I'm sitting here watching the Women's Marathon and remembering other recent Olympic events I'm struck with the similarities with the issues of e-portfolios and accountability. As I talked with a colleague about the issues at her school, I realized that we were talking about the e-portfolio development process as both a balance beam and a marathon. The balance beam represents the narrow path we traverse, between the needs of the institution for an accountability system to document students' assessment OF learning, and the needs of the learner for a way to tell the story of their own learning, and to use feedback on their work for their own development. It is also a marathon, where the learners need to pace themselves, conserving themselves for the long run, so that they don't burn out before they meet their goals. This metaphor was very vivid today, with the British woman, who kept up with the leaders for the first 20 miles, but then broke down and did not finish, whereas the American woman ran her own race, turning on the speed at the end of the race, coming from behind to win the Bronze medal. It looks like I have another metaphor to add to my website.