Geeks of All Ages

JohnHurt

Yes, that’s *me* with the Moment and the War Doctor aka Sir John Hurt in February 2016 at Gallifrey One in LA.

Straightening up my classroom last Friday afternoon, I shared this photo in a lovely “moment” with a student and his friend that began with the statement, “Ms. Ozoa, I hear you’re a big geek. What’s your fandom?” I instantly shed my end-of-the-week weariness and happily geeked out over Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly, the MCU and, of course, Doctor Who.  What a delightful way to connect with teenagers, to share non-academic interests and passions! The two boys then waxed poetic about Blizzard’s game Overwatch, which I do not play, but which I’ve learned about via the “secondhand smoke” of my gamer friends. The boys were also inordinately impressed by my knowing personally Scott Johnson, co-host of The Instance, the longest-running podcast about Blizzard’s World of Warcraft. Thanks for that, Scott, et al.!

The point of my anecdote is to remind educators / coaches / parents / anyone who interacts with teens to stay open to those “moments” when we can step outside our official roles and simply connect authentically. It’s worth it.

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Two Days at SDCC

imageThis July I got to experience Thursday and Friday of San Diego Comic-Con, thanks friends in the awesome crew of usual suspects with whom I’ve been attending scifi and fantasy conventions the past few years. While briefer than I’m used to, the two packed days fed my soul. Unlike past years, I did NOT spend the night in line for epic panels in Hall H or Ballroom 20. Nor did I venture off-site to ticketed shows or fan parties. I didn’t even spend more than an hour in the Exhibit Hall. SDCC is too huge for any one person to describe, but I’m happy with my experience.

The short notice precluded any fancy cosplay, but I did  walk around Friday with Bitty, my fire lizard, perched on my shoulder. We’re pictured at a Punished Props meetup on Friday with professional cosplayers Bill and Brittany Doran. I also brought her back to her home “colony,” (Imaginarium Galleries) where the dragon maker autographed her feet and I sprouted the cat ears in my photo above.

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My favorite panels this year were with artists, from a panel with MAD Magazine icons like Sergio Aragones to the new Betty and Veronica writer/artist Adam Hughes. I could knit while watching them created under the document camera. Also, it was worth waiting an hour or so in line for the Indigo Ballroom to see Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars) and Ted Danson promote a new show called “The Good Place” and the cast of “Silicon Valley” just being hilarious. I made a plug for educators’ roles in combating sexism in movies, and the panelists had all teachers in the room raise their hands. No, I can’t go an hour without mentioning my “kids” or finding connections to my curriculum.

Knitting content: just received a new shawl kit in the mail from Craftsy called Drachenfels. It’ll be next up after I finish the baby blanket.

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When Kitties Attack


Pictured is my normally placid and loving Siberian forest cat, Midnight. His ears are back and eyes almost as dilated as earlier when he attacked me (I’m fine). In all fairness, he warned me vociferously, then nipped at my hand, before feinting toward my face. Apparently he objected to my practicing one of the songs for our school’s upcoming Faculty Follies. I’m not that bad a singer, honestly! But Midnight freaks out every time I sing aloud. 

A cursory Google search reveals others share my “pain.” I found numerous YouTube videos of cats freaking out at singing as well as  queries on pet forums, but no satisfactory explanations. In the meantime, to keep the peace, I guess I’ll restrict my rehearsing to when Midnight is outside or I’m in the shower. Maybe I’ll ask one of my students researching pets for their 20% Time Project to add a tab on feline music preferences.

Coinkydink

The fellow wearing this fabulous aloha shirt was in the security line at Long Beach Airport ahead of me. As an admirer of kitschy shirts and watermelon, I complimented him on it. He and his wife explained they bought it on vacation in Door County, Wisconsin. I remarked that we used to visit Egg Harbor when I was growing up in Chicago and darned if that wasn’t exactly where they got it. Coinkydink.

Magic Bed

Pictured is one control panel for the hospital bed DS was in this weekend. (He’s fine now after some post-operative bleeding.) On the right is a function to “tare” it without a patient in it, so it can measure the patient’s weight AND detect when the patient leaves the bed, as in falls out and can’t tell anyone or tries to sleepwalk or go to the restroom without unhooking various wires. Ingenious!

Baon

In the Filipino dialect of Tagalog, “baon” means roughly “food to go.” Pictured are the two baon bags I brought with me to my first day at ComicCon. I’m proud to say that the only food I paid for was my Starbucks Soy Green Tea Latte and Spinach Feta Wrap for breakfast at the trolley transfer stop. My trusty baon, which included a Gala apple and a previously frozen bottle of Vitamin Water, sustained me until a light dinner with DD at Royal Thai. In fact, I only finished one bag and was able to bring the second bag to ComicCon on Sunday. My mom trained me well.