04 May 2010


Tutor Tales, Volume 16

You may be wondering where the promised death match between Conan the Barbarian and The Terminator is. In that case, I have to admit that it's on the back burner while I work on something that actually pays me real money.

Tomorrow will be my last day at Fire Storm's homeschool. I won't be back next school year because he finally passed the entrance exam of a decent school and will be going there instead.

In a last hurrah of extra credit--and a testimony to the fact that both he and I work best at the eleventh hour--I have just whipped up seven new worksheets (each only one page long) he can spend two hours answering tomorrow. Four are on Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea by Jules Verne, which he pretended (unconvincingly) to read for the third quarter; and three are on the five-book series Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan, which he chose for himself for the fourth quarter. (Yes, he really did read Riordan!)

And that is why this is the only image of the greatest actor of our generation (and then some!) that I've been able to look at today:

This "iconic" image of Schwarzenegger is now part of a worksheet which asks Fire Storm to critique Riordan's take on the Greek gods. (I had wanted to assign this as an essay, but my boy isn't much of a writer and likes these assignments better when he has the structure of a worksheet.)

In the Percy Jackson series, Ares is portrayed as a biker with a Harley; his bike has flames painted all over it, to match the flames dancing in his eyes.

I looked at a lot of images of Harleys and bikers on the Internet before I decided I couldn't go wrong with Schwarzenegger. (Hasn't that been a recurring theme of the past few weeks?)

The question focusses on what Riordan means by depicting Ares as a tough biker rather than, for instance, a battle-hardened military man. I suspect most readers will say that Riordan is deliberately demoting Ares, sending the reader a "silent" signal not to trust him or to think much of him . . . but I also know at least one person who respects bikers more than he respects anyone in the military. I wonder what Fire Storm will say.

Other images I've blatantly culled from the Internet are Brad Pitt in Ray-Ban sunglasses as Apollo, and an anonymous teenage girl in camouflage, who has just shot her first deer, as Artemis.

Image Source: Terminator 2 poster


Sullivan McPig said...

I think he might be depicted as a biker also to portray he's a free spirit instead of someone who's part of something bigger (military), but that's just how I interpret the symbolism and I must confess I haven't read the books.

Paul Stilwell said...

And so my being forgiven is postponed.

In grade 9 English we had to choose a book to read and I pretended to have read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. We had to go up to the the teacher's desk and summarize and talk about it.

I got away with it.

Now if you had been the English teacher, I'm not so sure I would have got away with it. Anyways, the Riordan series sounds interesting.

BTW, what's up with the catchphrase for the T2 movie poster?

It's nothing personal? LOL. I'm trying to figure out how that ties in with the movie.

Sullivan McPig said...

ps: I'm cheesy by choice! I link to you blog at both my blogs even :-p

Enbrethiliel said...


Sully: It's answers like yours which give one away when he is being quizzed on a book! ;-) But good for you for "admitting" that you haven't read it.

And thanks for the links! I have modified my sidebar. =)

Paul: Fire Storm has just finished Grade 9 English!

It's certainly much harder for a teacher when she lets students choose their own reading. I had a teacher do that when I was in the sixth grade, and she thought that the passages I had taken out of Charlotte's Web to explain my points were examples I had made up myself! I only wish I had been a prose stylist to equal E.B. White at that age!

And that teacher insisted on assigning everyone a different book. Imagine what most of us were able to get away with!

One huge benefit of teaching English to only a handful of students is getting to read everything they read, too. =)

PS--The Riordan books are great fun, if you already like Greek Mythology. =D

PPS--Hmmmm. That slogan never had the same staying power as that image of Schwarzenegger on the bike. It might have been dropped since. My best guess is that "it's not personal" because the T-850 is, you know, not a person. =P On the other hand, John Connor is, and I'm sure it's all very personal for him . . .

Cozy Book Nook (Lesa) said...

I'm reading the book now and read the biker bit last night. Actually I didn't analyze it at the time but I reckon he chose a biker for Ares because of the stereotypical Hell's Angels image--- bikers are always portrayed as rude, crude, cruel, bullies-- ever since the movie the Wild One--- at least that is the earliest biker movie I know. And Ares is definitely biker material-- he'd make a good Klingon too but I suppose that wouldn't have worked quite as well.

Enbrethiliel said...


Yes, it makes sense that Ares would be a bully, someone who uses his toughness to get what he wants from others rather than to defend them. The Greek gods certainly weren't very heroic--something Homer played up in his Iliad and Riordan is doing a little of as well in this series.

Thanks for your insight, Lesa! =)