It’s Time for School

Well, guys, it’s that time of year again. Parents are posting shitty pictures of their children with their backpacks on, the Pumpkin Spice goop is being dusted off, and the sky is grey with clouds, or smoke, I can’t tell anymore. This also means that I’ll be having to go back to work. As most of you guys may know, I’m a teacher and my school goes back on Wednesday.

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Photo by Pixabay 

To be honest, I’m not super excited to be back. Don’t get me wrong, I am super excited to see my students and get back into the theatre with them. I’ve been working really hard on my plan for the year and I think it’s going to be a really fun time.

I’m not excited to go back because I’m scared. I live in the United States, which has a long history of school shootings and mass shootings. Since the year 2000, there have been 194 school shootings (just school shootings, not mass shootings) which have caused hundreds of students and teachers to lose their lives long before their time.

Now, the name of this blog is called “I’m a Satanist and…” because, well, I’m a Satanist and I have shit to say, so it’s not really a secret who I am on a fundamental level. A large part of being a Satanist is loving life, what ever that means to you. In order to do that, one thing must be true: You have to be alive.

I value my life very much because I only have this one and I am going to enjoy it, damn it. At the same time, I’m a teacher and I have a very special place in my heart for the kids I teach and interact with on a daily basis. I would do anything in the world for them, which includes putting myself in a place where I might die. I hope I would make the right choice.

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Photo by Pixabay 

I’m scared to go back to work because I don’t want to be put in a place where I might have to make these choices. I don’t want to hear those kids screaming in either fear or pain because somebody decided to bring a gun into their space and kill them. I don’t want to die, either. I don’t want to be a name on the news because I died or had to be a hero.

I’m not a police officer, nor a firefighter, nor any other flavor of hero or first responder. I teach middle and high school drama. I want to teach the kids how to project and the right way to put a Gobo into a light. I don’t want to teach them how to hide from somebody who wants them dead.

I know there are people who say that guns aren’t the problem, but they’re also not part of the solution. I’m begging everybody out there to get up and make your voices heard. If you like this blog, get out and vote or march or call a representative or anything because you will be helping keep me and my students safe.

I’ll be back soon, my loves. Gotta go dye my hair some more.

HS!

LH

P.S. There was a shooting at a Florida school football game just last night.

I Feel Defeated

I woke up this morning at 8:43 and went to the bathroom. I had my morning glass of OJ and sat down to give myself a minute or two to shake the feeling of sleep off of my shoulders. I rubbed the tired from my eyes and grabbed my phone to catch up on the  happenings in the world.

As soon as Twitter opened, my body went rigid and I started to cry. Even now as I am writing this tears have welled up to blur my vision. Here’s what I saw.

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From Reuters

I almost don’t know what to write. I’m still in shock and trying not to imagine the faces of my own sweet students lying on the ground shot to death. I love my students to the moon and back, all of them, so when I see these shootings, all I can think about is when it is going to be my school? When will I have to decide to save myself or save a student? Will I make the right choice?

My heart breaks for the people involved. Basically a gunman came in and blasted students away with a shotgun. Since he is white the news is letting us know all about how he was “Quiet” and “Normal”. I even know he used to play football. I don’t care about the shooter. I don’t.

I don’t even know the faces and names of the babies who will never graduate. They will never go to prom or get accepted to a university. They will never fall in love or get married or have babies. And I still don’t know their names. 10 people were killed. 9 students and a teacher just trying to make it to the weekend were killed. 10 others were wounded.

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Santa Fe High School Students 28 days ago

I feel defeated. It’s hard not to when children are dying and nobody is doing anything about it. But, I will not be defeated. I will not stop making sure each of the students at my high school know they can come to me if they feel as if they want to do something like this and it can be dealt with safely. I will not stop teaching my students how to run, hide, fight. I will not stop doing active shooting drills in my classroom, even if admin doesn’t want me to. I will not be defeated because that is not productive.

We owe it to our students to do something, anything, so they stop dying. I used to be nice about this and say we should try to appease both sides but I’m done with that. It’s obvious to me that we as a species can’t have guns. So yeah, at this point, we need to take away the guns. Feel free to shit on me and try to say I’m just a bleeding-heart libtard. I don’t care.

Until our students stop bleeding out from gunshot wounds, I want to take your guns away. And I am an advocate for people having guns if they want them, but I am also an advocate for gun safety and consequences. If this many students died in school from food poisoning, we would be doing something. Gun safety zones aren’t enough and obviously people don’t give a shit about those, so just take them all away.

Fight me on that.

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One of mine

Love each other.

HS

LH

I’m A Teacher

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.

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My $22,000 piece of paper

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

“No, now”.

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.

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A photo from before our first 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.

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One of my Favs at the gun march (Used with permission)

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

HS!

LH