I was born and raised in Indiana. When we were young, my brother and I drew everything we could on anything that would hold ink or lead. My grandma (a quiet farmer’s wife) didn’t have enough paper to keep us busy, so she cut open brown grocery sacks, and we drew on those.
By the time I finished high school, I had NO idea what I wanted to do. I was a terrible student, to boot. I hated the long days, the busywork, all the things that seemed to define life in public schools. In fact, I barely graduated (bottom 17% of my class; 1.6 GPA…pretty sad story, there).
Somehow, college lit a fire under my ass, and my life changed. I found that my professors were more passionate about their craft, I realized the work was more engaging, and the stakes were shifted off of the adults and onto me. At college, I understood that this was ALL on ME. Surprisingly or not, I finished Junior College with a 3.5; undergrad school with a 3.58, and graduate school with a 3.93.
When I started teaching, I was determined to take what I had discovered in college and apply to my classroom. For a while, that worked, but the 7-period days, the suffocating paperwork, and the one-dimensional thinking among leaders and administrators wore me down. And now…today…the current reform craze is less interested in making the kinds of changes that actually WILL improve schools, and is instead opting a model designed to make schools appear like corporations or factories.
So, last July, I pulled out a couple old comics I drew a few years before on a whim, and started doing something with them.
- My name is Donovan Wheeler.
- I’m a high school English teacher in Greencastle, Indiana.
- I have two children; I used to play a lot of golf; I love the Beatles; and I love beer (I prefer the snob beers, but they make me gain weight. So I must occasionally drink that processed, big-brewery light shit…ugh!).