Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Man of Steel

Children react and cope with crisis in different ways. Some act out, others harm others, others harm themselves, the list goes on. From the onset, I coped by dreaming: I yearned to be a superhero and often fantasized (and still do) about having an alter-ego and going off to save strangers. I wanted to save people I didn't even know, probably because it was so much harder to save the people I already knew, like my dad. It was much easier to swoop in and swoop out.

When I was younger, my disguise was perfect: nerdy, straight-A 2nd grader with parted-hair and black-rimmed glasses. I remember when my dad would go on his violent streaks, my mom and I would spend a lot of time together locked in my bedroom. She watched TV and guarded the door, and I played pretend with my Superman action figure after I finished my homework. The interesting thing was, when I played with that Superman action figure, I wasn't a spectator witnessing Superman's heroics. I was the action figure; it wasn't Christopher Reeve (or more recently Henry Cavill). It was me making the "WHOOOSH" sound to mimic my own supersonic speed as I flew around my 12-inch globe, saving people across continents.

My mom may have taught me the value of a good work ethic, but DC superheroes like Superman taught me many of the values my parents missed. Values and skills like loyalty, grit, courage, social responsibility, and conscientiousness: these were "noncognitive skills" I would've loved to have learned via my parents, but instead I learned them from text in bubbles. Since DC Comics taught me so much, I'm not at all embarrassed to admit I have seen the trailer below for the Man of Steel over ten times already.

Yeah, that was awesome.

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