Tuesday, February 8, 2011

DC's Guardian: Head of the Class

DC's Guardian talks to a class at Helix High School

Note: DC's Guardian is the star spangled superhero of Washington, DC who spends at least part of the year in Southern California. He was recently invited to spend a day talking to students of Helix High School in La Mesa, California. DC recalled the day at my request in a detailed e-mail, which I have excerpted from below. Here is DC's account of his day

"An English teacher from Helix High School had on her course calendar- of all things- the study of comic books and their influence on reading and personal character development. Doing some research the teacher had come across Peter Tangen's Real Life Superhero Project. Shortly after that, she had contacted me about the possibility of coming down to talk to her students. Timing is everything, and it worked out I would be in her area. I had originally planned to talk only to her class, but over the course of time other teachers had requested I talk to their classes as well. Given the opportunity to talk about the community at large was something I couldn’t pass up."

"The students, prior to my arrival had spent a few days researching and discussing comic books, RLSH and influences from their own background, prepared themselves with questions and discussion points."

"Waiting in the hallway, I found out my schedule had already changed. I had informed the school prior to my arrival that I would be at their disposal as long as they were willing to have me. I was now scheduled for more classes. They had even arranged to have a conference room available to me for privacy to get a bite to eat. They had really gone above and beyond to look out for me. I can’t thank them enough."

"The students (in each class) greeted me very kindly, and I led into a very short history of myself and then I introduced the people showcased on Peter’s site. I inlcuded a lot of people who are not on the site and I also talked about those we know about around the world. Each class had their favorites (I could usually get a good laugh when I refered to myself as a bum). I did spend a good amount of time talking about others in the community and showing the students the wide variety of causes and techniques."

"I answered what I could, and asked questions about the things I ask the community at large. Things like peer pressure (both good and bad), their personal foundations (those things they firmly believe in). I asked pointed questions about what influences they surround themselves with. I also talked about their responsibilities: to learn, to be apart of their family, their community and nation. How it takes involvement in being a friend, a son or daughter and even a citizen. It was not all rosy, straight talk about good and bad things that happen."

"After school I talked to the Jr. ROTC program. I talked at length to the questions they posed, it was a no bars hold (as were all the classes) question and answer session about leadership, responsibility and duty."

"All in all, I spent about 10 hours at Helix, with a quick break for a bite to eat. I was honored to be asked there and I would return in a heartbeat if asked again. It gave me much more than I think I gave them."

DC also tells me one of the things he discussed with the classes is Heroes in the Night- thanks, DC, and welcome to any readers from Helix High!

DC's Guardian poses with the Jr. ROTC program at Helix High


  1. Tea, this is an excellent report of community outreach, as was your previous post about looking for the homeless bloke in the snow. However, I'm becoming more and more convinced that RLSH are costumed youth workers/community support officers.

    This may seem a little extreme, and I only post it out of pure anger at the story, but I would like to ask what any RLSH would do in response to reading this story....


    I feel that it relates to the RLSH community because of the following quote...

    ‘I can see vigilantes coming in if the police do not find who did this,’ said neighbour Christine Tovey, a mother-of-four. ‘I couldn’t blame them if anyone did.’

    I also would not blame them, but how would the RLSH community deal with this?



  2. Defer comment to recognize Marc's question.

  3. To clarify, my question is aimed at the RLSH community and not at Tea as an individual.



  4. Very good question, Marc. I just posted a separate entry addressing this and am now going to post links to that entry and hopefully we'll see some responses.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. DC's Guardian's appearance at Helix High School was impressive to read about. I hope to talk with him someday about this sort of thing. Thanks, Tea.

  7. I hope I haven't upset anyone with this post.


  8. @Marc: I don't think you have, if it was too far off topic I am sure Tea would have said as much.

    "However, I'm becoming more and more convinced that RLSH are costumed youth workers/community support officers."

    IMHO, that is my take on it as well. They seem to be filling voids in local communities budgets or political view points in conjunction with existing volunteer charities and organizations. In a way, I see it sorta like how some graffiti art is really good and brightens up a otherwise dreary landscape, where as other graffiti art are sign posts indicating what the shadow side of a community is up to with what there is for bored youth to do and what gangs are laying their claim to territory.

    I honestly think the RLSH would just let the police do their thing, unless there are some professional detectives who wear a costume other than what the police wear that I am not aware of. To the best of my knowledge, "The World's Greatest Detective" only exists on paper and to try to go after a suspected murderer for revenge with some vigilante is just going to get more people killed. Its not like this is a situation where the police there are so incompetent and/or corrupt that they are letting someone go who has overwhelming, public evidence against them, is it? I hear that happens in Mexico, where the police are little better than thugs themselves.

  9. -by Zero:

    Again I bring up the NYPD tapes, Village Voice. a five part story about over 100 hours of audio tape of police discussing corrupt and extremely illegal tactics, including enforcing illegal quotas, underreporting crimes, and even being aggressive and threatening to people trying to report crimes.

    Read it. Then you tell me how far off we are from other corrupt countries police forces. The only way they could get worse is if they were straight up shooting people for no reason.

    Oh! I forgot, that happened too. The cop who pulled his gun and shot a kid who was already on the ground because he "thought he was grabbing his tazer, not his gun"

    It doesn't take that much training to be a cop, guys... trust me, I've seen what passes for some cops up here, some are just security guards with state backing. That's it.

  10. As a member of the group lead by DC Guardian I am very proud of the effort that he puts into community service. I have done several events with him including toy drives, kids costume panels, hospital visits, 4th of July parade walks to honor our military and the sacrifices they make. With very rare exception we have had positive reactions from people and they enjoyed what we brought to the table. So DC success in this matter does not surprise me and I look forward to future events that benefit those in need.