Because, quite frankly, I suck at it:
Unfortunately, Alex inherited my lack of talent. What you see up there was our best work on Monday night. Mostly because tracing was allowed for the project. So, he traced and I colored. And that panel was our best work. Because he could trace. And there were no people in it.
Why was I doing this you might ask – well…as I’ve expressed a few times, Alex is not the hardest working student on the planet. He could teach a course on Being Lazy. He’s been perfecting that art form since 5th grade. Avoiding homework, lying about said homework, barely passing classes – the works. His GPA dropped below a 2.0 yet again and he’s been sort of busting his tail (by his standards at least) to not miss any more assignments & to do better work.
Prior to going on his Christmas trip to Sweden, all teachers were put on alert that he would miss the first week of school in January so that we could gather up work ahead for him to do while gone. The biggest of these projects was the AP History Comic Book. He was *supposed* to finish it there.
(You may all start laughing at that notion now.)
He *did* pick a topic and come up with a plot line for the book AND write up a story board for all 24 panels before he left (under my supervision of course). He wanted to do the final panel layout there because he was doing it in Swedish which would give him desperately needed extra credit points. At least, that’s the tale he gave me.
When he got back and I asked to see how far he’d gotten on it, the stories began. When I marched upstairs after hearing too many excuses to look through his school notebooks he brought home, he RACED up to intercept me (red flag!).
” Oh, I think it’s in this notebook…wait..no, I didn’t hole punch it…and..my dad made me do it after I packed so it isn’t where I expected it to be and…..wait wait….where is it…oh geez I think it’s on the desk back in Sweden….!”
So then I asked him where the translation file was (that he said he had completed)
“Um, I did it on Teddy’s computer and I *think* I emailed it back to myself….!”
Now, why would you do that since your laptop was THERE and I setup a drop box account for you to use as a file sharing service no matter what computer you might use (and I knew the dropbox folder had not been updated).
(Go ahead and keep laughing…this really is amusing).
Thankfully the block schedule lined up for him and he didn’t have History until Tuesday SO – he had all day Sunday after I busted him on this topic (all other subjects had been completed to his credit) and Monday afternoon/evening to do the work.
He still insisted on doing it in Swedish so he got right at that and even willingly handed over his phone to avoid texting distractions. By the time he went to bed Sunday he was ready to start printing out the translated panels and filling them in with drawings.
The rules were: 1) No stick figures 2) Keep it simple 3) No white backgrounds
Trust me when I say that #2 ruled our world!
I knew there was no way anything would be viable unless I helped with the coloring. Which, I thought was OK since it was nothing to do with the substance of the project or even really the major part of the grade. He still had to make the pictures in his head come to life somehow – I was simply coloring them in like a coloring book. Not all either – he did some.
But – oh, how we suck!
We started finally Monday night after dinner around 7pm. We finished at midnight on the dot.
And that laughing I said to go ahead and do? Oh, did we EVER laugh. Mostly at ourselves.
He did avoid stick figures (barely). I did avoid white backgrounds (though I argued for snow scenes constantly!) We even recruited his brother for help but then we had to fire him – he draws and colors too damn well!! It was so obvious that another person was doing that panel!
His horses looked like elephants. His people started morphing into Charlie Brown or Jack in the Box faces. Warrior helmets looked suspiciously like sombreros and half the time his people had no feet or hands. And, if they had hands it looked like they were 3 times bigger than they should have been and had 13 fingers each.
Oh how we laughed.
I kept grabbing the “orchid” colored pencil instead of the brown – Orchid?? What the hell? It was a colored pencil pack not oil painting!! So half of the brown areas have a lovely purple hue underneath. I thanked him when the background could just be “generic sky” or “generic landscape” and cursed him when it had to be a battle field with tiny body parts & swords & rivers of blood. I also did not appreciate the scene in a museum with Roman Dynasty mosaics on display! WTF?!!
There was, in fact, a whole LOT of cursing going on!
Which is how we survived the night. 5 hours. 24 panels. 1 cover page and one splash page. And THEN he had to come up with a Title and Logo name (Mr Rogers Leaps Through Time, published by Time Travel Inc). Yes, our Mr Rodgers wore Packer colors and yes, the History teacher is a huge sports fan so *maybe* Alex was playing that up a bit for a few more extra points.
We both agree that even AFTER receiving credit for using a second language that we will be THRILLED if he gets anything over 75% for this work of..NON art.
The grading sheet CLAIMS he wouldn’t BE graded on artistic skills…and he DID remind the teacher that if the pictures make him laugh…well..it IS a COMIC book, right?
Right. Back to accounting for me. WAY easier!