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ESSAY:  Central Illinois farm towns
 Question:  What do you think life is like in a central Illinois farm town - the good and bad points?
What do you think the people are like who live there?
Which is a better place to live - Chicago or a small farm town?  Why?
(write at least two paragraphs)
[ Maine East: Freshman Academy ]
[ Maine West ]
[ Benton Middle School ]
 
Maine East: Freshman Academy (morning)
 
N.B. The M and F after each essay refer to the student's gender.    Spelling and grammar have not been corrected, per the teachers' request except in cases where misunderstanding is likely.


1- I donít know what they are like.  Iíve never been their.
 
Chicago is a better place to live in.

(F who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



2- Well, what I think is that, itĎs good in a way to live in central Illinois farm town, because there is less
violentance, less air pollution, not as many gangs.  you have more room, like a bigger yard.  The bad thing is
that you donít have to many friends, because the houses are farther apart from each other.  Also, that its
farther away from where you want to get, like if you want to go to the movies or the mall, you canít get there.
I think that the people who live there are probably friendler because they live in a different of illinois and
there isnít so much violence.
 
I think its better to live in chicago because you are closer to every thing that you need, like stores, doctors, friends/family.

(F who has visited a Central Illinois farm town)



3- I think that it is better to live in a small farm town because first of all you pretty much donít have to care
about things in the big city.  I mean there are no gangs in a small farm town.  Chicago is full of gangs all
diffrent kinds.  School is probably better in small farm towns there are not as many students like there is in a
Chicago town.  People there are probably more respectful and civilized than they are here.
 
I actually would rather live in a small town than here in chicago.  Then I would have less things to worry about.  This is what I think.

(F who has visited a Central Illinois farm town)



4- The good points are that its nice and quiet, its natural all around you; The bad points are you have to go to
school very far away from where you live, it would be lonely there.  The people are probably nice but very
quiet.  They are use to not talking.
 
 I would rather live in Chicago because its nicer.  I know its not quiet but its good to around lots of people and
youíre not lonely and the schools are close to where you live.

(F who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



5- I think that life in a farm town would be good because you wouldnít go to the mall you wouldnít go to
night clubs and there isnít a mall.  I think people who live down there are like used to that not too many
streets or malls.
 
 I think the better place to live would be chicago Ďcause you have more education. more communication
more night clubs more gangs and better things.

(F who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



6- The good points is that in a farm town it is quieter than living in a city and the bad point is that it is to quiet for me and maybe several other people to live in such a small town.
 
I think Chicago [would be better] because you can get more freedom and theyíll be more people in a large city.

(F who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town))



7- The bad thing living in a central Illinois  farm town is that it is a small place and their is not many things.  I think the people that live their are lonly donít have that many friends.
 
I think the best place to live in is chicago because their are so many things.  They have so many movie theaters etc.

(F who has visited a Central Illinois farm town)



8- I think life in a central Illinois farm town would be boring.  It would be boring because there wouldnít be
malls and other interesting places.  I think the people who live there are like country people (farmers).
 
Chicago is a better place to stay, interesting people and many things here.  I would choose Chicago over a
small farm town anytime.

(F who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



9- Most of the good points in a small town is great!  There really interesting, they have nice little stores &
dinners & everyone is friendly.  They really arenít crammed together in apartments or tiny little houses.
They are out in the wide open.  Their air really isnít that polluted & covered with grime [?] from the city.  The summers are beatiful, fall is very dramatic & very colorful, winter is gorgeous & very angelic, the crisp air is
unbelievable & very astonishing.  Iíll tell you now strait  out & forward I would rather live out on a farm
with animals in the wide open, then in a 3-story house with next door neighbors you could see right out your bedroom window like now.
 
 Well, the bad stuff ... well there really isnít any, other than the fact that hospitals are kinda  far & there isnít
alot of malls & stuff like that, then you could get bored, but with my imagination & creativity (not to sound
self-deluded) you could really do alot for yourself!  So think about would you rather be in some crammed up
city with something to do everyday?  Or would you rather live by cornfields & wide open-blue skies where
you can create something for everyday.

(F who has visited a Central Illinois farm town)



10- The central Illinois farm town is a quiet area where they donít have a lotís of buildings and crowded
buildings like in chicago.  There is are lotís of farmís around that area, with crops.  Maby  school is far away
from houses.  People wonít have work because they usually work in farms because there isnít that much
stores.  The people who liveís  in the farmtown maby  likes to have a farm.  They are not vilont like in Chicago.

(F who has visited a Central Illinois farm town)



11- Life in a small town I think is somewhere I would not want to live.  Because itís lonely, you see nothing
but fields, fields, and more fields.. Itís boring, but there is also a little good thing  about it. itís quiet, its not very dangerous you donít have to worry about gangs, driveby etc.  The people who live there I think are old
fashioned and like farming.
 
I would rather live in Chicago, because you always have something to do, itís easy to find a job, you have a lot of people who you can count on.

(F who has visited a Central Illinois farm town)



12- Central Illinois - lonely - with hardly any people their to meet - scary - because theirs  no back-up.
 People that live there are probably mean because if your a new comer they might tell you to leave because
your  not like them.
 
 Chicago [is where Iíd rather live] because this is a city with a lot of people to meet with and have fun to go out at clubs and (etc...)

(M who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town) 1



13- I would rather live  in Chicago besides my home land P[...].  Because I love Chicago, Thereís no
want-to-beís.  You will never see a white boy acting all tough.  I would never live in a farm town, Itís more
ghetto then the southside of Chicago.  To me that is.  Ever since I moved from Chicago to the suburbs it was
hard for me to adapt to this want-to-be, pretty boy infested area (white-boys).  And I still canít adopt to it.
Have you ever been in a place where It is nothing like you ever imagened, and all you want to do is leave
well thatís how I feel here.  Thereís no good roppers [?] or anything fun to do here.  If I had a chance I would
leave this place and move back to Chicago (my second home).

(M who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



14- I think it would be better to live in Chicago.  Chicago is a better place to live because itís has a lot of places
to go.  In a farm town you canít go really far and thereís not much to do.  In Chicago there is so many things to do.  On a farm town you canít do much.

(M who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



15- No because  Itís hard if you have to go to school because you have to go four miles to get to school or
something like that.  [the people?] Normal, just like us.
 
I prefer Chicago because there are better stuff to do and places to go to.
 
(M who has visited a Central Illinois farm town)


16- In central Illinois farm town there might not be alot of appliances or the schools might not be that all
good.  I think the people who live there probably have accents and never seen some stuff that we have here.
 
I think Chicago is better, why?  Because I live there.   someone who lived in a small farm town might say that thatís better.

(M who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



17- I donít know how it is in a central farm town But Iíll give it a try .  will it most be small and lonely and
boring.  And maybe thereís no one to play with so you just have to play  with pigs, the cows, and the horses.
The people who live in farm town may be nice and kind because thereís not that many people there so they
might treat us with kindness.
 
I say Chicago is better to live in because Iíve been in Chicago for six years so Iím use to it and I want to have fun not to be bored so I would stay in Chicago.

(M who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



18- What I think life is like in central Illinois is? I donít like living in small towns I like big cities that have
alot  of places to go to. like in Chicago the Sears Tower, Navy Pier and lake Michigan.  But in - littl town your
very cramped.  like in schools.  grades  k-12.  Just A little cramped.  Schools in Chicago are like k-6 & 7-8 &
9-12 that fine.   Also in Chicago There are many different I mean 1,000ís of places to eat.  But down in Illinois
you practaly eat at the same place over and over.
 
 What I think people are like down there!  I think the people are like NOT use to the things we have in
Chicago like Robberies & murders, like we Are.  Maybe down there they react very differently than we do.
 I think that it would be better to live in Chicago for many reasons.  For example; you have many different
places to go and see different things and eat different things.  But down in central Illinois you eat the same
restaurant.  In a week I bet already you memorized the menu.  But in Chicago you have space.

(M who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town)


 19- I think that life in a farm is much better than in the city.  In the farm you grow up to be a man not a
woosh [?].  In the city you sit your but in a chair and do little work; In the farm to survive you just work and
work more.  For exsample if a city man stay in a farm and doesnít know how to work the man wont survive a week.

(M who has visited a Central Illinois farm town)



20- The good points of central Illinois it is probally a quiet area, the bad point it is a good place where murders
kills quiet area because there are barely anyone around.  The people there are probally nice and kind.

[I would rather live in] Chicago of course its awsome  places thing you could do there lots of activities you could join play exspecially in the suburbs its a good area.  friendly.  malls you could go to after school.

(M who has visited a Central Illinois farm town)



21- (no response)


22- the good points are that it is quiet and you have lots of space. the bad parts are that there are hardly any
stores around. the people who live there would probably Be farmers and thy would be older in thire 40ís -
30ís.
 
If I like it quiet I rather live in a small farm town But I like a variety of places to go so I like the city of
Chicago.

(M who has visited a Central Illinois farm town)



23- I like them both.  I have lived on a BIG farm for about 3 weeks cause it is my cousins farm.  I liked it a lot.
But I have lived in Chicago for all my life and I like the fast paced city life.  It is nice to go to a big farm
everyonce and a while but I think this is better.

(M who has visited a Central Illinois farm town)



24- Hard and boring because you got to wake up early to go to work on the fields thereís not many enjoyable
activities or where you can spend time like for example a theater or a park.  The good part of it is that thereís
no pollution no carís everything is natural.
 
[people] Maybe friendly.
 
[I would rather live in] Chicago, althought sometimes you might get bored of the people, cars, noise,  and
pollution and might preferred to go live in a small farm town.

(M who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town)
 
 

Maine East: Freshman Academy (afternoon) 
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N.B. The M and F after each essay refer to the student's gender.    Spelling and grammar have not been corrected, per the teachers' request except in cases where misunderstanding is likely.


1a- I real donít know.  But I think that I couldnít live their because, anything you do your parents could find
out.  Because itís not a city.  In a city you have more freedom to do things.  Like for example. go to the malls,
going to see a movie, whenever I please.  So I truely think that living in a city is much better than living in a
small country.

(F who has visited a Central Illinois farm town)



2a- I think that central Illinois farm town is like boring, because the people have to farm alot and they wonít
get out.  They dont have clubs, movies, and they donít go out much (I think) But I also think with out them
we wouldnít have food  I think the people would be nice. I guess.
 
 I think Chicago would be better because we dont have to farm or milk the cows. We can get a job at the mall.

(F who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



3a- I really dont know but I would like to learn

(F who has visited a Central Illinois farm town)



4a- I think the [?] who live in central part of Illinois are kind of greedy.  They have there own farm land and
have contests who would grow things the fastest.
 
 Chicago would be a better place to live, because more people, more population.

(F who has visited a Central Illinois farm town)



5a- I think the life in Chicago is better then some farm town because there are better things here then on some farm.  I think there are all kinds of people good and bad.

(F who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



6a- I have always loved animals and when I think of a farm, I think lots of animals.  I think of chores and
doing lots of things with animals.  Getting chicken eggs, & milking the cow.  I would like to live here [there?]
for a while cause I never owned any animals and I love adventure anywhere than where I am now.  My life
is the same every day.  On a farm, some thing new could happen.  I canít think of any bad points about a farm.

 I think the people here [there?] stay home and take care of the animals.
 
I think a farm is a better place to live because all I think about is animals.

(F who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



7a- Dont know?  Maybe real small, and donít have many things.  For example, food, shelter, and many other.

CHICACO [is a better place to live]

(F who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



8a- Therefour good and bad reasons why people who live at Illinois farm town.  First it is good because the
town is very quiet and safe.  Secondly, itís not good because the people who live their a conceited and are big
shots.  Finally, who ever lives at the farm town will not see alot of different faces and religions.  In my
opinion I think people should not live in a town farm because, it is very boring and dull.  The fourth reason,
people should live in a farm town because they grow and get their food from farm.  It is better than buying
food in a store because, the food in the stores are not that fresh.
 
 There are three reason why people should live in Chicago.  First, their are more places to go and see.
Secondly, you could see different people and the cultures.  Last but not least, it is more intresting and
amuzing.

(F - no other information)



9a- I think life in the central Illinois farm town would be good because there probably is no violence there or
very many crimes there.  It would be bad because you probably wouldnít have nextdoor neighbors like in big
cities.  I think the people who live there are very quiet and hardworking especially if they have a farm.
 
I think it would be better to live in a small farm town because my dad lives in a small town in Illinois called
Q[...] and it is pretty peaceful there when I am there.

(F who has visited a Central Illinois farm town)



10a- I think living in a central Illinois farm town is the good point in living there.  You might can grow thing
have fun with the animals and you have to grow your own food.  I think the farm town are pretty nice.  But
the bad thing about it is that their are no stores around the place you have to walk everwhere.  But other
thing that I think it pretty cool.
 
 Maybe the people are like us But they do differen thing and they probably dress different and do things
different from us they probably eat different food and cook them in many different ways.  I think Chicago is a
better place to live because you have more things to do and their is more people you can hang around with
that way I think Chicago is better.

(F who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



11a- I think central lIllinois is quiet and safe.  I Also think Central Illinois has a low population.  I think
people that live there are Hillbillies and have a country sound acent.
 
I think Chicago is a better place to live because thereís more technology, and better buisnesses.

(M who has visited a Central Illinois farm town)



12a- I Donít know if it would be good or bad because Iíve never really been there so I couldnít tell you.  But , I
think people are different in some ways like they farm for a living.  They grow crops as their jobs and then
sell them.  People may have an Amish like way to them or not.
 
I would probably say that a small farm town would may be better, because in a small town there is really no violence, no worries, no anything.  They start and end their days the same way everyday doing whatever they may do. Like farming.

(M who ďkinda not reallyĒ visited a Central Illinois farm town)


 13a- I think life in central Illinoise will be pretty interesting.  The good part will be you have fresh air no
factory smokes, and etc.  The bad point will be yo donít have good tecnology.
 
 Chicago is a better place to live.  Because you have everything here.  You can communcate almost to any one
down here.

(M who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town)


 14a- The good points are small town are great because, thereís much better people then big towns.  Bad points
are that people will fight allot because, itís a small town.
 
No, there different because itís a small town and not much traffic either.
 
Chicago [is a better place to live] because, it has more people more friends more relatives who live there,
thatís why I would rather live in chicago.

(M who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



15a- Chicago [is a better place to live] because in the city you can have fun, and have a friends.  But Chicago
donít have no field to cut the field.  And the farm town is not good because you donít have no friends at the
farm in Chicago.  you have alot of firends Chicago is better.

(M who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town)


 16a- Bad pointís - nabors live 1mile away.  They listen to country music and have only two teeth in their
whole mouth.

 Chicago [is a better place to live] - we have all the things we need right here.

(M who has visited a Central Illinois farm town)



17a- I think that the people down in central Illinois are much more luckier then us that live in the city with a
lot of people around us.  Because you have more fun during the summer.  The people are probebly like nice
and kind to be able to live together in little friendly groups.
 
I think that Chicago Ďs better but if you have money and own a lot of property small farm towns are better because you will make much more money then in Chicago.

(M who has visited a Central Illinois farm town) 



18a- It is probably very boring.  I think the people there are very quiet.  They probably sit down and do nothing for 24 hours
 
Chicago is a better place to live because there is more life but also more crime.

(M who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



19a- [good bad points] I donít know.
[people who live there] I donít know.
Of course CHICAGO is better than anything!!

(M who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



20a- I think that its better living in a FARM.   I think it would be awesome living in a farm.

(M who claims to have visited a Central Illinois farm town and crossed out his own name and changed his
essay name to "Mr. Rogers") 



21a- I think life in central Illinois is boring.  All they do is farm, mik the cows, and raise farm animals.  In the
city theres are real jobs not like those farmers.  In the city there are malls, Better school, movie theateres, and
dance clubs.  And the farm towns donít And some parts of central Illinois is racist Because there are no black,
Hispanic, oriantan, or Asian people that live there.

(M who has visited a Central Illinois farm town)



22a- I think that the life is better in central Illinois because they is more violence here.  I think that the people
that live here have more access to things than they do.  Probably the people who live there are nicer than
here because many kids over here to alot of bad things.
 
 I would prefer to live in Chicago because I can learn more here about many different things.

(M who has never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



23a- Its very spacious but it seems dull & boring.  they have cool animals not like here.  I would rather live in
the city of chicago because I grow up here & feel more comfortable with all my friends & family.  You would
be kind of behind every one in a small town & see movies that come out months ago in the citys.

(M who has visited a Central Illinois farm town)
 
Maine West
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Benton: S. Johnson's 8th grade class
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N.B. M and F in the parenthetical material following each essay refer to the student's gender.  Spelling has been corrected at school's request.


1- I would rather live in Benton because I would not know what it would be like on a farm in Central Illinois. There might be more farms there than houses they also might grow different things there.
 
 I would rather live in Benton because there is mostly houses than there are farms but we have a few farms so people could grow their food.  We also can plant any kind of food that can be planted.

(F who never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



2- I think farming in central Illinois would be about the same as in Benton.  The people would be more into farming and not like town people.
 
I would like living here because people are more city like and not farm like.

(F who never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



3- I think life in a farm town in central Illinois would be good. It is probably very much similar to live in Benton.  There is farming in Benton too.  A lot of people I know live on farms.  So I think it would be a good place to live.
 
 I think Benton would be a better place to live.  There are many things to do in Benton.  Another reason is that I like the people in Benton.  This is why I think Benton would be a better place to live.

(M who never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



4-  I think that living in Central Illinois would be a good life, but not better than Bentonís.  I think that there would be too much farmland to do anything and it would get boring.  The people up there are really nice because Iíve been up through there before.
 
 I think that Benton would be better because there would be more things to do in Benton.

(M who visited relatives in a Central Illinois farm town)



5- Good & bad because, good because you get to grow your own food and bad because there is no mall and towns for a while.
 
 Itís good because you donít have to run to the store every night to get something.  You have your milk, corn, green beans, and you can butcher meat when ever you need it, it is all right there. It is also bad because youíre in the middle of nowhere.  There is fields all around you so, there is no stores or malls for a while.  So when you need something it takes a while.

The people that here are hicks, they all hunt & have four-wheelers.
 
It would probably be better in Benton.  There is farmland and there is still stores and things.

(M has visited relatives in a Central Illinois farm town)



6- Living in central Illinois, I donít think, would be much different than living in Benton.  We both have agricultural communities and small towns.  I feel like both areas have about the same, weather, lifestyle, and crime rate, so I wouldnít care to live in central Illinois.

(M who never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



7- Think it would be better to live in Benton than on a farm.  On a farm there isnít many people around you and you might get bored.
 
 In Benton you can go to the movies or do something in town.  But if you on a farm in the country it will take longer to get into the town and you wonít be able to do as much fun things.

(F who gave no response on experience with a Central Illinois farm town)



8- I believe that life on a farm would be much like life in the outskirts of Benton.  Some good parts to living in the country is you could have more animals there and you could grow your own food instead of having to go to the store every week.
 
 One bad part about living in the farmland is you might be pretty isolated from everyone else like your friends & family in the city.  If it were me I would rather live in the city.

(M who visited friends in a Central Illinois farm town)



9- Benton & a farm town in central IL.  Benton I think is better than farm town.  Because Benton you're around more people.  In the Farm town you're all by your self.  I think it would be a lot more better in Benton than the Farm town.

(M who never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



10- I think life would be good because of privacy with your work and your living style.  Less pollution in your living area and more time for fun.
 
 You need time and privacy in your home.  Living out on a farm would be fun because most of the time out in the country you're by yourself.  The style in what you live in also is a big factor because you could decorate your house any way you wanted.  A farm town would also have less crime than a city.

(F who never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



11- Farm country would be good because you could grow and raise your own food.  You could grow crops and raise cattle for fruit, vegetable, meats and milk.  You could also have chickens for eggs, and could live off your land.
 
 There are bad parts to living on a farm, too.  Even though it would be good business, there are not as many job opportunities.  You would also be farther away from everything most of the time.

(F who never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



12- I think that I would rather live in Benton than on a farm.  Farm life would not fit me.  I do not like to farm so I donít think I would like it.
 
 I think that living on a farm would be boring.  There would be too much to do.  I would have to pick crops, feed  animals, and I would also have to milk cows.
 
To conclude, I donít think that I would like farm life.  Benton is my better place to live.

(F who gave no response on Central Illinois farm towns)



13- Do I think life would be good/bad in central Illinois?  Yes I think it would be good.  Living on a farm would bring joy, and goodness to my heart, and life, or even living by a farm.  Not as much pollution is around you, as much as there would be in Benton, or Chicago.
 
 People are kind and thankful who live on farms.  Itís a tough life and you would have to work hard.  People who live on a farm sometimes have to provide for themselves off of the land.

(F who never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



14- Living on a farm would probably get very hectic and be very difficult sometimes.  There can be good and bad things happen on a farm.  Some good things are all the food you get from all the crops.  The fields that you can play football in are very good too. Some of the bad things are the very difficult things that have to be done at certain times of the year.  All the machinery would be hard to buy.  The people would probably be good old time nice people.

(M who never visited a Central Illinois farm town)



15-  (no essay #2 provided)

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