Hello my fellow readers!
Sorry I haven’t given adequate updates on what I’m doing these days. Grad school has been busy and I try to make time to write an anime review once a week at best. Still, I would like to address a few of my thoughts about all kinds of experiences that do affect how I conduct business on this blog.
For those of you who have only stumbled upon my blog recently, I am currently working on my teaching credential so that I can teach at a public school in California. As much as I’d love to get super political about what’s been happening, the fact remains that teaching is no walk in the park. I finished mandatory classroom observations about a month ago, and I got to witness firsthand two very different narratives happening at the same school.
Not to name exactly which school I was observing, but I can tell you this much:
- I observed a public middle school in a working class neighborhood.
- I observed two Math classrooms as part of a magnet program.
- Both teachers I observed are great teachers supported by data.
Having said that, it became very clear to me on my first day of observations, which one I would prefer as a teacher, and which one I thought only perpetuated the systemic inequality that comes with our education system. And when I say that I don’t just mean how public education works. I’m looking at how the entire nation views education at large.
First thing I need to stress: this is a far more complicated issue than simply to say one teacher is better or worse than the other. Both teachers are well loved by their students and both have quirks about them that I would prefer to avoid. However, if I kept thinking about these two analytically and not holistically, I would only be avoiding a much bigger problem that will persist in the long run. (I hope you understand why I hate the analytical form of critiquing anime now). The more I thought about trying to compare the two for their performances, the more politically charged my thoughts about them became. Yes, I am of the opinion that everything has a political charge, but getting involved only adds extra stressors to my personal anxieties and well-being. I know that standing idly by without a word only puts me in a position where I just let the current oppressions go. And I know that action needs to take place in order to change any of these matters, for better or for worse.
But as I witness the political game happening in the realm of education, I have to ask again: why does it have to be so antagonizing?
At this time, I would like to relate what I’ve been learning in order to become a teacher to what I do on this blog. I post a lot of anime reviews, and yes, sadly, not much of anything else. When I say “reviews,” the automatic assumption that many of my readers make is that it’s going to be an opinion-based evaluation of common elements for those reviews (and yes, I read your responses, how few there are). We as a fan community know what makes a good or bad anime, and occasionally I will tell you what I think is good or bad about a series, covered in some form of humor so you would know that I don’t even take my opinion that seriously! But based on responses I get and in-person conversations I have about anime, the fact remains that fans tend to be focused more on how they feel about common elements of anime and less about the show itself. And to that effect… we still have a lot of work to do.
I will admit that I often come across as “elitist,” “hipster,” or “living under a rock” of sorts by praising shows that very few people have watched, let alone thought were great, and refuse to talk about whatever the most popular gab is. I do have opinions on the state of the industry today. I do have opinions about fandom and expanding interest to Western companies, especially (ahem) Hollywood. I do try to keep up with simulcasts (which by the way, I thought that ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. was severely underrated, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid was okay, and Hand Shakers was not as bad as people said it was, but Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju and March Comes in like a Lion were my favorites for the season. Reviews on all of those in the months ahead, but I rarely review stuff on time, right?). My problem is just that I am busy with multiple projects going on simultaneously, and dedicating time to all of them is going to come with sacrifices, not to mention I think that adding more opinions into such matters only distracts from much bigger problems we face. Idealistically, I am putting in full effort into each review on this site, but realistically, I am only human so most of the time the reviews may look half-baked.
As for simulcasts this season, I haven’t started anything as of yet. My main reason is just that I haven’t had time to think about what to watch, as I do invest more time in grad school.
As for this month, I do have a scheduled plan for the reviews I will be doing, all themed under the category of animated short features. Now I have to be honest, of the four that I’m planning to discuss, only one of them even reached popular status, even for animated short feature fans like myself. But despite the community’s evaluations on these shows, I have found something to enjoy from each of them. They should be relatively shorter reviews, not because the content is short, but because I honestly have less to say about them.
I suppose the other reason I’m making reviews with less content is because I’m anticipating a very busy month ahead, what with papers and projects due, and I still haven’t taken the CSET in Mathematics yet! Fortunately since I am planning to teach middle school, I only have to pass the first two exams. The third would only help expand my hiring field and personal performance in the subject, so that can wait.
Anyway, if you’ve gotten through these thoughts yet again, here’s my tentative review schedule for the month. I hope to make more time for stuff soon, but right now I have other things to consider.
4/21: Sengoku Chojyugiga
4/28: Tonkatsu DJ Agetaro
Look forward to them, my fellow readers and anime fans. I have a paper that’s due tonight!