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  • Writer's pictureElliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF 2.23.2024

“Are you with me now” A J Ryder


“What I began to see — especially since, as I say, I was living and speaking in French — is that it is experience which shapes a language; and it is language which controls an experience.” James Baldwin


Just Duckie

 When we were in Memphis and watching the March of the Ducks at the Peabody Hotel, The Duck Master came out and in his opening remarks said that when he gets asked if the Peabody Hotel is 13 stories, he quickly responds, “No! The Peabody has thousands of stories.” Where we are staying for Big Bang is a Leaving to Learn without leaving. Here’s one of those stories. Many people have performed at the Peabody. Louis Armstrong was one of them. In October of 1931 on the night before performing there, Armstrong was arrested for sitting next to his manager’s white wife on a charter bus. At his performance the next night, he dedicated the song "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead You Rascal You" to the Memphis Police Department. As you can tell, I’m still excited about our reconnoitering in Memphis and looking forward to Big Bang.


From Ducks to Geese

The Nene is the official state bird of Hawaii and right now I’m on Kauai with Andrea, Anthonette, Pam and Kapua & Co. We are immersed in learning environments both in and out of buildings and most importantly immersed in culture and community. The trip has been great and I’m so glad we were invited as a group where we are working with people with multiple responsibilities as craftspeople, on boards, parents, as kumu’s (teachers) and members of the community.



Since eyes and ears are easily deceived, the hands measure the weight, size, density, pressure, temperature and texture of objects, and so they help us all to better build a shared framework for sensitivity for truth. How do you get that from AI? Here's Andrea making a lei at Waipa.


Over these last few weeks of travel, one emerging theme is water. In Winnipeg. I met Vinh Huynh, who is originally from Vietnam and now principal of Bell High School in Winnipeg. His story about transforming both individual and entire countries suffering through water is remarkable. As he explained to Sonn and I, the Vietnamese word for water is nước. Water runs down as tears that release pain and suffering so the next generation doesn’t feel it. Water is life. Now on Kauai, we were on a tour of Waipa Foundation with Kirsten, who explained aina which, like so many words with so much meaning, is a word that is difficult to translate. Kirsten simply put the translation as watershed.

 This photo from the mountain to the sea is the watershed that feeds Waipa with the reciprocal relationship that we feed and care for as part of the watershed. Waipa is a place for B-Unbound and will serve as a place where the year before opening, an out of school advisory will meet to show the community what Namahana School will be like.


Over the next many years, Namahana and Winnipeg will be amazing places for our collective work where I’m sure we will all be gathering and learning.


 Over the course of a few months a number of us involved in the Harbor Freight Fellows work have been grappling with the following questions to get the word out about the new and old skilled trades to a variety of audiences on social media through the stories and actions of our Fellows.


  • How can we encourage viewers to take action and get involved in the skilled trades?

  • How can we incorporate statistics and data to emphasize the success and opportunities in the skilled trades?

  • How can we create a consistent look and feel for our videos across different platforms?

  • What are some taglines or phrases that can effectively convey the message of our videos?


“Prevention is better than cure” – Desiderius Erasmus

Moving away from endless problem-solving and toward creating healthy context. In this article, Amartya Sen suggests we should measure social context based on its ability to give individuals and communities the freedom and capability to pursue the things they value in life. This is where philanthropy should be heading. One can only hope.


Next, I’m back in San Diego and Los Angeles

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