The March MODOK Madness Tournament Continues!

A Ms. MODOK...perhaps a MODAM, and minions make a sneak attack at the Edu-Mountain!

A Ms. MODOK…perhaps a MODAM, and minions make a sneak attack at the Edu-Mountain!

After my first day back…am I tired. Teaching is rewarding…but also exhausting. The first day back was a short day, with a training at the end of it (for an hour) followed by an entire faculty update on next year’s budget. The training was actually quite good…one of the VP’s…a Vice Principal that I have respect for, actually went over mistakes in judgment that he made early in his career as a teacher, and how to address them. It was a pretty courageous way to get the staff to think about their process and procedures, which I really thought highly of.

The budget meeting, on the other hand, was as hugely boring as you might predict. These things are necessary, and I appreciate the effort at transparency of action…but the fact of the matter is that it’s not really my responsibility at this point. Budgets are smaller…positions may be lost. I’m not a member of School Site Council, so the voting responsibility to balance those budgets, or maximize positions…it just isn’t mine anymore. I’m actually quite glad about that. I was able to sort of tune in and out of the conversation, because here…I’m just the English teacher. It’s an important enough job, and one that gets my full attention. No more juggling budgets, no more “saving positions.” Just teaching English.

The art, and the title, are about the only real time that I will actually be seeing students today. Today is a “pull out” planning day, where all of the Tenth Grade English teachers will meet, sequestered in a room, and plan the next four weeks. In addition, we will be discussion the grading of one standardized test, the administration of another, and the final exams for our classes. You would think that would be a pretty full itinerary, but we also need to review past student work, for a sort of “unity of grading” approach….so that will take some time as well.

As a result…the only time I will see students will be on my lunch break, where I will be heading to my room for the Magic: The Gathering Tournament, called “March MODOK Madness.” My official game this week has me playing our one female student, which should be interesting…she’s a solid player with a solid deck. The Spring Break had a whole lot of Deck Redesign, based more on game mechanics and probability than “this card is cool”…so many of the students had much stronger play yesterday. For instance, the young man who I played (who is basically responsible for there BEING a club) kicked my @#$% all over the table, with a streamlined deck built upon ideas we have been talking about. That was pretty cool.

That’s also why the two days worth of Magic play are consolidated into one piece of art, above. The Ms. MODOK is about my official game in the MODOK event, but the unexpected @$& kicking that the protagonist is all about my Tuesday game. The onlooking minions are onlooking minions….they seemed important. Beekeeper looking jerks.

The students were pretty excited that I would be hustling down to the room from “planning day” to play Magic with them, which was excellent. It’s an unusual experience…because the way the club formed…and it still isn’t official…I’m sort of a member. The students treat me with respect…but they treat each other with respect. A lot of it. There’s a sort of good natured love of the game, and enjoyment of anyone interested in the hobby, which lets me stop being a Teacher for that half hour, and become more of an Advisor or Senior Member. It’s very rewarding.

Also…Ms. MODOK is a real thing. Introduced in the 1980’s when the Hulk was intelligent….AIM agents decide to mutate Banner’s SHIELD Agent girlfriend into a super powered MODOK. As Ms. MODOK, Kate posessed powerful psychic abilities, including telepathy and telekenesis…as well as a giant head, tiny arms and legs, and need of a rocket powered neckbrace chair. Banner sure can pick ’em. By the end of the brief story arc, she reverts back to a cute brunette in a one piece gold bathing suit and go go boots, because comics.

Later, Marvel thought this was a good idea to revisit. So…A.I.M. mutated one of their female agents into a large-headed creature similar to MODOK. This agent claimed to be Hank Pym’s deceased first wife Maria Trovaya. Pym went for this…she wasn’t a MODOK yet…and took her in, believing she was his late wife. Of course, she was secretly a spy and returned to AIM. There, she was further mutated into a being nearly identical in appearance to MODOK called SODAM (Specialized Organism Designed for Aggressive Maneuvers).

That code name got changed fast..just say it once or twice, you’ll see why. The new code name was MODAM (Mental Organism Designed for Aggressive Maneuvers)…not much better, but not SODAM, to be sure. Omega Red (an X-Men baddie from the early 90’s) believed that MODAM was not Maria Trovaya, but Olinka Barankova, a woman who had once betrayed him. However, MODAM herself stated that “AIM personnel files are routinely falsified”….and sure, we can believe MODAM, right? She finally perished (or at least vanished) when A.I.M. sent her in to attempt to fix a breach in reality, caused by a defective Cosmic Cube.

My point is…Marvel seems to have a history of female MODOKs, hence the need for equal MODOK gender representation in today’s art. Let March MODOK Madness continue…at Lunch!

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