Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bears Love Whistles

Let me say, for the record, that I really like Gumby, and I'm glad Google decided to honor Art Clokey's 90th birthday with cool little animations of Gumby and his friends. When my day went off the rails I found some solace in clicking on the little multi-colored blobs of clay and watching them spring to life.

You know what was a great comic book? Gumby's Summer Fun Special, written by Bob "Flaming Carrot" Burden and drawn by Art "X-Men and New Mutants and lots of other stuff" Adams.

Read that, if you ever get a chance. There are Space Bears in it.

Today was a very frustrating day, for a variety of reasons not all related to Creative Reading class. By the end of the day I felt physically exhausted, and unsure whether the exhaustion was the result of sickness (I pick up all kinds of viruses at work), or psychological stress, or just plain old fashioned not sleeping enough. Probably a mix of all three.

Whatever the case, today was one of those days where, no matter how hard I tried to communicate, it seemed like my students and I were speaking two entirely different languages. To me, phrases like "If you are not in the classroom when the bell rings, you are tardy" and "If you are not in the classroom you are supposed to be in, you are skipping class" are completely clear and self-explanatory. Some of my students, though, find endless layers of nuance and ambiguity in these concepts and strive to deconstruct my simple black-and-white worldview. And get really angry when I assign them detentions.

Tomorrow is the Batman Year one test. Which reminds me, I haven't finished writing the Batman Year One test. Pardon me, I should go do that.


  1. My students have trouble understanding things like "Bring your assignment to class on Wednesday" and "Do not email me your paper as an attachment." Oh, and also "If you are absent, you are responsible for getting and completing the work that you missed." I'm sure I could think of more if I tried.

    Have some wine. In the absence of a vacation or a full night of uninterrupted sleep, it helps. A little.


  2. Good ones! I don't think there's any phrase my students have more trouble understanding than "If you are absent, you are responsible for getting and completing the work that you missed." It seems like we go over that one at least once a week.

    And wine sounds like a fine idea.

  3. Also, can I just say how much I love the concept of this blog? I've been tempted to start one (or if not a blog, at least some sort of record for myself) for one of the classes I'm teaching this semester. There's so much I want to remember for the next time I teach this particular course (a seminar on the Odyssey and sundry things for student war vets). Alas, no time!

  4. It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Art Adams. This is probably the only gumby comic I ever owned. And it was awesome. Isn't there a section in it that's 3-d too?

  5. On behalf of your students, I cite Derrida: "I would say that deconstruction is affirmation rather than questioning, in a sense which is not positive: I would distinguish between the positive, or positions, and affirmations. I think that deconstruction is affirmative rather than questioning: this affirmation goes through some radical questioning, but it is not questioning in the field of analysis." The application in this case is quite clear.

  6. Kim, thanks for your supportive comments. I would love to see you blog about teaching the Odyssey (or anything else, but the Odyssey for vets class sounds particularly interesting.)

  7. Also, Kim, I'll be relying on you to explain that Derrida quote to me.