Ep. 38: Wait. Is Kent Really Asking Students and Families to Send Toilet Paper to School???


Housekeeping: Buy the fall #NerdFarmReads Book, We Gon Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation by Jeff Chang

Kent is a school district located south of Seattle that serves 26,000 students and employs 3,400 people. Layoffs were announced this spring and teachers are fleeing in droves. It may be summertime, but we decided to get to the bottom of the sitch in Kent.

Guests: KNKX Youth and Education Reporter, Ashley Gross and 2018 Puget Sound Regional Teacher of the Year and 15-year teaching veteran, 6th Grade Teacher, Denisha Saucedo

5:00 Nate kicks off the show with an anecdote he’s heard about the laying-off of Kent’s entire I.T. department

10:00 What is the McCleary Decision? What is a Title I School? And what do they have to do with all of this?

19:00 Kent’s finances are especially messy. Ashley Gross explained, how unusual is it to borrow from the Capital budget and/or the Rainy Day fund?

23:00 Denisha discusses the impact of the budget situation on her students, especially her level of access to technology.

28:00 Denisha and Ashley bat around their perspectives on the level of culpability of the School Board versus the Superintendent

32:00 **Nate conflict of interest disclaimer** re: The Broad Foundation

34:00 What’s the “Geographic Footprint of Kent Schools”?

38:00 What are some solutions (spoiler: there aren’t many)?

41:00 Who should the audience follow if they want to know more about what’s happening in Kent?

The 2:

  1. Denisha: Where is that necklace from?

  2. Ashley: Favorite Pho Joint? (Mekong Bar, 4th & Vine)

Denisha's Necklace

Denisha's Necklace

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.

 Please consider supporting the podcast by joining Channel 253 as a member.


Ep. 37: "Tell Nate to..." Summer Recs for Music, Movies, and Memoirs with Dave Jones, Katy Evans, and Kenny Coble


This week’s guests are local experts on books, films, and music. We hear from Katy Evans who works for The Grand Cinema (the local arthouse theater.) We get music recs from hip hop head, local podcaster, realtor, and ex-educator Dave Jones. And we learn what we should be reading from our only four-time-show-guest Kenny "I have a lot of opinions" Coble of King’s Books.

We started the show with a reminder about the fall #NerdFarmReads Book Club: We Gon' Be All Right by Jeff Chang: buy it, read it, tweet about it using #nerdfarmreads


Katy on Flicks

9:30 The Rider from Chloé Zhao

21:00 Sorry To Bother You

33:00 God's Own Country

35:00 The Handmaiden

43:00 Atomic Blonde


Dave Jones on Music

15:00 Phonte, If you like Jay-Z 4:44

26:00 Khruangbin

31:00 Black Panther Hot Take

38:00 Stimulator Jones


Kenny Coble on Good Reads

18:00 Things That Make White People Uncomfortable by Michael Bennett

18:00 So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

28:00 Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

39:00 There, There by Tommy Orange

46:00 Pachinko by Min Jin Lee


The Hot Take 5:

  1. What’s the first thing you read in the morning? (Dave Jones)

  2. Found Adult Read? (Kenny Coble)

  3. Best Brunch in the city? (Katy Evans)

  4. Are you messing with Kanye's new album? (Dave Jones)

  5. Favorite Action Flick? (Kenny Coble)


Going Further

What did Kanye do?

Ralph Marston Daily Motivator

Alma Mater

Black Panther IMDB

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell



Katy Nicoud Twitter

iDaveJones Twitter

Tha Deacon Twitter

Kenny Coble Twitter

Tha Deacon IG


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.

Please consider supporting the podcast by joining Channel 253 as a member.

Ep. 36: Helping Students of Color Navigate College Campuses -- Dr. Chassity Holliman-Douglas, Evergreen State College


Dr. Holliman Douglas is a Washington transplant by way of Tennessee to Kentucky. She holds degrees from Western Kentucky and Murray State University as well as a doctorate in Ed Leadership and Policy Studies from Eastern Kentucky University. She is the first person to hold this position at the college because the students wanted it, needed it, and asked for it.  She completely believes in a liberal arts education and wholeheartedly believes her (currently unborn) child will attend one, when the time comes.

12:00 What is happening in K-12 that isn’t happening in college? A discussion surrounding equity gaps, female students, historically marginalized students teach them about their future and possibilities.  How should K-12 and Secondary Ed have a conversation?

16:00 Given what’s happening with demographics, how should university prepare for the new generation of students?

21:00 Why is it so difficult for universities to create spaces?

22:00 What should the university role in helping shape our political future moving forward?

28:00 A deep dive into student retention at the college level and the factors that impact it.

33:00 What is service learning and where is it shown in Evergreen and Washington, as a state?

38:00 A conversation surrounding the ratio of faculty of color to students of color.


The 5.1

  1. Solid Book Recommendation?

  2. Favorite Restaurant in town?

  3. If you had absolute freedom, what crazy, kooky program would you put together?

  4. Netflix Recommendation of the moment?

  5. Give me a TV you enjoy?

  6. How did you fall in love with New Edition?



The Chief Diversity Officer: Strategy, Structure, and Change Management

Don't Touch My Hair!  


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.

Please consider supporting the podcast by joining Channel 253 as a member.


Ep. 35: Man, You Can't Out Wonk Denny -- Rep. Denny Heck (WA-10)

Denny Heck.jpg

Congressman Denny Heck is a Greener, author, film-buff, and the representative of the 10th Congressional District. His top priorities are growing jobs, growing economy, and feeding the American Dream. He serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and has strong thoughts about housing policy.

5:00 What are the primary  concerns of your constituents?

10:00 What message do the national Democratic Party have for places like Elkhart, IN and Shelton, WA?

13:00 When we vote for a Republican we get a tax-hating, abortion restricting, deregulating, gun-loving conservative. What do we get when we vote Democrat?

16:00 A realistic view of what could or might happen after midterm elections...

17:00 How housing affordability and experiencing homelessness are influencing the country and economic turns.

23:00 Do you think there’s hope for an actual bipartisan infrastructure plan soon or in the long-term?

26:00 What does tribal sovereignty look like in 2018 and the future?

29:00 Regarding recent moves by the Trump Administration: is it odd to pull out of a negotiated deal with Iran on the eve of an impending negotiation with North Korea?

32:00 What do Republicans say to you (when no one else is listening) about say about the current state-of-affairs?

34:00 Opinions on reducing the role of Gerrymandering.

Listener Questions

35:00 What should happen between now and November to prevent foreign intervention in our elections?

38:00 Why is the disposition with the house? What’s up with David Nunez?

43:00 What’s the worst case scenario/long term trajectory with respect to the tax bill and the wealthy?

48:00 Where are we nationally on the issue of marijuana?

51:00 What’s your philosophy on engaging with constituents?

53:00 Thoughts on Net Neutrality? How do you think the FCC and the courts will handle it?


The 5 (ish)

  1. Greatest Movie Ever Made?

  2. If you weren’t a member of congress, what would you be doing?

  3. How do you pass the time on flights?

  4. What was your first book about?

  5. Is there a teacher out there you’d like to thank from your childhood?

  6. Do you have a favorite summer break memory?


Going Further

Denny Heck Online

Find Your Representative


The Socials


Email Denny Heck


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.

Please consider supporting the podcast by joining Channel 253 as a member.

Ep. 34: We R Tacoma: Tacoma Rainiers and Sounders FC2 -- Aaron Artman, President and Casey Catherwood, Ringmaster

Screenshot 2018-05-06 at 16.55.14.png

Aaron Artman: President of Rainers and Sounders FC2

Casey Catherwood: Creative Director (Ringmaster) Rainers and Sounders FC2

Aaron is a tech and marketing dude who loves sports and has found a home in Tacoma. Casey is a musical journalist turned event planner, now Executive in Charge of Chicanery, Nonsense, and Tomfoolery for Sounders FC 2 and the Tacoma Rainiers

2:00:  How in the world did y'all end up here?

12:00: Cheney Stadium, sunsets, forming community, switching to the R logo, and working with great partners in Tacoma.

15:00: The science behind when people will go to soccer versus when they will go to baseball. Ownership? Contracts?  How does all this work? How much does it cost to transform the stadium?

23:00: Where are we getting new players? Are these kids really 15-20 years old?

28:00: The purpose of minor league team is to develop talent. The people that watch and come to wins would like to see wins. How do you navigate these two interests?

33:00: S2's move to Tacoma happened faster than anyone expected. One of the reasons is that NASL (RIP) was involved in a lawsuit (it's complicated). Cheney provides a higher capacity than Starfire. What are the opportunities you're excited about exploring? 

35:00 What is your favorite ‘What the hell is Casey Doing?!” moment? and what’s up with the pineapples?

41:00 What is the proposed stadium location? There’s a rebrand coming! What should we do? [Warning: this is some deep South Sound soccer nerdery].

Sounders 2.jpg

The 5

  1. What’s the best or your favorite live sporting event?

  2. Is there a soccer stadium you’re looking to for inspiration?

  3. Best athlete you ever saw in person?

  4. If you had to listen to one song on repeat, what would it be?

  5. What’s the best concession value that which people don’t take advantage?

Going Further

Nate's Top World Stadiums ~5000 capacity

Tacoma Kraken

Video of Epic Sax Gorilla



Casey Catherwood

Sounders FC 2

Tacoma Rainers



Sounders FC 2

Tacoma Rainers

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

Ep. 33: Life and Death in the Seattle/Tacoma Media Market -- Neal Morton, Seattle Times and Sean Robinson, the News Tribune


Neal Morton: Seattle Times K-12 Reporter, School Finance, and Ed Lab Baller, Nevada Native and PNW Explorer

Sean Robinson: Pierce County Council, Government, Crime, Justice, Investigative Super-Sleuth Gumshoe Reporter

Sinclair Broadcasting is the number one owner of media and is shaping our perceptions. We are in a period of transition. The Internet is ascendant. Radio is full of awful conglomerates. Newspapers are struggling. Our story begins here.

5:00 Sean discusses reporting on crime. More lasting than other kinds of stories

6:00 Current State of Affairs in Media? How does it compare with other parts of the country?

8:30 Discussing the Mike Rosenberg Tweet: The Times cut 24 jobs. KOMO cut 10 jobs. NBC shut Seattle based breaking news. Seattle PI is down to 6 people.

Screenshot 2018-04-29 at 20.40.33.png

12:00 How are reporters evaluated? How is your effectiveness as a  journalist measured?

16:00 What is it about the Times that you do community engagement events all the time? Readers have a relationship with the paper.

24:00 A discussion of consolidation within US and local media.


37:00 Who are some talented up and coming newsroom persons of color?

40:00 What does the future look like for journalism students?

44:00 Comparing Teacher salaries versus Journalist Salaries.

49:00 How can we support local papers?

51:00 How do we get quality, credible news online without a paywall?


The Five:

  1. Whose byline excites you?
  2. Give a letter grade to the national media.
  3. (Two part question)
  4. What is a story you wish you could cover (given infinite time and resources?)
  5. What is one book every listener should read?



Sinclair Media

John Oliver Sinclair Media



Seattle Times

Tacoma News Tribune


Going Further

Seattle Times: Newsroom is Shrinking

Mike Rosenberg Tweet

The Making of an American Nazi by Luke O'Brien



Ryan Clark

Dahlia Bazzaz

Corinne Chin

Erica L Green, NY Times

Luke O'Brien, The Atlantic


Books We Discussed

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Eric Larson

Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power by Andrew Nagorski

Richard II by William Shakespeare


Next #NerdFarmReads Selection

We Gon' Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation by Jeff Chang



Neal Morton Twitter

Neal Morton Email

Sean Robinson Twitter

Sean Robinson Email

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


An "Evicted": Pop-the-Trunk-Addendum -- Rep. Laurie Jinkins & Matt Driscoll


In the days following our #nerdfarmreads discussion of “Evicted” by Matthew Desmond, two of our most popular guests, News Tribune columnist Matt Driscoll and Rep. Laurie Jinkins, reached out separately about continuing the conversation. Matt wanted to talk about the impact of systemic-racism on housing and its role in the disproportionately high number evictions of black women. Laurie had similar thoughts and also wanted to discuss policy solutions.

We set a date to have a conversation in my classroom the evening of Mayor Woodard's State of the City Address. This was an experiment, the first ever pop-the-trunk-addendum-episode of the podcast.

If you haven't done so already, cop a copy of evicted by Matthew Desmond.

Heads up: our fall #nerdfarmreads selection will be “We Gon’ Be Alright” by Jeff Chang. It's available at your local bookseller; if you're in Tacoma hit up King's Books.

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

Ep. 31: Difficult Storytelling from the Classroom from Teachers, Advocates, and Students with Dahlia Bazzaz -- Seattle Times Engagement Editor


Dahlia is a graduate from the University of Oregon (booo!). She works as an engagement editor and occasional reporter for the Seattle Times’ Education Lab. She and her family have always been interested in foreign affairs; this led Dahlia down the path of journalism. Her commitment to promoting the voices of students, teachers, and educators is inspiring. Education Lab is a team in the Seattle Times newsroom that looks for education solutions in the Puget Sound.

6:00 Dahlia discusses her path to journalism, her family life, and how she got to Seattle Times.

9:00 Dahlia re-caps a few of her favorite and/or more notable stories.

13:00 The state-of-affairs in education in Washington state is?

16:30: Dahlia and Nate discuss Ignite Seattle, 5 minute talks from persons in the education system, which (let’s face it) everyone has either been in the system or is currently a part of it.

23:00 Black Hair Matters

32:00 I Called a Student An Idiot

45:45 How Plants Saved My Life

53:00 What is Ignite Seattle looking for in submissions? How can you participate?

56:00 Try To Be Normal. Fix Yourself.


The Five

  1. Who do you read first thing in the morning?

  2. What’s your favorite non Nerd Farmer podcast?

  3. What is the last book you read? Is there a book every person should?

  4. What qualities would look for in a new Seattle Schools Superintendent?

  5. When you think about the work you do, how do you know you’ve made it?


The Socials:

Seattle Times Byline




We Were 8 Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini


Where can I watch footage of Ignite Seattle?

Here! (Hint: This is also an article she's written!)

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

Ep. 30: #Nerdfarmreads Bookclub "Evicted" -- Matt Driscoll, Candice Ruud, and Halley Knigge


Matt Driscoll: Columnist for The News Tribune, Decent Dude: “What I gathered from Evicted are the Stories.”

Candice Ruud: Government Beat Writer of News Tribune, Former New Yorker: “We all come from different places and we could all end up experiencing homelessness.”

Halley Knigge: Professional Communicator, Astute Reader, Cancer-Beating Bad Ass, Raconteur : “This book is perspective changing.”

Evicted is a book of our times, the tales of vulnerable families, living on the brink, and sometimes going over the edge into poverty.

4:30: As the relationship between tenant and landlord becomes more transactional, It makes people living in rentals more vulnerable. Sharina, the landlord in Evicted, is such a landlord. The book gives perspective on both the harsh reality and necessity of the character, her job, and her lifestyle.

11:30: Halley shares her personal struggle with cancer and how this book both impacted her and brought to light all the “what-ifs” and “maybes” that could have broken her and her family with recent developments in her life.

16:30: Is there an eviction epidemic in Tacoma? If so, how are we  handling it, if at all? We do have a waitlist for Section 8 housing that is not much more than a lottery.

21:00: The panel discusses not their favorite, but most resonant passages of the text. 

30:00: Once you have an eviction, the difficulty increases. An eviction severely limits one’s ability to get good housing, as well as the location of the housing. Some persons would like to argue that is is our choices to lead us to the lives we live. But what are the choices?  

34:00 How can we make connections from Evicted to Tacoma Current State of Affairs? How do we define affordable housing and what is it?

38:00: Why is there so little political energy guided toward this problem?

43:00: Where are the points of light and hope in the book?

48:00: Advice from the panelists about why listeners should read this book?

“This book is about you and it’s about your neighbors.”


Halley Knigge

Matt Driscoll

Candace Ruud

Author Matthew Desmond



Evicted by Matthew Desmond

We Gon' Be Alright by Jeff Chang   


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

Ep. 29: Talking Congressional Gridlock, Jobs, and Star Wars -- Congressman Derek Kilmer, WA-6


Derek Kilmer is the democratic representative of Washington’s 6th district as well as a father, nature lover, and Star Wars Fan. Hailing from from Port Angeles, WA, the self-proclaimed nerd was elected into office on November, 6 2012. Kilmer holds a B.A. in Public and International Affairs from Princeton as well as an M.A. and a PhD in Comparative Social Policy and Intervention from University of Oxford.

5:30 This week Nate begins the conversation with Congressman Kilmer asking “What are the biggest differences between his past work in Olympia and his current work in in Washington DC?”

9:45 Derek talks about The Bipartisan Working Group that meets for breakfast every week, in which they hash out over hashbrowns. The group does three things: a) make pitches, brainstorm; b) tell the group what each of them is working on and; c) they discuss the big issues facing our country.

12:45 How the division in politics, particularly the Hastert Rule is causing stagnation and preventing policy change in the country.

16:45 Congressman Kilmer discusses most effective ways to engage with Congress, as well as the least effective methods. Derek gives great insight on qualitative versus quantitative tactics of citizen involvement. Hint: Be impactful. Begin where you are.

22:00 There are 537 elected federal officials. What is the role of the federal government’s as it pertains to gun violence, school shooting, and the opioid crisis? What can we do? Hint: Don’t Agonize. Organize.

“I am not willing to sit back and say ‘well this is just a fact of life in America today.’”

25:00 Kilmer explains the bipartisan bill he’s sponsoring with Parkland representative, Ted Deutch called The Stop School Violence Act. He has several ideas for responsible gun ownership, bills, and acts.

31:00 Washington is the most trade dependent state in the US. What are the implications of Trump's tariff and trade war on our state?

33:00 Congressman Kilmer discusses House leadership and the next generation of leaders in the House Democratic Caucus.

37:00 How do we ensure that the chief export of our community isn’t our young people?

40:00 Immigration, Dreamers and the Northwest Detention Center.

46:00 A discussion of universal healthcare and a proposed Medicare Bill (HB 676)

Kilmer in Studio.jpg

The 5

  1. What is the most underrated restaurant in Washington DC?

  2. Who is the funniest person in any caucus?

  3. Have you seen Black Panther?

  4. What are your Top 4 Star Wars movies?

  5. Is the fight scene with the Praetorian Guards in “The Last Jedi”  the best or the best EVER?


Contact Derek Kilmer

Contact Information



Going Further

The Stop School Violence Act

Find Your Representative Here

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

Ep. 28: Working in Latinx Media, Advocacy, and Navigating Uncomfortable Spaces with José Moreno

Ep. 28 guest José Moreno with Seahawks Hall of Famer Walter Jones, this weekend at the Sounders opener, sadly we lost 0-1.

Ep. 28 guest José Moreno with Seahawks Hall of Famer Walter Jones, this weekend at the Sounders opener, sadly we lost 0-1.

**Note** This is your last chance! Read Evicted by Matthew Desmond and share your thoughts for #NerdFarmReads. We record 3/11.

6:00 José discusses being a journalist crossing lines between English, Spanish, and navigating Spanish-speaking networks and athletes.

10:00 The good, the bad, and the blocking on social media. How do we deal with the negativity and stupidity as well as the propagate to the positivity and light?

18:00 What is the measure of success for our young people?

27:00 Nate asks José how he feels about navigating primarily white spaces in his professional career. Spoiler: the answer may cause introspection.

30:00 How is the housing market is serving the communities?  How are we affected by systemic racism?

34:00 Discussing rhetoric of our public servants, how they’re serving us, and how we’re serving them.

38:00 Building bridges and how we have conversations to fill in the gaps.


The 5

  1. Is there a teacher you’d like to thank?

  2. Your thoughts on the name for the (hopefully) upcoming NHL franchise?

  3. Journalist either locally or nationally that you respect the most? (Nate strongly disagrees here)

  4. What are the Mariners off-season needs?

  5. Favorite athlete of all time?


The Socials

Twitter: prwithjam

Instagram: morenojosepr  


What to Read

Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community

Nate's Blog: Our National Immigration Amnesia  

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


Ep. 27: Civil Liberties and Attacks on Undocumented Students in Schools -- Vanessa Hernandez, ACLU


Vanessa Hernandez is a former teacher turned ACLU Youth Policy director. Vanessa began her 7 year ACLU career as a litigator.

6:00: Nate and Vanessa dive into immigration policy and public schools, Vanessa speaks to things which are problematic, what has panicked her in the past, and ”othering” humans.

9:00: Startling conversation on DHS guidance in schools and ICE involvement. Currently, schools are a ‘sensitive location’ (as are places like churches) but since there is no actual law, this is subject to change at any time.

24:00: Discussion surrounding school disciplinary actions and security officers in schools. Are there too many? What are their actual duties? Are we (as a society) to harsh?

30:00: Speaking of SROs, Philadelphia has created more structured system with intentional use for SROs in schools.

32:00: A discussion on how schools become a pipeline to prisons via suspension and expulsion.

“There’s no educational value to suspension or expulsion. There’s nothing they learn expect ‘these people don’t want me around.’”

36:00: How we are and how we should be handling suspension. Are students learning from and suspension and while they are on suspension?

46:00: Law Enforcement Kills 1100 Americans per year with (basically) no repercussions. What is ACLU pushing for to help. Initiative 940. Washington state has to prove that the officer acted with malice. Washington has the highest standard in the nation to prove malice.

Listener Questions: 51:00

  1. How does the ACLU decide where to put it’s resources?

  2. Where is the ACLU on Second Amendment Issues?

  3. What is one civil liberty issue that no one is talking bout that we SHOULD be talking about?

  4. How can we help students protect their privacy online?


The 5:

  1. What are you reading?

  2. Your Favorite Supreme Court Justice (besides RBG)?

  3. What is the 9th Amendment?

  4. Your favorite Non-Nerdfarmer Podcast?

  5. Is there a teacher you’d like to thank?


What to read:

Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues on How Stereotypes Affect Us by Claude M. Steele

Warcross by Marie Lu

Big Little Lies but Liane Moriarty

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward


Going Further:

9th Amendment


Hastert Rule

  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