Friday, February 14, 2014

Mentee Outing #1

My first mentee outing. My 2 teen mentee girls keep asking me "When are you going to take us somewhere?" It's hard since my schedule is booked into oblivion but last Tuesday I said "Screw It!" I'm taking my mentees out this weekend. So I messaged them both on Facebook and told them to choose one of the 3 options I'd given or suggest their own:

1. Winchester Mystery House (which is a lot more expensive than I thought it would be. $35 a ticket. Ouch!)

2. The Egyptian Museum (an oldy but a goody)

3. Tech Museum's IMAX Theater to see the Galapagos/Tropics/Ocean movie (Yes I will get nauseas at some point during the film as always happens with the IMAX viewing bubble screen)...

Then the girls complained that they wanted all 3 of us to go together. But I was told repeatedly, as I relayed to them, that Mentors are to take out their Mentees individually so there can be more 1 on 1 time. The mentees then complained and asked me to talk to the mentoring program leader to see if an exception could be made. I told them I would message the team leaders, but told them not to hold their breathe. 

I emailed 3 people: Mentoring Leader, Mentorin Co-Leader, and my Mentor Coach. I explained my situation to them and also noted that I was fine taking the girls individually and mostly just needed advice on how to help them make peace with going individually. 

Then my mentor coordinator emailed me back. 

"It's Perfect! Perfect! Perfect! and you're perfect!!! Go for it Jessica,take them both out at the same time." 

With that blessing, I was like, Ok time to message the girls they are home free and we can all go out at once... which saves me time and effort.

But then his email went on...

Basically he said that he's asked people int he mentoring program what they think of me and everyone has come to the general consensus that I'm quiet and shy. He said he thought I was shy until I told him over the phone I'm just a really good listener who chooses when to speak with relevancy rather than ramble. Then he said, "But then I asked my wife what she thought of you and she said you were shy too..." Great. So the world, your wife, and apparently you have come to the same conclusion everyone else has since the dawn of time. I don't care. Personally I don't think being quiet/shy is a bad thing. Having lived it I can say there are some definite benefits to it. 

But then he insinuated that:

1. I didn't want to take the girls out individually because I was afraid I would become a 3rd wheel and would feel too insecure to talk to them

2. My asking for "permission" to take the girls out in and of itself was a sign of shyness and self-doubt.

Shy does not equal powerless/hopeless/weak.  

The fact is reading my message and interpreting it the way he did says more about his own preconceived notions of what "shyness looks like and must mean" than anything about me personally. It's just annoying.

He then asked me a series of questions I'm not actually certain that he wants me to answer back to or just think about. I'll answer them here just for the hell of it:

"Jessica, what are your goals?

1. Your  Health: My health goal is to start eating healthier and start working out this year.

2. Your  Relationships: Gain closer bonds and connection with friends. 

3. Self- Improvement: After 3 years in Toastmasters and the ongoing I work I do with different groups like my friend’s women’s group –my plan for self-improvement at this point is to focus on “Myself” which has been fading off to the waste side these days. I want to focus on getting back in touch with my spirituality and connecting further with God. 

4.Where will Jessica be in my life in 5 years? I hate this question. I’m a live-by-faith kind of person. I honestly don’t care where I’m at in 5 years –whether it’s in the same job or a different one, in a mansion or the same one… when it comes to time and location: I Don’t Care. Who do I want to be on the other hand: I want to be more self-assured and spiritually-oriented. 

5. Who will you be  with? Again, I don’t care. Friends. Family. A boyfriend. Whoever feels like hanging around. Doesn’t matter to me. 

6. What is your strong wing in mentoring these two? I’m really good at not talking to them over the phone because I hate over-the-phone conversations. In other words I’m good at talking to them over Facebook and not talking to them much in person. 

7. What weak wing can you strengthen? Connecting with them more in person. 

8. What do you have to "try on" that you're resisting? Being more of a “mom” because apparently that’s what it takes to coordinate meeting up with them. Especially trying to coordinate this latest outing it is becoming more apparent that they are still very young in some ways and aren’t used to setting up meetup times with people and instead are used to the adult/parent arranging everything. It’s not their fault though –technically checking in with the parents is a requirement. 

9. What are your AM thoughts about them?  FM?
AM = My mentees acts stupider than I know she is. It bugs me.
FM = Both girls are smarter than they let on and have a lot of untapped potential. 

10. What feelings do you have when you think about this outing? Happier now that I know I can pick them up, take them, and drop them back off at the same time. Logistics Solved! 

11. What possibility can you create for you and your life to be the best mentor for these two? I want to create a worksheet for them at some point to help them figure out who they are and what they want in life. Also just try to be there as a support system for them. I don’t want to hassle them like most adults do –I just want to be a sounding board they can bounce thoughts/ideas off of.

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