Senior English teacher Mr. Brad Baum is striving to better his life and the lives of the people around him. As a lover of comedic television, writing, and sports, he is more than just your average English teacher.
Sports Center is favorite of Baum. He values the entertainment in professional sports, being an athlete himself. Baum and his roommate watch basketball in their free time and love to see highlights of other sports too. In high school, he played soccer all four years along with baseball and basketball for one year.
Baum recently completed a backpacking trip across Europe over the summer. Every three days, he would end up in a new city. “I probably have seen more places than most people have in their entire lives,” he shared. Baum
respects different cultures and enjoys learning about how they are different from the United States. In college his favorite class was Africa and World Perspective because of the new perspectives the class helped him understand. He plans to visit Asia in the future.
After finishing his trip to Europe, Baum has moved on to other goals he has set for himself. He has hopes of visiting all the national parks, going back to school to get his Master’s Degree, and publishing his writing. “I love the idea that I can keep learning new things,” said Baum. He plans to further his career as much as possible.
Baum’s knack for writing has sparked creativity in many of his classes. As the teacher of the Creative Writing class and the Creative Writing Club sponsor, as well as a senior English teacher, he works to challenge each of his students to better their writing, no matter their skill level or experience. He shared that some students associate all writing with academic writing and encourages kids to give creative writing a try. He tries to instill that not all writing is bad. Baum says, “It’s a good outlet for them [students] to learn about themselves.”
As a poet, he shared that his writing style is a bit chaotic. There are no real plans the the poetry he writes, but rather a central idea or theme he starts with. Sometimes these creations don’t always end up as he expected them to, but this is an aspect he enjoys about poetry. A recurring theme in Baum’s writing are dreams and night. He usually ties these ideas into his work, sometimes unknowingly.
Shine On by Brad Baum
A fairly romantic idea
To return to the ground that bore us
To lie with our mother,
One of nature, one of birth
And perhaps another that exists within
Our minds and ideas,
Chipping and eating away at the soft flesh
That sinks deeper and deeper
Into the dirt and filth that populate
I go overground
Above the surface,
Hanging in that constant,
That space that lingers
Between a soft, summer dream
And the cold bitterness of reality
The place that questions my thoughts
And the way that the electrodes that
Dance inside my head bounce off of one another
Participating in some type of ritual fight,
A dance rather,
Sloping across the veins that carry blood
In every which direction.
That life blood that turns on those
curious orbs that wonder what it is like
to take a bite out of the moon
and immerse oneself in the ever growing
darkness that an imagination can dream up.
For there are ghosts that converse in there
Spirits that haunt, flutter in and out
Of the waves that register through that
Machine, sitting aside the hospital bed.
A respirator, some type of regenerator
That supposes a life is one with
its body, but not with the magic
that exists within,
That dazzling spectacle that few can see
For our eyes were put through that surgery
Long ago, ripped, torn, and tattered
by the hopes and dreams of yesteryear
coming to their final realization.
That man that sits at the edge of your bed
And calls you a fool,
Laughing at the memories
That you had yet to create.
Because most don’t realize that you can die
Can be stripped of our being
And the light that shimmers
On like that stars that glimmer
In the deep, black sky.
They, those stars, they live inside
And just like the coronas
Those age old suns that
Eventually explode from their
and wipe out the galaxy
They exist in,
So too can your body
And self and mind
By the extinguishing of that light
So walk away from the darkness
Wait run, don’t walk,
Because I want to see that
light shine on, baby,
I want to see that diamond in the sky,
In your eyes.
Don’t let it disguise
That beauty that sits within.
Instead, let it beat the death
That hits you with “sin”
And tells you that your
Brightness isn’t worth the time
Because death isn’t romantic,
And if anyone, even that
Reaper that comes to sow
You shine that light
Diminish the darkness,
And become one of
Those stars in the night
That will never, ever, burn out.