Spring Break: The Final Chapter!
So, yesterday, I must have had this conversation a bunch of times, on my second to last day of Spring Break:
Other Person: “You’ve been watching Walking Dead, huh? Great season.”
Other Person: “But you read the book, right? I hear it’s great.”
Me: “Uh…no, I’m not really reading the book much. It jumped the shark. Big time.”
Other Person: [dumbfounded expression] “Whaaa?”
That exchange became more and more tiresome. One person actually pointed out that Easter was in fact a celebration of Jesus becoming a zombie, which only brought home for me a central concept of modern pop culture. People seem to be looking forward to a zombie apocalypse, as if it is a good and/or fun thing.
So, in response to that, and my last day of vacation, I sat down with a copy of the Walking Dead Compendium, and wondered if I was in fact, being too harsh. After reading a couple of story arcs over, I concluded that I was not. The fact is, the book, although innovative for a zombie book (of which there has been a glut) by focusing on the characters and their relationships, the actual features of day to day survival without technology…is still sort of just a zombie book.
As I closed it, and decided to do today’s art, I really thought out that it could have been any apocalypse that drove the book. The zombies are superfluous. Heck, there are whole issues where you simply don’t even see a zombie. It’s all character work, often in the broad strokes of a soap opera.
The decision to do today’s art was twofold. First, it has been months, MONTHS…since I’ve taken a shot at the Walking Dead. Second, the composition was legitimately challenging…and I felt also metaphorically appropriate to the end of spring break. An added factor: many of the teachers at school, who don’t read any comics, read Walking Dead and think it is beyond great. I’m willing to say I could also turn them on to General Hospital. Sonny Corinthos is at least as good a character as the Governor.
What’s the metaphor? Tomorrow, teachers are going to come in to school the same way that kids do…tired, and with a dread of managing the unpredictable behavior of the students. Midway through the day, they will change their tune, complaining that “the kids are like zombies…I can’t get anything done.” Seriously, that will happen, word for word. Then, mid day, something will set off a student in that SAME teacher’s class, and it will be like armageddon has happened, and senior teachers will be called in, Rick Grimes like, to solve the problem.
In this case, I point to both the comic and the show. If the adults just kept track of Carl, there would be far fewer problems. Just like in teaching. You have one random kid that wants to do x, y, and z, when you want a, b, and c. He isn’t bad, or evil…he or she just needs to be managed. When you stop managing, he becomes like Carl, does his own thing, and then, you have a Problem. Note the capital P.
Teachers know who these students are. There are always a list of reasons why they stop managing them, which ultimately boil down to the same one…they feel like they shouldn’t have to. They get bored…and then say it isn’t a good use of their instructional time. More simply…
Yep. I expect either to get some refugees on that front to my class for discipline during period four (out of eight) or have to hear about it at length during lunch. Encouragingly for content to this site, of which I have none right now, there will be boring teacher meetings after school. Returning to our roots, really. Those meetings should consist entirely of CST stress, and worries about how “there just isn’t enough supervision at this school.”
Keep track of your Carls, people. That’s all you have to do. Keep track of your Carls. In a metaphorical sense, of course.
All of that, however, is tomorrow’s set of challenges. Today, Hello Kitty Gene Simmons and I have no Carls to worry about. I did, however, like that final panel so much that I colored it. As the last gasp of Spring Break, I leave with this…