ADVANTAGES

Finally, there is mentorship. This too has deep roots in familial and religious institutions, and it plays a key role in a high-functioning professor-student relationship as well. This relationship is a two-way street. It is a social relationship. I may be influenced by E. P. Thompson or Michel Foucault or Joan Scott when I read and like their books, but I am not mentored by them. I watched my academic mentors closely when I studied with them, but it was just as important that I knew they were watching back, that they knew me, my strengths, my weaknesses, my potential. That knowledge was crucial to my own transformation. Again, this is a principle that can be more widely applied. My daughter takes piano classes from a real live woman rather than just by reading piano books. I subscribe to , but really I learn most from my local golf pro, who I find myself wanting to impress with my game, just as I did my earlier teachers. Indeed, one of the things that surprised me as a younger teacher was that students were mostly motivated not by grades but by their desire to do well in my eyes and in the eyes of their peers. I do not know if there is something almost pheromonal about learning, if people learn better when in the actual physical presence of peers and mentors, but I would not be surprised if that were the case.

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