ELI STUDENT VOICES
Volume 14, Issue 1 Spring, 2010
My Love Story (1st Place)
I'm sitting on a beach at Sicily, waiting for my
husband; he is buying some food to eat at the beach. Today is
our anniversary; we got married 5 years ago on this romantic
and fulfilling beach. My story is one of the most sentimental
stories ever to be written. It begins when I saw him at a
restaurant in my hometown. It never came to my mind that he
will end up being the person whom I would spend the rest of
my life with. When I saw him, I felt something strange;
however, I never thought that my feelings were real. He wasn't
an outspoken guy. Still after we started to establish a friendship
and everything began to get so much funnier and enjoyable, the
biggest nightmare of my life appeared with no sense of
kindness whatsoever. As you may know, nothing in life is
perfect. The boy whom I started to like, had a different life, far
away from where my dreams are able to reach. He lived in the
United States. A different country, city and even weather. When
we acknowledged that our lives were completely opposite, it
was too late to go back. We were so in love that we decided to
continue our immense love distance-relationship. It was very
hard, but apparently it got harder for him. Heartbreakingly, he
broke up with me one month after he left Colombia. For me it
was a moment that I will never forget. My life, dreams, hopes
and everything that made my life happier came to an end. I was
only 15 years old, and he was my first and last love.
A year after he came back to Colombia, we hadn't
talked for 6 months and that day he arrived, my life changed
completely. My love, and ex boyfriend was in town. He tried to
talk to me about how regretful he was for ending our
relationship. I suffered extremely hard when he wasn't with me,
and I didn't feel ready to go back with him knowing that no
matter what, he had to go back to his country. The moment I
saw him, my inside was dying, but I had to be strong and follow
whatever was best for him. After many fights and talks that
went on for hours about excuses and events that damaged our
relationship, we decided that our love made the world smaller
and that there were no excuses that justified not being together
and living a life that most people would consider impossible,
but for us, it was a life full of happiness and love waiting to be
taken and used at its maximum. When he returned home, the
relationship continued with the same difficulties, but my
feelings will never change. He came for Christmas, and we
went to my family's house. He met my family and our love got
so much stronger every time he came to visit me. When I
graduated, I moved to the USA to start a life with him and to
become a very successful psychologist.
We experienced many things together, such as fights,
worries, and mostly happiness. We achieved our dreams
together, and we lived the life that we always wanted, together
forever and ever.
On May 5, we got married in Sicily exactly where I'm
sitting now, writing my love story. Currently, I'm expecting a
baby and honestly, I'm the happiest woman in the whole
universe. Everything is perfect because I have the only thing
that matters to me, my loving husband.
Pick up the Phone
It was the day that I came home from spring break. I
had enjoyed the fantastic weather of the west coast in San
Diego and the tremendous view of the Grand Canyon. I had
even won $100 on the slot machines in Las Vegas. When I
came back home, I was still saturated in happiness from my
spring break. Moreover, when I found an e-mail from my
friend, I couldn't be happier because we usually do not send e-
mail even though we are very close friends. However, my
happiness suddenly disappeared with the click on the e-mail.
It was such a long e-mail which just started with a
normal greeting. But, when I saw the sentence "I regret to
inform you...," I couldn't read it anymore because my eyes
were filled with tears. It informed me that one of my best
friends, Suk-Hyun Lee, passed away on March 14th which was
the day that I was enjoying the sunshine on the Beach in Santa
Barbara. I couldn't believe it since he was a man of sturdy build
and as strong as an ox. So, I dialed another friend hoping it was
a lie. However, I just heard "I am so sorry" repeatedly. I felt
dizzy as if the room were spinning around and around. My
knees were knocking and my hands were trembling and there
was nothing I could do to stop them. Tears started falling down
my cheeks, and there was nothing I could do to stop them. I lied
on the bed and kept crying with regret.
We had been very good friends since elementary
school. We played soccer after school, studied together during
the exams, and teased each other about girls. We were always
together no matter if we were happy or sad. He was happier
than me when I entered the university; he was sadder than me
when I broke up with my first love. Nevertheless, I never said
to him, "thank you" or "I love you." Even worse, I rarely kept
in touch with him after entering the university. I told myself
that I was too busy to be in contact with him. Moreover, before
I came to the U.S., I only called him and said "I will see you
when I get back" instead of meeting him. I did this even though
I knew that I would not see him for almost one year. At that
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time, I thought that we would have plenty of time to be together
in the future. However, he did not wait for me any longer.
Now, I wish I could spend just one more day with
him; I eagerly wish to meet him and say, "Thank you, I love
you." Nonetheless, he cannot listen no matter how I cry out. So,
I am regretting not saying these words to him, and I will carry
this regret through my life because of what I didn't say when he
was alive. However, he has given me a precious lesson with this
sorrow. Thanks to him, I recognize how important relationships
are in my life. I also realize that I should express my love and
appreciation to others. As a result, I called my parents and said
"I love you" for the first time in my life.
Sometimes it is already too late when you realize
something valuable in your life. I did. So, I have a lot of regret.
However, I hope that this regret will not be part of your life.
Please pick up the phone and call your family or friend right
now. And say, "Thank you" or "I love you." They may not wait
The Human Face
Grammar for Writing
In the technology era, every single thing has started to
become robotic. Technology, which has invaded all aspects of
our lives, creates a new kind of communication among people.
Although high-tech devices such as computer, internet, TV,
make everything easier and faster, they create a new society in
which people do not need to use their human characteristics.
While most people give up unconsciously using their
human behaviors, the ones who have not forgotten that human
behaviors can show the things inside us live an aware life; also,
they take the advantages of showing their expressions by being
cured by their own body. In our mechanical world, how many
people know that a small smile could show the future, or a
micro eyebrow movement is a clue to catch a liar, or a
laugh could be much more useful than a commercialized
medicine. I have watched a documentary named The Human
Face which forced me to being aware of the miracles of the
First, smiling which is a facial expression that you do
maybe more than hundred times a day. It is a usual thing for
everyone, but it has a great power, the power of psychics. In the
first part of The Human Face, the scientist conduced a
experiment which provided a perfect proof for showing that a
smile could show the future. The scientists took three women,
and analyzed their high school alumni pictures to guess who
would have a happy life by detecting their smiling styles. After
30 years, they interviewed these women, and they saw that the
women who had a true enjoyment smile, which includes lifting
the covers of the lips and wrinkles around the eyes, had a
happy life. On the other hand, the other two women who had a
fake smile, which has the same movements on lips but has not
any movements around the eyes, did not have a happy life.
While this experiment proves that a little smile could show the
future, another research showed that the person who has a true
enjoyment smile can easily be the focusing point of a group. A
study was conducted with 24 college students in Turkey about
the social benefits of smiling. In advance, their photos were
taken, and then they were put in three different groups, and
were asked to introduce themselves to each others, and after 3
hours they were asked to write all information that they had
about the other students. Results showed that students
remember more information about the students who have a true
enjoyment smile. While these two experiments prove that the
facial expressions can be the magic globe, there are other
studies which show that these small movements can be our lie
Lying is the one of the most dangerous human
behaviors, and it is too hard to know when someone lies.
Furthermore, we do not have any alternatives other than trusting
a coin. However, the facial expressions give a great chance to
stay away from a liar, or catch a liar. Lying has many different
effects on our body. The lie detectors have ability to catch liars
with 80% percent of success. Despite its great success, this
system has a tremendous failing that if people who used to be
accused by their parents in the childhood are connected to the
lie detector, the device will blame them with being a liar even
though they are not. On the other hand, lies can be detected by
detecting some micro facial expressions as the same high
success ratio with the device that has a dangerous disability. Dr.
Ekcman, psychology professor at the University of Chicago,
said that there were specific micro movements when we lied,
and detecting these clues could be learnt in a 30-minute special
course. He added as an example that the middle covers of the
eyebrows go up to the forehead when we lied, and provided a
video that Clinton lies in which the micro movements can easily
be seen at the eyebrows. It is explicit that detecting facial
expressions is a better way to detect liars. Not only do
human behaviors have a great power to manage our society, but
they also have power to cure our diseases.
Finally, Laughter is a mystery that have not solved for
thousands of years, and this human behavior provides us free
health care. In the last section of The Human Face
documentary, producers went to India to see the laughter
clubs which are more than 600 in India. They interviewed a
professor who has established a great number of laughter clubs,
and helped people to be healthier by getting benefits of the
laughter. He said that while people are laughing, they inhale
more oxygen, and their body provides more happy hormones.
On account of these effects, their immune system becomes
stronger. In addition, laughter is an effective medicine
against depression and stress. After giving a little theoretical
information, the documentary visited the Bombay Prison in
which the prisoners participated in laughter sessions that took
15-20 minutes. The professor said that these laughter sessions
helped them to eliminate the high stress and depression they
had. It is easy to say that the laughter can forestall mental and
In conclusion, our human behaviors protect us from
disease, show us the future, give us a chance for an honest
world. However, in the new world, few people are aware of the
importance of the facial expressions. On account of
this unconsciousness, our society will be in danger in the near
future. People are forgetting how to smile, laugh; also, they
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have a chance to understand whether someone lies to them or
not. Even though the quality of the health care increases
significantly, new generations will suffer from disease without
the benefits of being human. The future needs to be fixed by the
people who knows how to smile for enjoyment, how to
Keep the Tongue Uncut
A little child is on an operating table. His doctor tells
him to open his mouth. The boy opens his mouth slowly,
trembling with fear. Soon, the doctor cuts the root of the boy's
tongue. Now it is over. What happened to this little boy? It was
not cancer, nor one of any serious physical disorders. It was his
mother's will. She believed it would help her little child
pronounce the English language more clearly. Sadly, this turned
out to have no scientific evidence at all. This is a story that
happened ten years ago in Korea. The blind pursuit of English
has made Koreans slaves of English. Parents and their children
merely think English is a virtue, without having certain reasons
or purposes for learning the language. In this crazy vogue,
Koreans should put the brake on themselves and think about
their attitude toward English on three aspects: individual, social,
First, Koreans need to know the meaning of learning
English in their lives. Some may find that they need English
because of their specific career. Others may learn English for
they are interested in languages. Most study English because
they think they should. As a Korean, I want to ask them a
question, "For what reason are you learning English so hard?"
The answer should not be, "Everybody does it," "My parents
told me to," or "English is the competitiveness." The two
previous answers mean that the respondents do not have their
own opinion at all, though they should be the one responsible
for their life. The last answer is half-correct. It is true when one
is willing to apply for international jobs, or to teach English
itself as a job. For domestic jobs, however, English is optional.
Even if they do not know a single word of English, there is no
problem for the people doing their work,
Second, people should be able to differentiate their
expectations from a social urge. Indeed, one's expectation
reflects social requirements. In Korea, companies demand
applicants to have a high level of English regardless of what
they are applying for, or what they learned in universities. This
is why a great number of Koreans are striving to learn English.
Still, having a specific goal is apart from just following a
societal trend. Korea is a capitalist society. In the name of
capitalism, people try to make themselves buyable goods. As a
junior, I knew a lot of university students who tried to get a
formidable list of qualifications that most of them will probably
not use in their work. One becomes anxious when others get
certificates because it makes them feel inferior; so, one begins
to do likewise. Paradoxically, people become goods of a kind,
which makes them far from being competent. It is obvious that
just learning English does not make people almighty. To be
competent, one needs to have something that others do not
Third, people ought to realize that language is a tool. It
seems that people nowadays regard it as an end. In other words,
it, the goal, should be something that people can do with
English, not just knowing the language itself. Language itself is
just an implement. What distinguishes one from others is an
intension supported by language. For example, if a Korean
docent can speak fluent English, he or she will be fairly
competent because introducing Korean culture is important to
foreigners as well as to their own citizens. In other words,
learning English for their specific career will make one special
in this 'global village'.
What can possibly be more important than preventing
the cutting of a little boy's tongue for nothing? It is
understandable for Koreans to meet their society's demand.
However, there seems to be something missing. People should
have clear goals before they make so much effort. If you want
to be successful, chasing others will not work. Think about
what you really want to do. Find what you need to do for what
you want to do. Make you special. This is how to be competent
in a capitalistic society. Let's keep the tongue uncut.
Our Life is a Continuous Transition
When I was a child, my dad told me a lot of anecdotes.
However, most of the time I did not believe him or pay much
attention to those stories. At that time, games were more
important and besides there were easier and funnier things to
think about than my father's words.
When I turned 11 and celebrated my birthday, my
father gave me as a birthday gift a small, thin and interesting
book called La culpa es de la Vaca. My father's words were,
"read this story, son. It's about the eagle and its transition in
life." To be honest, at that time I didn't have any idea about the
importance of these stories in my near, future life. I will share
this story with you from a book.
The eagle is known for its longevity. It can live to be
70 years old. But to reach this age it needs to change. When it
reaches forty years, the eagle decides its future. It has just two
choices life or death. At this critical time, the eagle can no
longer grab animals properly. Its beak has changed. Now it is
curved and pointed toward its breast and its feathers are old and
heavy which makes it difficult to fly.
The eagle with its last strength begins the transition; it
flies to the highest mountains to isolate itself for 5 months.
Once there, the eagle begins to hit a rock with its beak until it
tears off. Next, when its beak grows out again, the eagle uses it
to tear off its nails one by one. Finally, when its nails grow out,
it starts to change its feathers by pulling them out. After this
painful transition, a new life starts for the eagle (Gutierrez and
During their lives humans have to face periods of
transition, sometimes as painful as the eagle does. Here people
need to decide between accepting death or struggling for their
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dreams. For many nights before I decided to come to
Gainesville, I thought about how difficult and painful it would
be to leave my family, my friends, my girlfriend, my customs,
my food, and my language behind to learn a new language,
understand new customs, and meet new friends. Because of all
these things, I had a lot of unanswered questions in my mind,
such as should I make a lifelong decision now? Will it be better
to just stay at home and keep things the way they are in this
moment? Then, I remembered the story in the book, so I took
the book and read this story again. I thought about how people
need to transform their lives to achieve their dreams. I reshaped
myself to be able to compete and be happy in this world, a new
When I arrived in Gainesville, a lot of questions and
fears were in and around my mind. Before classes started, I
couldn't sleep, but when I started my classes at the ELI little by
little my fears began to disappear. Suddenly, I started to meet a
lot of people with the same fears, questions, dreams and desires.
I introduced myself to a new culture and to new traditions. I've
also learned about new customs, religions, and creeds. I've
learned that we may look very different on the outside, but we
are the same on the inside. Also, I understand every one of us
speaks a different language, which always causes a struggle for
me to make another person understand, but I try to do it by
using English or mime.
Finally, sometimes along life we need to renounce our
customs, traditions, and memories to reach and undertake the
flight of achievement and success. Our gratitude to the ELI
comes from making our dreams to learn easier and happier.
A Turkish writer says "History is read for learning
where you have come from and where you are going, Literature
is read for knowing yourself." The word of Literature in
Turkish is "Edebiyat." The first part of "Edebiyat" comes from
the word of "Edep." "Edep" in Turkish means good manners of
a person. As it seems clearly, literature is directly connected to
humanity in this Turkish word. I am going to give some
examples why literature is so important in our lives.
As you know, there are several philosophical
definitions of humankind; "a human being is the one who
talks", "a human being is the one who can walk on his/her own
two feet", "a human being is the one who laughs." In addition
to the above, I would like to mention about another definition;
"a human being is the one who writes." Interestingly, when we
say "the history of mankind"; we are talking about the time
after the first writing. So we define our history and more then
history, ourselves as writers. This is the very first ontological
importance of literature.
Literature is an effort of trying to understand The
World and ourselves. A piece of literature is capable to affect us
through bad and right manners. Every manner is a potential idea
before it happens. When we share an idea with someone,
something is triggered inside us. Something begins to affect us
in a good or bad way. It is the power of the words, it is the
power of meaning. (Of course, this power and this effort of
understanding shouldn't be wasted and polluted by bad and
mediocre pieces.) Literature is more than just reading and
writing. Sometimes it teaches us some words that we can never
forget and some words that can lead our lives.
Literature is a way of trying to put ourselves in others'
shoes. In other words, it is an empathy experience. Like dreams
and movies, literature makes a sense of reality. By reading, we
learn someone's emotions and thoughts and we feel like
him/her. New words that we haven't heard before, new
emotions that we haven't felt before, new places that we
haven't been before, new jobs, new women/new men, all
together bring us new thoughts and points of view. It awakens
us from our sleep to different worlds outside of us. Of course, I
would like to say understanding might be a negative thing
In the end, Literature is capable of affecting many
things inside us. It can ignite the fire inside us. As a last word,
literature is like a small light for us who are seeking their
My Episodes in U.S.
I had been to Gainesville two years ago with my
husband and my two children. My sister has lived here since
2006. It was so hard to make a vacation plan. So, our heart
swelled with dreams.
Those days were in the middle of August. The weather
looked like the inside of an oven. My family and my sister's
family started our trip to Panama City. We arrived at the
Marriot hotel. And then, we ran toward the beach. My husband
was wearing a Gator T-shirt received from my sister's husband
as a present. It looked good. When we went to rent a parasol,
the guy said to my husband, "I can't give it because you're a
Gator." My husband was surprised and also couldn't
understand. He said again, "I just told a joke, but I hate Gators."
Later, we understood about football games in the U.S. In my
country, football games are not famous. My sister's husband is
also a Gator fan. We were all laughing.
After our Panama-city trip, the weather was horrible.
Finally, heavy rain began to fall. But my husband and I decided
to visit Orlando's Disney World. During a temporary lull in the
rain, we started to drive without my sister's family. We felt
helpless on this first trip. We were nervous. However, we safely
arrived in Orlando. Suddenly, there was a heavy rain. I had
never seen this before. Although we bought rain coats, they
tore. It seemed like someone poured water from the sky.
Fortunately, our Disney trip ended, and we went to parking
garage, but our car was not working. My husband asked a man,
"My car ... battery ... died...help." We couldn't speak English.
My husband was dripping with rain.
Besides of these episodes, we have some fun
happenings coming from different language and culture. While
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these experiences are accumulated, I feel as the United States
that was unfamiliar is intimate gradually.
Effects of Stereotypes and Prejudice on
International News Reporting
Effects of Stereotypes and Prejudice on International News
Most of what people learn about countries and cultures
different from their own comes from the media. They can
receive information through printed, electronic, online or any
other type of media, but the question is whether the source they
choose is credible or not. Being that credibility is such an
important element of the news communication process, and
being that objectivity is one of the most basic aspects needed to
build credibility, we have to consider the fact that a reporter's
objectivity can be affected by prejudice and stereotypes. A
reporter that assumes that "all Muslims are terrorists" or that
"all Colombians are drug dealers" is a reporter whose
objectivity is questionable. While these examples may be
extreme, there are situations in which a reporter is biased by
prejudice and/or stereotypes; news stories produced under such
conditions might not be as credible and truthful as those
developed by a reporter who is willing to go beyond his/her
own preconceptions and appropriately researches about the
people he/she is reporting on. This is why prejudice and
stereotypes can have a significant effect on international news
Defining Stereotypes /Cultural Stereotypes
The Media Awareness Network defines stereotypes as
being "a fixed, commonly held notion or image of a person or
group, based on an oversimplification of some observed or
imagined trait of behavior or appearance" (2010). Being that
this is a very general definition of stereotype, it is important to
specify what will be considered a cultural stereotype in this
paper. Cultural stereotypes are those that are based on
differences that have to do with people's race or geographical
origin. "All Europeans do this", "all Latin Americans are like
that" and any generalization that has to do with ethnicity and/or
culture will be considered a cultural stereotype in this paper.
Defining Prejudice / Cultural Prejudice
The Macmillan dictionary's definition of prejudice is
"to make someone form an opinion about someone or
something before they have enough information" (2010). This
is the general definition of prejudice. We should also consider a
more specific definition of prejudice like the one included by
Milton Kleg (1993) in his book Hate, Prejudice and Racism:
"ethnic or racial prejudice is a readiness to act, stemming from
a negative feeling, often predicated upon a fixed
overgeneralization or totally false belief and directed toward a
group or individual members of that group" (p. 114). As Kleg
also notes in his book, even though prejudice is generally
negative, it can also be positive (p. 114). One person can make
a positive assumption about someone without having enough
information to support that assumption. In either case, prejudice
has a negative impact because it leads to assumptions that may
or may not be wrong. In other words, prejudging leads to
uncertainty, which also has a negative impact in the
Defining International News
There are many ways in which we can determine what
news stories can be categorized as international news. For this
paper, we will use the definition given by James F. Larson
(1988) in his book Global Television and Foreign Policy, where
he defines international news as "any news story that involves a
country other than the United States, regardless of its theme or
place of origin" (p. 30). What is really important about this
specific definition is the fact that it classifies stories as
international news because of the people and countries they
affect, not only because of the place where they originated. For
example, even if a story about military aid from the United
States to Colombia originated in Washington, it would be
considered international news.
As Tony Silvia (2001) points out, Ted Turner's vision
of CNN always included an inclusive approach to international
news. Here's the staff memo from Ted Turner that Silvia
included in his book:
It is the policy [CNN's policy] that any person, event,
etc. which is not a part of the United States be referred
to as international rather than foreign ... the word
foreign implies something unfamiliar and creates a
perception of misunderstanding. In contrast
international means "among nations" and promotes a
sense of unity (as cited in Silvia, 2001, p 5).
We can see that, from the beginning, CNN gave a great deal of
importance to the perception that people have of the news the
network considered to be international. This is the kind of
respectful treatment that leads to credibility.
The Effect of Cultural Stereotypes and Prejudice on
International News Reporting
Since the people involved in the process of
communicating international news come from different cultural
backgrounds, international news can be noticeably affected by
cultural stereotypes and prejudice. When the information about
the people that are part of the story is not objective and
thoroughly researched, the resulting news story can have
unpredictable results on the audiences receiving it. The effects
of cultural stereotypes on international news reporting can be
classified in two categories. The first one deals with the way in
which they affect the source that generates the story, the
reporter. The second category deals with the way cultural
stereotypes and prejudice affect the receivers of the story, the
From the reporter's point of view
When reporters are influenced by stereotypes or
prejudice, the most important effect this influence has on news
stories has to do with the quality of the research and the
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verification of facts. A reporter who assumes that a person or
group can be stereotyped because of their cultural background,
or a reporter who prejudges a person or group involved in a
story is likely to do a poor research because he/she is assuming
as true information that should be confirmed. As Lynn de Iriarte
(2003) indicates, in 1982 President Ronald Reagan authorized
an extensive raid and deportation project called Operation Jobs.
In the next four months, the media covered extensively this
operation providing little context about cheap labor in this
country. Reporters did not include information about the types
of jobs held, working conditions or how many of those workers
were paid less than the minimum wage. Also, even though there
was a great amount of research on the subject, reporters failed
to quote a significant amount of experts (p. 43). It seems like
the reporters assumed that the operation was justified just
because the people that were being pursued were immigrants,
Latino immigrants mostly. The situation might have been
covered more thoroughly if the people involved had not been
identified as mostly Latino immigrants.
From the audience's point of view
In the case of stereotypes and prejudice influencing
audiences, the result might be that the people receiving the story
interpret it in a way that is different from what the situation
being reported was really about. They might be biased and
interpret the facts according to the stereotypes or prejudices
they have in their minds, thus changing the meaning of the
story. In this case, even if the reporter produces a news story
free of stereotypes and prejudice on his part, the result in the
mind of the individual viewer/reader might be very different
from what the facts show. As Janet Rusher (2001) indicates,
audiences easily make generalizations when persons belonging
to a disliked group are involved (p. 167). She cites an excellent
example of this situation given by Winkel (1990), "Dutch
residents who read a news article in which a Turk raped a
woman would tend to presume that another Turk might well do
likewise, but would not make such a generalizing inference
when the perpetrator is Dutch" (as cited in Rusher, 2001, p.
167). This is negative not only because this particular person
gets the wrong message, but also because he/she might pass to
others a version of the story that includes such generalization.
The Resulting News Story can be Changed by the Effects of
Stereotypes and Prejudice
Bias from stereotype and prejudice, either coming
from the reporter or the receiver, can change the effect that a
story can have on an audience. A biased reporter can, either
intentionally or unintentionally, affect people through news
stories; he/she can create confusion or misunderstanding among
audiences. The lives of people receiving biased stories can be
affected in many ways. In some cases, the consequences might
be harmless, but there are cases in which the consequences can
be serious. Stories misinterpreted by biased audiences could
lead to confusion and misunderstanding. Under these
circumstances, people receiving the information might decide to
take wrong or unnecessary actions based on the misinterpreted
First of all, media producers should try to make sure
that reporters aren't ill intentioned; people rely on the ability of
media to control their reporters' objectivity and honesty. Also,
media should make sure that reporters thoroughly research the
stories and present all the relevant information. This way, it
would be more difficult for audiences to be affected by cultural
stereotypes or prejudice; audiences would be able to construct a
more accurate version of the story in their minds. In other
words, in cases where the people involved in a story might be
easily stereotyped or prejudged, reporters should gather and
include in the story as much information as possible about these
people. By doing this, audiences might have the chance of
avoiding bias because of their stereotypes and prejudices.
The objective of any reporter should be writing and
delivering news stories in the most clear, direct and objective
way; international news reporters face the additional challenge
of not only having to avoid their own cultural stereotypes and
prejudice, but also the challenge of producing a story that leaves
as little room as possible for audiences to be biased by their
own cultural stereotypes and prejudice. So, even though the
effect of cultural stereotypes and prejudice on international
news reporting can have very serious consequences, these can
be avoided through the rigorous application of journalism
methodology and ethics.
Lynn de Iriarte, M. (2003). A Problematic Press: Latinos and
the News. Ames: Iowa State Press.
Kleg, M. (1993). Hate, prejudice, and racism. SUNY series,
theory, research, and practice in social education.
Albany: State University of New York Press.
Larson, J. F. (1988). Global television and foreign policy.
Headline series, no. 283. New York, NY: Foreign
Media Awareness Network. (2010). What is a Stereotype?
Retrieved from http://www.media-
Prejudice. (2010) In MacMillan Dictionary online. Retrieved
Ruscher, J. B. (2001). Prejudiced communication: A social
psychological perspective. New York: Guilford Press.
Silvia, T. (2001). Global news: Perspectives on the information
age. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press.
Istanbul and Gainesville
I personally know Istanbul well but not Gainesville. As
soon as I heard Gainesville's name at the first time from my
supervisor in Istanbul, I immediately looked at a map to see
where it is located. I learned a lot of information about
Gainesville in a short time through the Internet. Because I got a
ELI Student Voices 6
scholarship from the Turkish Government, I am now living in
Gainesville for a year as a researcher at the University of
Florida. Now I realized that there are a lot of differences
between Istanbul and Gainesville.
First, there is big a difference in population. While
Istanbul's population is nearly 15 million, Gainesville is only
one hundred and ten thousand. Istanbul is a metropolitan city
but Gainesville is a university city. Istanbul has a lot of high
buildings, but in Gainesville, most of the buildings are only one
floor. Istanbul has very heavy traffic and is a noisy,
complicated, and stressful city. On the contrary, there is no
traffic in Gainesville and it is a quiet and organized city.
Moreover, there is only the RTS bus system. This bus system is
a free for students and people of UF. But in Istanbul there are
many buses, railway, subway, metro, and marine
Secondly, Istanbul is a very old city, but Gainesville is
not. Istanbul has three different kinds of cultures that stem from
the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires, respectively.
Istanbul was the capital city of all these empires. So, Istanbul
has a lot of historical monuments such as palaces, mosques,
churches, water belts, fountains, and tombs. There are four
kinds of museums in Istanbul. Istanbul is a European city of
culture 2010 (1 and 2). Gainesville is a very new city. It became
part of Spanish colony in December, 1817 (3 and 4). Its old
name is Hogtown (5).
Another big difference is in the weather. Gainesville's
weather is warmer than Istanbul's. While Gainesville's weather
is tropical, Istanbul has a continental climate. Istanbul has very
cold weather and it snows several times a year; however,
Gainesville is rather mild and it never snows. This winter in
Gainesville was slightly colder than normal. This year
Gainesville experienced the coldest year of one hundred twenty
five years. Otherwise Gainesville's weather bothers people
during the summer. There are high temperatures and also high
humilities in Gainesville. Istanbul's summer weather is better
than Gainesville's. I prefer to live in Gainesville during the
winter and Istanbul during the summer.
Finally, Istanbul is a commercial city, which has two
airports and seaports, a lot of malls, and the Covered Bazaar
(6). Especially the Covered Bazaar, which was built during the
Ottoman Empire, is a very important and famous shopping
center for tourists. Gainesville is only a university city.
Gainesville is home to University of Florida and Santa Fe
College. I think if the University of Florida and Santa Fe
College were not located in here, Gainesville would be a dead
city or big village.
In conclusion there are a lot of differences between
Istanbul and Gainesville. Both cities have different cultures,
histories, transportation, and weathers. But, Istanbul and also
Gainesville have different advantages and benefits that the other
lacks. I like both of them, but I prefer Istanbul because it is my
6- I %%p \ \\\ .kapalicarsi.org.tr/eng/index.asp
What the '88 Summer Olympics in South
Sun Young Yun
"Red roses bloomed beautifully in the garbage
can' i Ro\\ ain Do you think roses can bloom in garbage area?
If you ask people around you, they will probably say 'It's
impossible'. Many people may expect it never to turn into a
beautiful place because it is a barren place where there is no
hope for change nor hope to get people's attention. But, as
someone said earlier, impossible is nothing at least to South
Korea. Nobody expected that weak small Northeastern Asian
country to succeed. Due to the 1950 Korean War, both sides of
Korea lost everything. Almost all buildings were destroyed,
political construction and economical foundation also were
done. At the time, South Korea was very poor and helpless. It
seemed there was no hope to revive and get in developing
process all over again. In spite of desperate situation, people
didn't give up their dream that we would live well again. Thank
to this attitude that most of South Koreans had, South Korea
achieve their goals in two field; economics and politics. Since
the mid to late 1980s, South Korea achieved $ 32 billion in
GDP, maintained stable export situation and also set stable and
democratic political atmosphere. Beautiful red rose really
bloomed again in the helpless garbage place! These successes
made South Korea more powerful in the world so that South
Korea could host big global events like the '86 Asian game and
the '88 Summer Olympics in Seoul. The '88 Summer Olympic
influenced many aspects of South Korea. Thanks to hosting the
Olympics, South Korea could change rapidly in positive way. It
influenced the reputation of South Korea outwardly; it also
changed business concepts, cultural attitude and individual
One of the biggest differences before South Korea
hosted the '88 Summer Olympics in Seoul and after South
Korea did is nation's reputation. Before South Korea held the
big global event, we were considered as one of the dangerous
countries to travel or visit. Because Korea has been divided into
North and South, there was a war between North and South in
1950 and North Korea still are not willing to give up their
Communism and sent spies to South Korea to cause a trouble.
For those reasons, many foreigners were reluctant to visit South
Korea. Although the political situation had become stable and
there is no attack from North Korea since around 1982, people
regarded Korea as dangerous country. They thought that they
ELI Student Voices 7
might be exposed to a great risk if they traveled to South Korea.
But after 1988, when South Korea held the Olympics, foreign
tourists increased, because the '88 Olympic changed the
reputation of South Korea. Since people usually think that big
global events aren't held by dangerous country, many people
thought that South Korea is not that dangerous country and is
safe enough to visit or travel. This common idea has greatly
contributed in shifting the reputation of Korea.
The summer Olympics changed not only reputation of
South Korea but also marketing style. Before Olympics, many
merchandisers sold their inventory in a high-handed manner
that only think about company's profits, not customer's
benefits. If there were any troubles within the firm on their
merchandise, they didn't care about that. At the time, there was
no concept related to guarantee or customer service in South
Korea. Companies and people who did their own business
thought that their aim was to sell as many inventories as
possible, not care about customer's problem with their
merchandise. But these behaviors changed after South Korea
was selected as hosting nation of the '88 Olympics. After
hosting the Olympics, Korean companies and markets
considered their service in customer's perspective. If South
Korea hosts the Olympics, many foreigners come to South
Korea and may consume lots of stuff and food that made in
South Korea. If they don't guarantee their production in any
way, many tourists will think that products made in South
Korea are not good enough to buy and consume. Due to those
kinds of worries, companies and market places fixed the
Hosting the 88' Olympics also influenced restoration
of cultural heritage. Before the Olympics, many Koreans
actually weren't interested in caring about their cultural
heritage. Since almost of people focused on economic
development more at the time, people thought that it is not right
time to care or talk about restoration of cultural heritage. People
just agreed with opinion that preservation is enough at that time.
So a number of destroyed traditional treasures were in a state of
total neglect. One of them was Palace Chang-Gyung where the
old king's family lived in, then was destroyed during Il-Jae
Gan-Jum-Gi which was the period of Japanese attack. However,
people have changed their attitude positively. While South
Korea was holding the big event, they could see many
foreigners who had different cultures and background. At the
same time, many Koreans asked themselves 'what are we going
to do to know who we are and to show how we have lived as
Koreans'. Finally, they found the answer to solve their question.
That was restoration of their own cultural heritage which was
reflected in ancestors' wisdom and the way Koreans have lived.
For those reasons, Korean became more eager to repair and
rebuild a number of traditional treasures including Palace
Chang-Gyung after the '88 Seoul Olympics. There are many
places, treasures and constructions which tell us that here is
Korea and what are Korean traditions in good state so far.
The '88 Olympics led to a sports boom in South
Korea. To be specific, before 1986 when South Korea held the
Asian Game, there were few people who were interested in
sports especially watching or doing them as hobbies. But
hosting two big sports events encouraged people to enjoy sports
as hobbies. Through new sports being introduced in Olympic
Games, Korean people started to be interested in unfamiliar
sports. Moreover, this became an opportunity for people to get
in contact with leisure culture seeing various leisure sports that
Olympic participants enjoy back in their country such as water
skiing and board sailing on the media. As the result, many
people spent their time and money to do or enjoy their sports.
Due to this movement, sports industry developed rapidly in
South Korea. Nowadays, many sorts of sports have been
introduced to people.
Thanks to hosting the '88 Olympics, South Korea
achieved significant changes. These are related with reputation
of South Korea outwardly and business concept, cultural
attitude and individual interesting and hobby inwardly. It led
South Korea and its people could change positively. Thanks to
holding big events, many people got confidence. It makes
people think positively that we can do everything if we want
and try hard. I think this story can encourage people who live in
hard situations or developing countries not to give up their
glowing dreams. I'm sure that even though there is a barren
garbage place, they have the potential to turn it into a place
where roses bloom as South Korea is.
Carl T. Rowan. "Red roses don't bloom beautifully in the
garbage can like South Korea." 14 December 1966.
Two Countries, One Institution, Two
A schoolyard, a classroom, the sound of the bell, some
desks, a chalkboard, and the teacher in front of his students.
That is the image that comes to us when we remember our high
school; the picture that is constant in most of the world. But is
high school just that? When we think a little deeper we realize
that a school is integrated with more than a math lesson after a
soccer game in the break, and those things are the ones that
don't cross borders. Therefore, American and Venezuelan high
schools are similar in the skin but widely different in the core.
First of all, in Venezuela there is the same curriculum for the
whole country while in the United States it varies with the state.
In both countries high schools are diverse in aspects like the
subjects, the way that the grades are given, and the evaluation,
In most high schools in the United States there is a
minimum hours of each main subject (science, mathematics,
English, social sciences and physical education) that are
obligatory, but there is also a broad variety of elective classes
such as foreign languages, athletics, performing arts, visual arts,
among others. Consequently, the student doesn't have the same
schedule that his/her other classmates and also he/she is not
with the same students in every class. On the other hand, in
Venezuela, in the first three years of high school, all the
students have to take required hours of the main subjects, but
then, in the fourth year, each student has to choose between
ELI Student Voices 8
Science and Humanities. Because of that, all the students in the
same classroom are together in all the classes and have the same
schedule. Although both options share subjects such as
Mathematics, Literature and Social Sciences; depending on the
year, Science includes physics, chemistry, biology, geology,
among others, and Humanities includes subjects like French,
Latin, philosophy, sociology, art, and others. While Science is
accepted in all careers in Venezuela, Humanities is not allowed
for the scientific careers and for all the engineers. Therefore,
this decision is a controversial topic that always turns into
discussions with the students, parents and teachers.
In American high schools, the grades are given in
letters that go from "A" to "F". Nevertheless, the real scale
where the grades come from starts at 0 and ends at 100. In some
states, "D" is considered passing and in others it is considered a
failure. Unlike the United States, in Venezuela the grades
consist of a 1-20 scale. In consequence, in Venezuelan high
schools to pass a subject it is required to get a 10.
In most high schools in America, frequently in public
schools, a big part of the evaluation is practical and
standardized. The exams have a great part of multiple choices,
short answers, true or false, fill in the blanks and matching
exercises. In this way, it is more probable that the assessment
used by the teachers is based on a common criterion. Besides
exams, there are other kinds of activities such as projects,
presentations, essays, investigation papers, and others. In
contrast, in Venezuela, the evaluation is less controlled and
more up to the teacher. A little part of the exams consists of
short answers and the rest consists of large analysis and
developed writing. Although there are other kinds of activities,
in Venezuelan high schools there is an excessive use of the
In conclusion, both American and Venezuelan high
schools deliver students prepared and with the tools for the
world and college. Otherwise, the ways that they use are similar
in some aspects but really different in others. The institutions in
the two countries vary from small things like the uniforms,
required in Venezuela but not in the United States, to really
critical things like the assessment, the subjects and the grades.
Still, in the two countries it is necessary to improve the system
and to fight with problems like the mediocrity, the violence,
vices, and stereotypes.
A bdulmajeed Albati
My name is Abdulmajeed. I want to write about
myself. I was born in 1987. I started school in 1994. I got my
first job in 2007 while I was a student at the university. I got
married in 2009. I graduated from the university in 2009. I
came to America at the end of 2009. The year 2009 was a
good, busy year for me. I study English now in 2010. In
conclusion, I have had a happy life so far.
The Jungle or the Zoo
Is it hard to be connected with the animals? I believe
that it is hard to know the differences between wild animals'
lives and zoo animals' lives because both have the to eat to
survive, they are both really animals, and both have the same
behaviors, but they also have some differences.
Wild animals like to eat meat as well as animals that
live in a zoo like to eat meat. Both of them eat huge portions of
meat, for example, they both eat at least 20-30 pounds of meat
every day. However, wild animals that live in the jungle eat
fresh meat, it is different for animals in the zoo, because they
eat any kind of meat that has been brought to them by their
keepers which is or is not fresh. On the other hand, wild
animals are bigger sized than animals in the zoo because they
have to hunt to catch their food. Also they have more places to
run and even to train their muscles, and that's why wild animals
are bigger sized.
However, animals are still animals. They have the
same teeth and hair and bodies. Also they can see at night,
because they have a different vision system from us. On the
other hand, wild animals have sharper teeth than animals in the
zoo, because they have even more practice at hunting other
animals than animals that live in the zoo.
In addition, wild animals and zoo animals have the
same behaviors; for example, they know that they have to eat to
survive and know how protect themselves from enemies. On the
other hand, wild animals know that they have to kill others to
survive, but animals in the zoo they wait for somebody to bring
their food to them. Also wild animals know how to protect
themselves more than animals in the zoo. You cannot keep any
wild animals inside the house because they might kill you. On
the other hand, some animals from the zoo can be kept them
in your house and you will be safe, because they have been
trained by the trainers at the zoo.
Finally, wild animals and animals in the zoo have
similarities and differences in the way they eat, survive, and
behave. In reality, I think not just animals have similarities
and differences, but also people are not all the same in these
ways of eating, surviving and behaving.
Saudis Like Rice
The people in Saudi Arabia like to eat rice. Rice is
cooked in many ways, and it's called by many names. It's a
custom in Saudi Arabia to put rice with lamb meat for the
guests. We have the rice cooked with meat or chicken soup. The
rice is put in a big dish. Some people eat with their hands, and
some people eat with spoons. Sometimes, the rice is served with
salad and butter milk. Finally, I hope you try it someday
because you will like it.
ELI Student Voices 9
My name is Mohammed. I'm 26 years old. I'm from
Saudi Arabia and I want to write about my life. I was born in
1984 in Dammam. I finished my elementary school in 1995. I
finished middle school in 1998 I finished secondary school in
2001. I finished my bachelor's degree 2 years ago. My
university was King Faisal University and my major was
Veterinary Medicine. After I finished my bachelor's degree, I
worked for 2 years at Alsafi Danone. It's a big farm. I worked
with a herd of 40,000 cows. After that, I quit my job because I
want to continue my studies in the U.S.A. I now live in
Gainesville, Florida with my brother and his wife and his
daughter. I study English at the UF ELI. I'm happy and hope to
make a new future.
16 Years Imprison
In 1980, there was a war between Iraq and Iran. There
is a big family who lived in the north of Iraq in the city called
Mosel. This family had a compassionate father, a merciful
mother, five sons and five sisters, and they lived in a big house
together in peace. The four sisters were married and lived in
different places near the family house. The oldest two brothers
were also married and lived in the same house. The big brother
graduated from Economy and Management College. After he
finished the army he worked with his father. The second brother
graduated from high school and then the government took him
to the army because the war started.
The third brother, Abu Hmza, couldn't finish the
higher school to that he had token to serve in the army after he
turned eighteen. In the beginning, he training in the cantonment
when he entered the army for three months, then he took to the
bivouac in front of the Iranian troops he didn't like this place,
he was afraid. Also he was waiting any free time to make a call
to his family. In the night the stillness dominated, at that
moment, he phoned his family and said "I want to relocate from
this laager ". When his mother heard from him, she felt very
scared, and she told her husband "you must do something to
transfer our son from the fire". His father communicated with
his friends; he finally found someone who could transfer his son
to another unit. The son transferred to the new unit. In the new
unit the son stayed in it a few weeks. Suddenly, on the midnight
the Iranian army sortie to this unit which the son on it.
After that, the Iranian army took all the remains from
the unit. In that time, he blamed himself because he wanted to
relocate from the past location, but the captor happened. The
Iranian army took him with a lot of his teammates to the prison
camp. In this camp the Iranian army didn't give the captor
enough food and water so they suffered from that a lot. Abu
Hmza stay in each camp one to three years then the Iranian
army relocates him to another camp. Sometimes, they relocated
him in cold place or in hot place. He always sends letters to his
family to assure them about himself, but his family didn't
receive all the letters that he sent to them. He suffered for
sixteen years; meanwhile, his family missed him a lot especially
his mother always prays and cries to see her son again, and his
father wished to see his son before he die but his wish didn't
happened at all because he died.
In 1996, his family heard that a lot of captors would
come back. They felt happy to hear that; they went to meet him
but he didn't come back with this lot. They felt very sad about
that. Two years later, they heard again that a lot of captors
would come back. The whole family went to meet him; at that
moment, they didn't recognize him. Suddenly, his youngest
brother recognized him and yelled "my brother is here". The
whole family felt joy to see Abu Hmza, and he also felt very
happy to see his family and his country. He didn't believe he
was home again. He felt sad when he didn't see his father. At
that night, his family sat around him in the family house and he
began to narrate his long story and he was asking them about all
the things that happened when he wasn't there. When he was
looking at his nephews and nieces, he felt very happy. He
missed this moment for a long time; he enjoyed to play with
them. After that he couldn't stay a long time without traveling
in his country. Sometimes, he went to Baghdad to visit his
kinship. He began to love traveling, so he bought a taxi car to
work without staying in one place. Finally, he got marriage
after a long time in prison.
Now, he has four children and he lives in the same city
with his wife, his children and his mother in peace. Imagine, if a
person spends sixteen years in prison in a different country
without doing any crime or anything; why would this happen to
him? It's the predestination.
A Visit to Orlando
MohammadAl Harbi (Momo)
Last weekend, my friend and I went to Orlando. First,
we rented a car in Gainesville and then we drove over to
Orlando in the morning. We visited Disney World. We stayed
at a nice hotel. They gave us nice service. Next, we ate at a
nice Moroccan restaurant and then we rode a lot of rides In
general. This place is beautiful and we had a good vacation.
I want to write about my family. My family lives in
Dammam, Saudi Arabia. My parents have 9 children. I am the
second child. I have 3 brothers. Their names are Ali, Hadi and
Mujtaba. I have 5 sisters. Their names are Fatima, Roky, Takia,
Batool, and Halima. My older brother studies with me in
Gainesville. My second and third brothers study in elementary
school in my city. The oldest sister finished high school. She
married 4 years ago and she has 2 sons. My nephews' names
ELI Student Voices 10
are Ahmed and Hassan. My second sister studies in the U.S.A
with her husband and her son, Saud. My third, fourth and fifth
sisters study in elementary and middle school in Saudi Arabia.
I wish to visit my family on summer vacation because I like my
Afraid to Change
Often the people are afraid of change because they
believe it is impossible to adapt to new situations. Since human
beings are in the womb of the mother, they are forced to
confront change without being aware. Although many people
do not remember our first day in kindergarten, it is the most
tragic day for a child of 5 years. Many children need a week to
adjust and stop mourning while another child needs only three
After kindergarten comes more changes about school
until the university. The university is another big change in our
lives. We need to make new friends because our friends of
school going to other schools maybe in another city or in
another country. Some people can make new friends very
quickly in the university. Other people need to wait for months,
maybe years. In my situation, it was very fun because I thought
these people in the university never will be like my friends of
school, I don't want new friends, but with time, I think it is
good to make more friends. I can have friends of school and
friends of university. Now I think I was afraid to change, and I
reflect on my emotions of that form closing my possibilities of
having new friends.
Another difficult change in our lives that give us a lot
of fear is the commitment and the marriage. You never say to a
young person of 18 years old this is your time to marry because
it can give you a serious attack so difficult to think of. Then, to
have children, to pay accounts, and to live 12 hours each day
with your partner in the same house is so hard to get used to.
However, it arrives when we are adults; in this moment, we
know that it is wonderful to have a person to share time. I think
90% of people will still be happy when day get married. The
other 10% never can change because they are afraid and prefer
to stay single.
Many people will have the same work all their life
although they have an offer of betterjobs, it is difficult for them
to imagine creating a new routine of work. I always advise my
friends to not be afraid to change and work hard for your goals.
To conclude, I think it is difficult not to be scared to
change, but it is possible get over your fears and find new
horizons in your life; for example, now I am in the ELI in the
USA, and this has not been easy for me to adapt to living in a
new country with a new culture, but I am taking advantage of
all these changes to grow like a good person and to make new
friends. Don't be afraid to change for the better.
The First Trip to the Moon
I had never felt excited like this before. It was a great
feeling to feel like your dream is coming true. The time was
passing quickly. I couldn't believe that I was in a space rocket.
It was the first time that the United States sent a space rocket to
the moon. I was worried in the beginning and I was thinking
about my family. I was really under pressure when they started
Seconds were passing like hours till we flew in the air.
I was asking myself what's next? What will happen? I was
sweating and praying not to get hurt. After a while I got used to
that situation and I felt comfortable. We spent hours to get out
of the atmosphere.
Flying out of the atmosphere was really exciting. I
really enjoyed the views. The earth looked great and wonderful.
It was blue and it looked beautiful. Then I started to get
commands from the base on earth. I had trained for that
moment for a long time, but now I felt like I forgot everything
and couldn't do anything. Then I started to remember what I
have learned and I started to do what I have to. We were
heading to the moon and we were approaching it.
After the space ship had almost collided with the
moon, we landed safely. We wore the uncomfortable spacesuits
and we got out of the spaceship one by one. It was very cold on
the moon and the suits were too heavy. I wasn't comfortable
with my suit; I couldn't even scratch my head because of the
helmet. But on the other hand the suit provided me with oxygen
and protected me from the cold. It was dark on the moon but we
were carrying big lights so we could see our steps. After that we
started to do our hard mission.
Our mission was to collect rocks and samples of the
moon soil. We worked in pairs to help each other. My partner
was Neil Armstrong, he was a good partner and he worked hard
with me. We faced unexpected problems on the moon surface.
The moon's gravity was different from the earth's gravity. It was
not strong, so the weight of everything is lighter on the moon.
Although the spacesuit was heavy I felt like I was so light.
Walking on the moon was difficult. I didn't walk normally; it
was like jumping. Also our food was only pills which provided
us with energy and vitamins. After we did our stressful job on
the moon, we went back to the spaceship and took off and came
back to our planet.
We submitted the samples from the moon to NASA to
do research on them. I hope that I helped humans in space field.
I think technologies will be better in the future and they will
make life easier to humans. I will never forget that wonderful
journey to the moon and I wish I can do it again.
ELI Student Voices 11
Albani Carolina Da Silva Gonzdlez
Easter Day is the last day of Lent, which is the most
important celebration for Catholic people because it is the
resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is common around the world that
Catholics go to Mass or service to celebrate and pray. Actually
a lot of churches open Saturday night and invite all the
Christians to join them to wait until the midnight and celebrate
all together. After that, people usually meet each other in their
houses and celebrate, especially with their families and bests
friends. Around the world people do certain things for Easter
which are common sometimes.
Americans and people from Central Europe usually
have similar ways to celebrate this season. Frequently the
Saturday before Easter or the same Sunday kids decorate Easter
eggs in different ways, painting them with beautiful and bride
colors. These eggs symbolize new life by the resurrection of
God. This tradition comes from centuries ago when Catholics
couldn't eat eggs during Lent so people collected the eggs
during this period of time and gave them to their closer friends
and family in Easter Sunday to celebrate this important
festivity. Time has been changing in the past years where the
Catholic Church approved people to eat eggs during Lent.
That's the reason these days in Easter Sunday families celebrate
all together. The adults hide the eggs for the little kids to find
them. All the kids have a basket and search and have fun
looking for the eggs. In the past, the eggs most of the people
usually used were real eggs but these days people can find
different kinds like chocolates, candies or plastic eggs where
the people can put chocolates or anything they like inside.
Another modem symbol of this celebration is the Easter Bunny
which is a rabbit who brings the baskets for kids and is the one
who takes and hides the eggs for the kids.
In Spain families celebrate like Americans do. Spanish
people use very colorful eggs and hide them for the kids and the
kid who find more eggs win a special gift. They also have a
tradition which is the God mothers go to visit their God sons or
daughters. They give them eggs and also make them a special
cake which they call "bollo". This important season remind all
the Catholics around the world. No matter how they celebrate or
where they are. There's a common celebration and is that God
died and was resurrected for us. It means God forgives us from
our sins and offers us to have eternal life.
Daydreams the Week Before School
It is the week before school starts. I like shopping but
I don't know what's good for school and most people I know
don't seem interested in clothes. Now in Gainesville the
weather is wintry and all the people are wearing winter clothes.
Mohammed, my cousin, and I will buy winter clothes soon. I
prefer dark colors for winter because that color is fashionable.
Now I am thinking about school. Maybe I will finish
this school semester first and then I can get a job in the summer.
Maybe I'll stay here and complete study in the summer if there
is a summer semester. We are at the beginning of our study of
English at the ELI. I wish we were at the end! I want to begin
another life. I want to work in a large computer company with
a large outside area This is the beginning of happy days
studying to make my future dream something I hope to
A Mother's Love
I think everyone remembers his mother's love.
Everyone will know what I say. I remember my mother's
warm embrace. I feel with my mother's warmth that I am a
stronger person in the world. I feel as if I own the world.
My mother described her delight when I was born. I feel
the same delight when I think of her. I think if love could
speak, it says that the most beautiful love is a mother's
Can I Get A Beer With That Happy Meal?
Regardless of culture, religion or age, everybody
knows there are two things that should never go together:
drinking and driving. Sadly, when it comes to doing business,
this common sense is simply forgotten. The most recent item
menu at Burger King, a fast food chain for children, is beer. Do
we really need that?
All bars and restaurants state that most of their profits
come from liquor sales, and even though getting an alcohol
license is not easy, to them, it's totally worth it. People go to
those places for hundreds of different reasons: to do business,
watch sports, dating or just to hang with friends. At the end of
the day, they're all aware of the fact that it is an adult
environment and they know what to expect, which for sure
won't be a 5 year old celebrating her birthday in a Cinderella
dress with a cake and pifiatas. You will find grown up people,
drinking and having fun, sometimes with measure, sometimes
irresponsibly. But what happens then when it's the other way
I remember when I was a child. One of the best
rewards my parents gave me, if I got high grades, was taking
me to a fast food place for burgers and ice-cream. I would eat
really slowly to taste every bite. Afterwards, I had time to play
with my new toy from the happy meal with other kids. It was a
safe place to enjoy with my family. Unfortunately, those places
are starting to disappear faster than they deliver their food.
Around the world, many fast food places have tried to
raise their revenues by adding new things to their menus.
Sometimes healthy food, sometimes breakfast, sometimes just
coffee areas, like McDonalds did last year when introducing
ELI Student Voices 12
"McCafe". Even so, for Burger King those concepts don't seem
to be enough. They have decided that having a "Whopper Bar"
could lead them to be the number one fast food place, because
customers would get two things they like at one time: burgers
and beers. Burger King's new Beer Combo for only $7.99,
which is cheaper than other regular restaurants, is however no
innovation. For years in Europe, people have been able to buy
those combos at any fast food place both inside and at the drive-
through. Cities like Amsterdam even have vending machines to
buy different kinds of beer. The question is: do we really need
to have alcohol in every place we go? Where are the
Since we are born, our parents, our teachers, our
bosses, the government... everybody tells you what is right and
what is wrong. We grow up knowing there is a time and a place
for everything. You don't wear pajamas to work, you don't play
violin in the bank, you don't drink and drive. Did somebody
forget to mention you do not sell beer in a children's restaurant?
What's next? Strippers at Disney World?
I believe we should be smart enough to teach our kids
to enjoy their childhood, without being surrounded by things
that adults do. So next time they offer you a $7.99 Beer Combo
when driving with your kids in the back seat, ask yourself: Is it
really worth it? 'Cause a life is not refundable.
How to Spend a Fun Day in New York
This is how to spend a fun day in New York. To spend
a perfect day in New York, follow these steps. You should get
up at 6 a.m. take a shower, and put on fresh clothes and shoes.
Before leaving, check your cash, credit cards, camera, and map
of the city. Eat a nutritious breakfast, and now you are ready to
start the fun.
In the morning, visit the Empire State Building. Go up
to the 120th floor and take some nice photos of the entire city.
Also, you can visit the Statue of Liberty. In this beautiful place,
you can take photos and buy nice souvenirs.
In the afternoon, visit the most famous department
store in the world, Macy's. There are beautiful stores for
shopping like Nike, Lacoste, Tommy, Jean Pascal, Armi. In
these stores, you can buy clothes, shoes, and jackets. Also, you
will see the latest technology such as computers and electronic
games. You will find these gifts for family and friends.
In the evening, visit and enjoy a delicious dinner at the
famous restaurant Starfish. This is situated on the banks of the
Hudson River. This is a great variety of sea food, delicious
wine, and spectacular desserts.
In conclusion, you can have a nice day, visit spectacular
buildings, take nice photos, buy beautiful gifts, and remember
Nadeeka Salaman Arachchige
Dear my love ....
Do you know how much you
mean to me ....
I will tell you that,
You mean the world to me ....
In my world, I can't live without you ....
You are so important to me ....
That every certain space
where our lives....
Bring me more understanding
about you ....
That softly brings more love
for you ....
You will always be my love ....
The secrets of my happiness
that I have my special person
That's you my love ....
You contribute to making my life
nicer than it's ever been ....
I don't know what magic it is
You make inside of me
a wonderful feeling ....
Thanks, my love ....
Why a Cross on the Forehead?
Albani Carolina Da Silva Gonzdlez
Most people who aren't Catholics ask why we have a
Cross on our forehead. The reason is because it is Ash
Wednesday. It symbolizes the beginning of Lent. This is the
time for the Catholic people to convert their souls and to
prepare for Easter. It is time to feel contrite about our sins, to
change the bad things we are used to doing and try to be better
citizens. Lent spans 40 days because of some biblical events for
example: the 40 days of the deluge, the 40 days Elias was in the
mountain and the 40 days Jesus Christ fasted in the desert. In
order to understand better the time of Lent there are some
important topics to know such as Ash Wednesday, the purple
color in this period, and fasting abstinence.
Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. This is a
period of penance, reflection and fasting. This season prepares
the Catholic people to the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter
Sunday. Every Ash Wednesday all the Churches celebrate a
special mass and after the mass the Priest makes a Cross with
ashes on the foreheads of the people. These ashes are made
from the palms of the previous year, and the Bishop blesses
them. While the priest is making the Cross, he says
"Remember, man is dust, and unto dust you shall return." This
action and words remind the people that life passes in the Earth.
ELI Student Voices 13
On this season the Church is decorated with purple
colors, and the priest's clothes are purple. This color represents
mourning and penance. It is time for reflections and reparation.
On Ash Wednesday every church covers the images of Christ
with cloth which have black, white, grey, or purple colors. It
represents the 40 days Jesus was in the desert alone and fasting,
his passion, and death. The images from Christ have to be
covered until the Resurrection Sunday, the day in which God
renew to live again. The day before the Resurrection ends Lent.
The Catholic people should make some penances or
sacrifices like stop or reduce eating the food they like, doing the
work people don't like to do, and others. But the more
important because it is a law for all the Catholic people is
fasting and abstinence during Lent. The Abstinence consists of
eating fish or different foods than meat. It is obligatory to
people who are more than fourteen and less than sixty years old.
Fasting is the fact of eating only one complete meal and two
smaller meals during one day. The fasting is broken if someone
eats during the meals and also if they drink something that can't
be considered food, like milkshakes. The people should abstain
from eating meat and fast on Ash Wednesday and all the
Friday during the Lent.
In Lent, Christ calls us to change our lives. The church
invites us to take the way of Christ, by listening to the word of
God, praying, helping the people who needs help and to be
good person in our family and societies. All these actions take
us away from the sin and make us try to be more similar to
Jesus. Lent is time to pardon and reconcile with our friends and
family. Every day we should take away all the bad things like
the hatred, the rancor, the envy, and the jealousies that are
opposed to our love to God and to our brothers. Lent lets us
understand how to take our Cross and try to walk the way to the
High School Versus College
Every generation challenges the educational
system. Nobody is happy with its education, but every year
large numbers of students fail in standardized tests. Why do
they fail every year, and why do they not like the system at
the same time? One of the reasons for this phenomenon
could be the differences between college and high school
about the quality of the teachers, the type of education
received, and the level of maturity of the students.
Colleges and high schools have in common a
similar quality for teachers. There are really good teachers
in colleges, but there are great teachers in high school also.
Sometimes teachers who start their careers teaching in high
school decide to teach in colleges too or in a later stage of
their careers. Sometimes, it could be the opposite. The
quality of teachers experience and education is very
similar. On the other hand, you can find regular teachers in
high schools and in colleges. Some of these teachers, who
work in colleges and high school, have very concentrated
knowledge or research in their own fields, and they do not
have time to prepare their lectures appropriately.
In contrast to these similarities, there are some
important differences that define the ways to teach and to
learn. While the education in high schools is about general
knowledge and information, education in colleges is about
specific topics. In my country, you can't decide what
classes to take. You can decide your general orientation;
for example, humanities, science or business, but you can't
choose your classes at all. You receive a lot of information
about hundreds of topics, but without exploring to their
content. It is just a very superficial way to understand
something. On the other hand, when you are in college, you
can choose your classes and receive just the information
that you need in order to understand deeply your field of
study. This way to learn is more specific and maybe more
effective than a general education.
Another thing that is different in high schools
versus colleges is the level of maturity of the students.
Despite some interesting exceptions, people in college are
more mature than people in high school, obviously because
of their age, but mainly because they are more focused on
their careers and understand their new responsibilities
without their parents controlling them. This issue is very
important for teachers because it is easier to have
motivated and mature people in classrooms to improve the
level of lectures and to talk about more complex topics
As we have seen, high schools and colleges have
some similarities, but a lot of differences that cause
ineffective results when students are tested. Understanding
these differences is very important to improve the
educational system. The way to do this is through the
teachers who are leading students with different maturity
levels and leading them into an improved future.
I was born in a country in the heart of Africa. I lived
in Burkina Faso with my family. I have two older sisters and
one older brother. I am the last boy of my mother. My brothers
and my sisters went to study in universities in different
countries. My two sisters went to Belgium to study and my
brother went to France to study. Now my sisters and brothers
work. My sisters have two sons and my brother has two
daughters. My father died and my mother is going to retire.
After my studies, I will go to my country to search for a job,
like my family did before me.
ELI Student Voices 14
The kitchens are important part of our houses. Many
people are interested in cooking, and they cannot do what they
like without the kitchen. There you can find different kinds of
electrical devices, for example, an oven, a refrigerator and a
microwave. In addition, every kitchen has its own utensils
which are all used for cooking. I feel happy when I enter my
kitchen because I like to cook for my small family. Finally, I
cannot imagine any house without a kitchen because it has
important things all of our homes should have.
Rosario DelAguila Chavez
My name is Rosario. I want to write about the story of
my life. I was born in Peru in 1967. I graduated from
elementary school in 1979. I graduated from high school in
1985. Then I got my Bachelor's degree in Biology from the
University of the Peruvian Amazon in 1992. In the same year, I
got my first job. Four years later, in 1996, I got married. In
2002, my daughter Mariana was born. In October 2009, I
moved to the United States to learn English and to do research
on "Women and Fisheries" at the University of Florida. So far, I
have learned many important things in my life.
The winter is over. Now in April 2010 begins the
spring. Life has many colors now. This season is beautiful. The
people are happy and free with clothing of light colors. The
streets are adorned with flowers of colors like pink, yellow,
violet, red and many other colors. I smile because I feel happy
looking at the colors of spring. So, I'm going to enjoy ice cream
of different flavors and colors. I like the happy, colorful spring!
Coming and Going
In October, 2010, I moved to the United States to stay
for six months. On April 30, I will return to my country, Peru. I
liked to be here and to learn English at the ELI. On May 1,
2010 I will travel to Iquitos, my city in the Peruvian Amazon.
This is the place where I live with my family. It is the place of
the largest river in the world. I leave Gainesville withjoy
having learned many good things here.
Our Daily Life with Cell Phones
The lives become easier since cell phones were
invented. I cannot imagine our life without cell phones. They
are useful and important. By the 1980, we had only home-line
phone in Iraq. Almost all communications were dependant on
this type of communication. Some of the people had this
technology so it was difficult to contact with other people or
with the family. It was difficult to complete business by this
technology. Unlike nowadays, when the cell phones appeared in
2003, many obstacles disappeared. So we can do our business
by cell phone or to a contact the family. There are many
features that cell phones have. In spite of the unlimited
advantages that cell phones have, also it has a lot of
Cell phones technology plays a significant role in our
daily life. I have had one for seven years, and now the life
would be hard without it because whenever I want to contact
my family I can. The lives now with cell phones are easier
because it makes our life simpler than the past. It can with cell
phones know what happen in house during we are outside. For
example I have a baby and I am a student at the same time.
When I am outside the house, I can call my husband to know
that everything is all right. If we need to buy any item we can
do it by cell phones, so you do not have to go to the store to buy
it. On the other hand, cell phones can save our life; if I have an
emergency situation I can call and get help. For example last
week my baby was very sick, it was after midnight, I called my
doctor and explained to her, and she gave me the advice and
how to get my baby the treatment. Cell phones can make you
feel like your family is very close to you especially when your
family in another country. For example I am now a student in
the U.S.A. and I always miss my family in Iraq ,and I am
always call them by cell phones; when I talk with my family in
Iraq I feel better and like they are with me and very close. Cell
phones become part of our daily life. We cannot dispense cell
The life before cell phones technology was very hard. It
was hard when we need to make a contact and we do not know
how, because there is only home line. So if I want to be in
contact with my family I should look for about another home
line in order to make call. It is not easy because I could not
always find one to call my family. I remembered our life before
cell phone invention, it was more difficult. I can remember
when I was a student in high school and if I had final exam and
I want to study with my friend, my friend had to come to our
house because she had not a home line, in order to explain what
I missed in my class. So we wasted much time. The life was
very difficult especially when you have someone outside the
country, for example my brother when he travelled in 1989 to
Japan he always sent us letters by mail, the mail did not cost
him in spite it take time to receive it. Despite unlimited
advantages for this technology and how affect on our life. I
noticed that our life before cell phones invention had no
problems. These problems have been developed since the
invention of cell phones. Because there are many accidents that
happened every day because of the people who are careless
when they are talking on their cell phones and driving. But does
this mean that we should make law to ban the use of cell phones
while driving? No we cannot, it will be difficult life. In fact the
life before cell phone is more health than now. The researchers
found that the cell phones can be actually dangerous, and the
studies showed that radiation that comes from cell phone is
absorbed by head people, as a result with the time we will
ELI Student Voices 15
damage our brain if we use the cell phones more than the
In conclusion if we compare our life before and after
the invention of cell phones, we will find that there are many
features that added to our life since we started using the cell
phones. I cannot imagine our life without cell phones; I think
the life will stop if we stop using the cell phones. Cell phones
make our life easier and let us to be a contact with our family;
also cell phones save our time and our life. Despite of all the
advantages of using cell phones, but we should be careful when
we use it for a long time. The cell phones can be dangerous and
can damage the brain if we use it than the normal limitation
unlike the home-line phone. In spite of limitation in the home-
line phone features, but it is safe and has not any effect on
My cousin gave me the cat two years ago. Her name is
Toto. She has white fur. She is beautiful. In the morning, the
cat leaves the house to play outside. My brother takes care of
the cat and tells me she is okay. Toto lives in my country, in
my house. But I am not there. I miss my cat a lot.
Don't Spank Your Children!*
*Editor's note: This is a timed essay.
Violence around the world is one of the most
important issues that is discussed currently. Violence against
women always was a big problem, but over the years women
have been fighting for their rights, and it resulted in a reduction
of injured women. Animal right groups have brought to the
surface the mistreatment of animals. Aiming to relieve this fact,
they try to make people aware by showing videos of animals in
suffering. Even though these are really bad examples of
violence, the worst case in my opinion is when a child is
spanked. Children should not be spanked because they can't
defend themselves and the psychological injury could be one of
the consequences of that.
First, a little child doesn't have power to protect
her/himself if the parents cross the line between spanking and
violence. This line is too narrow, and a little bit more of anger
can be enough to stimulate parents to be more severe with their
children. In addition, the stress of the daily life may cause
parents to lose patience, which makes easier the losing of
control. Following this further, the degree of the injuries can
compromise the development of the children.
Not only physical effects, but also psychological
effects can harm children that live together with violence. The
relationship between family members will be the first thing
affected by this bad behavior. Children might be scared of the
parents, so they start to hide things from them, and the loyalty
between them starts getting worse until the point that parents
don't have control of their own children. Moreover, the
behavior and personality of a child could change if he/she
grows up in a house where spanking is something normal. In
general, children absorb a lot of personality of their parents, so
they can go to school and push a friend because it seems correct
to them. In result, these children will reveal difficulty to make
and to relate to friends during their lifetime.
Opponents believe that spanking is a parent right
considering that the society can't judge the way parents chose
to educate their children. However, where is the child's right?
Parents already have a strong personality due to their lifetime.
They already know the difficulties and danger that life offers to
you. Why not just try to make their children aware by showing
examples from real life? In fact, a real conversation between
parents and children will link them by loyalty, and children will
recognize that parents are the trustworthiest people in the world.
A little innocent creature doesn't deserve to be
spanked. If parents don't protect their own children, who will
protect them? They need to be taught how to defend themselves
outside home, not inside. The relationship between the family
members will be much more confident if violence doesn't exist
in their routine. If all the parents around the world taught their
children that violence is something unacceptable, the world will
be safer today. Violence is so intrinsic in our society that we are
growing up thinking that to spank a living being is normal,
which has resulted in a disrespectful population. In conclusion,
the best way to teach is not spanking; showing the reality and
the consequences of a bad action could be much more effective
to a child. Children don't know everything, but they have a
gorgeous capacity of learning, and we need to take advantage of
In 1990, there was a war between Iraq and Kuwait. My
grandfather lived through this war. His memory is still vivid.
First of all, before the war, the dictator Saddam Hussen
claimed that Kuwait was part of Iraq, and its name is Kazmah,
and this claim was because Kuwait had more oil resources than
Iraq. He said this would cause them economic crisis because
they just had backed off the war with Iran, but Kuwait refused
this prosecution, and gave the world many reasons to carry out
this refusal. One of the reasons was that Kuwait had got its
independence before Iraq, so, how was it part of Iraq .Since
then, political problems between Iraq and Kuwait have grown
more and more.
At 11 p.m. on Thursday, 2 August 1990, the war
started, and there was treachery between neighbors. There were
about 88,000 soldiers and the Kuwait army has about 16,000
soldiers. They invaded Kuwait and killed nearly 4,000 citizens.
They also burnt 1073 oil wells, and stole everything they could
find. Also, they captured a lot of prisoners, and two of them
were my grandfather's children. This situation broke his heart,
ELI Student Voices 16
and they made my grandmother die of heartache and grief
because none of the prisoners survived.
Then, Prince Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sobah gave a speech
about what happened in Kuwait to the United Nations, and after
that speech, on January 16, 1991, Desert Storm began, and
coalition forces started fighting with the enemy to liberate
Kuwait, and two of the coalition forces were America and
Finally, on February 25, 199, Kuwait was liberated
from the Iraqi invasion, and the people of Kuwait went out to
streets to celebrate the victory, and form that time, the people of
Kuwait celebrate every year, and live their life in peace.
A Little Poem with Lot of Love for the ELI
Nadeeka Salaman Arachchige
Your names will always
remain in my heart ....
It will be spoken and shared
in my prayers ....
And my ELI teachers and staff
will be with me forever ....
Always I remember in my life
how much the ELI meant to me ....
I want you to tell only one
Sri Lankan student....
In her heart each and every day
I'm so grateful for the ELI ....
And so Thankful for the Years
that were given to me ....
So much to be Thankful for
lots of love for the ELI ....
"MY PLEASURE" :)
Education in Poor and Rich Countries
Education is the only way to get a better life. Everyone
has the right to go to the school, but sometimes this is not the
reality that some people live, especially in the rural areas of
poor countries. The reasons can be diverse, but we are going to
focus on the differences and similarities between education in
poor and rich countries.
There are many differences in education in poor and
rich countries. Money is probably the most important. Poor
countries have a lot of limitations and when they budget,
education is no necessarily the priority. In addition the private
sector normally does not contribute meaningfully in this area.
On the contrary, rich countries have enough money to offer a
good education. Also, students can get a lot of economic help
from nongovernmental institutions.
Another difference is how people perceive the
necessity to get a good education. It is a little difficult to
convince someone about the necessity of getting a good
education if his or her parents don't have one. This situation is
very common in poor countries. Uneducated parents don't feel
the obligation to send children to the school or children don't
see the necessity because their parent didn't have to do. The
situation is different in rich countries because educated parents
not only want that their children get the same level of
education, but because the government requires that people get
at least a high school education.
Even though the differences between education in poor
and rich countries are most common, there are some similarities
too. For example, the amount of years to get a high school and a
university degree are the same. Students in both conditions
spend 12 years to graduate from high school and four or five
years to get a B.S. degree. Every university year has three
semesters, and one of them is shorter.
Bringing education to poor people is the only way to
get a better life, and governments must focus more in this area
especially in poor countries. Rich countries have to help more
significantly with those poor countries that have the greater
need of education.
Tourist Attractions in Kenting and in Key
Chia-Ling Tsai (C hI i,,
I am going to tell you the similarities and differences
between tourist attractions in Kenting, Taiwan and in Key West,
FL. You may be surprised to know that tourist attractions in
Kenting are the same as in Key West. First, the weather in
Kenting and in Key West is warm. Although those two places
are located far apart from each other, both of those places are in
the southernmost area of each country. Kenting is famous for its
tropical climate, sunshine, and beaches. Key West, a frost-free
zone, has the average low temperature in July of 810F (27C).
The warm weather in Kenting and Key West is the first tourist
Kenting and Key West have many tourist attractions
which can be found on the land and on the sea. On the land,
there is Kenting Ave. which is located at the center of Kenting.
One can see souvenir stores, restaurants, and magicians on
Kenting Ave. On the sea, one will enjoy diving and looking at
colorful coral reefs. In Key West, also, one can shop at Mallory
Square with places like souvenir stores and street performers.
Diving is a popular outdoor activity in Key West, too. Kenting
and Key West provide similar activities for tourists.
There are also some differences in tourist attractions
between Kenting and Key West. The Spring Scream Rock-band
festival held in Kenting is an important event that people like
the most because there will be young girls with bikini, rock
music, and beaches. However, Key West is a holy place for
those people who admire Ernest Hemingway and cats. People
remember the great author because he is an excellent American
writer and journalist.
In short, Kenting and Key West have similarities and
differences in common tourist attractions; each place owns its
unique culture. Those two places provide similar activities on
ELI Student Voices 17
the land and on the sea. Besides, Kenting and Key West attract
tourists with warm weather. Each place has some special
scenery to enjoy.
What is different than in the past, people are gaining a lot
of weight? The fat people's appearances matter, but health
problems are more serious. In the past, these kinds of disease
were not common such as adult disease, diabetes mellitus, and
hypertension. However, recently they have become one of
serious social problems. Now almost all doctors say that these
diseases are closely linked to obesity. The fact is that people get
weight many reasons.
First of all, people are busy without much time to move.
Recent companies start to work very earlier time and closed
very late time. For that reason, people don't have time to move
or to exercise. During they are working, they just sit their seats.
Besides, some of workers eat lunch on their seat. Even they can
do something to move on holiday, they prefer to get some sleep.
They don't want to use their power by exercise.
Second, people eat high fat foods in their daily life.
Because people are always busy, they don't want to spend time
to eat. They find foods to eat easier and faster, but unfortunately
almost all these foods are fast-food. Fast-food is not good for
health and they have a lot of high calories. Even though people
know about that, they can't change other foods instead of fast-
Last, our life is more comfortable than past by
technology developing. The technology developing gives
people to change their life. For example, we didn't use
elevators, cars, and other things in the past. However, now these
things are that we can see about it more easily in our daily life.
People prefer to use elevators than stairs and to ride a car than
walk. The people are always looking for more comfortable
things and they don't need to move themselves anymore.
Resultantly, getting fat people are growing up from
changed lifestyle. We are totally changed our living from past.
Some of people who don't know about changing our lifestyle
has some curious about even we eat the same amount with past,
why we are getting weight. In the past, we ate a lot of amount
foods, but as much we moved ourselves. On the other hand
even though we eat same amount foods, we don't move
anymore like in the past. We should aware of changing of our
life style. As we know about it, we are able to prevent getting
Can you imagine life without deodorant? What would
it smell like? It would smell like stinky, raw meat. I can
imagine living without a computer, a car, open heart surgery,
but I think the world would be bad place to live without
deodorant. I have chosen this invention as a very important one
because it saves time, money and keeps the world smelling
First, deodorant helps people to stay smelling good for
long time more than when this invention first appeared. For
example, now one can take only one shower once a day and it
will be more than enough for the whole day. People these days
don't have to take more than one shower a day in order to smell
good and clean.
Furthermore, deodorant saves a great deal of money.
Imagine that deodorant hadn't been invented yet, people would
have to consume a lot of water in order to keep themselves
clean. They would to have at least three showers a day instead
of one, if there were no deodorant; so you can see how the
deodorant saves tons of money.
Thirdly, it saves a lot of time because people don't
have to take more than one shower to be clean and clean
smelling with using deodorant. These days people can stay far
away from their houses for more than 12 hours and they don't
have to go back to change their clothes or take a shower
because they smell bad. It is not easy to exist anymore with
using deodorant or at least exist while smelling good.
In conclusion, deodorant is one of the most important
inventions that humans have invented so far because it make
our lives easier than before and it helps us to smell good.
Furthermore, it saves a lot of time and money.
Many people think that the term garbage is a negative
term, but the opposite is true. We can recycle used plastic
bottles, newspapers, and glass to reuse them and help the
environment to reduce using the natural source. Recycling is the
best way to reuse things rather than take a huge space in
landfills. Everyday people recycle the garbage they help the
environment to stay pure, reduce the pollution, and save energy.
Air pollution and water pollution are the worst things
could affect the human. As we know the garbage and the
manufacturing processes are the first causes of hazardous
substances which makes air and water pollution, each year
people generate millions of tons of garbage which is a reason to
global warming and cause many diseases. However, we can
reduce the risks of air and water pollution by recycling garbage
and reuse the items to stop the manufacturing processes.
Oxygen is one of the most significant keys for life;
trees give us oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. However,
people are still cutting trees and destroying forests to
manufacture items we use in daily life. Recycling the things we
use in daily life will help the environment to save the trees, and
the natural sources. For example, instead of throwing paper
cups from McDonalds away, where it will decompose in the
earth, we can recycle it to save the trees.
Creating new items cost a lot of money and energy.
Recycling garbage saves landfills, but it also can save energy.
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So, creating a recycled can of aluminum needs just a 5% of
creating a new one from the scratch. Imagine how much energy
we can save from billions of aluminum cans, and it's the same
situation with a lot of materials.
Finally recycling has many positive effects can help
the environment to stay pure. In addition, reducing the
hazardous substances risks, and save energy. Recycling works
best if everyone contributes his or her share in the recycling
effort. Also it's a very environmental green activity, so we
should keep it strong and start recycling everything to protect
Entertainment Options at the University of
Florida and the University of Benin
Many researchers have proved that entrainment and
recreational activities develop not only the student mind but
also their healthy and light up. Worldwide, all universities or
education centers have entertainment and recreational centers.
Even though they recreate or enjoy the student, they are
different from one country or state to another because of
lifestyle and culture of each country and state.
To university of Abomey-Calavi (Benin), the students
care less about sports and entertainment activities because many
of them think that doing or taking part of these activities is time
wasting. However, there are some students who get involves in
entertainment activities and even struggle to drive other
students to join them. The University of Abomey-Calavi is not
that big so it doesn't have big centers of recreation, and also
sports are not the student's favorite activity. Also, the university
has only some soccer fields and basketball fields that are almost
not used by the students. The principal students' source of
entertainment is music, dance, theatre and pageant. The
university has several kinds of band group, singers,
performer... They also promote a lot of the traditional dances.
But apart from some picnic areas, University of Abomey-
Calavi's students don't have outdoor activities. Every Friday
afternoon, students enjoy practicing their difference activities
which they present at reception when the university has some
special visit or for the holidays. For example, at the university
of Abomey-Calavi, at the end of each academic year, students
have three days that they call cultural week end. The cultural
week end starts on Friday and ends on Sunday. During these 3
days students present different activities that they have had
practiced for the whole academic year. They do the pageant to
elect the university's miss. Sometime they also play soccer,
students vs. professors. On last day, all together with their
friends, family and professors, even the administration staff,
have lunch and dance to say goodbye and wish great vacation to
But in the University of Florida, things are quite
different in regard to entertainment activities on campus. It's
one of the biggest universities of the USA. It's also a very
rich university in attraction. It has many entertainment and
many recreational centers such as outdoor playing field, the
O'Connell Center, Florida gym for indoor sports, two large
different recreation centers .All of this encourage students to
participate in every form of recreation activity, promote sport
on campus and even take career in any for them. For example,
there are several students who became famous because of
sport on campus. Also, near the university there is a
recreational lake and river that are great places for parties and
picnics. For example, Lake Wauburg is a place where
students can have the parties or picnic and meet with each
other and have fun in the sun. Moreover there are plenty of
outdoor activities at the University of Florida, there are also
inside activities. The University of Florida has a big
entertainment center named the Reitz_union that gives many
kinds of attractions. There are also at this same place
student's court food as well. There, students play in the game
room, watch cinema, and enjoy the Gator night etc. Students
don't have time to feel bored or get crazy with courses. The
university has a big famous football team that plays in fall and
makes the game season a great fun time for students. By the
way, the University of Florida is also called the Gator Nation
because of this football team that students love and refer
themselves to. But other activities such as music, dance etc,
are almost unknown. The sport is so developed at the
University of Florida that the students don't know much about
dance whereas it is also another kind of sport. For example,
during parties or picnics there are some sports activities but
almost never music and dance.
To sum up, the University of Florida is a big
university that has a lot of students and all different majors
like the University of Abomey-Calavi. Both of them have
entertainment activities to put students in good studying
condition. Although there is a big difference in the
universities' entertainment, they are both the University of
Abomey-Calavi and University of Florida a center of
education. Nevertheless, both of them have to improve
entertainment a little bit. The University of Abomey-Calavi
has to develop sport activities more and the University of
Florida has to promote music and dance a little bit more.
Parents Should Not Spank Their Children*
*Editor's note: This is a timed essay.
Is violence, really, the solution for all of our problems?
Is it true that if we want to stop violence, we should use more of
it? I think not. Actually, I think people should be thinking about
how to improve all of our lives in the planet, not only theirs;
how to stop violence. And, who can be actually happy when
violence is the answer to solve any issue that we have? What
are we teaching to the next generation? How can someone
enjoy seeing their children crying? There are many reasons why
I disagree so much with spanking. It cannot be the only way to
solve things with kids.
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First, I believe there are many other ways to explain
things to children. I am not saying we should let them do what
they want. Still, there can always be a peaceful choice. Kids are
not mature; sometimes they cannot note the difference between
"the good things" and "the bad things." So, parents should be
able to explain it in a calm way. Doubtless, they would get the
message faster and better. Also, they would not be afraid of
their own parents, who are supposed to teach them the
important things school does never demonstrate. If the
relationship of the parents and the children is one of peace and
trust, kids will always be less nervous and worried about telling
their parents they did something wrong. And let us get things
straight: no one would ever tell something bad they did to their
parents, when they know the punishment is something strong.
Another important point, is the angriness in which
parents are when they spank the children. It is something people
should we aware of, that there is a very thin line between
spanking, which is considered two swats in the bottom of the
kid, and child abuse. That line is easy to cross when parents are
really angry for what the children did. It is also said that
spanking the child, or being aggressive in any way, can affect
them in a psychological manner. And there are always other
punishments that would definitely make them wish they would
not have done what they did wrong. "You cannot watch TV this
week," "You cannot go out this weekend," "You have to do the
dishes until Monday," "You cannot use your computer or cell
phone this month"; all of them are better ways to say, "What
you did is not okay, I will not accept it." No violence is required
in any of these punishments; and, in that way, you are not
teaching your children to be aggressive and solve their
Even though there are many people against any
physical punishment with children or others, there are also
people who are very "PRO" this issue. They always argue that
it is legal in the US; therefore, it is parents' right to choose
whether to spank their children or not. They also believe it can
make kids get the message when nothing else does, although
there is always a better answer for this. Some of them say it is
okay if you are not beating them, but only spanking them.
Though there is another group that answers that, since it is
parents' right, it is not bad if they beat the children and it causes
contusions or welts.
Opponents probably were taught to be always
attacking and that is the reason why they believe spanking is the
right choice to teach your children when something is not
acceptable. The thing is, even though parents are free to choose
if they want to do it or not, if they cross that line, they could
have problems with the law. They could be fined, taken to jail,
or, even worse, the government could take their children away.
That is why, if parents do not know how to be peaceful, they
have to be careful with spanking. They should probably just
relax and try not to take everything so serious. Kids do not
know how things are supposed to be yet; they have to learn in a
gentle environment. Parents should count to ten, stay in calm,
and explain how to do things. Then, if it does not work, they
could start looking for other ways to teach them; they could
punish them without touching them.
House and Apartment
A long time ago, basically, people built places to live
for protecting themselves from the environment. However,
nowadays, when people chose places to live, they can consider
various options that they are provided. Simply, we classify the
places to live as 'houses' and 'apartments'. These two kinds of
places fundamentally have similarities and have several
different functions as well.
First, houses and apartments have basic similarities.
They have the same floor plan such as bedrooms, kitchens,
bathrooms, and balconies. Also, people who live in either
houses or apartments have charges for utilities. They need to
pay the coast of using water and electricity. However, except
for these basic similarities, there are several differences
between houses and apartments.
Second, features are the most obvious difference
between houses and apartments. Most houses are usually only
one or two floors. The houses which are independent structures
are large sized. On the other hand, apartments are mostly taller
buildings. Because the apartment's purpose is to accommodate
people as much as possible in a small place, its inside tends to
be small. We can find another difference in the way each place
Third, there are different ways to manage each place.
The people who live in the houses need to manage the house by
themselves. They secure their safety, and take care of their own
yards. In contrast, the people who live in the apartments are not
concerned about security and maintenance. Mostly they pay
association fees to apartment managers, so the apartment
managers are charged with the tasks that maintain dweller's
house to be clean and safe.
In conclusion, the house and apartment have several
similarities and differences. These two places to live have same
basic floor plan, but have different features and size. Also, the
charge to manage each house is different. For these reasons,
nowadays, people can think about more detailed things
according to their tastes for purchasing place to live.
Soccer and Basketball
There are a lot of sports that people start playing since
they are little kids and continue playing for years, each people
have their most important sport, the one that they like playing
more or the one that the also enjoy watching the most. Two of
the most famous sports, in some countries, are soccer and
basketball. Even though both sports are played with balls, they
have a lot of differences between them, and a few similarities.
One of the most obvious differences between these
two sports is that in soccer you get more points by shooting the
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ball into a thing called a goal that is located on the ground. In
contrast, the players in basketball, they have to put the ball into
a net called a basket to get points, and this one is like 10 feet
high. Even though both sports have the same characteristic to
put the ball into a net, the one called soccer goal has a bigger
net than the one called a basketball goal.
As a second difference that is obvious too, is that
soccer players use their feet to kick or pass the ball to the other
player of the team. On the other hand, basketball players use
their hands to pass the ball to the other players or to throw the
ball into the basket. This is a big difference, because soccer
player cannot touch the ball while playing, and basketball
player cannot kick the ball or touch it with their feet while
However, these sports also have more than one similar
characteristic. One of those is that the amount of players that
can play in one game are five for each basketball team, no more
and no less than five players can play for each soccer team also.
They can change players in the middle of the game if they are
tired. Both of these sports have different types of ways to score.
In soccer if they kick the ball into the goal 3 times, they get 3
points; and in basketball if they put throw the ball into the
basket from the middle of the field once, they can get more than
2 points. In both sports, the team that ends with more points
wins the game.
In conclusion, these are two sports that a lot of people
like to play. Even if both sports have differences in between
like, soccer is played with the feet of the players and basketball
is played with the hands of the players; they also have
similarities like, there are five players that can play in each
team per game, and also both can be enjoyed a lot by playing
them or by watching them.
Childhood is the greatest age in the life. Many people
were rebel in their childhood, but when they being older they
changed and being different, many of them change to the better,
but some of them don't change their habit. That may be kind of
social problems because each person should change his self to
Everybody has some problems in the childhood. Some
people learn from their mistakes, so they don't repeat their
mistakes. When I was child, I always tried to learn from my
mistakes, but that didn't make difference, because I was always
reality in the same mistakes.
When I was nine years old, I liked to play football
everyday, my father always told me to be careful and to play
outside the house. One day I was playing with my older brother,
and he was better than me, so I get angry and kicked the ball
with all my strength, it was a solid ball, but actually I missed
the goal and I shoot our neighbor windows, and the ball
destroyed it. At that time I was scared, I didn't know what
should I do, or how can I fix my mistake. My brother went
quickly to tell my mother, she came and saw the window and
she called my father, he came from his office, and he was very
angry, he took all my balls and he hid them, and put them away
After that, he took me to our neighbor to apologize to
him, he was really good man, he accept my apology, but he told
me to be more careful next time. My father told me if I play
football next time, he will deprive me from my pocket money.
However, childhood is the most cheerful and funny
stage in the life, we can learn many lessons in the childhood
stage, whatever we do, it will be just memories, everybody lives
one life, so we have to enjoy our life.
The Human Face
Grammar for Writing
Communication can be established by different forms.
One of the most interesting ways is body language, which
doesn't use words but gestures. Facial expressions can be a
good example of that, and they are strongly related to the
speaker's thought or feelings. Moreover they are hard to
control, even if you are making an effort to make them
imperceptible. Studies about facial expression demonstrate that
the listener can get some information that is implicit in the
conversation just observing the facial movement; in addition,
the body can respond positively to forced expressions.
A smile is one of the most intriguing facial expressions
because it can be used to express happiness, politeness and even
a bad felling. As can be seen, there are different kinds of
smiling. The true smile is the enjoyment smile, which
encourages the speaker because it is spontaneous. In addition,
there is the polite smile that is used to thank somebody. On the
other hand, there is the miserable smile that indicates you are
not happy with the situation, but you need to smile to be polite.
According to scientists, the real smile causes a contraction in
the muscles of the mouth and eyes, and by analyzing these
muscles it can be inferred if it is or not a true smile. Using this
theory, a scientist from San Francisco tried to predict the
happiness of the whole life of three women by examining their
pictures from college. Among the three women, just one had the
muscles next to the eyes contracted in her college photograph,
which means pleasure and satisfaction. As was expected, she
was the only woman that built a huge and happy family. The
other women who presented a forced smile were single, and not
as happy as the first one.
While smiling can provide some clues about true
feelings, micro expressions can reveal when an individual is
lying. Pursuing this further, a scientist made some conclusions
after he had studied micro expressions produced by nursing
students, who were asked to lie about movies that they watched.
One of those conclusions is that scratching or wrinkling the
forehead could be a good indicator that a person might be
nervous, and he/she is not telling the truth. In conclusion,
policemen, judges, and forensic psychologists, professionals
who have special experiences with liars, should use this tool to
help them at work. Furthermore, it takes just thirty minutes to
ELI Student Voices 21
teach someone how to identify classic micro expressions of
Different from smiling and lying, not only the person
that you are talking to, but also your body can interpret the
messages of laughing. In India, a doctor who believes that
"laughter is the best medicine" created 600 laughter clubs
where people meet just to laugh. Sections of fifteen minutes
daily have been presented a lot of benefits, for example, a fresh
body, reduced stress and a stronger immune system. As a
consequence, the number of colds and other infections decrease
too. The most interesting thing is that the body is not able to
differ between the true and fake laughter, so the groups practice
the laughter exercises based on the slogan "Fake it! Fake it!
Until you make it!" In addition to this huge number of clubs,
this theory was used in unusual places like prisons, relieving
feelings like depression, anger and stress.
Smiling, lying and laughing can result in different
facial expressions that correspond to real emotions. These faces
movements are as important as words in conversations, mainly
when the listener has the sensibility to perceive them. In
conclusion, facial expressions and communication are
intrinsically linked because they can provide information like
words can, even if the listener is your body.
A New Life
I have changed my life at this time. I came to the
United States in January, 2010 to know about life in America.
Now I live in Florida in Gainesville in Cabana Beach
apartments. At first, I did not know how to clean my clothes. I
did not know how to cook for myself. I relied on others to do
with this before I came to the United States. Non-parent life is
difficult. But I now have the ingredients to live life without
them. In my apartment, I have a living room and two bedrooms
for me and my cousin. We are here to study and learn English.
We learned many things in the months that have elapsed. Now I
learned how to rely on myself.
Cases of Natural Disaster
Natural disasters have increasingly become one of the
most serious problems facing humanity. The average number of
natural disasters throughout the world has increased in thirty
years. The cause of natural disasters is due to global warming
every day over the planet.
The main cause of global warming is the
unconsciousness of the people who produce more garbage each
day, waste water, spend more electricity, bum of forests, and
use gas industries wearing out the ozone layer. All these things
have occurred over the years causing a great damage to the
planet's ozone layer overheating planet earth, causing the earth
to react as a result producing all the natural disasters we have
seen in the past year.
The result of this great problem has been reflected in
the following countries: Haiti, Chile, Indonesia, Brazil, Spain,
and Portugal. If we do not take precautions in this situation we
will continue to see more natural disasters.
The solution to this situation is that we cannot destroy
the forests. Also we can encourage the planting of forest topsoil
to rejuvenate the planet. We can conserve the consumption of
energy. Our nations can start a global plan, prohibiting
companies from using wood for their processes and replacing
these woods with other materials.
In conclusion, while avoiding the felling of forests, we
can control, ourselves, our children, grandchildren and prepare
My name is Mubarak. I am from the United Arab
Emirates. I live in AbuDabi. I will write about myself. I
was born in 1988. I started school in 1994. I finished high
school in 2007. I moved to the U.S. in 2010. I study now in
the ELI. The story of my life is beautiful and full of events.
Venezuelan Immigrants in the U.S.A.
Albani Carolina Da Silva Gonzalez
Venezuelans have been one of the fastest growing
Latino sub-populations in South Florida. One of the reasons is
because Venezuelans have been afraid of the situation in their
country since 1998, the year in which the current President of
Venezuela Hugo Chavez Frias took the power winning the
elections that year, and after that event everything has been
changing for the worse. There are thousands of reasons why
Venezuelans choose to move to another country and especially
to the U.S.A. There are strong differences between the safety,
the liberty of the citizens to express themselves and the basic
One of the most important reasons Venezuelans want
to leave their country is because there you can't find good
police who can protect them from bad people. The police are
corrupt and sometimes they are the first people suspected in a
kidnapping, theft or murder. Most of the time, they do this
because they want money. It is just incredible to believe for a
lot of people but sadly that's the reality in Venezuela. On the
other hand, in the United States of America the citizens can feel
safe because the police are very strict. They apply the law
whenever they have to and if someone tries to corrupt them
giving money it'll be worse and the citizen will have to pay
more to the government. In Venezuela it's almost impossible to
go out or stay in your own house without worrying about the
bad people who can do something bad and sometimes kill just
ELI Student Voices 22
because they want to. In contrast, the person who lives in the
U.S.A. lives with tranquility. One can see people walking
outside at night and some can leave the doors of their houses
unlocked and everything is ok most of the time. And if someone
does something, we know the police will help and protect us.
Another aspect is that in Venezuela since the current
president is in the government a lot of people have lost their
jobs just because they express that they don't agree with the
president. The more the years go on, the more one can see
people dying just because they go out protesting. A lot of
companies are closing just because they don't use red clothes
like the president or don't have pictures of him or Sim6n
Bolivar in their work place. In other words, they're not
"C Ia.L\ is." or agreeing with the government. A lot of people
are scared about expressing themselves and just for saving their
properties they must have these symbols around or talk good
about the government. No matter what if they don't like it. A lot
of people who work for the State have to go to all the events the
President gives. They must wear red clothing and attend there
because if they don't do it, they can lose their jobs. On the
contrary in the U.S.A. one can feel the freedom. People can
wear the clothing they want, go out and protest about what they
don't like in a pacifist way and no one is going to do anything
bad to them. In this country the people are free to be the way
they are and to express and believe what they want. People can
work wherever they want it doesn't matter if you are African-
American, white, Latin, Democrat or not. The students can go
out and express themselves and everyone is going to respect
them. The opposite happens in Venezuela where every year
students die because they're expressing themselves trying to
demand their rights.
Another important reason is that the basic services in
Venezuela like the water and electricity are getting worse every
year. At the beginning it was just a few days in one month
without water or electricity, but now it's a mandate of the
President to ration these services. He says it is because of the
phenomenon "El Nifio" that rivers in Venezuela are drying very
fast. But the real reasons are bad politics about maintenance and
improving with technology in these factories which produce
electricity and water. The owner of these industries is the
government, but instead of find a solution like investing in this
situation, they decided to ration these services twice a week in
all the country. Sometimes poor people have weeks without
these services which is inhuman because we all know the water
and electricity is necessary to live for everyone. On the other
hand, in the U.S.A. there's always electricity everywhere and
water all the time because the Government has good policies
about maintenance and improving these services with
innovative solutions. People also can drink the water they
receive in their houses. Only using a filter to purify the water,
which is impossible in Venezuela because most of the time this
water is contaminated, this action could produce you since
diarrhea to dysentery in the worse cases.
These are just a few reasons because most of the
Venezuelans are deciding to leave their country. They're
looking for a better life where they can live with quality of life,
in peace and with freedom. It doesn't mean it's easy to do but
the tranquility of having a good life has no price. The U.S.A.
offers all the things they can't find in Venezuela and most of
the Venezuelans prefer to go to south Florida because the
weather and the people is more similar from their country and it
is easier for them to establish there and the home sick will be
The Last President
One day on the morning of May, 23, 2009, I suddenly
heard the news that the last president killed himself while he
was being investigated. I was really shocked and didn't believe
it. However, it was true, and all media broadcasted this huge
news which came from Bongha, a city in South Korea, and I
had to believe it. It was a huge issue which could make
confused me. Many documentary programs which dealt with
the last president's life were broadcasted, and some people
made some videos using his pictures and his speeches. When I
saw those programs and videos, I started crying, but I couldn't
talk about my sense of loss.
I couldn't say I like and support him from the
inauguration of presidency to his death. The economy fell down
during his term, so people blamed him and laughed at him.
Also, people didn't believe nor follow him, and many
newspapers wrote negative sides of his plans. Therefore, it was
too difficult to say I supported him. People gave his supporters
the nickname Rohbba to his supporters, and made fun of them.
Rohbba meant people just followed him without thinking. I
didn't want people to call me Rohbba. So even though I was sad
about his death, I couldn't express my support of him because I
was afraid of becoming an object of ridicule.
A few days later, there was a state funeral for him, and
people made many group memorial altars. Also, many people
regardless of age visited the group memorial altars and
remembered him. There was a group memorial altar in my
university, but I didn't visit it. My friends suggested the
remembrance, but I didn't go there. I was worried about the
attention people would give me if I remembered him. I didn't
want to get the other's attentions, too. I had considered those
suggestions for a few days, but I didn't go there. After that, I
said that I didn't care about his death, and it wasn't my
business. Then I felt I was so mean.
When the state funeral finished, I lost the chance to
express my support of him and my opinion because of the
other's attentions. I regretted that I didn't see his last figure and
support until the end. While some people were removing the
group memorial altar in my university, I was watching. A
strange feeling was around me, and I couldn't move my eyes.
When I watched that situation, I resolved to change one thing in
After his funeral, I learned that expressing my opinion
without the attentions from other people was important for a life
without regret. The other's views can be changed such as this
event. Many people who hate the last president miss and
remember him. Sometimes following other people's opinions
without my belief gives wrong ways and a lot of regrets.
Actually, many people want to make the other's views same
ELI Student Voices 23
because lots of Koreans dislike differences from other people.
However, I have to choose my opinions without the other's
attentions, and I must not blame them to live my own life. The
last president's death taught me an important thing to live my
Do you know that obesity is one of the most dangerous
diseases of this century? This disease has killed a lot of people
or causes chronic illnesses such as diabetes, blood pressure, and
heart diseases. A person becomes obese in any age. Many
children and adults are suffering from obesity. Before the obese
patients find treatment they need to know the causes that made
them gain weight. There are several causes why people gain too
Junk food, chocolate, soft drink, chips ...etc are some
of the reasons for people to gain weight. Most people work,
study or have different responsibilities and because of that they
don't have time to cook healthy food. They prefer eating
something that doesn't take much time such as fast food. One
meal in fast food place is a burger or sandwich contains chicken
or beef, French-fries, and soft drink. This meal contains more
calories and leads to gained weight. Many people like chocolate
whether they are adults or children. It has sour or sweet taste
and it contains calories that make people gain weight if they eat
it by large quantities. There are people who are addicted to soft
drink although their despite that it makes them over weight.
Drink soft drink a lot also make people gain weight.
Hormones and genetics are other causes for weight
gain. Some people hormones change in their body for several
reasons; it could be diseases affects the producing of thyroid
hormone or it could be the pregnancy. For other people the
genetics could be the reason for weight gain. For example we
find some families have all their members suffering from
overweight. For all these situations these people need to consult
a doctor before they became out of control.
The third cause is psychology and the daily habits. A
person's mood can sometimes affect his appetite. It could make
him or her eat a lot. Happiness and anger make some people eat
too much. People who like watching TV for long hours a day
eat a lot of food like snacks, pop corn, soda, chips, ice cream...
etc. Gathering with friends and spending time with them and
watching movies can sometimes let these people eat more.
All these causes and many are more are some of the
reasons for people to gain weight. People should start
considering more healthy food, look after eating habits, follow
diet system, periodic diagnosis and sport to stay in shape.
Teachers Versus Teachers
"The mediocre teacher tells; the good teacher explains;
the superior teacher demonstrates; the great teacher inspires." I
read this quote from William Arthur Ward some years ago, and
immediately it became one of my favorite phrases because it
has the power of summarizing how important the profession of
teaching is. Teachers have the enormous responsibility to help
students, to lead students, and to inspire them with passion.
Most of us remember vaguely teachers that repetitively
gave us lectures or work to do, but without a full explanation or
interesting examples; without transmitting their experience or
their passion for their job. This kind of teachers maybe do not
understand the sense of a profession that requires to inspire
people deeply through hard work and dedication.
Other kinds of teachers were maybe able to transmit
their knowledge and technical skills in their field of
specialization, but without understanding that as human beings,
people need to be taught with patience and effort. Hence, these
teachers did only half theirjobs as educators; their work is not
completed if they do not demonstrate special care for their
However, there is a special category of teachers that
understand that theirjob is one of the most important in the
world. Being a teacher represents in itself, a noble way to help
people during their first years of education, in the early stages
of their careers and maybe even throughout their lives. Being a
teacher is not only about leading skill acquisition and technical
knowledge; it is also about showing and sharing passion for its
Thus, a combination of passion and hard work with
people is the only thing that everybody respects and follows,
and people recognize these qualities in a teacher immediately.
When people see these qualities, they feel motivated and
inspired by a leader. Now, years after I have finished high
school and my bachelor's degree, I still remember with
affection and respect some of the teachers that inspired me
during my student life. Similarly, I am sure that I will also
remember this semester at the ELI as a very special one in
which I met passionate and great teachers.
When I Saw You ...
When I saw your eyes
I felt how my heart
Was ripped out of my body
When I saw your red, hot lips
I felt how my mind
Was flying around towards the Sun
When I saw your hair
I felt how my body
Was fulfilled with warm blood
When I heard your voice
I felt how my thoughts
Were guided to an endless ocean
When I met you
I felt how my life
Was taken away from me
When I finally knew you
ELI Student Voices 24
I felt how all the things I said
Turned different as I thought
When I see your eyes
I feel how my heart
Burns like I were in hell
When I see you red, hot lips
I feel how my mind
Is being tortured by one thousand nightmares
When I see your hair
I feel how my body
Is rolled up with rusty spines
When I hear your voice
I feel how my thoughts
Start to melt down in an eternal darkness
I know that you don't feel the same as me
I know that you are forbidden for me
But I love you
And nothing else matters to me
In this paragraph I will describe a woman in a Kohl's
advertisement. The woman is wearing a purple blouse. She has
a blue belt above her hips and black shoes. This young woman
is wearing dark jeans. She is wearing a blue necklace and a
green bracelet as jewelry. I think this woman is a good model.
Today, attending university is more popular than in the
past. Many students are studying in university and getting the
bachelor's degree. Moreover, they are going to graduate school
and some get the Ph. D. Especially, women try to study harder
than the foretime when many parents didn't like for their
daughters to study in university even if they had enough money.
Likewise, women play an important role in education. Recently,
a survey which was performed in 2005 shows that 55% of the
enrolled freshmen are women. There are several differences
between past and present in university life focusing the
academics, finances, values, based on the freshmen survey from
Beloit College in 2005.
First, college applicants try to apply to more
universities to in the present than in the past. The statistics says
that the students who apply to the 4 or more universities are
portioned at 50% in 2004; in contrast in 1969 when the
applicants are positioned 20%. Moreover, the students applying
to 7 or more universities indicate over 10% in 2004 compared
with 1-2% in 1967. This fact means that today, students have
more information and instruments which make the process
more convenient to access the school and to enjoy their
academic life. On the contrary, sometimes this means more
intensive competition among students. For example, if we are
focusing on the grades in high school, we can find more
competition. In 2004, the number of students received A- or
higher of high school grades increased by 2.5 times from 1968.
On the other hand, the number of students received C+ or lower
of high school grades decreased by 10 times in the same period.
Second, regarding finances in the university, these
days, many students are supported by their parents financially.
They still have little money and can't afford to pay their tuition
by themselves. Sometimes, they work in college to earn money.
If their family income is $100,000 or more, only 28% of the
men want to work in college. When family income is less than
$30,000, 48% want to work in college. On the other hand, there
are few differences in finances among races and ethnicity. For
example, the percentage of students thinking that working while
in college is very good chance occupies to 47% in the entire
sample: 43% in Asian/Asian American, 47% in
white/Caucasian, 48% in African American. So there are
similarities in finances. Also, the thought that they are mainly
concerned about paying for college is representative to 13% in
the entire sample: 16% in Asian/Asian American, 11% in
white/Caucasian, 23% in African American. However, there are
differences between men and women. Whereas approximately
55% of women expect to get a job to pay for college expense,
under 40% of the men expect to get a job to pay for college
Last, values of students have been changed from time
to time. Today, they are more practical, concerned about
money, and think about their family more than in the past.
Interest about the goal of keeping up to date with political
affairs and helping to promote racial understanding has
decreased for a long time. Similarly, interest about religious
preference has also declined for the same period. The survey
indicates that being very well off financially is very important
or essential to students. Almost 80% of them think this way,
compared with thinking that developing a meaningful
philosophy of life is very important, which occupies 40%. This
situation has diverged, that is, 80% of the students thought that
developing a meaningful philosophy of life are very important
in 1967. Furthermore, while the percentage of students who
think that the goal of cleaning up the environment is very
important has decreased from 45% to under 20%, the
percentage of students who goal of raising a family is very
important have increased from under 60% to over 75%, which
mirrors their individual tendency.
Everything is changed and will be changed in the
world, so this survey reflects on that phenomenon. This is not a
matter about the good and the bad but only the current status.
We only know the present position of university life from the
survey. University life has been changed for many years as our
society and our technology have been changed. The survey
shows that more women participate in university life and
broaden their role in education, and they work hard to earn the
money for their tuition, working part time jobs in 2004.
Students consider the goal of raising a family and being very
well off financially as important. They are more realistic and
personal than in the past, concerning their own life. What will
happen in the university life in 2014 ?
ELI Student Voices 25
Education Systems: Turkey and the US
How has the US become the most powerful country?
Why is per capital income only $10745 in Turkey, while it is $
40,208 in the US? The differences in the quality of education
engender these remarkable discrepancies. In the globalized
world, academic level educated people are the greatest force for
countries, and the way that countries try to get this army can be
different although the high school education system almost has
the same system all over the world. Turkish students who start
to study in the US after having a college education back home
can easily realize significant distinctions in the value of
education, entering a university, and covering the life expenses.
First, not many points can be found to compare the
value of education in Turkey and the U.S. On account of
Turkey's high youth population, Turkish students can save their
future by having a great education, or having rich parents.
Finding a job without a college education has become almost
impossible in Turkey. Although uneducated people can
sometimes find jobs, they cannot get more than $400 as salary.
Because of this problem, everyone wants to get a college
education, which gives you a little opportunity finding a job that
you want to work in. Due to this high demand, there are
millions of educated people, who cause a big unemployment
issue, so that it is normal to see a bus driver or a manager who
has master's degree in Turkey, but it is not possible to see a
person who makes money without college education. On the
other hand, in the US, it is not an essential that having a college
education to make an adequate amount of money in order to
guarantee the future of your family. Although academic level
education helps you to have a high income, there are a great
number of people who make money without this education.
Having this opportunity makes more and more people not to
continue their education after high school, and start to work as
technicians, or other jobs for which they do not need to be
In a view of this contrast between Turkey and the U.S.
it can be assumed that there is a big difference in entering
university. In Turkey, being a bright high school student does
not help with entering a college; all students have to take the
nation-wide college entrance test in order to enter a university.
A little information about this test will probably be enough to
terrify an American. For example, 2 million people take this 3-
hour test, and only 7% of the takers can enter a college.
Moreover, because of the torture that they have while they are
studying, a lot of people choose a major that they do not want to
study; otherwise, they have to prepare for the test one more
year, and take it again. This acute problem puts millions of
Turks in a hard situation that nobody ever wants to be in such as
working in a job that you have never wanted to work. In
contrast, American students can individually apply to more than
3000 colleges, and every single department that colleges have,
so they do not have to study in a major which they have not
thought about studying. In addition, the college application in
the US is based on the student's high school success, which
makes the 4-year high school education the key for entering a
college, so their future is not depended on only one test. This
distinction gives the US a tremendous power of having
educated people who have alacrity to work in the fields needing
The last difference between these countries is the
financial sources of college students. Because of two important
reasons, only %2 of college students have a job in Turkey. The
first reason is the unemployment issue. As I mentioned before,
there is a tremendous unemployment problem in Turkey, and it
prevents students from getting jobs while they are studying.
Another, and more important, reason depends on traditional
values of Turks. Studying in a college has had a great
importance for the Turkish families; furthermore, having
children studying in a college is a source of pride for all Turkish
parents. On account of this, a great number of Turkish parents
say that only the business of a college student is studying for
their classes. Therefore, Turkish parents have to cover all their
children's educational expenses. Unlike Turkish students,
around %40 of American students expect to get a job to cover
their expenses. First of all, it is normal to leave their home
when they become 18-year old, so parents encourage their
children to find a job although they may help them with
covering their tuition. In addition to this traditional reason, an
American student can find a job easier than its Turkish equal.
American students find jobs in restaurants, coffees, bars, or
even in campus facilities. Having this opportunity engenders an
ambition of earning their own money that makes them feel
In conclusion, the US has millions of people who
know what they are supposed to do in life because Americans
have a chance to study a major that they want to, and they are
getting precious work experiences while they are making their
own money or even they do not have to go the college. In
contrast, the Turkish education system does not give these
opportunities, so companies complain about the system that
causes shortage of technicians, and economists add that this
system must be changed as soon as possible in order to save our
future. It is clear that Turkey will never achieve its goal that
was determined by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who was the
founder of modem Turkey, and said, "Our great ideal is to raise
our nation to the highest standard of civilization and
prosperity," unless it changes this inadequate education system.
Since the US has all the characteristics that Turkey wants to
have, its education system must be used as a model while the
Turkish government tries to improve the quality of the
education. I believe that by the time we cannot find any
differences in the education systems of Turkey and the US, we
also will not be able to find any differences in per capital income
of these countries.
ELI Student Voices 26
I am Saud. I am 20 years old. I was born on July 6,
1990 in Saudi Arabia. I live now in Gainesville and study
English. After English, I want to study computers. When I
finish my studies, I want to go to my country and find a job.
After that, I want to get married. This is my life story.
*Editor's note: For this assignment, students were asked
to write an original story based on a song. This story is
based on Gwen Stefani 's song, "Cool. "
Do you remember the first time that you fell in love,
your first kiss, your first disappointment with love...? A lot of
people never forget it. It is really amazing how a song can
represent all of those things, make us remember these times, a
special person, or a special occasion. Every song tells us a
story. This is their song, this is their story.
Gwen and Sergey met each other in Paris in 1987. She
was born in England and he was born in Russia. He moved to
France when he was still a child. She was studying French and
she was in France for just one year. He was a painter. He used
to go to the Eiffel tower looking for inspiration to paint; she
went to the Eiffel tower at the same time as him, because she
wanted to see it. The fate was playing with them. Gwen lost her
wallet with all of her information in that place and Sergey took
it. Some time passed after these events.
One day, Sergey called Gwen and fortunately, she
answered his call. They arranged to rendezvous in a restaurant
in the Eiffel tower called Altitude 95. The day came; while they
were meeting each other, they also were falling in love. He said
that he was having trouble with his work, that he couldn't make
money, his paintings weren't selling, and he didn't have money
to pay a model. She offered to be his model as a reward for
what he did, and Sergey accepted. After this meeting she went
to his house and he painted her while she was reading "Edipo"
in the window under the stars' brightness. They started their
Sergey changed his source of inspiration because he
found it in Gwen. They used to walk around the world always
holding hands. He used to pick her up on his motorcycle. While
she was in her French classes missing him, he was painting
thinking of her. They always had fun and romance among each
other. It was their first love. He proposed marriage to her; he
gave her a diamond ring bought with his savings, but they were
still too young. The time was going so fast. Her year in Paris
was almost finishing.
The time to leave came. They promised never to forget
each other and they both cried. Both of them felt that it was the
saddest day in their lives. After she was gone, they lost contact.
Sergey missed Gwen like the sun misses shining in the sky on
raining days. She always remembered him every time that she
saw the ring that Sergey gave her in symbol of their
engagement. She didn't want to leave France but their parents
wanted her living with them. The time was going so fast and
Gwen started her literature studies at the University of
Cambridge, she met a man named William and they fell in love.
After they both graduated he proposed marriage to her and she
accepted. It was the most important wedding of the century,
because they were the richest couple in England. Sergey
became wealthy selling the paintings inspired by Gwen. He was
also falling in love with a French supermodel called Isabella
with whom he started a relationship. Even after all of that,
Gwen and Sergey still were thinking of the other. Their fate was
One day, Sergey found Gwen when he was on
Facebook because he saw a picture of her with her husband and
he was really surprised. A lot of time had passed before this. He
contacted her and he told her that he would visit England for
work; he had to show his painting in The British Museum. She
told him to visit her and he said yes, but he went with Isabella.
Gwen was really surprised of this. He saw her more beautiful
than ever. Their lives were really different.
Gwen and Sergey decided to be friends, who could
imagine that? It was the biggest love in their lives and they
maintained a friendship. He was always inspired by her when
he did his paintings. Their feelings never changed, it was the
same romantic love as before, but they didn't want to be
unfaithful with their partners. They weren't happy but they
My Two Fathers
My name is Carlos. I was born on 03 October 1978 in
the city of Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela. In my childhood, I lost my
mother Irene just when I was three years old. My father,
Eliceo, had to support my sister and me and look forward. My
father was a professional carpenter and an excellent fisherman.
However, my father died when I was 12 years old. I eventually
finished my studies in 1993 with the help of my adoptive father,
Gonzalo Julio, an engineer. Thanks to him I could study
vocational school. By 1995, I started working at the company
of my adoptive father (Nord International, CA). At the
beginning, I worked as an administrative assistant. After a few
years, I now have the position of Manager of Marketing and
Sales. In 2010, it was suggested by my foster father that I come
to the United States of America to study English and that's what
I'm doing right now. This is not easy but I thank God for my
second father and my ELI teachers for this opportunity to be
here at the ELI in this wonderful country.
ELI Student Voices 27
World Before and After the Invention of
the Cell Phone
Could the modern life live without cell phones? The
world has changed after the cell phones appeared in 1973. Cell
phones have given opportunities to many people and changed
their life style. Cell phones bring many opportunities and
facilities and a lot of issues with them, but they still are one of
the most common things in the world; "9 out of 10 people use
their cell phones every day around the world"(wikipedia). Cell
phones are making the life easier with all their facilities even
Haiti that is in of the poorest country in the world has a big
demand on them. The world before and after the cell phones is
different in many ways.
Long distances in the past were an obstacle to the
communication. Before the cell phone was invented, people had
to write letters to communicate with someone that wasn't close
to them. That letter took weeks, even months to arrive at the
destination. For example, when someone went to study far away
from home, this person sent a letter to his parents. This letter
took weeks to arrive, and the parents didn't know anything
about their son for the time that the letter took to arrive. That
can sound desperate now but then it was completely normal.
Some people in the past sent messages by telegraph instead of
sending a letter, but the problem with this was that it was very
expensive and it was available just in the big cities. When
people sent a telegraph, they paid for every letter and the
message was sent in Morse code, and only a few people knew
how to read it. When the house phone appeared, all about of
communication change to easier; it didn't bring the
communication everywhere, but it was better than the letter and
the telegraph. It took long time to arrive to all the towns and
cities, especially to the small towns. When the small towns
didn't have phones, they had to send a telegraph to a big city
and there was when the person who received the telegraph
called the destination of the messages. People who spend their
time in the street weren't communicate, so they had to make
calls from the public phones to their offices or homes. Another
example is when someone had a problem in the street and
needed help; this person didn't have any way to communicate
his situation. For example, if someone's car didn't start after
work, this person couldn't call his family or friends to help him,
so this person had to look for a public phone or walk to home.
In the past, people were more independent of the phone, even
had more social life without it. Also, people were limited to
make calls just in one position like in the living room or
kitchen, all depending where the phone was. All that means that
people had less freedom than now.
Cell phones have been a fundamental instrument in
each person in the world. They have changed everything related
with the communication. Some people see cell phones how a
benefits instrument, but other people don't believe on that.
These people think that the radio frequency or the vibration of
the cell phones bring cancer. However, most of the people don't
think that cell phones are a problem, they see cell phones as a
positive instrument that bring facilities to them. Cell phones
improve their technology every day. Nowadays, cell phones do
more than make calls; they send text messages for short and
quickly communication. Also, they have internet access, this
benefit help business people because they can check or send
emails everywhere. For example, someone who need to send a
important email and is far away from a computer, can send it in
perfect moment. The communication now is completely
different than in the past, now long distances are not obstacles.
Cell phones eliminate all the communication problems, for
example, when someone takes an airplane to a place far away
from home, that person can call home without any interruption
or trouble. Some cell phones can make video calls instead from
make just voice calls. This is a fact that is happening now, but
maybe in the future cell phones can do that a simple call or
video call; they can have holograms or any new technology.
They have been changing with the pass of the years, the first
cell phone was very big to care it everywhere but now cell
phones are very small even smaller than your hand. This
advance in the technology might do cell phones that a size of a
sim card, or maybe just the size of your ear. All these can sound
weird but it's happening and the world is progressing. Cell
phones are essential in our life, and now many people are
depending on them. People are becoming dependent on the cell
phone, because of the feeling of not having the opportunity to
call or text someone when they need to is very stressing for
them. These people say that when they don't have their cell
phones with them, they fell empty.
All the life that we know today is very difficult and
stressing. Cell phones have been helping us to manage our time
making the communication easier. They are improving in
technology every day, so in the future they might give more
benefits than now. Some people disagree with the idea of cell
phones but society has been changing based on them; they will
not disappear easily. The world should change and start
depending on itself.
"Mobile phone." wikipedia.org. Wikipedia, 4 March 2010.
Web. 25 March 2010.
Thanks from the Editor
Thank you for sharing your writing with everyone. This is the
first time we have had a tie for first place. 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
Jen Ramos, Megan Forbes, Tom Ratican, Todd Allen, Robert
Roberg, and the students of R/W 50 for reading and evaluating
Thanks everyone! Steve Flocks
'El1 UNIVEfRSIY o
ELI Student Voices 28
English Language Institute
PO Box 117051
315 Norman Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611-7051, USA
Phone: (352) 392-3354
Fax: (352) 392-3744
ELI Student IVoies 29