Author Archives: John Fearnall

TO BE HOPEFUL

“TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”

Howard Zinn

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The Checkerboard?

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Philadelphia, PA

Holy, i’ve been neglecting this site.  It’s been over a year since I posted anything.  Sorry about that.

I just posted a new essay – Philadelphia, PA 2014 – 45 photos from our recent whirlwind trip to the USA.

I would love to hear what you think.

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The State of Education 2013

How do we know we have a great education system if we never allow or encourage those directly involved to share their experiences?

To conclude one of the courses I was teaching this past spring, I asked my students to make a 60 second video that expressed their feelings about their time in school.   Working alongside them, I decided to use the above question to drive my “Exit Portrait” project, where I asked 18 students and 1 teacher to pose for a portrait in a way that reflected their high school experience.  Although there are only a small number of portraits, they are quite revealing.  You can see the portraits here.

Next

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Hillside 1992-2004

My family is gearing up for our first of 3 music festivals this summer.  The Hillside Festival, which takes place at Guelph Lake, was our favourite for many years.  We stopped attending 4 or 5 years ago for a number of reasons, but we’ve decided to give it another shot this year.  I give the festival a lot of credit for helping me discover many of my favourite musical artists.  I also think it helped inspire my love of photography, as many of my favourite photos were taken at the festival.

To celebrate Hillside’s 30th anniversary, I thought I would share some of my photos from the last 20 or so years.

We attended our first Hillside in 1992 (or maybe 1991 – not sure I took any photos the first year).  It was a very different experience than today.  I remember arriving at Guelph Lake on Friday evening and being told to simply drive to the site we wanted and to set up camp.  We ended up on a site very close to the island.  I think we also bought our tickets at the gate.  Today, the weekend passes sell out in minutes (long before the lineup is announced) and the campsites are reserved 6 months in advance.

This photo of Valdy on the main stage, taken with my film camera, is one of my first photos of the festival.  My guess is this was the 9th festival (although it could be 8), which means it was 1992.

Valdy

The only other film photos worth sharing may be from the same festival, but they may also be from the following year.  Hillside was where I first saw the Rheostatics, a band that I went on to see at least half a dozen more times before they disbanded.  I think these may be from their infamous performance with Jane Sibbery.

Rheostatics - Martin Tielli

Martin Tielli.

Rheostatics - Dave Bidini and Tim Vesley

Dave Bidini and Tim Veseley. Continue reading »

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