Vedaaranya Heritage Arts and Healing Festival 2016

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Melanie Carter

Department of Rhetoric and Composition
The American University in Cairo, AUC Avenue,
P.O. Box 74. New Cairo 11835 Egypt

Melanie Carter is a Senior Instructor at The American University in Cairo, where she was a recipient of AUC’s Excellence in Teaching Award in spring 2012. An instructor of composition and creative writing, her poetry has been published in The Gettysburg Review, Antioch Review, and Best New Poets as well as other journals. Her book manuscript was a finalist for the Yale Series of Younger Poets award. She has held an artist’s fellowship at The Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre and the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences.

 

 

Abstract

Mentoring Without a Map

It is the job of an educator to lead students into unfamiliar territory. And as educators, we encourage students to make use of their lack of knowledge—perhaps, even, to embrace it. Ask questions!, we say. Pick things up… Turn them over… Learn. But are we relying too heavily on our own charted paths? Though in many ways it seems counterintuitive, guiding others into areas we ourselves are not familiar with may be the best way to mentor. By navigating new territory—or entering old territory in new ways—we are not only attuned to the landscape, but better attuned to ourselves, to our strengths and weaknesses. And in figuring out where we are at each step along the way, we remind our students that the process of moving from here to there is as important as the goal.