My Pop Culture Teachers Part 2 (Getting Physical)

I’m back with some more choice pop culture teachers! Make sure to check out Part One before you continue. Basically, I pick out a few fictional characters that I would want to teach me in various subjects of education. This batch will focus on the classes involving the human body. We are housed in complicated, fascinating structures. And I believe these fictional characters would help me better understand and care for it.

Medicine

The healing factor is an important one. Experts of a damaged body and bedside manners, I would be in good medical hands with these gents.

Jack Shephard was the only doctor who crash-landed on a Lost island. This spinal surgeon tended to every injury of his fellow survivors and became a de facto leader because of it. He kept (a majority of)  people alive in an intense environment. And he did it with extremely limited resources. I still berate his involvement in a love triangle during such serious times, but nonetheless, I trust his medical hands.

Hacksaw Ridge is one of my favorite war movies and true stories. All because of Desmond Doss. He took his non-violent Christian beliefs to heart as he wouldn’t even touch a gun. But he did everything in his power to save more than 75 lives in the middle of a warzone. He also had a perfect bedside manner, remaining positive and friendly to the men he delivered from hell. You can learn a lot from this man, not just about medicine.

Now take that friendly, happy doctor type and turn it inside out. Doctor Leonard McCoy, aka “Bones,” is another OG Star Trek main: the chief medical officer. He always made sarcastic, cranky comments whenever the captain did something stupid. That never got in the way of his skills or loyalty. Although he may only come in handy for the future of medicine, all things considered.

You probably don’t recognize the last guy. That’s because he doesn’t have a face! (Well, no face model.) Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and RE 8: Village are played from the perspective of Ethan Winters, an everyday man simply trying to save his family. But I’m only here to talk about the healing salves he makes. Ethan gets brutally injured, entire limbs severed, but just pours that herbal juice on himself and comes out fine! Whatever is in that stuff, we need that!

Survival 

When you get dropped in the middle of unfamiliar, shitty surroundings, you need to know how to stay alive. These people went through the shitiest circumstances and still survived. 

Katniss Everdeen’s life was always dark and shitty. She had to step up to the motherly role and provide for her dirt-poor family. She made her own bows and arrows to live off the wilds. So it was no surprise that she could make it to the end of the Hunger Games. Only when people “got in the way” did she struggle. Much like myself, she is not socially adept. Her teachings would have to be one-on-one.

Sydney Prescott redefined the “final girl” horror trope. The ones that came before only survived by running. Sydney doesn’t run; she fights back! She was the main target of Ghost Face, yet she kicked their ass in several Scream movies. Sydney proves that the will to survive is just as important as the skill set required. She would probably be the “too cool for school” teacher as her school experience was a bit traumatizing.

The hardiest (and sexiest) choice for surviving the apocalypse: Leon S. Kennedy. One of the faces of the Resident Evil franchise, he was thrown into the zombie chaos with only his police training to save him and others. He gained notoriety, progressing in a world trying to regain control. No matter how far Leon is backed into a weird corner, he fiercely shoots his way out of it. 

Cartoon characters can typically survive anything. However, Tom Cat has gone through hell. The fact that he is famous for his screams is messed up (and hilarious). He just wants to catch Jerry Mouse, but that psychopath makes it impossible! Sure, he can be an asshole, but no man or cat deserves this level of abstract pain. I would pay to know how Tom survives every creative torture the animators— I mean, Jerry put him through. #StopTheTomAbuse

Physical Ed/Sport 

Our bodies are the most important tool/weapon we can master. P.E. was never my “thing,” but if I had these powerhouses as my coaches, I might’ve considered a gym membership.

The Bride fights through the bloodiest of circumstances to get what she wants. But it’s a lot harder to Kill Bill than you’d think. She hits rock bottom frequently yet forces herself to push on. Resilience and persistence are important to fitness. Although she won’t be too hard on you, she won’t be easy either. Her limits definitely surpass mine, but she makes me believe that no feat is impossible when you set your mind to it.

Rocky Balboa is the poster child/man of physical education. His iconic jogging scene in his first film shows us that a healthy journey comes before the hard-won destination. If you want that trophy (or that great body), you have to work for it! And although I haven’t seen all the Rocky movies (don’t @ me), I will never forget Rocky’s speech to his son in his 2006 film. That scene alone proves what a great coach he is.

You can’t just train your body without training your soul. Everybody wanted Yoda to be their Jedi master growing up, and I’m no different! Cool force powers aside, Yoda is a 900-year-old philosopher guiding his pupils toward understanding the mind and the world around us. His wisdom isn’t boring either. He has a senile sense of humor to keep you on your toes. But you can’t lift the X-Wing (or gym weights rather) if you don’t believe you can first. 

Sometimes we need someone to yell in our face when we work out. How about Kratos: A god with a temper who loves butchering monsters to protect his family. He reminds me of those angry drill sergeants in war movies but is really good at heart and gentle when it counts. And he took a Hel of a journey (Norse mythology pun win) to become a well-rounded barbarian. Just don’t screw up too much around him, or he’ll call you out, boy!

Sex Ed 

This may be an uncomfortable subject for conservatives, but sex education can’t be suppressed any longer! We must understand our bodies' desire to connect with one another, or else we aren’t safe and healthy. These eccentrics can teach us the ins and outs of getting down

Yes, I am condoning Lucifer, the Devil himself, to teach "the sex.” The moment he entered the Fandom, he dripped with charisma and appeal. He is extremely honest, so he isn’t afraid to talk about the naughty stuff with literally anyone. But he ain’t a man whore, he genuinely cares about people. Sure, he might bang the students to get them a good grade, but he’ll do it safely (and experimentally).

That stereotype of older people being, well, too old to engage in "the sex" died when Grace and Frankie took over. These silver queens are open and unafraid of the changing times. In fact, their own husbands became gay for each other. Every dirty thing you can think of, they’ve probably done or witnessed. Not just on the naked stuff either. So they won’t (completely) judge you in the classroom. 

Frankenfurter is just a sweet transvestite from Transsexual Transylvania, aka a mad scientist alien who wants to sleep with everyone. Rocky Horror Picture Show came out when "the sex" and being openly weird were frowned upon. Now it’s a cult classic. Although portrayed with malicious intent, Frank helps the repressed couple who stumble into his castle. We should never repress our desires. But we also shouldn’t kill or create a living sex doll, so Frank will be a “socially distant” teacher.

And that is all for part two! Awesome, I know. Engaging, you might say. Who would you want in pop culture to do your physicals? No, I do not want your “hit list,” that’s for another day…

My Pop Culture Teachers Part 1 (Back to Basics)

I spend the majority of my time watching movies/shows and playing video games. And since I have no money or willpower for actual education, I continue to learn various subjects from pop culture. If I could go back in time, tear through the bounds of reality, and choose my teachers! My criteria for characters from movies, tv shows, and video games are those who have a few or a whole set of skills that perfectly fit as an example to society (in my opinion).

Literature 

Being well-read is not a bad thing, especially when we never stop learning from what others have written. I trust these bookworms to communicate the importance of literature.

Belle from Beauty & the Beast is an obvious choice. She is considered the oddest girl in her small town simply because she is interested in books. Her intelligence alerts her to Gaston’s advances and the Beast’s aggression. She only falls for the Beast after reading to him and teaching him patience. She even got a free royal library from the deal!

Hermione Granger is the brightest and most capable young witch in the Harry Potter franchise. To prove she is more than her heritage, she studies magic endlessly. Her attentiveness to knowledge saves her friends and the world multiple times. She may be “by the books” and stricter than other witches and wizards, but she is proof that knowledge is power. 

Although poetry is a separate subject, I still want John Keating as my captain. In Dead Poets Society, he teaches to question authority and go against conformity. His students suffer real consequences simply through expression, but they are no longer ignorant. While some see his challenge of power as bad, his words and truth held more power.

Humanities/Philosophy

Understanding humans is essential to living amongst them. And while these might seem like odd picks, I think they're perfectly imperfect.

It took a while for others, but I’ve always seen Vision as a philosophical genius. The Marvel Cinematic Universe brought forward this android in charge of the Mind Stone, so of course, he’s intelligent. He always was on the outside looking in, admiring humanity through our falsehoods. His elegant voice is just a bonus to his nuance. “What is grief if not love persevering?” I get you, Scarlet Witch.

Gomez and Morticia Addams redefine healthy relationships. They’re the perfect couple, and I will fight you on that! Many dream of having a normal home life but don’t know how to achieve it. Look no further than The Addams Family. Their kooky-ness may act like a wall, but when you break down their actions and words, they know exactly what everyone needs: acceptance.

I can only hope to be as wise as Forrest Gump. He and society may think he’s dumb, but they were wrong. He defied expectations and has lived more than most. And never let anyone or anything happen TO him. Sometimes innocence and simplicity is the best way to view human nature. His mother is an honorable mention since she taught him everything he knows.

He’d have to be in a straight jacket, but The Joker would teach well. Most of his portrayals in DC movies, shows, and games spotlight his interesting foil to society. I fully believe the theory that he is so insane that he's a genius. Life can be a joke, and sometimes it’s hard to get it. Though I do discourage his murderous methods.

History 

What we've done and where we've been can help us understand what we can do and where we can go. History is fascinating, but I am only interested when the teacher is. These ones sure are!

Who better to teach history than someone who has lived through it all? The Doctor is an immortal time lord from the undying show Doctor Who. Every incarnation exudes quirkiness and shows everyone the importance of preserving life through the galaxy. There is life in every age, and The Doctor could perfectly retell it.

Lara Croft and Nathan Drake are a pair of adventurous history enthusiasts. Of course, they’re a better fit for field trips instead of classrooms. The tomb raider is skilled in every area needed to reclaim artifacts. Nathan Drake can recite precisely where he is and the location’s history, even on uncharted paths. Both would be the favorite teachers at school. For different reasons, obviously…

Because I know more about Transformers history than my own, Optimus Prime would perfectly head lectures. He gives the past a weight I can’t lift off my shoulders. Anytime Peter Cullen voices this robot in disguise, I am paying attention and taking notes. 

Science/Physics 

What goes into creation is just as interesting as the creation itself. And it is constantly challenged. These gentlemen can recite and rewrite what we know.

Doctor Emmet Brown blew up the mechanics of time. He turned a Delorean into a time machine! With it, he could travel back to the past or Back to the Future. It got him into trouble, but his quirky and absurd ideas were still accomplished. He was questionable in his methods but undoubtedly a well-meaning genius.

Spock is the prime example of exploring the unknown. He is an original Star Trek science officer and heavily logical, thanks to his Vulcan heritage. Emotions hardly interfere with his words and actions, which some consider an obstacle to discovery. His ingenuity has saved his galactic crew many times. He broke time too by aiding an alternate timeline’s version of himself. 

I don’t get the benefits of reanimating dead tissue (yet). Nevertheless, Doctor Frederick Frankenstein made it work. A descendant of the mad Victor Frankenstein, Young Frankenstein tried the experiment himself. He revived a dead man AND transferred part of his “brain juice” to create an intelligent man, not a monster. Science submitted to his will. Dangerous but incredible!

Mass Effect’s Doctor Mordin Solus would be everyone’s favorite teacher. He is a geneticist and an expert in espionage— skills that helped save the galaxy multiple times. It can be hard to keep up with his running thought-to-word speech, but each word that exits his mouth will educate you and put a smile on your face. He’s even made up patter songs for scientific processes. And for me, music is much more helpful than lectures.

Mathematics 

Now I, like many, don’t find math essential or exciting. But given the skills of these characters, I might give it a second chance.

Hidden Figures is based on real African-American women who helped NASA win the space race. Katherine Johnson’s calculations of orbital mechanics tipped space flight towards success. She really was a hidden figure of her time, race, and gender because I’d never heard of her until I saw this movie. Her passion and persistence made me appreciate what numbers can do.

Besides the set of spider-like abilities, Peter Parker is a normal kid. Well, he’s an engineering prodigy, but he’s relatable. In all his comics, movies, shows, and games, Spider-Man is a lovable genius who uses his brain and sticky webs for good. And if he can oppose magic with mathematics in Spider-Man: No Way Home, I should try it out.

Artificial Intelligence can obviously teach more than math. But the self-aware Cortana doesn’t fool around with the unimportant stuff. In the Halo game series, she informs Master Chief quickly and charmingly through every fight. She would teach many forms of strategy well, simply because she is intelligent enough not to waste my time. (Which math often felt like for me.)
This concludes part one of this fun list! If I forgot one of your favorite teachers, let me know. Happy learning!