Trial By Fury!

Data has no emotions, but still looks put out by this alien trial.

Data has no emotions, but still looks put out by this alien trial.

This is a brief post about last week’s Mock Trial in class. Based on the teleplay “Monsters are Due On Maple Street,” with Charlie as the defendant in a murder case (he did shoot another character, Pete Van Horn), students were assigned sides, witness roles, and so forth. We had a week of preparation, leading to the actual trial in the library, set up as a court room with video recording.

The first class had a jury rule “guilty” on a charge of murder in the second degree. The second class had a mistrial, complete with perjury, unprepared witnesses, and completely superfluous objections. The final case was a verdict of “not guilty”, complete with elegant cross examinations and strategically withdrawn questions.

Going into Mock Trial, I was scared. I thought students would not show up dressed for court, that overall preparation would be minimal. I worried that the amount of class time would be too long for the trial proceedings as written.

All of these things were wrong. Dead wrong. The event went well, and students were crazy excited about it.

No trade dress, but still a load of offended, nearly identical aliens.

No trade dress, but still a load of offended, nearly identical aliens.

About the art…besides being related to the Mock Trial, it also addresses a really important point. Our hero is big into Alien American Pride, but at the same time wears a uniform at times that suggests she will put aliens in the grave, especially Skrulls. It is entirely possible that aliens could be offended by that. I’ve been thinking that for a while, and this is the first time it has come up as a plot point. It may again.

The alien skull head uniform seems out of rotation, though. Our hero reverted, not exactly by conscious choice on my part, to the black star t-shirt. Her original uniform, which she has worn for the bulk of the strip, and has a much more positive connotation. Weirdly, her uniform choices are mostly subconscious on my part.

In other news, Mock Trial prep was partially impeded by admin needing data. Student data, not the android named Data. The have decided that the SRI lexile examination was appropriate for this in English, and said it should be done last week. Silly me, I took that as an order and scheduled it.

Last week, it was rescheduled to THIS week. Having already planned for LAST week, I stonewalled about it, and did it last week on my planned day. I have no idea how the rest of the English department is handling it, but imagine that it feels something like this…

@#$%!  Cobras!  It's hard to tell if they are giant or not...since that's the Atom preparing to duel them in the pit.  Those COULD be super giant skulls.

@#$%! Cobras! It’s hard to tell if they are giant or not…since that’s the Atom preparing to duel them in the pit. Those COULD be super giant skulls.

I got it done, although it was an epic chore. I have no idea if the other English teachers at my grade level are in position to do so. one, I spoke to today…she was stressed about it. Another was absent for a week, with serious issues, so I don’t think he cares all that much, and for good reason. The last…I try not to speak to all that much, for my own sanity. Maybe that one has already been thrown to the cobra pit, I don’t know.

What I do know is this:

My SRI testing is done, and the students did well, overall.

My Mock Trial went well.

I have just started reading “The Once and Future King” with my class, and it is epic.

As an English teacher, those should be the only things that I NEED to know. Should tomorrow’s meetings descend into large quantities of administrative “back seat driving,” I will have to hand out some advice about content delivery in a personal fashion. I’d prefer to stay quiet, and draw Friday’s post, but I have little to no idea what i can, or should expect at said meeting.

Thankfully, I always have another post to talk about it.

Next Issue: Living Wages in the Apocalypse.

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