The Call Goes Out!

The end of summer vacation looms near.

The end of summer vacation looms near.

It’s not that I don’t want to go back to school/work. Really.

I think teachers and student both share the same kind of view toward vacation…which is very sensible, since we also share the same schedule, and endeavours…except on the opposite sides of the work. For every assignment one student does, I have to look at close to two hundred, and then grade, and enter into a spreadsheet. Sure, the students don’t like doing the work, necessarily…but I have to create and judge it. In a timely fashion, while also teaching the material behind it.

That’s a lot of work.

It is part of the reason that I NEVER teach summer school. I need that time to be lazy, to be apart from school, in order to come back to it creative, and interested. I’m always amazed at the teachers who talk about the extra money of summer school. Sure…there’s additional money. During the summer you could literally do anything else to make additional money, in many cases, things that are more creative, outdoorsy, or enriching. The idea of doing more teaching…it just seems foolhardy to me.

Especially given that teacher pay is set up to include that massive amount of vacation time. To everyone who laments the low pay available to teachers, I make this vital counterpoint…everyone in the United States works a 50 week year, at conventional salaried jobs.

Teachers, by contrast, work 40 weeks. With various holidays interspersed at random, that many white collar workers do not get off from work. That’s about two months or so of paid vacation.

So…yes, the salary is lower. Kind of. If you work out the days actually worked, the money really isn’t all that bad, and the benefits are fantastic. One of the key benefits is the vast amount of vacation time, which I would never give up.

So when that first e-mail comes in, reminding you that there’s a fancy day of training on Friday, followed by a “set up your classroom” day the next Monday…with students in front of me in eight days…it feels a lot like the Darths are calling things to a halt. Summer shenanigans are winding down, closing up shop.

It kind of still carries its message without the speech balloons.

It kind of still carries its message without the speech balloons.

I’ve already started the preparations myself. I bought some new school clothes, and am looking around for a school bag for the year. Desk items are being put aside to go back to class, or purchased in the first place…useful things like a Hillary Clinton Funko Pop. I’ve cautiously reached out to some of the few teachers I am social with, and am kicking around ideas for the new senior t-shirt, since I actually drew the art for last year’s.

You know, the important stuff.

About the art…it has been a while since we have had any kind of Darth in the strip. The change in settings put the Darths far far away, at the Beaudry Building downtown. The mail to go back to school seemed very much an official Darth Mail (D-Mail, if you will) so this seemed pretty on point.

Darth is pretty critical of the lightsabre that the protagonist owns, as well. It could be that he’s right, and that its just @#$%, since the protagonist tends to use a lot of really old stuff, and hand me downs. Her lightsabre almost certainly has to be a relic of the 1980’s, and could probably use some new batteries. She doesn’t seem all that concerned, because you know…the opinions of Darths aren’t to be taken all that seriously.


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