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2016 BAD Roller Derby Champions

“If the Good Lord had intended us to walk, he wouldn’t have invented roller skates.” (from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory)

 (bryan farley)

On Saturday, two teams skated in circles and one team would be able to hold a trophy at the end of the bout.

 (bryan farley)

Last year the Berkeley Resistance won. This year they won again.

 (bryan farley)

Rocket Dog Rescue also attended the Bay Area Derby Championships. Rocket Dog Rescue attended two years ago. This leads other related questions. If God had wanted us to be alone, would he or she have created dogs? (Or if God had wanted dogs to be alone, would humans have been created?)

 (bryan farley)

So, walk this way and view the two galleries from #BADchamps2016. I recommend that you play a Gene Wilder movie in the background.

Berkeley v Oakland Final

Richmond v San Francisco 3rd Place

Since the Bay Area Derby championships, Gene Wilder died. The opening quote is from Willy Wonka, one of the first movies that I loved. I also included a reference to another Gene Wilder movie. Without realizing it, I appreciated how his comedy was relatable and layered. It was smart, sincere and funny, without appearing to be overly intellectual.

 (bryan farley)

 

Another First Week

Last week my children started school again. My son attends a Spanish dual immersion school in Oakland, California. (My daughter attended Melrose Leadership Academy the first six years of MLA’s bilingual program. Now she attends 7th grade in a neighboring district middle school.) MLA is not for everyone, but I believe in the school.

 (bryan farley)

When my daughter was in the first class of bilingual students at MLA, I was concerned, but confident. I know what it means to be the first at something. I have also known people who were the first. I have known trailblazers, and this experience has given me comfort. I have probably taken these experiences for granted.

 (bryan farley)

This last year, my son started playing baseball. He loves playing catcher. I attended a high school that is known for producing Major League pitchers and catchers. Fresno High School also produced the first Mexican American MLB manager. When I was a kid, my grandfather had married into his family. Pat Corrales has had a long baseball career. He is also the only Major League Baseball manager to be fired while in first place. He came from Fresno High.

 (bryan farley)

When I was in high school, my principal was a woman. I thought that all principals at large high schools could be women. I expected that all women principals should be as qualified as Jeanne Contel. All principals could be legendary athletes. (You can search for her in the new book Fastpitch.) I have also gained comfort in knowing that trailblazers like Jeanne Contel are unique. I haven’t worked for an administrator as qualified or inspiring as Ms. Contel.

 (bryan farley)

At UCSB, I found trailblazers at the Women’s Center and the Women’s Studies department. Our campus pioneers led conversations 25 years ago that are finally reaching national consciousness. Change seems sudden to those who have just joined the conversation. In 1989, I felt that I had joined the conversation too late.

 (bryan farley)

Trailblazers are not measured by standardized test scores. Pioneers are often ignored until they have succeeded. To be a successful pioneer, one must take a different trail… a new path. Not everyone is comfortable doing this. Not everyone is comfortable with the discomfort required to take the necessary risk. Some people would rather aim for above average. We have standardized tests for above average.

 

 (bryan farley)

I took this photo Thursday morning. It is also the featured photo, but the featured photo will disappear after a few more posts. This is the only photo I took Thursday morning. I was aiming at my son when he unexpectedly lobbed the catcher’s mitt to me. The shutter speed was 1/500 and the depth of field was 3.5. It’s a lucky shot. The mitt fell into the frame perfectly. I lucked out on the yellow and blue color in the background. My son isn’t tack sharp, but this will do. This picture also helped me discuss the Corrales connection more. How many managers have there been in MLB history? Who were the first? What happens to those? Where are they from? Mason and the other students are positioned to be exceptional… we will let the other schools aim for above average education.

I took smart phone photos Friday. I may add those in a notes post here. (I edited this post on 8/29/16)

 

 

 

 

 

Into the Heart of Integrated Learning

Twilight, lost my way
Twilight, can’t find my way

In the shadows, boy meets man (from U2’s Twilight)

 (bryan farley)

Last week I photographed Inventing Our Future 2016 at Chabot Space and Science Museum in Oakland, California. The three day event was the Fifth Annual Integrated Learning Summer Institute sponsored by Alameda County Office of Education and other regional partners. The conference emphasizes how art can improve education across the curriculum. I have attended the last four summer workshops.

 (bryan farley)

As the photographer, I visit all 33 workshops. I also meet the morning plenary speakers. I follow each day’s theme as I follow the schedule. On day one, we explored “compassion for self and others.” Several of the workshops focused on trauma. How do we help ourselves? How can we help our students?

 (bryan farley)

Each year, I listen to music while driving to the workshop. This year I listened to U2’s first album Boy. The music inspired me, but I have not processed everything yet. With all the discussion about trauma, family stories and advocacy, there is still something stirring in the shadows and tall trees.

 (bryan farley)

On the second day, the theme was “recognizing our community assets.”

 (bryan farley)

Educators don’t create many (or any) standardized tests for “recognizing community assets,” so we have lost the ability to recognize a community asset. We must remind ourselves and our students to “engage and persist.” This is how we often find answers.

 (bryan farley)

“The Courage to Act” was the theme for the final day. Sometimes art leads to joyous discovery. Sometimes art leads to more questions. Sometimes art leads to both.

For photos of the week, see this gallery.

To read about last year, see the post Roots in the Key of Life

To read about 2014, see the post Tapestry of Art Education.

 (bryan farley)

NOTE: Added on 8/21

After the 2014 workshop, I added a notes section on my old blog More Than Kids. Tonight I added this link so that I can include more ideas as I remember them or as they are revealed to me.

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