Title: ELI student voices
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089997/00025
 Material Information
Title: ELI student voices
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: English Language Institute, University of Florida
Publisher: English Language Institute
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: Summer 2010
Copyright Date: 2010
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00089997
Volume ID: VID00025
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Volume 14, Issue 2 Summer, 2010

Today Is a Present (1st Place)
Samuel Toffoli
RW 41

What a great experience it would be to travel to a
different time. I think this is a dream that everybody has
dreamed at least once before. If I could, I would go back to the
past and do something that would change the history of the
world. Also, how fantastic it would be if I could go to the future
and experience some technologies that today are unimaginable.
Certainly, in both cases, I might know something about what to
expect, of course more about the past than the future; but what
about the present? What about the next second? I don't know
what is going to happen. No matter how much I plan my actions
in advance, there's always a big uncertainty in the results.
Although it is always unexpected, the present is the time I know
for sure that my decisions and my actions can change my life,
others' lives and the world I live in.
Every single day I have the opportunity to do
everything different in my life. It can appear a little bit too
much, but it is not. I can, at any moment, realize that to reach
my dreams and be happy I have to change the road I'm on or
even change myself. This process is not easy but with courage,
hard work, and determination, it is possible. I remember very
well the day I made the decision to leave my job in Brazil to
start traveling around the globe. It was not an easy decision to
make; many people were supporting me, but others not. I had
achieved in four years a good position as a regional manager in
a big financial institution. Despite some doubts about the future
I found more motivation than fear in this choice; something
inside was telling me that amazing experiences and happiness
were waiting for me on this new journey. In fact, something
great has already happened. Now I'm learning English and I'm
sure that it's going to open some opportunities that were closed
to me before. Furthermore, I'm not only learning a new
language, but also making new friends from different cultures,
and this can in the near future give me more chances to live new
Even being a hard task, I can promote changes in my
life. But how can I help other people to change? I believe that
today we are living the moment in human history in which
people are more individualistic. Most people don't want to
know deeply about others' lives; consequently, few people
share his or her life experiences, thoughts, fears, and any other
real feeling with other people. This is causing a lot of
psychological and social problems. For me it's very clear that
we are not alone in this world; actually there are almost seven
billion human beings sharing the same house. I can help other
people to find answers to some problems if I listen to what they

have to say. Maybe something that I've lived can give some
light to someone. I can help not only my family but anybody I
have the opportunity to if I keep my arms, my ears and my
heart open. In my last job in a big financial group, there was a
manager from northeast Brazil that used to make some grammar
mistakes in her emails. While some people made some jokes
about how people from the northeast were less prepared, I
decided to talk to her. I told her about the mistakes with some
examples in hand and I, myself, offered to help her with any
doubts she had about grammar. She accepted the help and today
is very thankful for the assistance I gave to her at that time.
Also, she decided to take Portuguese grammar classes to
improve her skills.
The example of my work colleague can be used to talk
about interdependence, the concept that everything is connected
somehow. What I did at that time caused a change in her life,
which was improving her Portuguese. This new reality in her
life probably changed the way she cared about how her
employees, family and friends use Portuguese when talking or
writing. In addition, her boss and other colleagues now should
be looking at her with new eyes. This concept is very popular
nowadays; every single act I do or word I say has more
consequences than I can imagine. For example, if I buy one
piece of candy I'm causing economic, social and environmental
changes. First, my money will be used to pay the salaries of
different people involved in the process of extraction of raw
materials, production, distribution and selling. After that, my
consumption rate will help to determine if this company is
going to build new facilities and hire more employees. Finally,
the destiny I'm going to give to the plastic package can impact
more or less the environment in either a negative or positive
way. This dynamic world I'm living in today gives me the
opportunity to make a difference. I can start with small changes
in my lifestyle and I'm sure that some friends, my family and
even people that I don't know will start to copy some good
habits I have. I believe that this is how big changes start: with
small changes.
I'm pretty sure it would be amazing to live in different
times in the past and also somewhere in the future, but I think
that nothing can be better than living today and having the
opportunity to change myself, other people and the world. I
think that this is the magic of the present. It is unpredictable; I
never know what is coming next. But I know that I have to do
the best I can now, because the past has gone and the future is
built every day.

ELI Student Voices 1

My Heart Lies Open (2nd Place)
Nannette Robles
Grammar for Writing

You can tell it's coming. The breeze will whisper it to
your ears. Then you stand. The clock stops for a few seconds
because you want to feel it. It is as if a baby was trying to tickle
your face. You look around and everything seems to be getting
ready to embrace it. The sun, always a gentleman, will step
aside so the clouds can line up like a welcome committee. The
grass will put on that perfume that would refresh any soul, and
the wind will start dancing back and forth, like a slow waltz.
That is when you smile, because you know you are not alone
anymore. Even when the sky starts fireworking lightning and
the thunders loudly sing their song, in that moment, I feel no
fear. There is a calming sensation that covers my whole being.
The cold drops wash my tears away, because my heart lies
open, as I stand in the rain.

A Good Apology
Isnel Pierreval
RW 3

One way to look at this biblical quote: "Let him who is
without of sin cast the first stone" is all people can fall down or
make mistakes. Another way is each single person has at least a
chance to be forgiven. Actions to remedy your errors will
depend on whether you have hurt a friend, have disturbed
family feelings or have broken down public law or moral. As
mistakes are innate, it is more than important for personal
wellness or public relation to endeavor to regain trust. In this
regard, apology makes the deal and a good apology matters. For
example, have you ever wondered what makes the difference in
public opinion regarding the Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton
impeachment process? Tony Hayward handling recent oil spills
in the Gulf of Mexico caused by British Petroleum (BP) and
Akia Toyoda's response to Toyota's brake failure system?
Closely, look at your friends or yourself; what has helped
you to recover the trust of a relative or friend after a major
harm? An acuminous insight would reveal that a good apology
makes the difference. A successful apology has in common
three steps: 1) confession, 2) endorsement of full responsibility,
3) actions to compensate inconveniences.
The first step of a good apology is to recognize one's
faults. Be honest and say: "I am sorry..." Don't make it to save
appearance and avoid using conditional contrition. For example
"I am sorry if..." such clause sounds more to pull the wool over
your victim's eyes and provide yourself esteem. Another one, I
noticed lately, was about a friend introducing his apology to his
peer after a prejudice : In order to be a great man, someone
has to recognize hisfault...I am sorry that ...".The victim, in this
case could think that you did it more for your ego instead of
pursuing an honest reconciliation. There is a better pay off to
be sincere and honest because people are more willing to move
with a heartbroken confession. If you conceal the truth you may

dig your own pitfalls. Don't waste time, seize the momentum
and be natural.
Endorsement of full responsibility of your mistakes is
a second step to forgiveness. It is important to demonstrate deep
understanding of the consequences of your harm. Be
meaningful and be aware of physical or moral prejudices, social
or environmental issues, institutional or political problems
implied by your lack of judgment. For example, Akia Toyoda
as CEO of Toyota Company addressed his audience through the
famous Show, Larry King Live; there he took personal and full
responsibility for the brake system failure of Toyota this year.
However, Tony Hayward's public address had aroused fire on
the oil spill, first to minimize the consequences on environment
(he says that the oil spill was "tiny" in the Gulf of Mexico) and
second to fail to put the victims at first place ("I want my life
back"). Instead of outweighing your responsibilities by previous
record or rhetoric, demonstrate your deep concerns including
your will to walk the talk.
At the end, victims are always waiting to be
compensated for negative externalities. There are several things
to consider when you take actions to remedy your faults. One, a
family audience or personal relationship will require subtle
attention. Be aware to not try to compensate explicitly some
feelings by material gifts. It is welcome to invite your friend
out; substitute Busch Gardens for Disney World and offer a
bouquet of roses to your beloved. Two, in a public or an
institutional arena your actions have to be more substantive and
formal. You have either to feel directly duties required or
appeal to gracious judgment of moral authorities while you
demonstrate commitment to meet procedural obligations in this
matter. Three, in business (BP for example), on the one hand it
is likely the company will pay pro rata for its negative effects
on the environment or victims; on the other hand, it has to
improve its services or products to meet standards and
consumer needs. In any case, when it comes to human life or
lifestyle, the offender has to be subtle to communicate that the
compensation is just a drop in the ocean.
An apology well communicated is a learning process
for public or social relations. Speakers have to be sensitive to
context, culture and lexicology. Friends and family are waiting
for sincerity to move on. In both cases, honesty is the best
policy. Can you apologize for the same mistake twice? It
would sound you were not sincere and as Abraham Lincoln has
reminded us: "You can fool some of the people all the time,
and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all
the people all the time." A good apology comes once.

Daniel Bracho

Dreams are your greatest desires, your direction in life,
what you want to get or what you want to become. You can
also call them targets or goals. Dreams are part of your life,
they are your north, your way forward, your compass to know
where you have to go. The dreams for every person are
completely different; everyone has a different way of seeing

ELI Student Voices 2

life. For many people, life is based on their dreams. At the
beginning of your life, when you're young, you start to dream; it
is something natural. You start to dream about what you want
for when you get older, what you want to be or where you want
to go. Then, when you grow up, you gradually go chasing your
dreams. No matter what happens, you will have obstacles, but
you don't have to give up; you must be strong.
In the process of pursuing your dreams, you'll find
people who will tell you that the dreams are impossible, you
cannot make them happen. Simply, these people do not have the
courage to want something or do not have the ability to achieve
their own goals. What you have to do is not pay attention to
these people and keep trying. Never be discouraged by anything
in the world, and then you will demonstrate to all those people
who did not believe in you how wrong they were. Even if you
sometimes think that your dreams are unattainable, or that they
are impossible to achieve, for sure that it will be very difficult,
but you just have to have faith, and desire it with all your
strength and work with hardest for it. If you want something
with all your strength, the whole universe will conspire to make
that happen.
When you realize you've reached your first goal, the
satisfaction is the greatest you ever felt before. You will know
that everything that you fought for, all those obstacles which
you overcame, all the times you fell down and got up and tried
again, it was all worth it -- you've finally achieved glory. Now
more than ever, you will want to continue pursuing the dream
that must be fulfilled. Just believe in yourself, and be willing to
do anything to achieve it. In the blink of an eye, you will find
that you will achieve all your dreams. You may have noticed
that in life nothing is impossible.
People who achieved their dreams are admired around
the world and they are the ones who are called lucky (or just not
normal), but that is not the truth. They are people identical to
us, people of flesh and blood, only they exert utmost efforts to
achieve their dreams without thinking it is impossible, just
believing in themselves, but we have to know that everyone in
the world started the same, born in a room without anything
special, without any superpower allotted. All the important
characters in life were once young like the others; the difference
is that they never gave up to achieve their dreams.
Here are some examples. Cristiano Ronaldo (the
highest paid soccer player) was born in a family that did not
have enough resources; Bill Gates (the richest man in the
world) began his worklife in a company as employee; Donald
Trump (one of the most successful traders in the world) has
fallen into bankruptcy three times, which he overcame and
remains one of the richest men in the world. Another example:
A man ran for city council and lost the election. He ran for two
positions more and was defeated. Do you know how he
finished? He became president of the United States. His name is
Abraham Lincoln. And as found in a recent ELI Weekly.
Michael Jordan is quoted as saying, "I have failed many times,
and that is why I am a success."
Certain ideas of success state the only thing that is
needed is a consistent person who never gives up in case of
defeat, never believes that defeat is final. Do not hesitate to lose
a battle if that will make you win the war. Everybody can

achieve what they really want to be: the best merchant, the best
actor or actress, the best athlete, the next president or the person
who finds the cure for AIDS. One chooses and carries out his or
her future and destiny. Whatever happens, you should never
give up; if you fail once, try it again and again until you do it,
and always learn from your mistakes. Remember that nobody
can stop you: Your ceiling is the sky. There is no limit.

Impossible is a challenge.
Impossible is a word.
Impossible is a shelter used by cowards when something gets

What Makes English Difficult to Learn?
SoYeon Jeong

If you are currently learning English in a school,
college, or institute, you realize that approximately one billion
people around the world are making the same efforts. English
is the international language for diplomacy, business, science,
and technology in the world. Although English is spoken by
more people than any other language, English is actually one of
the most difficult languages to learn in the world. There are
several reasons why English is hard language to learn: strange
spelling system, irregular pronunciation rules, and lots of
First of all, an English spelling system is extremely
unreasonable. Maybe we can make a guess about English
spelling based on etymology by guessing where the words come
from. Some English words are from Latin, Spanish, French, or
even from Asian languages. In fact, however, there are no rules
for spelling every word, so in order to know the spelling of
words, we have to memorize the spelling of every word. Even
if some words seem simple, we still should memorize the words
since there is no way to be able to spell correctly when you hear
the pronunciation. Some people can say that an English
spelling system is the one of the most successful systems in the
world because of its flexibility. However, that does not mean
that learning English is simple. For non-native-English
speakers, English is hard to learn because the English spelling
system is very strange.
Second of all, one of the most difficult challenges in
learning English is how to produce the sound of the word. In
the case of English, there are no rules how to pronounce the
words correctly. For instance, think about next words,
"Though 1.,. h.il "That" "Thai": "Th" is used at the
head of those words; however, "Th" in each word sounds
differently. Moreover, as mentioned above, pronunciation is
getting harder by the strange spelling system. Some words have
the same pronunciation with different spelling, others have the
same spelling with different pronunciation. Therefore, English
learners should memorize all of the vocabulary as well as their
pronunciation, which sometimes makes foreigners crazy.
Third, because of its etymological origin, English has
lots of synonyms; those are words that have similar meaning,

ELI Student Voices 3

but not identical ones. Therefore, it is very important for
English learners to know which words should be used since
group of synonyms have subtle difference in meaning. For
example, you can watch a movie, but cannot see a movie. You
can see a picture, but cannot watch a picture. In addition, the
reason why English learners should use the synonyms
appropriately is it is essential to use different words especially
in writing academic papers. Even if some foreigners have never
used synonyms in their languages, it is very essential for them
to learn how to use synonyms if they are learning English.
In conclusion, English is a very difficult language to
learn for non-native speakers because of the unreasonable
spelling system, irregular pronunciation rules, and lots of
synonyms. However, if English learners are going to memorize
all of the vocabulary or grammar rules only by textbooks or at
school, learning English is going to be painful. There are lots
of ways to make learning English fun: watching a favorite
movie, reading an interesting book, and having a conversation
with friends. Therefore, foreigners can learn English more

The Best Girl in My Life
Daniel Bracho
RW 41

I love that girl in a way that I can't explain; she means
everything to me. She is also my best friend because we have
many things in common; she is always there to listen, speak and
advise me. She always supports me no matter what and she is
always with me wherever I am. When we're together I feel
complete and I feel stronger. She wants the best for me as I
want the best for her. Sometimes I feel she protects me like my
mother does, and I know that she feels that I protect her like her
father does. This woman is great; I have much to thank her for -
- so many things that I do not know where to start. Every day I
thank God because she is in my life and, every morning, when I
open my eyes and I see her, I remember how lucky I am.
If ever someone does damage to her, I don't know what I
would do. No doubt I would do anything for her; I could not
live without her. And every time I look into her eyes, I can see
the other two people that I love most in the world, our parents.

Unconditional Love
Lane Silva

Sometimes is hard to change yourself, and harder is try
to change someone else. But some circumstances in life open
your eyes about the most important person in your life. The first
time that I was separated from my mom was in 2006 when I
lived in Spain. Until that point I couldn't see how special my
mom was and is in my life. The thought that we just notice how
much we love someone when we lose him/her is true. But
fortunately I didn't lose her; on the contrary I just learned how
to break the ice of her heart that was frozen by some sad events
that occurred in her life.

Since I was 12 my mom started asking me to talk to
her about my plans and my feelings. But it was hard because we
both were introspective, and we weren't used to doing it. She
couldn't understand how hard that was for me, and another
factor that made it difficult was her closed mind. Therefore, I
knew that she couldn't accept some of my beliefs. At that time I
thought that my friends were the best people to talk with about
my life, and I didn't need her opinion since she wouldn't
comprehend my position. But I was completely wrong.
During my time in Spain I could see how I missed her,
and I can remember that the first 'I love yous' were by email
because I was ashamed to say it by phone. And this was the
beginning of a beautiful and trustful relationship between us. I
came back to my country and some facts made me see that
friends are good, but the best of them had been next to me since
I was born. Melting the ice day-by-day, I realized that I could
tell her everything, and even not agreeing with my acts, she
continued supporting me. The best gift of this whole story was
trust! I don't have to lie. I know that even if I do something
wrong she is going to be my 'safe harbor'. Actually, moms have
the incredible power of sixth sense, and naive is the one who
thinks that it is possible to hide something from them. Moms
know more about us than ourselves. Between moms and
children there is an amazing bond, which lets them feel how
you are even if you are overseas of distance.
Nowadays, we both say 'I love you' to each other, and
I can say without any doubt that she is my best friend and 'my'
best mom. I would like to scream that for the world, but since I
can't do it, I'm at least making people from different parts of
the world aware of her essentiality in my life. There is nobody
in the world like a mom. I wish I could have her forever. Mom,

Searching for the Purpose of My Life
Giselle Ferreira Viera
RW 41

Since I was a child, I had been searching for the
answer to this question: What is the purpose of my life? This is
because I couldn't believe that life was limited to: growing up,
getting married, working, dying and done!!! Then, with this
question in my mind and in my heart, I kept living: I studied
hard and got my degree in Law; after that, I started working and
became a hard-working lawyer. I also travelled a lot --I can say
that I have already gone around the world. However, none of
these things fulfilled my heart nor answered my basic question:
What is the purpose of my life?
Nevertheless, I continued my search for the answer to
my question; that is, I decided to ask God, who is the Creator of
the World, which includes me, about the purpose of my life.
And then, He helped me to discover the answer. For that, God
told me about Jesus Christ, His son who is also God, who came
to the Earth as man to show us His amazing Love. He came to
make us free of our sins and to give everyone who believes in
Him eternal life and real peace and happiness. Moreover, Jesus
came to re-establish our relationship with God. And it was
through this relationship that I finally got the answer, which

ELI Student Voices 4

filled my heart of happiness! Now I know that the purpose of
my life is share the amazing Love of Jesus, which gave
meaning to my life and also the hope of eternal life.

Is the English Language Difficult to
Granada Fernandez
RW 3

Nowadays, learning English is something essential in
life. That is why most of the countries teach English in their
schools. In Europe, the level of teaching English is very
different depending on which country you are living in. The
northern countries, like Sweden or Norway, have high English
teaching level; in contrast, Italy or France are farther from this
level. In my country, Spain, all children learn English since they
are 4 years old. This is an obligatory subject in all schools, so
young people in Spain know at least how to say, "Hello, my
name is..." or "How are you?" But if you are in Spain, and get
lost, forget about asking someone your hotel address and they
understand you. Most of the people don't know more than those
three words (even more the oldest people), although they will
try to explain you with mimics. In addition, people from Arabic
and Asiatic countries, have more problems when they try to
learn English. That could be because they have another
alphabet completely different than the Roman alphabet that we
use, so the grammar and the pronunciation are really difficult
for them.
On the one hand, you can find a lot of problems when
you are learning this language. The English grammar is so
complicated that even the English speakers make mistakes in
that way. One of those problems is figurative language. The
slang or the idioms are difficult to learn because you cannot
learn them in books. You have to speak with English speakers
or even see TV shows to learn that. And sometimes, you have
just to guess what they are trying to tell you. The English
language has many synonyms too; there are a lot of words for
just one thing or, in contrast, so many meanings for just one
word. For example, beautiful, pretty, nice, are different words
that have same meaning, "Having qualities that delight the
senses, especially the sense ofsight. "
Also, the pronunciation is a very difficult subject when
you are learning this language. There are just five vowels but a
lot of ways to pronounce them, and that is really difficult to
understand, especially for Spanish people, which just has 5
ways to pronounce them, one per vowel. According with this,
you have to be careful when you are speaking, because you can
say something totally different depending on the pronunciation
of just one vowel. The speed of the English speakers is an
additional problem when you are speaking with them.
Sometimes you just can understand the last word of the whole
sentence. This happens the first times you try to talk with them,
but after some attempts, you will be able to understand 80% of
the conversation.
On the other hand, the borrowed words make it easier
for the European people to learn English. This is because
different European populations, like Spanish, Dutch, Germans,

live in America. So you can guess lots of words just because
they are similar in your own language. Even in the context of a
reading or a conversation you can figure it out. But there is a
trick here. Some of these similar words don't have the same
meanings in both languages; that is calledfalse cognate. An
example of these false cognates is "dairy." In English, this word
means the products that are made with milk, but in Spanish,
"diario", that is similar, means something you do every day.
Another example could be "sympathetic". In English it means
characterized by, proceeding from, exhibiting, or feeling
sympathy. Nevertheless, in Spanish "simpatico" means nice.
From my point of view, learning English is a difficult
task, and even more if is the first language you are trying to
learn. But the point is that the difficulty is bigger depending on
the country you are living in. The Arabic and Asiatic people
will find more difficulties than the European people. For them
all this is something completely new, the grammar, the sound of
the characters and the pronunciation. Finally, I think the better
way to learn a language is living in that country for a while.
This is the most effective way to be all day speaking, listening
and even dreaming in that language.

My Mixed Martial Arts Stage
Guillermo Gallegas
A few years ago I started to practice mixed martial arts
when my godfather invited me to join him. That experience
lasted only one year and a half and it was completely awesome.
I was involved in three martial arts: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Tae
Kwon Do and Thai boxing. I trained very hard every day for
almost around 4-5 hours from Monday through Friday. I
participated in a few competitions and, due to my hard training,
I won gold medals. People who trained with me were different
in each martial art. Moreover, in that gym where I trained there
were many martial arts, so people could take only one of them
but also they could take two. Therefore I took Jiu Jitsu and Tae
Kwon Do and I tried to do my best. As a result, the coach
allowed me to take another martial art, so I took Thai boxing. I
learned a lot of things from all of those.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (a version of the Japanese Jujutsu)
is a self-defense martial art that is focused on grappling and
especially ground fighting; you learn how to apply an arm lock,
an ankle lock, arm bars, to strangulate or to choke a person; this
martial art is very dangerous because you can hurt or injure
your opponent in a fight or the person with whom you are
training For me, this one is one of the best. During the time
you are learning and practicing, you are getting new aptitudes
and new ways of thinking; I learned that when a door is closing,
another one is opening. Furthermore, people who practice Jiu
Jitsu tend to be patient and careful when doing things or at least
that was what I could see with my training partners.
The second martial art was Tae Kwon Do from Korea.
This one brought me a lot of experience, not only because I
could exchange experiences with people from other states in my
country, but also it taught me how to be disciplined, how to
control myself when I got angry and how to meditate on things
to develop my intelligence. Tae Kwon Do consists of throwing

ELI Student Voices 5

kicks to your opponent; they can go to the chest or to the head.
People who practice it are also very patient, very intelligent,
dedicated and motivated. I always remember my coach; he is a
wise man.
The last one (Thai boxing) was practiced for just a few
months. I think this martial art is probably one of the most
aggressive in the world. It consists of throwing punches, kicks,
elbows and knees; it is from Thailand and it's their national
sport. People who practice it are in a good shape because the
training is pretty tough. It can enhance your agility, speed and
reflexes because it's a very fast martial art. The good thing
about this one is that you can get rid of all your stress and feel
liberated; in addition, because the people in Thai boxing are
very active, everybody is always pushing each other to
complete the exercises in order to get better and to be the best.
Practicing a martial art is a good way to experience
many things. There are many environments where you can feel
comfortable; you can get a great body shape and be healthy.
Moreover, you can escape from all those things in life that
overwhelm you. My mixed martial arts stage was a great
moment in my life. I reached many goals and I had a lot of
awesome experiences.

RW 41

The family is a big concept. The characters of people
depend on how their families were. The personalities of people
in adulthood depend on what they saw and felt with their
families in childhood. The families can be grouped in three
groups: domineering families, supportive families, and reckless
and careless families.
The domineering family model makes its children
fearful. The child who has that family will be fearful because he
cannot depend on himself. Also he will not be able to plan for
his future and he cannot trust himself. For example, I know one
of my friends cannot do anything in his life by himself and he
needs his parents for every single thing.
The supportive and tolerant family is a good family to
raise a child. The family gives their children self-confidence
and it gives them the choice to do what they like. But, at the
same time, it gives them all the necessary information to make a
good decision. My family is a good example of this kind of
family. My family gives me the advice which I need and then I
always do what I prefer.
The reckless and careless family makes their children
bad (OR puts their children in bad situations). It is a negative
family. It doesn't take care of its children. The parents don't
know what their children do all day or what the children do
with their friends. They do not follow up with their children's
school and they do not know what their children are doing in
their classes. The result for these children will be bad because
the children will miss their futures and they will not understand
what they have to do to be on the right path. We saw many
examples of those children becoming criminals!

I think the supportive family is my favorite because the
child will feel better in a family like that family. The child will
feel there is an enough freedom and he will not miss a good
future. That family in the middle is not domineering and not
reckless. I think the middle is always better.

What Makes English Difficult to Learn?
Ronald Cademus
RW 3

Language is a vehicle of expression of thoughts, ideas
and perceptions that characterize the culture of a community. It
forges friendships and economic relationships. Nowadays,
language is the key factor of competitiveness. The English
language is one of the most important tools available for
communication between countries, cultural groups, companies,
organizations and friends. It is the most common international
language. One of the testimonies is the number of people
learning this language all over the world. However most of the
non-native speakers find the English language is very complex
and very difficult to learn. What could be the main reasons?
If we analyze the history of the English language, we
can see that it has been influenced by many other languages like
German, British (old), French, Latin, etc. which have different
spelling systems. Thus, English has a lot of borrowed words.
For example, the word curriculum is borrowed from Latin,
rendezvous from French, kindergarten from German. English,
also, has been through various stages: Old English, Middle
English, Moder English and late Moder English, which have
a lot of influence on the English vocabulary. The words be,
strong and water, for example, derive from Old English.
Another reason why non-native speakers struggle
learning English is the irregularity in the pronunciation. Since
all sounds in English do not exist in all other languages, each
case will need to be analyzed differently and individually.
Spanish speaking students tend to add an e before any word
starting with s. But that sound does exist in Spanish. For
example they would say struggle for struggle. If you take the
words through, enough, and though; they all end the same way
but are pronounced differently. The nasalization of French
speakers sounds strange to English native speakers which
makes them difficult to be understood. Non-native English
speaker are also confused whether they need to pronounce the
"d" sound at the end of a verb in the past participle form. For
example, they wonder if attacked is pronounced [atakt] or
The way the words are ordered is another obstacle for
many foreign speakers in learning English language. For
example, a good man is un home bon, translated to French. In
English the adjective is placed before the before the noun,
which is the opposite in French. The Ronald's book, translated
le livre de Ronald in French or el libro de Ronald in Spanish, is
another example of word order complexity.
In sum, all of the points that have been raised above
show why foreigners have such problems in learning English.
Indeed, the English language has been influenced by many
other languages and also has suffered a lot of variations in its

ELI Student Voices 6

evolution, which makes its vocabulary very diverse. Also, in
terms of grammar, English is very complex and very irregular
which makes the pronunciation very difficult to remember.
Nevertheless, the English language is the world's best language
to create and maintain social networking and business

My Favorite Toy
Nannette Robles
Grammar for Writing

Since I was a kid, I knew how lucky I was to have
discovered a treasure everybody owns, but not many people
realize they have. It was magical. No fancy toy in the whole
world could replace it. I could hike and camp in mountains, I
could be a superhero. I could become invisible any second and
travel in time. If I wanted, it could change the color of the moon
and even the taste of the veggies my mom would make me eat. I
could swim in chocolate pools and slide in candy tubes. There
was nothing I couldn't do with it. The best part? It was
unbreakable. It didn't need to be plugged in and it wouldn't
become old-fashioned. My favorite toy kept me from feeling
lonely, if my other friends were not around, and would make
me happy for hours. That magic toy, that I still play with once
in a while, is my imagination. And let me tell you, it doesn't
grow old!

ELI's English Only Policy
Eduardo Sanchez
RW 41

Editor's note: This was written in ten minutes.

I think that the ELI's English Only policy is a good
policy of ELI's English learning process. It is necessary
because the only way to learn English, in my opinion, is
speaking English. Why? Because it forces people to think in
English, and to put into practice all the English learned in
classes. I follow this policy often but, sincerely, I sometimes
speak in Spanish. The reasons are simple: the first one is to take
a break. Maybe it sounds silly, but it is the true. The second
one: some topics like "CADIVI", the Venezuelan's foreign
exchange system, is very hard to explain in English. We
Venezuelans curse and insult our government every time we
speak about it and it is better to do this in Spanish. The only
suggestion I can make to enforce this policy is to give a gift
monthly to one who doesn't speak his or her own language. Of
course, I am referring to a small gift. Finally, I apologize if I
have been heard speaking in Spanish on the 3rd floor. One
solution, in my case, is to speak Spanish in the Florida Room if
I must. These are my thoughts on the English Only policy of the

College Life Style
Mobarak ALrasheedi

Education is the most important thing in this life.
Every kid in my country has to attend school. It was not my
choice when I went to school, but when I grew up, I realized it
was a good thing to go to school. However, I attended five
years in King Saudi University in my country, and I intend to
apply to a university here in the U.S. In this essay, I am going to
write a compare and contrast essay about college life in my
country and college life in the U.S. and discuss three points:
rules, culture, and leisure time.
Every society in this world has to have rules to
organize everything in that community. College life is a good
example of a complete community. In my country, colleges
have certain rules to help college move forward such as
students are not allowed to smoke inside of the campus. I found
these rules here in U.S. colleges as well. In my country, college
students can use cell phones during class; on the contrary, here
in the U.S. colleges it is not allowed.
Through the history of society culture has a strong
influence on college life. In my country, girls cannot study with
boys in the class. Both of them have different campuses; on the
contrary, here in the U.S. college girls and boys can study in the
same campus and meet each other. Both my country's college
life and U.S. college life have something in common, and this is
all students respect their teachers and their colleagues.
The most beautiful time for all students is leisure time.
In my country during college life, we have a lot of activities we
can do during free time such as play football, swimming-
similar to here in the U.S. colleges. However, my country's
colleges do not have a cinema in the campus. In contrast, the
U.S. colleges have many movies theaters on the campus.
In closing, there are few differences in college life
between my country's college and U.S. college life. I like both
of these, no matter what the differences are.

New Ending for The Giver
Samuel Toffoli
RW 41

Editor's note: In RW 41, students read a novel titled The
Giver, by Lois Lowry. In this essay, Samuel writes an alternate
ending to the story.

Using all his energy, the little he still had, Jonas
walked the fraction of a mile that separated him from the house
after the sled had stopped. On the way he was carrying Gabriel
very tightly in his arms and close to his chest Jonas was trying
to keep the little child warm. He felt exhausted, willing to give
up and to fall into the snow, but the music somehow helped to
make his mind alert. He was now only three steps from the front
door; for a second he thought it could be a dream, and when he
finally reached the door, he fell to his knees. Gabriel opened his

ELI Student Voices 7

eyes and looked thoughtfully to Jonas. "We made it, Gabe."
Jonas said, catching his breath between his words.
Jonas raised his left arm and knocked on the door
twice with a fist. He was shaking because of the fatigue, the
hunger, and the cold. He didn't know exactly how long his
escape had taken. It had been a little over a month. After a few
seconds, the door opened and Jonas could see an old couple
standing in front of him.
"You are grandparents, right?" Jonas said in a weak
voice before losing consciousness.
Jonas felt as if he had just finished receiving one of the
good memories from the Giver. He was awake, but his eyes
were still closed. He was on a bed and felt his body relaxed;
however, he realized that it was not the same bed as the one
from the Annex. This bed was softer and had a different
fragrance. He opened his eyes and the first thing he could see
over a table beside the bed was an image of an old man and an
old woman. Those faces weren't strange to him. Suddenly all
the memories came back to him: the escape, the long journey,
the sled, the old couple in the door, but after that he couldn't
remember anything. But he knows for sure he was out of the
community and alive. Jonas felt an intense happiness for a
while; however, it didn't last too long. He didn't know where
Gabe was.
"Gabe?" he asked hoping to hear the little boy.
"He is here, Jonas, with me." That was a familiar voice
coming from the opposite side of the room. While still in bed
Jonas gave a small jump and turned up to see the place where
the voice came from. There was his dad, seated in a chair,
holding Gabriel. Jonas blinked his eyes, testing his eyesight, but
his father was still there. A strong fear surrounded his heart he
was worried about Gabriel and he felt he had to do something,
"Give me Gabriel!" Jonas said in a brave voice. After
everything he had experienced, he felt more courageous than
ever. Also, he felt strong, enough to fight with his father if he
had to.
"Calm down, Jonas." said his father.
"Don't tell me to calm down. I know everything about
Release. I saw you killing the lighter twin and..."
"Jonas," said the Giver, entering the room followed by
Jonas' mother, Lily, Asher, Fiona, and the old couple "You
don't have to worry. Everything is OK now."
Seeing the Giver, Jonas felt better but was still
confused about the unexpected situation. "What happened?" he
asked eager to know the truth.
"You've been sleeping for five days." The Giver
started to explain. "When you got here with Gabriel, this old
couple gave you a hot bath, food and tea. You were so tired that
you couldn't open your eyes. After eating all the food you could
you went into a deep sleep and only woke up today."
"But I don't understand why all of you are here. What
happened with the community?"
"After you left the community, the memories I gave to
you started to come back to the citizens. In the beginning, the
memories where weak and only some people could intensely
revive the experiences from the past. Facing difficult memories
and pain, some people got frightened and started to ask the

committee for explanations. I offered myself to help during the
process, but the Chief Elder refused my help reminding me
about my failures with both Receivers. So they decided to
release every person who was strongly affected by the
memories. At the same time, they made the searches for you
more intense. If you had been caught and taken back, they
would have controlled the community again. However, as the
days passed, the memories were so much stronger that it was
impossible to control the community. For a while people
suffered a lot; some of them even committed suicide. But after
that, they understood the community was a prison and they
were living apart from real feelings. They felt a strong rage and
together decided to destroy the community and leave that place
"But what happened with The Committee of Elders?"
"Those were the last releases in the history of
"Did you order to kill them, Giver?" Jonas asked with
a surprised voice.
"No, Jonas. The citizens decided together. They didn't
want to take the risk of another community of Sameness being
created. Now they all have the memories and the wisdom that
comes with them. They don't need my help anymore.
"But how did you find me so fast?" Jonas had a
thousand of questions to ask.
"That's something I can't understand very well yet.
But, I could see through Gabriel's memories. Somehow this
little boy was sending to me all his experiences. I was fearful
for your lives most of the time but I was rewarded in the end."
Jonas was astonished by this story. The plan had
worked so perfectly that it was hard to believe sometimes. The
community had ended. Gabriel was safe. His family and best
friends were together with him. Now, they were free from the
pills and free from the rules of the Committee they could now
feel true emotions, pain, love, and make choices. Although it
was everything he had fought for, Jonas felt some agony inside,
some uncertainty related with the future.
"Giver, what happens now?" Jonas asked, hoping for a
perfect answer.
"I don't know, Jonas."

Opinion Essays from Reading & Writing

Editor's note: In R/W 50, students read a novel titled The
Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster. In this novel a character
names Alec Bings says, "It's all how you look at ;ihI i in my
family everyone is born in the air, with his head at exactly the
height it's going to be when he's an adult, and then we all grow
toward the ground. When we are fully grown up or, as you can
see down, our feet finally touch the ground... We always see
;hi,, from the same angle."

In these last eight essays, students give their opinions on which
is better: Alec's way of viewing ;hi,, as he grows or the way
we humans view ;ih,,'' as we grow. Read the book!

ELI Student Voices 8

People's Wishes
Hassan M. Alidrisi

I want to be capable of learning. Some people wish to
be born knowing everything. They want to know how to read,
write, or drive cars and other people think that will be boring.
They want to live their life as a new experience. They want to
learn some things new, and live a new experience every day. So
is being bor knowing everything better than learning a new
experience every day.
People who wish to be bor knowing everything, think
that will help them to reach all of their desires. They think that
they can avoid all negative actions to make their life better. For
example, they want to know how they should invest their
money in the best way. So, they assumed that they will have a
happy life with no feeling of threaten. This way could be
suitable for some people but not for all.
Other people think that will be boring and they wish
their life to be exciting. So, they want to do mistakes then they
learn from their mistakes. They think the life is like a school.
So, they can learn something new and get a new experience. For
example, they want to spend their life in learning then they use
their knowledge in their life.
I think that people should take the risk every day and
do something wrong. Then they can make these things right. In
this way people can feel the feeling of success. On the other
hand, if the person knows everything, he will not have any
experience. For example, if someone knows that fire could burn
him, he will not touch it. While, if someone does not know that
fire can burn him and he touches it, he will know that the fire
will burn him and he know the feeling of being burned. So, he
knows two things while the first person knows only one thing.
In conclusion, some people want to use the shortest
and the easiest way to success. For these people, they wish to
know everything when they are born. On the other hand, some
people want to experience life even if they do something wrong.
However, both ways have advantages and disadvantages.
Therefore, people should work hard and know how to end their
lives successfully.

The Way To Be
Ehab Musharbash

How do you want to be? Usually people learn really
well from their experiences this life, but some of us don't want
to learn from this huge school which is called life. That attitude
creates the following kinds of people; people who do not know
what's going on around them, people with old minds and old
technology, and people with a different life style for those of us
who will change and will learn from this life.
First of all, I think that if we are not going to follow
this life and know what's going on around us, then we will be
living in our own world which is in the middle of nowhere. This
attitude makes people reckless and allows them to do things that

might be bad for others. Also, I think we always have to be
connected with people that are around us, because each of us
has something new to learn every day, and from these learning
experiences, we can help others with what we have learned.
Additionally, if we are not going to learn from this life
then we might end up having living our lives with an old mind
and old technology. This life goes very fast and the technology
is improving faster every day. Therefore, we have to follow the
technology too, and not to be lazy. We must try to learn new
stuff and keep-up with the pace of learning and growing. We
must think that it's never too late to learn things, so that we can
always be part of life.
Finally, learning from this life keeps you online all the
time and current with life. However, if you will not make any
changes in your life, you are going to be old fashioned and you
will never change your own ways to be able to live in this life.
You might become homeless after a while, and life will treat
you badly because part of living this life is that people usually
like to change some things in their own lives, like a house, or
car, or a viewpoint, or an opinion.
In conclusion, the question is for part of the people is
"to be or not to be". People have to understand this life from the
right viewpoint. People cannot rush around and not care about
the things that happen around them. I think each of us has his or
her own personality to pick and to find their future by
themselves. You cannot do this by keeping the same
perspective and refusing to change or connect to the people
around you. People have to be willing to change to be part of
today's life.

Saeed Alghamdi

I can't believe it... some people have the same ideas
their whole lives! We as human beings are bor as little
organisms then we grow up to be mature adults. Our knowledge
increases while we are learning; therefore, our ideas change
with time, sometimes in a positive way and in other times in a
negative one. I read a story about people that are born with their
heads at the heights that they will be when they become adults
then they grow down toward the ground. So, they can see things
from the same way. We can conclude from this story that these
people resemble those whom have the same ideas their whole
lives. If we considered the concept about the thoughts of
people, then people would divided into people don't have the
ability to change their ideas and others who do have this ability.
The first side of this issue is people for whom their
visions of things are hard to change. It is difficult when
someone discusses things with these people like an issue or
concern because reaching with them a point of understanding is
difficult because they are always attached to their opinions.
Also, those people think that their ideas are always right.
Usually, they see things from the same way; therefore, they
have a routine life. They don't have the desire to renew their
lives and try new something. Mostly, they are attached to their
traditions although some of them are wrong. As a result of this

ELI Student Voices 9

kind of thinking, they will lose either many friends or one of
their relatives. Finally, I see these types of people are losing a
lot in their lives.
The second side of this issue is when people have the
potential to accept new notions. When people are born, they
don't know everything; therefore, they keep learning while they
are growing up until they become mature. However, when they
become adults doesn't mean they have to stop learning, but they
learn new things every day. Both ideas and visions of the
second type of people are developing with time, so what they
believe today must not be the same tomorrow, except their
religious constants. Those people, when they discuss an issue
with each other, accept the ideas of each other without
nervousness; moreover, they can change their ideas when they
believe in new things. So they practice the natural way of
thinking about issues.
In my opinion, I believe that people have the ability to
improve their ideas. On the one hand, human beings have the
ability to think, talk, and learn; consequently, they are learning
until they die and their thoughts and visions are changing based
on the knowledge that they gain. On the other hand, I think
people who have the same vision of things are difficult to
communicate with because they will not accept from others and
they will try to force others to accept their ideas. Furthermore,
human are only the organisms that have minds, so I think this is
evidence that we have to think about always and accept some
ideas and refuse others until we reach the facts. For these
reasons, I think that the second kind of people is what we have
to be.
In summary, people are divided into two kinds on this
issue. One kind are people that don't have the capability to
change their beliefs, and the other kind are those who change
their ideas when they have to. Can you think from which kind
you are? Finally, I believe that people have to listen to each
other and respect the opinions of others without nervousness to
one side and that in time is how we can make progress towards

Growing To Be an Adult
Muteb Alhusan

Every culture or citizen has a unique way of marking
how people grow to become an adult. There are a lot of
different ways that young people learn in different countries to
be aware, to understand, and to have wisdom; in brief, how they
grow up. This paper is about the topic of growing to be an adult.
Some people believe that the point of view should be the same
for one thing and some people refute it. These two points of
view will be discussed in this essay.
It is believed by some people that a point of view for
something should be the same in your life. An example that
supports this is a point of view about any subject like studying
two hours per day that is not enough to pass an exam. This
means whatever is a subject that you want to study, you should
study more than two hours every day at any level you are. Since
both the next and the present level depends totally on the

previous level and all information must stick together by
studying daily. Thus, it is clear why some people gravitate
towards this point of view.
On the other hand, many argue that a point of view
may change in every period of your life. For instance, that
clarifies this point of view if somebody believes drinking
alcohol does not have side effects either on his body or his mind
when he is a teenager, and after a certain period of time this
person grows up and knows that alcohol imperils his body and
mind; therefore, he changes his point of view about alcohol. As
a result, this example can show us how people change their
points of view when they become either more aware or become
an adult. After analyzing this fact, it is clear why some people
support this claim.
However, after analyzing these two points of view; it
is clear that every point of view that concerns what is right or
wrong can be changed after a while. Because we learn and
know every time something refutes what we think is right to be
wrong, and vice versa. So I agree with people who say points of
view may change during our life when the passage of time
allows people to mature and change.
In conclusion, some people believe that reasons and
beliefs relating to a point of view should be the same one in
their entire lives and many others refute this claim. However, it
is clear for us that this claim that point of view or our
perspective of life should stay the same cannot be supported.
Who knows what will happen in the future? Perhaps we will
learn something new or experience something different.
Therefore, we must try to figure it out with our changing

Start Growing in the Air or Start Growing
on the Ground

Have you ever imagined spending the first period of
life flying till reaching the ground? People who start life on the
ground have more experience than the other kind of people who
start life in the air.
First of all, to begin growing on the ground helps
people to have strong muscles in their legs and feet.
Furthermore, they explore the route to their goals and overpass
the obstacles which have various levels of difficulty. These
things help them to improve their method of thinking. So then,
they have a big chance to succeed in life. On the other hand,
they have a different view in each age because they have a
different height in each age.
On the other hand, people who open their eyes in the
air reach easily everything they want because they take what
track they want without any deterrent. For example, if they need
to go anyplace they want the just choose the correct direction
then cross the air without taking a long direction on the road or
stopping at any intersection to wait for the traffic. So they do
not need deep thinking. They get everything so easily but they
can be stopped in any small hindrance or obstacle. As a result,
they are weak.

ELI Student Voices 10

In my opinion, people who are born on the ground and
start growing up are stronger and have a logical thinking
because they use their muscles since they are a child. They also
have an experience to solve the problems that they faced a lot of
them in their lives.
In conclusion, it is hard to adapt to your life if you start
growing from up to down, but being on the ground allows
people to gain more experiences and muscle power than people
who start growing with their heads in the air. It is a logical

Growing to Be an Adult
Lara Sanz

"In my family everyone is born in the air..." said Alec
Bings in The Phantom Tollbooth. This sounds so weird, but it's
inside of the imagination. Both sides have positive and negative
aspects. On one hand, we have the effects about growing when
you born in the air and in the other the effects about growing if
you born in a normal way with the head in the ground.
According to the book The Phantom Tollbooth in its
chapter #9, page #104, when "someone is born in the air, with
his head at exactly the height he is going to be when he's an
adult, and then we all grow towards the grounds", the things are
completely different than the normal way. One of the most
important things is that during all of their lives, they see things
as always the same, and they see it with the same point of view.
That aspect is good because you know how everything is since
you're a kid, and you have experiences about them, but this is
also more boring.
On the other hand, sometimes it's good to look at how
things change, and you have to learn about it and adapt yourself
to it. In this way, you can have more than one point of view and
consider different options, because depending on what is your
age, your opinion could be wrong. With this method, you can
solve it. It's less boring because it's not always the same.
In my opinion, the second method is better or the usual
method. The most important reason for me is that is more
"funny", you can see different ways and options and learn about
it. Also you can solve the mistakes that you make because you
can see with the time if you are right or wrong; however, with
the first method you can't because you only are going to see the
things with the same point of view. Although maybe with the
first way of growing, maybe it's more effective because you can
have more experience with the same things.
For all these reasons, if you like a static life without
changes, the first option, is being born it the air. But if you like
the changes, the other method is better. The method that each
one chooses depends on his own preferences.

The Benefits of Changeable Viewpoints
Hye-Lin Lee

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, "Sometimes we
may learn more from a man's error, than from his virtues." Alec
Bings, who is one of characters in The Phantom Tollbooth, was
born in the mid-air. In addition, he grows down, so his
viewpoint is always fixed. However, people in our world are
born on the ground and grow up. Hence, people's viewpoints
have changed as they have grown up. Alec thinks the fixed
viewpoints are better than the changeable viewpoints. However,
I believe the changeable viewpoints are better than the fixed
viewpoints because people can learn from their mistakes and
they become knowledge through experiences. Besides, societies
can improve through different views according to people's ages.
First, the fixed viewpoints have two advantages.
People get rid of the generation gaps by the fixed viewpoint;
therefore, they can save resources which are useful to assemble
different opinions. Also, people can decrease their mistakes
from their immature thoughts. It helps people to save time in
their lives. In brief, people can assemble their opinions and
avoid wasting resources through trials and errors if they have
fixed viewpoints.
On the other hand, changeable viewpoints have two
advantages which are the direct opposite advantages to
advantages of fixed viewpoints. People need a great variety of
opinions to improve their society. There is no improvement
without arguing and discussions. These changeable viewpoints
help people to have different thoughts. It means, the changeable
viewpoints help societies to improve. Moreover, people can get
a lot of different knowledge which is from different experiences
and processes to solve mistakes. Thus, the changeable
viewpoints are a necessary condition to improve societies' and
people's lives.
Finally, people should compare the value of the fixed
viewpoint's advantages with the value of the changeable
viewpoint's advantages. Both the fixed viewpoints and the
changeable viewpoints have advantages and disadvantages. The
fixed viewpoints help people or societies to decrease wasting
resources when they are a process to make better conditions. In
other words, wasting resources is a disadvantage when people
give up the fixed viewpoints; otherwise, changeable viewpoints
help people or societies to improve their conditions. That
means, people and societies can't be improved without the
changeable viewpoints. Therefore, the changeable viewpoints
have more value than the fixed viewpoints.
To sum up, the changeable viewpoints have more
value than fixed viewpoints even though both the fixed
viewpoints and the changeable viewpoints have advantages. In
addition, almost all people actually have changeable
viewpoints. Thus, people don't know the danger from the fixed
viewpoints. The fixed viewpoints are very dangerous because it
makes you become a person without individuality. Therefore,
people should remember the advantages of changeable
viewpoints. People should consider the value of a variety of

ELI Student Voices 11

opinions and gain knowledge from their experiences and

Growing to Be an Adult
Daniel Mendez

According to Harper Lee, "You never really
understand a person until you consider things from his point of
view" (Thinkexist.com). The logical way is to grow from the
ground, where your perspective changes while you are growing.
However, the character Alec, from The Phantom Tollbooth,
and his family grow down from the air, so that their perspective
never changes when they grow. This essay tells two sides of
the meaning of point of view. I would like to explain what it
means, the difference between them, and what are their
advantages and disadvantages.
First, when people grow from the ground, their view is
changing every day from whatever place that they are looking,
because their heads are at different levels. In other words, when
a person grows this way, it is a slow process, but he sees the
world differently at certain points. It helps people have different
points of view depending on his age and where he is at some
specific point in his life.
Otherwise, when people are born in the air, it allows
them to see things from above faster and easier than others.
They have the privilege of seeing the world from the highest
point. They can see the horizon and beyond, but they cannot see
details that their lives offers when they are growing. It means
that they do not change the way they see and interpret their
In my opinion, we should grow from the ground
because we have distinct points of view at different stages in
our lives. This helps us to experience, analyze, and understand
with more details each moment of our lives. Someone growing
from the air would not have this advantage. However, when you
grow from the air, you have the advantage of seeing the whole
world and beyond, but you cannot appreciate the value of
learning from positive and negative experiences.
In conclusion, there are two ways to grow; either we
grow from the air down or up from the ground. Each person can
choose one of them. Both growing from the ground and
growing from the air have advantages and disadvantages to
consider. The first one, a person can have the same perspective
throughout his or her entire life, but they can see the amplitude
of the things. On the other hand, someone who grows from the
ground would have a changing perspective during his life,
therefore evolving as he gets older. The good thing is that,
luckily, we can choose which way we want to grow. So, which
direction do you prefer to grow; up from the ground or down
from the air?

Thanks from the Editor
Thank you for sharing your writing with everyone. I hope you
enjoy reading your fellow students' writing. 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 Lia
Brenneman, Daryl Bish, Robert Roberg, Rebecca McLaughlin,
Jen Ramos, and Todd Allen for reading and evaluating the
Thanks everyone! Steve Flocks

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