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Learn: Let's say you are helping your child or a friend with some homework. What's your strategy for helping them learn a difficult topic?
It’s been quite a while since I helped one of my children with homework so my memory of the process is fuzzy at best. That said, I’m pretty sure I approached a difficult topic for my child much the same way I approach difficult topics for myself…i.e. break the topic/issue/problem into its component parts and look for patterns and formulas that offer insight and understanding. Whether trying to parse Shakespeare, Picasso or a quadratic equation, there are invariably common themes and markers which help one grasp the intent of the artist or scientist.
Network: Some people are wallflowers while others are natural networkers. Which are you (or where do you fall on the scale)?
While I decidedly tend toward the introvert side of the scale, I’ve learned of necessity to develop both skill and comfort as a professional and social networker. I enjoy hearing other perspectives that challenge my assumptions and juxtapose ideas I had never envisioned side-by-side. I’m not sure how anyone can be truly successful in life without effectively interacting with other humans as those interactions are almost always the best source of true learning and understanding.
Transfer: Mentorship - How do you think mentorship aids in knowledge transfer?
I would always generate an eye-roll from my kids when I noted that “wisdom is knowledge tempered in the often painful furnace of experience”. Ideally, the good mentor shares that wisdom in ways (the right words at the right time in the right tone) that the mentee actually understands and can use. Yes, I know and have experienced much, but information without understanding is generally useless and I’ve found that, despite the best efforts of a mentor, most humans still need to feel the heat of that furnace of actual experience to truly understand anything.
All that wisdom stuff aside, I think the most important role for a mentor is cheerleader…being there with words of encouragement when the mentee stumbles (i.e. develops “wisdom”).
Please share with us a resource and why you can’t live without it.
The Maryland Digital Library (Any library for that matter). Google search and its ilk deliver tantalizing tidbits; good books deliver an immersive mind-expanding experience.
Just for Fun: What is your favorite activity/thing to do in the Fall?
I don’t have any favorite season-specific activities, though I always enjoy bushwhacking in the woods…a great way to let serendipity help you discover new things about the world and yourself.