Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What a Man Is

My mentee at Urbana HS has a project where he has to list the qualities that make a man a man, as opposed to a boy (not as opposed to a woman, which would lead to a very different, biologically-slanted and politically-inflamed list).

A few weeks ago, he broke down the student population of Urbana High into:

  1. cool people (himself, his friends)

  2. nerds (uncool people)

  3. nerd-cools (people who are allowed to bask in his glow, but are really nerds underneath)

I asked him if there are cool-nerds, nerds who don't bask in his glow, but are cool within their nerdy group. He said that was a nerdy question.

So, although I barely qualify as a man in his worldview, he did ask me for help with his project (since us nerds are always useful with school projects). Here is the list we came up with, for what a Man does:

  • Lives up to his responsibilities

  • Owns up to his mistakes

  • Helps people in need

  • Uses his strength, power and privilege to lift up those who weaker or less privileged

  • Protects those who are abused or mistreated

  • Is a good example to young people

Yes, it would be easy to make cheap jokes in a list like this. But he doesn't need ideas floating in his head like "Yells for beer from couch while cursing at favorite football team." It's OK for some lists to reflect only our goals.


brownie said...

What is a mentee?

Dan S said...

I'm the mentor, he's the mentee...

Anonymous said...

Not to be confused with manatee.

Dan S said...

Yeah, manatees are just too hard to turn into fine young men.

Adam said...

Yes, but you can work with a boyatee.

brownie said...

And if a manatee had a goatee would it make him a walrus?

Adam said...

Did the manatee raise the goatee from a kidtee?

Fingtree said...

The Walrus' beard would eat the Manatee's mustache.