Wednesday, December 27, 2006

To Cam Hong and Kai Yan

I'm sorry Cam Hong and Kai Yan, but I gave you the wrong recipe. I thought it was a good recipe, but it was not the one I was thinking of.

Monday, December 25, 2006


Hi ! Teacher and classmates .
How are you doing?
I'm sorry that. I could't come to the party on Friday. Because I had go to work. I wish, I could come and enjoy with you guys on that day .
But I enjoy our class' pictures on the blog. I think, the party was very fun. And I also thank the teacher about helping me hold my certificate when I wasn't there .
We are having a long holiday. So I'm missing all of you very much. With best wishes to you for a merry Christmas and a happy NewYear.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Dim Sum in December 2006

Please click here to see photos.

See you next year!


Hi, class.
I hope that us have a happy Merry Christmas and happy New Year with yours families.
Teacher happy holidays.

Writers' Awards

Yan Hua, Nhu Thai, Cam and Kai Yan received their Distinguished Writers Certificates.

Thuong Thi could not be present, so the teacher held up her certificate.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Book by Our President's Sister

Our president, George Bush, has a younger sister. Her name is Doro Bush Koch. Last month, she published her first book. The book's name is "My Father, My President: A Personal Account of the Life of George H. W. Bush".

That book is about the Bush family. It is a biography of both of the Presidents in the Bush family. The book reveals many silly facts about the Bushes. Doro spent 2 years writing this book.

Doro is the first woman In US history to see her father and eldest brother become president. The book ranks as a bestseller. I'm looking forward to buying her book. A hardcover copy of the book costs $15.00 on, but I don't know if it is worth it.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Why I have been absent from school

Hi, Class,

How is it going? I hope, everything is going good!

Did you miss me all this time? (ja, ja, ja, ja, I'm just kidding, do not believe me. )

Well, I have been absent from school for a long time. It was not my intention, because, I like to go to school a lot. But, I had to leave it for a few weeks, and I became sad about it, because I did not see you guys for a long time.-(

First, I left the school on Thanksgiving Week. It was, because my son was on vacation from school, therefore, I had to stay with him the whole week.

Second, I started volunteering at my son's school for more days. For different reasons, I needed to be as near as possible to him and his classmates.

Let me tell you that volunteering for any good cause is one of the best things that you can do. It is not just for your own benefit ( because you are practicing and improving your English, and you are getting some experience) It is also for the satisfaction that you can feel from helping others that are in need. It does not matter if the time that you can dedicate in this labor is just a little bit. The most important is, that you must do it with all your heart.

I was very busy, but now I am returning to my normal schedule. Some days, I woke up with a lot of desire to come to school. But, it was hard for me, because I had to choose between my duties with my son and my school.

This Monday, I am returning to school. I hope to understand everything that the teacher Richard is teaching, because I lost a lot of lessons.

O. K. Class, take care and be well :-)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

When I came to The United .

When I arrvied to San Francisco airport .I was very nervous and worried ,because I felt everything was difference with my country . I was upset and I would like to came back in my country , because everything I need to learned like a newborn baby. When I wanted to go somewhere ,I needed to wait for my husband . I scared to people conversation with me ,that why, I didn't want to go anywhere. Because I didn't mean what they are talk to me ,and answered with them .After that ,so I went to school to learn more English . I felt better than befor I came ,I didn't to be scared to takl with poeple .I tried to conversation and pratice with my classmate and teacher .When I went outside I to talk poeple , but sometime they didn't understand and I tried to desribe to them .Right now , I can drive by myself and sometime I can go to do something by myself .My English not well ,but at less I can understand and talk with poeple by the basic conversation ,when I learned at school . I hope in the furture ,my English will getting better and I can find a good job.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My Childhood

When I was a little kid my father passed away. My mother worked very hard to support the family. She tried to raise me and give me a better life because I was the only child she had. She was a good mother and she was a good father, too.

She had a small shop. She made salted tofu to sell to stores. We called it funhi then.

The stores resold funhi to people who wanted it. She worked very hard day and night. Most of the time I stayed with my grandmother. She always forgot to buy me a toy, but I was still lucky. I had an aunt. She was not very rich, but she gave me whatever I wanted in that time.

Sometimes when my aunt came to pick me up, she saw me cry and then she asked me what happened. I told her I saw the other kids had toys and I wanted a toy like them. She went to tell my mother and my mother didn't know what toy I wanted. Then my aunt took me to buy a lot of toys.

Several years later, I grew up, and our family situation was getting better. My mother hired a person to help her with the work. She had more time to stay with me. One day, she asked me what I wanted. I told her that I needed a motorcycle. Then she took me to buy a motorcycle. That was the first toy she bought for me.

After I got that motorcycle, I liked to go out, because I had friends and I didn't want to stay home all the time. I was playful at that time, but mother very much regretted buying me a motorcycle.

She said that before she didn't have time, but right now, when she had more time to stay with me, I went out on that motocycle day and night. She said it was hard for her to see me. When I got home, she was already asleep.

Until now it is very hard for her to see my face, because I am here and she is still in my country. Everytime we want to meet, we just talk by telephone. I hope my mom will come here soon.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Favorite Holiday

When I was living in Viet Nam, my favorite holiday was the Viet Nam New Year. It was a lot of fun.

One week before New Year, everyone was very busy. Some people needed to clean their houses and some enjoyed going to the flea market to buy some stuff that they needed to decorate their houses before New Year arrived.

Anyway, I loved the flower flea market the most. It was very crowded with people. They sold many kinds of flowers for three nights. The customers never forgot to buy some red lucky envelopes that were special for the children.

But now, that I am living in America, maybe Christmas is my favorite holiday. After Thanksgiving. everywhere you go you see stores selling stuff for Christmas and a lot of Christmas trees.

Some people decorate their houses and their front yard with lights. It's very beautiful. But in America, they don't have any flea market at night and people are busy with their jobs. They just stay home with no where to go. Anyway, I still miss New Year in my country very much.

Talking To My Supervior In English

Last Friday was the my day off . As usual, at 4:45 pm I was watching TV at home. The telephone rang. I turned off the TV and went to pick up the telephone, but when I heard the sound on the other end I was worried. I recognized the voice was my supervisor. I thought maybe I made a mistake last week and he was calling me to complain.

When I talked to my supervisor, I found out that he just called to ask me to work overtime, not to complain about any mistake. I asked my supervisor, why he didn't call me earlier. because it was 5 o'clock ,and I hadn’t eaten dinner yet. How could I get to work by 5 o'clock?

Then my supervisor told me that one of my co -workers just called sick at 4:30, and he hadn’t known my telephone number .He had to check in the computer, so he was a little late. And he told me not to worry about being late. I could come in at 6 o'clock.

I was very happy because this was the first conversation I had in English on the telephone and I could understand it one hurdered percent! I hope I can understand all my conversations in English in the future. I know this is only my dream and goal.

About a passenger and a stewardess

Hello, my wonderful class!

I am going to tell you a story about what is respectable and unrespectable. This story is about a passenger and a stewardess. I heard it on the radio.

One day, a man was sitting in an economy-class seat of a plane and reading a newspaper. He looked very happy. A woman who was overweight sat next to him. She began eating and didn’t stop. The man looked very uncomfortable. His face turned purple because he was very angry.

He thought, “Why is this ‘elephant’ sitting here? There are many seats around the plane. She makes me unhappy. I have to figure out a strategy to convince her not to sit here."

Then, he saw a stewaredess walking around the plane. So the man got out of his seat and went to talk to her.

"Hi, young lady, I have some problems," the passenger said.

The stewardess smiled at him. "Yes, what can I do for you?" she asked.

The passenger said, "Hey, can’t you please ask the woman sitting next to me to move? Before she sat there, I could look out of the window at the beautiful natural scenery, but now I just can see an elephant.”

The stewardess still smiled at him. She said, "OK, I will check to see if we have another economy-class seat for you. Just a moment, please.". So she began to check. The man was happy again. He looked at the fat woman and she was still eating her food.

In a little while, the stewardess came back and told him, "Hmm... Unfortunately, we don't have any vacant economy-class seats, but we have a first-class seat."

The man was very excited. He thought, "I just wanted to change to another economy-class seat, but now I can sit in a first-class seat. I'm very lucky."

The stewardess talked to the woman while the man was thinking about his good fortune.

The stewardess said "Hi, lady, we are offering a first-class seat to you now."

The woman was very surprised that she could sit in the first-class section. She followed the stewardess and smiled to the man.

The man was puzzled. He wondered to himself, “Why did the stewardess offer that ‘elephant’" a first class seat. Why didn’t she give it to me? "

The stewardess and the large woman smiled and waved goodbye.

The man was still standing there trying to understand what had happened.

This story tells me that the man didn't respect the large woman. I know that if you don't respect others, how can you expect others to respect you?

What do you think, my friends?

A Blind And A Cripple

In a large apartment building, there lived about 30 to 40 tenants. Among them lived two handicapped people. A blind man and a crippled man. And both of them lived alone and lived next door to each other.

Every day the tenants who lived in this apartment went about their lives the same as all the other people who lived in the city. They went to work or to school. At night they stayed at home to watch TV or enjoy music. Their lives were simple and peaceful.

One windy night in autumn, suddenly, someone in this apartment building shouted, “Fire! Fire !”

The appartment really had caught on fire. Every tenant escaped from the apartment except the blind man and his crippled neighbor. No one went to help them.

When the blind man and the crippled man were woken up by the noise, the cripple saw that the apartment was surounded by the fire and smoke. The blind man heard the sound of the fire and smelled the smoke .They were very surprised. They tried to call 911 for help, but the telephone had lost connection. They ran to the window, but there was only fire and smoke. No one knew that they were still stay inside the apartment building.

While the blind man and the crippled man didn't known how they could escape.

Both of them ran to open the door, but of course, outside the door it was full of smoke. They ran into each other. So both of them and talked a while about how to escape.

Then the blind carried the crippled man on his back .The crippled told the blind the safe way to escape.

At last, both of them escaped safety from the fire.

From this story, we can learn that when we meet something dangerous or difficult, if we keep calm and help each other, we can solve many problems easier than if we try to solve them by ourselves.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Problem

A couple of weeks before my daughter was ten years old, she gave me a paper from her school. It said, "Your daughter’s eyes have a problem and she can’t see clearly, so you have to take her to the doctor to check her eyes."

One day later, my husband made an appointment for her on the next Friday. That Friday I was working, so my husband took her to Kaiser Hospital because our insurance was in there. My husband paid $30 for an appointment.

A doctor checked my daughter's eyes and he told my husband that my daughter needs to wear glasses, but we had to pay for the glasses because our insurance company didn’t cover that.

My husband called and told me about that on the phone. I was very surprised to hear that, so I told him to go home and I would find another place.

After two days, I found a glasses shop on International and 6th Avenue. I went and asked for some information and then I showed our insurance policy. The doctor told me that our insurance is very good. So the check up was free. Then the seller explained to me that if my daughter chose glasses worth less than $200, they would be free. But my daughter chose glasses for $380, so I paid $180 to the shop because it was over the coverage of our insurance company.

The doctor also gave me some information. She said, "Your daughter can go to a check up every year for free but the glasses are just free every two years." So we went home, and my daughter was very happy. Now I think the problem was with Kaiser. It was not our insurance company. I don't like Kaiser but I have to go there sometimes.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Good Boy

John Yau is a star and very famous in our Kung Fu school. He has been learning Kung Fu since 2003. He is a young boy. He is just 9 years old, but he has won 9 medals in Kung Fu competition.

Do you know who John’s mother is? Let me tell you. She is our classmate (Yue Ai).

John practices very hard everyday so he improves very quickly. He went to his first tournament, in Berkeley, in 2004. I still remember that day. He was very nervous. He cried and wanted to see his mom. I told him, “I am here. I can take care of you like your mother.” Then he listened to me. He did every thing very nice. He won three 3rd place medals in his first competition.

We took pictures of all the students who went to the tournament. The next day, when John came into the training room, everyone saw 3 bronze medals hanging on his neck. He ran around inside the room like a bird. I thought, he was very happy and very proud of himself.

The next year, was his second time at a tournament. He didn’t need anybody to help him. He knew every thing to do, and he could help other new students. He won 3 silver medals at that time.

Last year he still won 3 medals, but not bronze and not silver. They are gold. He is a good boy. He is hard working and continues to practice every day. He doesn’t want to travel with his parents. He just wants to be the champion every time he competes. He wants to get a Black Belt.

I was very happy. In one year he took a giant step. I enjoy our students’ successes. I feel my hard work is worthwhile.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Driver License

Today I was absent because I went to the DMV to take a driving test. Yesterday my father said, if I passed the test, he would make something special for me on my birthday, so it made me feel stress.

When we got to the DMV, we saw the road and we got ready for the test. On the car in front of us, the back lights of the car were not working.

My coach said, "If some lights are not working, the car can not go on the test road. You will be the next one, are you ready now?"

I said," I feel very nervous."

He said," Don' t be nervous. You will pass."

After that, the examiner came to my car and my coach had to get out of the car. The examiner asked me something about the car and he told me to drive where he told me to drive.

About 20 minutes passed, we got back to the DMV. The examiner asked me to park the car. After I parked the car he said to me," You have made some mistakes on turning the corner, although you make these mistakes you still pass."

When I heard this, I felt very excited. I made a phone call to my father and told him that I passed the test the first time I took it and I said," Don't forget what you promised me."

He said," Ok." After that, I made phone calls to my sister, mother, aunt and cousin and told them about that.

The whole family are happy for me.


When I got my first child, I was so exciting , so worrying ,and I exciting.Because the new baby will bring me into the other new life, I worrying, because I will be bussy when the baby cry, and I need to learn how to take the baby.before one month the baby came my husband very excited to looking a name for the baby,it was a baby girl, my husband said however a girl look like, but a beautiful name is very important to a girl, so he tried looking a beautiful name for our first child, he kept looking and looking, but he didn't find any name for our child. few weeks later, he told me, he decided to give the baby's name is Yucca, I didn't know what that mean, I asked him did anyone have this name, he told me, this is a special name only for our baby, no anyone have this name, this is a name of the plant with beautiful white flower, I hope our baby look like a flower beautiful forever. In the eariler, there were many people in my husband's family against about the name of the baby, they want my husband change , but my husband didn't want to change, and they said, the sound not nice, prounoun like yuc, then, my husband said ok, he change the pronoun like Spainish yuca, the writing of my daugther's name still Yucca. He wanted keep the name until my daughter growing up ,if she doen't like then she change by herself.

My Best Friend

In October 1965, after the “China Second Sports Meeting.” competition, about thirty outstanding Wushu players stayed in Beijing.

We came from different cities. We were members of the national Chinese Wushu team, and were preparing to visit Indonesia.

My friend, Guo Pei, and I lived in a room together for about six months. She was from Shanghai. I was from Jilin. We were the same age and same height. We became good friends. We are still friends.

She has big eyes. She is strong willed, but very nice. She has been divorced for ten years. She and her daughter lived with her foster mother in Shanghai.

One day, three years ago - in 2003, she called me. She said that she had immigrated to the United States. I was so happy. She is living in Los Angeles now.

We call each other almost once a week. I am very happy, I have a best friend in my life.

What Happened With My Cousin

My cousin lives in Cambodia. Her name is Rartny.

She had a fiancé. She was going to get married in January, 2004.

Her fiancé lives in Phome Phan and he works in an Orphanage. He's a nice person and handsome.

One day he told his boss, "I'm going to get married" and his boss said, "OK, but you and your wife must go to the hospital to check for HIV. If you don't have the result of the blood test, I can't let your wife to live in the Orphanage."

Her fiancé came to my cousin’s house and brought her to the hospital. After 5 hours they got the results. She has AIDS. She was very shocked.

The doctor said, "She has been infected with AIDS for 4 years" and he explained to her that AIDS is contagious and that she could pass it on to someone.

And then they came back home. My cousin told her family and they were very surprised. She never had a boy friend before her fiancé.

How did she get AIDS?. She always listened to her mother and followed traditions. Her fiancé really wanted to get married with her, but he couldn't. He was very sad.

Her wedding was a failure and she has been upset. Now she looks and feels like a leper.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Today, I went to the school to pick my daughters up. I was late a few minutes .
because I needed go home first to cook lunch for my daughters before they got home.

On our way home, in front of the school, we had to wait for the traffic light until it changed to green. I saw a little girl in front of us. She already had stepped down to cross the street and she crossed to the other side .

I wondered why she was going home by herself! I looked back behind me and I didn’t see an adult.

My daughter asked me, “ Why is that girl walking by herself?”

The girl looked younger than my daughter.

We didn't say any thing more. I just kept my eyes on the little girl because she was walking on the other side of the street from us. But, she just walked and didn't look carefully. Some streets don't have much traffic there. Still, I was afraid for her.

I watched her for more than three blocks until I turned to go to my home. The girl continued walking. I think, it was very dangerous for her.

The Christmas in my Hometown

I came to America six years ago. I still miss Christmas in my home town. My home town is Ho Chi Minh City. There is a big church in District 1 that is the most famous church in town. At Christmas time, the church is crowded and busy. Some people are religious. Some are not religious ,but they like to go to church. In another place, we call District 8 all the Christian families decorate their houses for people to visit and take pictures.

And at this time, people like to buy something to prepare for the Vietnamese New Year which is coming soon. On the street, a lot of people make a market in the front yard of their house and we call it the free market.

Any way , Christmas in my home town is not important like in America ,but I still like my home town Christmas. Maybe, because I grew up there.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Vacation In Los Angeles

This Thanksgiving, my husband had one week of vacation.

My father-in law, mother-in-law, my husband, my daughter and I went to Los Angeles. During the trip to Los Angeles, we talked a lot. We enjoyed the view by looking out through the window of our


When we arrived at Los Angeles, it was evening. We stayed in my sister-in-law’s house. We cooked and ate dinner together.

On the first day in Los Angeles, we went around Chinatown and bought some groceries. Then we ate lunch at a Chinese restaurant.

The next day, we went to the Little Saigon Plaza. It is a large supermarket. There are many small, different types of stores there. Some sell products that we use daily, but eighty percent of the stores sell diamonds, gold, clothes or DVD players.

We enjoyed this happy holiday together. I hope we will have more holidays in the future.

The First Time I Went To The Oakland Zoo .

I went to my class in Room 101 this morning. My teacher called on me to go in front of the class and to talk about last weekend.

What did I do ? I told about the Oakland Zoo, because I took my children went there last Saturday. I remembered the first time that I went to the Oakland Zoo was on Mothers day, because my friend told me that the zoo had a free ticket for mothers on Mothers day. I saw a lot of parents taking their children to the zoo.

Outside the zoo there are some rides for children, and inside the zoo there is a sky ride. When you go on the ride it is very exciting because when you look down you can see all of the animals. When I went on the ride for the first time, I looked down and I saw a lion. I felt too scared. I thought that if I fell down in the lions place what would do I do . My daughter sat with my husband. She dropped one of her shoes by accident in the giraffe place and, until right now, she doesn’t want to go on the sky ride again. But she is so happy and interested in going on other rides. She likes to see the animals and she told me , "Mommy, I want go to the zoo again. I like it and I don't like you to go shopping. I get so tired when we go shopping." After I heard that, I suggested to my husband that we become members of the Oakland Zoo.

Whenever we free time, we can go there because very it is very convenient for us to go there. If you have time ,you can visit and if your children like the zoo and are happy there, you can join and become a member. The family plan (2 adults and 4 children) costs $80 a year. I hope you will like it!


More than forty years ago, the winters were very cold in Jilin City in China.

One day in the winter, when I was young girl about seven years old, I walked to school from my home. I saw big snow, and a strong wind swept my face. I felt very cold that day. I put my hands into the other side of my sleeves, I rolled my shoulders forward. I took small and slow steps.

I didn’t want to go to school. I wanted to return back to my home. At that moment, a soldier stepped in my front of me. He said, “Little girl, relax your shoulders; put your hands out from your sleeves, take deep breaths, step bigger and faster. You will feel better.”

I felt much better, after I followed his advice. What he said, is engraved on my mind even now.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Sick Boy

A few weeks ago, I saw a movie on TV, that was called “Criminal.” It told about a little boy who just was 11 years old but he was a murderer.

The police found that some kids in his village had been killed and all of the victims had been attacked in the same way. But the police couldn't find who the murderer was. Then, after that, they asked for help from the F.B.I. Several days later, some FBI agents came, investigated and wrote a report. Finally, they suspected and arrested a man who lived in that village. He was a quiet man. For a few years, he had been separated from his wife, however, he was living with his son. When the FBI visited the man, his son was suddenly missing. The agents thought that he had killed his own son and even the other kids.
Then the police came to search his house and they found some things that proved that his son was alive. The FBI thought that the man was covering up something.

Finally, that man had to tell the truth. Although it hurt him very much, he said that his son became a sick boy when his parents separated. He was jealous of all the kids who had a happy family. He liked to play baseball. So, when he couldn’t control himself, he brought his friends to the wood to play and after that, he attacked them with the bat. All the victims were his friends.

I remember, when the police arrested him, that he wasn't afraid and his face was very angry. If you were his mother, how would you feel?

Saturday, December 02, 2006


My eldest sister, her family has immigrated to Canada in 1989. I immigrated to the USA in 2002. We always keep talking by long distance telephone once or twice each month.

But my elder sister’s family didn’t call me recent two months. I felt that this was an uncommon thing and I felt nervous, so I brought a telephone card to call my elder sister’s family.

Unfortunately, I learned that my brother-in-law got sick from the call. He is 78 years old. He had treated in the hospital for about 20 days. The next day when he got better, he went home. But at that day, his youngest son got a serious appendicitis.

When my nephew waited to see a doctor in the hospital, there were eight patients who had the same appendicitis but not serious were also waiting.

May be the staffs of the hospital knew that my nephew is an Asian. They scheduled him to get his operation last, so he had waited for about 22 hours.

Treating appendicitis requires a simple surgery. If a patient who has serious appendicitis doesn’t get surgery soon enough, it is very dangerous for him or her.

During the surgery, my nephew’s appendix exploded. It was very dangerous, but my nephew was very lucky. His life was saved after about two months of treatment in the hospital.

Do you think he was treated unfairly because he was an Asian?

A Shy Twin

Samantha and Julian are my new Kung Fu students. They were born twins. They are just 4 years old. Their mother told me; Samantha is one minute older than Julian.

The twin’s mother told me that they were very shy. Samantha is less shy, because she is learning ballet once a week. I said “You don’t have to worry, I am a patient teacher. They will become self- confident students.

When the twins took the first a class, they were, as expected, very shy. They cried and cried. They didn’t want to leave their mother. I told them that they could practice with their mother. They held their mother’s hands to do all the movements.

Every time after Julian finished doing his forms, he went back to his mom with his face to the wall. He used his hands to cover his eyes. He kneeled, and bent his body forward, and put his face on the rug. This made everyone laugh.

The twins were very shy, but they very smart. Now, they have gotten much better. Their mother doesn’t come into our training room. I enjoy teaching them very much. I love them very much.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

My First Essay

Hi, teacher and class.

I have been learning English with you for almost one year, but I haven’t written anything on the blog. I know that practicing writing and speaking are the only ways to improve my English. I only can say "sorry", because I thought I didn’t know enough English and I didn’t have time to write an essay. Also, I don't know how to use a computer.

Everyday, during the class, I just understand about twenty to thirty percent of what teacher taught. I thought the level of this class was too high for me. Sometimes I wanted to quit it, but I told myself to try one more week. So I still study in this class.

The Legend of Toscano

People of my town, tell about the Legend of Toscano.

Toscano was a very rich land owner. He owned many haciendas near my town.. A hacienda is a big ranch. Toscano was a bad land owner. People say that he didn't trust anyone and that he killed a lot of people. He never trusted the banks. That is why he burried all his money in different places in the mountains.

After Toscano died, people said that he would appear in the night riding his black horse. He would cross the town and people could hear the steps of his horse. Some people saw him. They couldn't see Toscano's face. They also said that Toscano's horses hooves never touched the ground.

Outside my town, people found a big rock. On the rock there are the marks of horse prints from Toscano's black horse. People think that Toscano appears because he tries to guard his treasures so that nobody can steal his money.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My Journal

Mom I want to tell you ……

A lot of things have happened in my life lately. I have been sad and I have been happy.

Everything shows me that I am not a child anymore. I must be more responsible.

When I came back home from San Francisco, my mom asked me, “\Would you like to find a part time job.”

I said, “Sure, why do you ask that?”

“Oh, nothing!” my mom replied.

I didn’t think about why she had asked me that. In fact, I didn’t have any ideas about getting a part time job.

Once when I went to bed late, I heard my parents talking about their salaries. My dad didn’t have a job because he didn’t have good heath. In my family, only my mom works. She doesn’t speak English well. Her boss is Chinese, and she gets paid about $1,000 per month. She has to pay rent and utilities. My brother pays for food. He gives my mom $500 every month. But now, my mom said our family does not have enough money to pay our bills.

When I heard that, I was very sad, because I didn’t know that before. The next day I bought a Sing Tao newspaper and tried to get a job, but it is hard to find a part time job. I won’t give up. I will keep trying.

I gave my mom $200 from my savings. She was amazed.

“My daughter is an adult now,” my mom said.

Mom, I want to tell you that I can help family, too. You have to take care of yourself. Don’t get sick. I will work hard in school. Don’t worry about me, because I am already an adult.

Trust me!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thank You Richard Very Much for The Turkey

I thought our teacher was an average cook. I was wrong. Our teacher is indeed a good cook!

Today our teacher brought a turkey to the class for our "Thanksgiving" party. He carved the turkey into many slices. I tried one slice of the turkey. Oh, it was delicious! I couldn't believe that our teacher seasoned the turkey so tastily. I liked it very much.

Thanksgiving is the first holiday of the season, so everyone is very excited. Most families gather together to have turkey and some traditional foods. People enjoy eating and talking each other.

Today our class had a big party for "Thanksgiving." Everyone shared food in the class, so the tables were full of foods. Everybody enjoyed good food and each others company.

We appreciate our teacher very much for staying up all night and cooking for us. We'll always remember your tasty turkey. We hope our teacher will cook for students every ' Thanksgiving Day.

I thought our teacher didn't love his students, but he does.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Waterfall of "Los Reyes Michoacan"

In the city of Los Reyes there are many beautiful places to visit. For example, "El Salto" is a big waterfall and another waterfall is "Los Chorros del Varal."

People go to the waterfalls to have a good time and enjoy nature. The city of Los Reyes is located in the west of the State of Michoacan, Mexico.

When you have a vacation or free time to visit Mexico don't forget tovisit these places and you will see beautiful scenery like this.

A Vietnamese Woman's Diary

Click here to read about this incredibly moving story about a young Vietnamese doctor's diary.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Aljazeera News

Click here to view the news on Aljazeera.

The video stream uses the Realaudio program. If it hasn't yet been loaded on your computer, you can get it here. RealAudio is free. Be careful, however, because RealAudio also sells a "premium version" that is not free.

Tonights lead story is about corruption and politics in Taiwan.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


The hummingbird is a bird that lives in America. They live from Alaska to the Tierra de Fuego at the tip of South America.

The hummingbird is one of smallest birds in the world. They are only six centimeters tall. The majority of hummingbirds have a very eye-catching plumage. Their special feature is that they can fly flap their wings at a high frequency of 70 or 80 flaps per second. That permits them to fly backwards or to the side or even to stay static in the air.

Another characteristic typical of hummingbirds is that they have eight pairs of ribs. Other birds have only six pairs of ribs. The hummingbird eats the nectar of flowers for energy. To get protein, they eat small insects. This food is rich in the energy that they need, because their method of flight is highly demanding.

To wake up the interest of the female, the male performs a special dance. When the female is fertilized, she builds a small nest from spider webs and cotton. The nest is built in a small bush . The female lays two eggs in a period of two days. Then, they sit on the eggs for 14 to 19 days.

A hummingbird feeds her children for 3 or 4 weeks. The female goes back and forth to the nest about 140 times a dayto feed her young.

Natural enemies of the hummingbird are the matis, wildcats, and humans.

Hi, Dear Classmates,

I would like to share with you, my classmates, a little some jokes and short verses, which I heard in Brazil.

"A woman should never cry for a man, because he could be drinking your tears in the mouth of another woman.''

''Not all declarations of love are made by words, sometimes a simple look says all.''

''What the eyes don't see, the heart doesn't feel.''

''A daughter came back to her father's house after her husband had hit her.

Her father hit her also and sent her back to her husband with a message: ''If you think that you can hit my daughter, I will take revenge by hitting your wife!''

''A teacher called a mother to talk about her son’s behavior in class.

The teacher said: '' Your son copied his friend's answers during the test.''

The mother was surprised with the teacher's statement and replied: '' How do you know that one that copied was my son and wasn't the other boy?''

The teacher responded: ''Because the boy, whom your son copied, wrote “I don’t know the answer to this question.”

And your son wrote, “I don't know, either.''

Monday, November 13, 2006

A loving heart’s girl-Fang xin Qin

A young girl has been picking up garbage and recycling it to set up a scholarship to help poor children study.

Her name is Fang Xin Qin. She is thirteen years old. She moved with her parents from Si Chuan to Zhe Jiang. Her parents worked hard. When Fang Xin Qin was only six years old, she got up early and took care of her young brother. She cooked breakfast for her family. She took her younger brother to kindergarten and then she went to primary school.

After eight years, she was a middle school student. During those eight years, she picked up jars, cans and waste paper after school. She sold them and got money to help poor children study.

Her actions touched other people. For example, some university students and singers donated money to her foundation to help poor children study.

She is girl with a loving heart. We should learn from her

Meifang Gu

For"Thanks giving Day"

This year Thanks giving day, I will be going to my friends home. My Kung Fu a student William’s mother was invited my husband, my son and me, going to their house to celebrate for “thanks giving.”
I am so happy. Because, they are house looks at like park. I knew that from they were showed us are pictures.
I want to see their house how beautifully.

The Happy Day--November Seventh

My birthday is November 7, 1931. When I was young, on my birthday, my mother boiled an egg for me on this special day. I was very happy.

Now, last Tuesday, was my birthday. My children called me. They said, “Happy birthday, mom". My granddaughter sent a birthday drawing card to me.

In Oakland, my brothers, sisters and my husband went out to a Chinese restaurant to celebrate my birthday. We enjoyed ourselves at the party. Even though my sister has a kidney disease, she joined in the party. My other sister gave me shoes for my birthday.

My classmate Nhu Thai gave me a special present. Nhu Thai planted the present herself. The present had tomatoes, persimmons, figs and apples.
That day was my happy day!

Meifang Guo

My Job Crops Center lives

This spring I quit adult school and joined the Job Corp Center on Treasure Island. It changed my life.

I had to do everything by myself. That was a challenge for me. I made friends over there. We studied together and helped each other. I harvested a lot from these experiences.

I was living in the dorm and every weekend I went home because I had a part time job on the weekends.

I shared a room with another person. We shared a bathroom with our next door corpmates. My roommate was an American named Vivian. She is a friendly person. I still remember the day I moved in, and she helped me to get bed sheets and wash them. She told me about the rules in the dorm.

In the Job Corps Center, I took reading classes, accounting classes and high school courses. Accounting was not too hard but you had to type 45 wpm or more. You also had to be good at math and fast on the 10 key machine. I took the High School Exam last month. I am very sad because I didn’t pass the English, and I just passed the math.

In the high school program, I studied math, science, history and English. Maybe some day I can take it again. Even though I have one diploma from China, I still want to try it. I raised my reading and writing skills.

In the Job Corps Center we had to wear uniforms. It is a blue shirt and black pants.

You know what? The last time I washed my uniform in the dorm, somebody stole my uniform and next day I couldn’t wear it to school. I got a write up. A “write up” is like a parking ticket. You can a write up if you break the rules. I tried to explain to my teacher but he still wrote me up. He warned me to be more careful next time.

There are a lot of Chinese students in the Job Corps. They come from many different cities. We often went out to Chinatown to eat Chinese food.

The Job Corps is a government program. You don’t have to pay. Instead, you get paid when you are in the Job Corps. I got 40 dollars a month when I first came to the Job Corps Center. After several months, I got 80 dollars per month.

We had field trips every month. We went to Great America, saw movies, swam outdoors and rode the roller coater at Marine World and so on.

The Job Corp changed my life. I developed a lot of new skills. I made many new friends. And I learned a lot about how the American lifestyle!


(Cookie mixture)
3-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup softened butter or margarine
1-1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
walnuts (optional)

(Cinnamon-Sugar mixture)
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
1.Blend flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
2. In a separate bowl, mix butter, 1-1/2 cup sugar and eggs thoroughly. Add milk and vanilla and beat well.
3. Add dry ingredients to beaten mixture (butter, sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla), beating until well combined.
4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls.
5. roll cookie dough balls into cinnamon-sugar mixture (3 tbsp. sugar and 1 tsp ground cinnamond) and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
6. Bake 8~10 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes about 66 cookies.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Was the cake delicious?

Ask Kathleen or Kai Yan. Posted by Picasa

The Room 101 Cooking Club

Look what Nhu Thai started!

 Posted by Picasa

Strange Land

Hi ! classmates,

You and I are immigrants. We are from many different countries. We came to America to live. I don't know how you felt, but for me those first days were very difficult.

Seven years ago, I left Viet Nam. I came to America to live, because my husband was living in Oakland. He wanted to bring me and our three years old daughter to this city to live together.

I remember the first few days when I came here. Everything was so strange to me. I couldn't go to sleep because the time here is different than there.

I stayed at home. I was very afraid to go out. That's easy to understand because I didn't know the way and my English was poor, too.

I wanted to go to English school, but I had to take care of my daughter. I was very weary. At that time, I missed my parents and the rest of my family in Vietnam. I missed many things from my country. I would have gone back to my country if I had had a choice .

Now , it 's a different story. My kids go to school. I have a little free time to go to English class. I also have a part time job, too. I'm busy now. I don't have time to think about coming back to my country or not.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Spoke English In My Trip

I took a plane from Beijing to Chang Chen, on October 28th of this year. I got onto a plane early.

I found my seat in the middle of 3 seats in that row. After I sat down, a young woman came and sat in the seat on my right. Then a foreign man walked to our row and pointed to the empty seat next to me. My neighbor stood up to let him through. I hurriedly moved my legs so he could squeeze past. After he got his seat, l said “Hello! Good morning.” He said “Hi! Good morning.”

I was curious and asked him several questions.

“Where do you come from? Why are you going to Chang Chen? Do you like China? What city have you been to?”

We talked a lot in English. He answered all my questions, I learned that he is German. He is married to a Chinese woman. He doesn’t speak Chinese. He has a 5 years old daughter. She is very smart, and she can speak Chinese, English and German. The man loves his daughter very much. He has a company in Su Zhou in China. He comes to his Chang Chun home once every 2 or 3 months. He just stays home for one week each time.

He was surprised that I could speak English. He asked me, “Where did you learn English?”

“You speak English very well,” he said.

I said, “Thank you! But not so well, just a little.”

After that, I told him that I live in the USA. and my job is Kung fu coach. He said “Oh! You have to speak English.”

The time passed very fast. Before long our plane arrived at the Chang Chen Airport. I said, “Nice to meet you. Thank you for speaking English with me.”

He said “Me, too.” Then we said “Bye, bye!” to each other.

Friday, November 10, 2006

When I Lived in Washington State

In 1993, I lived in the State of Washington. I lived there from 1993 until 1994. When I arrived, I felt sad because I thought that I wouldn’t find many friends there.

My brother was there, too. He lived with his wife, and I went to live with them. They lived in a small village with only two streets and the only fun place was a bar. When I saw the village, I though that I would die of sadness. Well, for several days I only stayed in my room and only thought about how I would pass the days in the small village.

One day my brother told me, “Come with me to look for a job for you.”

Over there it was very hard to find a job because the activities are agriculture and cattle farming, and all the ranchers had already chosen their employees. You couldn’t find a job unless somebody was not there when the rancher needed them. I couldn’t find a job for one month.

Finally, I found a job in the hop fields. This job is very hard. I will explain why . We work in group of eight workers. One drives a tractor, another drives a pick up with the wet string. Two workers tie the string on the wires that cover all the field. The other four tie the string to a bar to support the hop plants.

I also picked apples, grapes, and killed moles. The pay was low. For this reason I came back to California. Here life is a little better than up there and the salary is better, too.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rare White Black Twins

In China, there lives a pair of twins. One is white and the other is black. They are 10 months old. When they go out on the street everybody stares at them because one of them is very pale and other is very dark skinned. People think that it is impossible that they are twins, but they are.

Their mother said, "Our family is not mixed. We're purely Chinese. Their father and I are 100% Chinese and our ancestors are also Chinese."

Experts say that this is normal but very rare.

Unusual Girl

Yesterday, I read a newspaper article that told about a girl with an unusual disease. She has eaten soil since she was seven years old and now she is 19. Everyday, in addition to her normal meals, she also eats at least two pounds and at least four ounces of soil.

If she doesn't eat soil, she will feel uncomfortable and can't sleep. It's very addictive. According to the hospital, there is nothing wrong with her physically. However, she is still looking for treatment.

I hope that she will find a cure.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Good Ideas of Our Teacher

If I had known our teacher had a bunch of cards in his drawer, I would have asked him to let us practice conversation using the cards. I think it is very good to do this everyday.

It is a good idea to change partners and tables in conversation every time. It makes our conversation practice more exciting.

If we had started the conversation practice two months ago, we might have been very good by now.

Form gun shot

Hi, classmates!
I like to tell you about some thing happend in front of my house.
Last Tursday, about 6pm, I was watching TV, I heared sound from outside. I didn't surprised, bacuse my neightbourhood make a lot of noise all the time, I still watched my TV. One minute later, Renata asked and told me " did you heared something, I looked at outside, I saw a woman talking on the phone and saw something like blood on a sidewalk,that made me scared, I thought that sound was from gun" I said" yes I heared it, and I heared somebody scream, but I don't know what's going on" Then, we both looked at outside by a window, was much blood on the sidewalk, and many people talked. We found out somebody by shot, that made us scared again, bacuse on that time, only had both of us and my cousin at home. We called who live in my house, and told them came home later, somebody by shot in front of our home. After ten minutes, the police came and blockade the street almost three hours, the Ambulance took one person to the hospital. One police knocked door to asked us some information.
I can't belief that was happening in front of my house, my first time heared gun shot.

I Try To Write Some Sentences.

I will try to write some sentences with “unless”, “as long as”, “provided” and “providing”. I hope our teacher and classmates will give me your valuable corrections.

Thank you.

I’m going to play soccer tomorrow unless it rains.

(Looks good to me.)

I’m going to play soccer tomorrow provided it is not raining.

(Still good)

The Fox team can win the champion as long as their team finishes the last competition.

(Not so good but we can fix it.

The Fox racing team can win the championship for this year as long as their team wins the final race of the year.)

The Fox racing team will win this year’s championship unless they lose the last race of the season.


Providing their team wins the final race of the season, they will win the championship this year.


(All the the rest are also OK.)

We’ll achieve our goals unless we are lazy.

We’ll achieve our goals as long as we study according to the plan.

We’re going to eat out tonight unless it rains.

She can catch the bus as long as she leaves home early in the morning.

They’ll arrive here on time provided the traffic is not too bad.

He’ll go to the concert provided the ticket is free.

My Job

Hello classmate. I want to talk about the place that I work. It is in San Francisco Ca. The name of the place that I work is "Art Institute of San Francisco." It is a college of art, I have worked there about one year and half, I had a lot lucky to find this job. In all this time, I have worked confortable. All the staff is very friendly and help me a lot. When I was start in this job, I didn't speak much English, but they said is o.k. But I said not is o.k. Because what happen when , I need to explain something about my job with my supervisor. I need to speak English because her speak English only. For this reason, I come to adult school to learn English, and reality study here in this school has helped me a lot. In my job I have a title of " Senior MaintenanceTechinican."
My duties are keep the building clean, repair furniture, fix lights, move furniture and set up, paint, plumber, repair the wall if are broken, help the staff if they need something that I can do.
Is why I think my job is perfect to me because, it give me a time to study, and the opportunity to achieve my goals. In addition if I improve my English here. I can study in this college free and that is very good. As you know go to the college and study there is very expensive, is why I say I have lucky to have this job. If some day I can study in this college I'll want study interior design or animation.

Driver's license

Yesterday, I went to DMV to exam the driver's license. When I came there, I took an examination immediattely. I didn't have to wait because I appointed before I came.
My examiner was a Black man. His name is Mike. He was really popular. He always had smile on his face so I didn' feel nervous. I felt selt-confidence when I drove a car with him.
He asked me :"who drove you here?"
I answered :" oh, my father."
But,you know,I lay to him. I drove to there by myself. Because I knew if I told him I drove a car by myself, he wouldn't let me to exam the driver's license.
We drove a car five blocks from DMV and I began to do anything he said. First time, I had to stop on the red light. Second time, I had to turn right. Third time, I had to turn left. Four time, I had to drive back and parking. I just had three mistakes, when I stopped at stop side, I stoppde my car over the yellow line. But he said :" you passed"
I was happy when I passed the driver's license because I have to drive a car to work by myself.
P.S: I lay to my examiner but I thought it didn't make somebody hurt. So I thought it ok. Do you think so? If somebody meet Mike, please, don't tell him about that,ok?

Great News! Great News!

Today I try to make the Coconut Milk Cake . It's indeed successfull. I feel very happy.

I'm going to bring the cake in our class tomorrow. I let you guys try how the taste is.

If you guys come in late tomorrow. The cake will be gone.

Specially, Veronica, If you want to try my cake, you have to come to school tomorrow. If not we will eat all!

My School

The name of my school is the "Neighborhood Centers Adult School." My school has two branches, one is at the corner of International Blvd. and Eighth Avenue and the other one is nearby, just one block away.

My school building is old but classical. There are many class-rooms in it. My school has many classes such as E S L , Computer, and G E D. There are three teaching shifts in my school: morning, afternoon, and evening. My school is always busy and crowded with students.

All the teachers in my school are excellent. The teachers of my school are of many races. They are enthusiastic and hardworking teachers. All the pupils like them very much.

The personnel who work in my school are sweet and efficient. When students need help, they are willing.

There are many pupils that take two classes. Some students live in other cities. They like to come to this school to study because the teachers are interesting and the school is comfortable.

Anyway, my school is the best place to learn English. I am indeed proud of my school.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Hacking Democracy

Click here to view the HBO video about problems with computerized voting systems.

A Special Day

Last Friday, I was absent because I went to a hospital with my aunt in Berkerly. My aunt is pregnant now, but the doctor in Chinatown could not make sure whether the baby has heartbeat or not, so they asked my aunt to go to the big hospital in Berkerly. When we got there, it only took us 20 minutes to wait for the doctor. We got into the room, the doctor asked my aunt to lay on the bed and closed to her. My aunt's English is not very well, so she said to the doctor," Can you speak Chinese?" The doctor said," I can't." "Can you speak English?" the doctor asked me. I said," No." Because we knew there is a Chinese staff there, and we thought if we said we could not speak English, the doctor would ask the Chinese staff to help us, but she didn't do that. After that, she started to check the baby. I thought maybe she got mad because no smile on her face, and she didn't say anything to us even one word during she checked the baby. I was afraid because I didn't know whether she got mad or the baby was not very well. After she checked the baby. She walked out with a paper and said," Wait for me here, I'll be back." We thought she was going to ask the Chinese staff to tell us something about the baby, but she came back alone. She looked at us and said," I think the baby is ok, you can leave now." After she said the baby is ok, we were very happy, because we love baby very much. We all look forward to this new baby born.

Monday, November 06, 2006

How to Make Coconut Milk Cake

Coconut Milk Cake is a teatime snack. It is an absolute favorite among all ages in Vietnam. It is usually served on occassions such as birthdays festivals. The following recipe makes 2 pans of the cake.

These ingredients you can buy in an Asian supermarket:

14 oz of tapioca starch
2 packets of 0.38 oz of baking powder (about 5 teapoons)
1 can of coconut milk
2 cups of sugar
8 eggs
screwpine flavored paste


1. Add a 14 oz package of tapioca starch, 2 packets of 0.38 oz of baking powder (made by Bestfoods France), 1 can of coconut milk, 2 cups of sugar together into a large bowl and mix well.

2. Add 8 eggs. The secret is stirring slowly with your hand.

3. Then add a few drops of screwpine flavored paste so that all the material will become green.

4. Next, pour the mixture into pans.

5. Heat oven to 360 degrees and bake for 35 minutes. To test if it is done poke with a toothpick. If it is ready it will not be sticky.

6. Finally, serve immediately, cut the cake and enjoy with your family or friends. The cake will smell of coconuts.

My Neighbor

When I went to the Job Fair, I had a pleasant surprise. A man sitting at one of the job fair tables was my neighbor. He called to me and I was confused because I didn't know who he was. The first thing he said was, "We are neighbors." Then he told me about my son and my cars. He was right on. That's when I recognized him. He lives two houses down from me. We have seen each other often, but we have seldom spoken. I was surprised that he was at the Job Fair. I was also surprised to learn that he was the director of Mills College.

Now when I see him, we say “Hello.”

Parking Ticket

Last month, I had something pitiful to tell you. I got a parking ticket, it was 35 bucks. I was just absent minded for 5 minutes. I forgot to pay money to the parking meter. It was a pity. Thank you for your time.

An Idiom

This is my story that I read to the class before, however, I wanted to put it on the blog for the teacher to correct.

I learned an Idiom that fits into my life: kill two birds with one stone. I went to work by bike. I got exercise and saved on gas.


This is the second time I wrote a story about my country, Laos, on the blog.

In my country, on Sundays almost everybody is off work. People don't have to be in a hurry. Sunday, November 5th, was a special holiday. In Laos we call it Mahathgan. It always is on a full moon day and it is a special day in my country.

Almost everybody from the countryside, and the cities come to the special urn place. It is in the capital city, Vientiane. They honor the bones of ancestors who died for our country.

On that day, everybody wakes up early at about 3 o'clock or 4 o'clock in the morning to prepare sticky rice, food, fruits and new money. After that they have to prepare themselves by wearing traditional clothes and going to the special urn place to offer sticky rice, food, fruits and new money to the monks. After that people buy food and eat together.

In the afternoon, some men play games together and in the evening people walk around the urn three times with flowers and candles.

In everything we do, we hope for prosperity in our life and we remember those who died for our country.

Friday, November 03, 2006


Hi everyone,
How are you guys doing?
I'm doing very well. Today I'm going to talk about "saudade". I know that most of you guys don't no what is that means, so let me explain:
Saudade is when you miss somebody that you really like. In english, the perfect translation for "saudade" it's "miss you". Saudade can also be a felling when someone has passed away, maybe a very close parent or whatever. Here in the United States I can say tat I miss so much my family and a bunch of friends also. For me, being here means a big step ahead in my life, it's more than learn english, it's the best experience of my life.
My plans are to go back to Brazil in february and for sure I'll miss the U.S., the good times that I spent here and the friends that I made and also the money thay I've earned. It'll be hard to switch back to Brazil's reality, and see the true about unemployment and poverty there. But, this is another subject, maybe in another post I'll write about that.
Bye bye

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Gathering of Witches

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Halloween This Year

I asked my children if they wanted to go out to " Trick or treat " this year.

They said, "No." Perhaps, they think they are too old, so they don't want to go out on Halloween now.

Previously, when Halloween was coming, they were very excited. They insisted that I take out their costumes and Halloween buckets. They used to want me to prepare a costume for them, but this year my son didn't ask me for anything. He didn’t want to wear the costume to his school this year.

Last night, I asked my children again, "Don't you want to go out on Halloween?"

They said "No!"

So I feel free tonight!

Monday, October 30, 2006

No Richard No Success

My country has a proverb, "No teacher no success." So that, If we didn't have Richard's help, we wouldn't be successful. Do you agree with me?

We are all hard working students. We should set a good example students in this school.

For adult students, there is nothing happier than if we could speak and write English correctly.

If we could write and speak English fluently, We would be on the top of the world!

If Richard help us, everyone in Room 101 would be a good writer and maybe like the author Shakespeare.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


A year ago, my family went to a flea market. We saw many kinds of pets there, but my oldest daughter picked two birds. She chose a blue bird and her sister chose a yellow bird, so I decided to buy a big bird cage and some bird food.

We got out of there and my husband drove us home. My kids were very happy to have pets.

Three months later, the yellow bird was sick. After a few days it died. My youngest daughter was very upset. She cried a little bit. The blue bird was very lonely and very quiet.

I told my oldest daughter, “Maybe we should let it free.”

She was sad but she agreed with me to let it go. We thought the blue bird should have friends, so we brought it to the front yard and we let it go free. It was very happy. As I was openning the cage, my daughters said bye - bye to the bird.

“We hope you find some friends, ”my daughter said, and then the bird flew away.

A Great News For Our Classmatess

I have read Cam’s essay which had been posted the day before yesterday.
She said our teacher Richard Blum had promised to edit Cam’s essays continually. I think this is not only a great news for Cam but also for our classmates.
That is right. If we study riding a bicycle, teacher can uphold the seat of the bicycle, pushes the bicycle and balances it behind us, and tells us how to steer for a certain time.We will get to the goal successfully.
But when we just learn to understand balance, teacher lets go of his helping hands, we would fall down badly. We do not know what was wrong. And we would stop learning riding a bicycle forever.
Constantly, I think our classmates start to study writing. We need more help from our teacher. I understand that teacher Richard Blum will spend more time, and works hard for editing our essays.
I appreciate our teacher Richard Blum for this changing.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

A Young Girl's Handbag

Few years ago, a Sunday morning, my friend, Ron, went to San Francisco with his wife and their niece. Their niece was eleven years old.
Ron had invited his friend to meet at a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. When Ron drove approaching Chinatown, he discovered many cars had parked along the road sides. He thought that it was no reasons to spend some money to park his car in a garage on Sunday. So he drove through several streets around Chinatown to find the park space. Certainly, he could only park his car on the road side far away from Chinatown.
Before he left his car, he made sure that he had closed all windows and the doors of his car. The seats were very clear except his niece’s handbag. Her handbag was a toy. There was no money inside.
After enjoyed a lunch, they returned to their car. Ron found some broken glasses appeared on the ground near his car. Then he looked up at the window. Oh! left rear small window was broken. He checked the car inside. Only his niece’s handbag disappeared. He felt unlucky and sighed himself.
This story tells us that do not leave anything in the car seat, especially the thing looks like worth. It may attract thieves’ interesting and will cause the meaningless loss.

Friday, October 27, 2006

I Might As Well . . .

Hi, Classmates,

I have enjoyed reading you guys' essays for almost two months. I really like them and would like to share my essays with you from now on. I hope my writing is as good as yours.

In fact, I didn't want to write on the blog again, but our teacher wants me to write and he promises me to edit my essays, so, I might as well write to make him feel happy.

As you know, we are very lucky to have a teacher like Richard. He always works hard on students' essays. Richard is the one who always encourages students to get ahead with their English.

I feel very happy that he is editting my essays again.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Hi, Classmates,

Do you know why I am nervous ?

You know, in my country, Cambodia , I can drive a car by my self. I know how to drive and I studied about the traffic laws. I can't compare whether it is easier to drive in Cambodia or Oakland, because sometimes I think Oakland is easier than Cambodia, and sometimes I think Cambodia is easier than Oakland.

In my country the roads are smaller than here. Some roads have traffic lights and some roads don't have traffic lights. In Cambodia about 40% or 50% of people don't know about the traffic laws and don't have a driver license.

I told my husband, I thought Oakland was very different than my country.

After I passed the reading test in Oakland, my husband asked me, " Can you drive now?"

I said that I didn’t feel comfortable driving because I saw that California drivers were always driving very fast.

“I feel nervous,” I told my husband.
He said, “ I think you can do it. Take it easy.”

Then I said, “I will try to drive here.”

What do you think? Can I or can’t I?

I think you said, “You can't.”

I can!

When I got in our car, my husband asked me, “Do you feel comfortable?”

I said, “No.”

He said, “It's okay.”

I asked him, “Where do you want to go?”

He said, “It’s up to you.”

I said, “I want to go to Sacramento, because I've never gone there before.”

My husband said, “Wow! Can you drive on the freeway?”
I said, “I’ll try to do it.”

You know, when I started to drive, I felt nervous I drove very slowly and I didn't want to change lanes.

My husband said, “You should increase the speed and practice changing lanes.

I said, “It's difficult for me.”

After a while, he asked me again.

I said, “I feel better and don't worry about me.”
I drove to Sacramento, however, it was difficult for me. I did it because I heard someone say that I couldn't drive a car.

When you want to drive, you should take a deep breath. Try not to be nervous. Take it easy. You must tell yourself, " I can do it!"

That's my story. I hope that if you want to drive but you feel nervous, you should do the same as me. I think you can do it. Don't worry because if you can’t do it today you will be able to do it tomorrow.

My new job

Hi, classmates!

I can not come to school for two weeks because I have to take care of my niece. My sister gave birth to a baby girl last Friday. This is her second baby girl.

I have to take care of her first daughter. She is three years old. I have to cook for her and feed her. She is not a good eater. She puts the food in her mouth, but she doesn’t chew or swallow it. She just wants to run around and play when I try to feed her.

When we have free time, we swim together. She really likes swimming with me.

That is my job. I am a babysitter.

A Good News

On Wednesday afternoon, my mom was making a phone call to me while I was studying at school.
She said, "I have a good news for you." I said,"really." She said," Yes, I find a new job as a waitess in the restaurant. I only work four hours a day, but the money is less than the ex-job,but I can cook for the family and I can take care of the family. Do you agree?" I said,"It's up to you. If you don't like to do your ex-job, you can have a try on your new job, but I heart, you have to work very hard in the restaurant, because it has a lot of works to do. If you think you can stand for it, just do it. "She said,"Ok, I want to have a try and now I want to make a phone call to you Dad. Good-bye."I said,"Ok. Good-bye."
After that, I was very happy,because I don't need to cook dinner any more, and I don't have to think about what shall I cook today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. I think it was really a good news for me and my family.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Planning Our Vacation

My husband, children and I are planning to go to Mexico at Christmas time. We have gone to Mexico in December for the last three years. We always had traveled to Mexico by plane. It is especially expensive to fly at Christmas time. The cost of the tickets can be double during the holiday season.

This time we plan to go to Mexico by car. People who have traveled this way say that we can spend half of the money that we usually pay for airline tickets.

There will be two weeks vacation at my children's school, but we are thinking about asking for an extra week, so we could spend two weeks in Mexico. We can spend the extra week to get there and come back.

We are very excited about our trip to Mexico.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I Quit My Job

Last Sunday was my last day of work at the restaurant.

I quit my job, because that area is not safe. Last Monday, one young guy was killed. Many police came to investigate and to make a report. I saw a lot of blood around the young guy's body. I felt so scared. I decided to quit my job.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Happy Day

Today in the afternoon, my father took me to the DMV to apply for a driver’s license.

I only waited a few minutes in the DMV, because there were only a few other people waiting.

After finishing my paper work, a DMV employee took a photo of me and then gave me the written examination. I only used a few minutes to finish the questions.

When I gave the DMV employee the paper, she only looked at it for a few seconds and said, “You fail!”

I was very surprised. I asked her, “Why?”
She said, “It’s a joke.” Then we laughed.

A few minutes later, she said to me, “You fail.” I knew the questions were very easy for me, so I said to her, “Are you joking?” She laughed and said, “Congratulations! You pass.” I was very happy to hear that. Then she gave me a temporary driver’s license, so I could drive a car with my father.

I drove my father’s car to my grandmother’s home.

That night, when we went home, I drove the car on the freeway with my dad. Quickly, we arrived home.

What a happy day!

A Funny Day

Last Sunday, I went to the park with my cousin, sister and brother. When we arrived there, we went to the basketball playground. We didn't have a basketball. We only had a volleyball, so we decided to use the volleyball as a basketball . We tried to throw the volleyball into the basket. Sometimes it was easy to get it into the basket, but sometimes it was hard.

My cousin asked us to stand a short distance in front of the basket and then to shoot the ball. If the ball didn’t go into the basket, he would help us to throw it into the basket.

We started to play. I was the first one. I threw the ball , fortunately, the ball went into the basket. My cousin was very disappointed, because he could not do what he wanted to do.

The second one was my sister. After she threw the ball, my cousin was very happy, because the ball did not go into the basket. He ran and caught the ball and then threw it, but the ball did not go into the basket. No matter how many times he tried, it was the same. He felt upset and angry. He held the ball in his hands and said, "I don't want to play it again. It makes me crazy, I don't like it. Let's go home now." After that, he walked home by himself, so we went home with him.

On our way home, he said, "Let's go to the park next Sunday."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


I work at the Oakland Airport.

One day my coworker asked me, “ Jimmy, where do you live?”

I said, “I live in East Oakland.”

He said, “Are you sure? There are a lot of machine guns over there even in the daytime. It is a very dangerous area! Be careful! When you walk at night you should bring a baseball bat with you.”

And then I asked him:” Are you joking?”

He said nothing, he only laughed.

Hi, Classmates

This Monday morning, I received my social security card. I’m very happy. Now that I have this card, I can go to the DMV to apply for a driver’s license. My father decided to take me to the DMV on Thursday afternoon, because he is off duty on that day. I had been studying the driver’s handbook for several days, because if I wanted to get a driver’s license I have to pass the written examination first. Tomorrow is Thursday, wish me good luck, please.

Thank you very much!

Hi, Classmates

My name is Jimmy.

My son, Henry, and I are in the morning class.

We will write a story on the blog very soon.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Hi class

Hi, Class,

Hi, I hope after you read this story, you will wish happiness to this family.

Wednesday was a cheerful day. I was talking to my friends by computer, when I received email from my aunt's boyfriend in China. He told me that he had good news for me. He said:" My girlfriend gave birth to a baby girl. I am very happy now!"

When I heard the news, I was excited. I told the news to my family. Everybody was happy to hear it.

My aunt and my uncle have known each other for two years. They work together at the same factory. In March, my aunt learned that she was pregnant, but she couldn’t tell her mother about this and she didn't tell my family, either. In China, if you have a baby before you get married, people will gossip.

Someone did gossip. They told us that my aunt was pregnant. We all were worried about that. My aunt’s mother didn’t like my aunt’s boyfriend and didn’t want them to be together.

Fortunately my aunt’s mother asked everybody for advise. She understood that her daughter was her own flesh and blood. Now, she doesn't object that they're together. My aunt’s mother is very happy. She is a grandmother now!