HSE Class Finishes with Success!

Not everyone has the chance to finish high school in the United States or in their country. For students looking for the option to later enroll in college or just want to strengthen their resume, HSE (High School Equivalency) is a good option.

Led by our amazing counselor, Chris, HSE students worked hard this summer and finished up their class this week having learned a lot. Specifically, they improved their reading, writing and math skills through the content areas of science, social studies and literature.

We wish all of our students good luck and can’t wait to see what their next move will be.

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Subject-Verb Agreement

Singular subjects take singular verbs and plural subjects take plural verbs.

Here are some common errors:

1. There are two or more subjects, so you think the verb needs to be plural.

2. There is more than one noun before the verb, so you make the verb agree with the wrong one.

3. There is a pronoun in the sentence that makes it confusing whether to use a singular or plural verb.

Examples:

1. The cat and dog are friends.

Cat and dog are singular, but together they form a plural subject.

2. The keys in the door are stuck.

Door is a singular noun, but is not the subject.

3. Any of them is fine for use in the rain.

Any refers to just one object in a bunch.

Try It:

1. Friday and Saturday ____ my favorite days of the week.

a. is

b. are

2. The library with many computers ____ a good place to study.

a. is

b. are

3. Communities with a park ____ important to have.

a. is

b. are

4. I will take whichever bus ____ first.

a. come

b. comes

Click Read More to see answers.

Read More »
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Advocating for Adult Literacy

This week our students took part in an advocacy campaign for increased state funding for adult literacy programs. Our students met with Alex Flood from Assemblymember Patricia Fahy’s office and Patrick Cronin from Senator Daphne Jordan’s office and talked about what effect their classes have had on their lives. Screenshots from the meetings are above.

Additionally many of our students made short videos to be share on social media talking about the important of their English classes – watch one example below or visit us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to watch more.

A special thank you to the New York City Coalition for Adult Literacy as well the University Settlement’s Advocacy Director, Veronica Wong, for helping our staff and students prepare for this campaign!

We’re asking for $25 million in state funding per year for adult literacy classesto learn more, click here!

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Remember for the Third Time

Here’s yet another story from Remember, a collection of student writing from our Advanced Writing Class taught by NYU Gallatin Professor June Foley.

To Madison, Who Asked Why I Write

Marília Valengo

Today, I write mainly to breathe. It wasn’t always like this, or maybe it was, but only now I realize the importance, for me, of writing. After some time, even things that one doesn’t choose end up being part of one’s life. Therefore, today, I would say I write to keep myself alive. I recognize how bold this statement sounds. I don’t like to admit the seriousness of this subject. It sounds a little desperate, making a confession that strong. I’ve never thought of myself as someone radically committed to a “life or death” idea, but I guess I’ve gotten to a point where I need, once and for all, to rely on something. That is writing. All this nonsense makes me think that I also write to understand life; not only life, but existence.

Yet, saying I just want to understand is very vague; I don’t really recognize the deep meaning behind it. I am not searching for words just to translate whatever I am feeling or seeing. It’s more like modeling, like an engineer does. The more I think about words, the less I see them divided between sound and meaning. To me, words are pieces from a Lego box, available to any child who wants to play and build whatever they desire. I like being this child, writing things and creating possibilities.

I also write to control my own story. It’s my narrative; I’m the agent behind the facts. It’s ironic when, at some point, I realize that as much as I try to keep things organized, I always end up at a new starting point, knowing nothing. Sometimes, I feel like I’m becoming crazy. On the other hand, without words, I would never stay sane. It’s so contradictory. If only I was a little bit more succinct. The thing is, nothing moves me more than blank pieces of paper, a little notebook with pens and pencils. When I read a good sentence, when I learn a new figure of speech, when I see writing so good it makes my mind stop working, I feel this love invade me. It’s like I am facing the primordial, the basic goodness of us all. I just want to do the same.

Here in New York, I have been writing specifically to not lose track of who I really am. As an immigrant, I find it more and more complicated to locate myself while I roll from one culture to another, shaking the moss off my identity’s surface whenever a new aspect suddenly appears. I have also been writing to reconceptualize what culture, belonging, longing, and loving are.

If I had to choose just one answer, though, I would say I write mainly because I love words. I love words until the point that they are not necessary. I love words because even better than them is silence, but without the first I would never be able to know the second. So I write to maybe one day run out my need to say things.

To read more, click here.

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Remember Again

File:Triples-ma-jiang.JPG - Wikimedia Commons

Here’s another story from Remember, a collection of student writing from our Advanced Writing Class taught by NYU Gallatin Professor June Foley:

Crazy Family Time

Qiao Zhuang (Grace) Zhang

       When my husband came back from work at night, I felt like I was facing a formidable enemy. I put on gloves, wore my mask, carried my two-percent diluted bleach water, and sprayed it on his hands, hat, coat, pants, shoes, lunch bag, etc. And then as he entered the house and went to take a shower, I sprayed everything he could possibly have touched. I alerted my kids to keep a social distance from him. I doubted if it would be okay for him to eat at the table, or if he should just stay in his room without coming out. As time went by, I accepted this new normal. If things happen, they happen. I can’t be like a crazy spinning top, sanitizing all day.

       According to my sixth sense, I got a mahjong set before our quarantine. I taught Jason to play; he picked it up quickly. Irene was like a scholar; she asked too many questions to learn. Mahjong is usually played by four people. As my husband was blessed to have shortened his business hours, I asked him to join us last night. He said he wanted to sleep after eating. Jason was watching his screen on the couch. I told Jason that his father was lying; he wanted to lie in bed watching TV and his phone simultaneously. I asked Jason to set up the cushion carpet on the table, and I poured out mahjong cards from a box. I said we would play four games, so each one of us could possibly win once. Three of us sat down and started to stack the cards in front of us. Irene was still on her Apple computer while texting on her phone. Father said she studied hard to get into the Ivy League. I said two Apples would kick her doctor’s degree away. She finally joined us.

       Father won the first game. I won the second. Irene won the third game. So we hoped Jason would win the fourth, and everybody could switch back to their own screen time. Father put down his cards and claimed he won again. I examined his cards, and found he had too many twos. According to my knowledge, he didn’t win. But he insisted. I took a picture, and shared it with my friend groups. Immediately, they responded that he didn’t win. We continued the game, and I won. I said we wouldn’t stop the game until Jason could win once. Irene won the fifth game. I asked Jason if he didn’t win because he didn’t get the special card. He said he didn’t. I said we would change the rule for him. We would change the special card until he got one. I drank a little. I joked a lot. I observed I had less self-repression after drinking. I enjoyed the freedom of being half-drunk. Jason said, “You’re high.” I believe all of us will remember this special family time, as I don’t recall many four-people moments in my married life. I wish we could create more love moments in our future.

To read more, click here.

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