"I'd really love them blue/red tights!"

on Monday, 25 January 2010
I love talking about superheroes in the class. The idea that comes along with talking about superheroes brings so much joy and enthusiasm in the class. I've not encountered one class that does not love to talk about their favourite superheroes; irrespective of race, gender, and level of competency.

If there is something that we kids (oh, suddenly I'm a kid too) have in common, it is the fantasy of being someone endowed with a gift. Not just any gift, but a gift of a divine kind. Everyone loves to imagine themselves as one of their favourite superheroes. Personally, I overindulge in such fantasies thus causing this outbreak amongst my students. I feel that the inner fantasy of flying, being invisible (a boy's personal favourite) and super-strength is not something superficial but a desire to overcome the shortcomings that I encounter in my life... really. It is sometimes the worst of days when I wish to become the caped crusader. It is during days when I'm facing schmucks when I wish I was the dark knight. I'm so into fantasizing, I sometimes fantasize with my own original ideas of superheroes. Shame I don't work for Marvel.Inc. or DC Comics.

Let's talk a little bit about those fantasies and what they might mean. I love the idea that there is a possibility that everyone has a hero inside. I love the idea that we might never know that it was possible for a man to fly like Superman. I also love the idea that all along, we might not know how to become invisible but we try our very best to work our way around it. Hence, the fantasy of having a superpower doesn't just become an overly-hyped idea, it becomes a stimulus to motivate us to achieve something similar to it. Of course, this idea might not be completely grasped by my students (being all hyper about their current superheroes) but being a teacher who wishes to drive this idea to them, I have to believe it myself.

Then the students are ready to think like a superhero.

So, all that is left is to let the creative ideas flow. If you allow your students to, they will have so many ideas, they become so drowned by their own creativity. I have to always guide them, give them a focus, make sure that their flood of ideas end up being recorded instead of just being an idea. In fact, this goes the same for even more mature adults like me. If I am not careful, I'll come up with silly things like Captain IamReallySmartboogieshippu (his powers are stupefying people who are near him. You know? An aura of stupidity? Orb of Confusion from Spongebob Squarepants? For example, a completely powerful villain walks near the hero and the villain suddenly goes "aaaahhhh... mama.. mumu... bubukuchi mama,")

"Angggugu mama... wookie baba muvimimi luku krllrgh"


When I finally snap out from that stupidity and look at my students, you can't help but notice that there are popular choices even among superheroes. I mean, who would be choosy honestly? If I was given 1 choice out of all those powers, it'll definitely be invisibility... no, no, invincibility... no! NO! Eh... X-ray vision! No! No! The ability to fly! No... no.... psychic powers! No, no... ArrrgGGGGggHhHHHhhhhh! In the midst of all these bamboozling ideas, one common trend is so imminent. Everyone wants to become godlike. Not godlike as in trying to become like the creator but to have everything. They want the ability to do anything - literally. Sometimes, when they think that one power seems to be the absolute power, they realise they want another that seems just as attractive. When does it all end? What do they end up with?

Superman. The whole idea of it. From the intergalactic flight ability down to the manly-inside-out-bright-red-spandex-slash-latex-mini-briefs. Trust me, scrotum damage and infertility don't even cross their minds.

*just insert your own image of scrotum damage here.

No kid in this world has never thought about Superman. They might have not seen Christopher Reeves (or know how to spell Christopher Reeves). They might have not known that Smallville was actually about the DC Comics' adapted character. They might have not even heard about the word 'Superman'. One thing remains certain, they all have thought about the idea of Superman - completely impervious to damage, immune to diseases, gallant and chivalrous. Who has not thought about being in the state of complete invincibility (neglecting the idea of kryptonite)? It sounds so simple but let us not forget that the idea was only published in 1933 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster through DC Comics. This is a very complex idea. For a child, this idea doesn't come naturally, it comes with experiential awareness, observation, and even pain.

"If only I were Superman,"

Yeah, if only. If only we could all be Superman.


Post a Comment