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* Username: xkumikoxlovesxaxkitsune

* Title of Story: As different as they seem to be...

* I haven't actually cared much about the differences in people until I started attending high school. I went to a new school, and although I'm used to transferring schools during my elementary years, this time it was all different. It was like being transported into a world so different from how I perceived it.

My schoolmates' personalities, for one, are already an example of the diversity I wasn't much aware of before. I've learned that some could be really mean, some could be sincerely kind, and some could be great pretenders. I've been bullied for having a brace for my spine. Well, at least that's what I think the main reason is. It was by this time that I've learned that people have their own perceptions and doesn't always see you based on what you want them to think of you. But as time passed, the bullying toned down, until it stopped. And that's when I realized that there are quite a lot of things we all have in common.

We all make mistakes. We've been hurt by others. We've hurt others too, whether we are conscious of it or not. We've all felt pain, happiness, laziness, sleepiness, hunger, impatience, anger, and sometimes the sense of being alone and lost. We're bound to make mistakes every now and then, but one thing's for sure---we all have this ability to change.

Now that I'm in my final year of high school, I've known more about my batchmates. And as one of the writers for our yearbook, I've realized that we all have our own share of stories of happiness, embarassment, heartbreak, love, or just pure randomness. And if we look into these personal stories, we'd get to see that they are all quite similar to each other, only the characters and how the events happened is what distinguishes them.

As different as they seem to be for us, we are all similar in one way or the other. And why not? We are all human, and we're not perfect. Only the God above is. So we should all learn to respect each others' differences, and understand that they also have feelings, which is just normal for a human being like me and you.
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ok si it is my last sttory i ll post since the contest would be close

* yichem
*art in my high school!!!!
* in my high there is a lot of people from other religion,place and ,culture.so with the time i maded a lot of friend ,rthe thing im like to do with them is to share my art with them ,we currently share art with us we try to change tips and currrently learn about us trick to perform our art so it change me a lot my way to draw from ugly draw to amazing artwork ,so i learned that no mather where u live art is a language to talk and it is important to keep this for a better futur it could change the way u live and it would be more greater it could maby stop war by communicating by this unique language arts!!!
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Hey hey everyone!

Thanks for continuing to share your awesome stories! Sorry I am a bit behind on getting the prize out, but not to worry - we're all caught up now!

Here are the winning posts for January 22-23rd!
Page 35: Post:15
* Elyarne
* A Lesson Learnt
* Despite being of very white heritage, I have seen my share of diversity and consider myself diverse in my own right.

I am an Australian. I grew up thinking I understood diversity and equality. I live in a land of mixed cultures. I have always tried my best to treat others equally. I have often complained when others do not do the same to me. You see, I am physically disabled. I have a brachial plexus injury or BPI, the specific injury that has led to my erbs palsy. This means my right shoulder got stuck as I was being born, the doctor pulled too hard and I ended up with a snapped collar bone and damaged nerves. Though bones heal, nerves do not. As a result, I have limited movement in my right arm. Now I have recovered almost all of my movement, but I still cannot move my arm in certain directions and I get shoulder pain often. I wear a special sleeve made by Second Skin - made to help straighten my arm - every day, which is the only thing that shows less observant people I have a problem.

Despite all this, I never truly understood diversity or equality until early last year when at the age of fourteen I became mentally ill. I am not comfortable revealing the nature of my illness, and it is irrelevant to the story besides. Anyways, I was admitted to hospital involuntarily under the Mental Health Act. I was kept there unwillingly for several weeks, and then stayed there voluntarily for longer - leading to a total hospital stay of two months.

Over those two months I was locked in a ward with other mentally ill adolescents. They were a truly diverse group. None of them had exactly the same problems as another. They were often from different cultural backgrounds, of different sexual orientations, and of different ages. I often did not get along with them, mostly due to my illness and theirs, but also because of my own prejudices towards them I had not realised I had. I believed myself above them, for they had malfunctioning brains and I, to my mind, did not.

As my health improved, I realised something. They were all just people. They were all unique, with personalities that were entirely their own - not that of their various problems or backgrounds. They were and are my equals. They are your equals.

The only reason this group of people have been so set apart from others is their health. This is beyond their control! Do not consider an ill or disabled person to be less capable of strength. A person is more than their health. Likewise, a person is more than their race, their sexual preference, their appearance. We are all people, and all people are equals.

Life throws challenges at you to teach you what you need to learn. These are the things I have learnt through adversity, and I feel more comfortable within myself now that have gone through all that. It is true I have a lot to learn yet, but I now feel ready for what comes.

Page 34: Post:10
* AKaii-Bra
* Love in Diversity
* Human kind is known for seeking knowledge in all aspects of life, so diversity is treated no different. Growing up in the culture melting pot known as Miami, I have always been surrounded by people of different races and religions. I enjoyed hearing their stories, or learning their opinions on topics; just because it was something new and enlightening.

However, in my first year of high school, I met someone who truly made me love what diversity can create. I sat down in my 3rd period Honors Biology class, and waited for the first day to begin. Watching people get sorted by name, I find myself sitting next to a Pakistani boy who shyly looked at his desk. Being my outgoing self, I poked him in the side and giggled. I watched how he turned to me with wide eyes behind his black-rimmed glasses, and smiled introducing myself. He introduced himself back, and from then on we were always great friends. We embraced our differences and always enjoyed teaching the other of what we were brought up on. The more we shared, the closer we became. We were always open minded toward each other and had a clear understanding of our differences.

Since then we have been inseparable, and everyday I am thankful for meeting that nerdy Pakistani boy from Biology class -even more so, a few years later, when we became a couple on March 20th. Our diversity and desire to learn from each other has created a bond that I believe will not falter. Close to 4 years, and still going strong, I love my Pakistani partner; He is my living proof on how diversity has made my world a better place to be! emotion_kirakira

Page 36: Post: 9
* NaomiNaomi.

* Waiting.

* On the dawn of a new day, forty minutes to my Creative Writing class, I nonchalantly type away on my computer relaying my own MLK entry to this here contest. To my left, there sits a young, bedraggled Latina woman staring, almost mesmerized, at the open space near her thigh. Her foot shaking impatiently for her upcoming class. A young, preoccupied black man sits before me, concentrated mostly on his iPhone, blaring a hip-hop beat that permeates as a hum in my university's center lounge area. And I, a young, pale skinned American whose looks bear nothing to her Trinidadian parents, continues to type away without a care in the world.

Us three individuals know nothing of each -- not our hopes, our fears, our majors, or even our names. Our cultures are spread across this entire spanning world, each secluded to the land masses they call home. Yet, here we are, unknown, but well versed in an activity we know far too well. We're waiting. The three of us are preoccupied with other activities, yet with this single, mundane action, we are capable of tolerating each other. We respect each others space, grant each other the time we wish, and know the oncoming moment when one of us might get and leave will come (the gorgeous-eyed Hispanic woman just upped and left -- I loved her coat!).

There isn't any racial tongue lashing leaving our egos and self images bruised and pile of ouchies, there isn't any glares, awful gestures, or insistent trembling from irrational fears. We're doing as everyone does, waiting, and sharing a flowing moment of time until we have to eventually part ways from our silent and ambiguous company.

Page 36: Post:15
* Username - MissDotHacker
* Title of Story - Anthropology opened my eyes
* Content of story -

When I was in college I took an anthropology class not even sure what it was really. I was delighted when I found out I would get to study other cultures. It was thanks to this class that I started to realize the US was really the only culture that did not seem to value senior citizens. I took a hard look at myself and realized I never gave them much thought. Since I lived next to a senior center this bothered me a lot and I decided to go interact with these people. It was amazing, they all taught me a lot about life, and not only that but showed me that I have a lot to learn from other cultures. I have changed the way I look at senior citizens and I still go to nursing homes to interact with them.
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Thank you! Much congrats and love for others who have also told their stories. It was a gem reading everyone's experiences. x3
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Thank you! And good luck to everyone who posts <3 I enjoyed reading everyone's experiences ^.^
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Friends on Different Places
Most of my friends are from different places. They have taught me so much about their culture and country. Martin Luther King has made the United States a better place for people of all diversities.
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* Kirowyn Love
* Opening my Eyes and Stomach
* When I was growing up, I didn't live in a very diverse area. It was mostly Caucasian with one or two Black or Hispanic families. It was something that I didn't really notice until I went to college. The college I went to had SO many different students. My first dive into another culture took place there. A girl in one of my classes happened to be Japanese and invited me over to her room to hang out and have a bite to eat. She made one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted - rolled omelet. After just one bite, there was no turning back. I was in love with Japanese food. I started hanging out with more Japanese kids, and trying new things. This turned into me being curious about so many other kinds of foods - Indian, Spanish, German, Chinese, Hawaiian... the list goes on. I am so thankful that I went to such a diverse school so I could experience all of that!
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good job to the people who won dramallama
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Am I too late
* chocolate kingkong
* deliciously united
* hey there. i am in college, and yes, it is very stressful. when they say medical school takes your life, it's no exaggeration. but, they didn't say you can actually spark it up.

jordan is a dark guy, quite a homophobe, and loves porn; christine is the shortest girl, the friendliest, and the class president; johan is as tall as i am, curly, sings the wrong lyrics and has an overly-attached girlfriend; jared is the gay one, and the smartest and has turned jordan into accepting gays, although he only accepts the idea and does not really get involved; john is the one with the car, and a youth government official; charisse is the brunette from the province and the apple fanatic whom we call an istore owner; dessa is the long haired girl with glasses and is obsessed with animal print; and i am the guy who is always late, a horrible voice, and takes care of our projects.

that's eight people, all with a different character of his own. yet, in our own special way, we have come to attract each other to form what we call as "A-Team". Sitting at the back of the class, we have come to share some chit-chats and random comments from everybody. it's hard knowing everyone in a class. we get in, we get out, until after a brain racking exam, christine suggested, "hey, let's eat out somewhere!" charisse replied, "let's go! i know of this place uptown, it's cheap but it's really good!" and it's like the eight of us were the only hungry ones in the room.

it was amazing how that bad exam actually turned out into a good thing. it was only the first of the many eat-outs we had. from a barbeque house to a milk tea saloon to a farther floating restaurant, we share moments i never expected college would offer. we share the same love for food and music, despite our differences, we have come to love each other the way we are. although we are different, we somehow knew that our differences complemented each other. the stressful medical school? well, it is still stressful, but it makes you feel better after a food trip with these people.

and sorry i didn't use caps. have a good day!
* Tainted Tarts
* Occupational Therapy <3
*This would be my second entry, I do hope win this time since I didn't win the last time n.n

I am a student of occupational therapy, and because of that I am exposed to people with disabilities. I have been given the chance to learn that in the past, mentally ill people were maltreated and were treated as animals. It was sad to know how their illness was viewed as an irreversible sickness. Just because a part of their body and their genetics went out wrong, they are treated inhumanely.
Over the decades, progress has made these people to be accepted. This diversity with out abilities has actually opened up my perspective of the world and even if they didn't try doing anything to me, they have taught me valuable lessons.
First, that we are all humans despite our form and race and genetic codes. Second, we deserve as much love as we think we should and so does everyone else. Third, we take for granted the simplicity of life. the simple movements we do everyday as standing up and walking, could be so hard for others. Fourth, we should always take time to appreciate the gifts God has given to us because we tend to not notice them until we lose them.
Without doing anything they have turned my life into a better one, they have taught me lessons that I cannot only apply in the world of rehabilitation but also in other aspects of my life. I know I have more lessons to learn as I start my career treating them <3
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* Kirowyn Love
* Forums for Diversity
* There are two forum sites that I visit a lot - and both are full of so many different kinds of people. Gaia is one of them. I have met people from Australia, China, Canada and so many other places in the world. It's awesome learning about the different cultures we all have and sharing them with other people. The other forum I visit is Reddit - quite a rowdy bunch of people over there! I think I actually learned through the diversity there that there are cultures that I had no idea existed - and some of them even a little bit scary. Even though there are some viewpoints I've come across that I think might be a little weird, or don't necessarily agree with - but I love learning about them regardless ^_^
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* Glass Lily
* Homestay
* In 2008, I spent a college semester in Japan. Naturally, if you spend time in a foreign country and have even a slightly open mind, you're going to learn many things and have a new view on diversity. I have a lot more empathy for visitors and immigrants to the U.S. who do not speak English (or only know a little) after my semester in Japan. Even though I had been studying Japanese for two and a half years, my speech was still very uncertain and stumbling (just trying to find things in the grocery store could be an adventure!), and at times I felt alienated by the seemingly homogenous culture around me that I could never blend into. Foreigners there stick out like a sore thumb; while I loved being in Japan for the most part, I appreciate the beautiful diversity of the U.S. far more than I did when I left for Japan.

I was too shy (and worried about travel times!) to sign up for a semester-long homestay. But, I did choose to do a one weekend homestay with an older Japanese couple. This was an at times nerve-wracking but ultimately very worthwhile experience. (For one thing, there's nothing like eating freshly prepared sukiyaki around a kotatsu heart How boring the world of food would be without ethnic diversity and individual styles!)

My host father knew a good deal of English, but my host mother did not know any, and as I've said, I am *far* from fluent in Japanese. Communicating was difficult at times, and I was shy of making mistakes. I regret how often I was silent because I was worried I would say the wrong thing. After the homestay, I expressed some of these feelings in my thank you letter to the couple I stayed with. I thought that was the end of it, but one day, maybe a few weeks later, I was informed that my host father had come to visit me. Since he lived a good hour by train away, I was very surprised to see him. He explained to me that he had received my letter, and he wanted to encourage me not to worry about making mistakes, as that is how we learn. I don't remember his exact words, but it was a very touching moment for me, that he and his wife understood the feelings in my letter and both accepted them and encouraged me in return. I don't think I will ever forget that experience. I hope that I too can someday reach across the barriers of language and culture and be an encouragement to others the way my host father was to me.
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* Username
* Title of Story
* Content of story which describes why you like diversity, and how you feel it has made your world a better place to be!

The Travels of the World in the Eyes of Others

My family is a host for foreign exchange students, and that's how my story starts.
the first time we hosted a student i was excited and nervous, i didn't know how to act, what if they don't know English? how should i respond? should i know their customs?
they arrived at the airport at 6:00 pm we were were waiting with a big sign saying their names on it. We were hosting two girls. i was so exited i had never had sisters and i hoped it would be like i had gained two older sisters. they and on the way home we talked about random stuff. one was from Finland and the other from Spain. they talked about their lives in the home towns. it wasn't a learning experience just for me but also for them, the girl from Finland had never been to Spain and the one from Spain had never been to Finland.
the summer they spent with us went by like a breeze a gained a thirst for learning about other countries and they gained an experience of a lifetime.
the next summer we hosted a girl from France and last summer we hosted a girl from China. each summer i grew more as a person in learning the customs of the world and the joy of having friendships around the world.
my dream now is based on these experiences i had and the friends i made, i hope in the future to be a UN ambassador and to help all countries resolve problems and find solutions.
Hope you all will see me soon living the dream i'm now striving to achieve from the memories i gained with these girls from around the world.

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