It’s hard going back. Everybody’s tired. Teachers are tired, students are tired. It’s tough getting back in a routine.

It’s like any problem, though. Just about every problem can be discouraging. It can make you want to give up. It can make you feel like saying, “Nuh-uh. I’m not doing it. I’m going to turn around and go the other way. I give up!”

This is true of many things: work, new projects, learning new skills, facing difficult social situations. As the graphic novelist Harvey Pekar once said, “Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff.”

But most problems can be handled…


And apparently, that means I’m taking the week off from writing much. Monday I had off from work to recuperate from my vaccine, Tuesday was a day of drawing and catching up on work with kids, Wednesday saw me speaking to a Senate subcommittee and bicycling in Tallahassee, and today was investigating options for making my car viable for longer.

Tomorrow will be following through on the option. New shocks and struts. Although it’s not a fun expense, I know that driving a car that feels like it’s supposed to be is going to be nice. I’ve got a bike…


Years ago, a friend and I talked about what our classes would look like if each kid was a different kind of animal. We had so much fun deciding who was the giraffe, who was the bear, and who was the koala. I still remember the koala, even if I don’t remember his name.

Another teacher and I spent a lunch period recasting sitcoms with our students. We also talk about which students would be fun on a road trip, which students be cool at a theme park or a museum, and who would have the best gossip at brunch.


I got vaccine number two on Saturday afternoon. Sunday I woke up fairly fine, my right shoulder felt like there was a school bully pinching me, but other than that I was pretty all right. I didn’t have a lot of energy, the day was mostly sitting around thinking that I should do some things. It was also sitting around knowing that I’m supposed to be sitting around and not doing much. So that was okay.

Around dinner time, my body started to ache a little bit, and my temperature was up some. I had some dinner with some Tylenol…


It’s always fine to not know the right answer. But if the right answer is not important, it’s not fine not to double check. That’s not very cool.

It’s not fine to sit and double down on your ideas when you may be wrong. The cool thing to do when you’re challenged is to say something like, “Oh, I hadn’t thought of that. I might be wrong!”

That simple pair of sentences makes you so much cooler. People like to work with that person. People don’t call you arrogant. People don’t think you’re a jerk. And when you’re right? …


Nothing special to report. I’m just awake too late because I fell asleep when I was watching the Maltese Falcon, so technically it’s tomorrow even though it still feels like tonight.

It’s Star Wars Day in my class later today, when I wake up. Yay for that! From the Maltese Falcon to the Millennium Falcon. Now I want to see actor swaps on those movies. But maybe not, though, because that might mean that Chewie would be shot in the first ten minute of the movie because Sam Spade works Solo.


My school district uses the Marzano model to rate teachers. Every year, we stress and worry about whether we’re going to get enough Innovating scores to make sure that our overall rating is good enough to earn a bonus. That’s of course combined with student testing scores, but a lot of it comes down to how your principal sees you.

This year, all I can see is that everyone is innovating in some way. Who of us was trained for this? The best teachers that I know are being forced to teach in ways that are counter to the best…


Today, we were watching a biography of Sally Ride, and taking about the concept of glass ceilings, as the term came up twice in the video.

I don’t remember how we got to this, but there was a comment about the idea of a boy who likes something that’s more typically thought of as feminine. One of my girls dismissed that quickly. “That’s not for boys!” she scoffed.

I had to stop her. I told her that she had just been defending girls' rights to have dreams of greatness and leadership. Those are ideas that are worth fighting for, and…


It isn’t news that Mondays have a bad reputation. Studies, blog posts, morning news anchors(in that slanted human interest story way of emphasizing their sentences), and our co-workers all spend time decrying Monday. We may as well be a comic strip cat hiding in a box in the 80s.

There’s some pushback on hating Mondays. Principal extraordinaire Sean Gaillard minted the hashtag #CelebrateMonday to take back our Mondays with a sense of positivity and purpose. I’m with him, overall. I think that school should be a celebration in general. I know that it’s not for many kids — and for…


So what if magic was real? Like honest to goodness reality bending stuff? If you could do that? What would you want to do? I think about this stuff sometimes.

I wouldn’t want any sort of mind control - or even mind reading. I don’t think I want to have a creepy advantage over someone, and I don’t think that controlling somebody to get what I want is anything less than violence. …

Sean Farnum

I teach kids, snuggle with cats (mine) and dogs (when I can). I eat plants, draw pictures, ride bikes, and I like to read and write. @MagicPantsJones on social.

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