ESL 91
FALL, 2003

The essays on these pagegs were written by students in class.
Students received a minimal amount of feedback from the instructor and had primary responsibility for revising and editing their own work.


Manimegalai Nadarajah
ESL 91
Fall, 2003

Essay Topic: Each of us has one person who has made a difference in our lives. For some of us, this person may be a family member; for others, a teacher; for others, a friend. Think of the one person who has been most influential in your life. Describe the influence that person had on you, and explain why you believe she/he has been so important in your life.

Influential person

The earth is a beautiful mass filled with water and land. The beauty of the earth depends on the living and nonliving things. Our planet is influenced by humans, but humans are affected by other human beings. When a baby is born into the world, he isn’t aware of anything about the world or the people. While the child starts to grow, he learns more things and gets affected by his surrounding. This learning period is very important in his life because when he starts to socialize, he should select who is good for him and who is not. His adulthood and all his life is affected by his choice of people. I think I am lucky because I was influenced by my mother who was a wonderful and talented person.

My mother was a really good person. When I was thirteen, my mother passed away and left the family suffering from her lost. Her absence in my life gave me an opportunity to think about herself, her life style, attitudes and the ambitions she had had in her life. She had a very big heart to act as a strong daughter, big sister, a mother, and a good friend. My mother was the eldest daughter in her family. She had two sisters and three brothers. She was a hard worker; she studied hard and got her degree all by herself. In her early twenty’s she became a teacher. While she was establishing herself, she raised her siblings and gave them a meaningful life for their future.

Education was the prime thought in all of her life. She often spent a lot of time to educate me. At the duration of my grade school and high school, I was known as a good student, and kept my grade level above eighty five except the English. My second language in my country, which is a small island in Indian Ocean, is English. No matter how much my mother and I tried, I couldn’t bring my English marks to meet my other subjects. Any how I passed all my English exams with my mother’s support. 

“Book worm” is one of the best descriptions that would suit her perfectly because she loved to read books. She was the one who introduced the habit of reading into my life. I still remember the first time I visited a library, along with my mother I wore a yellow dress; my mother held my hands, and took me to the children’s section. Shelf by shelf, she showed me varieties of books, and I was told that I should read all of the books in the future. Since that day whenever my mother visited the library I went along with her, and she always helped me to choose the right books for myself. So many years were taken away in my life for different reasons. But I never stop reading, still I visit twice or thrice a month to a library to collect books. Reading brings peace and happiness into my life. Sometimes I do have depression and stress. Whenever I feel that way, I start to read, and eventually those depressions and stress will disappear. I think the habit of reading was the very best gift that I got from my mother.

I had a lot of friends in my younger age and my mother was one of them. She began to play basketball with me at the age of seven. I was not more than three and a half feet tall. The first time I tried to shoot the ball, I couldn’t even reach the ring. But my mother was there, gave me the encouragement and the time to learn properly. “Practice makes perfect”, she always repeated this phrase while she taught me the tricks and skills in basketball. During my period of high school, I used to be one of the school players in the school. My team won so many trophies, and I got prizes and compliments from the others. Every one thought that I achieved that state on my own, but I knew better. Without my mother I was nothing but a shell. Therefore I think that all of the compliments and regards belonged to my mother, not to me.

My mother was a lovable, respectful, and beautiful person. Her inner beauty grabbed people’s attentions and got plenty of respect from those people. I used to go and socialize with our community along with my mother. That was one of the important steps in my life because I learned how to socialize, how to respect other people and how to get that back.

My mother had an accident and passed away when I was thirteen. When I heard that message I froze, my mind went blank, and I didn’t even cry. But my two little brothers, who didn’t know anything about it, brought my mind back to the civilization. At that moment I realized that I should grow fast and then I had take care of my brothers. Little by little the transformation happened and I became a surrogate mother to my brothers. I taught them whatever I had learned from my mother. Now they have turned into big, respectful, and good citizens in the community. I am proud of them, and they are showing their thanks to me with love. But I have to thank  my mother because I didn’t do anything special; I just followed her path.

The influence my mother had on me made a big difference in my life. My education gives me the confidence to come back to college, and continue my studies. I respect other people, and they always return the respect. I am so happy that I had a mother who was one of the best mothers in the world.

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Dorota Dunleavy
ESL 91
Fall, 2003

Essay Topic: Each of us has one person who has made a difference in our lives. For some of us, this person may be a family member; for others, a teacher; for others, a friend. Think of the one person who has been most influential in your life. Describe the influence that person had on you, and explain why you believe she/he has been so important in your life.

In my life there was one person who had some influence on me. This person was my mother with whom I am very close and I always have been. She is not only a parent, but also a friend and adviser for me. Anytime I need her, she is ready to help me and talk to me. Many times when I feel gloomy, I simply call her. Her sense of humor  and optimism have a positive effect on me .

I remember when I came to  the US and I had to make the decision of staying here or going back to Poland. I didn’t  know what to do . It was my mom who gave me wise advice . She asked me if it was really what I wanted to do . Was I ready for a lot of sacrifices  and changes in my life? Her point of view and suggestions let me see things more clearly and objectively . I made up my mind and I settled  in New York. I got married and I have my own family. However, I miss her very much. My mom visits me as often as she can and then we reminisce about the past, about my teen years, how many problems my parents had with me.

Our talks about the past brought back  many memories from that time . It was a long time ago and at the time I was  in 12th  grade . One day I came home from school and announced to everybody that I had decided to simply quit school.  I was bored  and I was fed up with  the teachers and I wanted to quit. I thought that  school did not  suit me anymore. My parents were shocked . My father yelled at me and said this was my mom’s fault  because she always gave me too much freedom and that’s why I was an irresponsible  person.  It was my mom who was very warm and quietly talked to me .She reasonably convinced me how important it is to graduate from high school. She perfectly understood my youthful problems, that I wanted to hang out with my friends and be more independent .By the way she said “ If  you want to be more independent, you don’t have to quit school. You can get a part time job. Then you will see what it is like.” Finally I went back to school and for that I’m very grateful to her.

Up to the present day  I remember this conversation and I appreciate  my mom for being there for me. She was able to find the way to communicate with me and I realized how wrong my decision was . I have to admit that  I’m also proud of myself  that I had enough common sense to listen to her.

Nowadays I have my own family and I can understand how hard it is to raise children. How sometimes it is too difficult to find the right way to make them listen. I see   now how essential it is to give them  love and teach them the difference between right and wrong. To let them make own decisions ,but guide them  and be close to them.

Today parents are too busy to pay enough attention to their children. They work too long and are too tired to listen . I was lucky. My mother always had five minutes for me. She was willing to listen to my silly stories about my friends and school and give her own opinion . She knew all my friends and very often she told me what she thought about them, but of course I didn’t  want to listen to her , but most of the time she was right.  

Now I have a daughter. She is six years old and I wish I have the same strength and patience as my mom once had for me. I know now how important it is to listen to my daughter and help her make the right choices. She is still a little girl and sometimes she is all over me. She wants to play with me ,watch TV ,tell stories about her friends and school. She constantly talks and has something to say. So sometime I feel a little bit intruded upon  by her but I don’t want to push her away saying leave me alone or I don’t have time now. Instead I tell  her, let’s play a game. The game rule is who can stay quiet longest will get for example a candy. Other times I tell her to play with her toys and I can do my chores. After a little while I’m the one who breaks the silence and I loss the game and my daughter is very happy . During  this short time of peace I can rest or do whatever I need to do. Also very often I have my mom on my mind .

When I was my daughter’s  age I was a very curious child and I had hundreds of questions  and  I wanted the answers right away. My mom had the ability to find the way to let me know how important I was. However there are things she was responsible for and she had to take care of them. She taught  me to be respectful to  others and that I’m not the only one in the world who needs attention.

I have  experience  with all those games because my mom used to play them with me. I know that all kind of game works. I never felt unneeded or hurt. I  want to be a good  listener and make sure that my daughter will share with me whatever is on her mind. The connection  between us should be  built with a common trust and respect. It is very important to find the right path  and be able to share not only good things but also bad  too.

I know the good relationship I have with my mom will help me  to develop the ability to connect  with my daughter as well as my mom did with me. I hope the experience that I possess lets me be closer with my child and allow me to better understand her problems, feelings and knowledge.

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Leizl Nucup
ESL 91
Fall, 2003

Essay Topic: Each of us has one person who has made a difference in our lives. For some of us, this person may be a family member; for others, a teacher; for others, a friend. Think of the one person who has been most influential in your life. Describe the influence that person had on you, and explain why you believe she/he has been so important in your life.


Influence is a term often misunderstood and even ignored.  As we go through life, we will meet many people, and some of them will make us change our mind, make us think about a new subject, or even make us look at the way we live our lives in a new way.  These are the people who have an impact on the way we think and feel about the world, and their influence will last a lifetime.  Who has influenced me the most is difficult to answer because I have encountered many people who have influenced me along the road and helped me to learn life’s lessons.  But there is one person that has been an influence for me in life, one that has had a big impact that cannot possibly be forgotten.   The wonderful person that has had a special effect on me is my father.

My father has influenced my behavior and way of thinking more than anyone else since I was teenager.  He decided to give the best quality of education to my two sisters and me because he was born to parents who did not believe much in education.  His case was further compounded by the fact that he came from the poor family.  As a result, his parents would not allow him to go to college because they couldn’t afford the tuition of the school; therefore, he had to quit school from then on.  But he would not allow me to be prevented from attaining the highest possible level of education because he gave me the support that I needed. 

Not only did he provide for my physical needs, but he satisfied my emotional and psychological needs as well.  He is lovable, caring and very affectionate.  He knows when and what to say to make me feel good.  There were times when I was so depressed and despaired that I lost faith in my abilities and potential.  However, after talking to him, I would have a better appreciation of my talents.  He serves as a source of inspiration and motivation which makes me feel like I could achieve anything that I set out to as long I am determined.  I owe my success, especially in my academics, to my father.

As loving and caring as he is, my father is very strict and always demands discipline.  He believes very much in person with good behavior.  I remember when I was a child, like most ordinary kids, I developed certain bad habits.  I used to pick my noise and bite my fingernails.  My father was concerned about my bad habits because it could affect my weak body and he didn’t want me to catch any allergy problems.  He would ensure that I put a stop to those habits.

The attribute that cannot go unmentioned is his faith.  I had severe asthma in young age and it was very hyperactive.  My relatives thought that I was dying because I lay in bed for almost five months but my father had a faith in God that I could survive for my illness.  The trials and tribulations he went through have made him a very strong person and he has such a strong character that I hope it was passed on to me.  Beyond everything that my father did for me, he introduced me to someone great—God.  He taught me that life is always best to have a spiritual force to provide guidance, and that guide is God.  He helped me to make the right decisions in life.  I want to say that my father has affected every face of my life, and I owe everything that I have been inspired and understanding that he provided me.  I think of all these possibilities and thank God that He brought someone like my father in my life.

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Zhiyi, Liu
ESL 91
Fall, 2003

Essay Topic: Each of us has one person who has made a difference in our lives. For some of us, this person may be a family member; for others, a teacher; for others, a friend. Think of the one person who has been most influential in your life. Describe the influence that person had on you, and explain why you believe she/he has been so important in your life.

My Mother

My mother, Ming, is a beautiful woman: she has black short hair, fair complexion, and a sweet smile. She looks younger than her true age. For me, her beauty not only her exterior, is also from her inside --- she shows her thoughtfulness and love for her children. She has been influencing in my life

My mother was born in a big poor family in China when China was in a poverty-stricken time. She is the third of her eight siblings in the family. Her parents did not have enough money to support her to go to school. She attended school only up until sixth grade when she had to work for the family. She had no more opportunity to take advanced study. But she knew that knowledge is power; her hopes for the future lay within her children. She did not want her children’s lives to be the same as hers. She told me: “ I am unable to teach you your academic work, so you must do your own studying to have a good future.” I believed that and always reminded myself that I had to study hard, for her and for myself. Therefore, I do my best every time. I was a good student in the schools. When I got excellent marks, she did not praise me; she just said keep doing and reminded me that I would not be an arrogant and complacent person. But I saw a smile on her face. I like to see her content smiles.

Mommy is a traditional Chinese woman. In China, although she had a full-time job, she was also a good housewife: she cooked, cleaned, sewed, and took care of her husband and daughters after working from outside. She never complained though she was tired. On the other hand, mommy is not similar as some despotic parents; she is democratic. After I graduated in middle school, I made a decision to study design in art school, which is an expensive major in China, especially for a not affluent family. She respected my decision and supported me quietly. Mommy is quite thrifty. She never wanted to buy new clothes and delicious food only for herself, but she was generous in buying the expensive art supplies that I needed.

Mommy has never agreed with corporal punishment for her daughters, but she is severe. One day when I was eight, my only sister, who is three years older than I, was teaching me because I did something wrong. I was angry. I yelled: “You are crazy!” and with other words that hurt her so much, she cried. When mommy came home at night, she saw we were both unhappy and did not talk to each other at dinner. She asked us what happened and we told her. Even though I realized I was wrong, I did not want to apologize to my sister; I continued to quibble with my sister. Mommy did not say anything until after we had supper and she washed the dishes. She calmly talked with me. She asked me why I did that and explained why I was wrong. She told me that I should not treat my sister, classmates, friends, or anybody that way and brave enough to reform. I had to write a letter saying “Sorry” to my sister. At last, my sister forgave me. Our friendship has promoted. After that, I learned how to respect people better and acknowledge my faults and correct them from my mother.

Mommy is optimistic. I have never seen her angry in my memories. I like sharing everything with her, including my love story. She is my faithful listener and best friend. Sometimes we joke with each other that friendship is more sisterly than mother-daughter. Now, my parents live in Los Angeles; I with my husband and his family live in New York. Our friendship has not abated for this reason. We still keep talking on the phone everyday.

Mommy understands and trusts me. “Do whatever you want to do! You are growing up, you can distinguish right and wrong.” Mommy said. I realized that and keep doing my best for her. I have a hard time in studying English, but I determined to study hard as mother said. I cannot see disappointment on her face. She is the best mother and a model for me. When somebody told me that I look like my mother, I was very happy. I hope that my beauty is same as hers – comes from inside of the heart. I will teach my children with these ways in the future.

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Gandy Dorsainvil
ESL 91
Fall 2003

Essay Topic: Each of us has one person who has made a difference in our lives. For some of us, this person may be a family member, a teacher or a friend. Think of one person who has been most influential in your life. Describe the influence that person had on you and explain why you believe she/he has been so important in your life.

As far back as Jesus Christ’s time, people have followed someone who has been influential in their life. This person may be Jesus Christ, a family friend, a family member, a great writer, a politician, even the President of the United States. So, there are different ways to explain and describe individual influences. However, each way has a specific effect, which can be positive or negative

A man named Gerard Mathieu, a great orator, known as a king of politics, a judge of the Supreme Court, was the person who transformed my life in a positive way. He was a person who was engaged to help delinquent teenagers, and I was one of them.

When I was a teenager, my best friend and I enjoyed going out. Usually, we went to the public park, drank alcohol, smoked, and made fun of the old-fashioned people who walked by. Sometimes at night, we went to the club, fought with the other young teenagers, and ran quickly to get back home. From this time I was not focused on school.   For no reason, when we went to school we tried to attack other students in school. We made a team dressed in black pants and black gloves just to identify us. Consequently, one day at the park while fighting against another group one of my friends was shot and died.  From this day my father threw me out. He gave me more opportunity to become bad boy. During this time I stayed with my friends and had more freedom, and every night we went out, drank, smoked, and spent our money as foolish people.

One night we were drunk a lot while driving to go back home, and we got into a car accident. Thank god we were okay.  Two weeks later, we went to discover a new place in our neighborhood. As a result we got in trouble with the owner, because we were acted such drunkard person and bad boy. As we walked back home, I heard a strange voice yelling behind us and saying:” Stop young man, don’t you know how much you ruin your life.” Truly, he was talking to me, and I never thought that he could stop me on my way and talked in this way. I was afraid, surprised and quickly went to my bed. I  had a bad night.  Early In the morning I woke up and asked myself how can I take advantage from his potentiality, because I had known who he was?

Systematically, from this day, he was interested in talking with me about different subjects such as: To have a goal and be responsible in my life. A few months later, I went back to school and drove myself to another direction. Often he gave me some advice, supported me as a good father. In fact, his advice was able to stimulate my life to go forward and as a result, two years later I had my high school diploma and applied for college.  In a short time, I took an associate degree in accounting science at Kings borough Community College. Two months later I started to work for a great company and made a lot of money. 

One day following this time, I sat in a restaurant and watched a young man on the street pretended to ask a lady who passed for some change and he stole her handbag. Rapidly I thought about myself before, and turned my head and said: The street can educate our eyes and our mind, if we let it.

Finally, I understood that the need to follow someone who you judge as a standard person could be helpful.  Besides, this is more important to establish the difference between positive and negative influence. Gerard Mathieu has been an important person in my life. He saved me with his positive influences.

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Kun Leong, Ng
ESL 91
Fall, 2003

Essay Topic: Each of us has one person who has made a difference in our lives. For some of us, this person may be a family member; for others, a teacher; for others, a friend. Think of the one person who has been most influential in your life. Describe the influence that person had on you, and explain why you believe she/he has been so important in your life.

Learning to Share

Life can be different if someone has a special person who has influence in his life. I have a friend who is very influential in my life. He changed my principle of life which makes me happier. And the most important thing is his great personality let me understand life’s meaning – To Share.

When I was in Macau, I had a best friend named Ioi. The first time I met him in school, I was writing an essay. My pen did not work. Then I tried to borrow one from my neighbor, but no one had one. Ioi sat far away from me. He stood up and came to my desk and handed me a pen, when he noticed I needed one. He nicely put it down and said to use it as long as I needed. I had a great impression about him.

After I knew Ioi more, I heard a lot of good things about him. Ioi was a very good student. He always got A in classes. So, anytime I had problems about homework then I just asked him for his help. He always knew the answers and never felt tired from my questions. As long as we communicated, I started to like him too.

One day, I felt so bored, and then I went to Ioi and asked to borrow his motorcycle; he just gave me the key and let me go. I rode it on the highway. I passed any cars in front of me. I even rode faster. In one corner, suddenly, I did not see the truck coming my way, and I tried really hard to avoid the truck. After I got away from it, I fell down. The motorcycle just rushed away. I could hardly stand up and ride it to Ioi. I expected him to yell at me or hit me, or something. When I saw him, the first thing that came out of his mouth was “What were you doing? Are you all right?” and he just came to take care of my broken hand. While he was curing me, I told him what happened and that the motorcycle got some harm. He said smilingly to me “As long as my motorcycle is still here, then I still can see it.” We both laughed.

After a while he said seriously “You know Leon. When I saw you got hurt because of my motorcycle, I felt so guilty about it. If you got any serious injury or something worse, then I will feel so bad in my lifetime. So, as long as you are still standing, then anything else is nothing.” My eyes just kind of became hot; I almost wanted to cry. I still felt so guilty, even after he said that was ok. Since then, I totally understood why Ioi was so popular in school. He treated everybody as his friend and shared his knowledge and all the things he owned.

From that moment on, Ioi was my best friend forever. Even after I came to America, I still keep contact with him. The most important thing I learned from Ioi is how to share. I am just so happy about it. Sharing makes me feel good and makes other people feel good too.

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Marie Michelle Catule
ESL 91
Fall, 2003

Essay Topic: Each of us has one person who has made a difference in our lives. For some of us, this person may be a family member; for others, a teacher; for others, a friend. Think of the one person who has been most influential in your life. Describe the influence that person had on you, and explain why you believe she/he has been so important in your life.

My Life Influences

I had been unhappy for the past six years in my life because I never met a man that I liked. In the summer of 2002, I met a very nice gentleman at Kingsborough Community College. His name is Philippe and he has become a good friend of mine.

Philippe has had a great influence on me because he wants me to finish my education and achieve my goal in the future. Before I met Philippe my life was filled with a lot of stress. My life was not as important to me as it is now. When I had difficult time, I did not feel like living in this world anymore I had almost given up until I met Philippe. He completely changed my life and made me a different person.

One day I was leaving Kingsborough to go home, Philippe stopped me to talk because he wanted to know me. Then we introduced ourselves to each other. I was upset because I was confused in the college. He was trying to make me laugh and make me understand how college is important for my life. He supports me by encouraging me to work hard and do the best I can in all my classes. For example, he tells me to study and go to classes on time. He also tells me try not to cut classes because it is not good for my future.       

Philippe wants me to be nice with the professors and my peers and keep myself out of trouble. He wants me to do whatever homework the professor gives me to do because that’s the way I can succeed and move on with life. He wants me to contact him every time I need extra help. He is very friendly and talks openly about anything in life. We talk about how teachers should treat students, how parents should treat their children, and how a man needs to treat a woman. He has so much care and love for me. He is concerned about my well-being and wants to make sure that I eat a healthy diet and drink juices such as ensure, boost, and sport shake which have a lot of protein and will help to keep me healthy.

Philippe gives me a lot of affection. His affection for me is to hug me and kiss me. He wants me to start thinking about life as a woman and not as a girl because he says life sometimes can hurt, be painful and create heartbreak or can be happy and fun. The reason he says that is because if one day I get into a difficult situation I should be prepared to handle it. Philippe believes that a woman should approach difficult situations with courage. For example, he believes that women should not feel sorry for themselves when a bad thing happens. Instead they should face their problems and work them out.     

As a result, since I met him my life has started to change step-by-step. First, he makes me want to become a better person because his personality fills my heart with joy and happiness. He wants me to know that I am not alone because he will keep me company. He is very funny and always says something to make me laugh even though I am not in the mood. He wants to make sure that I am happy. Second, he’s always there to comfort me with his warmth and words when I feel down. Third, his influence on me is based on trust, honesty, respect, faithfulness, and the ability to forgive. He trusts me because of his judgment of character. There is no way I can lie to him. He is very honest and tells me the truth no matter what. For example, if he promises that he will call me and he does not then he will call to give me the reason. He has respect for my own rights. He has always been faithful to me. He always forgives me when I do something wrong to him.  

     Philippe is such a sweetheart to me because of his kindness. He is very attractive and he speaks with a lot of feeling. Philippe is my teacher, listener, critic, and confidant, and I can share any secrets with him. He is a very good teacher because he teaches me the basics of life and he is always ready to answer my questions. The questions are: why does life treat people so badly sometimes? What can people do to make them happy? And how can we help others? When I tell him life hates me sometimes, he critiques the point I make and tries to make me understand life in a better way. We always have long conversations between us, so we can know each other better. He is very patient while explaining everything to me.

Consequently, his influence has changed my ways and made me believe in myself. Philippe is very special to me because he understands me very well. I am very happy to have him for my friend, and I really appreciate his encouragement because it means a lot to me.

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Galina Khavko
ESL 91
Fall, 2003

Essay Topic: Each of us has one person who has made a difference in our lives. For some of us, this person may be a family member; for others, a teacher; for others, a friend. Think of the one person who has been most influential in your life. Describe the influence that person had on you, and explain why you believe she/he has been so important in your life.


As per definition, an influence is the power of persons or things to affect others, seen only in its effects or the action or effect of such power.  In other words to be influenced is to be affected, change, swayed, turned, altered, persuaded, shaped, formed, determined, moved, motivated.  This can be done in many different ways and it could be also going in different directions.  Influence can be positive or negative.  For an example when I came to the United States and, as a stranger, I experienced many of good and bad influential people.  Some of the people, whom I met at that time, wanted to use me for their own benefit - using me as the free workforce, and others tried to show me the correct way to approach this mysterious life in the United States.  One of the people, to whom I am very thankful for all her good words and for showing me how to live in the busy American style and supporting me in my ways to live, is Tatyana.

Tatyana is a very busy woman that takes a lot of tasks on her own besides having her own family and job.  As a woman, mother and wife she is very busy.  For her children, she is the best mother she can be and as a worker, she plans her business days according to the needs and usually she has to do it for days ahead.  I look at her as a woman who game me an example in many different things, experiences, and her total behavior.  Despite her young age, she seems like a very experienced person in life.  She is bringing up two beautiful young girls and at the same time she attends college to become more knowledgeable to get a better paying job.

In addition, she experiences many uneasy and difficult situations; nevertheless, it does not stop her from being a good friend to others.  She tends to spend all the free time -very limited in her case, to help her children with their homework and take them to their extracurricular activities, such as, swimming and dancing activities.  At home she is a very good role model for her girls.  She shows them how to take care of the house and how to interact with others.

I like to observe her actions because in my opinion she is a great example for all the women that have to juggle the responsibilities of motherhood and work.  She is very friendly and her family has a lot of friends, who come there practically every weekend.  She knows when to smile and when to listen to people's problems.  She is always ready to help and if she were not able to do so, she would try to do so.  It amazes me how she keeps everything under control.  Her amazing happy attitude attracts people and for that reason, they enjoy being around her.

I would like to show you one of the examples of how she was able to help me in the past.  When I had any type of problem, I always tried to take her as my example.  She is always calm and keeps everything under control and this is my approach to my persomal dilemmas.  If I feel angry, depressed, and tired because my English skills are not going ahead together with my attending school, I go to her and she points out the exact trouble that I should be addressing or resolving and many times it works.  She went through similar problems in the past, and therefore, she can tell me a lot about my present situation.

The biggest challenge she brought, that changed my life, was her influence on me to go and continue my schooling no matter how hard it might be.  I never thought about going to college and because of that it was a very difficult step for me to take.  Once I had decided to go to college, my time with my family got limited.  I don't have so much time for my children and there are many things that I am not able to do anymore.  I have to sacrifice going to the movies or attending many interesting events that I would usually go to, but education is very important to me and I am willing to do it for the sake of my future.  Only education will give me a chance to improve myself, to express mew ideas, and to plan my expectations.

My first days in college were the most difficult days of my live.  I felt uncomfortable because of my poor English and because of this I sat quietly in the corner so no one would pay attention to me.  I was very embarrassed to say a word to anyone so no one would realize my lack of English knowledge.  Tatyana, when I told her about it, told me that it is normal and if I last a little bit longer, it will become easier and she was right.  Still, it is hard for me to understand what is being explained to me, but it is getting easier and I hope that within a few weeks or maybe months, I will not have such problems.  As Tatyana told me, I am trying to be more active, and by doing so I exercise my speaking skills.  Deep down inside I am very thankful that she has been pushing me to open up and not to be shy in the classroom.  I will always respect her because of her influence to push me to go to college, to motivate me to be able to follow my dreams and to speak English fluently.

When I'm looking at my past and comparing myself as a young person and now as an adult, I can see a lot of differences.  It is very important to have someone leading you in the right direction and watching over you.  My friend Tatyana, is an angel that always stays by me and is willing to be there for me at any given time.  I am very blessed to have friend like that because in hard times it is very hard to find a friend that you can trust and rely in any situation.

In conclusion, I would like to mention the importance of society and the opinions or suggestions of someone next to you in life.  The society gives the rules of right and wrong and presents the theory while personal points of views might include the emotional side. Both influence everyone an everyday basis; nonetheless, it is important to live efficiently and without breaking any regulations.  It is important to know who your friends are and whom you communicate with or listen to.  We have to keep in mind that one word or event can influence us and change our life for better or worse.  Tatyana was the one person who influenced me the most and to whom I am very thankful.  Thanks to her, now I feel that I'm strong enough to handle things on my own.  I found the solution to many of my problems and I learned how and where to find solution to problems that are waiting for me in the future.  Now, when I look back, I wonder how my life would be different if for instance I had never met Tatyana.  I'm very glad that I met her and I think that without her, I would never have succeeded in so many things I did.

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Edenson Gedeon
ESL 91
Fall, 2003

Essay Topic: Each of us has one person who has made a difference in our lives. For some of us, this person may be a family member; for others, a teacher; for others, a friend. Think of the one person who has been most influential in your life. Describe the influence that person had on you, and explain why you believe she/he has been so important in your life.

So often in life, you may have found one person who has made a difference in your life. That difference might have a positive or negative impact in your life. This person may be a family member, a teacher; a friend etc, he or she could be someone you are not even related to. The person who has influenced me, it’s my father. The influence that my father has had on me is that, since I was a kid, he has been my best counselor. He gave me an education at home before I entered at school.

Throughout all my growing up years, my father has made a huge difference in my life. He used to tell me everything about getting an education, which I think parent today should do with their children. When I reached the level of going to school, he started to teach me what someone needs in life in order to be successful. He told me, “Son in life you will face a lot of options, but know that school will always be the best choice”.

While I was waiting for my first day of school which I never forget, everyday a statement has been repeated.” You don’t go to school just for fun, but you going in order to prepare a better future for you and your family. He has taken his grand parents as example, how they were struggling to make a living. He felt guilty about the condition of life of his family, because if he has taken school seriously, he would be able to help them. He said that was the result for dropping out of school. So he told me, if I need to make a difference in my life, the answer is to stay in school, get a degree, and then I will see. In other words my father has proved his responsibility as a parent. A lot of parents do not communicate with their children, and this leads to a lack of progress.

My father has been so important to me, he always there for me. When I need help, he is the first one I consult. I learned from everything he has told me. There is one more important thing that my father has done for me, which is the fact he raised me in a Christian family, which help me a lot in the society. You may be wondering, how important is this could be, but it is. As a matter fact, certain people think that only school can gives you what you need in order to be educated; no you can not learn everything at school. There is certain basic things that you need to get from your parents at home. My father has always told me that, I have to go to church, read my bible because it can help me and teach me what I need to know about future. I could say that, my father is the main reason which makes me know God as my savior. As a result I am very religious, singing in choir and all that.

However there are a lot of teenagers just walk on the streets all day, and do not go to school. They are taking part in certain activities which will have a bad effect on their lives. I could be one like them, but I listen to what my father has told me, and I keep myself out of trouble. I put everything into practice, which is the reason why I am studying real hard in college in order to make my dream and his dream to come true.

When a parent encourages you to get an education, this is the best thing he or she could have done for you. It is really common to find someone who has made a difference in your life. The difference might be either positive or negative, but most of the times it could be the best one for you. According to my experiences, my father’s impact on me is very helpful and useful to me. 

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