August 6, 2010

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Pride is a funny feeling.  At times, it can be an almost overwhelming presence casting an enormous shadow and causing a lump in the throat.  Other times, it is more subtle, that rosy glow on a smiling cheek.  Or, as it is for me in this moment, a flash of joyful tears.

The source of my joyful tears is the fantastic music of a former student from my ever so brief period of teaching high school English.  It was a rather unfortunate beginning for me and Daniel, actually.  I came in two weeks after the school year started to help with overcrowding, and though I was excited and academically quite prepared, I never anticipated the hard feelings being uprooted from other classes would stir up in my students.   Daniel was among the worst instigators, making it very plain that my presence was not welcome.  Fortunately for both of us, I turned out to be something unexpected and likable and was forgiven in time, even praised by my big hearted students, and again, Daniel led the pack.

So when he found me on Facebook recently, I gladly accepted his offer of friendship.  What I didn’t expect was the music.  Though Daniel sang in the choir at school, and was quite good, I might add, I could never have fathomed that this sweet and oftentimes goofy (we have that in common, to be sure) boy (ahem, man, Ms. Sohn – he’s in his twenties!) would have such great lyrics and music to share.  Seriously, the more I listen, the more I like it, and not just because it is his.  I am not that kind of person.  It is marvelously layered and just the kind of music I enjoy – with a little of this and a little of that to make a fine package.

What’s more is Daniel’s fearless nature about his music.  He is out THERE, promoting, recording, packaging, selling and generally believing in himself.  I am just so proud of him and truly believe that with his passion, talent, and smarts, he’s headed for the stars!  But you don’t have to take my word for it – give his music a listen (please buy some, too, I did!) and remember the name Daniel Van Dyk.

Oh, and Daniel, let’s get a picture together sometime soon – the ferris wheel, while not at all shabby, is a poor substitute.