Thursday, January 10, 2013

National mentoring month

January is National Mentoring Month.  I'm a big believer in mentoring, and I serve on the board of directors of one of the best mentoring programs around: Teammates, founded by former Nebraska football coach, athletic director, and congressman, Tom Osborne, and his wife Nancy.

At our last board meeting, the staff asked board members if they would consider writing short stories for the Teammates blog concerning their own mentors, with a theme of "Who mentored you?" Tom Osborne's story about one of his mentors, Woody Varner, inspired me to think about the people who guided me during my formative years, and I contributed this story about Pete Wagner.

I blogged about Pete one other time, in a post that ranks as one of my personal favorites. It still puts a lump in my throat when I think about that Thursday evening in 1949, how profoundly that small act of kindness impacted Pete over the next 60 years, and how he did the same thing over and over for me.

My wife, by the way, ran into Frank Hilsabeck's widow a few months and shared this story with her family, to her great delight.


6 comments:

Steve said...

Other than my dad, I'd probably say my mentors were Roy Rogers, the Lone Ranger, and Marshall Dillion. Back then the good guys were good through and through, not the conflicted heroes we have on the TV and silver screen now. I suppose the modern approach is more realistic, at least as far as life today goes. Still, I can't help but think there were, and hopefully still are, some people around that are good through and through. I believe my dad was; at least, I never saw him do anything that he wouldn't have been proud to see me do.

I'd like to think my mentoring for LPS provides a good role model for my students. Even though our focus is on learning math, a day seldom goes by that we don't discuss other things about life.

MRDRIVEDRUNK said...

Some youth are really getting odd messages from the mentors. From age five to fourteen my mentors instilled the following behaviors. Swearing, chewing tobacco, smoking cigars and hacking huge amounts of phlegm to spew on the garage floor. Beer, whiskey and sexual jokes where standard fare at this great for kids establishment. One thing I learned early is the police officer that stopped in on occasion seemed to be the only one with an odd demeanor. He would chat, chuckle at a few but not all jokes, and then move on to the streets. I am sure, looking back, that this garage was a pit stop of peace and quiet in his world of litter. Perhaps it was his way of checking to see that the few sane people in the world were a bit still sane?

Modeling behavior has a profound effect on children and teens. After many years of counsel and guidance, I started and still am learning what is proper in it's time and place and what is not. Parents project the home to the classroom. Teachers, our first line of defense and correction, send home letters explaining that little jimmy is talking like a drunk sailor in first grade. Decades pass and today bad language has changed to rap chants of kill this kill that ect ect.

Great read today. It will take many of us to make a change.

ARRRRG!!!! said...

I think it might be too late for my kids.

Anonymous said...

Remembering back to the height of Husker wins in the mid 90's, don't you think Osborne should have used some of his mentoring advice for his own players instead of protecting them from getting arrested for the shooting, robbing and assaulting they were doing in the city of Lincoln. How about when Osborne hid the gun used by one of his players from LPD? He is more of a hypocrit than a role model. Win at ALL COSTS was the mentoring of the day...

351 said...

One of my best mentors, Mr. Tom Casady

Anonymous said...

January 10, 2013 4:14 PM:::You needs to loosen the pasty.