Open Letter to Mr. Vedder

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Comments

  • Davanita wrote:
    my god how i would have loved to have a teacher like you.....
    great work.

    btw - dumb question from a non-American; what age are we talking about when speaking of 8th grade..?

    8th grade ranges from 13 to 15 years old. Most are around 14.

    And you're question was not dumb. : )

    Mr. Bruno
    Dalai Lama—To say that humility is an essential ingredient in our pursuit of spiritual transformation may seem to be at odds with what I have said about the need for confidence. But there is clearly a distinction to be made between valid confidence or self-esteem, and conceit - which we can describe as an inflated sense of importance, grounded in a false image of self.
  • whoa if i would of had one teacher like your self i would of been extremly lucky i hope your students realize this if not now then in the future that they were fortunate to have a teacher like your self ,i wish my 2 kids get to be taught by someone as yourself keep up the great work.....

    josevolution,

    Thanks for your kind words. Teaching means the world to me. It's worth the long hours, the prep-time, and the frazzled nerves. This kind of feedback refuels me.

    I only hope that PJ will see this and answer the question that has my classes burning: What inspired Eddie to write "Black?"
    Dalai Lama—To say that humility is an essential ingredient in our pursuit of spiritual transformation may seem to be at odds with what I have said about the need for confidence. But there is clearly a distinction to be made between valid confidence or self-esteem, and conceit - which we can describe as an inflated sense of importance, grounded in a false image of self.
  • Great stuff. I often use my English Language "skills" to analyse songs like that. Keep up the good work.


    Mike_Muse_Rage,

    It sounds like we are cut from a similar cloth. When I actually started looking at the lyrics of songs, a whole new world opened up to me. I can only hope that my students will do the same with other songs, books, and the world around them.

    I want them to question and learn from everything!

    Mr. Bruno
    Dalai Lama—To say that humility is an essential ingredient in our pursuit of spiritual transformation may seem to be at odds with what I have said about the need for confidence. But there is clearly a distinction to be made between valid confidence or self-esteem, and conceit - which we can describe as an inflated sense of importance, grounded in a false image of self.
  • OneLoveOneLove Posts: 563
    Mr. Bruno, I can only hope that I will be half of the teacher that you are :)
    Inspiring dosn't even begin to describe your post!

    I was in the 8th grade when that song came out (or around that age, anyway), I remember how comforting that song was the first time I heard it. There was something about that album, the age I was, and feeling so uplifted and understood in a way that no one else could offer me at that time. To this day I can still listen to many pearl jam songs, through more experienced eyes (or ears, I suppose), and find new complexities within the lyrics that give me an even deeper appreciation of the song, and why all those years ago it "clicked" the first time I heard it.

    It is amazing to me that you have been able to enlighten and connect with your students in such a meaningful way. The world needs many more people like you out there~ hats off to you.

    As I was reading your post & repsonses, I thought about a CD that I picked up about a year ago rather randomly. It is a string quartet tribute to pearl jam. Release is one of the songs on the album, and although it is not performed by pearl jam, the music has a way of capturing the mood of the song beautifully. I remember when I heard that particular cut the first time, it gave me chills all over again. Perhaps the relationship of the words, the song, and the music without words would be an interesting thing to explore :)
    Just a thought~

    Thank you for your post. You are an inspiration!

    Heather
  • chadwick wrote:
    I am speechless after reading about your 8th grade classes.
    As well as i am speechless to you as a teacher and a human-being.
    You are without a dought one great inspirational teacher, human-being.
    May your students be led down a floral path of beauty with you as their
    gifted immaculate guide.
    As i read your thread i could have cried, i actually probably should have.
    But i was reading aloud so i could share this story with my mom.
    So i held back a few tears.
    How i wish you were in my life when i was an 8th grader.
    For me 8th grade is when i started smoking pot and partying.
    This led my life into many long years of nothingness.


    Chadwick,

    Thank you for your words. Initially, I hesitated to post my analysis. I wasn't sure how it would be received. I'm glad that I did.

    Art is what happens when we allow ourselves to feel. When we summon the courage needed to confront those emotions, and if we have the strength to put them on paper, then we embrace our humanity. Where do you think "Black" came from?

    Don't hold 'em back.

    Mr. Bruno
    Dalai Lama—To say that humility is an essential ingredient in our pursuit of spiritual transformation may seem to be at odds with what I have said about the need for confidence. But there is clearly a distinction to be made between valid confidence or self-esteem, and conceit - which we can describe as an inflated sense of importance, grounded in a false image of self.
  • Wow that was incredible! Good work analyzing all of that and putting it into such good words! I remember for a juxtaposition project in English 12 I decided to use the song Black, it's just absolutely incredible in terms of symbolism and metaphors and all of those literary terms. It was the first review of a poem where I got an A, it just had so much to write about and everything. Too bad I never had a teacher like you for that though, I'm really jealous of your students. Keep up the awesome work, and maybe some of them will be converted into major Pearl Jam fans! :D

    canuck_rocker,

    You're right on the money. "Black" is rich with imagery, metaphors, and symbolsim. It's a great work.

    Quite a few bloggers have mentioned that they wish that they had had a teacher like me. Hearing that is gold to my ears. Thanks.

    And yes, I do hope that a few students will become PJ fans! : ) I have already had a few students download "Black" after we discussed it in class. I can only hope that I have inspired them.

    Mr. Bruno
    Dalai Lama—To say that humility is an essential ingredient in our pursuit of spiritual transformation may seem to be at odds with what I have said about the need for confidence. But there is clearly a distinction to be made between valid confidence or self-esteem, and conceit - which we can describe as an inflated sense of importance, grounded in a false image of self.
  • upina2001 wrote:
    Its a song off Yield....(the best PJ album)


    I'll have to check out Yield. : )

    Thanks for the tip,

    Mr. Bruno
    Dalai Lama—To say that humility is an essential ingredient in our pursuit of spiritual transformation may seem to be at odds with what I have said about the need for confidence. But there is clearly a distinction to be made between valid confidence or self-esteem, and conceit - which we can describe as an inflated sense of importance, grounded in a false image of self.
  • October22,

    Thanks! : )

    Mr. Bruno
    Dalai Lama—To say that humility is an essential ingredient in our pursuit of spiritual transformation may seem to be at odds with what I have said about the need for confidence. But there is clearly a distinction to be made between valid confidence or self-esteem, and conceit - which we can describe as an inflated sense of importance, grounded in a false image of self.
  • OneLove wrote:
    Mr. Bruno, I can only hope that I will be half of the teacher that you are :)
    Inspiring dosn't even begin to describe your post!

    I was in the 8th grade when that song came out (or around that age, anyway), I remember how comforting that song was the first time I heard it. There was something about that album, the age I was, and feeling so uplifted and understood in a way that no one else could offer me at that time. To this day I can still listen to many pearl jam songs, through more experienced eyes (or ears, I suppose), and find new complexities within the lyrics that give me an even deeper appreciation of the song, and why all those years ago it "clicked" the first time I heard it.

    It is amazing to me that you have been able to enlighten and connect with your students in such a meaningful way. The world needs many more people like you out there~ hats off to you.

    As I was reading your post & repsonses, I thought about a CD that I picked up about a year ago rather randomly. It is a string quartet tribute to pearl jam. Release is one of the songs on the album, and although it is not performed by pearl jam, the music has a way of capturing the mood of the song beautifully. I remember when I heard that particular cut the first time, it gave me chills all over again. Perhaps the relationship of the words, the song, and the music without words would be an interesting thing to explore :)
    Just a thought~

    Thank you for your post. You are an inspiration!

    Heather

    Heather,

    Follow your heart. I did. I suspect that you will, too. Teaching is a calling. You know it deep in your bones when it is right for you.

    I was older than the 8th grade when Black was released. I think that PJ struck a chord with the American public when they released "Black." I want my students to connect to that as well. I want them to stand back in slack-jawed awe when "Sheets of empty canvass, untouched sheets of clay" pours from the speakers. I want them to take it all in, savoring every note, every heart-wrenching metaphor, and every agonizing symbol. In short, I want to awaken them to the universe that is Art, Music, and Literature (they all connect at some point...and, if we are lucky, we can catch a glimpse of what they offer us).

    Perhaps, if I am lucky, then they will see themselves in the lyrics.

    Keep your fingers crossed,

    Mr. Bruno
    Dalai Lama—To say that humility is an essential ingredient in our pursuit of spiritual transformation may seem to be at odds with what I have said about the need for confidence. But there is clearly a distinction to be made between valid confidence or self-esteem, and conceit - which we can describe as an inflated sense of importance, grounded in a false image of self.
  • i know that you really want an answer to where black came from. I always look for that in the songs i love. A lot of Pearl Jam songs can be referenced back to something, but then there are a lot where they are up for grabs. But sometimes during interviews, during concerts, etc, Eddie will give us an explanation or an insight into a song. example, corduory, dissident, betterman, etc. But as far as i know, i've never seen a quote from any of the band members specifically about Black. It just seems like one of those emotional experiences in life that you don't really want to explain in detail.
    9/16/96, 7/18/98, 11/02/00, 08/4/01, 12/08/02, 4/13/03, 10/22/03, 9/24/04, 3/18/05, 9/01/05, 9/02/05, 7/06/06, 7/07/06, 7/09/06, 7/10/06, 7/20/06
    7/22/06, 7/23/06, 04/07/07, 8/3/07
  • i know that you really want an answer to where black came from. I always look for that in the songs i love. A lot of Pearl Jam songs can be referenced back to something, but then there are a lot where they are up for grabs. But sometimes during interviews, during concerts, etc, Eddie will give us an explanation or an insight into a song. example, corduory, dissident, betterman, etc. But as far as i know, i've never seen a quote from any of the band members specifically about Black. It just seems like one of those emotional experiences in life that you don't really want to explain in detail.

    edbetteroregon,

    I'm not looking to corner band members. My students, both young and inquisitive, are just looking for answers. They want to know the fuel behind Eddie's fire. My suspicions are that "Black" was fueled by the hurt felt after a bad break up. That's my two-cents worth.

    That, and my school just wants a post card/phone call from the band. : )

    Mr. Bruno
    Dalai Lama—To say that humility is an essential ingredient in our pursuit of spiritual transformation may seem to be at odds with what I have said about the need for confidence. But there is clearly a distinction to be made between valid confidence or self-esteem, and conceit - which we can describe as an inflated sense of importance, grounded in a false image of self.
  • edbetteroregon,

    I'm not looking to corner band members. My students, both young and inquisitive, are just looking for answers. They want to know the fuel behind Eddie's fire. My suspicions are that "Black" was fueled by the hurt felt after a bad break up. That's my two-cents worth.

    That, and my school just wants a post card/phone call from the band. : )

    Mr. Bruno

    Thats what i think its about too and i'm sure that's what most listeners get out of it as well. That would be awesome if you do get some type of response from someone associated with the band. keep us posted on this all.
    9/16/96, 7/18/98, 11/02/00, 08/4/01, 12/08/02, 4/13/03, 10/22/03, 9/24/04, 3/18/05, 9/01/05, 9/02/05, 7/06/06, 7/07/06, 7/09/06, 7/10/06, 7/20/06
    7/22/06, 7/23/06, 04/07/07, 8/3/07
  • PJSEMPREPJSEMPRE Posts: 687
    I hope Ed Vedder contacts your school.
    Good lucky!
    Let's say knowledge is a tree, yeah.
    It's growing up just like me.
  • shareshare Posts: 551
    Mr Bruno

    you have to keep going

    present tense!! - one of the most beautiful poems ever written that happens to be a pearl jam song


    do you see the way that tree bends?
    does it inspire?
    leaning out to catch the sun's rays
    a lesson to be applied
    are you getting something out of this all encompassing trip?

    you can spend your time alone, redigesting past regrets, oh
    or you can come to terms and realize
    you're the only one who can't forgive yourself, oh
    makes much more sense to live in the present tense

    have you ideas on how this life ends?
    checked your hands and studied the lines
    have you the belief that the road ahead ascends off into the light?
    seems that needlessly it's getting harder
    to find an approach and a way to live
    are we getting something out of this all-encompassing trip?

    you can spend your time alone redigesting past regrets, oh
    or you can come to terms and realize
    you're the only one who cannot forgive yourself, oh
    makes much more sense to live in the present tense


    personally I'm amazed at how people underestimate the depth of kids that age

    13 & 14 year olds are brilliant and insightful and open and very very deep - it's a great age - I've got my artwork and writings from that age - I almost wish I could go back and tap some of that unjaded creativity
    we're all sentient snowflakes
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I'm a number that doesn't count
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    the nothing ventured - the nothing feigned
  • vedderfan10vedderfan10 Posts: 2,497
    MarylandTeacher,

    First, I commend you on becoming a teacher - or rather an inspiration one. Pretty much anyone can teach kids, but very few can truly inspire...

    And I am so thrilled to see that you let your students give back what they feel the song could be about, are asked about their interpretations.

    When I was in high school, we had a teacher who thought he was hip, so he taught us "Night Moves" (Bob Segar) and "Sympathy for the Devil" (Stones) and one or two others that I don't remember. He told us what the songs were about, and we were discouraged from having our own thoughts. He did, however, let each of us choose a song to "teach" to the class and write essays (oral presentations) about our songs. I chose "Won't Get Fooled Again" (the Who). I put my heart and soul into that project. Pete Townshend was my hero at the time and understood the teenage angst. I lived and breathed that song, and put together a fairly impressive report. And when all was said and done, and I was near tears after having shared personal feelings about the song, the teacher got up and asked me why Pete never had a nose job and then told me that I was completely wrong about my interpretation of the song.

    And then I read your story and I thought, what a caring and compassionate man this is! He gets it! He respects his students enough to share an important part of his life with them...and I think that is just so fantastic! Wow! I know I'm gushing here, but my god...you are an inspiration! Yay, you!
    be philanthropic
  • PJSEMPRE wrote:
    I hope Ed Vedder contacts your school.
    Good lucky!


    PJSEMPRE,

    Thanks....keep your fingers crossed. My classes are hoping that he does contact the school.

    Mr. Bruno
    Dalai Lama—To say that humility is an essential ingredient in our pursuit of spiritual transformation may seem to be at odds with what I have said about the need for confidence. But there is clearly a distinction to be made between valid confidence or self-esteem, and conceit - which we can describe as an inflated sense of importance, grounded in a false image of self.
  • Delivered_Wings,

    Thanks. I'm lucky to have them, too.

    I don't know Given to Fly. Is it a book? A song?

    Mr. Bruno

    Its my favorite PJ song, here are the lyrics:

    He could’ve tuned in, tuned in
    But he tuned out
    A bad time, nothing could save him
    Alone in a corridor, waiting, locked out
    He got up outta there, ran for hundreds of miles
    He made it to the ocean, had a smoke in a tree
    The wind rose up, set him down on his knee

    A wave came crashing like a fist to the jaw
    Delivered him wings, "Hey, look at him now"
    Arms wide open with the sea as his floor
    Oh, power, oh

    He's.. flying
    Whole…
    High.. wide, oh

    He floated back down 'cause he wanted to share
    His key to the locks on the chains he saw everywhere
    But first he was stripped and then he was stabbed
    By faceless men, well, fuckers
    He still stands

    And he still gives his love, he just gives it away
    The love he receives is the love that is saved
    And sometimes is seen a strange spot in the sky
    A human being that was given to fly

    High.. flying
    Oh, oh
    High.. flying
    Oh, oh
    He’s…flying
    Oh, oh
    Be Sound...
  • chadwickchadwick up my assPosts: 21,157
    chadwick wrote:
    I am speechless after reading about your 8th grade classes.
    As well as i am speechless to you as a teacher and a human-being.
    You are without a dought one great inspirational teacher, human-being.
    May your students be led down a floral path of beauty with you as their
    gifted immaculate guide.
    As i read your thread i could have cried, i actually probably should have.
    But i was reading aloud so i could share this story with my mom.
    So i held back a few tears.
    How i wish you were in my life when i was an 8th grader.
    For me 8th grade is when i started smoking pot and partying.
    This led my life into many long years of nothingness.


    Chadwick,

    Thank you for your words. Initially, I hesitated to post my analysis. I wasn't sure how it would be received. I'm glad that I did.

    Art is what happens when we allow ourselves to feel. When we summon the courage needed to confront those emotions, and if we have the strength to put them on paper, then we embrace our humanity. Where do you think "Black" came from?

    Don't hold 'em back.

    Mr. Bruno

    Where do I think "Black" came from?
    I believe it is about art and a man being deeply inspired by an amazing
    woman who was his everything/breath.
    She made his world fullfilled more so than he ever could have dreamed possible.When she left, he sank into lowness.
    Her Muse power is what he was captived under.
    I know of Muse power.
    It's one beautiful inspiring energy given off by a unique connection.
    That's my take on it.
    I hope I've answered your question with some sort of decent meaning.
    for poetry through the ceiling. ISBN: 1 4241 8840 7

    "Hear me, my chiefs!
    I am tired; my heart is
    sick and sad. From where
    the sun stands I will fight
    no more forever."

    Chief Joseph - Nez Perce
  • Vedderfan10,

    I hated teachers like the one you mentioned. After you poured out your heart, he made a snide comment and then put you down.

    It's a shame that you had not been in my class. I don't do that to my kids.

    Mr. Bruno
    Dalai Lama—To say that humility is an essential ingredient in our pursuit of spiritual transformation may seem to be at odds with what I have said about the need for confidence. But there is clearly a distinction to be made between valid confidence or self-esteem, and conceit - which we can describe as an inflated sense of importance, grounded in a false image of self.
  • share,

    I will keep going...it is my goal to bring this thread to PJ's attention.

    And yes...at 14, the students do have such wonderful potential.

    Mr. Bruno
    Dalai Lama—To say that humility is an essential ingredient in our pursuit of spiritual transformation may seem to be at odds with what I have said about the need for confidence. But there is clearly a distinction to be made between valid confidence or self-esteem, and conceit - which we can describe as an inflated sense of importance, grounded in a false image of self.
  • Chadwick,

    Black came from Eddie having the courage to face his feelings. That's what I was saying when I mentioned not holding back. Have the courage to express.

    It was that expression that produced Black. : )

    Mr. Bruno
    Dalai Lama—To say that humility is an essential ingredient in our pursuit of spiritual transformation may seem to be at odds with what I have said about the need for confidence. But there is clearly a distinction to be made between valid confidence or self-esteem, and conceit - which we can describe as an inflated sense of importance, grounded in a false image of self.
  • chadwickchadwick up my assPosts: 21,157
    Chadwick,

    Black came from Eddie having the courage to face his feelings. That's what I was saying when I mentioned not holding back. Have the courage to express.

    It was that expression that produced Black. : )

    Mr. Bruno

    Quite true Bruno, quite true.
    And I will focus more deeply on bringing out my inner courage in my life.
    Thank you for that bit of enlightenment.
    Writing a brilliant piece is a high for me/us.
    Reading/sharing each others feelings is also a high for me/us.
    I have found in my short few months in here that I am surrounded by
    some very outstanding gifted human-beings.
    Pearl Jam/admin has created the best site on the net.
    Period.
    And I hope Ed and company can make an appearance at the school you
    inspire.
    for poetry through the ceiling. ISBN: 1 4241 8840 7

    "Hear me, my chiefs!
    I am tired; my heart is
    sick and sad. From where
    the sun stands I will fight
    no more forever."

    Chief Joseph - Nez Perce
  • Delivered_Wings,

    Thanks...I'll look for a copy of Given to Fly. : )

    Mr. Bruno

    Its my favorite PJ song, here are the lyrics:

    He could’ve tuned in, tuned in
    But he tuned out
    A bad time, nothing could save him
    Alone in a corridor, waiting, locked out
    He got up outta there, ran for hundreds of miles
    He made it to the ocean, had a smoke in a tree
    The wind rose up, set him down on his knee

    A wave came crashing like a fist to the jaw
    Delivered him wings, "Hey, look at him now"
    Arms wide open with the sea as his floor
    Oh, power, oh

    He's.. flying
    Whole…
    High.. wide, oh

    He floated back down 'cause he wanted to share
    His key to the locks on the chains he saw everywhere
    But first he was stripped and then he was stabbed
    By faceless men, well, fuckers
    He still stands

    And he still gives his love, he just gives it away
    The love he receives is the love that is saved
    And sometimes is seen a strange spot in the sky
    A human being that was given to fly

    High.. flying
    Oh, oh
    High.. flying
    Oh, oh
    He’s…flying
    Oh, oh
    Dalai Lama—To say that humility is an essential ingredient in our pursuit of spiritual transformation may seem to be at odds with what I have said about the need for confidence. But there is clearly a distinction to be made between valid confidence or self-esteem, and conceit - which we can describe as an inflated sense of importance, grounded in a false image of self.
  • chadwick,

    Having Eddie contact my school would be a real treat for the kids. I feel that the attention of a rock star could inspire the kids to examine other lyrics. My goal is for them to take their new-found zeal and apply it to other classes. Wouldn't it be a dream come true if I could inspire some at-risk children to stay in school?

    Keep your fingers crossed!

    Mr. Bruno

    chadwick wrote:
    Quite true Bruno, quite true.
    And I will focus more deeply on bringing out my inner courage in my life.
    Thank you for that bit of enlightenment.
    Writing a brilliant piece is a high for me/us.
    Reading/sharing each others feelings is also a high for me/us.
    I have found in my short few months in here that I am surrounded by
    some very outstanding gifted human-beings.
    Pearl Jam/admin has created the best site on the net.
    Period.
    And I hope Ed and company can make an appearance at the school you
    inspire.
    Dalai Lama—To say that humility is an essential ingredient in our pursuit of spiritual transformation may seem to be at odds with what I have said about the need for confidence. But there is clearly a distinction to be made between valid confidence or self-esteem, and conceit - which we can describe as an inflated sense of importance, grounded in a false image of self.
  • pouch15pouch15 Posts: 436
    Bruno Pass This Thread To The Porch So More People Can See It, Those Ids Are Really Lucky To Have You As Their Teacher
  • pouch15 wrote:
    Bruno Pass This Thread To The Porch So More People Can See It, Those Ids Are Really Lucky To Have You As Their Teacher

    Pouch15,

    I will post this to the Porch! Thanks for your support!

    Mr. Bruno
    Dalai Lama—To say that humility is an essential ingredient in our pursuit of spiritual transformation may seem to be at odds with what I have said about the need for confidence. But there is clearly a distinction to be made between valid confidence or self-esteem, and conceit - which we can describe as an inflated sense of importance, grounded in a false image of self.
  • Two BirdsTwo Birds Posts: 256
    Mr. Bruno, I hope there will be more teachers like youself, out there to inspire this generation. Life for teenagers isn't getting any easier especially the number of kids being brought up in "underprivileged" homes. More Teachers like yourself, will equal happier and mentally stable minds!

    Peace,
    Peace,
    ________________________
    Too many shows but never enough!
    These guys are the fruit of the earth...
  • DerrickDerrick Posts: 475
    Absolutely Brilliant. Bravo. Bravo.


    EDIT: If you are going to tackle any more of PJ's lyrics for poetic analysis, I think you will see a God/Jesus/Religious connection in many songs. They will be direct (God's Dice) or indirect (Given to Fly). He also touches on the devil (Satan's bed) briefly and there are many themes of redemption.

    I have often considered PJ the world's most unintentional Christian band. Not in the sense that they are "RAH RAH GOD IS GOOD" but moreso in that they are not afraid to comment or reflect on faith/religion while still allowing the audience to formulate their own opinion of what's going on.

    Have fun,
    Derrick
  • wauw...you really are an inspiring teacher
    What a different life had I not found P.J.
  • Two Birds wrote:
    Mr. Bruno, I hope there will be more teachers like youself, out there to inspire this generation. Life for teenagers isn't getting any easier especially the number of kids being brought up in "underprivileged" homes. More Teachers like yourself, will equal happier and mentally stable minds!

    Peace,

    Two Birds,

    Your kind words inspire me. We all want to feel that we can make a difference. Through teaching, I hope to fulfill that destiny. Wouldn't it be a dream-come-true if we could get PJ to contact my school and answer my students' questions about "Black?"

    Mr. Bruno
    Dalai Lama—To say that humility is an essential ingredient in our pursuit of spiritual transformation may seem to be at odds with what I have said about the need for confidence. But there is clearly a distinction to be made between valid confidence or self-esteem, and conceit - which we can describe as an inflated sense of importance, grounded in a false image of self.
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