About Kevin Walsh

Kevin began MyMediaDiary.com in 2013 as an experiment that was as simple as "What's a blog?" and ended up becoming a forum for fellow writers. He's been a high school teacher for 28 years and worked as an administrator and instructor in colleges for 6. Contact him at: kevin@mymediadiary.com He is also the producer of the web-series and blog, www.DiggingDetroit, founder and producer for MMD Productions at www.mmdphotovideo.com which offers quick, professional photography, video and multimedia solutions for individuals, organizations and businesses. His high school media production text, "Video Direct," has been used in 40 states--and he occasionally still sells a few. He is the current president of the non-profit DAFT (Digital Arts Film and Television) which sponsors the Michigan Student Film Festival. He lives in Royal Oak, Michigan, is married to Patrice and is tolerated by his two kids Aidan and Abby who have all graciously allowed him to write about them on occasion. Follow Kevin on Twitter @kwteacher

Lynn Eads: Online Parenting Coach & Author

Most people don’t really consider themselves to be experts in much–for example. My kids once accurately defined our specialized fields: “Dad’s kinda funny sometimes and mom finds stuff.”

But when it comes to hammering out that brief description of yourself in LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram it can be surprisingly difficult to find much to really brag about–let alone translate it to a full-blown resume.

It’s a lot easier to look at your reflection and see that one tiny zit rather than combed-hair, clean teeth or at maybe even someone who remembers to clean the mirror once in a while.

Lynn Eads, featured … Read More…

WandaVision’s Re-Stream of Our Consciousness

Check out our WandaVision Roundtable podcast.

I’m still processing the remarkable WandaVision and its re-boot of the role of television on our culture, the metamorphosis of its consumption and digestion–and thankful for some friends to help me get some perspective on this tragedy wrapped in familiar sit-com sets with a laughing audience.

The Fonz, Kunta Kinte and Darth Vader’s paternity claim. My first three thoughts while processing WandaVision. Marvel and Disney+ actually had the nerve/guts to stretch out its nine-episodes over NINE weeks, reminding me of my first television cliff-hanger, many years before JR was shot.

Three moments of delayed gratification jump to mind from my childhood–triggered by the weird time-warp that WandaVision so accurately displays–making one week cover 50 years of jokes, … Read More…

“Peeping Tomb” – Sunlight & Stained Glass in Detroit’s Historic Woodlawn Cemetery

Original photography by Kevin Walsh. Also featured on Digging Detroit.

Detroit’s Woodlawn Cemetery offers a unique historical walk through Detroit’s golden era, founded in the late 1890s by Detroit’s captains of industry and politics

Founded in 1895 – Woodlawn Cemetery – 19975 Woodward Ave, Detroit

I first encountered the magic of Woodlawn on a walking tour with Bailey Sisoy-Moore, founder of Detroit History Tours. I then was forutnate enough to become a guide in her tour company’s “Buried in Detroit” bus tour of multiple historic cemeteries.

Incorporated in 1895, it offered the opportunity of a … Read More…

“Hamilton” through the Lens of Cinematographer Declan Quinn–with Podcast

Third row, center. Pretty good for the hottest show on Broadway–even better when it’s a free seat.

The challenge? To convert a once-in-a generation stage-play into a multi-million dollar budgeted film. So pay attention, right? No stress. For a photographer there’s perhaps no greater thrill–finding that one great angle, great color, great contrast.

Cinematographer Declan Quinn was asked to help bottle the magic of the Broadway juggernaut through an itty bitty lens–or twelve. He joined me in a podcast to discuss the 2016 shoot–and even passed along his camera schematics of the monumental project on a very tight schedule.

“We embraced the sweat, because you know you’re not going to take the … Read More…

Presidential Report Card from one Teacher’s Lifetime: LBJ to Trump

Note:  I actually wrote the following in the weeks following Donald Trump’s 2016 inauguration and it has sat in my draft bin ever since. I decided to shelve it and wanted to give some time for Trump’s presidency to actually have some history behind it, feeling that while I graded the new president low scores even after just one month, I had hopes they’d improve–I guess more of an early progress report than a semester grade.

Following innumerable crises and jolts to our system, let alone in just the last 12 months an impeachment, a pandemic, nation-wide protests against inequity and finally the terrifying events at the capital on Wednesday January 6, 2021 I remembered to take another look at this post–as the nation was jolted into a Washington-version … Read More…

COVID-Journal Day 1: Zoom, Maisel & Drunk Lucy

It’s been a ton of time since my last post and if I don’t jot down some of the crazy things that have changed the world in the past two months as the COVID-19 virus has crushed the economy and stripped the streets of Manhattan, Rome, Paris and caused the Venice canals to run clean I’d be one pretty lame blogger.  While the government plays ping-pong with the stock market today with suspicious eyes on each side of a slush-fund for the right or a socialist welfare state for the left, there are too many people dying, too many people sick, too many losing paychecks and, frighteningly, far too many people who think it’s not a big deal.

But here’s my narrow experience so far–the first … Read More…

Father’s Day 101: Seven Tips from Seven Pics

I was looking for a Father’s Day picture to put on Facebook today. The upside of cracking a rib last winter while wearing socks on carpeted stairs was pooling all my family photos into a server.  Flipping through them I realized the lessons that can be found from each one.

Jim Walsh was only 57 when we lost him 22 years ago but his love of the moment, his family and a good laugh stay with us each day–and his “dad jokes” were passed down from father to father decades before that term became a household term about five years ago.

1. You’re Needed at Full Strength (No matter how tough your day)

I’ve looked at this picture a hundred times, mostly to see us kids–and to try to remember Katie’s full-sized doll’s … Read More…

An “Impossible Dream” — Not Holding a Microphone Up to the Speaker

“You’ll be hit by these big waves that’ll sneak up on you.”  That was what Fr. Jack Trese told us about grief at my dad’s funeral in 1997.  But a week ago I got clobbered by one those waves in the form of  a showtune I couldn’t stand–driving south in the middle of Ohio.

These days, my go-to stations on Sirius include “On Broadway,” “The Beatles Channel” and “The Seventies on 7,” especially on Saturdays they reply Casey Kasem’s “American Top 40” broadcasts from the same week from 1970-79.  I was very excited one weekend brought back my transistor radio tied to by handlebars as I listened to WDRQ delivering my newspapers at 5:30 AM.

In addition to the Saturday Night Fever‘s stranglehold on the airwaves that spring … Read More…

Michigan Charter Schools Attempt Millage-Pillage & 20 Years of Arizona School Carpetbagging

And from the “Ain’t It Ironic” department…

Charter schools in Michigan decided they want a level playing field.

“We have ten percent of our students who attend charter schools in my county,” said bill sponsor Sen. Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell. “And I feel like it’s an equity issue.” (link)

The GOP leaders aren’t satisfied with just dipping their corporate bills into state per-pupil funding (with far less oversight needed than traditional schools), they now want a piece of local districts’ property tax millage.

Michigan Senate Bill 574 proposes a handy crossed-out edit of the 1976 law…

It’s just one little … Read More…

“So if the election were held today…” An Unscientific Survey of Non-Hillary Voters

One of my favorite get-togethers has always been the night before a wedding or reunion–everyone’s in town and it’s much more casual in some bar than the big shin-dig the next day.  But one of those great nights was tainted on September 11th, 1998 with the release of Kenneth Starr’s report on Bill Clinton (link).

One year earlier, I had been ridiculed by one of the guys when I admitted voting not once but twice for Clinton.  While I knew many of my friends were clearly planted on the opposite side of the political spectrum we’d always handled our differences smoothly; but that night seemed to move beyond the … Read More…

10 Tips from 25 Years of Marriage – From Sweetest Day Toilet Repairs to Bathtub Duty

Twenty-five years ago, I was playing tennis the morning of my marriage.  I don’t normally whack myself in the forehead with my tennis racquet but that was what happened.  Look carefully at my wedding pictures and you’ll see the little knot.  My blushing bride Patrice couldn’t stop laughing and said, “Well that was a dumb thing to do!”

Twenty five years ago–and it just happened–that tennis game, wedding, birth of two kids, two houses, eight cats, four barbecue grills and 4,000 students just happened,

Somehow our marriage keeps moving along at light speed–after just a quick two week period of dating and six month engagement.  We’d eaten lunch together for the first two months of the school year in the teacher’s lounge but it started … Read More…

House on the Hill or the Shack in the Shade? Bungalows Depart from Suburbs with the Middle Class

Probably midway through junior high was when I finally put some kind of tie between the size of a house and the income-level of the dad who pulled up in the driveway at dinnertime.  I didn’t notice that one pal’s father was an executive at Ford and the other guy’s dad fixed transmissions (way cooler, by the way).  The most awesome dads coached little league or took us to Tiger games; the coolest moms were den-mothers for the cub scouts or didn’t mind us screaming “Marco Polo” for eleven straight hours in their above-ground pool.

Clawson, Michigan remains a small town with hundreds of ranches on the 1960s “newer” north end of town and the bungalows and frame houses from the twenties when you cross Main street nearly one … Read More…

Day 28 – The Reichstag Fire, “Dangerous” Immigrants & Emergency Decrees

“Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!”

Thus, in typical thin-skin, knee-jerk Twitter-ese, President Trump issues a Don Corleone “and that day may never come” warning in the wake of a court-ruling stalling his seven-country travel ban.

Nothing makes people more willing to give up their rights than an emergency.  And nothing primes the pump better for an emergency decree than a worst-case-scenario actually happening.

Adolf Hitler didn’t take over Germany by force–he was elected chancellor, not dictator in 1932 and sworn in on January 30, 1933.  He promised change, jobs for the working class and most importantly plenty of scapegoats to blame for losing … Read More…

Back to the Classroom, Slide Projectors, Mountains & Mole Hills

Four years ago, my intended formula for this blog was pretty simple–pick a form of media (TV show, movie, billboard, cat footprints) and let it take you down a path or two.  But the last path I took was in August, before I returned to the high school classroom for my 26th year.  Being in an office setting since 2012 certainly gave me more physical and creative energy for activities like blogging as well as producing a documentary series, but it also pulled me a bit away from some basic reality-check questions that I’ve always enjoyed from teenagers–beyond “Can you give me passing grade and a pass to go home?”

The days following Election Day produced some poignant conversations for this English major turned video production teacher–with just a minor … Read More…

Please De-Friend Me! A 12-Step Facebook Litmus Test

I’m often baffled by anyone who want to be friends with me–particularly about lefty agenda items that can’t be shaken out of my brain through a meme or “But Hillary did worse!” argument.

Maybe they are on an evangelical Karl Rove mission to let me see my folly–or perhaps they’re just fans of NASCAR crashes and fifth grade choir concerts.  It’s like me saying, “You say you sell Amway?  Let’s hear all about it!”

I think the Zuckerbergians in the bowels of Facebook should develop a litmus-test for friends, replacing the holistic score we give folks as we look over our friends “in common” before we let them in our virtual lives of cats, knee injuries and occasional political viewpoints.

No one likes unpleasant surprises, such as finding out your house-closing that your new neighbor can’t … Read More…

Podcast: Inside the Detroit Blues Society

 

Join  host Pete Kalinski from Royal Oak’s Boo’s Music Bistro inside Mr. B’s Restaurant as he welcomes two of the city’s foremost fans and promoters of Detroit’s legendary blues legacy–President of the Detroit Blues Society, Steve Soviak and Vice President Tom McNab.

It’s first meeting in 1985 began a multi-decade of transformations to increase public interest in the Society. Large-scale events included a number of indoor and outdoor concerts and school workshops. Increased membership and a more organized approach allowed the Society to embark on special projects. Educational programs became more formalized and in 1996 the Scarab Club Educational/Blues Heritage Series began. Each event featured a theme based on some aspect of the Detroit blues tradition.

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The Legacy and Questionable Power of My Father’s Puns

My dad had three puns that were so bad, they were only permitted on his birthday–and one was pretty challenging to employ on June 28th.

Jim Walsh would have been 76 years old today.  He came from a long line of punsters and its with mixed emotions that his grandchildren also subject unsuspecting audiences to his legacy.

At his funeral, 19 years ago, we passed around two leather-bound green books for folks to jot down their favorite memories of my dad, a precurser to the amazing testimonial strings found on Facebook at the passing of a loved one.

My college buddy Dan added two of his favorite groaners from my dad’s visit to campus on his tri-state route, often in the South Bend area selling windshields to … Read More…

Empathy Be-Damned, Just Find Your Foxhole and Someone to Blame

When a tragic event happens, we’ve changed from a nation of mourners to a nation of soldiers in foxholes.  We’re stunned by the first noise then dive for cover and peek above the rim and fire away, perhaps taking aim.  Hurry!  Which hole will be yours–the gorilla’s, the parent’s or the zookeeper’s?

CincinnatiZoo

Gorillas don’t kill people, the zoo does!  Do the same people in favor of shooting the Cincinnati Zoo’s gorilla support banning AR-15s?  After all, neither is by default a man-killer, but, in the wrong circumstances they can be as deadly as a seven year-old driving your minivan. If you’re in favor of keeping zoo patrons … Read More…

Defining the American Masses: The Common Man or Third-Graders without a Chaperone?

“You’ve reached group-sales for the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  How may I help you?”

“Hi there!  Our third-graders are touring Manhattan and we thought we could bring them by tomorrow.”

“Certainly.”

“That’s great.  This chaperoning is wearing us down so thought we’d drop them off in the morning, catch a show and a few beers and pick them up around 5 or so, if that’s okay”

“Umm….Well, we need to have the kids chaperoned…because, you know, there’s a lot of priceless items…”

“Thanks so much.  We’ll be by at 10!”

There aren’t too many teachers or directors of any respected institution that would permit this scenario.  After all, it’s hard to take a selfie of you and Van Gogh if there’s some kid drawing horns … Read More…

McMansions and Boo Radley–Paving the Way for Progress, Right Over a Royal Oak Neighborhood

Featured on May 16 Detroit Channel 7 news (link).

I suppose I was guilty, but they were such pretty trees.  The city of Royal Oak sent me my warning that a fine was on its way if I didn’t take care of the maples growing in my garage gutter.

GutterTrees

Meanwhile, down the block, we’ve got our own version of the Boo Radley home that has sat vacant for nearly four years. My wife doesn’t like to walk too near it because of the rats that have been seen.

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