April 24, 2012

Kony 2012

KONY 2012
Make him famous. 
You bet your bottom dollar that's my front door.

If you don't know who Joseph Kony is yet, know this: he is a bad man who abducts children and makes them into child soldiers. That's the extremely simplified version.

Invisible Children is a program I joined in high school, and while some have said this program and its videos oversimplify a complicated problem, I think everybody should learn as much as they can about this man and decide for themselves. In the end, that is what the Kony 2012 video is all about: To be more aware of the world, to act as a global community and to do SOMETHING. 

Please watch this video at the Invisible Children website. If you want to know more, watch the second, more detailed video here.  Once you've watched, you'll want to do something. I know I did. So I shared the video with my students. All of them. And now, they're doing something too.

Cover the Night was April 20th, and it was meant to get Kony's name on every street in every major city in the world.
Even Alton, Illinois, which isn't that major. 

While Cover the Night was last week, there is still much to do to stop Kony. My students are hard at work making posters to put up in their neighborhoods, to spread the word even further, and have pledged to talk about this with their parents. I love their fire and passion to be a part of the world (which, if you know any 6th grader, then you know this is a huge step in growing up for them). The best part? They are doing this BY THEMSELVES. All I did was show them the video. It's truly amazing what inspired people can do. I look forward to the conversations this will cause in my classroom: it's higher level thinking! 

Please share this post or the video.

KONY 2012
Make him famous. 

April 22, 2012

Chicago Comic-Con

Hello again, it's almost as if I haven't written in months! Oh wait, I haven't...I'm going to try to take a page out of my older sister's blog and write regular, shorter, full-of-picture posts that don't take too long to write or read!
Corey as Arrietty (a Borrower) from "The Secret World of Arrietty."
Corey (my younger sister) and I went to the Chicago Comic-Con  (C2E2) last weekend and it was AMAZING. It was for Corey's birthday (as she is an up and coming sequential artist), and she is very inspired now. In fact, she has been staying up way too late creating superheroes like, "WedgieMan," and her own version of Cinderella called, "If the Shoe Fits." Here's a look at one of her short comics, featuring me!

Besides the whole boost in creativity for Corey, my favorite part was the costumes... It was like Halloween for adults. And comic books were our candy.
Jayne and Kaylee from "Firefly." Yeah, I made my costume.
I am  such a  nerd, and proud of it!
Corey was even wearing her Ghostbuster's t-shirt.
You can't see their Proton Packs, but they were really well done.
 A close second were the panels. We were on a female-power kick, going to panels entitled, "Chicks Dig Comics," and "Constructions of Race, Gender and Childhood in Comics," "The Geek Girl and the Artist: Women's Perspective on Geek Culture, Gender Identity and Art/Media," and the best of the bunch, "The Ladies of Womanthology." This book is a great anthology of short comic stories, written and illustrated by women for charity. Corey idolizes these strong ladies, and rightly so- they are exactly who she wants to be. It was interesting to be surrounded by strong females, and then step out onto the main floor and see women objectified into butts and boobs. Small steps I guess. The next step I'm rooting for is a naked Thor. 
Womanthology panel. I should have taken a
picture of Corey  having a spaz-attack of  joy.
 However, the panels I enjoyed the most were the ones where I got to be close to famous people, like Val Kilmer, Anthony Daniels, Shane West, John Cusack, and the funniest of the bunch, Nicholas Brendon. 
It was his birthday.
I even got inspired to introduce comics into my classroom as the central way I teach from the panel called, "Reading with Pictures." I didn't waste any time- four new graphic novels in the classroom and a project where students illustrate the meaning of a new vocabulary word with a comic strip - and this is just in one week!

After the con was done we went out and about in Chicago, seeing what could be seen when the weather allowed. Or even when it didn't and we should have been indoors (see picture below). The wind there is CRAZY. It comes from every direction and cannot be escaped. Believe me, we tried.

I should have listened Corey, sorry. Makes for a good story though.
 After we dried our clothes from a thorough soaking in a BIG thunderstorm Sunday night, we took on the town on Monday, walking from the Sear's, now Willis, tower, to the Bean in Millennium Park, and seeing everything in-between. 

The top was closed due to high winds. CURSE YOU WIND!
I'll leave you with a few fun pictures of the greatest modern sculpture in the world (in my humble opinion). Thanks for reading!