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I am in the business of scholarship. One of the keys to scholarship is publshing. Scholarship has usually been relegated to grad students. the key elements to scholarship were publishing one's work, engaging in peer review, and pasing it on for others to use. The Web has made all of this possible so that I have been able to successfully help my students morph into scholars or student researchers. They publish their work on their webpage, they engage in peer review, and pass it on for others to use. One ther by-product was telementoring. Writing becomes more authentic and relevant as the following will illustrate.

This essay won this student $1500 cause it was seen by a contest coordinator who asked the student to submit it.

Foreign American Dream

The American Dream to me is as clear as transparent glass. I believe that everyone's "American Dream" is to have the opportunity to raise a family, buy a house, and be their own boss someday. Everyone knows that in America, you have the chance to do and be whatever you want. I have no doubt that my parents saw this as a shining star in their lives when they first came to America. My parents faced much competition when they came but nonetheless they managed to find a steady job and support the family. My father worked in a factory ironing clothes, and my mother worked for a Chinese newspaper typing Chinese words in old fashioned machines. The Constitution states that everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But sometimes that pursuit can turn into a race for survival. My mom and her collegues were told one day that they were going to start using computers to type Chinese words. Of course that was good but to someone who has never operated a computer before, it could be very frightening. The thing that struck fear was that everyone had to learn how to type in three days or face losing their jobs. My mom was in competition with her colleagues to see who can learn how to type the first and the fastest. I remember that night when my mom came home. She was very sad and her facial expression seemed like the end of the world was upon her. She was very silent and did not say a word for a long time. Fortunately my mom did not get fired because she somehow learned how to type the fastest among her colleagues.

When we first came to America, we lived in my father's sister and brother-in-laws' house. My aunt was cruel to us and treated us very badly both physically and mentally. My uncle was equally cruel. All he ever wanted was money. They felt proud that they had a house and wanted us to look up to them as gods. They were family but I felt like I was living with strangers in a dungeon. Soon, we moved into an old apartment away from the cruelty and unwelcomeness of their attitudes but by this time my parents did not get along much anymore. During our time spent in their house, my mom did not get along with my aunt or uncle at all. The domino effect soon led to a tense relationship between my parents and ultimately the divorce of their marriage.

During my time in America, I witnessed and experienced many racial discriminations. I remember once, when I was young, people used to make fun of the Asian people on the trains because they were speaking their own dialect and it sounded funny to them. They tried to mimic their language and be comedians at the same time. They even called us names. There was another time where these two guys on the train deliberatly stepped on a pack of ketchup so it would splash onto my mother`s clothes. They laughed and ran away, also trying to be like comedians. I was afraid and very angry. These guys were big and I was only about ten years old. I wanted to hit them so badly but I knew I couldn't. I could only sit there and watch. Usually after an incident like this occurs, I would imagine that I had great superpowers. Not letting anyone hurt the people that I cared for. I would try to lose myself in this world. A world of fiction but of power, and I would be the wielder of this power. I remember this made me feel good, powerful and strong but only for a short time. Although I was angry, I did not want to dwell in this world because of hatred. I have learned that one cannot accomplish much with hatred. Instead, I looked to this world for comfort and to try and forget the bad times.

After my parents separated, my father disappeared somewhere and my mother was forced to raise my brother and me all by herself. When my father left, he not only abandoned us but he also left us to starve by taking away all the money in the account that my parents had saved up together. Also at the same time, the newspaper company my mom worked for was closing down. What perfect timing. Now I felt the same way my mother felt when she first had to learn to type. What happened down the road was very miraculous. I believed God watched over us and blessed us a great deal. After my father left, my mother began to rebuild her life. She started her own business with the help of some very generous people. She was her own boss now and soon she earned enough money to buy a house. We were moving away from the old apartment and into this magnificent "castle". A castle which my mom refers to as her "White House". I am proud to say that my mom has achieved her American Dream and I hope that when my time comes I will be just as successful.

Yi Chi Lin

Now what do the kids have to say about it.

Tati Diaz: http://mbhs.bergtraum.k12.ny.us/user/d6278/wired.htm

On my home page there are many examples of the work I have done in my Cyber English Class, I have worked on many topics starting with: Who I am... that told a little about my self in order to attract other students who have the same interests and or an adult that can comment on my work.

It worked. I learned a lot from a man in Florida named Donald Deman. Mr Deman helped me out with my writing.

At first I was defensive, that was only because I thought he wanted to turn my work and my thoughts into his work and his thoughts. That wasn't the case. He was really concerned, interested in my seeing and understanding the importance of being able to express myself through my writting. He explaind that people will judge me by my writting without ever seeing me, or sitting down to talk to me. In college my professors will most likely do the same. That scared me, especially since I always felt my speaking skills were impressive and that my writting wasn't. This prompted me to take every advise regarding my work that Donald gave me seriously. Then seeing the logic in the advise putting them into practice (these tips helped me during my senior year).

Amy Chan: http://mbhs.bergtraum.k12.ny.us/user/c8295/wired.htm

The best thing about the Internet is the E-mail. I have received email from all around the world. I had 6 Mentors that helped me around.

Kimberly Gaffney: http://mbhs.bergtraum.k12.ny.us/user/g8729/wired.htm

I call it the "Weird Class"or "Wired Class", because that is exactly what it is. In this class we've done things such as set up HomePages and talked to various people on the internet. My HomePage has brought me lots of questions, comments, friends and I've even been adopted.

Linda Huang: http://mbhs.bergtraum.k12.ny.us/user/h9149/wired.html

Being wired is a great experience. I learned many things in Cyber English. One of everyone's favorite is emailing. This was not only fun but also very educational. We talked to people from all around the world.

Susan Leung: http://mbhs.bergtraum.k12.ny.us/user/l6769/wired.htm

One of the first things I learned being wired was e-mailing, which I enjoy greatly. E-mailing my not seem very educational but when communicating with different people over the world I have learned a lot.

Jeanette Lu: http://mbhs.bergtraum.k12.ny.us/user/l8642/wired.htm

I have my homepage to represent me as an individual. People come to visit homepage like come to visit myself in the real world. I am might be the first piece of infromation you want to read

Jessica Ortiz: http://mbhs.bergtraum.k12.ny.us/user/o6670/wired.htm

One thing that I liked about using the Internet is having people write to me from other countries and states. I've had a penpal from Alaska write to me and another penpal from Japan. We write about what our school's are like and about our interests and what it's like where we live.

Gilberto Almanzar: http://mbhs.bergtraum.k12.ny.us/user/a6912/wired.html

Being wired to the internet has been a very educational and fun experience for me. It is a very different experience having a class where you could speak to everybody in the world through a computer. People all over the world read my work located in my homepage. They commented on them and told me ways to revise it.

Stephanie Cheng: http://mbhs.bergtraum.k12.ny.us/user/c6662/wired.html

I liked the idea that classmates read my work and commented on it because since we're all just about the same age group we would see something the same way, but adults would see it differently.

Susan Chong: http://mbhs.bergtraum.k12.ny.us/user/c2147/wired.html

I had a Mentor name Russell Smith. He had helped me with my homepage and was contacting to the CyberEnglish class frequently.

Carlos Aponte: http://mbhs.bergtraum.k12.ny.us/user/a3056/wired.html

In the beginning things was kind of hectic. I was really feeling awkward because I did not know what to do or if I could managed being in the class. After the first assignment, everything went smoothly. All the different projects I have done was enjoyable because I learned something along the way. I had two great mentors helping me along the way. Peer review was when we had to read something and give our thoughts to it to one particular person including Mr Nellen, my professor. That person and I would give our feedback on our works in CyberEnglish. Emails were also a pleasant experience along the way. Kaneel Williams and Angelique Diaz were two great girls who spend me emails periodically. Both of them would talk to me about anything that was on their mind.

© Ted Nellen 2000