Title: ELI student voices
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089997/00018
 Material Information
Title: ELI student voices
Series Title: ELI student voices
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: English Language Institute, University of Florida
Publisher: English Language Institute, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: Spring 2008
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00089997
Volume ID: VID00018
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Spring, 2008

I'm Not a Duck (First Place)
Naji AL-Dosary
RW 40

On June 19, 2007, the sun was shining, and the sky
was very clear. I decided to take a walk around the campus. At
the beginning, I walked down Archer Road, Thirteenth Street,
and then University Avenue. Everything was beautiful.
Suddenly, the sky was covered with clouds and it was getting
dark. When I was walking on Thirty Fourth Street, it rained
heavily. I had no umbrella with me. I heard "Oh, Oh, Oh; My
hair, my dress, my books." Those sounds were from girls at the
bus stop. When I walked under the rain, I was walking the same
as a duck, but I was not a duck. When I got to my apartment
finally, I was wet all over, but I was very happy and proud of
myself. This is what happened on my first day in city of

Guillermo Chiaway
RW 60

(Second Place)


The current work will show the advantages and
disadvantages for people who have chosen to follow a non-meat
diet. It will be analyzed in three main topics: consequences in
the environment, results in health, and effects in the conscience.
When environment and vegetarianism are analyzed, topics such
as pollutions, global warming, or water contamination are going
to be taken into account so that the readers can have a real idea
of what is at risk. Health was considered as a topic to be
analyzed because it is probably the main controversial point
when talking about vegetarianism. Also, moral issues and
humanitarian reason will be analyzed to have a better idea about
this style of life. Benefits and drawbacks will be presented so
that the readers could get their own conclusion about
vegetarianism. Sources for this work have been taken using The
University of Florida Online library and the internet.


According to the theory of evolution, humankind came
from other inferior species such as plants, bugs, and big
animals. Since then, human beings have been using animals and
plants to feed themselves, and also animals and plants have
been utilized to satisfy different necessities such as clothing and
housing. However, nowadays, many people think that the
current food chain in which animals are part of human beings'

eating habits is not right, and they have decided to keep from
eating animals or using them. They argue that animals have
feelings because they have a brain and nervous system.
Therefore, if they have feelings, they have rights. The rights
that they think animals have are the right to live and the right to
be treated well.
Other vegetarians are against the way big industries
exploit animals and, at the same time, pollute the environment.
Air and seas are contaminated by this industry in many ways:
tossing waste in the ocean, making the air dirty with smoke, and
destroying the eco-system. Many other vegetarians don't eat
animals for health reasons. They argue that animal flesh is not
good for stopping aging. Some of this kind of vegetarians only
eat fish and poultry, and abstain from beef, pork, and other
kinds of meat.
On the other hand, we have people that think
vegetarianism goes against nature and it breaks the eco-system
as well. It facilitates over population of animals, and also might
improve the risk of plants disappearance. We also have people
that support the idea that vegetarianism is contrary to good
eating habits. They appeal that not eating animals could lead to
a lack or insufficiency of proteins in the body.
Vegetarianism is controversial. There are opposing
viewpoints whatever country people go. It might be seen as
positive, neutral or negative. In the current research paper, we
will describe what studies say about vegetarianism regarding
moral issues, mercy reasons, health matters, and environmental
arguments. Finally, conclusions will be shown based on
previous findings and research.

I. Reasons why a person becomes vegetarian

a. Mercy reasons
Many people become vegetarians because they think
animals are killed and treated mercilessly. We can find
examples of this in many slaughtering methods and the quality
of life animals have in farms. Other people decide for
vegetarianism arguing that animals have feelings.
First of all, although meat industries are enforced to
stun animals before they are killed, they don't fulfill this
requirement. We can see many of them butcher animals alive
(Warrick, 2001, pp. 8-9). Many companies are not punished
because law enforcement is neglecting this issue. For example
there are meat companies in which animals get chopped and cut
into pieces while they still are blinking, making noise, or
moving. It not only happens in big slaughtering houses, but also
in smaller ones. "According to Friedlander, a veterinarian and
formerly chief government inspector at a Pennsylvania
hamburger plant: 'In plants all over the United States, this
happens on a daily basis'" (Warrick 2001, pp. 8-9).

ELI Student Voices 1

Volume 12, Issue 1

In addition, we also have many avian farms in which
hens that lay eggs have a beak cut because they live in small
cages where they are not allowed to hurt each other using their
beaks. There are many chickens and hens that live in small
cages in which the necessary space to develop as living beings
is lacking. Many animals are also being genetically manipulated
or being implanted with hormones which is an attempt against
their rights. People see these things as cruelty against animals
and decide not to be part of this, and thus become vegetarians.
Finally, many people are taking away meat from their
diets because they think animals have feelings due to the fact
that they have a brain. "'Animals have feelings similar to those
of humans,' said Marc Bekoff, a professor of biology at the
University of Colorado" (Friz, 2004). Some animals show
feelings when their partners die, some show feelings using
facial expression, and some others recognize the difference
between games and real fights.

b. Environmental problems
Many people decide for the option of vegetarianism
because they are committed to protecting the environment.
They argue that meat industries are not beneficial to keep the
ecological system in balance. Some arguments that the
vegetarian environmentalists sustain are: the exploiting of
animals by humans has led to endangerment of species in the
world, greenhouse gases are also caused by livestock industries,
the erosion and desertification of soil are occasioned by meat
companies, and the consumption of large amounts of energy
and water is entitled to meat industry (Schwartz, 1996).
Another factor to be considered in the environmental
issue is the quantity of manure that the cattle production makes,
and how much of it ends up in rivers, lakes, streams, and
underground water sources. Some statistics are: 230,000 pounds
per second is produced in the United States, 10,000 cattle
produce as much waste as a city of 110,000 people. Also, we
have to consider the amount of chemical fertilizer and
pesticides that are used in raising crops used to feed cattle.
These chemical products pollute water, rivers, and oceans when
they are dragged by rain. In addition, in order to have more land
to develop cattle raising, the meat industry destroys every year
millions of acres forest which leads to less plants, and,
consequently, more carbon dioxide in the air. In Latin America,
more than 25% of forest has disappeared since 1970 because of
the meat industry. Another important factor is the reality that
cattle grazing is to blame for the erosion and the creation of
desert worldwide. Statistics says that one pound of steak is
worth 35 pounds of eroded soil in America (Schwartz, 1996).

c. Health reasons
"The American Diet Association states that a well-
planned vegetarian diet is healthy and may even prevent certain
diseases" (Lankford, 2007) which means that vegetarians,
despite the fact that they don't consume animal protein, are
risk-free to get any disease because of their diet.
Many vegetarians decide for this style of life because it helps
prevents people to get heart diseases, strokes, and cancer.
According to the American Diet association "vegetarians have

'lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease; ... lower
blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates
of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon
cancer'" (Mangel, Messina, Velina, 2003, p.748). Another
important issue is that vegetarians are less likely to be obese
than meat eaters. Recent studies have shown that meat eaters
are nine times more likely to be obese that vegetarians (
Robbins, 2001, p. 58.).

II. Arguments against vegetarianism

a. Is it healthy?
Many people consider that being vegetarian is
dangerous because vegetarians don't consume enough proteins
that are provided by animals. Although this statement is not
entirely true because vegetarians can get proteins from different
sources such as beans, soy, or combined rice and beans, it is
true that vegetarians must be constantly under surveillance of a
"It is the position of The American Dietetic
Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets are
healthful, are nutritionally adequate, and provide health benefits
in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases" (Lankford,
2007). In the beginning, it could sound good, but we have to
consider the quantity of money that it implies for Americans.
Health care is expensive, and to have a nutritionist tracking
vegetarian's eating habit is something to be taken in account at
the time a budget is made.

b. Morality in meat eaters
Some vegetarians say that it is immoral to eat meat,
and also deplore the way animals are treated. To check if this is
true, it is important to go through the three most important
religions in the world: Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
According to the Christian faith, God create human
beings to dominate and exploit the earth and all creatures and
species there. The only condition is that humans must respect
God and other people. According to the Bible: "And thou shalt
love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole
soul and with thy whole mind and with thy whole strength."
This is the first commandment. And the second is like to it:
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is no other
commandment greater than these" (the Bible Mark 12, 30-31).
We can infer that there is no other commandment that talks
about animals or animal rights.
Islam states that it is not mandatory for a Muslim to be
only vegetarian, they can eat vegetables and also other kinds of
meat. They also make a comparison between carnivorous
animals and humans, and they conclude that all of them have in
common the structure of their teeth which is prepared to eat
meat. They infer that, therefore, it is not a mandate of God that
humans are not allowed to eat meat.
In the Torah, the sacred book for Jewish people, many
animal sacrifices to God are made, so we can imply that
animals are treated there as second class beings. Therefore,
animals have different rights than humans. It is also stated the
prohibition to eat pork; therefore, other animals are allowed to
be eaten.

ELI Student Voices 2

None of the three great religions in the world have
mandates about animal's right or prohibitions concerning
animal consumption, so we can imply that eating meat is not

c. Some ecological drawbacks
Recent studies have demonstrated that cows are to
blame at the time we are considering factors that pollute the
environment or destroy the eco-system. According to The Food
and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, "the
livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most
significant contributors to the most serious environmental
problems, at every scale from local to global" ("Global
Warming Culprits: Cars and ... Cows", 2006). When cows
ruminate, they give away methane which is a component that
contributes mostly in trapping heat. Cows also give off nitrous
oxide and ammonia when they defecate. It means that the
consumption of animals is important to balance the eco-system.
Otherwise, if cows are not consumed, there will be an over-
population of cows, and, thus, an increase in problems such as
global warming, land depletion, climate change, air pollution,
and water pollution.


Although many diet institutions state that
vegetarianism is viable, they also say that vegetarians should be
tracked by a dietician to let them have healthy eating habits.
This is an important point to be taken into account at the time
people decide to be vegetarians because they need to calculate
how much money they are going to spend in hiring nutritionists
for advice. Decisions to become vegetarian should be made
responsibly; otherwise consequence could lead to a poor quality
of life rather than a good one.
The ecosystem has an order in which some animals are
vegetarians and some others are carnivorous, and human
beings, as long as they don't follow instinct but reason and
willpower can be in either category. They can choose whatever
things are the best for their beliefs and their health. Also, it is
important to notice that there aren't any moral prohibitions or
encouragements for people to choose between being a
vegetarian or a carnivore.
Society should warn the meat industry about all the
environmental pollution that its industries are causing to the
planet at the time they are raising cattle. Laws of compensation
for this industry for all contamination it is occasioning should
be enacted. They should be obligated to plant new trees, to
clean water, or to pay extra taxes for environment reparation.

Warrick, J. (2001). They die piece by piece. The Washington
Post National Weekly Edition [Electronic version].
Retrieved 4/8/2008 from
htp i\ \ .washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-
Friz, A 112 '41,. Visiting professor: Animals have feelings too.
The Daily Utah Chronicle. Retrieved 4/8/2008 from

ge/paper244 nc s 2.' '141 1/08/News/Visiting.Professo
Schwartz, R. (1996). Abolishing intensive livestock agriculture:
a global imperative. Animals' Agenda. Retrieved
4/8/2008 from GaleDatabases
La Liberte, C. (2007) A vegetarian diet does not lead to eating
disorders. Can Diets Be Harmful? Retrieved 4/8/2008
from Gale Databases.
Robbins, J., The Food Revolution, Boston: Conari Press, 2001.
Global warming culprits: cars and ... cows (2006) Retrieved
4/8/2008 from
Eating for life. Retrieved 4/8/2008 from
The Bible. Philadelphia: printed for Sower & Jones
Naik, Z. (1998) Questions commonly asked by non-muslims:
eating non-vegetarian food" Retrieved 4/8/2008 from
Mangels, A., Messina V., and Melina V. (2003) Position of the
American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of
Canada: Vegetarian Diets. Journal of the American
Dietetic Association.

Korean College Entrance: Sweet after
Il-Seung Kim (Kevin)
RW 40

"Sweet after bitter": It is the perfect expression that
explains what I went through when I tried to enter my
university. There is a test in Korea which is the national
scholastic achievement examination for the college entrance
called Soo-neung, which is like the SAT. However, the power
of influence of the exam is absolute, so it is almost all that is
needed to enter a university in Korea. Even though there are
other criteria for the college entrance, those kinds of things
don't affect the entrance as much as the exam, so every senior
in high school and anyone who wants to enter the university has
to take this exam. The exam is taken once per year, so even if
someone got a lower score than what he/she expected and failed
to enter the college, there is no choice but just to wait until next
year's exam. The exam is composed of 4 parts: Korean,
mathematics, science and a subject of society including history,
economics, ethics, etc, and English. The form of the question is
a multiple choice method that examinees can choose one of 5
answers. The answer sheet, separated from the test paper, is the
form of OMR card. It means once an examinee filled the wrong
answer in the answer sheet, he/she can't fix it, unless he/she
changes the sheet. In 2003, when I was a high school senior, I
took the test. To mention the result first, I failed to enter the
college the first time because of the exam. When I took the
English part of the exam, something happened. After I solved
the last question at the English part, and when I was just about
to check my answer sheet, I realized that all the blanks for the
answers were already filled. To make matters worse, time was

ELI Student Voices 3

up when I found my fault. Because of my mistake in
answering, I got an awful score which couldn't be accepted by
the university I wanted to go to. I, finally, failed to enter a
university that year. To look back on that time, there are some
reasons for the result. I was too nervous to take the exam, and
that made me careless. Because of my carelessness, I mucked
up the whole exam. The other problem was a lack of
knowledge of the test. Even if time was up, I could have asked
the proctor for extra time to rewrite my answer sheet; however,
I didn't. When I knew this result, I didn't want to believe the
reality, and it made me feel frustrated. I always felt blue as if I
ruined my whole life. However, I tried my best to get ready to
take the exam once more since I realized that things already
happened and never could I return to that time. As a result,
when I took the exam again, I got a high enough score to be
admitted into the university that I wanted to go to. Of course, I
had a hard time, but I overcame it, and I was finally stronger
than before, like "Sweet after bitter".

Learning in the Classroom VS Long
Distance Learning
Raeda Alkhars

Having an effective education and learning process are
something that has always been very significant to any ardent
teacher or educator who is looking for creative teaching and
learning output. Since the beginning of dreaming and looking
for achieving the goal of creative and successful learning
progress, the teacher and the students honed their best to chose
the best teaching and learning approach that satisfy their
learning needs.
There are some opponents who advocate the great
effects and advantages of long distance learning. They believe
that long distance learning provides the flexibility for the
students to learn without the limitation of specific time and
place. Moreover, they believe that long distance learning
supports the learners more by allowing them to work and study
in the same time. On the other hand, there are other opponents
who are speaking in favor of the critical role of learning in the
classroom. They emphasis on how being in contact with the
teacher and other students helps a lot in making a difference or
more distinctive changes for tomorrow's education.
According to the long distance learning opponents,
learning on line doesn't require strict time, place and study
plan. Students can log on and create their schedules according
to their time and learning needs. Although long distance
learning sounds more flexible in time and place, it lacks the
warm touch from a teacher who always roams in class looking
for a student who needs help. In other words, with long distance
learning the teacher and the students miss the passionate feeling
moments during the educational learning process. For example,
while the students are doing the learning activities on line, both
the teacher and the students miss the fervent moment of eye
contact, smiling or saying, "Yes we understand it."
Next, the same opponents strongly believe in the
convenient validity of working and studying at the same time.

They appreciate the advantage of reducing the pressure on the
parents' or the students' educational financial budget by
approaching long distance learning. For instance, they think that
working while studying on line adds a lot to the students'
experiences and encourages them to be more independent.
Therefore, the students may practice the taught information by
working a part time job in the same field of their studying.
According to some educators in administrations, the best way to
teach the students how to manage is involving the students in
tasks and small jobs that allow them to manage.
The other opponents encourage inspiring the students
to achieve and target their learning objectives by learning in the
classroom. The most important reason for advocating teaching
the students in the class is that most of the teachers love to work
with students in real physical teaching and learning contexts
such as in the classroom. For some teachers, it is hard to
imagine teaching without being around the students in the
classroom. In the class, student and teacher will not miss the
magic of studying and learning at the same time during the
teaching, learning and communication processes. Usually, there
are fun and great learning tasks to do. In the classroom, during
the learning and teaching activities, both the teacher and the
students will face and learn something unknown every day.
Every day, each student comes to class with a lot of happiness
and excitement. Students always ask questions; create extra
tasks by looking for more clarifying for the misunderstood
In the classroom learning, the teacher's desire of
always being willing to provide a warm hand or a help to
students when they need could be satisfied. The compassionate
teacher who looks for supporting and satisfying the students'
learning needs by offering educational help any time they need.
In the classroom learning method, the teacher can watch and
encourage the students to learn independently. For example, the
teacher can manage the class by using methods that allow the
students to talk; express their selves, share opinions with each
other and ask for help when they need. Moreover, the teacher
can adapt the curriculum and syllabus by using any effective
teaching approach or method that helps the students'
educational process.
To conclude, I believe that being able to educate the
students effectively in a classroom, satisfying their learning
needs and helping them to learn more when they need, are the
most important goals and the best reward to target during the
teaching and learning process. I agree with the people who
advocate learning in the classroom provides more
communicative teaching and learning environments. Finally,
learning in the classroom never ends when the students and the
teacher try to achieve their potentials by learning and teaching
something new every day.

It's School, Not a Fashion Show
Maria Dantas
RW 60

School uniform is being considered a positive solution
to reduce discipline problems and increase school safety.

ELI Student Voices 4

Helping students concentrate on their work, preventing gang
members from wearing clothes with certain language and
colors, preventing discrimination and eliminating brand
pressure are some of the benefits of school uniforms. As a
result, many public schools, in many states in America, are
adopting a uniform as a dress code.
Uniforms will save students' and teachers' time.
Consequently, the learning environment will be enhanced.
Instead of students worrying about being in style the next day or
worrying about who is wearing expensive clothes or gang
clothes, they can concentrate more on their activities. In
addition, school uniforms make it much easier for the students
to get ready in the morning because it is less stressing to find
something to wear every day. Also, teachers and school
employees will have more time to plan their activities instead of
acting as a fashion police, according to "In a similar .," 2004,
par 10; "School fashion police," 2003, par 3," in a Gainesville
Sun article.
Another good reason to adopt school uniforms is to
avoid clothing competition among students. Some students just
can't afford wearing expensive clothes and they feel
discriminated against because of that. It would be easier to
interact socially with the other students if they all look equal, so
"students don't get lumped into groups according to style or
financial means," said a Rock School student to the Gainesville
Sun. In addition, school uniforms are in the long run a bargain
compared to stylish clothing. Some people can't afford buying
new clothes every other day for their children. Therefore, the
pressure to buy expensive and trendy kids' clothing and shoes is
not there when they wear uniforms. As a school director and a
mother, I can see that my 15-year-old daughter spends more
time focused on her clothes than on her homework, whereas
when she has studied in a school in which a uniform was
required, she would spend more time worried about her
activities and homework. Also, the school uniform policy will
stop the poor children being picked on if all children have to
wear the same thing to school.
Likewise, wearing a school uniform decreases levels
of violence in American Schools. Violence and theft or even
threatening situations can be avoided if the students stop
wearing designer clothing or expensive sneakers. For instance,
children have been violently injured by other children because
some of them envy other children's clothing and they lack
financial resources to buy similar styles. I have seen students
really sad and not motivated to go to school for not having the
"appropriate" clothes. Being in somebody else's shoes makes
easier to understand how he feels. How would you feel if you
were a kid and couldn't afford stylish clothing to go to school?
Also, if all the students wear uniforms, it will be easier for
school staff to recognize intruders who come to school.
Even though some students from Santa Fe High
School think that School uniforms will "limit their freedom of
expression," students could still express themselves by wearing
a button or an armband. The students, who sincerely held
religious beliefs, could wear a uniform and cover their heads
with the same fabric that is made the shirts, so they would not
be so different from the other ones. Dustin Bungart, a freshman
from The Rock School in Gainesville stated that "uniform

restrict you from being independent" ("I" 14, par.8). But they are
becoming too independent and they are violating their
classmates' right of freedom. I have been to Gainesville High
School several times and I have noticed that there is no dress
code there. Most of the girls wear high heels, mini-skirts, short
shorts and their hair is too stylish. Certainly, they spend a lot of
time dressing up. Most of the boys wear boxer shorts hanging
out. Also, they like baggy pants, caps, bandanas and other head
coverings and they have black nail polish. But what really
called my attention were all those pierces, tattoos, spiked hair
everywhere in that school. It's really beyond the limits because
students have turned school into an unending fashion show.
As a school director, I've noticed that parents
nowadays are too busy to be aware of what their kids wear to
school. Since today's parents don't spend as much time with
their kids as parents used to do in the past, they should support
the school's position in the enforcement of the policy and
ensure their child understands why uniforms are worn.
Unfortunately, clothing influences the way students
see themselves. That's why uniforms should be adopted.
Despite the fact that students think that uniforms are frumpish,
uncomfortable, limit their freedom of expression, restrict them
from being independent, we must prioritize a safe and a secure
environment for all the pupils. What really matters is the
student's well-being. We have to enforce the students' right of
being safe in school.

Arndorfer, B. (-" 1'4, February 24). In a Similar Fashion. The
Gainesville Sun.
Manual on School Uniforms. U.S. Department of Education
Safe and Drug-Free Schools. Retrieved March 30,
2008, from
School Fashion Police (2003, March 20). The Gainesville Sun.

Advice for New Students (modal practice)
Naji AL-Dosary
Grammar 31

Our semester begins today, so there are many students
in the ELI hallway. Excuse me, friends. You are new ELI
students, right? Do you mind if I give you some advice?
Thanks. This is the first day. So, you should meet Mr. Scott in
the main office. You had better take the orientation test. You
had better not forget your insurance and immunization
documents. You should give your address to Mr. Scott in the
main office. When you come to your classes, you had better be
on time. You had better not speak your native language in the
ELI hallway or in class. You ought to do your homework and
prepare for your tests. You ought to watch more movies to
improve your English. You should always read newspapers or
books in English to improve your reading skills. You ought to
read the ELI Weekly. You had better respect your teacher and
your classmates. You'd better attend the final exam.

ELI Student Voices 5

Finally, you shouldn't forget the commencement ceremony on
the last day of the semester.
Good luck, new students! You are going to love it

Some Advice for New Students (modal
Elif Topsakal
Grammar 31

I am a Turkish student who has just finished my first
semester at ELI. I had really enjoyable times while I was here. I
had a chance to meet a lot of people from different countries
and cultures. This was really exciting. And I learned a lot of
things. I believe that I improved a lot my English. To have a fun
and to be successful during the course you should follow the
advice that I will give you.
First of all, it is not important what your level is. The
important thing is the level to which you want to go. For this
you should attend the course everyday regularly. You should
listen to your teacher carefully. Maybe at first you will not
understand anything, but after a little time you will be aware of
change about that. You had better do homework on time. It is
really important to learn. Every time you ought to be active in
class and you should ask everything that you did not
understand. You should not be shy. Teachers are really
understanding about that.
My second advice is if you would like to improve your
English, you should make a lot of friends both international and
American. Every time you should speak English. Maybe you
will have friends from your own country, but you had better not
speak with your own language with them. This is not beneficial
for your English. Because you are in America, you should
consider that. A lot of activities will be at ELI. You ought to
join all of the activities. You can have really enjoyable times.
This is some advice for you. If you consider this, it
will help you to have a productive and enjoyable time in
America at the ELI.

Advice for New Students (modal practice)
Jeonghee Lee
Grammar 31

Hi new students. Welcome to the ELI. I'm glad to see
you. I would like to give you three pieces of advice.
First, you should study hard. I believe that you want to
improve your English skills. If you study hard, you can achieve
your goal.
Second, you ought to participate in activities. There
are various kinds of activities at the ELI and UF.
Third, you'd better not drink and drive or there will be
serious consequences. There are many arrests and alcohol-
related crashes.
I hope that you will have a great time with the ELI in
the US.

Studying at the ELI
Serpil Rakap
Grammar 31

I recommend studying at the ELI to anyone interested
in improving their English. This is the best place to learn and
improve your English. You get to know and have fun with a lot
of international people in the ELI who are in the same situation
as you. It's a great thing to be in the ELI. Some of the people I
met at the ELI have become my best friends. The ELI's staff
has prepared everything for the students. They are so
knowledgeable and professional that they are truly excellent
guides for people who just come to the US. Before I attended
the ELI, I used to be a little bit shy. Now I am more outgoing
and my English has dramatically improved. Now I'm
comfortable interacting with people and I'm more confident.
My pronunciation has greatly improved.
I couldn't find a better place to learn English than the
ELI and I am sure you won't find one, either. Trust me!

How to Memorize GRE Vocabulary
Bruna B. Cavalcanti
Grammar for Writing

Many students who need to take the GRE exam should
be aware that there are some steps they can take if they need to
memorize a lot of vocabulary words. Some of those students
don't know the right way to memorize the GRE vocabulary and
they just try to memorize them randomly or repeating the words
in a completely wrong way. If you are one of those students and
don't know the right way to memorize the GRE vocabulary,
you'll fail and get a bad score on your GRE exam. The best way
to memorize GRE vocabulary is to follow the following steps:
collecting materials, studying the materials, and reviewing the
The first step to memorize GRE vocabulary is
collecting materials to study. To get a good score, you have to
memorize the vocabulary of good and updated materials. Before
buying any book, talk to some friends who have gotten a good
score on the GRE recently, then, ask them which book they
used to study the vocabulary words. After that, go to some
library and search for those books and get them. You can also
go online, research for the best seller and purchase it. Next, you
should go to some bookstore or go to an online store and
purchase some audio books. If you have an Ipod or mp3, you'll
be able to learn vocabulary words from everywhere. After
collecting all of those materials you are ready to go to the
second step.
The second step is studying those materials you have
collected before. Start studying the GRE high frequency words,
and then go to the master word list. Take about 8 words to learn
per day. Then, write down the definition of the vocabulary
words and understand them. After that, write sentences using
those vocabularies to better understand and remember easily on
the exam. While you learn vocabulary words from the books,
you can also learn from your computer using the audio book

ELI Student Voices 6

that you got in the first step. Get the audio book cd and
download to your computer; after that you can download the
audio book from your computer to your ipod or mp3 player.
Listen to the audio book as much as you can. Listening to the
audio book, you can learn the vocabulary words while you are
driving, exercising and shopping. After you learn a great
number of words, you are ready to go to the third step.
The third step is reviewing the vocabulary words. This
step is mostly to make sure you know the vocabulary words you
have studied in the second step. Now, get the list of the
vocabulary you have studied before, then, review all of the
words and make sure you know them. If there is some word that
you don't remember the definition, go back to the second step
and do it again with those words that you don't remember. Try
to use those vocabulary words in your conversations and emails
with your friends. After reviewing the definitions start playing
games with the vocabulary words and taking quizzes and online
tests to help you to improve even more.
Students who don't follow those steps to memorize the
GRE vocabulary don't know how much time they are wasting.
Each step is important to help students memorizing as much
vocabulary is possible in an organized and correct way. If you
follow those steps listed above, you'll memorize the GRE
vocabulary more efficiently and faster.

Global Warming
Jongsung Kim

It is not too difficult to hear the words 'Global
Warming', and also easily hear the causes such as burning fossil
fuels, cutting trees. Some people are worried about effects of
global warming and some people are not. Then what is global
warming? Simply, global warming is a situation in which the
temperature of the Earth has been increasing. Moreover, it is
changing the climate and it is threatening our life.
Global warming is a kind of broken mass-balance
situation. If the amount of radiation from the Sun to the Earth is
100, the amount of the radiation from the Earth to the outer
space must be 100. This is a perfect mass-balance. However, for
many reasons, the Earth's atmosphere traps more and more
radiation from the Earth, and this trapped energy makes the
Earth warmer. For example, solar radiation to the earth is 100,
but the earth radiation to the outer space is 95. Then left-over
five make the earth warmer. Like this, the amount of left-over
energy is increasing now, and eventually the earth gets warmer
and warmer. This is called 'the Greenhouse effect'.
What makes the greenhouse effect? I think many
people, especially in industrialized countries, might experience
cold temperatures in the summer. It is hot in the summer, but if
you enter buildings or houses, you can experience totally
different temperature conditions; it is too cold. Some buildings
use too much energy to create a comfortable condition to work
or study in. For example, it is one of my bad memories; it was
the very first day of school in Japan. It was summer so I did not
wear long sleeves, but it was a mistake. The classroom was too
cold to study; they dropped the temperature 18 or 19 degrees

Celsius. I couldn't stand the cold during the class. After that
day I knew that I had to bring extra clothes; when I went
anywhere in Japan. It is same in the U.S.A. Of course, there are
also opposite situations; some people wear half sleeves in
winter because they set the heater temperature too high. Why do
people wear extra clothing in summer and wear half sleeves in
winter? Clearly it is a waste of energy. We use too much
energy, unnecessary energy. It is not only a waste of resources
but also a big reason for global warming. We use an amount of
fossil fuels or other resources to make these energies, and it
releases more carbon dioxide. This released carbon dioxide is
the most important part of the greenhouse effect. It goes to the
atmosphere and traps the radiation from the Earth, and makes
the Earth warmer.
We also know the importance of trees. The process of
photosynthesis of trees is very important to our life.
Photosynthesis is a process in which green plants use carbon
dioxide to produce energy, and here, oxygen, which is an
essential element to sustaining people, animal, plants, and other
living things, is produced. Trees can remove carbon dioxide,
but the problem is that many countries cut down the trees to use
as fuels, for making houses, or paper. Cutting trees affects the
carbon dioxide removal rate, and it accelerates global warming.
With the result of global warming, we need
international action. The Kyoto protocol was one of the most
important negotiations for action. In December 1997, from
countries all over the world, delegates gathered to make a
framework to prevent global warming. The key point was to aid
from rich countries to poor to support the transfer of carbon-
saving technology (Crook, 2008). However, the countries
questioned some part of the negotiation such as the reduction
ratio of carbon dioxide. Australia was allowed an 8 percent
increase of carbon dioxide but Canada was required to reduce
by 6 percent (Crook, 2008). Also, the countries wanted to make
profit so they didn't follow the negotiations. As a result, the
Kyoto protocol failed to prevent global warming. Everyone
knows that we need some strong rules to prevent global
warming but they aren't willing to follow them if there is any
economic loss. This is one of the reasons why global warming
keeps going. Human life itself is endangered unless threats
associated with global warming are taken seriously (Toussaint,
Because of global warming, the climate has also
dramatically changed. The average temperature of the Earth has
increased around one degree Celsius. It has caused a lot of
unusual weather events such as Hurricane Katrina, severe cold
weather in Europe, and floods in Asia. Soil loses stability in
severe weather conditions, and it accelerates erosion of the soil.
Then particles which are moved by erosion block a path of
surface water. It means a decrease in water adsorption rate of
the soil. Therefore, these unusual weather conditions contribute
to the desertification. Furthermore, yellow sand, the tiny sands
blown by wind from the desert, cause the air pollutant. The
worse things are PM 10 or PM 5 problems in the yellow sand.
PM 10 and PM 5 are an index that measure air pollutant
materials. Sand is not harmful to people but it contains many
heavy metals or poisons. If the size of the materials is smaller
than 10 or 5 micrometers, the materials can go into the throat or

ELI Student Voices 7

lungs of human beings. It is harmful and dangerous not only to
kids but also to adults. These all are the results of global
warming that was made by people.
Our desires for a more convenient life have caused
global warming and it is threatening our lives. The only way to
solve this problem is action by all people. All individuals have
to keep in mind the truth that global warming was caused by
people and act to save energy, and protect the Earth's

Crook, Clive. (2008. April), Sins of emission, Atlantic Monthly
(10727825), Vol. 301 Issue 3, pp. 32-34.
Toussaint, Sandy. (2008. April), Climate change, Global
warming and too much sorry business, Australian
Journal of, ii,~,. i..i. ,.-, Vol. 19, Issue 1, pp. 84-88.

School Uniform
Ai Nishikawa
RW 60

Uniforms make life easier for students because they do
not have to think about what to wear. In Japan, almost all high
schools require students to wear uniforms. This is a
controversial topic any time. There are many countries that
require uniforms which include Britain, Australia, Ireland, New
Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and many other
African countries. In other countries, particularly in continental
Europe, the USA and Canada, they do not require uniforms of
the students except some private schools. In the United States,
some schools are adopting a uniform policy. However,
uniforms are not necessary for students.
Some people think that school uniforms create a sense
of belonging to a community. Students have school pride
because their uniforms represent the school to which they
belong. However, school uniforms quash students'
individualism. Making students the same is dangerous because
teachers tend to ignore students' individuality. A school is the
place where teachers should respect students' personality.
Also, school should be a place where students learn accepting
of different people and their abilities.
In addition, my opponents mention that schools with
uniforms show better educational consequences because
uniforms help student discipline and their academic ability
improves easier. Students are more likely to concentrate on
their study without observation from other people and watching
other outfits; however, those assumptions rely on weak
evidence. There is no difference in academic ability between
students who wear uniforms and students who do not.
Moreover, students who have a rebellious spirit are more likely
to break rules if there are strict rules.
Finally, students in uniforms are easily identified.
People state that uniforms help schools be safer because people
will notice intruders who do not wear uniforms. Also, ordinary
people will report students' attitude in public spaces if they
become delinquent. On the other hand, there is no proper
research that shows uniforms in school reduce crime; on the

contrary, uniforms lead students to more violence because of
fights and bullying between students from rival schools.
Uniforms make students not only notice other schools but also
identify the rank of school. People judge students' value
without their ability when they just see their uniform which the
rank of school is high or low.
In sum, as the examples show, uniforms are not
necessary for students regarding educational value, academic
ability, and safety in school. Students have a right to express
their individuality and uniforms are not involved with their
academic ability. Uniforms give a violent influence to students.
While it is true uniforms make a students' life easier, it is not
necessary to affect academic success.

Manual on School Uniforms. Retrieved March 25, 2008 from
Those disgusting school uniforms. Retrieved March 25, 2008
from http:/www.optionality.net/mag/oct98a.html
Welcome to my anti-uniform page!!! Retrieved March 25,
2008 from
School uniform-Wikipedia. Retrieved March 25, 2008 from

The Art of Quilting
Esperanza Rebollo

Many years ago I went to an arts and crafts festival in
Spain and there were many artisans that offered their
merchandise. Some of them had workshops at their tables and I
saw a woman who was quilting a nice cover. I took the
workshop and I began to love this old technique of sewing
small pieces of fabric. I began to buy different fabrics when I
was traveling, not thinking about a new project, just to keep
them for a future use. The art of quilting is not only to sew
small pieces of fabric; it also represents dreams and memories.
The most common type for a quilt top is made with
different blocks that are square pieces of fabric. These pieces
can be identical or different. Anyone can choose the color that
we like for every design and also we can choose what to use it
Quilting had become an established American tradition
by the middle of the nineteenth century. We have different
periods in this art.
1776-1820--Early America-most of them were made
by hand and the fabrics were imported from England and
1830-1850-Going West-In 1840 the invention of
the sewing machine revolutionized the craft. In this period the
block method of quilting was born, and we have some names of
blocks like Bear's Paw, Schoolhouse, Log Cabin that remind us
of the daily experiences.
1861-1865--Quilted Comfort-During the Civil War,
many quilts were made but only a few survive.

ELI Student Voices 8

1876-1900-The Gilded Age-Quilting in America
dropped at least in the big cities where you could buy cheaper
quilts in department stores.
1914-1924-America after the War & The Twenties-
This art was increased in Amish communities and their quilts
are influenced by the Victorian era.
1930-1945-The Great Depression & America at War
Again-Women began to quilt for necessity.
I used to spend hours at night quilting and sewing the
fabric. I have already done several covers and cushions and I
used to present different pieces to my friends. When I was
applying to the ELI I thought that it would be an opportunity for
me to improve my quilting skills, and fortunately I found a very
nice, patient, and friendly woman whose name is Valerie
Malkemes. She is now helping me to discover a new world of
this fabulous art.

Travelers and Tourists in Saudi Arabia
Abdulla Alghunaim
RW 41

Saudi Arabia attracts the most travelers and tourists in
the Middle East and the Gulf area. There are several reasons
that Saudi Arabia attracts travelers and tourists, such as oil and
the two holy mosques. There are, however, some advantages
and disadvantages of attracting people to Saudi Arabia, such as
learning from other cultures and suffering from immigration
Saudi Arabia is an attractive country for business
travelers and religious tourists. Owing to the oil in Saudi
Arabia, most of people who come to Saudi Arabia from abroad
have business purposes. One of the foremost reasons for
travelers to come to Saudi Arabia is the several huge companies
that work there; such as ARAMCO and SABIC. These
companies have some workers from different countries, and
deal with some foreign companies as well. Their operations
in Saudi Arabia attract a lot of business travelers to visit Saudi
Arabia. Other than doing business, some travelers visit the
country for religious reasons. Both the holy mosques in Mecca
and Medina attract a huge number of travelers yearly. These
travelers come usually to pray and spend some time in these
two mosques. However, Saudi Arabia attracts some tourists as
well. Although it doesn't have very attractive natural views and
most of its parts are desert, in some areas it does have some
green land and lovely weather. Abha, which has a green
mountain and a very nice weather in summer, attracts a
remarkable number of tourists yearly. Most of them are from
the Gulf area.
Some of the travelers who come to Saudi Arabia have
a positive impact on the country. For example, most foreigners
who come to the country for business purposes speak different
languages and have different cultures. That allows Saudis to
learn some of these languages such as English, and they learn
about these cultures such as the American one. That exposure
gives them the opportunity to be open for the rest of the world.
However, some travelers have a negative impact on the country.
Most of these travelers are not in the country for business.

Because Islam is a widespread religion and the two
holy mosques represent it, they attract yearly different people
from different countries and different background. Some of
them are rich and some others are poor. Some of them are
educated and some others not. Having these different types of
people in one-place creates some bad influence sometimes. The
Saudi government works hard to restrict the rules of visiting the
country to make sure people who come to visit Saudi Arabia for
religious purposes leave the country as soon as they complete
their pilgrimages.
One main bad influence which has been affecting
Saudi Arabia since the beginning of establishing the country is
immigration. Because the two holy mosques are wanted
destinations for Muslims around the world and because Saudi
Arabia is a very rich country, a lot of poor Muslims want to
immigrate to Saudi Arabia, which draws a bad picture about the
people of Saudi Arabia sometimes. Since Saudi Arabia has been
affected by this, the poverty in Saudi Arabia started to exist.
Nowadays, Saudi Arabia is working on both fighting the illegal
immigrant and the poorness in the country.
Although there are some disadvantages of Saudi
Arabia being an attractive country, the advantages are more.
The government of Saudi Arabia is trying to welcome
everybody to the country but in a legal way. Saudi Arabia is a
destination for many types of people for very different

An Important Accident in My Life
Byoungyoul Kim (Pascal)

A significant event in my life was my father's death.
This is because it changed my life completely. When I was in
the marines, my father died accidently. He drank too much and
he wanted to sleep. He was on his way to his room, but he
stumbled to the sofa. At this time, my father was fine, so he
continued to his room, and he fell asleep. Suddenly, after just
ten minutes, he stopped breathing. Unfortunately, no one knew
about this situation. After a little time, my brother found my
father, but it was too late. My father had died.
Mysteriously, my father never called me (when I was
in the marines) before the accident. However, on that day, my
father called me, and he and I talked about many things. Thirty
minutes after that call, my brother called me. He said, "Father is
dead!" I didn't believe that. A Korean proverb says, "When a
person comes to die, they know that, so they will call someone
to yearn." I didn't believe this proverb at first, but now I
believe it.
I didn't go to my father's funeral because I was on an
island. The weather was very terrible, so all the ships were
docked for five days. Therefore, I only arrived home after his
funeral. I didn't feel his death until now. At that time, I
changed my life, my thinking and my habits. For example, I
thought about some problems, and I thought for a long time and
deeply, because I didn't like to listen to people saying, "You
don't have father." I also liked to drink too much, but now I
can control myself. I also try to do housework (e.g., to fix

ELI Student Voices 9

things). Four years ago, I thought only about myself, but now I
think about my family and other people as well.
Finally, my father's death has been a significant factor
in my life. It forced me to grow up, maybe before I was ready.

Tourism in Venezuela
Mariana Villasmil
RW 41

Venezuela is a beautiful country located in South
America. It was discovered by Christopher Colombus in 1498
who called this country "Venezuela" in honor of the beautiful
city of Venecia. Since its discovery, Venezuela has received
people from different places of the world such as Europe,
Africa, and Asia. It is a country with beautiful people, places,
and with very valuable natural resources. Because of its
beautiful beaches, the Amazon and desert, Venezuela is an
amazing country where both tourist and travelers come every
year to enjoy. These visitors have both a positive and bad
impact on the country and its people.
People like to visit Venezuela because it is a country
with various attractions like beaches, the Amazon and desert.
"El Yuque" beach, the national park "Canaima" and the
national park "Los Medanos de Coro" are three of the most
visited attractions in Venezuela. "El Yuque" beach on
Margarita Island is famous and much visited because it has the
most beautiful sunsets in Venezuela. Also, it is one of the five
top in the world for windsurfing. Many visitors go to
"Canaima" national park in the Amazon to see the highest
waterfall of the world, which is "El Salto El Angel", and
because it's the biggest national park in the world. "Los
Medanos de Coro" is also one of the three most visited places
because it is the unique mini desert in South America. During
the day, the dunes move from one side to another side with the
wind offering a beautiful show. These places make Venezuela
an exciting country to visit.
Tourism in Venezuela attracts two main groups of
people. The first group, travelers, who came to the country
without a schedule and with a small amount of money. The
second group, tourists that come with specific attractions to
visit and very much money. Travelers go to Venezuela to have
adventure and they like to know places by themselves or
through normal locals. They don't need special guides or
arranged tours. These visitors are more interested in local
customs and cultures than places or attractions. They don't
need a lot of money to know the country because they just go to
the street and eat "arepas" or "cachapas," which are traditional
Venezuelan food, and this food doesn't cost more than five
dollars. Also, they stay in motels beside the way with just basic
facilities that don't cost more that fifty dollars per night. On the
other hand, tourists stay in luxury hotels with spas, golf courses,
luxury facilities, and room service at any time, and they spend
at least $300 per night. Tourists just visit attractions that come
with a guide, they don't go to places that require risk or that are
not arranged tours. Also, tourists spend a lot of money on food
because they eat in restaurants with exclusive chefs,
reservations, fine cuisine with fine ingredients where each plate

can cost fifty dollars. Both travelers and tourists come to the
country and know it but in different ways.
As in many countries, visitors come and have good
impact on the country, but some visitors bring bad behaviors
that have bad impact on the country and its people. Tourist and
travelers have a good economic impact in the country. Whether
they spend a lot of money or not, that money increases the
budget of the country. According to a government's graph, in
2005 Venezuela's budget received $250 million from tourism.
The importance of cleaning is a good behavior that most of
visitors bring with them. They don't throw garbage in beaches,
rivers, and other natural attractions so this behavior makes an
impact on the locals motivating them to imitate this behavior
and keep the natural places in excellent condition. Though
most tourists have good impacts, some visitors in the last years
come to Venezuela and pay young women to have a kind of
sexual entertainment because they say "it is fun." Most of these
visitors come from Europe. This behavior causes an effect of
low self-esteem in locals because they think they are objects for
sale and not human beings. Also, some people come to the
country like tourists and then they took children under the law
from poor families and pay a lot of money to these families for
their children. This behavior motivates locals to forget their
morals, and they are worried just about foreign money.
Tourism could be good or bad for Venezuela, especially for its
Venezuela, with its interesting attractions like the
Amazon, beaches, and desert, is a beautiful country to visit.
Visitors can be travelers or tourists and they are going to enjoy
this country. Their visit always will have good or bad impacts
on Venezuela's people. To travel around the world and know
new people, customs, and cultures is an amazing experience,
and to travel to a country where you can find anything you
imagine, like Venezuela, is amazing.

Ana Paula Diaz
RW 3

When you talk about something, you always have to
introduce the meaning of your topic, in this case globalization.
After I looked in different books and web pages, I am able to
make my own definition: Globalization is an inevitable
phenomenon that has been bringing the world closer and
dropping borders. Globalization also implies a big tendency
where everybody is in. Aspects like economy, politics,
education, society, culture and the particular behavior of many
influential people are in the same line, thinking about the same
things. Economic interdependence and interaction between
countries are becoming stronger. Nowadays all countries take
an important part in this process, but the real problem is how
countries assume this phenomenon. In many cases, this
phenomenon destabilizes many of those poor countries.
I do not agree with people who criticize effects of
globalization, because they always talk about economics
aspects and many times they forget positive things. One thing
that is really true is how the process has exploited people in

ELI Student Voices 10

emergent countries, so now they do not have many benefits, for
example, countries in Africa or South America who are the
most vulnerable to the negative impact of globalization. If we
compare those countries with others like China or Uganda, the
differences are bigger. They have advantages in money,
technology, and human resources so when we have to make a
trade or some kind of business, they always said what to do.
Here are some statistics about those who receive the
greatest benefits from globalization.
* China: Reform led to the largest poverty reduction in
history. The number of rural poor fell from 250
million in 1978 to 34 million in 1999
* Uganda: Poverty fell 40% during the 1990s and
school enrollments doubled
Another example about positive things from the
globalization is what we are living here, in the ELI. I think we
are in a small world, sharing different cultures and learning a lot
about other countries and this is only for one reason,
After I analyzed all aspects about this point, my
conclusion is: This phenomenon is here, is inevitable, but we
can do many things to affect it. One of them is to give some
advice and help to those poor countries about globalization; we
have to begin doing better things in our homes, in our schools
and in our society. We have to protect our environment and
develop our technologies to obtain the great benefits in our
Finally, I want to share interesting things that I have
found about what to do if you live in a developing country and
if you live in a developed country.
If you live in a developing country
* Study to help your society
* Volunteer to help those in need
* Encourage people to give a hand to those who need it
* Learn how much money your government receives in
development assistance and take action about this

If you live in a developed country
* Volunteer to help those in need
* Encourage others to study to help their society
* Work together, so our world can become a better place

Always Remember; Don't Forget
Ricardo Prati

Sometimes you don't appreciate the things that you
have until you lose them, and that's what happened to me with
my grandparents. When I had them I didn't pay attention to
them, but when I lost them I realized how bad I had been, which
changed my life so much. With the loss of my grandparents, I
started to see life in a better way by loving more, remembering,
and taking care of the people who are important to me.

Nowadays I feel more love and care for the people that
are important to me. I try to help them in whatever I can, as
much as I can. For example I try to help my mom in whatever
she needs, if she asks me to go to somewhere I go, if she tells
me to cook I go and cook. These are little things I do that make
a big difference in the love of my family.
I like to remember people like my grandparents with
my best memories of them; I like to remember moments such
as, when we used to sit and talk about anything, when my
grandfather would dance with my aunts and with my mother, or
when my grandma would tell my cousins and me not to make
too much trouble, or they would punish us it. Those are
moments that I like to remember, and that have taught me, and
make me the person that I am right now.
Now that I'm a more considerate person, I take care of
the people that are important to me. When someone in my
family is sick I always go and see if they need any help, or they
need something. When someone close to me, has a problem,
and wants to tell someone everything, I'm there for them. I do
all this stuff because they are people that I trust, people that I
care about, and people that are important in my life.
Sometimes life has many changes and has many turns,
and in those moments you have to stay strong. Never forget
why you are like this and who the people that make you like
this are, the people who really care about you. Instead of
forgetting those people, you have to love them more.

Three Faces of Tourism in Brazil
Annelena Porto Delgado
RW 41

Being one of the four largest places for tourism on the
America continent, Brazil is rich in options of accommodations,
and you can have a good time with the locals. If your choice is
an inexpensive trip, and you have only a little amount of money
to travel, there are many options of food and lodging in Brazil,
and they can be chosen according to your budget for the trip.
Although tourism impacts Brazil positively, some negative
things can happen, too. On the positive side, visitors leave a lot
of money in the country, and they make some investments in
social causes. Increasing violence and sex exploitation in the
country, tourism can impact negatively the Brazilian society
too. Adapting their products to visitors' demands, artists make
changes in the design of their products. This causes loss in the
characteristics and culture value.
The fourth largest tourist destination on the America
continent, Brazil receives a huge number of people from all
parts of the world per year. There are two expressions which
define people who travel, "travelers" or "tourists". Although
travelers don't have large amounts of money to travel, tourists
bring and spend a lot of money in the places that are visited.
Bringing large amounts of money, tourists are frequently found
in Brazil. Travelers look for cheaper accommodations such as
hostels, or locals' houses charging low costs. They eat in
individual food vendors in the streets or in the informal
restaurants at the locals' houses. However, tourists search for
comfortable accommodations in big hotels, and they look for

ELI Student Voices 11

famous restaurants with renowned chefs, it does not matter the
cost for them.
Having beautiful beaches and many options in
beautiful natural places for ecotourism, Brazil attracts a huge
number of tourists to these beautiful beaches, forests, and falls.
Having prepared their employees, the big hotels are ready to
receive foreign people. Chambermaids, waiters, receptionists,
and managers in far-reaching hotels or resorts in Brazil speak
English to communicate with their guests. Spending a lot of
money in the country, tourists leave around US$ 2.3 billion in
the Brazilian economy. There is another type of tourism on
which money is spent in Brazil. Travelers also spend money,
but they usually bargain because bargaining is a common
practice in Brazilian culture. They bargain for accommodations
in locals' houses. Sharing their bathroom, living room with
travelers, locals receive around US$ 15.00 / day from travelers.
Locals' houses accommodations are cheaper than many hotels
in tourist cities that cost around US$ 100.00 / day. Eating at
individual food vendors, travelers can have cheap meals, and
they can spend less money travelling. For example, travelers
can eat with Brazilian people in the streets paying around US$
3.00 for the same food that workers eat every day. Called "done
plate", the most popular food is made from rice, beans, beef,
and fried eggs, which composes the main meal. Although in a
big hotel in Sao Paulo tourists pay around US$ 120.00 per meal,
an inexpensive option is the informal restaurants in locals'
houses or in individual food merchants spending less than US$
5.00 for a tasty and popular food. In brief, tourists are important
to Brazil because of their strong currency. Being attracted to
Brazil because of its beautiful natural places and its strong
structure to tourism, visitors can act as tourists staying in
wonderful hotels and eating in sophisticated restaurants.
However, they can act as travelers; fortifying informal tourism,
they can take advantage and know the country spending less
Tourism in Brazil is a growing sector. Making tourism
an important economic field in the country, the visitors leave a
lot of money in the Brazilian economy. They make some
investments very useful to the national economy, and
sometimes they invest in social programs, too. This is helpful
for its communities and needy people. First of all, many social
programs are made in poor communities. Visiting and
becoming enchanted with some places and communities in
Brazil, tourists give money to social causes. Furthermore, they
open schools, nurseries, and non-profit organizations to benefit
locals. Second, spending some money on tourism and having a
stronger currency, tourists begin also to invest in the property
market and other markets. In short, these investments can
increase the Brazilian economy, and it improves some
communities. Both the visitor spending money travelling and
the visitor making investments in Brazil have strengthened the
national economy and its society with successful social projects.
On the other hand, tourism can also bring some
negative impacts such as increasing violence and sex tourism in
the country. From the standpoint of negative impacts, there is
some loss of identify and values. Adapting to tourist demands,
artists have made changes in the design of their products to
bring them more in line with the new costumer's tastes. For

instance, in Salvador city they usually make crafts with the
Brazilian flag in a "berimbau," which is a musical instrument
symbol of Bahia culture. Attending visitors demand, some craft
artists begin to use the American flag in "berimbau" craft
modifying their art sometimes losing the characteristics and the
cultural value. Another drastic problem is commercial sexual
exploitation of children and young women which has increased,
paralleling with the growth of tourism in Brazil. Increasing with
the growth of mass tourism, crime rates typically increase. The
presence of a large number of tourists with a lot of money to
spend, and bringing valuables cameras, and jewelry, increases
the attraction for criminals. There are two different ways to
minimize the negative impacts. By improving the government
projects to decrease social problems, Brazil can drop its trouble
with violence and have a secure place to offer its visitors.
Taking care if its social problems and its huge distance between
poor and rich people, Brazil can continue to be wonderful place
to tourists spend their money in tourism or business.
Brazil offers many opportunities for tourism. Having
little money, visitors can choose to be travelers, and they can
know Brazil spending less money than tourists. Although
tourists chose big hotels and restaurants which offer expensive
meals made by renowned chefs, travelers can know the same
beautiful beaches, and exotic places, spending around 80% less
money. Contributing to the growth of the tourism sector in
Brazil, visitors make tourism an important economic field in the
country. Giving money to social causes, tourists make
important improvement in needy communities. Visitors bring a
lot of money to the country, but from another point of view this
can be negative impact when it causes an increase of violence
and sex exploitation of children and young women. Offering
qualified hotels, Brazil has employees prepared to speak
English with foreign tourists. On one hand, there are cities such
as Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Salvador which have a good
structure for luxury tourism. On the other hand, these cities
have good opportunities for travelers to experience living like
locals and have a good time with them. Some example of
excellent places to visit and with superior infrastructure for
tourism in Brazil are Sao Paulo city (in Sao Paulo state), Rio de
Janeiro city (in Rio de Janeiro state), Fernando de Noronha (in
Pernambuco state), Bonito (in Mato do Grosso state), Abrolhos
(in Bahia state), and much more. You can get more information
in http://www.braziltour.com/site/en/home/index.php.

The Greedy Man and the Little Princess
(This is a group-written folktale. Students used new vocabulary
and structures to create 2-4 sentences each and then combined

Once upon a time, a rich man lived in a palace and he
had everything he could ever hope for. However, he was still
not happy because he had no friends. He lived alone in an
enormous home. Nobody liked him because he was so selfish.
He had a lot of money, but he was stingy with his money. He
never wanted to share. Every single day he ate beef, chicken
and all kinds of delicious foods. Everyone could smell these

ELI Student Voices 12

foods when they passed outside his home. In addition to being
selfish, he was greedy. He had everything, but he still wanted
to have everything that everyone else had too.
One day he fell ill. He had visited a poor man in a hut
(just to see what else he "needed" for his life) and he contracted
a virus. He was so ill that he passed out on the street far from
his home. He was unconscious and could not wake up again to
get to a doctor or to his own house. At first, he was visited by a
bad witch who was jealous of him and who was also greedy.
She stole all of his property, including his clothing! He got so
cold that he woke up for a few minutes and he could smell the
scrumptious bread that a nearby shopper was carrying home for
The rich man found new luck, despite his greediness.
This shopper was a little princess who had traveled to this
market to get the best bread in the area (it was filled with
chocolate). She saw the poor man unclothed and sad. She took
pity on him and she gave him her entire loaf of bread to eat.
Because she was a little princess and because she was so kind,
she convinced the townspeople to help the man get to the
doctor. He was saved!
After the rich man became well, he realized how
terrible his past had been. He worked with the little princess to
help the people in the village. He shared his home, making it
into a very large apartment building, and he shared his money
and his food too. Everyone worked together with the rich man
and the little princess and the entire village lived happily ever
The end

GRE Issue Essay
Chia-Jung Tsai (Jessica)
RW 60
Issue: All nations should help support the development of a
global university designed to engage students in the
processes of solving the world's most persistent problems.

Living in the modern world, we benefit from
international cooperation and share our power to create the
advanced society. However, there are still many persistent
social problems staying with us. The horrible diseases such as
AIDS, the starvation in Africa, and also the urgent global
warming phenomenon threatened us. Some experts indicate that
all nations should help support the development of a global
university, which provides curriculums studying social
problems. Absolutely, as a resident in the world, it's our destiny
to fight for peace, security and progress. The great opinion of
establishing a global university seems necessary to the society.
However, should "all the nations" spend a lot of
money supporting a global university? Building up a global
university, the nation should hire plenty of workers with
intelligence to update the information of all kinds of social
problems and enough teachers to instruct students, since those
issues need experts and students from various fields all together
to discuss and reach some conclusions. For many countries,
they are still struggling with serious social problems; maybe a
global university can work in the future, but it can't help

anything right now. The government needs to recruit all kinds
of supports from various people to solve the problems instead
of putting all the efforts and spending money supporting the
global university, unless those countries' finances have
If we ignore the finances subject, establishing a global
university can at best help enrolled students know better about
the world's most persistent social problems. It can be an
academic center which provides plenty of courses concerning
global issues and cultivates the most excellent students of the
nation. However, when it comes to what kind of professional
realms we need to solve the problems, the answer may be broad
specialists. As a result, I still doubt the substantial benefit from
a global university. It seems impossible to include all the social
In my opinion, a global university may only grasp
some general issues to study. Take starvation for example, the
problems in the poverty-stricken countries in Africa are related
to climate, business, sources, and diplomacy. However, students
in a global university cannot be equipped for all the professions.
On the other hand, students with diverse major in a common
university can cooperate with each other in the future careers to
solve the social problems. Let me put it this way, it's more
important to improve students' abilities in a normal university
than to establish a global university.
On the negative perspective, many serious global
problems will never consequently disappear; the world's most
persistent social problems are difficult to resolve. We human
beings have struggled with AIDS for a period. The experts have
looked for remedies for a long time however in vain. That's
unquestionable we have enough professionals devoted to the
medical. Moreover, though more and more experts graduated
from schools and are refreshing the experiments, pity that, it's
still not time for the achievement. What people can do working
in other areas is wait and see. It's unreasonable all nations are
supposed to develop a global university to cultivate experts.
Given that country's universities are well developed, the
professionals will be sufficient.
In conclusion, the will to build a global university is
just like a castle in the air. Considering the expenditure we the
government will spend and the little benefit we will get, the
idea seems nothing more than redundancy. To achieve the same
goal, we should implement adequately the courses concerning
global issues in every department at each school in order to
cultivate a student who has both specified academic foundation
and astute mind knowing well about those serious world's
social problems.

Learn English Using English!
Cesar Augusto Idrobo-Giraldo
R/W 60

Have you ever heard the quote that says "practice
makes the master"? Apparently, some students at the English
Language Institute (ELI) haven't because they have been
constantly speaking in their native language. That's why in
order to have good and satisfactory results learning English, the

ELI Student Voices 13

ELI has created this rule-English-only requirement on ELI
property-with the purpose of helping the students in their
process of learning English. However, some students say that
they should be allowed to talk in their own languages whenever
and wherever they want because according to them it is very
hard to communicate with other people. I completely agree
with the English-only policy and I think it should be enforced
on the ELI property anytime and in the extracurricular activities
as well.
First, the constant practice of English helps you to
learn the language faster. Not only that, but also when you are
speaking English you are using your grammar, listening and
speaking skills. That's why it is so important to practice what
you have learned because that's the only way you prove if you
are using the English rules in the right way. Also, practicing
English, as much as possible, is good because you can identify
what are the mistakes you have been making; therefore, you
will improve your English because you won't make them again.
Second, we know that the ELI is a place where a lot of
people from around the world come to learn English, which
means the people here talk different languages. In addition,
there are a considerable number of people who come from
certain countries. The problem that is facing the ELI is that
these groups are talking in their languages and people who don't
speak those languages may feel different from the other group
of students. That's why it is so important to talk one language
because this is the only way we can communicate and integrate
with other people and learn from other cultures as well. For
example: last semester, during an ELI activity [volleyball] most
of the group who joined were Spanish speakers, and there was
one Asian person. What happened is that all the Spanish were
speaking Spanish and the Asian person felt very uncomfortable
because she didn't know what was going on.
Even though some ELI students say that it is very
useful for them to understand grammar in their own language
when they don't understand, this is not useful at all because you
may understand what is the structure, but in your language. This
won't work because what will happen is that you will know the
grammar rules and other topics in your language but not in
English, and when it comes to test they won't ask you what the
grammar rule in your language is; everything is going to be in
English. This is another reason why it is so important to
practice English, and not only that, but also learn English using
In conclusion, the English-only policy is good for all
of us because it will benefit us in short and long terms. You
may have noticed this, but you don't learn English from the
books, you learn English from the real life because these are
experiences that you will remember forever. Therefore, you will
remember your mistake so you won't make it again. We also
have to recognize that the ELI's policy wants to help students to
achieve their goal of learning English. They don't want to
bother you at any time. What they want is to make sure that you
have taken advantage of the opportunities that are given and
that you practice your English every time. Enforcing this policy
the ELI will help you to learn English faster and with more
accuracy. The policy will show results in the sense that you'll

learn English and it will be a proof that the ELI programs for
learning are working out well.

The Catholic Church and Contraception
Guillermo Chiaway
RW 60

Since old times, people have tried to avoid pregnancies
by using different methods. There is a specific case in The
Bible that could tell us how old the use of contraceptive is.
Onan, which is a biblical character, used a contraception known
as coitus interruptus in which sexual intercourse do not
culminate as in a regular sexual relationship. Nowadays,
contraceptives are used worldwide in a wide variety of types
such as pills, barriers, patch, and internal devices.
A great controversial debate has been raised about the
use of contraceptives. Many are in favor and many others are
against. One of these institutions that opposes the use of
contraceptive and promotes the utilization of NFP (Natural
Family Planning) is the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church,
based on a great amount of theological and philosophical
research accompanied with many medical studies, has
established that the use of contraceptives is morally wrong.
Two are the main reasons why The Catholic Church conceives
contraceptive as not convenient for the people: the right use of
sexuality and the fact that many contraceptives are abortive. In
addition, although many people say that due to the fact that The
Catholic Church is opposed to contraceptives, the number of
abused children is increasing, it can be demonstrated that this
affirmation is totally wrong. Therefore, people can see the
benefits of choosing NFP as the best option at the time people
decide how many children they will have.
First of all, The Catholic Church affirms that sexuality
has two dimensions: one is concerning pleasure and the other is
related to procreation. Everything in the world is created with
purposes and sexuality is not the exception. When people use
things not considering the ends for which they were created,
then they are using nature in a bad way. When people use
contraception, these two dimensions are separated artificially,
and, therefore, the purpose of sexuality is not fulfilled
completely. While The Catholic Church promotes the right use
of sexuality, it also promotes parental responsibility. Many NFP
methods have demonstrated their effectiveness such as The
Billings Method that is 97.5% effective and, therefore, has only
2.5% margin of error.
Moreover, people should be aware that many
contraceptives are abortive. Birth control pills, for example,
produce any of these three effects when consumed: they avoid
that spermatozoids and eggs get together, they don't let eggs go
out the ovaries, and they modify the uterus preventing the
fertilized egg to be implanted there (this last effect is abortive).
Many other contraceptives also alter the womb such as IUCD or
coil, and the morning-after pill.
However, many people say that violence against
children is increasing because they are unwanted creatures, and
The Catholic Church is to blame because of its position against
contraception (Cortes, 2007, page 8).

ELI Student Voices 14

Although many people think The Catholic Church is
wrong and its position increases home violence, it is totally
false because The Catholic Church also follows and promotes
the 5th commandment which is "Thou shall not kill," so The
Catholic Church is not only against contraceptive, but also
against any kind of violence. People who hit their children,
even if they are Catholics or not, are not following the teaching
of The Catholic Church. Therefore, if they don't obey one of
the most essential parts of Christianity which is to love your
neighbor (and thus your relatives), it is very hard that they
follow other Catholic teaching such as the ones related to
contraception. If, hypothetically, the Catholic Church would
yield and say that the use of contraceptives is O.K. then there is
no possibility that those people who use violence to raise their
children will follow the ni teaching" of The Church because
they simply don't care about what The Catholic Church says.
We see no direct relation between the teaching of The Catholic
Church against contraception and family violence.
Contraceptives are used by people worldwide, but
many of them might not know what they are really using. They
simply are using what they think is the most convenient for
them. No consequences and broken rules are being taken into
account at the time they use contraceptives. Beside
contraceptives, many other things are being used such as
cloning or embryonic stem cell without a profound reflection
about their real purposes, ethical and moral values, or
consequences beyond the short-term "benefits." A turning point
in those technological advances should be considered in order
not to lose the real perspective of people: their dignity as human

Cortes, J. (2007). Birth control. The ELI Student Voices,
volume 11, issue 2, page 8.
Cornforth, T. How does the birth control pill work? Retrieved
4/8/2008 from
Pruthi, S. Morning-after pill: Emergency birth control.
Retrieved 4/8/2008 from
Imp \ \ .mayoclinic.com/health/morning-after-
Frequently asked questions. Retrieved 4/8/2008 from
Ihlp 1 n %\ .mirena-us.com/faq.html?C=&c=
Catholic Church. (1994). Catechism of the Catholic Church.
CittA del Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana.
The Bible. Philadelphia: printed for Sower & Jones.
BOMA Questions and answers. Retrieved 4/8/2008 from
hup '\ \ .boma-usa.org/
Wyeth Laboratories. (1994). Triphasic-28 Product Information.
Philadephia: Wyeth-Ayerst.
Mayo Clinic Staff. The pill and other hormonal
contraceptives. Retrieved 4/8/2008 from
hup n \ \ .mayoclinic.com/health/birth
control/BI99999/PAGE=BIO00 14
Fox, M. John Billings, 89, creator of contraception method,
dies. Retrieved 4/8/2008 from

Trials of the Billings ovulation method. Retrieved 4/8/2008
fioin Imlp %l n \ .woomb.org/bom/trials/index.html

Living in These United States
Bruna B. Cavalcanti
Grammar for Writing

"Where your dreams become true" This is Disney's
famous slogan, which is applicable for living in America for
some people. If your dream is living in a place where you can
interact with machines all the time, get an excellent education at
the best universities in the world plus have fantastic quality and
efficient services from many companies, this place is called
America. Efficient services, self-service culture and excellent
universities are the things that I most like in America.
One reason why I really like living in America is
efficiency and practicality of some companies. Sometimes we
can solve our problem with just one simple phone call. It's
amazing how some companies work when their services are
needed. For example, My macbook, named Little Baby, broke 2
weeks ago and I just needed to make two phone calls to get it
fixed It was fantastic. When I called Apple the first time, I had
to describe the problem. Then, they said they would send me a
box next day. The next morning, a special box made especially
for my Little Baby was there. All I had to do was to put my
Baby in it and call the company to get the box back. When I
called them, in about five minutes they knocked at my door and
took my Little Baby for his first surgery. The surgery took just
five hours and Apple sent my Baby back the same day
completely repaired; a new hard drive was installed. This
efficiency is the reason why I love living in America.
Another reason why I like living in America is the
self-service culture. I like to see people serving themselves
practically everywhere. A common example is the gas station,
where the customers pump their own gas rather than have an
attendant do it. Although I'm too lazy to pump my Big Baby car
sometimes, I love the fact I can do it here. Another example is
Self-Service Check-In, which offers a convenient way for
people to buy airline tickets online. We can even fly to another
city without talking to anyone if there is no luggage to check in.
Even though Americans tend to interact more with machines
than with people, it's amazing to contemplate how practical
they are, and how they can do things like buy a newspaper, go
grocery shopping, or buy several types of items from vending
machines without talking to anyone. This self-service culture is
the reason why I like living in America.
Another reason why I like living in America is the
quality of the universities here. American universities are at the
top of the list of the best universities in the world, for example,
Harvard University, Stanford University, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology and University Of Florida (Go gators!)
are there. Those universities have the best teachers and an
admirable infrastructure. For instance, they have well equipped
gyms and labs, wonderful libraries and big auditoriums. Those
are the reasons why those universities have millions of students

ELI Student Voices 15

from all over the world. After finishing school, students can get
excellent jobs in big companies like Microsoft, Motorola, Ford,
Coach, and more. They can also get a betterjob in their home
country. My Brazilian friend got his doctorate degree at the
University of Florida and since he went back to Brazil he has
been getting a lot of opportunities to make more money, and his
salary is much better than it was before. Getting a degree in an
America university, I can find at least a decent job in any place
in the world. The excellent quality of universities in American
is another reason why I like living in America.
All in all, the reasons that I most like about living in
these America are efficient services, self-service culture and
excellent universities. I could fix my Little Baby Macbook by
making just two phone calls because of the efficient service
here in America. I appreciate the fact that I can pump my Big
Baby car because I just love the self-service culture here. In
addition, having the opportunity to study in excellent
universities makes me feel optimistic about my professional
life. What about you? Do you like the idea of living in this
digital world where your dreams become true? If you do, go on
line and apply for your visa.

Marriage Among Young People
Vanella Perez Houtmann
RW 60

Since the twentieth century, marriages among young
people have been considered to be a controversial issue in
different societies and cultures around the world. During the
past decades, it was common for families to accept marriages
between young people with the ages of 18 to 24. For them,
being married meant to be an adult; however, nowadays it is
recommended to be an adult to get married. Adults now argue
and discuss whether to agree or disagree to let adolescents get
Getting married is not as easy as many adolescent
would think it is; it takes a great responsibility. In order for a
marriage to be successful, it needs to have economic stability.
For an adolescent, life is just starting because they are
beginning to face real life by themselves, as well as to be
involved and be able to handle difficult situations. Because
adolescents are at the phase of getting into college, they do not
have the economic stability that is needed in order to maintain a
home if they are married. An adolescent may have a part time
job during his/her studies; however, the money he/she earns
would never be enough to sustain a family and to keep up with
all the expenses that a house has. Probably, an adolescent
might want to get married without having a baby at the first
instance; but still, it is hard to keep living with the same
conditions that his/her family would offer him/her during the
study time. Most young people are not aware of this situation;
therefore, when they think they feel in love they take the
opportunity to get married without thinking about the future and
their living conditions.
A marriage is not only based on an economic stability;
it also needs an emotional stability as well. Adolescents are not
prepared for a long-lasting relationship and a marriage is a

long-lasting relationship where both the man and the woman
have to make a commitment between themselves, to promise to
love one another, to value one another, and to stay together
through sickness and health, for better and for worse. Because
they are in a transitional stage, adolescents' feelings towards a
person might change as the time passes by. An adolescent goes
through a period from being a child to becoming an adult;
therefore, this transition might affect their personal decisions as
well as their feelings. Peer pressure during adolescence might
influence their feelings too; for example, if a boy likes a girl
and their friends think that she's not pretty enough, the boy
would probably stop dating her to prevent that they make fun of
him. A young adult should not care about other's opinions. He
should be enough matured to make his own decisions in life
without caring what others say.
On the other hand, some people agree with the idea of
young people getting married because they feel love towards
each other, thus they think they are ready for a long-lasting
relationship. They might be right; they might feel that they are
meant for each other; therefore, they are prepared to live as a
couple and to start a family if those are their plans for their
future. But, are they prepared economically to sustain a house
and a family while they are studying at college? Are they sure
that she/he is the person that they want to be with for their rest
of their lives?
In conclusion, I disagree with marriage among young
people for the reasons stated previously. Young people should
enjoy their college life and prepare and plan for the future
instead of thinking about getting married at such an early age.
Life is too short to make quick decisions without using our
heads. In love, we have to use both heart and mind, no matter
how deep your feelings are.

Should Drinking Be Allowed Under 21?
Christoph Baires
RW 60

In most states of the U.S. you are allowed to drink
alcohol at the age of 21 years. In most European countries it's
18, in Germany even 16 years. Many Americans, especially
youths, know about that and consequently they question this
American law. Does it really make sense to set the legal
drinking age that high? There are some pro- and
counterarguments which can be considered when setting a
responsible and useful drinking age.
Alcohol can be deadly when using too much but what
most people don't know is that it actually can also be healthy.
Alcohol can help the body circulating the blood and lowering
the blood pressure. Especially wine can be useful in that sense.
However, the sorts of wine which help are limited. Red wine is
more likely to lower high blood pressure than white wine. In
my opinion, this is definitely a good argument for setting the
legal drinking age lower, although doctors warn for a good
reason not to use alcohol too much, but in a responsible way.
Newspapers show it everyday. The news on TV show
it everyday. "Young man dies in car crash under alcohol
influence." Headlines like this one cover newspapers very

ELI Student Voices 16

often, almost daily. Of course alcohol can't only be healthy for
your body. If drinking in a irresponsible way that is drinking
too much--it can have two negative effects and especially young
people are likely to suffer from them just because they want to
have fun and don't see those possible effects. Too much
consumption of alcohol can destroy your body, especially your
liver, and result in cancer. Another negative effect of alcohol
may be addiction. Both effects can cause death.
Another problem is that many young people ignore the
influence of alcohol; consequently, they still want to drive very
often. We can see the results in the news very often. Then we
always read "Teenager lost control of his car and crashed." The
burning point is that most teenagers know that but still do it.
They don't really recognize the danger of alcohol. So how can
the government wake those "kids" up? Is that possible? Do they
really need to see pictures of the victims in order to understand
the danger? Some countries, like Germany, show those kind of
pictures to people who are known as drunk drivers. The
question is just if it really works.
The USA is involved in the Iraq War right now which
caused the 4,000th death of an American soldier two weeks ago
and about 1.2 million Iraqi deaths so far. And still, the
American military is still trying to recruit more soldiers which
they can use at war. Many of those recruits are still under aged
and just turned 18 years old. The question is the following:
Why should an 18-year-old boy be allowed to go to war and
fight for his life, but not to drink alcohol? Is alcohol really more
dangerous than war? Even if you go to war and are careful, it is
easy to die in a fight. But on the contrary, it is not easy to die
of a responsible consumption of alcohol. The U.S. government
should think about it.
The large consumption of alcohol helps the American
economy a lot, especially in bad times like now. Alcohol is
always bought by the population, especially by alcoholics
because of their "need" to consume a lot alcohol. On the other
hand, people who are addicted might get into lots of trouble.
Usually it takes only a short time till the employer you are
working for notices your addiction and probably has to fire you.
Then there you are with no job, no money, but an addiction
which costs money. Because of your disease, the addiction to
alcohol, you are looking for other ways to get your
"stuff," except of at least buying it legally.
What should be the legal age of drinking? Or how can
we decide what the legal age should be? This is a very difficult
issue. In my opinion it's almost impossible to find a proper
solution since people differ from each other and some are
earlier mature and know how to act responsibly. Others are way
behind and just try to have fun without thinking of possible
consequences. That makes it difficult for the government to set
a general legal age. I personally can understand the actual legal
age of 21, but in relation with other laws, like the recruiting
law, I can't. The government should try to build laws more
logically. Otherwise people will always discuss laws and further
decisions by the government.

Uniform Policy
Lourdes Fuller
R/W 60

The society all around Florida is getting upset about
the new uniform policy that is being implemented in five
elementary schools by now. The fact of using uniforms is
making a big controversy in different levels: school board,
students and parents. On the one hand, the opponents of the
dress code policy stated that having a uniform policy clearly
violates the constitutional rights. However, rather than
discouraging the student's psychological development or
breaching their rights, this new policy represents an important
step to promote a variety of values like responsibility,
creativity, discipline and feelings of belonging in the students.
Some students and parents are against this policy
mainly because using uniforms will stop them from developing
their personality in an environment that promotes freedom.
Also, one of the main beauties of this country is that taste of
freedom that advocates the society. However, these examples
are not directly related by any chance. That same concept of
freedom has been tainted by society, especially with the lack of
formalities in the schools. The uniform policy gives the student
the opportunity of picking between different options, it isn't
like a cookie cutter style at all. It's only a simple dress code that
will promote students identification with their school. Using a
simple uniform is not like muzzles in their mouths to prevent
their right of expression.
Opponents support their position of being against
uniforms in schools because this will interfere with the sense of
dependency on the students. However, if you are a responsible
parent and want to teach and encourage your children to be an
independent person it will take more than having a uniform at
school. On the other hand, if you want to promote this
independent characteristic in the students, try to give them
responsibilities, teach them that their correct or wrong behavior
will have consequences. Having a dress code in the school will
encourage independence because it will build the base for a
responsible adult. A parent will teach them about economy and
how having uniforms lets them save more and finally what
more independence is there than saving some time every
morning instead of think what should I wear today?.
Another major problem with policies which are too
vigorously enforced is the humiliation and fear suffered by the
students. However, this kind of situation is more likely to
happen with the actual dress code that makes academic staff
more like fashion police rather than teachers. For example: the
three B's (no butts, breasts or bellies), no ripped clothes, no
bandannas, no caps, baggy pants and don't show too much
cleavage. Why does the academic staff have to spend that much
time to take care of all these issues? With a clear school
uniform policy that allowed a couple of options but still keep a
standard in the school, the quality of education will definitely
increase and improve. The main reason for this is because
professors haven't to invest more of their time being school's
deputies and giving punishment like Saturday school which
directly affects the academic staff and ruins their weekend too.

ELI Student Voices 17

Although school uniform policy won't be the secret
key to resolve behavioral problems in the school, it's an
important step and element of support to improve the
educational system. The actual dress code obviously doesn't
work well, which represents that it's time for a change.

Ebtisam BinHussein (B)
RW 60

Abortion is an age-old controversial issue; it has been
judged from many views. It's been looked at as a religious
issue, a political matter, and a social concern. Many people are
against abortion for many reasons which lie under pro-life
reasoning. On the other had; there's a group of people who
believe in the freedom of choice, people who are pro-choice.
Freedom of choice is the right of every human being;
for that, a mother is entitled to choose whether to keep her
unborn child or not. Sometimes having an unplanned baby can
complicate a parent's life. If the mother is not ready, then the
child will be brought into a dreadful life. The mother might be
emotionally and mentally disconnected from her own baby
because she wasn't ready for such a responsibility. Others
should not interfere with a woman's -the mother- decision.
Pro-life believers claim that a fetus, since the moment
of conception, becomes a human person that is entitled to
essential human rights. Therefore, an unborn child has the right
to live. Abortion protesters say that abortion is a murder, that
it's killing a human and taking his human privileges. The Pro-
life community states that abortion concerns not one life, but
two; the mother's and her baby, so the choice is not only hers. It
happened and she has to accept it. No one has the right to end
another living soul's life just because it's inconvenient for
Studies have been made to prove that a human life
becomes a human person at some point after conception. In
fact, the heartbeat doesn't start until a couple of weeks later.
How can it be murder if there is no heartbeat? In the first week
of pregnancy the baby is still an embryo. It's not a conscious
soul; for that, the mother has the prior right to choose whether
to continue with her pregnancy or not. Abortion is not involving
two lives if it's in the first weeks.
Of course there's an exception for every rule. A
woman has the right to chose whether she's keeping the baby or
not, but only under certain circumstances. It must happen in the
early stages of pregnancy before the embryo or fetus attains
consciousness or becomes a human person with a living soul.
Abortion should be approved only if there's a good reason for
having it; for example, abortion is unreasonable if the mother is
having it because she doesn't want to lose her figure, or if the
mother is a prostitute that wants to keeps her career going so
whenever she gets pregnant she aborts the child. Yes the choice
is in the woman's hand, but sometimes people make
unreasonable decisions that need to be monitored and
Saving the life of a soul before it begins is better than
bringing a child to hate and neglect in this world. There are

many mothers whom are forced to keep their babies because of
the religion they follow, or the community they live in, or
simply for not having enough money for the operation. Still,
abortion is a hard decision that needs to be made after thinking
and reasoning or remorse will follow. The morality of abortion
is a major issue; it lies within a gray area that should be
surrounded by rules and requirements. It's a woman's decision,
but it must be the right decision.

Single Parents
Paola Cardenas
RW 60

Living in a world where every day rules are being
broken or changed, is something that many people believe is
complicated. One of the most popular ideas about our society is
that its main support is the family. This idea has been supported
by different specialists in the area of sociology. In the past,
people used to think that real families were those that had the 4
main members: father, mother, son(s) and daughterss.
However, in these days this idea has changed because now it is
common to see families that don't have all the 4 members; it
means that there are families without one of the parent figures
and parents that are with the rest of the family are defined as
single parents.
A single parent has a lot of responsibilities because he
or she has to be mother and father at the same time. There are
different causes why this group of parents is increasing every
day. One of the possible causes can be the death of one of the
parents; this is the saddest cause because it is when the mother
or father who continue living has to face the reality and he or
she has to help their children with the lose of their mother or
their father. This kind of single parent receives support of the
rest of their family because they know that it won't be easy to
leave their pain and to care of the children.
Another cause why every day it is more common to
see single parents is the high number of couples who get
divorces. There are special cases that when a couple breaks up
and they have children, one of the parents disappears. It is one
of the hardest situations because the parent who continues with
the children has to explain to the kids about the situation and he
or she has to care for the mental health of the children because
when one parent leaves the home, children are who suffer the
When we talk about single parents, it is important to
mention those cases that have been really controversial.
Decades ago being a single mother was something much
criticized because it was unacceptable that a woman had a child
without being married. Single mothers suffered discrimination
in different places such as schools where it wasn't allowed to
register a child without the name of the both parents. Society
was really cruel with single mothers just because they didn't
follow a traditional rule about being married before having a
Between all the changes that our society has suffered
the discussion of single parents inside of the society has been
really good because people have learned to respect those who

ELI Student Voices 18

for any circumstance couldn't follow the rule. Single parents in
these days are people who are admirable because it is not easy
to raise a kid alone. Because of this, all those who are single
parents deserve to be respected by all society 's member.

Spoiled Pets vs. Starving Children: What
is Truly a Work of Art?
Maria Dantas
RW 60

American citizens have been spending too much money
on spoiled pets in the last decade. Aging baby boomers, elderly
people, gay couples, empty nesters are the kind of people that
are getting so attached to pets. Consequently, the owners are
giving excessive treatment to pets as they are considered their
own "children." While they do so, millions of people are dying
from hunger and malnutrition in Africa. By Reducing
insurance, vet care, supplies and pet service expenses, they
would save many people's lives on that continent.
Cultural values have been changing a lot in America
lately. Although some people still have pets to enjoy from time
to time, when it suits them, the majority is switching their
feeling towards pets. It seems that American pet owners love
and cherish their puppies and kittens as they are real children by
taking excessive care of them. Today, there is exorbitant
treatment for pets in the United States while there are so many
people dying of starvation in some parts of the world.
Nowadays, animals are getting more rights in America
than ever. According to "A politically correct pet project..." in
the Gainesville Sun (June 3, 2004), it is not very PC to say pet
"owner" because this word encourages owners to dump the pets
whenever they want to. Instead they should say pet "guardian"
and legislation is being considered to change this definition.
San Francisco, one of the most pet supportive cities in America,
has braced this project. The city even has a Pet Pride Day and it
provides luxurious furnished private condominiums for cats and
Another example of excessive treatment for pets is the
dog day care centers in America. They are becoming very
popular and spreading all over the nation. The first Day Care
Camp was established in California in 2003. Since then, this
type of business has been considered a great success. "With
doggie day care centers, people can have their careers and have
their dogs too," said dog trainer Susan Claire from Central
Bark, one of at least 10 centers in South Florida for spoiled
dogs. The pet guardian spends between $25 and $35 a day but
his pet will be pampered by qualified professionals. The pet
industry has grown tremendously and it has been considered
somewhat recession-proof because pets have replaced children
since the number of single people, childless couples and elderly
have increased in this country. Chris Gaba, the owner of Central
Bark, another dog day care center, said that some dogs are
spoiled even more than most children. Among other things, she
mentioned some dogs that go to her day care center by their
own limousine, wear Louis Vuitton collars, have homemade
biscotti (no sugar, preservatives or wheat) as a snack or a diet
lunch (steamed rice, ground beef and bottled water).

Florida, another state that has a significant number of
pets due to the great number of elderly people, has been
blooming with pet establishments in the last decade. According
to "Pampered Pets are in Dog heaven with Day Care..." in the
Gainesville Sun(January 15, 2001), busy dog owners have been
spoiling their pets by sending them to a doggie day care center
in Miami Elena Lopez, the owner, said that it is a big success
because it is an outdoor center not only to have fun but also to
be disciplined. In addition to that, pets receive love, treats and
exercise for a low cost of $35 a day. The camp provides school
bus transportation, snacks, a bone shaped pool and other
exciting activities. As Elena said," What I wanted to do was
offer a place for animals to have fun." This is making her a
successful businesswoman because many people are taking over
the idea. Also, Camp Canine dog day care located in Boca
Raton and Fort Lauderdale, owned by Lisa Schettino, picks up
dogs in an air conditioned bus in which dogs sit side-by-side
strapped in seat belts.
In addition, domestic pets are more likely to be well off
than human beings. There is a law in Florida that ensures pets
get all the rights of a beneficiary in a trust. This is done by the
owner in recognition of the animal's affection. I really think
loneliness is changing family values. According to "Retirement
Center for pets Proposed," in the Gainesville Sun (October 12,
2004), a construction of a $3 million retirement center for cats
and dogs would be a great idea. The UF dean of the University
of Florida's Veterinary Medicine College said that veterinarians
would not only do research about pet-owner relationship, but
also take care of old pets. Since Florida is considered a
retirement state, many elderly pet guardians would adopt the
idea. Each owner has only to donate about $25,000 to build it.
It seems that having "a dog's life" in America has
changed its connotation in the last few years. As stated in "It's a
Dog's Life..." in Time Magazine (May 19, 2003), Americans
are spending more than ever on pet products and services. In
2003, people were expected to spend $ 31 billion compared to
almost a decade ago when they has spent $ 17 billion dollars.
Last year, these numbers rose to $ 45 billion. New jobs were
created because of that. Today you may make some profit just
by taking pets for a walk. Pets are certainly getting more rights
than ever. They are not considered properties anymore, but
companions, because there are more single affectionate
guardians now than in the past thirty years. Edward Greenberg
stated that his dog, mixed breed Carnie, is better than kids
because there is no college to pay for. Animal Fair, compared to
Vanity Fair, a lifestyle magazine, sells about 200,000 copies a
week. Wendy Diamond, the editor, said that she has a bag for
her dog that matches every outfit she has. It is really chic to the
bone. Cindy Adams, a gossip columnist, said that she would go
to the theater on foot on a rainy day while her driver would take
her dog to a play date. Also, for "Yappy Hour" in Miami, pet
guardians may go out twice a week with their pets for the night
to the Complete Canine to find a dog lover.
In these times, being so devoted to their s\\ ieilcci pet
consumers carry them to restaurants and take them on vacation
and work. Due to this fact, hotels, airline companies and
restaurants are providing pet services. Travel companies have
rearranged accommodations to provide comfort to Fluffies in

ELI Student Voices 19

the last few years because pets are considered as family
members. Some hotels are offering dog walking concierges and
pet behaviorists on staff. In Beverly Hill Hotel, you can find pet
rooms decorated with pink doggie bed, pink tennis balls and a
biscuit jar filled with bone-shaped cookies with the dog's name
written in pink icing, all for $250 a day. For instance, the pet
menu on L'Ermilage, in Beverly Hills, is simply outrageous.
Tuna tartar with anchovy essence costs $19, poached salmon
belly with frothed milk is $23 and caviar with hard-poached
eggs cost around $98 dollars. Also, it is possible to throw a dog
birthday party with printed invitations, gift registries and a
game called ice rocky in America. You have only to make a
reservation at Manhattan's Doggie-Do Salon.
Even though Americans are giving excessive treatment
to pets, some pet services are acceptable to get along well with
your loved one, but we have to be careful not to be extreme.
Baby-sitting service and housekeeper for pets are reasonable
because they should not be unattended anyway. In addition,
taking pets on a picnic or taking them for a walk to different
places is fair because it is a pleasure for both of them. Also, it is
acceptable if there is three times more pet food than baby food
brand in the supermarket. It means that supermarkets are
making more profit selling pet food. Providing light food and
high protein diet for pets is suitable, since it is going to be
beneficial for their health. On the other hand, feeding them with
filet mignon, shrimp or chicken with herb is not recommended
by the vets and it is objectionable.
At the other extreme, are those who buy fur coats as
much as $800 or a carrying sack for dogs for almost $500 is just
going beyond the limits of what is reasonable. When a pet dies,
it is mindless to freeze-dry and keep it at home for years and
years. It is not only expensive to do that but it is also a way to
extend the owner's suffering. Although it is sensible to take pets
to a vet when they are ill, it is unrealistic to keep them at home
instead of in a hospital. The guardian may pay an astronomical
bill for the vet's visits. It seems that businesses have really gone
to the dogs lately. Recently, Mark Schwart opened a
personalized bath stall business for owners to wash their pets in
privacy for the price of US$ 16. Each stall has a tub and 81
degrees temperature controlled water set, reported Cari Merrill.
According to "The Rewards of pet bets" in the Canadian
Business (October 22, 2007), US residents spent US$38.5
billion on maintaining domestic animals in 2006. (Table 1)
They spent on vet care/supplies/OTC medicine US$18.5 billion,
with food US$15.4 billion, live animal purchase US$1.9 billion
and pet services: grooming/boarding US$2.7 billion. Since pets
are being considered family members by the Americans and vet
bills have increased, the pet insurance business has boomed in
the last few years. As a matter of fact, pet insurance is one of
the three most requested voluntary employee benefits behind
auto and home insurance. Fixing a broken leg usually costs
more than US$ 1,000 and kidney transplants could easily cost
more than US$ 5,000. In the article "No Slowdown in Spending
on our Furry. .. ," Rebekah Mooney, a Fort Collins resident,
has just spent with her dog US$ 2,000 for kidney surgery. She
said she would feed her dog better than she feeds herself. In
addition, she travels only if she finds a person to watch him
while she is away. Bob Vetere, the APPMA (American Pet

Product Manufacturers Association) president, explained that
pet owners want to protect themselves and their pets against
unexpected medical expenses. They insure their "babies" to
provide reimbursement for any treatment needed, surgery lab
fees, x-rays and prescriptions. The average annual premium for
a dog insured by Veterinary Pet Insurance, which is based in
Brea, California, is US$250. The Pet health insurance business
has doubled its policy writing from US$72 million to US$185
million in four years. Big companies such as AT&T and
Computer Associates are offering pet insurance as a benefit for
their employees.

Table -1 US Pet Industry Expenditures Table (years
followed by expenditures in billions)
2008 US$ 43.4 (estimated)
2007 US$ 41.2
2006 US$ 38.5
2005 US$ 36.3
2004 US$ 34.4
2003 US$ 32.4
2002 US$ 29.5
2001 US$ 28.5

In a New York Times article published in June 2002,
Mrs. Greene said that she was relieved by buying her pet a
health insurance; otherwise, she would have paid more than
US$ 5,000 for tests and surgeries on her wounded 9-month-old
Irish Wolfhound. On the other hand, Mr. Hunter, who owns
four dogs, said, "I don't understand how people can spend US$
5,000 or US$ 6,000 on an animal that can be bought for US$
50 or US$ 60. It's not a wise way to use money. I love my dogs,
but I am going to love the next puppy too."
As Americans are losing rational perspective on this
love, they are finding ways to spend even more money on their
spoiled "children." Pet owners who pamper their pets like
family are not being forgotten when their beloved passes away.
According to "Startup sells farewells to Fido and Fluffy:
Carmel's Pet Angel tests market for pet funerals," in the
Indianapolis Business Journal (August 23, 2004), pet funeral
services have been required to relieve the grieving process for a
lost pet. The companies offer cremation services, funeral home,
pick up pet's body, caskets as much as US$ 396 and urns that
ranges from US$ 30 to US$ 300. Coleen Ellis, a Pet Angel
Memorial Center Owner, said, "As you look at what's going on
with baby boomers and empty nesters, animals are becoming
our babies." Her store even has a chapel for a pet's human and
non- human friends for a memorial service.
There has never been a better time to be a pet. Our Four
legged friends are being treated like real children. Leona
Helmsley, the billionaire hotel magnate who passed away last
August, had left her eight-year-old Maltese, Trouble, a US$ 12
million inheritance. A German shepherd Gunther III was the
richest dog in the world. He received US$ 80 million in a trust
and after he passed away, the wealth passed to his heir Gunther
At the same time, though, almost 16,000 children died
from hunger-related causes-one child every five seconds. In

ELI Student Voices 20

2006 close to 9.7 million children died before their fifth
birthday. In recent statistics from UNICEF, 26,500 30,000
children die each day due to poverty and this happens quietly in
some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the
scrutiny and the conscience of the world. According to
"Starvation in Africa" in the Exodusnews.com (June 7, 2002)
Malawi's average life expectancy is 37 years. Gutman said that
"One quarter of children do not live to see their fifth birthday,
48% of those under five are malnourished." In 2002, Malawi
and Zambi had the worst shortage in the last fifty years and it
was estimated that about 4 million people would suffer from
starvation. Halley Coristine wrote about a young mother of five
that she tried to sell her children into slavery to feed the other
two. As the mother said ". .. they will certainly die if I keep
them all. If I sell the oldest ones who are strong enough to
work, I will have money to feed my two youngest and perhaps
they will have a better chance of surviving." What would you
do if you were in her place?
UNICEF planned a humanitarian action for West and
Central Africa in 2008. With the amount of US$ 17,050.953
UNICEF supported programs are expected to reach at least 6
million children and 4 million women this year. Included in
these programs are health and nutrition,
water/sanitation/hygiene, child protection, education and
emergency responses to natural disasters. Seventeen million
was almost the amount that Trouble inherited last year. Mrs.
Helmsley could have saved many lives if she had given some
human thoughts to what life and love is about. Between 5 and 6
million children are dying each year from infectious diseases
such as malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea and measles. Malnutrition
is the main cause for that. Besides, the United Nations said that
approximately 25,000 people die of hunger or hunger-related
causes because they are extremely poor, with low standard of
living and limited access to social services, according to
Povert.com. If the twenty two developed countries give 0.7% of
their national income almost all of the hunger and diseases
related to it can be stopped. It would cost about US$ 195 billion
a year. This is only four times the pet expenditures.
Boarding, grooming, animal purchases, medical care
and food cost US pet guardians approximately US$ 41 billion in
2007, according to the American Pet Product Manufacturers
Association. We know that Fluff and Fido bring some benefits
when it comes to their owners' health. They help lower blood
pressure, reduce stress, reduce heart disease and fight
depression. But how better would they be thinking that they
have saved so many lives? In 1981, there were 163 million
Africans living on US$ 1.0 a day or less and this number nearly
doubled to 316 million in 2001. It is estimated that by the year
of 2025, there will be 35 up to 55 million malnourished
children. Based on "Global Framework for Action," it would
cost approximately US$ 7.9 billion a year for specific
interventions on 100 million households (US$ 79 per
household). This amount would cover health, nutrition and
hygiene, household food security, water treatment,
micronutrient supplementation, hand washing with soap and
parasite control. (Table 2)

Table 2 Cost per household per year
1. Health, nutrition & hygiene education
2. Household food security
3. Micronutrient supplementation
4. Household water treatment
5. Hand washing with soap
6. Parasite control

US$ 79

Spoiling pets may be fun, enjoyable and "a work of the
heart," but there are more important human issues to be
considered. It is fair to have a pet as a companion especially if
you live in a place where you feel lonely. But giving excessive
treatment to pets while there are millions of human beings
dying because they do not have enough food to survive, is
beyond the limits. According to a BBC News (20 July, 2005)
article, while Americans spent millions of dollars on their pets,
millions of people in Niger were facing a food shortage.
Children are dying daily of starvation in feeding centers. The 3
million spent for the pet retirement center in Gainesville would
have helped feed some 20,000 children and 250,000 adults in
that country, International Development Secretary Hilary Benn
told the BBC.
I really want to believe that the world is not turning
inside out. We should consider and give some thoughts to what
is our priority in this life. Would you spend too much money
spoiling your pet or would you prefer saving some human lives
in Africa?

Aird, D. (2003, August 3). Doggy day campers have more
options in S. Florida. South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Canadian Business (2007, October 22). The rewards of pet bets.
Vol. 80 issue 21, p. 33-35.
Ending child hunger and undernutrition initiative (World Food
programme and UNICEF). UNICEF. Retrieved March
8, 2008, fiomiu Ilp \ \ n.UNICEF.org
Fisher, L. (2003, January 8). Trust fund ensures care of pets.
The Gainesville Sun. pp. 1B, 2A.
Global framework for action (Revised Draft. December, 2006).
UNICEF. Retrieved March 3, 2008 from
Gutman, H. (2002, June 7). Starvation in Africa. Retrieved
March 3, 2008 from http://www.exodusnews.com
Hunger and world poverty. Retrieved March 8, 2008 from
Kristin, J. (-" 1'4, August 23). Startup sells farewells to Fido and
Fluffy. Indianapolis Business Journal, p. 10.
Magnusson, P. (2005, August 17). Africa's 200 million empty
plates. Business Week.
Merrill, C (2008, March 9) No slowdown in spending on our
furry, scaly or feathered friends. Retrieved March 10,
2008, from Imp n \ \ .coloradoan.com
Trouble: The US$ 12 million Dog. (2007, September 17).
People, Vol. 68 issue 12, p. 42.
Stein, J. (2003, May 19). It's a dog life. Time, pp. 60-62.

ELI Student Voices 21

Pampered pets are in dog heaven with day care. (2001, January
15). The Gainesville Sun, p. 3A.
A politically correct pet project. (21" '14, June 3). The Gainesville
Sun, p. 2B.
Retirement center for pets proposed. (2" 'I4, October 12). The
Gainesville Sun, p. 3A.
The state of the world's children 2008. UNICEF. Retrieved
March 6, 2008, floin Imp \\ \ n\ .UNICEF.org

English-Only Requirement on ELI
Kazuki Yasui
RW 60

At the ELI we have an English-only requirement on ELI
property. Some students and teachers don't take it so seriously;
on the other hand, a few teachers and students do. Because it is
a rule, should teachers and student take it more seriously?
If students speak only English at the ELI as the requirement
says, their English might improve better than if they did not
practice because they would try to use it somehow even though
they can't speak English very well. Moreover, since the ELI is a
melting pot and there are so many people who speak different
languages, I think that the requirement may have been made to
make all students equal. I often see students who ignore the
requirement even though teachers warned them not to speak
their own language even in class. During class, instead of just
hearing English, other languages fly in and out of the other
students' ears because of those students who are not following
the rules. I understand that some teachers are strict about the
rules. However, I think the requirement shouldn't be too strict.
As the famous saying goes, we should practice
"moderation in all things." In other words, the rules shouldn't
be either too strict or too loose. In a group where there are some
people who can't speak the language, and especially in class,
students shouldn't use other languages. However, they are
supposed to be allowed to speak another language in
appropriate situations; people who can't speak English very
well get stressed more easily when they speak English, and they
might want to speak their own language when there are other
people who can also speak that language. In this case, speaking
other languages should be allowed to some extent. We have a
saying in Japan, "Perseverance leads to success." Those people
will become a little more relaxed when they speak their own
language, and they might gain motivation to keep learning
English even if they become tired of it. For that reason, I don't
think that the rules should be enforced so strictly outside of
Therefore, I would say that the requirement should exist
to motivate students to improve their English, but students
shouldn't be obligated to follow it at all times.

Uniform Policy
Jetzabel Gross
R/W 60

It is usual for most of the countries to use different
dress codes or uniforms in different areas of society (work,
school, hospitals, religions, etc.) and according to "Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia" (2008), "A uniform is a set of standard
clothing worn by members of an organization while
participating in that organization's activity". "Ordinary dress
codes, which dictate what can be worn by a student in schools"
(Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 2003) don't seem to be
enough to limit the different clothing styles worn by students
these days. That's why some countries have turned to
implementation of school uniforms. Though this measure can
be good and viewed as kind of clean and professional, there can
be a lot of controversy when viewing the different view points
and sides of this issue. It can be accepted or even completely
rejected by some people provoking them to act in some extreme
The implementation of school uniforms is something that
generates a lot of controversy and on one hand the common
belief of it is that:
1. It doesn't help for the expression of individuality and
uniqueness of the human being. In fact they are
perceived as a matter that lumps them into a category
that probably does not agree with their own attitudes
and personalities. According to the "School fashion
police" (2003) article, "Many times, the parents are
cooperative and other times, they think that the dress
code is unreasonable. Even the best student will tell
you they ought to be able to wear what they want." In
addition uniforms tend to make everyone the same,
and there is a popular saying that "clothes make the
person," so by implementing the uniform policy it only
would make everyone the same, same people sitting in
a room, without personality, gray and with regular
thinking. Uniforms used in prison were originally
thought as an implement for surrender, lower and
depress personalities. And in school this may not be
the best choice because these are young people that are
growing up and trying to turn into persons, and starting
in an environment where they can't express or let their
personalities spring is not healthy and may even cause
psychological problems for their future conduct or
2. Also there is the issue that if discipline requires a dress
code/uniform then it is a reflection on the institution
and on the teacher more than on the students and
restricting them more is not something that's going to
fix that. But on this issue some school board member'
say that "by using them the discipline problem has
been reduced and even have eliminated the pressure to
wear brand name clothing and create school pride"
("School uniform policy ... ," n/y).

ELI Student Voices 22

Trying to view this topic on a different scale it may be
that the implementation of school uniforms and dress codes has
a good side. It actually could help preventing bad/mean
competition between students and also help in concentration on
study because it would not distract other students. Therefore, in
some level, the usage of uniforms would promote a sense of
belonging for different students. By using a uniform of a certain
school students could identify them anyplace if wearing the
uniform and even feel some kind of pride or belonging to a
certain institution and group and this is actually a very natural
instinct that some animals show. We are social animals and we
have this need and urge to belong to a group, assemblage, clan,
Personally, I believe that the implementation of
uniforms is something really bad and actually I see no good use
in it. The only good I can see of it is really that it saves you time
in the morning when choosing what to wear, and money
because by using them (different outfits) a week long, everyday
clothes wouldn't get so worn out and parents don't have to
worry of buying a lot of clothes for school and for everyday life
but for everything else I just can't stand it. I studied in schools
where both policies were implemented and as a person who
experienced both sides I can say that I hated to have to get up
every morning and wear the same boring, ugly and unflavored
clothes. I hated to look the same as everybody else and the little
rules about (shoe colors, jeans colors/shape, socks and belt just
wanted me to be more rebellious). I am a very calm and
reasonable person, but these stupid little details just drove me
crazy and I didn't understood how they could actually be
helpful. I mean, you can find very bright people with green hair,
piercings and orange cloth (maybe they are just peculiar, and
that makes them great!). What I want to say is that it doesn't
matter how you look as long as you are competitive and good at
school, right? That should actually be the most important
To summarize all the previous ideas, the
implementation of school uniforms or dress codes are
something that could be seen as useful but maybe it is not the
best of ideas, most of all if it's thought to preserve the students'
expression, creative thinking and personalities. This is greatly
important considering that the people subjected to school
uniforms are young people still starting to create and build their
personality and conduct. However, maybe the implementation
of these clothes are not that bad if they would reach a
compromising point, were student wore clothes like uniforms
but still could express themselves through them and just not be
too rigid with the accessories, hair, piercing, tattoos and
different ways of expressing peoples' personalities. These
school regulators always should bear in mind that these young
people still are in the process of building up a healthy mind,
behavior and personalities.

School fashion police: Area high schools fight trend to show
skin by enforcing dress codes. Gainesvillesun.com
(2003). Retrieved August, 6, 2003 from

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia(a) (2008). Uniform.
Retrieved April 3, 2008, from
Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia(b) (2008). School uniform.
Retrieved April 3, 2008, from
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title= Schoolunif

Are They Humans or Pets?
Cesar Augusto Idrobo-Giraldo
RW 60

Have you ever thought of how much you love your
pet? Do you love him too much> do you love him enough? Or
do you just feed him? Well, in fact "Americans now spend $41
billion a year on their pets-more than the gross domestic
product of all but 64 countries in the world" ("The Pet
Economy," 2007, par.2). I think this says a lot about the relation
between humans and animals in this country. This statistic talks
by itself and for sure there is a strong relation and a different
concept of pet treatment. For example, compared to western
cultures, specifically the United States, eastern cultures eat
several kinds of animals and have animal fighting and races as
entertainment. So, with this fact we can infer how some people,
not everybody because not everybody spoils their pets; give
their pets an excessive treatment. This happens because of the
concept of pet, and the close relation could vary from person to
person. Usually the people who spend most of the money on
their pets are rich people, people who are alone most of the time
and people who think that animals are like humans. These could
be possible causes of excessive treatment, but there could be
other factors as well. Advertising, campaigns and politics make
us change our mind or get involved in excessive treatment like
when the people become vegetarian. This is a good example
because people get another concept of animals and stop eating
The main goal in this research paper is to look at some
behaviors and treatments that are considered excessive. In
addition, I would like to explain more specifically, excessive
treatment like cloning pets in order to replace the previous ones,
How people can afford health care for their pets and the doggies
day care that have been created for helping owners who can
keep an eye on them.
I do not want to point out anybody; I just want to show
how we can love our pets and it is up to you if you consider this
excessive or not, but at the end is something you were not
expecting, like a pet that receives a diamond collar.
Studying human-animal relation is important because
this is something that has made part of humans' lives for a long
time and it has been growing and becoming more powerful.
People have become more attached to their pets and have
valued them until the point of spoiling. We have to be careful
with this change of behavior because this is a very important
factor in our social and personal lives.
One of the behaviors that I considered excessive is
cloning pets. People think that with technological advance they

ELI Student Voices 23

will get back their pets that die. What they do not realize is that
they will be getting a totally different pet that may have the
same physical appearance, but it will be mentally different. An
example is the cloned cat named CC, who is "a genetically
identical copy .. but do not look alike, illustrating that
identical twin cats may not have identical coats" ("Cloned Cat
Starts ... ,"2002, p. 1A).
For the people who are developing a new concept in
science, which is cloning pets, it is a great opportunity and
business to take advantage of the situation of excessive
treatment that we are facing now. People are looking at animals
as humans. Dr. Arthur Caplan said that cloning animals is a
very profitable business. Not only has cloning become a
profitable work. Thus, we clearly see how people changed the
concept of pets because pets have stopped being pets. Pet
owners will do everything for them like cloning and think that
they will "come back" to life. However, some people are
opposed to this issue of cloning pets because this is a way of
contributing to the pet overpopulation problem.
The fact that cloned pets can die young and suffer
because things did not work out well during the process of
cloning is also questioned. Goodman, E. pointed out that
"companies are happy to keep hope alive at a hefty price by
harvesting, storing and cloning the DNA" ("Pet Cloning
Businesses ... 2-'i I" p.11A). In short, what is happening now
is that people have become more stuck to their pets; the concept
of pet has changed; therefore, pets are not pets anymore.
Because of that mixture of facts, the relation between pets and
humans has become much stronger than 10 years ago. In
addition, cloning companies are showing the people that they
can bring pets back to life. Even if they say that it is
reproduction and not resuscitation, but people still think that
those scientists will do it. They do not realize that they will not
be the same. I know it's hard to move on when you have lost a
pet that you have had for several years, but it is not a big deal.
A good point that everybody should pay attention and think
about it is what this person, whose name is Zhao, Y., said, "I'm
going to love the next puppy too" ("Break a Leg Fluffy. ..
2002, p.11).
There are too many kinds of pets outside that you can
even get for free. Everybody is replaceable in this life and you
can make other choices. Instead of spending your money on
thongs that really do not work and imagining that cloning will
work, you'd better think twice before you do something and
spend your money wisely.
Not only is cloning a problem, but pet health care also
creates a problem. Now the United States is facing a problem of
human healthcare because a lot of people could take benefits
from this program, well known as universal healthcare, but
instead of that people are giving healthcare to their "pets". The
amount of money that Americans are spending is "9.8 billion a
year on Vet services. That doesn't include the over-the-counter
drugs and other supplies, which add $9.9 billion in costs" ("The
Pet Economy," 2007, par. 15). With this statistic we get a better
perspective of how Americans are spending money on things
that are not priorities like their own healthcare or college
education. However, what is good for some people may not be
good for others and this is what Tom Carpenter, president of the

Americans Animal Hospital Assn, says: "There has been an
evolution of the entire profession [veterinary services]" ("The
Pet Economy," 2007, par. 16). Looking at the fact that
veterinary services are growing very fast and the mix of this
with the idea of many Americans like Barbara Miers who thinks
that "the issue [pet health] had parallels to human health" ("the
pet economy, 2007, p. 17) will lead to an unbalanced economy.
This will benefit some people who are working and developing
the veterinary field; on the other hand, people who need the
health care won receive it because the money invested will be
focused on animals. Animals don't have the concept or capacity
to understand what we are doing, they just feel, act and react by
feelings. They will not know if they have been treated by the
best vet or if you take them to the best animal hospital; all they
want is to be cured. I recognize that what we should do is give
them the right treatment and a good care.
Finally, another treatment considered as excessive is
the doggie day care. I admit that these kinds of places are good
for the people who can't keep an eye on their dogs constantly or
for those who travel a lot. In fact, the services that these places
have are really helpful for the owners because sometimes you
can't bring your pet to the doggie day care so they will pick him
up for you. They will also take care of your pet which means
they will feed him, play with him and bring him back home.
Until that point everything is right because they are receiving
fair treatment. In other words, they are receiving what they need
and deserve in order to have a good life. However, some places
have taken "Doggie Day cares" to other levels, which I fully
disagree with because that is not the way pets should be treated.
They don't need HDTV's to live; they don't need furniture or
separate bedrooms to sleep. They should be treated like animals
in fair conditions, but not in "private 'condos' furnished with
wicker furniture, pillows, framed prints and TV's" ("A
Politically Correct ...," 2004, p. 2B). These things are not
necessary for the life of a pet. This idea of doggie day care has
become a business where they make you pay more for their
"services" and they show you that their pets "enjoy" staying in
their private condos. This idea of treating animals as humans
has been a way of fooling the person's mind in order to
consume their products and pay for their "services". Not only
are the people who have got this idea of profiting, but also the
government, the city of San Francisco has a "$7 million SPCA
shelter where stray cats and dogs live" ("A Politically Correct .
." 2004, p. 2B). The people called this the "defense of animals"
which is the name of the organization behind this. I have done
something similar before, but I had never touched such a high
limit like sending my pets to a retirement Center where you
have to pay around $20,000 to $25,000. What I have done is
that I used to pay a person to take care of my cats when I was
out of town. Usually, during vacations I did it because I did not
want to leave my pets alone, so I would pay somebody to come
twice a day. That person will feed them and keep an eye on
them and inform me if something was going wrong with my
pets or at home. That's the most excessive treatment that my
pets have received and this is responsibility because is an
obligation to take care of my pets. Otherwise, I would not have
taken them home. Unfortunately, other people have been doing
the wrong thing; making other people pay for more services that

ELI Student Voices 24

are not useful like a TV in their pet's "bedroom" instead of a
bed in their cage where they take care of him. In short, this
business of "doggie day care" has become more than a doggie
day care. They offer services that they shouldn't offer. This
contributes to the fact of spending money on things that are not
priorities. We should be more aware of that because there are a
lot of homeless people and not only in the U. S, but also around
the world. Instead of spending a ridiculous amount of money on
a shelter, the government should build more high schools or
improve the educational system, make it more accessible for
everyone so that we will work on things that we really need.
In conclusion, animal-human relationship has been
always important for humans because they have found that
animals can be treated as pets, and this in a way changes the life
of a person. Taking care of your pet is a good form of spending
your time. For example are not you satisfy when you pet is
waiting for you at home? However, some people have
misunderstood the concept of pet, where "pets" are not pets
anymore. They have become or considered "children" for some
people, so that they have been receiving an excessive treatment.
People have touched such a high limit that they have cloned
their pets in order to bring them back, pay an expensive
healthcare, and send them to a doggie day care of the modem
age. If we keep treating and spending this ridiculous amount of
money on pets that don't even know that you are spending
money on them and giving them gifts, the society will change
the course. If this happens, animals will become a high priority,
instead of healthcare or education. The numbers say it all, and
they are increasing dramatically, I consider this as not good
because what will happen if we invest all of our money in
animals? They are not going to develop new technology or they
are not going to help others like giving education. We will be
wasting our money like throwing it into the bonfire. I know pets
represent a new field in business, but people [pet owner]
haven't known how to handle the situation and they are
controlled by an idea that is completely wrong, which is treating
animals as humans. If we don't control ourselves and put the
things in the right place, society and economy will suffer.

A politically correct pet project. (21" '14, June 3). The Gainesville
Sun, p.2B.
Brad, P., & Palmeri, C. (2007). The pet economy.
Businessweek. Retrieved March 20, 2008, from
Goodman, E. Pet cloning businesses are out to con Americans.
The Gainesville Sun, 23 Feb. 2002, p. 1A.
Kolata, G. Cloned cat starts new chapter in science. The
Gainesville Sun, 15 Feb. 2002, p.lA.
Retirement center for pets proposed. ( 2 '4, October 12). The
Gainesville Sun, p. 3A.
Zhao, Y. (2002, June 30). Break a leg Fluffy if you have
insurance. The New York Times, p. 11.

Animal Intelligence
Jetzabel Gross
RW 60
Intelligence is a universal term used to describe a
property of the mind that connotes many abilities related to
reasoning, planning, solving problems, thinking abstractly,
comprehending ideas, using language, and learning.
Researchers have tried to describe this trait for animals through
studies in animal behavior and animal cognition, but this issue
has created a lot of conflict between scientists. However,
increasingly it has been observed that different animals have
different skills and features that show intelligence/cognition and
what was thought as a human uniqueness is now demonstrated
in different branches of the animal kingdom. Finally, maybe
this perception has involved humans to pamper their "pets" in
excessive and ridiculous ways, raising the question if this
excessive treatment is even healthy.
According to "Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,"
(2008) "The word intelligence comes from the Latin verb
'intellegere', which means 'to understand'." Throughout history
intelligence has been a difficult trait to measure and standardize
and many studies have been conducted on the field from the
Greek Plato to American educational psychologist Jensen.
Intelligence is a term that usually includes many different
properties of the mind such as the capacity to reason, to plan, to
solve problems, to think abstractly, to comprehend ideas, and to
learn. Several ways to define intelligence include creativity,
personality, character, knowledge or wisdom, but these
characteristics are more subjective and are not included in the
general definition of intelligence (Wikipedia, the free
encyclopedia, 2008).
Moreover, animal intelligence or animal cognition, is
known as "the modem approach to the mental capacities of
animals other than humans" (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,"
2008). The mainstream thought leading to this science and
knowledge comes from approaches made in the science of
ethology, behavioral ecology and evolutionary psychology.
This animal cognition has been developed mostly over the
twentieth century and through experiments on intelligence in
animals to uncover simple processes that might then help to
comprehend the more complex intellectual abilities of humans
(Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 2008). Its been over the last
40 years that studies intended for animals and from real animal-
thinking have been carried out for primates, insects, cetaceans,
parrots and dogs, discovering and unwrapping whole new
boundaries in our knowledge on usual animal-minds and,
therefore, creating consideration on animals-brains and the way
they process and see life. Through this new research we
discover that there are a lot of different animals that are high
and organized thinkers; furthermore, they even show traits that
genuinely surprise any expert. According to "Morell," "A
whole range of animal studies now suggest that the roots of
cognition are deep, widespread and highly malleable" (2008, p.
Through this review we will get more in touch with
different animals' conducts and, therefore, understand how

ELI Student Voices 25

these days this conduct is making people feel special affinity for
their animals and, therefore, a very special kind of animal
pamper has been arising.
Intelligence essentially means sol\ ing problems". In the last
few centuries and since Darwin's discovery of evolution we can
find many evolutionary studies in different types of animals;
however, the interest of studying the human mind and its
evolution has been very scarce, and this means that there have
been few efforts to find the origins of intellect and trace its
process. Some theories that try to explain human intelligence
indicate that this could have occurred through climate change,
change of diet, genetic mutation, different new activities
(hunting, manual working, chasing, etc.) and finally the
increasing social complexity (Arsuaga & Martinez, 1998)
According to Thomdike (1911, 5), in animals, "we
have the simplest and at the same time the most widespread sort
of intellect or learning in the world. There is no reasoning, no
process of inference or comparison; there is no thinking about
things, no putting two and two together; there are no ideas -- the
animal does not think of the box or of the food or of the act he
is to perform. He simply comes after the learning to feel like
doing a certain thing under certain circumstances which before
the learning he did not feel like doing. Human beings are
accustomed to think of intellect as the power of having and
controlling ideas and of ability to learn as synonymous with
ability to have ideas. But learning by having ideas is really one
of the rare and isolated events in nature. There may be a few
scattered ideas possessed by the higher animals, but the
common form of intelligence with them, their habitual method
of learning, is not by the acquisition of ideas, but by the
selection of impulses." Animals act on impulses and instinct.
But there is the question that if these vague and ordinary ways
of animal-thinking could have turned (by multiple and complex
associations) into the refined way of a human brain? By this
argumentation it is considered that homo sapiens are not a new
or mysterious species of intellectual life but only the natural
consequences of an increase in sophisticated and intricate
organization of the general animals sort (Thomdike, 1911).
In addition, and according to Thomdike (1911, 4, 7),
"The basic recurring thing in animal's brains and reactions is
because an animal does learn by a process of selection;
therefore, when animals are confronted with different situations
they only react because of their innate nature or previous
training. An animal associates a certain act with a certain felt
situation and thereby they strengthen connections between
certain cells. Essential animals think-feel things as a whole and
so each signal is felt as a vague total of causes without (like
humans) turning every single situation into a set of elements.
Yet it is still considered that this way of basic and ordinary
thinking and learning could have given birth, thru finesse of
organization, complexity of association and evolution of cell
structures, to the complex human brain. In a very short time
humans have come a long way, from the simple learning and
recognizing things to the science and logic of man and nowhere
more truly than in his mental capacities is man a part of nature.
It is believed, therefore, that humans show evident and similar
traits with the lower animals, especially with our nearest
evolutionary relatives, the monkeys." Moreover, animal

cognition or animal mind is a very controversial topic among
scientists around the world even if it remains common sense to
most people that many other animals do have conscious
experiences so, the word consciousness itself is not agreed upon
its usage. Some statements concern the conscious states of the
animals (what he is to himself as an inner life) and others
concern his original and acquired ways of response (his
behavior). Nevertheless, several useful distinctions among
different types of consciousness have been made and through
these distinctions people have tried to gain some clarity on this
important issue (Thorndike, 1911).
Consciousness is identified as 1) the sense of
consciousness when a creature is awake and 2) the sense of
consciousness implicated in the basic ability of organisms to
perceive-respond to different features in the environment
(therefore making them conscious or aware of those features).
A third notion of consciousness "access consciousness"
believes that different information is broadcasted and available
for higher cognitive processing tasks such as categorization,
reasoning, planning and voluntary direction of attention. Two
senses of consciousness in particular are very controversial
between scientists: 1) phenomenal consciousness and 2) self-
consciousness. Phenomenal consciousness refers to qualities,
subjective, phenomenal aspects. It refers to the capacity to
describe or imagine. This kind of consciousness has been
agreed to be more in mammals and birds. Whereas self-
consciousness refers to an organism's capacity for second-order
representation of the organism's own mental states and this
means theory of mind whether an animal is capable of
attributing mental states to others (Stanford Encyclopedia of
Psychology, 2006).
For most people, their pets seem very conscious and
probably they would point out similarities between their
animals and humans' behavior. But actually animal
consciousness refers to commonsense observations,
investigations in behavior and neurology as well as
evolutionary homology between species. Therefore reactions of
many animals, particularly in other mammals, to a range of
events like high-pitch vocalizations, fear responses, nursing for
injuries and pain responses are part of the mammalian heritage
and believed as animal consciousness. And even scientific
demonstrations of members of other species (even of other
phyla) are susceptible to the same visual illusions as we are
(Fujita et al., 1991).
If compensating for small sets of neurons is not a valid
function for consciousness, what might be? The
commonsensical answer would be that consciousness "tells" the
organism about events in the environment, or, in the case of
pain and other sensations about the state of the body. Opponents
of attributing the phenomenal consciousness to animals are not
committed to denying the more general kind of consciousness
of various external and bodily events, so there is no logical
entailment from awareness of things in the environment or the
body to animal sentience. Povinelli & Giambrone (2000) also
argue that the argument from analogy fails because superficial
observation of quite similar behaviors even in closely related
species does not guarantee that the underlying cognitive
principles are the same, a point that Povinelli believes is

ELI Student Voices 26

demonstrated by his research into how chimpanzees use cues to
track visual attention.
Once upon a time animals were thought to be only like
automatons and believing that animals could actually think was
very fanciful. The field observations, their study on the
laboratory white rat, turned into studying behaviorism, which
regarded animals as machines. But certain skills are considered
key signs of higher mental abilities: good memory, a little
knowledge of grammar and symbols, self-awareness,
understanding others' motives, imitating others, and being
creative. And little by little these abilities (what we thought
made humans beings distinctive) are shifting and other species
are being considered with these capabilities, too. It is probable
to say that animals need to distinguish colors, categorize things,
distinguish shapes and keep track of the concept of numbers.
And throughout this we can state that on the evolution of human
intelligence must have, like the rest of our physiology came
from simple organisms, since all animals face the same general
challenges of life (find a mate, food). Thereby, problem solving
categorizing abilities are required. This no longer is only
attributable to primate species closer to the humans species and
as an example we can consider the border collie named "Rico",
who is a pure example of fast learning abilities skills and
knowing that acoustic patterns (Rico hast a vas vocabulary of
two hundred words and can understand grammar structure. He
can learn a word after one exposure to that word). According to
Kaminski, "Dogs' understanding of human forms of
communication is something new that's developed in them
because of their long association with humans" (Kaminski cited
by Morell, 2008).
We also can find these kinds of exceptional behaviors
in some species of birds (ex. parrots or crows). Therefore, we
can see that in the case of evolution (and because our common
ancestor with birds is very far away) we can see that evolution
can invent similar forms of advanced intelligence more than
once and that this ability is not only reserved for primates or
mammals. These birds, as chimpanzees, are able to produce
tools for their benefit and, therefore, researchers can look for
similarities in the evolutionary process that shaped the brain of
both of these species. It is thought that the environments of both
these species favored the tool-making neural abilities. Research
also demonstrates that that some birds encompass the ability to
recall a specific past event, or "episodic memory." As a result,
the idea that we are the only contemplating intelligence
throughout the animal kingdom is obsolete and now we can find
that this ability (only thought in primates) is now a bush and not
a single-trunk tree with a line leading only to us.
In other order of ideas, these days we tend to recognize
traits of intelligence and animal consciousness more and more
and translate this conduct in our beloved "pets." We owners
always think that our special friends are intelligent, unique and
extraordinary in some certain way and this is why now we can
find so many "crazy" organizations and companies created to
assure a good and better life for our special furry fiends.
Therefore, in the present time we can locate special health care
centers, particular and very expensive food, trust funds to assure
our pets life after we are gone, luxurious retirements, travel
accommodations or even spa treatments. We people treat our

pets like our little children and buy anything we feel would
produce in them a certain kind of wellness or happiness, and we
buy for them jewelry "bling-bling", clothes, expensive carry
bags or in some cases even an airplane to guarantee they can
always visit us in any part of the world we are. These pet lovers
perceive themselves as mother's or father's and look for
creating a relationship with their pet based on community,
friendship and personal identity, in other words they
anthropomorphize their relationship with their dogs by
engaging in this family new/shifted relationship (Greenbaum,
2004). Also according to Greenbaum (21" 11, 11), "The
marketplace has responded to this change by producing luxury
goods for people to be generous to their pets. While companies
filled the gap in the marketplace, they simultaneously created
new needs for consumption as a way for individuals to express
love for their pets. Today, consumers can watch television
channels devoted to animals, send their dog to a pet psychic,
bring their dog to doggie daycare, or hire a dog walker so the
family pooch does not have to be alone while the family is
away. This research suggests that dogs have become child
substitutes." This is the new trend of the last decade and even
though it is shown that animals are not just machines or
laboratory instruments it is not very sure if the excessive
spoiling is something comprehensible/logical or just an
anthropomorphic craziness. And maybe the marketplace is just
using this crazy spoiling and pampering towards ours pets and
is playing with our money until leaving us in bankruptcy.
It is sure that all pet owners will agree that their pets
are special and intelligent but is this conduct actually healthy or
logical? As we have seen before, different animals are now
bringing to life many questions about their consciousness and
general intelligence that were previously thought only in human
evolution, but is the human ability of humanizing every animal-
intelligent trait healthy? Maybe not! Not for us and not for the
animals called "pet"! Our society seems to treat pets more and
more like children. Do you really need to go out and
continuously buy your pet the latest and greatest pet toy or bed
to be happy? Treating pets as children or little humans can and
will create problems in your household (Brown, 2006). It is true
we have established deep bonds with them and maybe this can
come throughout the childlike charm they own that
automatically makes us feel affinity for them. And an extreme
thinking is that with pets there is neither heartbreak nor
deception and humans find such locality irresistible (Weintraub,
2007). But this great love may not be very healthy for us
because it only helps make us comfortable in our little world
and helps us to get more and more isolated with no need for
contact with other human beings. And for the "pets" too,
because even though they are treated as kings (and as we
became irrational consumers) they don't really need the
extreme luxury given by the anthropomorphic view of life and
continuing overindulgence may only lead our pets to further
problems in their conduct, behavior or even in their physiology.
Consequently, by elevating the dogs to the status of children
they can get confused too and the dog owner status becomes
elevated to parent and, therefore, creating a form of "impression
management" (Goffman, 1959) and as a result, confusion and
mixture between both sides of this relationship will arise. But it

ELI Student Voices 27

is true animals are not the lifeless things and machines thought
in earlier times and the trait of animal intelligence is now seen
and demonstrated in many different organisms and not only to
the anthropo family. If consciousness is found and what kind of
stages are perceived is still something very debatable, in fact
this issue is not agreed upon in the scientific community, but
one is for sure, intelligence is there! Amazingly it is found in
different animals through worms to dolphins and of course
chimpanzees. It can be that this trait now recognized and shown
by animals may have confused humans these days. Solitary,
isolated humans, who just feel lonely and are not capable of
establishing healthy human bonds therefore, this excessive
treatment is observed more and more these days. Being driven
to some crazy behaviors which is not well understood in all
countries/cultures/societies of the world since there are many
other worries that certainly need more of this charity, positive
feelings, love, time, that are invested in spoiling our pets in
these "unexplainable" ways. Also, in a very "we are part of all"
way of thinking, if we are capable of producing this good
feeling, if we are able of feeling this good energy, then why not
turn it to ourselves, because we all exist on the same planet and
maybe we should turn it into good actions towards our globe or
our own environment.
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ed.). Madrid, Spain: Edition Temas de Hoy, S.A.
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Fujita, K., Blough, D. S., & Blough, P. M. (1991). Pigeons see
the Ponzo illusion. Animal Learning and Behavior,
Goffman, E. (1959) The presentation of self in everyday life.
Anchor: New York.
Greenbaum, J. (1" 4) It's a Dog's Life: Elevating Status from
Pet to "Fur Baby" at Yappy Hour. Retrieved April, 7,
2008 from
Morell, V. (2008). Minds of their own. Animals are smarter
than you think. National Geographic, March 2008:36-
Povinelli, D. J. and Giamborne, S.J. (2000). Inferring other
minds: Failure of the argument by analogy.
Philosophical Topics 27:161-201.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2006). Animal
Consciousness. Retrieved March, 28th,
2008 from:
Thorndike, E. (1911). Animal Intelligence. New York: The
Macmillan Company.
Weintraub, A. (2007).Why we spoil spot so. Business Week.
Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. (2008). Animal cognition.
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Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. (2008). Intelligence.
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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 Valentina Komaniecka, Todd Allen, Megan
Forbes, Patti Moon Tapper, Alison Comacho and Lia
Brenneman for reading and evaluating the entries.
Thanks everyone! Steve Flocks


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