Feature Blog Post by Program Director, Anna Ojascastro Guzon
Quiz time. Name the superhero associated with each quote below.
Part I: No one cared who I was until I put on the mask.
Did you know that the CDC has published a graphic novella about a zombie apocalypse? I didn’t, until one of our students requested a writing unit on comics or graphic novels, leading me to google for examples. I thought it was a joke, but it turns out that it’s an actual public service pamphlet on the importance of disaster preparedness, with the goofy zombie angle meant to draw us in. And in fact, the silliness of the topic and appeal of the graphics got me to read all 36 pages.
The comic or graphic format can be used to express a political opinion, educate, or moralize. The power of the mask or cape or other symbols provides a hook and communicates a lot quite concisely. Of course the format can also be used simply to entertain.
Today the students created a first draft of their own graphic novellas, and we ended up with a satisfying mixture of tones. Some of the characters are fated to bring justice to the world. Some of them are engaged in more personal battles. Some of them grow really thick leg hair as their special superpower. I am equally excited to find out how each of these plots are resolved.
Part II: You know who I am.
One of my favorite parts of today was realizing how well we’re all getting to know each other – well enough that the students can aim jokes at the tutors and hit the mark.
When I suggested that I planned to embarrass a tutor by having her model my superhero accessories, her partner countered with, “Good luck; I don’t think it’s possible to embarrass her.” Later I got an “OMG, you and your puns.” (If you know me, you know that corny jokes are 50% of my reason for living.)
I think this is a good sign; don’t you?
Part III: No single individual, no matter how powerful, can solve the world’s problems alone.
I noticed that while today’s assignment was completely open-ended as far as characters, all of the students (all of whom are male) chose to create a male protagonist. It makes sense that they would relate to a male character. As it happens, all of the current YourWords STL tutors are female; we wonder sometimes if our students would benefit from having some male tutors in the mix. Guys are out there, are you reading this? We need you! And superheroines: we need more of you too! I am so proud of what our small group of students and tutors has accomplished so far this year. We’re going to do even more next year, but we can’t do it alone.
Tune in next week. Same bat-time, same bat-channel.
Share your favorite superhero quote in the comments along with your quiz score (without googling the answers!)