Well, this week I was back at Huegel Elementary meeting with the 4th and 5th graders. I was there for the first of a three-part cartooning workshop. By the time I’m through, each student will have created their own comic strip. (And I will have created 130 competitors for myself.) This week we focused on character development. Here are some notable highlights from the first week…
• Got some high fives from third graders who recognized me from last fall. (Good for the old ego and to bolster my fantasy that I am, in fact, a superhero.)
• Marveled at the creativity of some of the characters that were born, including a superhero whose super power is burping, a 9-year old U.S. Army ranger who has a camouflaged pet salamander that accompanies him into battle, and a cantankerous apple named “Bitten Apple” who is always in the dumps because he has been, well, bitten.
• Confirmed the fact that mentioning that I used to wear my underpants on the outside of my jeans when pretending to be Superman is still a great source for cheap laughs.
• Finally came to grips with the fact that drawing “lightly” is an instruction that is impossible for school children to implement, as I watched students press so hard with their pencils that lead was shattering in all directions as their desks were being indelibly marred like a state park picnic table on a class field trip.
• Added to my already high esteem for teachers, who don’t receive nearly enough credit, praise, or payment for the stuff they deal with on a daily basis.
Next week, we’ll be discussing the fine art of gag writing, in which I’m charged with the task of teaching ten-year-olds how to write funny. All I know for sure is that I’ll be up to my eyeballs in underwear and burp jokes.