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Student stories


Welcome!  Thank you for checking out our student stories.  These posts are blog entries created by students in the Literacy Council's blogging class.  


While some are practically experts at it, many of our students have not blogged before.  In the blogging class they compose their thoughts in writing and get feedback from each other and from the teacher.  They also get practice using a PC and web browser to type up their work, use email, find interesting blogs, and leave comments. 


In our blogging class, we are focused on communicating through writing. Our blogs are not perfect, and that's OK!  The main skill we are building in this class is the courage to express ourselves.  Yes, we talk about grammar and vocabulary too - but mostly, we talk and write about things that interest us. 



Can't Wait Until the Next Session




By Vicky Yuan

Today is the last blogging class of this session. I love this class and can't wait till the next session starts.
As I said before the blogging was a challenge for me but I want to overcome it. It helps me to practice my English and I know I will get better and better. This morning I was irresolute to came to the class because of the weather and I was kind of sleepy that I woke up very early, but I told  myself there's no 

excuse and I have to come to class. And I made it. I'm so thankful to teacher Sara who had been taught us for several weeks. Thank you so much.

Winter Activities in Fairbanks


By Vanessa Silverio

In winter Fairbanks has winter activities you can do: dog sledding, watching the auroras borealis, snowboarding/skiing, sledding, ice fishing, tubing in the snow, riding in train, hiking in snow, visiting the Santa Claus House, Chena Hot Spring and more.  The first place I recommend you go to visit is the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center to check the different activities you can do.

I am from Puerto Rico and I didn’t have the opportunity to do any of those activities before. All those activities are unique and you can have a lot of fun.  The dog sledding is amazing if you have the opportunity do it during the auroras season.  The dogs can pull you past the trees and snow.  It’s amazing how they follow instructions and they are trained for that. 

I remember the first time when I saw the auroras was beautiful.  They changed the colors and dance in the sky.  If you are a sport person, doesn’t matter your age, you can have fun snowboarding, skiing or tubbing.  One of more famous place here is the Santa Claus House.  Entry to his house is free and you can meet with Santa.  That experience is priceless.  Also you can drink a hot drink, eat delicious fudge (they have a huge variety) and buy some souvenir.

In Chena Hot Spring you can do a lot of activities: outdoor natural hot springs rock lake, visit the ice museum, watch the auroras, dog sled and more.  Give you the opportunity to create good memories in Fairbanks, Alaska.    

Moralities and Hunting Trophies 


By Piotr Oprych

Often when I stay in many hunting stores, I see on the walls trophies and the skin of hunted animals. All these gains serve as decorations. Fine. It is most desirable that our salons and shop halls decorate the gains. It has a specific climate, but... seriously?


Recently, I wrote about respect for our prey. Is it really necessary to publicly present her to society? I do not think that getting food was some achievement that we can boast about. Although we should know the stories of other professions, and other traditions that accompany of those works, for example… fishermen. The fisherman many years ago sailed in the morning to the deep and large sea, and his boat disappeared behind the horizon. It was not the whole day. He was fishing. However, in the evening he returned to his city, where the residents waited on the beach to assess his prey. In this way, the fisherman could get respect, or he could be ridiculed. Yes! It was risky. This work taught the humility that so many people lack today. Sometimes the fisherman would come back with nothing. His ship was empty. People had many questions, but fisherman answered just one word: Nothing or empty. Nothing was caught today. But when it was a plentiful harvest, as in Ernest Hemingway's famous novel: "Old Man and the Sea", the fisherman's reputation grew and people applauded him. This, however, was only food. It is a very rare phenomenon that a fishermen prepare a trophy from a fish.


In my opinion, the preparation of a trophy is bad. Yes, a man can hunt an animal for food purposes and later prepare a trophy. However, we can go to the extreme. Over time, it may turn out that the goal is not the meat, but the trophy. This applies to everyone - both hunters and fishermen. It's very tempting, especially nowadays. I can have something that I can boast of, and people under my picture will give me a lot of "likes", like on Facebook. People for those "likes" which in fact mean nothing, can do a lot of foolishness or madness, which in reality leads only to misfortune.

Coffee Shops in Fairbanks

By Vanessa Silverio

I started to drink coffee after I moved from Puerto Rico to Oklahoma, because I need to keep my body warm.  After 9 years I’m a coffee lover.  I enjoy trying different coffee shops around Fairbanks.  Here in Fairbanks we have a good diversity of coffee shops. You can find 2 different concepts:  drive thru and small coffee shops.  I was in shock when I saw over 20 smaller drive thru coffee shops.  If you are in a hurry I recommend you try them.  They offer you sandwiches, pastries, smoothies and good variety of coffees. My favorite of the kind is Bucko’s Coffee Shop.  The employees always receive the clients with a big smile, the service is fast, military discount, good prices and they have a free reward program.  If you have more time, maybe you can visit a local coffee shop.  Here we have creative, unique and relax coffee shops.  My favorites are Venue and Little Owl Cafe.  Venue Coffee Shop is a cute clean place with interesting art works.  They change the arts frequently with local artist art works.  Little Owl is unique and very charm.  They have a good vegan foods/desserts and good variety of coffees.  If you are a coffee lover like me, you definitely need to go out and try them.  

About Audrey Hepburn

By Henghui Pan

Audrey Hepburn is a famous movie star in the world. I thought she is a beautiful and smart girl. Last month  I read a book about her life that was very interesting. When she was 5 years old her father left her. This event has great influence on her, even her whole life. She liked dancing when she was in child, but unfortunately she didn’t have a good figure. She was lucky because she had lively personality. A film director liked her and chose her to play in  a movie. The movie name is The Lavender Hill Mob (1951).

A Place to Learn


By Vicky Yuan


Literacy council of Alaska is the best place for English learner who want to study English and improve English. This is a great place that has very good teachers and different level classes. If I would have known about this place earlier,I could learn more English. I'm really grateful to the teachers here who are tolerant,responsible and friendly. I've been studying  here for almost 9 months,I have improved my English a lot. It's so wonderful to have blogging class every Tuesday. It really can help us to improve our writing.And writing is a big challenge for me because I don't write frequently in English in   my life. I'll keep studying to reach my goals.

Activities in Fairbanks


By Vanessa Silverio

When I moved to Fairbanks my first impression was the people here don’t have a lot of things to do.  Fairbanks is located faraway from Anchorage; it’s considered a small city in the interior of Alaska.  As soon I had the opportunity I started to do my research about what things I can do or visit in Fairbanks.  I saw a promo in Facebook about the Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center has a free tour around the more important and interest places here.  Princess Cruise Company gave us the ride and the driver talked about the Fairbanks history.  I remember our first stop was the Pipeline, I had never listen about that pipe what transport gas across Alaska.  Then we drove by College Road and showed us the Farmer Market.  He told us we can buy good handmade things, fresh veggies/fruits and taste delicious food.  The last stop was University of Alaska Fairbanks. We saw different animals what the university use for study and learn about their behavior.  We passed for the botanic garden, it is amazing and beautiful.  The tour duration was 1.5 hour.  After I went to that tour I started to explore this city.  I enjoy visiting new places and live new adventures.  Now I share all the places I visited here.  After I shared my photos in my Facebook and Instagram, a lot of friends got interested to know more information of Alaska. 

Dichotomy of Hunting Animals 

By Piotr Oprych

Recently, I wrote about hunting. Yes, it’s a great way to spend free time, but… not always. Sometimes people hunt not because to eat their prey or share it with their friends. Sometimes, unreasonable people shoot to shoot. They kill to kill for entertainment and relaxation. It’s very irresponsible! There are examples in history where people killed animals for a bad purpose. Shooting just to kill is “the top of the iceberg”.


Hunting was organized not only animals such as bears, reindeers or moose. Also hunted on the elephant and lions in Africa. They received valuable skin or fangs, and the rest were left to scavengers. This is very bad! Every hunter should (while hunting) first and foremost respect for nature. Otherwise, we will destroy everything we have received from the mother of nature. Hunting is not fun. Being hunters obliges you to follow the same rules as our ancestors many years ago, because people hunted from the beginning of civilization. I think ever longer. Before the first cities were built, people were able to produce weapons and use it to defend and attack. The oldest wall paintings depict images of people hunting and their respect for their prey. Before the states and religions arose, they thought apologizing animals must kill them. This wonderful relationship to nature gives us a beautiful example.

Rugby in Alaska

By Luis Prado

Hello everybody,

I’m going to talk about “the rugby in Alaska”. I have 4 years playing Rugby around the world in the international tournaments in very nice stadiums. Alaskan teams are at unique level not because of technique of playing but their special nature of their fields. It is so amazing. I can feel something different when I play there. I can smell the fresh air, which is the most important fact in sports game is energizing. Another good thing is that there are animals – Bears and Moose – around the grounds. It is so awesome. During camping at the hills and playing the rugby games here in Fairbanks, I recognize; how important is the environmental conditions are! Though the level of playing is not that high, I just enjoy Play + Life in Alaska.

The military play it just as their hobbies. However, the truth is though I was used to hard training for the international tournament, I came here to relax. After every game there is a big party with beers; the name is “Third time” the real game has two times. My team is “Ivory Jacks of Fairbanks”. We practice every Tuesday and Thursday (6:00-8:00) at UAF field during the summer. There are women’s and men’s team. We need more players for the next season. If want to join the team, please contact the team through Facebook page” Fairbanks men’s Rugby”. Healthy hobbies of the people.

My Summer Garden

By Henghui Pan

This year I planted a few chili peppers. I hope they can grow like last few years. I gave some fertilizer and watering every day. But after one and half months, they didn’t have many flowers. Then everybody said this year the weather too cool, so plants and flowers were not growing well.  Until September I just had a few piece chili peppers. Made me thought people who lived long time ago, some year if the weather were not good for plants grew that made may people died. Today we have been used modern science and technology. So we don’t worry too much. 


Entertainment and Food

By Vicky Yuan

In Fairbanks there's only one Japanese Hibachi restaurant called Shogun where is at 4005  Geist road. It's a really fun place where you can have lunch or dinner. I said it's a fun place because once you made a order and chef will prepare the food and cooking front of you that is different to other restaurant. The hibachi table was big enough

for a entire family to be sit. Especially if you have a birthday party this is the right place you need to go and celebration.


The food is really good and plenty,the price is reasonable. Before the chef starts to cook, you can see a little show and while the chef cooking they will interact with customer the dinner time is more busy than lunch time. The dinner menu has more options, but the lunch price is really good and you still get plenty food. If you never been there before, you should go and have a try.

The most busy time during the year is winter time,because there's a lot of tourist group from China, Japan and Korea. So if you want go on weekend you better to make a appointment. So once you get there you don't have to wait, and maybe need to wait a little bit if really busy at that time. It's a good restaurant you worth to spend money there.


Fairbanks Yoga Studio

By Elena Fursova


This time I would like to write about my yoga experience in Fairbanks.

When I came to Alaska 1 year and 6 months ago everything was new for me. I changed country and it means other language, other culture and even different climate.  Also, when I came I had not a permission for work I was bored and sad. I tried figure out what to do in my new life. I tried to found something what could be habitual for me. In Ukraine I use to yoga, not too much but enough for understanding main idea and be ready for most asana. I tried a few yoga studios in Fairbanks and decided to choose Fairbanks Yoga Studio. You could ask me why. It is good question.  I have a few reason to stay here and can share with you.

First, and it is very important, the atmosphere is comfortable, peaceful space to relax and enjoy static stretches or built heat and sweat to a vinyasa flow. It is necessary as for yoga and for me as person and for woman too.

Also, in the studio Jacie, the owner and other instructors are friendly, kind, polite and professional. Everybody can explain how to breathe right, show and correct asana. Everybody has different style and you can choose your favorite one.

At last, the studio is clean and inviting, there are plenty of mats and has good location!


My Napa Cabbages

By Henghui Pan

I like to plant vegetables in the summer. This year I bought 6 pieces Napa Cabbage seedling from Ann’s which I heard they sell very good plant seedlings. I gave some fertilizer. First week, they grew up ok. I watered every day, after one month they grew up very well. It made me feel good. Every day I saw them changing just like my baby. In August, some of my Napa Cabbages were very big, but some were not big. Later I found out some of them were eaten by insects, because I didn’t give some pesticides. But one of the Napa Cabbages was 6 LB. I was very excited. I used it and made some Kimchi . So I enjoy planting vegetables in summer.

My Favorite Grocery Store

By Vicky Yuan

My favorite grocery store in Fairbanks is called oriental market where you can buy many types of Asian food there. I like the store because they have sell seafood and fresh vegetables, seasonings, Asian traditional food and so much stuff  that you can’t find at the other stores.                                        

There were several Asian stores in Fairbanks, but compare to them, I prefer shopping at oriental market. There’s more options and the price was reasonable.

Not only Asian people like shopping at there, I heard now many American people they shopping there often.

I highly recommended if you like to buy various Asian food, you should go to there.

My Favorite Restaurant

By Corina Zhu

I have lived Fairbanks for 7 years. There are many Japanese restaurants in Fairbanks, but FUJI is the best one in town. They are on the college road. I always bring my family went to there, sometimes twice a week. My daughter is very picky eater, but every time she likes the food. They have a lot of choices especially sushi one called yummy yummy roll. Also you can request any special roll not on the menu. When we were FUJI every time my daughter is very excited, I feel very relaxed, because we always had amazing food.


By Sunghee Hwang

This year, I met new friend who attends in our church at bible study group. Her house is close from my house. I can walk to her house. Our relationship has started since end of March, 2018. I was mama’s girl. My mom passed away almost 8 years before. I need to MOM … GOD already prepared my mom for me. She became my Mom.


She has lived in Alaska for 60 years. She came from California. When she was 22 years, She came to AK, for a MISSION with Sue, her friend. Then they went to California, they made a decision to move to AK. When we talk, we usually laugh a lot. After lunch, I usually go to her house. She teaches English, America, bible, common sense, culture, food…..I am a lucky person. Thank you Jesus!!! Sometimes she gives me a ride to a good place. She want to show me Alaska good view.

A Book Review

By Elena Fursova

Last year I have had a trip to Ukraine and have had in an airport of Frankfurt, Germany a few hours before my transfer fly. To have nice time with my coffee and croissant I bought a book. The book caught my eyes wonderful picture on a blue background and French name by author.


I start read and could not to stop. Book was written simple but intelligent, smart, elegant and accessible. And what I like the most she wrote about an experience her life. She wrote the store how can change life if you change country, culture and style of living. And it happened not always as you expected. But has not a situation what has not exit. If you have a good family, real friends, your one goals you can found a solution from any hard situation. Author, Mirell Gilliano in her book French women never get fat describes as she move from France to USA and get fat from other style of live and how she found her decision. The book is not only about diet. The book is about culture, countries and how to assimilate.

I could recommend the book for everybody!

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