Archive for ohio graduation test

Teacher Comics: You take the test, you pass the test

Posted in 2012-2013 school year with tags , , , on March 20, 2013 by Christopher Pearce


My favorite moment of the entire week. I’ve never seen anyone so excited to know what second person point of view was in my life!

Teacher Comics: Geez

Posted in 2012-2013 school year with tags , , , on March 19, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

TeachComic72I hope this doesn’t come off as complaining as schools have been given a really bad hand here when it comes to administering this test. As far as I’m concerned, my school does a damn fine job of figuring out to give this test to hundreds of sophomores while still attending the needs of the rest of our student body.

If I were to play pretend I was the guy in charge, here’s what I would do: I would stagger these tests so that there wasn’t a five exam marathon pileup in the middle of March. That’s not good for anybody. I’d give each exam its own day, maybe one exam every other week for… 10 weeks, let’s say. March through April. That would give students space enough to prepare a bit. Schedule those testing days on a Friday and give all the students NOT taking this test the day off. Get them out of the building and allow administration and proctors to focus on the task at hand. The students taking the test would get a half-day; when they’re done with the test, they can go home.

Even in writing this I know why it wouldn’t work… bussing would be expensive, the scheduling of days off and half days would put a strain on budgets, grading the exams takes time, and a dozen other reasons that have nothing to do with giving students the optimum opportunities to do well on these exams.

Oh well, what do I know. I’m just a teacher with ten years of experience…

Teacher Comics: Oh Gee Tee

Posted in 2012-2013 school year with tags , , , on March 18, 2013 by Christopher Pearce


“This week” is code for “last week,” which is when the majority of these comics were drawn. They were drawn, in fact, DURING the OGT testing time, for which I was a proctor along with another teacher. Two teachers, 17 students and ABSOLUTELY NO use of electronic devices equalled a lot of productivity for me, sketchbook wise!

odds and ends

Posted in 2011-2012 school year, comics about teaching journalism with tags , , , , , on March 16, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

Well, I’m coming off a very light week, work wise. As anyone involved in teaching at the high school level in Ohio knows (there’s a narrow demographic for ya!), this past week we administered the Ohio Graduation Test to our sophomores. Five grueling days of standardized tests where, by the end of the week, most students’ brains are toast.

Administration of the OGT presents a real problem when it comes to having regular classes; since it takes about two hours to give students the test, we run on a two-hour delay schedule during the OGTs. Most of my students, I saw for a grand total of two hours and twenty minutes over these past five days. Not an ideal way to run a classroom. I was lucky enough to have the computer lab signed out for Thursday and Friday, but the first three days of the school week were a total wash.

…maybe not a total wash, since I personally got a lot of grading done. I also got a head of my self-imposed comic deadlines. Those are both good things. All things considered however, I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things next week.


I suppose this would be the place to mention: I am not a huge fan of Monday and Wednesday’s comics this week. Monday’s comic MIGHT have worked if I had posted it last week… but here? It just seemed disconnected and weird to me. Wednesday’s comic is a classic example of “show, don’t tell.” If I had just posted Tuesday and Thursday’s comic, I think those two comics would have made for a stronger connection to the start of our investigative journalism project than the four comics together did.

Sometimes explaining things is necessary. Next week, I’ve got a comic where, for all intents and purposes, I’m just laying out what exactly I’m asking my students to do in their investigative journalism project. Monday and Wednesday’s comics were NOT a necessary case of this.

I don’t know if this is an apology or just a tacit recognition of the problem… but there it is. Hey, at least I’m thinking about my craft a little bit.


Continuing to get around to the 2011 Academy Award nominated movies, Ellen and I watched The Help this weekend.

Ellen read and enjoyed the book, so she was looking forward to the flick. For myself, my only exposure to The Help previous to last night was through the millions of incessant commercials for the flick. You no doubt remember them; they all used that awful Cobie Caillat song where they kept hitting the refrain over and over? Either you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about and you now have the song stuck in your head… or you’re one of the lucky few who hasn’t been exposed yet.

ANYWAY… The Help. I thought it was… okay. There were definitely some good performances; Viola Davis certainly deserved her nomination, although I do see why her restraint with her character might have hindered her from a win. It wasn’t as flashy and crowd-pleasing a role as Octavia Spencer‘s sassy maid. Beyond those two performances, I thought the movie had severe problems. In particular, the villain of The Help, Bryce Dallas Howard‘s vile Hilly Holbrook, had no depth and was therefore nothing much more than a shrill harpy. It got to the point late in the flick where it seemed the moviemakers decided to make Hilly as unappealing as possible by slapping a cold sore on her lips. There was no context for the choice, nor was its’ new presence ever really addressed. That bugged me for some reason.

I suppose the movie has an uplifting message, but it wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen before and I don’t really recommend it.

2010-2011 school year: day twenty five

Posted in comics with tags , , , , , , on November 1, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

Today’s comic mirrors a previous comic. Go back into the vast archives and see if you can figure out which strip I ripped off!

2010-2011 school year: day twenty four

Posted in comics with tags , , , , , , on October 28, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

I took a long time to question whether or not I wanted to include this case of mismanagement in the comic strip. I definitely didn’t treasure the prospect of having to draw another couple of days filled with students taking tests; that wasn’t altogether interesting to me. I went ahead and decided to use this because it did end up becoming rather a large part of my classes at the beginning of the year. I think it goes without saying that this is but one piece of a much larger puzzle that I’ll be sifting through as the year goes by… hopefully it doesn’t come off as overly negative!

2010-2011 school year: day sixteen

Posted in comics with tags , , , , , , on October 7, 2010 by Christopher Pearce


This just showed up in my mailbox: A Harris Poll says that graphic novels are more popular now than both Westerns and chick-lit. Cool!

2010-2011 school year: day fifteen

Posted in comics, commentary with tags , , , , , on October 6, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

I don’t know whether this is oversharing or not, but I wanted to have it on the record somewhere that getting away from elaborate backgrounds (or as elaborate as my pen scratching can be) is a conscious choice. I’ve been looking at a lot of my favorite newspaper comic strips in the past two months and one thing I’ve noticed about them is their judicious use of background elements.

Part of this is function over form: newspaper comics get shrunk down to the size of postage stamps, so you don’t want a lot of noise in the background that takes away from the action of your characters… but I also think, in certain cases, it brings a certain elegance and focus to the ideas of a comic strip.

My reason for saying this is that I struggled with the first panel of this strip, and I guess I feel better pointing it out myself.

2010-2011 school year: day fourteen

Posted in comics with tags , , , on October 5, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

I just wanted to remind everyone about Sonic Drive-In’s Limeades for Learning program. There’s only a few days left. Click over here and vote for one of my projects if you can!

friday odds and ends

Posted in commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

– As of this Wednesday, the ’09/’10 school year is over for me! My school district starts quite a bit earlier than most others. It’s a bummer going back to school at the tail end of August, but it’s nice to be off from work while most other people are still sweating it out in the classroom.

– Various teacherly things I am doing this summer: I’m teaching a week-long prep class for students who want to take (or retake) their Ohio Graduation Tests in both Reading and Writing. I’m doing some work for my school’s flex credit program (more on this in a few weeks). I might be substitute teaching for summer school, although that’s tentative right now. I should also relax a little, I suppose.

– Ellen and I have been burning through the Netflix movies: we watched Sherlock Holmes and Fantastic Mr. Fox this week. I’m a big Holmes fan from when I was a kid, reading the short story collections in study hall. I can see why aspects of this movie pissed off hardcore fans, but I liked a lot of it. I was relieved by the ending, but the relentless build-up for the inevitable sequel kind of bugged me.. Fantastic Mr. Fox was really lovely. I can see why it made squat at the box office, but as a fan of the book, I can say I walked away pretty happy.

– I’ve been on a Saturday Night Live reading kick lately and I’ve finally gotten around to reading Wired: The Short Life & Fast Times of John Belushi by Bob Woodward. I’ve never been a huge fan of Belushi, although he’s undeniably talented as an actor and a comedian. I think one of the reasons I never dug him is that so many guys I know in real life have been unconsciously influenced by Belushi that I feel like I grew up with the actor embedded in some of my friends. Like, people act like Bluto from Animal House who have never even heard of Animal House. That’s not fair to Belushi, I suppose… but of the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players, I’ve always preferred Dan Aykroyd.

The book is lurid and somewhat annoying in the way that Woodward constantly stacks the dramatic deck with anecdotes that foreshadow Belushi’s death. I can see why so many people who knew the actor were angry when this was published.

– Since school’s ended, I’ve also had (to my great surprise) time to play video games! From our local public library, I rented Lego Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues for the Wii. These types of games are about as far as I go into playing video games… the more realistic stuff makes me uptight and nervous. The Lego games are always fun, although I have to admit, playing a standard type video game on the Nintendo Wii is a little annoying.

– I also took out that massive remastered boxed CD set from The Beatles, full of every single one of their albums. I have to say, I’m really enjoying the music, but I’m more enjoying the fact that I didn’t plop down $200 bucks for the set.

– Finally, I had a truly epic haul at the thrift store the other day… tons of vintage Family Circus, Hi & Lois, and a bunch of other collections of comics I had never heard of! Those always make for fun Thrift Store Finds columns. I also found a first edition of the first ever collection of Doonesbury comics! There will be a new Thrift Store Finds up tomorrow and then for (hopefully) the next few weeks. I let those slip a bit, not because they aren’t written… moreso that scanning all the pages for examples is time intensive.