Tuesday, June 29, 2010

TOEFL Essay - Pets being treated as family members is good

I read about one woman burying her cat with a full funeral, while another wed her dog. These two deeply loved their pets. For a love this deep, more than mere petting usually suffices. I insist that while people treat their animals like more than friends, how pets affect self-esteem and their consistent behavior result in positives.

Pets really foster high self-esteem. Generally speaking, glimpsing a smiling dog behaving well moves our hearts and rekindles our ancient belief in connections. Pets signify the caring of someone else who exists and cares for our person who exists and cares, too. This is who we are. When we recipients congratulate ourselves, often in pet company, our capacity to be a dependable entity awakens. An illustration is that many pets help with depression and worthless feelings because duties occupy our maneuvers. In a way, pets regard us as heroes and as our own self-esteem thermometer.

Another section of pet difference is their actions: pets don't choose to act, and therefore act consistently. In other words, a cat will continue to be a cat. In many nations, people are so stressed they forget vacation and we're unsure how they might react. Our moods strain and split. How a person reacts is very unlike a cat or larger animal would. Pets, however, will act consistently cued by their interests. We shouldn't perturb our thoughts with why, but can rather count on pet solidarity in behavior. For example, nationally American dogs are the same as Chinese dogs only with different words for paw.

Monday, June 28, 2010

TOEFL Essay - The best room

The most important room in the house is where we eat, our dining room. Here, we thrive on great food and a strong feeling of togetherness.

The dining room is the most important room in the house particularly because we eat there. Satisfaction and nourishment are essential to good familial hygiene, and it's in this room where we receive good infusions of both. After all, no other room in the house is so closely associated with our five senses as the dining room is. Consequently, without one no house is complete. For example, most of my fondest childhood memories involve our dining room and my mother's wonderful cooking. Here, in this room, the meals were showcased and heartily enjoyed.

In addition to satisfying our stomachs, the dining room is a place where we fulfill our social needs: U-N-I-T-Y. Talking with our family face to face isn't happening during the day when we work, so it's refreshing to be able to use the dining room as a centerpiece for coming together. At no place in the house does conversation flow the way it does in the dining room while we slowly devour the loving meal. The room itself is a social catalyst, and this fact propels it to the #1 slot in the room category of houses. An illustration of the social bonding that takes place in the dining room is the lengthy conversation topics we discuss as a family, and how my family in particular has had numerous arrays of social justice issues discussed. Granted, we never solve the issues, but these discussions establish ideologies for future arguments.

Friday, June 25, 2010

TOEFL Essay - Coaches are the best teachers

Q. Agree or disagree: Coaches make the best teachers.

I remember my bellowing coach. Each player to him was just a last name. He was a loveless functionary of my school. He did, however, teach me some facts about the human body, like that we're not built to climb ropes or ever engage in square dancing classes. My coach was the best teacher; he was often yelling and frequently popular.

A booming voice can teach us multiple factoids. We listen when we hear yelling. Yell, and others run toward you. They want to see the fuss. When we meet a person with a personality that screams we imagine their voice when they disappear. Obviously, absences happen, but we picture their voice and live with their memory. Appropriately, a voice emphasizes with yells and highlights that we are in school to learn. And we learned from my coach. His voice is what I remember. All those several yelled messages, shouted at me as if I were the only importance.

Coach was an item of popularity, and he taught us students how to share popularity. We students knew his name, his likes and dislikes, how to provoke him, what not to do. Once you knew Coach, your popularity was insured. But if you were on his bad side, you felt uncertainty asleep. I knew several students who refused to learn from our coach. In short, they refused to designate him as their favorite teacher and to relax under his conditioning. These students became lazy. I do not think these students ever succeeded, because navigating coach was like driving through life: if you didn't succeed here with Coach, you were like a less successful drunk driver elsewhere.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

TOEFL Essay - Tradition is a Road Trip

Q. Many families have important traditions that family members share. What is one of your family’s traditions? Use reasons and examples.

after Michael Stewart

Nothing would be the same in America and in my family without road trips. Each year my family picks a destination. This destination is plucked from the map: we sharpen the quills of our pens and throw them. The sharpest wins, sticking into the new location we will soon become acquainted with. It’s for this reason I cannot accurately imagine summer without a car taking me on a road trip. The beating sun; the lemonade; the long gas lines when we refuel, even when we don’t; and suntan lotion are all components of years past. One year, we ran out of suntan lotion. This was the year of our burnt skin. I remember this year specifically because of that fact. On another point, lemonade is refreshing, and that particular instance became known as the lemon. Now, whenever anyone in my family has a moment of intense craving during the summer, this is their “lemon memento.”

It is because these road trip components all eventually signify something greater and evolve into touchstones for familial behavior that I cite the road trip as my family’s tradition of excellence. A ritual or routine that takes on significance of its own, most traditions detach from whatever occurrence that inspires them. To this day, I don’t think any family member can supply a definitive answer to why we started these road trips. Nevertheless, they are part of our dynamic. My sense is that if we miss a road trip, we would suffer bad luck or a family loss. Our tradition is so deep that it induces superstitious behavior, which is honestly another argument indicative of most traditions: there must be serious consequences, either implied or real, for those who break with tradition. That is to say, to miss a road trip would be a form of sacrilege. Traditions need this idea: that breaking them makes you unwell with the gods. Without this, no new adherents would be on board.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

TOEFL Essay - Theater or no

Q. It has been announced that a new movie theater will be built in your area. Do you support or oppose this plan?

Everyone loves movies, but not their houses. Recently, there's talk of a new cinema in our town. I propose that we fight against one company's desire to forever change the face of moviegoing in our area by building a theater for two prime reasons: movies are junk and theaters bring garbage.

First off, movies are junk. When we seriously ponder how humans have used pictures and film in history we conclude with porn. Pornography is the end result of moviegoing. An illustration of this is that all movies suggest darkness by having need of light to project themselves. In the darkness, bodily creative notions occur fluently. In this vast darkness, too, our only recourse is to make pornography. Consequently, this is why before lightbulbs all we did was reproduce.

Theaters also bring gossip (about porn) and garbage. We should concern ourselves with the latter, the garbage. Employment of local teenagers shall be put aside, and instead do you realize how much garbage audiences watching movies consume? If you guessed “pornographic magnitudes” you'd be correct. This is why we don't need this garbage, which will only clutter and defeat our free space and time; and this is what a theater's goal is: the defeat of leisure time in our eyes.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

TOEFL Essay - Picking or assigned roommates

You can either have your college roommate assigned to you or you may choose, which would you prefer?

My first year of college, I was obliged to deal with the school's choice. They chose who was sent to live with me. Every other year, however, the responsibility was all mine. I chose my fate. If I had to pick between choosing or being assigned a roommate, I strongly would prefer not having to choose because of feelings and diverse scenarios.

Feelings are a tough thing. In fact, they are not objects at all, but are part of our welfare's personality. Damage a feeling, we hurt welfare, and we damage our entire soul from beginning to end. Repairs are virtually impossible. I would rather be unfair than conflict. And I would also rather be stuck with unhelpful and ignoring me strangers than to live with the insupportable idea that I destroyed a friend's chain of feelings by obscuring him or her from my choice process. Let's face it, we forget a lot of friends, and reconnecting is difficult. But I wouldn't want ot do this intentionally. And when the university chooses, I blame others for my indecision of them. “the school put me here.” this is what college teaches us, after all.

Another reason why I am steadfast to dominate my opinion advocating university assignment of roommates is the bringing of new scenarios which are exciting and some of pain or humor, joviality. When the school picks for you and you surrender your freedom of choice, you are now in the position to become the school's second class citizen. So close to number 1, really. Just imagine living with adventurous newness or even relaxing boredom or focusing taking advantage of you. We all want to exploit university's choices and giving up who you live with for a complete surprise will freshen your opinions. Once again, college teaches us this.

Monday, June 21, 2010

TOEFL Essay - Parents jailed for childrens mishaps.

Q: Underage drinking is an obvious problem in the US. Should parents be penalized (jail time, community service, fines) if their children are caught drinking?


Something like ninety percent of all teenagers will drink at some point prior to turning 21, the age in the US when we're legally allowed to consume alcoholic drinks. Therefore, most drinkers are mere children. This is common knowledge, and many people know it. However, lesser known is the new pressure to punish the parents of underage drinkers. We might fine them, make them pay somehow, such as community service and a likelihood of jailtime. What a terrible idea with suspicious outcomes for several reasons. Among these are issues of a finite lack of responsibility and an overestimation of familial influence.

Responsibility for the acts of another is a foundation of our legal code. In this way, conspirators are pressured to surrender their accomplices. Since we're all tried equally, it makes sense to bring everyone into the courtroom to face the law, which is blind. However, this applies to concrete crimes. These are concrete when a victim is present. Usually, a victim is there. Nonetheless, in crimes free of victims, these are called victimless crimes. Crimes where no one is present, and the victim is non-existent. Because no one can find an excuse for a victim, do we need to treat the criminal as someone who commits a crime? There are no major consequences for these actions in the absence of a target, and placing blame on anyone other than the minor law breaker seems misguided and inaccurate. The law is meant to instill accuracy, and hit the target with legal compensation. Imagine if parents were being blamed for every time their children were accomplices, or if they had to watch their offspring constantly for fear of fines? Should we blame parents for schools' plagiarism? How about for graffiti? When a student litters, should we pick up the parents? The fact is, parents control their children only so much, and we can no longer pretend that the family is the sole influence on childhood decisions.

With regard to this topic, that there are more influential factors in our lives of our children that are living. We cannot argue that there is much meaninglessness, that boundaries are fluff, and that this fluff disturbs us, especially if outside influences encroach on what we build in order to take it under, to drown it. The family role in upbringing is less than in decades past. Previous families were perhaps stronger, had better shows, stronger fabrics. In fact, the least of our concerns lie with parental oversight. If we blame parents for the result of whatever the peer-pressured and pop-cultured machine spits out, we're overlooking our kids' ability to be accountable and the necessary knowledge they need to judge. This knowledge interprets what peers and pop seek to transform them into. In sum, blaming parents only teaches children that they can further blame parents for their own drinking actions, as if they didn't control what their own hands put in their mouth.

Friday, June 18, 2010

TOEFL ESSAY - Cities, Destroyed and New

The world's surface is riddled with many old cities and buildings. These latter charm and enhance real estate values. Nevertheless, their existence is dangerous, and I fear for my life often inside them. If I had to choose whether to keep or destroy these oldies, let's destroy them. It's the safety issue that has me thinking about destruction, but it's also the money-saving equation.

New buildings are safer. This is because of their materials. Newer mining techniques succeed in extraction of newer, stronger materials and scientists then assemble them. Later, construction workers assemble these previously assembled products. What results is an enclosure. These enclosures are frequently grandiose. They usually come equipped with most necessities, and most dwellers don't seek outside life as a result. While inside, they are safer. Regarding most construction cases, forepersons advise and with this force, we may choose which forewarning suits us. Safe environments offer savings too. You might be stressed about crumbly old instruments of government. This organ obviously raises more serious questions. And under these questions, a beauty and newness similar to the buildings but the same as skin. These layers. An illustration could be the Bank of America building, which is moral and ethical. Inside, our waste is used to power air conditioning. Old buildings don’t make use of this technology and are therefore not so efficient. I would opt to destroy them, and we should do it ceremoniously.

Architecture is the vest of our worries. Usually, architects are big with equal size khaki vests. They point at a building to indicate this location’s numbered days. But, for example, if suddenly many buildings were destroyed and replaced by new ones, our city would be changed. In other words, the changing city face means that we don't get bored. We aren't bored by alternating landscapes. It would not be difficult to imagine ourselves in a totally refurbished city. We would gradually accustom. This would be a new city, and we would be moved. Gas would be saved, and energy as well. And since relocating means a change in weather and geography, total destruction would be the one way to avoid this.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

TOEFL Essay - Reasons against lighting up for Mother Theresa

To honor the 100th anniversary of Mother Theresa, many wanted to light the upper 30 stories of the Empire State Building. This is the empire state, after all. This plan was rejected by the building management. I agree with the building's decision because Mother Theresa isn't insignificant enough and because she's too serious.

Mother Theresa was a very famous and respected celebrity. There's no way any edifice in midtown would decide to have any connection whatsoever to high culture. Mother Theresa was too significant. Usually building facades and lighting patterns are geared toward advertisers and other tokens of meaninglessness. For example, Target ads or the work of Shepherd Fairey. For fame's few seconds these pieces enjoy under lights, the price is expensive: never again will anyone take you seriously. But more than this, if a figure achieves such transcendent significance, no building is safe from rejecting. Mother Theresa rejected the glamor of tall buildings, and those buildings are now fit to reject her. In other words, the official life rejects meaningful embodiment of virtue, since it is this virtue which destroys any and all significance the official life might otherwise have.

Leading up to the final and more serious reason, Mother Theresa is too serious. Granted, serious faces surround us. But these faces are light, and are easily dismissed with no lasting significance. We plaster serious faces but traffic isn't stopped. It's really only fanatical lightheartedness with the seriousness of purchasing behind it that we glue to empty walls. While both significance and seriousness are supplements, imagine as an example a significant, serious face that we all know floating visibly above tourist droves. This is highly distasteful, and what building would bring that upon itself.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

TOEFL Essay - The Travel Location I Prefer.

Obviously winning a cool million would be my preferred motivation for travel. But winning millions isn't always possible, and we can understand why. Nevertheless, if I were free to travel to any country for two weeks, I would choose Liechtenstein as my destination because it's secretive and I've always thought it would be wealthy. 

Inside Liechtenstein, no news ever escapes. Media outlets there -- extremely well-funded -- are very satisfied with how the government runs the country. Because this relative silence breaks down even group discontent, Liechtenstein is secretive. No international news hears rumors of secret dealings because, naturally, dealings in Liechtenstein are secret. This secretive nature is essential to consistent social policy. Namely, if nothing is knowable, then no comparison exists. We cannot know this, because we do not live in Liechtenstein; hence, no secrecy. A country that values secrecy must be a pleasure.

I often contemplate why perhaps this secrecy breeds wealth, or just that wealth betrays a less forthcoming bundle of choices. It's as if others don't know. Since others are frequently competitors, secrecy ensures lifelong earning. A secret is something you don't share, like wealth. More for Liechtensteiners. The wealth of this small country reveals itself. I imagine this country as a wealthy place where we can imagine the riches, similar to surroundings. We hear stories about paving of gold and money trees, but these don't compare with a doubly landlocked microstate in Western Central Europe surrounded by varieties of wealth. Visiting guarantees our comfort, as tourists, and that we see Liechtenstein as comfortably as possible. An illustration might be that while taxis are expensive, a special something is gained when taking a voyage in a hugely overpriced cab. We feel like we should appreciate it, or else remorse sets in. Our appreciation of a Liechtenstein cab is based on what we don't want to feel, and since secrets are easily retained there, no one else will know my business of remorse in a Liechtenstein cab. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

TOEFL Essay - A custom I would share

Celebrating Thanksgiving is a custom other countries should invest in because everyone needs to give thanks occasionally and the list of traditional food is expansive.

The most important reason I believe that other countries should celebrate Thanksgiving is to have an entire day devoted to thankfulness. In general, there's not enough of this. We humans forget what we possess and it helps to slow down and contemplate what is right with our lives, not always what is wrong. Not only does accounting for what we have help to reduce stress, but it helps to reduce wasteful pursuits of double items and to avoid overlooking the goods and beings we should be thankful for. For example, if I stop to think about what I really appreciate, I realize that even though I have occasional setbacks, life really isn't rotten. I would like everyone to have access to this feeling and to have a day to celebrate.

Yet being thankful for what we have would be incomplete without a sampling of classic American cuisine, and this is the second and most delicious reason why I'd choose to share Thanksgiving with the world's nations. There is no Thanksgiving without Thanksgiving Dinner. I have missed several meals in the past and on these days, the holiday was non-existent for me. This delicious spread features samples from centuries of pre- and post-colonial cooking, but represents traditional Native American offerings too. This meal symbolizes the amicable or inharmonious mix of cultures that history in my country has witnessed. I want to pass these scrumptious dishes on to others. For example, cranberry sauce and stuffing are two of my favorites and have their origins in the first Thanksgiving meal celebrated hundreds of years ago. It's important we celebrate the non-fast food aspects of American culture, and that others see it and try these treats.

Post #501! TOEFL Essay - I prefer to hire employees that make quality equipment

There's nothing more frustrating than work done poorly, no matter how little you pay for it. If I were a boss, I'd hire experienced workers at a higher salary to avoid extensive training and expensive errors and to ensure a higher quality output.

I've experienced the sting of a poor salary for poor work, and I've also been bitten, having occupied the lone position of expert. And from this I have accrued the knowledge that inexperience, while cheaper from the start, ends up costing more as necessary training, needless errors and obvious fixes pile up. This cluster of experiences creates uncertainty and disables the whole's ability to progress as one team. Since errors and time-consuming training create lower efficiency and are hallmarks of inexperience, hiring experienced employees works to cut costs and boost production.

An analogy I might use to illustrate my point is that of shoes. I've paid for cheap shoes and mildly expensive shoes. The latter always lasts several years. The price-per-wear of the more expensive shoes is cheaper, and these inflict less damage on my feet. Clearly, it's important to protect our feet, and buying expensive shoes is a method many adopt to save later trips to the podiatrist. As to how this applies to workers, a higher quality output is afforded a company whose workers are satisfied and want for nothing. If I were a boss, I'd make sure my workers had great shoes and healthy feet, in addition to a fair and progressive salary.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

TOEFL Essay - Community Service is a No No.

Colleges and universities need to relax and not require community service hours from students in order to graduate. This policy is dangerous and unnecessary. I'm prepared to offer examples of the perilous and needless consequences brought about by implementing such a community program.

One main reason I wouldn't adjust college policies to include a more rigorous community service requirement is because academic interaction with the community is a dangerous fad. Once we move into communities, we cannot return the clock. How would you enjoy it if suddenly thousands of college students descended on your town's projects, each offering to “lend a hand for free” and expect college credit? Why would you pay for townspeople to work when you have free smart folk? The college credits become a new money, and are exchanged for an action that most laborers do each day, only for mere sums. The town comes to rely on cheap labor, but prices drop. Incredible!

It's this idea, that soon the town cannot live without the institution, that is quite dangerous, which tangentially brings me to a further point: community service touted as edifying behavior for students is needless. In most towns, there is nothing we need, and so students would in essence engage in activities not inside, but outside the community's needs and desires. As outsiders, students exist as less than a supplement to the environs. They might work first, but they never will understand what being innate to the country is similar to. In effect, different agents with different statuses and who aren't laborers can try, but they will never truly contribute to real and immediate wants and projects.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Stan Apps in ACTION YES!

I have long been a fan of Stan's poetry, and he knows this.

What I really enjoy about this piece , not just enjoy but what stands it out for me is the ability of the piece to exhaust the metaphor/allusion/imagery going on (I use all three because all three happen) and, as a result, to then create new metaphors/allusions/imagery. I like what Stan has been doing for awhile because I see his work as tapping into -- not only bathos and/or cutesy (a word that always looks like courtesy to me) -- but also what I want to whimsically refer to as Child Poetry (not Children's Poetry nor Childlike Poetry nor Childish Poetry). I mean this in the best way, but mostly I mean it because his recent work which I've read combines "adult" observation and concerns with images borrowed from the observations of a child. They're textured and provocative (e.g., the snot example in the above-linked piece in ACTION YES). This voice speaks from a position of passive authority. It doesn't tell you to obey nor that it's observations are unique. But it's a position from which, in many ways, more can be said because more is possible when it's uncertain which position of authority is addressing us. Call it magical realism that's not annoying and that doesn't involve aunts n' uncles who levitate. Call this child voice an attempt to disrupt our signs.

It's a strong piece of writing. I know because before I read it, I was tired of poetry and writing about writing and poetry. This kind of writing usually uses words like PoBiz, whose meaning only people within PoBiz understand. And so even if you'd rather not read more pieces on poetry and its loss/lack of accessibility, this piece will have you reconsider.

black AMEX

I want a black AMEX
the card speaks to me
advertisements come out of the page
Their blimpy eyes blink when the cat's unfed.
Oh attack AMEX kitten,
black and a puzzle
you are like a wife with freedom
surfing the English channel.

Friday, June 04, 2010

A sheep in wolf's clothing and why it always behaves like a sheep

Proverbs tell us that clothes make the man and also that we shouldn't judge a book by its cover. But clothes don't make the man. Rather, they make us warm. They deflect what true relationships with nature and atmosphere we might have. 

There are reasons why clothes cover us: They are masks, and we never truly crack the pretty unknown kernel of our true identity. It's even more impossible for outsiders (those outside our own minds) to distinguish us from the clothed us. And while many believe that self-expression lies in our cloaking devices, what exactly is cloaking us outsiders manufacture. Therefore, cloaking represents at best only a partially successful attempt to capture human complexity in fabric.

In other words, covers modestly fail to decode who we are, even when we ask for ourselves. On the contrary, it's clothing that hides and obscures our true selves.

While human behavior is frequently dictated by how we dress, our values and set patterns of reacting and making judgments are freefloating and detach from appearing outward. Ghosted. Another way of looking at this is taking the example of a funeral. Sure, ways of acting while we mourn might alter slightly, but no wholesale transformation takes place. Funeral attendees might look respectful, and even pass for respectable, but to please value on their outward appearance during a time of death is to mistake the box for the present.