October 1996

Root Page of Article: Mentoring and the Internet, by Ted Nellen

mentor to student:

I am

(Name), I go to Murry Bergtraum and I'm in the eleventh grade my major at this school is accounting.

I like to listen to music (except country and heavy metal) and I find it difficult to read anything that is not science fiction I like rain and I hate snow

I'm 17 years old and after school I work part time in a hospital my favorite subjects are English and History I dislike math a lot, I would probable like it if I did well at it.

I have a dog it's a pitbull and he is 9 months, I hate cats! When I finish school I am not sure what I want to be, but it would probably be something that makes a lot of money since that is my

major goal in life.

I will probably go to college and become an accountant, I don't really like accounting but there is alot of money to be made in it.

PS If I get the guts I would love to be a scientist, and advance

technology so much that we would be fifty years

ahead of ourselves (Our I'll marry rich)


I am:

(name), and although I've done lots of things I'm currently the

web author/webmaster at WeB MarKeTing.

My musical interests include everything except country and rap, and I read Time and Astronomy Magazine and lots of stuff in between.

One of my all time favorite books is Dune, which held me under its spell for several years as I read and reread it, each time picking up new and hidden subtleties in the plot.

Math was once a favorite subject of mine and, had I pursued it, could have taken me to the top of a mountain where I could gaze at the stars and help unlock the secrets of the universe Alas, life and my poor study habits, the smarts were there but the self discipline was not, put me on a different road Now I can only read about the great discoveries being made through the use of the Galileo telescope and other spacecraft.

I love cats! Dislike dogs.

In college I majored in Finance and, although I did not like it all that much, it provided a firm foundation upon which to build

PS Once I was married, but I'll never do that again unless I fall madly in love because that's the only reason to get married

If you would like me to be your mentor in this Internet project, I will do my best to help you.

I can tell by your home pages that you have a good base to build upon, yet you lack the self discipline and perhaps the confidence needed to do quality work You may think it doesn't matter but I assure you it does.

I have several rules which must be adhered to

First and foremost is honesty If you say you will, then you must see it through

Second, you agree to spend an extra half hour each day working This extra time is exclusive of the time it takes to correspond with me.

Third, I will give you little tasks, as needed, for you to accomplish.

These will take little time You agree to do them

If this is agreeable to you then your first task is to note the difference between my "I am" letter and yours Note how each of your paragraphs begin with the word "I"

I'm sure you can proof read this short introduction, correcting the spelling errors, the grammar, and the punctuation with the help of a good English book or a teacher during a study period

Look up the words "there" and "their" in a dictionary and note their proper usage. Then, rewrite these ever so short paragraphs so that they do not all begin with I, yet convey the same thought process Then repost the revision to the server by Wed the 10th

Finally, please answer the following questions so that I understand the resources at your disposal:

1 What type of computer are you using? 2 - 3 or 486?

2 What is the processor speed? What OS are you using?

3 What is the baud rate of your modem access to the web?

4 Do you have access to a word processor? If so what kind? Does it have a spell checker?

5 Do you have a computer at home? If so the above questions should be answered for it.

6 Are you using a web author program or typing HTML in a text editor? Either way, name it

I'll expect a reply on the 10th of the month, or earlier if you so desire


In response to the studnet's work:

Ah! Now I've got you thinking good! Your letter is much better in terms of style and tone than your first attempt at the "I am" composition. It conveys feelings and personality Formal writing has its place, in business for example, but when writing about yourself ie: trying to convey your personal ideas, viewpoints, etc, its best to be less formal, more emotional if you will That requires one to write in a manner similar to how they speak, and this letter proves that you can And may I say that you do it well

As far as proofing your work I believe that its short sighted not to.

In terms of what the class is all about you are correct that it's not a class primarily about writing, styles, grammer or spelling But it is a forum which brings together all that you have learned for all to seefor better or worse Why not take an extra minute or two to make sure what you are writing is coming actoss in the best possible light

This is my only point And from what I read I felt that you could do better if you applied the knowledge you have learned over the years to your work on this project After all, you published it on the net for the world to see, thereby exposing yourself to constructive criticism Note the key word here is constructive It will never be my intent to take cheap shots at your abilities, only to encourage you to think and decide for yourself what has merit

OK!! Enough of this I trust you completed asignment #2 by proofing your work, making corrections where you deemed necessary, and reposting your work ( I have not checked your pages yet today)

We will now turn our attention to the task at hand

What do you want me to do for you? Do you have any questions? Have you checked out my server yet? Its small but growing and I did all the work myself over the past 9 months, with no previous experience.

Did Mr Nellen give you a class outline? If so, I'd like to see it

Well that's about it for now

I hope you study hard and pass all you exams with flying colors!

OH Yeh! If you get time you could go to:

for some info on HTML Writing or to:

for some cool images and icons to dress up your pages

( which I'm sure is on the agenda sometime soon)




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