Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Senseis and Students

Today was an awesome day in so many ways. The athlete, student, teacher, sensei, comic book geek, historian, and old friend parts of me were all indulged today.

First off, I had the pleasure and honor of having my karate sensei, Sensei John Adamson, teach my class in P.E. It was fun getting to hang out with him while they were warming up. Watching them, he said, "This is already my favorite class yet." I told him they probably would be for the whole week. I loved watching them learn some punches and kicks and even some escape moves. I'm only sorry I wasn't afforded the chance to get to help him out more, but that's life.

Then, at 11:30 this morning, I was happy to turn my class over to a substitute--and I would normally not say that. But this sub is Mr. Waybright, who the kids love and who is a fantastic guy. I even like it when he subs for another fifth grade class, because we get the chance to hang out a little bit.

The reason I left at 11:30 was to go down into Indianapolis to visit the Sycamore School. No, I was not scouting out a new job. An old friend of mine, Ms. Jamie MacDougal, is the headmaster there, and she told me that their school was going to receive a visit from Mr. Gene Luen Yang. I jumped at the chance. Mr. Yang is the author and artist of a few very critically acclaimed books, probably the best known are American Born Chinese and Boxers & Saints.

During my visit, I also got to see another colleague and old camp counselor friend Julie Clawson, who teaches fourth grade there.

I sat there and watched and listened as Mr. Yang spoke first of all with Julie's fourth graders, and then in a large group convocation room to third graders-through-middle schoolers. He spoke briefly about the books he has written and is writing (including Avatar: The Last Air Bender for Dark Horse and now Superman for DC), but mostly he talked about computer coding. He has actually recently written a book called Secret Coders, which is a graphic novel that teaches kids to write code. He taught everyone how to read binary numbers (even I got it), and then I got to meet him afterwards, shake his hand, talk with him, and then he signed my copy of Boxers & Saints. It was really awesome.

It was a really rewarding day for me personally. I trust the kids had a good time with Mr. Waybright for the balance of their day, and I'm looking forward to a good report tomorrow. 

No comments: