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(Thanks to Joyce Robertson from the Atlanta English Institute for sharing these stories by Brian Hardin, Level 2, and Morgana de Castro e Borges, Scholar's Course, Reading/Writing 3 & 4, instructor Rochelle Zimmer.)

I have a precious opportunity
by Brian Hardin
     I graduated from university at the same time that I was employed at the Deutsche bank. I thought that I had good luck because it was hard to get a job in those days. All my friends envied me, and my parents were proud of me.
     I worked hard during those five years. I soon won recognition from my boss. But, I became ambitious. I wanted to study more about finance systems. Actually, I had planned to study abroad as soon as I graduated university. But, suddenly I joined my company. I had to give up my plan.
     I planned to attend evening university. But, it was not as easy as thinking about it. I thought English was the most important part of my job position. So finally I came to America. I will become a finance professional. I have to study hard.
     I'm going to attend a university in America after I finish my language course. I will do my best so I will not regret my decision.

The decision
by Morgana de Castro e Borges
     In this essay I am going to describe my decision to come to the USA and also what my plans are for the future
     When I was a child I was prepared by my family to get married and to take care of the house. I had never imagined choosing the way I live right now.
     After my graduation from law school I felt completely lost and had never thought about getting married and going to the USA. Suddenly, I got married and decided to follow a different way from what I was prepared for.
     Right now things are happening better than I was expecting. I and my husband are opening our possibilities to become more professional in our areas of work, studying the English language and preparing to get  master's degrees in business for my husband and law for me.
     My life is not bad right now, and I am sure we are doing our best to have a better life in the future. However, things do not happen exactly in the way that we would like. In this moment I miss my family too much, but now it's necessary to believe that the distance, my missing my family and all the other difficulties are for a noble reason.
     Finally, I heard this morning an interesting story from a friend of mine, which will give a positive lesson: "...when I worked in the jungle I learned about tolerance, when I lived in the snow I learned about patience and for the marathons, I am learning dedication. These are the three secrets to become a winner..."