A Touch Of Brimstone.

Looks like someone is getting their @#$ kicked if she has to get up from that chair.

Looks like someone is getting their @#$ kicked if she has to get up from that chair.

Arguably, a reprieve from the “Lord of the Flies” setting that we have had for about three days now. This is more directly related to three things:

1. Factionalism among teacher groups as nominations for positions happen.
2. Parent conference night.
3. Marvel Puzzle Quest.

I’m going to start with the last one first. I’m still playing Marvel Puzzle Quest, and my Magneto is pretty @#$%ing tricked out. In the 1980’s, Magneto both led the X-Men for a while (taking Xavier’s role) and also joined the Hellfire Club, a group that typically opposed the X-Men. He joined as their “White King” in order to make a sort of ‘cease fire’ happen between the Club and the X-Men, which lasted for some time. Current comics have the once again very radical Magneto back in the role of White King.

As the White King, he wore a very, very classy white suit, which is typical of the style of dress for the Hellfire Club. A similar suit is what Cap is wearing today, while sipping her wine above. Again, in part, this is simply because of the straight up thunder I have been bringing in the Marvel Puzzle Quest Game with Magneto.

In part, it is because of Parent Conferences. Parent Conferences are a pretty heady experience. The fact of the matter is, for about four hours, people come to you to discuss the future. What’s happening in class, and how to succeed. Deals are made, alliances formed and broken, and documents revealed. At the academic level, this is where the real power brokering happens. Many teachers go out of their way to “invite” the parents of students that they have problems with, in order to document those problems and “leverage” the student’s conduct in class. In other words, it is often the key day for intrigue and manipulation to further the teacher’s ends.

For me…it’s usually less dark. I keep it pretty above board…quick meet and greet, followed by a review of the report card, and some advice on how to improve the grade. Sometimes some advice for future classes, or college goals. I tend to resolve matters in class, and don’t really rely on parental intervention to make my classes work.

I take a more “Magneto” style approach to parent conferencing, preferring to simply sit on the raw authority of being in my position and choosing to be cool about it. Students know that I’ll be even handed, and pretty much keep it to grades…and those are the grades that they have made for themselves. The impartiality of it, the separation from anything personal, really sets a valuable tone. The idea of being hard, but fair…which I always think of as important.

Bringing us to the last point, which was first on my list.

Marvel Comics’ Hellfire club has always been…turbulent. The purpose of the Hellfire Club is to obtain and exert power through politics and economic influence instead of outward conquest and domination. Since its foundation, the Club had been involved in wars and assassinations as long as these helped further the agendas of the Club’s most prominent members. Among the Сlub members there are many famous and influential members of society, the wealthiest and most powerful businessmen of the world. The constant intrigue, backstabbing, blackmailing and politicking that plagued the Hellfire Club resulted in many changes of the Inner Circle, as new players sought out membership in order to obtain influence, power and wealth. Although the hierarchy of the Inner Circle would go through constant upheaval due to the competing egos and political motives of its members, it continues to exist in the same basic structure.

Kind of like the gyrations made by teachers, and teacher groups at our school, to fill the unfilled School Site Council, Shared Decision Making, Department Chair and Union Chapter Chair positions. Nominations are being made and declined, people are attempting to get one another to take one of the positions for various reasons. Agendas are being read in, and thrown out, gossip and intrigue are happening. It’s a conflict worthy of a Chris Claremont plot.

Interestingly, I’ve been brought up in these things. I’m staying apart from it, however. I don’t have Magneto like power, but close enough. I’m pretty much acting as the protagonist int the art above…sitting it out, confident in my ability to simply stay out of it. Our hero has nigh invulnerability and the Silver Age Alien Strength to easily lift a mountain….in a similar vein, I have tenure and seniority.

Not using those powers is almost as big a deal as using them, which is a pretty tough thing to learn. I’m working on it.

I was thinking that if Cap were a Hellfire Club member (she doesn’t have enough wealth, so doubtful) she would be the White Rook. The Rook is a pretty powerful chess piece, just behind the Queen. The inner Circle doesn’t go lower than the Bishop, and that seems…off message for our hero. Just saying.

Most probably, she bullied her way into the suit and the chair, and possibly the helmet.


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