March 7th, 2017

Graphic Novels- Comic Books- In the Educational System

Argumentative Essay - Braden Watt
“Draw me a painting,” said the student, but the teacher was unable to draw. “Teach me a song,” but the teacher could not sing. “Teach me how to fly and follow my dreams,” but the teacher was unable to show the student something which he was unable to accomplish in the first place. The art of drawing comes through the system of fine art classes which is taught in a very distinct way. The same thing is true with English the focus of the course being a traditional novel. The traditional novel only improves the creativity and opens the doors for a love of learning in some students when a graphic novel is another way to open the future in a child’s mind. This is a dream that will be enforced in classrooms that graphic novels become an important part of the English course as well as the traditional novel.
English novels bring forth a beauty which cannot be achieved in other acts of writing and poems convey a message distinct and very personal which not be underestimated with another use of writing such as graphic novels. Graphic novels will just bring and enforce the basics taught already in the school education system today: such as the power of imagery, word choice, and character development. “Graphic novels usually referred to as comic books are stated in reading with pictures when it says schools have become increasingly more aware of the need to address the varying learning styles of students.”(Howard Gordan). This sentence said from “Howard Gordon” is showing that different people learn differently which emphasizes the point of using different texts including graphic novels. Already basic knowledge will be enforced not weakened when we introduce graphic novels. “According to read-aloud specialist Jim Trelease (2001), to become proficient readers, people need to master a set of about 5,000 ‘rare words’ that appear infrequently in conversation. In the average adult novel, these words appear 52 times per 1,000 words of text. In comic books, they appear 53 times per 1,000 (Hayes & Athens, 1988).” The vocabulary and the language all comes with graphic novels and just because some graphic novels are stated as low-level reading, others can really add foundational vocabulary which can be interpreted by using the imagery. Imagery and words can tie together in the beauty that which can help readers and students alike learn basic English but also have an enjoyable time learning.
Through graphic novels in English, a new sense of enjoyment would come which is lacking therein. ”Two out of three high-school students in a large survey say they are bored in class every single day.”(Jeanna Bryner). Lots of students are interested in graphic novels. Although, some teachers discourage the student to read graphic novels, which in turn discourages the student to have fun reading. Exclusion of one specific genre of writing is limiting the ability of certain students to learn. As stated in The Mirador,”Not only would this diminish student-teacher resentment, but it could also give students a new perspective on English and cements their interest in the subject as a whole.”(A. Spiegelman). Teachers can use this variety of writing to encourage students to enjoy learning and not just be bored. In the mean well also get students interested in learning at a young age. This and the new introduction of new topics and cultures displayed in graphic novels immerse the students of teachers.
To prove my point graphic novels are written around the world which immerses students in new cultures and points of life. “From North America to Europe to Japan, from superheroes to autobiography to pure poetry, from horror to comedy to drama, this medium is as varied and vital as anything else on Earth” This is from the “Thrills Media Group” and it shows the grand scope of graphic novels which are written in different countries around the world. A myopic view of the impact of what makes our culture is all included in what we include in our children's education. Children are one hundred percent of our future which is key when we observe the educational system and what changes must be made to make maximum results in our future population. This is observed in graphic novels which are not only a use of supernatural stories as observed in the article; The Mirador by Zakk Bluford it says, “Comics often depict realistic human life; Harvey Pekar’s series American Splendor follows the seemingly mundane life of its writer, a Cleveland resident who can’t find a way out of financial instability. Pekar manages to transplant poignant moments and life lessons into what seems like the worst possible idea for a storyline.” Real life and shows poignant moments that are life lessons could not hurt students but in the long term, there is still controversy over the use of graphic novels.
Controversy over graphic novels comes mainly because people would get stuck reading these graphic novels and never become interested in other novels which are actually required in the school education system. As said by Jonathan Liu,” The act of reading comics is different than that of reading prose–just as watching a movie isn’t the same thing as reading the book it’s based on. They exercise different parts of the brain, and my daughter hasn’t been flexing her prose comprehension muscle very much.” This point really hits key points that the school education requires prose our traditional novels and how it is said in the article that the daughter had struggles reading and continuing to read prose novels when before she went through them very quick because of the introduction of reading graphic novels.
To refute this claim I would have to say that to make my point clear the introduction of the graphic novels wouldn’t stop prose novels all the way and I’m not hating on this story which is so well told. Teaching through different genre uses a different part of the brain. Backing up it with this, “ Each year, educators try to find new strategies to increase reading scores. What’s surprising is how many strategies ignore an essential component to improving reading — consistent, willing practice.” This practice as stated comes out of reading graphic novels and as becoming mixed in with the English culture but it also comes out of every genre even the smallest ones.
Every dream starts with a creator and this education could improve with the introduction of graphic novels which would bring a new sense of enjoyment to want to learn it would develop the student's basics already learned in schools. It would also introduce people to a new genre and new points of view of the world because these books are written in almost every country. Isn’t it enough to have a student read instead of forcing them to read what you want them to read? That is a question that should be thought out in the mind, to fulfill a dream to paint the picture and to teach the kid how to fly.


Works Cited
"Are Graphic Novels Appropriate for the Classroom?" Concordia University-Portland Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2017.
Bluford, Zakk. "Graphic Novels Should Be Taught More in English Classes." The Mirador. N.p., 05 Nov. 2010. Web. 05 Mar. 2017.
Bryner, Jeanna. "Most Students Bored at School." LiveScience. Porch, 28 Feb. 2007. Web. 05 Mar. 2017.
Collins, Sean T. "The 33 Greatest Graphic Novels of All Time." Thrillist. Thrillist, 18 Oct. 2016. Web. 05 Mar. 2017.
Haines, Jennifer. "Why Teach with Comics?" Reading with Pictures. Diamond Bookshelf, n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2017.
Liu, Jonathan H. "Why My Daughter Isn't Allowed to Read Comics." GeekDad. N.p., 19 Apr. 2015. Web. 05 Mar. 2017.
Miller, Tyler, Kyle Redford, Noodle Staff, and Written By Tyler Miller Tyler Miller Is a Freelance Writer and Certified Educator in the State of. "Kaplow! Should You Let Your Kids Read Comics and Graphic Novels?" Noodle. N.p., 29 Aug. 2014. Web. 05 Mar. 2017.
smirk by geekilicious

book 22

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I was very conflicted about what to rate this. There were parts I liked. Parts that drove me crazy and at the end of the day, this was a lot of people talking, not a lot of action for nearly seven hundred pages. The story has a definite frame. We have Cort, a bartender, newish in town and Bast, his apprentice of sorts. The story starts slowly inside the Waystone Inn that he owns, mostly the townspeople in drinking and telling stories when a demon-like thing attacks one of them. Cort seems to know more but we don’t know it until a storyteller arrives who guesses who Cort is, Kvothe a man of legend.

And he wants Kvothe’s story. He gets it, albeit reluctantly. It takes a while to realize that the blurb on the back of the book is the legend and the truth, the story Kvothe is telling is vastly different. All of these hundreds of pages is about his life from early childhood until he’s about sixteen.

Kvothe is a child prodigy excelling in Sympathy (their version of magic) and music among other things. He lucks into a teacher at a young age but life in the traveling actors guild he’s part of takes a very bad bounce, leaving him in harsh circumstances. Eventually he gets to the university which he wanted to attend but life there is even harder and stupider.

It’s impossible to sum up in a review a book this long and without spoiling it. I can say that if you’re looking for females, you’re not going to find any until about half way through and I’m still not sure how I feel about Denna other than she does illustrate how hard it is for women in a society equivalent to pretty much any European one prior to the 20th century, i.e. beholden to a man for nearly everything. There are a few women at the university though.

I did like Kvothe even if things do come a little too easy for him in so many things. He is smart and determined and he does good and loyal things to his friends. He has the tragic back story I’m a sucker for. And he’s not perfect (I’ve seen some reviewers calling him a Mary Sue but I disagree, he screwed up a lot and things definitely don’t always go his way. Being highly intelligent does not make you a Sue). On the other hand I didn’t like a lot of things about the university. Without spoiling too much let me say whipping people with a cat o’nine tails is a thing in this and the university never bothers to tell its students anything.

Kvothe runs afoul of university rules literally on day one and is punished severely more than once. It seems counterproductive and outrightly asinine to inflict potentially fatal wounds (keeping in mind antibiotics are not a thing here) on students without explaining ANY of the rules. They just let the students go with no orientation and if you break a rule you don’t know well you should have some how knew and report to the whipping post. Idiotic. If I didn’t need a story within a story book and if I didn’t like Kvothe, I would have stopped right here. It feels like lazy world building which isn’t in evidence elsewhere. Rothfuss’s world building is very good otherwise.

The other thing that annoyed me was that the ending just rambled off with a ‘well day one of my three day story is over.’ I hate that sort of thing. I knew I should have guessed that because it did say ‘day one’ in the beginning (but I didn’t see that for some reason until much later).

I don’t think this story is for everyone. I don’t think it’s as great as many movers and shakers in Fantasy seem to think it is. I did, however, like it and would have given it a 3.5 if you could do half stars. Will I read the next two in the series? Yes I’ll at least read book 2 but it will take me some time to get into it. I need a bit of a break (one huge book in a 6 month period is enough).



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