Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Some Questions in The Meeting

A. Firt Information Meeting
1. What did you learn at the meeting?
2. Which things were the most important or helpful?
3. What other things would be helpful to know?

B. Starting and Ending Your Classes
1. Is your class too short or too long? Or just right?
Just right.
2. What is the best number of weeks for one class?
10 weeks for one class.
3. Do you think it is good that students can start or leave a class at any time?
Yes, I do.

C. Attending Classes.
1. Is it good for the school to have rules about coming to class?
No, I don't think it is good for the school to have rules about coming to class.
2. What do you think is the best rule?
I think the best rule is: speak English in the class.

D. Staying in the ESL Program
1. What helps you to keep coming to class?
The class has to be interesting.
2. Why do some students stop taking classes soon after starting?
Maybe they get a job or don't have time.

E. Making Progress in Learng English
1. In your class, what are you learning in English? How do you know?
Pronounce, grammar, reading and listening.
2. How do you know when you are ready to move to a higher level?
I feel like by myself or I can take a test well.

F. Using Computers in Learning English
1. Do you use computers in your English classes? What do you do?
Yes, I do. To get news.
2. Do computers help you to learn English?
Yes, they do. They help me to learn extra at home
3. What other kinds of machine do you use in class?
Hardwear, printer.

Practice Telling Story

I would like to have a chance to talk every morning. I would like the teacher give the topic to students to write a very short story in 10 minutes such as: my favorite hobby, the funiest story or what are your consider life's greatest gift, what are your consider life's greatest sorrow . . . And then the teacher calls up around 7 people to read their stories everyday. I think it is very helpful for us to practice talking.

Monday, February 27, 2006

My Suggestion

I feel like we learned a lot of grammars everyday, but we don't have a chance to practice. I think if the teacher keep to continue like this everyday. It doesn't work for us very much, because we have the idiom "You get out what you put in" but I don't see any get out. So, now I have some suggestions to the teacher and classmates:

After we learned the grammar. I'd likethe teacher give homeworks to students to write about 5 or 10 sentences which are using the grammar that we have just learned. I think the teacher do like this, it will work better than we just learned without practicing.

I would like the teacher slowdown little bit in teaching grammar. To rush to learn we don't have the depth impression in our mind. So, I think we have one day to learn and then the next day we practice. It is very good to remember.

I would like what I have learned, I'll stick in my mind forever.

I need classmates' ideas. Please give me some comments.

My Childhood

I'm Geraldine Pritchard. I'm from Perú. Perú is a small country with approximately 26 million people. My hometown is Yungay. There are many big mountains. There it is very beautiful to live. The weather is like here.

I have four sisters. I'm the third. My older sister is going to have a baby who might be a boy. My sisters are very happy about that because to live with just girls is a little boring, all they like to do is talk about boys.

My Parents are teachers. My dad is a math teacher and my mom is a primary school teacher. Both are working now. I remember my time with my family. It was very difficult because we were working very hard together. My dad is a very hard worker. He sleeps just three or four hours in the night. He sleeps at 2 or 3 am and he wakes up at 5 or 6 am because he has many things to do.

The jobs are very scarce in my town. Many people don't do anything. They say it is because there's no jobs. I think they are a little lazy too. I'm very proud of my dad because he always is busy. He always finds work and has his own businesses.

I was living with my parents until I finished highschool. When I was 16 years old, I went to the capital, Lima, to study Mechanical Maintenance, which I couldn't study in Yungay. When I old my parents about my plans, my dad was very angry. He was worried because Lima is a big, dangerous city with bad people. But I went to study because I had some dreams for my life.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


I came back to the United States a week ago. I was so tired after my flight that I took one more day off
to clean the house and wash clothes.

The next day I went to work. People at my work were
happy to see me. After 5 weeks, I was happy to see them, too. They asked me many questions
about Vietnam. I told them a lot of stories. At work I was so happy I forgot I was tired and sleepy. When I got home, I slept a lot. I didn't go to school. I was lazy. I am sorry about that. In Vietnam I
wrote 2 stories. I wanted to write more stories but I lost the address of the blog when I went to Saigon. I will write a story about Vietnam very soon.

See you guys tomorrow!

What Democracy Means to Me

Democracy is a system of government in which the people hold the ruling power.

Everyone has equal rights. If you don’t like a politician you can protest against him. Democracy sounds very good.

Sometimes when politicians want to be elected, they promise you whatever you ask for, but they may not do what they promise after they are elected. They can not do all that they promise. In fact, no one can be perfect.

Compare democracy to the dictatorship system.

A dictator has complete power over the country. People have to follow his orders, whether or not they like them.

I prefer democracy better.

Monday, February 20, 2006

What Democracy Means to Me

Democracy means equality. Everyone can speak or publish in freedom.

I like democracy, because I can criticize anybody in the public even though he is the president. Journalists can write whatever they like in the newspaper. Cartoonists can make fund of or imitate anyone. It is not a crime to do these things.

My country is a democracy, also, but it is different than here. People can not criticize the president even if the president does something wrong or he does bad things. Human rights are unequal. The rich people are always right and powerful.

So, to me, democracy means freedom of speech and equal human rights.

Monday, February 13, 2006

American Life Style

The life style in the United States is different from my country, Mexico.The life in the United States is faster than my country.
In the United States most parents work and they don't stay with their children.The children stay at home alone while the parents work. In this country people have a better life because the jobs are better paid than in my country.
In Mexico the life style is different than the United States because most women don't work. They stay at home with their children. Most women cook every day for their families, they don't go to restaurants very often.
The jobs are very badly paid, people are paid only 66 "Pesos" per day. This is only six dollars.
This is the difference between the United States and Mexico.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is for people to celebrate love or a special relationship with people whom we love or like.

On Valentine's Day most people like to give flowers or chocolate candy with a card. These are popular gifts. Some people give other things, also.

On Valentine's Day most young people like to go to a movie. Some couples like to travel to romantic places. People who are married go out for a family dinner. Some kids they give presents or cards to their teachers or friends.

My country doesn't have Valentine's Day so people don't have a special holiday to celebrate the relationship between husbands and wives.

Many Asians who have lived in the United States for a long time don't do anything on Valentines' Day. They don't think this holiday is important. A few Asians follow American traditions. They do somethings special on Valentine's Day. They think Valentine's Day is an important day, also.

I think Valentine's Day is very good, because it reminds people to warm up their relationships, especially between husbands and wives.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The American Life Style

Many people think American life is stressful and competitive. This is perfectly true!

Everybody knows that America is a rich society. Everybody wants cars, a house, entertainment, fun games, nice clothes, good food and an opportunity to travel. People work hard for these things. Some people have to work two jobs for what they want in life.

Every month we have to pay for the rent, PG&E, phone, car insurance, medical, food … Oh! There are too many bills! American life is stressful.

American life is not easy if we don't have a stable job or we can't afford payments for the house. How can we survive if we get laid off. It's indeed stressful!

In my country life is less competitive than here. People don't have to work so much. They can relax more than here.

In my country almost everybody owns a home. Thus, people work just for food and some miscellaneous needs. In a family just a few people work. This can support the whole family.

Anyway, American life is better. If we work hard, we can enjoy the American life style.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

More About the New Year

The first and last day of the Chinese New Year are vegetarian. We celebrate by not killing any animals and eating only vegetables.

When I was a child, I liked the Chinese New Year very much. This time of year always made me happy because I got new clothes and lots of good luck red envelope money. But now that I'm married and have kids I have to give out lots of money to all of the kids in my family when they come to visit. Whenever the New Year comes, I have to prepare many things. I don’t always like to get ready for the New Year and it tires me out, but I have to keep the tradition.

Monday, February 06, 2006

New Year in Ha Noi

This year I enjoy New Year in my hometown. I was very busy, butI really happy. Before New year four days, I was help my Mum make cakes. We made 12 cakes. It was coast about 10 pounds rice, 6 pounds bean and 4 pounds meats for make cakes. I don't know call the English name for this cake. It's a tradition cake of my country.The cake only has to make for New Year' days. Ten years ago, every family made this cake when New Year caming. Now, many familys don't make cake, they go to markets to buy the cake. You can buy it everyday.
Same Christmas' days in United States we decorated our house with flowers and light. Eve New Year's day my Mum cooked big dinner have expecial foods. Every member in my family had to go home ate dinner together. Eve New Year's night I with my brother went to center city to see firework.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Lunar New Year

Last Saturday was the Lunar New Year's Eve and Sunday marked the start of the Chinese New Year calendar. 2006 is the “Year of the Dog,”

Parade and symbolic foods and rituals are a part of the two week long holiday. This holiday is one in which the entire extended family gather for a reunion. However, it is hard to decide in whose home or in which restaurant to have the banquet.

Colors are important during the Lunar New Year. Red apples or tangerines adorned with red ribbons symbolize happiness. Vegetables, such as celery, symbolize hard work. Lettuce symbolizes vitality. Paper money pouches containing money and chocolate coins symbolize luck. Homes and businesses offer a divided tray containing candied lotus seeds, roots, winter melon, coconut, and water chestnuts.

Apples and tangerines have long been associated with good luck and peace in China because “apple” sounds similar to “peace” and “tangerine” sounds like “good luck” in Chinese.

Friday, February 03, 2006

I am missing adult school

Dear Teacher Richard and All

Maybe you do not remember me but I still want to apology for my disapearing.

I am now learning in Laney College and I am re-writing this Vietnamese fable on the ocasion of Vietnamese Tet holiday. I hope you will not delete my name in this blog

One day, a tiger was about to eat a buffalo. The farmer, who was also the buffalo owner, passed by and noticed the buffalo in danger. As the buffalo helped the farmer plow his land, the farmer tried to think of a way to rescue the buffalo. He begged the tiger not to eat the buffalo: "Please release my buffalo and I’ll give you my intelligence in return". The tiger was curious about "intelligence" and said to itself: "what is intelligence?, I have never seen it in this world, ok, I’ll get his intelligence then I’ll eat this stupid farmer and his buffalo". Then the tiger accepted the exchange. Pretending to gorget something, the farmer said: "Oh, I left my intelligence at home and I am afraid that while I am going back home, you’ll eat my buffalo. "Can I just tie you to a tree so that you can't eat my buffalo" he proposed. Being impatient for getting intelligence, the tiger agreed. The farmer started to tie the tiger with a rope. he go around the tree, one round, another round and another round... the tiger got tied more and more tightly. Finally, it could not move. The tiger was very angry and shouted at the farmer: "Why are you tying me so tightly? why don't you go home and get me your intelligence". The farmer bursted in to laugh: "Ha ha ha, now I am showing you my intelligence" then he set the tied tiger on fire until all the rope was burnt down and the tiger ran away with fear. Nowadays, we still see stripes on tigers' fur because their ancestor was burnt by the farmer.

My Previous Hometown

Oakland is my hometown for the time being, but I still have a lot of memories from my previous hometown, which was Massanza in Tanzania.

I was born and raised in Massanza village. This village is located in the north of Tanzania. The Sukuma tribe lives there. That is their land. There are many tribes in Tanzania. Each tribe has their own territory. There are at least 128 ethnic groups. The Sukumas comprise one half of the population of Tanzania, but the national language is Swahili. Local people work as farmers, fishermen and tourist guides.

This village is between two interesting sites. On the north side there is Lake Victoria and on the northeast there is Serengeti National Park. There are two islands near my village on Lake Victoria. Saanane Island and Robondo Island are wildlife sanctuaries

Lake Victoria is the largest lakes in Africa and is the second largest freshwater lake in the world. It is shared by three countries: Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, but half of the area lies in Tanzanian territory. Lake Victoria is the source of the Nile River, which runs through Uganda, Sudan, and Egypt and pours into the Mediterranean. Lake Victoria is very important to the economy of these countries.

Serengeti National Park, which is home to the greatest concentration of wildlife on the planet, is very well known by many people who take “SAFARIS.” Tourists can see big animals such as elephants, hippopotami, rhinos, leopards, and giraffes.. There are over four million mammals and birds inside the park.

There are medium sized animals, too. The hyena is one off the strangest animals. If you are used to them they are interesting to watch. If hyenas are new to you and you aren’t used to them, you would be scared to death. The hyena will not usually attack you, .but this animal will follow you at night and keep laughing. When a hyena sees you walking, it hopes that your arm will fall off your shoulder. It is waiting for a good meal.

Three years ago I returned to my previous home to see my mother who was sick. I visited friends and family members, but my mother didn’t make it. She passed away. I was very sad. Also, I was shocked to see how things had changed for good and bad.

The good things are that a few people in the villages have TVs, although there are only one or two channels and they aren’t clear.. There still is no regular electric service in the villages, but people use car batteries. Many people have cellular phones so I am able to call people in my village from the United States.

Violence and burglary has come to the village, because the people have become materialistic. They have bills they have to pay every month and most of them don’t have a steady job. They only earn money once a year when they sell their crop. Also, if it is a drought year, they won’t be able to harvest a crop.

The expansion of the market for “Nile perch” in Europe affected many local fisherman. This species of fish was planted in Lake Victoria in 1962 by scientists. Nile perch grow fast and eat other smaller fish. The fisherman aren’t able to fish using small equipment anymore, because these fish are so big. They have to buy expensive new equipment. Local fishermen are being displaced by big commercial fishing companies.

The tourist sector was affected, too. Because of the September eleventh attack many tourists weren’t going on SAFARI.

Many people with whom I grew up or went to school with weren’t living in our village anymore. They had moved somewhere else or had died in the AIDS/HIV epidemic. The world is changing very fast. People everywhere are forced to live under one roof as the “ Globalization Generation.”

I enjoy whatever I experience in everyday life. Living in two places is a great experience, but sometime I am confused and wonder where I really belong, I’m here in the U.S.A for the time being but I don’t fit in 100%. When I returned to my previous hometown, I also didn’t fit in 100% like I used to. I live somewhere in between.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

My Hometown Hanoi

I was born and grew up in the Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, I lived there for 25 years. It is a beautiful and very historic city. Hanoi is the home to many lakes, rivers, temples, rice fields, and exotic fruits. I miss it.

During Chinese New Year my Grandmother brought me o the temple to Pray for luck. After we prayed, we would take a walk along the lake surrounding the temple. During this time of year ther would be beautiful decorations all along the lake. The only way to get to the temple was to cross a red wooded bridge.

When I have the time I want to go back to my hometown. I want to taste exotic fruits and see all the things, places, and people I grew up with.

This Day in History