Ep 21: "Building a Better School System in Washington State (Hopefully)" with State Superintendent Chris Reykdal

CR.jpg

Chris Reykdal is the Superintendent of Schools in Washington State. He’s a former Democratic lawmaker from Olympia who resides in Tumwater and lives to help the students in Washington. He and Nate spent time talking about improving education, wishlists in a changing world, and the Rightful Secretary of Education Tony Evers of Wisconson.

Chris has great ideas on getting parents involved, working with children in homes with foster parents, and standardized testing.

Find out what Washington schools would be like if Chris were “King of Education,” what it means to “design school backwards” and what Mr. Reykdal thinks of Betsy Devos.

“Speaking Multiple Languages is a beautiful thing.”

To Better Educate in a Perfect World:

  1. Longer K-8 School years

  2. Infuse 2nd language learning beginning in kindergarten

  3. Give more time for student learning

  4. Middle school begins career exploration

  5. Move standardized testing to 10th grade

  6. Find multiple ways to demonstrate proficiency

  7. By 11th and 12th grades, let them go touch the world: (i.e. high school credit for employment, dual college credit, while working)

Hot Take 5

  1. How are you feeling about Cougar football?

  2. Best place in Olympia to get lunch?

  3. What are your thoughts on the Washington Governor democratic primary?

  4. Best book you’ve read in the last year?

  5. What would you put under the tree for every student in Washington?

The Socials: State Superintendent Chris Reykdal Twitter

The Nerd Farmer Podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play and is brought to you by Alaska Airlines and the Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus

Episode 20: #NerdFarmReads Audio Bookclub "The Hate U Give"

TheHateUGive.jpg

Kenny Coble: Literature Aficionado, Bookseller, Observer of the Human Spirit

Jamika Scott: Tacoma Action Collective, Activist, Mimosa Lover

Hope Teague-Bowling: English Teacher, Interchangeable White Lady, Pod Spouse

This week during the book club, Nate and company discuss the good, the encouraging, and the controversial nature of “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas. The novel follows protagonist, Starr, on her journey after a childhood friend is murdered by a police officer. Starr wrestles with herself, the system, the police, and her relationships.

According to Kenny, this book has a unique way of "meeting you where you are." Whether you’ve been paying attention or you’re new to these issues, you have an opportunity to glance inside this painful, confusing world. Wherever you are in your Woke Journey, this book is a great first or next step.

Starr’s voice is maintained throughout the novel, and yet her speech changes with different characters. Angie Thomas does an impeccable job of using code-switching throughout Starr’s different relationships.

The crew find their favorite characters and characters that remind them of people in their lives. From Uncle Carlos to her parents “kitchen dancing” after a fight to White non-ally Hailey, this book contains a lot of people we all know personally.

Near the break Jamika told us about her organization Tacoma Action Collective:

First, it was a march with a national call to action, 4 mile march, based on the number of hours Mike Brown was laying out in the sun after he was killed, the 4 minutes Tamir Rice went without medical attention after being shot. I learned about Mike Brown via Tumblr.

“Black Brunch” took us into “White Spaces.” We took a little time,  3-4 minutes, to speak about people being murdered and uplifting the names with our voices. After a while, a journalist wrote a story about us. It was dangerous. We made the group to almost disguise ourselves. [It] began with 3 black women. The activism that TAC does changes with what is happening in our lives.

Why should you read the book?

image_uploaded_from_ios_1024.jpg

Jamika: It meets you where you’re at. If you’ve been focused on the movement in the past or if you’ve never seen it from this point of view, or even if you feel like ‘all lives matter.’ It’s going to touch you. There will be something meaningful.

Hope: I think it’s important for white people to read this book. If you think you’re woke, if you think you know things, it’s just another perspective that may open your eyes.
 

Hot Takes

  1. Jamika: What is the best brunch in Tacoma? (She's wrong by the way)

  2. Kenny: If someone enjoyed this book as Woke Literature, where should they go next?

  3. Hope, Unofficial Mayor of White America: What should White Allies start or stop doing?

 

The Socials

 

Going Further

Code Switching Turning Black Men Into Method Actors

Black Brunch article

Stop Being Awful to Parents of Color Over Charters

 

Kenny’s Book Recs

Dear Martin

The New Jim Crow

Don't Call Us Dead

 

Next Book Club!

Evicted by Matthew Desmond

The Nerd Farmer Podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play and is brought to you by Alaska Airlines and the Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus

 

Episode 19: Machael David, Colorado Rapids -- A Dream of Soccer and Purpose

Photo from MLS

Photo from MLS

On this episode, Machael David tells the his compelling story of how he made his way from Nigeria to Italy to New York to Tacoma. The story begins with a four year boy and a soccer ball. Machael began by comparing his home to Compton and the necessity to ‘get out.’

Machael began playing for club teams when he was very young. Soccer was a way to get off the streets and have a purpose. As time moved forward, he went to Italy to play. When his documents ran out and he no longer had a team, he had a choice to make: go home a ‘failure’ or find a different way. Machael found a "different" way. He came to America: first New York, then the shock of the PNW.

“Soccer is My Love Language”

Machael began playing soccer for GHHS and Washington Premier. He was amazing. Pros wanted him. Colleges wanted him. He was coveted. Machael, again, had a choice to make. If he went pro, college would never be an option. If he went to school, he’d have to wait to go pro. His academics weren’t good enough for University of Washington. They backed out, as did many others.

A fateful game had Machael playing in California when a scout saw him play. The scout fell in love and urged Machael to work hard. Ending high school in 2 1/2 years with a 4.0, he received a full scholarship to UCSB. Junior year, Machael broke his leg. He had to heal. Senior year, he was back. Again, Machael broke his leg.

His injuries scared off many teams. He was drafted to Colorado Rapids.  Shortly afterward, Machael’s nose began to bleed. He learned he had a medical condition that wouldn’t allow him to live in that elevation. Another obstacle, another challenge.

A Community Doesn’t Define Who You Are, the People Define the Community

Machael explains the name of his book, Every Mother’s Nightmare, the inspirational story of growing up in Nigeria and the roadmap to surviving adversity playing soccer on his own terms.

He and Nate also discussed the US' recent failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. The US hasn't missed qualifying since in 1986. How can we make the future of US Soccer brighter? Machael has thoughts:

  1. Get rid of Pay-To-Play

  2. Go find players.

  3. Develop them--it's that simple.


The Five:

  1. Why does everyone else hate Crossfire ?

  2. Best Player you ever play with or against?

  3. Why should we root for Nigeria in World Cup?

  4. Best Place for Nigerian Food in Washington?

  5. What advice do you have for the next US Coach?

 

Buy the Book:

Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble or directly from Machael on Facebook

 

Socials:

Twitter

Facebook

 

Going Further

MLS Stats

Machael's Blog

The Nerd Farmer Podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play and is brought to you by Alaska Airlines and the Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus


 

Episode 18: Matt Driscoll, Columnist, The News Tribune -- On Print Journalism, Homelessness, Civics, and Athlete Protests

Driscoll with beard, as he should be, photo courtesy TNT

Driscoll with beard, as he should be, photo courtesy TNT

Matt Driscoll is a columnist for the News Tribune. His column resonates with folks in the South Sound because he’s open, honest, and speaks his truth. He investigates, he reports, he shares his opinion. In this episode, Matt shares what drives him to rise & write.

He delves into some of his more well-known columns like the one about Klara Bowman, a Tacoma teacher who was removed from her employment in a kindergarten classroom for making a very large mistake and the media circus leading to her death by suicide.

Matt’s sermon on “Homelessness is Tacoma” is absolute worth the listen of this show. He brings up some valid questions and concerns about the City Council, a firsthand account of Tacoma Tent Stability Site, and criminalizing persons experiencing homelessness.

Nate and Matt get into a heavy conversation about the NFL, concussions, protests, and what it’s like to stop supporting that particular corporation (spoiler: it feels okay). Matt also gives an inside look at his and his colleague John McGrath’s columns regarding the NFL protests.

Nate ends the podcast soliciting some hottakes from Matt in his new feature, The Five:

  1. Last Spring at Evergreen, Weinstein is really, really problematic

  2. I-5 Construction

  3. Jim Merritt

  4. Victoria Woodards

  5. 2020 Presidential Campaign of Jay Inslee

Socials:

Twitter

 

Things and Folks to Read:

Will James

Candice Ruud

Sean Robinson

 

Referenced Articles and Good Reads:

Klara Bowman Story

Mayoral Race Discourse

Persons Experiencing Homelessness Article

Brain Injuries, Blacklisting, Greed: It's Difficult to Justify Loving the NFL

 

Regarding John McGrath:

John McGrath: Michael Bennet

John McGrath: Seahawks Moving Forward After Protest

Deadspin: The Clapback

The Nerd Farmer Podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play and is brought to you by Alaska Airlines and the Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus

Episode: 17 Colleen O'Brien, KIRO 97.3 FM -- Dear Men, Stop Being Awful to Women Online

Morning Radio Host 97.3 KIRO FM, Feminist, a Real Sno-Homie

Morning Radio Host 97.3 KIRO FM, Feminist, a Real Sno-Homie

Nate's chat with Colleen began with a discussion of her work on the Seattle morning news. Her priority is to approach the news on a personal level. Her goal, with every show, is to share information, facts, perspective and content to help the listener understand the news. Colleen believes wholeheartedly that local media is essential.

The station encourages Colleen to tell a good story. Colleen reflects on some of her more in-depth stories that she has had both the privilege and the courage to attack. In particular, she vocalizes the tragedy of the murder of Mike Compton in Orting and her 3 part series about the struggle.

Some of the other stories she speaks to during the podcast are the human trafficking in Snohomish County and the Opioid epidemic.

Why are men on the internet so awful to women?

One of the most difficult aspects but also most rewarding aspects of Colleen’s show is the feedback. Listeners have the opportunity (and are encouraged) to tweet, email, and even live-text the show with questions and comments. Colleen’s passion and respect for her listeners keep her checking out the texts. Occasionally, and almost predictably, Colleen can tell when a story will evoke feelings in particular listeners that can cause discomfort. She is often inundated with harsh, hateful text messages from persons that feel the need to share their divisive feelings.

Colleen combats the negativity with a segment she calls “Daily Dose of Kindness.” After her news segment, she spends 60 seconds with a bit of joy.

Be sure to check out Colleen and Dave from 6am-9am on 97.3 KIRO FM

The Socials

Twitter

cobrien@kiroradio.com

KIRO Radio Facebook

 

Going Further

Colleen's Show Page

KIRO Radio Webpage

Murder in Orting Part 1

Murder in Orting Part 2

Murder in Orting Part 3

The Nerd Farmer Podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play and is brought to you by Alaska Airlines and the Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus

Episode 16: Fighting for Protections for Immigrants in Seattle's Shadow with Colectiva Legal del Pueblo

Sandy Restrepo: Co-Founder of Colectiva Legal del Pueblo, Attorney, Activist, Dominator & Hugo Garcia: Activist, Podcast Host, Soccer Fan, Taco Enthusiast

Sandy Restrepo: Co-Founder of Colectiva Legal del Pueblo, Attorney, Activist, Dominator & Hugo Garcia: Activist, Podcast Host, Soccer Fan, Taco Enthusiast

In a recent article in The Stranger, Seattle was said to be the 12th least stressful city in the world in a study by The Blaze and Zipjet, not to mention the least racist. Attorney, Sandy Restrepo alongside Hugo Garcia debate this and other facts on this week’s podcast.

In Burien, WA, Sandy and Hugo are fighting for racial equality for both documented and undocumented immigrant persons. Hugo first heard the beckoning of the call to arms the day he saw an RV a few blocks from his home with a racist tag about the Mexican population of this city only 10 miles west of downtown Seattle. Before he came across this obvious hate crime sitting in a driveway, he donated and voted.

Sandy is an attorney that co-founded an organization called Colectiva Legal del Pueblo for and by undocumented immigrants. Sandy is a significant resource for anyone in the area seeking legal advice and counsel for things like hate crimes, DACA, and ‘demystifying the legal process.’ Sandy mentions a young lady who was wronged and afraid to go to the police because she was afraid the police would question her status.

Respect Washington, bought signatures to stop Burien from being a sanctuary city. After 2 votes, it finally passed. Short of getting more signatures and having a special election in February, Burien will remain a sanctuary city.  

The work is not done in Burien, Washington. The racism, hare, and anti-undocumented immigrant rhetoric still thrives. Sandy’s current project is DACA renewal for everyone eligible since President Trump rescinded the executive order put in place by President Obama.

Notable for Voters in Burien:

Nancy Tosta

Jimmy Matta

Krystal Marx

Pedro Olguin

 

Going Further:

The Stranger Article

Colectiva Legal del Pueblo

Follow up on RV Hate Crime  

 

The Socials:

Burien Represent Twitter

Burien Represent Facebook

Hugo Garcia Twitter

Colectiva Legal del Pueblo Twitter

 

The Nerd Farmer Podcast is available on iTunesStitcher, and Google Play and is brought to you by Alaska Airlines and the Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus

Episode 15: Back to School Special with the 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 Washington State Teachers of the Year

Teachers of the Year: Camille Jones 2017, Lyon Terry 2015, and Katie Brown 2014, Nate Bowling 2016

Teachers of the Year: Camille Jones 2017, Lyon Terry 2015, and Katie Brown 2014, Nate Bowling 2016

Katie Brown, 2014 Teacher of the Year, holds a BA in anthropology and taught 7th grade English before moving into ELL (English Language Learners). Not only is Katie an amazing educator, she won a silver medal in World Championship Shuai Chiao (Chinese Wrestling.)

Lyon Terry, 2015 Teacher of the Year, 4th grade educator and lover of children believes that the way to strengthen learning is through human connections. Lyon structured Seattle’s “walking school bus program.” In 2014, he sat on a committee to regulate Common Core for reading and writing.

Camille Jones, 2017 Teacher of the Year, teaches K-3 in a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) class. Camille is a self-proclaimed Millennial that teaches in the rural town from which she grew up.  She believes that every student has the opportunity to grow and learn, given the chance.

On this episode, Washington’s Teacher of the Year recipients of the previous four years sit and discuss their teaching philosophies, how they view their students, and educating in the very rural contrasting with the highly urban.

The diverse background of these professionals lends to some interesting conversation regarding books, policy, white supremacy, and accountability.  They have a hard discussion surrounding the profession and get real on how they feel about the vocation they love so much.

From the different backgrounds the teachers discuss the teacher shortage and how to perpetuate growth in that opportunity. Solution? highlight the joy of teaching, produce readers, create voters.

For the next Teacher of the Year and, in our opinion, everyone:

  1. Be who you are. Say what you believe. Speak the truth and ground it in love.

  2. Think about who is the person you want to project? Ensure that you’re projecting your values.

Hopes for the year:

  1. Be a better teacher

  2. Build relationships, carry a level of urgency and intensity.

  3. Develop better relationships around the community. It takes a village.

  4. To be a more effective advocate for my students.

The Socials:

Camille Jones

Katie Brown

Lyon Terry

 

Further Reading:

What Does it Mean to Be White? by Robin DiAngelo

It Won’t Be Easy: An Exceedingly Honest (and Slightly Unprofessional) Love Letter to Teaching by Tom Rademacher

 

Book ClubThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
 

The Nerd Farmer Podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play and is brought to you by Alaska Airlines and the Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus

Episode 14: Rep. Laurie Jinkins -- On Charlottesville, Fighting Extremism, and the McCleary Compromise

Rep. Laurie Jinkins: First of Her Name, LGBTQ Activist, Doer of Awesome Things, Mother of Dragons

Rep. Laurie Jinkins: First of Her Name, LGBTQ Activist, Doer of Awesome Things, Mother of Dragons

In the first half of this week’s podcast, Laurie and Nate discuss the McCleary School Funding Compromise and what led to it. Laurie clarifies information surrounding the Capital Budget, drilling rights, and investing in education.

After the break, the two share questions and concerns regarding life Pre and Post Charlottesville. What are the steps in dealing with Nazis and neo-confederate-nazi sympathizers? We must start at the beginning. We must begin speaking out. Laurie reflects on the movement surrounding marriage equality. “The most important thing queer people ever did was just to come out.” We have to stop demonizing the Republican Party and begin having conversations in which we ask questions instead of yelling. We have to find a way to reach the middle-of-the-roaders.

Advice From Nate:

Acknowledge and Ignore the Whack-A-Doodles.

Persuade the Inactive Do-Gooder.

 

Going Further:

LNG Proposal

Charlottesville Aftermath

The Socials:

Twitter

Facebook  

 

The Nerd Farmer Podcast is available on iTunesStitcher, and Google Play and is brought to you by Alaska Airlines and the Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus