Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Weekly Bigwand Update

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" You've heard of the Mall of America. We're the Mall of the Gods! Check out some of our high-end specialty stores. Deities of ancient Micronesia! Now there's praise and worship for the discerning connoisseur!

For those of you who joined at our last pledge drive and need a short update, My name is Anne. I lost my job of 20 years in 2004 and had to re-invent myself, so now I'm a brand-new, first-year school teacher.

This morning I was so exhausted that I looked out at my first period class and just about babbled. I couldn't form a sentence. But it was first period, and I was surrounded by 15-year-olds who had also been up until the wee hours (not grading papers, though). They babbled right back at me. Jolly good fun!

This Wednesday marks the end of Phase IB of my new teacher training classes. Again for those of you just arriving on the late train, Phase IB is the class I have to take that teaches me how to teach, while I'm already teaching and being thoroughly (and expertly) coached in my classroom. I must endure this punishment until June.

The punishment is significantly enhanced by the instructor, a pompous, self-satisfied retired teacher I've affectionately re-named Mr. Bigwand.

Awhile back, Mr. Bigwand noticed Puck, the faerie I wear to work on a cord around my neck. He asked me what Puck was, and I said it was a symbol of my Pagan path. He immediately assumed I was Wiccan. Not that it matters, but that's like assuming every Christian is Catholic.

Tonight, in a moment when he paused from his self-praise, he said to me, "So. What do you Wiccans do at Christmas?"

(Honestly, I do not make this stuff up. You've just got to take my word for it.)

I replied: "First, I'm not Wiccan. I'm Druid. And the better question would be, 'When are you Christians going to give us our holiday back?'"

Having already told us (three times) that he studied for the Anglican collar, Mr. Bigwand now had to prove his big, broad, flexible outlook, which he did by querying me about which of the O'Reilly-sanctioned holiday activities were actually "more ancient" in origin. I replied that the far shorter list would be those that aren't "more ancient" in origin. Which launched him into a mostly monologue about burning candles all night on the solstice. As he moved on to converse with the next victim, he proclaimed, "I love the opportunity to learn new things."

I'll have to take his word for that, because so far as I can see, the last new thing he learned was how to drive a car.

I don't know if it's bad news or good news, but I will be continuing classes with Mr. Bigwand after the aforementioned holidays. I really don't mind, because like H.L. Mencken, I'm mildly amused by loud morons ... and they make good copy.

Oh yeah ... Did I mention that I got the opportunity to evaluate him anonymously last week? He handed out forms, specifically told us not to put our names on them, and then -- after we had our say -- officiously shoved them in an envelope destined for the New Jersey Department of Education. But did he close the envelope? Oh heck no. I'm sure he didn't even wait to read those evals until he drove home. Funny thing was, I looked around me as I evaluated, and I saw fellow inmates scribbling away in high dudgeon. You just can't save everyone from themselves, so I returned to my own form.

My NJDOE anonymous evaluation of Mr. Bigwand? "Stellar teacher."

Machiavelli's lessons aren't lost on me.

P.S. - Sorry to mention the holiday. I promised I wouldn't. I just couldn't let this opportunity pass to hold up for inspection another boorish Bigwand comment.

"So, what do you Wiccans do at Christmas?"

Have at it, readers. Trust me. Mr. Bigwand is going to wander onto this site some day. Go ahead. Teach him something. He loves to learn new things.

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At December 10, 2009 , Blogger Sarita said...

You have my sympathies for having to deal with Mr. Bigwand on a weekly basis.

It's odd (or maybe not), but people often seem to think that Pagan and Wiccan are synonymous.

Oh and guess what? My spellchecker doesn't like Wiccan! Agh!

At December 10, 2009 , Blogger A Wild Celtic Rose said...

waves hello to the wand of wonder (wow, that was so quick, I wonder what happened to it?)

As a non-wiccian (don't call me a wiccan, I'll get all up in your face quicker than a Dianic you ask "where's you're preist sweetie?)

I like to sacrifice smaller creatures. We like to boil theme alive (sometimes they scream) and then rip their legs off, then break them open and suck out the insides. Sometimes we did them in butter as well.

We often light fires to do the unthinkable. Light up the room so that we quit tripping all over each other.

Once the candles are lit, we will try to involve others. We will lure them with pretty words and promises of the suns' return.

Someone will get lucky and "get some" from another member of the circle. Then they turn around and give it to someone else. Soon, people are doing it to people they've never met.

Finally, the flame has been passed candle to candle.

We'll engage in secret chants and more ancient ritual. We will hold our lights up to the heavens and sing "The Christians and the Pagans"

Now, we're hungry and fixated on eating. As the music comes to a close those who have been singing and had the light passed to them have a burning need which is soon satiated when they look upon the newest member of the circle.

NO damnit! It's the button on the left! How many times do we have to tell you?

The button is pushed and the ancient notes and tones flow fourth.

"Here comes the sun.... Here comes the sun....and I say... It's allright..

Dancing ensues, people drink and writhe ecstatically .

As the song comes to a close, they raise their glasses to the sky and say.

Holy Crap! I'm glad that's over. My damn skirt almost caught on fire, and WHAT was with Ray trying to sing that part? Excuuuuuuse me. Can you say Moooooooo

Hey, are there any cakes and all left, I'm starving.

The damn days start getting longer now right?

At December 10, 2009 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What seminary did that turkey attempt? Not Nashotah, I hope.

Nice Mr. Green, by the way. Rodger Cunningham

At December 10, 2009 , Blogger Angela Raincatcher said...

My husband and I are not specifically Wiccan, but on Christmas we go out to the movies and then a Chinese restaurant. That is, if we don't have to go to his parents' house and endure the gift-orgy. It's a tradition handed down to us from our Jewish friends, and it seems to work for them. ;-)

At December 10, 2009 , Blogger Yvonne Rathbone said...

I celebrate Christmas by going over to my muggle/biological family and eating a lot of food, sitting around a decorated tree we've brought in for the occasion and opening presents.

I celebrate Yule by gathering with my Pagan family, eating a lot of food, sitting around greenery we've brought in for the occasion and not getting a bunch of crap I have to take to Goodwill.

At December 10, 2009 , Blogger Christina said...

What do Wiccans do for Christmas? We eat babies. Yep, babies. With BBQ sauce. Delicious.

At December 10, 2009 , Blogger JaAnBe said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At December 10, 2009 , Blogger THE Michael said...

We celebrate Christmas by ignoring it. We've already celebrated Yule, and are probably trying to recover from that. We exchange a minimum of gifts, because, quite frankly, my ex-Episcopalean Witch wife can't seem to get the "holiday spirit" out of her system. She even insists on decorating a "Yule"'s like trying to quit smoking, this x-mas crap.

At December 12, 2009 , Anonymous munin_and_hugin said...

Hm. My family is pretty diverse, so celebrate Hannukah with my mother, little sis, and grandpa in spirit. Pour out a little bottle of Jack, a glass of mead, and maybe some Grand Marnier to the Lady, Lord and Grandfather Oak in the back yard for the new Sun on Yule. And then have dinner with the Baha'i side of my family on Christmas Eve, then off to the midnight showing of Sherlock Holmes. Christmas day? Sleep in and gorge on my stocking candy and gossip with both sisters, which is our only actual acknowledgment of Christmas at all.

Yes. My family is a huge mashup of religious traditions.

At December 12, 2009 , Anonymous munin_and_hugin said...

Also, Hi! I'm new here. And you have my sympathies. Here's hoping Wandface gives you more ammunition for the blog, and that the actual experience isn't too trying.

At December 13, 2009 , Blogger k. sequoia said...

I haven't stopped by in awhile, and once again I think why have I denied myself your witty pleasure?

I don't think I can add much to all the wonderful and wacky things that "Wiccans" do at Christmas, esp' since I'm not one.

Kim Sequoia


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