Please slap my hand or smack my head for my urge to answer the questions.  It is none of my business, yet I felt profoundly puzzled.  Are teachers so unapproachable that students have to resort to asking for clarification of an answer online?  Aren’t your teachers the best resource to clarify your confusion on the answers they provided?  Aren’t they paid to demystify your puzzlement?  By the way, this is not to say that I am unwilling to answer your questions.  I do see that there are many students who truly want to learn English and have asked me some interesting and thought provoking questions.  I do enjoy answering their questions.  I am just questioning what drives the students to seek clarification online. 


If you are an English major, I would suggest that you ask your teachers first before resorting to internet.  At least, you know the credentials of your teachers.  I would think that for a teacher to be able to teach English in college, he would at least need a master degree in English.  On that account, his English shouldn’t be too bad.      


Why wouldn’t you ask your teachers who hold a master or PhD degree in English to clarify your confusion around English literature?  What is your purpose of majoring in English?  Is it just to excel in English grammar, to be able to speak in English or to increase your English reading ability? If your reason falls under any of the above, you really don’t need to major in English.  You can accomplish any of those by attending any conversation or writing class offered by an EFL center.  The classes they offer would be more appropriate and practical for you. 


I don’t understand why you would pick English as your major while asking others to explicate a poem, to analyze literature and to write a reflection of a book on your behalf.  I am sorry that I fail to get the point why you would major in English when you don’t care the different types of writing styles and the difference in the various figures of speech.  Why torturing yourself to get a bachelor's degree in English when you don’t enjoy or appreciate the beauty of English literature? 


So what is my point?  My point is that you should at least find a major that you are interested in.  If you don’t truly enjoy what you learn, why push yourself to get a meaningless degree when you can’t live up to what the degree offers.  Why pretend to be something that you aren’t?  Why make your life miserable and live in a lie?  Why ask people to translate your resume and your paper into English and lie about your English ability?  Why graduate with an English degree but live in fear of being exposed as a fraud for knowing very little English?  What are you trying to accomplish when you ask someone to write your essay in English to help you get accepted in an English program?  The most absurd thing that I have heard is the cry for help from someone who indicated that he would get fired if he could not come up with the English translation for his job.  If that is the case, he is definitely in the wrong line of business.  Can you keep asking others to do your work for all your entire life? Wake up!  Stop becoming a fraud!                  


By the way, I don’t have an English degree.  I have a bachelor’s degree in Economics and an MBA degree with a Finance and Marketing concentration.  I love English literature and I know that I would enjoy learning all aspects of writing and the fun of analyzing literature if I chose English as my major.  I didn’t for the sole reason of career prospects.  Still I have no regret as I did enjoy what I learned in college and in graduate school.  It did prepare me to enter the tough job market and helped me to land a job as the economy moved deeper into recession in 1992 and unemployment peaked in June.  Look inside yourself, what is your purpose of majoring in English and having an English degree?  If you truly don’t enjoy and cannot comprehend English literature, you probably shouldn’t waste your time getting an English degree to drive yourself nuts.  You don’t need to get an English degree to learn daily English conversation or written communication if that is your desire.  Any EFL center will be able to satisfy your need.      


On the topic of asking others to do your homework for your literature papers or translations, it is hard for me to believe that so many people in Taiwan are willing to help others to become a fraud.  Maybe you don’t care or cannot see the impact of helping others to become someone they aren’t.  How would you feel when you hire a tax preparer who claimed to have a business degree to file your tax returns but receive the penalty from Internal Revenue Service for filing a frivolous tax return instead?  That preparer might have gotten the same homework help in school to graduate with a business degree.  How would you feel when you hire someone with an English degree to translate a book from Chinese into English but instead he delivers a book filled with Chinglish?  Maybe the person you hired happens to run out of luck to find someone online capable of doing his work. 


I really don’t know what to say.  The phenomenon of students asking people online to do their English homework is so prevalent in Taiwan.  What is driving this abnormality?  Of course, the partners in crime who do homework for the students are equally guilty.  It is sickening to see this twisted situation where everyone focuses so much on English and forgets about the fundamentals.  This is similar to the case where academic excellence is treated as the one and only purpose of education in the eyes of many Taiwanese.


Written By Elisa English

On 8/20/10 in Minneapolis

** 版權所有 – Elisa English


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