TST is pleased to present our Devil’s Advocate Scholarship to four students
who have extraordinarily shown how compulsory schooling has dampened
their creativity and inhibited their potential. Each recipient was awarded $666.
Hold my hands
as we wrap the world with our
wheezing, wailing breaths.
Let us show that we care
for eachother, for all.
I understand that I will never see through
But I will make all the effort to be there
for your cries,
I’ve learned from my rebellion of boxes,
and the natural order,
of the way of things
that justice cannot be
struggled for by one, once
but needs to be struggled for by
many, at all times.
These people’s lives matter so much
more than what one man will tell you.
When I look at my body
I see spots of
pink, yellow, blue, brown,
feckles, blemishes, dirt.
Swirls of shade,
and lines of age;
hair, scars, beauty marks.
They are vibrating and
I can’t see it,
but I can feel it.
And it is the only thing that is
When I realized we are all moving,
I took up in a dance.
As I dance, you dance,
Our feet and legs touching,
from one end of the world
to the other,
to a nother.
I trust you with my freedom,
and as do you, to me.
Please, tell me
the truth of the world.
Share with me,
the secrets of the universe.
Not as you hear it,
but as it is spoken,
so sincerely by the universe themself.
No person is infallible,
one must recognize this
completely in order to
be more human/e.
I have made a meaning
to the meaningless.
Found a home for my heart, and mind
to be for this short time,
Wring the most from life’s neck,
and inspire others to do,
in their own way,
Sometimes, I like to gently hold my breast in hand as I lay freshly washed with vanilla scrub. Already soft, delicate skin now feels ethereal. It is comforting and such intimacy feels uneasy. It is a part of my body and, in a peculiar way, it isn’t.
My body is a gift from my mother, who worked diligently to craft their child with the help of late-night fast food tacos and binging now cringe-worthy shows. She got her own from her mother and the mother before that her own. My great grandma was and is my everything.
She found her love of life with the help of God. She thanked him each morning she woke up as I made her coffee and again as I put eye-watering patches on her back before bed. My nana watched her husband and child as they passed away and found comfort in believing the god who blessed her each day was now playing pinochle with them beside their favorite lake.
Nana believed in God; I do not.
This was never a deterrent for either of us, as we both had love, just from different sources. My love came in the form of action, standing for the broken and damned without fear of money or power I do not have. I dye my hair monthly as a way of expressing my always evolving self and my tattoos stand as permanent placemarks of my past. My love comes from within myself and the person my family created. Love of nature and its imperfections I share. My nana gave her love to me so, in a way, my love does come from God.
Satanism itself doesn't really inspire me, but the world around me does. It just so happens that Satanism and I have more in common than previously imagined.
I am inspired to make the most of my life by living unconditionally happy with who I am. To marvel at beetles as they crawl across dew-covered grass and to be comfortable with the parts of me I despise.
Like my breasts.
They are not a reflection of who I am, just my mother and her own. I could and may change or remove them as I please because, well, I am who I am and physical reflection is only half the tale.
Satanism doesn't exactly inspire me to make the world a better place, but it does inspire me to be my own advocate, so that I have the strength and ability to do the same for others. I give twice what I receive, support others when my own voice isn't right for the job, and do what I am best able to so that someone's world does become better by the end of my journey.
Nothing I will do in this lifetime will make the whole world a better place, but, I have the power to make someone's world just a bit better. Maybe they will be inspired, like my nana inspires me.
I used Satanism to make the world or at least my high school a better place in my senior year. I had a group of friends that were alternative and had the stereotypical facial piercings and dyed hair. They noticed I was losing my sense of self because of the strict rules pushed onto me and a few others since I had been targeted multiple times previously. I decided to dye the roots of my hair bluet. I was ready to face the consequences and prepared to fight for this freedom since some of the students who represented the school also had unnaturally dyed hair colors. It took a week and a half before anyone in the administration noticed and I was told that fighting for this fairness and getting rid of this favoritism towards certain students would cost me my education. In fear of ruining my future, I complied and made my hair “natural.” The next day I discussed with the principal how other administrators told me I had “No right to fight this,” and,” No power in this.” I felt absolutely terrified to think that they could threaten to expel me and tell me I had no right to speak out. I had been taught by all my teachers that I had a right to protest and petition and I had all of their full support in fighting this. I told her how I was being wrongfully discriminated against and how because of this situation their favoritism became clear. She looked into the issue and though the problem was not completely solved there was more personal freedom and creativity allowed in the school. My piece shows the oppressive administration squashing the individuality that kept very few of us going while trying to silence our petitions for equality within the corrupt school.