Jenny's blog

Amok Time

If you get the reference in my title, you’re my new BFF.

Okay, you’ll never get it. So I’ll just tell you.

Amok Time was the name of a Star Trek The Original Series episode where Spock goes crazy with the 7-year Pon Farr, or Vulcan mating ritual. Tuesday’s lesson on Genesis 35 and 39 could easily have been named Amok Time instead of Joseph Resists Potiphar’s Wife.

Tuesday was the first day I was attempting to teach an entire lesson completely from the lesson manual. It’s hard to say if it was a total disaster or if it was genius. The manual suggests that you contrast Judah with Joseph and their temptations. Good grief. You have never heard so much laughter in a Seminary lesson IN YOUR LIFE! After Monday’s lesson on why there are wonky things in the scriptures, the kids didn’t seem particularly disturbed by Judah and Tamor’s actions. I didn’t even have the kids read that section — we just reviewed Judah’s stuff in class together.

Of course the emphasis is on chastity, but my kids were silly. I kept wrestling them back to topic, but the stories are so outrageous, everyone couldn’t help laughing at the absurdity. And then — that last quote in the lesson tipped them over the edge. I asked one of the boys to read it aloud while I wrote the “rules” on the board. We talked about those rules for a few minutes. I had to translate necking (making out) and petting (feeling up) for them.

ASIDE — why do we keep using the words necking and petting? I was married YEARS before I figured out what they meant, but if someone had told my teenage self: “no making out or feeling up,” it all would have been clear. My YW leaders couldn’t explain it when I was in YW 20 years ago. Come on, let’s use language our kids can understand already.

They were all like “Oh — THAT’s what that means…” and after a few moments reflection one kid pipes up with:
“so am I not supposed to be in the house alone with my mom? She’s the opposite sex!” It was downhill from there. The awkwardness of the topic when combined with the ridiculous wording in the quote and his joke… All I could do was just shake my head. I finally was able to wrestle them back to earth again and summed up with the age old summary of Joseph, if you’re tempted, FLEE. By the time it was all over, I was on the brink of devastation. But I couldn’t quite tip off the edge, because the whole thing had been just so much FUN!!! LOL. It’s hard to describe the feeling in the room. I’m a terrible writer, but really, I’m not sure that Harper Lee could have gotten this class onto paper.

I may have put the lesson manual in the trash bin and cried for the next day or so if it weren’t for the fact that at least half of the class told me afterward that it was the best chastity lesson they had ever had.

Monday and Tuesday couldn’t have gone more differently, but somehow they worked out. Monday was a fantastic discussion with everyone participating and learning. Tuesday was truly an Amok Time.

Genesis 40-41

Today’s lesson started off late somehow. VERY late. I was mostly set up on time but we had 2 kids late and 2 kids absent. That’s 40% of my class, and I guess I’ve been relying on the arrival of most of the kids to start class on time. We did do our magic squares. They like it better with the grid. I’ve got them so they know at least half of the grid now.

Anyway, last night I spend the evening packaging 60+ orders filled with the new Forget Me Not Beads. They are gorgeous. I’ve already sold most of my first order and have reordered. That will be my final reorder, however, so if you want some, get them now.

I was going to teach this lesson from the manual, too, because I didn’t have a lot of time to prepare. I have noticed that relying totally on the lesson manual seems to result in inferior preparation on my part. Oh yeah, I’ll just read the manual for a few minutes before class and go. That’s what I planned to do today, and I did have a few minutes before the kids got there to read. The lesson wasn’t going to work. I took out one section (the Genesis 41:38 questions) and decided to instead have the kids draw on the board the dreams.

While each zone drew one of the three dreams (butler, baker, pharoah), the other students were working on scripture mastery. The picture of the baker’s dream made me laugh:

The Baker’s Dream

The Baker’s Dream

Birds plucking out the Baker’s eyeballs

Birds plucking out the Baker’s eyeballs. :)

The Butler’s dream

Butler’s Dream

I didn’t take a picture of the Pharaoh’s dream, but it was pretty funny. The sick and healthy cows looked like rhinos.

By the time we finished this and I passed off at least one scripture mastery for everyone, I had just enough time to tell them that the Holy Ghost is necessary to interpret dreams and understand revelation correctly. I told them not to freak about tomorrow’s reading — FOUR WHOLE CHAPTERS — but to spend at least 10 minutes in it. Tonight is mutual and they’re going to a county-wide band concert, so it’ll be a miracle if they read at all. :)

Posted by Jenny Smith

I'm Jenny Smith. I blog about life on the 300+ acres of rolling farmland in Northern Virginia where I live. I like tomatoes, all things Star Trek, watercolor, and reading. I spend most days in the garden fighting deer and groundhogs while trying to find my life's meaning. I'm trying to be like Jesus -- emphasis on the trying.