So, MenTut is this term The Administration has coined for the hybridization of tutor and mentor.
I’ll get to a point, I promise.
A tutor is supposed to be this academic guru that guides lone and tempest-tossed 1st and 2nd year students of any faculty through this major period of pressure and transition. Got it? Good.
A mentor is more like a counselor, a big brother/sister that you can come to for emotional support.
Traditionally, these roles have been split for fear of one overpowering the other. But The Administration decided years ago that they cannot quite be separated. It’s like telling a Dr to not get emotionally involved in a case.
Well, not really. But I like to think of it that way.
Anywho, there is a bit of division amongst The Administrators as to whether these two roles are effective as the hybrid. Therefore, the people in charge of res assign a separate group of older students to be ‘just mentors’. Hope you’re following this.
So, on paper this all sounds very nice. In fact, if I’d just read about the system, I probably would have endorsed it 100%. Because who doesn’t need help bridging the gap between make-it-up HS and regurgitate pre-clinical MS? Um…no-one I know. And who doesn’t need a shoulder to cry on during that weird independence/home sickness moment when all you want is your mommy?*
Except, for me, experience is the greatest teacher.
So let me tell you a little bit about my MenTut and res mentor.
MenTut: practically, non-existant. Next.
Okay, I’ll be a little bit more detailed than that. When everyone else’s cool MenTuts were scheduling weekly (or at least monthly) group meetings to ‘catch up’ and gauge where they were academically, mine? Not so much. When everyone else was getting loaded with past-papers and being helped through them, me? Oh, no, I had to troll the corridors for my fellow mentees to club our resources. When everyone else’s MenTuts were all, “Oh, goodness, don’t study that! Are you insane? Not only is that completely irrelevant to anything you do in future, but they never even ask about that. Skip that and–oh! Read THAT. They always ask that.”
I’m not complaining, all right? Even if that is what blogs are all about nowadays, it’s just not my style. Ha ha. I get that we’re supposed to be self-reliant and resourceful and not only study for the tests and become the best doctors we can possibly be.
But she was freaking getting PAYED! To basically ignore me. And in case you’re wondering why I never confronted her, I totally tried. I can actually give eyewitness testimonials to the fact that everytime I approached her, she would stare right through me and wince, “Um. Who are you again?”
Besides which, the one time my fellow mentee and I asked her for help in Organic Chemistry, when we were of the opinion that nothing could be worse–boy, were we wrong Pharms–she basically told us that she wouldn’t be much use since English isn’t her first language. (EXCUSE ME??? Could she not have ticked the box stating so on the application form?)
So, I’m sorry, but they are basically paying people to decide if they’re in the mood to help us. Which brings me to my mentor.
Okay, innitially she was cool. She was all, “Open door policy. Anytime you need me, call me. How are you coping?”
That lasted a good month before I realized the open door policy only applied when she was actually in her room (obviously) which she never was. And that anytime I did call her–once, and I’m sorry but she’s getting paid so why am I calling?–she was too busy to talk. And the coping? Well, I usually reported on my state of wellbeing via a form she made me fill out at the end of each semester. Which she would barely paraphrase in a letter she would send to my grandmother about what a ‘polite and well-rounded individual’ I am. Insulting, much?
So, honestly, the system is flawed. I’m going to stop ranting now, because that is my first point and I want to start on my second point before I get mad and start writing in an even more disorganized manner.
*Okay, I was in boarding school during HS. So I did all my crying for mommy when I was thirteen. Still, though. No-one I know.