We That Remain.

This was such a chore.  For no reason.

This was such a chore. For no reason.

This represents a large amount of digital effects and coloring, that I didn’t intend at all. Oddly, I got some of the effects that I wanted, while sacrificing certain whole colors. Such as orange. See how there’s no orange? The price I paid.

Before going to largely digital replacement, I did my usual colored pencils. Which I HATED. So, as a result, I actually recolored the black sections in marker, thinking, “Good enough for Bruce Timm, good enough for me.” That was okay…and let to digital color fill, leading to the end product. Hours more than I intended.

Partially, that’s because I didn’t want to go back to all digital graphics work for an engineering firm in Austin that I’m dealing with. They were frustrating me, so it was way easier to focus on this piece, for no reason. Partially, I was avoiding going into Comics Ink for a Saturday visit, which I eventually did anyway, knowing it would be one of the Last Times. These were all significant reasons to fuss, and wind up with the digitally driven art above.

What’s the art about? Good question, glad you asked. It’s prophetic, to a degree (given when it was drawn) and also about the day of the post. Today, in the wake of Friday’s shootings and lockdowns, the Admin Team “walked classrooms” to explain to kids what happened, express the need for safety, and answer teacher questions. I had a lot of respect for the honesty and directness of the speech given to the kids, and the focus on the same values that Darth brought to the table. Had it not been for the framing story on the brief visit, I would have a newfound respect.

Sadly, on entering my room, an AP chose to be bullying toward me directly. Literally, a student later asked me if “That man wanted to punch you in the face.” These are the same people who want to resolve things via the “talking circle.” After expressly pointing out that he wouldn’t follow the rules of my classroom, because “It’s our school, not yours,” this charming example of leadership chose to take the time to attempt to intimidate me. Good luck with that, bro.

The speech that ensued was good, and meaningful. I was a bit cross with an AP, one of the “Leadership Team” attempting to intimidate me in my own class, so I followed Darth out and asked for “a word.” Outside, I expressed that my class rules were instituted after a teacher was attacked on our campus, for reasons of safety…and I supposed that he didn’t know, having not been here then. At that point, the AP expressed that he would “Never follow my rules, because I disrespcted him two months ago,” and Darth himself expressed his own ire:

“Every time there’s a lockdown, I take hits. If you want a War, that’s fine, I’m trained for that…I can fight a War. I’m ready.” Classy stuff.

Color me bewildered. “No…I umm…don’t want a war. I wasn’t here. I don’t know too much about what happened, and have no dog in this fight. Seriously…there’s a simpler safety issue, related to my rule.”

The rule is: Don’t just walk into my room unannounced, like you own it. Simple.

The AP made it clear that he would never follow that rule, and that he wanted to punch me in the face. The only thing that made this so odd were the last few weeks of really phony, forced conversations with me about my life outside of school. If people just showed their true colors from jump…life would be so much simpler.

Oddly, my response was to turn to Pledge LA. See…I keep saying I cut a Deal, to Play Nice. I have not violated that Deal, but this mischegas? Not part of the Deal. not even close. Is it fixable? I would think, but really, I just want the Leadership Team, such as they are, to stay clear of me. That was the Deal, and that wasn’t followed. instead, there have been these forced efforts to be friendly, to attempt to be “close”, that really don’t add up to much….when the “Leadership” of school is willing to retaliate against me for things I didn’t even do.

Today (the day of the post) is Pledge LA’s big fund raiser. They wanted teachers to chaperone it, which I wasn’t very interested in doing. That’s what the art was initially about…being left behind, while Haters ran rampant, trying to maintain some semblance of order, some effort at a light in the darkness. The partnership has taken over a major theme park for a few hours, for their fund raiser, and best of luck to them about it. For me…I don’t need it. My needs are far simpler, and lost in the political shuffle.

1. A Leadership Team of Principals that support me, instead of making it look like they are going to punch me in the face.
2. The ability to just teach English. To be able to do the thing I signed on for.
3. A safe campus. A place where I shouldn’t worry about being shot at.

These are simple needs. I don’t understand how an AP came at me that way, to discuss safety, in my own classroom. I don’t understand how Darth openly asked me if I want a “war”, when i wasn’t there, and didn’t do anything. I don’t understand much these days.

I do know this. Right now, I work in a lonely place. A place with few allies, and Haters everywhere. It’s a vigil in a wilderness of mirrors, where nothing is exactly as it seems. One thing is certain though.

It’s not all that smart to instigate me, to invite me to a war. It’s not smart to provoke me, and what remains of my team. We that remain have been toughened, hardened, made into something that can deal with what is in front of us. We don’t like it, and it saddens us. I much prefer being the “hard right hand” of the people that I work for.

Apparently, that’s not to be. I hope Pledge LA makes a stack of money at their fund raiser, which I will not be attending. The community and the students need as much as they can have access to, and I don’t begrudge that. I don’t need to be part of it, helping with it, because really…it’s not my job. My job is to keep order in Grade Seven….and teach English. That’s it. Not to raise funds, not to supervise, not to support people or companies that don’t support me.

Still…it’s a lonely, dark way to operate.

Next Issue: The First Wednesday!

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