Tag Archives: student writing

All Write!

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Literacy Review Volume 15

Another year has passed, and the NYU Gallatin Writing Program has released a new volume of the Literacy Review, which is a collection of writing from adult education students throughout New York City. Last week, one student from the Adult Literacy Program read her story at a special party to celebrate the new Literacy Review’s publication at NYU. Her name is Larysa Frankiv (pictured above), and she is in Professor June Foley‘s writing class here at University Settlement. Read her brief bio and her story below:

Larysa Frankiv was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and raised in Lviv, Ukraine. She has a son, Vitaly. “1001 Letters” is about her husband, Lyubomyr, who died in an accident when they were both 26, and their son was not yet two. Larysa Frankiv studies at University Settlement’s advanced writing class, where Michael Hunter is the director of the Adult Literacy Program. She enjoys many sports, especially running.



Larysa Frankiv

My Dear Lovely Friend,

I wrote you thousands of letters, and I will never stop. I have never sent them to you. I don’t know where you are. How are you? All the words in the world cannot explain what I want to say to you. I just want to tell you SORRY. Sorry for what? . . . I love you. I hate you. I miss you. Please give me one chance to see and feel you.

Who you are to me, I don’t know. However, I clearly see you every night; in my dreams, you are still with me. You are with me there, but you are so far away. I can’t reach you. I can’t hug and kiss you. I can’t tell you anything. I need you. I cannot breathe without you. I can’t live without you.

You know what? I hate you so much. You kill me every morning. When I wake up alone, I realize it was a nightmare again. I will be reborn one night. I will walk with you in my dream. I won’t ask you for anything. I will have this moment. You will be just mine.

Please don’t disappear. You are my soul and heart. If you disappear, I will disappear . . . Please come to me every night. I wait. I cannot live without you or with you. I am sorry. I couldn’t. I could. I cannot. I couldn’t. Forgive me . . .

To read the Literacy Review, click here.

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More Health Stories

Our 3A and 3P students recently wrote about their encounters with doctors, hospitals, and ill health. Enjoy one below and then take the quiz to test your understanding.


Noelia Cardoso

The Scorpion

When I was ten years old, I was in my bed at midnight when I felt a bite. I started to cry a lot because it hurt. My mom came to me and asked what happened, and I said a scorpion stung me. Then she tried to find the scorpion. It was in my blanket.

My leg started to hurt. My mouth and my throat started itching and then I started to throw up. I continued crying and my dad said we had to go to the hospital immediately because I looked so bad. My father tried to find a car to take us to the hospital because it was so far away. I can remember it was so difficult for my father to find a car. Finally one neighbor wanted to do the favor and took us to the hospital.

In the middle of the ride I could not breathe. It was so difficult for me to breathe. It took more than ten minutes to arrive at the hospital. My mom tried to talk to me but I couldn’t speak. I think moms are so brave most of the time. We pass through many troubles in our lifetime.

Finally I needed six antibiotics because my body didn’t respond to the first antibiotics. My mom thought that day I was born again because I almost died that day.

In my town it’s normal to see scorpions everywhere, especially when the wind is strong. We have to take care in the house, especially in the bed. You don’t know if you can find a scorpion when you use the bed to take a nap. That’s why I love New York because we don’t have to worry about scorpions in the bed.

To read more, click here.

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Health Stories

Classes 3A and 3P have penned more stories, this time about health and health problems and going to the hospital and the doctor. Read one below and then take the quiz afterwards to test your comprehension.

Shu Fang Chen


When I was pregnant with my son in 1995, I was in a clothing shop one day when I got a stomachache. I called my husband to take me to the hospital. After an hour I saw my doctor. She said my son was almost coming out. But after one day my son did not come out, so the whole night my stomach hurt.

The next morning the doctors said I needed to have surgery. When I was in the operating room, the doctors got everything ready, but then there was a power outage. I was lying on the operating table and it was very cold. Nobody cared about me. After an hour the doctors told me there wouldn’t be surgery now, so I needed to give birth by myself.

When I heard the news, I was sad. I was unlucky. I was in the operating room for three hours giving birth to my son. Afterwards I felt very cold. When I went back to my hospital room, my mother gave me two quilts, but I still felt cold and very tired. The nurse told me not to go to sleep, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open because I hadn’t slept for two days. My mother sat next to me and kept talking. Now I know mother is the greatest.

To read more, click here.


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More Food, Glorious Food!


Here’s another food story for you from Class 3P. Remember to take the quiz when you’re finished!

Bitter Melon

Nian Ci He

Bitter melon is a vegetable. It is green and the shape is oval. Chinese medicine says bitter melon is a healthy food. It can help clean your stomach.

I remember when I was a child, my mom usually cooked bitter melon once a week because my dad had a habit of smoking. My mom thought bitter melon could help detox his body. She knew my brother and I didn’t like bitter melon because it tastes very bitter, so she cooked it in different ways, like bitter melon fried eggs, bitter melon braised ribs, bitter melon pig bone soup, etc., but we still didn’t like to eat it.

One time, we only had bitter melon braised ribs and rice for dinner. I didn’t like to eat bitter melon, but I didn’t have any choice, so I just ate ribs, one piece, two pieces, three pieces… My dad looked at me. He was angry. He said, “Bitter melon is good for you! You should eat it! Try it!” I was very afraid of my father, so I had to take a piece of bitter melon into my mouth, but I really did not like the taste, too bitter. Eating, eating, my tears flowing out.

Later my dad saw me eat so hard, and he said, “Forget it, do not eat it” and told my mother to put some other dishes out. When I saw the other dishes, my sadness turned to happiness.

Now every time I eat bitter melon, I think of this thing as a child, and I think of my dad. I miss him a lot.


To read more, click here.

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Food, Glorious Food!


Classes 3A & 3P are at it again with some deliciously enjoyable stories about food. Read one below and take the quiz afterwards to test your comprehension:


Li Ping Chen

Long, long ago, when I was five or six, my father or mother used to get breakfast ready for me, and then they went to work.

One day, as usual, my father made noodles for me. The problem was there were too many noodles. The bowl was bigger than my head. I thought I really couldn’t finish such a bowlful of noodles. So I made a stupid decision.

After my father left home, I stood at the window, and looked at my father until he had passed out of sight. I got a chair and climbed up on it, and I poured all the noodles out of the window.

A few hours later, my father came back while I was watching TV. He shouted at me and spanked me.

A few days later, I knew that while I poured the noodles out of the window, my father’s leader was going to work. He lived on the first floor, and we lived on the fourth floor.

This story tells us that if you really want to destroy crime, you should trust your bathroom but not the window. I am still repentant and in pain.


To read more, click here.

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More Money Stories

Here’s another money story, this time from Class 3P. Read it, take the quiz afterwards, read more!

My Debit Card

Noelia Cardoso

When I first got my ATM/debit card, I tried to use it many times, but I was very scared because I had no experience in this method of paying with a card. I went to the Rite Aid Pharmacy. I was ready to pay for my things and I was waiting for my turn, but when I had to use my debit card I didn’t know how to swipe my card. But the cashier helped me and was patient with me. Then she asked me, “Would you like cash back?” I didn’t understand but I said “Yes’’ and she gave me forty dollars and my things. I was so happy that she gave me money.

When I was at home, I told my husband and he said the money was not free. It was from my checking account. It was a big surprise for me. I was confused. I thought I wouldn’t use my card again. Then every time I went shopping I always paid with cash, but one time I didn’t have the amount in cash, so I had to use my debit card again. After that I continued to use my card.


To read more, click here.

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