Day One: Go Tell It On The Edu-Mountain!
By the time pretty much all of you read this, the “variant cover” above will be posted on the door of my classroom. I will be in the middle of, or done with, my first day at a new high school. right now, as I post this, it is late the prior evening. I never sleep well the night before the first day of school, this time, I expect it to be somewhat worse. I didn’t sleep very well LAST night, for @#$%’s sake.
The composition of the artwork directly references yesterday’s mention, Secret Wars No. 8…at least speaking in terms of composition. That was the issue where Spider-Man got his new costume, and here, we see the protagonist dressed like the other Knights of the East Side tend to, if you look back in the posts. I imagine she has the Drax style T-shirt on under that armor plate, since she is clearly wearing a T-shirt.
I’m fully kitted out like most of the teachers at my school, with the notable exception of school related clothing. Every one of the teachers there seems to have some kind of shirt about the school…and I don’t. I do have an ID card already, and my classroom is more set up in advance than I have been for years. Lesson plans are submitted, and I am every inch the picture of the “efficient teacher.”
Incidentally, if I were the Comic Bug, I would have charged you 40 bucks for the black and white, and twenty five for the color cover above. I mention it only because in the past week, even more of the former clients of Comics Ink have taken it upon themselves to tell me how unwelcome they feel at that shop, and how they have had negative experiences there. I don’t work for those guys, so I can’t speak to it directly, but my own experiences with them have been categorically negative. However, this is the internet, so the Adequacy variants are FREE, True Believers.
I had some real issues deciding on how to color our hero’s outfit here. I went with a green and black theme, for two reasons. One…my first school, which no longer exists (that’s a good thing) had the colors of green and white. I wouldn’t have THIS job without the relationships formed there. Second…I wore a Green Lantern Ring for years, and sometimes still do…on some level, the color scheme is about being true to myself. Or what I used to stand for.
My current school’s colors are Orange and Grey, which would not have worked. Partially because the protagonist IS orange, partially because it would not have worked very well with the fantasy themed garb. Interestingly, despite the Science Fiction/Fantasy garbs pretty “armored” appearance, this is one of the more feminine things our her has ever worn. Still…it was a chore to draw, so I thing it will either be streamlined, or only worn once in a while.
I thought about the color disparity, and my feeling that it should be a “once in a while costume.” To a degree, super hero uniforms are about team membership, and I can’t say that I really feel much like there’s a team here. I have two friends, and I have made a new one in a junior teacher fairly quickly, but by and large…I seem like a kind of free agent. There’s a feeling of disconnection, of separation. From the staff, I mean….as of this writing, I’ve met with students twice as a guest, and thought they were brilliant, charming, and very welcoming.
Despite my trepidation about new people, and new procedures, about a new place…I am pretty positive about the new school. I generally dislike and worry about change…heck, I fear it. From the look of things, tomorrow could be just a bit disorganized…that’s why the chaos going on behind the protagonist, Pony, and Quislet seemed appropriate. By the way, Issac Perlmutter…you might notice a preponderance of characters that you keep editing out of Marvel materials. Yep. that’s me being a bit of a jerk. In fact…I omitted most characters that Marvel/Disney uses…with the exception of Hulks, which seemed to fit, and Hawkeye, because a reader LOVES Hawkeye. That was for you, BTW. You know who you are.
I’m positive…but cautious. Pretty quickly you hear a school’s scuttlebutt, and to be honest, I don’t know how credible some of it is. I’m mostly looking forward to trenching in and caring about literature and graduation rates, and letting the day to day school operations be handled by the people that are paid for that reason. Seems like a good plan, and there are a few efficient people in place to make that happen.
I want this year to be about bare bones intellectualism, not operations. Students, not politics. For years, people have said to me, “teach high school, you can really get to some deep content there.” Either that is going to be true, or false, and this year is the “moment” where that will be discovered. That “moment” as it were will define the remainder of my career, and to a degree informed by that, what I intend to do with my life forward from here. It’s heady stuff, and a Big Day.
Let’s not get stupid, though, people…I’m still aggressively involved in the Vergara case, and tangentially so in the Friedrichs Case. I’m political in education, but not in the school site. In this case, I have the ability to leverage my reputation and achievements into real change and reform in the State Education system, but separately from the school’s business. To the school I get to put on the metaphorical glasses of Clark Kent, and go about a much more grass roots, practical business of change and truth.
Maybe that’s a part of the reason the Fantasy stylings sit well right now. Knights were charged with keeping law and order, running things in a small area of land. Keeping the peace and pushing production forward, for a small fiefdom under the direction of someone more powerful…it’s kind of the definition of what it is to be a public educator. A knight might leave his lands for a while, to do a crusade or for some chivalrous reason…but there’s a linguistic reason that kind of Knight is called a “Knight Errant.” It’s kind of missing the point of knighthood, in the way it made you useful to feudalism.
By this time tomorrow, who knows what my feelings will be? Hopefully, pretty positive still.
I still have yet to draw the Edu-Mountain setting, and it looms larger in my thoughts as an idea. I especially liked the slogan “Go tell it…on the Edu-Mountain!”