Keystone Oaks School District News Article

KO students take on politics in Mr. Murphy’s class

In this modern age, it’s easy to be connected globally and at the same time unaware of current events or political scandals that shock the world, and even when you do find a knowledgeable group, it’s not often for them to be teenagers or students. Mr. Murphy, our very own History teacher, is trying to change that statistic.
His idea is that by exposing his students to important events happening around the world, they will begin to search out ways to fix the problems they encounter. Every quarter, Murphy is giving the assignment for students to draw a political cartoon portraying a current event issue. A political cartoon is simply an over exaggeration depicting a politician or an issue going on in the world, and Murphy’s students have covered events from the 2015 summer and upcoming presidential race.
Murphy’s perfect mix for a political cartoons “is that the political concept must exist, yet it should be designed which requires some thought, part of the laughter and humor means that you understood it and it was done so humorously.”
After an opportunity arose that allowed the Keynote to look at some of Murphy’s favorites, he disclosed he “enjoys the cartoons the most that have a zest for expressing the political leaders. We usually have some preconceived thoughts of knowing world leaders, so there is an on-going attachment.”
Here we have featured some cartoons students have drawn and chose some of our favorites.
The first cartoon, drawn by Jessica Timzyck, depicts the infamous (but unrealistic) presidential candidate Donald Trump speaking of his strong suit of foreign policy. He then brags about how well he is doing because of his ties with foreign world power leaders like Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin.
Also drawn by Timzyck is a cartoon about the “Putin-Dozer,” symbolizing Putin’s physical destruction of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The use of bold colors in both cartoons made them stand out from the rest of the pencil-drawn cartoons, and Timzyck’s witty use of well-known leaders are a sensational example of what Murphy is trying to teach.
The next cartoon is drawn by Kelli Slogan and takes a jab at the Democratic candidates for the 2016 election. The cartoon delineates Bernie Sanders’ concern for the Millennial Generation and how he can engage them by representing them and giving them what they want, as well as the idea of treating the younger voters equally with older patrons. Slogan also has Sanders’ competition, Hillary Clinton, speaking of how her version of alluring to the Millennials by appearing publicly on satiric TV shows, such as Saturday Night Live. #FeeltheBern!
If you’ve watched the hilarious and repetitive video of Donald Trump saying the word ‘China,” you sure know one thing: he loves China. Senior Rebecca Enright illustrated this idea in her political cartoon. She has Trump at his podium literally speaking down on his peers, physical depictions of world powers, Mexico, China, and Russia. Trump tries to persuade these countries that he admires their partnerships, but falls short of convincing them. Enright epitomized a great way to show Trump’s feelings towards his foreign policy as well as giving us a glimpse into our future with him as our president.
The last cartoon chosen was drawn by Senior Anamaria Ortiz, portraying a sarcastic summary of the recent outburst Iranian leaders had when the beloved fast food company, KFC, tried making its way into the Iranian diet. The scene shows an average looking street in Iran, but the attention is focused on the large KFC billboard in the center of the page. The two ‘bodyguards’ are policing the scene and are trying to convince the crowd to “eat Iranian food, you idiots!” The Iranian government was upset with the fact that and American-driven company tried influencing Middle Eastern culture, and that fact is clearly stated in this political cartoon.
Whether you are artistically talented or cannot draw a stick figure, Murphy hopes to use these cartoons as an art project that get better and better with time.
“Students that have artistic abilities have a way of using their talents. Those that do not have quite the skill, may demonstrate progression of frustration or at least build on the concepts,” stated Murphy.
The Keynote will regularly feature the cartoons of those students willing to share with us and the rest of the Keystone Oaks community. According to Murphy, the Keynote is another “great outlet to help share the material” he is working so hard to teach to the students in the high school.

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