Strange weekend, I mean week

It’s Wednesday, but I feel like I’m off from work on a long weekend.

Friday after my interview (see below) I borrowed Mr. Smith goes to Washington from the library. I’ve been wanting to see it for a while. It’s beautiful, I cried twice.

Then Saturday I attempted to file hordes of paper. Filing is the most awful chore. I’ve often romanticize about becoming a custodian or a kitchen worker who doesn’t have to file. No, everyone needs to file these days, but I think teachers have it worst. I filed six binders worth of papers for future use. InshaAllah I actually use them, rather than forgetting all the hundreds of resources I’ve been collecting.

Sunday I attended the last class of the year for the Greatest Dars Ever. We discussed the first three pages of the second juz… It’s the part of the Qur’an when Allah gives Muslims the helm, symbolized by the assigning of the Ka’ba as Qibla. It was so, so good. It’s helped me to put things in perspective in ways I hadn’t. And because the Qur’an is Allah’s word, the verses about Sabr–patience–are so meaningful and relevant today! I should write about those more. But just the fact that Allah’s says he’ll try us with fear, it’s Amazing. I know I’m capitalizing a lot. Read colonial English. They made up their own rules. We should do the same.

Later Sunday we had a BBQ in the backyard. Nothing like have burnt chicken that’s raw on the inside!

Monday I frantically rushed to complete my student teaching portfolio. My sister ironed my clothes, my mother made me tea, and I ran out of the house at 5:20, hoping to reach the university by 6:00. The odds were impossible, and I didn’t make it. At 6:00 I was at a red light, when the verses we had discussed at the Greatest Dars Ever popped into my head: be shuhada ‘aala nnas. I felt dreadful, what kind of representing was I doing? Was I going to forever be a slacker among slackers at Slacker American University? Was I going to accept slacking from students and colleagues because I couldn’t do better myself? My conscience gripped me, and I gripped the wheel and turned onto a beautiful arbor, doing dhikr. When I finally panted up to the classroom, there was a group of students waiting outside. What happened? The professor was running an hour off schedule. Perfect! So I got in with the group that was waiting. The prof. is no slacker. She’s a good woman and has progressive views about public education. She talked to me kindly, asked me how I was treated at the school I was at. Then P and J, ladies who I knew had signed up for the time slot I was in showed up. Turns out I was early! The prof. mumbled some compliment about punctuality! I felt like a fraud, a very blessed fraud.

Tuesday I pretended/tried to do some work I’d saved for summer, such as reading the Idiot’s Guide to Economics, the knowledge of which has thus far been in the form of deciphering reports from NPR. I’ve also requested, from the library, a copy of the Idiot’s Guide to Sewing, and a guide to learning PHP. I want to request Moral Politics and Don’t Think of an elephant by George Lakoff, but I’m holding off until I finish Early Hours by Khurram Murad and Rethinking Muslim Women and the Veil by Katherine Bullock.

Today, I cleaned, cooked and cooked. And in between, I read liberal blogs on Howard Dean’s latest truth statement: Republicans area party of white Christians. There’s nothing wrong with that statement on surface. But why did it make me uncomfortable? Why does it make others squirm? I’ve concluded that this country needs truth statements, and anyone who disturbs the media Heathers and the wannabees must be doing something right.

This evening we had dear friends over. I just love them, the whole family. They liked my messed up cheese cake.

There’s just about two more weeks until next session, during which I’m taking three classes. And there’s so much to do.

I’ve got a great idea for a unit about the Myth of Romantic Love, in which students explore perceived reality, fallacies, and amaniyya–an Arabic word which means vain dreams. Actually I’m not quite sure of that meaning is accurate, I’ll have to look up that verse. Romeo and Juliet could work well as the central text, and maybe an Austin book. Great Expectations would work well too, but I abhor Dickens, and the kids will notice; I’m thinking of reading either Hard Times or David Copperfield to try to over this long held prejudice, created through high school required reading.

By the way, please don’t get the idea that I think all romantic love is false or untrue, I just mean to say that it there are cultural myths perpetuated about that concept. Do you have ideas for my unit?

2 Responses

  1. perfect blog entry

  2. salam!!
    wow, great blog mashallah, loved reading that post-seems like you been running round forever-what a week…subhannallah!!
    Take Care sis, keep up the good work 🙂

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