29 March 2005

The times, they are a changin'

Not much R & R from this weekend, get home on Sunday in the afternoon and crash. Get up at 6AM and head to work.

That was the plan, anyway.

I work with most of the younger mentors, so there was much conversation that centered on the regional event. Lots about how well the team did, but then the subject of the insensitve remarks had to come up.

I was entrusted by the team members to do something about the situation and I pondered over just what I could do. I have to say that I have not been a fan of the advisor for as many years as I have been with the team, and I know also that this behavior is not new. Up until this year, comments were generally made to a select few and often about things the team had no control over, like the pairings for alliance partners.

By the end of Monday, I had a decent idea of what I had to do, but not how.

On Tueday, I had opportunity to talk with my former manager. I explained what was up and was stuck with what to do next. He offered a suggestion, and it was so simple, that I grabbed it up and made it fit my situation. Look at the endgame, he said. What do YOU want as a solution. How simple can it get. The bottom line is that I didn't want to merely pull the advisor out. There were many years where the team wounldn't have continued if it were not for the efforts and passion the advisor had, and still has, for the program. All I wanted was a change, a simple one: respect for the students and think about what you say befor uttering the words.

By now, the folks at the company that preside over the FIRST program, were getting prepared to take this back to the school and had set up a meeting where I was to present the facts as I understood them.

I had sent all the mentors who were present at Cleveland the details, some of them didn't have a clue to what I was talking about. Some were rookies and didn't have any history with the team. I explained what had happened, told them about the history as I knew it, and then asked them for their input on what *they* wanted from the advisor. I needed all that by Friday morning.


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