Sunday, September 18, 2016

Email Address Conundrum

When I first started teaching Form Six students many eons ago, the only things on my mind were finishing the syllabus (I was teaching Literature, besides English Language) and polishing their abilities to retain information, organise information into the form required by the question and present the info in an academic fashion.  However now, things have changed.  Not only do I have to scrabble my way along the minefield of today's schools (mines that begin with e- or online-), I also find myself having to deal with social pitfalls.  Not MY social pitfalls,  THEIRS.

And one of the most interesting is their chosen email addresses.  Yeah well, let's deal with one social pitfall at one time.  One of the ways I make sure my MUET students at the very least know how to attach a document to their email is by asking them to send me their homework via email.  I do this because I want to ensure that they arrive at university campuses with rudimentary knowledge of online communication systems.  While focusing on this, I came across some very interesting (and sometimes breathtaking - in a choking manner) discoveries.  Most students I knew used very creative email addresses.  Some of the most creative I have come across in my last ten years of teaching were,,  Sometimes I even force them to change their email addresses when they ask me to check their resumes.  Imagine sending an application letter and resume to a top bank and there your contact email is or  I even got into a long argument via WhatsApp with an ex student because she had a tripleXrated email address (a body part was mentioned in slang) and she insisted it was who she was, and she wasn't about to compromise her integrity for money or fame.  Eventually she grumpily created one email address just for formal use.  I told her those people in the HR dept knew she chose that email tag because that was foremost in her thinking at that time.  What would her chances of success be???

Needless to say, it has become my mission to ensure that none of my Form 6 students will be allowed to leave school without changing their email tag for a better one.  Or at least create a secondary one.

It seems this is a worldwide problem.

49 People Who Really Regret Their Teenage Email Address