Still Reading? YES

Someone asked me yesterday if I was still reading. The answer , of course, is yes. But nothing is worse than having a blogger make up stuff when the mood hasn’t really struck her. As WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg said in his blogI used to think constantly about building an audience for my blog but now my attitude is that if I’m not blogging for myself it’s not worth it. I don’t force myself to post once a day, I just do it when it feels natural.” And such is the philosophy I have adopted.

Fortunately, I do have something worth posting today: comments from Chapter 6 in Ronald White’s A. Lincoln. In 1840, Stephan T. Logan and Abraham Lincoln became law partners. Logan, Lincoln’s senior, saw Lincoln as idealistic but raw. He instilled in Lincoln his own belief that success is byproduct of hard work, and that the work should not only be focused on understanding your own position, but also on understanding the logic and passion of your opponent. According to White, this is something that Lincoln took to heart and it helped to form the man he became, and the leader he would become.

So how does this apply to the theme….well, it seems to me that mentorship is key in change, particularly personal change. Lincoln was lucky enough to have a mentor who understood those ideas and habits that would most compliment and enhance Lincoln’s strengths. How about those of us who are mentors? Are we present, seeing how to enhance our mentees, or are we focused on a creating a mini-me?

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About Dana Carmichael

Dana has a professional interest in Authentic Intellectual Work. This means focusing on improving intellectual quality in the classroom and increasing student engagement. By day, she does this work with a passion. By night, she is a thematic reader, examining a random essential question for the year through fiction, nonfiction, film and general random conversations.
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One Response to Still Reading? YES

  1. Elise says:

    Wow…that’s a great question, Dana. And even more essentially, a challenge of sorts. I recently read a study by Elizabeth James that explored her pre-service teacher/students’ resistance to a contextualized epistemology of history. It was a reminder that unless we change beliefs and convictions, we have little impact on those we may mentor. And we don’t get to the bedrock level, to belief, without the sort of respect you id’ed in Lincoln’s mentor.

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