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What My Mother Said
             ——By Meredith Jalisman

  "Don't sleep with your hair in a ponytail holder, you will get a mark in your hair," my mother said. (And you will look funny and all the children will make fun of you. Then you will never get married and will live at home your whole life. I will not be able to tolerate you, and we will argue and never speak. Is that what you want? To never speak to your mother? So, don't sleep with your hair in a ponytail holder and that won't happen.)

   My mother is not really an irrational maniac. She is a hard-working, caring woman who always goes out of her way for others and is happy to do so. She goes to work each day, and then comes home and makes dinner. She takes my sisters to Hebrew school and me to my friends' houses. My mother works all day and most of the night, never getting a break. It seems like she is always doing things for others, never for herself. I wish I could give her the trophy she deserves.

   Although I think she is the best mom ever, sometimes she gets on my nerves. One thing that really makes me mad is when she screams my name 50 times and I answer her each time, but she does not hear me.
What I really like, though, is how her hair sways in the wind. It moves so gracefully, like a swan in a river. Her eyes are nice, too. They are hazel green and shine when the sun hits them. Many people say that I look like her. I don't really think so, but I wouldn't mind looking like her, either.

   If I had an award to give her for being so great, I would gladly give it to her. She deserves more than just a material thing; she deserves all the kindness that she brings to everyone who knows her. I wish she knew how important her actions are to me, and that I will never forget her compassion.

   I would do anything for her, but I really want to sleep with my hair in a ponytail holder. She is probably right about me getting a mark, but I think it is worth the risk to do what I want. I'll face the future with a mark in my hair and a family whom I love very much.

  单词: (ponytail n.马尾巴; tolerate v.忍受; irrational a.非理性的; maniac n.疯子; trophy n.战利品,奖品;
       deserve v.值得; swan v.天鹅; gracefully adv.优美地; kindness n.友好,慈善; compassion. n.怜悯,同情)









Unforgettable …
              ——By Penny Nikitas

   My family and I decided to try to help the less fortunate at Easter. It was last March and my brother, sister and I stayed home after yet another snowstorm. We bundled up warmly and ran out of the house to collect money and canned goods.

   Some people slammed their doors in our faces and others told us they already donated at their churches. We still continued, though. To our surprise, the people who we expected to be the most generous weren't. The "well-to-do" gave little or nothing at all, while the poorest gave everything they could afford. In the first couple of hours, we raised $60 and during the following three days of going door to door, we collected approximately $1,000.

   We then went to the grocery store and bought rice, potatoes, macaroni and juice. Afterwards we arranged the food and put it into 25 colored laundry baskets, each also containing a three-pound ham. Finally right before the holiday, my family and I made the deliveries. As the people opened their doors and saw what we had brought, they were ecstatic. Big smiles on the once-sad faces were symbolic of how happy they truly were. Most of them replied, "Now we can have an Easter dinner."

   This event was very meaningful for my family and me. We learned to appreciate all we once took for granted. We also learned that to achieve a goal, hard work and patience are necessary. I strongly advocate that all get involved in some aspect of community service. It surely is an unforgettable experience!

  单词: (snowstorm n.暴风雪; bundle v.捆绑; canned a.成罐的; slam v.使劲关; donate v.捐赠;
      generous a.大方的,慷慨的; approximately adv.大约地; grocery n.杂货店; macaroni n.通心粉;
      ecstatic a.欣喜若狂的; symbolic a.象征的; delivery n.交付,递送.; appreciate v.意识到,欣赏;
      advocate v.宣扬; aspect n.方面; community n.社区 ; unforgettable a.不能忘怀的 )








Two Gifts
               ——By Regan Mancini

  What is the best gift you ever received? Jewelry, money, a car? I probably would have said one of these until recently. I realized the best gift I ever received was not material; it was my biological mother's willingness to give me up for adoption. I was adopted from Korea at a young age and have no memory of Korea. All I know about my biological mother is that she was very young when she gave me up and she acted unselfishly, making the hardest decision a mother could make. She gave up pat of herself so another could be happy. She needed great strength to be that brave and courageous. Maybe she had the same kind of courage my adoptive mother had when she decided to adopt a foreign child, something that was uncommon at the time. She was willing to give a foreign child a better life, not knowing anything about Korea's culture or customs. I am lucky to be able to say that two women have touched my life in such an unselfish way.

  People ask me, "Do you have any interest in going to Korea to find your biological mother?" I never know how to answer. I never give much thought to finding my biological roots. That question, however, reminds me of who I am, or rather, who I have not been. My present environment is what I have always known. I do not feel like a minority; I see myself as just another teenage girl. What I have grown up with is what I know. But I have a whole other side of me waiting to emerge. Going to Korea would make me aware of another culture, customs and my heritage. I might have the chance to meet the giver of this wonderful gift, received before I could walk or talk. I am very fortunate because I have two cultures ? one that I have always known and grew up with and one that I could explore. But for now I am just an 18-year-old Korean-American with my own aspirations and goals.

  单词: (recently adv.近来; realized v.认识到; biological adj.生物学的; willingness n.意志,愿望;
      unselfishly adv.不自私地; decision n.决定; strength n.力量; courageous adj.有勇气的; courage v.勇气;
      adoptive adj.适应; uncommon adj.不一般; Korea's n.韩国; culture n.文化; environment n.环境;
      explore v.开发; lucky adj.幸运的; teenage n.十几岁少年; fortunate adj.幸运的; emerge v.出现;
      aspirations n.激励)
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