On My Way to English Class


It’s Saturday morning. At 9:02, the PATH train takes me to New York City. It’s a 40-minute trip to 33rd Street. Many people are on the same train. They are playing on the phone, listening to music, talking to each other, and taking naps. The train conductor is announcing the station name and opening and closing the doors. What an energetic space! 

I am looking at the posters to find new words: Sexual harassment in the workplace seems to be a big issue, human trafficking is still happening, learning new IT technology to get a stable job, new leasing office in Jersey City . . . lots of things are happening. 

Now, it’s Journal Square. I am getting off to take another train. The train is diving into the ground, passing through the Hudson River, and arriving in New York City. 

I am walking on Fifth Avenue. The buildings around me are tremendous, and I always wonder why people built the huge buildings. Tourists from all over the world are on the street. They are taking photos with the Empire State Building. There are cars and buses, and subway trains are passing underground. It’s a fantastic world.

At 10 a.m., doormen are opening doors and saying good morning to everyone. I am arriving at the classroom on the sixth floor. It’s so exciting, and I’m grateful to attend the English class. 


''Hung Hsin Yen, age 45, originally comes from Keelung, Taiwan. He is an IT engineer who arrived in the U.S. in 2021 and now resides in Harrison, New Jersey. At the New York Public Library’s Stavros Niarchos Foundation branch, he studies English with ESOL Teacher Michele Persaud. Sherin Hamid is the hub manager.