Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Better Topic


"I think I want to kill myself."

It was 7th period at the continuation high school, and there were four students in class. Jason had been talking to the girl next to him all period. He's a nice enough kid--he was in dark purple lipstick and had complained earlier that his foundation hadn't been applied quite right that day.

Considering the context of the statement (it was more of an "I'm so bored; I'm annoyed with the world" conversation), I wasn't actually concerned he'd do himself harm. (If this was that sort of incident, I would not be blogging about it.) But still, I wasn't going to let that just pass. I let him know that I report such things.

I thought he should probably go back to his previous topic.

Satanism.

This was not the first time I'd had him in class where this was the topic of the day. I had heard of this particular philosophy before, and what Jason described lined up with that.

In case you're unaware, this brand of Satanism is more of an anti-church stance. It's about atheism and using reason rather than blindly following a leader. (In case you're interested, here are some links: Official Church of Satan website; Church of Satan Wikipedia page; 10 Ways the Church of Satan Might Surprise You.)

The Satanism discussion was a fairly innocuous, actually. It was about the "church's" beliefs. So, I sat back and listened. (If it had been something inappropriate, like about sex or drugs or illegal activity, I would have jumped in.)

I think one of the reasons I do fairly well at the continuation high school is that I don't shock easily.

24 comments:

  1. I've had all sort of conversation in my life.

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    1. Some were quite interesting, I imagine.

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  2. Didn't they have an assignment to do for the period?

    betty

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  3. Do you think he was trying to shock you? Even within Satanism, there are substantial differences. There is the Church of Satan, which is pretty much all about hedonism and indulging the self. Then there’s the Satanic Temple which, while secular, is socially conscious, supporting hot button issues like child abuse and immigrant rights. As far as I can tell, the only thing the two satanic sects have in common is that neither believes in the Judeo-Christian satan.

    Disclaimer: I’m not a Satanist, but I do live in Salem. :)

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  4. I can't imagine that satanism is not inappropriate...like sex and drugs and such!

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    1. Most of the time, I find when students talk about their beliefs, it's a sharing of ideas. Which I think can only be good. (So long as we're not talking torture or the like.) If the conversation were to cross the line, of course I'd shut it down.

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  5. Sounds like this kid is more in the revolting, shock value stage of his life than any thing wrong. Yet, dancing with evil is like drugs in that what starts as a dabble in a "gateway" activity can turn into a sad downward spiral with virtually no way back.

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  6. You're not being a teenager if you're not discussing topics to make the adults uncomfortable. I'm sure they were disappointed that they didn't get more of a rise out of you.

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  7. Interesting topic, interesting choice of lip color.

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    1. Yeah. He had a whole Marilyn Manson thing going on, though not quite to that extreme.

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  8. It seems like this church of satan maybe needs to be renamed...better PR for sure.

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    1. The point is the shock value, so renaming would negate the point.

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  9. My, what colorful kids you teach. Glad you don't shock easily as you said lol!

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    1. Oh yeah. Some of the things they talk about...

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  10. Like I said before, it takes a certain type of person to do what you do....I for one am not that kind of people!

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    1. It makes for interesting days, that's for sure.

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  11. You also might do so well because you don't jump down the kid's throat at every little thing.

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    1. Oh, I have those days, too. But things like this? Meh.

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  12. I expected to see comments blasting you for not putting a stop to the conversation. Kudos to your readers for refraining from rushing to judgement with closed minds. You are obviously a very special teacher. Whether you agree with your students or not doesn't matter, the fact that you give them a forum without condemning them is the most important thing. Anytime anyone makes the statement "I think I want to kill myself" even in jest, that person needs someone to listen--not lecture. Good for you! BTW I did not know about this brand of Satanism. It just proves you are never to old to learn something new. Thank you for the information.

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    1. I don't like vulgarity or violence, but a conversation about ideas is cool. And sometimes they just need to vent.

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  13. Hi Liz - all I can say is well done ... I guess you get inured to their conversations and let what will be ... be - Have a good weekend - cheers Hilary

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  14. You rock! As far as satanism, I know someone who denounced it because he grew tired of the corporate activity. The Church of Satan is a moneymaking operation. Anthony LaVey was a businessman. And it's the same everywhere from what I've experienced. I identify as Christian but walked away from churches when all the ministers regularly preached against either the evils of other denominations or our country's Founding Fathers. Good grief. At a Bar Mitzvah for a distantly related nephew I got subjected to political diatribe by the rabbi. That synagogue has since closed, by the way. They can all keep their dogma and indoctrination.

    Anyway, rant over. Have a great weekend!

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    1. They went corporate? Funny. But not surprising.

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