Thursday, January 31, 2013

Comic Books May Be the Future of Textbooks

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I've been in love with comic books since I was a kid. I'm also totally into learning things so I was totally jazzed to read that a new study has shown the power of using comic books to help people learn. In "OU study shows graphic novel readers retain more information versus traditional textbook users," Matthew Price reports:

In the experiment, one set of participants read a short excerpt from “Atlas Black: The Complete Adventure,” a graphic novel created to teach key management concepts using the storyline of two students aspiring to start their own business. A second set of participants read material from a traditional textbook covering the same topics.
After reading, participants were given a short quiz about the material covered in the excerpts. In the study, the participants who had read the graphic novel excerpt were better able to recognize direct quotes than those who read the traditional textbook.

In a companion study, 114 students assigned a graphic novel in a senior-level business course were asked to provide feedback regarding their experiences with the book. More than 80 percent of students indicated that the graphic novel compared favorably to traditional textbooks.

“With that kind of information, that really has a lot of implications about how we should be teaching business, how we should be teaching a lot of things, really,” Short said.

Short said he believes his study is the first of its kind in business or any field that directly compares the impact of traditional textbooks and graphic novel/comic type content. He'll host an exhibit about using graphic novels in education at Friday's TEDxOU at the University of Oklahoma.
I know that for me, despite my love of reading and learning, slogging through textbooks was THE WORST! It was especially irritating when the professors would cover nothing but what was in the book during classes, on the assumption that no one was reading it. It definitely felt like a waste of time, most of the time. How much more exciting it would be to have colorful, visually-appealing texts to read? I really hope this catches on!

Related posts:
Why I Love Comic Books
How Our Fantasies Help Us
Jackie Ormes: The First African-American Woman Cartoonist
Comics I've Been Reading Lately

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

When Did Your Body Issues Begin?

I recently read "Healing the Little Girl in You: An Interview with Christiane Northrup, M.D." on OM Times. I've mentioned Dr. Northrup before, as one of her books is on my list of books I think every woman should read. The article was mostly about women's body issues, but also about a new book Dr. Northrup wrote to help promote positive body images in young girls. I found the first part particularly fascinating:

Years ago feminist Germaine Greer wrote, “I know of no woman for whom the body is not a fundamental problem.” That quote has stuck with me for decades, and I have seen the truth of it both in my own life and in the lives of the thousands of women I have met over the years.
Yet no little girl begins her life feeling as though her body is a fundamental problem. Nope. Little girls love to dance, spin, wiggle their bums, and revel in the joy of being embodied.
So when does this change? Pre-puberty? Adolescence? Young adulthood? For me, the love-hate relationship (which many women have with their bodies) began when I was still a toddler. My parents had a friend who was a former German Olympian named Karl (the Arnold Schwarzenegger of my childhood). Karl used to sit me on his lap, pat my belly, and say “starky” in a thick German accent. Starky meant something like “solid” or “fireplug.” That message went right into my bone marrow, and stayed there, running my sense of self for the next 40 plus years!
It made me think and I pinpointed the moment for me where I became aware of being judged for my body. It happened when I was in fourth grade. I have to give a bit of backstory before I get to the actual moment, so bear with me.

In fourth grade, I was going to a private Baptist school run by the church I also attended with my family. I felt strange about being a redhead because it was so uncommon, but didn't think too much about it. The only problem I had with my appearance was that I was constantly dressed in hand-me-downs, often from older girls that also attended the same school/church, so, of course, everyone recognized them. But for the most part, I was too interested in learning and playing and being a tomboy to give a shit about how I looked.

I loved playing soccer during recess, even though one of the fifth grade boys was an alternate on the junior varsity soccer team (that's the kind of shit that happens at a small school) and was a show-off and ball-hog. That often made things boring in my opinion. Standing around waiting for something to happen wasn't my idea of fun! So one day, when this guy was taking his time with fancy footwork and everyone else was just standing around letting him show off, I walked up behind him and kicked the ball out from between his legs. To say that everyone else was shocked was an understatement. And that guy had it in for me from that moment on.

So fast-forward to the next school year... I had become notorious for not being intimidated by older guys while playing sports, and the whole sneak attack thing didn't work for me anymore because people actually paid attention to me on the field now. One rainy day we had recess inside the gym. We were playing a game the teachers had devised to keep us from going wild inside. We were divided into two teams, lined up on opposite sides of the gym, and given numbers. When our number was called, we were supposed to run out and have a soccer-esque bit of game play with the other person also called while the rest of the team played goalie.

Wouldn't you know it, I got called out at the same time as that one guy. We both ran for the ball in the middle of the gym like mad. I could tell he expected me to give up and let him have it, so, of course, I didn't. And we collided. Now this guy was short. Like short short. Shorter than me and I am not a tall person. Back then I was one of the shortest and scrawniest in my class. But I managed to stand my ground while he bounced off of me and fell to the floor... and chipped a tooth on the tile!

I was surprised and somewhat amused, I have to say. But as we were in line waiting to go back to the classroom afterwards, he loudly said something to his friends about "the smaller object bounces off the larger object..." with the implication being that I was a massive blimp or something. Now I realize he was trying to save face. But at the time it crushed me. I already had no friends and was the weird, poor, aggressive, smart kid. I had just added another thing they could mock me for to the list. That's when I started feeling bad about my body instead of just enjoying the power and pleasure it gave me.

So that's my story. Would you like to share yours? Leave it in the comments! And since I realize that body image issues aren't just something women go through, I'm interested in hearing what men have to say about any similar experiences.

This, though, is just for women: If you're feeling bad about how you look compared to women in magazines, and would like a reality check, you should head over to My Body Gallery. It's a website where you can enter your height, weight, measurements, and see how other women with the same body type look. If you want, you can submit your own photo.

Related posts:
3 Books Every Woman Should Read
Andi's Travel Journal & Bedouin Thoughts on Women
The Great Wall of Vagina

Friday, January 25, 2013


I couldn't think of anything interesting to blog about yesterday, so instead I finally finished reading The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (which made me cry more than once). But anyway, I still have nothing I really feel like talking about (PMS = lazy May), so here's a music video:

(Click here to view embedded video)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

365 Days with Henry: My Favorites So Far

You can look at more on Flickr. (Only 200 are viewable because my pro account expired.)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

"Evolution of An Idea" Opens Tomorrow @ Kiosk Gallery

My friend Amy, whose art you've seen sporadically throughout my blog, is having her first ever solo exhibit! "Amy DeSitter - The Evolution of an Idea" show's "Amy's most recent paintings are inspired by photos she took with a microscope accessory for her iPhone, then translated into colorful abstract circles in paint, ink, and pencil," according to the Kiosk Gallery (3951 Broadway). That's where you can see her work and say hello tomorrow, January 18, from 6-9 PM.

The only picture I have of her new work is one I took with a mixed media piece of mine (on the right) at another recent Kiosk Gallery show:

I'm very much looking forward to see what Amy has up now! :)

Related posts:
Event Pics: Small Paintings / Morbid Art at the Kiosk Gallery & Art Closet Studios
Event Pics: Kiosk Gallery/Art Closet Studios' Third Friday
Event Pics: KC Chalk & Walk Festival 2012
All Star Chalk Drawing

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Event Pics: Steampunk Art Exhibit Opening Reception

Yes, I'm posting late again. "Snuggling" with Matt and then falling asleep seemed way more important than blogging last night.

But TODAY you get to see pictures from the Steampunk Art Exhibit opening reception! I enjoyed meeting the other artists and seeing everyone's fabulous get-ups. Wish I could've stayed longer, but Henry refused to nap that afternoon and we had to take his cranky lil butt home to sleep.

Jenna Tomlin, artist/model and curator of the exhibit

See more pictures (including a really cute one of Henry and I) at Jenna Tomblin's blog (she curated the exhibit). The exhibit is up through the end of February at the Teahouse and Coffeepot so be sure to stop by and let me know what you think!

Related posts:
Coming This Saturday:  Steampunk Art Exhibit
Sneak Peek: Steampunk Art Exhibit
Our Lady of Perpetual Beginnings at the Slap-N-Tickle
Event Pics: Small Paintings / Morbid Art

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sneak Peek: Steampunk Art Exhibit (Opens 1/12/13)

Matt, Henry and I just got back from dropping off my mixed media piece at The Teahouse and Coffeepot (4309 Jefferson), where pictures and more were being hung. From what I saw, the exhibit is going to be EPIC and you do not want to miss the opening reception/dress-up party. It's this Saturday (1/12/13) from 3 - 7 PM. I'll probably get there around 4:30 if you want to say 'hi.'

Now, as promised, here's your sneak peek:

That's the organizer putting up the info card by my piece.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Coming This Saturday: Steampunk Art Exhibit

I'm pleased to announce I'll be part of this awesome exhibit, starting Saturday! Check back in Thursday for a sneak peek. :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Henry's First Christmas - Part 2

Every year, my side of the family has our big Christmas get-together belatedly on New Year's Day since half of us are married and do other stuff with our spouse's families (tho 2 of my brothers and my parents came over for Christmas dinner at our place this year). It was nice, despite my missing my little sis in China and my deceased grandpa and uncle. It was especially cute seeing Henry's cousins interact with him now that he's gotten more aware and playful.

 Day 267 of 365 Days with Henry