To Go, Boldly

Check out these things: My Store, The Sharksplode Store, My Wife’s Geeky Jewelry Etsy Shop.

Speaking of supporting HijiNKS ENSUE, I’ve had some very interesting and exciting talks with the guys at Patreon (you might have seen the Google Hangout I did with Jack Conte where he talked all about it), and I’m hoping to have some news for you Monday of next week.

This begins a subplot of the current storyline that very closely resembles real life events. For a while in first grade my daughter was finishing her work too fast and getting bored at school. The teacher suggested she take on some independent projects where she study a subject that interested her and present her findings to the class. She was all freaking over this idea. The first one was about dolphins.  For her second project she decided to learn about her favorite planet, Saturn. I mentioned this on twitter and a bemohawked friend of mine offered to provide some insider info on the subject straight from the spacehorse’s mouth. She had, and continues to have no idea how cool this is. The project is coming along nicely and she’s almost ready to present it to her class. Having a curious kid is pretty rad.

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  1. My almost-5-year-old was upset that they weren't learning about space or dinosaurs in his class, but then they started a unit on space and went to the Adler Planetarium and he's been pretty thrilled. They're working on sea life right now, and he's decided that sharks are a pretty good alternate for dinosaurs, especially as SOME sharks are descended from AQUATIC REPTILES that LIVED during THE AGE OF DINOSAURS (even though they totally aren't dinosaurs) and that makes them practically dinosaurs.

    Sadly, we have no NASA hook up.

    Gracie's a real cutie, though. I mean, for such a huge goob.

  2. My 4year old daughter was watching Fanboys last night. During the scene where they get into a fight with the Trekkers/ Trekkies(I don't know what the preferred nomenclature is anymore) she started defending the Star Wars fans. I was a proud papa. I swear this relates because both Star Trek and Star Wars take place in space. (I love Star Trek too just love Star Wars a little bit more)

  3. Our children get almost no Science until 4th grade and, since that isn't on the standardized tests, it is suspended for 2 months for test prep. Middle school is much better but, Space only factors in if there is time in June. Luckily we can afford to correct this on our own.

  4. Guest appearance by Bobak?! *squeeeeeee*

    Also, I'm really impressed with the encouragement that Gracie/kiddo has. I wonder how different things would be if I'd gotten that. I WAS that bored kid in school, but without the direction. I'm sure it comes naturally to you guys, but it's still really cool. Giving a kid direction early on is so important. It's very heartening.

  5. "Having a curious kid is pretty rad."

    Sure…until that one time they hear daddy "hurting" mommy and damn near kick in the bedroom door to save her. Then comes the years of therapist bills.

      • Locked doors don't always stop determined children. When I was little my sister pretended to flush a toy of mine down the toilet. I charged the door from four feet away and popped the molding off the wall on the inside of the bathroom. The door opened. It also shut properly afterwards, so this helps explain why I still draw breath unassisted.

        • Yeah, I accidentally popped off the doorjamb to my own bedroom once when I was a teenager. Of course, I was hopped up on "teenager" hormones and the house we were living in was pretty old…

          (The door did not close properly after that, but since it was my room, it was my problem. Oops.)

          • As a teen, I was the only one in my family who was [read: still is] mechanically minded.

            My bedroom door was the only one that opened/closed properly.

            …my window was also the only one that didn't squeak and/or bind up.

  6. I can't remember what grade I was in (one of the small ones), but one of my classmates' families knew Harrison Schmitt so he came to talk to us about being in space and walking on the moon. It was, indeed, awesome.

  7. I think one of my favorite parts about Gracie's introduction to the comic is seeing how drastically her face can change from panel to panel, and having no idea if it's you still finding how you like to draw her or you trying to convey just how dramatic children are.

    Or your child is actually a shapeshifter and this is your subtle attempt to announce to the world that you have birthed the first super. *fingers crossed*

    • "if it's you still finding how you like to draw her or you trying to convey just how dramatic children are. "

      A little bit of both. I definitely don't draw her or my wife consistently yet. That should improve with time as a settle on character models, but it's also to show how her facial expressions and emotions and her entire situation seems to be in a constant state of flux. Kids are weird.

      • I figured "both" was the correct answer but was still really pulling for #3.

        Also forgot to mention in first comment that this was "Favorite thing second to "Adorbs Ensue" because I happen to love family stuff and you guys seem to really have this being awesome parents things down. The comic gives a bit of a window into that. Some day I want a daddy just like you Joel.

  8. Joel, make sure you tell Gracie's teacher how great she is. I had only two science teachers from kindergarten through fifth grade, and none of them ever taught us (or let me explore on my own) dinosaurs or space. One of them told me I asked too many questions. It was just one thing in a long line of killing my youthful interest in the sciences. I'm a history teacher now; I still love science-y things, but its from a distance. A teacher like Gracie's is a gem, and teachers always appreciate when a student (or parent) gives them some good feedback.

  9. On the other hand, it's also really difficult to explain science (and scientific method) to "people" who still believe Jesus is magic, God is awesome and that cooties are real.
    And that the floor is lava.
    And that people can get hurt if you step on a crack.

    Basically that "pretend" is real.

    • Well that's just giving up. You do it by not saying "science proves there's no Santa Claus" but by pointing out some neat science thing and explaining how people learned it. If you've got the night sky for it and a telescope the Gallilean moons of Jupiter can be nice (it doesn't take a powerful telescope to see them, and it leeds into how Gallileo's observation of another planet led him to think about the setup of his own). There's also all the stories of accidental discoveries in which people said "huh that's weird" and poked it some more. My personal favorite of those are the microwave (a guy working with energy finds that a chocolate bar in his pocket melted while the machine was on) and memory metals (a guy in the Navy dropped a pile of metal rods and wondered why some went "thud" while others went "clang". Turns out they all had different purity levels and happened to be around a critical threshold, and more testing wound up with nitinol, used in glasses frames and other stuff.)

      • Yeah, my dad got me interested in science at a young age, because he was interested in it, so he would just teach me about "sciency" stuff fairly often. Also, he had a telescope, and I remember going out in the back yard with him and looking at cool stuff in the night sky.

        Unfortunately, he passed away when I was pretty young, and, although no one discouraged me from being interested in science, there was not really anyone close to me to encourage me or able to help me if I had trouble with science or math in school. Also, I think other commenters are correct that science and math get sort of "glossed over" in many U.S. elementary schools, and then suddenly you have to do these science projects in middle school/jr. high, and I personally felt ill-prepared for that at that point, and it was not due to a lack of interest in science.

      • Yeah, I was kinda also attempting a veiled attack on states in our country that don't believe in teaching science – ever – because it's not in the Bible.
        One of those states, I believe, is where Joel lives and his daughter goes to school.

  10. I can attest that "being a NASA" is pretty damned cool, even if one is just an administrative NASA and not a scientist NASA or engineer NASA. Nearly eight years later and I'm still internally squeeing. 🙂

  11. Oh boy. Sounds like she fits into the gifted / talented roster. Being bored in class and finishing work quickly is like a hallmark for that sort of thing. Not always, naturally, but it's a direction worth looking into. Some schools have programs for that sort of thing. Others couldn't possibly care less, meanwhile, so it may be a help.

    • Yeah, I used to get in trouble in school (especially elementary school) a lot for talking/passing notes back and forth with friends, but it was usually because I was bored in class. In high school freshman science, I slept in class almost every day for the entire semester, but if the teacher asked me a question, trying to catch me sleeping, I always sat up and answered correctly. Don't know how I did that, but apparently I was somehow able to simultaneously sleep and be aware of what was going on around me, and the material seemed laughably easy at the time.

  12. This is a long overdue comment, but I absolutely love the direction you've been taking your comic. Real life is the greatest source of comedy and to have glimpses into yours is a real treat. Thank you Joel!

  13. It's sad that this post happened several days ago, and no one else has actually told you that the link to your wife's shop yields a "page not found" instead of an actual shop.

    Possibly make some little shiny pictures for your shop links, dude, I don't think anyone's clicking the text.

    • Thanks, I'll fix the link. And my research shows people get "ad blindness" when I put too many images in the blog posts. The text links get a lot more clicks.

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