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ESSAYS FALL 04
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In another side of college life

In "Another side of college life" I found out that each student lives situations that are unique, even though two or more people may have much in common. However, I can't say much about the students' life that I meet at college every day since making friends here is a hard task.

I remember the time when I was a college student in my country, Colombia, when everyone was friends with everyone and helping each other was the usual practice. Those were great times for me. Even today, I keep in touch with most of the friends that I met there. But here, everything is different; no one cares for you. Each individual lives his/her own life and if once you talk to someone; tomorrow this seems to have never happened.

This is an unfortunate situation for me, because since living here life has become more difficult and I miss having my friends close to me.

When I first got here, I thought that college would help me to ease my solitude. But now, I have learned to get by on my own. This doesn't mean that I don't enjoy college, I do. It is just that now I have learned to adapt to this new life.

Even though my situation is more fortunate than that of Linda and Juan, based on the reading "Another side of college", my life is not easy at all. Probably, I don't have the financial problems that they have, but I have to manage so many responsibilities at the same time. In order to explain to you what I am saying, I'll describe a normal day in my life. First of all I have to say that I'm married and have a four year old boy. Also, I'm a full time student of accounting and on weekends I take the taxation course that H&R Block offers.

My day starts at 5:45am when I wake up, take a shower and prepare breakfast for my husband and my son at the same time that I leave lunch ready. At 6:45am I need to get my son ready for school and send him off at 7:30am, the time when his school bus picks him up. I must leave home at 8:00 o'clock in order to be at college at 9:10am, since I am required to take a bus and train to come here. My school day finishes at 2:50pm. At that time I have to literally run home to wait for my son who arrives at 3:45pm. During the afternoon I have to take care of my son, do common household tasks, such as cleaning up, doing laundry, cooking, shopping, etc. I have to emphasize that taking care of a little boy is not easy at all. Matthew, my son, takes a lot of my time. At 7:00 o'clock I start to prepare dinner and help my husband get ready for work. Also I give my son a bath and put him to sleep. So, at almost 9:00 o'clock I find time to do my own things. These include homework from school and reading all the material that I have to prepare for my weekend class. It's almost at 1:00 am that I feel so tired that my body demands sleep. So I go to sleep to start the same routine the next day.

As you can see, there are many responsibilities that I have to face every day. Despite that, I thank God every day for having these opportunities: a family, going to school and every single thing that gives sense to my life. In addition, my current schedule doesn't give me time to feel the solitude that I felt before starting college. Also, the balance that I have created between child care and school is pretty good. I know that my son receives all the attention that he needs when he arrives home, thanks to our coordinated schedules. For me it's very important that my son grows up with me close to him. As a mother, I believe I am the one to instill in him my strengths, principles and values.

So, in general I enjoy a good life. I have a beautiful son and a great husband who supports us 100%. My husband is also an excellent father and the emotional link that exists among us is strong enough to face any situation.

My struggles are these; learning English is number one. It has become a big challenge in my life. Attending classes at college, surrounded by people that speak different languages, coping with the day to day things that living in New York involves are some of the many situations that make my life a total challenge. For me, here, everything is new. After having lived for 25 years in Colombia, sometimes I feel homesick. But, life here is so fast, I know that I can't spend much time feeling that way. I came here to improve myself and I'll do that. The struggles create a kind of joy at the challenges that I have to face because I know that I'm striving for the best future for me and my family.

In conclusion, my experience as a CUNY student has been an important part of my life. I feel that day by day I am improving and learning many of the things that I need to cope with in this country. I consider each sacrifice as an investment in my future. I know this new part of my path in not easy but I'll succeed no matter what the cost!

Letter to Genie's Mother

Genie's Mother

Among the people, active members of the Genie team, to whom I could choose to write, you are the one to whom I have more thing to say. As a mother, and as a woman, your behavior becomes very difficult for me to understand. I no one to judge you but I feel a kind of necessity to express my thoughts.
After reading the article "The civilizing of Genie" by Maya Pines I couldn't believe that something like that was a true story. But what impact on me most was your role. I'm capable of understanding your sickness and submission for fear of your husband, but what happened to your mother's instinct?

I know that you can say that I'm unaware of many details about your situation. However, I believe any argument that you may present would be a cheap excuse. I'm a mother, and I can affirm that there are no limits to protect my son from anyone. I would give everything for his welfare. There are no fears, if something concerns my son. How can you justify yourself?

Even your blindness is not an excuse. I really don't understand how the court didn't hold you legally responsible for the inhuman treatment that you gave to Genie. You must not be called mother, because you are not one. You are so far from one. With the second opportunity that the court gave you, appointing you Genie's guardian, you had the opportunity to repair some of the many damages that you did to Genie in her childhood. But you didn't, I can affirm the above statement.

In addition, you had the nerve to bring a suit against Curtiss and the Children's Hospital, asking for damages totaling $500,000, because you considered that they were pursuing prestige and profit. Please Miss, let's be honest, is there's one pursuing profit in this case, this one is you. You have done nothing for Genie, even you couldn't take care of her for a second time and you are claiming $500,000. You never got her the help she needed so her condition never improved. I think that that suit might be twisted.

Genie's team at least tried to do something for her. They took Genie's case as a way of learning but at the same time they did their best. You are so wrong about what to do damage really means.

Finally, you wasted the opportunity of enjoying Genie. You will never know how wonderful it is to be a mom and how it makes you feel. I don't know how you can deal with your conscience but I hope that you have learned from all of this.

I'm sorry for my attitude; I know that I'm no one to tell you this. But I couldn't be silent. As a mother I won't ever understand you. But I want to thank you. Do you know why? Because after knowing what happened with Genie each time I see my son, I confirm my love for him and tell myself I'll never be like you.

Sincerely,

Margarita Villafane



Business and Marketing

According to Business and Marketing by Loretta F. Kasper, marketing is a process involving the exchanging or bartering of goods, services or ideas for money in order to get a profit. It is important to say how vital marketing has become, since almost a third of all Americans'jobs are related to marketing activities. Product development and merchandising are the main aspects to take into account to be successful in the business world. These aspects involve many concepts that will be explained in the following paragraphs.

The marketing concept has evolved as an answer to our competitive business world. That is the reason why today's marketing concept involves the filling of people's needs in addition to the old concept where it was considered a simple exchange of goods or services for money.

This change in the marketing concept appeared after a fast growth in the business world, where consumers enjoy several alternatives at the time of purchasing. As a result, businesses now develop their products in a consumer oriented way, aimed to satisfy target markets.

A business supplies more efficiently the necessities of a particular group rather than consumers as a whole. That particular group is known as a target market. A business analyzes a specific group of consumers who buy a particular product and develops and maintains a suitable combination of product, price, distribution and promotion expected to satisfy their needs. A well developed target market represents a step toward success.

Merchandising refers to activities such as planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of goods, ideas or services. The use of these activities ensures appropriate product development and availability. A good performance requires the correct use of the marketing utilities, which are illustrated in the next example.

Suppose that you need a book for your Math course. The only book that your professor accepts for this class is Math 123, edition 2004 by Dr. Number of ABC Publishing. The bookstore near to your house is "The Best." In addition you won't use cash for this purchase, so, you will need to use your credit card.

Applying the marketing utilities to the above situation, form utility is attained only if the book Math 123, edition 2004 by Dr. Number of ABC Publishing is available. The same book, but edition 2003, has no form utility since it is not what you were looking for. Now, if "The Best" has this book; then the book has place utility. But in the case that you need to go to another store, that book has no place utility. If this book is available for sale at any time, whatever season, the time utility has been met. But if it's only on sale during "back to school" season and you don't need it at this period; then this book has no time utility.

As the example mentioned before, you will not use cash to make this purchase. Then, if the store accepts credit cards, possession utility has been met. Otherwise, this utility is not present and the book can't be purchased.

As you can see, correct placement, timing of a product, reasonable price and sufficient supply are critical factors that in a coordinated interaction play a decisive role in product's development and merchandising process. The importance of this lie in how loyal a satisfied costume becomes when this feels identify with a product. A satisfied costume is a synonym of revenue for a business.

Nowadays, the Internet plays an important role when the issue is satisfying place utility. Meeting customers'needs in this way increases both buyers' and sellers' benefits. Buyers save their time and don't take the chance of going to a store and not finding what they were looking for. Navigating on the Internet, they can choose from a large variety of brands and products without leaving the comfort of their homes. In addition, the Internet offers sales that cannot be found in stores. To get what is not available in your state, city or country is not a problem anymore, the Internet offers the possibility of getting whatever you want, 24-7, from whatever place.

Sellers also get as many advantages as buyers. For sellers the Internet is a cheaper way of advertising their products. Not so many catalogs are needed to make consumers aware of their new products. The Internet saves them a lot of money that otherwise they would have to pay to employees. This new tool increases their revenues and profits at the same time that it creates accessibility to customers. It brings a large number of advantages. To mention all of them would be a task that would take several pages, but the point here is to recognize the Internet's importance.

As for how businesses determine how much to charge for any product and why, you will find it amazing that you as a consumer are influencing that decision. That is called demand. That means that if consumers are willing to buy any product at any given price, sellers will take advantage of the situation and they'll increase the price of that product. That is called supply. A contrary effect happens when consumers don't desire to buy a product and sellers see themselves obligated to lower prices in order to sell that product. Market price, the ideal point, is the price at which quantity demanded equals quantity supplied.

Now in the twenty first century marketing has become incredibly complicated. There are many more things to consider when thinking about selling goods and services to consumers. Sellers now have to consider a world market, not just the guy down the street. Competition increases day by day, all thanks to the Internet. To apply in a proper way all of the factors that are involved in marketing decisions requires exact, precise choices in order to be successful. The wrong choice could cost you everything you have invested.

The most influential person

Many people have influenced my life in some way, and some of them have made important influences in me. But there is just one person, a little one, who keeps making big changes in me. He influences my life in the best way that I could ever imagine. In fact, I am going to write about this person in this essay and I'll try to make clear for you why I think this way about him.

It is my four year old boy; Matthew, who makes me feel the most beautiful emotions that I have ever felt. He is capable of switching me from sadness into happiness with almost no effort. He notices when something is wrong with me and immediately gives me his most beautiful smile or tells me things like "I love you, mom"; or "you are my best friend" and covers my face with kisses. Having my son close to me is a kind of guarantee of happiness. He makes me feel fortunate and in my way of thinking; anything that makes you happy is good for you and is able to influence you in a positive way. Therefore, based on my own experience I can affirm the above statement to be true and I am very convinced believing that life works this way. Proof of this is how I feel most of the time. My life is full of happiness thanks to Matthew and my husband. They have brought a great emotional stability to my life, which is reflected in my relationships with the people I interact with day by day and in every single thing I do.

Since my son was born, I feel that I am living for something and for someone. He changes my life perspective. Once I thought that hanging out with friends, going with them to nightclubs, caring about fashion or material things were important things that I needed to make me feel good, and now my way of thinking has changed. Today, such things as sharing everyday things with my family, which strengthens our feelings, doing my best to help my son grow and trying to attain the best future for me and my family are the priorities in my life. When I was younger I didn't realize what was really important; now I do. The deep feeling that grew inside me since his birth has created in me a strong sense of responsibility and the commitment to doing my best every day, this being one more reason to say that Matthew is the most influential person in my life.

It was the day that my son was born, that, a deep change started inside of me. In that moment I knew that everything would be different. Life would become more difficult and demand more from me than anything else before, but the strong feeling that was growing in me was giving me strength that I had never had before. Matthew was a premature baby with complications at birth. His lungs didn't work properly. Having been born at 32 week of pregnancy, his lungs weren't mature enough to breathe on their own. Therefore, he required life support during his first twenty one days where his underweight, 1,500 gr, and his high levels of biliruben made the situation more complicated. In effect, I had to face the risk of losing him and together we lived the toughest moment of our lives.

Matthew's birth demanded big sacrifices from my husband and me. It meant having to leave my studies and dedicate my time to take care of my son 24-7. Meanwhile, my husband had to work very hard in order to pay for all the medical bills. Even Matthew had to do his part; he had to struggle for his life during those twenty one days.

As a result, it created an unbreakable link among the three of us. Those first days of my son's life were filled with uncertainty, but they taught me much about love and those lessons will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Without a doubt, the most important thing that Matthew has given to me is the opportunity of knowing the real meaning of what love is. From my new way of seeing life, love is total and selfless giving, where there are no limits or barriers. Love is given without needing anything in return. Before anything, love is peace and happiness. Until, his birth, my perception about love was shallow and maybe wrong, but with him I have learned that love is an act which is better enjoyed when given. Love is the purest feeling that a being can enjoy. Love brings brightness to your life and Matthew gives that to me. I can't think of any other person that has influenced my life this much. Since Matthew came into my life, he is and will be the one who makes me a better human being, more sensible and conscious about what life is and how love can change anyone. No one could influence me more than he has; he is the most important person in my life, my son, Matthew.

After four years as a mother, I can say that not just the smartest or oldest adults can influence or teach others. Although my son is a little one, he shows me every day how powerful love is and how innocence, dependence and affection are feelings that can make positive changes in a person. In effect, today I have a clear idea what my mission is and also I know that I have a big responsibility that I cannot fail. I feel the commitment of giving back the many things that Matthew has given to me which have helped me to grow. My mission is to help Matthew become a great man. I hope his children can teach him about what's important in life, just as he taught me.


















































































































Welcome!

Biography

Here you'll learn all about me: my interests and hobbies, the people in my family, my pets, and more. I've even included a list of my favorite links to other sites.

On this home page, I'll introduce myself and talk about my reasons for wanting a web site. I might put a picture of myself on this page...or just a picture that I especially like.

Here I might add an entry whenever I make an update to my web site. Where appropriate, I'll include a link to the change. For example:

11/1/01 - Added new photos to Vacation Album page.

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