Full Metal Pony.

There was a whole lot going on in my head when I drew this.

There was a whole lot going on in my head when I drew this.

The text of the image is clear enough. Geppetto was right…a new costume is needed for the duration of Brace Wearing, because t-shirts are hard to navigate. In the image, our hero is clearly wearing the coat that Geppetto was holding up two posts ago (you can scroll if you want) and pulling on a glove. Partly the glove covers the complicated braces, partially, the gloves are for Epic Level Pimp Slapping. Sometimes, you just need white gloves for that.

There’s a new pony, encased entirely in armor. That’s the Full Metal Pony. The new costume has some heritage in fantasy manga, so I thought that there should be a new pony for a while to incorporate that as well. The whole “Science Fantasy” setting that has been materializing with all this change seems to support it. Oddly…I don’t actually have a new “My Little Pony” to reflect the new cast member…and Build a Bear workshop doesn’t really offer armor choices. That seems odd to me, since I can outfit a pony as almost anything there.

The pony is in armor plates both because of the setting, and to protect from injury. I think as much from emotional injury as physical injury…it has been a tough year, and the last few weeks really tough in themselves, emotionally. The Full Metal Pony has the same idea as the end of year Negative Zone Suits…keep things at a distance, a safe one at that. I was given very good advice this weekend to not “wind up in charge” or “do too much for the others” at my new workplace…where I have a meeting on Tuesday. This wasn’t advice to not be a team player…it was smart advice to keep a safe distance, and allow others to pull their own weight. More importantly, to allow others to contribute equally.

That’s what the metaphorical background is about. Giant gears and cogs, which need to mesh in order for the larger machine to work. The protagonist can put on all the gloves and new uniforms she wants, the pony can have all the metal plates ever…but if the gears don’t mesh, the machine doesn’t function. It’s a big deal. It’s KEY. My friend made some very smart, very valid points about not putting all the weight on myself, which I often do. Despite the counterpoint…that team work and loyalty might not be what I thought they were, that assertion is smart. I have to set things so that I’m able to carry my weight, and if team mates let me down…like the missed meeting…it can’t be something that affects me much one way or another.

The most direct point is this: no matter what one might say about team work, none of these other people will be in my class teaching it. They won’t be grading my papers, or entering grades in my gradebook. All that is on me, and to a very fair point, those responsibilities are on them. If I have a unit plan I want to share, fine…but I can’t really expect that anyone would be on point with it, or even execute it. I shouldn’t expect it, if I don’t want to be disappointed.

It seems negative, but it is actually just realistic, practical. I have a whole lot set up in a composition book for next year, mainly because I have to do a new job. I’m setting up the cogs for the machine that I have to run, and in a way that is very convenient to me. It isn’t a mess of files that can be easily published to Dropbox, it’s not something for Google Docs. I’m happy to share my plans, because I think they are smart…but since I wrote them up in the first place, someone else can reformat them for community use. Fair is fair.

I hope that a good chunk of it is adopted and put to use. In terms of real analysis, I’m attempting to structure effective practices learned over about seventeen years, for maximum time utility in class, to maximum effect. That’s a smart way to set up activities and class structure, and hard to come by.

If it isn’t put to use by others, that’s fine too. The material is there, housed in an old school composition notebook, for anyone who asks.

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