The Big One!

This was a chore to draw.  I didn't feel like inking it.

This was a chore to draw. I didn’t feel like inking it.

That’s a whole lot of Expendable Skrull Union Mercenaries. Also a hired Klingon, a Redshirt, a few Ewoks, and so forth. It’s a large cast, although loads of the Rascals there are both temporary and generic. For the time being, at least today, there are apparently a large number of Rascals, people that just want to fix the day to day operations of the school. For myself, I have an All Nighter ahead of me. The reasons for that are complex, and this post, which will be both for and about the Day After the All Nighter is my way of working out some ideas.

The key is in focus. I really don’t want anything to go badly for any person. the operational problems are not personal, and I think, at the heart of it, problems stem from people taking things personally. The key to my All Nighter will be about THAT…about keeping everything impartial, fair, and about fixing problems. I spoke with someone I respect today, and they mentioned that its about fixing the problems, and not worrying about the blame. I actually agree with that, at the heart of things. The point of this exercise, of this attempt at producing even handed analysis, is so that the school can run properly. So that my students have a place to be that is safe and orderly, and that the teachers, like myself, can actually enjoy coming to school again.

The Union meeting after school was filled with acrimony. People were outspoken, about things that they wanted…no things they needed to change. Union meetings are better attended than ever before, but when push comes to shove, people don’t stand up for their beliefs. People feel like it will be taken personally, or that there will be some sort of hard feelings, and fall short of sticking up for what they need. This is really at the root of our current turnover. The school’s staff is rapidly rotating, overturning, because at the heart of it, staff members feel like they can’t do a good job, or aren’t being heard.

I think, at the end of the day students, teachers, even Administrators…all they want is to be heard. They want to be heard, and to be able to do a good job. I feel that way often, and as a result think I’m not that different form the kids. From some of the comments made to me, and to the staff today, I have to imagine that Administration feels much the same way…they just want to be able to come in, and do whatever it is that Administrators at schools do. I say it that way because I don’t have that much of an interest in ever being a principal, so I really don’t have that much better of an idea of what Principals do than when I was a student myself.

That’s a big part of things too. I honestly don’t think that people above My pay Grade wake up and plan how to make the lives of staff miserable. In fact, I KNOW that the opposite is true. They, like me and the teaching staff, just want to come in, do their jobs, add some sort of good to the world, and then go home. That much has been said to me, as recently as today, and there really is no reason to lie about that. It’s not like people go into teaching for the money. People go into Admin because they feel that they can do a greater good, by running things well.

No one likes to hear that things are running badly, either. I am sympathetic to that, which I why I am going to great pains to make any of my responses Fair, Moderate, and based on Real Facts. None of my usual routine of getting in some snappy one liners amidst bewildering vocabulary and a logic storm from on high. That’s fun, sure, and entertaining, but at the end of the day, I’m not sure that its all that Fair. I also know that know one goes to my workplace in the morning consciously saying to themselves, “How am I going to @#$% things up today?” Most of the time, I think everyone wants to make things better, and are just tired of them going wrong.

Still, as Harry S. Truman said, “The Buck Stops Here.” You need the caps on that. Accountability always ends in the Big Chair, for better or for worse. I think about being a Principal sometimes, and how much responsibility the Big Chair is. Everything happens on Your Watch. You’re responsible for about a thousand kids at a Los Angeles School. It’s all on you.

I have about 25 kids a period. That’s around eighty or so a day, and I work hard to do right by them, and constantly second guess my actions, thinking hard about them and my efforts. That’s eighty or so kids. Principals are responsible for all the kids, and my actions on top of it. Heck, the actions of all the adults. If my own Big Chair has stress attached, then the Top of the Food Chain can’t be an easy place to be. when things aren’t going well, and you just have to keep hearing about it…that has to be rough.

That’s why, instead of being clever, snarky, and charismatic about a Conflict (see the caps?) I think it’s important to be Fair. This might represent personal growth for me.

Maybe, maybe not. Things do need to change, to be repaired. For my mental health, my colleagues mental health, and the benefit of my students.

The art without the cover logos.

The art without the cover logos.

I thought about coloring the art, but the amount of red was quite frankly intimidating. You’ll note that one of the Skrulls is a Deathstroke…mainly because Deadpool was based on Deathstroke the Terminator at DC. That’s also why the Baby Mercenary with the Protagonist is a Deathstroke. We already have Hoofpool, we didn’t need to have any more Deadpools. Like the Super Skrull Deadpools in Marvel Comics they have Healing Factors and Chameleon like shape shifting…so when things go wrong, they can slink off into the shadows and blend in. As always the metaphor is heavy handed. Mixed in there’s a Klingon, who always fight the good fight, and a redshirt, who always, always take the hit. only the day will tell who the Klingons are, and who the redshirts are.



I’m not so sure that being Fair is going to feel like having Hello Kitty thrown at you. Being plush and cuddly, Hello Kitty would probably be just fine, even if a Baby Mercenary threw it. Still…I wanted to end the post on a whimsical note, with the hope that end of the day, things would seem better than they did at the time of this writing.

Although, I’m also forced to wonder at the campus observations and walkthroughs tomorrow. Will the District Suits be shown the real deal? Will they see the massive after lunch craziness in my building, have access to the major truant spots? I hope so, not to put anyone on the spot, but because only by identifying something can we correct it. A good coach tells you what your mistakes are, so that you can fix them. my friends give me constructive feedback about my drawing, things to work on, and it helps me out big time. It’s not meanspirited at all, it’s the way to improve.

Because in life, no one just throws plush kitties at you.

Next Issue: Let’s Do Rollout (Again)!


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