Tuesday, January 31, 2006

What Are The Meanings Of The Following Sentences?

Richard, please explain the following sentences' meaning. These sentences are from "Mrs. Penn' Story" ,
part 1:
(1) Line 57, What is the meaning of women-folks ?
(2) Line 58, "He just dosen't look at things the way we do."
(3) Line 82, "You look at it well."
(4) Line 87, "And their fathers don't have half your means."
(5) Line 91, "She flung open the door to a tiny bedroom."
(6) Line 94, "Sarah Penn threw open another door."
part 2:
(1) Line 25, "If uou are through,"
(2) Line 49, "The barn doors rolled open."
(3) Line 57, "What on earth dose this mean, mother?"
(4) Line 79, "Before them stretched the fields."
(5) Line 87, "his vioce cracking,"
Thank you.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Chinese New Years Celebration in the Bay Area

The Chinese New Year is a traditional time of celebration. It is the most important holiday season for Chinese, Vietnamese and some other Asian people. No Chinese person can ever forget the New Years Celebration.

In China and Vietnam the New Years season is celebrated for 15 days, like the Christmas season in the United States. There is no official Chinese New Years holiday in the United states. Chinese Americans need more time to celebrate New Years.

Three Bay Area cities are cooperating to expand the Chinese New Years Holiday Season. This year, Oakland began the celebration with a New Year festival on January 14th. This week San Francisco is hosting the Dragon Parade. Next week San Jose will end the holiday season with another Chinese New Years festival.

Bay Area cities are working together to recognize the needs of Chinese and Vietnamese Americans. Now everyone in the Bay Area has more time to enjoy the Chinese New Years celebrations.

Chinese New Year in The United States

Time is flying fast. Chinese New Year is coming again!

This year all the big holidays as Christmast and New Years are falling on weekends. People seem excited and celebrate bigger than the other years, because they have more time to go shopping and cook special meals for the New Years. People invite friends and relatives gather together to make more crowded.

Although Chinese people are living in America, but every year when the Chinese New Years are coming. They celebrate very big. They don't care about spending money for the organizations as parades, dragons and lions perform or firework. They want to keep their traditions and stay forever for the future generations.

Even their culture, they want to keep it, also. They opened scattered many Chinese schools with the tuitions are very cheap. The rich people who are willing to offer their money to the schools to make a fund for school using. Their goal is hope the culture will be eternal existence.

Their community always help each other. They're very united each other. They like to take pride. As we see, most the China Town grow everywhere in the world.

Anyway, Chinese New Year is a very big festival. We can say it expand through out the world and exit forever.

Friday, January 27, 2006

My Job

Sorry for my 2 weeks absence. I really want to go to school, but there is no time for me as I've got a job, to be a waitress. I have to work from 8:00am to 1:00pm every day. I will try to ask for shifting to the afternoon so that I can go to school in the morning. Now let me tell you about my job.

I got that job 2 weeks ago. I'm working for a bakery restaurant now. It was hard for me to do the waitress job as I've never done that when I was in China. Actually I hate to work in the restaurant, but I have no choice. I need money. I don't have a car to the further places for working and my English isn't good enough. I felt very bad at the first day of working though it wasn't beyond my expectation. It was also challengable for me to try the different job. I faced a lot of problems at work, and I learnt and solved them one by one. I believed that I could make it as long as I use my heart and mind to do it.

I get used to the work there now. I know how to help my customers to choose what they like to eat, or recommend them to try our favorite food. I serve every customer very well even if I met the bad customers. I also learnt a lot of new English from my job. I think I will stay there for working some time. It's also a good place to improve English and myself. I can make alot of friends there. I'm enjoying my job now.

That's it for my job. Richard, I will try to go to school as soon as possible. Please wait for me!!!

My Hometown

Ho Chi Minh City is my hometown where I lived for 21 years. It is a great place to visit.There are many different neighborhoods in my hometown.

District 1 is a trade and nightlife center. A lot of tourists visit this district in Ho Chi Minh City in the summer. They enjoy the interesting night life of this city. There are many discos, cafes and restaurants. In the evening many people sit around the river to relax.

District 5 is an area with more Chinese than other districts. There are many temples. On the 1st and 15th day of the lunar calendar, the streets are full of people going to temples to pray for their family or for themselves. I lived in District 5 before I left Vietnam.

Cu Chi is a small neighborhood of Ho Chi Minh City. There is a long tunnel under the ground. The tunnel was dug a long time ago. The soldiers used it to avoid invaders. You can read the details on the walls. It will help you to know more about Cu Chi. This spot is full of history.

Can Tho is the last spot I will introduce to you. It is a place full of nature. It has an orchard. You can take a boat on the river to travel and enjoy a big fruit feast or other popular foods.

When you come to visit Ho Chi Minh City, try to visit these spots.. This will help you to know more about Viet Nam, because by traveling one increases their knowledge of the world.


I was very interested befor I gone to Vietnam. My cousin took me go to airport station about
8pm January 15. The plane started flight 0h 05 am January16. The flight took 14 hours to go to
Taiwan. I was sleep on the plane. I went to Taiwan at 6am ( Taiwan time). I waited to change another plane about 2 hours. At 8am I flought to Vietnam. I went to Hanoi airport at 10.30 am.
I was so happy to see my parent and my brother in airport station. Two days later I went to visit my granmother. She live with my Uncle in the country. It is far about 200 miles from my
parent' house. Now, I stay at home with my parent. This Sunday is Vietnamese' New Year so I very busy. Tomorrow, I going to buy flowers to decorate the house.
I will write more stories next time.
I miss everyone in room 101 morning class.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

My Opinion

I have studied English at this school for several years. My English is better than before, but I am weakest at listening and speaking. I think this is a problem for most adult immigrants especially those from Asia.
I want to talk to my neighbors and my classmates. When I ask a clerk who works in a hardware store for help, I don't know how to express my meaning. Specifically, when they answer or ask me some questions, I don't understand what they are talking about and it is embarrassing. I think it is because of not having enough practice in listening and speaking. I know many students in our school hope to fully participate in American society as soon as possible. So, I hope that our school and teachers will give us more practice in listening and speaking.

I am very glad that I study in the Advanced Low class now. Our teacher, Richard Blum, has arranged more listening, speaking and writing for our class.

Monday, January 23, 2006

My Neighbor

Soon after I moved to Oakland my husband introduced him to me. He lived close to my house. He is a special education teacher. He teaches children who have learning problems. The first year I met him, I was so shy and I was afraid to talk to him. I needed my husband to translate when I wanted to ask him something. But he told my husband, "I don't need you to translate when Mai talks with me. ,You should tell her not to be shy .If she is shy and scared, her English will not get better."

Sometimes, he came to my house and I talked to him. If he didn't understand something I said, he would ask me to repeat it one more time, then he would help me fix the grammar and he would tell me how I could say it correctly.

“I can help you anytime,” he said. He taught me how to use the computer and showed me how to teach my children better. He helped me a lot and I felt badly because I didn't know how to thank him. I just said “sorry” again and again. He said, “You need not apologize to me.”

“Use a friend for what? Use a friend for help,” he said .
Sometimes he stopped by my house to visit my children. I saw he was very tired. My husband asked him, “Why do you look so tired?” He answered, “My students are so wild they give me a headache.” He told us, he tries harder and harder because he wants these children to learn better, but their parents misunderstood him. They complained about him a lot.

After I heard that I thought it is very hard to be a teacher.

My Hometown, Xiao Liu

Xiao Liu is my hometown in Guang Dong Province in China. There is a small river and there are many hills near Xiao Liu. It was a poor village. Only narrow winding paths went to my village. No large vehicles could get to this village. People had to carry everything they needed on their shoulders or on bicycles. The people of my village had a difficult life, but they were hard working.

People from Xiao Liu like to sing the Kerjia song. They cook special Kerjia food. There are many local customs and traditions Xiao Liu. I grew up in this place and I love it!

Now almost all of Xiao Liu’s young men and women go out to work in Guan Zhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Shen Zhen or other large cities. Only the old men and women still stay home.

I left Xiao Liu fifty seven years ago. Since then I went back four times. The last time I went back, there was a change for the better. New roads were built to our village. Now, cars and trucks can drive to my hometown. There are a lot of new houses.

Mei Fang

My Home Town, Oakland

United States. Many people say this is a bad city because there are gang fights, robberies and drug selling in some areas. I think this happens in other cities, also. I would rather look at the bright side.

Oakland is more than one hundred years old. It is the capital of Alameda County. There are many interesting historic buildings. One of them is the Oakland Museum. Lake Merritt is a good sight seeing are. Furthermore, the city has a wonderful transportation system includes BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), the Bay Bridge, the Port of Oakland and the Oakland International Airport.

I think that not too many cities can compare favorably with Oakland.

I live close to our school. I enjoy living right here because of its convenience. There are many different kinds of shops and restaurants that you can choose from. That is why I am content with my new hometown.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

My hometown- Taishan

My hometown is Taishan City in Guangdong province of China. My hometown has beautiful beaches and hills. One of the beaches is on Shang Chun Island. In the summer, a lot of tourists visit the beach. The beach is public property. Everybody can swim or surf at the beach. There is a restaurant near the beach. The restaurant has delicious seafood. There is also a spa. All the food is inexpensive.

People can hike up the hills and see beautiful trees and flowers there. People can walk on the beach or climb up a hill to see the sunrise.

In the city center, there are a lot of stores and supermarkets. It's very convenient to buy clothes or food. The clothes are inexpensive and nice. The food is fresh and delicious.

Many people who were born and grew up in my hometown have moved to different countries. Some of them ended up living in The United State and some are living in Canada or Australia. Many live in other foreign countries. My hometown is sometimes known as "the city of the overseas Chinese."

I love my Home Town

I love my Hometown.

Chang Chun is my second hometown. It is the capital of Ji Lin province. It is in northeast China. It is a big and beautiful city. I lived there almost 40 years.

Chang Chun has four distinct seasons in a year. In the winter there is a lot of snow. Everywhere is white and it is very cold in the winter. The summer is not too hot. I like the spring there. When winter is over, the trees, flowers, birds and everything come back to life.

Chang Chun was the first city in China to have a car factory. The first movie studio in China was in Chang Chun. It also is cultural city. There are lot of colleges and universities in my hometown. Our classmate Mei Fang graduated from the Collage of Ji Lin.

Chang Chun produces a lot of special products. You can find ginseng, antlers from deer and other special medicines in pharmacies in Chang Chun.

I love my hometown, Chang Chun, very much. I have a lot friends there. We grew up together. My brother and my sister live in Chang Chun. I cherish a lot of things and a lot of people in Chang Chun.


The United States of America

The United States is one of the richest coutries in the world. The United States has a high civilization.

The United States is the 3rd bigest countries in the world. It's a diverse country. There are a lot of different kinds of people that moved from other coutries to here with the goal of making their life better. Some people came here to study.

There are 50 states in The United States. Every state has a different kind of weather and character. Let me descibe some of them.

Florida always has hot weather. People can plant special fruit like jack fruit,Vietnamese kiwi, longan, guava, green mango.

Minesota has snow in the winter. In the winter the snow covers the road. It looks beautiful. In the summertime it is terribly hot.

Oh! Talking about Hawaii, most people know it has a very nice climate. There are four main islands in Hawaii. Honolulu is on one of the islands. I went there last year. There are beautiful beaches in Honolulu. Some people told me that they like to visit Hawaii because Hawaiians treat the travellers like a "King." That is very true!

The United States is a dream country so that many people want to settle here for a better future.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

My Home Town

Saigon is my home town. I lived in Saigon for the first 24 years of my life. I escaped from Vietnam in 1987.

Saigon is a trading center. It is one of the busiest cities of Vietnam. Saigon is always crowded with people walking around.

There are two seasons in Saigon-wet and dry. It has a very nice climate.

Talking about Saigon reminds me about the famous market named "Ben Thanh." There are a lot of yummy kinds of food and delicious desserts. Let me name a few: rice cake with special sauce; three colors of beans served with coconut juice; ice cream inside a fresh coconut shell. Oh! I crave the food over there very much!

In my home town, the neighbors are nosy. They like to meet and gossip about each other. They're very frendly.

After 12 years I went back to my home town. My home town had changed. It wasn't familiar to me. It was not like before when I lived there.

A Wonderful Trip to Dong Ao island

Does everybody know where Dong Ao island is? Let me tell you more about it here. Dong Ao island locates in Zhu Hai city, Guangdong Province, China. It's a really beautiful island with many trees, sea and natural landscape. The air there is fresh. You will feel very relaxed when you're there.

I went there with 6 friends of mine. We left for Dong Ao island at 9:30am from Xiang Zhou port. It took us about 45minutes by ferry to get there. I felt seasick once the ferry started to run as the ocean wave moved very fast. It was so terrible. I had to stand it for 45 minutes. Once we got there, we felt happy and relexed as the lanscape was so beautiful. And then, we walked to the hotel which we had booked by a travel agency in Zhongshan. It took us 20 minutes to walk there. After checking in hotel, we walked around the island and went to play in seaside. We picked up the soldier crabs and fish and put them into the plastic bottle. After that, we went to have a rich seafood meal in a wonderful restaurant. We ate a lot of different seafood there such as crabs, prawns, fish, clam ect. We felt so full after that rich lunch.

After that, we thought that we should do some sports to help assimilation. We decided to go climb the high mountain. The mountain was high, but easy to climb as it had many steps. You could follow those steps to climb to the top of the mountain. When we climbed to the half distance, one of my friend stopped and couldn't climb again. We asked her what happened. She looked very scared nd her face turned to pale. She was scared of climbing to the high place. We didn't know how to do then. Finally, one friend of mine put her to his back and took her to the top of the mountain. She felt better after some rest. Then we started to go down from the top of the mountain. You couldn't image how beautiful the landscape it was when you looked down from the top of the mountain. You would feel everything was under your feet. That was really great.

We spent a wonderful day there. We left there at 1:30pm on the other day. We also decided to go there again next time. I think it'll be a long time as I'm in the U.S. now. I don't know when I can go back to China for visiting. Just wait and see.

That's it for my trip in Dong Ao Island. If you're interesting in traveling there, please feel free to ask me for any information. I'll try my best to let you know about about it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


We got up early on the 10th of January. As we started our trip to visit Kauai in Hawaii, we felt excited and smiled all the time.

On the first day of our trip, we arrived in Kauai after 6 hours of flight. I felt hot once we got there .

It was sunny and hot in Kauai. We saw almost everybody was wearing T-shirts in the airport. We picked up our luggage and rented a car. We drove and looked at the map to find out how to get to our hotel. The road was curvier than in Oakland, and we saw some wild chickens walking on the road side. I looked through outside the car window, and I could see that there were beautiful beaches on our way to the hotel. the beaches are all public property. After that, I also could see that there were waterfalls in the hills. Kauai has a lot of trees beside the roads, too.

We got to the hotel after about 30 minutes. It was great that there was a big beach in the back of the hotel. We saw the sunrise at the beach. The beach had beautiful blue waters. We saw beautiful hills, beaches, canyons and trees on our helicopter flight.

Kauai is really a beautiful island. Here is a picture of Kauai.

My Daughter's First Time In School

I have two children, one daughter and one son. My daughter is four years old and she goes to preschool now.

The first week at school, she cried every morning and she said to me when I drove her to school "Mommy, I don't like to go to school. I want stay home with you."

And I said to her, "Honey, you go to school have a lot fun then come home." When I dropped her at school, I saw her cry a lot and I felt unhappy. I thought about how I could help her feel happy at school.

After one week, she didn't cry any more. Every morning she woke up early and dressed herself. She was excited and said to me, "Mommy, hurry up. We have to go to school. We will be late."

I was suprised and asked to my daughter, ''Honey, why do you like school ?"

She told me, "It is because I have a lot of friends and the teacher loves me .I can write my name by myself. I can paint."

When I heard her tell me that, I felt happy and appreciated.
Now ,when she is at home, she pretends she is a teacher. She teaches her younger brother everything her learned in school. I saw my daughter do that.

I hope when she grows up she will do the right thing and get a good education.

Monday, January 16, 2006

New Years In My Home Town

New Year In My Home Town
I was born in Ho Chi Minh City. This my home town .In my home town ,this time is New Year's time .A lot people go to the market to buy some things to decorate their homes.Poeple selling watermelons on both sides of the street.One week before of the new years, business men do a lot of business .They work from early morning to until midninght in the market .It is very crowed on the street, poeple ride motorcycle looking around the market .OnNew Year's eve ,my home town have a very beautiful and famous flowers blooming .We call is yellow plum flowers.They sell them in the flower market and poeple like to buy them for their homes during the New Year holiday.
On the first day of the year, we like to to the temple and this give us luck for the whole year.On the second day, we go to visit relatives and enjoy a parties.
Finally ,in my hometown ,poeple enjoy the New Year all week .I miss my hometown New Year celebration very much .If I have a chance , I will go back to my hometown for the New Year.I think I will enjoy a lot.

I An Very Happy this New Year

I was so happy this New Year – 2006. Two days before the New Year came, my husband brought my son home to America. My son waited almost seven years. He finally stepped onto United States soil. When I met them at SF Airport, my son lifted me up and swing me round in two circles. He looked so happy to meet me there. He said “The dream finally became truth.” My husband used a camera to capture that moment. There were tears down from his eyes, also from mine, too.

After 30 minutes, we arrived at our home. My son was pleasantly surprised to look at everything in our home. I had put some decoration on the wall. I cleaned the room. I wrote two sentences on the wall. They were: “We welcome you come back home” and “I love you, my son” I wanted to make him happy. I did all these things before he came home.

This New Year I received a big present. I had hoped for it for 7 years. You know, 7 years of my live was so long and so hard. We lived in different countries for almost 7 years. I missed and worried about him every day. I can’t use language to say how I worried for my son.

Now I am so happy I can talk to him anytime and anywhere. We can go to school to study English together. We can go shopping together and cook, work or walk around……, we can do everything together. We very happy and very much enjoy this sweet life.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Difficult to Learn at The First Time

When I first learned to cut hair. I had to practice on a doll. I just cut her hair little by little each time. After the third semester, I started to practice on the people's hair. I really liked it because I could see the styles. I was very satisfied with what I have done, because I didn't know better.

Finally I got a license and then I went to work. It was a challenge for me. Everyday I met many customers and they had differrent kinds of hair. I didn't always do a good job. Sometimes, I felt frustrated because I didn't have enough experience. I couldn't always make the custormers very happy with my work.

I needed to improve my skills. I became a helper in a salon. I helped my boss to do colors, perms, shampoos or whatever she needed. I tried to do very good job. I paid attention to what she did. I was loyal worker so that she showed me and gave me many chances for cuting customers' hair.

The saying "experience is the best teacher" is indeed right!

Gradually, I became an expert hair dresser. And now I 'm a professional hair dresser.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Forgot a Hyphen

I got it teacher, I know how to sign on and post a blog. Before I forget the hyphen in my username. Thanks for reminding me. Next time I post I'll post a story. By the way, are there any special places in SF that anyone know of? Like when I asked you last Christmas where in the SF hills do they have special decorations.

Brand New Life in the US!

When I got off the plane in S.F. airport, it was like a dream. I never thought that I would move here. Everything was brand new for me. I knew nobody here except my family. Everything should be started from the beginning.

The first important thing to do after my arrival was to solve the problem of jet lag. It was good for me as I like sleeping very much. I just slept almost all day long without eating, but I just felt tired all the time. The jet lag problem was solved after a week. After that, the second important thing was food. I didn't know why I felt hungry so often, maybe it was because of the cool weather. It was so strange to me. I just ate, ate and ate...I worried about my weight. I didn't want to be as fat as a BIG PIG. As you know, people can't always follow what they think. So, I just thought, "don't worry, be happy EAT".

After about half a month, then I've got used to it and recovered to be energetic. I started to walk around the city though many people said it was crazy to walk so far. I had no choice, I had to walk. A month ago, I didn't know where or how to take a bus. I insisted on walking for 2 or 3 hours everyday. I'm good at walking now.

I'm studying English at Neighborhood Centers Adult School right now. I'm so happy to have a professional teacher, Richard Blum, and so many nice classmates. I promise I will go to school for 3 hours every Monday to Friday morning to improve my English unless an unexpected situation comes up.

That's all for my story right now. I will try to write more stories later. I won't be lazy, but I will be crazy for English.YEAH!!!

How I learn to drive a car in USA

I just came to USA about 4 months ago. And one of the most important thing I should do first was getting a driver license. You know, you can't do anything in USA without a driver license.
At first, I readed all helpful imformation about the law, the meaning of all of the traffic signs and how to drive a car. I learned the law from California Driver Guide and other documents. I tried to do many writing test of DMV. But in the first time I drive a car, I got a serious nervous. There were too many thing I had to do and remember! There were too many buttons in the car and I can't remember all of them. It took me a long time to start the engine, and when it started I didn't know what I needed to do next. My teacher had to show me again and again but I'm too nervous so I often pushed a wrong one. I decided to go over my fear, every time I drive a car, I always took a deep breath, slow down myself and I became more confident. I praticed one hour a day, seven days a week and now I have no problem. I passed the driver lesson last week and now I can drive my car to everywhere I want!

Trip to Vietnam

This Sunday I will go to Vietnam.

My cousin will take me to the airport around 7 p.m.

I will stay in Vietnam for a month.

I will read the Room 101 Blog while I am in Vietnam. Please write interesting stories. I will write some stories from Vietnam. Send me questions and I will try to answer them.

Thanks, I will come back on February 19.

See you guys then!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Chinese New Year

New Year is a great holiday in Viet Nam. Now the people are busy to prapare for NewYear. Ther are preparing new clothes, thorough clean-up the house, make a plan for New Year vacation...
District 5 is a place have a jolly time when New Year's Eve is coming,even the area i was live in Viet Nam. Because many temples are nearby.
New Year's Eve most of people won't sleep. Because they want to keep the time and go to temples to pray for themselves or their family.The house they decorate by plum blossom and four season tangerine. They are symbolize lucky and health.Three days of beginning lunar new year .children are more happy because they will get a lot of lucky money from their parent or married people. new year cake is very importance,it representative improve in business.
We always have great time in the New Year. we will meet some friends and relatives from another area.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Bus Accident

On my way home from Christmas vacation, I took a bus from Los Angeles to Oakland We were about thought 2 hours from San Jose. It was raining lightly and a beautiful rainbow appeared in the sky. Suddenly, the car in front of my bus put on the brakes. Our bus driver couldn’t avoid hitting that car and we crashed into a field. The bus doors wouldn’t open, so we couldn’t get out of the bus.

The driver instructed us. He told us to calm down and he called 911 for help. The car in front of was burning and we feared that car would explode. We climbed out of the bus through the emergency window.

The police arrived about 20 minutes later. They took us to the nearest restaurant. We waited there for 5 hours. Finally, another bus picked us up. We arrived in San Jose at 10:30 p.m.

This will always be an unforgettable memory for me. Anyway, this is a rare experience, but if this misfortune happens to you, I can give you some advice: you should calm down and listen to the instructions from the bus driver.

Friday, January 06, 2006

New Year's Resolution

When I came to the United States everything was new.

I felt like a fish out of water. This New Year I made a New Year's resolution for myself.

In China we say, "New year, new hope!" this year I promised myself that I will work hard in my studies.

If you want to get a good job, you should have a professional certificate.

I want a good job working for an airline. I want to get a college degree. I need to double my effort to achieve a shining future.

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