Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Push Me Forward

My English has been stagnating (hasn't been improving) recently, because I am feeling too tired and my cerebrum is lazy. I get tired very easily. I think, maybe, I am getting older now.

Sometimes I miss my family, my friends, my sisters, and my brothers. I want to retire. I want to just stay home to enjoy tea, coffee and go shopping. I don’t want to do anything hard, include studying English. All things follow their natural course.

But, our teacher, Richard Blum, pushes me forward. He encourages me to write stories on the blog. I told him that I would try. He said “Don’t try, do!”

So I am writing the first essay of this year.

Thanks teacher!

I am waking up now.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Day That I Went To Court

I want to write a story about what happen when I went to court to pay my traffic ticket.

In the morning, when I woke up, I didn't go out until my husband went to work because I didn't want him to know about my traffic ticket. I got ready and I woke up my son to take him to my mom’s house. After that, went I got to the courthouse the line was long and I waited there for 40 minutes. It was cold at the time, so when they opened the door, everybody went into the building and when I went through the guard door the bell rang 3 times and I lost my place in line.

Other people passed me and got their numbers for court. I didn’t get one and I felt angry. I was angry because the people behind got a number and I didn’t. I told the man that I lost my place in line of the security check.

I don’t want to have to wake up my son early again. I got in a different to ask for an extension until March 13th. This will be better for me because it will be in the afternoon so I won’t need to wake up my son early again. It made me sad to have to wake my son up early. I don’t want to do that again.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I felt like a child class!

Hi, my favorite class!!!

These last weeks, I have been very, very busy. I visited many places. I went to Lake Tahoe, to Disney Land, to San Diego, etc. But the place that I liked more than any, was Disney Land. Oh my God! I felt like a little girl in this place.

When I was in the park, I went back to my childhood. There were a lot of people there: Latin people, Asian people, American people, and almost any other kind of person you could imagine. But most were children of all ages. Well, I will continue to tell you about my feelings when I was in Disney Land.

We traveled to this place by car, ( when I say we, I am talking to you about my son, nieces, brother, and sister- in-law ) This is a very long journey from Oakland, you know, around seven hours, but it is nice, because you can enjoy a lot of beautiful landscapes.

But I think I am forgetting to write to you about my feelings again. I was very happy. I enjoyed everything in this place, especially, when I saw the Disney celebrities. I had never seen them in reality, just in cartoons. When I was a child, I wished to meet them, but in my country, it is a difficult dream to come true. Especially, because most people in my country are very poor. I think that is the reason I felt very happy when I went to Disney Land.

Most children have these kinds of dreams, especially when their parents can not make this dream come true . There are too many adults in the world like me, who had this kind of dream when they were children, and perhaps, their dream has not come true yet.

I feel very lucky, not just because I went there ( because people can go anywhere they want ) but, I have had this dream since I was a child.

At this moment, I am very happy, because my dream came true. If your dreams have not come true yet, I think you have to go ahead, and make them come true. It does not matter if you are 20, 30, 50, 80 or more years old, the most important thing is that you come back to your childhood, because I think everybody has a child inside.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Kieu Banh

It was a rainy day. I had an appointment to see the dentist. When I got to the dentist’s building, I saw a young guy and a woman waiting for the elevator. An older African American man walked in. He was holding an umbrella and a suitcase. He said to us, “You are so beautiful.” I didn’t know who he was talking to.
We all got in the elevator together. I pressed the 5th floor. I stood next to the young guy .The African-American man said to the young guy, “Your mother is very pretty.” The young guy replied, "She is not my mom.”

The older man looked at me said again and said, “You are so beautiful.” I felt embarrassed because I didn’t feel the same way about myself.

The door opened and everyone got out. I realized it was the 4th floor. So I went back into the elevator. While the door was closing, the man stuck his umbrella between the doors. He got inside the elevator. He started pointing at me and smiled evilly. I was really frightened. I didn’t know what would happen.

Luckily the door opened and- I rushed out. He still followed me into the dentist’s office. He looked around for a few minutes then he went away.

Even now, I don’t dare take the elevator alone. I prefer to walk up the stair rather than take the elevator.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Cam's tenth essay

This is my tenth essay. I think I should stop here because I have to let the teacher edit you guys’ essays. My job is finished. I am retiring now.

If I continued to write the teacher and you would grow tired of my essays. So, I had better stop here. My job now is to just enjoy reading you guys’ essays. If you wrote your essays as quickly as me, you would retire soon, also.

Our Principal, Burr

Some students said Burr is a gentleman. That is true. He is a lovely man, also.

Burr is a newly principal, but he close to students. He helps students a lot when they have trouble. Although, Burr is a principal, but he is always equal to anybody.

Burr is a happy person. Sometimes he visits my class; he gives my class a lot of impression. He lets my class see his travel pictures on the bog. He is friendly principal.

Everyone in my class likes burr because he has a sense of humor. He brings us a lot of laughter. We never forget the humor of him.

I’m sorry! I have no topic to write.

Why I Like to Write

I like to write because I want to improve my English quickly. I want to write to let me remember the new words I have learned. Every time I write I learn something new and after editing of my teacher, I get a lot of experience.

I practice to write to let my words like Americans. I would like people understand my writing. When I speak I would like people understand me right.

I like to write because I want to become a good talker. I want my English go smoothly because that is my dream.

When we speak if we spoke not correct people would understand and they would forget it, but when we write we have to write it correctly because your error are show up on there. It makes people misunderstand you.

That’s why I have to practice more and more on my writing because English is my second language.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

There Is a Poem in My Country

It is said in Viet Nam that if we want the best meal we should choose Chinese food. If we want an excellent wife, we should choose a Japanese woman. If we want to live in the best home, we should choose an American house.

Why do people say this? Because people think Chinese food is the best in the world. Japanese wives are very good servants to their husbands. And American houses are elegant. They picked and chose something which is on top.

So, how about people who live in other countries? What are their favorites? Why don’t we hear about them?

I Like Room 101 Class Very Much

Before I used to sit in only one spot. I didn't like to change my seat at all. Sometimes I came to class late and I had to sit in another spot. I sat by new friends. I always learned something new about them. I felt good then.

Our teacher began a new rule. He wanted students to sit in groups of at least three people to do the grammar exercises. And he wanted students to do the conversation exercises with “different partners. Different tables.” Now I feel very comfortable sitting at any spot and with any partner.

To tell the truth, I like this class very much because my classmates are very nice and friendly. We all like a family.

The Room 101 class is very interesting. Every classmate is funny. They make me laugh every morning, especially Mr. Blum. He is the funniest in the class. He always brings up weird news.

Every morning Richard 's role is like a mother. He has to give food to the children. (He gives news.) He has to make every child happy. He must change food everyday to make the children have enough energy. That's why he is the busiest and the noisiest in the class.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Our Honored Classmate, Hung Vi

When Hung Vi wants something, he works hard to get it!

There is an interesting story about this certificate. To read the story of the Tenth Essay, click here.

His classmates enjoy his essays and stories. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

0ur Experience Driving To Mexico

Last month my husband, children and I took a vacation to Mexico. This was the first time we traveled by car. We left home on December 15th at 2:30 am. We drove south all way to Los Angeles, then we changed direction to the east. It was about 2:30 pm. when we arrived in the state of Arizona. When we went through Phoenix, Arizona there was a lot of traffic, so we spent extra time driving.

We stopped to sleep in Nogales, Sonora at about 7:30 p.m. The first day we drove about 17 hours.

The next day we got up early at 3:40 a.m. and we continued our trip. That day we were a little bit tired, but excited, too.

We drove all the way through Sonora and Sinaloa, Mexico. We made our second stop to sleep in Mazatlan, Sinaloa. This day we drove at least 18 hours.

On December 17, we began to drive at 5:00 a.m. We passed through Nayarit and finally we reached Jalisco. We arrived our town at 12:30 pm.

Our trip to Mexico was wonderful. We liked travel better this way than by plane. We had the chance to know places that we didn't know before.

Monday, January 22, 2007

My tenth Essay

LLast Sunday, my son told me he saw many pictures of our class taken on the last day of school of the year 2006. It was on our teacher, Mr. Richard’s, blog. Some pictures were taken in front of school. Some pictures were taken in the classroom. Some pictures were taken in the restaurant, “Lien Hung”, to celebrate the holiday.

My son asked me why each classmate stood up in the restaurant, and why only seven of my classmates got a certificate, but not the rest of us. My son’s most important question was why I didn’t get one.

I told him, in the restaurant, my teacher said every classmate had to stand up to make a wish for the New Year in English, but a wish couldn’t be said twice. I told my son that was a little unfair between the first classmate and the last classmate because the first classmate had many good wishes to say without thinking. For the last classmate, almost all the good wishes had been said by the classmates before him. Unfortunately, I was the last person to make a wish. My son asked me what wish I said. I said I wished that all of my classmates would get a certificate next celebration.

Then, I told my son how to get a certificate. It was required that every classmate write seven essays on the blog before the last day of year 2006, or write ten essays before January 31, 2007. I only wrote four essays before the last day of the year 2006. I told my son that I thought the important thing was how much English I understand. My son was unhappy, and he told me sometime a certificate could help me to find a better job.

I told my son I still had one month to earn the certificate. I was determined to get it and today I have done it.

This is my tenth essay, but I think my English good enough yet. I have to spend more time studying English.

A Husband and a Wife

A couple got married two years ago. One day, the husband drove his wife to a supermarket and dropped her at the market. His wife told him to pick her up at 12 o’clock.

Exactly at 12 o’clock, the husband came back to the market, but he didn’t see his wife. He called his wife’s cell phone. On the phone, his wife said, “I’m coming out, you wait for me a minute.”

When she came out of the market, she didn’t see her husband. Then she called her husband on his cell phone. Her husband said, “I am driving back home. You take a taxi.”

When the wife met the husband at home, the wife was very angry and said, “Why couldn’t you wait one more minute for me? I remember two years ago, I was always late one or two hours and you still waited for me.”

The husband said, “Yes, it was before our marriage and I waited for you many times. Now I can’t wait for you anymore, not even for one minute.”

Skill of a Robber

In Viet Nam, many people drive motorcycles because they are very convenient. You can park a motorcycle by any curb or any sidewalk without a time limit or permit.

If you want to park a car for a long time, you can park it in a place or by a house where it registered for parking with the city hall. Each time it costs 2,000 Dong. Dong is the name of the money in Viet Nam. But, if you change parking spots many times a day, you have to pay a lot of money and waste a lot of time.

A businessman had to go to many markets everyday, so he only parked his motorcycle on the side walk and locked it carefully. But each year, he lost one or two motorcycles, even though he locked them with the best locks.

Then, he thought of a safer way to keep his motorcycle. Every time when he went to the market, he took his wife with him. When he went into the market, his wife stayed outside to take care of the motorcycle. Everyone thought it was the perfect solution, but no, he still lost his motorcycle again.

One day, when he went into a market, he left his key in the motorcycle. His wife was standing next to the motorcycle. A robber went behind his wife. Suddenly, the robber pulled down his wife’s pants. While his wife hurried to cover herself and struggled to pull up her pants, the robber jumped on the motorcycle and drove away.

The Last Breakthrough

Last weekend, I stayed at home to enjoy a Chinese movie. The title of the movie was “The Last Breakthrough.” It was produced by a film company in Hong Kong. It described a group of young men and women who studied medicine in a university. After graduation they found jobs in a large hospital in a modern city. It was easy for them to find jobs, but they were unhappy.

All of the young doctors had a dream. They wanted to use their knowledge to help patients who really needed help. They didn’t care if the patient was rich or poor or even where they came from or their religion.

They knew that the life was very valuable. When they saved a patient from death, they were very happy. They celebrated together the whole night, but in the hospital, they had to follow the rules of the hospital. The hospital only cared for patients who could pay the expensive medical bills.

They had to treat rich patients who was not seriously ill, while they couldn’t treat poor patients who was very sick. The young doctors watched many poor patients die. . They were very upset.

At last, they decided to quit their jobs in the hospital to attend “The Life Force” as volunteers.

“The Force Life” was a national organization. It required that every volunteer had to go to any remote location in the world. These places could be in the mountains or forests far away from the modern cities. Sometimes these places were attacked by natural disasters like storms, tornadoes, or earthquakes. Sometimes the volunteers had to go to a war zone, where two countries were fighting. These places never had enough medicine. Their jobs were very hard and dangerous, but the people in these places really needed their help, and the doctors were very happy because they could work according to their dream. They could save more people from death. They preferred to work in these places than to work in the big city hospital.

This film described a group of volunteers who worked around the world. They had to talk in English. So in this film, we could learn a lot of English, and it was easy to understand because it had Chinese subtitles. I thought this film was good and enjoyable.

People and Monkey

I remember when I was a child, an uncle (a friend of my father) asked me, “Do you know where the first men in this world came from?”

I first laughed and then I looked at him because I didn’t know the answer.

Then uncle told me that the first man came from a kind of large monkey, like a gorilla or an ape.

Our ancestors had tails on their backs and if the tip anyone’s tail turned yellow it meant that he would die soon.

One day, a farmer worked in the field. Accidentally, his tail touched the ground. When he took a shower, he found that t tail had turned to yellow at the end. He thought that he would die soon.

From that day, he didn’t go to work anymore. He enjoyed life and waited to die, but after he had spent all his money, he was still alive. He was very angry. He ran to the kitchen. He took a knife and cut off his tail.

Beginning with that farmer until now, people don’t have tails anymore.


A hundred years ago, people’s lives were short. Most of them would die at about fifty years old to sixty years old. Maybe they didn’t know how to stay healthy. They worked too hard.

Not all of people would die at that age. A small number of wise men lived longer, but hardly anyone lived to be over seventy years old.

One of these wise men who lived 150 and was still active and full of energy. Maybe he lived three times longer than other people.

All his friends and his relatives had died already. Everyone, even himself, had forgotten his original name. So all the people called him “The Oldest Child”.

Life was usually short. When people died, their relatives inherit their property according to the traditions. Most of the young men and ladies got marry at about sixteen years old. Their parents arranged who they should marry. So when they became old, got sick finally died, they had a lot of children and grandchildren to take care them and inherit their property.

There lived a man, who widower, whose son was almost thirty years old. The old father hadn’t yet arranged a wife for his son to marry.

The son thought he was too old to get married. Why didn’t the father do anything to help his son? The son was ashamed to ask his father about this problem. How he could remind his father that he need to find a wife.

Then, one day, the son wrote a sentence on the restroom door.

“Thirty no wife, forty no son.”

When the father saw that sentence, he smiled and thought, “Aha! My son wants to get married.” But the old man was a funny person. He wrote a sentence under his son’s sentence.

“Fifty, sixty still not too late”

The son saw the father’s sentence, and he was very anxious. Then, the son wrote one more sentence, “Life is short. Few live to be over seventy.”

At last, the father wrote one more sentence, “Compared to my “Oldest Child”, seventy is still a kid.”

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A "Lonely" Girl

A young girl lived in Vietnam. When she was three years old, her parents separated. The girl did not have brothers or sisters.

Her father had to work to support the family, so the girl spent most of the time with her grandmother. She only saw her father at night. After work, her father felt tired and seldom talked with her.

In the girl’s mind, she wanted her father to talk with her more. She loved her mother. She really wanted to know why her mother had left her. No one could give her a reason that the girl could believe. She felt lonely and she did not like to talk to other people besides her father.

Three years ago, her father and she immigrated to the United States. She still seldom talked with her father, but she became more independent.

She knew if she was to be independent that she must rely on herself. Fortunately, this country provided her the chance. She studied English in the morning and worked in a nail shop in the afternoon. She studied and worked very hard. She graduated from Laney College with a business management degree last year.

Recently, her boss at the nail shop arranged for her to become the manager of the a newly opened nail shop.

Who is she? She is Tao. Tao was my classmate at Clinton Park School three and a half years ago.

Friday, January 19, 2007

What I Think

This a comment to Cam Hong's post.

I don't agree with your earlier post. I think that the teacher should be able to make the students comfortable. If the students don't have a comfortable environment then it is very hard to learn. For Example, forcing the students to sit in a spot where it is stuffy or hard to see the board can make it a uncomfortable environment. Maybe if you are dealing with younger students it would not be so bad. There may be other things a teacher has to avoid such as a particular student's allergies or sensitivities. Every rule has to be a little flexible and bend a little. I think that during conversation time the teacher should be able to pair us up or put us in groups because that has to do with teaching, but forcing us to sit in a particular spot does not.

A lession from a father.

There once was a father and his son. They were very rich. They travel to the countryside. The father decided to visit the poorest family in that area. The father’s purpose was to teach his son by seeing the difficult lives of people living in the countryside.

After visiting them, the father asked his son, “How did you feel about this trip?”

The son said, “It was a wonderful trip”

The father continued to ask, “Did you see the difficulties of poor people?”

The son answered, “Yes, I did.”

The father said, “What did you learn from this lesson?”

The son answered, “I learned that we have a dog and they had 4 dogs. We have a small swimming pool and they have a river. We bought a light to hang in our garden and they have the sky with all the stars. Our house has a porch but they have all the sky. Our house had servants and they are servants. We buy vegetables and they grow vegetables by themselves. We built a fence to protect our family and they have friends who protect each other.”

After hearing this, the father was quiet.

Jaime and Burr's Excellent Adventure

Congratulations to the newlyweds!!!

Burr told us about their honeymoon in Brazil.

If you want to read more about Jaime and Burr's honeymoon, click on their blog.

Happy Birthday to Richard

Today is our teacher's sixtieth birthday. We are very happy and we wish our teacher a great birthday. We wish him always looks younger and heathier.

My country, when people to the age of sixty, most the children like to do a banquet in a restaurant to celebrate for their parents. The children want to do like this because they think people's life has sixty years only and they let their parents enjoy life with good food.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

My Idea

This morning our class had a conflict between the teacher and a few students. I think this is bad because we are all adults. We can talk by many ways or we can make a compromise. Don't from the small thing, we make everybody unhappy.

Although, the school doesn't have a rule but the teacher can have his own rule because he thinks his rule can make the students improve english quickly. I think we should follow it.

However, we are all adults but when we are come into the class, our roles are students. We always need an instructor and we should have obey what he requires.

For exmple, we go to learn Kung Fu, the coach wants you to wear uniform. You have to listen to the coach right? You cannot say I can wear any clothes.

When we are out side of school, we are adults, but when we are in school we are always students. So, we should have followed and respected what the teacher suggests.

I need you guys' comments.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Legend of The Star

I wat tell a little story about the legend of the star. The star is cave; this cave is on the top of the mountain in my twon.
People tell that long time ago, the indigenous hided their treasures in this cave.
This cave is full of gold and jewelers.
Also people say this cave only open one time a year, the exactly day is on Saturday of gloria at midnight on saint week on the end of March and the begin of April.
People say some people tried putting out some treasures, but they can't because appear two indigenous in the main enter of the cave and tell them, all or nothing, the people say that these treasures are enchanted, is why no body can putting out all this treasures because people say that is a lot.
Oh I forget to get to the main enter of the star is very difficult, because is located on the crag and doesn't have lane to get there. The only manner you can get there is climb. An addition the star has a circle of yellow flours, like a clock on top of the cave these flours never dry. All this look it very weird, but the old people say may be is true, but I say perhaps, I will tell an anecdote, one day I and my friends were sitting on the side walk in my twon, that day had been rainning when the rain stopped, small current of water started to form, the current was running next to curve while me and my friends were talking and our feet were getting wet.
A big golden coin hit one of my friends on his foot and we thought the coin came from the star. The value of the coin was 400 dollars.
This was just a legend but the anecdote was true.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Misfortune and Fortune

I remember the night of October 26, 2006. After class dismissed at 9pm, I left the school and walked to Clinton Park where my wife was studying. Then my wife and I walked to where I had parked the car, which was near the corner of 6th Street and International Boulevard. When we got there, our car was missing.

We couldn't believe our eyes. I said to my wife, "The car had been parked right here, but now?"

We looked at each other. We knew what had happened at once.

We looked around Clinton Park for about fifteen minutes. We felt hopeless. We walked back to the school at Clinton Park. We saw three teachers coming out. One of them was my wife's teacher, Mary. I didn't know the names of the other two. I told them that our car had been stolen. They looked at us in surprise. Mary said "Oh, my god! I'm sorry to hear that. What can I do to help you."

Taking out a cell phone, she said, "Did you call the police?"

I said, "Yes, my sister called the police for us."

One of the teachers asked me, "Where had the car been parked?"

I showed him and said "It is a 1986 Honda Accord. The body looks old, but the engine still works very well. Now without any means of transport, it will be hard for us to get around. We have to go to work in Hayward tomorrow."

Before saying good bye to us, Mary tried to offer a few words of comfort to my wife, because she looked so sad.

We thanked the teachers and they left. Soon after, my sister and her husband appeared. Then we waited for police to arrive. We kept waiting and waiting. We called the police three times, but we didn't see any policeman coming.

I asked my sister why?

She said, the police didn’t think our problem was important. The night got darker. It was nearly midnight and it got colder. Suddenly we saw a police car driving into the gas station, which was not far from us. We immediately rushed there.

A police officer was in his car. We told him what had happened. At first, he said that he couldn’t take on this case, and he wanted us to make a report at the police station. After our pleas and the explanation that we were afraid that the stolen car would be used to do something unlawful that night, he agreed to make a report.

When we arrived home, it was nearly midnight. That was our misfortune night.

After the car was stolen, I looked for another one. A week later, fortunately, I bought another used car.

It is a rather new one and in very good condition. It cost me only two thousand dollars.

Everyone I know says that it was very cheap. Some of them offered me double the price for it, but I didn't sell it.

Two weeks later, I received a parking ticket from the stolen car. The car had been towed and that I had to pay one hundred fifty five dollars to get it back. But the car didn't work, because it had no battery and no gas. The radio and speakers were stolen, too.

A month later, I gave the old car to one of my workmates. Her car had also been stolen and she didn’t have enough money to buy another one.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Newest Member of the Family

She doesn't have a name yet.

Do you have any suggestions? Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Life Story

Yesterday, I read a story. I will tell our class about it.

Thuy was the older sister, Thanh was her younger brother. Their parents divorced and didn’t give them any reason. They were quiet and calm when they went to to court for their divorce.

Thuy didn’t understand why they did that. Thuy’s parents abandoned her and her brother. They left Thuy and Thanh alone in an old house. They left a bicycle for Thuy, a broken down old bed, some chopsticks and a few chipped bowls. All costly things, they took with them. Thuy’s mother did leave her on thing. She left her a golden ring that Thuy could sell in an emergency. Thuy’s father went to Saigon with a new lover and the mother disappeared with a new rich husband.

Thuy was 18 years old. She was three years older than her brother. Thuy and Thanh had to stop going to school. Thanh can’t find any job. Thuy worked washing clothes and other odd jobs. Because she worked all day, she couldn’t raise he brother correctly. Thanh hung out with a bad group of guys. He used heroin. He went into debt to buy drugs. He owed over 10,000,000 Vietnamese dong.

Thuy tried to help her brother. Everyday, she searched to find their parents. Finally she found her mother’s new house. Her mother gave her 500,000 Vietnamese dong but she was afraid that her new husband would be unhappy about that. Thuy’s stepfather was rich, but he didn’t want to help Thuy and her brother. Thuy kept that money and cried because she still didn’t have enough to save her brother.

A neighbor told Thuy that a rich man wanted Thuy to be his wife. If Thuy agreed to become his wife, he would help her to paid Thanh’s debt.

Thuy said that she would agree to become his wife, if he gave her 20,000,000 Vietnamese dong. The rich neighbor agreed and gave her the money. After that, Thuy gave that money to her brother.

Then she killed herself.

Why I Like to Go to School

School is a place to improve my English. School is a place to develop my knowledge. Not only that, school is a place to learn many things from classmates.

In school, I have learned about many things from the teacher such as grammar, news, histories and different cultures. Beside that, I have learned a lot of new things from classmates like cooking, joking and talking.

School is an interesting place to me. School is very helpful. If I had more time I would go to school very often.

The Key

I feel like grammar is my key to English. If the grammar is not correct I could confuse people.

Grammar is difficult in English so that I have to practice more and more in my writing. I try to read the difficult sentences over and over. Sometimes I learn them by heart.

Whenever I speak out loud naturally, at that moment, I feel like I am holding the key to English.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


My daughter and I had a two week vacation, because all the schools were closed from Christmas to New Years.

My husband had to work, so we couldn't take a long vacation. I have a friend. I told him that my children wanted to see the snow, but we didn't have the time to take them go to Lake Tahoe.

My friend told me, "You have enough time, because you don't need to go that far away. If they want to see the snow, we can drive to a snow place that is only two and half hours away. We can go there and back in one day."

Then, I said, "Great!"

I asked him, "Do you have time to go with us?”

On the Sunday before New Years we went with him. On the way we passed many towns and farms. When we got to the town of Oakdale, we saw a lot of strange things. It was totally different from the city where we live. We stopped the car and took a walk. I saw one store selling a lot of animal food and cowboy style hats, boots and clothes.

We got to the snow place. It is called the Pinecrest Lake Resort. Pinecrest is accessible year round. It is a place to enjoy the sensations, the stunning beauty of mountain life, and the views.

In the Winter, there are snow play areas. When the snow melts, fishing is at its best in the near nearby lakes and the streams within easy walking distance. In the spring time you can hike and in the summer time , you can swim the warm water of Pinecrest Lake or sun bathe on the sandy beach.

We had a wonderful vacation beacause we didn't to need spend a lot time driving. My children were very happy because they saw snow . If you have time, you can go there to relax. I hope you will enjoy it.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I Would Rather . . .

I prefer to learn grammar at the beginning of the class than at the end because most of the time I leave early.

Everyone comes to the class in order to improve English, but some students have to leave early because they have to go to work. If our teacher would switch to teach grammar first then every student could learn grammar and improve their English quickly.

I'd rather our teacher taught grammar first than taught the other skills. If he did it, we'd love him more.

I know my words cannot change the teacher, but at least he understands what the students need.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Go To School

Go to School

Kieu Banh

Education is very important for everyone, especially for children. They go to school to get more knowledge, intelligence, and perception.

They learn how to listen to people and respect their opinions from school. They grow up to become self confident and creative. They learn to discuss and find solutions to their problems. They will have a brighter future.

American children are very lucky. They go to school without a fee. The textbooks are free. Sometimes, the teacher brings all the students on field trips. They see puppet shows and read many kinds of books in the library. They enjoy picnics in the park, look at photographs, paintings and different kinds of animals in the museum.

I go to adult school to learn English. Some classmates are seniors, but they study hard and speak English very well. They were versatile and effective in their country. My teacher is terrific. He always says, “Bring a pencil, notebook, and news.”

Everyday he asks some students to tell their news. It is a good way to improve oral presentations. My first time going in front of the class, I was very shy and nervous. My face was red and my heart was beating very fast, but now I feel that I’m better than before. I respect and appreciate my teacher. I hope everyone enjoys a prosperous and a happy new year. Bye! Bye!

My Life

When my brother was five years old and I was four years old, my father left us. My grandparents, my mother, my brother and I lived together.

My mother was hard working. She sold old clothes at the market. She didn’t have enough money to buy new clothes to sell. After work she spent time with my brother and me. I think she was a wonderful mother.

We had some bad times. My mother got sick and four years later she passed away in 1986. Then we went to live with my grandparents. We didn’t go to school anymore. We went to work. It was a very bad surprise for us.

My father came back to Vietnam to find us. He only spoke English and Korean. We didn’t know how to communicate with him. My brother found a friend who helped translate from English to
Chinese for us.

In 1997, I came to the United States. I couldn’t speak or understand English at that time. My father called me by phone but I couldn’t speak English so my husband translated for me.

On Christmas Day, my father called me. I talked with him. He said that he was very happy that I speak English.

I think my English was not good enough, so right now I keep going to school to improve my English.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Years In Viet Nam

Hi ! Teacher, classmates. Happy NewYear!

In my country, New Years begins in January or February. It's a very happy time of the year. People buy a lot of food because the markets will be closed for several days at New Years. And in other meaning, people think that having a lot of food on New Years represents plenty of food all through the year.

On NewYear's Eve, people put fruit, flowers, candles, tea, wine, and special food on their ancestors’ altar.
After that, they burn incense to honor, and invite the spirits of their ancestors to come back and share with them during the three or four days of the NewYear.

Before dinner, people take a shower because they want to be cleaner than other days. Some people add grapefruit leaves to the shower water because they suppose that it washes bad luck away for the whole new year.

Then, people put on new clothes and eat dinner together. Many people go to temples and most of the young people go to see fireworks at midnight.

During the New Year's holidays, everyone usually goes to visit their relatives and friends. They want to give best wishes to each other for the New Year.

It's a special time for children because they get a lot of red lucky envelopes from adults. And, they also get to eat a lot of sweetmeats, watermelon seeds and sticky rice cakes.

People celebrate New Years for about three or four days. On the last day of New Years, people burn paper money, paper clothes for their ancestors and say bye-bye to them.

How about you? How do people in your country celebrate New Years?

Monday, January 01, 2007

The First Day Of 2007

This is the first day of 2007.

The sun is bright and the sky is blue out side. It makes me feeling pleased at the beginning of the New Year.

What shall I say?

First, I wish our teachers and classmates a bright and a happy new year.

Second, I’d like to write these several words for the first of my essays in this year.

Third, I’d like to post two pictures which were taken last year before Thanksgiving.