it happens that there are some newbies giving me advice about what I'm doing wrong
Perhaps it is because my aikido sucks, but if even a newbie can point out something I am doing wrong, I figure it must be a pretty obvious mistake on my part. I have gotten some really good advice from people who are lower ranked than I but are much stronger regarding how to get a technique to work on them. I sometimes even work with them on the break between classes to see if I can figure out what I need to improve on. Sometimes they are wrong, but a lot of times they know why they didn't fall and are more than happy to share their "expertise."