The Other Side of the Tracks.

This was actually nowhere near as complex to draw as it appears.

This was actually nowhere near as complex to draw as it appears.

One point perspective. I took some time explaining the idea of it to one of my classes this year, as the key to Renaissance Art. The beginnings of looking at things as they really appeared to the eye, and using geometry to create the tricks of size and shape that are the foundations of perspective were both interesting to introduce, and highly motivational to the students. Pretty much, the art above is application of the idea of one point perspective.

When I was preparing to leave where I taught, I felt a whole lot like I was selling out. The school has been losing good staff in droves for months, and there was nothing like a mass reorganization or restructuring in the works to rebuild it. The ability to find “crusader” style teachers is diminished, and furthermore, the school’s reputation makes that even harder. A person that I respected laughed at me when I said these thoughts out loud. She said back, “You’re going into East LA, it’s not like you’re teaching on the westside. You’re staying in communities that are desperate for decent teachers, forget GOOD ones.” That made me feel somewhat better about the shift.

Not to say that I don’t think it could be nice to have westside problems. It might be. It would, however, make me an Epic Level Hypocrite, especially given my upcoming role in the Vergara case, and my previous role in the Reed Case. It’s hard to argue for students that you are actively running away from. That being said, I am hugely glad to be going to a far more peaceful campus, an oasis in that environment.

To get there, I need to go pretty much to Union Station, and then head south. I actually do cross railroad tracks, which is a part of the idea of the art. That area is pretty industrial, and a bit scary. Still…you come out the other side, to the relatively new campus and reasonably shop oriented area where the school site is. It’s the trip that’s being illustrated above, the places you go through to get to the Edu-Mountain.

Still not a great shot of the current costume for the protagonist…but that will come eventually. It is a solid pic for the Full Metal Pony, which is a chore to draw. The huge bag over the protagonist’s shoulder is really the root of the story elements for today.

See…I am going to the Edu-Mountain tomorrow. Complete with Geppetto Hinges and Braces, bearing the planning that I’ve done so far for the first two units of instruction. That’s what is implied by the big bag of stuff. In order to actually teach the class, I need to be prepared. That makes sense, right? You can’t just be a tiny bit ahead of your class, and you can’t have engaging lessons when you totally half @#$ it.

So…what’s in the bag? Metaphorically speaking…I have no idea what she’s carrying in that beat up suitcase.

1. A grading plan for the course.
2. A weekly activity and “deliverable” schedule, with the sorts of compositional and writing assignments that would be graded, and with what criteria.
3. A basic daily time breakdown of class minutes, based on objectives and reproducible goals.
4. Guiding questions on the first novel, which I hadn’t read before last week. I have ten of those discussion driving questions, ready to go.
5. Thematic breakdown of the second text…by chapter, which I also hadn’t read yet.
6.Twenty writing prompts for compositions of different types, connected to the semester’s theme. Those involve graphics, and are ready to go as a weekly writing assignment if needed…
7. …with a weekly time breakdown for implementing them alongside the other tasks.

In short…I’m going in to this meeting with a huge chunk of my course planned…because that’s the smart way to go. I’m not sure what to expect from the others, but am keeping in mind my friend’s advice…to not worry about managing anything but my own class. That doesn’t mean you can’t be helpful or a team player…it means not being stressed about other people making their own messes.

I’m mildly enthusiastic about the whole thing, to be honest. I’m also trying to figure out how to make a Full Metal Pony, which might be keeping the enthusiasm going.

Next Issue: Depths of the Edu-Mountain!

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