The Seminar

Today, in my English class, we had a Socratic seminar. If you don’t know what a Socratic seminar is, it’s basically where everyone sits in a circle and has a discussion (not a debate, teachers emphasize) on a specific topic. I don’t generally have a favorable view of these discussions. They’re usually just horribly dry recaps of boring articles, with students merely recycling one another’s statements. I don’t enjoy being stared at, forced to analyze things on the spot, and being graded on my thoughts. I was nervous. Talking, thinking, and taking notes on others’ statements is multitasking overload. I wasn’t particularly interested in the topic anyway. I told my teacher that, to be honest, I’d rather write an essay.

Thankfully, we got twenty minutes to collect our thoughts before the seminar. Before we began, I just decided to voice my true thoughts, regardless if I related back to the text or not (which we were strongly encouraged to do). I didn’t make reference to the texts even once.

But I blew it out of the park.

My thoughts sparked a whole new discussion–deeper and more difficult. I saw my fellow classmates discussing moral relativism, ultimate truths, the overarching principle of personal conviction, and other related things. It was so beautiful. Some girls started laughing whenever anyone said anything profound or difficult to comprehend, but they only fueled me. I was invigorated. The people whom I’d only heard discussing sports were talking about moral relativism. Afterwards, a guy who sits near me–one who’s generally uninvolved–told me his mind was blown. And even though he hadn’t participated very much in the discussion, I could see his face ablaze with fascination the whole time.

I’m full of faith. Not only did I prove to myself that I can do well when I don’t think it possible, but I inspired my peers to dig deep into the universe–deep within themselves. If that’s not amazingly beautiful, then I don’t know what is.


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