Comic Strips: Candy And Taxes


 

The November newsletter has been sent out and with it the latest instalment of, The Craziest Things along with it. This month explores a Halloween tradition from a funny point of view, the giving of treats.

Many of us remember the joy of putting on our Halloween costume and going out trick or treating. The day when you are allowed to get candy and then eat it. Yet as adults we now go out to buy the treats, only to dip into them and indulge a chocolate bar or two before the little trick or treaters show up. On many occasions I would buy treats for the kids a week in advance and then have the teachers raid it. Then to make sure the students have enough candy, I’d have to get some more.

They say, “The only constants in the universe are death and taxes”. Will I would like to add to that saying …

“The only constants in the universe are death, taxes and an empty bowl of chocolate in a room full of teachers.”

I hope you enjoy the latest instalment of, The Craziest Things; Candy and Taxes.

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Comic Strips: You Snooze, You Lose


 

Well it is the start of a new school year with a fresh crop of students and situations that can be the basis of my comic strip, The Craziest Things. If you do not know, I am the editor of the afterschool program’s newsletter. I just finished putting the first edition of the 2017-18 newsletters together and sent it out to the parents. Even though it’s a lot of work while I work as an occasional teacher, I enjoy doing it. However my favourite part is creating the comic strip.   I always use the students of the senior grade 5s as my inspiration for the comics. I will draw every grade five in the program as a fun cartoon caricature in a fun and interesting situation.

Many of the other children ask why don’t I use the other grades too. I tell them that these students are the graduating class and they deserve their moment. Also it is hard enough trying to draw 15 – 18 students and place them into 8 – 10 comic strips, just imagine 120. Therefore I had to limit the amount I can draw.
I use many different themes to inspire me to create the comic such as the difference in the generations or the use of technology in the classroom compared to their parents. Yet there are some themes that are universal to all generations.
This month centres on the first day of school. Yes that amazing day when you have to go back to the salt mines, I mean classroom and begin a fresh new year of learning and discovery.  
When it comes down to what students want to do, they have an unlimited amount of choices to choose from. Many parents have told me that they did not have as many choices as their children have when it comes to vacations. In fact many studies have shown that the centre of the family has shifted from what mom and dad want to do, to what the kids want to do. Peter Yesawich, a travel trend expert, has studied family travel for over 20 years. He says that children make the final decision in more than half of all family vacations.  Yet if there are an unlimited amount of choices, how can anyone choice just one, let alone a kid with less life experience. The results might come down to that old saying, “you snooze, you lose.”

I hope you enjoy October’s The Craziest Things: You Snooze, You Lose.

Friday Two Cents: The Simplicity Of Play


 

This past week I return home after a wonderful time with friends up north in the Penetanguishene/Midland area. We did a lot of different activities in the area including swimming, sight-seeing and taking in some local festivities. One of the highlights of my time there was going to Discovery Harbour. It is a British naval base that traces it roots back to the War of 1812. The base was established around 1828 and was a presence to defend Canada until the 1850’s.

We were able to go twice to the site during this trip. Once for a Ghost Tour and the other for a Pirate Day. The Ghost Tour was very interesting and it did give me the shivers at times. I think I even saw a sign a ghost who did not want us in his cabin, spooky. The other time was a fun-filled day where pirates invaded the site. Pirate Day at Discovery Harbour was mostly geared towards the kids but I took the opportunity to have a little fun and live a little. I decided to bring up my pirate costume and walk around the site as Captain Jack Sparrow.
I dressed up and went to the site in full costume. To say I got a lot of looks is an understatement. When the kids saw me their eyes opened up and even their parents smiled. The staff was all dressed in pirate gear and they too smiled and encouraged me to play the pirate for the day. I walked around the site learning a few things about the history of Discovery Harbour, stopping once in a while to talk to people and some even asked if they could take a picture with me. I said sure and so I posed for pictures and I got to meet and talk to a lot of people. All in all it was fun to play pirate and learn some facts about the site. Yet I did notice something that made me pause for a moment or two.
While I was walking around as a pirate talking to people, I noticed some people giving me a few, what I would call; nasty looks. It was not as if I was being obnoxious or over selling the pirate theme, in contrast I was simply walking for one building to the next with my friends. Maybe, it was because I was an adult dressed as a pirate without kids. There were some other adults dressed up but they had kids with them. Perhaps they could not understand why a grown man would dress up and pretend or in essence play pirate.
I am not sure why but if that was the case all I can say is that I feel sorry for those people. I am very comfortable being myself and being very connected with my inner child. If those people cannot understand that we all need to play, then I all I can do is pity them and I’ll give them a couple of quotes / life lessons to help them. One from a famous philosopher, the other from a famous captain …

‘You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.’ Plato

‘The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play.’ Captain Kirk

Two life lessons I always take to heart. Maybe we all should too.

 

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Comic Strips: Just A Bit … Eccentric


This month’s newsletter has been sent out and with it the latest installment of The Craziest Things.

If you live in the Ontario, Québec or the east coast if Canada you just had a record amount of rainfall this past couple of weeks. Here in Toronto we had a month’s amount of rain in the city fall in just 3 days. Many of the rivers and local streams are all running high and even the lake levels are the highest they have been. With all this I was inspired to create a comic with a little funny joke. The funny thing is that the student acting a bit … eccentric, I can see them actually doing this.

I hope you enjoy the latest installment of, The Craziest Things; Just A Bit … Eccentric.

Comic Strips: Mmmm Spaghetti


 

The latest installment of The Craziest Things has been sent out and with it an episode that actually happened at the school.

Sometimes I am amazed at the creativity and imagination of the students. Two senior girls wanted to create something. They asked for yarn and I asked why. They said they wanted to create food and I said, ‘ok I love to see it.’ So I helped them find yarn ands anything else they needed and then left them to create. Once they were done it looked real! I took a picture of it so you can see. After I heard them say they wanted to trick a few people, including teachers into trying to eat it. They almost got away with it too.

I had to recreate the scenario in the comic to immortalize their creativity and imagination. I hope you enjoy the latest installment of, The Craziest Things; Mmmm Spaghetti.

Spaghetti and meatballs created by two students using yarn.

 

Comic Strips: Double The Fun


 

The latest instalment of The Craziest Things has been sent out and with it a wish that many have had at least once in their lives.

Many of us do not have an identical twin but sometimes we wish we did. We’d imagine tricking our parents or others with simple little jokes or trying to double our chances of getting more stuff. The Weasly twins from the Harry Potter series, played by James Phelps and Oliver Phelps, stir up our imagination on what mischief we can get into if we had a twin to back us up. At the school we have several identical twins yet I have never had an opportunity to draw them into my comic strip until know.

Quit simply it’s a scenario that many of us without an identical twin would love to have. Well, at least once in a while. Yet if you look closely there is something that does differentiate the twins from each other besides the colour of their shirts.  I wonder if you can spot it.  

I hope you enjoy the latest instalment of, The Craziest Things; Double The Fun.

Comic Strips: Global Excuses


 

ComicStrips

With the New Year comes the latest edition of the monthly newsletter and with it the February instalment of The Craziest Things.

Every child, they want to wear has become an even more prevalent. Showing ones’ individual style has become an obsession with people and it has trickled down to children as well. Students in the fourth and fifth grade are beginning to assert their own preference or style even at this early age. Some even use external forces to make their point.

In Toronto Canada, we have seen some mild winters in the past few years. This has not been unnoticed by the students. On many occasions I have reminded students to wear their hats and mittens and even their jackets. Yet I know once my head is turned, off the jacket comes, therefore I don’t bother any more. I have adapted the belief that Mother Nature is a much better teacher on what to wear then I will ever be. Some times Mother Nature throws a curve ball at the students and they take full advantage.  

I hope you enjoy my attempt at political satire of, The Craziest Things; Global Excuses.

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