I Had a Choice of Chairs

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Conferences have begun. For my school district, this means the middle and high school teachers line the edges of the gym, all at white, fold-out desks with two white, fold-out chairs facing us. It’s a drab, depressing scene. We wait for hours during the week, all trying to busy ourselves between the parents. Of my 40 students, I may speak with 5 families over the week. There are only two unique aspects of each desk during conference week; the names taped to the side and the rolling chairs each teacher brings from their classroom.

The name on my desk is spelled wrong. For some reason, they’ve switched the ‘E’ and the ‘I’ around at the end and while this may not be the end of the world, it is an annoying mistake at a school. Another issue is that my classroom is located far away and would make for an overly difficult trip with my rolling chair. Because of this, the women who work in the office kindly allowed me to grab a chair from the conference room.

I was presented with a choice of three chairs. The first chair did not roll or adjust in any way, nor did the cushions on any of them look particularly healthy anymore. In fact, they were in various states of disrepair, appearing to have been purchased over 30 years ago. The second was your average rolling chair. It appeared to have serviced many butts over the years, though not as old as the first chair, and the cushions were still in fair condition. It was an unassuming chair that would do just fine. I nearly took that one before considering the chair at the head of the table.

It was the only one in the room and very obviously where the Principal would sit during meetings. It was a beautiful chair. Its cushions were plump and colored a rich black. There were no obvious wear and tear marks on it yet and the back support and height adjusted. It was a big, comfy chair.

I thought about how long I would be sitting in that stuffy, loud gym and my butt begin to ache. I took the big chair. The Principal won’t be needing it while we are in conferences because he doesn’t have a desk in the gym and could just grab the chair out of his office right next door. I deserve to be comfortable while I’m taking time out of my day in order to sit around waiting for parents who will never come.

I think any Satanist would pick the big, comfy chair. It suits us to be comfortable.

I’m Afraid

Life is scary. There are a lot of ways to get hurt and killed out there, and we are more aware of that these days than ever before due to how quickly information can spread. Every day I look at my Twitter feed and see numerous headlines such as “Texas water resort closed, tested for ‘brain-eating amoeba’ after man’s death“, “Facebook just had its worse hack ever — and it could get worse“, and “Seven parked cars set on fire in Redmond” and my brain instantly goes “well, what would we do if that happened?”. Well, I don’t know, but maybe I should know.

My day is filled with dangers. I could slip in fall in the shower or just be straight up murdered in my sleep. Every day I drive 45 minutes to and from work, either on the freeway or the nerve-wracking Chuckanut Drive. It’s a wonderfully beautiful area

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From the Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive

right edge of the Puget Sound and surrounded by forests, but the road has a lot of twists and turns. The lanes are very small and the road follows a steep cliff, which makes passing large trucks very scary.

The best part is that my car is one of the deadliest to drive these days. To be fair, I’m looking to buy a new one soon but I really needed a new mattress. I know that doesn’t seem as important as a new car, but you should have slept on my old mattress.

Back to danger. So, I work at a school and that makes me nervous due to the school shootings that have occurred. I worry about keeping my students safe and what we would do if something were to happen. I have a plan, but I worry anyway.

If I go out, I could be drugged (that’s happened twice to me), I could get hit by a drunk driver, I could be raped or murdered for denying a man, or sold into the illegal sex trade.

When I’m in the theatre, I could fall from the ladder, lift, or catwalk, which range from 10 feet up to 60 feet up, depending on the location. I could start a fire and die

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From McIntyre Hall. This is one of the theatres I work in. See the catwalk above the house?

from that in various ways. I could be electrocuted. I could get hit by something coming in from the fly system. Also you can just be murdered anywhere, so just add that mentally from now on.

There are many, many diseases all over the world that could destroy my life and leave me in agony for my raining days. There are animals that can sting you, bite you, poison you, paralyze you, brutalize your body and/or murder you. I’m looking at you, Australia.

My greatest fear in the world is dying before my mother followed closely by getting in a violent car accident and burning alive. My phobias are spiders, bees, and clowns/mascots.

The thing is, I still drive to work every day to teach children. I still go 60 feet up onto the catwalk in the theatre and lean five feet out to gel a lamp. I still want to travel and eat new foods! There’s too much to do and see for me to say, but my bucket list is long. There’s a lot I’ve already done, too, like driving across country in 18-wheelers and performing in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

I live my life aware of the possible hazards and I think about what I would do in situations, but I don’t live my life as if it will happen every time I step out of the house. That’s no way to enjoy what the universe has to offer.

Go for a drive down Chuckanut if you’re ever in Bellingham, but pay attention to the road and wear your seatbelt. Have a belt-cutter and a way to break your window in case you crash into the water. If you’re prepared, you’ll be okay.

Case in point: Last winter my boyfriend and I were driving home from a party in Seattle. It was really, really snowy and he’s driving slower, but we came to a big hill on I-5 (just past the Starboard road exit if you’re familiar) and at the bottom, I felt the car start to slip. Dylan started to panic a little and I watched the trees and the lights of oncoming traffic as we spun towards the median. He was trying to correct

black car on roadway while raining during nighttime

and hit the break, so I very calmly said to take his foot off the break and keep his hands still. Eventually, we came to a stop facing traffic, though it was really far up the road. After a breath, we continued. This time, much slower. We passed other cars that night that had spun out. Some had gone into the trees, others into guard rails or just straight off the road. When we made it home, I almost cried.

My point here is that I was able to be calm because I was prepared. I wasn’t afraid, even as it was happening. I distinctly remember feeling a crisp, chilly weight in my stomach and feeling very even. I was the calm within the storm and we didn’t go off the road.

So, what I’m trying to say is to go out and live your life, just be prepared.

Okay, off to school. I’ll talk to you later, my Darling Devils.

HS!

LH

 

I’m Going Back to School

Yup! I’ve decided to go back to school. No, I don’t mean the school where I work, though I do plan on going back there today as I’d like to keep my job. I really like being a Teacher.

Though, I’m not technically a teacher. I do teach a middle and high school class, but I don’t have my teaching certificate yet. Well, then how am I teaching? Long story short, I was going to school for English and Theatre degrees and I had my English BA finished when I was contacted by La Conner School District. They didn’t have any applications for their Theatre Program and my mom’s friend (who works there) knew that I had been working in and studying theatre for years so she asked me to apply.

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Well, at this point, I was still in school, so I applied real quick, graduated with my BA in English Creative Writing, and quit my job as a janitor. I got the job and they issued me an “Emergency Certificate” which is good until for three school years. So, I teach, but I’m not a Teacher in the sense that I haven’t had formal training.

Yet.

I’ve been accepted into a Masters program already, though I need to take two classes at a community college in order to get all my prerequisites covered and I could not be more excited! I’ve missed being a student and using my brain… though the nicest thing will be only worrying about my assignments and not 38. Also, I won’t have to write tests or lecture and that is awesome.

Unfortunately, I may not be able to get financial aid at the community college because I already have a Bachelor’s… I don’t get it either but that’s what they told me. So, my bill would end up being over $1000 for just the two classes and not counting books.

The reason I bring this up is because I’m considering creating a Patreon and I was wondering what your thoughts are on the matter. Obviously, I’d post more often since y’all would be literally paying for my words, but I’d still post content here for those who can’t. Trust me, I get that, I was only just finally to become a Patreon of Reverend Campbell.

So, let me what you know in the comments or shoot me an email. I’ll see you later, my adorable abominations!

HS!

LH

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It’s Saturday!

Man, I gotta say, it has been a long week. I’m not sure if that’s because school is back and I’m not used to having to do things or if it’s because my mattress is broken… Either way, it was a long week.

I wanted to talk to you guys real quick about something personal. Something that a few readers might be uncomfortable talking about. Something that happened to me just last week… I want to talk to you about periods.

Oh, get over yourself, it’s not that big of a deal. Every month (normally) women go through this and most of the time you’d never even know. Literally hundreds of women in your town alone are having their period.

But we’re not here to talk about other people’s period, we are here to talk about my period, which is a little different from “normal”. First of all, I only get mine every three months and second, when it does come I get endometriosis and that is some next-level pain.

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Yeah, like that

So, why the hell would I feel the need to talk to you about my damn period? Well, because I feel I turn into my purest form of “Satanist” during those six days. First of all, I have to be thinking about how I look more than normal because if I leak through my tampon, it can get through my clothing and suddenly I have a big red stain on my ass. That is not ideal. That is not the image of myself I want in the world. So, I have to pay attention to when I put a tampon in and make sure it’s changed. You’d think this would be easy, but when you’re busy it can be a challenge.

Next, I am in so much pain. Like, screaming-into-my-knees-even-after-I-take-Pamprin pain. This does nothing other than make me really appreciate the times when I am not in pain, which I can see the theoretical value in, but it’s really not that great in practice. Why, why, why would any person, especially a Satanist, want to be in pain like that while also trying to drive, work, be a member of their family, be a good friend or partner. It’s impossible!

So, when I am in this pain, I am a huge asshole. Massive, massive asshole. I don’t mean to and I’m just hurting and my focus is more on that. I’m mad at my body not you asking me if I can do the dishes or some stupid crap like that.

During this time, I just want to focus on me. I want to eat whatever I am craving and lay around with a hot pad and stupid TV to watch. For those of you who want to know what you can do to help, you can do what we want you to do. If we want a back rub, it’s because our spine is going to break in half and it feels like somebody has been punching our kidneys all day, so do it!

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I feel it

Here’s the thing, though. I don’t need anybody to come rescue me when I’m on my period because I know what to do and I will fix it myself. I know that I have to go on a walk, even if that sounds awful, because it will help the pain. I know I have to keep tampons and medicine on my person in case of emergencies. I know what to do if there is a leak and everything goes to shit.

As a Satanist, I’m not going to sit there in pain and post about it in Facebook. I am going to fix it so that I can continue to live my life. I still need to be able to go teach the children and do the various small jobs my family asks me to do. I have cats to take care of and things I want to be able to do and I refuse to let a fucking period take away from any of the things I actually enjoy.

So, all in all, I guess I’m trying to say that everybody needs to chill the fuck out about periods and just let women do what we need to do. Sometimes we may ask for help, sometimes not.

Also, the Supreme Court needs to vote NO on Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

HS!

LH

I Get Anxious

So, I’ve talked previously about how I live with depression, which is something that runs in my family. This post is going to be similar to that. I want to talk about my Anxiety, how it impacts my life, and how I deal with it as a human and a Satanist.

First off, I want to talk directly to the people who think that this is bullshit. This whole post is for you because I want to explain to you the physical toll it takes on my body. This is more than “just getting nervous” or “an excuse”. It’s real and it hurts.

The Mayo Clinic defines anxiety as “intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations”, which is may not seem like a big deal, but those who live with anxiety can tell you otherwise.

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Photo by Markus Spiske 

Here’s how it goes down for me. It doesn’t matter how big or small an issue may be, I will puke. Every morning, and sometimes into the day, I will puke and puke until there’s nothing in my stomach and then it’ll keep trying to pull stuff up. It’s really gross and it’s really bad for my throat and teeth. It gets so bad during really stressful times in the year that I have to schedule time into my morning to deal with this.

One time, it was almost immediate. My car broke down two hours away from my house one night and I had to wait two hours and pay $300 for it to get towed to my parents house 30 minutes closer. My Mom let me use her car to get the rest of the way home and as soon as I got into her car, driving again, my body knew that it was out of the situation, I threw up in my lap. I knew it was going to be expensive and that I was going to have to go live with my parents until it was fixed, which was going to take forever because my dad refuses to help people other than himself, but in a dickhead way.

Something that also crosses my mind in these states of anxiety is suicide. Now, I’m a Satanist, so I would never kill myself, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a thought I have from time to time. Here’s the thing, it’s okay to be weak and to have these thoughts as long as you don’t act on them, but instead do something to relieve yourself from whatever is causing these issues.

The thing is that I thrive in high-stress environments such as theatre. I love being a Stage Manager and being in charge of everything. I like fixing problems and calling cues and getting actors into places and all the millions of other things that an SM does.

I do not like walking past the woman who cleans my classroom because she is really passive aggressive and does a crap job anyway. I could do better because I used to be a damn good janitor. I loved being a janitor because the cleaning soothed my anxiety about writing a paper in class or having to tell my director I needed a night off.

So, what do I do? Well, I do my best to get these things I’m nervous about done as soon as I can so that my body doesn’t kill itself. I also try to get something easy in my stomach, normally a protein shake, before I start to feel too nauseated. Sometimes it comes back up no matter what I do and the shake is easier. (I know this is TMI but I’m trying to make a point).

I also get nightmares, bite my nails until they bleed, shake, and get irrationally upset. I don’t like myself and I don’t like how I feel, so I want it to stop as fast as possible and that means fixing the problem, as scary as that may be.

Remember, it’s okay to feel this way, but you have to work to get out of that funk so you can enjoy life.

Have a wonderful rest of your day, my Sweet Satans.

HS!

LH

No, I Don’t Run an ASSC.

I was halfway through this post and it deleted, so here we go again. No, hold on, I’m going to get a snack first.

Okay, I’m back. So, as I have said before, I’m a teacher and I also run two different clubs after school. The first is Drama Club. I teach drama so it’s natural for me to run this and I love it so much! I don’t do much other than steer the kids and teach them the skills they need to act, work back stage, or be part of the creative team. The students are totally in charge of directing, stage managing, sound, lights, costumes, set, and props. The productions they put on are totally student created.

This is crucial because it teaches them responsibility as they know their friends and family, as well as strangers, will be coming to see what they’ve done and they want to be able to take pride in their work.

The other club I run is Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) club. Here, as in Drama Club, the students take charge. If one of them decides they have a story they want us to be a part of, they take charge as Dungeon Master (DM) as long as the current DM is done with their campaign or wants to take a break. If they’re not DM, they’re playing along with me. I mostly just show them where they can find the information they need within the books and explain how to do things such as rolling a character (4D4-lowest=STAT).

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Not my dice, but they could be

I LOVE running this club because it is so much fun and it teaches them so much. These students have to learn how to work together to overcome obstacles and that doesn’t just mean fighting big dudes. Sometimes you have to solve a murder or get through a dungeon with a bunch of traps and other times you’re running a business in order to get money. There’s a lot of quick math and you have to learn how to work together and use other character’s skills to get around (or through) problems. On top of all of this, they create friends and that’s really important for students.

All that being said, I would like to make an official statement.

I DO NOT RUN AN “AFTER SCHOOL SATAN CLUB”

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From Afterschoolsatan.com

When people find out I’m a Satanist, either by noticing my attire or I feel I can tell them, one of the questions they ask, if they also know I’m a teacher, is if I run “one of those After School Satan Clubs they saw on Facebook”.

No I don’t.

First off, let me sorta explain what an After School Satan Club is. To the best of my knowledge, the clubs were created by a group of well-meaning trolls who wanted to provide a space for children to learn STEAM programs in a secular environment. look, I get it. Doesn’t it sound really cool to have a place for little kids to be themselves and learn and grow, all under the loving eye of Papa Baphomet?!

No, actually, that sounds awful. One thing Satanists don’t do is force our religion on others, especially children, so the club’s desire to have the kids learn in a secular environment is instantly squashed by the name of the club itself.

The idea of a club also goes against Satanism as we have the internet. Yes, there used to be a grotto system in place, but that was before we could connect on social media. So, Satanists would never endorse a club for children, no matter how well-intentioned.

Here’s the thing, if you really want children to learn and grow in secular environments, there are better ways to do it. You can donate to the school or to clubs directly; you can go to sporting events or school plays; you can make sure to encourage children to work hard in areas they are interested in, even if it’s not something in which you are interested; you can be their cheerleader while also helping them improve. If you’re worried about education losing funding, call your local representative and make sure your voice is heard in a meaningful way, not stunts.

So, no, I don’t run an After School Satan Club, but I do run two clubs. These clubs operate based on my values and as much as that includes not forcing Satanism down people’s throats, it also includes pushing to be the best at what you do and becoming who you want to be, which does translate into my teaching. I want to give the kids the skills they need to go out and play DnD without me or leave Drama Club and get into a professional production. So, I guess I run a Club That Meets After School That Isn’t Satanic But The Teacher is a Satanist So The Club Teaches You How To Be a Better Person on the Down Low But is Mostly About Life Skills. A CTMASTISBTTSSTCTYHTBBPDLBMALS. Catchy.

Have a great rest of your day, my Devilish Darlings.

HS!

LH

I Might Nap

Hey, guys, I took a break yesterday to dye my hair (It went to a really nice royal purple), but that fits for today’s topic: Sloth!

I’ve been using a website called deadlysins.com a lot for my research and they describe Sloth as “the avoidance of physical or spiritual work” and that those in hell will be punished by dancing in a pit of snakes forever. Ya know, cuz you slept in a lot.

Dante does address sloth, though it’s referenced in Purgatorio and known as “acedia”. These souls sinned by not loving God with “all one’s heart, all one’s mind, and all one’s soul”, the ultimate form of this being suicide. They were then forced to run continuously at top speed.

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Thank you Catholic.com

Now, I can get behind the no killing yourself but that’s just because self preservation is so natural. I know that you can’t be strong all the time (I’ve been there) and I plan on doing a post about the topic, but for now let’s just say please don’t kill yourself.

When it comes to the rest, I’m not so sure. The one half says that you were too lazy in your worship of God. Whatever. This God seems like he needs a lot of praise and money or he’ll get real pissed at you and send you to hot forever jail. But let’s define “God” as Satanists. God is ourself in that case in which the sin would be not worshipping yourself enough. Well, sometimes the god Lauren wants to spend a day watching her favorite shows!

That brings us to the second part of the Sin: Outright Laziness! I love this one because I’m a teacher and my lazy days are precious during the school year. The same goes for when I’m designing a show! I always work my booty off because I want my work to be done right and done quick, unless I’m charging by the hour.

Now, naturally, there is an extreme to this, too, and I again will tip my hat to “Indulgence not Compulsion”. When I take a day to lay on the couch all day, it’s because the weekend before I climbed over 100 flights of stairs after going up and down and up and down and up and down because lighting design takes place at the highest parts of the theatre. Sometimes school with overlap with theatre days and when I get home at 11, I literally lay on the ground when I enter the door.

What I’m trying to say is that I’ve earned it. I’m not allowing my want to nap to get in the way of my want to be a teacher and a lighting designer. I also don’t want to compromise the image I present to the world. I like how I look and I don’t want to be so lazy that the image I’m presenting to the world changes. Well, except my hair color. That changes weekly.

So, like with all the sins, it comes down to balance. And with that thought, I am going to go nap because I got bad sleep.

Have a lazy day, my dearest devils!

HS!

LH