Training for Eons, Horsey, Plus a Series of Reprints!

This is not unlike what training hours are really like.

This is not unlike what training hours are really like.

Yay! Horsey makes an appearance! Poor Horsey doesn’t seem to be too happy, however, and who can blame him? He’s trenched in for the second part of the “Investment Schools” training, Module Two. That is the trainign which is part of the Reed Settlement, and is intended to make the staff “uniquely qualified” for the setting.

That part of the contract, “uniquely qualified,” has been in the contract for ages. It is vague enough to be useless, but now invoked in order to make this settlement actually have something to do with the content of the Reed v. UTLA case. Longtime Adequacy readers know that the Reed case spoke directly to the UTLA teaching contract, stating that the “reverse order of seniority” layoff rules directly impacted students in low income and minority areas. In fact, it impacted them so hard as to make the very contract language discriminatory in effect, if not in intent.

That went all the way to the California Supreme Court. That court sent it back down to the local level for “further due process,” which in turn resulted in a settlement. That settlement, heavily brokered by attorneys, resulted in the current twenty hours of training that I am taking. Once again…to put a very fine point upon it…this training goes back to language that was already in the contract, that predates the entire case…and all the money expended on it.

It did get me thinking of “Old School Adequacy” issues, and the Blended Learning plotline. Blended Learning was something brought in my second year at this school, and poorly executed. However, that training as well, for the Seventh Grade teachers, was intended as a “unique qualification” to create a contractual immunity to Reduction in Force layoffs…in case the Reed Case failed. I didn’t enjoy the trainings, or the program of blended learning, but that’s where my art really started to evolve. As a result, I’m remastering a favorite from that time…check it below.

Horsey, the Team trapped in the Painting that Ate Classes, and the Edumentals... bad guys from way back.

Horsey, the Team trapped in the Painting that Ate Classes, and the Edumentals… bad guys from way back.

It’s interesting that the Edumental Fembot…which was the second Edumental to fall in that debacle, is very similar to the Fembots in the training above. Maybe that’s part of what got me thinking of the link between Blended Learning training, and the current Reed training. Could be. Either way, the Fembots in today’s art were conceived as relatively benevolent. In fact, both pieces are based on the Paradron medic from the Transformers, which was a benevolent pacifist race of Nurse Bots. No joke, there….Hasbro and Marvel did that.

I’m sure that the Edumentals’ version must have had some bad code, or a personality malfunction that made it support ineffectiveness. That must be it, right?

I was really proud of that artwork, at the time. I’m still very fond of it, but looking that far backward, and contrasting it to now, it is amazing how far this daily business of doing a strip has brought my drawing. Today’s art was in the “meh, I’m okay with it,” category of my recent work, but shows a consistency of drafting that I didn’t have when “I’ll Blend Your Learning!” was a major plotline. Although, that was two and a half years ago.

I also felt that I should remaster a multi-panel piece from that time. At the end, the Last of the Edumentals was finished. The product never delivered, the curriculum never implemented, mostly due to an inability to read contracts correctly. That seems to be today’s theme. At the end, things were what they were, and it was possible to look at the last Edumental, called Evan in the strip, as what he was: a guy trying to do his job, and sell a product that couldn’t be implemented. At the end, I felt a little bad for him.

That’s why this multi-panel page. The protagonist is taking the respectfully shrouded corpse from where defeat finally came, on the moon, and gently consigns that career into the sun. With a hint of a smile afterward.

Over the course of the school year, from the color piece to this, a large evolution of style can be seen.  I'm proud of it.

Over the course of the school year, from the color piece to this, a large evolution of style can be seen. I’m proud of it.

Although to bring everything full circle, we need the next page to be remastered as well. The CST exam finished…blended learning in the can, as it were…and the protagonist lost in space near the sun. She doesn’t fly well…gets lost easy. It’s easy to find the Sun, it’s big and bright…but that next step, finding your way home, that’s hard. That’s a fairly complex and heavy handed metaphor that has a whole lot to do with my world view, and how I deal with life.

Like our hero, I get by with some help from my friends, who always pick me up and bring me home. Today, during the day, one such friend did exactly that, in a metaphorical sense, making me feel the need to remaster this page as well.

You people know who you are.

You people know who you are.

In this time frame, I was really starting to begin with vehicles, settings, and depicting a living world. It’s really fun to look back at it, and share the process as it has come forward. This post initially wasn’t going to be so historical about the strip, filled with reprints, but the nostalgia of the training after a crummy day, mixed with an appearance of Horsey made it all come together.

Hopefully, you enjoyed the flashback issue, True Believers. It probably made hearing about esoteric politically driven trainings for teachers somewhat easier.

Next Issue: I, Zombie…You Alien American!

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