Ask an Atheist with Sam Mulvey

Evil Spock Becky is…an atheist?

It’s no secret that I’m a school teacher by day.  And despite my not talking about my activism with students, it doesn’t surprise me when they occasionally find out about my work with Ask An Atheist or in the local freethought movement…which made a situation that occurred in during an instructional exercise the other day all that more surprising.


Ms. Friedman is not what she seems…

The scene: 7:55 am on a Tuesday.  27 freshmen Spanish students.  One teacher.

The task: As a class, create a model profile for the teacher in preparation for creating their own profiles as cheat-sheets for their final exam. Hit all key points (personality, likes/dislikes, defining characteristics, favorite foods, activities, etc.) while being very descriptive, if not slightly ridiculous, and possibly flat-out false. Use correct grammar and rich vocabulary from all the year’s units of study.

The resulting profile:

Age: 172 years old
Hometown: Jupiter
Current home: under a rock
Favorite foods: fried kittens and roasted bunnies. Only the cute ones.
Favorite drinks: the blood of the innocent
Family members: Dracula–grandfather; spouse–Eduardo Cullen; paramour–Jacobo el licántropo.
Physical traits: beautiful, wears magical eye glasses, has an extra toe, a beard, hidden antlers.
Personality: evil, talented, orderly, cunning, stingy, and …atheist.

becky as elf

Nope, definitely not what she seems…

I was caught so much off guard that I paused, broke into English, and asked “Why would you chose that to describe my fake personality?” The student quickly backtracked and responded that it was supposed to be an “opposite” profile, not necessarily an evil one. He then said “Aren’t you Jewish?  And atheist is, like, the opposite of Jewish…”

I settled the matter by saying that yes, it’s no secret that I grew up in a Jewish family, but religious preference is so varied that there’s not really one opposite. If students wanted to add their religious identity as part of their profile, they could make an additional category and feel free to mention it with the correct conjugations and grammatical gender agreement.

We all agreed at my urging not to include a religion on my model profile, and moved on to the bigger and better subject of favorite classes: herbology, divination, and defense against the dark arts.  I’ll need them after all.

About the Author: Becky Friedman

Becky works on the Ask An Atheist production team, frequently appears on episodes, and lends her voice to commercial announcements. She speaks Spanish, works as an educator in the Seattle-Tacoma area, and sits on the Board of Humanists of Washington.

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I’ve never seen such a weird, self-centered person in all my life.


I, me, my, I, me, my, I, me, my, I, me, my…. yawn


Well, Steve; writing a post about an experience that happened to her would be difficult without mentioning herself.


Steve, your comments are both embarrassing and stupid.
Embarrassing because of what TH pointed out and stupid because of the very same reason.

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