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  • Writer's pictureElliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF 5.28.2023

“Are you with me now?” AJ Ryder

G’day! Time Travelers on Spaceship Earth. It’s Saturday now and I’m at the airport in Sydney heading home. I’ll arrive in San Francisco on Saturday an hour before I leave.

Every once in a while an event happens during the course of the day that reminds me of something my mom told me that has meaning in the moment. Here’s the message my mom sent this week.

Years ago when I lived in New Hampshire my mom and pop came to visit and we took a trip up the Cannon Mountain Tram. When we got to the top my mom asked, what town that was way in the distance. I told her it was Laconia. She said, “We lived there.” Quite upset and confused, I said, “Mom, I’ve lived in New Hampshire for 13 years and you never told me you lived here.” She said, “You never asked.”

Ask her? I had no idea to ask her about living in New Hampshire and judging from what I knew I couldn't make any assumptions that she ever lived there but perhaps that’s her point. I shouldn't assume and I should learn to ask.

This week I spent loads of time at the University of Melbourne with psychometricians and faculty who have done great work with Viv’s team building out the International Big Picture Learning Credential (IBPLC). Data conversations are always intriguing to me. At these meetings, I gained an understanding of how the psychometricians at Uni Melbourne developed their algorithms for the IBPLC. I went to presentations where there were lots of spot on assumptions about the BPL design and there was really great work done that developed and refined the set of algorithms that aligned with teacher/advisor judgement but in the end as co-director of Big Picture Australia John Hogan remarked, “They are looking at numbers and we are looking at students.” All that is well and good to support our work through data as we go to scale but there is so much more to ask about what we want learning experiences to be both in and out of school where each and every student is the curriculum and the entire community is the school. The more we can see each and every student through the data collected the more it will look and feel different and I’m hopeful in years to come the talk about outcomes will evolve to talk about becomes. We just have to keep asking for it.

This wonderful article appeared in Fortune last week about Maddie Gillissie, a Met Graduate and Harbor Freight Fellow. Maddie now works with Anthonette and Charlie on B-Unbound and Harbor Freight Fellows.

At the Met, every student gives a valedictorian speech. Brian Mills sent me this photo of Angel doing his. Every four years, I connect with an advisory at the Met. This time it was Andrew Coburn’s because his advisory met in Roger Williams Park where they used the park as their “classroom” and community. This park experience for advisory is something I’ve always been interested in. All that said, Angel is one of his advisees and has been an extraordinary contributor to BPLiving both at the Met and beyond. Next year, Angel is off to Clemson on a full scholarship. Yep, it is graduation season and I’m getting all sorts of notes from people all over about their graduations. Thanks everyone for sharing. And not to forget June 2nd is BPLiving Day. Angel and others have been very involved in making this event a reality. Don’t forget to tune in.

Late singer Tina Turner was an “extraordinary woman”, one of the greatest artists of all time, and her passing is a “devastating loss,” says the Daily Telegraph Chief Entertainment Editor Jonathon

“I’m wiser but not wise” Tina Turner

Hearing the news of Tina Turner’s passing in Australia brought to mind just how much more of a star she was in other countries. I had no idea how revered Tina Turner is in Australia. It felt like the country was in mourning. To get a handle on her fame down under, everyone there knows that her manager Ray Davies was Australian and the uptick of her career started in Australia. Here’s a few more things:

Simply the Best sung by Tina Turner relaunched Australian Rugby.

Tina Turner became a regular fixture on primetime television.

She starred alongside Mel Gibson in the 1985 film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and Auntie Entity.

The Nutbush dance named after the town where she was born is part of ‘Aussie’ culture

and is performed in primary schools, at wedding receptions and Christmas parties, despite Turner having never performed the dance herself.

The news channels spent tons of time recapping her life. Who knew how popular Tina Turner was in Australia and for that matter in Europe where she lived in Switzerland? We tend to think the world of music revolves around us but when you get out it just ain’t so. More assumptions and more things I should ask about.

Thanks Tina

Be well!

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