Are you:
… fatigued and want to relax and refresh with peers?
… curious about how stick figure comics can be used to tell important stories?
… want to learn how to use open ed SPLOTs for learning activities in your courses and lessons?
… want to visually reimagine your own work and life experiences through the lens of the hero’s journey?

Come join us and be inspired by the true stories of the brave heroes in education at CapU!

Weekly drop-ins in February and March 2022. You are invited to join me in co-creating a visual narrative — an epic stick figure graphic novel — about our collective experiences at CapU as we educate during the pandemic. If you are interested in attending one or more drop-ins please contact Jessica ( or phone 604-980-0160 for the Zoom link. Each week I will guide us through a series of stick figure comic reflections — loosely based on the hero’s journey —about what the heck we educators have needed to do to power through this pandemic. There will be cheers for all as we bravely recall the trivial and tremendous tribulations and triumphs in our work as educators over the past two non-ordinary years.

Who? All faculty and staff at CapU are welcome. Educators who are interested in learning visual narrative (comics) pedagogy and practices — including using open websites to curate creations — may especially enjoy this opportunity. I hope to see folks from all departments and disciplines join in on the fun. Your diverse stories will enrich the depth and breadth of our finished graphic novel.

What? We will co-create a stick figure graphic novel to record our educator’s history-in-the-making as we live through the pandemic. Participants can — optionally — donate any or all of their comics to an open website (SPLOT) to be showcased during the May/June 2022 education conference season.

Where? Zoom link sent to you weekly. Emphasis will be on your comfort. If you wish, wear relaxed attire, turn your camera on or keep it off; and bring food and favourite cuppa. This is your time to relax and refresh.

When? We will vote on a drop-in time for a regular Zoom gathering; possibilities are:
•7:00 – 8:00am on Mondays or
•7:00 – 8:00am on Wednesdays or
•4:00 – 5:00pm on Fridays.

How often? You may drop in for one or join us for all sessions – whatever works best for you.

Why? To gather with colleagues and friends in order to remember, question, wonder, grieve, and celebrate all that the pandemic has brought into our CapU community and work life. Our co-created graphic novel will be presented at the Capilano Teaching & Learning Symposium, May 3 – 6.Supplies? A fine-line marker, blank 4 X 6 index cards and a scan document app on your phone or computer. That’s it!

Funding? This “Strange Times” community building and graphic novel opportunity is made possible by a generous Capilano University Open Ed grant and is free to all participants.

“But I can’t draw!” I pinky swear that no art skills are required to create these scribbly stick figure comics. I have guided hundreds of folks through the easy process of creating stick figure stories during 2-minute comic slams. Have a peek at some of the amazing comics created by CapU learners last term.

About Jessica Motherwell McFarlane, Ph.D. Jessica has been teaching in the disciplines of gender, diversity, inclusion, anti-oppression, and social justice for nearly three decades. She received the 2016 Teaching Excellence award for her work at the Justice Institute of British Columbia. Jessica has recently begun teaching at Capilano and Kwantlen Polytechnic universities. She has been acknowledged for offering creative and innovative methods that are especially useful when working with difficult or emotional content. She regularly offers workshops for learners who are Elementary to University ages and presents at provincial, national, and international conferences. Jessica is Director of Life Outside the Box Institute which offers customized programming — often using simple stick figure comics – to help learners embrace anti-oppression practices, work toward reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, overcome implicit biases, and listen deeply to others’ stories. Jessica is also a counsellor in private practice for children, youth, and adults.

“Everyone has a story — but not every story is equally heard. Evidence-based learning strategies combined with arts (e.g., comics) grow listening and story-telling skills. These methods help people understand complex texts, see beyond implicit bias, rehearse self-regulation, improve decision-making, and increase up-standing (not by-standing) in ambiguous, emotional, urgent, and/or unjust situations.”

Posted by Jessica Motherwell McFarlane, Ph.D.
Home office: 604-980-0160 (24-hr messages)