Of Flames, Friends, and Fiends, at the Edu-Mountain!
This is the 1200th Issue of Tales of Adequacy. Not really a true “milestone” issue…I think the five year anniversary coming at the end of December is the next major milestone. No comics in publication by the Big Two have made it to numbers as high as 1200, so there is no precedent. Even with that thought, it feels like the next major number based “milestone” would be issue No. 2000…which is thankfully a long way off.
Still…when I noticed the number, I felt like I could include some color, and maybe some additional content. So…while not a “milestone” issue, there’s a whole lot here today.
The lead art refers to the week…which hasn’t been the kind of week that my old school was all about, but had its challenges. Being Week Eight, students tried out the limits, and were generally met with a hard response of maintaining order, both from administration, and in my classroom. A report card is coming up, and the massive prevalence of teen marijuana use was made very abundantly clear.
Still…the number of true Haters is still relatively small, which is part of the reason that the green Hater hands reaching up are very few in number. The week did have me reflecting upon whether this is a profession I intend to stick with, but not in any fashion that was hasty, or overly depressed. In fact, spending time with old friends outside of the profession, for the past couple of days, has made it very much a “leave it at the office” mindset. Of course, with a little help from my friends, we need to get Horsey.
I was looking for the feel of old school Fantasy genre comics here, which accounts for a great deal of the design. It also accounts for the protagonist trading in her loincloth accessory for a sort of Red Sonja inspired chain mail armor “skirt” of sorts. I felt the “metal bikini” style thing that Sonja wears was…well…not something our hero would ever wear. Horsey, on the other hand, is dressed as usual. Of course.
Despite the fact that our heroes look like they are ready to lay the smack down, and kick some serious @#$, it’s important to note that this is the first post to really suggest a kind of active conflict. It’s been that kind of week, and the composition felt pretty expressive of that.
A set of frequent readers pointed out (one in the comments) that I visually referenced the design of the Wall and the Night’s Watch in a post earlier this week. The Westeros visuals seemed to make my point pretty well, with a bit of humor. Still, I did avoid depicting Jon Snow, and as I work my way through the first book of “Game of Thrones” (it has been years since I read it), I find that Snow is a pretty sympathetic character to me. I seem to understand Jon Snow.
When a commenter made reference to Jon Snow, I decided to draw a Jon Snow Chibi…the kind of guy that would guard the Wall that separates the Adorable Zone from legions of Haters from the North. Or, given the placement of my last school, from the West.
It’s important to keep the Haters out. I get that. If you don’t, the kind of train wreck that I just left happens, and that is intolerable. Sometimes though, it’s a pretty tough call. In the process of being Firm, of Standing Ground and making things Safe, you often wind up with some collateral damage in the form of individuals. I had to sign a check out form for a student this week, the student that I was worried had gotten himself into a heap of trouble. The fact is…there was more than enough trouble, and a change of schools was called for.
That happens. As a teacher you need to accept it, and usually, I’m more thick skinned about it. In this instance…it seemed that the whole situation was so stupid, so ultimately preventable, that it sat poorly. “If Only” style questions pop up, and nag you. The thing is, they aren’t that useful. Administration handled everything, at the time and afterward, in a way that can only be considered fair and appropriate…and I say that as a rabid supporter of students over pretty much anyone. The police on site were efficient, polite, and by the book. Even lenient.
I couldn’t have done any more in the situation. My supervision post was away from the “action”, and later on, I was put in charge of an orderly dismissal, and then locking up the building and any cash, with Leadership. I did everything asked, and as with any safety situation, did not improvise to add confusion. In seventeen years of teaching, I haven’t seen this sort of thing handled this well, ever.
Actions have consequences, though. That’s also something that we have to teach.
I was still feeling a bit raw about it, though, so I drew this:
Drawing it pretty much worked out the residual issues that I had, because really, the actions taken weren’t excessive. They were what needed to be done, and it took the time sitting at the drawing board, thinking about it, to make that clear, bring it home, and generally feel at peace with it. As was said to me, “If we did a good job, the academic success will continue anywhere, and this…this is just a blip.”
I may do a color version of Panel Two, to continue experimenting with marker. I may not. Who can say?
Twelve Hundred posts, with another one coming tomorrow.