children must be on their best behavior as not to drive
guests away. In my opinion, there are many things need we to
learn about table etiquette if we want to go the other place or
counties. Abiding by those rules is very useful for
communication between guests and hosts.

The Differences Between Men and Women
Ying-Ju Chen (Maggie)

Humanity has known that men and women are very
dissimilar in physiology and psychology for a long time. Since
the scientific journal was created in 1665, there have been over
tens of thousands of scientific articles about the differences of
men and women. People can notice the differences between
men and women very easily; for example, most men are
interested in cars, sports or women; on the other hand, most
women are not interested in those subjects, instead they are into
make up, fashion or things that look pretty. No matter what the
subjects are, men and women have different point of views.
Many scientists have done research on how different it is
between men and women in relationship, communication and
the structure of the brain.

The differences between men and women are not only
in their interests, but also in their behaviors in relationships.
Men and women have very different standpoints about their
relationships. Men can date women just because of their
wonderful shape of body or good looks. When asked what is the
most important thing that men care about women they may
answer loyalty or appearance. Also, when men are in
relationships, they usually need some personal space. They can
just watch ball games all day long without talking to their wives
or girlfriends or even by themselves. According to Mark
Gungor, men do not have many connections in their brain. In
other words, men have many boxes in their brain, but most
boxes do not connect with each other when they are working. In
addition, the favorite box of men is the "nothing box" which
does not have anything in it and men use it all the time. In
contrast, most women would not fall in love just because of
men's appearances while they value the harmony much more
and they think the most important thing about men is loyalty,
hard working or dependability. Women like to have more
intimacy with their husbands or boyfriends, and they always
keep thinking and like to share every little thing with others.
In addition to relationship, the communications
between men and women are different. Most men are more
direct in the way of talking, which is probably affected by
education or society so that they are taught to be more active
and protective. For example, men like to interrupt each other
aggressively, and they prefer, "Hey, listen to me!" or "That's
bull shit!" instead of "Sorry for the interruption!" or "Could
you listen to me for a while?" Men usually do not talk about
their personal relationships or private lives because they care
more about what others think and therefore are more defensive
and concealed. In comparison, when women talk to each other
they are more polite or circumlocutory. For example, women
are more prone to say, "sorry," "maybe," "probably" when they
do not agree with others. In addition, most women usually let
the speakers finish their sentences, and then interrupt with
"Sorry, may I say something?" or "I am sorry for the
interruption but I am afraid I cannot agree with you." Women
like to have more empathy and become more involved with
others, therefore they love to share and discuss their personal
relationships and feelings.
In addition, many scientists have proved that one of
the reasons of the differences between men and women in
relationships and communications are because of the structure
of the brain. The studies showed that the sizes of men and
women's brain are different, that is, men's brains are bigger
than women's. Men and women sometimes use the different
parts of the brain when they are thinking, talking, learning,
hearing or memorizing. Women have more connections (more
widespread white matter) in brains hence they have better
concrete thinking. For instance, women are usually better in
human relations, esthetic appreciations, verbal languages and
recognizing emotional behavior of others. Research has also
shown that brain's serotonin (the neurotransmitter called "the
happiness hormone") system is dissimilar between men and
women, causing women to suffer depression and anxiety more

ELI Student Voices 20

Men and women are different in behaving in
relationships, in the ways of interacting with and responding to
other people and structural properties of the brain. These are
just some of the aspects where men and women are different.
Although men and women are very dissimilar in certain fields,
they have gotten on well with each other for a long time. For
instance, most men are attracted by the women's expression of
speech and emotion, or their appearances. Moreover, most
women love men that are active, have initiative, and some
women even like to be dominated by men. In conclusion, men
and women can complement each other very well because of
the differences.

1. Blass, L., & Pike-Baky, M. (2007). Gender and
Relationships, Mosaic2. (pp. 48-49). New York: Mc
Graw Hill.
2. Anitei, S. (Feb 16t, 2008) Breakthrough Discovery of
Brain Differences Between Men and Women. It also
explains PMS! Softpedia, Feb 22th, 2009, from
3. Gungor, M. (Feb 8t, 2009). Men's Brain Women's Brain.
YouTube, Feb 19t, 2009, from

All My Needs are Adjusting
Young-Dae Lee

"People can't live without society." I saw this quote in
a sociology class when I was a high school student. It means
people have to adjust their society and then they can live
together. When I came here in the U.S, I needed to change and
challenge a lot of things for adjusting the U.S. Everything are
continuations of challenges such as language, food, and
transportation. These things pushed me to challenge them. It
took a very long time, and made me tired.
First of all, it's challenging to learn a language in a
new country. Without this, I couldn't do anything what I
wanted to do. For example, I couldn't eat food. When I ordered
"Coke and Sashimi", the waiter asked me ho" do you want to
it cooked". I was embarrassed and I couldn't understand why
she asked me that. So, I told her again, "Sashimi and Coke." At
that time, she understood what I ordered. They had understood
"Cooked Sashimi." This event taught me that pronunciation was
very important and how my pronunciation was poor.
Next, every meal was a challenge to me. When I get
hungry, I need to think what do I want to eat. In my country, I
know what was delicious to me, so I could choose what I
wanted to eat. However, in the US I didn't know what is good
at a restaurant. Actually, I still don't know what is good, so I
have to read the menu and then check what is in the food.
Sometimes, it gave me tragic experiences. I couldn't eat food
that I ordered, so I left the food. I was sorry about it, but I didn't
want to make an experiment with my stomach.

The last thing of challenge was transportation. When I
knew that on every Sunday in Gainesville, there was no bus. I
thought Gainesville was like a prison. I couldn't go anywhere
on Sunday without other people helping. During that time, I
was going to be crazy and felt lonely. So, I tried to meet
someone who had a car and took me somewhere. Now days, I
can go to everywhere, because I made a lot of friends who are
very kind, so they delightfully help me when I needed them.
In conclusion, sometimes I thought Gainesville was a
terrible city, because of the language, meals, and transportation.
However, when I had overcome all of my challenges, it became
to change. Gainesville is a good city if you understand and
adjust more and more. These experiences taught me that every
challenge could give me not only failure and frustrations, but
also the success of overcoming my challenges. When I succeed,
the feeling can't be compared to any thing else.

Positive Effects of Globalization in Peru
Wagner Guzman

Nowadays globalization is the most important process
around the world. Globalization is integration in different
subjects. Globalization effects are positives for developing
country economies. South America countries to find in this
process an opportunity to improve their economies. In Peru,
globalization helps to improve the economy through product
commercialization, communication and tourism.
Commercial agreements with different countries help
to improve the product commercialization. For example,
commercial agreement with US will increase exports in $9,000
M beginning with 2010. In addition, 81,000 new direct and
indirect employment will be creating. (1) Commercial
agreements with China and European Union will subscribe in
the next months. These agreements will have a great impact in
the Peruvian economy.
New communication alternatives help to improve the
economy. For example, three international highways have been
built with support of Development International Bank, DIB.
These communication alternatives have increased export and
import of products inside South America and between South
America and Asia. Today, new products between Peru and
Brazil are trading and a lot of families receive economic
benefits. The results are also positive inside regional
Nowadays more tourists are visiting Peru because of
globalization. The tourist quantity arrived Peru in 2008 was
over 2.0 M people. The economic activity benefits associated
with tourism were over $2000 M. In addition, tourism gives
employment in restaurant (41%), transportation (36%), hotel
(18%), and travel agencies (5%). (2) Today, tourism is the more
important activity in Peruvian economy enjoy with mining.
Globalization effects are dynamics. Around the world
a lot of countries are integrating and they all to obtain great
benefits. Diverse activities have different effects in developing
country economies, and in general these effects are positives.

ELI Student Voices 21

Peruvian economy grows constantly because of globalization.
Diverse indicators show us these results.

(1) Additional information found in :
lhp "
ru,+tlc+peru/EU&cd=8&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&lr=lang en|la

(2) Additional information found in :
hup \ \ \ .consorcio.org/CIES/html/pdfs/RedEmpleo/7chacalt

Thanks from the Editor
Thank you for sharing your writing with everyone. I hope you
enjoy reading your fellow students' essays, paragraphs, and
poetry. Also thanks to Megan Forbes and the University of
Florida Bookstore 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 Todd Allen, Daryl Bish, Megan Forbes,
Melina Jimenez, Emily Kirby, Jen Ramos, Tom Ratican, and
Katherine Sirgey for reading and evaluating the entries.
Thanks everyone! Steve Flocks


English Language Institute
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Gainesville, FL 32611-7051, USA
Phone: (352) 392-3354
Fax: (352) 392-3744
Email: StudyEnglish@eli.ufl.edu
Webpage: www.eli.ufl.edu

ELI Student Voices 22

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