A comic life
Posted September 24, 2011on:
Almost every Friday, I have a McDonald’s breakfast with my son before I drop him off at school. It is something my son looks forward to because it is McDonald’s and because it signals the weekend.
I, on the other hand, feel the need to “detox” after such breakfasts, so I have just fruits for lunch. But while I might lose some health points at McDonald’s, I gain some quality time with my son.
Just yesterday, my son decided to talk about his art lessons. He told me he wished they were more interesting. A few months ago, I just wished they were more regular.
Every Friday, my son has to pack a special file with basic art supplies. Earlier in the year, my wife and I would ask what he did for art only for him to say he did not have art lessons. Evidence of art work were few and far between.
The art lessons seem to be a bit more regular now, but my son does not find them engaging. He is not an artistic genius, mind you. He just wishes that some of his art lessons involved the drawing of comics.
I think my son had a reasonable comment given his interest in drawing comics. But I am not waiting for the school to include comic drawing.
I reminded my son that he had a book that taught him how to doodle things like robots and animals. He could teach himself how to draw better. He has also started reading some comics and he can learn by observing, mimicking and adapting.
My son mentioned that the author of the doodle book also had another one on drawing comics. (I must remember to ask him how he found out!) I replied that we could look for that book and buy it if he was really interested.
I’m not expecting a school to change its curriculum to suit one or a few. It cannot because it is built on an industrial model of one-size-fits-all. Even the new changes that emphasize values-education in the Singapore schooling system are not likely to individualize learning. As long as the school as we know now is a dominant model, there cannot be highly customized learning.
But we live in interesting times. My son can learn to draw comics with the help of online resources, communities and teachers. He can pursue his passion without the support of his school or even his parents. If his passion becomes a career, he can rely on the same media, people and practices to live his comic life.