Trial…By Hyper-Dolphins!

Hyper-Dolphins are known across the universe as smug @#$%s.

Hyper-Dolphins are known across the universe as smug @#$%s.

So…yes, this is backtracking in terms of content a few days. That is to say, I drew this on Friday, about something that happened on Wednesday…and am posting it today, on Saturday. As I mentioned before, one of the bigger problems with being slightly ahead in content is that your content isn’t able to nimbly change when things happen that are unexpected.

This is definitely about that kind of sudden, unexpected thing. I’m going to stay pretty circumspect about details…because in truth, that’s the Rule of the Strip. Still…a big part of the idea here is to discuss what it is like to actually be a teacher at Turnaround Schools in South and East Los Angeles…so I would be remiss if I didn’t provide some kind of insight. This sort of thing, that I’ll be discussing vaguely and in broad terms, happens in modern public education…so it is well within the lines, as it were, on the parameters of the strip.

Wednesday, I had a “Change of Schedule” form sent to me on my conference period. The form was for a student that was a handful, but one that had much more success in my class than in the entire previous year of school. I wasn’t crying any rivers over it, but made a mental note to ask about it later, and see what was going on, out of legitimate concern for the young person.

It more of less slipped my mind. Schedule changes happen for a number of reasons, especially early in the semester.

Again…I’m going to be very vague here. That led to a chain of events, all small and relatively uninteresting, that guaranteed my asking about it at the end of the day. When I inquired, I was told, “Yeah, you have nothing to worry about, but we did do an investigation.”

I was confused. “About what?”

“I’ll tell you in a couple of days. Not now.”

Given the person that I am…I was immediately pretty agitated. Not being told what was happening…that always makes me pretty unhappy. Especially because this kind of information is a two way street. I let administration in on everything that might be relevant to day to day operations. I sort of assume that the same courtesy is going to happen. Now…I did establish that it couldn’t have been anything at all, because if it were, I would have been immediately pulled from class. So whatever “incident” needed “investigation”, it was immediately revealed to be fictitious.

Even with that…I remained pretty agitated. I don’t know what prompted that, and at no point did anyone ask me any questions. It’s been two educational days, so the reality is, administration looked into “it”, found that there was no “incident,” and it’s done with. Considering that I don’t even raise my voice at this school, and am distantly polite with the students, I couldn’t imagine it otherwise. The problem is…if I’m supposed to be “part of the team” or “part of the school family”…you should be a little more straight with me. Clue me in a bit, instead of saying things that are stressful and vague…especially when there’s “nothing to worry about.”

That’s what the art is about. The Hyper-Dolphins are some kind of super evolved, mental power bearing…umm…dolphins. They are also clearly @#$%s, who love a good sham trial. I don’t know if that’s a mental force field, or brain lightning, or just telekinesis, but the protagonist can’t punch it, because it isn’t solid. It’s not right in front of her, and tangible…it kind of “end runs” her very direct Generic Alien Superpowers. Pony and Quislet seem frustrated, while the Hyper-Dolphins get a kick out of the proceedings.

The metaphor there is pretty heavy handed. The protagonist can’t just punch these guys, like she just would punch non-super evolved dolphins. She can only float there, in the grip of some blowhole power. Much like I can’t really be involved in any proceedings that don’t clue me in, or am completely unaware of. Clearly, the Hyper-Dolphins aren’t exactly on the same team as she is, and get a kick out of the arcane procedures of Hyper-Court. That’s pretty much how things felt with the “I’ll tell you in a day or two” comment.

The sad part is…I really kind of like the administrators. The staff seems to live in an unfounded terror of them, but I think they are all pretty interesting. Still…it’s this kind of thing that’s demotivating. This kind of thing is what makes the staff not want to participate in various “School Spirit Events.” Either they are afraid of the Edu-Lords, and possible Hyper-Dolphin courts, or like me, they feel like they give a whole lot, but when it comes time to “appreciate” that…they aren’t valued.

That’s what not talking to me, off the record, on Wednesday felt like. Like…”We know there’s no problem…but we don’t value you enough as a person to put your mind at ease.” I’d prefer that “human” element to the fancy Winter Staff Party and school logo gift bags. I’d prefer it a whole lot.

That’s why when the drama of Winter Formal was unfolding at the same time, I decided not to supervise. I’m going to stay on campus until past midnight…give that much of my time? When a ten minute conversation in the office couldn’t happen to put my mind at ease? Ummm…no.

To be fair…I have spoken with people from my old school, and the insane drama there makes this look like prima donna @#$%. I’m glad that I’m in the position to have these kinds of problems.

Artistically…I’m actually thinking of having the protagonist wear a different uniform. That would involve me designing one, which is less interesting…although I had some ideas on the way home. Might happen, might not.

Those Hyper-Dolphins seem pretty rough though, huh?

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