(mostly) daily photoblog

Archive for June, 2011

“What teenager is quiet?”

What teenager, indeed.

Sub Pop Records was responsible for a lot of loud teenagers when I was in high school.  From Nirvana, Muhoney and Soundgarden to modern acts like Fleet Foxes, The Shins and Postal Service, Sub Pop has managed to make itself a reputation for signing and promoting bands that are familiar, in that when you hear their songs you think, “Wow.  I love this.  Who is this?” and at the same time think, “Why don’t I hear more music like this?”

It’s like they have some kind of underground magnet that helps them find their bands; something that locates amazing musicians, singers, songwriters that don’t feel like they’ve been pumped out of some popular music factory.  They are, thankfully, not in the business of mindless pablum that passes for popular radio fare.  They are, thankfully, responsible for thoughtful, soulful, genius acts of wonder.  Thanks, Sub Pop, for making me a loud teenager, even at 37.

Hey! Allergies suck. That has nothing to do with this photo, but I’m grumpy because of my allergies.


I’m whiny.  Here’s the real post.

It was only two days ago that I went to Seattle to visit the Experience Music Project with my friends and students from school.  This is one of my favorite scenes in Seattle Center.  The way the Space Needle reflects off of the EMP looks great.  It’s not an exact reflection, which makes it even better.  If you live on the West Coast, or are visiting the area, make sure you get to Seattle Center.    I love it down there.

Oh, and it might be a cold, but I think it’s allergies.  If it is allergies, they can take a long walk off a short dock.  Stupid allergies.



How many people love a good teacher?

Davis Guggenheim, the speaker on stage here, was discussing his latest documentary film “Waiting for ‘Superman'” with 18000 high school students.  That’s a pretty big number of people.  I recently watched this film and my immediate reaction, as a Canadian teacher, was one of revulsion and disappointment.  I see what’s happening to children, to young people whose future is outside of their control and jeopardized by adults – teachers, politicians, administrators, economists – who are thinking of themselves instead of those they are charged to protect, teach and help and it makes me feel queasy.  Listening to Guggenheim last October made me feel at least somewhat encouraged that there are people who are seeing the horrors of the education system.

While visiting Vancouver for We Day, Guggenheim reminded the students that the reason they were there was because of good teachers and that good teachers would make the difference in the lives of students who would change the world.  As a teacher in attendance, it felt pretty good.  For a brief moment, me and the teachers in attendance were given an ovation that few of us will hear in our lives.  18000 people clapping, cheering for the good we’re doing is pretty amazing.  Thanks, Mr. Guggenheim.

BTW, Photo Friday and WordPress’ Photo Challenge this week are met in this one post:  “People” and “Numbers”.



My high school experience: EMP version

I find that taking photos of other photos is a bit weird.  Someone already took a brilliant photo, and I’m piggy-backing on their genius.  At the same time, I want a record of my own experience.  In this case, my fellow teacher and friend Kris asked me to accompany him to the Experience Music Project in Seattle today.  To my delight, EMP is showing an exhibit called Nirvana; Taking Punk to the Masses right now and it is an account of my high school experience through the music of the time.  The end of the ’80’s and beginning of the ’90’s saw the advent of the grunge music movement and I felt like I’d moved back 20 years.

I was surprised by how emotional the experience was.  If you’re in your 30’s and actively participated in the music of the Seattle music scene from twenty years ago, I highly recommend that you see this.


For my wife: This goat’s for you, Hillie!

Every time we drive by a farm that has goats, my wife goes down the illusory path of nostalgia and regales the Family B with stories involving the two goats she had when she was little.  She tells us about how her and her siblings called them “Peaches and Cream”, so when I was driving home two days ago, I noticed baby goats at a farm I pass on my commute home.

So, Hillie, here’s a couple of goats, just for you.