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The Trailblazer

The student news site of McNeil High School

The Trailblazer

The student news site of McNeil High School

The Trailblazer

Philosophy Teaches Moral Messages Through Simple Medium

A hot dog costume that made all of Johnny’s friends make fun of him, a cow that slipped in mud while walking with his best friend, the polar bear in the park. These situations seem like they came out of a children’s book, and they did, in teacher George McGilligan’s philosophy class.

The class was studying ethics, aiming to understand moral messages and the way that philosophers get them across.

“[I wanted] to get them to think about the kind of logistics of, ‘How do you actually share a message?” McGilligan said. “Because a lot of philosophy is very theoretical, it’s [mainly] philosophers talking in a classroom or a college campus. It’s very rare that we actually see them impact the world.”

While the class introducing the project was focused on more hard-hitting questions, the actual project was to get a message as simple as ‘be able to laugh at yourself’ across.

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“They were given a bunch of children’s books to read to kind of get the vibe of what authors are trying to teach children, stuff like ‘stealing is wrong,’” McGilligan said. “More simple questions than ‘why is murder bad?’”

Senior Alex Delany and senior Karvi Madyastha wrote their children’s book ‘Mud Buddies’ about a cow jumping in mud to show their best friend, a polar bear, that they weren’t alone after they fell in the mud themself.

“So, we wanted to do something about friendship,” Delany said. “When we were thinking of like, ‘What’s a nice thing you would do for your friend?’ That’s how we got the idea of jumping in the mud.”

Senior Ishani Srivastava and sophomore Selby Woolsey wrote theirs on a boy named Johnny whose Halloween costume made all his friends laugh at him, but he didn’t let it get him down.

“The moral message that we were focusing on is to stand up for yourself, and to think of others,” Srivastava said. “A lot of young kids in elementary schools and even high schoolers go through bullying and don’t stand up for themselves. We wanted to show that it actually betters your life instead of making it worse.”

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About the Contributor
Nikolas Russell, Life & Arts Editor
I am Nikolas Russell and this is my second year on the Trailblazer staff. I work as a reporter and the Life & Arts editor for the 2023-2024 school year. I have attended UIL for feature writing once and made regional. When I'm outside of school, I am either working my job at Whataburger or working out at the YMCA. I'm looking forward to a great year of newspaper!
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