ESL Voices 2019

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voices 2019

Writings, Poems and Essays by Students of English as a Second Language

Contents FAMILY

My Daughter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Shasity Flores Puerto Rico - Level 3

My Family . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Sara Musemewa Tanzania - Basic Level

My Father. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Nicole Basco Puerto Rico - Level 2

My Mother Monique. . . . . . . . . . . 1 Marie Beugre Dohon Odette Ivory Coast - Level 1

My Role Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Vrunda Patel India - Level 2

My Dad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Kaur Dhillon Navneet India - Level 1

She is My Wife. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Abdulrahman Shamia Libya - Level 3

My Mother. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Emmanuel Ouattara Ivory Coast - Level 1


Kevin Trepal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Christine May Jumawan Philippines - Level 1

Me and the Horse. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Marwah AlBayati Iraq - Level 1

My Daughter Josmari . . . . . . . . . . 3 Yajaira Conde Puerto Rico - Level 2

My Honeymoon Trip to Venice. . 10 Maria Lignos Greece - Level 2

Problems in My Life . . . . . . . . . . 16 Salma Gharir Iraq - Level 3

My Ex Teacher: Someone Who Impacted Me. . . . 11 Katerine Lopez Dominican Republic - Level 2

A Time I Faced Hardship Was When I Found Out That My Dad Was Dead. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Muna Mahamed Ethiopia - Level 3

My Broken Foot. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Tetiana Novitska Ukraine - Level 2


An Exciting Experience . . . . . . . . 11 Sundos Hamad Brazil - Level 2

The Rocky River Reservation. . . 18 Panatda Chantharasena Thailand - Level 2

My Return to My Native Country . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Uliana Boiko Ukraine - Level 3

My Important Place. . . . . . . . . . . 18 Husen Doumet Syria - Level 2 My Back Yard in Syria. . . . . . . . . 19 Rula Kamleh Syria - Level 2


Working with UNHCR. . . . . . . . . 7 Simly Malke Syria - Level 1

Scary Story. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Rand Nasr Syria - Level 1

My Bedroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Wafa Mustafa Jordan - Level 2

My Funny Story. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Nadine Hanna Abi Fadel Lebanon - Level 1

A Horrifying Experience . . . . . . . 13 Aya Allaham Syria - Level 2

Sun Room in My House . . . . . . . 21 Rand Nasr Syria - Level 2

A Prank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Daisy Truong Vietnam - Level 1

Never Ignore Warnings . . . . . . . . 14 Dmytro Khomiak Ukraine - Level 2

My Station in My Work. . . . . . . . 21 Waad Nasr Syria - Level 2

My Mother Is More Important. . . 4 Vera Kraja Albania - Level 2

The Best Pet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Zoriana Chepil Ukraine - Level 2

In the Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Mykhailo Khomiak Ukraine - Level 2

My Favorite Place. . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Daisy Truong Vietnam - Level 2

My Grandmother: A Person Who Has Made a Difference in My Life. . . . . . . . . . . 5 Nataliia Porkhunovska Ukraine - Level 2

My Embarrassing Moment . . . . . . 9 Jennifer Cruz Puerto Rico - Level 2

On the Phone with My Finance When I Heard Gun Shots and Line Cut off . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Shaymaa Saber Iraq - Level 2

My Mother. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Faez Alsuhail Iraq - Level 2 My Sister: Someone Who Made a Difference. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Alona Kholod Ukraine - Level 2




Alone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Salma Gharir Iraq - Level 3

Tri-C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Oxana Gura Ukraine - Level 1

Sometimes I Enjoy Being Alone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Komla Homawoo Togo - Level 3

First Day of My Life in America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Ramesh Dahal Nepal - Level 2


Memorable Moments. . . . . . . . . . 25 Neema Mohamed Somalia - Level 2

My Mood. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Hedaia Aljabari Jordan - Level 2

3 Memories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Claudia Perez Venezuela - Level 2

Your Smile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Jennifer Cruz Puerto Rico - Level 2

The Three Most Memorable Moments in My Life . . . . . . . . . . 26 Sandra Segura Colombia - Level 2

I Don’t Want to Speak Now. . . . . 33 Vrunda Patel India - Level 2

The Country of Uncle Sam . . . . . 27 Edmond Tokpa Ivory Coast - Level 3

A Flower Growing . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Olena Boichuk Ukraine - Level 3

My First Baby. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Edmond Tokpa Ivory Coast - Level 3

The Imagination of a Sick Mind. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Bardia Ghazizadeh Iran - Level 3

A Big Change. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Oliva Morales Puerto Rico - Level 1

Regret. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Abdou Traore Burkina-Faso - Level 3


My Sister . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Shaymaa Saber Iraq - Level 2

About Me. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Kadiata Djigo Senegal - Level 3

Letter to My Country . . . . . . . . . 36 Sefora Paduret Romania - Accelerated Level

My Life Story and My Poor Country Afghanistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Essa Frotan Afghanistan - Level 3 iv

OPINION & RESEARCH How to Diminish Islamophobia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Ahlam Nur Yemen - Level 3 Texting and Driving. . . . . . . . . . . 38 Shagayeg Akbari Afghanistan - Level 3 Hyperactive Children. . . . . . . . . . 39 Cherine El-Hussein Saudi Arabia - Level 3 Learning Chinese in School or Not. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Qiong Wu China - Level 3 The Magical Powers of Hidden Students . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Haneen Abdel Jawad, Ibtesam Almarashi, Khondamir Aripdjanov, Tetiana Didukh, Sumin Kang, Danqi Li, Sefora Paduret, Jazel Sanchez Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, South Korea, China, Romania, Puerto Rico - Accelerated Level

BOOK REVIEWS The Hidden Secrets of Janus Rock. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Mariza Laourdekis Greece - Level 3 The Control of One Government. . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Manal Sulaiman Palestine - Level 3


ESL Voices 2019 Writings, Poems and Essays by Students of English as a Second Language Cuyahoga Community College


Lisa Friel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Westshore

Roberta Hendrick . . . . . . . . Metro

Nicholas Prokup . . . . . . . . . . West

Shirin Dixon . . . . . . . . . . . . West

Judging Committee:

Mary Lou Haag . . . . . . . . . . Metro

Jillian LaManna . . . . . . . . . . Westshore

Janis Scalone . . . . . . . . . . . . East

Art Direction:

Seong-Ae Mun . . . . . . . . . . . West

Cover Art:

Justin Jivan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . West

Design & Layout:

Justin Jivan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . West

Contributing Faculty:

Sara Clark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . West

Patricia Coyne . . . . . . . . . . . West

Ann Foran . . . . . . . . . . . . . . East

Lisa Friel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Westshore

Roberta Hendrick . . . . . . . . Metro

Stephanie Kasuboski . . . . . . . East

Deniz Koptur . . . . . . . . . . . . Metro

Jillian LaManna . . . . . . . . . . Westshore

Elizabeth McMurray . . . . . . Westshore

Kathleen Molzan . . . . . . . . . Metro

Amy Moniot . . . . . . . . . . . . West

Rosemary Palmer . . . . . . . . . Metro

Nicholas Prokup . . . . . . . . . . West

Judit Slager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Westshore


Background and Mission In 1991, Mara Hegedeos, Assistant Professor of English/English as a Second Language, collected ESL student essays college-wide and put them under one cover. Thus ESL Voices was born. Since that time, the mantle has been taken up by faculty from the different campuses, with heroic efforts to secure funding in the earlier years. We do appreciate the efforts of all those editorial teams, and we especially appreciate the current administration’s support – both moral and financial – of the publication of this edition of ESL Voices. ESL Voices showcases the writing of our international, immigrant, and citizen English-language students and recognizes two important facts: writing well is hard work, and writing well in a second language is twice that. Through ESL Voices, Cuyahoga Community College acknowledges the achievements of its ESL students, celebrates their diversity, and motivates continued writing improvement.

Acknowledgements Thanks to the following people whose support and encouragement helped make this year’s ESL Voices a reality: Dean William Cunion, Associate Dean, Liberal Arts, Eastern Campus; Dean Abigail Dohanos, Associate Dean, Liberal Arts, Metro Campus; Dean Felisa Eafford, Associate Dean, Liberal Arts, Western Campus; and Claire McMahon, Associate Dean, Learning Engagement & Transitions, Westshore Campus. We would also like to give a special thanks to Seong-Ae Mun for her help and guidance in this cross-curriculum collaboration between ESL and graphic arts, and to Justin Jivan, a Visual Communication and Graphic Design student, for his creative cover art and layout design for this edition of ESL Voices.


FAMILY My Family Sara Musemewa Tanzania - Basic Level My name is Sara Musemewa. I was born in Tanzania, but my parents were from Congo. I live with my father and stepmother. My mother died. I’m the first child and last child because she bore me and she died. I love my mom and I really miss her. I was in camp in Tanzania. Life in camp was very difficult and God helped us to be selected to come to United States of America. When I came in USA, I was registered at Fred G. Acosta Job Corps Center in Tucson AZ. I was taking high school diploma and retail sales, but in Africa I was a veterinary student, and I came to C.C.C. When my mother died, my aunty had taken me and we lived in a small village. I called her yesterday night and asked her some question. She told me, “Sara, I love you my daughter. I will spend my life with you. I am proud with you. I will be very happy when you graduate in college and your dreams come true.” (I called her because she lives in Abilene, Texas.) I just wanna thank you aunty. I love you because you take care of me. And I told her that I will never give up.

My Mother Monique Marie Beugre Dohon Odette Ivory Coast - Level 1 My mother Monique is a good role model. First of all, she likes to motivate people to be better. She makes everyone eager to do a good job. For example, when I was lazy and I didn’t go to school, my mother said if you get good grades you are going to have new clothes. Then I was focused on my homework and I got my High School degree. Secondly, she is a helper. When someone needs help, my mother is happy to give him a hand. For instance, her friend needed to her help to cook food for a big party. My mother cooked with her and the party was a great success. Finally, she loves her family. She takes care of us and she thinks that her family is more important than other things. She enjoys spending time with her relatives. For example, she is usually present for all family events like birthdays, meetings or funerals. My mother Monique is a positive influence.



My Dad

Kevin Trepal

Kaur Dhillon Navneet India - Level 1

Christine May Jumawan Philippines - Level 1

My dad is a really special person in my whole life. He is my role model. When I was in childhood, he wanted to teach me some important things like how to behave with people and not struggle in life. The most important thing is never lie in your life. If I lie in my life, people will never trust me again. Second, my dad always motivates and helps everyone. When we agreed to start school again, my dad motivated me. He is very concerned about our studies and future. Beside this, my father is really good at grammar too. So he always helps me with English grammar practice exercises online. My father is also a wonderful and joyful person. He is always full of energy to do everything. My dad always does those things like cook real spicy food to make us happy. Lastly my dad is a fighter. Four years ago in India (Punjab), a terrorist attacked the police station. They covered the police headquarters. My father was on duty. My dad and another policeman fought them. They wanted to save people’s lives. It was a hard time for him, but he was relaxed when they were done with their mission. In conclusion, my dad is a role model in my life. He has all the qualities of a perfect dad. I salute my dad.

Kevin Trepal is my husband. He is an amazing guy. He can be a role model for everyone. He is a friendly man. He has a lot of friends because he is a genuine person. He has a good characteristic to fit in on everyone’s attitude. He has charm and he is funny. He will make everyone laugh at his jokes. Kevin Trepal is a generous person. He helps and supports me in my decision making. Kevin Trepal is also a loving person. He always shows me his love everyday and not only for me but also for everyone that is special to him. He takes care of me if I am sick. Kevin Trepal is an understandable person. He always understands me everyday especially when I am not in the mood to do something. He willingly does it by himself. He is helpful and responsible on everything. He will do all the household chores. Kevin Trepal is an educated man. He teaches me pronunciation, the history of America and a lot more. He is an approachable man. He corrects my mistakes. He teaches me everything. He is also a talented man. He can paint and sing. He painted one of our decorations at home. It is a nature painting. He also sings a lot and we sing together with our karaoke and sing love songs. Kevin Trepal is also a religious person. He has a good faith in God. We go to church every Sunday. Kevin Trepal is a guy with a big heart. He is a friend and a husband that you can lean on all the time. He is a gifted man and a guy that every girl could ask for.

My Mother Emmanuel Ouattara Ivory Coast - Level 1 My mother is special in my life because she is beautiful and tall woman in her family. Also she is strong because she never gives up, she lives with my young sisters long time ago but she doesn’t have enough money for all. Right now she is doing some activities such as cooking bananas and fish to sell. Also she goes to other countries to buy some things like clothes, shoes, and coats and goes back to sell them in my country. She wants to save more money to prepare for the future. She is helper, she doesn’t like to see a person sad or hungry. She sometimes cooks some food like rice or soup to share with some children’s institutions like ONG. She is a wonderful person, I love my mother because she has a wonderful time to talk to my sisters and me with some advice. She always says never give up. You must work hard if you want to be a better person in the future, don’t blame another person. My mother is very important in my life.


My Daughter Josmari Yajaira Conde Puerto Rico - Level 2 My daughter Josmari is a wonderful person. Because I am a single mother, she helps me with the upbringing of her sister and brother so my burden is not great. I feel so proud of her. Besides being a helpful daughter, Josmari has always struggled to achieve her goals and that is why today she studies and works. She is studying at Tri-C to prepare for a career in business management. I am very proud to have a daughter like her because she likes to help me a lot.


My Mother

ing people and taught us to help people. She died in 2004. I’m going to miss her forever.

Faez Alsuhail Iraq - Level 2 My mother Fatima helps me to be a successful person. She still calls me “my young doctor” and that encourages me to work harder and be what my mom wants me to be. She kept my first grade elementary school certificate from 14 years ago. Because she is very proud of me, simple things like that are important to me. I love my mom very much, and I wish to see her soon.

My Sister: Someone Who Made a Difference Alona Kholod Ukraine - Level 2 My sister is the person who made a difference in my life. Even though she is older than me, she is the best friend I could ever ask for. She often gave me advice that made me more confident. My sister showed me how education is important because I realized this by watching my sister deeply studying for the test, just to get a good grade. I still remember that time, when she was getting prepared for the admission test. After her diligence with hard working and never giving up, she finally was accepted in one of the most prestigious and important medical universities in Ukraine where she was able to become a medical doctor. Now she is a great doctor, which has a lot respect from many people in my country. It has stimulated me to become a doctor too. I feel strongly that my sister made on me a great impact in my life by teaching me, reminding me, and letting me see how hard she always tried. As a result, I realized that to graduate from a good university is an important thing, which gives you more opportunities in our life.

My Mother Is More Important Vera Kraja Albania - Level 2 My choice for important person who influenced me is my mother. She was born in Albania. I wanted be like her because she is very hard worker, smart, patient, and always untired. She was an admirable example for her kids. My mom was beautiful and neat. She was an innovator in her work, but she didn’t forget to advise her kids every day before they left the house. I one time went with my friends to the movies very quickly and left no note for her. When I came back home, I looked my mom in the eyes. She looked away but was silent and continued her homework for some hours. I went with tears in my eyes, and promised no more to go without telling her. Do you forgive me? She immediately gave me a hug. She educated her children with love, respect and evaluation of people. She was critical without offend4

My Grandmother: A Person Who Has Made a Difference in My Life Nataliia Porkhunovska Ukraine - Level 2 I would like to tell you about my grandmother Eugenia. Her life was not easy and simple. She was born in 1933. In 1932-1934, the Holdomor (the Ukranian Genocide) was a man-made famine in Soviet Union that killed 4.5 million Ukrainians. My grandmother was the oldest child in her family. In 1941-1945, during World War II, little Eugenia, her three sisters and brother lived alone, without parents who went to war. They survived the cold, the hunger, the bombardment, and Hitler’s occupation. It was a horrible, inhumane war! After the war, my grandmother became a traumatologist. She helped people who broke their legs or arms. She often gave her money for charity. She always gave me advice, showed me the right way in my life, and supported me. I admire my grandmother because she was very kind, strong, beautiful, looked great and young, and never gave up!

My Daughter Shasity Flores Puerto Rico - Level 3 My name is Shasity. I am from Puerto Rico. I am twenty-two years old. I became a mother at an early age although at the time I did not know if I made the best decision. Today I can say that being a mother is a blessing from God. In my case, I had to be a mother at sixteen years old. My daughter’s name is Yeicesly Aysha. Currently, she is six years old. I am very grateful to God for giving me the privilege of being the mother of a beautiful and sweet girl. My daughter is my everything. She is my motivation and is one of the people in my life who I fight for to be a better person every day. I love seeing how much a small person can change a bad day to a good one with just a smile. My daughter attends a Catholic school and she is one of the most outstanding in her class. It’s me who takes her to school every day; I am a proud mom. She loves to do any activity such as swimming, riding bicycle, playing soccer, and practicing motocross. My daughter is very intelligent. I love seeing how she can establish a good conversation with an adult. I think she is highly developed mentally for such a young age. Sometimes I play with her and I like it because it reminds me of how I used to play like her when I was a child. My daughter is the most important person in my family because she is a sweet girl and the baby of my house. 5


My Father Nicole Basco Puerto Rico - Level 2 A person who influenced my life is my father. He is paramedic in Puerto Rico. When he met my mother, he was studying to be a medical doctor. Then, my parents had three children together. After a couple of years, they broke up, but I keep seeing him. My sisters and I love him because he is a really good person. He made us laugh when we were children. I remember having good memories with him when I was child. I wanted to be like him. One of the reasons I admire him is the way he likes to help people. His influence makes me want to be a paramedic.

My Role Model Vrunda Patel India - Level 2 “Role model” the word itself shows the importance of it. Here, I am talking about a person who has played an important role in my life. My grandmother Susilaben Patel is the person who made a very big difference in my life. She was born in 1952. She is a strong, hardworking woman or I should say a fighter (not who fights in war but she fights for truth and human rights). She never give up no matter how difficult the situation was. She has taught me lots of things. She shares her experience and knowledge with everyone what she gain in her life. She wrote those beautiful thoughts and advice in her diary which she always carry with her. Here are some of the thoughts what she wrote it in book. She believes life can be always simple. Accept everything happen in your life with positive attitude because that’s happen for your best. Value your family with lots of love and understanding. Her positive attitude about life and thoughts can change anyone life. She is a positive power bank and a very strong root of over family.

She is My Wife Abdulrahman Shamia Libya - Level 3 She is my home, my lover, and the companion of life. She is the mother of my kids and my partner in happiness and sadness. When my heart is broken or boring I found her refreshing and smiling. When I have some difficulties I found her easy and comfortable. When I come back from work tired I found my rest with her. I see the hope in her eyes. She is a gift from God. When we walk together and my hands holding her hands, that let me feel relaxing and safe. She is my wife. 6

Me and the Horse Marwah AlBayati Iraq - Level 1 Let me tell you about my funny story with a horse. This happened to me three years ago. My friend and I decided to go to the Pyramids of Giza. This is a wonderful place. This place in Egypt and it was the leadership center of the civilization of Pharaohs “The ancient Egypt ruler.” First, we walked between the Pyramids and Sphinx, and we took a lot of pictures. Then, the weather was too hot. At the place we could rent a horse with a carriage. It’s called “Hantoor,” and also could ride a horse. After that, we rented Hantoor, and this was very funny. We enjoyed doing that. Then, my friend and I wanted to try to ride a horse. I rode a horse. The horse was called “Shakira.” In the beginning the horse was very slowly, and I was safe. When we arrived to the desert, the horse ran very fast. I couldn’t stop that, and I didn’t know how to ride and control the horse, because I didn’t try that before. Finally, I fell down from horse on the sand, but the horse was still running. My friend followed me, and she laughed at me a lot. I laughed too. One thing was good I didn’t hurt myself because I fell on the sand. When I remember I laugh a lot, that was so funny story with the horse, and we got a very nice time and tried a new experience on that trip.

Working with UNHCR Simly Malke Syria - Level 1 The first day in my work with UNHCR was the most interesting day of my life. In summer 2014, I had that work when I was in Syria. The first day was interesting and a little difficult for me. There were a lot of Iraqi refugees. A lot of them looked very sad because most of them lost home, family or job in their country. I was a guard to check women’s bags. The UNHCR always wanted to help people, but they want to keep all things in control. I met a lot of people, and I had a lot of memories with them. I can remember one old man when he told me about a difficult long week. When he needed to stay awake for a whole week by his front door to protect his family. He had five girls. In that time Isis were doing something bad things for all girls in his city. It was very hard to work and listen to their stories. It was a lot of responsibility, but I always felt happy because I was part of group of people who were 7

trying to help who needed help or to keep safe. I stayed with UNHCR for a year and a half with all my happiness.

My Funny Story Nadine Hanna Abi Fadel Lebanon - Level 1 Let me tell you a funny story about my first English learnings. When I came to the United States, I lived in Cleveland. I have a sister who lived in Miami more than 25 years. Every day in the morning, we talk together about lot of things. One day, I talked with her at 5 o’clock early in the morning. It was still dark, and it was raining she told me she was working out. I thought she was gardening in the rain because that was the meaning if I translated the words in my language. I asked her: “what are you doing outside? It is dark and raining!!” she replied: “Oh my little silly sister. In English working out means that I was doing my exercises. Nadine stop translating into our Arabic language. You should learn English sweetie.” It wasn’t the first time when I made a mistake because I misunderstood something. I have a lot of funny similar stories. In the evening, I told my daughters the story. Then, we all laughed and enjoyed my funny story the rest of the evening.

A Prank Daisy Truong Vietnam - Level 1 This is a funny prank that I used to scare my sister 10 years ago. One day, I wanted to make a prank to scare my sister, so I came up with an idea to scare her. First, I went to the toy store to buy a fake snake to use it for my prank. After that, I put the snake under her pillow. My sister and I slept in the same bed, and we usually went to bed around 9 o’clock. I know every time before she went to bed, she always fixed her space until she felt comfortable because she wanted to sleep well. Next, I pretended that nothing had happened, and I waited for the funny moment to come. I was so excited, but also nervous to scare her. Nine o’clock came and she got into the bed. I was already laying down trying not to laugh. Then, she started to adjust her pillow. The moment she saw the snake, she began screaming loudly “oh my god, snake, snake!”. She jumped out of bed. Her face turned bright red then green. She was so scared that she almost passed out. I laughed so hard and ran to follow her into the next room. “It’s just a fake snake” I said. She stopped screaming and looked angrily at me. I told her it was a prank and that I was sorry. I felt bad for scaring her and immediately regretted what I did. Finally, we went back to bed but neither of us could stop thinking about the terrible prank. She make me promise to never do that again. 8

The Best Pet Zoriana Chepil Ukraine - Level 2 Many people think that pets are too much of a responsibility, and they need a lot of food, care, and love. These people are right, but they don’t even imagine how much happiness pets will bring to their lives. When I was young, I dreamed about a cat. The cat is a beautiful animal that looks like a small tiger, but my parents didn’t like any pets. I wanted to grow up and get a cat. When I got married and moved to the US, my husband gave me a cat for my birthday. It was the most beautiful gift in my life. I was so happy because finally my dream came true. I named her Liza. She looked like a queen because she was white and has green eyes. He bought her from the store. Liza was one year old. She was very scared because somebody gave her to the store when she was little. Over time she loved me, and I loved her. Liza always wanted to play with me. Every morning my husband went to work, so she came to sleep with me, and when I just opened my eyes, she woke up too. I enjoyed living with her. Also, I liked to care about her as a little child. After that, my husband became allergic. He tried to take medicine, but it didn’t help him. Every day, he felt worse and worse. I didn’t want to think that I have to say good bye to my Liza. That was so hard because she was a part of our family. I understand that the health of my husband was more important, so we decided to find a good family for her. It was the most difficult decision in my life. We found a very good family for her. Within a few days, they took her from me. Sometimes they send me her pictures. She looks happy there, I see that. She lives in a house, not in an apartment, and it’s better for her because she loves to be outside. I always think about her, how is she, what’s she doing. I won’t forget her. Liza was the best pet I’ve ever had.

My Embarrassing Moment Jennifer Cruz Puerto Rico - Level 2 The day in the Hacienda Negron. I would say my most embarrassing day was 13 years ago. I was supposed to have a great and fun day, but everything turned upside down. At first my family and I decided to go to for a family fun day in the Hacienda Negron. The Hacienda Negron is almost similar to Kalahari, but the only difference is Hacienda Negron has a river. That place was very popular for the people from my city. That is why we decided to go there. Then we prepared some bags with food and clothes. After that we left around 8:00 o’clock in the morning. We arrived at the place half an hour. Five minutes after we started looking for a nice place to stay for a couple 9

hours. We walked for about ten minutes trying to find a place, but finally we found it. Next we got ready to have fun. We decided to enjoy the river. And the moment when we were walking to the river I saw my ‘CRUSH’ that boy with the beautiful eyes. He was not alone he was with his friends. I got so nervous. I was trying to not look at him and focus on my way, but it was impossible, so I was looking at him and walking at the same time. I really forgot for a moment the, we were walking down to the river from the wood, and obviously those woods will be slippery, so and the moment the, I was looking at the boy and walking at same time. I got really close to the river. Everything were perfect until I fell into the river with my back. A lot of people were laughing, even my family some of them were trying to acting that they did not saw me. And about the boy I didn’t know if he saw me or no. My body it was so hurt after that and of course, I was acting like nothing happened to me. I didn’t get out of the river for hours. I was so embarrassing. Finally the day end. We want back home. After the day I never look my ‘CRUSH’ face, and of course I forgot the one day I was having a ‘CRUSH’.

My Honeymoon Trip to Venice Maria Lignos Greece - Level 2 It was the dream of my life to visit Venice, the beautiful city in Italy, in Europe. But not alone, I wanted to live this experience with my man of my life, my husband now, my George. And that is because this city it’s very romantic for couples. First, when we got engaged, we bought the tickets for our honeymoon with which we traveled to this place the next day after our wedding, on August 22 2019. That day was one of the brightest days of my life for two reasons. First, because it was truly a sunny, summery day and second because my dream of my life was becoming real. We were going to Venice. This was amazing! We were so excited for this. When we arrived, we went to our hotel where we were staying during our trip. It was fantastic! It was in a small island and was the only one building there. When we wanted to go in center in Venice, we had to use a boat! When we were walking around the smalls roads in Venice, it was beautiful. We saw the beautiful old buildings and the canals and also we smelled all Venice’s smells. The most unforgettable time was when we used a gondola to take small trips in the canals, around the “city of water”. We were feeling like we were main characters in a fairy tale! That’s why when we had to leave for this “paradise”, we bought for souvenir a gondola. It was the most amazing trip of my life! The dream came true!

My Ex Teacher: Someone Who Impacted Me Katerine Lopez Dominican Republic - Level 2 My ex-teacher helped me for three years in different ways. When I was at Thomas Jefferson High School, she was the only Spanish teacher in the school at that time. She translated for us in three different classes: math, English and science. Then my friends and I thought that she was the best teacher, and of course she is. She helped me when I didn’t understand the homework. When I was tired, she gave me good advice. This inspired me to finish school and continue with my studies.

My Broken Foot Tetiana Novitska Ukraine - Level 2 When I was young I always like to climb with my older brothers, but they didn’t like when I go with them. On one of the sunniest days in the summer, my two older brothers Volodya and Oleg wanted to climb to the small forest near our house. I went with them too, but they didn’t really want to take me. At that time, I was only ten years old, and they were sixteen years old, so I understand them now why they didn’t want to go with me together. Finally, we came to this beautiful, quite forest. There were many birds who sang beautifully, multicolored flowers which smelled wonderful, and berries that tasted deliciously. I saw just everything beautiful, but I didn’t see just a few nails in the grass. Then, I pushed my foot very hard, but I didn’t feel it. A few seconds later, I looked down my foot started to hurt and it was hard to walk. After that, I started to cry, but I didn’t say anything to my brothers and went home alone. I was also scared to tell my mother that, but my foot and pain became bigger and bigger. Then, when my mother looked at me she understood something bad happened with me. Right away, I told my mother the story and we immediately went to the hospital. Finally, my foot became healthy and I started to climb with my brothers again. Maybe it sounds funny now, but it happened a second time, but that’s a different story.

An Exciting Experience Sundos Hamad Brazil - Level 2 An unforgettable experience that I never will forget it`s when I did a trail up in Pico do Olimpo, the highest mountain of the state that I lived, In Brazil. My sibling and more 30 people were with me. We started to climb at 8:00 AM. I remember that have three ways to go to the top. The first way on



the trail is the white line, it`s the more easy to climb. The second way is the yellow line, the difficult there is medium. Finally, the last way is the red line, the most difficult and dangerous way. So we chose the yellow line to start. I remember that was really higher there, as a result many people gave up on the middle of the trail. Sometimes I was thinking about giving up too, but I couldn`t because I was really excited to get to the top. So when we got there it made me really happy. It was beautiful to see all the clouds from there, feel the wind and the view was perfect. Although we were tired, I felt fulfilled. My friends and I ate there and stayed for a few hours. After that. We decided to go down in the red line trail, the most difficult way. We started at 5:00 PM and everything was going well. However, in the middle many people started having problems because it was really high. Some people went down the mountain by sitting because they were terrified some were helping and even holding other people because they couldn`t walk anymore. It was getting dark and we were walking too slowly to help who was in trouble. Also we were without food or water, we did not expect to take this time there, but luckily some of us had flashlights. Luckily all of us were helping each other so nothing really bad happened. Although many unplanned events happened, we enjoyed the experience. We overcame our limits and pushed ourselves. We were climbing a mountain at night. Finally, we got out of there at 4:00 AM. 20 hours up and down the mountain. Some day if I get the opportunity to do it again, I definitely will, but in this time I will try to be more prepared.

My Return to My Native Country Uliana Boiko Ukraine - Level 3

FEAR & HARDSHIP Scary Story Rand Nasr Syria - Level 1 When I was in high school, a scary thing happened to me. This scary story was 7 years ago, and it was in my country Syria. First, I was in my school, and I finished my classes. Second, I was in the school bus with my friends. We were on the way home. Suddenly we saw some terrorists, and then the bus stopped. They had guns. And they kill 3 men in the bus in front of us, and these was blood on all our clothes. They wanted us to go far away. The bus broke down, and it didn’t work anymore. We stayed for about 5 hours in same place. I talked to my father, and I told him what happened to me, so he didn’t leave me in this place alone. He tried to come and take me, but I told him didn’t come because it was danger (on your life), and I was scared for his life. After five hours, we left the place and ran. I didn’t eat for two days ago, and I was scared from everything after that. This is my scary story, and I hope I don’t feel that anther time.

A Horrifying Experience Aya Allaham Syria - Level 2

I remember imagining how should my return home after two years in America be. I was looking forward to seeing my family, and imagining such a great time. However, I have experienced nothing similar to my imagination. Therefore, during the first week I was just getting used to being there because of seven hours of difference in time, and I wasn’t able to sleep at nights. Everything seemed strange to me, I was uncomfortable, and couldn’t concentrate. The streets looked so gloomy, people were angry, drivers drove their cars not following the rules. Nevertheless, I got accustomed to it, and the next two weeks were much better, so I was able to enjoy spending time with my family and friends, and everything seemed much better. That part of my trip was the best because I had such a great time. I also had some things to do such as going to a dentist and renewing my passport due to it I was very busy. Finally, at the end of third week of being home I got sick, and the flight back to America was very difficult for me. Even though something wasn’t as I imagined, I am very happy that I did it, and I love so much the place where I grew up. If I have another opportunity to return home, I will definitely take a chance. 12

Third Place Prizewinner I have had a very horrifying experience 6 years ago when I was living in Syria. My sister and I were walking on the street when suddenly a car came running very fast with the army behind it with a lot of dangerous arms. My heart started to race unnormally and my body scarly trembling. I Couldn’t imagine what was happening The army started to shoot around over the street. I fearfully caught my sister’s hand. She yelled, hugged me, and started to cry. I couldn’t speak or even pray. I saw the car flew into the air and flipped. The people inside it, including a baby girl, painfully fell outside of it. Students around the street started to fall around us. My sister left me and ran away. I saw a boy got shot in his head and fell, the bowel of his head went out, the blood was around him like the river. I was going to throw up because of that view. Another girl got shot in her hand. The blood became everywhere around the street. I couldn’t talk, run, or help, I was shocked. I felt like all the world came into my throat. Then, I started weakly to run. Suddenly, a guy pushed me strongly into a lane, I fell down, I thought that I got shot, and 13

going to die in minutes. I felt like I lost my canscion. I didn’t recognize if I was in reality or in a dream. People were running over me. I also was wearing a bookbag, and each time I tried to get up it was pushing me down, but I didn’t think about taking it off. All I was seeing in front of my eyes was feet running, and much of dust. The shooting sound was awfully going on, and nobody could stop to help. I could finally get up, I started to check my body, and to look for the shoot place, but everything was okay. I only had ordinary wounds, torn clothes, and messy hair. I walked weakly and slowly, my legs didn’t even carry me. Then, I found myself in a place that I never been before. There was a man who looked scared, he called me to come. There were many people gathered, they told me that my face was yellow. the man brought water for me, but I couldn’t drink. I was thinking about my mom, sister, and all family. Many ideas were playing inside my head. I started over to walk, I wanted to go back home, everything around me was crying, I felt, even the stones on the floor were crying except me. I walked for about 15 minutes. Then, I saw my dad coming with my sister crying. He wasn’t even dressed well, they were h-orebolls looking for me. My sister yelled, and they ran to me. I think that my look was horrify-ing. My dad looked very triumphant that we both still alive. He caught my hand strongly, and my sister hand too, and we walked home. That moment, I had a huge mixture of feelings, I felt safety when I saw him, like if there was a fire inside me and he poured a cold water on it. When reached home, my mom was awfully crying, my old brother was talking to his friend on the phone telling him the story. My mum cried more when she saw us. They started to ask hundreds of questions, and I stilled silent. I was grateful that I’m in my home with the whole family. I slept for more than 10 hours after that, and when I wake up, I became sick. It was one of the terrific situations that I have faced. It still in my memories, and I still remember it painfully. However, when I remember an experience, such as this one, I have been through, I feel triumphant. It made me greatful that I passed it, and that I’m thinking now how to quit that from happening in the world. These attitude shows us the value of our existence. When a person approaches from death, he wakes up after it recognizing the meaning of life.

Never Ignore Warnings Dmytro Khomiak Ukraine - Level 2 Once upon a time, my father and I arrived at one market place. We needed to buy sine parts for our car. However, when we arrived there, it didn’t look like a store, it looked like a prison. Around it was a grey fence, and in some places on it was even barbed wire. I looked around nobody was there. It was 5:50 a.m. After 10 minutes later as nobody came to us I didn’t want to wait more, and said to my father “I am going to go into store and find somebody.” He said “Did you see warning on a fence?” It says “Don’t 14

enter, there are three angry dogs guard this place.” I said “You know, I always ignore warnings. Come on let’s not be afraid some dogs, dad. ” After that, I jumped over a fence and went to find someone. When I was in the middle of that store I saw three big dogs kind of Alabai, but at that moment they looked like three grizzly bears. They ran to me and they were very angry. At that moment, I saw a wood pillar and just got on it like a monkey. It was one way to survive. The next thirty seconds were the longest ones in my life. I hugged that pillow like I never hugged someone or something before and my life ran in front of my eyes. Next, two security guys and my father look out those dogs and helped me go down. I couldn’t speak and shook like a fall leaf. Although nothing terrible actually happened to me. It was my mistake, and I remembered one important thing. Never ignore warnings. It can be worth you your life.

In the Bank Mykhailo Khomiak Ukraine - Level 2 I want to tell about my first contact with police officers. It was a nice day. In the morning I went to school to study English. After school I drove to work, my first job in the US. I worked at the bank. I was a custodian. When I came there, some workers were inside. I couldn’t start work. I waited in my car across from the bank. Fifteen minutes later the workers left the bank and I went inside to start do my work. I knew that the workers never saw my face, but I didn’t know what could happen. I starter work. After twenty minutes I heard the signal of police officer’s cars. I thought may be a car accident near the bank, or something like that. I continued work. Two minutes later I cleaned the door and I looked inside. However I heard like somebody calling me. It was a police officer. His gun was right in front of my face and he said: “Raise your hands”. He scared me. I didn’t know what happened. I raised my hands slowly and came inside the bank. He asked me a lot of questions and checked my driver license. I asked him what happened. I didn’t take anything, I just did the same actions like every day. He said like the one woman who works in the bank saw when I came inside, opened the door with key and she called the police. I called to my boss and he said I worked there. The police officer explain me it was nothing serious, the woman didn’t know me. After that they went back to their cars and drove. I finished my work, but I was confused. This situation was my first contact in my life with police. I am happy that nothing dab happened. It show me always do everything correct and you always will be right and honest before the law.


On the Phone with My Finance When I Heard Gun Shots and Line Cut off

A Time I Faced Hardship Was When I Found Out That My Dad Was Dead

Shaymaa Saber Iraq - Level 2

Muna Mahamed Ethiopia - Level 3

On June, 2006. My fiancé (Saif ) came home from work at 6p.m and he called me to talk. We were on the phone for about 30 monutes. Suddenly he said “hold on I hear my sister and mom yelling “. Meanwhile we heard gun shots then the phone cut off. Then I kept calling and calling and his phone was disabled, after I kept calling his family and nobody was answering. Their phones were disabled too. Those were some scary moments, because I did not know what was going on. At last I decided to call my fiancé’s cousin (Ahmad). He said my fiancé (Saif ), his dad (Fathi),2 uncles one from dad side (Harth), and one from mom side (Hamed) got hijacked be “ Almahdi Army “,and they don’t know anything about them. When I heard the news I was crying for three days, not eating or able to do anything, and I would think how am I going to rest or do anything not knowing where he is or what’s going on. Those three days were the worst days ever. After three days I got a phone call and it was him. He and his dad left and his uncles stayed. He came to me. He was in pain with bruises and in so much pain, and he couldn’t hear out of his ear. They stole all his money, and he tried to kill all the women. They put them in the trunk, and they were a busing them for three days .His family was trying to give them money to let them go, but his two uncles stayed, because they wanted more .In conclusion, these were worst three days of my life, but now I’m with my husband and my kids .We forgot everything, and we are safe now. Thank for God.

I never knew my dad was passed away until that day. I remember we had to talk about our dad in our class, so our teacher asked me to tell my classmates about my dad. I thought I knew my dad but I didn’t. I thought my grandfather is my dad until that day. So, I started to tell my father what he was like and what he looked like, then, my little friends started laughing at me. I was telling the truth. Then my teacher said stop and she asked them why they were laughing at me. Then they said ‘’her dad is dead.’’ I got nervous. I left the room and she called my parents. They came, then she asked them the whole history of my dad. I have never seen him in my life. They showed me his picture. It was very difficult time for me. I was only 8 years old at that time. It was too much for my age. I hated everybody. I didn’t eat for a couple days but my grandfather was very intelligent. He knew how to get me back. He explained to me why they didn’t tell me. I believed him. But it still hurts. I still don’t want to talk about it. But I learned many things from my worst experience of my life. I learned to not lie to the person you love no matter what. When they find out, it is hard for them to believe you again.

Problems in My Life Salma Gharir Iraq - Level 3 In my life, I have had a lot of problems. One of them it was when I came to the U.S. and left my family in Iraq. It was hard for me, but I had to come because my husband was in danger because the government killed his brother because he was working with the U.S. army after the war. And then they told my husband “You have to stop working with them if you don’t stop we will kill you like your brother”. But, my husband didn’t listen to them. After that my husband sent an email to the immigration Department to explain what happened with him. And then they send him a paper like permission to come to the U.S. and we come. I have been here 4 years. And I still have a big problem because all my family is in Iraq. No one is here just my husband and my kids. I really miss my dad, my mom, everyone in my country. This is one of my life’s problems. 16


SPECIAL PLACES The Rocky River Reservation Panatda Chantharasena Thailand - Level 2 The Rocky River Reservation, one of the Cleveland Metroparks near my host family’s house is my favorite place since I came here. Is an especially important place for me because it makes me not miss my country too much. I go there to relax. I came to the U.S. in winter the weather outside was very cold and there was a lot of snow so I could not spend much time at there. I saw just some people who came here for a walk and with their dogs. But in spring and summer it is a special time for me because I saw a lot of big trees, various flowers, small animal such as squirrels, chipmunks, birds, ducks, deer. In the spring they open the Rocky River Nature Center in the park for show various flowers and in summer I saw some people playing golf at the Big Met Golf Course. And next to the Big Met Golf Course I saw some people at the park they brought their family to park for picnic and cook food at the park. I could hear the car arriving from the parking lot, the familiar sounds and really good smells of cooking it made me want to join with them. In the summer the weather is better than in the spring. There is a lot of sunshine so I went there every day. I always brought book, headphone and sometimes brought food and sat next to someone fishing. I like to watch people fishing very much but I don’t like fishing by myself. Sometimes when I was watching someone fishing, I saw some people kayaking. After that I found the place to rent a kayak and I tried to kayak. It is the first time for me it was hard to control after that I went to that place again and again finally! I can control and did well. I had a lot of fun in the summer they have a lot activity to do such as baseball, soccer. Someday I went there for hiking, running and jogging and soon I plan to buy a bicycle to ride in the park. All in all, every time when I go to the Rocky River Reservation, I am so happy and enjoy it. I feel like I am in my country. I like to go outside and see other people talking, smiling, laughing or do some activity together. All of those it make me feel good and it is a good memories for me.

My Important Place Husen Doumet Syria - Level 2 An important beautiful place in my life is my parent’s porch in Syria, I miss many things there. I lived the most wonderful moments in this place. 18

Porch has a large black table, ten red chairs and there are roses in all colors around the porch: red, yellow, purple, I feel like I’m sitting in the garden. There is a wonderful scenery while sitting on the porch. You could see trees, green nature and high mountain. The sound of beautiful birds and the smell of roses were the most characteristic things in the summer. Our lovely neighbors around our house come every morning in the summer and drink coffee with my family and me. My grandmother was coming every day in the evening to set with me and my family on the porch and drink natural lemon juice. Also, I don’t forget the summer evenings with friends as we sat together and my mother brought us the most delicious food: salad, tabbouleh, potatoes, grilled meat. When the food is ready, we all sit around the big table and we start to eat delicious food. We drink wine and vodka. The most beautiful views were moonlight all the village had really wonderful views, my sister and I were sitting on the porch drink coffee, eat chips, talking about us, enjoy the moonlight, and the sound of frogs around our house, it’s truly one of the most beautiful moments I miss in my life. On holiday my family and my relatives, about fifteen people total, my aunt and her children, my uncle and his children gather on the porch and we had a wonderful time together, every person brings things for dinner and the kind of dessert they love, somebody likes cake, others like caramel, these sweets are beloved to us by the family. Also, when I’m sad and upset I sit on the porch on my own, look at the beautiful nature, drink sweet coffee and breath the fresh air, I feel comfortable and happy and I forget the sadness. For all these reasons, porch is the powerful gorgeous place in my life.

My Back Yard in Syria Rula Kamleh Syria - Level 2 My favorite place is the beautiful yard at my home in Syria. I was so happy to spend most of my time with my family in that place. There I saw a lot of fruit trees, flowers, and the vegetables that I and my family plant every year. In the spring there were blooming almond and apricots trees. In the middle of the yard, we had twenty chickens in a chicken coop. Every morning I collected almost fifteen eggs. Every day early in the morning when we had our breakfast, we enjoy listening the birds’ singing that fill the place. On summer evenings while I sat there under the light of the moon, I could hear the sound of the river and the croak of frogs. On summer mornings when I took my coffee, I enjoyed the amazing view: high mountains valleys and olive trees. In September, I and my family picked olives from the trees and we cleaned and sorted them. On the patio, we have a lot of things at there like charcoal barbecue, twelve beige plastic chairs, two beige round plastic tables, two hookahs, a sink, and camping gas stove. Every night when our lovely lifelong friends, our many cousins, our neighbors come to our home to spend 19

the evening together. One group played cards, a second group prepared food, a third group smoked hookah talked, laughed, and told jokes. For the World Cup we put a big screen TV outside and almost everybody we know them come over to us and every group encouraged different team. The losing team had to attend the type of food chosen by the other team, also they had to clean everything. On Sundays while I ate my breakfast with my family before going to church, I heard the church bells ringing. On that day, my cousins used to come over to my house and we worked together to prepare for barbeque. When we finished our food, we smoked hookah and played cards. I cannot imagine how it was beautiful to spend my time with my lovely people in that wonderful nature, which was full of the smell of flowers and the fresh air. For all these reason, my backyard in my native country is my preferable area.

My Bedroom Wafa Mustafa Jordan - Level 2 I have many memories of my bedroom where I was growing up. It’s a big room with light pink color. I chose the color with my sister and my brother helped us paint it. We were all decorated everything in pink because we like this color. Even our bathroom in this room was the same color. I feel comfortable and relaxed when I’m in my room. There was a small mirror in the corner. My friends, Amal and Sana, used to come over every weekend before dinner we stayed in my room until my mom called us and our friends to start dinner. We would always talk about what we did in school, and what we went through all day. My younger sister, Jwan, and I shared the same room. Some time we fought over what we are going to wear the next day. We have one full size bed that we share and one closet we shared we put everything together. Every day after school Jwan and I would argue over who gets to do their homework first, because there was only one chair at the small round table that we had. In our bedroom we had a picture of my parent’s right above our bed it’s my mom picture with round frame. There is a little chair that sits in the corner of our bedroom and was my brother Moe’s, favorite quiet place. Under my bed. Jwan and I would keep our stuff, such as pictures, letters, and make-up we would go through this stuff sometime. We would come across some pictures of us as babies. It looks so funny which would make us laugh a lot. I wish one day I could take my kids and explain for them every detail about my bedroom. I know that they may laugh at what we did in school all day. One day I Want them to understand how this room had sentimental values to me. It was a beautiful place to spend all day with people I loved and missed the most. This place is full of memories, I’m going to remember this room forever. I miss these days and I miss my friend’s and my mom the


most. I wish these days can come back. For all these reason my room where I relaxed and spent the night is my favorite place

Sun Room in My House Rand Nasr Syria - Level 2 My favorite place in my home is my sunroom. Why do I like the sun room? I like this room because it’s on the front side of my house facing the street. The street is a busy road, and there is always a lot of sun in the room in summer. And sometimes a lot of sun in the winter. I can see the cars and any person walks on the street. It’s so interesting for me. I sit over there in the morning. And I sit over there in the afternoon. I see the people when the weather is good, and I see the children when they finish school because I have high school next my street. And after two roads I have elementary age kids my road is busy and noisy. I like watching people When I sit in the room, I don’t sit alone. I usually sit with my parents, my sister and my niece. This is one of reasons I like this room. sometimes if we have visitor and I don’t like to smoke inside the home we go to the sun room. And we have a lot of fun. we listen to music and sing and we are talking together. And we have a special hot drink and a favorite for Syrian people it’s like a green tea, also we smoke hookah. I get relaxed because of the comfortable sofas. I have two gray sofas and small black wood table and some plastic chairs, and I have a beautiful time in my sunroom. I have a gray soft carpet and white walls and each wall has a big window. There are four sides of the room three of them on the street. I usually hear the sound of cars on the rood. It’s a little noisy but I’m not upset because it’s not too much. And if anybody speaks on the rood, or if the ambulance and the fire trucks pass in front of my house, I can hear it. In the winter, I don’t feel cold because I have heating in that room. but in the summer, I feel very hot because I don’t have air conditioning in this room. Also, I always smell pizza when I am in the sun room because there is pizza restaurant near my home and I like a pizza It’s not bother me. Anyway, I love this room. For these reasons I Like this room.

My Station in My Work Waad Nasr Syria - Level 2 I work in the kitchen of a big restaurant at a salad line. The name of restaurant is Joe’s. It is in Rocky River, on Hilliard Boulevard. I love my work. The restaurant and my workstation are the most important place in my life because when I came USA, I started work right there, and I didn’t leave. It is a big area, that is a long line of the salad stuff. I stay in my work more than 21

eleven hours at Friday and Saturday, I work from ten AM to ten PM. I work from Thursday to Saturday in the winter because I have a school but in summer usually I work every day except Sundays because the restaurant is usually close. I love that place, it is not comfortable, but the coworkers is kind, and my boss’s they are two. They have sweethearts, kind, and very human. In my workstation There is a big metal table and on it a long hard plastic cutting board. when you get in my station, you can see a lot of vegetables like: cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, and onions. Also you can see many kind of cheese, and a lot of lettuce. Also you can see the customers when they are sitting at the tables because everything is open, and you can see a long line of cooks. A soup sanction is behind me. My station is very noisy because there are a lot of machines near me; like a dishwasher, the employees loud with some joke and high laugh. In addition, the ticket machine which prints me the orders, it doesn’t stop. Basically the vegetables, the cheese, and all the food has to be cold, to keep the food fresh. The salad is usually wet, and the vegetables too. I have a lot of metal doors for the cooler under my line. All the day I smell delicious smells. I usually like the smell of spicy things, but sometimes I smell something I don’t like a beef or chicken. Indeed that is my favorite place, I like my job and, I like to improve my skills to get promoted in my job when I finish my study.

cumbers, tomatoes, carrots. I helped my Mom to collect the vegetables when it ready. We brought them to a market for sell, and of course we used them to cook, or feed the pig, and rabbits. I was so happy every late afternoon I took a walk around with my Mom. We checked the vegetables while my dad sat in a chair, close to the apple tree to enjoy his hot tea. Now, my Mom passed away 5 years ago. My dad just turn ninety-two years old this year. He is not doing well anymore. We cannot take care the backyard as much as we used to. I hope they are still green and fresh like it was. In brief, I loved my backyard so much. It had an effect on my childhood when I was young. I am missing it. I hope one day I can go back to see it someday.

My Favorite Place Daisy Truong Vietnam - Level 2 My parent’s backyard was very important to me when I was a child. That was the place I most liked to spend time with when I have a free time. My home town was far from cities, and each house very far from each other. I am the youngest, and all my brothers and sisters moved out of our house after they got married. I was the only one to stay with my parents until I turned twenty-four years old. My parents’ garden was like my best friend. We had a lots of trees and flowers such as apples, cherries, sunflowers, lilies, roses. We collected the fruit sometime. We used a type of tree called a wattle tree to build a wall. That trees prevented the animals from getting out of our backyard. We had some chickens, a pig that I called Su, two rabbits that I called Ken and Kit. I talked to them every time I visited the garden, and pretended like they could understand me. At the end of the backyard there was a small stream between our wall and neighbors’ backyard. To the right of the backyard, there was a big apple tree. I liked to climb up there to relax and to enjoy the fresh air. My mom called me a little monkey. From there, I could hear the sound of birds, water from the stream while the neighbor digging his yard. It was so nice to enjoy the fresh smell of the grass and flowers too. Sometime I stood between the flowers, and I felt like I was a princess. In the middle of the backyard, we have a lot of vegetables such as cilantros, onions, lettuce, cu22


TRANSITIONS Tri-C Oxana Gura Ukraine - Level 1 I had a long way to Tri-C. It was four long years before I started to learn Academic English. I had an amazing day when 14th January I finally looked for room C 121 and saw our teacher for first time. The teacher’s name is Patricia Bradley. She is a very good teacher because she explained very simple grammar rules. She helped very much with questions and she gave me understanding that education is number one right now in my life because without Academic English my life won’t change ever. After that, I decided to take one class more because time is money. Later, 28th of January was the second memorable day in my life. It was my second class Reading and Writing. Professor Sara Clark is a very talented teacher because is teaching us very interesting and I think she doesn’t like she loves her job and her students very much. In my life for the last four and half years my most memorable day was first day in a Tri-C because it was first step to change my life in my new country.

First Day of My Life in America Ramesh Dahal Nepal - Level 2 It was 2009, when I left my country for a better life in America. I was only 16 years old when I left my country, Nepal. I was so nervous and sad because I have to leave my country where I was born and my childhood friends where I made lots of memories. The day I flew to America my friend were the one who dropped me to the Airport, they were laughing and chilling while we went to the Airport but inside from their heart they were not happy. They were feeling bad. They just pretended so that way I don’t feel bad and sad. Finally we got in the airport. We hugged together shook hands and separated it was really hard for me to get here because my English was terrible. Finally, any how I got here, but when I got here I was shocked because everything was totally different than Nepal. For Example, The roads, weather, houses and the way people lived. After a couple weeks I went to school for admission. When I got in the school, I felt like my dream was going to begin from here. For couple months it was really hard for me to communicate with friends because of my English. It was hard for me to find classes here. They have to change classroom for each subjects, but back in my country we had to stay 24

8 hours in same class. We didn’t have to change the class, but in every hour, different teachers came. At lunch time I couldn’t eat for couple weeks because I had never eaten American food in my life before. It smells some different. Life in America is very beautiful and fantastic if we work hard and focus on what you were doing. Today it’s been almost 10 years that I have left my country. I miss my friends, that place I grew up, and the place where I used to play. Right now I’m struggling with my dreams and working hard for future. I hope one day everything will come true whatever I’m dreaming about and thinking about.

Memorable Moments Neema Mohamed Somalia - Level 2 I have a lot of memories in my life, but I will tell you three most memorable moments I will never forget. First, when I came to the United States, I was happy because I came to the land of opportunity. It was great in the beginning. I stayed at home all day, ate food and watched T.V. I thought life was easy, but I was wrong. In the United States, you must work to make money and the life is very expensive. I started to look for a job and it was hard to find one especially in winter. After few weeks, I found a job. I worked ten hours a day and it was very difficult for me. I used to take a bus because I didn’t have a car and a driver’s license. Second memorable day is the day I got married. like every girl I wanted to get married one day. I met my husband in 2016. We were just friends, and he volunteered to teach me how to drive. Day after day we fell in love and we got married in 2017. It was a big day for me. All our families were happy. I wore a white dress, flower in my hand, with a big smile in my face. We partied all night with our friends and families. The third memorable day was the day I gave birth to my daughter. February 12, 2018 was unforgettable day for me. This day I went to the hospital at 3:00 AM with my husband because I was not feeling well. As soon as I went in to the hospital, the doctors told me I was in labor. I called my mom and sister for support and they came to the hospital in the morning. It was a long day with a lot of pain. At 08:30 PM, finally my daughter came to this world. I cried a lot, but this time it was happy tears because after pain and difficult time, I finally met her. She was so fine and healthy. These are the most three memorable days of my life.


3 Memories

my son and I are well. Also, I would have that experience again and as many times as necessary just to see my little bundle of joy in my arms.

Claudia Perez Venezuela - Level 2 The most memorable moments in my life are always around my kids and family. It’s very hard to choose just three because every moment with them is special. The first one is when my daughter was born. My husband and I stayed together in the hospital. I thought that we were going to have an easy night but, I was completely wrong, and not because She did not sleep, she slept well, I did not sleep. I spent my night watching her face and checking her breath every 5 minutes the whole night. Was an amazing night. Another memorable moment was when my son was born, that morning, I was more scared that the first time I been a mom, and it’s because I had to say bye to my daughter when she went to the school. That day my son was born, and it is very hard to describe all the beautiful feelings that I had, and it happened again, I did not sleep the whole night checking his breath and watching his face. The third one involves my mom and my sister. For 8 years we lived in different places, my sister and my mom were living here in Ohio and I was living in Panamá. Coming here to visit them was very special for me, just sitting down in a coffee shop to take a cup of coffee and talk was very special for me. That was one of the reasons we decided to move here in USA, to be closer to my family and my kids can be raise closer of them.

The Three Most Memorable Moments in My Life Sandra Segura Colombia - Level 2 The three most memorable moments in my life are: when my son was born, when I came to USA, and when I became an American citizen. First, I had wished all my life to have a baby, and my husband too. That day I was so nervous because I had preeclampsia as well as gestational diabetes, so my C-section had to be scheduled in a hurry. I remember I was so bloated, and my kidneys were working much harder than they were supposed to. I arrived at the hospital on time and I had to wait for my gynecologist; and after that, I had to wait for surgery room. Finally, my son was born with low levels of glucose in his blood, but a great nurse took good care of him. When I saw his face for the very first time, I forgot all the bad things that happened to me. It was a horrible experience, but the most important thing right now is that


The second moment is when I came to the USA. I was so excited, but at the same time I felt sad, because all my family stayed in Colombia. I arrived at Long Island, NY close to the ocean and I love the beach and to swim. It was a memorable moment because I ended a chapter of my life and started a completely new one. I left my country and got adopted by another one. Finally, the third most memorable moment in my life was when I became an American citizen. I had to study 100 questions and I was scared because I had an interview in English. The official asked me three questions and I answered them correctly. Then he asked me about my life and right after I received my American citizenship. It was easier than I thought!

The Country of Uncle Sam Edmond Tokpa Ivory Coast - Level 3 The country of Uncle Sam, that’s how we call the United States in my country. For every young of Ivory Coast, The country of Uncle Sam is synonym of financial security and freedom, the land of plenty. It is the country where milk and honey flow. It was also my dream and it became reality. I realized that On May, 10th 2016 when my best friend called me and told me that I won the Diversity Lottery. It is the lottery which gives opportunity to many people in the world to immigrate in the United States. I will never forget this day. Since five years I had been playing the diversity lottery. I was happy because for me it was the end of unemployment and poverty for me and my family. In fact, when we leave our families to immigrate, it is mostly to help them back. I have been in the United States for one year now. But I realized myself that nothing falls from the sky in the country of uncle Sam. The first real challenge is the language. It is hard to get a good job or do well in this country without learning English. You must speak English if you want to attain your goal. you must work hard because nobody gives you anything for free. In this country the time is precious as a gold. Every minute is important because time is money as they say. Despite all these, the United States remains the country of opportunities. They have good school, good jobs and so on. It is a great chance to be here even if it’s not easy.



My First Baby Edmond Tokpa Ivory Coast - Level 3 On March 2018, when my wife told me that she was pregnant, I was both upset and happy. I don’t know how to describe this feeling. It was the beginning of nine long stressful months. I knew that my life had forever changed. Yes, there were many question in my mind. How can I take care of a child without enough money? How can I go to school and take care of a child? What will be my social life? I was at school this December 6th when my wife called me and told me that she was going to deliver. It was 11 am when she arrived at hospital. I didn’t follow my English class anymore. The day was too long for me. I would like to understand the good news early but nothing. After my English class, I went to work, and I finished at 11:30 pm. I arrived at hospital at 1:16 am on December 7th and the baby came at 1:22. One of the nurse said that my daughter was waiting for me. This day is the best of my life. Now, I am a dad and I forgot all my old questions. I am very happy of this change in my life even if I cannot get a plenty sleep now. I feel more responsible than I have ever been. I think that my life and my time no longer belong to me. Before I do an action, I think first at my child and when I am outside, I focus to finish quickly and go back to home. I know now the difference between a provider and a father. It is easy to be a provider but being a father is for all the life.

A Big Change Oliva Morales Puerto Rico - Level 1 It was one of the worst days of my life. In March, 2003, I had an accident. I remember this day I was very sad. I felt alone, poor and depressed. I drove my car far away. I tried to change my mind but I could not. In a moment, I thought of my children but I had bad feelings. I returned to my house. Then, when I was only a few minutes to my house I asked to myself “Why do I live?” I remember clear my face in this moment… In a few minutes, I did not know what happened. I hit my car with a tree. I had an accident. I cut my face with the glass of the car. After that, the ambulance took me to the hospital. I needed to wait nine days to returned to my house. Before that, I had a several surgeries to reconstruct my face. In the last one, the surgery was not good for me. I decided that I did not need more surgeries. Finally, I thought a lot in this and I concluded that we need to be positive. We have to appreciate all the things we have. I give to God thanks for everything. Never, I forgot this day because an accident changed my life. 28

About Me Kadiata Djigo Senegal - Level 3 My name is Kadiata Djigo. I am from Senegal, West Africa. I was born in Medina Moussa and grew up there until the age of 15 years old. At the age of 15 years old, my family came to the United States in 2010. When I came to the U.S., I didn’t speak English at all, I only spoke my native language, which is Pulaar and a little bit of French. Coming to the U.S. has been a great experience for me because I have faced lots of challenges throughout the time that I have lived in the U.S. I went to school and learned English, but it was hard to communicate with people or understand them. I took a role to help my parents and brothers, I helped my parents by translating English conversations to them. I helped my brothers with homework and explained class subjects. While my mom goes to work, I cook many different recipes to save and clean the house. Living in the U.S. is not easy because life in U.S is different than life in Senegal. I am always busy trying to help my parents and brothers. Now I have a son. I take care of him, I am doing a process to bring my husband to the U.S., so when he comes, he’ll help me and my son. I have been trying all my best to have a better life in the U.S., especially taking care of my parents to give them what they need, like buying them a house, taking them to Mecca and taking them for a visit to Africa. I really want to be like my parents because they are caring, loving and responsible. They have given me the best life, brought me to the U.S., put me in school, and always stand by my side to support me so that I can have a better life. My wish is to be successful, buy a house and a car for myself and my parents. I want to do the same for my children like how my parents raised me of being responsible, caring and respecting others.

My Life Story and My Poor Country Afghanistan Essa Frotan Afghanistan - Level 3 First Place Prizewinner My name is Essa Mohammad Frotan and I am from south of Afghanistan. I was born in Zabul province Afghanistan in 1992. I am thankful to Allah (God) that gifted to me a big family. I have three brothers and three 29

sisters. In addition, I am thankful from my parents that they are always supporting us. In 2012, I graduated from 12th class high school. My native language which 75% of my country papulation speak its Pashto. I am also fluent in second language Dari, since my childhood I was trying to learn English. Because of poverty and poor economy, I started working in very young age to support my family. I was about 17-years-old when I started working with United States International Agency for Development (USIAD), as a provincial monitoring and evaluation officer back in Afghanistan. Totally I have seven years working experience behalf of the (USAID) in different fields, developing and employment of grants, capacity building trainings and procurements. My parents are not educated but they have been trying to have one educated family and educated society. Therefore, my parents encourage my three sisters to be educated and service for our needed community. Our family have a positive view for parole rights for men and women, that’s why they encouraged me to start working with Afghan women network (AWN), to defend the rights of women in the community. Afghan women are suffering from different problems. In Taliban regime there were no rights for women in society, women were not going to be educated at all; most of parents were forcing women to marry someone that she has never seen before. Women were getting child marriage and home violence was another sad story that no one can hear. The case of these all problem is clear 85% of our people are not educated. The goal of our organization was to provide public training for all women to know their rights in a society. During our project, the organization team have faced many challenges, but we never give up. We were working close with Afghan government to avoid the violence against the women to stop the child and force marriage. We provided more public training to encourage women for education and defend their rights by themselves. We made a resource center for women to come to our office and use the resource center and get familiar with social networks. The programs give the opportunities for women to work in government sectors. The result of our programs was very positive; we convinced more parents by meting them face by face that education is the equal right for men and women. Today the average of violence is very low, force and child married is limited. Now about six million children are registered in schools and about one third of them are girls. 68 seats for women in Afghanistan parliament and a women ministry, 37% women are working in all government sectors this average is going higher each year. Finally, everyone has a dream, so when I was back in Afghanistan my dream was to get better education overseas, therefore, in 2016, I received USA special immigration visa to come here to


prove my talents. Everyone has their own good and bad stories, but mine is hard to hear. I grew up in a country where innocent people have been sacrificed in the past four decades. There has been wars forever. The war has been taking human rights away. Our children are growing in a war zone, for more people clean water, food, and basic health are limited. Our agriculture, economy, army health, and education system were shot down for years, 85% of our people are not educated. In addition, corruption and daily crimes are the diseases that people are mentally sick of.

Alone Salma Gharir Iraq - Level 3 Sometimes I really enjoy being alone because my life in general is very busy. I have three kids. I have to talk to them all the time. I have a busy day so sometimes I like to be by myself. For instance, when I be with no one, I like to watch romantic movies or action movies because if my kids are with me I won’t understand anything. Moreover, I like to drink a cup of ice coffee when I watch the movies especially in winter. On the other hand, I like to be alone to get some rest and relax of work. Therefore, I really like to be by myself because sometimes I feel really tired of work, school, and my kids.

Sometimes I Enjoy Being Alone Komla Homawoo Togo - Level 3 Loneliness is a situation in which only one person stays alone. I enjoy being alone sometimes because it’s a moment when I give a chance to my brain to rest. It’s moment that people can clear their mind, focus, and think more clearly. For example, being lonely helps the monks to meditate. In addition, being alone gives an opportunity to discover yourself and find your own voice as in yoga’s meditation. It provides time for people to think deeply. For example, by thinking deeply we can find a solution to our problems. Clearly, being alone is a good moment. But knowing these benefits, it can be a challenge to find time alone in a world that seems to never sleep.


POETRY & CREATIVE PROSE My Mood Hedaia Aljabari Jordan - Level 2 My mood is like a gamble Sometimes winning .. sometimes losing .. Sometimes watching .. sometimes enjoying .. My mood is like a cloud One day static .. one day empty .. One day I have lightening .. one day I have thunder .. Lightening and thunder Lightening and thunder My mood is like labor Up and down .. high and low Up and down .. high and low Good mood .. bad mood .. Happy mood .. sad mood .. Crazy mood ….

I Don’t Want to Speak Now Vrunda Patel India - Level 2 I want to work with my eyes, I don’t want to speak now; There was a nice name, I don’t want to speak now. There was a journey I did it when I was young; Don’t ask me what price I got, I don’t want to speak now. Don’t ask me for the cost, if it’s cheap or expensive; I already paid for it, I don’t want to speak now. I feel guilty, when I look up in his eyes; To say nothing isn’t worth it, I don’t want to speak now.

A Flower Growing Olena Boichuk Ukraine - Level 3 A sad iris flower was growing up slowly and softy at purple night

The Imagination of a Sick Mind Bardia Ghazizadeh Iran - Level 3 Tired of running away from the daylight. Tired of destroying my lungs with cigarettes and my voice with the loudest song that I’m singing with a heart of stone. My fingers are cold, but they are still walking on my guitar’s strings because they still want to be creative instead of being alive and useless. It doesn’t matter if no one hears what I am playing. I don’t even care about stupid ears and eyes. I prefer to fade away while my fingers are walking, instead of playing for the people in the land of deaths.

Your Smile Jennifer Cruz Puerto Rico - Level 2 It came to my eyes Your beautiful smile. Like the sun in the morning. Like the flowers in spring. Like a rainbow on the sky. So sweet and sincere So happy and lasting I look into your eyes And I can see the sky With a thousand stars Each one next to the other. A morning of darkness you transforms it into a beautiful morning with only your smile.

I’m tired of being tired where being tired is so normal. From the deep sound of sadness in the middle of this song, I found out that time is running so fast, and we can’t do anything about it. We are getting older and we have a little time to live, but we are just able to live the first years of our lives and for the rest of it we are just living with the memories of a specific period when we were really happy. We are getting older and we are going to drown in the meaning of nostalgia, drown in the nostalgic sadness of this song, in the nostalgic taste of absinthe, and the nostalgic smell



of pipe’s tobacco. Everything tries to remind us about the time that we knew how to smile for real. As we get older, we will forget how to smile, we will get bored of everything in the universe and we will try to live on the other side of this island in the center of illusions and dreams where we can’t hear or see anything. Portishead is still playing to remind me this is what’s going to happen for the rest of my life, but I haven’t decided yet which has to stay here. Me with the memories in my mind or the memories without me?

Regret Abdou Traore Burkina-Faso - Level 3 Today I woke up in the middle of the night and looked at the mirror. Then I realized I do not look the same or walk the same without you, who was always on my arm, you, who is no longer by my side. It is empty inside me. I do not know how I made it before because you, who were my future for sure, now left me. It is over and I do not know how I am going to get by with no more you. I look at my passenger side, but there is no one to ride with me for life. I couldn’t sleep and I feel like the end because your side wasn’t occupied. The hurt that is in my eyes will not go away; I am in so much pain. I do not know how to be myself; just that I have to live and keep that promise I made you: graduate before coming back…


My Sister Shaymaa Saber Iraq - Level 2 My sister makes my life better. My sister is like my mother. My sister is like a flower. My sister isn’t like others. My sister makes my life better. My sister makes me feel much better. My sister makes my life glitter. I sent her a letter. “I said” you make my life better. Without you the days will be Harder and slower. It’s my pleasure To be your sister My sister makes my life better. My sister helps me become better. I will love her forever. We are always together. I will be with you forever and ever. My sister makes my life better.



Letter to My Country Sefora Paduret Romania - Accelerated Level Dear Romania, I have decided to write to you because, guess what? I MISS YOU! I miss the tall mountains full of trees. I miss the crowded streets with people, the full parks with children. I miss the place where I laughed and where I cried, where I created and where I dreamed. Where I dreamed of a good life. Where I dreamed I would leave you. And now, here I am, writing to you, for the first time. How strange! No? We were together for so long and I never told you anything, never. And now... You know!? People put more value on someone after it leaves. Me too... I realized how much you gave me, after I was gone. Thank you! Thank you, Romania! Maybe you are not rich, but you gave me so many beautiful memories. Maybe I left you, but you didn’t leave my heart! I hope someday you will not be sad anymore, because you are called: poor, corrupt or without a chance. All have a point! After a bad time, years full of happiness always follow! Believe me, there is no country in the world beloved like you! The millions of people who left each year, to other countries, they think of the place where they were born ten times more often every day! Come on, Romania! Stand up! Get ready! The victory is in your hands, because soon... all the Romanians will come home! With love, Sefora

How to Diminish Islamophobia Ahlam Nur Yemen - Level 3 Second Place Prizewinner How would you feel if you were a perfect candidate at your dream job, but you will not be accepted just because of your name or dress code that can indicate your religion? or people accusing you of hideous allegations without letting you justify or explain yourself. Since 9/11 Islamophobia has risen tremendously. It is prejudice or fear towards the Muslim community based on a concept that is observed from social media, that Muslims are terrorists. Islamophobia is caused by a misconception about Muslims and their religion. The only way to unravel this matter is by telling people to educate themselves by asking a Muslim or a qualified scholar about Islam instead of relying on social media for information. People tend to get scared of muslims because of how social media portrays them. Actually muslims like to be asked about their own religion, instead of being judged. Before asking a muslim, make sure you going to listen to them with an open mind. Be there to learn and understand, not to criticize. Ask about the things that you heard about on the media and be clear about what you want to know. Ask about the misconceptions you have about Islam. However, not every muslim knows their own religion very well. They may not be able to answer every question you have. In that case, you might be referred you to a more qualified muslim scholar that will provide you with more information you want to know. Asking a qualified scholar is a better choice because they have more knowledge than the average Muslim, and they get asked about Islam all the time. If you are wondering where to find one, you can visit a local mosque. When you ask your questions, make sure to tell him specifically what you want to know so that he knows what to tell you and how to explain it in a way you can understand. When the scholar answers your questions he should provide an



evidence and he should be reading from the Quran and not saying his own opinion. Islamophobia is a big issue, and people need to be aware of it. People tend to equivocate to ask a muslim about Islam, but how are you going to know more about Islam without asking a person who practices the religion every day? Don’t hesitate to inquire because the only cure to ignorance is knowledge, and you gain knowledge by asking and observing with an open mind and without judging others.

conversation and not concentrate, somebody else could pay for the mistake. So please be careful about the decisions you make and think about who will be affected not only yourself!

Hyperactive Children Cherine El-Hussein Saudi Arabia - Level 3

Shagayeg Akbari Afghanistan - Level 3

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is one of the most common childhood disorders. Doctors diagnose children in childhood, and it often lasts into adulthood. ADHD is more common in children. However, the best way to treat and help students be successful is to create an Individual Education Plan(IEP) .

According to Edgar Snyder & Associates, 391,000 people were injured and 3,477 people were killed in 2015 just because of texting and driving. Despite these startling statistics, people still text and drive. Why? Just to catch up on a conversation and look cool in front of their friends. People think they’re gaining more by multitasking, but really the potential losses outweigh the gains. Damaging your vehicle, harming yourself, harming others are the major effects of texting while driving.

Kids who have ADHD have difficulty waiting their turn and staying still. It is hard for them to follow instructions, schoolwork and directions. Also, they quickly lose focus and easily digress from a topic. They have difficulty organizing and are so messy. Many students with ADHD tend to take longer than their classmates to complete work. And when they do complete their assignments, they may find less written work and short answers compared to their peers without ADHD.

First, damaging your vehicle while texting and driving, you might get lucky and only cause minor damage like a smashed fender or broken headlight. The only consequence of that might be some damage to your pride, but many accidents result in more than just superficial cosmetic damage. Your car might be too damaged to function. This could result in missing a day at your job or a fun day out with your friends.

The best way to treat this problem is the Individual Education Plan (IEP), which is a development tool for kids with behavior issues and a children with special needs. This plan includes many steps to improve children’s behavior. Initially, there are tests to see the education level of a child. The main teacher will give a small test for a student about mathematics, writing and reading to see his or her level ability. Then, they enroll a student in a special education program related to his or her education level needs. Subsequently, the student will not participate in regular education classes. For example, the teacher will teach the students in a small group, so they can concentrate and understand. Also, the teacher will use a fill in the blank worksheet on information he or she is reading and use a flash card to help them remember the information. Therefore, parents should participate in an IEP plan for their children with the teachers. This will be beneficial for the child to do an assignment. The IEP plan will then be updated for the student every year to see how much the student has improved and what the child may or may not need.

Texting and Driving

Also, damaging yourself is another factor of texting while driving. You might lose your ability to ever drive again. In addition, you might get some points on your license or even lose it. Is it worth it? If the crash was really devastating, you might lose the body function you had before. The worst case scenario is losing your life. So why do it? The devastating part is already damaging yourself, but what’s worse is damaging somebody else. What if that was somebody’s mother or a loved one. Damaging or taking somebody else’s life is the worst effect of all of the texting and driving. As if losing your own life wasn’t enough, the decision you make could affect taking other parties’ lives. As previously mentioned, when you make a decision, you have to think about the consequences of your decision. When you decide to text and drive, you have to think about everybody that will be affected by the decision that you made. What if the person you hit was dead on the scene or at the hospital? You will be in jail for life.

In conclusion, a child with ADHD has many alternatives for help. Many children receiving IEP plan help from school have graduated from a high school and are now in a college. I would suggest that parents not worry or feel anxiety.

In conclusion, the three effects that I talked about were the most important factors of texting while driving. Just because you wanted to catch up on a 38


Learning Chinese in School or Not Qiong Wu China - Level 3 China is the second biggest economic system of the world. Chinese is important in the world’s trading. As one of the most important leaders of the global economy, the USA should think much of Chinese at the national level. The government should build a good environment for people to know Chinese and encourage them to learn. The best way is scheduling Chinese lessons in schools regularly as normal lessons. First, more and more American families have realized Chinese is important. They find Chinese baby sitters or Chinese tutors to teach children Chinese at home. The granddaughter of the USA’s president has learned Chinese many years. The CEO of Facebook pays highly for their Chinese baby sitter. Government should help schools take actions like what these American families have done. Schools can provide opportunities for more students to learn Chinese systematically and continuously. Chinese is difficult to learn. The earlier the better. The more frequently the better. In China, every school from 1-12 has English lessons. It is really helpful that all the students can learn English continually. Second, schools have the biggest and best source to recruit teachers and support Chinese teaching. Schools can cooperate with some Chinese organizations to give students abundant and practical Chinese learning activities such as Chinese camps and travelling in China which are difficult for individuals and families. Although it is important to learn Chinese, some people don’t think it is necessary to put Chinese in the school’s schedule. They worry that Chinese is difficult to learn, students can have options to learn Chinese in their lives. If it is a lesson in school which is graded, it is too much. Surely it is difficult, but no language is easy to learn. That’s why students should begin to learn in school as early as possible. When they want to give up, the school’s grade will keep them running. Students can also practice together and share experiences. They will get used to Chinese instead of feeling stress. Another concern is schools have to pay more to build an extra Chinese learning system which includes teachers, facilities and trainings. That is a big deal for government. It is true and necessary to pay a lot of money at the beginning, however in the future, it is profitable. Once the systems are built up, the teachers are well trained, and the facilities are organized so that many schools can run with them without paying extra money. China has become more powerful than before. Learning Chinese and being familiar with Chinese culture are keys to building a good relationship with China. Scheduling Chinese lessons in school regularly shows the government’s foresight in making their next generation be more competitive. 40

The Magical Powers of Hidden Students Haneen Abdel Jawad, Ibtesam Almarashi, Khondamir Aripdjanov, Tetiana Didukh, Sumin Kang, Danqi Li, Sefora Paduret, Jazel Sanchez Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, South Korea, China, Romania, Puerto Rico - Accelerated Level Immigrants have always contributed to the culture of the United States. Many famous people in the U.S. were actually immigrants like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Hollywood, Madeline Albright in politics, and Sergy Brin in technology. They have brought us new ideas from their home countries. For example, Albert Einstein brought about enormous changes in the scientific world. But individual immigrants can also make a difference in the lives of everyday Americans they come into contact with. Recently, Sumin Kang, of the Accelerated ESL Program, gave excellent travel advice to an American student hoping to travel to Korea. Here at Tri-C, immigrants in the ESL program have as much to offer as the generations of immigrants that came before them. American students could learn a lot from communicating with ESL students. If American students got to know some, they might find out that ESL students represent great diversity within one class. In the Accelerated class this semester, students speak 8 different languages including Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Ukrainian, Chinese, Romanian, Korean, and Uzbek. They also know how to cook many different kinds of foods. For example, Ibtesam is great at cooking kabsah, a dish with meat, rice, carrots and nuts. Sumin eats kimchi almost every day, a traditional healthy Korean food of fermented cabbage. Sefora misses beouf salat, a Romanian holiday food made from beef, potatoes, carrots and peas in a dish with mayonnaise. The students also have very different customs. For example, in Saudi Arabia weddings are enormous. There are 300 guests or more and a party that goes on for a few days. But in Romania, the wedding is mostly for the family and only has 100 guests. Lastly, in this group many different religions are practiced including Christian, Catholic, and Islam. These differences are a good opportunity for Tri-C students to discover other nations’ cultures. Many Americans may not realize some of the positive characteristics held by ESL students because of the language barrier. ESL students are very funny. Haneen always makes her family and friends laugh when she uses her native language, Arabic. But she can’t think how to tell the same jokes in English. They are also super smart, but it can be hard to tell. For example, Jazel was the student with the highest grades and many awards in her country. These students are some of the most hardworking students in the college. They have many responsibilities, for example, Tetiana has three kids at home to take care of and she is getting excellent grades in school. Another invisible characteristic is their creativity. Jazel designed and created new fashions from old clothes all by herself. ESL Students have a lot of real favorable characteristics like 41

humor, intelligence, reliability, and inventiveness that go unnoticed by their peers. American students may only know one way to study, but the diversity of ESL students also means that they bring different approaches to their education. Students from other countries bring different ideas about study methods to their classes in the U.S. For example, Danqi reports that in China, students review the information from class more frequently so they remember it more easily. They also preview the information for the next class so that they are prepared when the teacher starts the lesson. Many immigrant students also place more significance on their education. Students in the accelerated classes take their work very seriously by always coming to class, doing their homework and paying attention to their teachers. Jazel, Haneen, Danqi, Tetiana and Sumin have never missed a class this semester. ESL Students have a variety of study techniques and academic values that might help American students improve their education. While all students have something to contribute to their educational society, ESL students have a unique ability to provide a different perspective. The diverse backgrounds represented by this group provide a great learning opportunity. They possess valuable personality traits and attitudes. Their varied outlooks and approaches to their work might be a refreshing change for some. All of these combined traits could provide mutual benefit to the Tri-C community, if only American students would take the time to get to know them.

BOOK REVIEWS The Hidden Secrets of Janus Rock Mariza Laourdekis Greece - Level 3 The Light Between the Oceans by M.L.Stedman, tells a tragic story of a lighthouse keeper, Tom Sherboune, and his wife, Isabel, who live in Janus Rock, a small island off Point Partageuse. Tom and Isabel try to have a child, but she miscarries three pregnancies. One afternoon, Tom discovers a boat with a dead man and an infant. Although Tom wants to report the incident, Isabel convinces him that the kid is a gift from God, so they decide to keep the child. After two years, the family returns to the mainland and they come face-to-face with the tormented, Hannah Roennfeldt. Tom discovers that this woman is Lucy’s daughter, so he reveals the truth. Tom goes to jail and Hannah takes back her child. The novel ends twenty years after Grace’s return to Hannah. Tom and Isabel have moved four hundred miles away to a small town, and Isabel dies after a long battle with cancer. The novel ends with Lucy hoping to come visit Tom again someday, and Tom staring sadly at the horizon. The tone of the book is depressed and emotional. The author uses this style of writing, because he wants to make the audience feel part of the story. Furthermore, he wants to make us empathize for the characters and to understand the reality of the book. Through this novel, the author explains important moral lessons. The book shows how choices can follow you long after they are made and the consequences that come from them. In this book, the author uses many symbols. The first symbol is the lighthouse. The lighthouse symbolizes safety for some but danger for others. Tom sees the lighthouse as a safe and calm place to live and spend his life after the war. Another symbol is the island of the book, “Janus Rock”, a small island far from the mainland. The islands means the life outside of the society, which hides big secrets. An example is, “Janus Rock, there is no reason to speak.... on the island” (51). The story is told in 3rd person, for example “On the day of the miracle, Isabel was kneeting...driftwood cross” (3), but has some dialogue between the characters, for example, “I told you not to and you went... him up there” (77). I chose this book because I found the summary in the back of the book interesting, and it caught my attention. Also, I really liked the title of the book. Definitely, I would like to read another book by this author, because I really liked his writing style and I didn’t get bored because the book was full of suspense. In addition, I liked that this book has many moral lessons



to teach you, and I’m sure that all of his books will give you a message. The author describes the ‘Janus Rock’ as an exotic place with wild beauty and the blue ocean. As I was reading the book, the description of the island made me think of my beautiful country, Greece, because I found Janus a similar place to the islands in my country. The book’s writing style is similar to a book I have already read in my language, so I really enjoyed reading this book and didn’t find it hard. I highly recommend this book to everyone because it is a beautifully written tale full of love and mystery.

The Control of One Government Manal Sulaiman Palestine - Level 3 The Giver by Lois Lowry is a fiction novel, it focuses on a twelve-yearold boy named Jonas who lives in a society with a stick rules and he selected to be the “receiver of the memory.” The receiver of memory is the only person in the community that has any feelings or memories. Jones as the new receiver of the community will be trained by the Giver. The Giver is an old man that transfers the memories of the pain and happiness of the all the people from the community to Jones. My response to the book is that it became clear that the elders who control the community represent a government. The elders control the laws, the number of births and the rights that the people had. It showed the control that the government could have if the people do not stand for their rights. Often people see the world for what it is and believe that change is impossible. However, The Giver is a novel that provides an idea that change could be possible with just one person. The tone of the book was direct, serious and simple. The tone of book grabbed the attention of the reader and made it easy to read. I liked this book because of how the Jones slowly began seeing his surrounding in a different way. We often see the same things and places every day and never really see the truth, until a life changing event that allows us to see the world with “new eyes”. However, the overall meaning of the book for me remined me about the control that one government can have over a whole community. The book remained me of my own country and the control the army had over our community.

each time. “When you receive the memories, you have the capacity to see beyond. You’ll gain wisdom and lots more.” (page 95) One of the major symbols in The Giver is the child, Gabriel. The child symbolized hope and starting over. The child was not acting like everyone else, so they child was scheduled to be released. When a person in his community is released, they are killed by a lethal injection. Another symbol in the story was the River. The River in the story symbolized freedom. In the story, the river was the only thing that couldn’t be control and was allowed to do whatever it wanted. The Giver was told in the third person. Therefore, the story was told to the reader by a narrator who is not in the story. The point of view in the book never changed it was always told by a narrator. I choose to read The Giver because the control of the government remained me of how I lived in my home country. When a government controls their people, the people lose their hope and fight for their rights. The difference is in my home country there’s more than one Jones that has hope to change the community for the better. I liked how the author structured her story and it was easy to read. I would love to read more of her books. I felt that the way the author structured her story and how easy it was to read that it was similar to reading a book in my own language. The story remined me of what happening in the United States today with President Trump. This President wants to control everyone and everything; but the people will not let him get away with it.

The author was trying to show the significance of memory to human life. It’s important for humans to live life and have feelings and memories. Everyone has the rights to be experience bad and good things in life. I feel that the author achieved her goal about the significant of memory in life. Throughout, the story Jones beings to receive different memories and grows as a person





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