How About a Do-Over?

In a recent blog post, Daniel F. Bassill lays it out on the line:

I haven’t been paying enough heed to my mentor/friend lately.  No excuses.  So I am creating this space for people to help Daniel create a Do Over.  The idea is to not limit this to any particular idea or set of ideas on how Daniel might begin a do over. My thought is that you can come here an just start putting your own ideas and maybe find a way to contribute.  Daniel is one of the ways American is already great.  Do something to help him or someone you know who is like him.

4-20-2017 update - Thanks again Terry for setting this up. I’ve received three donations, from you, Kevin and another. Thank you.  Recently two who I’ve known for more than 10 years told me on Facebook, "Your work was ahead of the curve,  frankly it still is."   This is strong evidence of the need for a "do over" with younger people digging into my archives, blogs, web sites, wiki, etc. and making a commitment to carry these ideas into the future, when they may become more "timely" and accepted. I may not be alive when that happens, but the fruits of many movements in the past have been harvested long after the originators had died. Finding a college, business, hospital, faith group, etc. to begin the learning process over the next couple of years is critically important.  Heck, just finding someone who will keep my blogs, web site and library live on-line if something happens to me in the near future, is a critically important first step.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Kickstarter
  2. Indiegogo
  3. Read and comment on his posts and ideas here and here. Encourage his courage. 
  4. Volunteer to help with his mapping problems so that he can reach more people.
  5.  Help him with social media campaign.
  6. Recommend his work on your own blog/social media site.
  7. Hire him to you develop your own mentoring program (he has 20+ years of experience)
  8. Sponsor him for a week of work without any particular agenda
  9. Give money to groups he supports
  10. Visit Daniel for a week and help him. 

Does the difficulty to Do over Tutor/Mentor reflect a wider problem of volunteer programs in the US and elsewhere? 

The US Volunteer Rate is still dropping why?

Does it imply an increase in individualism? Does it imply an increase in private companies that are looking to make profit from social problems? In countries in Europe - Sweden for example the refugee crisis has created a market for companies like in this article 

Private housing firms in Sweden are profiting from the refugee crisis say critics.

Similarly in universities there is increasing pressure on students and teachers to invest their time in "measurable" activities which will give them a return on their "investment".  

If everything is reduced to business/market relations then the idea of community/public service ceases to exist. 

Increasingly people are given "fear narratives" which serve the interests of security companies and authoritarian politicians. 

Community assocations have much less lobby dollars than security companies...

It is much easier/more profitable to blame rather than to seek for solutions.

Others, with many more means are producing maps to serve their interests...

Dominant ideologies have dominant maps.

The minority report: This computer predicts crime but is it racist?

Such people/corporations do not want a resolution of the problems - it would be bad for business.

Economic "problems"  are grounded in a (racist/elitist/capitalist) ideology.

Daniel Responds

      It’s not necessary, or practical, for people to come to Chicago to help me since I don’t have an office where they could work. Instead, work from where you are to help.  I’ve been trying to motivate colleges, and high schools, to create courses or on-campus groups, which use the Tutor/Mentor Connection as content. Here’s a blog article that shows how a class at DePaul used T/MC as a resource for two years, but not on-going. This also includes a PDF showing my invitation to universities to set up a Tutor/Mentor Connection student group.   Your own example is mentioned in this article.  If you or others could use T/MC as content for student investigation and communications projects, that would be the beginning of a process of connecting those student groups, and faculty leaders, to each other, via MOOCs, blogs, social media, etc.  Such groups could even set up "go fund me" pages to raise money for my efforts, or to fund their own efforts to duplicate my work in Chicago, as a "do over/do better".


  1. Give your pocket change to Daniel this week.

Thanks Terry!  I already have a page people can use to provide financial support.  I’d love to find some creative talent to reproduce this on one of the funding sites.

I’m going to write an update on my blog, and will point to this concept map:  

I’ll also point to this concept map.

One shows skills that need to be involved and the other shows networks that need to be represented.  Another tool would be a map of the US, showing places where a Tutor/Mentor Connection strategy is needed to fill high poverty neighborhoods with mentor-rich programs helping youth move from 1st grade to first job and a career out of poverty.

For a do-over to happen, each box on this map needs to link to people like you, who have spent time over several years, building an understanding of what I’m doing, then have taken time to share that understanding on their own blogs, a hack pad, Twitter, etc.  If such people were doing what you do, and providing financial support each year, or raising it from others, the Do-Over would begin to take shape.

These maps also point to a needed organizational structure.  I’ve not had a nonprofit organizational structure since 2011 and that has dramatically reduced my ability to attract donations and/or compete for grants. A few of the people who fill in the concept map need to become a formal board for a new non profit Tutor/Mentor Connection, while a few others need to help build a revenue producing Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC that supports the growth and operations of T/MC structures in many locations.

A few nodes on the map point to people who need to have the ability to help give shape to what I’ve just described, and turn it into an action plan that is supported by a growing number of others, with myself as a coach and facilitator.

That’s the final hurdle. The Do Over needs younger people taking the lead, since I’m 70 and have a "expiration date" some time in the not too distant future.  For a Tutor/Mentor Connection to be around in 20 years, with greater impact than the one I started in 1993, new leaders much show up on that concept map, who have the passion, talent, resources and persistence to make it happen.

That’s another reason for trying to engage youth who are coming through school now in building their own understanding of the Tutor/Mentor Connection, just as interns have been doing since 2005.  Educators and youth program leaders can look at their work at and use this as a model for engaging their own students.

Another person who has taken the time to get to know the work I’m doing for many years, starting around 2005, and who has consistently shown it to others is Charles Cameron. Here’s article pointing to my work, that he posted on Zenpundit on Feb. 10, 2017.   I encourage you to dig through other articles on this site. They are very thought provoking.  

Charles is now going through some serious health issues and started a GoFundMe page to raise money. I’ve contributed, even though I’m low on cash myself.