by Jiren Cao, ESL 23 

One day I learned an important lesson from a mistake that I made in my English class at Honolulu Community College. I should be not negligent about my life.

It all began with a homework assignment. The homework was to find a definition and make a sentence for each word. I still remember it was on Wednesday night. At midnight, when I was copying the definitions, I was so sleepy to make a sentence. Then I decided to copy a sentence because I thought it was just a sentence; it’s not a big deal.

Next day, when I got the paper with the word: PLAGIARISM? on it, I didn’t take it to heart. Plagiarism in other words is copying other people’s ideas; however, I thought it won’t matter so much to people’s lives.

Next thing is I had a conversation with the teacher. After I walked out the class, the conversation kept spinning in my head. ”If I see it again it, I’ll report it to the office and you will be in trouble,” said the teacher.

I didn’t say anything but nodded. The conversation wasn’t long, but affected me.

It’s a paradox that I can be honest with my mistake, but my mistake was being dishonest. It is a simple mistake I was told not to make, but I didn’t take it so seriously.

While I was walking to the bus station, I was worried and depressed. I was worried for the impression I just made.

While I was working, I recalled my other teacher saying that you only can live once. Soon I realized that I shouldn’t be so reckless. I let the teacher down and myself also. The mistakes on the paper could be erased, but the mistakes in the life couldn’t.

Before I went to bed, I wasn’t sure about my feelings. I was happy for learning something, but I also regretted the mistake. I lost the teacher’s trust in me. From now on, I will treat everything more seriously, and try not to do something that is wrong. I hope that somebody would tell me if I made mistakes, and correct me. It was
a great lesson that changed the attitude of my life, and I think it also made the day valuable.

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