Overjoyed: Behind the Scenes of The Joy School's New 'Zine
Q&A with Scott Brown, Coach & Learning Specialist, Editor in Chief of Overjoyed
What made you want to start a student magazine elective?
Every single day at The Joy School I hear a great joke or hilarious quip from a student. I feel like I work with a bunch of comedians. I also grew up in the era of Garbage Pail Kids and Mad Magazine. I believe if we harness some of that creativity in a periodical publication, we can really cook up something fun and entertaining for everyone to enjoy. Thus, Overjoyed was born.
What skills do students develop in your class?
- Time Management
We have deadlines to get twenty pages scripted, storyboarded, drafted, edited and published as many times as we can in a semester. These are the same skills you are expected to demonstrate in school and at work. If the students see it as a challenge and not an impossibility, they will be better prepared for adult life.
We collaborate to decide what does and doesn't work for the magazine, as well as who gets to create the art, who writes and who sharpens pencils for a day. Every job is important. Everyone will get their recognition in some way or another.
These kids produce a magazine that they share with their peers. Their names are on the title page. They take pride in that.
- Visualization & Creativity
These kids not only have to appreciate the minute detail, but they also have to grasp the big picture. They must convey their work in a way that makes sense, tells a story, has a punchline and hopefully gets a laugh. Many of them have always been on the receiving end of publication as readers. Execution, as many in the class are learning, is as challenging as it is rewarding.
- ... & More!
Working on a project with strict deadlines is a major component of academia. Working as a creative team means we exercise our social skills on a regular basis. A magazine about pie-in-the-face jokes provides us a safe environment to exercise these skills. There is no fail. There is only creativity.
What qualities make a student a good fit for this elective?
A sense of humor, for one. And imagination; lots of it! I have never met a kid that did not possess these qualities naturally. The rest can be taught in class.
Why do you think your current students chose to enroll in this class?
So many kids already do this in their spare time. I see students who make their own books out of blank paper and staples chocked full of sharp wit that ends up lost in their sock drawer. This is an opportunity for many of those kids to shine.
Anything else you want the world to know?
Prepare yourself. Some of the best Joy School talent is working on this magazine. I am so proud of my creative team. They never cease to amaze me and make me laugh.
Overjoyed was written and developed by the following TJS students:
- Justin Cox
- Stephen Davidson
- Anya Edelman
- Anna Guckenburg
- Audrey Guitreau
- Zach Johnson
- Rebecca Kim
- Merritt Lippincott
- Nico Pope
- Harrison Purkey
- Gabe Schulte
- Katy Warren
- Ellis Wehrer
- Kate Wright
About the Author
Scott Brown was born in Houston. He was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 9 and spent much of his childhood staring out classroom windows. At the age of 14, he developed a passion for swordplay and joined his high school fencing team. After graduation, Scott attended the Coaches College program at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for several years. Scott has been a fencing instructor in several different clubs and organizations, including the University of St. Thomas, where he taught for nine years. He graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a focus in Creative Writing. Scott became The Joy School's PE Coach in 2010.
Bachelor of Arts in English from University of St. Thomas