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Chat with student Ying-Lan from Taiwan and teachers Michael C, Vance, and Maggi

January 23, 2000

The chat took place in Vance's chat room at

But it ended up to be a milestone event: the Webheads first ever online eclass in Michael's VOICE chat room at

<Maggi> hi Ying

<Anonymous54> Hello

<MichaelC> Is that Ying?

<Maggi> sun in Oz, eh?

<Anonymous54> Maggi, How do you know it is me?

<Maggi> I see you on icq

<MichaelC> Yes - but mild. 22 degrees.

<Anonymous54> That's nice.

Anonymous54 is now known as Ying.

<Maggi> it's snowing here again

<Vance> Hi Ying

<Maggi> big fat wet flakes

<MichaelC> Wow. Snow. It's been many years since I saw snow.

<Maggi> now it is slowing down

<Ying> That's pretty.... Snowing cover the white wold.

<Ying> world.

<Maggi> makes driving a problem though

<Ying> That's beautiful.

<Ying> Down to earth... it is hard to dirve ..

<Maggi> a beautiful mess sometimes

<MichaelC> Do you miss snow vance?

<Maggi> he goes skiing

<MichaelC> Oh yeh - forgot about that.

<Maggi> gets his fill of it then

<Ying> Vance likes to live in UE|AE.

<Ying> UAE

<Vance> It's mild and pleasant all winter in the UAE

<Vance> In March I'm hoping to get to Whistler in British Columbia

for skiing.

<Maggi> see!

<MichaelC> I see.

<Ying> That's wonderful.


<Maggi> ooops

<Vance> You could join me MC if you wanted to come there to


<Ying> I have a test on Mar. 12, 2000.

<Maggi> You'll do just fine Ying...:-)

<Ying> Thanks, Maggi.

<Vance> Get a lot of rest for it

<Maggi> relax

<MichaelC> My money won't stretch to Vancouver.

<Maggi> how long is the test?

<Ying> How long?

<Maggi> mine doesn't stretch that far either...

<Ying> It will be done in one day.

<Maggi> hmmm. stretchable there's an idea...:-)

<MichaelC> Maybe UAE money is more stretchy?

<Maggi> bong...

<Maggi> every hour get up and stretch and go to the bathroom


<Maggi> physical activity will keep your brain fit

<Vance> On overseas contracts the company always pays for

housing, plane travel, conference attendance ...

<MichaelC> So they are paying for TESOL 2000?

<Maggi> I have to pay but I can deduct it on my taxes...

<Vance> yep

<MichaelC> What;s in it for them?

<Ying> I don't work so hard... Do you remember I like to watch TV

more than reading.

<Vance> I have to help with recruiting

<Maggi> no Ying I mean during the test

<MichaelC> I see - I noticed that in the brochure.

<Maggi> want to recruit me?

<MichaelC> We've had this conversation...

<Maggi> just kidding...:-)

<MichaelC> I'm not ready to go to UAE at this stage.

<Vance> you have to fit a certain profile (hem haw)

<Maggi> Michael is a better deal

<Vance> Vietnam sounds nice

<MichaelC> maybe in a few years...I have aGREAT profile.

<Vance> You're probably closer to our profile

<Maggi> actually he does...:-)

<Maggi> than me you mean?

<MichaelC> Now is this serious or what?

<Maggi> you know I read they have serious problems genetically

in Saudia Arabia

<Vance> Inbreeding?

<Maggi> ....from there custom of marriage within a tribe and

cousins marrying

<Maggi> yes...inbreeding

<Vance> that's right

<Maggi> it is reaching major proportions now that something

needs to be done

<Vance> It's beyond that

<Maggi> bad news then...

<Vance> Ying Lan, did you see we have another student from


<Vance> Ming

<Maggi> ming

<Ying> Yes, I did.. Ming.

<Vance> Email is in Oregon.

<Ying> Say hello to she or he.

<MichaelC> We're getting a lot of new students. It's great.

<Vance> I don't know why I thought she. Could be he.

<Ying> What do you mean Email is in Oregon...

<Maggi> Ming could be a man Ying?

<Vance> The email address is the University of Oregon, so I

presume s/he lives in Oregon.


I may have lost a line or two here ...

Michael has just asked if we know what our names mean.

<Ying> Yes.

<Maggi> I think it is a woman

<Ying> Kidding.

<MichaelC> Who knows what Michael means?

<MichaelC> (I do!)

<Ying> We can not judge the gender by someone's name.

<Vance> I have a brother named Michael.

<Maggi> just a feeling

<Vance> Maggi, why can't I send you an icq message?

<Vance> It's not going.

<Maggi> slow today...

<MichaelC> It means "like unto God!) Good eh! What do your

names all mean?

<Vance> I get the same impression about the email.

<Maggi> I am a flower

<MichaelC> Lovely Maggi. Vance? Ying?

<Ying> Michael = Who is like God

<MichaelC> Correct Ying.

<MichaelC> It is verty flattering.

<Maggi> please bow now

<MichaelC> (bows very low)

<Maggi> message to you is hanging too Vance...let me try


<Vance> Mine is a long story

<MichaelC> The meaning of Vance?!

<Maggi> your name?

<Vance> Yeah, it means "valuable" (Vaux) in French

<MichaelC> Very nice. And what does Ying Lan mean? I've


<Vance> It comes from an ancestor who came to England with

William the Conqueror and settled there

<Ying> Ying Lan = a lot of orchids

<Maggi> another flower

<MichaelC> Beautiful. So you and Maggi go well together - flower

and orchids.

<MichaelC> And valuable and God!

<Maggi> I am a Margharita

<Vance> Now there's a composition topic, Michael

<MichaelC> Mmm. Four characters in a play.

<Maggi> no...I think he meant asking what everyone's names


<Ying> I love Margharita.

<MichaelC> But do you mean as a weekly writing topic? Like -

explain the origin of your name?

<MichaelC> I love Margaritas too Maggi.

<Ying> Sounds good.

<Vance> Well, yeah, it wouldn't get a lot of writing from each

person, but each might respond

<MichaelC> And we (you!) coul;d make a webpage around the


<Vance> of course

<MichaelC> Done. that's topic 11!

<Maggi> I think I won't say what I am thinkin mc...:-)

<MichaelC> What ARE you thinking?

<Maggi> you said you like to drink Margharitas too

<Vance> I even have a web page up on topic 10, but it has only

MC's embarrassing moment on it at the moment

Just before Ying Lan arrived, we three teachers had been talking about how no one had responded to Michael's last writing topic to describe his or her most embarrassing moment. Michael had started us out by writing about his most embarrassing moment, but no one in the eclass had followed. So Michael said he would send a reminder. I said that he could say when he proposed this topic it was his second most embarrassing moment. Meanwhile, we thought of this other topic, what your name means, so Michael may quietly drop his previous topic. We'll see. But it's still on the webheads web pages.

<MichaelC> Yes.....

<MichaelC> (I mean about the margaritas)

<Maggi> mind wandered...LOL

<Ying> I am sorry... I have not written those topic for a long time.

<MichaelC> Ying - in caase you're not sure - margaritas are a

beautiful alcoholic drink with tequila.

<Maggi> and salt around the rim of the glass

<MichaelC> Don't worry about not writing Ying.

<MichaelC> It's a free class remember!

<Ying> WaWaWa... alcoholic drink.

<Maggi> never worry...

<Ying> Never worry...

<Maggi> you cn leave out the techila

<Vance> tequila

<Ying> It is another embarrassubg monent..

<MichaelC> "It's another tequila sunrise; this old world stills looks

the same"

<Vance> What moment is that

<Maggi> mmm?

<Maggi> or a sunset mc

<MichaelC> Well the song refers to a sunrise.

<Maggi> are you keeping a log of this Vance?

<MichaelC> But there is actually a Ralph McTell song that refers

to both.

<Vance> Yeah

<Ying> I have not answered your eamil for a long time.

<Maggi> but they have drinks now that are sunsets

<Vance> Oh, that's not an embarrassment.

<Vance> I've been writing to Valentin because he was the first to

join the eclass on Jan 27 1999

<Ying> I love a new song... "Back at one".

<MichaelC> "Tequila sunset', tequila sunrise. Let's put the life

back in each others' eyes."

<Vance> He's only written once or twice.

<Maggi> nice line...

<Vance> And the other student to join that day, Youngduck, only

wrote once

<Vance> But both are still eclass members.

<Maggi> i've done that

<Ying> What's going to do with tequila and sun?

<Maggi> it is the colors in the drink

<Ying> Red

<MichaelC> Can some or all of you do me a favour before you go

offline today?

<Vance> The drink is made from Grenadine (red juice) and

orange juice (orange)

<Ying> Sure

<Maggi> here it comes

<Maggi> ...I'm ready this time

<MichaelC> Go to and see if it

works - text chat and sound

<Ying> Tequila is beautiful colour.

<MichaelC> I have to go there now and talk to someone locally but

I'd l;ike OS people to check it out for me.

Maggi has left the chat room.

<Ying> Send me the url by icq.... Please.

<Vance> I don't think I'll be able to do it. On my laptop, no sound.

On my office computer, no chat

Ying has left the chat room.

<Vance> why do they leave this room to do it, why not just open a

second browser window?

Maggi has joined the chat room.

<MichaelC> I think it;s a better chat box than homestead. You can

stretch it.

<Maggi> Netscape version here is too old

<Vance> ok, let me try it. I've got to find it in the log here

<MichaelC> A second browser window is all you need.

<MichaelC> Oh - you need v 4.

<Vance> ok, on my way now ... (in a second window)

<Maggi> my laptop still has 3.0 gold...

<Maggi> did Ying leave?

<Maggi> I'm getting hungry...

<Vance> My second window is loading a hearme plugin

<Maggi> lalala...can you hear me? lalalaa

<Vance> It would probably work for me without sound

<Maggi> what?

<Vance> I'm loading the plugin anyway

<Maggi> mc still there?

<Vance> hello, can you hear me?

<Maggi> hi!

<Vance> Press F9 to start talking

<MichaelC> Me and Ying are talking!!!!!

<Maggi> Nothing happens my end ...version is too old.

<Maggi> wo that's where they went

<Vance> Great. I got it all loaded in but couldn't get to text chat

<Vance> I;ll try it on my office machine just for kikks

<Maggi> another reason to get the other computer online

<Vance> I'm starting the process on my office computer

<Maggi> I'll keep the fires warm here

<Vance> I'm trying to connect from my office now

<Vance> message: you are not connected to the hearme voice

presence service

<MichaelC> Can't get it Vance?

<Maggi> seems not

<MichaelC> Can you get the text version?

<MichaelC> It's working brilliantly with Ying.

<Vance> Hi. ONe message was to restart Netscape. I'm doing

that on my other computer

<Maggi> that's good mc

<Vance> That's great. the plugins load ok. My laptop tells me no

sound service. Not sure about the office computer

<MichaelC> So are you still trying?

<Vance> Yeah, I think I've hit the wall. It's trying to connect but

says disconnected. It's our firewall.

<MichaelC> Vance/Maggi - I'll sign off from here and go back to

the other one. That's a bummer Vance. It seems really good.

<Vance> Very disappointing.

<Maggi> bye mc...sniff...

<MichaelC> See you all soon.

<Maggi> bye

<Vance> ok, bye then

<Maggi> nothing like getting left behind...

<Vance> Yeah, I think next week I'll go home and connect

<Vance> Internet costs have come down here. It's not so

prohibitively expensive.

<Maggi> I got screwed again...

<Vance> Next week, I'll get on the voice chat from home.

<Maggi> I thought it was coming down then I got wonked

<Vance> Can't you upgrade your netscape?

<Maggi> T-Online is 2 pfennig a they forgot to

mention that Telekom charges 3 a minute for phone

<Maggi> yes I can...just didn't think I would be using the laptop so


<Vance> Ying lan is encouraging me on ICQ to go home and try it.

She seems very excited about it.

<Maggi> that's good for her...:-)

<Maggi> well then haul ass out of there!

<Vance> I'm waiting for her reply, but I think I'll use the excuse to

go home anyway.

<Maggi> good boy!

<Vance> She icq'd back 'half an hour = 30 minutes?

<Vance> now she's agreed to meet me. Ok, I'm off.

<Maggi> tsk tsk...meeting women in cyberspace...:-)

<Maggi> bye then and enjoy...I'm going back to work here...

<Vance> Hope my wife doesn't notice (we'll have to whisper)

<Vance> ok, nice talking to you,

<Maggi> same here

<Vance> bye

<Maggi> she is a student

<Maggi> bye

Connection closed. Press reload to reconnect.

So to continue the story, I went home and got online. Ying Lan and Michael were waiting for me. I was able to get on the voice chat at and talk to them. It was brilliant. We talked (in turn) for about an hour (no duplex, so you have to press the F9 key to hold open your channel, but the voice quality was quite legible). Another good feature for language learning is that you can text-chat at the same time, so if the other person is having trouble following the conversation, you can enter a text version of what you are saying. It's great software for language learning.

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Last updated: January 23, 2000