• Elliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF "Are you with me now?" 6.18.21

Happy Juneteenth Everyone! – In 1983, Martin Luther King Day became a federal holiday. There has not been another new one until now almost 40 years later. Yesterday, President Biden signed a bill making Juneteenth an official federal holiday stating, “Great nations don’t ignore their most painful moments.”


That’s Maddie on the left, a Harbor Freight Fellow on board Rhode Island’s state ship, the Oliver Hazard Perry. She is working as a deckhand-engineer. Maddie is now a spokesperson for the work of the marine trades in HFF. She is encouraging woman of color to pursue this work. She loves it. When I spoke with Maddie this week without a prompt, she told me how she loves learning something new every day, On board, she has to solve problems both alone and with a group. This is what keeps her engaged. She’s all in.

As Michael Polyani states,“We can know more than we can tell.” Tacit knowledge is deeply rooted in action and in an individual’s commitment to a specific craft within a community. Call it being in the zone or flow, when you find the experiences that you choose to do that keeps you “all in,” it is a great feeling. In the coming weeks, Brian will be making a documentary of Maddie that we will use both on the Harbor freight Fellows and B-Unbound sites to introduce other young people to this work with the opportunity to actually do it.


Star Trek – The Voyage Home – “Everybody remember where we parked.” Captain Kirk

I’m looking forward to getting together for Home Week with our BPL staff. Isary, Andrea, Alisha and Tirza and I have been planning our PMU and Unplugged time for BPLIving that will be part of the festivities. While I’m glad we are all getting together and thankful for all the work the team has put in, I still feel like I’m on board the Starship Enterprise on a year-long journey and this is the final teleconference to Planet Earth. Soon, the transponder will beam us down. For now, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone from their home base. Just an FYI, in 1968, Star Trek broke ground with the first televised interracial kiss on the lips. I remember the episode well.

In the past week, I’ve done two keynotes. One that started at 2 am my time to Korea. The topic was how to do leaving to learns and engage students. I was on a billing with Henry Readhead, the grandchild of A S Neil. It was a real good session. Summerhill is celebrating their 100th anniversary and Henry asked if we would be part of the party. The other keynote is for the Education Idea Lab with a talk on curiosity and imagination. Both will have follow-up.

This coming week I’m on Kauai and aside from being at Home Week, I’ll be spending time at a Hawaiian Camp that Kapua has set up. It will run for the next 4 weeks and is a precursor to The Namahana School as we await charter approval. This work will be linked to BPLiving work. Campers will be in ‘advisories’ doing all sorts of Hawaiian crafts, cultivation, weaving and more learned in the traditional ways.


Andrea and Carrie are definitely having an influence on me. Every place I go I’m starting to see eyeballs.


Be Well!


-- Elliot Washor Co-founder of Big Picture Learning

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