Archive for ray bradbury

Teacher Comics: Ray Bradbury might be spinning in his grave…

Posted in 2015-2016 school year with tags , , , , , on November 10, 2015 by Christopher Pearce


Teacher Comics: The Hearth, the Salamander, and Lexile Levels

Posted in 2015-2016 school year with tags , , , , , on November 9, 2015 by Christopher Pearce


The Hearth and the Salamander is the title of the first part of Fahrenheit 451, FYI.

Teacher Comics: Real world applications

Posted in 2015-2016 school year with tags , , , , , , , on November 3, 2015 by Christopher Pearce


Teacher Comics: It was a pleasure to burn…

Posted in 2015-2016 school year with tags , , , , , on November 2, 2015 by Christopher Pearce


a eulogy for ray bradbury

Posted in eulogy with tags , , on June 6, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

I rode the school bus almost every day when I was in school. Now, through Kindergarten to 8th grade, suffering the bus ride to and from school was an accepted fact of life for almost all kids I knew. The grogginess of the morning commute. The panic of finding someone with whom to share a seat when the bus is over capacity. The hierarchy of seating (troublemakers in the back, goody-two-shoes in the front, undecided milquetoasts in the middle). You ride the bus as a matter of course and you deal with all the indignities because you don’t really have a choice.

High school, and the independence which it affords, changes things. The popular and good looking begin figuring out the angles and hooking rides with older teenagers WITH CARS. The athletic and intelligent have demanding after school activities which would either put them on the “post sesson” bus (our high school’s term for the last bus to leave school for the day) or again, getting a ride with someone.

I was neither popular nor good looking, not athletic or intelligent… so I continued to ride the school bus and it was hell. You can imagine what type of rider remained, after considering the numbers of teenagers who had found better options then taking the school bus. At the time, the bus seemed to me to be filled with delinquents whose idea of a good time consisted of burning interesting shapes into the backs of the bus seats with their lighters.

Instead of trying to fit in with that crowd, I turned (as I often did, growing up) to books. Specifically, old paperbacks, caged from wherever I could find them. I read a LOT on the bus, both in the morning and in the afternoons… and that’s where I first read Ray Bradbury. It was The Illustrated Man I first encountered, the perfect school bus read.

Most of the stories in The Illustrated Man were about the length of one full bus ride (morning AND afternoon together)… and they were freaky. I was never a big reader of science fiction novels as a teenager- then and now, I’m more a horror/mystery guy. Those stories in The Illustrated Man… his writing was transformatory.

I had never read a book like that before. The stories were a wonderful jumble of emotions and ideas. Bradbury went from vicious (The Veldt) to hopeful (The ManThe Other Foot), to hopeless (The Long RainThe City) and the bat of an eye. My bus rides were thusly fantasically changed by the tone and tenor of whatever wild concept Mr. Bradbury had to offer on that particular morning.

Of course, I went on from there; Fahrenheit 451R is for RocketThe Martian ChroniclesSomething Wicked This Way Comes. I loved them all and could wax on about them for about as long as I’ve yammered about my problems riding the school bus here. It was The Illustrated Man that got me first. That’s the one that got me started. That’s the one that made those bus rides bearable. I’m far sadder about Mr. Bradbury’s death than I thought I would be for that reason. Even though The Illustrated Man was first published in 1951, he did a kid in 1994 a great favor by writing it.