I’ve always wanted to be a teacher since I was in High School. I always dreamed of being the cool teacher who students like to hang out with during lunch. I thought I was going to be an English Teacher one day, since my BA is in Creative Writing, and I may move into that field at some point.
It wasn’t until later, while I was attending Skagit Valley Community College, that I found out my love for theatre. While I was getting my BA at WWU, I also took theatre classes that focused on technical side of theatre, accumulating enough for almost a minor. Almost. Like, if I take one more class, I will have a theatre minor. Why didn’t I decide to stay in school one more quarter and just finish off that one credit? Well, because I got a job offer.
It was last summer during the off-season at Western when I was working as a janitor. I was taking my last break, which was at 1:30 in the afternoon since I got to work at 5am, and I had a text from my mom to come down later for dinner. So, I did. That’s when I started speaking to my mom’s friend who works at the school. She started asking me if I wanted to be a drama teacher. I thought she was joking, so I said that yeah, one day, I would love to be a teacher. That when she looked at me really seriously and said
And that was that! I went home and filled out my graduation papers, which they had to rush for me. Then I paid what I needed to pay, filled out my application and waited. And waited… Then I waited a while longer. Apparently, they liked to keep me waiting because I was about ready to give up. My stomach turned each day, wondering if I was going to get the job. So, I did what any rational Satanist would do. I performed a ritual.
I decided to do a compassion ritual because I was worried that they maybe had multiple people to decide from or were unsure if they wanted to hire me or not. I have to say, I did feel better afterwards because I felt as if I had finally done everything in my power to sway the outcome. Afterwards, I turned my energy to different things. I started looking at Masters programs and tried painting. I looked for other jobs, too, in case they decided to hire somebody else. Well, a few days later, I received a call. I was being asked to come in and interview! They ended up hiring me on the spot, which is good since school started the next Tuesday.
From then on, it’s been nothing but a dream. Yeah, there are some times when I get stressed and find myself wanting to bang my head against the wall, but I’m happy more often than not. They are all so smart and funny and I love each of them for who they are and I hope I’m still around to see them graduate.
When it comes to being a Satanist and being a member of the Church of Satan, I keep that on the DL. If they ask me if I go to church or believe in god, I tell them to ask me after they graduate. Sometimes they debate religion while we are working and I’ll listen to make sure that everything is fair and factual. I’ll chime in as soon as the conversation begins to get personal or if somebody says something inaccurate. This means that I’ve corrected them about the beliefs on some Christians, Hindus, etc. And yes, I’ve defended Satanism.
A real life example: One time a student said that Satanists sacrifice animals and children. Obviously this is crazy and I corrected him. I’m a teacher, which means I am here to teach. I don’t want to create little Satanists, I want to create good people. I want to make sure that these children get thrown into the world with the ability to fact check and question everything.
I do, though, weave satanic sentiments into my teaching and class rules. We respect other people’s time in class, which means knowing when to work, when to chat, and when to listen to Ms. Hippenstiel. This means that nobody should expect to be listened to if they can’t take their eyes off their phone while others are presenting. I also get them to try to work out their own issues before coming to me because I don’t have time to split up fights about desks. But I don’t try to turn them into Satanists. It’s against my religious beliefs to indoctrinate people.
The biggest rule in my class is “Get Over Yourself”. This is important in the theatre because if you spend too much time thinking about how silly you might look, you will never give a good performance. Hell, I was in a play where I played an evil preacher that came back from the dead to yell at gay people who were also dead because they had died of AIDs. It’s called Elegies for Angels, Punks, and Raging Queens and it’s FUCKING BOMB. If I had gotten too worried about what I looked like, I wouldn’t have been able to get audience members to hiss at me when I finished my piece.
I have the future of the United States of America in my hands every day. All I want is for the students to leave school one day and be able to enter the next step of their life with confidence. I was a pretty bad student back in the day, so I understand what it’s like to have a teacher change your life, as my high school English teacher did for me.
I hope they feel safe and loved in my class. If these things hold true, I’ve done my job.
Enjoy the rest of the day, my Lovely Leviathans