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  • Elliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF "Are you with me now?" 5.28.21

The COVID Comeback Corner – “I went outside once. The graphics weren’t good.”

It was great spending time with Dennis this week in San Diego. We had our walks and talks looking at the past and discussing the future. This photo was taken this past Sunday our walk in Balboa Park’s Rose Garden. Our Harbor Freight Fellows work is part of the Rosie the Riveter initiative to bring women back into the skilled trades. ‘WE CAN DO IT!’ was Rosie’s trademark phrase.

Notebooks – I don’t know how many advisors asked their students to keep a notebook over COVID. That said, at the beginning of COVID, I wrote an article with Scott Boldt Noting the Notebook because I believed that COVID isolation and the meetings taking place in small groups would unbound many of our introverts, procrastinators and hard-practicing creatives to go to town and produce amazing work from the arts to the sciences. Historically, this is what happens when the world comes out of pandemics and shutdowns. Not having lots to do, can give you more time to do things you want to do.

In the COVID Comeback Era, the policymakers who want young people on the gerbil wheel of Time On Task (TOT) might not be happy with ‘losing time’ but losing time is not the issue when you are doing what matters. “As mastery is foregrounded the clock recedes.” Mike Rose


Harbor Freight Fellows, Project Insight, LA Leaves to Learn & B-Unbound

David, Andrea and I had a great meeting set up by Lefty Lefkowith of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools. Lefty brought together around six groups from LA, Long Beach and one from Washington State. ImBlaze was the main course served up for a group interested in internships but that said, we got a chance to introduce Harbor Freight Fellows, Project Insight, LA Leaves to Learn and B-Unbound. All utilize ImBlaze and all were received really well. The universal library concept of ImBlaze comes in handy when we are setting up and managing internships at scale in large regions like LA County and for B-Unbound’s national footprint. Next steps are meetings that David, Andrea and I will have with these groups.

A sign of the times that we are now out and about together is this photo taken by Isary at a vision center of a Project InSight internship where students Jasmine, Thelma and Rocio work.

On our Wednesday call Andrea facilitated a discussion about HFF, PI, LaLtL, B-Unbound and BPLiving doing Leaving to Learns in the community you are in for Big Bang. This is yet another sign that we are back to our ways of making outside of school the way all schools should work - a new normal.


We had an important call with the Hewlett Foundation today re: taking content developed by students for students and advisor/teachers and making it into Open Education Resources (OER) that allow anyone to access it for free. We had a big cast from our team on the call including Dr. Marsha-Gail Davis and Martin Tull from ACLM, Dr. Jack Forrest who has championed this work from the beginning, Danique, Isary, Paul Reynolds and Andrea Calvin from FableVision and two of our students who have produced incredible content around well-being Marie from Odyssey and Angel from The Met in Providence. As usual, the two students told it like it is. They explained their work effortlessly and honestly. We now have a follow-up meeting in a few weeks. All really good news.

When we look at the work that other groups are putting out around well-being, they leave out so much that is significant and put in so little that changes what is normally done. Why should I be shocked? There is no mention of how doing things that are interesting and have meaning to you matter to your well-being. There is no mention of sleep, eating well and little mention of exercise. What’s wrong with this picture? I’m hopeful our students will make them change the organization and practices of school to align with the measures of well-being.

Be well!

-- Elliot Washor Co-founder of Big Picture Learning

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