ELI STUDENT VOICES
Volume 11, Issue 2
How to Ditch your Boyfriend (1st Place)
Nowadays, boys are so bossy and macho that it is rare
to get along with them for a while. Relationships between
lovers are getting more and more ephemeral. And here are some
steps to help you get rid of your boyfriend if he drives you
crazy. These steps are very easy to adopt and also work very
well. First of all, start complaining about everything. Complain
about his dressing, his beliefs, and his excessive gentleness with
you. Whenever you go to a public place, you should reproach
him about being too close to you whether he holds your hand or
strokes you. And do the inverse if he does not. The second point
is to behave very busy. Act so occupied that you get all the time
a raincheck on his invitation to go out. Then, fall apart in anger
any time you see him. Let him think he is the reason of your
upset. You can be very mean with him and scream at him even
in public. After that, make him think you are not interested to
be with him anymore. Tell him you need to breathe and would
like to get some distance, space. Finally you can also show up
with another guy whom he doesn't know, even your cousin. But
be careful about this last step because it can make your boy
very mad! I recommend to you this last step as the last
alternative. In short, to dump your boyfriend, you should
complain, behave busy, be mad at him, try to be distant and,
finally, show up with somebody else. If you follow those steps
carefully, you can reach your goal. Your boyfriend will not be
around and you won't be able to find him anywhere.
Same-Sex Adoption (2ndPlace)
Maria Jesus Bragado Romeo
(This is a timed 100-minute essay)
Homosexuality is a controversial fact; it has generated
debate and discussion among societies for many centuries. The
evidence shows that there is a different degree of acceptance
from each culture, although nowadays it's a tough issue to treat.
In other words, it is a taboo topic. In addition, allowing gays
and lesbians to adopt children has created varied arguments.
Man and woman's sexuality is inextricably associated
with reproduction, and two men or two women cannot
reproduce. Therefore, people against the same-sex adoption
argue, in a fundamental way, that it is contrary to nature. Also,
they say that biologically it is simply not natural or normal. At
first appearance, it sounds pretty logical and convincing but I
wonder if they are aware of the compromise to benefit
childhood of the children.
Most children in the United States do not live with two
married parents. In fact, according to the 2000 census, "Only
24% homes were composed of a married mother and father with
children living at home." Children can be raised much better
among two people than a single, let's see: money, affection and
education. No matter if those people are from the same gender,
numbers are talking and it's all about the new generations-the
best for them.
On the other hand, some people believe that having
two moms or two dads may cause disapproval from those kids
who have heterosexual parents; it implies a negative
environment for adopted kids. That's true, the opinion from
others in our lives is very important. No doubt about it. But,
let's go beyond; why don't we educate our children to respect
homosexuality? Why don't we learn to accept it? Why do we
have a hypocritical attitude?
In conclusion, I support same-sex adoption for the
previous reasons. However, societies must do their homework--
nothing is impossible. We should bear in mind that our children
are the future and the good development of them is essential.
I'd like to refresh the concept of synergy; it is the phenomenon
in which two or more agents acting together create an effect
greater than that predicted by knowing only the separate effects
of the individual agents. An agent doesn't specify gender.
A Deepening Friendship
When I came to Gainesville, I felt alone without family
and without friends. You cannot have happiness without
someone who shares your happiness. However, now I have a
nice friend and we have a great time together. She is a very
nice girl from South Korea. She is called Sunny. On UF's
Homecoming Weekend, we attended together three different
I and my best friend Sunny spent the Thursday of
Homecoming Weekend together. We attended the theatre. We
saw a play together and we enjoyed it because the actors were
professional. We came back home and we ate a Saudi
traditional dinner and we talked during dinner. We did this until
midnight. It was a warm time talking about our feelings and we
slept together as best friends do in Saudi Arabia.
On Friday morning, we woke up early, ate breakfast
together like a family, put make up on, dressed up in our nice
clothes and went to the bus stop. We were glad and I felt as
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comfortable as I do in my own country. I said to myself, "I am
in my country now." We thought Gainesville was lucky that day
because it was chilly. University Avenue was crowded where
the parade was. We chose a good place and sat beside each
other. We watched the parade. It was a very fun, enjoyable
parade and we took a lot of photos.
The next important event was "Gator Growl." It was
like a festival about the UF sports team. I attended with my
friend Sunny. There was a comedy actor, bands and music, a
mime actor, fireworks, a group of ballet dancers and
parachuters. We shared the fans' Gator dancing, hand clapping,
encouraging the UF team to win.
I was with a great friend and we spent some great days
together. I liked Gainesville during Homecoming Weekend
when all the people go out and celebrate together. It was a
great chance for me and for my best friend Sunny to spend the
whole weekend together and with other people. I think that
weekend was special and touched our feelings. I am sure we
will not forget that unusual weekend and we will keep it in our
minds as a terrific memory.
In the world there are around 6,912 (*) different types
of languages. One of the most popular is English. Learning
English is very important in my life for three reasons: 1) it is
important to my career, 2) it is important to my personal life
and 3) knowing English makes me a more confident person.
English is fundamental to my career because the most
important information, articles and academic papers that I read
are in English. Moreover, if I want to publish new results,
advances, journal articles or other things, it is better for me to
write them in English. Finally, if I know English, I will have
more opportunities of work.
Also, the English language is important in my personal
life because I live in United States now, so I have to speak this
language. Besides, a special part of my family (my brother and
his wife) live in England, a country where the people speak
English, too. In addition, I want to speak another language and
the English language is one of the most popular in the world, so
I can travel or visit places and talk or communicate with the
Additionally, knowledge in English makes me a more
confident person. I would like to study my master's and my
Ph.D. degrees outside of Venezuela, in a country such as the
United States. Furthermore, it is important for my personal
growth to know more about more cultures. At the same time it
is important for me to gain more knowledge so I can be a more
English is one of the languages most spoken in the
world by the people. The people who learn English as a second
language do so for many different reasons. In my own situation,
English influences my career, my personal life and makes me a
more confident person. For these reasons, the English language
is the important influence in my life
Research: November 13, 2007
Back to my Childhood
Annelena Porto Delgado
In Brazil, we say that when people get older they
become like children again. I think that this is true, but I had no
idea it would also happen to me at the age of thirty when I
traveled to the United States. There are four reasons why I felt
like a child again when I first came to the United States. First
of all, I could not talk because I did not know how to speak in
English. For example, I could not ask for food, and I only
could talk to the flight attendant about my gate and my flight
number. Another reason why I felt like a child in the United
States was because I always needed help when I needed to talk
with somebody from the ELI. In this case, I am thirty years old,
but I felt like a four-year-old child because my friend needed to
talk for me. I also felt like a child in many of my English
classes because I only spoke when it was absolutely necessary.
These things happened because I did not have a lot of
vocabulary, and I was so shy. I just did not know how to
express myself, so I did not say anything. The fourth reason is
my sociable personality, as I liked to meet new people. Since I
was a little child, I loved to talk with people, and I always
wanted to get to know new people, especially at the ELI. For
these reasons, memories of my childhood came back to me
when I first came to the United States. Therefore, the ELI, my
classes, and particularly my special teachers Alison Camacho
and Deborah Kellerman were outstanding to me. They taught
me to "grow up," and they made me feel "older" at my English
level. I would like to thank the ELI team for everything. I will
never forget my experiences in the United States and my
growth from an "English child" to an "English grown-up."
The Good Effects of Exercise
Yu-Che Lo (Stan)
Exercise is a good activity. It helps people to get
healthy. In addition, exercise is a good way to make life better.
There are three different beneficial effects of exercise: aerobic
effects, anaerobic effects, and team work training.
First of all, exercise has an aerobic effect. It helps you
extend your physical endurance. Jogging is the good example of
exercise which has an aerobic effect. When you jog, your body
is doing an aerobic sport. You feel smothered at the beginning.
However, if you keep jogging, you will feel fine; you will even
feel better. You also extended your physical bent at the same
time. In addition, aerobic exercise also helps your body cells
gain more oxygen. It is good for your body's metabolism.
Aerobic exercise will make you will feel healthy.
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Secondly, exercise has another similar benefit: the
anaerobic effect. It has an opposite benefit to the aerobic effect.
It is a kind of no oxygen's active, like rock climbing. You don't
inhale oxygen when you are doing anaerobic exercise. Your
muscles are in stress and you feel tired easily. If you still keep
doing anaerobic exercise, you will overlimit the body. Then,
you will feel stronger. As you do more anaerobic exercises, the
more explosive your muscles will be and anaerobic exercise
will help you to gain.
Thirdly, there is one more good beneficial effect of
exercise: team work training. Some exercises need more then
two persons to play, like play on a team. Although personal
skill is important, playing as a team is more important than
playing alone. To win a game, always everyone needs to work
together. When teammates practice together; they also
encourage each other when partners don't play well. It is a good
way to learn how to help each other and develop friendships.
Exercise has good effects no matter what kinds of
exercises you do. There are three kinds of beneficial effects: an
aerobic effect, an anaerobic effect, and team work training. All
of those beneficial effects can help people get healthy and help
people develop a good sense of team work which is helpful to
society. All you have to do is exercise, then, you will gain the
effects from exercise.
On Halloween, I went out with my friend downtown in
Gainesville, watched how people dressed up, and gave sweets
to children. Unfortunately, I had no chance to attend any parties
before Halloween so all I did was walk on the streets and have
fun at cafes with my friend. It was very interesting to be an
observer of such an amazing holiday full of funny customs like
dressing up, going out and trick-or-treating, and others. As I
was walking, I saw people wearing symbolic costumes of
pumpkins, monsters, or popular movie characters. Also, some
of the children asked us for candy. It was a great pleasure to
give them sweets because in this way you understand that you
become the part of Halloween. All in all, it was very pleasant to
have a walk to sit in a caf6, as I learned a lot from that little trip
down the streets of Gainesville to see how Americans celebrate
the holiday by dressing up and giving pieces of candy to
During my trip I've noticed that it differs a lot from the
image that I had before coming to the US because people didn't
decorate their houses, there were few who dressed up, and also,
it seemed to be that Halloween was celebrated mostly by adults,
not by children. Almost no one in Gainesville decorated his/her
houses or workplaces, and when I walked down the streets, it
seemed to me that this was a simple day and there was no
holiday at all. In addition, there were very few people who
dressed up. However, the most surprising for me was the fact
that there were some of them who showed their initiative more
than others and these were not the students, but the faculty and
staff of the ELI. Also, I can't say that everything was fine.
Halloween is considered to be a happy holiday primarily for
children, but now it has turned into another opportunity for
adults to get "stoned" and have fun at parties, and there were a
lot of drunk students instead of children asking for sweets. To
sum up, I would like to say that, despite the fact that Halloween
here is different from my image, it is really an interesting
holiday and I had a great time celebrating Halloween with my
The World's Changing Climate
The variability in climate is becoming really unsafe for
our environment. This change can be determined by
temperature increases or decreases. Human society faces risks
and pressures due to climate change impact on the environment.
These last years, the changing climate has a great impact on the
people's health, the state of our forests and precipitation
First, the changing climate has negative impacts on the
health of people. For instance, we know that when the
temperatures are increased, many diseases can appear. We
know that certain bacteria which live dormant at a certain
temperature can wake up if the temperature changes. It is the
case of malaria in certain areas: the changing climate will make
it more favorable for the different mosquito species that are
present in the region. This is also true for the malaria parasites.
So, climate change can cause more people to get malaria, a
dreaded disease. In fact, human health will experience many
other direct and indirect effects of climate change. .
Second, the changing climate can also have an impact
on the state of forested land it can cause loss of forest. This
threat can increase arid areas. We can have changes in land use
because of climate change and that affects both water quantity
and quality. We also know that a long, dry season may result in
forest fires or desert risks.
Finally, the changing climate causes precipitation
changes. It involves burning hot weather. The precipitation
over land surfaces has increased in the middle and high
latitudes but decreased in the subtropics and tropics. This fact
limits organisms' life. It means the ecosystem rules are
modified and. these kinds of facts can involve some negative
impact on agriculture. We know that the variability of
precipitation has negative effects on agriculture because the
farming depends on the seasons. This variation involves
changing seasons and difficult management of water for
farming crops. Thus, these negative impacts include food
shortages, hunger and alteration of water resources.
For several years, the climate has changed with many
negative effects around us. Furthermore, the variability of
climate causes negatives effects on the environment it has
dangerous effects on human health, the loss of forests and the
changes in precipitation. Finally, I think that each person
should take care about the changing climate in the world
because it is necessary for our survival.
ELI Student Voices 3
My Fulfilling Weekend
When I arrived in Gainesville, I thought that
everything I'll do is new. Now, four months later, I have
already had lots of experiences. Nevertheless, everything I see
is still new. This is what makes me feel fulfilled. In addition to
these experiences, my English study is also a way of learning
new things and makes me fulfilled. Recently, UF's
Homecoming Week occurred and that might be the first and the
last such experience for me. I had three activities that made me
feel contented during that week.
Many people said that one of the most important
activities in Homecoming Week is a huge parade. They also
said I must see this. So, I saw the Homecoming Parade which
so fantastic. I have never seen such a parade since I was born. I
had no sooner seen the first part of the parade that I knew that
everyone had prepared a lot. They were dancing very well,
wearing costumes and make-up, and preparing cars to be floats.
While I saw the parade, I took a picture eagerly. I had a really
great time, and I saw and felt that I was participating in one
aspect of American culture.
Then the day was gone and next day I saw the UF
football game. I had prepared a blue UF tee shirt; I also
prepared myself to yell louder. It was my first time to see the
game in the stadium. All people in the stadium were yelling and
clapping like a gator. (They told me that this cheer was called
the "Gator Chomp.") I was one of the Gator crowd, also doing
this Gator cheer. I had a good feeling like I had once in 2002
during the World Cup. However, the big differences were that I
was here in the US and I was not in my country, and the game
was not a soccer game. While I was watching, I was yelling
English loudly, talking to people in English! It made me feel
fulfilled. In addition, when UF won the game, it made me
At the end of the weekend, I had to go to the library. I
never forgot my purpose and why I came here. Everything I did,
do, and will do here is English. That's why I had to go to the
library. In Library West, I studied English: for example, I read a
novel, studied grammar, listened to ABC news and did my
homework. Even though it was not specifically Homecoming
activities, I felt fulfilled and satisfied because of it.
During a good weekend recently, I really enjoyed
American campus culture and studied English. These were
fulfilling experiences for me: watching the parade, cheering as
one of the Gators, and studying English. I really don't need any
words. My first UF Homecoming Weekend made me fulfilled
and happy that I chose to study in the U.S.
Chia-Jung Tsai (Jessica)
October 31, Halloween, was my first holiday in the
United States, and it's also one of the craziest experiences of
mine. I attended two modem costume parties to celebrate this
traditional holiday of the Western World. The first one was the
ELI party where all students, language assistants, and staff
dressed up, though, I almost couldn't figure out who they were.
However, their costumes were not just about the traditional holy
or scaring evil spirits but included all kinds of things and
characters, such as a policeman, a nurse, a cook, and even a
refrigerator. The second one was my ELI classmate's party.
We drank a lot of punch, took pictures of each other, listened to
the music, danced with our costumes on, and make-up on until
midnight, and I still felt dizzy when I went to class the next
morning. These two parties were quite different, special,
unforgettable experiences that I have never had in Taiwan.
In my opinion, the Halloween is really a good holiday
for people to release their stress from daily life of the real
world. First of all, on this holiday, people can be not themselves
but what they want to be, or can be their "real" selves without
pretence and hiding. For kids, this is the only day they can
"treat" adults by asking "trick or treat" without been punished.
Besides, since Halloween itself has a long history meaning and
lot of symbols, such as jack-o-lantern, pumpkin...etc; we can
also teach and pass along the history of long dead religions to
the next generation. In conclusion, Halloween is not only a
relaxing holiday, but also a meaningful holiday with its long
My First Time Halloween Experience in
Nipapat Techangamwong (Apple)
My three Halloween experiences started on Monday.
I went to my English teacher's home. I knew a little bit about
Halloween. We have the carving pumpkin for 10 groups. It was
very fun and I had a good experience to carving pumpkin in
Halloween festival. We also brought the food to share together.
This party was very simple and I enjoyed eating foods. We
didn't have any costumes to wear; we were just trying to make
Jack-o-Lantern, the symbol for Halloween. In the evening, I
attended Halloween Party at Maguire Village. I enjoyed eating
foods and children played games with their parents. I prepared
candy and chocolates for playing trick or treat with the children
around 4:00 6:00 p.m. They enjoyed wearing their costumes.
They were very lovely, pretty and very cute. Their parents
looked after them all the way. This Halloween party was
prepared for children. Wednesday night, I attended an ELI
Halloween party. It was very different from two parties that I
went to before. Many students wore their costumes. They tried
to scare people and showed their creative dresses. We brought
some snacks and foods to the party. This party was all young
people. It gave me another feeling for Halloween. So I think
American people love to celebrate the Halloween festival.
I think the Halloween is a good holiday and people
love to celebrate it because there are a lot of symbols that try to
scare or mimic the evil like mythology of witches and traditional
activities like trick or treating, bonfires, costume parties, haunted
houses (adult people love to go) and carving jack-o-lanterns.
ELI Student Voices 4
The Halloween festival is a popular holiday for Western and
American people. The beliefs about the boundaries between the
world of living and the dead overlapping are the same around the
world. However, these are present in different ways, different
celebrations, and different names. It is the same purpose to have
activities that associate with religious festivities and family. I
had a good experience to celebrate Halloween in Florida with
my international friends and involved to Halloween parties,
Halloween traditional games like a trick or treating and the
history of Halloween. I also love this tradition.
I worked with the Ministry of Agriculture in my
country, Saudi Arabia. My position was interesting work with
many responsibilities. I was the Assistant Manager at the
Branch of the Ministry of Agriculture in my city, Al Aflaj. I
was also the Director of the Government Farm Lands at that
Branch. My responsibilities in that job were varied. I surveyed
and measured the land owned by my government. I made a map
of this government-owned land. My government gave this
public land to farmers to grow their crops (for example: wheat,
palm, corn, forage, vegetables, and fruit). I gave new
information about agricultural systems to farmers in my city
and I helped them to solve their problems. Finally I also
represented the Manager when he was on vacation. My job gave
me new knowledge. I learned how I can interact with strong
farmers. I have good relations with my city's farmers. I liked
my job because I liked to work with people and I liked to learn
new information about agriculture.
Halloween in the United States
Jr-Jen .\ltn (Carol)
On Wednesday morning, I saw that a teacher wore an
amazing costume with a lot of colorful stars and skeletons on it.
October 31st is the American holiday-Halloween. On that day, I
saw every teacher wearing costumes or special hair bands.
When the teachers would see you, they would say "Happy
Halloween" and give you candy. Additionally, there were a lot
of American students who wore costumes and made themselves
up when they went to school. They infected me with their
enthusiasm for celebrating Halloween. After class, I attended a
pumpkin carving activity in a campus dormitory. We carved the
pumpkins with a variety of tools, such as knifes and drills. After
we finished, we put candles in the pumpkins, and they were the
most beautiful pumpkins I had ever seen. It's a very interesting
experience to celebrate Halloween in America.
Since this is my first time in America, I am excited and
curious about all of the holidays such as Halloween,
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. Halloween especially
impresses me. In my country, I don't wear costumes and make-
up on my face, so I think Halloween is a very funny and good
Holiday. Even through I didn't go to any parties, I saw that
other people's expressions were cheerful and content. I think
keeping this traditional festival is very necessary because good
friends have fun together and meet acquaintances. Also, parents
take their children to join activities or meet with their relatives.
Halloween provides a great opportunity to get to know your
friends better and also release some stress. As a matter of fact, I
really like Halloween here, and I have already decided I will
wear a unique costume next time!
The Importance of the Family in our Lives
Since I was a child, my mother always said to me that
the only thing that is important in our lives is the family. Now
that I am grown, I think she was right. Some of the reasons that
I think that family is important are that they teach us a lot of
things and they support us in difficult situations. Also, the
family is important because it gives us a sense of our place in
First of all, family teaches the most important things
about how to be a good person in this life. Also, they teach us
the best way to behave in our lives. When we were children
almost all of our parents taught values and principles like
responsibilities, humility, respect for everybody, etc. I think
that these first things that we learn help us to act in the right
way and to do useful things the in the correct form. The most
important part of this is that, when our parents teach us things,
we try to follow their teachings so as not to disappointment
Second, in difficult situations, we always need
somebody who supports us and, in these cases especially, our
family is there for us. Family in those moments gives us
sympathy, affection and advice to make us feel more confident.
The one thing that I'm sure of in this life is that, if I personally
have a problem, my brothers, my mother and my father are
never going to leave me alone and they are going to try to help
Finally, my family gives me sense of my place in the
world To honor my parents and my grandparents, I try to be
the best person that I can be. Also, when they see that I obtain
some success in my life or I act like a good person, I make them
feel proud of me and they can see that they are leaving a legacy
in this world. That gives me a sense of my place in the world,
In conclusion, we have to value our family and express
our love to them. They are essential in our lives because they
teach us the most important things. Also, they bring us support
in difficult situations. Lastly, they give us the sense of our
place in the world. These are a few reasons that make us think
about why family is very important in our lives.
ELI Student Voices 5
Normally, we don't celebrate Halloween in our country
so I've had a really good experience with a new custom that is
part of western culture the last few days. On Halloween, all of
my ELI class teachers dressed up and they gave to the students
some chocolates and candy. My reading teacher explained
about Halloween. That was very interesting to me, because I
didn't know about Halloween. My roommate also dressed up
and carved a pumpkin. I didn't go to any parties, but I really
enjoyed this Halloween that was the first celebration in my life.
I like Halloween and will celebrate it from now on.
I think Halloween is a good holiday because
Halloween has lots of fun things to do and we can share that
feeling with each other. Lots of people are looking forward to
Halloween when they prepare their costume and some stuff for
Halloween and then we all very much enjoy Halloween
together. When we go to any Halloween parties, we meet lots of
people then we spend a good time with them and we also make
friends there. On Halloween, most of the home owners buy lots
of candy for Trick-or-Treaters so Trick-or-Treaters are
welcomed by their neighbors. They are all happy and have good
fun together. This might be just an annual holiday, but I think
Halloween is a good way to be sociable so I'd like to say
Halloween is a very good holiday.
The Exciting Homecoming Weekend
The Homecoming weekend was so special for me
because I was able to enjoy many events on the UF campus and
off campus. At UF, I went to the concert of Gator Growl and
the football game. Off campus, I went to Universal Studios. All
of these activities created great memories for me.
First of all, the event of Gator Growl was so exciting
and impressive for me. It was held in the Ben Hill Griffin
Stadium on Friday night and was one of events of
Homecoming. There was a variety of performances such as the
fireworks, the magnificent cheering and the exciting music.
And there were many people who absolutely enjoyed it and
there were famous people there.
Next day, Saturday, I went to the Gator football game.
It was a kind of simple experience for me because I didn't feel
tense and didn't worry about losing the game. But it was a fun
time and the result was that I enjoyed this with my friends.
Then, on Saturday night, the pretty exciting next thing
was waiting for us, Universal Studios. I went to enjoy the horror
nights with friends. I expected a scary experience, but it was not
so bad. However, although it did not scare me, sometimes it
made me astonished.
All in all, these experiences impressed me. I especially
enjoyed everything with my friends and I saw famous people
such as the coach of Gator football, Urban Meyer. This
Homecoming was the first Homecoming in my whole my life.
So I will never forget these memories, my feelings and my
My Favorite Hobbies
Mi Sun Lee (Sunny)
Many people have a variety of hobbies. They enjoy
their lives if they do things they like. I also have many kinds of
hobbies which I enjoy and which add a new dimension to my
life. I usually do them when I have time. My essay will focus on
my three favorites: sports, music, travel.
Do you like sports? If you do so, what kind of sports
do you like to do? In my case, I like watching football games.
When I watch football, I usually shout out loudly as my team
gets the point. Football games make me thrilled. And the other
sport I enjoy is tennis. When I was in Korea, I used to play
tennis with my father. As I play tennis, it makes me feel
energetic. I sometimes compete with my father. It makes us
have a good relationship.
Another hobby is listening to music. Especially, I love
to listen to classic, pop jazz and R&B genre. I usually listen to
classical when I feel down or when I want to feel calm.
Particularly Mozart's music makes me feel peaceful. Listening
to music does refresh my feeling. It is always like my friend.
One of my other hobbies is travel. It gives me good
experience. When you are in new places, you suffer from a new
environment. For instance, I am now living in the USA. I came
here for the first time. There is a completely different
environment. I have to do everything by myself if I want to do
something such as preparing meals, paying for something and
cleaning house and so on. We can also meet different kinds of
people who come from other countries. New experiences are
good to help me learn new things.
In short, most people have their hobbies in order to
enjoy their lives more. When I have free time, I usually like to
do sports, listen to music and enjoy traveling to other places. In
fact, these activities make me cheerful and refresh my energy.
Sidi Mohamed Zaynab
I have never celebrated Halloween before, but in my
last school, when I was taking English lessons, we sometimes
studied Halloween day and worked on celebrating the festival.
After my arrival in the United States, a few days ago, I noticed
that in the town there were some things reminding people of the
approach of Halloween because of the plastic spiders, jack-o-
lanterns, skeletons or other things referring to Halloween. All
those things were also sold in every shop. That was how I
understood that Halloween event was approaching and would
be on October 31st.
Eventually Halloween has arrived, but I didn't do
anything to celebrate it because I wasn't really interested. It is a
ELI Student Voices 6
stranger holiday that has never attracted me. Even though, when
I was walking down the street, I could see that the majority of
the people felt concerned about this event: they were shopping
for their costumes. Instead of their heads, we could also see
some people with pumpkins. Others dressed up to look like
vampires, mummies, skeletons, ghosts, witches, goblins,
zombies, devils and all sorts of things like that. Some people
wore costumes similar to Dracula or Frankenstein monster's
clothes. I could also see orange and black everywhere which are
Halloween traditional colors. To conclude, I would say that I
did not really have a Halloween experience. I didn't meet drunk
people nor children who were asking the famous sentence:
"trick or treat?" I have just heard about it and seen things
which were supposed to be terrifying as Halloween custom
wants it to be.
On the one hand we can consider Halloween as a good
holiday. Indeed, it's a way for people to gather and to have a lot
of fun, to joke, and to forget problems. They can spend some
time to organize the event by preparing the costumes they are
going to wear, by making decorations like the classic jack-o-
lantern and by making their house looking like haunted
mansions, etc... Besides children knock at the door of people
they don't know without getting any punishment and on the
contrary getting candy for free. Kids enjoy this event a lot; it's a
way for them to dress up and to look like what they dream to be
just for a night.
On the other hand, this holiday may be dangerous.
Kids are such innocent and they don't know what they do.
Therefore when an adult refuses to give them a treat, they can
make a trick that's not fun at all like for example break a
window or something much more violent and dangerous.
Furthermore, children can forget the real world and dream
about the spirits world or ghosts, they might have nightmares
about that and feel really terrified of that world which does not
even exist. We can add that every year people get killed during
Halloween day in an accident because they drank too much or
they met someone who drank too much.
To sum up, I would say that Halloween can be
classified as a good holiday but also as a bad holiday. I don't
really have an answer for that question because if I said yes,
that would signify that I appreciate the event but as I said
previously it does not interest me; and if I said no that would
mean that I do not like it but once again I don't mind.
The Halloween Holiday
This Halloween holiday, I actually didn't go to a party
or anything like that, but I saw a lot of people wearing costumes
since early in the morning of Oct. 31st; people of all ages, kids,
teenagers and old people between fifty and seventy years old or
more were wearing costumes. Some people wore like pre-made
costumes that they bought in stores, others wore very creative
costumes that they made by themselves, and some people wore
just a fright wig or a mask for fun. In conclusion, I can say that
my impression of the Halloween holiday in Gainesville, is that
people take it like a day to have fun and to wear costumes and
stuff like that to try to scare others for fun.
I don't think that Halloween is a good holiday and
isn't a bad one either, but my opinion is that Halloween is just a
commercial holiday, and it is a commercial holiday because the
main purpose of it is for the stores to sell costumes and
decoration stuff that aren't really useful for other reasons that
do not involve Halloween which only occurs once a year.
Buying all this stuff is really expensive, if you do it for just one
day. Also it is an opportunity for thieves to commit crimes and
also some of the kids that go out trick or treating, make very
bad tricks to the people that don't give them any candy. So, I'm
not against Halloween and I don't really care if it's eradicated
or not, I just think that it shouldn't be that important because it
doesn't deserve that much attention.
The Agricultural Production
A good agricultural production needs the right steps. In
the beginning, we must have good equipment, such as engines
and tractors because without proper equipment, farmers can't
work. Next, the farmers plant the seeds like potatoes,
groundnuts, corns, millet, etc. Before planting, they choose only
the good and the best plants, and discard the bad. Then, the
farmers must irrigate the ground with water and give it time for
seeds to grow. Finally, they need fertilizer for good agricultural
production. In conclusion, a good plan is necessary if you want
to have a good agricultural production.
Hongseok Kim (Nomad)
I'm going to tell you about my experience on
Halloween Day when I prepared my kids for events and went
trick-or-treating to a neighboring village. First, I bought a
Jasmine costume for my daughter who wanted to disguise
herself as a princess from an Arabic folk-tale, Aladdin and his
Wonderful Lamp. My wife helped my kids to decorate the room
with wizards and pumpkins by using wrapping paper. Next, I
went to a neighboring village for trick-or-treating that
was famous for gorgeous Halloween decorations. The village
people lit porch lights and welcomed the kids with lots of candy
and chocolate. In particular, some houses were so decorated
with cobweb, scarecrows, and tombstones that they looked like
a real haunted house. After returning home, I allowed my kids
to watch a scary movie to create a ghastly atmosphere. I had a
great time with my family on the Halloween holiday.
Recently, some people have worried that the
Halloween holiday has lost its original meaning and is getting
commercialized. Also some parents criticize that Halloween
events make them increase unnecessary consumption and even
tend to encourage hoodlums to commit crimes. Do I think that
Halloween is a bad holiday?
ELI Student Voices 7
Despite these kinds of side effects, I believe that
Halloween is a great holiday. First of all, the Halloween
holiday gives an opportunity for having a great time with family
members. While preparing Halloween costumes and
decorations, children have a valuable sharing time with their
parents. Halloween parties provide a chance for adults to gather
and socialize. In an individualized society, Halloween events
play a role to promote communication among adults. Besides,
Halloween holiday gives a pleasure to everyone regardless of
their religions and races. Finally, Halloween is a good holiday
to provide great times and make people to get together.
(Editor's note: In RW 60, we wanted to practice -, i' i sg a
timed essay, so we wrote these argumentation essays in
100 minutes. I wrote one too!)
Birth control has been around since the beginning of
time. In Egypt women wore a flexible device made with acid
substances and lubricated with honey or oil. This helped killed
the sperm because of the pH being alkaline. Asian women used
oiled paper as a cervical cap and European women used
beeswax. Later on after the discovery of sperm the condoms
were invented. Today we find several birth control methods that
are most commonly used by women. The controversy of birth
control comes when religious women start using them. The
reason for this problem is that Catholic countries see this
method as sinful; however, this method would prevent child
abuse because when children are not wanted their parents are
more likely to abuse them.
The Catholics believe that any method of birth control
is sinful. The first point of view is that people should only have
sex when they get married because it is a sacred unity between
two with the sole purpose of procreating and it is an act that
should only be performed between people that will share their
lives together. The second belief is that because people are
married they should have a family. Therefore any kind of birth
control is against the law of nature. The only birth control
methods that are accepted in the Catholic Church are abstention
and the rhythm method. These methods are accepted because
they don't affect the human body or interfere with the laws of
However, there are some countries that are in their
most part Catholic and in these countries we see a high rate of
child abuse. As an example we have Colombia. In Colombia
nearly two million of children are abused, 70 % of the abused
cases reported involve a child. When people who do not want
kids are forced to have one they will behave in two ways. They
will be so resentful towards the child that they will hate him or
her. They will not pay attention to them and will not treat them
with love. These types of parents will do everything in their
power to stay away from the child as much as they can. The
child will run away from home and end up in the streets. In the
street they are destined to be used as a sexual attraction or they
will be put to work on the streets, without shelter or protection.
Secondly, when children are not wanted in a home
their parents will abuse them themselves, which makes it even
worse. In Colombia, some of the worst cases of abuse are
reported when their own parents do them. Hospitals have
reported cases where children are burnt by their own parents.
The kids show up with burns up to 3 degree. The consequences
for these kids are not only physical but also psychological. They
will grow up to be very disturbed mentalities and let's not
forget these kids will be the future of our countries.
When it comes down to it, why would people be
forced to have children if the only future that they are willing to
offer is a future that will only harm them? It is clear that kids
who suffer from abuse are 99% of the times growing up to be
disturbed people who will only fill our streets with more crime
and atrocities. The Catholic belief is that we should raise our
children to have the same beliefs and faith as we do; how is it
going to be done by parents who don't care about their kids. If
using birth control is against nature's laws, isn't hurting your
own blood against our beliefs and nature's laws too?
Show Off or Learn?
Cesar Augusto Idrobo Giraldo
There are a lot of problems now in the American
schools about the issue of wearing uniforms or not. It's a fact
that wearing uniforms contributes to a better discipline,
therefore for a better learning. For these reasons I really think
that students should wear uniforms in the schools.
First of all, when the students wear uniforms, you will
see in the school an environment of equality because everybody
is wearing the same. As a director of a school, you won't have
any problems with "pants hanging out" or ladies who are almost
naked. Also for a student it is very hard to feel the pressure of
his friends because they are wearing expensive brands, so the
student somehow feels forced to look like them and here is
when the problems come. When everybody is wearing uniforms
this gives to the school a good look because it seems to be that
everyone follows rules and has discipline.
This is an advantage for the parents whose children are
using uniforms because that way they don't have to spend time
buying clothes for school every year. With uniforms you don't
have to go around thinking what are you going to use this year,
you just go straight to buy uniforms. The children will feel
comfortable because they see that their other friends are
wearing the same clothes, so equality will come to the
environment in the whole school where your skills are the ones
that matter, not the latest fashion.
Some parents that are against school uniforms say that
schools are violating their right of speech because the schools
are requiring uniforms for students. However, if you go to a
school, the main goal that all the parents expect is that their
children would be educated and that the school will create a
sense of discipline and responsibility. Wearing uniforms creates
an environment of discipline and equality in the school. As a
ELI Student Voices 8
result, your kids will be well educated and straight people
because that's what the school taught them. The life in the
school and the entire things you learned there would affect your
future. That's why it is so important to have a good education
because this is your base. The fact that the students are wearing
uniforms doesn't mean you cannot express yourself.
In conclusion, wearing uniforms helps to create a
better learning atmosphere for your children and also creates a
better environment. The students won't feel bad and won't have
stress because they'll be at the same level than others. The idea
of the uniforms helps the school to raise well-educated people,
the parents save money and time and the students will still have
the right to express themselves but with uniforms. The school is
not a fashion show; this is a place where you go to learn and
shape your knowledge in order to be successful in life and also
these experiences will help you in your university and even
raising your children.
Taiwan Never Ever Submits to China
Taiwan, a small island which is located under Japan
and next to China, is an independent nation. All people in
Taiwan have the right of vote to elect their own president, and it
has a sound system of government to administrate the whole
country. Taiwan, which only has 58 years, is not a long-history
country. It was established in December 1949 when we lost the
Chinese Civil War and relocated the government to Taipei,
which is the capital of Taiwan now. Since Taiwan departed
from China and became an independent country, China
constantly tried to persuade Taiwan to give up its nationality
and attempts to combine with Taiwan as a part of China. As a
Taiwanese, I won't allow my country to accept the inscrutable
treaty, even if we have to face the threats of military, economy,
and international status of China.
If Taiwan accepts the treaty of one country with two
systems, it will become just one of the provinces of China.
Meanwhile, the citizens in Taiwan will lose the right of voting
for our own president and have to admit the fact that Hu Jintao,
who is the leader of China, becomes our president. While the
mighty force in China keeps threatening the people in Taiwan,
some citizens are afraid the second Chinese Civil War will
occur in the future. They assume Taiwan will have failed in the
war by that time and fear they will lose all property. They are
willing to agree with the ridiculous treaty because they trust
China will not change the present situation in Taiwan.
However, those people forget the hard effort our ancient
soldiers paid with their lives in several wars to remain a free
and independent country--Taiwan. Meanwhile, Taiwan has
persisted in the spirit of independence country for almost 60
years. We must not give it back again.
Another threat Taiwan is facing is the economy
problem. In recent years, because the economy of China
develops increasingly, many businessmen and factories have
transferred to China from Taiwan. According to the economic
need, China understands Taiwan's hope to trade more easily on
transportation between Taiwan and China, so China proposes
some advantages about commerce to captivate people in
Taiwan to fly or sail directly to land in China without transfer,
and the only one rule is to admit China to be our country. Most
businessmen want to utilize the goodness on their business so
they do not oppose to sacrifice Taiwan. I am really ashamed of
those people who would rather earn more money than live in a
mother country. Although money is really important for most
human beings, money can not buy the enthusiastic spirit of
liberty. People should treasure the liberty in an independent
country, not prostitute it.
The last threat is the worst effect in Taiwan-that is
the international status of Taiwan. Because of the meddling of
China, Taiwan presently has a few diplomatic relationships over
the world. Besides, the name of Taiwan often is required to be
called another name, the Republic of China, when we attend
international contests. China always tries to stop any
connections among Taiwan and other countries. Although we
are in a poor relationship in the world, we will not be beaten at
all. Taiwan will fight to the last moment, even if it has only one
diplomatic nation in the world.
In fact, Taiwan has a powerful economy with high foreign
exchange reserves. The industry of Taiwan produces most
electronic components in the world, such as laptop, cell phone,
and mps. Taiwan sets up the economic connection with many
countries in the world, so people do not have to worry that
China will deter the trade in Taiwan. I believe China also wants
to increase their economy and will not prevent the business
currency from Taiwan. On the other hand, although China holds
the mighty force and constantly threaten Taiwan, the US and
Japan are also powerful countries and the two countries will not
allow China to attack Taiwan because US has the peace treaty
with Taiwan and Japan understands if Taiwan belongs to China,
China will certainly threaten them. Taiwan is not alone in the
world. All people in Taiwan should trust their country and then
Taiwan will become stronger and better in the future.
Who is the Real Girl/Guy?
Chun-Chin Li (CiCi)
Nowadays, when we judge an issue, we are less likely
to define the issue either black or white. Even though human
beings have more power than animals do--they don't have their
society--people still have many opinions about sex. Some
people claim that we only have two sexes in this world;
however, other people state that appearance is not the only
judgment to assess sex because there are some transsexuals in
our society. All in all, who is the real girl and boy is not only
about appearance but also about mind.
If a girl considers herself as a boy, she is a boy.
Because if she doesn't think she is a girl, how can people force
her to be a girl? Such self-perception is a very important
criterion. For example, one of my girl friends considers herself
as a boy; she never has long hair or wears skirts. When people
see her on the sidewalk, people may think she is a boy.
Moreover, she never acts like a "girl" because she does the way
ELI Student Voices 9
that most boys do; people can't find any femininity but
masculinity from "her." On the other hand, a boy who considers
himself as a girl, he is a girl. Even though he has great social
pressure, he is more likely to become a homosexual if he can't
be a transsexual. In a recent study, a researcher suggests that the
reason to become a homosexual is more likely because of
genetics. Therefore, to define a person's sex is not only
appearance but also self- perception.
In addition, people create the word: a girl and a boy;
they also create sex. Not only people but also society sets many
rules for a human to be a girl or boy. The role of females has
varied over time, and the sexuality of a human has become
more general than in the past. Take a spectrum for example, if
sex is the element in this spectrum, many people belong to both
sides, which are males and females, and there are still some
people in the middle; those people can't be judged at first
glance. Furthermore, humans create society, culture, and
differences, and that makes this world differ from the animal
world. People are less likely to set the rules for female dogs
about what they can do, so do male dogs; the only thing they
learn is how to live in human's world. In short, people can
create many things that include sex, but they can't set the only
rule for sex.
On the other hand, Christianity or Islam may say that
everyone is either a girl or a boy. Because of their religion, they
believed no transsexuals exist in the world. However, this
reason is too emotional because we do have transsexuals in this
world even though they are minority. In addition, some people
may say because we have such good rules, we can have a better
and peaceful life. A few people, however, are very sad because
they don't want to act the way they should act. They don't have
the freedom to live the way they like; they are limited to
To sum up, even though everyone has different
opinions about this issue, a real girl and a real boy are people
who have self-perception about the way they are. No one can
force another person to act like a perfect model because
everyone should have the freedom to show the way they really
Stop the Death Penalty
The United States of America is one of the countries
that has established the death penalty to condemn the people
who act against the law, which has been imposed by burning,
pressing, breaking on wheel, hanging, electric chair and
nowadays by lethal injection. This capital punishment has been
established not only in the United States but also in
Afghanistan, Albania, Egypt, Singapore, Taiwan and Mongolia
In the United States the death penalty is applied in
some States and prohibited in others. The more common crimes
that are condemned with death penalty are kidnapping,
aggravated rape and murder, which are applied more often in
Florida, Oklahoma, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky and South
The death penalty has existed since the beginning of
time; however, what seems to be strange is that in the 21st
century, when people have passed a long path fighting for the
human rights, the capital punishment still exists.
When we talk about the death penalty as a punishment
we can't conceive that by killing a person for committing a
crime we are going to make justice because, in general terms,
the first objective of the law is to incorporate the prisoners into
the society again as reliable and useful persons. Therefore, we
have to teach the sense of the law and we can't teach it by
killing someone, it is contradictory.
The death penalty has been an object of controversy
for many years, and there have always been opinions in favor
and opinions against it. One of the facts that has had more
incidence is the cost of the convicts, because for some people
the cost to maintain them in prison for the rest of their lives will
be more expensive for the State than to apply the death penalty
to them, but it is not really true because in most of the cases the
legal process in which the death penalty is imposed lasts many
years and requires a lot of procedures. As a result, it is cheaper
to maintain the convicts injail.
The death penalty, no matter how it is applied, is
always going to be a crime because nobody, even the State can
decide when the life of someone is going to end. This would
mean that the life is not the primary right to be respected as it
seems to be, so we have to be conscious that if the State wants
to apply the law and make justice it has to take care of the lives
of the convicts and to help them to get into the society again.
When you go to Virgin record store in New York City,
you are supposed to see many two-words "clean version" in the
hip-hop section. While you are listening to the CD, sometimes
you hear some beep sound instead of the original lyrics. When
you go to the movies, you see the different version of the
movie: some parts had already been cut by somebody. Who has
the right to decide this? Who decides what people can listen,
see, or feel? I oppose the censorship because it may ignore
other cultures and misuse.
Censorship would negatively affect various cultural
backgrounds. We always contact with some culture whether we
want to or not. Millions of songs and thousands of movies are
been being made each day by about a hundred countries. This
means that we are floating on the waves of cultures. Some are
familiar with you, but, unfortunately, some are not. In the
unfortunate case, censorship enables this lack of familiarity. It
cuts or blocks the unfamiliar culture and source by few selected
people. The public doesn't even have a chance to judge about
that. For example, Korea started to open to Japanese culture:
songs, movies, some TV shows, and so on after 2000. Before
that Koreans couldn't contact Japanese content legally. It is not
still completely open.
ELI Student Voices 10
In addition, censorship may harm society and the
public by misusing it. When you contact any information via
major media, you hardly get suspicious about that because it is
known for its trust and accuracy. However, what if it is
controlled by someone? What if it is modified? If it is, you get
wrong information, and also it means you are already
controlled. When a big political scandal happens, it is buried by
another issue such as celebrities' cheating, death, and so on to
hide the scandal. This is the case when somebody censors the
information. Also, when people meet censored contents, they
probably misunderstand the intent of the author. Often, one cut
creates a whole bunch of misunderstandings.
In some cases, censorship could be helpful to reject
some bad content; however, what is a bad thing and what is bad
for whom? It just gets rid of a chance to criticize that. People
are not stupid. They can censor the content by their own
decision. Nobody can take the right to contest original opinions.
And if parents take care of their children by guiding them to
contest content, there would be nothing to worry about.
Censorship could be just a tool for managing the public by high
To sum up, censorship might harm cultural diversity,
cause misunderstanding, and prevent objective criticism. The
people who excuse censorship like the government and media
have to stop doing it. They have to open it to the public first.
They must give the rights back to the people who are
consuming the contents. If censorship continues, there's no
chance to understand each other in the world forever.
Hang up and Drive!
R/W 60 instructor
Recently in the news we read about several high
school cheerleaders who were killed in an automobile accident
when the young driver pulled in front of a truck. In the
destroyed car, police found a cell phone displaying a text
message sent by the driver moments before the crash,
suggesting that she was using her cell phone at the time of the
crash. This is not a rare occurrence, and steps must be taken to
avoid this unnecessary loss of life. For this reason, I believe
that cell phone use must be prohibited or at least restricted.
First, it is obvious that using a cell phone, like
applying makeup, eating a Big Mac, or yelling at the kids in the
back seat is a distraction to drivers. Recent studies have even
shown that talking with someone in the car or even listening to
the radio distracts drivers. Now, with text messaging, which
requires the user to be looking at that tiny screen and searching
for buttons, the distraction is multiplied. Laws have been
enacted in five states prohibiting cell phone use by drivers.
These laws should be enforced in all states in the U.S.
Not only is cell phone use a distraction, but it is also a
physical hindrance to safe driving. I call this the "boat turn."
When one hand (and ear) is occupied by a cell phone, a driver
has only one hand to make a turn. Rather than making a safe,
hand-over-hand turn, the driver is forced to make several, small,
jerking motions to complete a corer turn or a U-tur. The
result is a very wide turn, like a boat makes. Just yesterday I
saw a young woman on the phone in a large SUV actually drive
through the bike lane and onto the sidewalk while trying to
make a U-tum. Had a pedestrian or cyclist been in her path, a
serious injury would obviously have occurred.
Opponents of this position might argue that, since cell
phones themselves are legal, people have the right to use them
when and where they want-even in a car. However, more
important than your right to talk while driving is the other
person's right to live! Surely a few minutes of not being able to
communicate with another person about some trivial issue is
worth a human life.
If people demand their right to talk on the phone and
endanger other people's right to life, at least there can be some
restrictions placed on cell phone use in cars. Several states
require "hands-free" phones in cars. This is a step in the right
direction and, though even hands-free phones are still a
distraction, will save lives every day. Seventeen states prohibit
cell phone use by drivers under 18 years old. Since automobile
accidents are the leading cause of death for this age group, this
prohibition would clearly save lives.
On many issues and controversies in the U.S. people
on both sides of the argument often claim their "right" to do
something. But a driver does not have the right to endanger
other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists any more than a
murderer has the right to take the life of an innocent person, and
both actions should be punishable by the law. I end by quoting
a popular bumper sticker: "HANG UP AND DRIVE!"
(These last two essays are research papers written for
Communication: A Challenge for Men and
Cesar Augusto Idrobo -Giraldo
Have you ever been tired of your mother or wife's
advice because it is always too long and it is repeated several
times? -- Have you ever been bored of your friend of the
opposite sex because most of the time you cannot talk about the
same topics? I have been in both of these situations. When I'm
talking with my mother or my aunt over the phone, they spend
most of the time talking during the conversation -- telling me
about experiences and giving me advice-- while they are also
complaining, I often hear a long list of details about the
problem and I just acknowledge them. Men in contrast go
straight to the point. A typical example for this is when you are
at work. You tell your female colleague that you tired of your
boss, she will say: "well ... maybe you should consider other
options" or she will ask you "Did you already find another
job?" So we can see how females give long and complex
answers but if you talk to your male colleague, he will say:
"quit!" We can see clearly the difference in answers that you
could hear from a male and a female.
ELI Student Voices 11
The main goal of this research paper is to look for an
explanation of male and female communication differences. I
would like to explain; more specifically, the differences in
conversation topics, conversation style, and information
Somehow everybody is involved in one of those topics
because we have relations and interactions with people of the
opposite sex every day. Studying male and female
communication is important because this is something that is
essential to our social, business, and personal lives.
One of the differences between male and female
conversation differences are conversation topics. According to
the survey conducted in Reading and Writing class (2007), we
concluded that most of the topics that both sexes talk about are
focused on social issues. From this survey we agreed that males
talk more about things that are in their surrounding, like cars,
sports, girls, partying, politics and work. While females discuss
about things that are indoors, like TV shows, celebrities, daily
experiences, gossip, guys and fashion. In short, what everybody
agreed is that males look the outside and females look the
inside. You may ask yourself why males look their inside and
females interiors. It is because that's how they were raised and
it's where they spent most of the time. You can infer that their
childhood activities. When you are a child, the boys always
want to do activities with their groups of friends, like ride
bicycle, play tag, hide and seek, experiment with nature, swim
and play with cars. All those activities take place outside and it
is one of the causes of why males look outdoors. The girls do
more activities inside, instead. They also meet their group of
friends. Females like to stay at home and play dolls, make up,
jump rope, play house. All of these activities and games take
place inside a house. Now we can see the difference in male and
female conversation topics and an explanation of why they have
these two different points of view. All these would have an
effect on how both sexes manages their relations with others.
We also have differences in male and female
conversation styles. Dr Luan Brizedine (2006) said that the
common amount of words that women talk is around 20,000
words in a day while men just talk around 7,000 words. So,
there is a big difference of 13,000 words. On the other hand
Deborah Cameron (2006) said that depending on the place and
the people who are with you, these will affect how much you
These differences in the amount of talking of female
and male conversation styles affect their way of communicating
at work. They have different ways of expressing their ideas:
where women go more in details and break the ice easily, men
are usually blunt and focused. Ms Usheroff explained that "the
fact that women are natural collaborators tends to make them
seem less confident than their males counterparts, she
continues. 'As a result, women in many hospitals or other
healthcare situations, which are male, dominated often, develop
feelings of futility.' She says. 'They say their role is not
credible' ("Bridging the communication gap," 2003, par. 6).
Thus, we can see clearly that male and females communication
styles are different and that affects their relations at work.
Now getting closer in personal issues in a marriage,
the female likes to achieve consensus, share ideas, opinions and
make a decision with her significant other. In contrast, the man
does not like to do consensus because he feels that he is asking
for authorization, in order, to do something. Then the woman
would feel that she hasn't been involved with somebody
because the other person is not discussing anything and takes
decisions by himself. This makes the other person feel bad
because they are supposed to be a couple but not each their
own. Doing things by yourself in this society of different roles
is really important. In spite of the fact that Intimacy and
autonomy is necessary for every person. Females have an
inclination for intimacy and males have an inclination for self-
government (Tannen, 1990).
Finally, another remarkable difference in male and
female communication differences is the way both sexes
process information that come to their brains. According to a
study (2000) males just listen with half of their brains. When
males are listening they use the left side of their brains and this
is the part associated with the skill of understanding and
language. Different from men, women listen with both sides.
Dr. Joseph Lurito said that "women 'can handle listening to two
conversations at once' "("Study: men listen with half of the
brain," 2000, par. 3). Females have this ability because their
brains have the skill to do it. In short, all these mean that male
and females would process language in different ways.
In another study, scientists looked at their blood flow.
The males showed activity in the left temporal lobe of their
brains while women showed activity in both sides. From all
these facts, we can infer that women's brain are more active in
both sides when it comes to communication and processing
information, than men do. But it doesn't mean that men are less
intelligent or bad listeners; it's because they don't need to use
both sides of their brain like women do. For example, most of
the time, you will see in companies or complex of offices that
the secretaries or people who handle a lot of paper work are
females. They feel comfortable doing those kinds of jobs. That
could be a reason.
Now that we are looking the brain of males and
females another difference is that women have better memory
for emotional events. The results of a study (2002) showed that
feeling and remembering are more connected in women's brain
compared to men's brain. It's easy for women to perceive and
recall emotions because their neural responses are much more
active in emotional events. Their brains have that ability to
recognize, which means, it's better organized because the
emotional experience and memory are integrated. Diane F.
Halpern said that "women, in general have a better
autobiographical memory for anything, not just emotional
events" ("Study: women have better memory for emotional
C\ c is ', 2002, par. 10). One reason for this is that memorable
events could have more meaning for a female. However males
have memory and perceived emotions but not like a women do.
Both sexes have different emotional responses to events
because of their brains' structure and the way each one works.
For example, in general, female teenagers feel more excited
when the birthday of a close friend is coming while for a man, it
is a special date but it doesn't represent such a big deal in
contrast to the female friend. Females feel more emotion
responses when these kinds of special events are coming or
ELI Student Voices 12
when they are recalling some of them. however, men recall the
events of their interest like a football game or sports and they
feel excited when they are talking about how the team played n
the game an all these.
On another level, while women have a better memory
for emotional events, men are usually better at navigating in
unknown areas and their brains work in different parts in order
to find a place. (Men, women find ..., 2002). There are some
parts in the brain that men use while they are navigating, but
women use other parts. Males use the left hippocampus.
Conversely, women use the right prefrontal cortex, while men
don't. These affect how males and females process information
depending of their surroundings. In order to find a new place,
women prefer to use landmarks to navigate; on the other hand,
men like to use geometry and figures. We can see how the
differences in brain structures affect the information processing
methods in both sexes. These differences give to each of them
singular abilities and characteristics such as a better memory for
emotional events in females' brains but a better navigating skill
in males' brain. But it doesn't mean that the opposite sex doesn't
have a specific function. The point is that both sexes process
To conclude, let's examine the differences in
conversation topics: while males talk about things that are
outside, females talk about things that are inside; and their
differences in conversation styles: men don't talk as much as
women do. It just depends about the topic and environment,
how these differences in style affect their relations at work.
When it comes to make decisions in a marriage; communication
is a big issue because women like to do achieve consensus, and
finally the science has helped us to support our ideas and prove
that there are innate differences in our brains. After studies, we
know that men don't use the whole brain when listening,
women have stronger memory for emotional events and males
navigate better in unknown areas. In the end, these few ideas
about this complex topic of male and female differences have
helped me to find an explanation of why males and females
communicate differently. The ways both sexes communicate
say a lot about what we are made of. Everyone experiences
these issues in life because despite the fact that males and
females are different, communication is essential for human
beings and it also plays an important role as when we are
developing ourselves as persons. We need that for expressing
our ideas, feelings and to persuade others. Even if our brains
work differently we can still live together and look at our
differences as positives points and advantages when we are
communicating with people of the opposite sex.
Macrae, F. (2006). Women talk three times as much as men,
says study. Retrieved October 29, 2007, from
ihp \\ n\ .dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.ht
Men, women find their ways differently. (2002, March 21). The
Gainesville Sun, p. 6.
Recer, P. (2002). Study: Women have better memory for
emotional events. Retrieved November 5, 2007, from
Tannen, D. (1990). You just don't understand, women and men
in conversation. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.
Tanner, L. (29 Nov. 2000). Study: Men listen with half of brain.
The Gainesville Sun, p. 4A.
Usheroff, R. (2003). Bridging the communications gap.
Retrieved October 29, 2007, from
Differences between Males and Females:
Communication and Spouse Selection
Maria Jesus Bragado
Two days ago my 250 pound male friend asked me: "I
have a serious problem. Why are kids scared of me?" At that
moment, I couldn't breathe. I wanted to die. I worked up the
nerve, and I said, "It's just your imposing presence." Suddenly,
another male friend of mine yelled, "You're so big, that's the
only reason." A strange feeling came to me; I agreed with him
one-hundred-percent. Why didn't I say what I really thought?
Wasn't I brave enough? Why did I avoid the truth? Tons of
questions invaded my mind.
Men and women have known their physical and
psychological differences since the creation of the human being.
Contemporary research in the area of gender differences has
given a lot of evidence to explain aspects of our lives such as
communication or spouse selection among many other
Communication is one of the best lubricants for oiling
the machinery of human relations. Males and females relate to
each other in very different ways on a daily basis. Of course, we
must be careful to not stereotype and assume that all men and
women will act a certain way because each person is a whole
world. The evidence shows that males are extremely blunt; they
say what they think without thinking too much in the people's
feelings. In contrast, females beat around the bush they prefer
using white lies if they could hurt someone's feelings.
According to a study, "Females are less willing to take risks in
their communications" ("Bridging the Communications Gap,"
2003, par. 9).
Modern research has shown some interesting gender
differences. The feminine and masculine conversation style
spread is huge. Men, it is said, are more straightforward,
problem-solving, non-personal, sarcastic and so on, while
women are collaborative, ironic and personal among others.
It's common to hear that women talk too much. What
can we say? According to Dr. Brizendine, "Women talk three
times as much as men." This study proves why girls are
unsurprisingly more talkative than guys, indeed, "Women
devote more brain cells to talking than men," the study says.
Generally, women are victims of male chauvinist pranks.
Defending from them, women argue that they're capable of
talking about interesting things, and this fact is just because
ELI Student Voices 13
they always have to repeat what they say to them they don't
We can say that females are good listeners, but what
does that mean? It is clear that listening and hearing are not the
same. Instead, hearing is actually just one stage of listening,
which occurs when your ears pick up sound waves and transmit
these waves to our brain. On the other hand, listening is a whole
communication process. Active listeners can listen intelligently
at up to 300 words per minute.
Another study suggests that when males are listening
they don't use the whole brain. The brain scans show that
"males use just the left side while females use both sides"
("Study: men listen with half of the brain," 2000, par. 2).
Therefore, it appears logical that women can handle listening to
two conversations at once. In fact, females can make another
person more comfortable with them by selecting and
emphasizing certain behaviors, they want to know what males
think, how they feel and what they want. Meanwhile, males find
it easy to go into mind drift-- thinking about other things while
listening to someone.
There is also a remarkable physical difference related
to listening it is about nodding. When a woman nods her head
she shows that she is paying attention or just listening, it has
nothing to do with agreement. However, if a man nods it's
telling the speaker to get to the point as conformity ("Bridging
the Communications Gap," 2003, par. 8). The result of this
divergence can produce important misunderstanding between
Not only do we find many communication differences
between males and females but we also see many interesting
differences in spouse selection. The question is, What are we
According to an informal survey conducted in Reading
and Writing class at the English Language Institute, men are
looking for an attractive and intelligent girl while girls prefer to
find an honest and focused guy. In this respect, the preference
from both genders are totally opposed. Girls consider loyalty
and fidelity extremely important when choosing a mate;
however, guys set physical appearance as one of their priorities.
The results of our survey in class are confirmed by scientific
studies. According to the economist Fisman, who set up an
experiment with three of his colleagues, "Men choose women
on the basis of looks, while women are attracted to men with
ambition, status, and brains" ("The sexes: Do gentlemen prefer
bimbos?" 2007, p. 19).
Once I asked my brother some questions about guys.
Why are guys so spoiled? Why don't guys think about
commitment? His answer was clear and straight. Look at that
article: "Seeing a beautiful woman triggers a pleasure response
in a man's brain similar to what a hungry person gets from
eating or an addict gets from a fix." ("New study: Men react to
beauty, food same," 2002, p. 8A) The answer is there; we
appreciate a girl like a steak both things provoke in us the
same pleasure! Men and women's expectations from a love
relationship are far apart. The experience shows that
commitment is a big word for men who habitually present
themselves not ready for it.
What is the big deal about communication styles?
Well, many females feel frustrated about wasting time, energy
and resources when they try to communicate with males. Why
is successful communication so important? With good
communication, conflicting relationships can become
productive, difficulties can be smoothed over and otherwise
escalating problems can be "nipped in the bud." Effective
communication works for those who work at it. These skills are
essential for success in every relationship. Generally, females
find feedback from males very important in order to confirm
that they are actively listening.
Too often men and women see their differences
between each other as a mistake, rather than appreciating them
and trying to benefit from those differences. We must learn a lot
about how women and men communicate, develop and grow
relationships, and create their roles in our society. Our own
personal experiences with members of the opposite sex offer us
a rich education in these differences.
In short, we should bear in mind that the natural
harmony between a man and a woman assumes the mutual
supplement. A good example is the Yin Yang symbol where
Yin symbolizes femininity, and Yang represents masculinity.
The mastery of their interactions is the core, the idealized
harmony of these forces equilibrium between them.
Christopher, B. (2007). Why are women so strange and men so
weird? Retrieved November 21, 2007, from
Macrae, F. (2006). Women talk three times as much as men,
says study. Retrieved October 29, 2007, from
Men, Women find their ways differently. (2002, March 21).
The Gainesville Sun, p. 6.
Tanner, L. (29 Nov. 2000). Study: Men listen with half of brain.
The Gainesville Sun, p. 4A.
The sexes: Do gentlemen prefer bimbos? (2007, November 30).
The Week, p. 19.
Usheroff, R. (2003). Bridging the communications gap.
Retrieved October 29, 2007, from
hIlp % %\ \ .usheroff.com/news/article7.html
ELI Student Voices 14
Thanks from the Editor
Thank you for sharing your writing with everyone. I hope you
enjoy reading your fellow students' essays, paragraphs, and
poetry. Also thanks to Megan Forbes and the University of
Florida Bookstore for arranging the gift certificates, to Todd
Allen for publicizing this issue of Student Voices, to the
Reading/Writing instructors for supporting their students in
their writing, and to Lia Brenneman, Todd Allen, Alison
Comacho, Tina Komaniecka, Billy Welch, Debbie Kellerman,
and Tom Ratican for reading and evaluating the entries.
Thanks everyone! Steve Flocks
fV^ I UNIVERSITY of
. I FLORIDA
English Language Institute
PO Box 117051
315 Norman Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611-7051, USA
Phone: (352) 392-3354
Fax: (352) 392-3744
ELI Student Voices 15