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We Came As Romans – Kyle Pavone

So this is where it ends, the road we took together (together, together)
Turn another page, however and forever (forever, forever)

We Came As Romans, from “Memories”

 (bryan farley)

Last week, We Came As Roman’s lead singer Kyle Pavone died from what has been called an accidental drug overdose. Today, the band released a statement about the cause of death. The band also announced that the Kyle Pavone Foundation has been established to “serve and advocate for the musician community in their time of greatest need….”

 (bryan farley)

When I photographed the Michigan band during the 2013 Vans Warped Tour, I noticed the Detroit Tigers lettering. When I edited my old files today, I realized that America was honoring the Queen of Soul in Detroit. I love Aretha Franklin, but I also enjoyed We Came As Romans and I know that there are many people grieving this loss too.

 (bryan farley)

If you are an older person like me, you might assume that a loud energetic band would have a destructive message… and you would be wrong. We Came As Romans were loud and energetic, but they were hopeful. They even performed a song called “Hope.” Another song, “Never Let Me Go,” might have been about human struggle, but it was also about the power of human connection. Their guitarist wore a Heart Be Heard shirt.

 (bryan farley)

I only saw them perform that one summer in California. Perhaps because I have watched their videos, including a Taylor Swift cover, I thought that I knew them better and that they could take care of themselves and each other. I should know that life is not that simple.

 (bryan farley)

These are life’s difficult questions. I think the difficult answers can be found somewhere in the opening lyric. We must find a common journey… a road we can take together. It’s the only way for our hearts to be heard.

 

To view the original 2013 slideshow, click here

To view the updated 2018 version, click here

 

Hornet Lunar Eclipse

 (bryan farley)

If you live in North America, you may have missed the total lunar eclipse last weekend. The eclipse was visible throughout the rest of the world and it was also the longest total eclipse of the century.

 (bryan farley)

Six months ago, my children and I viewed a total lunar eclipse near our Bay Area home. We spent the night on the deck of the USS Hornet. The USS Hornet Sea, Air & Space Museum hosted a “Blue Moon, Super Moon and Lunar Eclipse” viewing party on January 30-31.

 (bryan farley)

A “Blue Moon” and “Super Moon” might sound exciting, but the total lunar eclipse happened at night. It might not have been the longest eclipse of the century, but we still spent the entire night on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier in the San Francisco Bay. We were wet and cold and tired.

 (bryan farley)

Most people slept underneath the deck or arrived in the middle of the night. We chose to sleep under the stars.

 (bryan farley)

Here is the eclipse photo gallery. I probably took some decent photos, but my assessment is clouded by my memory of the cold and wet evening.

 (bryan farley)

I am glad that I went. My children and I had an experience to share and we love the USS Hornet. The eclipse was beautiful… but so was the sunrise.

 

 

MLA Pioneer Promotion

 (bryan farley)

In 2009, the first two classes of Melrose Leadership Academy dual immersion kindergarten students started school. Last month, the first two classes of 8th grade MLA dual immersion students finished middle school. I photographed the June 7, 2018 promotion ceremony and a celebration dinner the day earlier.

When we started at the school, we could only imagine the first 8th graduation class. Now, these students are part of the school’s legacy. I have included photos from the first kindergarten graduation as well as photo galleries from the Promotion Ceremony and 8th Grade Party.

 (bryan farley)

I have collected nearly 100 photography galleries in my MLA Photography Collection. I started photographing some of the graduating Melrose Leadership Academy students when they were still in pre-school. My daughter was part of the first kindergarten class; my son started two years later. My children did not finish at MLA, but they are also part of the legacy.

 (bryan farley)

Nelson Mandela would have turned 100 today.  When he visited the United States, he said,

“If there’s one lesson we can learn from the struggle against racism, in our country as well as yours, it is that racism must be consciously combatted and not discreetly tolerated.” When I became involved with MLA, it was a conscious decision to combat inequality in public education.

We valued combating racism consciously at MLA. Students learned history; students also learned how to be conscious participants in society.  (bryan farley)

Acknowledging success is important. Many of the MLA students graduated with biliterate certificates. The students can read, write and speak fluently in two languages. Families attended two events. There is a new mural wall for the 8th graders. The local community has consciously celebrated their students.

 (bryan farley)

I wish that I could have done more for the first graduating class. They are truly exceptional. However, in America, we are more likely to celebrate affluent schools that offer AP classes than dual immersion public schools.

 (bryan farley)

2018

The school and the students have come a long way. If I did not have the pictures, I might not believe it. I still hope that receive some special recognition some day. I want the recognition for the students, but I also want it for our country. I want to know that our country is “consciously” rewarding those who are making a difference.

Melrose Leadership Academy in Oakland, California started a dual immersion (inmersión dual) Spanish bilingual program in 2009 with two kinder classes. Eventually, MLA will become a complete K-8 bilingual school. (bryan farley)

2010

See Notes on a Blog for more of my thoughts about this post and older Melrose Leadership Academy posts.