Hot Air: Poor Students

I’ve always been drawn to write about or interview for the radio high school dropouts or folks who otherwise took circuitous paths to success. Inasmuch as I barely squeezed my way through all levels of school, I identify with those who were too impatient, too fidgety, and — for that matter — too untamable to succeed in school.

Truth be told, I have no idea how I got through high school. I never did a lick of homework and rarely cracked my textbooks. Re: homework, my philosophy always was, Look, I’ve given you six hours of my day; the rest of the day is for me. I had, after all, books to read and things to learn. The books my teachers wanted me to read and the things they wanted me to learn held little or no interest for me. I wanted to know about astronomy and baseball, politics and art, movies and psychology, none of which subjects were offered in my schooling before college. By the time I did go to a university, after some gap years and certain fits and starts at Chicago’s community colleges, I’d learned the rudiments of studying and regimented learning but still lacked the ability to sit in one place for hours at a time, a necessary talent for successful studentry. (You may notice I also had a propensity for making up words, QED; such flaunting of rules was frowned upon by my teachers.) I dropped out of the University of Illinois-Chicago far short of a degree.

Knight

A fellow named Milton Knight, too, loathed school.

He’ll be my guest at 5:30pm today on Big Talk. A recent immigrant to Bloomington, Knight against all odds and the wishes of his parents became a comic book artist and animator. Even though he only took a single college course, he became a sought-after comics artist for publications like the Village Voice, the National Lampoon, High Times, Heavy Metal, and even Al Goldstein’s barrier-shattering Screw magazine. Later, he’d go on to help animate cartoons for Disney TV, MGM TV, Warner Bros., and HBO.

Knight’s got a solo exhibit up at Artisan Alley‘s Dimensions Gallery through the end of this month. His is a compelling story so tune in to WFHB, 91.3 FM this afternoon or come back here tomorrow morning for a link to the podcast of my interview with him.

BTW: You may recall my Big Talk show featuring Adam Nahas, the founder and executive director of Artisan Alley. Listen to that podcast here. And, if you can’t get enough of Nahas, check out my Limestone Post feature on him here.

Big Talk airs every Thursday at 5:30pm on WFHB. Don’t forget, it’s fall fund drive time at ‘FHB so pony up if you’ve got some spare scratch. Go here to donate.

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