The student who asked the Witch questions of me in December asked a follow-up question out of the blue this morning.
We were taking notes for new vocabulary words before we started our bingo review game. Others were still writing and he was finished.
“Is a ritual bad?”
“What do you mean?”
“Is a ritual bad?”
I could tell he didn’t have the words to explain himself any further and I was able to read between the lines. This kid has been doing some kind of research and is not coming with deeper questions. But without a pause or hesitation, I answered his question with one of my own:
“If you pray for someone to fall down the stairs and break their leg, is that a bad prayer?”
“It’s the same with rituals. The intent behind it is what matters.”
Later, after while students were finishing another set of notes, he asked about Halloween.
“Do pumpkins summon the devil?”
I at first wasn’t sure I heard him right and asked him to explain himself.
The class then go a mini cultural lesson about how pre-Christian ancient Celtic cultures would carve lanterns to help guide the spirits of their beloved dead, their ancestors, back home. I explained that this is a custom that is still done with the same meaning in some parts or Ireland and in the US by some people and is similar to a very wide-spread celebration in Mexico. When Christians came, oeooke were told they were inviting in demons, not ancestral spirits, and so the lanterns started to look like scary faces to chase the demons away.
The conversation continued to another student wishing humans could just be anything and why does everyone and everything have to be Christian. I responded that I’m not Christian and that’s ok. Everyone quickly agreed.
The student who started the question then asked me, quietly, “Are you Pagan?” to which I honestly answered affirmatively.
Despite all of the side bars we had today…we also talked about why humans have hair in their nose…we finished all of our vocabulary notes, played two games of vocabulary bingo, and diagrammed a sentence.
He has apparently been doing some kind of research on his own to use the words he did today. And I have zero concern professionally because my principal, Ms. T, is amazing and referred to me as a “hard worker” in an unrelated conversation today. It feels beyond good to know that I work in a place where I can be open, not advertising but still open, and have zero concerns for reprocussions.