Friday, December 18, 2009
Nothing pacifies your students like an extended World history test last period the last day before vacation. Winter break has begun and I'm safe and sound without any rebellions to put down. Sure, the kids were a little bitter about not being allowed to have five hours of unbroken partying, but they've got two weeks to forget about it. Score one for education. Score one for my kids' ability to be mature.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
My tenth graders are reading C.S. Lewis' "Perelandra" this month. The class has been getting into it, and I had the privilege to hear as several of them were walking down the stairs: "Class is too short. I wish we had more than an hour every day to discuss this stuff. We need to make class longer."
Sunday, December 06, 2009
I re-read Bill Waterson's "Calvin and Hobbes 10th Anniversary Edition" a little while back. In it, Waterson lays out his comic author's manifesto. Looking at the funny papers today, it seems as if his push for greater creative freedom in that sphere has gone totally unheeded, and the doom Waterson prophesied is about to be fulfilled. Fifteen years ago, however, he was shrugged off as an idealistic crank. This sense of being treated like the "Cassandra of comics" seems to have played a part in Waterson's decision to retire early. Then it seemed as if a lone voice of dissent had been snuffed, but the world would go on. As we know today, Waterson's predictions were on target, and far from being a crank, he was prophetic and ahead of his time. Just as the rise of the internet is quickly making newspapers obsolete, the chance for artistic freedom offered by the internet is making the newsprint comic obsolete. In the rise of the web comic, we see an answer to the call Bill Waterson raised almost two decades ago. Web comic artists are free from the exploitative licencing agreements that wrenched comics away from their creators. Without the format restrictions imposed by print media, web comic authors are free to design their own layouts and take up as much or as little space as they want. Finally, without syndicates and editors, authors are able to create whatever they want and go direct to the public with it. The world Waterson's manifesto laid out has come.