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  • Writer's pictureElliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF 1.12.2024

“Are you with me now” A J Ryder


Great news! One of Beyond the Box’s (a BPL School in Barbados) students has been accepted to Bryant University using the IBPLC. From the acceptance letter it appears that both the Learner Profile and The Flower, the algorithm side of IBPLC gave them a more complete understanding of a potential student minimizing cultural biases. Gabby, thanks for sharing the news. IBPLC - One Student At A Time!


Also this week, I had a promising meeting with Natalie McNight, Dean of General Studies at Boston University about partnering with us on the IBPLC. BU General Studies is basically its own college within the university. She presented the IBPLC at an administration meeting this week and Andrea and I will be on a call with them shortly.


Apgar – Dee Hock and Self-organizing Communities

 I’m a big fan of Dee Hock and his book One From Many. His principles of self-organizing communities as a way of sustaining work is to be admired. Our ‘Apgar’ meeting feels that way.   

Our meetings with Sweetwater administration kept the ball in play for our B-U’s. There’s lots of potential here for youth and adults alike, even the potential of a school. Things are moving at a district pace but they are moving. Also, I had. a meeting with Juli Coleman, Chief of Improvement with The CORE Districts in California. It is sometimes hard to believe how much talk and how little has happened around quality teacher/student relationships. This meeting was a reminder of how much we have to share and how much must be done. To be continued.


This is always a tough week for me because my son Michael passed away on the 9th of January. This year, it was a bit tougher because I found out that one of our students Justin Howell from our first graduating class passed away on the 9th as well. I spent lots of time with Justin and his mom Ruby. Justin, aka Biggie because a strong likeness to Biggie Small loved Shakespeare. It is one of those things you would never suspect. He was also someone who loved his mom dearly. When Justin first came to The Met, he was a wreck because his mom Ruby was on dialysis. He refused to do anything until one day, he figured out with us that the one thing he had to do to get out of his funk was to learn how to use the dialysis machine his mom was on. And that’s what we did. Once Justin learned how to use the machine, he settled down and moved on. He was now ready to tackle things that he was interested in. This first thing was banking.


This weekend, I’m having a conversation with another one of our students from our first class, Juan Heurtas. He called me up the same day and has now started his own carpentry business. Juan has been a union carpenter for decades. Our talk will surely be about the trades and entrepreneurship. Life’s stories have some bittersweet ways of ebbing and flowing.



Another self-organizing group in BPL met for the first time this week prompted by Zelia’s interest in what is titled: Disability & Other Intersectionalities @ BPL. This has been a strong interest of mine so I joined in. My part of the conversation was around a book I wrote about in Learning to Leave. Here’s an excerpt.


Are we All for One or One for All or are we All for each and every one of us? Or are we All for only one way? Coincidentally, the book I read this week was What Can a Body Do? How We Meet the Built World (2020) by Sarah Hendren. What emerges in the book are the hidden assumptions on which the everyday environment is built when a body doesn’t fit the built world, hence, the use of the word “misfit” in this book. Sarah Hendren’s history of everyday objects and the abstract concepts of time and navigation/proprioception lead us into how the world was and is shaped around what is deemed normal. There are some frightening histories exposed here around the role of eugenics in our measurement system and where our systems are today with regards to race, gender, and class.


And when I say body, I mean the entire body.”



And, today at close to 93 years old, Debbie Meier called twice to discuss her latest documentary project on Central Park East 50 years later. The beat goes on….



“Everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” MLK –


Monday is Martin Luther King Day and the celebration of his life could not come at a better time to remind us about governments, race relations and so much more. A week or so ago, I read and now reread his Letter from Birmingham Jail. The quote above of Dr.’ King’s is excerpted from that letter where he discusses so much that is as relevant today as when he wrote it.


“MLK Day is not a day off, it is a day on” – I’m doing my service.


“For in peace our hearts will sing

Thanks to Martin Luther King”  Stevie Wonder’s Birthday Song


Happy Birthday! 

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