On December 5, 2021 of one of the greatest men in my life left behind an extraordinary legacy of love and acceptance–Mr. Alan Eidelman–Clawson High School social studies teacher.
Alan Eidelman (1943-2021)
His love of teaching, students, laughter and pure acceptance of everyone he met truly left a permanent impact on thousands of Clawson students, many who became teachers because of him, as well as the students from Academy of the Sacred Heart (his longtime retirement teaching position) and for busloads of students who were so moved by his tours at the Holocaust Memorial Center.
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.
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.
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… →
I don’t think I am alone here. When you reach a certain age and stage in life, you come to the table with a certain level of common sense and experience that you think backs up your values, beliefs and opinions. So, there are many areas of life that I have experience in but I am not a professional. I take my combined experience — mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, lawyer, teacher, book lover, movie and theatre lover— and I use it all when I process the world around me. Situation dependent, certain parts of this experience may overshadow others. Many have seen my mama bear take charge; others the lawyer, teacher, friend etc. Whichever controls, I universally try to follow the signs.
Classrooms and schedules can make strange bedfellows. Yesterday, I lost my roommate of 10 years, Micah Greene. And like a brother who shares a bunkbed for so long, you become so in tune to his tossings and turnings, snoring and other idiosyncrasies that you stop paying attention–at least consciously.
Drama teacher Micah Greene came to West Bloomfield High School in 2003, the second year of the new TV studio whose courses I was asked to create. He was a proud Western Michigan Bronco who had also spent some time at a Kalamazoo television station. He was a natural to teach extra sections of our Beginning Video Production program once the program got rolling and had more sections than hours available.
One of the longer hours you can put a teacher through isn’t monitoring lunch or that final 60 minutes before spring conferences are over–it’s at an in-service, the mandatory training that the state, city, superintendent or your principal inflicts upon educators. Topics can range from the terrors of airborne pathogens to the correct way to open your laptop. Michigan teachers are required to attend 30 such hours by law and most fall under the same sad irony found in the half-day seminar on the twenty-minute attention span.
But somehow, in 1991, I found myself at a training that stays with me to this day. Its metaphor was the playpen. Al Dicken, who would later become my administrator when I changed school districts, was the trainer at … Read More… →
Sometimes, feeling useless can feel quite nice–particularly on a movie set. Hurry-up-and-wait sums it up, of course. But if you’re just lurking like I tend to do, watching former students do their thing, you can be quite invisible and love every minute of it.
As an extra in Gran Torino, on the other hand, I felt useless even though I did have a job to do.I was told to walk down the street toward the Grosse Pointe hardware store and act like that wasn’t Clint Eastwood in front of me. It took me five times, but I did it. And when the camera stopped rolling, I quickly came to realize that I wasn’t a person, really–I was a prop, a prop that could be replaced much easier than the rake in the window … Read More… →
Listen to Kevin’s podcast with Ric Viers…[powerpress url= “http://traffic.libsyn.com/mymediadiary/MMD_SoundFX_Expert_RicViers_Dec22_2014.mp3″ length=”14313591″ type=”audio/mpeg”]
Perhaps it’s osmosis, but Ric Viers has noticed that his son seems to have his dad’s ear. In the middle of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, there is a Foley mistake–a sword that didn’t clash to the ground. “And I saw it and I just kind of smiled, but before I could even say anything, my kid leans over and says, ‘Dad, they forgot one of the sound effects.’”
After years of on-the-job training, sound effects expert Viers has learned valuable lessons for not just audio but life, not the least includes keeping ones car keys in the refrigerator.
Owner of the world’s largest collection of sound-effects, The Detroit Chop Shop, Ric Viers was a guest speaker in November … Read More… →
Veteran film and TV sound expert Ric Viers, author of The Sound Effects Bible and The Location Sound Bible, joins Kevin Walsh following a workshop Ric gave to Michigan high school students on his 10 Location Sound Commandments, which offer important life-skills as well.
Soft Skills and Reputation-how the most skilled person on the set may not be the one who stays on the set.
How Does One Begin as a Sound Guy?
Fatherhood and the osmosis of sound-awareness
Gathering sound-effects (and where to leave your keys)
“The Joe,” the battleship-gray windowless box on the Detroit River, is slated for 2017 demolition, making way for high-rise condos, a hotel and shopping as part of a pay-back to creditors owed $1 billion. For a few months in-between wrecking-ball and ground-breaking, Detroiters will once again have an unobstructed view of the river at the corner of Fort and 3rd–as if looking back in time and seeing the Purple Gang hijack another bootlegger at the docks, before moving its haul up the street to the speakeasy beside the church.
And that same little brick building on the left will probably still be standing when the condos are torn down in 60 years–perhaps making way for the next home for the Wings.
When the 1974 picture above was taken, I was probably immersed in Channel 50’s after-school reruns of Get Smart, Gilligan’s Island or … Read More… →
It wasn’t supposed to be this close of a race in Michigan. To get Rick Snyder re-elected governor may take more checks from United Citizens like the Koch brothers to create more subtle ads like the following…
This cringe-worthy moment was a response to Mark Schauer’s surprising “too-close-to-call” campaign—perhaps riding on the bumpy road of last winter’s potholes and angry pensioners whose fixed incomes become less-fixed with Snyder’s new tax on their retirement.
Even GOP legislators weren’t happy with this tax…
Republican Sen. Rick Jones of Grand Ledge, who introduced the repeal bill on March 20, said he did so in response to constituents in his district who have called his office or approached him in coffee shops to complain about the pension tax as they prepare their returns.
This weekend, we’re celebrating the end of summer–the bookend to Memorial Day and a great Monday to have off. Labor Day was created to supposedly honor the American worker but was passed in record time in 1887 by a Congress and president with a guilty-conscience.
It began with a broken promise–probably one that shouldn’t have been made. But it was made–and believed to be made for all the right reasons on one side and the more logical reason on the other side–the reason of profit.
George Pullman, like any great American businessman, found his niche. He grew up near the Erie Canal and witnessed the importance of creating luxury transportation and adapted it to the newborn railroad system.
After transporting Lincoln’s body through 180 cities and seven states demand for Pullman’s cars grew, … Read More… →
How do you make a movie? What does a producer do? Are English accents tough?
Kevin is joined by Adam and Daniel Cooper who wrote, directed and edited the short film “The Fourth Wall,” winner of the international festival for young filmmakers Urban 15’s Josiah Media Festival in San Antonio.
Producer Jeremy Shecter and Jonathan D’Ambrosio join the Cooper Brothers to discuss the film, teamwork, making it in the film industry and surprises along the way.
The film won the category for best narrative and is now in competition for the festival’s Best of Show award that will occur live via streaming at 7pm July 10-12 via the group’s site: http://www.urban15.org/
At first, term limits made sense. At first, letting the giant wooden horse into the gates of Troy made sense, too. For many, the possibility of voting for a Democrat who was a Republican nine months ago makes less sense.
“We’ve always had term limits; they’re called elections,” joked retiring US Republican Congressman, William S. Broomfield in 1996 to me when he was being inducted into the Royal Oak Dondero High School Hall of Fame. Michigan had just voted to only allow its state elected officials a few terms under the design that it would eliminate “career politicians.”
Instead we have legislative musical chairs with no one staying in one job long enough to make any decisions that have any impact beyond six years. Like … Read More… →
What does it take to drive someone away from his own party? Ronald Reagan, after all, left the Democrats in 1962 after being a successful union leader for years.
Ryan Fishman decided last September to run for his term-limited Michigan state senate district after a series of his op-ed articles convinced others to convince Ryan that he should leave the GOP and take a shot at a traditionally right-leaning district.
Ryan and Kevin discuss:
– Difficulties (or not, really) in switching parties
– Reagan Republicans and Reagan Democrats
– The bad business logic of Right to Work, removing unions and poor short-sighted infrastructures
College is fun. It’s a time of liberation and discovery. It’s a time to develop self-awareness, accountability, empowerment. What any of us wouldn’t give to go back to college?
Watching March Madness always reminds me of that liberation, joy and jubilation. It propels me back twenty plus years to a time when we were students and the Fab Five were rocking at Michigan. We jammed into Crisler Arena bouncing up and down, partying at our friends’ houses and storming South U at our victories or near victories. What pride we had in watching our fellow students represent our great University in the hunt for a title.
Dr. Ken Noble followed his Depression-era parents into the teaching profession in Royal Oak, Michigan four years before Governor Romney (R) signed a law permitting collective bargaining for public workers. In 2010, Ken shared his perspective with teachers struggling with the need for a teachers union in a district that would eventually impose an historically severe retroactive pay-cut on its teachers.
I have been out of the classroom and away from the negotiating table for so long I do not know how much my thoughts will help you, but since you asked . . .The evolution of teacher duties and compensation is actually … Read More… →
Today, March 14, is “Question Day 2014,” in honor of that master questioner Albert Einstein, who was born on this date, 135 years ago. Einstein is known for his curiosity and passion for questioning. He told us, “The important thing is not to stop questioning” and urged us to “Question everything” and “Never lose a holy curiosity.”
I happen to be very interested in questioning myself. My book, A More Beautiful Question, is all about the surprising power of questioning to transform our lives and spark big breakthroughs. The book was published last week by Bloomsbury and now, of course, I’m … Read More… →