“Are you with me now?” AJ Ryder –
Andrew and I were together all week with a touchdown from Carlos on Monday. We started off in San Diego at a meeting with BPL board member Gary Kraut about Alumni Toolkit. Then, next morning Andrew, Gary and I had a meeting at UCSD with CREATE - https://create.ucsd.edu “an organization that collaborates with campus and community partners to create equitable, innovative opportunities for student college/career preparation – and educator professional learning.” We met with Susan Yanazawa, Associate Director of CREATE who has been leading the research work for Alumni Toolkit. Alumni Toolkit is now in 30 schools in San Diego County. We were planning next steps in the research to give us more info.
From there Andrew and I spent the rest of the week at Odyssey in Paramount. Odyssey was a busy place for BPL this week. There were multiple meetings happening. They ranged from a film crew that spent three days filming our LTI process, a BPL research meeting, a kick-off for Project InSight and discussions around sustainability. Thanks to the entire Odyssey community for everything they did this week. It was great being at a school.
Lowenstein Grant – LTI coordinators from Fort Smith, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Paramount, Providence, Sacramento and Winnipeg got together with BPL staff and researchers from Boston College and The Christensen Institute to develop an action research design for LTI’s. We have an opportunity to develop new forms of assessing internships that matter. It is the first time in a long while that BPL has had such a focus on this type of research and I was happy to be a contributor here. This kind of collaboration is rare these days because so much of educational research is driven by think-tanks that feed politicians silver bullets to make policy. It is a great opportunity for us to learn from the study as well as get the word out about to lots of different groups including the general public.
Project InSight was kicked off in two ways at Odyssey. Andrea Purcell now managing/directing Project InSight met with Vision to Learn and the Rotary Club to start students off on their mobile units to learn about eye screenings and vision. Also, on hand was Jean Kaneko from the Obama Campus in Santa Monica. Jean is developing design challenges with students that will serve as the catalyst that launches Project InSight with both face to face and online supports. Paul Hudak is also developing a design challenge with Odyssey students around how nutrition can prevent visual impairment along other design challenges that students come up with. All of this work leads students to develop their interests in this broad field and find LTI’s that lead them to becoming InSight Fellows, and beyond into the world of work and post-secondary certifications and degrees.
Project InSight is piggybacking off of the work that Charlie and I have been doing for Harbor Freight Fellows. While we were at Odyssey, Charlie was in South Carolina where he met with industry, state and Harbor Freight distribution system folks to develop a statewide system for Harbor Freight Fellows using ImBlaze. According to Charlie the meetings could not have gone any better. Our goal over the next few years with Harbor Freight is to do exactly what is happening in South Carolina.
While the research side of the LTI research team was slogging through a design to present to LTI Coordinators, Andrea arranged a Leaving to Learn experience for the LTI Coordinators to the Goddess of Moles. It turned out to be an incredible experience for everyone. The cultural knowledge, practice and family ties for making these moles that take three days with at least 20 ingredients blew everyone away. I did have a chance to listen to the de-brief but alas, they didn’t bring back any moles for us.
Kentucky Opioid Recovery Luthiery
In the midst of all of this lively action, I came across two articles that are loaded with connections to what we did all week. The first is on a rural non-profit developing a luthiery in one of the highest economically impoverished regions in the US. The apprenticing luthiers are adults from this area recovering from opioid addiction. It is heart-warming and speaks to the essence of our work – in doing something that matters. Here is a community built on a serious practice and committed relationships. The instruments made here are beautiful for so many reasons. This is a process performance from beginning to end. The stories that these instruments tell from the wood they were made from about the place they were made to the people who made them through the music that will be made by the people who play them is a calculus that I’m not sure any data design could quantify or capture. READ THIS ARTICLE HERE...
The other article is a fitting end for this week’s work. I know Sylvia Fein through Frank’s friendship with her and the amazing video he did on her book Heidi’s Horse. Sylvia is now 100 years old and is living an incredible life. From the paints she makes to the pictures she paints of the things she has grown from the places she has lived; Sylvia’s spoken words are ones that only a true artist could put together. This quote sums up the week for me.
“We have not discovered why this is, only that it is; and it’s important because our built world is constructed on the principles of logical relationships our children and our ancestors realize,” READ THIS ARTICLE HERE...
Enjoy the weekend!