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Dolomites T 241

This year I participated in the Writing in the Margins Mentor program, the first time the planets have all aligned in order for me to do so. Mentoring someone is …kind of terrifying, actually. It challenges one’s imposter syndrome, because one has to set aside the ego-driven mosquito whine of, I don’t know what I’m doing, how can I –!? and keep the mentee’s needs central to the narrative. One has to constantly loop back to the truth that theirs is the opinion is that counts, theirs are the thoughts that will shape their manuscript, and ultimately, theirs are the choices to take or set aside the advice they receive, even if the mentor is certain there’s a “better” or even a “right” way to do a thing. Mentoring sharpens mentors, through teaching them the value of honesty, of looking at things a different angle, and of repeating a person’s truths back to them at the worst moments of their journey, so that they know what they believe, and can believe in it again.

It is exhausting. It is… paying forward what was, in various ways and through various people, given to me. Thus, it is something I’m going to do again.


objects in mirror
are closer than they appear

seeking our blind spots –
we polish convex lenses

’til all that we are comes clear

4 Replies to “{npm18: 4.24}”

  1. Anyone mentored by you would by lucky, Tanita, because you are not just word-centered but heart-centered. And Mary Lee — you too!

  2. This is the way I feel about mentoring a new teacher. I’m completely random and improvisational and I can pull it off because I’m…eh…vastly EXPERIENCED (aka old). But to tame my teaching and make it plod along in a straight line so someone else can understand it…kills it. Then I feel guilty and greedy for not taking a student teacher. (But not enough to take one.)

    1. @MaryLee: It’s SO HARD to write it down. I had an aide once who accused me of doing one thing for one student, and another thing for another one. Um… yes. That’s what you do. There is no “one size fits all” style of teaching. I was bewildered that she didn’t understand, but it wasn’t something I could tell her, only show her…

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