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God

May 3, 2008

Form time. Not long ago.

“This is boring. I hate form time” said Ryan.

“It’s St George’s Day today” I replied, changing the subject.

“What?” asked Ryan, “Who’s St. George?”

“He’s the Patron Saint of England” replied Jade. “He fought a dragon”

“Here, let me put his Wikipedia page on the whiteboard” I said, “There you go, it says he is also the patron Saint of Aragon, Catalonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Palestine, Portugal, and Russia,”

“This is boring” said Ryan.

“He was a Greek speaker but was born in a place that is now in Turkey” I said.

“Why don’t we have our own saint?” asked Holly.

“It’s typical” complained Julie. “We always have to put up with all these foreigners”.

Ibrahim and Mohsin look uncomfortable. Yusef doesn’t react as his English isn’t good enough to have picked up on what was said.

“I don’t think that’s terribly fair”, I said.

“Is he real?” said Holly.

A short conversation starts up quietly in the back of the room about whether dragons exist. Somebody claims they have them in China, but then looks embarrassed.

“We’re not sure if he existed, but obviously he didn’t really fight a dragon” I said.

“This is all nine thousand years ago” shouted Ryan. “This is boring”.

“It’s not nine thousand years ago” yelled Jade, “That would be before Christ”

“What I don’t understand” said Julie, “is how there can be people before Christ”.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well if God made the world, how come there were people and dinosaurs before Christ?”

“There’s a difference between the birth of Christ and the creation of the world.”

“Yeah” interrupted Jade, “But how come there were dinosaurs before Christ?”

“Like I said, the birth of Christ isn’t when the world began. The world had already been around for a while.”

“But how come there were dinosaurs millions of years before?”

“Sorry, what are you asking? I don’t see why there can’t be dinosaurs before Jesus. Christians believe Jesus was born a long time after people first appeared”

“No, you’re not listening” said Jade rudely, “how come there were dinosaurs before there were people?”

“I’m not sure what you are asking. Why shouldn’t there be dinosaurs before there were people?”

“I mean if God created the world, how come the world and dinosaurs existed before there were people?” asked Jade.

“I’m still not sure what you mean. Are you asking about the story of Adam and Eve and asking how, if God created people at the start of the universe then how could dinosaurs have existed for thousands of years beforehand?”

“Who’s Adam and Eve?” said Ryan.

“You know, from the book of Genesis”, I said.

“What’s the Book Of Genesis”, said Ryan.

“The first book of the Bible” I said.

“The Bible’s boring” said Ryan.

“Sir, sir” interrupted Jade. “I’m not talking about that. I just don’t see how God can have created the Earth if there weren’t people until millions of years after the Earth was created.

“Hang on”, I said as the penny dropped. “Do you think God is a person?”

“God’s boring” said Ryan. “I hate God”.

“Yes.” Said Jade,

“I think you’ll find people don’t think God is a person like that.”

Ibrahim and Mohsin are now rolling their eyes.

“Then why do you see pictures of him” said Julie.

“What pictures?” I said.

“You know. He has a big white beard.”

“Oh” I said. “I don’t think that’s how Christians, or other people who believe in God, actually think of God”.

“This is boring” said Ryan.

Then I paused.

“You are in year eight. You have been doing RE for a year and a half, just at this school. Why are you are asking me this? Why not your RE teacher?”

“We don’t learn anything in RE” complained Julie.

“The teacher’s boring” said Ryan “I hate him”.

“We just did one religion for ages.” This was Connor’s first contribution to the discussion.

“What religion?” I asked.

“The Muslim one” said Julie.

“No we didn’t” said Ibrahim. “We only did it for a week”.

“Wait.” instructed Jade. “What about Adam and Eve then? How come there were dinosaurs?”

“Well I said, not every Christian thinks the story of Adam and Eve is literally true. For instance the biggest Christian denomination is Roman Catholicism, and the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope…”

“The Pope’s boring” interrupted Ryan

“…has said that evolution is more than a theory”

“I think Buddhism is the true religion” said Julie.

“Do you know anything about Buddhism?” I asked.

“No” said Julie.

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19 comments

  1. gah, the stupid – it burns:(


  2. Ah yes dragons in china I had a few students who believed that one. Its ok though I saved the child from the merciless mocking of others I said he was right because he was talking about the komodo dragon, I neglected the fact that it doesnt live in china.


  3. Wow! Proper philosophical debate going on in the classroom! I’m impressed!


  4. Oh look! It was only when I commented on here that I remembered I had my own edublog. I never got further than three entries a couple of years ago, and now I see it’s been spammed mercilessly!


  5. Impressively high quality spam. Particularly impressive that they have managed to get the spam published as a book under your username.

    When this blog was on a site with less spam protection then all I ever seemed to get were messages saying things like (for example): “movie seabiscuit gwyneth paltrow undressed mental health associates adelphi maryland kimberly caldwell bikini small boys undressed steve harvey movie ez pass in new jersey auburn valley 6 drive in movie schedule the suicide machines high anxiety free music video” accompanied by a url containing the word “willy”.

    (Actually it wasn’t “willy” and it wasn’t “undressed” either but edublogs’ spam protection refused to publish the comment if I didn’t change them.)


  6. Whaaaat?

    “Impressively high quality spam. Particularly impressive that they have managed to get the spam published as a book under your username.”

    I’m too hungover to think any more… :/


  7. Completely off topic, but I’ve tagged you for a meme. Follow the link below to give yourself even more work! It’s OK if you don’t play…

    On another separate note…please send a submission to the Carnival… I’m hosting and love reading your stuff.


  8. Oh, sorry, forgot to include the link for my blog for the meme…

    mybellringers.blogspot.com


  9. OldAndrew – you seem to think that ranting teacher is getting spam on the NEW blog (on blogspot). “Impressively high quality spam. Particularly impressive that they have managed to get the spam published as a book under your username.”

    However, ranting teacher was talking about an old edublog that, as rantingteacher said, is indeed overrun with spam: http://rantingteacher.edublogs.org/


  10. Ah, it all becomes clear.

    I’m afraid I tend to interpret the word “edublog” to mean any education blog rather than just one hosted by edublogs.org


  11. Oh thank god you explained that. I really did wonder what the hell was going on…! :)


  12. That was inspirational. Getting a class debate going like that, i’m sure the Religious Studies department are jealous that the kids maybe learned more in one “boring” lesson than in a whole term of religious education.


  13. Sounds like quite a good lesson… I did wonder whether Jade was going to posit the notion that man created God, but perhaps I was expecting too much of her. However, I suspect a career in philosophy beckons!


  14. “Here, let me put his Wikipedia page on the whiteboard” I said, “There you go, it says he is also the patron Saint of Aragon, Catalonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Palestine, Portugal, and Russia,”

    “This is boring” said Ryan.

    I agree with Ryan. What the heck’s that got to do with anything? More particularly (as Ryan is obviously someone who needs the relevance of things pointed out to him), what’s it got to do with Ryan? Or are you expecting natural curiosity to burst forth?


    • Ryan asked who Saint George was. I provided the answer.

      Whether the answer is entertaining or not is neither here nor there.


  15. Ryan asked who Saint George was. I provided the answer.
    The bit I quoted came after you had provided the answer.

    Because you put Ryan’s quote immediately after your long sentence, I understood it to be Ryan’s response to that sentence. I would have a similar response, although I am too well brought up to have mentioned it as Ryan did. (I hope you told Ryan he was being rude.)

    Ryan was giving you a message. You didn’t listen, but at least you did not shoot him.

    Whether the answer is entertaining or not is neither here nor there.
    I agree, so why do you mention it?
    Ah, “entertaining”, the ultimate sin. However, I did not say, nor suggest, that your answer should have been entertaining. What I said is perfectly clear. Please read more carefully, or you will be given a warning.


    • What you quoted clearly was part of my answer.

      Also I am a bit baffled as to what you think “boring” means if it doesn’t mean “not entertaining”.


  16. What you quoted clearly was part of my answer.
    It makes little difference. Either way, Ryan was giving you a piece of important information. Whether a teacher is receptive to it and able or willing to act on it are questions influenced by a great many variable factors.

    Also I am a bit baffled as to what you think “boring” means if it doesn’t mean “not entertaining”.
    Let it be a puzzle for you. There is a lesson to be learned here, assuming your record of the interaction is accurate. For obvious reasons, I will not tell you the answer; that would be spoon-feeding, wouldn’t it?


    • Oooooh, mysterious.

      Let’s see, on the one hand I have a boy who was bored by everything (except throwing blu-tak at people and inappropriately touching the girls in his form group) complaining he was bored.

      On the other hand, I have students learning something and teachers commenting on here to say they are impressed and find it inspirational.

      Hmmmmmm.



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