Mr. Blair Undercover

Amelia Wright, Reporter

A person who is just a teacher to some people can be much more to others.

Mike Blair, an English teacher at Peninsula High School, has many life interests aside from teaching. Photography, travel and being a presidential candidate are some things that fill up his life outside of school.

Blair first decided to run for President because he knew that a person could become a candidate simply by filling out the FEC Form 2 paperwork.

“I think a leader should be able to pull people together for a common good. Now there will always be those that do not agree, and they will make disparaging comments about others or the country or the government, and while we should listen to them, we need not make them the focus of our attention,” said Blair.

Though Blair supposes that his decision to run was largely for fun, he still definitely takes the opportunity to talk about the issues seriously, as he feels someone has to.

“I don’t think I will be voting for him, but it is so cool that a teacher from PHS is running for president!” said Nicolas Wright, a senior at PHS.

Mrs. Bruey, also an English teacher at PHS, said that she probably won’t be voting for him either.

“I would be willing to vote for Blair, but I feel no one is going to vote for him because no one knows him, so I probably will not be voting for him this year. If he was able to get screening time and arrange for people to know about him, then I might change my mind,” said Bruey.  

Besides running for president, Blair has also been interested in photography for a long time, as he got his first camera when he was six. A few years back, the Benham Gallery in Seattle chose to show several photos that he took on a trip to Russia in an exhibit of Outstanding Washington Photographers.

More recently, his photography has focused on the sport of boxing. Blair owns a website that explores boxing in the Pacific Northwest, covering shows in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Canada, London, and in the northwestern region. The website allows him to take pictures and write, and the it has been recognized as the premier website for boxing coverage in the northwest.

“A lot of people ask why boxing, and I admit I am not a real fan of the sport – it is terribly brutal. However, it is very challenging in terms of trying to get a good shot. Today, a lot of guys with digital cameras just hold down the shutter, release, and take a series of ten to twenty shots whenever fighters get close. I began shooting with a film camera, so I tend to be a bit more disciplined, and that means studying the fighter and anticipating a good opportunity,” said Blair.

Blair has a strong interest in travel. In the early 1980s, he spent a summer in Europe with a friend and took a group of students through the historic continent. Blair spent a week with that same friend and another group of students in the Philippines two years ago, partaking in volunteer work at a school in one of the poorest areas of Manila.

“Traveling is, in my opinion, one of the best teachers a person can have. Because I have traveled and met people from a number of different cultures and backgrounds, I feel I have a pretty solid understanding of what happens in the world and why people act and think in the manner they do,” said Blair.

The work with the travel agency and the disabled allows Blair to give something back to other people who may not have the ability to travel and experience life as he has.

“It is quite humbling to work with people that are appreciative of the adventure and the small amount of help the guides of the travel agency provide.” said Blair.

Living an extraordinary life full of travel, photography, and presidential candidacy, Blair has helped many people along the way. As life continues, he hopes to continue making a change in the world, whether in photography, travel, or in something extraordinary like running for president.