Awful, wonderful school pictures

Nothing I have ever posted on Facebook (except that I am running for school board, actually) has garnered as much positive reaction as this school picture Casey brought home the other day:


One thing I love about this picture, in addition to the suit (which was his idea, for the record) and the crazy hair and the goofy smile, is the ridiculous green background, which is a classic public school “school picture day” background.  There’s nothing artisinal about it; there’s a reason we call them school “pictures” and not school “portraits.”  Compare, for example, the preschool “portrait” of Casey’s little brother Owen on the left, and Owen’s kindergarten picture on the right:

owen3Same kid, same shirt even.  But only one of them prompted Owen’s teacher (whom we adore) to pull me aside and slip me the name of a website that publishes awkward school pictures (you can google it).

I don’t have any larger point here, but I will say this: there are a lot of ways in which I would like to see the Berkeley public schools embrace innovation to a greater extent than we do.  But I’m glad that school pictures haven’t changed.