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I work for a telecommunications company in the Real World and during my 
career, the only way for technicians to learn their complicated craft was to 
become an apprentice to an experienced technician. If that experienced tech 
took an interest in their apprentice's learning, at least more than "Here's 
what ya do", that person becomes a Mentor. The Oxford dictionary of  
current English describes Mentor as: "An experienced and trusted advisor". As  
in the Real World, I have an experienced and trusted advisor, a Mentor, in  
Active Worlds. It started from my very earliest days in AW, back when I was  
growing weary of the chatter at the Gate and was beginning to strike out on my  
own to parts unknown in the wilds of VR. I stumbled across a particularly  
intricate site that begged for close inspection. I was intrigued by the  
workmanship and so I right clicked (a function that I had, at the time, just learned  
about) to see who the builder was. I noted the name & resolved to seek out more  
of her work if possible. Time passed. I saw one or two other sites by this person and 
was amazed by her versatility of themes, not to mention the obvious skill involved in  
creating said sites. The few times I inquired about this person I recieved no new info  
and I was beginning to believe she didn't hang out here in AW anymore. Then I  
discovered building and was occupied with all the frustrations inherent in that most  
demoralizing of skills to learn. One day I looked in on a new and intriguing sounding  
world called AWUniv. They had an information gallery of all the teachers who had  
volunteered their time to instruct citizens on how to build more efficiently and beautifully. 
As I went down the hallway of names I was pleasantly surprised to see this mysterious 
builder's name among the volunteers. The gallery included a list of eachteacher's sites so  
I took advantage of it and took off to see more of her places. I was delighted to see  
more recent sites that served to confirm that she was still in AW and building! Soon the  
AWUniv was going to open and I checked the upcoming class list for her name but  
didn't see it in the initial classes. Then the classes started and my summer seemed to be  
up in about 3 days. I made friends with many of the teachers and students and it just  
ate up the time! I had so much fun during classes, lightening up the dark moods and 
contributing to the general mayhem as I saw fit (and I saw fit most of the time). My  
teachers would occasionally compliment me until I realised that it wasn't so much what 
I was building as what questions I was asking and my tendency to pipe up when I felt I  
knew I could help someone (I was told this by some of my teachers later. Even though  
I am a self-admitted show off, I'm not that vain......yet. Heh heh). 
I had given up looking for my mysterious builder's name on the class list after about the  
5th or 6th week. Then one day I saw it! I wrote down the class and date and waited  
impatiently for it to arrive. On class day I arrived to see some students milling about but  
no teacher. She then appeared right on time and introduced herself to the class. 
I was SO excited to finally meet this great builder I had been following for months!  
As I stood there watching, she said "We will get to the class in a minute but first I need 
to ask someone something. She then turned to me & asked: "Ewasx, do you have a  
directory to your sites that I may see sometime?" 

------------------- When my heart started beating again, I thanked the VR gods that she  
couldn't see me in the real world. I typed a timid "Yes" and then said I'd BRB. I got my  
hands to stop shaking in a short time and came back. 

The class was great and I learned quite a bit, from what I remember of it (thanking those  
VR gods again for AW's chatlog). I later surmised that she asked me for my teleport center 
location as much to see how I would react as to any real desire to see my sites. You see, the 
teachers at AWUniv talk a lot among themselves and I believe this was just a little joke they  
decided to play on me because I had mentioned being in awe of this teacher in previous 
classes. She was kind enough to telegram me later to compliment me on one of my places and 
we've subsequently become friends. I even got the location of her own teleport center and was  
astounded to learn that she had created over 60 sites in just under 2 years of membership in AW!  
She has told me that she tended to keep to herself until recently. She volunteered to teach at  
AWUniv in the hopes that she could pass on some of her hard earned experience to promising  
new builders. I am truely honored to say that she has said she wants me to recieve that  
knowledge! A Mentor in the truest sense of the word! We have since then explored together and  
separately, always keeping track of each other with a friendly word telegrammed on a regular basis. 
I have others who I also consider Mentors and I have recieved as much help and knowledge from  
them as my original Mentor but there can only be one first Mentor, and I'm so glad that Atawa is mine. 


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Material Copyright © 1998 Simon Says