Archive for jabberwocky

2011-2012 school year: o frabjous day!

Posted in 2011-2012 school year with tags , , , , , on December 1, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

Ethan Frome is a book that pisses a lot of people off; it was forced on them in high school and engenders a tremendous amount of hatred. I’d guess this loathing also stems from the main character, who is, I will not deny, a pathetic of the highest order. I can’t help liking the book though. I love how ordered it is; Wharton does things in Frome that should reek of writerly desperation, like naming the stark farming town STARKfield… but the prose is so lovely, she gets away with it.

This is my go-to example to give when I have students who say “We read this in middle school!” There are good reasons to revisit great works of literature. I’m often surprised at how many of my students don’t realize that. For many, barely reading a book or poem once is good enough.

2011-2012 school year: an uffish problem

Posted in 2011-2012 school year with tags , , , on November 30, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

This is two problems I’ve crammed into one comic. The gap between learning in high school and middle school is, I think, more significant than most educators give credit. I could go on about my issues with middle schools, backing those concerns up with my experience working in middle schools… but perhaps I’ll save that for another time.

The “here’s a book/poem, let’s read it and then immediately afterward watch the movie” thing is just a bad practice in which WAY too many teachers indulge.

2011-2012 school year: callooh! callay!

Posted in 2011-2012 school year with tags , , , , , , , on November 29, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

For those who have not read the poem, you can find it here. The lesson allows students to engage with their knowledge of roots and  affixes to analyze the nonsense words of Lewis Carroll. It’s a fun day of class!

Hey, NYC Educator took a second look at one of my posts from last week and I highly suggest you check it out. Seriously, NYC Educator is one of my favorite teaching blogs- I left New York City somewhat reluctantly a few years back and reading the posts over there allows me to keep tabs on the ups and downs of teaching in the Big Apple.

2011-2012 school year: where does he get his vests?

Posted in 2011-2012 school year, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 28, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

It was fun to use John Tenniel’s illustrations from Jabberwocky as inspiration for the first panel. I lavished a little more time on this comic than I usually do, just out of reverence for the guy.

odds & ends

Posted in commentary with tags , , , , , , , on October 15, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

Firstly, a favor: my friend Anna’s in the running for a $1,000 dollar prize in the Art Takes Miami People’s Choice Award.
Anna’s an amazing photographer and well-deserving of the honor and the money, so if you can take a moment to click over to this site and rate her portfolio “5 out of 5” stars… well, you’ll be helping her out, you’ll be helping ME out, and you’ll be telling the truth because she is truly talented. Thanks in advance!


I was excited to receive two issues of Toby Jones’ Memory Foam mini-comic in the mail this week! I’ve been enjoying Toby’s work for a few years now online and I’m glad to have them on my bookshelf.


Memory Foam #1 and #2 are collections of Toby’s autobiographical comics and there’s a whole lot to like about them. In particular, I’ve always loved the way Toby draws noses- you might think I’m pointing out some small thing, but it truly is little details like that which make or break a character design. His are appealing to look at and fun to read.


My favorite comics of Toby’s involve times where Toby looks at some small interest of his and expands on that interest to make a lot of broader connections to his life and world. Something like, an observation about an old video game that he used to love will take the reader into a story about the nature of friendship, and I like the way the trivial and the monumental kind of blend with one another in his comics. This one about buying a Playstation Portable, for example, starts off mundane but then goes into some pretty interesting places. I really hope that Toby starts expanding on some of those themes as I think the concept has strong narrative possibilities.


Both issues of Memory Foam are $3 bucks apiece, and you get get both of ’em for $5.



We’re currently reading the poetry of Lewis Carroll in my Advanced English class; I’ve used “Jabberwocky” as a mentor text for teaching repetition and onomatopoeia for years, but only in the past few weeks have I branched out and started looking at the author’s other poetry. My students really do seem to like the weirdness of Carroll’s world and quite a few of them have gone out under their own steam to check out his Alice books.


Working so closely with “Jabberwocky” I remembered a picture I saw in a magazine somewhere back when I was in high school of a Jabberwocky action figure. The late ’90’s/early ’00’s were a boom period for boutique toymakers to manufacture weird action figures that would never be sold in a Toys R Us. I never thought about buying a toy Jabberwocky at age 16… but now that I’m an English teacher in good standing, I’d really love to own one.


Proving that the Internet is an amazing resource for both the obscure and the nerdy, I found this sad story courtesy of a toy company’s website that has not been updated since mid 2000. It looks like I’ll never own a little toy Jabberwock.