Illustrations: Coline Robin and Ana Mendes

Illustrations: Coline Robin and Ana Mendes

“Impostor syndrome”; your trainer drawer and nice podcasts?


 by Mark E. Taylor 



“Marker” is a regular column in Coyote, hoping to encourage debate, questions and a certain regard. 


 Are you a victim of the “impostor syndrome”?


Ah, dear reader, do you remember at the end of the last decade Coyote had an issue all about training and trainers? One of – I think – the most appreciated trainers in the youth field and a multi-talented individual wrote to me, complaining that he didn’t find himself in this mindmap of stakeholders we included in the Edito.

After a bit of ping-pong messaging, he did finally admit that it could maybe just be possible that he could fit into one or two of the categories… But he still felt prevented by the “impostor syndrome”. And here we agreed: one day others are going to find out that we know nothing; that we don’t actually have a clue why we are facilitating so-called learning processes; and if by a miracle something is a “success”, it’s because of LUCK and not because of us!

Obviously, you are not afflicted with the “impostor syndrome”! But if you have a friend who might be in danger, I can only heartily recommend a recent blog post by Eric Barker in which he sets out research results which can help improve your “self-efficacy”!


 What’s in your trainer’s drawer?


Michael McIntyre is one of those “comedians” who usually annoys me. He is sexist, a bit creepy and mostly, for me, just not funny. But sometimes YouTube’s autoplay function reveals an unknown jewel shining in the darkness. His sketch about the Man Drawer is well-observed, with a crazily surreal ending. I won’t reveal too much about it here, suffice to say that he describes a drawer that nearly everyone (of all genders) has in their flat/house. This drawer contains a mix of objects which might come in handy one day: keys from an old flat; old AA batteries; that thing with which you bleed radiators; etc., etc. You get the picture?


Got me thinking. Do you have a trainer’s drawer? (Or it might be a shelf!) If so, what do you keep in it? I checked mine:

  • all different – all equal stickers in different languages;
  • reusable water bottle without the cap;
  • anti-stress balls which are no longer elastic or “squishy”;
  • A4 card printed with the slogan “if you can’t use your head, use an overhead”;
  • overhead projector sheets with a set of pens which have long since dried out;
  • gadgets from the Youth in Action programme;
  • blank session outlines with too many columns to be useful;
  • AIDS campaign condoms, long since past the use-by date;
  • campaign postcards with too much text on both sides and no space to put an address;
  • little stones and shells from meaningful mountains and beaches.


What’s in yours?


 Robot nastiness


OK, I am not the first one to complain about how crazy it seems to be that artificial intelligence robots ask to verify that one is NOT a robot when trying to log in somewhere on the internet or subscribe to a newsletter…

But am I the only one to believe that these robots are becoming nasty?

They deliberately make the images of such rubbish quality!

Honestly, can you see all the bicycles on this?

Luis von Ahn has much to say about what they call CAPTCHAs here.




 Talking Youth Work – podcast series



Now into its second season – if, like me, you missed them when they first started to be published, there is of course still chance to listen to a wonderful podcast mixture of conversations around innovation in youth work.

There is even one about this magazine!

Choose your attractive episodes and download them here!






 Sounds and reflections

 The Roop (2020), On Fire, Eurovision

 Lumineers (2013), This must be the place (Naive Melody), triple j

 mint mint (2020), you’re not my brother, The Orchard Music

 Wolfgang Muthspiel Quintet (2016), Father and Sun, ECM Records

 Kezaite-Jakniuniene M. and Taylor M. E. (2020), 8 guaranteed ways to burn yourself out as a mentor!, Via Experientia

 John Prine (1991), It’s a big old goofy world, Oh Boy Records


Many thanks to all those who have provided crunchy camel peanut butter jars
as a form of feedback for the last “Marker”.
Next time we plan to consider the ‘pataphysics of the polenta process.

Take great care!

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