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Freedom’s Realm

By: Jasmin Texidor

Math teacher Freedom Cheteni, who has one of the most interesting personalities in d.tech history, can often be heard talking about “The Realm”. But what does anyone know what that is or what it means? 

Freedom holding two 75 million year old velociraptor eggs. Photo by Evan Tung

The Realm: A mysterious void of existence enshrouded in rumors and alluring uncertainty. You may be wondering what “The Realm” is, and if you are, you’re not alone. At the beginning of the new semester, Design Tech math teacher Freedom Cheteni spoke about this unknown void in class, intriguing many students and leaving them with questions our clever teacher avoided answering. Most students think of the subject as a joke, but is it really?

Junior Lucy Goldberg, a curious onlooker in the whole Realm fiasco, was unsure of what The Realm is: “I just want to know what it’s like.”  She later speculated, ”I would think The Realm is some place a student would go when they’re bad, like a timeout corner.” Lauren Shannon, another junior, is in Freedom’s Algebra 3-4 class and was looking for answers. “What is it? Where is it? Did Freedom come up with it? Can I go there?” It was clear that not much was known, but there was no end to what they wanted to find out. What would Freedom reveal? Were they afraid?. “No, I’m strong and The Realm will not take me,” Shannon said, confirming that delving further into the investigation was safe.

It was time to speak with the mastermind himself: Freedom Cheteni. The first item on the agenda was defining “realm”. Is it somewhere to go, or something to realize?

“I love what you are saying, you are saying realm and realization, if you think of those two words, realm has a word of real itself. It means a realm is something to be realized, and if it’s not realized, it doesn’t exist. It’s not real,” Cheteni said. “There are many realms and it’s like a circle. There are things in the realm of knowing. There’s the realm of knowledge, then there are things I know I don’t know. I know I don’t know how to speak Russian, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. But then there I things that I don’t even know I don’t know.” These first answers Cheteni gave made it clear that a realm is not somewhere you can go, but rather something you can know. A general area of knowledge that you either have, haven’t or aren’t even aware of would be classified as a realm.

“…a realm is something to be realized, and if it’s not realized, it doesn’t exist. It’s not real.” – Freedom Cheteni

Finding out that realms are areas of knowledge made what Freedom talked about in class even more intriguing. Cheteni has also  said that not following campus rules would get us sent to the “Realm of the Banished”. Cheteni explained: ”The Realm of the Banished is like, as an institution. We each function, we are connected. And if somebody goes in the Realm of the Banished, or the Realm of Being Released, it’s like you are no longer here. It’s like removing something that makes that realm not function.” Apparently, the Realm of the Banished is simply where students go when they cannot follow the agreements they made to be at d.tech.

While the Realm of the Banished was interesting, it’s really the Realm of the Forbidden that seems to spike the most interest in class, especially as Freedom will often dismiss discussion about it.

“Being forbidden is almost like being out of existence. It’s like losing power of mind. You’re like…totally forgotten,” Cheteni said. Is it the same thing as being dead? “You may be alive in some realm and not in another realm. If you are forbidden you now exist in that realm, but you are not here,” he explained. Unlike previous realms Freedom talks about, the Realm of the Forbidden can actually be reached. “Under the water to the ocean[the slough], that is the realm of the forbidden,” said Cheteni. When asked if anyone had ever gone to the Realm of the Forbidden or if we could talk to them, Cheteni stated: “We don’t talk about the Realm of the Forbidden. It’s forbidden to be in that realm, so the moment you communicate with that realm then you are forbidden to.” Jinkies. Freedom then made it very clear that we just can’t reach this realm, and maybe it’s for the best. “We can never truly know about the Realm of the Forbidden, because it is forbidden!” Unfortunately, Cheteni would elaborate no further. Even so, the information he gave is enough to piece together this puzzling realm.

In the end, Freedom gave us knowledge. Realms are something to be realized, or somewhere to go when unfavorable deeds have been done. Whether you like it or not champs, we’ve now all entered the Realm of Realms. Unless the world of realms was already open, access to all knowledge has not been granted, so it’s time to go out and explore! Take caution during knowledge quests though, and remember: “We don’t talk about the Realm of the Forbidden.”   

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