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Episode #104: MIKE SEAMAN // Zen, Cancer, and Life on the Run

My all-time favorite elementary school teacher shares his story.

As promised, we're here to share some pretty personal - sure, often too personal - stories. Some of them breathe better with some audio, so we're live as a real life podcast now. Biding my time until Spotify starts charging me for our page, found Here.

Mike Seaman, Education Master and Advice Provision Supreme, was up to the task in Sideshow's premiere podcast episode, "Zen, Cancer, and Life on the Run."

Here's a story of a man who endured a violent childhood, found freedom and self-forgiveness in his fifties, then chose to give his life to studying psychotherapy and teaching innovative conflict resolution techniques to elementary schoolers. I'm telling you, this man is amazing.

Our conversational, not-comedic-but-sincere episode is about 75 minutes long. Apologies for the length, and also not.

Elementary school was weird. For everyone, I know. But my public school was particular because it fashioned like a one-room schoolhouse, consisting of multi-aged kids who all pretty much taught one another. I don't remember learning cursive, but I sure remember the student-initiated food study on Black Vine Weevils during recess (more info here).

Mike was one of the guys who came up with the whole system.

Among the first-to-fifth graders who were lucky enough to be in Mike's Class, we knew him as the tough teacher. Yet, our tests concerned empathy techniques and active listening skills and how to breed trees and take shorter showers. Mike combined our division practice and essay-writing with intimate lessons on integrity, worldwide religions, and storytelling. In short, every kid who graduated from Mike's class has designed a Mars-ready spacecraft by now.

This episode isn't for the faint hearted. Mike reveals intimate advice on his emotional and physical struggles with melanoma, overcoming childhood trauma and abuse, and his current struggles in isolation.

And... Mike also talks about how wonderful pink trees are. And how he never speaks to a child like they're a child. And how he thanks his salmon before he eats it. Mike's abundant lessons continue to touch me today, and I am thrilled to share his story of hope and resilience with the wonderful podcasting world here.

As always, please get in touch to record your story. Looking forward to creating with you!

Gratitudes: Elementary school teachers who continue to save the world

- Laura Huepenbecker

Podcast recorded 05/14/2020. Posted 09/11/2020.

Music by Riley Overend.

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