Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I have asked my mentor group to write about a person they admire as a way to begin thinking about the UWCSEA Learner Profile. Always aware that an assignment or task is only as a good as a teacher who is willing to do said assignment, I have decided to write along. Besides I never turn down an opportunity to write about Eddie Vedder.

I was a very angry young man you see. Filled with an unnameable rage, I lashed out at most nearly everyone I met. I tried, in my own way, to give voice to my hurt and my shame and my angst and my confusion. Everywhere I looked the world felt fake and contrived and I felt there was no place for me in it. Alone in my head-- I felt at home. Dealing with a bottled up voice-- screaming in the silence of empty rooms, I made my way. 

That is until I stopped screaming long enough to hear Vedder's voice echoing back at me.

He got it. He got me. I got it. I got him. There was a connection. His songs spoke to me in way I had never felt before. This was 1992. I was eighteen years old.

Lots of stories in between paragraphs. Maybe another time...

I grew up. He grew up. We grew up together. Pearl Jam still makes records, they still tour and they are still the voice I go to on the dark when I need a friend. They reason I admire Vedder is that he has not been stuck in the image he created of himself in his youth. He has not only been shaped by the world around him, but he has used his fame and his vocie to shape the world back.

A political dynamo, Vedder is committed to countless causes while staying true to his music. He is adaptable and resilient, and he has stayed true to his principles about art and music and the power they sway.

I admire that he has been self-aware enough to understand his changing role in not only the world of music, but the world as a whole. Never one to simply moan and complain, Vedder is a problem solver who gets things done. I can write for days, but that is a brief intro. Do yourself a favor, do some research, listen to some songs and get to know this man and this band.

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