Open Letter to Mr. Vedder

12345679»

Comments

  • If you were my teacher it would've totally rocked. I've listened to Pearl Jam and have been a committed fan of Pearl Jam for 18 years, and NEVER have I had the chance to experience analysis of PJ lyrics. That's what learning is all about- figuring out our souls and interpreting lyrics and music freely.


    Sadly, I am teaching 6th grade this year, and "Black" is a bit too advanced for the average 11 year old mind...but who knows what the future will hold?

    Maryland Teacher
    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.
  • LizardLizard So CalPosts: 11,982
    I just realized your thread title rhymes......
    Is it over yet? #ITMFA  #ETTD
  • RKCNDYRKCNDY Seattle, WAPosts: 31,013
    I, to wish that I could have had a teacher like you to guide me through English class. I wasn't a bad student, got good grades, but I basically read and spat out what I knew the teacher wanted. When I was in school, it was confined to, "You may read about/create anything you wish, it just cannot be about sex, drugs, or rock n' roll" That made art class really limiting. In 8th grade, I was reading Romeo & Juliet and Animal Farm...now that I'm older, I can appreciate that I read them, but back then, I recall the entire class not understanding/comprehending the context (especially Animal Farm). Being able to give kids something more 'modern', I believe, helps reach out and touch them more genuinely than works that were written long ago. Just like in music, if you're being taught classical music, but want to learn rock, you're not going to be motivated. I know because I didn't care about the piano lessons I took until I finally found sheet music to a piece I wanted to learn. I learned that song in 2 weeks, and by 3 weeks, could play by heart.

    Kudos to a teacher that truly is passionate about their job!
    The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.

    - Christopher McCandless
  • DangDangDangDang Posts: 1,551
    If you were my teacher it would've totally rocked. I've listened to Pearl Jam and have been a committed fan of Pearl Jam for 18 years, and NEVER have I had the chance to experience analysis of PJ lyrics. That's what learning is all about- figuring out our souls and interpreting lyrics and music freely.


    Sadly, I am teaching 6th grade this year, and "Black" is a bit too advanced for the average 11 year old mind...but who knows what the future will hold?

    Maryland Teacher

    My 9 year old loves 'Evolution"though. I think they might get that.
  • Lizard wrote:
    I just realized your thread title rhymes......


    LoL, Lizard ;)
    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.
  • 4and20 wrote:
    I, to wish that I could have had a teacher like you to guide me through English class. I wasn't a bad student, got good grades, but I basically read and spat out what I knew the teacher wanted. When I was in school, it was confined to, "You may read about/create anything you wish, it just cannot be about sex, drugs, or rock n' roll" That made art class really limiting. In 8th grade, I was reading Romeo & Juliet and Animal Farm...now that I'm older, I can appreciate that I read them, but back then, I recall the entire class not understanding/comprehending the context (especially Animal Farm). Being able to give kids something more 'modern', I believe, helps reach out and touch them more genuinely than works that were written long ago. Just like in music, if you're being taught classical music, but want to learn rock, you're not going to be motivated. I know because I didn't care about the piano lessons I took until I finally found sheet music to a piece I wanted to learn. I learned that song in 2 weeks, and by 3 weeks, could play by heart.

    Kudos to a teacher that truly is passionate about their job!

    Thank you 4and20 :P
    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.
  • DangDang wrote:

    My 9 year old loves 'Evolution"though. I think they might get that.


    I will have to think about Evolution...you've given me food-for-thought.

    Matt
    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.
  • Waves4to6ftWaves4to6ft JerzPosts: 108
    Wow, that's great work,.. Really inspiring... May use it one day in my class... Perfect for 7/8th grade when kids are prob having their first break-up.... I'm a teacher too and Jeremy is a great song/poem/story to obv teach kids about teenage suicide.0
    If I don't see you no more in this world, I'll meet you on the next one...
  • Wow, that's great work,.. Really inspiring... May use it one day in my class... Perfect for 7/8th grade when kids are prob having their first break-up.... I'm a teacher too and Jeremy is a great song/poem/story to obv teach kids about teenage suicide.0


    Black really does touch upon loss, so it would tie-in well with first break-ups, especially because those break-ups tend to be both emotional and heart-felt.
    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.
  • guitar59guitar59 Posts: 1,221
    Unthought Known...my son, who was in 6th grade last year thought it was the best song ever. I am teaching 6th grade this year and thought I might fit it in somehow. The other one I love is Force of Nature. ;)
    I think now that he is in seventh grade I may give him the lyrics to other songs...printed out and see how he responds. It really makes a difference when they are read and not just heard. He's been listening to Pearl Jam for years, but it wasn't until Backspacer that he really started paying attention to lyrical meaning.
  • This is awesome! What better way to reach kids at this age, because middle school years can be tough! I applaud you for first being a teacher (let alone an 8th grade teacher) and second for using the lyrics to this wonderful song to reach these kids. My daughter was in 8th grade last year and I know it can be hard to reach some of these kids now. What an great way keep their attention and to get them to be interested in poetry.

    My daughter got to go to her first Pearl Jam concert at the Key Arena last September. She was excited to miss some school, hang out in Seattle and to go to the concert. Her English teacher had made comments about how he was a Pearl Jam fan and when she returned back to school after the concert, she gave Mr. D some Pearl Jam stickers she picked out for him. She said the first thing he did as class started was he took the Pearl Jam stickers and stuck them up in the classroom where everyone could see them and that is where they stayed for the whole year. She thought that was the coolest thing a teacher could do. So just with that action, my daughter and Mr. D hit it off. With his action, she remembers him and still talks about him. So I'm sure these kids will remember you!

    We need more teachers with creativity to teach our kids and to keep them interested in school! So great job!

    g.
  • Black73Black73 Posts: 1,006
    If you were my teacher it would've totally rocked. I've listened to Pearl Jam and have been a committed fan of Pearl Jam for 18 years, and NEVER have I had the chance to experience analysis of PJ lyrics. That's what learning is all about- figuring out our souls and interpreting lyrics and music freely.


    Sadly, I am teaching 6th grade this year, and "Black" is a bit too advanced for the average 11 year old mind...but who knows what the future will hold?

    Maryland Teacher

    Hey Teach! I'm happy my 11 year old to-be is outside that average...he openly tells anyone who'll listen that Ten is his favorite album, and Black is the best song off the album. Any chance you might change your username to WisconsinTeacher?

    Keep up the good work with our youth!
  • Black 73,

    Thanks for your kind words.

    Matthew
    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.
  • gloree-g wrote:
    This is awesome! What better way to reach kids at this age, because middle school years can be tough! I applaud you for first being a teacher (let alone an 8th grade teacher) and second for using the lyrics to this wonderful song to reach these kids. My daughter was in 8th grade last year and I know it can be hard to reach some of these kids now. What an great way keep their attention and to get them to be interested in poetry.

    My daughter got to go to her first Pearl Jam concert at the Key Arena last September. She was excited to miss some school, hang out in Seattle and to go to the concert. Her English teacher had made comments about how he was a Pearl Jam fan and when she returned back to school after the concert, she gave Mr. D some Pearl Jam stickers she picked out for him. She said the first thing he did as class started was he took the Pearl Jam stickers and stuck them up in the classroom where everyone could see them and that is where they stayed for the whole year. She thought that was the coolest thing a teacher could do. So just with that action, my daughter and Mr. D hit it off. With his action, she remembers him and still talks about him. So I'm sure these kids will remember you!

    We need more teachers with creativity to teach our kids and to keep them interested in school! So great job!

    g.

    Thank you ;)
    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.
  • Lizard wrote:
    I just realized your thread title rhymes......


    LOL, Lizard...I noticed that, too; but it wasn't intentional, it just worked out that way. 8-)
    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 am so truly thankful that there are still teachers/people like you out there. I have two young sons and I could only hope that they find themselves with such an amazing mentor as yourself. Thank you for restoring my faith in the educational systems of this country. BTW do you have a website? If not you should, so the kids not lucky enough to be in your classes can benefit too!
    "BE SOUND..."
  • Lauren Marie,

    Thank you for your kind words. :P

    By the way, I did catch one of my 6th graders reading my Open Letter to Mr. Vedder (that I have up on my bulletin board). When I told him that I had sent a copy of the letter to Pearl Jam, his jaw went agape, bless his little heart. He couldn’t believe that you can actually do some really cool stuff with what you learn in English Class!

    Thanks again,

    Matt
    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.
  • That was beautiful work. If more teachers had their students learn that way. Maybe more kids would stay in school.
  • Interesting and heartfelt interpretation to this song I must say. I was 15, almost 16 years old when it first came out I lived in the dark world in that time. I remember "feeling" the song "Black", never thinking about it. I just FELT it. That whole album was a pillar in my private Hurricane hell, when nothing was stable in my life. SOMEONE ELSE felt what I was feeling and they were older than me.
    I just hung onto the knowledge that someone else felt those feelings that I did, all through my growing up, and they were SINGING about them.
    Those feelings faded away over time but I would sling shot back to them when another song came out that said all that I couldn't when it came to how I felt.

    I am glad that there is a teacher like you out there. Keep being you
    True freedom is a freedom from the chains you've wrapped around yourself.
  • dawnella wrote:
    That was beautiful work. If more teachers had their students learn that way. Maybe more kids would stay in school.

    Thank you, Dawnella :)
    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.
  • molhatchet wrote:
    Interesting and heartfelt interpretation to this song I must say. I was 15, almost 16 years old when it first came out I lived in the dark world in that time. I remember "feeling" the song "Black", never thinking about it. I just FELT it. That whole album was a pillar in my private Hurricane hell, when nothing was stable in my life. SOMEONE ELSE felt what I was feeling and they were older than me.
    I just hung onto the knowledge that someone else felt those feelings that I did, all through my growing up, and they were SINGING about them.
    Those feelings faded away over time but I would sling shot back to them when another song came out that said all that I couldn't when it came to how I felt.

    I am glad that there is a teacher like you out there. Keep being you

    Molhatchet,

    The song really can be felt--it's that strong. When we are able to identify with music, we bring that art to life. That's the power of poetry.

    Thanks again for your kind words,

    Matt
    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 am so truly thankful that there are still teachers/people like you out there. I have two young sons and I could only hope that they find themselves with such an amazing mentor as yourself. Thank you for restoring my faith in the educational systems of this country. BTW do you have a website? If not you should, so the kids not lucky enough to be in your classes can benefit too!

    Thank you.
    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.
  • Released1980Released1980 Posts: 1,790
    BRAVO! That was absolutely the BEST thread I have ever read in this forum. I am so impressed. May the man in the sky bless you always. I'm gonna read it again now...
    "It's so nice to hear that in other parts of the world, the stress- borne from envy- that one finds for themselves is the animosity they develop towards a person selling a box of records. How fortunate!" ~ Thirty Bills Unpaid

    MLMF NYC
  • BRAVO! That was absolutely the BEST thread I have ever read in this forum. I am so impressed. May the man in the sky bless you always. I'm gonna read it again now...

    Thanks.....I appreciate your kind words. 8-)

    Matt
    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.
  • JB113274JB113274 Posts: 2
    My name is Brice I am French and I am living in Dax, in the south west of France
    I apologize for the terrible mistakes I'm gonna make while writing this post
    I just wanted to testify about how the lyrics of E.V helped me in the most difficult part of my life.
    I am 29,
    last year me and my girlfriend we lost our Baby, THIBAULT, one day after his birth.
    There is no words strong enough to explain the pain,
    Pain is a weak word
    Months ago I entered a hospital because this pain was destroying me.
    I miss him so much, every day

    During the ceremony, the 04.09.2010, we listened two songs, a French one chosen by Marina, my girlfriend, a beautiful song called Mistral Gagnant and a PJ song, indifference. Since I am 10, I love this song but from this day, this song and the lyrics became a part of me.
    I never posted before but I just wanted to say thank you to Ed and Pearl jam because somehow they helped me

    thanks to thme
  • very good! Keep up the good work- america needs MORE teachers like you!!
  • whispering handswhispering hands Under your skinPosts: 13,527
    it is so crazy awesome to see this thread still going!! So glad that what you're doing is still touching lives!
  • amethgr8amethgr8 Posts: 718
    wow, that is some specific interpretation of the song Black. Literally speaking, it's probably a good example of poetry to cross-examine and illustrate poetry in general.

    I've always often wondered if the song is really speaking of love of a girl or something more general.

    I'm a girl, so by nature I probably looked at the more general side of the song...

    I think it justs about something you thought, you had such specific expecations of and it didn't turn out that way. It turned out that way for a bunch of other people but not me and there is some envy there, or longing to be part of something one thought they were supposed to be part of. That's such a crushing realization when people are younger. For 18 years our lives are in the hands of other people and we think we will have so much control when we're allowed to "live life on our own" and as you get older you realize how little control you have in life and you only have control over how you feel or react to it.

    But that's how we all end up through our experiences, tatoo'd for life, pieces of our past lives we can glue back together... lots of times we get 2nd chanced but we don't get any do-overs.

    but wow, that was some specific interpretation, deep.

    amy
    Amy The Great #74594
    New Orleans LA 7/4/95 reschedule 9/17/95
    Chicago IL 1998, 10/9/00, 06/18/03, 05/16/06, 05/17/06
    08/23/09, 08/24/09, Lolla 08/05/07
    Champaign IL 4/23/03
    Grand Rapids MI VFC 10/03/04
    Grand Rapids MI 19May06
    Noblesville IN 05/07/10 Cleveland OH 05/09/10
    PJ 20 2011
    Baltimore MD, Charlottesville VA, Seattle WA 2013
    St. Louis MO, Milwaukee WI 2014
    Tampa FL, Chicago IL, Lexington KY 2016
    Missoula MT 2018
  • neutron baumneutron baum Posts: 283
    it is so crazy awesome to see this thread still going!! So glad that what you're doing is still touching lives!


    Yes, let's keep this going. I just read it and now I am literally choked up. Unbelievable.

    I can't hear Black without feeling emotional, it was the song that kept listening to during and after my utterly painful divorce a few years ago.

    Thank you for breaking this masterpiece down in such a way that it echoes all the thoughts I had but not creative and imaginative enough to write. Keep up the good work exposing these kids today to something so meaningful. There are many other PJ songs there should be an entire class devoted to it and I nominate you to be the Professor!

    Thanks again. :D
  • Just bumping this up again because 13 years later I still think about this post when I hear this song. And along the same lines, here's a vocal coach breaking down the unplugged performance of Black: 
Sign In or Register to comment.