Monday, August 24, 2009

'Mentee'? A good idea, but crazy name.

The Joongang has an article about 'volunteer' service that students are required to do (it being required is why I put volunteer in scare-quotes). One student who previously hated doing volunteer work is now enjoying mentoring other students. The program is in Songpa, where I once lived and worked -and volunteered myself, as it happens.

Anyway, there are two individuals involved, the mentor and the ...mentee?
“We supervise and counsel the mentors and mentees and the mentees’ guardians, and we also distribute budgets for the outdoor activities,” said Lee Yu-mi, a welfare worker in the Pungnap welfare center. “We also share information and discuss matters about the activities and the mentors.”
The tutoring is generally done once a week and outdoor activities typically occur monthly. Usually the mentors teach youngsters school subjects they’re having difficulty with.

For outdoor activities, the two participate in activities that interest the mentees, such as visiting ecological parks or observing the lives of insects and plants.
Skeptics say most high-school students participating in community service programs activities are simply trying to meet admission requirements at universities, as many universities now like to see community service activities as part of a student’s application.

I thought the word was 'mentored'. It seems Mr Domestic Bliss is mentoring a few students as well (well, showing them bugs).

Ontario students are required to perform fifteen hours of volunteer service a year in order to graduate (I think - this is long after I graduated and I haven't lived in Canada in a long time). I am not sure what the goal is; making someone volunteer wouldn't seem to encourage volunteerism in later years in my opinion. As a coach, making your players shake hands with opposing teams is a good idea but is not guaranteed to encourage good-sportsmanship. Making someone do anything is not really the best way to encourage that behavior.

Anyway, I hope this particular program works both the mentor and mentee (hee-hee) are helped by it.

By the way, to any Sokcho or coastal Gangwon people: I used to do a fair bit of volunteering but family scheduling conflicts have caused me to ease off - to nothing. If people are looking to irregular volunteering (irregular hours, I mean - a full day here or there or a few nights one week only), I am looking to help voluntees.

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