Thanks Sehlat.

If only all moments could be so peaceful and full of wonder.

If only all moments could be so peaceful and full of wonder.

Vacation is coming to its close. I’ve already been to school once, for meetings, and I will go in tomorrow, to “set up” my classroom.

Everything is in order, and all of the t’s are crossed, and the i’s seem to have dots over them, where appropriate. My classroom is cleaner than it will be all year, and everything is neatly packed in boxes, within the closets where I left them. School, at least, seems like it is set to just sort of leap into motion, or at least start smoothly.

Yesterday, I played X-Wing at the game store, sort of an impromptu decision. I went with a close friend, and there, we met a bunch of new players, who are actually new to Los Angeles. That was pretty nice, very social…more so in many ways than playing Magic: The Gathering. I initially played with my Star Wars: Rebels “Ghost” build, which I have learned how to manipulate to the point where it is actually very competitive. When I switched over to a different build, an Imperial Squadron, it felt like I didn’t even know how to play the game. Obviously, I have spent a whole lot of mental energy on the one build, and certain strategies.

Today is mostly about brunch with friends, and comics. A quiet day for this final weekend before returning to being a responsible adult. I’d like to draw while I’m at the comics shop, or at least ink and/or color…it has been a while since I’ve done any color. Still, a quiet day focused on quality.

That’s what the art is all about. X-Wing Pony seems pretty happy, perhaps because of the relative success of our favorite build. The protagonist is patting a sehlat…which is a creature mentioned in “Journey to Babel,” an Original Series Star Trek episode, and then seen in an animated series episode. After that, an episode of “Enterprise” actually has a CGI “wild sehlat” but that seemed…not as great. The sehlat was described in the initial reference by Mr. Spock, when he says to McCoy, “On Vulcan, the teddy bears are alive. And they have six-inch fangs.” The Star Trek animated Series showed us one, and here, we have another.

I like both Star Trek and teddy bears, so it seemed overdue. I was hemming and hawing about what to draw, thinking about action and what not…but looking back at the summer’s art, there has been plenty of action. I’m feeling pretty positive, so I wanted to draw something like that, and also about the good parts of the weekend.

I also wanted to reference Star Trek, which was so formative for me. Not the violence of Star Trek, the actions, what with phasers and red t-shirt men and so forth…and not the political correctness of Star Trek. I wanted to do something about the positive outlook of Star Trek, the utopian vision, and Vulcan. The Vulcans, as interpreted by Leonard Nimoy were very much the Jews of space, with their alien culture and language, and their emphasis on study and learning. Star Trek didn’t just make it okay for me to be an outsider, it celebrated it and made it @#$%ing cool.

That was huge, and sometimes I wonder where my students get their influences from. I hope that they are as awesome and positive.

Looking at the art, you can see that the sehlat is pretty old. Kind of tired, with one broken fang, or tusk…whatever those are. But he’s happy, maybe because after so many years of just being a good sehlat, things have turned out okay. At the same time, it’s pretty clear that X-Wing Pony and the Protagonist love that old sehlat. Star Trek is 50 years old this year, and I can say for certain that I, in fact, love that old sehlat.

As I look forward into the next year of school, I can only hope that I can somehow put both that positive outlook, and maybe some of that contentment, into my students’ hearts.

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