Archive for January, 2013

Teacher Comics: burnout, part 3

Posted in 2012-2013 school year, teacher burnout with tags , , , on January 9, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

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I felt like I needed to deal with this myth in the final panel. I think most people have had at least one teacher who was cashing a paycheck and not contributing too much during their time at school. I had one… but again, let me stress that number: ONE.

One is probably far too many when you get down to it. I’ll not defend an educator who has abdicated their responsibilities. That being said, I’ve always found it funny when people frame attacks on teachers around this tiny minority within a majority of hard-working educators who’d sooner quit teaching than do intellectual harm to students.

Teacher Comics: burnout, part 2

Posted in 2012-2013 school year, teacher burnout with tags , , , on January 8, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

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Teacher Comics: burnout, part 1

Posted in 2012-2013 school year, teacher burnout with tags , , on January 7, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

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I thought this series would be a bit of a downer to start with in a new semester, but I think it came out rather decently and it deals with issues that have been on the forefront of my mind for quite awhile. Hopefully I’ll do them justice.

…but yes, new semester! Woo!

thrift store finds: another round of rejected finds!

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , , on January 5, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

…that’s right y’all. Most of the time I buy stuff from flea markets and thrift stores and manage to squeeze a couple of hundred words out of them for this weekly post… but sometimes, it’s just not meant to be. Here are a couple of TSF I couldn’t quite work up into a full column.

As previously documented, I pick up classic GameBoy cartridges whenever they come up for sale at our St. Vincent dePaul; the store sells them for $4 bucks apiece and on the first Monday of every month, that price is halved.

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A James Bond fan recently divested himself of two 007 games which I scooped up: 1998’s James Bond 007 for the Gameboy and 2001’s The World is Not Enough  for GameBoy Color. I would guess both of these games were released in the wake of 1997’s Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64, one of the most popular games made for that particular system.

The World Is Not Enough is kind of a pain in the ass and no fun but James Bond 007 is surprisingly awesome! It takes a lot of gameplay cues from The Legend of Zelda which… y’know, if you’re going to steal, steal from the best. Although it was released during the Pierce Brosnan era, James Bond 007 more often tips its’ hat to classic Bond adventures. So far in the game, Oddjob has been used as a boss and I know Jaws is later used as well. There’s a variety of gameplay, from typical fights with villains to casino games of chance.

It’s not a game that’s going to change the way you look at action adventure, but James Bond 007 is solid. It’s also one one the last traditional black and white GameBoy games ever made for the original system. It was a good find!

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I thought I’d have something to say about this cassette tape soundtrack for the TV series My So-Called Life. I’m a huge fan of the show and thoroughly documented that love when I did a TSF on the novelized sequel My So-Called Life Goes On. Cassette tapes are such a document of the time MSCL came into the world… if I could have found a working Walkman to play the thing, it could have been a fun post. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be.

The track list is pretty true to the show, I will say. The first cut is Juliana Hatfield playing Make It Home, the song immortalized in MSCL’s holiday episode, So-Called Angels.

They got Buffalo Tom on here which is good. They figured into this episode:

…of course, they used “Soda Jerk” on the soundtrack instead of “Late at Night” but minor quibble, minor quibble.

The soundtrack also features Sonic Youth, Daniel Johnston, and Afghan Whigs. It’s a pretty robust collection of performers who made their names in the 1990’s. Would that I could dig into this further.

odds and ends: the revolution was televised, lego, iPhone

Posted in odds and ends with tags , , , , , on January 4, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

First book of 2013: The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever by Alan Sepinwall.

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Sepinwall’s been a journalist and critic covering television for the better part of the last two decades and in The Revolution Was Televised, he highlights the major game-changers in that medium from the past two decades. HBO’s stable of dramas take up the lion’s share of Sepinwall’s attention (as well they should) although he does leave room for network series like Lost, 24, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Sepinwall’s prose is as engaging as it is in his online reviews but make no mistake – this isn’t just a case of a blogger repurposing old material. Lots of new interviews with the creators of these programs are included here along with the author’s observations.

I found the book to be a fun, breezy read and I agreed Sepinwall’s idea that most of these shows were successful due to the creative control given to the auteur/show runners by the network.

Outside of the nuts and bolts of Sepinwall’s writing, The Revolution Was Televised could also be seen as a bellweather for the world of publishing. The book was self-published by the author himself, bypassing many of the traditional hurdles normally presented by a project like this. The idea that a writer with some fan following could bring his work directly to the public isn’t exactly a brand new innovation to anyone but in many cases, I like the idea of supporting the writer directly.

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I believe I mentioned this over on Tumblr but not here: for Christmas, Ellen bought me the LEGO Haunted House I became so enamored with this past fall. It was a wonderful, thoughtful gift and I love the damn thing to death… although I’m not quite finished building the thing yet. Here’s where it stands as of today.

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As you can see, I have the first two floors assembled and I plan on finishing the house out this weekend. I’m enjoying the process; I can see why LEGO has so many fans across the world, young and old.

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Finally, I should point out my new phone purchase: I finally took the plunge and got me an iPhone. My phone use is rather limited during the week, as I turn it off at 7 in the morning and back on after school… but my old Droid had been giving me a lot of problems, especially with its’ camera function. Some of you have noticed the lack of chalkboard photos in the past few months. I stopped taking pictures of them because the phone on my old camera was so lousy.

Hopefully the new camera means a return to chalkboard documentation. We’ll see!

Teacher Comics: ass v. abs

Posted in 2012-2013 school year with tags , , on January 3, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

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First comic of 2013 is a leftover comic from 2012. I made a ridiculous spelling error in this one last year and it took me until today to clean it up and make it ready for perusal.

At the end of the year, WordPress sends people this e-mail with all of your blog’s “stats” insofar as page hits and whatnot and I noticed the handful of comics I titled “Teacher Comics” seemed to get far more hits than the ones I themed around the school year. It only took me three years to realize this… and as you can see with the title, I’m going to try something new out. I’ll still stick these strips in the “2012-2013 school year” category to make it easier to read.

sketchbook: world’s finest

Posted in sketchbook with tags , , on January 2, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

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Elliot asked me to draw him a Batman and a Superman and here it is.

Happy New Year! I still have two days of break left… I should probably start grading and preparing for the second semester, huh?