Sunday, March 25, 2007

Whazzzz Up?

How come nobody is posting any stories?

Here is a picture of my son, Alex, in the hayak surf competition in Santa Cruz.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Richard's Last Day

Tomorrow is the last day of our teacher. He is going to take a three week vacation. For sure, we will miss him infinitely because he is an amusing teacher. He always brings a lot of laughter to students.

Our teacher is a very savvy person. He is very good with computers. No one can compare with him. We love and respect him very much because he gives students freedom of speech. Our class is a democracy. Oh, we love it! In addition, he likes to listen to students’ opinion. He is an open teacher.

We are very lucky under his teaching. We all say,“Thank you very much” and we wish him, “Have a good time!” Bye bye!

We all send a thousand of kisses to him.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Difference Of Culture

Here are some editing suggestions. Sometimes I have to guess what you were thinking, so please ignore the suggestions that do not accurately communicate your meaning. It also gives me a chance to give an example of how the word “connotation” is used.

Al is one of my neighbors. He is an American. He is a kind person. He has a black dog named Shirley.

Sometimes I meet Al with his dog when I come back home. Recently, I noticed that his dog was getting fatter day by day.

One day, when my elder son and I were taking the groceries from the trunk of my car in the garage, Al walked by my house with his dog Shirley. Of course, we had a chat. I remember that we needed to change our topic of conversation after I said, “Al, your dog is too fat.” I had just hoped that he would put his dog on a diet. Al listened to me, but he felt unhappy. And it made me feel embarrassed.

I didn’t understand why Al was unhappy. In Kwangtong, China, there is a saying “The master who owns a thin dog should be feeling shame.”

Later, I learned that the word “Fat” has a bad connotation.

About the "Grandma"

In grammar unit 97, part "D", the fourth sentence:
Could you speak a ( little ) bit ( or a little ) more slowly?
Whether I understand it for being the following?
(1) Could you speak a bit more slowly?
(2) Could you speak a little bit more slowly?
(3) Could you speak a little more slowly?

Friday, March 09, 2007



Yanhong Li

I'm an ordinary woman. I'm not young anymore, but I still love to imagine a lot. Don't think

that is only a young person’s right. Many different age of people like imagination, because it

makes you feel a lot of different ways. It keeps you young. Imagination doesn't belong among

the 7 intelligences. It's a special one.

I don't like to drive. I prefer to be a backseat driver, because if you drive a car, you have to pay

attention to the road. You can't imagine anything.

I can start imagining anytime and anywhere. For example, when I am listening to the teacher in

our class, when I am looking at you, or when I am walking alone, I can start to imagine.

Sometimes, the imagination is like a story with a beginning and an ending. Sometimes it has no

beginning and no ending, just a part of something. Sometimes it really happens in the real life.

For example, when I was pregnant, I was imagining about my baby's looks: black and dense

hair, pink and round face, big eyes, straightened up nose, and nice lips... I had imagined this so

many times, that I had a clear picture in my mind.

When I really gave birth my son, he looked exactly like the picture in my imagination. It

seemed that I had seen him a thousand times. God gave me a perfect child. That credit should

be completely put on my abundant imagination.

I have different imagining at different times, in different places, during different moods. When

I'm delighted, all of the characters are in a beautiful mood, and the feeling is absolutely


One day, I saw a bird flying alone. I began to imagine that the bird was hungry, but it couldn't

find any food. What a pitiful bird! It lost its mom. A while later, it found its mom. When the bird

grew up, it met a pretty bird. Finally, they got married. At the end, I became a bird, I didn't

need to worry about my language, my life, my future...

On an unhappy day, the bird would die at the end.

Now I'm imagining while I'm writing this composition. I think, if I'm not me, I'm another person,

maybe she will finish writing soon, she will write well, she won't make too many mistakes as I

do. She can speak English fluently. She will be a full-fledged intelligent woman.

At that moment, my husband says,"Don't daydream again. You always think of useless things. If

you want to dream, you had better think about the mega-million number."

I have an abundant imagination, but I can't make a forecast. I spent a lot of time imagining. Let

me do it again. Suddenly, I have the special function. I win this mega-million, a lot of money

comes from the sky...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Human Rights

What do you think of this report from China that criticizes the United States ?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Last Sunday my family and I went to Los Angeles to visit my oldest brother-in-law. This may have been our last opportunity to see him, because he has had cancer for about 10 years and now he is so weak.

After an hour on the plane, we landed the airport and my niece picked us up. Then she drove us to my brother-in-law’s house. We were six people. Three of us had been to his house before, so we found it easily.

When we arrived there, we didn’t call first, because we didn’t want to bother him too much. We stood in front of his house. It is a beautiful house and my oldest sister-in-law told us that Khoa (the name of my oldest brother-in-law’s son) had just repaired the garden and the side walks a few months ago.

That is right! Because it is a new house and very beautiful. My young brother-in-law, Duc, rang the bell. which was not connected inside the house. And then he opened the gate. My sitter-in-law and I followed him. He knocked on the front door and shouted, “We are here! Please open the door!” But nobody opened the door to welcome us. Then Duc took out his phone up and called my oldest brother in law to ask him to open the door.

At that moment, my sister and I were sitting on chairs at a table and looking at the garden. It had a lot of flowers and candles. Everything was very romantic.

Suddenly we heard my sister-in-law shout; “We are at the wrong house!”

As quickly as possible, we left this house quietly. All of us thought that we were very lucky, because nobody yelled at us or called the police or shot us.

Anyway, we laughed a lot.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

News From Changchun City

Check out this news story from Yan Hua's hometown.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Hi, Classmates

My name is Alma.

I am hapy to join you on the blog.

I'll write a story as soon as possible.

Mei Fang, you were right!

You are not good. You are great!

You said that " Eva lived in the US for five years, so she speaks very good English." and you were correct.

Good is an adjective that describes English.

I read the sentence very quickly and made a mistake.

Chinese New Year's Eve

In China, we celebrate the New Year for a half month. Before the New Year, people usually clean up their houses, bake cakes, buy a lot of food, and hang scrolls with lucky words on their of doors. People write about good health, being safe and making money.. The good luck words are usually written on red paper.

In the United States most Chinese still celebrate Chinese new year, and I do, too.

This Chinese New Year's Eve, we had a big dinner. I cooked a whole chicken, a whole fish, a pork kidney with facai, and greens... The whole chicken and fish are prepared in honor of our ancestors. Fish means that we will have a surplus of money, too. Pork kidney with facai means we will make money easier. Greens mean we will make more money. All of the food will bring us good luck.

When I finished cooking, I didn't do anything special to honor my ancestors, I thought, all of my ancestors are supposed to be in China. Even if I serve them a big dinner in America, they wouldn't know about it. And even if they get to know about our meal, it's hard to cross the Pacific Ocean to come to my house. So I skipped this step.

I called my family to eat dinner. My brother-in-law is in China now, and my daughter is losing her weight, so we had five people was eating dinner this day. I felt a little lonely.

After dinner, usually we eat dessert dumplings. This dessert means everybody is together. But we didn't eat them because everyone is trying to lose weight. That was a boring New Year’s Day in the United States.

I could have skipped everything, but the call my family in China. I never want to skip that. After dinner I called my family to say "Happy New Year!" and "Kung Hay Fat Choi! "

When I knew that my brother and all of my sisters and nephews and nieces. were at my parents' house celebrating New Years together/ I felt both comfortable and sorry. My parents are getting old. They want to see all of their children being together, but I can not go home now.

Before I went to bed, I asked my daughter, "Do you want a red envelope?"

Usually children get red envelopes from adults who are married. The only reason I asked her is because she seldom wants money. She replied, "Why not? I don't care how much money I get, but I care how much love the person who gives it to me feels."

All right. I gave her a red envelope. Of course, with twenty dollars inside. Twenty dollars does not so much but it included all my love and best wishes. I hope she will grow up with health and safety. I hope she could find a few good friends. I hope she go to school on time. I hope she gets good grades.

That was a great night! When I was sleeping everything became good and my wishes came true.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

An Artificial Heart

On March 21st, 2004 the largest hospital in ShangHai succeeded in replacing a boy’s diseased heart with an artificial heart. He was only seven years old. The boy only lived a little more than one year. He died in June, 2005.

The parents of the boy decided to sue the hospital for three reasons:
1. When their child felt uncomfortable,. they sent him to the hospital. The hospital staff didn’t examine the child very carefully and didn’t take x-rays, either. The hospital staff only touched the child’s feet and hands. Then, the staff told the child’s parents that the child had to change his heart immediately. If not, the doctors said, the child would die that night. The parents had to borrow a large amount of money for the child’s expensive surgery.

2. The hospital imported the artificial heart from Germany without the permission of the Chinese government.

3. The artificial heart from Germany was still being tested. It wasn’t 100 percent safe. The hospital just wanted to use the child’s body to test the artificial heart.

So, the parents thought the hospital was responsible for the death of their child.

Trees And Leafs

My coach’s eyes were wet, and he said, “Chinese people’s lives are really hard,” as he looked out side through the train’s window. That was in1962 in China and on the train from Chungchin City to Hurfei in Anhui Province.

I was thirteen years old and this was my first trip with my Wushu team. We were going to visit Wushu teams in Anhhui and Shan Dong to practice martial arts. Our team got together with them once a year.

The train passed through many cities and villages. We saw a lot trees with no bark. We were surprised and asked our coach, “Why”? Because we were very young, we didn’t know what was happenning in China.

After United States war with North Korea and China ended, Russia demanded that China repay for the weapons they had used in the war. At the same time, from 1960 to 1963, there were three of natural disasters in China. Many people did not have enough food to eat. They ate anything could eat, including the bark of trees.

Last year, my mother passed away. I went to China. One day, my brother, he is 3 years younger than me, and I were talking about my mom and about our family life during the 1960’s.

He asked me, “Sister, do you remember, when you were a young girl and you came back home from your trip on Chinese New Year? Did you see a lot leaves in our kitchen?”

I said, “Yes. I still remember, I thought that we used them in our stove for fire to cook with.”

He said, “No! That was our food.” Later, he told me that he and my second brother used a circle of rocks to grind the leaves into powder. Then, my mother mixed them with flour. She cooked them together. He told me that every family did the same, but only you didn’t know, because my mother had told us, “Don’t tell to your sister.”

I could not control my eyes, I felt my eyes. Something deep and very hot and came out. It was from my heart.

Friday, March 02, 2007

CrossThe Ocean

After the war ended, VietNam's economy was very terrible. Most people lived a poor life because, at that moment, the government needed money to pay Russia for the weapons they had needed in the war.

Many families worked hard, but they still didn't have enough food, clothes or even a place to live. They lived under the tight control of the communist government.

From 1978 to 1990, lots of Vietnamese people decided to escape from VietNam by crossing the ocean to find a better life in other countries. They knew, the dangers, but they didn't have any other choice.

How many of them could realize their own dream? Some of them are sleeping forever in the ocean from many causes. They coped with huge storms, pirate crews, and they even ran out of food and water.

Some were lucky to meet foreign navy ships patrolling on the ocean. They were helped by the sailors on the ships. Those sailors gave them food, water, medicine, and a safe place to sleep.

Then, after they got off the ships they had to stay in refugee camps for a while. After that, some were admitted to settle in one of the countries they had chosen.

They went through a hard and dangerous journey to get a better life, and freedom.


Recently, this class talked a lot about what happened 35 years ago in China. I thought back and many old things came before my eyes as if they had happened yesterday.

The Chinese Culture revolution had almost come to the end, in about 1972 to 1974. The Chinese people could not watch anything except only 6 specimens of Chinese opera. At that time, sports were just returning to public view. No one had practiced or performed in a tournament for more than six years. Sports became a hot amusement.

The gymnastics, Wushu (martial arts) and table tennis teams always performed together. We went to many cities in JiLin province. We performed for foreign country leaders and princes who visited Chung Chun.

I remembered once, we went to Yan Ji Autonomy to perform. One night, at a not too big a stadium., we had performed for just about 15 minutes when someone stopped us. Latter, we learned that too many people wanted to see our show. There wasn’t enough space for everyone. All the tickets had been sold, but more people wanted to watch. They crowded through a door, and it was very dangerous, so we changed to the next day.

Thus it can be seen that, at that time, the Chinese people had a thirst for more recreation.