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  • Writer's pictureElliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF 4.28.2023

“Are you with me now?” AJ Ryder

It’s getting closer, BPLiving Day is almost here and the team is getting ready by blasting out this message today. Our students have led the way with the support of Danique, Andrea Calvin from FableVision, BPL bd member Dr. Marsha-Gail Davis and advisors like Andrew and Shannon. Although there is a celebration of a day, this is really the celebration of an everyday lifestyle that shows how to create a community focused on prevention to decrease rates of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke especially in low-income and communities of color where the disparities are greatest. This is a movement that must start with our youth who make their contributions if the change is gonna come. We as BPLving are ramping up for June 2nd in the hopes that it is embraced by all wherever you are starting from.

It was about a year ago that I went to the San Diego Met for a visit put together by ASU GSV and the LEGO Foundation. One of the many things that happened that day was a fair put on by students where games that they created for the non-profit unit of the school were on display. The name of the non-profit is PATCH – Preservation and Awareness of Tecolote Canyon Habitat. It’s mission is to preserve and advocate for the Tecolote Canyon in efforts of environmental action and community outreach. I gravitated toward this game because of how well designed and simple it was to play. At this year’s ASU GSV school visit, I asked Robert about the game and he delivered this final product. My favorite card is the Yellow-faced Bumblebee.

On Tuesday Dennis and I spent time with former major league baseball player Bip Roberts and Paul Cobb, publisher of the Oakland Post. This is my second meeting with Bip and Paul and it was a blast. Bip is running a non-profit called Uncuffed that has lots of potential connections to College Unbound and Paul is just amazing. It is so nice to meet a journalist with so much integrity. Paul knows everyone from the ‘60’s and ‘70’s who were key figures in the civil right movement. On Tuesday, we learned Harry Belafonte passed away and we were with Paul. Dennis and I both made comments about some things we knew and loved about Harry Belafonte that impacted our lives but Paul actually knew him. What a difference. It is so easy to sense and feel primary from secondary sources. Also, here we are with Hasheem, Calvin, and Ameer after our talk about College Unbound. All of these men are involved in basketball both as players and in the business. They all work with young athletes beyond the court and that’s where College Unbound fits in. Their stories were amazing, especially Ameer who is now a professor at Stanford and was a mentee of my friend Stephen Small at Berkeley. What an amazing life story. Not only are there connections to College Unbound but there are also connections to the k-12 work of BPL.

This week Body has game over Machine -

In Learning to Leave we argue that mentoring can be measured by increased interests; gaining practical skills you can’t learn from a book or a classroom; and developing meaningful relationships. Many researchers feel that the benefits of real-world learning are hard to measure but that is because they are looking at things that are easy to define and measure. Cost and efficiency trump quality and difficulty. In an article in the NY Times this week, researchers have found that “the mentorship and training people get in person had so far proved hard to replicate on Slack and Zoom.” Physical proximity leads to great feedback. HELLO! Did we need a study to tell us that. Once again, if our instruments were only as good as our eyes. It is not all bad news about online mentoring, it is just that creativity and collaboration are much harder to do when you are not in person.

This New Yorker cover by Joon Lee who is an Associate Professor at RISD poses the question coming up about Chatbot images and embodied creations. Chabot is a machine not a body. It can’t do what a body can do. As Joon Lee says, “Coming up with ideas is a very personal endeavor, stemming from one’s lived experience. It’s the seed that leads to the creation of art, whether it’s an image, a sculpture, a performance, a piece of music or writing. A.I. is a generalist by nature, scraping from all data available, so to me it seems like a fundamentally different approach. One of the things I tell my students is that it’s just as important to know what you don’t like to do in order to find that thing you truly enjoy doing. I think this self-discovery, of learning to know yourself, is where A.I. falls short and the human experience still prevails.” What a great statement coming from experience to the written word.

Book sightings: Where in the World

Learning to Leave is starting it’s take off and we are getting these photos from all over. Keep on sending them in.

Here’s Ashley Hemmy from ASA and Anthonette in Palm Springs at the BOOST conference

Here’s Bd member Loren Adrian and you know who with LtL in Providence

Next week, I’m off to Providence for the BPL board meeting and then off to Australia to work with Viv on the IBPLC, visit BPL schools and have policy meetings.

Be well!

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