Starfire - Degree of Education

I often think what’s the most important thing I can teach my students. As an art teacher, I’m lucky. I get to teach children how to be open to their creativity and see it as a gift. To be aware of the form their creativity may take. Truly this is important but not the most important. The best lessons are those where I can teach children how to treat others, how all people are welcomed into the classroom and that we are all the same and should be treated with respect and love.

Degree of Education

“You know, there are times I really prefer my world, where LOVE is what’s important – Not your degree of education.” - Starfire*

Koriand’r is from the distant planet Tamaran. On Tamaran people live by their emotions and they have no problem expressing themselves. The royalty of Tamaran can harness the power of the Sun with superhuman strength, flight and energy projection. Koriand’r was next in line to be Queen. She and her jealous sister Komand’r (the villainous Blackfire) was sent to the Citadel to train as warriors. Komand’r defeated Koriand’r and gained control of all Tamaran forcing Koriand’r into a life of slavery. Koriand’r stole a space ship and fled to Earth. She met and joined the Teen Titans taking the name Starfire. Soon Starfire found friends and a family of choice in the Teen Titans. Years later she and the Titans would free Tamaran from the control of Komand’r, Blackfire. The one thing Koriand’r can do best is express her feelings openly and honestly.

Love is important. Helping the little old lady across the hall is an expression of Love. Giving the homeless guy, a sandwich is Love. Telling a friend thank you for dinner is Love. Expressing true Love is how we treat our fellow man. In his poem, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”, Robert Fulghum writes, “Share everything.  Play fair. Don't hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess.  Don't take things that aren't yours. Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat…Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some…When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. Be aware of wonder.” Education and degrees are important. The best way to stop prejudice and bullying behaviors is through education. Which raises the question, can Love be taught?

First Appearance: DC Comics Presents #26, October 1980

Creators: Marv Wolfman (writer) and George Perez (art)

 * “Who Killed Trident?” The New Teen Titans volume 4 #33 July 1983