Comic Strips: Nothing Scares Us Anymore


With Halloween only a couple of days away I thought I’d post my November comic strip a bit early. Many of my comic strip ideas for The Craziest Things comes from situations that I observe from the students and this month’s is no different.

I use many different themes to inspire me to create the comic. Some include 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. Yet the majority of the inspiration comes from real life situations that I experience with the students.

This month’s theme comes out of the reality of living in a 24-hour news cycle. Adults and children are inundated with news about everything in the world, the good and the bad. However, it seems that the media is focusing on all the negative news out there. Mind you the world is a crazy place to begin with but many people never stop to think that if they are getting all this news then so are the children.

On many occasions I have heard students talking about news stories from the previous day. Shootings, disasters and political issues both domestic and foreign. It would seem that they are not immune to all this information and sometimes we discuss these issues in class. Many teachers use these times to help teach the students on how to be global citizens. Which is a great way to help the students understand the world around them. Yet before these areas were something we would discus in grade 7 and above. Now it seems to be happening in the earlier grades. With such an easy access to information and communication, the new generation appears to have their childhood end earlier than before.

I hope you enjoy November’s The Craziest Things: Nothing Scares Us Anymore.


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.

Comic Strips: Nut Free Please


The November newsletter has been sent out and with it the latest instalment of, The Craziest Things along with it. This month explores how Halloween has changed over the years.

If you are a parent or teacher you have to be aware of allergies and dietary restrictions. Gone are the days when everyone ate what he or she wanted or had the same thing as everyone else.   Today there is a litany of choices or limits to what can be brought into the school or what you are serving at a party. Choice, choice and more choice, that is the mantra for the world today and some people may think that having too many choices may ruin the entire experience. Some choices are necessary for safety reasons however as you can see in the comic sometimes having too many choices can suck the fun out of anything.

I hope you enjoy the latest instalment of, The Craziest Things; Nut Free Please.


Friday Two Cents: I Love Working With The Students


Well today at school we had our Halloween parties and parade for the students. The students always want to know what I will be for Halloween but I keep that bit of information as close to my chest as possible. The only clue I gave them was that my beard was part of my costume. I know it’s not much but I like to keep them guessing.

Well I won’t keep you guessing, I was dressed up as Killian or Hook from Once Upon a Time, a television show. It was a great time dressing up with the students but a lot of fun dressing up with the staff too. Many of them had very interesting and inventive costumes. But the best part about this day actually started yesterday.

At the school they had a Halloween party for the students, run by the parents. In the school they had different games and activities for the students. The principal was present and we were talking before it began and she asked if I was staying. I said no I had stuff to do at home. She thought so because she reassured a little girl that I was not going tonight because she did not want me to see her costume until Friday. She said she wanted to make sure that “Mr. Paul does not see my costume until Friday” to surprise me; otherwise she had to wear a different costume.

I thought that was adorable. And today she showed me her costume. It was Elsa from Frozen by the way, but she was so cute and the look on her face was priceless. No matter how many Halloween’s I have had with the students they always seem to surprise me. Not with the costume but with their desire to feel great at what they are wearing and their yearning to see my reaction to it. And people wonder why I love working with students.  

Comic Strips: Too Scary


Last week I could not post any art inspiration because I was swamped with schoolwork. To be honest I felt bad not just because I missed a posting but I find posting art helps me to recharge and relax. Art is a big part of my life, I have found that no matter how bad the day is, art will always brighten my mode.
I am posting this month’s newsletter comic strip of, The Craziest Things centring on a Halloween theme and how inventive the students are. The wonderful thing is that I have seen something like this costume, not at this school but someplace else. Also the girl who is wearing the costume, is very politically motivated. 
The staff and students enjoyed this comic and I hope you too will enjoy The Craziest Things; Comic Strips: Too Scary.

Nov2014NLPg8 copy

Friday Two Cents: Let Them Have Their Fun


Halloween, a time when kids of all ages dress up and have fun and I am no exception. This year I went as Gaius Iulius Caesar Augustus or Augustus Caesar. At teacher’s college most of us came in a Halloween costume and it was a great community building activity as well as being fun. Everyone, with a few exceptions knew I was Caesar. It was a lot of fun and I played up the role with everyone.

The interesting thing was after I had my class I went to work at my school with the children in the afternoon. I arrived at the school in full Roman gear and got ready for the annual Halloween Parade with the kids. Yet instead of calling me Caesar as adults were saying the children were calling me Hercules. I was about to correct them but I stopped myself and thought, they have no idea who Caesar would be, especially kindergarten to grade 2, so I said yes I was Hercules. If you look at the image I did look like Hercules from the Disney cartoon. One child even mentioned that my sandals were the same as Hercules from the movie. For many of the older children I did say who I was and they knew him, but those who did not, asked and then I told them. Many parents knew who I was but the children were happy with Hercules. Sometimes we are so preoccupied with correcting people that we forget that from their perspective they will have no idea and to be honest, many do not care. They just want to have fun and enjoy the day. On a day were you can be whom ever you want and the main idea is for the kids to have fun, why not let them have their fun.

Friday Two Cents: A Sparkle In My Eyes!!


Well this week has been a real rollercoaster ride.  I started in a new school, in the morning, with a new bunch of kindergarten kids during a very busy week, Halloween.  Add to that I had the football house league playoffs and finals in the after school program in my old school, as well. 

Halloween Costume: Rene D'Herblay aka Aramis

Halloween Costume: Rene D’Herblay aka Aramis

Halloween was a celebration for the kids in both schools.  I dressed up as Aramis from the Three Musketeers and kids and I had a lot of fun after a busy first half of the week.  Halloween was busy but it was a time to relax and have fun imagining and pretending to be someone else.  It was also a way for everyone, including myself, to wind down after a very heart wrenching two days of football.  

The week began quietly but come Tuesday we had the playoff games for football.  The kids played with sportsmanship and heart, unfortunately, there had to be only two winning teams going to the finals and the others were a little heart-broken.  There were a few tears among the children but I told them that it was all right to feel this way.  They are very competitive and they all wanted to win. 

Therefore, on Wednesday we had the championship game between the Dolphins and Eagles.  In the school program the teachers look after a team each, one reason was to get to know the children and the other to help guide them through the year.  Very much like the professors who look after the different houses at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series.  My team is the Dolphins, and they were going into the finals with a perfect 8 – 0 record.  For those of you who do not know this reference they won 8 out of 8 games.  I helped all the teams with their strategy and lineups but these were my kids and I did not treat them any differently.  They got mo special treatment. 

However, there was a part of me that wanted them to win.  In the past with baseball, I would umpire the games and I had teams I looked after, but I never felt as strongly about my group of kids winning as I did this year.  Maybe it was because they were 8 – 0 or perhaps the Dolphins never won any championship series, ever in the school.  But I really wanted then to win and all day, the up coming game was all I could think about.  Well the game arrived and the children all played a great game.  It was very close and I will break it down for you.

The Dolphins scored first to make it 7-0 with the extra point.  The Eagle received the ball but cannot do anything with it.  The Dolphins toke possession but they too had to give it away.  But the Eagles made their way down the field and scored a touchdown to tie the score 7-7.  After the Dolphins did nothing with the ball the Eagles toke possession and scored a touchdown but miss the extra point to make it 7-13 Eagles.  The Dolphins then got the ball and after a hard march down the field they scored a touchdown, but they too missed the extra point to tie the game at 13-13. 

Excellence Bowl

Excellence Bowl

After the Eagles punt the ball away on their next possession, the Dolphins made their way down the field to within 5 yards of the goal line.  It was 4th and goal with 2 ½ minutes left to play, so they kicked a field goal for three points to take the lead 16-13.  The Eagles made a last-minute drive to score with 2 minutes left to play.  But with the 6th play of the drive the Dolphins intercepted the ball with one-minute left to play.  The Dolphins had the ball and instead of running down the field they elected to run the ball around to eat up the clock.  When the time ran out, the Dolphins had won the First Excellence Bowl with a final score of 16-13.  And then my heart could take a break.  WOW!!!

We congratulated the Eagles for a great game but a few tears were here too.  Even I felt for the kids, they worked hard but in the end the better team won. 

Before I presented the trophy, I went up to the Dolphins and congratulated them.  I asked them why they won?  They all said because I taught then how to play and think strategically.  I said yes I did but the real reason was something else.  They won because of teamwork.  I told them, didn’t they notice that whenever the other teams were behind in the score they lost focus and turned on each other.  That when you were behind you worked together to get the job done.  They all looked surprised and said yes.  I told them they won the game as a team and that I was proud of them.  They were all happy and when they got the trophy, you could see every one of then was excited about getting it, boys and girls alike. 



I took over the football program because I was hoping to teach the kids how to play football and to have some fun.  Yet the kids taught me something too.  They taught me to get excited again.  For the past year I just was going through the motions because of personal reasons and only recently have I began really getting excited about things and being my old self again.  Even a few friends have mentioned that about a year ago I did not have that “Sparkle in my eyes” when they saw me.  But now they can see the sparkle once again. 


Thanks kids for helping to ignite that sparkle in my eyes again. 

Ailish Sinclair

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