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2011

ESL Voices Cuyahoga Community College Writings, Poems and Essays by

Students of English as a Second Language


Editor

Contributing Faculty

Susan Lohwater Ph. D. West Campus

Susan Bartch West Campus Carolyn Cary Metro Campus

Judging Committee

Mara Hegedeos West Campus

Sara Clark Metro Campus

Roberta Hendrick, Ph.D. Metro Campus

Shirin Dixon West Campus

Stephanie Kasuboski East Campus

Stephanie Kasuboski East Campus

Teresa Katz Metro Campus

Susan Lohwater Ph.D, West Campus

Kathy Kurkov West Campus Susan Lohwater, Ph.D. West Campus

Art Direction

Kathleen Molzan Metro Campus

Seong-Ae Mun West Campus

Rosemary Palmer Metro Campus Romana Peluszkewycz West Campus

Cover Art

Janis Scalone East Campus

Wendy Rozsahegyi Student-West

Jan Schweiterman West Campus Patricia Shapaka West Campus

Design and Layout Stephanie Busch Student-West

Background and Mission In 1991, Mara Hegedeous, Assistant Professor of English/English as a Second Language, collected ESL student essays college-wide and put them under one cover. Thus ESL Voices began. In 1997, Assistant Professor Janis Scalone assumed the editorship, continuing the publication. Associate Professor Mary Hurst then became editor from 1999-2003 and managed to keep the publication afloat while struggling for financial support. We do appreciate Mary’s efforts and the current administration’s support of the endeavor! ESL Voices showcases the writing of our international students and recognizes two important facts: the ability to write well is a gift, and the ability to write well in a second language is twice that. Through ESL Voices, Cuyahoga Community College acknowledges the achievements of its international students, celebrates their diversity and motivates continued writing improvement.

Acknowledgements Thanks to the following amazing people whose support and encouragement helped make this year’s ESL Voices a reality: Mark Curtis-Chavez, Associate Dean, Liberal Arts, Western Campus, Vince DiMaria; Associate Dean, Liberal Arts, Eastern Campus; and Jocelyn Ladner-Mathis, Associate Dean, Liberal Arts, Metro Campus. In addition, thanks to Pat Radva, our artistically creative Unit Support Specialist from the Liberal Arts office for her time, effort, and organizing skills.

Cross-Curriculum Collaboration

Proof Reader

In the tradition of past ESL Voices editions, we approached faculty from various commercial art and design departments to assist us with the design and layout of the magazine. This year, Associate Professor Seong-Ae Mun of Art/Computer Graphics recommended a graphic arts student, Wendy Rozsahegyi to act as our graphic artist and Stephanie Busch to work with the formatting. Both students graciously agreed to become involved and are responsible for all of the layout design, section graphics and beautiful cover art of this year’s issue.

Susan Lohwater Ph. D. West Campus Patricia Shapaka West Campus

Word Processing Patricia Radva West Campus

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5


Feelings

My Dreams

Life Lesson

What I’m Thankful For

By Cristina Bordea...............................................................................................................................................20

By Violeta Kassabova..........................................................................................................................................14

Types of Challenges I Have Encountered in My Life By Steven Chung...................................................................................................................................................14

What I am Thankful for By Andrea Smolar.................................................................................................................................................15

I Am More Thankful, I Am Happy By Maura Stroia.....................................................................................................................................................15

Dreams of Life By Nawar Youssef.................................................................................................................................................16

Only One Ocean Away By Milena Di Bello...............................................................................................................................................16

By Carmelo R. Heyer..........................................................................................................................................21

My Past Life Ended By Ana Rodriguez.................................................................................................................................................21

My Thoughts By Milad Hanna....................................................................................................................................................23

Missing By Milena Di Bello...............................................................................................................................................23

Memories A Childhood Memory By Landi Shtembari.............................................................................................................................................24

My Hopes By Violeta Kassabova..........................................................................................................................................17

What Are You Thankful for This Year? By Teimuraz Ramishvili.......................................................................................................................................17

My Special Place By Olga Shestakoval............................................................................................................................................24

A Tornado By Ada Colon...........................................................................................................................................................25

Poetry

A Dangerous Experience

I Wish

Lost on the Highway

By Taras Koshylovskyi........................................................................................................................................25

By Au Nguyen.........................................................................................................................................................19

I Wish By Atsuko Saito......................................................................................................................................................19

By Jagwinder Kaur................................................................................................................................................25

A Very Vivid Dream By Carlos R. Valentin............................................................................................................................................26 3rd

My Memory By Anna Funtova...................................................................................................................................................20 6

A Special Place That I Will Never Forget By Dilshan Nanayakkara.................................................................................................................................26 7


A Vivid Dream I Have Had

The Jewel of My Heart

By Jane Agbai..........................................................................................................................................................27

By Sura Kareem ..................................................................................................................................................34

The Best Gift You Have Ever Received

My Partner

By Dilshan Nanayakkara.................................................................................................................................28

By Song Lee.............................................................................................................................................................35

Lost on the Highway

Good Friend

By Herlyn Cayetano............................................................................................................................................29

By Huang Xiaoyan..............................................................................................................................................35

Wedding Reception in My County

Betty

By Sara Obeid.........................................................................................................................................................29

By Dominic Mel.....................................................................................................................................................35

Attic

The Power of Speaking Up

By Anna Funtova...................................................................................................................................................29

By Ahmad Hassan...............................................................................................................................................36

A Relaxing Lake

My Husband Who is Brave and Hard Working

By Natalia Rulle.....................................................................................................................................................30

By Dilek Gungor....................................................................................................................................................36

The Beautiful Sunset at the Beach

My Daughter

By Mariya Sereda.................................................................................................................................................30

By Oleksandr Shyrobokov.................................................................................................................................37

Black Friday

Ten-Ten

By Myoungmy (Chloe) Yang............................................................................................................................31

By Maura Stroia.....................................................................................................................................................37

City Nicolaev

My Mom in My Life

By Taisa Sachnovska............................................................................................................................................31

By Keishla Alicea...................................................................................................................................................38

Family and Friends A Person Who Has Made a Difference: My Grandson By Sasa Mierzvinski.............................................................................................................................................33

“I Love You, Mom”

My Little Remembrances By Magdalena Czyzycka..................................................................................................................................38 1st

My Mother and I By Maura Stroia.....................................................................................................................................................39

About My Mother By Anna Funtova...................................................................................................................................................40

By Ni Ketut Kumala Dewi...............................................................................................................................33

My Mother “Hero” By Eyerusalem Kebede.....................................................................................................................................34 8

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Cultures and Countries

Celebrating New Year

How to Celebrate Children’s Day

My Favorite Food

By Myoungmy (Chloe) Yang............................................................................................................................42

The City of Lahore By Mohammad Arfeen......................................................................................................................................42

My Favorite Place in the World

Honorable Mention By Nawar Yoyssef..................................................................................................................................................43

Two Countries By Violeta Kassabova..........................................................................................................................................43

By Chetali Patel.....................................................................................................................................................47

By Hyung Jung Lim..............................................................................................................................................47

The First Birthday By Kyuwook Yeom.................................................................................................................................................47

Perspectives My Dream By Leovigilda Shields...........................................................................................................................................49

My Birthday Party By Maria Sokol.......................................................................................................................................................44

The Wedding By Ibtehal Yahyi......................................................................................................................................................44

Honorable Mention Decision By Sasa Mierzvinski.............................................................................................................................................49

Money is Happiness By My Le....................................................................................................................................................................50

Fiestas Patronales By Viviana Maldonado.......................................................................................................................................45

My Ideal Vacation By Emmanuel Zerbo..........................................................................................................................................50

Quinceanero By Gloricelys Diaz.................................................................................................................................................45

My Ideal Vacation By Maura Stroia.....................................................................................................................................................51

Luquillo By Norma Medina...............................................................................................................................................45

This Period of My Life By Milad Hanna....................................................................................................................................................51

Teacher’s Day By Tien Hua.............................................................................................................................................................46

My Impressions of the United States By Janette Rodriguez..........................................................................................................................................46

My Ideal Vacation By Yan Huang..........................................................................................................................................................52

Look In A Book! By Maura Stroia.....................................................................................................................................................52

My Mother By Milena Di Bello...............................................................................................................................................46

Three Most Important Things By Abdijabar Abdi..................................................................................................................................................53

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11


2nd

My Garden By Achille Romito................................................................................................................................................ 53

Tri-C, Eastern Campus By Achille Romito..................................................................................................................................................55

What is a Perfect Day? By Dilshan Nanayakkara.................................................................................................................................56

My Peaceful Place By Hacer Kurun.....................................................................................................................................................57

One Bad Influence and One Good Influence of TV Commercials on the Behavior of Women By Anne Marlyse Wanko..................................................................................................................................58

Hiking and Camping in the Banyas By Jala Safadi..........................................................................................................................................................59

“I am“ Like What I Think By Nawar Youssef.................................................................................................................................................60

I Am Making A Difference in My Life By Ki bum Kim.......................................................................................................................................................60

My Personality By Janette Rodriguez..........................................................................................................................................61

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Feelings


Life Lesson By Violeta Kassabova ESL 1320 Bulgaria

When I came to the U.S.A , I didn’t know English at all. My first month of living in America was in Los Angeles, California. One day in my new apartment, I was trying out seafood and I happened to eat shrimp. At the time, I did not know I was allergic to this food. My body began to itch and got red and I could not breathe. Oh my God, I was feeling like I was going to die. My close friend that was a pastor was also from my country. He was the only one that could save my life because he spoke my language. The pastor told me to take medicine against the allergy. Then I understood I must study English in order to get by in America. The next day I signed up for some English classes.

Types of Challenges I Have Encountered in My Life By Steven Chung ESL 1320 Taiwan Everyone in the world has to face different kinds of problems throughout his lifetime.  Some people struggle with money, while others have obstacles in learning. As for me, there are several types of challenges I have encountered in my life which include study, family, and health.    The first challenge I have encountered in my life is study. It was not easy for me to build up a good learning habit when I was a middle school student because the material was so different from that of elementary school. Moreover, I had to learn how to control time when I studied different subjects, for there was a lot of material for me to study, and I was sometimes not able to finish it within a limited time. Besides, there were many subjects for me to handle, and that was truly a heavy load for me. In addition to study, family is another challenge I have encountered in my life. I had to learn how to get along with my family members since every single person has his own habits and thoughts. Furthermore, I have to know how to educate my children not only in their study but also in behavior, and that was a difficult task for an inexperienced man like me. Besides educating my kids, I have to spend time accompanying my family members because I am both a father and husband. I knew my role in my family was important. Besides study and family, health is the other challenge I have encountered in my life. I was too busy to have enough time to relax. My work load was heavy and I spent so much time in my office; thus, I did not have time to have a good rest. Also, too much work was hazardous to my health. Sometimes I felt reluctant to work because of the heavy duty. Moreover, I did not have time to exercise, which is beneficial to health.

14

In conclusion, different people have different kinds of challenges in their lives. For me, the types of challenges I have encountered in my life are the following: study problems in school age, relation with family members, health care issue during work. 

What I am Thankful for By Andrea Smolar ESL 1320 Hungary There are many things I am thankful for. I have a good marriage, a good husband, and three healthy and smart children. These things are the most important in my life. I am thankful for the time that I can spend with them. Time flies very fast, but the good memories stay with me forever. Life brings me here to America, and I am thankful for living here. I have an opportunity to study again. I know not everybody has the chance to study in a foreign language. I am thankful for the home that I have. The home relaxes me when I am tired. In my family everybody is healthy; that is the most important condition in life. I am thankful for the clear and nice environment where I live. To sum up, life is a miracle and I am thankful for living it.

I Am More Thankful, I Am Happy By Maura Stroia ESL 1320 Romania Even though my life is not exactly how I wished it to be, I am more than thankful with many things, I am happy. In fact, I consider that God has been good to me. He gave me a wonderful family, wonderful friends in different periods of my life. He gave me people in whom I believed as in idols, and He gave me sensitivity to feel deeply in my soul, happiness and unhappiness. Without lack of modesty, I am happy because I think I am a good person. I am happy because innocence on a child’s face makes me cry. I am happy because I am devastated seeing old people whose trembling hands cannot find fast enough keys in pockets or a handkerchief for their tears. I am worried in the most sincere way about their uncertain steps and the immense weight to find a way in this too hurried world. I am happy because I am tempted to cry seeing how old people go holding hands; it looks like a desperate need to find support, love and certainly I am happy because at my maturity, I have the most honest feelings for my husband and because my way of being convinced him that I am his pair for the rest of our life. I am more than thankful, I am happy because I feel instinctively the good people and as long they exist, the world will not be lost. I think that not accidentally God put special people in my life, in my bad moments. Those people were created for holding my hand and let me accept life with joy, and sometimes they are my reason to live. I am more than thankful, am happy because I know I make other people happy. At this stage of my life, I am happy because I am convinced that while people matter for me and I am counting on them, life has made sense I wish that many, many years from now I can still make othe r people happy and I will remain somewhat, in their memories. 15


Dreams of Life By Nawar Youssef ESL 1320 Syria Almost everybody has a lot of dreams and many ideas for life, and tries to make them true. And I have a lot, too. I have dreams about my life, my study and special dreams that I’d like to come true more than anything else. The first dimension is about my life. I have many things I would like to come true fast. I like to buy a house and stop living in an apartment, and I would like to be able to go every summer to Syria to see my family and my friends, but now I can do that only once every four years, and I wish at least one of my friends could live near me, so I won’t feel alone any more. The second dimension is about studying and getting more knowledge every day. I am almost working on that by going to school, and I hope to finish a two year study and start the four year college to get what I have been dreaming about for a long time. It’s very nice to work in a job that I always dream about. The third dimension contains the best three of my favorite dreams, which I like more than others. The first one is about helping people in many ways and as much as I can, and the second is about drawing. I like to draw pictures of almost everything I see, but it’s not easy for me because I don’t know how to draw more than a simple picture, and the third dream which I like the most is the flying, I always wish I could fly by airplane or any kind of machine which makes flying possible for me. Until now I am just flying by dreams, and nothing true, but I am planning to take flying classes when I have the time and the money to do that. It is very nice and very helpful to have a lot of dreams which I’d like to come true, but it is more important to limit the dreams in order to be able to make them true.

Only One Ocean Away

a new adventure. I miss my “old” life and sometimes I feel lost despite having a wonderful family that helps me every day. I’ve always known l will go back soon, and this helped me to live each day with serenity and to learn as much as possible. Perhaps when l return to Italy, l will miss my “American life.” However, I will remember that Italy and the United States are only one ocean away.

My Hopes By Violeta Kassabova ESL 1320 Bulgaria Right now I am a person with very high goals and hope I will reach them in the future. I need to work hard to achieve these goals, but there is a big gap between where I am now right now and where I will be in the future. There are several gaps between my ideal self and my current self in several dimensions such as my health, school, and my personality. The first dimension that has a gap is my health. I get sick if I do not sleep well or if I do not go to bed early. Most of the time I have pain in my leg during the night and the next day I feel terrible at work. It is necessary to be strong and energetic, so I need to start adding more vegetables to my daily meals and to do a lot of exercises to reduce stress and get good health. To get better health will help me to be more successful in school and that is the second gap between my ideal self and my current self. It is also essential to improve my English. So I have to study very hard and do all my homework precise . Also I have to finish all levels of ESL classes and that will not be easy. Even though learning a foreign language like English is extremely hard, I believe I can do it; I will get my diploma in nursing in the end. The third gap between my ideal self and my current self is my personality. It is important to make some changes in the way I work with people. For instance, I have to get more organized, more patient and tolerant, so I will be able to handle stress and get better in life. Moreover, I have to believe in the people and they have to believe in my possibilities. Changes in my thinking and behavior will help me to find my ideal self. In conclusion, I am striving to find the real me, the ideal me to fill these gaps in my life. Eventually, I know I will reach my dreams and goals.

By Milena Di Bello ESL 1120 Italy When I arrived in the United States, I was shocked to feel l never left Italy. My family here came to the United States in the 70’s from Italy, and they brought many Italian traditions with them. l found the same language, the same food, and the same values. This is why l didn’t experience culture shock right away. The first time l experienced culture shock was when l went to Tri-C to take my ESL exam. It was very difficult being around people and not understanding what they said. This is why I decided to study very hard and it became a challenge with myself. The second time I experienced culture shock was when it snowed for the first time. I never saw all the snow and people go outside without a coat or wearing sandals. Finally, still now, it’s a problem to get used to the American daily schedule. People here eat dinner when I usually had my break, and they go to bed when I ate dinner. But I’m a person that enjoys trying new things and l live each day like 16

What Are You Thankful for This Year? By Teimuraz Ramishvili ESL 1020 Georgia I am thankful to God for this year that my family and I are healthy. I am thankful for my children and grandchildren. I am thankful for my interesting life and the love that is in our family. I thank my God that He keeps me safe and my family from different troubles and tribulations, that we have jobs, peace and love each other. I am thankful to God that I and my family live in the greatest, wonderful and awesome country on the earth: the USA. Thanks God!

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I Wish By Au Nguyen ESL 1310 Vietnam

Poetry

I wish I were a bird. I would travel all over the world. I wish I were a cloud. I would fly to my hometown. I wish I were a billionaire. I would help poor people everywhere. I wish I were a bee. I would fly in the wind joyfully with no worries. I wish I were a tree To cast shadow for you and me. I wish I were your light To guide you through the darkness of night. Though these wishes might not come true, There is one thing I would tell you. I wish, I wish with all my heart To be with you and never part.

I Wish By Atsuko Saito ESL 1310 Japan I wish I were a bird. I would sing loudly to reach you. I wish I were a star. I would twinkle to show I’m here. But….I know you’ll never look back and smile at me. I wish I had known what would happen to us. I would have overcome whoever came. I wish you had told me where you would go. I would have followed you wherever you went. But…I know you’ll never come back and love me again.

19


My Memory

What I’m Thankful For

By Anna Funtova ESL 1320 Kazakhstan

By Carmelo R. Heyer ESL 1120 Dominican Republic

I want to say “Thank you, mom” for everything you gave me in my life I have a favorite food that you used to cook; It is pancakes I remember smells, taste, even sound when you cooked that. Everything was great It was delicious for me I love you

In life I’m thankful for many things. Perhaps my beautiful family that is always there when I need them, especially my wonderful mother who has always been on top of everything that has to do with me. She has been like my manager always helping me to make the right decisions. I’ve always looked out at things that happen to me as God is blessing me. My mother is one of so many things that makes me get on my knees and pray. She is the one that I have to take care of. Sometimes I try to compare her with God,  but she’s not even close. She knows that I want the best thing for her, she has been with me in good and bad moments showing me the same love all the time even though the condition we are living in.  I have never missed him I only appreciate the woman he choose to be my mother. My mother is the biggest thing I’m thankful for. She is the reason I know I have to be a better person.

My Dreams By Cristina Bordea ESL 1320 Romania My dreams cannot fly From my heart. I wish that everything Will go so fast, And everything will be OK in the future.  My parents came here with a reason. They didn’t came here for them, They came here to make my life and my brother’s life easier. Here is different than in my country, No one can understand how hard it was for them, But probably God wanted to do this miracle, and to make their life easier, too. My dream is to make my parents happy, to be a smart and a good kid, To know what is good in the future, And never be afraid about what this life and world mean.  My dreams will come true in the future!!!

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My Past Life Ended By Ana Rodriguez ESL 1320 Puerto Rico My past life ended With a sweet and bitter way. No regretting of what I’ve done. I miss My past all alone. My life is Good, my life is great. I can’t complain but still do. My past is an extension of my present and without My past would not be a present. I thank God for all I’ve Done and because I will be happy from now on.

21


My Thoughts By Milad Hanna ESL 1320 Egypt It was a choice that could kill me Swimming in the sea was a huge risk Being at the age of fifteen means adolescence All my friends were able to do it except me They gave the right advice Not swimming was the choice I should have taken Adolescence pushed me to jump in there They had already swum far away when my body was thrown to face fate Within a few minutes, I felt water become higher than me I thought I would be fine but no way My body kept sinking under the waves I cried at my friends to help me out They swam back to rescue me Some rebuked me for being disobedient I thanked them, but I learned something I should not take risks in every situation

Missing By Milena Di Bello ESL 1120 Italy Missing your voice; missing your eyes looking at me; missing your breath next to mine. Missing you. You, who are like the air to my body; You, who are like the wings for an angel; You, who are the only one for me. I lost my peace, I lost my way, I lost myself‌missing you.

22

Memories


A Childhood Memory

He stopped for a second and looked straight in my eyes and said, “I love you Olga,” and told him the same.

By Landi Shtembari ESL 1220 Albania I can’t remember too much from my young childhood, but I’m never going to forget that. I came home from school one day, went to my bedroom and there was a small bike. My dad must have bought it and put it in my bedroom. It surprised me because every time I told my dad and my mom to buy me a bike, they told me, “ We no have enough money.” All my life I’ve felt that my parents see me as an interesting and valuable person – someone they really wanted to know and spend time with. This is the earliest example of that feeling that I remember. Growing up, my family didn’t have a lot of money, but us kids never knew it, and we never went without anything we really needed.

My Special Place By Olga Shestakoval ESL 1220 Uzbekistan My special place was a small tree house which was located in the park close to my apartment in Uzbekistan. When I was 15 years old, my friends and I built that tree house. We spent a lot of time there and always had fun. One day one of my best friends, who was not just an ordinary best friend, invited me on a date to our special place-the tree house. We were already dating for two weeks, but he said, “It is going to be our special date and I have a surprise for you.” I was excited about the coming evening. I got up early and went to a salon to get my nails and makeup done. My aunt did my hair. I tried on a million different clothes to choose the right one. Close to 6 o’clock I put a beautiful, light pink, summer dress on and waiting for my boyfriend. At 6 o’clock I heard a knock at the door and it was him. He came exactly on time. He looked very nice. He wore jeans and a white t-shirt. When I saw him, my heart was thumping so fast and my face was flushed. I think he felt the same way. He took me to the special place where he had prepared the surprise for me. As soon as I walked through the door of the tree house, I smelled a wonderful fragrance of roses and heard a beautiful love song. Also there he had placed candles everywhere which made the room bright, warm, and romantic. In the middle of the room there was a small table where he had placed strawberries in chocolate. Next to the table there was a loveseat which was covered with a soft, warm yellow blanket. He invited me to have a seat. We were enjoying the evening. We were laughing, talking, and having fun together. We moved closer and closer to each other. He was so close to me that I could smell his cologne, so good. I rested my head on his shoulder and he hugged me so tight. Then he gently put his hands on my cheeks and pressed his lips against my lips. It was such a magical moment. We began to hiss and hug each other. I felt like I was flying. 24

It was like a dream. I was so happy. He drove me home. He walked with me to the front door of my apartment and gave me a hug and kiss. It was so sweet. That night I couldn’t fall asleep. I didn’t want that night to end. I will remember that day and that special place forever. Our date was wonderful, our first kiss was incredible and our love was undeniable. That place and that day will always stay in my heart.

A Tornado By Ada Colon ESL 1120 Puerto Rico On February 2, 2007, a frightening experience happened to me and my family in Deland, Florida. First, it was very early in the morning and my dog started to bark like something was bad. We woke up and my husband went to see if the dog was okay. Then we heard a strong noise that kept coming closer to the house. Next, we both ran to the children’s room. Five minutes later, the power went. Everything was so dark. Then we tried to look outside, but it was impossible. Everything, all you can see were the trees on the ground. Finally, the sun came out and went outside. A tornado just passed close to my house. In conclusion, I will never forget that frightening experience in my life.

A Dangerous Experience By Taras Koshylovskyi ESL 1120 Ukraine I had a dangerous experience that happened to me three years ago. It was a sunny summer day. My friends and I decided to boat ride on the river. We floated on the boat, enjoying the scenery. Suddenly we saw a big snake in the water not far from us. Our boat started to shake because the snake frightened us. A few minutes later, out boat overturned, and we fell in the water. Then we tried to reach the bank by swimming. Fortunately, we all swim very well. Shortly after, my friends and I were on the bank. In conclusion, it was a dangerous and unforgettable day in my life.

Lost on the Highway By Jagwinder Kaur ESL 1120 India October 2007 was a terrible day for me. I was going to Akron with my sisters. It was a cold day. First, I know we had to go 77 south to Akron. Second we got lost on 77 to Akron where it ends. Next, we took the wrong exit because we got confused. We had to go to Cuyahoga Falls, but we didn’t see any Cuyahoga Falls exit. We passed Cuyahoga Falls. That time there was a lot of traffic on the 25


highway because it was 4:00 o’clock and we did not find any exit. Then we found an exit. After that, I found a gas station and asked a woman. She was putting gas in her car. She told me I had the wrong exit. Then we got back and found the city and we saw Graham Road. Finally, we got to the doctors office on time. In conclusion, it was an unforgettable day in my life.

A Very Vivid Dream By Carlos Valentin ESL 1220 Puerto Rico I had a dream when I was in Puerto Rico. It was to go to a place in which I can develop my abilities, find a good job and study in a college. That night, I dreamed that I found that place. The other day when I woke up, the first thing that I said was “United States.” Since that day, I decided to never give up. I decided to search for my American dream and I found it. When I put my first step on Cleveland, I breathed deeply and I felt the fresh air. My first words when I arrived were,“This is my time.”

A Special Place That I Will Never Forget

3rd

By Dilshan Nanayakkara ESL 1320 Sri Lanka It was another freezing day during the month of February. I was in New York City and working outside at a gas station. I don’t remember how cold it was but I do remember that every time I walked around, I couldn’t feel my toes and my nose was running. On that specific day I had to go home early because we were warned about a major winter storm that was coming toward New York. So I went inside, I took my jacket and my bag, and came to the cashier to get my pay. While I was waiting in the line, I looked outside the glass wondering how to walk to the Subway Station in this stormy weather. The glass in front of me was fogged because of my own breath. All of a sudden, I saw two bright blue lights coming toward me. I wiped off the glass. I was astonished and forgot to blink my eyes. It was a Bentley Continental, a car that I always dreamed about but never thought to see for real. I walked outside without remembering that I was waiting in line for my pay. The driver smiled at me. He gave me some money and I pumped gas into the car. He might have noticed that I was about to leave because I had my jacket on with my bag around it. He offered me a ride to the subway station. I was too shy to sit in the front seat, so I decided to sit in the back. While I was opening the back door, he told me to sit in the front seat. I reached for the front door like a small kid reaching for a cookie. We left the gas station.

I told him that cars are my second family. The heated seats were so comfortable. When I touched my seat, I felt the softness of a rose petal. The warm air from the air vents made my toes thaw. The whole interior smelled like pure leather. When I looked at the dash board, I felt like I was in a cockpit of an airplane. There were no old-fashioned gauges. Every single indicator was digital. The roars of the engine sounded like an angry monster. When I looked out the window, I saw everything in slow motion, like in a dream. The roads were so bad but, I felt like I was in a hovercraft. The car was just flying over the roads. When I looked even further, I could see people staring at this beauty. Parents were pointing at it with their children. We finally reached my destination. Only for that day, I wished that the subway station was further down the road so that I could sit inside this beauty longer. I thanked him a lot. My English knowledge wasn’t good at that time, so I thanked him the way I knew. He replied with a smile. I got out of the car and then he drove off. I stood there for few minutes thinking that just a few seconds ago, I was sitting in a car that I never ever thought I would be in. I started walking towards the subway station. My toes got cold again. My nose started to run again. To this day, every time I sit in a car, I always think about that Bentley Continental. That memory has already taken a special place in my heart…..

A Vivid Dream I Have Had By Jane Agbai ESL 1220 Nigeria A vivid dream I have had was last week. In my dream I went home. People were coming to welcome me. All my friends and all my relations came. But I did not see my grandmother asked them to take me to her house. As soon as I stepped out to go to her house, I woke up. In fact, all my hope was I am in Nigeria. I did not know that I am still in U.S. Maybe I am homesick. Because sometimes what we have in mind predicts our dreams, mostly when you are going to bed in the night. In fact if you have a good thing in your mind, sometimes you see that good thing in the dream. But if you have negative things in your mind while going to bed, you will dream about negative things. But sometimes it doesn’t go that way. Like my heart, my mind always thinks of the day I will go home so my dream always goes that way. So our dream depends on what we have in mind. So when I woke up I felt so bad, because all my hope was I have arrived, but I did not know that I am still at the same spot. So that is my very vivid dream I have had.

We started talking. We introduced each other a little. I don’t remember anything we talked about because I was busy looking at the interior. He might have seen that I was looking around like a two year-old, so he asked me whether I liked cars. 26

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The Best Gift You Have Ever Received

Lost on the Highway

By Dilshan Nanayakkara ESL 1320 Sri Lanka

By Herlyn Cayetano ESL 1120 Phillipines

The best gift that I have ever received is the car that I drive. It is a ’94 Honda Accord. My brother gave it to me when I moved to Ohio two years ago. He bought a car a few years ago when he first moved to the United States. It was his first car that he ever owned. Before he gave it to me, he took care of the car really well. So when he handed it to me, I thought to myself that I am going to take care of the car the same way.

On April 14, 2010, I had an unforgettable day. It was the first birthday that I was celebrating in the U.S.A. First, my friend treated me in a nice restaurant in Beachwood. She ordered delicious food and drinks. After we ate, she bought me a beautiful coat. I had a good time with her. It was almost night time so I needed to head back home. While I was driving on the freeway, I was so confused about which exit I had to use. So I decided to take 77 South. That exit was going to Columbus. I realized that I got lost. So I stopped in a gas station and asked but they didn’t know where 71 South was. I called my husband, my in-laws and a friend, but they didn’t know either because they didn’t know where I was. I was so frustrated on that day. Finally I asked a man in a store. He knew the way. And he wrote the directions for me. I got home safe but nervous. In conclusion, I never go or drive alone if I don’t know the way.

There are so many reasons that I think that my car is the best gift that I have ever gotten. First of all, I love cars. Ever since I was a child, automobiles have been in my mind day and night. I drove a car for the first time when I was 12 years old. I knew that it was just the beginning in my future dream about working with cars. Now I am all grown up. Most of my free time, I spend by learning and searching about vehicles. Every single time, I learn something new, something that I did not know before. The second reason I think that this is the best gift is because of the person who gave it to me, my brother. He means the world to me. When I first moved to the United States, I was all by myself. I did not know anybody around me. Then my brother decided to bring me closer to him. So we started living together. My life changed a lot, the change that I always wanted. He is my brother, but he is also a father to me. Another reason that I like my best gift is the car itself. I have been using it for almost two years now. So far, I did not have any major problems with it. I do the services on time and take care of the car the same exact way my brother did. When someone looks at the car, no one can tell that it is a sixteen year old car. It is in very good shape. Most of the time during the weekends, I spend some time with my car cleaning the interior, checking what needs to be done, etc. Most of my friends like my car. I always get the feeling that the car treats me the same way that I treat my car. I never had to pull over my car while I was driving because of engine trouble or anything. All summer long, during winter, it runs just perfectly. I wash it once every two weeks. I always do my best to keep my car running well. It is more than a car to me; it is a part of my life. Therefore, my car is the most important and the best gift that I have ever received. I love the gift my brother gave me. I will be using it for a long time. And I am going to treasure it as my own. I also think that am lucky to receive such a gift. Thank you my brother, for giving me such a gift. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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Wedding Reception in My County By Sara Obeid ESL 1120 Palestine One of my most precious days in my life was my sister Zeina’s wedding. It was on a sunny day on Dubai’s beach. I started off the day in my mom’s salon with my little sister and my mom. After we finished getting ready we went over to my sister to see if she was done with her hair and make-up. While Zeina was finishing up the final touches, my little sister and I went to grab her gift which was a golden necklace that had her name on it. After we all got ready, the groom, his family, and the dancing group arrived at my house to pick up the bride. We all went into the limos heading to Dubai’s beach. The real party started when the DJ and the dancing group arrived to the hall. We danced and ate all sorts of food, from pizza to sushi to chicken to roast beef to turkey and more. In conclusion, I was very glad to see all my family and friends and to see my sister so happy in the first day of her new life.

Attic By Anna Funtova ESL 1320 Kazakhstan I have a lot of lovely memories from my childhood about the attic of our house. I spent quite a lot of time in the attic when I was younger because many attributes there attracted me. First of all, it was the place where I could hide from everybody and do whatever I wanted. In other words, my attic was my sanctuary. There were plenty of dust and darkness there because it had just one little window. In spite of the fact that all things were old and dirty there, I loved to look for something interesting; it could be old clothes or shoes, for example from my grandma, or 29


very old toys from my oldest brothers’ childhood. The most attractive thing at my attic was a balcony. It was not a big balcony, but there was enough room for my friends and me to play there. Moreover, I absolutely loved to sleep there because I could see the sun when I woke up. It was amazing! In conclusion, when I think about my childhood, I always remember my favorite attic.

A Relaxing Lake By Natalia Rulle ESL 1320 Russia When I feel sad or tired, I always enjoy the relaxing nature at the lake. This lake is at the park near my house. Usually I go to this lake alone, yet sometimes I go with my wonderful husband. This is a beautiful lake, for it is always peaceful and lonely. Several days ago, I enjoyed this lake and it looked wonderful. I came to this place at the right time. I sat on a bench and watched nature in the nighttime and it was an impressive sight. The water was smooth and transparent. Around the lake there are many lonely, comfortable, wide, wooden benches. Beside each of them were round, big lanterns, which emit gentle, warm, yellow light. I heard a faint sound of machines and people. All around was calm, quiet, and sleepy. Thick crowns of old trees touched the water and created ripples on the water. The sky was covered with small, bright stars, and in the middle of the heavens was the big beautiful moon. The air was fresh and full of the fragrance of flowers. Dew covered the grass like a blanket covers a sleeping baby. All around was calm and peaceful. I came back home very happy. This place always relaxes me completely. In brief, the nature at the beautiful lake makes me feel relaxed, calm and happy.

Black Friday By Myoungmy (Chloe) Yang ESL 1020 South Korea I went to Aurora Outlet Mall last Friday. Last Friday was after Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving was first time for me. I heard about Black Friday from some people. So I arrived the mall at 1:00 AM with my friends. When we arrived the mall, there were too many cars. We wanted to park my friend’s car, but there were not enough parking lot. We found it for 40 minutes. Finally, we parked the car. There were many people in every shops. I even met other friends at a shop. We were shopping for three hours. Rain continued to fall. I was wet a little bit, but I enjoyed every minute. When I came home, it was 4:40 AM. I was so tired. I think I had a good experience. I’m waiting for next Thanksgiving.

City Nicolaev By Taisa Sachnovska ESL 1020 Ukraine My city is beautiful but not big. We have a ship plant in our city. It is famous in the whole World. It is huge and unique. We have best zoo in Ukraine. Our zoo occupies most of the territory. It is huge, beautiful and interesting. For the children we have Fairytale Town. The children`s amusement park is interesting for adults and children. The park is similar to Disneyland, only smaller. For the women we have shopping street. On this street people just walk. The street is blocked to traffic. There are a variety of shops and a lot of entertainment on this street. It is a fascinating place to stroll. We have two rivers. They are big and long, but dirty. I like my city and miss it.

The Beautiful Sunset at the Beach By Mariya Sereda ESL 1220 Ukraine The most beautiful sunset that I can remember is the one that I saw when my husband and I were on vacation in Florida. After a full day at the beach, everyone would leave their hotels or condos and take their beach chairs to go back to the beach to see a sunset. First, as the sun went down I could see different colors. The sky darkened and then the magnificent flow of rich reds, oranges, yellows, pinks, and purples with shooting rays of sunlight was painted across the sky until it calmed to a brilliant serenity. Finally, I could see the sun sink to the ocean at the beach. At the end, the sunset gave me a good feeling of the end of a good day and hoping for another good day. All in all, I never realized how beautiful the world really is.

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A Person Who Has Made a Difference: My Grandson By Sasa Mierzvinski ESL 1220 Croatia

Family Friends and

My grandson was born on October 24, 2010. His name is Jayden. At first, I did not know how this new baby would affect my life. I was thinking about him crying in middle of the night, or my wife will dedicate all her time to him. All this thinking disappeared when I saw him the first time in the hospital and took him in my hands. Today when I walk into the house, first thing I do is look for him, his big blue eyes, and his big smile. Even though he cannot speak, I think I understand those giggly words that he is trying to say, “Hi Grandpa.” Just seeing him is enough to melt my heart and whatever happened through that day will fade away. His smile definitely can help me to overcome problems in everyday life. In conclusion, this is the first time that someone is making a big difference in my life after a long time.

“I Love You, Mom” By Ni Ketut Kumala Dewi ESL 1320 Indonesia “I Love You, Mom.” Life can be easy, but it also can be tough sometimes. Many obstacles will come into our lives without reasons. Some people will give up their dreams because they can’t find the solution to their problems, but my mom treats all her problems as challenges to become a better person. I love my mom because of her intelligence, her strength and her caring nature. She often receives achievement awards because of her intelligence at her workplace. Her strength totally amazes me. At fourteen years old, my grandfather sent Mom alone to Jakarta for a better education. Although young, she handled all of life’s problems by herself. She worked as a dance teacher to support her life. Life was not easy, but she handled every obstacle. Her caring nature is what I love the most about my mom. I never realized how much she had sacrificed for me in the past. She always woke up early in the morning to prepare my family’s food. She barely slept when I was sick, and she always listened to all my stories and helped me find solutions to all my problems. Even though many years have passed and we are separated by many miles, my mom is always in my heart. Luckily with the technology that we have now, Mom and I can talk every week although it never feels enough for me. Mom remains the most important person in my life. Every day, I want to thank her for what she has done and still does for me. I love and miss her so much.

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My Mother “Hero”

My Partner

By Eyerusalem Kebede ESL 1220 Ethiopia

By Song Lee ESL 1120 South Korea

She was a beautiful woman. She was medium height, and had black hair, brown eyes and an oval face. She was not highly educated. She loved her children so much. She was a very strong woman inside and outside. She loved her country too. Everyone called her “Hero.”

My partner, Hyun Jung, is wonderful. She is a good wife and mother. She always serves my family with love. She is a really good colleague for me. She has a generous mind and a large heart. She is wise. She is serious and thoughtful. She is a good teacher for our children and friends. She is a very nice helper for me.

She got the name “Hero” when in 1935 the Italian dictator Mussolini came to make Ethiopia into a colony. However, a few Ethiopian leaders with their followers refused to be a colony. Then they became guerrilla fighters. One of them was my mother. After a five-year war Mussolini was defeated and he went back to his country.

In conclusion, she is a blessing for me.

During those five-years my mother lost her husband, two children and her father too, but those bad situations did not make her turn back from her aim. In those years my mother did a lot of good (preparing food for the fighters, taking the sick people, etc.).

When I come to America, I don’t understand English. Somebody tell me that I can go to the adult school. There is free class for the adult in the morning. Then I go to the adult school. There are 20 students in my class. Jing is from China. She has long straight hair, big brown eyes. But she is tiny and short. She is next to me in the classroom. She talks about her family and job. She comes to America by herself when she is sixteen years old. She works very hard because she wants to get more money. She is going to buy a new car. After school she goes to work by bus every day. She works at a Chinese restaurant. They are hiring a cashier. When I tell her that I have no job, she introduces the job for me. We go to school Monday to Friday morning and we go to work every day. We talk about family, job, weather, everything. After that we become good friends.

At that time not many women could do this kind of work. Because of this, my mother got the name “Hero.” I am proud of my mother’s deeds. After the victory my mother married my father and had seven children. She lived a happy life with us and died a few years ago. She will always be my hero.

The Jewel of My Heart

Good Friend By Huang Xiaoyan ESL 1020 China

By Sura Kareem ESL 1320 Iraq

Betty

He is very special to me, and he is the jewel of my heart. My life will stop without my husband. I love him so much. He has three things that women dream about. First, he has a very sweet heart. He loves me so much and he is always telling me very sweet words. I feel his heart is for me. Second, he is very kind and giving. If I want something and he doesn’t like it, he will change his mind to give me what I want. Third, he knows how to deal with me. Sometimes, I act stupid, but he understands me and always tells the right thing to do. Fish without water die, and I will die without him. In summary, I love my husband and he is everything to me. He is the jewel of my heart.

By Dominic Mel ESL 1220 Sudan My way to come to the United States, it was not my choice. It was Catholic Charity. I didn’t know where I may go. They brought me here into Cleveland. I have not heard about it before. I went to church. I met Betty in church. She asked me where I came from. I said, “I am Sudanese.” She became my best friend, and she told me to teach her how to drive. I volunteer myself to do so. For all this she told me she would give me a girl in her family. I said, “How will you know she will accept me?” She said, “I have been taking care of this child since she was born.” I said, “Well, I will see if she would listen to you.” She asked her. She did not deny me. In 2007 I went back to Africa. I met her and I came to the United States. We talked on the plane all the time. She became my friend. When I got back, I saw Betty. She is my best friend, and she is my family, too. In African culture, if a woman tells you something, you must believe it. You will not have doubt when she told you, “She will be your wife.”

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35


The Power of Speaking Up

My Daughter

By Ahmad Hassan ESL 1320 Palestine

By Oleksandr Shyrobokov ESL 1020 Ukraine

Bilal is a very special person to me. He is one of the wonderful people that I know. He helped me not to be frightened to speak with American people when I came here to the U.S. because I wasn’t able to speak English very well. I was always afraid to say anything in English because people were making fun of me. He used to give me a lot of advice, for instance, “If you don’t speak and don’t make mistakes, you won’t learn.” We used to go out a lot with his friends, and he let them communicate with me, and I hated it when he put me in that situation, but I got used to it after a while. Sometimes, when we would go shopping, he used to leave me along to deal with workers if I needed help when I went to pay. To sum up, Bilal is the only person that I appreciate for everything he has done for me and for making me speak up with people and feel no fear.

I want to describe my daughter. Her name is Sveta. She is 11 years old. She goes to school. She is a tall girl. She has long black hair. Her eyes are green. She is a very clever girl. She can play piano very well. She is a hard worker. She always does her homework well. She is a very friendly girl. She lives to go to the swimming pool with her brother. Sveta is a very pretty girl. I am proud of my daughter, and I love her very much.

My Husband Who is Brave and Hard Working By Dilek Gungor ESL 1220 Turkey My husband Mumtaz has been working very hard his entire life. Because his family was poor, and they didn’t encourage him to go to college, he didn’t go, and he started working at a very early age. When he was only 11 years old, he decided to leave his family and move to another city. That was his first brave decision. He went to Istanbul and found his cousin. Because his cousin was a hairdresser, he started working in his salon. After several years, he got his cosmetologist license. He opened his first salon in Istanbul, when he was just 21 years old. One year later he opened a second salon. They were very nice salons, but he wasn’t happy with his situation. A couple weeks later, he decided to move to the USA. That was his second brave decision, because he didn’t know anybody in the USA and didn’t speak English. After he moved to Ohio, the first three years were very hard for him, but he didn’t give up. He studied a cosmetologist book without knowing English. Finally, he got his license and went to Washington DC to work there. He worked in very elegant places. Some of his clients were Diana Ross, Farrah Fawcett, and one of the princesses of Dubai. After a few years, he went back to Cleveland and started working in upscale salons and getting new clients. In 1998 he won first place in the haircut category and in 2002 in the color category in Cleveland. In 2004, he opened a beautiful salon in Cleveland named Europa International Salon and Spa. In 2005, his spa was in the top 10. Every year his name became more famous.

Ten-Ten By Maura Stroia ESL 1320 Romania Today would have been my grandmother’s birthday. I ”spoke” to her in my mind, and I told her my actual problems. I asked her for some advice, and I cried. ”As you grow, you are more like your grandmother,” my mom used to say.”The resemblance between you and her is not physical but is evident in your way of thinking and acting…sometimes you are more her daughter than mine...”, but my mom was, I knew, happy for this. The strong tie between my grandmother and me helped me during her life and after it. Now, in my worst moments, I am surprising myself putting my hands in prayer, and calling her to help me…sometimes she comes. My grandmother was a strong but sensitive woman. She was smart and generous; she was tough and strict being forced to raise alone her three children (her husband died in World War II); she was highly respected by people, and her attitude showed pride through life’s difficulties. She suffered for her children more than for herself and raised her grandchildren in wisdom, kindness and fairness. She was my best math teacher, and I learned from her that following the rules makes life easier (maybe less colorful). I adored her. She was present for my important events (my girlfriends thought that she was my mother as she looked young and beautiful in her sixties), and all the time I called her Lina, how her name was. I liked to buy presents for my grandmother because life did not give her too many. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer and started chemotherapy, I was at the hospital all the time (it was one of the worst periods of my life).Sometimes, when she slept for a few minutes, I was sitting on a chair near her bed, and watching how small, feeble and helpless she was. I would have done anything for her, anything.

Nowadays, he has another spa, named Mumtaz International Salon and Spa. He works very hard and late at night. He has big responsibility, and his mind is always busy, but he never gets tired of working.

She died in my mother arms, twenty minutes before I got home. After her death, the relatives were happy dividing the estate, her life’s work. I did not want anything but my wonderful grandmother back. I made those relatives thankful by taking insignificant things from them, yet vital for me: her glasses, her books and her way of being kept in my genes.

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Another ten-ten. On the same date, a couple years ago, I met my husband. I got married late in life (did I lose something?). I was so-called “old girl,” but for me it was not the lily-flower stigmatization on my shoulder. I had a full life; I had an excellent job, many friends, my books and my inestimable family. I also had my dreams about the future, and I was sure that I had my destiny in my own hands. One summer night, during one of many mother-daughter discussions, my mom said, „Why do you not think seriously about marriage…about being AT your house?” I looked nowhere and I replied, “I am at my house, I own one, I stand on my two feet, what is the problem?” You know exactly what I want to say, I will not live forever and, as your brother did, I want you live as God meant for man and woman,” said my mom with a little bit louder voice. Before then, I did not care too much about my way of living, but I started to think more about getting older. I felt a kind of selfness in my way of seeing things, a lack of desire to share with someone else my very full soul. I met my husband in October, 10, and we got married three months later. Now I am AT our house, in another country, in another big family, sharing my soul, my time, my beliefs, and hoping that my mother is happier.

My Mom in My Life By Keishla Alicea ESL 1220 Puerto Rico My mom is the most special person in my life. She has always been there for me. My mom is a beautiful, honest and peaceful person. She is my motivation to be successful in life because she always gives me an example of what I have to do to make my dreams come true. She always gave me an example for being responsible, to finish my college, to have a good job and most important to be a good mother like she always has been for me. She is my motivation to succeed in life.

My Little Remembrances By Magdalena Czyzycka ESL 1320 Poland

My Mother and I

1st

By Maura Stroia ESL 1210 Romania When my grammar teacher told us,” Write a paragraph comparing you to another person,” I knew who “the person” is: my mother. I chose her in a second…it was easy. All my life I have compared myself with my mother. All my life I wanted to be like mom…she was and still is my role model and my best friend. Before I got married, when my husband met my mother for the first time, he asked me when we left my parents’ house,” Are you exactly as your mother. Why?”... I asked … “Because she is adorable, I haven’t met a person as nice as your mother...”It seems a joke but it isn’t. On the other hand, I felt that it is a difficult topic for me. How could I compare with her when she is incomparable? How could I compare with my mother when she is a symbol of devotion, sacrifice, tolerance and kindness? I am sure that she wants me to be as good as she is or more, and how dare I compare myself with my peerless mother? My mom is as tall as I am. She is thin as I am and is older than I, by 18 years. My mother has bright eyes when she laughs, as I have. She is graceful and has a noble attitude as I have. My mom never hates, and she has good words for everyone, as I have. She is convinced as much as I am, that the family is the most important thing in the world. She is almost as funny as I (she can’t be so funny because of her past life)…..do you see? I am exactly as my mother is, exactly like my idol….But, she has more patience than I have. She has an infinite understanding capacity, incomparably more than I have. She believes more than me in the power of good feelings. I am more educated than she, but she is wiser than I. I have traveled more, but she has a more profound way to see life. She is nearly as organized as I, but for her, to be organized is not an end, it is a habit. Now when she becomes older and older, now when her needs get smaller and smaller, now when she looks to her children and grandchildren with a kind of pride, I know that she is the proof that everything is possible. Maybe my grandmother was my mother’s role model, maybe my great grandmother was the role model for my grandmother, and….so on. I wish to be the role model for my stepdaughter…I hope I will be!

When I was at school, I sometimes had problems, and I was worried about everything. When I came back from school, I always talked with my parents about my problems. My father and my mother saw my face, and they knew everything. I was a shy child, so sometimes I put everything in my soul. I could talk about my problems and my parents would understanding me. These days, I can still talk with my parents about my problems, and they still help me.

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About My Mother By Anna Funtova ESL 1320 Kazakhstan My mother has many good qualities. First, she is really kind person. She helps everybody and does a lot of good things for them. Even if someone does something bad to her, she helps this person. In this case she says, “I cannot do bad things to people as an answer because I must do good actions always. But God will punish a bad man.� Also my mom is a very generous person. She can give her last dollar to ill people or to poor children. I can say my mother is a wise woman because she always makes correct decisions. By the way, she is an intelligent person. She is very good with numbers and with her hands. My mom always cooks delicious meals. I am sure that everybody respects my mother. In conclusion, my mom is a very nice person, and I wish other people had as many good qualities as my mom does.

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Cultures and Countries


How to Celebrate Children’s Day By Myoungmy Yang ESL 1120 South Korea In my country, we celebrate Children’s Day on May 5th every year. This day is a happy day for children and adults too. I like this day. Many adults prepare things for the children. They buy or make gifts. They also reserve a restaurant before that day. Other adults cook food for the family. Most children enjoy this day with their family. Many people go to the zoo, to an amusement park, or theater. Children’s Day is exciting and happy to many Koreans. Children are offered special things wherever they go. For example, clowns give balloons with little gifts. Movie theaters show special movies for children. It is a happy and special day for everybody.

The City of Lahore By Mohammad Arfeen ESL 1320 Pakistan My birth place “Lahore’ is one of the largest cities of the world and second largest city of Pakistan. This city is a splendid mix of old construction and beautiful landscaping. It has some of the most historical buildings of the Subcontinent. It has a rich cultural heritage. The city of Lahore is one of the most beautiful and historical cities of the world. The city of Lahore is divided into the old and the new city. The old city has a wall around it and has eight big doors; each door has the name. The old city was built in the time of the Mongol empire. One of the Mongol emperors built this city for his soldiers. The old city is full of old constructions; some of the famous buildings are the Badshahi Mosque, Lahori Fort, Shahi Garden and old Bazar called Anarkali. These buildings were built with red stone and marble. The new city was built outside around the walls. The new city also has modern constructions like shopping malls, fast food restaurants, high rise buildings and beautiful monuments. The roads are wide and new. If you come from the old city to the new city you will be surprised to see the difference. The city of Lahore is built on the river bank so you can imagine the beauty of it. It has lots of beautiful gardens ,parks and who can forget about the Sufi Shrines which give a mystic feeling at night. The river is so fascinating and gives cool and clean feeling after the hot weather at noon. The famous gardens of Lahore are Race Course Park, Shalamar Garden and Jinnah Garden. There is also a man made forest called Changa Manga that increase the beauty of the city.

My Favorite Place in the World

Honorable Mention

By Nawar Yossef ESL 1320 Syria It is in the middle of the desert, where I always love to be. It’s Dair Mar Mousa. It’s the most quiet and romantic place in the whole world. And it’s a place to refresh the mind. I liked Dair Mar Mousa from the first time I visited it. Everything there is quiet: no phones, no cars, there aren’t any noisy sounds like what we hear in the regular world. I can hear just the birds and the wind when they move slowly between the mountains. I can hear a few people when they try to talk quietly, too. And the part that I love the most in this place is the night. When the sun goes down, everything becomes more quiet, specially at eight o’clock when the church starts its special melody. So I can hear it while I am sitting on the rocks far away from the little church. In the evening, I can feel like I am going to touch the stars in my hands, they look very clear and close to me. In the morning, I can wake up and smell the fresh and clear air, and I can see from my old window the naked mountain with rocks and sands. It’s an empty view, but it made me refresh not only my mind, but also my life. Until now, I don’t know why I love this place so much, but I know that I love it and I’ll keep loving it. It’s the only place that renews my life every time I go there.

Two Countries By Violeta Kassabova ESL 1320 Bulgaria The USA and Bulgaria are part of my life. I have lived many years in both countries, found out they are both beautiful, lovely, and interesting, but they are also very different from each other. Therefore, there are several differences between the USA and Bulgaria in their size, cultures, communities, and their relationship between children and their parents. The first difference between the USA and Bulgaria is their size. The USA has many large states and crowded cities, which can cause a lot of pollution. For example, Cleveland is very crowded due to traffic jams in the late afternoons. In contrast, Bulgaria is a small country. People can go through the whole country in seventytwo hours equivalent to three days. The cities are not large, so they do not have traffic jams. Because the cities are small, people do not own cars. Instead, they get around by walking, taking the bus or riding their bikes. Everything is so close: banks, schools, and stores. In that, way we save a lot of time. Both American and Bulgarian cities are nice, but they differ in their size and lifestyle.

The city of Lahore is the most beautiful and historic city of the world. We have an old saying, ‘If you did not see the city of Lahore, you are not even born yet.”

The second difference between the USA and Bulgaria is the cultures. Because of the many nationalities that live in America, there are different ethnic foods that are offered in restaurants. In Bulgaria, people cook and sell traditional food like banitsa, soups, musaka, pizza, and bread. In my country, people do not eat many snacks like

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in the USA. Instead, the people get vegetables, fruits and energetic drinks. In brief, the food in the USA and Bulgaria are very different.

and their friends. Boy’s family serves food, drink and desserts and gives candies in special decorated bowls.

The third difference between Bulgaria and the USA is communication. Here in America people can hear different sounds of many languages, unlike in Bulgaria people speak only Bulgarian generally. Here in America on the TV and the radios people talk extremely fast; whereas, in my country people do not talk fast. They do not use a lot of slang, but they speak many dialects. These examples show clearly the difference in communication in the USA and Bulgaria.

After Al-Qiran is over they start shopping for their home. The last step will be the wedding. It is a very big party. They can live in their own home or they can live with boy’s family.

The fourth difference between the USA and Bulgaria is the relationship between parents and their children. In America, the children over 18 years old live separately from their parents and some of them get married and have their own lives. In contrast, in Bulgaria the children stay with their parents until they get married, and they continue to live with their parents. In that way they help each other by living together. In conclusion, both countries in some aspects are totally different. Even though they have many differences in the way of size, communication, relationships between parents and their children, they are both comfortable places to live and succeed in.

Fiestas Patronales By Viviana Maldonado ESL 1020 Puerto Rico We call this way the party of the town. These parties are religious things for the virgin or the holy person in that town. In these parties, we wear a lot of masks we made with coco or newspaper. There are a lot of bands we call “batucada o pleneros.” In the party is a lot of people who dance in the streets. They have cars with flowers like on the Puerto Rican parade at New York. But these kinds of celebrations are a little smaller and more typical things in there like the mask and the costumes. There are a lot of people with ice cream made with fruit of the country and other candies.

Quinceanero

My Birthday Party

By Gloricelys Diaz ESL 1020 Puerto Rico

By Mariia Sokol ESL 1120 Ukraine

The Quinceanero is a custom in my country. People celebrate when the girl will be fifteen years old. The family rents a club for the celebration. This birthday is only for the girls. Her parents buy a beautiful dress for the girl. The girl takes what color to use for the decoration. Her family buys a lot of food and snacks for the guests. On this birthday the family and her best friends come to the Quinceanero. At the party the custom is that the quinceanera dances the slow music with her father and after with her friends.

In my family, we have big parties on birthdays. It is my favorite holiday. First, I sit and think about the ideas for the party. Second, I get to choose what idea I love the best. Third, I make a list of things that I would need. Next, I go shopping with my friends. We have fun on this day. Then, we decorate the house. Also, we choose the music and order a chocolate cake. On my birthday, we dress up and get ready for a good time. Finally, the party starts at 6:00PM and no one knows when it ends.

Luquillo

The Wedding

By Norma Medina ESL 1020 Puerto Rico

By Ibtehal Yahyi ESL 1020 Iraq

Luquillo is a little town in Puerto Rico. Many people say Luquillo has the most beautiful beaches. When I go to the beach, I see a lot of different people. The beaches are always full. I always have a good time at Luquillo beaches. I like the beaches from Luquillo because they are always clean. When I go to the beach, I like to go in my car and the parking is cheap. The people at the beach are very noisy.

The Wedding in Iraq starts with engagement. The boy or his family, when they see a girl and they like her, go to her family and ask for her hand. The girls’ parents start to ask about the boy and his family if he has good manners, polite and if he has a good job. After they agree, then they will get engaged. This is the first step. We call it khoitba. There is a small party inviting brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts. He gives the girl a gold ring and she gives him a silver ring. Then the boy’s family starts shopping for many things for the girl like jewelry, clothes and other things. After that it will be “Al-Qiran.” That means the boy and girl will be husband and wife. In Al-Qiran will be a big party. Both families invite everybody they know 44

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Teacher’s Day

Celebrating New Year

By Tien Hua ESL 1120 Vietnam

By Chetali Patel ESL 1120 India

In Viet Nam my country, we have a special day for teachers. Teacher’s Day is on November 20th every year. On this day, we don’t have class but we go to school in the morning. We need to buy some gifts and flowers for teachers on this day. Everybody wears new clothes. Today, we go to school early about 6:30 a.m. We sit in the quad. Somebody delivers a speech about teachers and about education. Then, we sing a lot of songs about the teachers. After that, we give some flowers and gifts to the teachers. Finally, we go to the teacher’s house. We cook eat, sing and play games. In conclusion, today is the day we appreciate our teachers.

In my country, India, we call new year ‘Dipavali’. Dipavali means row of lights. Our new year takes five days . a first three days we go to the temple .We pray to our god , give thanks for the past year and pray that the new year will be happy. Then we return home. We make some free hand art with different colors. Some people make it inside home and some people make it in front of door. We clean our houses and decorate them with flowers, colorful lights. On the third day before midnight people have fire crackers. They make a lot of noise and whole city looks full of lights . It’s called dipavali.

My Impressions of the United States By Janette Rodriguez ESL 1120 Puerto Rico I was born in Puerto Rico in 1975 and I was there for 17 years. I thought I was fine or great until my parents send me to the U.S.; at the beginning, I was mad because I was in my last year of high school. It was hard for me to finish 12th grade with a group of people that I did not know. I guess at that time I had a negative idea about the U.S. I could say that when we think negatively, everything that you see will be negative; at that time I was sad, but I did my best and I did graduate. A couple of years after moving back and forth, I finally came back to Cleveland and now I see everything differently. I see now a better opportunity for me and the kids. I do miss my country, but I think that living in the United States is the best thing that happened to me.

My Mother By Milena Di Bello ESL 1120 Italy My mother is like a Martian for me. Sometimes it’s very difficult to communicate with her. Maybe it will be the age, or maybe it will be the difficult times when we are born. When she was a child, she had a very strong education. Her parents were very strict with all their six children. Maybe because of their not easy financial situation, my mother grew up thinking that life is difficult and she had fun just a few times. She did, she does, and maybe she will do everything for her family. She has been a good mother, but she has not been a good friend for me. It was difficult and sometimes impossible to tell her my feelings because she can’t understand me. In conclusion, I know that my mother and I are opposite, but I can’t forget that she is the person who gave me life, and when I see her crying, I feel bad because I know that the reason are my words.

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On the next day people makes different types of food for their gods or goddess and bring at the temple. They put in the front of god different types of food more than 56 items. It’s called chappan bhog. After we eat that food, we go home. In the evening people are go to each other home and get together. People make some delicious dinner and sit with their family. People are happy on those five days and they enjoy those days. This festival finally ends after five days of cooking, decorating, eating, shopping, gift giving and worshiping. In conclusion, there is no doubt that divali is the most popular festival in India.

My Favorite Food By Hyung Jung Lim ESL 1120 South Korea My favorite food is Kimchi soup. My mom sometimes made Kimchi soup in cold winter. When I get home from cold outside, my mom would give the soup with hot rice. The Kimchi soup made me warm and satisfied. I never forget the light and cool taste. In winter, I cook Kimchi soup with sprout beans. That is also my husband’s favorite food. In conclusion, Kimchi soup is my first favorite food.

The First Birthday By Kyuwook Yeom ESL 1120 South Korea We have a special country ceremony for baby’s first birthday. We think that a first birthday is very important. A long time ago, so many babies died before the first birthday. At that time, they didn’t have medicine, so many babies died because of disease. Now, we have a lot of medicine and high medical science, but we still celebrate the first birthday of babies. We give a gold ring and clothes. We put a pencil, thread, money, and a musical instrument on the table. Then, the baby chooses something. A pencil means smart. Thread means long life. Money means rich. A musical instrument means talent. We celebrate baby’s healthy life, and we have a big dinner together. In conclusion, we think the first birthday is very important birthday. 47


My Dream By Leovigilda Shields ESL 1320 Mexico

Perspectives

I always have a recurring dream. It has not gone away; it still lingers in my sleep after many years. My dream is to finish my education. Education was very important to my parents, especially to my Father. He reminded me every day of how much I needed to go to college and make something out of myself. He always reminded me of how I was not an American. I was not born in America, I am a foreigner there so he believes I have to work twice as hard, I must prove I am worthy of being given such an opportunity, I must be an asset to society, not a burden. In my dream I never finish or accomplish what my dear father wanted.

Decision

Honorable Mention

By Sasa Mierzvinski ESL 1320 Croatia I asked myself this question for some time, but tomorrow I have to tell my wife what to do. I have to negotiate a peaceful solution to the conflict between my two thoughts. One was to leave everything behind and take an offer to go to the United Statea. Another was to stay in Germany and continue life as refugee, in a country that had opened their hands and gave my family and me so needed time to recover from the raging war in my country. I didn’t have a regular job in Germany, I was working a day here, a day there, but because of my status of refugee, I didn’t have rights to work or any chance to find a permanent job in the future. We had financial help from government and it was enough to live, but really who wants to stay like that an entire life and live as a parasite not able to work or to contribute to society. Yes, it was a good feeling that you don’t have to worry about putting food on the table, pay for kid’s school or doctor. One part of me was just for that, staying in this “wunderbar” country and stop worrying about the future. “Stay in Germany as long you can,” my mom would say every time when we talked on the phone. One of the biggest reasons why I was in such a big dilemma was the fact that I didn’t have any idea what to expect in THE “The United States”. I only knew about that part of the world from books and my geography teacher. I had heard from other people the horror stories about how dangerous it is to live there and how government allows you to receive help just for a short period of time. Do I want to take the whole family into unknown? Put their lives in jeopardy, just because I want to be proud father, a man with strong words and courage to take life and life of his family to another level? To take them to the journey to an unknown country where every single mistake has a price and no return policy that you can purchase or time machine to get you back to point where you started. I didn’t have the option to ask my father for some advice, I didn’t have a friend who was there and who knows for sure that steps that I would be taking would not bring me to my knees watching my family suffering, in the world where hope 49


is the only key for the door of happiness. Yes, deep inside my soul I had the feeling that I could do just that. After reading many books about U.S democracy: how the people have equal rights, how hard work can purchase you part of security and prosperity for you and your family, how a one-way ticket to unknown land of promises can change the course of the history that next generation will have documented in our family tree? One-way ticket to the land where the success, prosperity, peace and understanding comes with no strings attached, where hard work, strong desire for success and of course unlimited supply of love from family can get you to the finish line. Isn’t that what everyone is trying to reach at some point in life? Did you ever have the chance to talk to yourself? Did you ever have honest discussion with yourself? Some people say that is the first stage of nervous breakdown. I don’t know, but in that room I had serious discussions with myself. I tried to put facts together. With every bad thought against moving, my “other” part would give me two good for it. Even my wife didn’t help; if I asked her about moving to a different part of the world, she would simply tell me, “I trust you. Whatever you think is best for us, we will do that.” Yes, I didn’t like that answer. I wanted her to be against moving, I wanted so badly that she would say “No, I don’t want to go,” That would end my agony and simplify process, but I knew that was not going to happen. The ball was in my corner and I had to make the move. Whichever decision I made it would be one that I would be responsible for. That decision was one of the biggest conflicts in my life. Maybe, gambling with the destinies and lives of whole family aren’t the best way to start a new life, but 14 years later I think that was my best game move ever.

Money is Happiness By My Le ESL 1120 Vietnam I believe money makes people happy. Honestly, it works for me. First of all, with money, people can come to school. They get knowledge and make new friends. Their lives can change from that. It doesn’t matter who they are, or where they come from. People would love to learn new things. Second, money also helps to improve people’s standard of living. Can you imagine a life without a TV or a computer? Imagine coming home after a long hard workday without anything to relax. Third, with money, people can visit friends or relatives all over the world. They might want to enjoy their lives. That is why many people spend a lot of money to travel every year. Money is everything. Money is the reason why people need to work. People cannot do anything and have no goals without money.

contrarily to the USA where we have four seasons and where the winter lasts for three to four months. There is a lot of fruit in summer and also plenty of fresh vegetables. The second reason is that I don’t like too much traffic, so to find a quiet place where I can rest and relax, I go to my country. It has just a little traffic and a few cars. “Burkinabe” (people from Burkina) are very friendly and once you spend time with them, you want to do it again and again, so it is important for me to hang out with people that love you and care about you instead of spending your vacation around those who are always worrying about how much money they make each week. Even though it is a relaxing time, I don’t like to stay home too much. In Burkina there are lots of places where I can get together with friends and enjoy my vacation. There are also many concerts in summer and a few museums that show our cultural identity. There are no lights along the streets, so it’s beautiful to be able to see the stars and the moon in the sky. This is the kind of vacation I choose to have at least once every two years and I really like it.

My Ideal Vacation By Maura Stroia ESL 1210 Romania My ideal vacation is a vacation in a wild place. I prefer places with not many people, with not much noise and with a great deal of doing nothing. For it is important to forget (or at least for a short time) the daily survival problems. Peace and quiet, wild animals, wild plants and interesting nature make me relax and almost lost in the ties with the real world. As such time is important to combine some needs with some possibilities: money, time, fun or your partner’s needs. All the people generally want to spend no money or very little for a great deal. With enough resources, you will have plenty of fun. Anyway, it is not so hard to make a decision. Sometimes the best good decisions are taken in very few minutes. It is important to think about your (and your partner’s) priorities for just a little time. If you really care about nature, environment, beaches or wild animals, an ideal vacation is on an island. For me it will never be boring or ugly. I don’t have any problems with the bad or not so bad conditions. I need very little comfort and I think that the human body is made to keep in touch with the earth, the sun and the water.

This Period of My Life

My Ideal Vacation By Emmanuel Zerbo ESL 1210 Burkina Faso I usually choose to go to Africa (Burkina Faso) for vacation. The first reason of my choice is that Burkina has only two seasons, a rainy season and a dry season 50

By Milad Hanna ESL 1320 Egypt This period of my life is like water streaming and falling off high rocks into a river. The river has had low water level for the last couple months, and when the rainy season comes, nature turns happy. I love to be your water, nature. Why does not 51


my best friend air come and share me to insert happiness into my mother nature. I know I have been hidden for a while, but it is time to make nature glad like before.

Anyway, I have been reading since I was child on my desk, or under the bedclothes, with a flashlight. I read now in my car during our long drives or long hours of waiting for my husband to come back from his favorite car-stores. I like to use the specialty dictionaries for history, geography or fiction.

My Ideal Vacation

Sometimes I argue with my niece (a nineteen-year-old girl) on the internet topic. I consider it the best “bad/good “thing in our world. It is wonderful and efficient but makes people (especially the youngest) lack in book interest. It is worthwhile to find a response to a question in not typing on the computer, but going to a library, searching in ten books, and finally saying: ”Eureka, I found it!” helps more. I do not know what Teodora’s life will be like, but I continue to teach her about the reading importance, hoping that I will have success, and being convinced that “Look in a book!”works.

By Yan Huang ESL 1210 China My ideal vacation is visiting some new places. Maybe those places have a lot of traffic. I don’t care. I would like to see many skyscrapers in the world. I would like to eat in some different restaurants. I would like to taste a little different meat that the restaurants have. Those things I like are in a big city. There must be a lot of noise in general. I like noise. When I was in China, it was very noisy too. I miss the noises in China. So noise is good for me. I like places that have many different things I have never seen. I like places that have a lot of different food and fruit I have never had. My ideal vacation is visiting some new places that have some different things I have never seen.

Look In A Book! By Maura Stroia ESL 1320 Romania Two months ago, my step-daughter Teodora and I watched cartoons on TV. Usually we do this when we are too tired after singing, playing, running, screaming and making Teodora’s father crazy(actually, my husband). So, we were watching TV and there were some very interesting lessons about books and their importance. I do not remember exactly the plot, but I remember a permanently repeated sentence. “Look in a book!” Teodora, who is fascinated by many things and has an unbelievable memory, asked me what exactly the looking in books represents, and why that cartoon character repeated it again and again. “I saw you many times looking in books, did you see the cartoon before and you do what they say?” asked Teodora. I smiled and I gave her a little bit too mature explanation: “You see, reading is the most important thing in life...if you read, you will never feel alone. Also, reading helps you to learn a lot, have a career that means money, and money means red dresses, pink shoes, make –up...”(she already started to want to be dressed according to her tastes). ”But remember what I say!” I said, “in books you can find everything, absolutely everything or any response. “Teodora looked at me and smiled somewhat superiorly. After our dialog she continued staying comfortably on me, on my face, on my arms, fortunately, leaving me space for breathing. A little bit later, my husband tried to find his “special” shirt; as always happens he did not find it and obviously he asked me. Teodora, my good helper, went full of importance in front of him, and said, “Daddy, daddy, I know where your T-shirt is, I know because Maura told me..It is in a book...of course. ”So, that was the explanation that our little child gave to finding anything in books. My husband and I laughed, but we did not want to offend her sweet way of thinking. 52

Three Most Important Things By Abdijabar Abdi ESL1230 Somalia Three very important things have happened in my life. The first was when I arrived at the border of Kenya and saw the sign for UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency). In 1992, I had walked from Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, looking for asylum and refuge in Kenya, the neighboring country, which welcomed me with open hands. The second important thing was being able to live in a peaceful community and get free education and healthcare provided by UNHCR and with the cooperation of the Kenyan government. The last most important thing, almost two decades later, was achieving my dreams of coming to America. I stepped in the land of hope, freedom and opportunity the day I landed at Hopkins airport.

My Garden

2nd

By Achille Romito ESL 1320 Italy Since I left my country Italy, I have lived and gardened in Maple Heights, Ohio, for more than three decades. After all these years, my greatest joy is working in my garden. I have enjoyed planting and harvesting fruits and vegetables and observing the unusual way things of beauty come into being. I enjoy the feeling I have sitting among the plants and watching them grow. Although I have a deep desire to communicate with them, I remain silent. As I look at the sky and the surroundings, I would like to talk to them and thank God for making nature so beautiful and for feeding the world. I think of what a lucky man I am for having a small piece of land in back of my house to cultivate and make into a garden. Within a few yards of my home, I have been able to take advantage of this small piece of land for many years to come.

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I start to plant my garden in the month of May or June, depending on the weather because the soil needs to be warm. The best temperature for growing vegetables is seventy degrees. I patiently wait for this season of growth and life renewing itself. When this time arrives, I am at last rewarded for my patience during the long winter months by seeing the growing season begin. Knowledge of gardening can help you in many ways so that you cannot even imagine the joy when you reap the harvest. I have a brown wooden fenced in plot of land behind my house where I have five fruit trees: one pear tree, two plum trees and two apple trees. I have fond memories of my five baby fruit trees which I bought at Petitti Garden Center. I had to carry them from the nursery to my garden. It was very difficult because I carried them in a wheelbarrow for over two miles to my garden. During the trip down the sidewalk, I stopped to rest and dried the sweat from my face with my handkerchief. People in their cars started to annoy me and make me nervous. They stared at me and beeped their horns. I couldn’t understand if they felt sorry for me or if they were bothered by me. If I had another way to transport the trees, do you think I would use this one? I ignored what they thought about me. I kept my cool and continued to push the wheelbarrow until I arrived at my garden and planted the five fruit trees. Now there are flowers and vegetables in front of the trees where they get the full sun. There are some flowers, such as impatiens, that do well in the shade, and these I planted close to the trees. At the beginning of summer, I planted different types of flowers like chrysanthemums, English daisies, and begonias. I also planted narcissus, Easter lilies, and one hundred rose buses of different colors. I also grow many types of lettuce, onions, radishes, tomatoes, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, eggplant and a variety of herbs. This harvest I share with my neighbors who tell me how much they enjoy their natural flavor and freshness. My neighbors make me happy when they say, “Thank you. Your vegetables are out of this world.” On one side of the garden there is a huge grapevine canopy. Inside the enclosure is an iron table and chairs. In the summer my whole family and friends dine there, especially on Sunday and holidays. We enjoy relaxing and drinking wine, beer and other beverages as we smell the fragrant sweet perfume the flowers give. The flowers of my garden are used to decorate the tables of my house all summer long. One of the reasons I garden is for my health. The vegetables that I grow are free from chemicals. I believe that the vegetables purchased in the supermarkets contain chemical poisons and are worse than processed food. Today, people are eating more vegetables and less meat because they are very health conscious. Also, vegetables and salads are simple to prepare and delicious to eat with fresh herbs such as basil, mint, and rosemary. I cannot find words to explain the feeling given to me by working in my garden. When the sun comes down, I enjoy carrying two large buckets full of water in my hands and watering each plant. 54

I look at them and they look at me with little smiles, and they appreciate me watering them on the hot days. Sometimes I walk around the garden and look at all the beauty in it. I stop and stare and feel the wind blowing a cool breeze from the lake. It caresses the vegetables and flowers, gently tickling them, and even the sun kisses the plants with a warm touch; sometimes I become jealous of these wonderful forces of nature. Looking at my great garden, I think I do not need to see television or to travel to other places to enjoy life. My garden delights me and stimulates my imagination and astonishes me. It’s the place where I achieve peace and a sense of love and gratitude to God. When I stand and look at my garden filled with flowers and vegetables, I see them as they change with the season. When fall and winter come and I have to discard the remains of the garden, it makes me sad. It reminds me of all the care I gave to the flowers and plants, which became part of my life. They were my friends, but we were forced to part as the weather changed from summer to fall. I wait again for the summer when I will be reunited with lost friends. When fall comes, all the leaves on the trees and bushes turn from green to yellow and sometimes from light golden brown and burgundy to red. I stand and look at this amazing sight. I feel like I am in the Garden of God, but the leaves don’t stay on the trees for long. As the leaves gently are swirling and dancing beautifully in my garden, I feel dispirited because I want them to stay for a long time, but I remember that every living thing has a period of time to live. The garden and I need to rest through the fall and winter; nothing lasts forever in this wonderful world. When fall comes, I pull up everything that is left and put it into the compost pile. In the spring, I will use the compost to fertilize my garden. When I have to discard the remains of the garden, it makes me uncomfortable because I would like the garden to last all year, but I appreciate the variety of seasons. They were my companions, but fall has separated us. I wait for the summer when I will be reunited with my lost friends. I will begin again next year because God is always there.

Tri-C, Eastern Campus By Achille Romito ESL 1320 Italy There are many important people and places in America that are very important in helping young and old people in the community of Cleveland. I would like to choose one place that is very important to me. Cuyahoga Community College, Eastern Campus is a really wonderful place with beauty, simplicity and modern characteristics. If I sit down in one place at the Tri-C Eastern campus, and look around, I see many different trees, unusual flowers like chrysanthemums, orchids, sunflowers, and tulips. There are also English daisies, begonias, narcissus, Easter lilies and many rose bushes of different colors. There is a pond with a cascading waterfall and many hug geese walking or flying around. Even the rabbits are eating the tender 55


grass and many of the deer go toward the pond to drink the water. After a while they drank the water and they disappeared into their woodland refuge. It is breathtaking and it makes me think. It takes so little to love wildlife animals. Same look domesticated at Tri-C campus. They have the same right to share and enjoy the things which belong to the earth. What a beautiful campus. No matter where I sit at the campus, I appreciate the feeling of nature. When I go to the Eastern campus, I feel so happy and peaceful because this place is very special to me. I never felt so happy in my life. Cuyahoga Community College has the most wonderful professors and tutors. They are always willing to help the students. They impress me with their character and willingness to aid the students. They have a very nice way to discipline the students with their gentle ways and words when they need to maintain order in class. They have the ability to show the students how to change their ways and learn. The teachers earn the respect from all the Tri-C students. Cuyahoga Community College has many great tutors in various departments as well as other tutors who are in the computer lab; they provide such a great service to their students; and many people ask them for help. The tutors always help with a smile and are always very willing to answer questions. The professors and tutors at Eastern campus are what make students become as successful as they are. I feel as though I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to learn throughout these past years from such a wonderful group of professors and tutors. Tri-C East is a stress-free, supportive environment. Tri-C East is a significant place in the community of Cleveland because it provides the opportunity for success for its students. Believe it or not, Cuyahoga Community College can open doors for Americans and foreign students. These students can be rich or poor. I understand how learning at Tri-C East has paid off. I have responsibilities to love this wonderful and lovely place. I hope to make a contribution in the future to this great college of my choice. Many thanks to the super dedicated and understanding teachers and tutors of Cuyahoga Community College. Special thanks to all who support the mission and purpose of Cuyahoga Community College. It is one beautiful and valuable place that can make a huge difference for students for the rest of their lives.

On the other hand, a perfect day can be a day when you make a mistake. It could be a small or big mistake, but later you realize that you learned a lesson from it. So you will never make the same mistake again. When I think about a perfect day in my life, the first day that comes to my mind is the day I came to the United States. I was 17 years old, and I was both excited and worried. I was excited because it was the first time I traveled to another country. I was worried, as you can imagine, because I had to leave all my loved ones and beloved friends. I knew deep down that I would be flying thousands of miles away from my loved ones. Even with all these thoughts in my mind, I was able to feel good about what I was doing. I knew it was going to be a new step in my life. A whole new chapter was going to begin. So, I was kind of happy I came to the United States of America. December 3, 2006 the very first day I came to the United States. My brother picked me up from the airport. We came home and spent the afternoon talking and having some snacks. We talked about our future. He gave me lots of important advice and information. He knew what my situation was because he had been through all of that before me, a long time ago. We both knew that day was going to be an unforgettable day of my life. And we were right. Later that day, my brother invited some of his close friends over to his apartment for dinner. They were friends that my brother met when he was at the university. They were so happy to see me. Also, they were pleased to hear that I was going to live with my brother. We all had dinner together. I got to know all brother’s friends that night. We had a marvelous time that night. It turned out to be a wonderful day that I will never forget in my life. Therefore, a perfect day can vary from person to person. For me, it was the day I took my first step in a strange country. I can talk about that day for hours. I have lots of good memories and thoughts to talk about. I was sad and worried in the first place, but, later, I realized that I had the right idea. It is all about my life, another chapter began that day. I will treasure the memories of that day for the rest of my life…..

My Peaceful Place By Hacer Kurun ESL 1220 Turkey

What is a Perfect Day? By Dilshan Nanayakkara ESL 1320 Sri Lanka We call it a perfect day probably because we have lots of good memories on that day. Also, people say it is a perfect day when they receive something that they have been waiting for, for a long time. For the majority of people, a perfect day is a birthday, the day they got married, graduation day or any other special occasion. We all have beautiful memories on those days, memories that we would never forget. 56

I am sitting on the top of the deck of the ship. I have a few hours to enjoy before sunset. The sun is touching my face. The wind is gently blowing my hair around my neck. It feels like invisible warm water. I hear the lapping of the waves and the crying of the seagulls. Our nation’s flag is dancing with the wind. The ship is rocking gently like a baby’s cradle. I open my eyes with the sound of the ship’s whistle. My eyes are dazzled by diamond fragments on the Bosphorus. This view charms me every time I see it. I think I smell the aroma of bagels. The waiter appears from the deck’s hall. He is dressed all in white, just like the sea gulls and carrying a tray in his hands. I’m having a glass of hot tea and a bagel. The bagel is 57


toasty and covered with sesame seeds. The steam from tea is twisting up into the air. I have my first swallow…it is delicious and then a first bite of the bagel. It is crunchy and tasty. Now, the sea gulls are flying around the ship. In spite of the hot summer, they are looking for easy meals. They want me to share my bagel with them. I break off some pieces and toss them into the air. It is fun to watch their catches. They cry for more, and I share my whole bagel with them. I know they don’t get hungry even if I don’t share, but I enjoy watching them flying in the clear soft blue sky. This is the place and moment I love.

One Bad Influence and One Good Influence of TV Commercials on the Behavior of Women By Anne Marlyse Wanko ESL 1220 Cameroon At first glance, we can see TV like an object of decoration. However, TV commercials can have many influences on the behavior of women, good as well as negative influences. We will talk about one good influence of the commercial on the behavior of them. Commercials may suddenly and positively transform them. When they carefully watch, listen, and follow the instructions, they may change their old-fashioned ways and adopt new, more appropriate ones. They always want to look like that well-dressed slim lady, with beautiful make-up and neat hair. So, they put the image of that lady behind the screen in their mind and do their best to look like her. They then become pretty, respectful, comfortable, and life is easier for them. For example, I have a sister who moved from the country to the city. She didn’t know anything about fashion. She was beautiful but plain. Two months later, living in the city, she passed her days watching a TV show called “How Do I Look Now” and “How Would I Want to Look Later.” She was taking notes every time (names of shops for clothing, shoes, and products for the skin such as “Black Opal.” She started to work in an office as a secretary. People didn’t notice her. She was nothing; just her intelligence was her skill. After six months at work, she completely changed her looks. She has put into practice everything she learned when she first came to town through watching the commercial. Today she is respected by others, and they now come to her for advice, even men. In contrast, it is truly important to notice the negative influence of commercial on the behavior of women. Sometimes, commercials become like a pick-pocket of women because they always present something new. Marketers already know the weaknesses and strengths of women. They work very hard on how to touch the sensibility of women. They play with their psyche and their lack of knowledge and make them buy their products. Their products are often not effective. They lie, and they just want to see them in any way. Women are generally blind and very obsessed about their beauty. They are willing to do anything to look like that lady behind the screen. Most of the time, this is the origin of many serious problems 58

in the life of a couple because they empty the family’s account and don’t realize it. They are very obsessed. Furthermore, they spoil their natural beauty and spoil also their skin because they want to try everything they see. One of my mom’s friends has changed the color of her skin by trying a soap called “Sambulu.” She wanted to be white. Today, she is neither black nor white. Her neck, knees, fingers and ears are black while other parts of her body are white. She cannot stay for long in the sun now because of her weak skin. In the end, commercials may really be dangerous. To not be victims of commercials, women have to live with this question in their mind, ”What do I need?” Never with this, “I must try this. It is so awesome.”

Hiking and Camping in the Banyas By Jala Safadi ESL 1120 Israel The Banyas is a natural park in Golan Heights, Israel. It has many ruins and has the tallest waterfalls in Israel. In the photo are my friends Hasan and Amal and I. Hasan is 28 years old; he’s a dentist and also a singer. He likes to sing at small parties. I think he takes after his father. His father is a singer too. Amal is 30 years old; he is a construction worker. He loves to build and fix houses. Right now Amal is building my house. I want him to finish it because I want to see my dream house. Last month we had a plan to spend 3 days camping and hiking in the Banyas, but we couldn’t make it because no one had time. I think we should have made a better plan. After that, I thought we must go on the weekend if we want to do it. Finally, everybody was ready to go on the weekend. Yesterday in the morning, we started our trip. Everybody had his bags on his back, and we walked around 40 km through the woods and down the Hermon Mountain. We had a lot of fun on our way. We saw many animals, and we enjoyed nature. We loved the fresh air. As usual, Hasan sang for us, and he played the Oud. I tried to take over singing, but I couldn’t because I’m not as good as him. After we arrived at the park, we set up our tents, and we made a small fire. After that we had dinner and some drinks. Today, we had a beautiful morning. We got up at 7:00 A.M. and got ready to enjoy our second day. Right now it’s 9:00 A.M. and we are going to see the ruins and we are looking forward to viewing the waterfalls. Are we going to have enough time to see everything? I don’t know, I will let you know later. After we got up, we packed our things and we got ready to leave the park. What time are we leaving and why are we leaving? I don’t know. But I knew we needed to get back home. I hope you get a chance to visit the Banyas Park. I’m sure you will love it. Try to come, don’t miss it.

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“I am“ Like What I Think By Nawar Youssef ESL 1320 Syria The person who I like to describe is me, not because I know myself well, but because I need to search inside myself and be aware of it. I think I am not sure that I’m a sad person, but I can make people who meet me happy; also, I think I am a very romantic boy. It’s not only about love, it’s about life, I like to dream a lot, to think a lot, to watch people and landscape, and I can keep watching anything for a long time without getting tired or feeling bored. But the worst thing inside me is trying get to what I want, or to make my dreams true. I don’t try hard to do that, I just dream, think, watch and keep dreaming, thinking, and watching. The person who I am talking about is me. I was like that, I am now, and I am not going to change in this life.

I Am Making a Difference in My Life By Ki Bum Kim ESL 1220 South Korea I am 28 years old. In my life, I have not had a role-model. I don’t know why. No one inspired me. That made it hard for me to find my dream and goal. Generally, young people need a role-model. It helps in finding a goal but, unfortunately, in my case, I didn’t have one. So, I was trying to find my way by myself. It took time to find it but I have never stopped.

life. “Never give up.” I know it will be hard, and I will face more big problems someday,but I am not afraid. As I move through this new world, I will always challenge myself, and I will make it. Someday, I will make my dream true, and I will be a role-model who can inspire young people.

My Personality By Janette Rodriguez ESL 1120 Puerto Rico What can I say about my personality? I always think that a true friend can say who you really are. Well, I think I am a friendly person, but, sometimes, I think I’m shy and sometimes outgoing. I usually feel more secure when I’m around people that speak my language, but I notice also that I’m not so bad talking or understanding a person who only speaks English. I’m organized and a perfectionist. I like everything to be neat and perfect. I like to keep my things in order and if I don’t , I feel like I could lose my mind. I like to have things done the right way, perfect but I realize that sometimes things are not going to be the way I like. Usually when that happens, I get a little disappointed, and because of the way I am, (I don’t complain) I have to try to teach my kids to be the same way as me, but what I usually hear is, “Mom, not everybody is like you; you are driving us crazy!! Please back off.” I just simply laugh; what can I do? But if you ask me, do you like the way you are? I will say… “Yes I love myself… I’m still learning.”

My first important decision in my life was to go to education college to be a physical education teacher because I love to do all kinds of sports. In addition, teaching is a good job in my country (South Korea). While I was studying in college, I realized one big problem – I didn’t want to be a teacher because I don’t like children. I was so confused and I didn’t know what to do. However, I started to find a new way for my future. After I graduated college, I had to get a job because I needed money, but I didn’t stop looking for my goal. I got a sales job. It was so hard. They gave me a sales quota that I had to reach every month. However, I achieved my sales quota just six times. It was big trouble for me. I was getting tired and still couldn’t find the real goal that I really wanted. Every night when I got back home, I asked myself, “What do I really want to be?” To find out, I read so many books and met with friends. One day, I found what I wanted to do. It was the restaurant business. After I found that, I decided to move to a new place, a bigger world. As soon as I decided, I took action. I didn’t have to be worried about finding a goal anymore because I found it. That is why I am here, to be a great restaurateur. I have to learn everything for that. I need good English skills, culinary knowledge, and business know-how. I am very happy now although I am tired because of all the work that I am doing for my future. As I wrote in paragraph two, I made mistakes and worried about my life for a long time, but I never gave up. I was always trying to find my way, but I have not been afraid of the challenge. It is how I make a difference in my 60

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