Once again, it’s Read Your Comics In Public Day! Take a comic book you’re reading, or a favorite one you’ve already read, out into the public and read it. Enjoy it. Relish in it! We shouldn’t be ashamed of what we love to do right? I’m 30 years old and I still read them religiously.
Today was interesting because I took this photo at work on my lunch break. I’m a teacher and I thought “what a great opportunity to showcase my love for comic books to some like-minded coworkers.” As it so happened, RYCIP Day couldn’t have fallen on a more perfect day this year.
Currently we’re still in training. School doesn’t start up until next week Tuesday, and for three weeks we’ve been lesson planning, room prepping, and dialoging as colleagues in philosophical discussions about education and how to appropriately teach kids as a classical charter school. Well, today, our principle coordinated seminars led by some of our own teachers employed here. Three were today, and there’ll be three more on Thursday. I decided to attend the writing seminar where we had to bring an item that has changed our lives. What a great thing to not only be concerned about our students intellectual well being, but our own as well!
In the above picture you’ll see I’m reading Justice League of America #61 from April of 1992. It was the very first comic book I had ever read. As an adolescent I never could get into reading. I knew HOW to read and was at grade level, but it was killing my mom that I didn’t enjoy it…and she’s a writing and rhetoric professor.
One day, she went to a gas station and picked up that issue of the Justice League for me and placed it on my bed. It was the coolest thing ever! My mom told me I can continue to read comic books as long as I’m READING them. I jumped on it and haven’t stopped since.
What I told the group today at the writing seminar was that this specific comic book changed my life on an academic level. I was always a good reader, but reading comic books helped to build my vocabulary and engage my thinking skills – I compared words to the pictures associated with them and was able to comprehend the meaning and context of the stories. It helped to strengthen my reading comprehension and pushed me to want to increase my reading skills. Before I knew it, I was one grade level ahead in reading.
I became enthralled with books a year later, reading novels by Bruce Coville and R.L. Stein. Years later, as I matured, I moved onto fantastic pieces of literature by acclaimed authors; Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, A. Lee Martinez, J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert C. O’Brian, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelly, and many others. And I attribute my love of reading to that one moment when my mom bought me a comic book. I realized the importance of reading, but more importantly, I discovered why it’s fun.
The group was astounded. None of them had ever thought someone could develop a love for reading by one 22 paged picture book. This was a fairly large group too – about 20 people out of the whole staff. Mostly English teachers, I think I lit a spark in many of their eyes, and I could see the wheels turning for many of them. Did I instill something potentially good amongst my fellow educators? Could it be that Read Your Comics In Public Day influenced a group of people on an academic level like never before? I certainly hope so. We’ll see what develops as a result of this as the year progresses forward.
(Raises wine glass) Here’s to a very successful Read Your Comics In Public Day!
Check out The Mary Sue for more information on Read Your Comics In Public Day and how it got started!