This year, students have reflected on the challenges and successes they have experienced on their quests for educational, professional, and personal fulfillment. Writing skills are critically important for many of the goals our students are working towards—employment, further education, and full participation as citizens.
Please enjoy this year’s entries. We are both proud of and inspired by our students; they so clearly embody the gumption, passion, and willpower of lifelong learners as well as the confidence that is achieved through burgeoning literacy.
Better Late Than Never
I would like to describe one of my weaknesses and what I am doing to overcome this problem. I have entitled it, “Better Late Than Never,” because I have had this problem all my life and it has only been three years since I discovered I could overcome it.
All my life I have struggled with reading. Growing up I knew I was intelligent and I could do many things as well as other people. I didn’t want this weakness to stop me. I came from a family of fifteen children, me being the fourteenth child, and my mother had four of us in five years. My mother was a hard worker, but she was very tired at the end of the day and so there was no reading to us as children at night. There was no kindergarten the year I started school and so I was put in first grade. It wasn’t until fourth grade that I knew I had a problem with reading. My fourth grade teacher would have me go to the front of the room and read to the class. Because I read so poorly, she would put a dunce cap on my head and send me to the back of the room to the corner facing the wall. I couldn’t help but cry. It was then that I gave up on learning how to read. I could do other things adequately; I just couldn’t read very well. I excelled in art, drama, and PE, and I was nominated to be a cheerleader, but I withdrew my name, because my grades were low. Thought I graduated from high school, I slipped through the cracks of the school system.
After high school I worked in Salt Lake City as a draftsman for many years. I went on a mission. After my mission, I worked for an engineering company that sent me to Washington D.C. to drat for them for a year. After that, I married and had a family. It was very important to me that my children had a good education. We had always wanted our kids to go to BYU, so we moved from Salt Lake to Utah valley. It helped to have a husband with a college degree. My three sons have wonderful degrees: one is a designer for General Motors, another is a CPA and works as comptroller for SUU and one is a pediatric dentist.
Throughout the years I had taken classes and was tutored many times. I tried to improve my reading, but nothing seemed to help. About fifteen years ago I was watching a PBS show about the brain. One of the comments they made about the brain was, “If you had dyslexia you can rewire the brain.” At that time I thought that to be an interesting idea. I had tried to improve my reading, but nothing seemed to help. Years went by and I concealed my problem form most people because when people found out about my reading difficulties they would treat me with less respect.
One day my daughter told me that her son was having problems with reading in school. I told her I would pay for tutoring classes for him. I didn’t want him to go through what I had been through all my life. I thought if they could help him while he was young he could overcome the problem. A few weeks later I was talking to my daughter about her son’s tutoring classes and she said that they had diagnosed him as having dyslexia and the teacher that tutored him is rewiring his brain. This rang a bell and I remember the PBS program I had heard years earlier and the brain and dyslexia. After my grandson finished two years of being tutored, I also took two years of instruction from his same teacher. I started from zero and worked my way up. Now I’m in Project Read with a wonderful tutor, Ashley McWhorter, who is not only helping me improve my reading but is helping me with grammar as well.
Discovering that I have dyslexia and learning that I could rewire my brain was a turning point in my life. I am grateful to my husband, Doug, who has tried to help me through these many years. It will be wonderful to take collage classes for credit some day. There have been many things I haven’t been able to do because of my reading problem, but it is exciting to know that I can improve.
Education is a treasure. With this treasure I have the opportunity to find a good job. Education can help my kids get their own education. I can also help others outside of my family.
I will have the opportunity to find a good job. And I will have the money that I need for me and my family. And I will have a better work environment and benifits like health insurance. I will have the time and energy to be with my family. My kids are only young once and I don’t want to miss good time with them. Right now they need more than the things I can buy for them, they need my time and attention.
Education can help me to help my kids to get their own education. It will be asier for me to help my kids with their homework. My parents didn’t have the book knowledge to help me when I was in school. My mom only went to the third grade. My father had to leave school and work on his family farm. I can be an example for my kids and they are more willing to try. I remember that my dad told me to value education. It was the most important inheritance a parent can leave to their children.
I can also help others outside my family. Doctors save lives, lawyers resolve problems in courts. They get paid but they’re helping people. I think that the main goal to get an education is to help one another.
I remember when I came to the USA and stared in 8th grade. I didn’t speak any English. I needed help. There was a teacher who spoke Spanish, Mrs. Peter. She could of helped me, but she didn’t. She told me that I had to figure out things by myself. Thats the way I would learn. She told me that I needed to go to the library to check out a book. I didn’t know how to check out books. I asked Mrs. Peter to help me check out a book, she said no. Because she said no I wanted to quit school, I felt hopeless. Felt like a stranger in the school.
I will never do that to people when they need my help. I will use the things that I learn and know to help others. Today I’m working to read, and to write fluently in English. When I complete level four Compas ESL tests I will take regular classes in Utah Valley University. Sometimes I felt that I couldn’t do it because I think I am too old, and its too hard for me. But I told myself it’s not impossible. If I can do it I will have the treasure of education.
In 2003, I came to the United States and my sister helped me apply for a job as a bagger at Harmon’s. Now, eleven years later, I am still a loyal employee, but I want to do something else. In five years, I see myself with a driver’s license, an education, and a new career.
Six years ago, I decided to get my driver’s license. Over the years, I have passed the writing test seven times, but I have never had the time to practice enough to take the road test. Now, I want to be done with it and have my driver’s license. That will help me go to work and study at a community college, because I don’t want to rely on other people to help me. I am close to reaching this goal, and I should finish in the next month.
An education is important, because it gives more opportunities to get better jobs. I’m very self-conscious when my little one asks me questions in English that I do not understand. If I were in school, I would learn a lot of different subjects in English, so my English would be better. In five years, I want to study to be a CNA online or at a community college. I want to be a CNA so I can work at the hospital or at a care center. I think it is important for me to get an education and do something different.
In Haiti, I was a typing secretary, but I have forgotten everything. I used to be a fast typist, but now I type twenty words per minute. It’s been so long that I need new skills for a career. At my age, it is not easy to start a new career, but I think I can be a good CNA, because I can help people. I want new skills, and I want to make more money. I will be successful as a CNA, because I’m a good helper and I like people.
In the future, I want to have more opportunities. I know getting a new career, an education, and a driver’s license will help me improve my situation. I will work hard to make my dream come true.
I grew up in a family where my parents didn’t go to college. While they didn’t get a professional certificate, I could tell they valued education even though they didn’t go to school. My dad worked since he was 12, and at the age of 15 his grandmother paid for a course where he got experience with electricity. He was so smart, successful, and talented that he got very good jobs. On the other hand, my mom was a “business woman”; she could sell anything she wanted. Most importantly, my parents taught me that education was valuable and my three siblings and I all went to college and graduated!
For the time being I don’t practice my profession outside the home. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Communications in Sonora, Mexico, and worked at a company processing housing forms and contracts for federal employees. Now with my kids I teach and work in my home helping them to be organized and responsible at school and making sure they turn in their homework and projects on time. We also are working on a project about “saving money for their summer activities.” I want to teach my kids the value of earning money to pay for the things they want and to show them that things of value deserve and take hard work. Similarly, that’s why I think education is valuable. When you obtain education your mind is open and you are capable of making better decisions and visualizing your future.
I have promised myself to keep learning. Right now my goal is to learn English, my second language, and to eventually get a Masters in Psychology. I also want to motivate my kids to visualize and prepare their future, I’m always telling them that they will go to college no matter what because education is the only thing we are going to keep forever.
We all want to prosper in life and education is the key to a better life. I hope to graduate with a master’s degree in physical therapy, and when I do I will automatically open doors to a better future. Education will give me the opportunity for a higher salary. It will also help me reduce stress in my life and most importantly I enjoy and love what I do for a living. Education is important because I will earn more money, reduce stress, and is the foundation for my future.
With completing an education comes the opportunity to earn more money. When I earn more money I will be more independent. I know that working in any company without a diploma makes me independent but I have to work hard in production areas and long shifts in order to provide for me and my family. And in some ways I’ve become a slave to my job, therefore I’m not completely independent. But when I receive my diploma for completing my education I will have the opportunity to prove that I can hold a higher position and work in what I like. And most certainly I will not be working long and agitated hours. Another good thing about making more money is that opportunities for buying a house increases. Additionally, a better salary gives piece of mind since the possibilities of falling into debt are lower. Earning a higher salary also impacts stress levels; if I’m constantly worrying about how I’m going to cover this months’ rent or what bill to pay this time, life becomes stressful. But when I know I can cover those expenses my stress lessons.
Since I did not graduate from high school life has become very stressful. Helping my kids with their homework is always a challenge because they are already at a higher level of education than I am. At the moment I feel useless and I get frustrated not being able to help them with their assignments. I know I will gain more confidence when I complete my education because I will better prepared in my life. Then I will be able to help my kids with their assignments. Stress also negatively impacts my health. I get headaches, heartburn, sometimes it gets impossible to rest during my sleep. I know how much it takes away from our lives to not graduate. And I look forward to what I want to accomplish to live better. That is why I do not give up. I want my kids to complete their education so that in their future they may have a better life than I do.
Growing up I believed that education was completely out of my reach. Both of my parents hardly completed elementary school, surviving in their time was more of priority than education. Both of my parents come from poor and large families and none of them have ever completed their education. I never had an education role model to follow. I knew I had to graduate at least from high school because I wanted a better life. But it seemed so impossible, I was so afraid that I gave up before trying. Now I’m a mother of three wonderful children and I do not want them to live under the stress and insecure environment that I grew up in. That is why I have returned to school. And I plan to graduate and earn my physical therapist certificate. For me education is the foundation to my future. Enjoying what I do for a living and becoming a good role model to my kids will be the most satisfying accomplishment. I want to have the time and the energy to be with my family. I want my children to feel proud of being part of our family. I want to model success for them because that is what I wish for their future. And the only way to get success is by education.
I know I’m at the bottom of the pyramid, it is not going to be easy but neither is it impossible. I want to get to the top and for me receiving my diploma for completing my education is the top. I want to feel that I have accomplished something in my life. I know I will encounter detours but I don’t want to lose my focus. My goal is completing my education for all the reasons I mentioned earlier and much more. That is my treasure and it awaits for me on the top of the pyramid.
By Little Things You Become Great
When I was a little girl I spent a lot of time watching musical shows, dancing performances and Disney movies. I loved the idea of being a superstar or a gorgeous princess. I remember how I sang and danced all day long just thinking how I could be a successful person.
Years went by and I became a teenager and I realized that I was capable to do so many things. Perhaps I didn’t show up on a T.V. screen, but at least my friends always were asking me for help with their math problems or asking for advice with their personal lives.
When I was a young adult I decided to be a graphic designer. It wasn’t easy at all, but once I got done with my classes I got a job in a really good agency. Creating brands, I discovered that I was unhappy. I was spending my whole life in front of a computer creating things for pampered clients, so I felt that I needed a change, something that would bring me back the feelings of being useful. As days passed, I was just pondering about the things I had to change. Suddenly, I got a strong impression that going on a mission would be the best thing to do at that moment and that was totally right.
My mission in Rancagua, Chile was the best place to discover who I really was; I understood that my superstar side was in helping people. One of my favorite experiences was one that happened right after a big earthquake shook Chilean lands. I remember how the people were so devastated and they were begging God for help. I was so sad and wondered about the things I should say to these people after all the destruction was around us. The only thing I could think was how Jesus Christ’s teachings will give hope and happiness back to these people. So my companion and I talked with them and immediately I could see a change in their countenances, it was like all the pain and sorrow were gone forever. That gave me the best feeling on earth, I was a superhero and it wasn’t necessary to be on a Rolling Stone magazine cover. Everything I did was because I was doing the right thing at the right moment.
After my mission I knew that the best mission ever would be in the walls of my own home. I guess I got married really fast but I was happy to do it.
I remember one morning I woke up and I felt really disappointed. I thought to myself, “Well my routine life has changed, now it’s pretty much: changing diapers, making food, barely taking a shower, cleaning house and again barely sleeping. What a dramatic change! What kind of living I was living? Is this what I really wanted to do?” Then, “Am I a successful person?” I asked myself, and as a conclusion, “I am not a superhero anymore.” These kinds of thoughts started to come up and when I was to the point of giving up, my dear husband answered me the best answer ever to my questions. He said, “Margarita do you really want to know what is a successful person to me?” He continued, “Well , you can be a successful person everyday, but everything is up to you, all depends on your decisions and in the way you see life, for example when you are setting your goals per day, you are saying, ‘Well , I will wake up at 7:00, I will learn a new recipe or I will smile more frequently,’ and so, those are things if you are able and willing to do them I am pretty sure that you are going to feel like a successful person again.” He finished, “It is by little things that you become great.”
Right now, I am learning how to drive a stick shift car, and I have to say it was amazing the first time I was able to start the car and I could see that everything was moving around me. That was amazing and worth it. I say worth it because I spent like a whole week just trying to make it start, and some of the results were, noisy sounds coming from the engine and wheels. Pretty much it sounded like a pig at the moment of his sacrifice. I will never forget my husband’s face, so pale and scared. There was a moment when I was to the point of giving up, but I knew that I was the only one who was capable to put obstacles in my way with learning something new , so I decided to keep trying again and again, until one day all my efforts were enough to have better results.
Today I feel so blessed for the conviction I have of the power of doing the things you want to get done, it is something amazing! Everything starts by little things; I mean without persistence we cannot achieve our goals, even if our goals are simple like mine. Driving a car perhaps is something so simple but for me was huge and it took many hours of dedication until I got my first result.
As I said in the beginning, I spent a lot of time in my childhood watching T V shows. It wasn’t bad , but today I know if I really want to do something I must stop dreaming of or wishing for about something that maybe someday and somehow will appear next to me, like it was done by my fairy godmother.
The reality is that you are your own “Fairy Godmother”, you are the only one who can change your destiny. We cannot see our strengths until we are willing to recognize our own weaknesses. In other words if one of your weaknesses is being lazy, how can you know the abilities you are good at? There is no other way to become successful but with persistence and by little things. I would never have discovered who I really was, what I really like , if instead I would have preferred to be a couch potato sitting down and wasting my time watching TV shows about dreams that maybe someday I will have.
As Ros-Lethinen the first female Hispanic in Congress in the United States once said, “Set goals, work hard, keep high standards. Believe in yourself. And above all, show persistence.
I have decided to write about two of my accomplishments that are related to each other. They both describe, or illustrate how we tried to keep Christ in Christmas. As a background, when our children were very young we would bundle them up and take goodies around the neighborhood, singing Christmas carols, as we stopped at each door. Some of the songs were about Christ, although many were not. At Christmas we would read the story of Christ’s birth from Luke, and the children dressed up and played the parts of the manger scene. This was sufficient when they were young, but as they grew we needed to try a new approach to maintain their interest in Christ. Based on that, I had an idea that resulted in my first achievement.
My first achievement occurred when I was the Activities Chairman for our Ward. I decided to try something new for our Ward Christmas Party. I asked the Activities Committee if they would be willing to put on “An Evening in Bethlehem”, and they agreed. We worked together to transform the Cultural Hall in tot the town of Bethlehem. We made the stage into a synagogue where the Rabbi could read from the Old Testament about the coming birth of Christ. We turned one corner of the hall into a Hebrew school for children where they could learn to write a few words in Hebrew. There was a carpenter’s shop for folks to make something out of wood. We had a potter’s shop where they could watch a potter throw a pot and could make a pot out of Play Dough. We created an inn where they could have some food and even draw out a drink from the well. Many people came in costumes—bathrobes with turbans or scarf’s. Each person was given a little bag with wood-cut coins, which were cut from thin slices of a tree branch. If they ran out of money to spend, they could come back for more. There was a drop box at each station for the wooden coins. After everyone had spent time going to each station around the hall, an angel dressed in white blew his trumpet and announced the birth of Christ. A choir dressed in white started to sing as we opened the overflow area. Everyone gazed on the Nativity scene as the Bishop read from Luke about the birth of Christ. We all sang Christmas carols and ended the evening with “Silent Night”. No Santa, no Christmas candy, no Christmas tree, it was all about Christ and just something different for a change. Everyone on the committee mentioned how wonderful it felt to have Christ in Christmas. The next Bethlehem Christmas party was even better.
As our children grew older we needed a new idea to help them want to share Christmas Even with the family. One Christmas Eve, as I was driving home from my brother’s house, someone on the radio was explaining bout a Bethlehem dinner for Christmas Eve. This explanation clicked with me and helped me create my second achievement for keeping Christ in Christmas. It was the very idea for which I was looking. So that night, we took a fold-up table and left the legs in, put it on two boxes so it was low, set pillows around the table to sit on and dressed up for our first Bethlehem dinner. The next year was even better with candles and more variety of foods that Jesus would have eaten. The children wanted to be there and would even bring their friends. We had figs, dates, olives, pita bread stuffed with tuna salad, grapes, cheeses to eat and fresh homemade bread to break. We ate by candlelight and listened to “the Messiah” playing in the background. As we ate we talked about Christ and the events of His ministry. This was the beginning of our special Bethlehem Christmas Eve dinners. We are much older now and our children are all married with children of their own. And some of them still have Bethlehem dinner on Christmas Eve for one of their enjoyable traditions. As we go through life and experience all the materialistic parts of Christmas, it helps to remind ourselves to keep Christ in Christmas. This has been a wonderful achievement for me and my family.
I came to the United States in July 200 when my children were on school vacation. I planned to come to the US because I had to have surgery. The specialists in Haiti said they didn’t’ have the equipment to do it and it would be too difficult. I came and I was lucky to find a doctor named Dr. Emory (name has been changed). He was very nice to help me and do the surgery. I went back to Haiti and, unfortunately, the doctors said I had to have the surgery again. In 2001, I came back and had a second surgery with Dr. Emory and then went back to Haiti. Again, the doctors told me that I had to have another surgery. So, I planned to come back to the U.S. with my whole family. It was not just because of the surgery but also because of the political situation in Haiti.
My husband came to my sister’s house in Utah first, so he could get settled. After a few months, I sent my two daughters and then after that, I came in December 2003 with the boys. We got an apartment and put the children in school. Then, my first preoccupation was the surgery. I needed to find a way to do it.
We started to go to the LDS church and prayed. WE met a doctor at the church, and he tried to help me. He referred me to a specialist. Finally, I had the third surgery. Since then, I have felt good. Getting through the surgeries was a very big accomplishment for me. If I had stayed in Haiti, I would not be here today. I am lucky I got a visa to come to the U.S.
I always pray for Dr. Emory who helped me first in 2000 to 2001, for Dr. Brown (name has been changed) at church who helped me and referred me, and for Dr. Smithson (name has been changed) at Memorial Hospital (name has been changed). I don’t think I can find the words to say thank you to these people. I am very grateful to be the in the U.S. Now, I can think about my future, because I am alive.
During this whole time, my husband and I worked to get jobs. After we got our green cards, we applied for citizenship. The test wasn’t easy, but I passed it and got my citizenship. I had to learn English to take the test and study hard. I am still learning and love English class. Someday I will be able to speak English better.
Getting through the surgeries and becoming a United States citizen are two great accomplishments in my life. I am so happy to be in the U.S. with my family and be alive today.
I want to mention a little more than two accomplishment just to mention and do not to forget them, as follow:
I.I. My marriage (with my wife) and being established our lovely family
I have to recognize one of my (our) great and happy successful when I got married with my wife on October 9, 1973 and for different reasons, our marriage was so difficult to formalized.
But my girlfriend Raquel showed me since the beginning at that time that she was in love and be able to support me at all. I am very happy and proud of us to live together since I meet her.
Raquel my wife has been so sweet and lovely woman who has helped all of us (our kids and grandkids and sons in law) to rejoyce our lifes and share the best of our feelings in our homes with experiences and challenges that we have faced.
Since our happiness and balancing life in our marriage, toward with our kids, it helped to me in having the support and inspiration to build planning in my own business and professional career in elevators industry and construction services in Mexico and planning to travel and move to USA, to the best placed thanks to the wonderful people, members of The LDS-Church.
Making all the efforts and trying to look for a better life, I can feel that we got the very best challenge to left our own country, but living a better life toward with generous and sincerely people from Utah.
I.2. To have moved from my original country (Mexico) to my new country (USA).
It is a very special gift to be living in Utah and share our time with good and very generous people who are really interested in our material and spiritual needs. It make me feel safe and inspirited to work for a better life for us and for our neighbors as well as our family.
1.3. Be baptized in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Days and to get a good testimony of JC
1.4. My professional career and successful in business.
1.5. To enjoy reading, studying English and listening music.
1.6. In sports, having participated in the Mexican league and national selection of American football.
Part of my interest in the life has been reading, studying and hard working. Today I feel that in USA is the land of the opportunities for people to want to grow and being successful through the items that I have mentioned. I am looking for opportunities to get my way and attend a University but first studying English as my second language in order to try to get a University Master, no matter how long it can take.
I consider that education is very valuable for developing better skills to understand our own lifes but to for love and know people as our neighbors. Education is part of our integral spiritual part as part of Mankind and good examples of ourselves. Educational is important to increase our understanding and human resources and habits.
I would like to study History and Social Sciences, as Economy and Politics to try to complete my intellectual, professional and spiritual knowledge. I understand that English could do it for me since my understanding today is limited and part of my weakness to express my thought completely.
I know that my future will be better when I understand better English with all their tools as vocabulary, pronunciation an listening radio and talks from English speaking people. My next plans are read, write and study Real Estate Principles to get my licensed in that matter.
One of my weakness is not to understand listening English. Long talks are so difficult to me to follow and understand because vocabulary and a little hard listening and shy to ask to repeat and phone calls and radio news. Reading I feel better but not listening as I would like.
I believe that to overcome these weaknesses will be necessary to listen more time radio and audio in English.
I like technology, History, Social Sciences, Politics, Real Estate and Trading (Financial hability) and Music. But again, I am very interested in learning and understand better English in order to be a professional in these disciplines.
For mu future life, I am thinking and planning continuing studies and get financial resources through my professional working that could help me to develop my skills in English to get a better jobs. In five years I would like to have more University grades as Master and live in my own home as in the past in Mexico trying to recover part of my patrimonial resources that I left abandon in Mexico.
I would like too, learn to play guitar and piano if it is possible and sing better in my personal life and in my ward as people that I have met and herad.
In health, I want the best for my family and for myself doing exercises and swimming.
My Accomplishments and goals
I had in my life some important accomplishments. It has not been easy but I feel proud for that. I worked 30 years in Education in Mexico and I would like to use my experience in U.S.A. It will be interest. Although in this country, the teaching is different, even so, I can do that. I worked ten years in preschool where I learned to love to the children after that, I worked in High School. This level educative level taught me to know the characteristic of the adolescents. My best experience was in Education School. I taught different courses of the school curriculum and I gave support the future teachers.
I would like to get my license for to teach and to work in public or private Middle school teaching Spanish in the Dual Language Immersion program. So, I need to improve my skills to speak English and to pass my OPI test because it is important requirement to get my license.
Finally, I want to say that the life is no easy, but I know that I can accomplish my goal with perseverance and with the support from my teacher. My goal is to teach Spanish in Utah and to give support to the students whom want to learn a second language. Thus, I could to do that I like. Teaching is my passion.
I feel passionately about a law career. When I was little I felt and knew that everything is possible if you work on it everyday, but even thought it is possible it won’t be easy. Everyday I used to watch movies and TV shows about law and lawyers and judicial systems.
So my passion for justice continues to grow.
I was born in Mexico and in junior high school and high school I decided to do my best, to become a lawyer. I moved to Utah one and a half years ago. In High school I learned about the career of law and that it has many options.
In my senior year I had an accident where somebody ran over me and lied about his insurance and everything. I was kind of scared and surprised at the same time, but someone asked me to go to his lawyer and that he will help me. After he helped me with my case, we started talking about my interests about law and the judicial system. He also told me that as I begin college he will help me learn about being a lawyer and set goals with him. As I learn more and work on it, he will give me a job.
I think I really want to study law but not to become a lawyer because I don’t want to protect or defend somebody who did badly. I want to do the research and be part of it behind the lawyer and the best way to do this is to become in a paralegal. The judicial System and its branches are so extensive, my mind changed but not too much. I determined that it is better to study paralegal than to become a lawyer, so I will help people in different way.
My name is Wilma Medina de Molina. I am from Caracas, Venezuela; a beautiful country but it has a terrible political and economic situation. I am at eacher in Special Educaiton, specifically working with children who have difficulties learning to read and write. I am married and I have two sons.
My best accomplishment is my family. I have been married for 25 years; my elder son is 25 years old and he studies at UVU, his major is Political Science (he will graduate this spring). He is the President of the International Student Council. Also, he has represented UVU in several activities such as the UN conference in New York, Model UN, West Conference and Mountain Projects in NY and Washington DC. My younger son is 20 years old and he studies at UVU; he is a member of the International Student Council and the Latino Leadership Student Council. My sons are successful because of the effort, attention and love that we give them as parents.
My other accomplishment is my profession. I have helped a lot of student with problems, and now they are professionals. For example, one of them had problems in class: low grades, and problems interacting with other students. He also had a poor relationship with his teachers and the principal. After an evaluations and 8 months of therapy he had better grades and I advised his parents to change to another school to have a better environment. Today, he is a professional engineer. Another student I taught was in first grade. He had a high IQ, but he did not want to do the work in class. His performance was low and he had difficulties interacting with adults. A big problem was his age; he was only 5 years old. My advice was to keep him in the same grade develop a connection with me. He repeated the grade with me and in the next year he had a good performance. All my experience as a teacher have been gratifying because I have left good experience in my students such as self-confidence, friendship, security, good habits and love.
I think education is very important because you can have a better future, quality of life and grow as a person. With education you can come out of the shadow of ignorance and open your mind to new horizons and develop your own opinions about the world. Also, you can avoid being persuaded by others into believing something that is wrong. As a woman, I have tried to share my times as a mother, as a wife and as professional. I think that all women should study and prepare for a future and to be an example to their families.
Right now I am studying Hospitality and Management at UVU because I was thinking of having my own catering business. Enjoy making cakes for special occasions. However, that project would take a long time to start because I need some money to start my business. I am an international student and I must work as part-time student on Campus. Now, I am thinking of returning to my first profession as a teacher. I will take some classes for Elementary Education and take a test so I can get a license. I like to teach and I know that I will be happy teaching here in an immersion class in an elementary school. Maybe with time, I can do both: be a teacher and a pastry chef.
I know as a person I have some weaknesses but the biggest right now is my ability to speak English. I need to improve because it would permit me to work in my profession, to communicate better with other people and start a conversation. Actually, I am taking English classes through Project Read to improve my conversation, reading and writing. I hope that in a short time, I can speak and write very well in English. The most important thing is that I have awareness about my weakness and I am doing everything I can to overcome this situation and improve my English skills.
I want to study Culinary Art because I like to make cakes for special occasion such as weddings, baptisms, graduations, birthdays, etc. Additionally, I like to decorate the cake’s table with accessories, lights, flower or candies, to create the best place for a picture, creating a beautiful memory for a great day. Also, as a teacher, I like to teach and I feel concern if some child has difficulties learning. I am always researching, looking for the best method to teach some knowledge that is hard to learn adapting the activities according the child’s needs. The most important accomplishment a teacher can have is that the child achieves learning.
I plan on living here in Utah because for me and my family it is dangerous back in Venezuela. I hope to live here working as a teacher and making a lot f cakes and desserts. The best way to stay here is an international student or with an H1 work visa. I would like to have my theater’s license because then I could obtain a Visa.
Also I plan on continuing studying at UVU and going to the churches and schools to inform about UVU. I will continue my activity in the Latino Drama Club. This is a theater in Spanish and the objective is to go to schools performing works as Latino writers. I think that it is important because it is culture and a lot of Latinos (especially the adults) do not have the opportunity to go to the theater because it is in English.
I think it’s the best way to compensate and show my gratitude to the community that has helped me get a place where I can live in peace and security with my family.
My Future Plans
Yurdiana Ortega Hernandez
Have people thought about their future lives? Well in my opinion, it is really important that people take a minute to make a plan about their future life to be able to establish goals and work on them. I would like to take a minute and write about my future plans for five years from now. My plans are to get married, have babies, and finish my career.
Something really important in my life is to get married. One of the purposes about being in the world is to have our own family, because of that we need to get married first. I want to feel the feeling about having a husband in my life. I want to have a partner that can help me to reach my goals and can be with me in difficult times. I want to have a husband that can make me laugh. I want to progress with him. Also, I would like to have company, so that we can take care of each other. In my life plans I have it in mind to get married.
Having babies is another important thing for me because babies light up people’s lives. I saw the birth of my niece and nephew, and it was really special. They grew up in my house, and I could see how wonderful it is to see how babies learn things day by day like how to walk, how to eat by themselves, how to go to the bathroom, etc. They always do funny things and make people have fun and laugh a lot. Babies know how to make people’s lives wonderful; it is why one of my plans is to have babies.
Everything in life is awesome, but having a career is important too. When a person is prepared, that person has better job opportunities. Albert Einstein said, “if you think education is expensive, try ignorance”. I know that when we invest in our education, we can generate job opportunities and greater financial security. It is why having a career is important to me, and I will do that part of my plans.
Everyone needs to have plans in his/her life to be able to achieve goals. We need to have the most important plans sought after. To me, the most important plans in my life are to get married because it is the way to have a family, to have babies because they help people to have a wonderful life, and to have a career because it is essential in people’s lives if they want to have a good economic situation.
It Came From Outer Space
I was looking out the window while I was sitting on a chair, when I saw a big flash of light in the night sky! Then I felt the ground shake beneath my feet. After I saw the light, I sw an object in my neighbors back yard. When all of a sudden I saw something crawl out of a cone shaped object. Then, as soon as I saw this, I froze in my chair. All I could see was a funny looking creature crawling up the kitchen window. After the initial shock wore off, I was starting to shake in my chair that was near the window. I decided to get down off the chair and look through the window.
As I looked through the window, I saw some tenticles starting to climb up the window. It was in the shape of a human hand only it had suction cups on its fingers . The color of the hand was red wrinkled up like an old man. As it moved higher on the window, you could see its arms and part of its body which were hideous to behold. By this time, the head started to appear. It was shaped like a human head only it had a short horn in the middle of its forehead.
Its face had two eyes like a humans only they were red. The mouth had lips and white teeth. Just as I was about to open up the window when my little sister Angie walked into the room and started screaming at the Alien creature on our window. As soon as the creature heard her screams, It jumped off the window and started to run with its short stubby legs along the path to the spaceship. As it approached the spaceship it started to open up the door which seemed to appear from nowhere.
While all of this was happening, Angie was trying to get a better view of the creature from the window. She was on her tip toes trying to see out the window, but she could only see as far as the garbage cans in our backyard. Then she struggled to get up on the chair that was next to the window. While Angie was trying to get up on the chair, I was about to run after the alien, but my brain started to think about the consequences of such a hasty decision. A dozen different things came to my mind as I pondered what might happen to me if I carelessly ran up to the alien. Since I couldn’t see the creature from the kitchen window anymore, I decided to get some help from someone else besides myself.
I tried calling the Police, but the phone was dead because the alien space ship had severed the phone lines when it crashed. (There were not any cell phones in the 1950’s). My only mode of transportation was my bicycle which was lying on the back lawn near the creatures landing site. I was so scared of the alien that I hesitated to pick up my bike and ride to town three miles away. My bike didn’t have a light on it so it,would be difficult to see the road in the dark. Now I realized that I had better do something to help my little sister to safety.
Angie ran to John who was in the Kitchen. Angie climbed up on his lap and started to cry. Trying to sooth her, he carried her to the living room couch. When she finally calmed down, John tried to get Angie to help him to find a way out of their dire situation. They couldn’t find a way to communicate to the outside world with their phone out of order, so they devise a plan to get help from town. At first they thought about using the bike to pull to wagon with Angie in it. Then to make the wagon ride more comfortable, they lined the bottom of the wagon with soft pillows from the living room couch, finally everything was ready to embark on their trip to town. It was still dark so they devised a way to have light to guide them on the road. B taping a flashlight to the handle bars on the bike they had plenty of light to guide them the three miles to Cannonville. Angie complained about the bumpy ride in the noisy, rusty, old wagon. When we arrived the towns people were all gathered together talking about the flashes of light on the out –skirts of the town.
They were successful, in getting John and Angie to tell them what was happening in their neighborhood. After being informed about the alien and their ship, the crowd started to get into their cars, and go find out for themselves, what was really going on in Johns’ neighborhood. At about this time Johns and Angies parents had arrived from Dallas Airport from vacation in the Bahamas. Now it was time for them to solve the mystery of the alien spaceship. Their young adult son John, and five year old Angie, arrived in a friends’ car just minutes before their parents. While Johns parents were traveling home on the airplane, they saw a flash of light through the window. This was at about the same time that John noticed the flash of light from the kitchen window.
Maybe this was the same flash of light that Johns parents saw on the airplane. John and Angie started walking toward the spacecraft. Their parents George and Samantha, stopped then before they could step out of the living room. An argument started between George and John over what they should do next. After a few choice words , they started to settle down and think about what the next smart move should be. Just after they calmed down, they heard some sirens blarring outside their window.
The Police from Cannonville started to ring the door bell. It was Officer Jackson of the Sherrifs Department. He asked John and Angie what they saw in the neighbors backyard? They informed him what they had seen earlier that evening. As they viewed the neighbors back yard , they could see a pole shaped object starting to accend out of the spaceship. It was red in color and was about ten feet long when it stopped moving. Suddenly a light started flashing form the top of pole. It was bright like the sun, only it flashed off and on. Everyone could see the whole backyard enveloped in light. It was amazing that such a small light could be so bright. It was weird to see what this light could do to the people who viewed it. People who were within twenty feet of this light started to fall asleep. This startled all those who were further away from the light. Evereyone started to flee to their cars as fast as they could run. No one dared to walk up to the spaceship.
After everyone had left in their cars, the streets became deserted. Those who fell asleep were carried away in their cars to the hospital in town. While at the hospital, the people started to wake up, but their memory of falling asleep was erased from their minds. They had no clue why they fell asleep,but it didn’t seem to harm them in any way. This mystery would have to be solved at another time, because there was no other flashed of light on the Earth around Cannonville.
This scared the towns people who witnessed the flashes of light. It was so hard for them to cope with so much action occurring all at once. The towns people were in panic mode after seeing lights in the skies. They were running to their cars to get out of town. But there wasn’t anywhere to go to get out of the range of those lights. The people started to calm down when the sherriff showed up in the town square. He told them to go home and wait for more information to be given over the radio or tv.
About an hour later,the T.V. announcer reported that there had been several sitings ofspace ships landing near town. This news really got the attention of the people of Canonville. The radio station reported that they were going to have a town meeting immediately. The meeting was in Canonville Court House. It was overflowing with town residents. Everyone was concerned about all the space ships landing in their small town. No one was prepared for such an invasion from outerspace. The Army and Airforce had been contacted by the sheriffs office.
During all the confusion hardly anyone noticed that the spacecraft that had crashed in the neighbors back yard, was starting to move. It hovered about a foot off the ground. Then it settled down on the ground again in a cloud of dust. Only John saw the spacecraft hover and then settle down abruptly.
The other space ships started to make funny noises as they were being investigated by the reporters. They showed some more spaceships on T V that night. But they were warned not to get within twenty feet of the ships, or they would start falling asleep if they got closer than that distance. Someone figured out a way to get closer to the space ships. By putting on sunglasses to block the bright light. This idea worked out with great success to those who could hear it. This problem had to be solved or no one would get any sleep that night.
They decided to call a noise expert to figure out how to muffle or mask the sound coming from those ships. This problem had to be solved as soon as possible or all the people would all go crazy. They needed to do something but what should they do? They couldn’t move the spacecraft because of the size of them. Nor could they put soundproof material over them because of the size of the ships. But they could apply foam over the speakers to silence them.
This would be the answer to this problem. Everyone was trying to plug their ears so they wouldn’t hear the high pitched sounds. The sounds started to subside because of the foam that was sprayed on the speakers. Now they had to figure a way to communicate with the aliens.
Up until now no one has even tried to have an encounter with the outerspace visitors. I don’t think they had any desire to contact the earthlings at that time. They didn’t seem too excited about any communication from anyone. John didn’t seem to get a good response from them in his first encounter. Ever since the alien ran away no one had ever tried to talk to them.
They decided to have the military try their ways of communicating with the aliens. First thing they did was to set up huge speakers in front of the spacecraft to get a response from them. The police investigated the flying saucers, but didn’t communicate with them yet. Now the military will take their turn at it.
They planned on playing classical music to try and get a response from them. The neighborhood wanted to get some sleep that night , so they didn’t want tot turn it up too loud. At about this time the sun was starting to come up. When all the sudden the ground started to shake very violently when they tried to move the spacecraft from its landing place. During the night they tried to dig around the first spacecraft. The ground stopped shaking when they stopped digging around the spaceship.
They tried to figure out why the spacecraft didn’t fly away after it crashed landed. Was it a normal landing or an accident that occurred. They had to figure out this before they could do anything with the spaceship. The other ships that landed didn’t seem like they had any problems in landing safely. It seemed that the other space ships landed to give the first spaceship assistance. All this started to make sense if you thought about it for a while.
It wasn’t an invasion, but actually a rescue mission instead! Not that they determined that there was no danger they decided to knock on the spaceship hull. Not only did the door open quickly, but the alien started to crawl out of the spaceship. It moved very slowly and then it started to walk toward the policeman. It startled the officer by its appearance. The creature wasn’t so scary looking as we thought it looked in the dark.
When we looked at him It started to mouth some human words. Then it began to speak in broken english to the officer. The alien tried to tell us why they had landed on earth. The other ships came to help repair the ship. It was just other ships tring to help a fellow space traveler. The reason they didn’t communacate was because they were trying to learn English. This new information calmed everyone who had gathered around the spacecraft.
No longer was anyone frightened of the aliens spaceships. Instead they offered them what ever assistance they could think of. Aftera few days the spaceship was repaired and ready to take off. Once this was accomplished the aliens shared some of their new technology with the people who helped them. After they showed us a lot of their advanced technology I watched as they disappeared into the night sky over Cannonville.