Thursday, December 25, 2008

FaSulli li Rabbika w AnHar

assalamu alaikum,

I made it! We are two days into winter break already. And alhamdulillah, everyone is still alive.

I made a few simple goals for this break; since I knew I wasn't going to camp I'd have the time... the only thing I had set in stone was dinner today with my great-aunt.

Which we might end up late for.

Because I'm dragging my feet.

And not because I dislike my relatives, either. It's actually a conflict of fiqh on my part. You know, celebrating Christmas versus honoring ties with relatives, even if they are of different faith. But anyway.

So, the things on the list?:

-Go to the gym for 2.5 hours (or 650 calories) daily (every day it's open). This is in prep for the Flying Pig Half Marathon. And if it's called the Flying Pig, InshaAllah I'll actually be running it!

-Toss my very broken bed and move in a new frame.

-Sew the pants pattern and cloth I've had sitting for 2 years; if it isn't begun by 4 January the whole thing goes to charity inshaAllah.

-Tidy up my room.

See? Fairly simple things to do. InshaAllah I'll have time to do some (paper) journaling, cook some lunches and suppers ahead, and study microbio (so far I'm doing okay, but catchup is in order!)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008



Okay, my EMAILS are not working. Plural. As in none of my passwords are working. And I can't get into facebooks. Uh-oh...

Monday, December 01, 2008


Assalamu Alaikum,

I'm still here. Still happy. Very busy alhamdulillah.



Friday, November 07, 2008

free associating

Assalamu Alaikum,

Today is my father's birthday. I'm happy and blessed to still have him here. We went to dinner, sans JW, at one of his favorite restaurants. The food was okay, the conversation liberally seasoned with laughter. I wish it were that way all the time. Alhamdulillah for the good days.

I didn't go to work today, and I'm really frustrated with the fact that I couldn't get a strep test. I've been ill for some weeks, but my dr's office suggested that I go to the Urgent Care or an ED. For a strep test? I was a bit offended. Especially when, her partner wouldn't do the strep test either- he specialises in children. It's just funny to me that you must see thousands of cases of strep in a year, but you won't do a strep test on someone over the age of 18. Okay.

So now I either get to find a new office tomorrow morning for the purposes of the strep test (and to figure out what this is if it isn't strep- I've been ill more and less since Eid). I'm not returning to the doc I saw before, who decided it was necessary to voice her opinion on my hijab. No, thanks.

While at my sister's house I found a paper I had lost, with the email of a suitor on it... so I guess I am supposed to contact him. Make dua'a for me.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

What to say

Assalamu Alaikum,

Okay, yesterday I didn't know what to say.

Today I still don't, but it wasn't until today that it hit me.
Today I was sobbing in my car on my way to work. I can't believe it.

But I still don't have words for what I"m feeling. It's not elation. I think my first two voting experiences numbed me to elation after an election, you know?

Hey, the 20-year republican House representative of my Conservopolis district is out, that's a plus.

I think the future remains to be seen and is in the hands of Allah.


On other notes- I have some serious istikhara to make. So keep making dua'a for me, and thanks for sticking around. InshaAllah I'll be back soon.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Alhamdulillah! Election

Assalamu Alaikum,

I decided that since my absentee ballot never made it, that I'd vote early. I rose at fajr (yay Macs with the Guidance system!) and made my way over.

Imagine my surprise to find NO parking spaces and an hour and a half wait. Yes, I was in line at 6:15 and didn't vote until 7:53.

An African American PResident. Alhamduilillah.


Monday, November 03, 2008

Prayer contemplatioGn etc

Assalamu Alaikum,

Today started out well and ended regrettably. I'm glad I remembrered to blog about it. Yay- 3 days in a row for NaBloPoMo! Let's see how far I go.

Here's my reminder that came of the more stressful things in my day:

1. Males as well as females need to be educated on pregnancy and the choices that lead to and through it. I cannot say more but um just REALLY take that one heavily, okay?

2. Everybody go write a will right now. This is sunnah. Many of the companions of the Prophet, may Allah grant them peace, would go and deliberately take care of their affairs before they went into battle, as the Prophet (saws) directed. In his last days, the Prophet himself went to the masjid and asked if anyone still had a debt upon him.

Write a will and tell SEVERAL people you'd trust with your life about where it is adn the provisions in it. This goes DOUBLY if you have descendants, I don't care if they are of age or not. You need to tell someone how you want your remains disposed, you need to say what should happen to any inheritance you should leave behind, you need to designate your charity portions, you need to HAVE YOUR DEBTS PAID OFF. My friends, when I heard the lesson about how one is not supposed to be buried until his debts are paid, and how if he is then he feels the torture of the grave and the person who has the debt will still have that right over him on the day of judgment, please believe I was chilled.

I don't want to go into the conversation that led to this statement, but know that I have bugged and will continue to bother my halqa leaders until they give us an Islamic will-writing conference; meanwhile I have drawn up papers detailing who and how my remains and any funds (ha!) I leave will be distributed. I'm living for tomorrow, but in cas eI don't live THROUGH tomorrow I'm straight... inshaALlah.

3. Friends who don't let friends unwillingly stay single ROCK.

heh heh- on that note I'm publishing before the day is over!


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Whoo-hoo, day Two

Assalamu Alaikum,

It has been a long day. No, that's not a pun on the time change, but I'm happy about that, too.

My goal for this month (because I have nothing to do, right, what with teaching tutoring halaqas and now classes) on a personal level is to de-clutter- take two things out of my room for every 1 thing I purchase or have to bring in. I'm so tired tonight that I started a load of clothes and just plopped in the bed, but the next several months will require me to push through the tired, so I may as well begin now.
I did clean out my car, though, and that was a major accomplishment.

I'd appreciate your dua'a through this week; I've been sick and now really don't feel well; unfortunately I have to return to work tomorrow instead of staying home as was my inclination because Tuesday are parent-teacher conferences, and wednesday is our state inspection. I've got some cleaning I want to get done on Tuesday and lesson planning for Monday, so between those I don't get a break until Thursday unless I am suddenly paralysed, Allah forbid. inshaAllah khair.

I've got to decide how much pressure I want to put on myself and how much I will keep accepting from outside. I learned as a young child that wanting something was bad- and now I'm fighting both unmotivation (is that a word?) and entitlement. How do you fight those? By just doing it, picking up and setting goals - and by giving back to other people.

So that's what I'm working on starting now...


Saturday, November 01, 2008


Assalamu Alaikum,

Wow, NaBloPoMo is back. This is national blog posting month, in which you post every single day for a month.

I make no promises, but am starting out in good faith. Today was... I feel like I got nothing done toward MY goals today, just everyone else's.

But there's a social event at the downtown mosque today that I"m going to. So I'll do that, and moon over the fact that my Baji is sick. (Anyone have any cures for nausea that don't involve ginger? Or eating a cracker/dry carb before you sit up in bed? That and accupuncture is all I got. I'm pretty sure she's unhappy but since she's not talking... I thought I'd ask for help.)

One day. I make no promises, but here's the intention.


Friday, October 31, 2008

AS I was saying...

October 31st Excitement

Assalamu Alaikum,

My students are going on a field trip today, and then returning to the school later tonight for the annual October 31st Game Night. Their parents have been hyping them up for both (which is in the Official Job Description of a parent so I'm not bad), and I'm looking forward to the trip. I love my little ones, and this year as with last I have some joyful as well as challenging personalities, it'll be fun to see them enjoy (or just encounter) a different environment.

Now, I have no problems with Game Night being every year on the same night, even the night that it is. I do have problems with the *ahem* fitna that comes with this particular day, every year. As a teacher, I stand with and actively promote the school policy, which is that there is no celebration of any non-Muslim holiday in the school, and the only Muslim holidays are the two Eids. Anything else we take a break for is federally mandated (e.g. the reason for Thanksgiving and winter breaks). And I truly feel that, even at the age I teach, this is the best thing for my classroom. All the children are happier for it, and no one is left out.

That says, I've had to be really resolved to not condemn the celebration of other holidays, either. I don't want feelngs hurt that way, either, since several of my students have a non-muslim parent or live in families that have more relaxed views of holidays. I ran into this with the celebration of the Prophet's birthday. And um, yeah, I was like- that's not Eid! My assistant at the time had to remind me that, um, some people will try to hurt you if you tell that to their kids! Ohhhh-kay. So the line was that, we don't celebrate birthdays at school- at all. And the children understood that, even if the parents didn't.

I'm not a parent so the issue is pretty much moot on a personal note. I personally will not celebrate it with my children, I don't think. (note the cya I don't think because I have no idear if/who I will marry, that one is still up to Allah.) I'm not exercised about it; I'm just opting to follow what I've been taught of the sunnah and not participating. A family gathering on that day is okay with me, as is Game Night- do something with people of like mind, y'know?

I feel the same way about the elections coming up. I volunteered a while ago to work in Spanish with a certain candidate. I think it was because I temporarily lost my mind. I'm just refusing to get all exercised about it. I will try to meet up with them since I said I would... but if it continues to be a problem I won't be mad. I know I'm going to VOTE but I'm not screaming about my choice of candidate. And I'm certainly not telling the world who my choice is- that's no one's business but my own. That viewpoint I caught (heh, like a cold) from my parents, who have probably been for a certain party since before I was born. Do you know I have never heard them (I mean EVER) identify with any party? I don't know half of their views because we just don't discuss it. My mother put the point on it the other day: "I remember when we were still fighting to vote. Nobody needs to know what I think either way." One of my colleagues was shocked when she straight asked me, "Are you voting Obama?" and I said it wasn't something I talked about. I must've grown two heads, y'all. I know some people feel they can't vote at all Islamically, and that's bunk too. There's no hadith that says we can't exert our influence to say who will be our leaders- ESPECIALLY since we don't live under a khalifa. (Yes, I just lit that firecracker.)

So yes, I'm excited about today, and yes I'm excited about the vote, but you won't catch me screaming about it. Who'd'a thunk it?


Sunday, October 05, 2008

And Then

Assalamu Alaikum,

... and then JW comes in and tells me that he has found his religion and it has nothing to do with God.

I tell you, I was MEANT to make dua'a for patience and deliverance today. It HAD to happen. This is my only explanation.

Hugs accepted.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Eid Mubarak 1429

Assalamu Alaikum,

Eid Mubarak.

Eid is wonderful, a celebration, a time of joy. A time off the job. A time of respite.

I'm sad and I don't like Eid very much. After the first day I'm bereft. No meal to wait for as the sun's last rays disappear. No tarawih prayers to make the night bright, to lift the heart. No seeing friends and loved ones every day. No special reason for everyone to exercise more patience, more love. Ramadhan is over.

So Eid is bittersweet for me, spiritually. I want Ramadhan to last all year. As a convert I feel that I lose my family, the closeness, for eleven months out of the year. That's not quite true. But the larger sense of community- the people I saw only during Ramadhan will disappear back into their lives agagin. I miss them already.

I know I'm supposed to be happy. I am. I am. I am, I protest.

I hope to find blessings in this Eid, and I wish the same to you.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Plain language, clear choices

Assalamu Alaikum,

Alhamdulillah, it has been a great Ramadhan. I can't and won't complain. I've enjoyed iftars and tarawih prayers, and even 'itikaf. I wanted to do that tonight but looks like it won't happen- I'm being tested by a bad cold. Please make dua'a for me.

As a matter of fact, something happened when I made istikhara that I want to share with you. I don't have a lot of time just now (JW is coming with me to iftar (!) and I need to go pick him up), but let's just say that my prayer was answered, clearly, tacitly, and QUICKLY. Like an hour after I made it. I had no doubts, so this is just me being a witness to the glory of Allah, subhana wa ta'ala. I really feel that I've been blessed with more trust this month, and inshaAllah I'm doing what I can so that I build on it through the year. Someone wrote that our deen is a living thing, that it builds and ebbs, and that this is to be expected. I hope and pray, then, that my ebb does not conquer the heights I've reached. I am happy.

Because my istikhara was answered so clearly I was encouraged and made more prayer and asked about Farhan, who's been around a lot more lately. Please make dua'a that Allah's will be made clear.

I wanted to make a comment on the political situation here in the US of A just now. I wish someone would state exactly what is going on in plain language. While I was an international affairs major in college, I did have to take Econ twice. The second time (I never failed, just fell below my school's criteria for IA majors) I was at home and my father took the time to explain everything in everyday, cost, cause and effect terms that I understood.

So I want the same for this whole bailout deal. Someone, please break it down for me. I feel stupid because this is the one area of weakness for me and it's important- or at least, all over the news. Jazak Allah khair in advance for your comments or pointing to clear resources.

The other thing I wanted to share was the title of a book lent to me by Bro. Leader: 15 Ways to Increase Wealth by Abu Ammar Yasir Qadhi. It's the kind of title I'dve' passed right by but he pressed it into my hand as I was leaving his and May's house after an iftar. MashaAllah, it's awesome- talking about halal and haraam income and how these can lead to big results either way. It's opened my eyes, so I'm recommending it... let me know if you've heard of other books like this, financial or not.

I'm making dua'a for you all- please leave any requests, esp. if I know you personally, in the comments or in my email box. May you all find Laylat ul Qadr with increased ibadah and may your fasts and efforts be accepted by our Lord, amin.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Half gone...

Assalamu Alaikum,

Ramadhan has been a blessing as always, though sometimes the blessings come in the form of tests.

Conservopolis got hit with the remnants of Hurricane Ike as it passed through the upper Midwest, leaving not much rain in our area, but wind that knocked trees into roads and houses (!), and leaving schools in 10 counties with holidays. Looks like we'll be back tomorrow, and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't benefited from the rest. I took advantage of the time to get a few more things sorted with my science courses at Conservopolis Technical. Just a couple weeks and some FAFSA forms and I'll be on my way to a master's degree. Alhamdulillah.

JW is doing well, actually came to an iftar after being invited by Bro. Leader this past weekend. I always enjoy spending time with their family, and this was no exception. JW invited his (very Christian) 'girlfriend' who shares a name with our sister, and that was interesting. She didn't ask very many questions, just watched with eyes wide open. She's a good girl, as Sis. May noted; and while we all know that no woman can change any man, (that is Allah's power) I hope she sticks around. He likes her; she's a cool person who has calming influence. We'll see.

Speaking of that family, Sonny left for the middle east right after the start of Ramadhan. His sister is mad excited that he'll be closer to her; he's going to study Arabic and the deen and will be gone a year. I'm happy for him (wish for your brother what you wish for yourself is true here) and at the same time glad he'll be gone. InshaAllah he is guided to knowledge. One of my girl friends who is supposed to go study in the same country won't be leaving until December, after all, and I'm glad to have the time with her. May Allah continue to bless her. She's so patient, kind, and such a student of Islam, I'll miss her when she goes.

Hmph and then Bilal said his version of Ramadhan mubarak over the Facebook. Alhamdulillah for being a grownup. It's been 5 years since we all graduated from college. I miss DC, I miss the good times and the good people I met there. Being at ISNA a couple weeks ago, I ran into so many sisters and brothers who were my companions on the way to Islam. Bilal was one of those, as is D, as is Koonj for that matter. Few are the true friends I keep in contact with- so of the others? I thank Allah for them... but I'm purposely putting one foot in front of the other daily, away from them. At least during Ramadhan the straight path doesn't seem as lonely.

*sigh*. I'm trying to be good so I'll move on from that topic (Sonny and crew, Bilal, D), won't I?

It's such an awesome experience to actually keep up with each Juz every day. I've been using Qur'an explorer (script works best with IE, be forewarned) to recite them with the English meaning daily, then going to tarawih when I can, nights. I'm developing a preference for one tarawih; the qari is so deliberate, reciting with feeling, mashaAllah. For a while my funds were low, and I got unexpected benefit from having to visit a certain masjid. There are some awesome sisters there, we're getting to know one another.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm here, and I'm okay, and I hope your Ramadhan is even more blessed than mine, amin.


Monday, September 01, 2008

Ramadhan Mubarak!

Assalamu Alaikum,

Well. Little time to say it, lots to say.

This year was my unique opportunity to bring in Ramadhan at ISNA. I love me some ISNA. When I was a teen I did the NAACP national Convention every year; I have graduated to the ISNA-itis. I was there, you probably saw me if you were there, and just didn't know it.

And, I met UmmZaid! That was mad cool. She could've been all shady and acted like she didnt' know me, and she didn't , we hugged, and I'm glad to see the face in front of the mind I love to read. InshaAllah we'll meet again.

I also met HijabMan, he's funny. I meant to go back to his booth and just ran out of cash (ISNA bazaar is not a joke, ya'll) so when I get paid (inshaAllah) I'll be over there pestering him to send me merch through the internet. I want the shirt that says Muslims love Jesus, too. So to the point.

I had the opportunity to explain just that to one of the workers at the convention center. He asked me, do ya'll have Jesus? And I really enjoyed the 10 minutes we took to speak. InshaAllah he'll be guided.

I also feel so loved after that convention. There was a point where I couldn't walk from one end of the hall to the other, for meeting someone I knew and hadn't seen in years. I needed that boost. It was sooo good to see my friends, my peoples I loved so well while in school, the forgiving and the loving. Man. When we get it right we Muslims really are trying to be closer to Allah and it shows.
I'm begininng to understand this about myself: that I need to feel loved like other people need to look good, or other people need to eat good food, or other people need to seek Allah. How I connect that to Islam and taqwa is my challenge moving forward.

I found a Qur'an that suffices. It doesn't have the fancy notches, but it does have the large print. Alhamdulillah!

It's back to earth now. I've been up too long; and I"m investing in some eye cream because this Ramadhan, with school starting tomorrow, promises to be short on that sleep stuff *groan*. May your fasts and deeds be accepted, may you be guided to remain on the straight path, may Allah bless you and your loved ones in all you do,amin. Ramadhan Kareem!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Qur'an help! Okay Internets- your turn!

Assalamu Alaikum,

Where can I find a 'large-print'(NOT just large Size) Uthmanic Arabic-only Qur'an? I saw one at the masjid the other day that made me drool. Let me explain:

One of the hardest things for me this past summer at Fawakih was struggling to read the Qur'an, both aloud and to myself, consistently. Our tajweed class literally drove me to tears.

It did help when we sisters were allowed to take the course from a sister who has ijaza instead of in front of the whole world. But I figured out that my real problem had more to do with the whole struggle itself to SEE and capture what I was reading.

See, Arabic script in nearly every Qur'an I've seen has been MUCH smaller than comparable typeface. SO not only do I have to remember the sounds that go with the letters and how to string them together properly, and THEN read with the proper hukm/rules (ha ha, sorry, just remembered the way our Algerian sheikh would ask us, 'Wha' tha hukm?'), I also have to fight just to SEE what I'm reading with every dot and haraka correct. In Arabic, the dots make a difference. It's not like leaving the dot off a lower-case letter I in English. Beyond the ordinary frustration, reading and missing dots and having to concentrate intensely on every. single. word-it's extraordinarily tiring.

And the ordinary frustration is great- I'm one of those people who read whole lines at a time in Latin script (English, Spanish, Portuguese- doesn't matter). Arabic flipped the script for me because I can't 'capture' and understand the words, because I don't know vocab. I don't understand what I'm reading. So it flies right out of my head until I get it explained. I find it a lot easier to memorize Qur'an while driving and repeating back what a passenger recites to me, for example, than reading it or sitting in front of a computer listening to it.

So I end up asking a ton of questions. My teacher would ask me to 'just memorize it, it doesn't matter if you understand it'. Huh? That's a poor and last-ditch way to retain knowledge if you ask me. Sure, if all you're trying to do is preserve the way the sounds go through the generations, that's what you do. Anyway.

Since it's rare that I actually have someone in the car to recite the Qur'an to me and then explain what it's about (Thanks, Emad and Waheed), I've been trying to take time out of my day to read it to myself. I have Qur'an translations as well as a transliteration (which I don't like to use), so I'm okay with meaning. My problem is reading the actual arabic.

So then, the other day at the masjid I saw a musHaf that made me drool. I COULD READ THE SCRIPT. The words were relatively large (I'd say about a 14 pt font?) and uncrowded on the page. It had colored tajweed script (not the highlight blocks that drive me nuts). The top and sides were color-notched and labeled according to Surah AND Juz. And it was hardback. It was one of those moments when you can almost see the beam of light shining down from the heavens- THIS! This was exactly what I needed! It was so easy to read! And to find the surahs I already knew in English! MashaAllah! I spent an hour in the masjid just reciting with that mushaf.
Of course, it belongs to the masjid.

So. Does anyone know where I can get my hands on a Qur'an of this sort? I'm willing to forego the (awesomely excellent) juz and surah notching, and even the tajweed rules. But a Qur'an of this type, for someone whose eyes aren't that good/a beginner in reading Arabic is something I'm willing to pay for. I've searched a lot of web sites, and what I've found are large SIZED mushafs, with script the same as everywhere else, not helpful. Please lend me your expertise!

Also, I'll be at ISNA, so if you know for a fact that there's a certain vendor there who'll have these or know of them, let me know.



Monday, August 18, 2008

Race You

Assalamu Alaikum,

So, didn't sleep much last night. This would make up for the fact that I pretty much slept around the prayer times all day yesterday. That's a neat knack to have if it weren't for the fact that I probably should've been up doing things yesterday. I'm not sick, alhamdulillah, but I think a couple things have me a little bit down. One, is a particular man who is exploring the idea of marrying me. The other is the concept of race and how far we've not come on it in this ummah. Sigh.

The man? Was around before that last post of mine. I'm getting a strong 'no' feeling after istikhara and a pretty uneasy and forgettable conversation with him. I don't want to go into it too much here. Just want to note for my own memory that I have this uneasy feeling about him. I'm fighting myself because I don't want to be biased against him without having really met him, when there are a couple of things I could be biased against. I guess I want to give him a fighting chance when something else slightly irrational but true-to-me is saying 'nuh-unh'.

The race thing is, I guess, the flip side of that particular coin. I've been here in Conservopolis a year. And while I've got some friends, they aren't the close-close kind of friends. A very few confidants who are trustworthy. And I trust them because they will make un-politically correct remarks around me. They've let me put my foot in my mouth, too. Certain people, make me think I want to hold them at arms' length, but that isn't the way to maintain friendships, is it? Still. That crew of women who are around my age I find particularly frustrating. One moment they're calling me sweetheart and the next I'm ignoring the fact that there are several gatherings I wasn't invited to being mentioned in my face. Sigh. If I were included I'd have something else to be mad about so I'm gonna stick to the ones who are true: the 30 something moms. For some reason, maybe because they have neither time nor intention to BS me, I'm easier around them.

Then we have the whole dark skin thing. I find it hilarious and at the same time frustrating to be summarily dismissed on first impression because of my skin color and cultural background. Equally funny and maddening to have myself subjected to every stereotype about African Americans simply because I am one. From my teacher at the beginning of the summer to some rude teens at a party the other day, I've seen it and had to have some patience on it.

The patience is always rewarded when the children of the community, my students, no matter what color they are, run and tackle my knees as soon as they see me. Some of these children have begun parroting the 'you're darker, not pretty' belief at me, but their love belies the indoctrination. To have to interrupt my conversation with an adult to direct my attention three feet lower to a (non-African American, paper-bag test passing) child gleefully screeching, "Miss Two! Miss Two!" and watching the adult's expression 'lighten' is better than any fight I could fight.

I wish I could convey that through the internet.

I have to go to work, or I'd finish this. There's another telling thing: I do NOT want to go back to work under one of the admins at my school (no point in singling one of them out). And I don't want to go back, period. This'll change, I'm sure, when I"m in the middle of selecting shiny new posters, laminating borders and arabic cards, making nametags and cubby pictures for my students. Teaching at this level is a very fun line of work; but it is a line of work. InshaAllah I'll be one of those who either finds work that isn't like working, things I think about late at night and can't wait to get to in the morning, or I'll be finally able to make my home that work, and I'll only have to account to my Lord for my days. That? Would be awesome.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

YOU are now officially everyone and their mama

Salaam Alaikum,

Rejection stinks. This is true. It happened when I was surrounded by about 100 teenagers, 9 of whom I was responsible for. Know what? That helped me get over it all the quicker. It wasn't easy, but the kids gave me a great excuse to not be around them for a couple of hours (they played a prank on the counselors, so I needed to go change my clothes) and I got in the pimp car (which, btw, had been scraped earlier by one of the campers' cars that week- now I have to paint it) and drove in it and stopped in the dark and thought dark thoughts and talked to God before returning to see the girls to sleep. When I was done I was raw, when I woke the next morning I was absolutely okay with the whole thing. Whew.

Moving along- someone else has asked about me. Most obvious draw: he's definitely established in life, has worked a couple of careers, and people I trust know him pretty well. Most obvious drawback? He's around 16 years older than I am.

*sigh* make dua'a please. Really. I'm serious. Even just a 'Allah, please give that sister who calls herself Twenny guidance amin' will help greatly.

That, and um if I haven't stated it baldly enough, I am pretty serious about getting married. So if you know me and you know somebody, mention me. All suggestions will be entertained.

Yeah, this guy said it pretty well, entertain yourself for 9 minutes of your life:

MYNA Camp was wonderful, mashaAllah. I had a relatively small cabin, with roughly the same age group- a little younger. There were challenging personalities and deep personalities. My assistant, A, was the head counselor for the girls, and another very good friend was also counselor. And really, I get along pretty well with all of the counselors who were there. There are certain ladies with whom I have ... an ambivalent relationship. And all of these women are pretty prominent, or rather from prominent and established families in the Conservopolis community.

The ones I don't mix well with were not there. You know I said alhamdulillah for that, and made dua'a for them as well since the reasons for their absences were very sad. It's weird. Just because we don't get along doesn't mean I don't wish them the best. This grownup thing takes getting used to.

The theme of the camp meant that we spent a LOT of time talking about the characteristics of Jennah and Jehennam. There were a couple of repeat speakers, including one of the organizers and one of the coordinators of the Fawakih program. Plus, people from the program itself came to visit, a welcome surprise.

The highlights of my week, besides community prayer all day every day, were the swim sessions (yay all-girls swimming, TWICE), being able to float and really listen to all of the kids responses and ideas in the various programming workshops, and the calligraphy workshops. InshaAllah men are really as oblivious as we think because Sonny's brother was the calligraphy teacher. (Now that I think on it, his wife may have told him I was interested anyhow. I don't want to ponder that anymore.) He didn't have ijaza, just experience in the past, but I enjoyed his very straightforward approach to teaching and positive criticism. Alhamdulillah I learned a lot, though, and it's something I may actually want to pursue. Conservopolis doesn't have any teachers, so that'll take doing. We'll see.

ISNA is coming, and I go back to teaching next week. This year, how it has flown!


Friday, August 01, 2008


Assalamu Alaikum,

I'm here. Working to get my life back on track, is all. And Sunday I leave for MYNA camp, yay! So inshaAllah you are all well and healthy. I guess perhaps I'll be back to more regular blogging when school is in (and thus my vacation is over, sigh).


Wednesday, July 09, 2008


assalamu alaikum,

My version of sabr has somehow become BK french fries. They crunch so tastily even though the inside is soft and gooey, just like I like it.

Today is the first anniversary of my grandmother's death. I made dua'a, but.

JW has officially lost his mind. I don't want to talk about it.

Fawakih did not come at a great time for me. I have less patience- or access to 'sabr'- than I like.

I'm not married. I'll be twenty seven on Sunday. One prospect 'ahem' let me know he was engaged today.

Somebody pass the ketchup.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Yay, meme love!

Assalamu Alaikum,

Yes, I got meme love from Lucky Fatima:

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your summer. Post these instructions in your blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.

WHOOOHOOO!!!! I love this meme because, well, y'all know how I am about music. Because I am that way, I'm counting multiple songs from the same CD as one song. Sorry. Had to cheat, otherwise a 5 minute meme could take way too much time just for making decisions!

Also, I think all of my songs are old because I'm like Fatima, if it rocks it rocks forever.

1. Outlandish, 'Callin U' and 'Aisha'

2. Alicia Keys, 'Unbreakable'(MTV Unplugged)

3. Mateo, 'Tomorrow' and 'Can't Let Her Go'- shoot, the whole 'Human' LP

4. Sami Yusuf, 'Hasbi Rabbi' and 'Ya RasulUllah'

5. Native Deen, 'Life's Worth'

6. Billy Joel, 'Always a Woman

7. Shakira, 'La Tortura'.

Make of that what you will. InshaAllah people actually see this tag: ummmm

Shoot, who should I tag?

You! Also, I'm tagging some people who know me and others who I just love to read, to see who's looking. Shabana, Y at Joy Unexpected, Nzingha, Safiya. Have fun!

People are Hungry. What do I do about it?

Assalamu Alaikum,

First, I said I would talk about Fawakih. It has been hard but rewarding work, with an awesome series of speakers and opportunities. I do want to talk more about it, but I'm crunched for time! Intensive means just that.

And now, promise fulfilled, I have a challenge for every one who reads this.
What I wanted to talk about was hunger. When there are people who are hungry, we have to constantly agitate to make sure that our zakat gets to them.

I read this article, and earlier this year the ones linked inside it, and wanted to cry. I have been hungry in my lifetime. Even during that time I had food to eat once a day.

People are eating dirt in Haiti. Why are we not paying attention?

I know the article approaches from a nationalistic and racial perspective, and I'm ignoring that because the fact is that people. are. hungry. Really hungry. Eating dirt cookies hungry. That's crazy. And Haiti? Is closer to this mainland than Puerto Rico, which is a part of the USA. So proximity shouldn't be dictating things like this.

So. Do something. Small, like find a charity in Haiti (unfortunately mostly Christian) and donate. Or larger, like writing a letter to your congressional representative regarding our policies toward Haiti and countries in similar situations.

I'm sure there are other things to do, so if you have a suggestion, bring it up. But I challenge you right now, while you've already eaten in the past 24 hours and dirt had nothing (inshaAllah) to do with your meal. Do something for those who can't eat.



Thursday, June 12, 2008

Yup. Me.

assalamu alaikum,
Yes. Me. And what a ride the past couple of weeks have been.

I did get into the Fawakih program, and it is a lot of hard work! I didn't know how much I didn't know until I began. Wa Allahu Alim. I'm sleep deprived already from the studying. I like most of the people there, and the ones who get on my nerves have good intentions, inshaAllah, so I'm making the best of it and working hard to learn, learn learn! I'm happy even as frantic as I've been to study. You know how it's said that doctors are the worst patients? I'm starting to think that teachers are the worst students, wa audhu billah. This is hard!! I've burst into tears twice during tajweed class, and I don't know why it makes me so nervous. I think my perception that I'm the worst in the class isn't helping, especially when we have to listen to everybody else in the class and then recite behind them. I hate the reading in front of a lot of people, esp. the Sheikh- he's really good, I'm embarassed to read so badly when I really do know how to read better- and my roommate, who is excellent. And full of advice. The other teachers are pretty good as well. The program is so accelerated that I feel that's my major hurdle- what for everyone else in my group is review is new material for me and I'm suffering through, studying hard.

I'm making dua'a for one of the sisters there; on the second day her mother in law was put into the hospital because of an accident. She is so nice, and we were sorry to see her family in such pain when she was already struggling just to make it to the program- she has a tiny baby and two other kids. I look at her and learn exactly what dedication to learning is about. mashaAllah.

Because my boss has control and memory issues, and so forgot to tell me until I was 200 miles away at Fawakih, I'm leaving now to go back to Conservopolis and take care of some urgent work business. I'm very frazzled over this. Gas is super high, and now you ask me to make a four-hour round trip? Plus I'm missing the biggest day of f'il conjugations, and I'll have to do the homework and then drive back tomorrow morning. InshaAllah. The good news is that I get to hear Ustadha Noura Shamma give a talk tonight, and I get to sleep in my own bed. This is major. I probably won't get (or take) the chance again to come back during the month, so I'm taking advantage now.

InshaAllah I'll post again just to talk about what's going on here at Fawakih.


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Nuh-Uh! Me?!

assalamu Alaikum,

Oh my goodness!

I think I got into the Fawakih Program!

Weird, though, I'm not sure. I think I was because I was enrolled into a Sunni Path Arabic course, randomly.

Oh man. Oh man. Oh man. I'm so excited, and yet this means a lot of stuff to do- travel and lodging arrangements, somehow get a computer (!)...

I shouldn't be so excited. It might be someone playing around. Still, I don't think SunniPath would send me something if it weren't legit.

Still, I'm mad excited. I hope it's true! Make dua'a for me... takbir!


It's da firstadda muuunth...

assalamu alaikum,

Yesterday was a great day. The end to a hectic week, really. We went to an amusement park. I hadn't been in like 10 years. I was happy in the car after I dropped off one our MYNA girls. The sun shone. Before that, a couple days ago, I spoke for a couple hours to some very good friends who happen to be parents of students about what's been going on at the school. I've been working so hard that just good reflective adult conversation is such a sweet thing. I don't get it anywhere else. Maybe halqa, but we haven't had that in a couple weeks. Sinan said he'd talk to some friends of Farhan's, but- well, developments and my own changing feelings mean I'm not all that invested in that whole situation. Then he and Baji let me sleep in their awesome guest room. That rocked. The week was long, field day and graduations done, and yesterday evening, I was happy.

This morning, on the way to halaqa, my mood kinda tanked. I'm worried about JW again. His... personal hygiene has slipped recently. At least he's maintained his progress on the deen front- he is not an atheist. I worry that he's slipping. Maybe it's nothing. That's in the back of my head. I make dua'a every time I think about it.

It's the first day of the rest of my life. Today at halqa we were talking about various sahaba, may Allah be pleased with them. One was AbuDarda'. We read the story of how, when Umar went to inspect his province in Damascus, he discovered that AbuDarda''s pillow was only a saddle, and his covering a sheet barely good enough to keep off the chill, that they remembered the hadith of the Prophet (s) about letting your provisions be as much as those of a rider. That was so much food for thought for me. I've made intention to get things together in my house, but. We talked about Abu Bakr, and how he was so worried about the three or four things he left when he died, because the things we leave we will have to account for. I'm getting rid of the junk in my house. I've got to. It's cluttering my mind.

We have so much. Even when people in my life are literally going crazy. I have so much, alhamdulillah.

Happy June.


Monday, May 26, 2008

just. don't. stop.

assalamu alaikum,

if you're going through hell
keep going

And a very happy Memorial Day to you United States Americans out there.

i'm a jumble of emotions and actions and intentions just now. i woke up before fajr (way before fajr) thinking of my grandmother, the one who died not that long ago, and i haven't actually been the most cheerful chipper cheerleader lately anyway.

It's a struggle. Everything is a struggle. More so now than most times, but. That's how it goes, idn't it?

It astonishes me that i am still processing grandma's death. because a year ago, she wasn't dead. And because before she was dead i didn't really need her. no, that's not right. More like i didn't really talk to her. Because we fought a lot before she died. A lot a lot. Too much. To the point where i could not see any other way to feel about her but a strong negative. i felt pushed into hating her and i couldn't stand that every time i approached her i was rebuffed or criticised. Every. Time.

It was the sheerest choking surprise when i looked at my mother's face and saw she wasn't lying or trying to deceive me when my mother said, "My mother loves you, honey." Love was the last emotion i'd use to describe what went on between my mother's mother and me. And i was hurt and mad and ashamed that i felt this way about someone and couldn't stop myself. It was my duty to love her and i did not see a way to do so. Forgive, maybe, but i still don't know where love would come from in that relationship. And i'm angry at myself for that, too. For not loving and for asking myself to love where i was so deeply hurt. i feel caught. even as i make dua'a to Allah to expand her grave and make it light, and i do that almost every time i pray. i don't know why.

Today i caught myself praying that my children never feel the way about my mother that i feel about my grandmother, that my grandchildren never feel that way about me.

ha. children. grandchildren. inshaAllah.

Shoot, now there's the question of the day- where does love come from at all? Must be from above. i don't want to be philosophical or anything, just that question seems really applicable to my life lately. i was able to stop taking certain meds, and that's great. but stopping means my mood swings to extremes as a side effect, until my body is back to 'normal'. (Don't use drugs, drugs are baaad). i start wondering if i really should feel how i feel. And what is love, anyway?

i went to the u of conservopolis msa picnic today. Got lost and got there really late. Frustrating, really, how i know so many places here, have been all over the city, and yet cannot drive myself to any of them because i didn't learn to drive and so didn't drive myself anywhere until after i left conservopolis. i know landmarks and not street names. The picnic today was at one of those places; we held my Sr. class cut day at the park there. Nine years ago this week, as a matter of fact.

good grief, i've been out of high school for nine years. that's a whole 'nother pot of anguish right there. Or, it could be, but i'm not going there.

as happy as i was to be out-of-doors on probably one of the last pretty days before that huge band of tornado-and-thunderstorm weather hits (and i'm still praying for those killed in the last couple of days), man, i've got to get me some girlfriends or something. And that takes time. And a certain softening of my personality that comes, like, twice a year maybe. Otherwise my directness and forthrightness and brashness doesn't lend itself to being close with the women in this particular group. *sigh*.

i know it's how it's supposed to be, and some of my fave women were there, but some of the Catty Crew were also there. I have to forgive their youth a LOT, and i have some forgetting to do over the MYNA camp this winter. And i hope they can forgive whatever they must be seeing in me. i can be a hard person to deal with.
And it was one of those things where the sisters 'mingled with' and 'ignored' the brothers. We all shared the same space but there wasn't a lot of talking, which, again, i mean, alhamdulillah, it's something i still struggle with all the time. My assistant, A., was there, and i was glad to see her but i think we shouldn't maybe see each other so much. Seema was there. A couple other sisters i love talking to were there. Marya was there. So was Farhan. In fact, i think that whole family was there. i like his sister, but didn't get to talk to either of them as much as i'd like.

i spend so much time looking out, or looking back, or looking forward, but the reason i'm going through so much is because i want to be happy with the now. And that's a hard balance to find. As goal oriented as i am, as many things as i want for myself, i know i get too focused with what should be, too wrapped in the target to feel the bow. i forget that in order to fly i have to let go, too.

And i have to forgive myself. Everybody has bad days. i've been listening and taking in what others say, and it's been causing me hell. i can't allow my good days to be determined by anyone else's gauge. Maybe my desk and my bedroom are all awry, the details of xyz event aren't written, i forgot to say salaams to someone, i'm not meek and certainly not married. i haven't been to the gym that i'm paying for in a month, my brows are bushy, and my mood has changed from this second to that.

But hey, my shoes are on the right feet, my clothes and body are clean, there's gas in my car and food to eat (ho, boy, is there food to eat...), i show up to work. once in a while i even halfway smile. i'm still going somewhere- one foot in front of the other. i'm still going through hell. That's okay. i just can't stop.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

dua's para dudas

Assalamu Alaikum,

i find myself facing doubts, las dudas, otra vez.

i'm not smart enough, not skilled enough, not learned enough.

not patient enough, not forbearing enough.

llego a condenarme de nuevo. no soy la suficiente aceptable.

me? nowhere near pale enough or pretty enough, not short enough or thin enough.

not smooth enough, not plucked enough. not attractive- enough.

ni suficiente humilde, ni discreta, ni domestica

not motivated enough, not hardworking enough, not impartial enough, not logical- enough.

not organized enough or forward-looking enough; not brave nor innovative enough.

not careful enough. not consistent enough.

And the mirror I see shows the truth.
puede ser que las dudas son la realidad?
I need my reality and all i can do is hit the floor, on my face, wondering if I'm acceptable yet again. This isn't pretty.

pray, please.

Belong... y, dudas.

assalamu alaikum,

"Don't take it personal. No matter what people say to you, don't take it personal. I't's not about you. It's about them." -Yahaira Liriano

I used to could hate me some Yahaira. I mean really couldn't stand her. She personified everything about GIRLS in general I don't like.

But that doesn't mean she isn't right.

It has been a day. My 'kids' (I am childless, thank you very much) had their 'graduation' program today. Meaning a little more than half of the morning class was promoted. To kindergarten. And the parents were so complimentary (Alhamdulillah, everything went well and no one tripped and fell off the stage). And my room mothers made sure the food went without a hitch.

You know what my problem really is? Exclusion.

I like to be included in things that catch my interest. It's fun to be a part of a group that promotes my favorite team, for instance. I'm no different from anyone else in that, I hope.

And so it surprises me that I still get heartily, heavily, truthfully and genuinely angry when I am excluded from things. I get furiously upset when I see other groups of people deliberately excluding others. This is the aspect of cliques and such that I was thinking about when I deliberately wrote the title, "I. hate. GIRLS.".

It makes me sad that I even got so angry that I wrote that. I love girls. I see myself in them. I am one. Alhamdulillah. As much as I miss my lifeline circle of guys I do adore being a girl in so many little ways. And men can be clique-ish, too. Lord knows I have seen it.

But this has been characterized as such a feminine trait, and I see it so MUCH in the little (tiny!) girls I work with, that I'm just beyond the anger to wondering. What is this really about?


Why do girls learn to be so darn clique-ish at such an early age? It's annoying. It's infuriating. And it becomes ingrained.

I wish I could exclude myself from that statement. But I've done it to others. In reaction, or hurt, or, may Allah forgive me if it's true, perhaps out of sheer ability to do so, to push the other away.


People get really really angry, sometimes, if you project what you're thinking or your motivations or your skills onto them. It's not the best habit to have.

I wish I could see evidence of people thinking of the opposite, though.
If I don't project some of my very human feelings, motives, and abilities on the people I meet, then I become pretty inconsiderate, incurious, condescending. That's a sociopath in the making, when you take it to the extreme level.


JW has not said shahadah. I don't know what to do for him. He clings to his dunyawi ways, wants to go to Vegas for his milestone birthday coming up, wants to earn a living on some definitely haraam means. The hope in my heart was so sweet and I'm just sad. Would you exchange akhira for the ability to play poker for cash? Belief can't be forced.


I was born Black and Female in the United States. Try as I may, I think my culturalization will follow me forever. When I stop and think about it, it's the little insinuations made over my lifetime, the whispers from shaitan and my background in the back of my mind- and then I'm mad about it.

Farhan is Palestinian and fair. Farhan is tall. Farhan is "hot" (my assistant's words, not mine. I was hoping he wasn't as handsome as I thought, but I'm getting to that.) This is pretty inconsequential as far as I'm concerned. That's how he is, right?

The whispers start in my mind. Why is he checking me out? Why me? Is he one of
those?, the ones who chase black girls for no good reason? Does he see my spirit, how much I rejoice in Islam, that I love kids, that I'm a bookworm, that I'm actually a little bit shy? Why me?

Then they continue. Nothing remarkable over here. He should be looking at Wilma, or Sima, they're Palestinian and beautiful. Otherwise, why would everyone tell me they're looking for an African American (never Black) brother for me?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Question!

assalamu alaikum,
(Sorry- I'm posting in Blogger Draft, which won't allow an ! in my post label. Hmph. I'll be writing in about that.)
Thanks to Wanda for playing along.

You asked:

To start off with, do you like teaching little kids? To be frank, they scare the heck out of me and they always are crying and stuff. They give me the willies! :) Do you want to do something else?

I answered that a bit here, in an interview meme from the Dictator Princess.
But to say a little bit more and not quit my blog- I like teaching little ones. Not only because it's easier- if I don't write out complete detailed lesson plans it's not the end of the world- or because of what they give, which is lots of love and learning opportunities. I worried a lot at first because children between 3 and 5 years old are learning so much so rapidly that they absorb a lot of teacher's mannerisms. I don't want them taking anything bad from me! On the flip side of that, you can teach them just about anything at that age; learning is still easy. Like, how not to hit and how to use words to resolve arguments. Or how not to cry. Or how not to poke you incessantly in the rear when they want something, but to instead raise their hands and wait patiently for acknowledgement. (Can you tell what we've been working on in class?)

But because of the worry I watch myself; and I've seen how resilient they can really be. Alhamdulillah, I really have become a more open and generous person because of having taught such young children. That, to me, is the big deal.

Now as for the second part of this- do I want to do something else?

Yes. I've always said that I wanted to be a nurse midwife (okay, or possibly an OB/Neonatologist, but who wants to go through all that med school?)with my own tripartite clinic: one part medical, one part nutrition and health education, one part legal aid. InshaAllah I still will do that, but maybe I'll be a bit older than I projected when I do so. Thirty is around the corner. And my co- president of my senior class just contacted me to start planning on our 10 year reunion. HOW FAST was that?!

Thank you for asking!!


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

InshaAllah, part II

assalamu alaikum,

Okay... so I had said, Ah, well. Marya wouldn't make it to halaqa. It's always a good time learning sooo much mashaAllah.

Still, y'all know I was not trying to miss halaqa on Sunday! I wanted to see if Farhan would make it a record-breaking 3 in a row.

And there I was, laid up with a fever. Feeling TERRIBLE.

So I made dua'a, something akin to, "Please send me down the path You choose, for Your sake.If I need to go, show me how. If I don't, make that the better way to me, amin."

My doctor and my sister had already fussed at me that I didn't need to be out of bed, and I didn't really want to go. I was feeling that bad.
But I didn't want to miss anything good, either. I finally had the new book we're reading at halaqa... and I was starting to be crush-a-licious, all right. Maybe this was a way of telling me to sit my butt down somewhere and chill out. It has happened before.

My fever came down a bit. And then I got up, went into my brother JW's room, and woke him up. "Come with me," I said, "In case I need you to drive because I don't feel good. It's just a movie with lunch at Bro. Leader's house, not the hardcore halaqa like usual." I'd've never been tempted to ask him before, but because he knew I'd been ill...

But JW has been stuck in ahem atheist opinion for some time now. He doesn't like "dealing with religious people", as he puts it; "God is a control mechanism." I've been trying to get him to talk to Bro. Leader or Nerd for a while and he always resists. I thought maybe he'd just enjoy the movie and being around young people. And maybe I really would let him drive the Pimp Car (tm) if I felt really really sick.

This time he got up, took a shower, and came with.

So, yay! I was feeling a bit better, and going to an easy halaqa, and JW was with me.

When we got there, the halaqa was watching an Ahmed Deedat movie, and he's slaying the guest speaker over "Cruci-FICTION" (I actually recommend finding that DVD if you can. It was great. Watching the Christian pastor skate around direct points presented to him every time he spoke. We laughed several times during what could've been a serious, heavy debate). We sat down, and I looked around...Marya hadn't made it. But lo and behold, sitting with the other brothers, Farhan was there.

I don't mean to blow this out of proportion, y'all. Everyone was focused on the movie and what we were supposed to be studying. It's not that I was exchanging burning glances with Farhan across the room. No. It was on the halal. I mean, my little brother and his little brothers were there, with about 7 other people. Including Bro. Leader, who is very very strict about interactions. Nah, it's just that this is very exciting for me. And he Kept Looking At Me. *grin*

At least now I know I wasn't imagining this, because when we got in the car for the first time, JW told me that he knew Farhan was the guy who kept looking at me (I told him to watch on that and see if I was trippin'). And he is like a hawk when it comes to his big sisters. Hmph.

Yes, I did say when we got into the car for the first time. Way to pay attention, you!

Okay, so Farhan and company left early because there was a basketball tournament at the masjid in Conservopolis they didn't want to miss. One of the sisters, the one who said, "You guys look JUST alike, that's amazing" pulled me aside and asked, "Is he (JW) muslim?" And I whispered back, "Not yet! I just want him to get used to the ideas here." Something inspired hope for the day.

JW and I left after the movie was finished. And as we leave, we're chatting, and JW begins with, "I still don't see how you can prove God is real." Ack! And just after we left the halaqa! I tried, I really did, to point out the signs of nature, and the reasons why I believed personally, but then I said, "Wait. I'm not equipped to really really answer your questions, because I don't know enough. But I bet Brother Leader can."

JW proceeded to protest. He doesn't really like to ask 'religious people' these questions. And Brother Leader probably didn't want to deal with him. I countered with the fact that he seemed perfectly fine with letting JW into his house without knowing him. Then I pulled out my phone. "I'm calling him," I said.

So we turned around, after Bro. Leader invited us back to his place to talk things out. I stuck around to hear the beginning of the discussion, about why the universe has to have God in order to hold it together. And the complexity of a single strand of DNA, much less any organized being. And how could any of the things we know come to be without a creator. They were off. Good grief, I'm glad I called Bro. Leader, because he's one of the few that could even keep up with JW's mind.

And then I grabbed (an excellent cup of) tea, and then sacked out on the really comfy couch in the formal-ish living room of their house while the kids played badminton in front of me. I was burning up again, so I took some meds, even as I was so excited. Maybe this would be the day my brother took shahada. I drifted off and one of Bro. Leader's awesome daughters covered me with a blanket and they tip-toed out of the room.

This is real life, and there's no ecstatically happy ending. JW didn't make shahada by the time I awakened... but I'm really praying on it. Maybe he will. I know that he and Bro. Leader talked that second time for a good three hours. JW has a lot to think about.

I know I ended up thinking about several things on the way home in the car, saying, "InshaAllah... inshaAllah..." Only if He Wills it. Regardless, I know I'm okay only with that.

Twenny Two

Sunday, May 18, 2008

InshaAllah... part I

assalamu alaikum,

Hmm, not so productive a weekend for me. I woke on Saturday with ganas to get some MAJOR cleaning, weeding, and organizing done. Last week I planted some flowers- dahlias, petunias, impatiens, coleus, all red, and some stevia to go with the na'na' on the porch for tea- for my Mama while she was in South Carolina with my great-grandmother. I also started some loads of laundry that were sitting, folded and waiting to be put away. I also intended to rest a bit, since my preschoolers are going on a trip to the world-renowned Conservopolis Zoo at 8:30 AM Monday. (Man, don't those PM preschool parents just luurve me!)

Yeah so I was going to do all that and just started feeling terrible. Achy. And ended up flat in the bed for most of Saturday with a 102 fever. That's with medicine. I was a sick Twenny.

This wouldn't've been such a big deal except for: a) all that stuff I really really wanted to do above; b)the zoo trip coming c) halqa on Sunday.

I know I'm rambling! Yes, there is a story about someone learning more about Islam! Part of the story is getting you to the good parts. This is why I was bummed about missing halaqa:

See, I know I told y'all about the Native Deen concert in Conservopolis, but I left out some juicy things until I was sure they were worth mentioning.

While at this conference and concert, I was sitting next to the wife of my halaqa leader, May, on the aisle. Across the aisle from us were a girl who was familiar to me from some girls' parties at 'Eid last year. I'd met her a couple of times, she was nice, but her name escaped me for one reason or another. (She's Marya, by the way.) There was a man sitting on her immediate right. I've seen him at halqa like twice, total, at this point.

He keeps looking over at us.

At this particular point I know this brother is either peepin' me, or May. And everyone and their mama knows May is married to my halaqa leader. And she hasn't been any more outstanding than usual today. Maybe he's just debating whether to say hello. Maybe he's looking at me. Maybe. Or maybe someone behind us. Or maybe I'm trippin'. I figured I was trippin'. And, that if I saw ol' bro at halaqa the next day, maybe then I could start thinking he was looking my way.

And then I told myself not to be so conceited and went about enjoying the concert.

Next day, however, I get to halaqa at the masjid late (it was Mother's Day, so I'd been planting in the rain) and look who's the only person there waiting with our leader...yup, mystery brother. That was a surprise since he hadn't been at halqa in some time. I don't think I'd seen him there twice in a row before.
He's definitely LOOKING AT ME. This was disconcerting. He was sitting beside Bro. Leader and I kept catching him looking away as I looked up. Huh? Do I got toothpaste on my face or something?

Whatever, right?


So the next day there was an aqiqah for another notable family in the community and once again we're all there. I got to sit at the table with Marya and asked, "Who was that guy with you yesterday, your husband or uncle or brother?" She laughs when I say 'husband' and goes, "Nah, that's my big brother Farhan. Neither of us is married." Crucial info there.

Skip forward through a really tough week to Friday night gathering. Yay- Marya's there! If nothing else, I figure I've got a new friend, because we have a lot in common. We're both really tall. She's studying to be a nurse, and has a big family. We both speak Spanish, and she's spent some time in Germany as well. And we both love kids. This sister is just interesting, mashaAllah. It's so nice to find someone with similar interests who is close to my age here. We talked the whole night about everything from school to clothes to kids to careers, and I enjoyed her company.

But imagine what starts going though my brain when, after she says salaams and sits down with a plate of food, the first thing she says is, "So what's going on on the marriage front for you?" And when I say nothing much, she asks, "And what exactly are you looking for in a brother? Like, to marry?"

Word? It's like that? Now that's interesting.

So I invited Marya herself to the halaqa today, figuring I'd never seen her there, she'd enjoy it... etc. And she begs off by saying she has two exams on Monday- but she might decide to study really hard on Saturday, in order to make it on Sunday.

and then I end up sick with a fever! Of all the things to happen.

InshaAllah, khair, right? What Allah has decreed will happen, right?

I'm so happy about what did happen...y'all wouldn't believe it if I told you.

Or will you?


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I hate girls.

assalamu alaikum,

So, Native Deen had a concert here in Conservopolis. I've had several chances to see them in concert, and while the concerts are enjoyable, they don't like knock me out blow me over, or anything like that. More, things for introspections (like the slow songs 'Life Worth' and 'Zabaluni') or the MuslimPower-type songs ( M-U-S-L-I-M and Niyya). Don't quote me on the titles of those songs. I'm slightly ashamed to admit I"m something of a fair-weather fan, especially since I have no more CD player and an IPod is way out of my reach. They're good, clean fun. At the last MYNA camp I got to meet Br. Joshua. Dude is intense. I loved the music they made at the raps workshop though, so inshaAllah I'll be doing that this summer.

This particular concert was part of a MAS regional conference. I declare, my life is a regular social calendar these days. I don't go one weekend without doing something these days. You know you've arrived when you walk into a room and your name rings out of the hush. Alhamdulillah my students find something in me to love. I feel better, too Alhamdulillah. I guess I may really have to relocate in the next decade or so to an island. Someplace winter never goes.
Anyway. The music is so infectious that kids were dancing in the aisles. Quite a few of my little students were having a good time. Wiggling their little bodies. Grabbing hands with their friends and twirling in circles.

Then I saw four girls grab hands. Two of them let go. Pushed the last girl out and kept dancing and twirling. Wouldn't let her back in when she tried to grip into the circle.

They're all of four years old.

I hate girls, I really do sometimes.


Sunday, May 11, 2008


assalamu alaikum,

Okay, so if you read my last post you might be wondering what I've been doing with all this time I have on my hands. Besides being a magnet for 3 to 5 year old muslims. Or being a naughty counselor and egging people into dangerous things:

(What you don't hear on the video is me saying to Nerd (my crush) and company, "You should do it! George of the Jungle. No, Tarzan! Go do Tarzan!" and then sitting and watching events unfold. I'm an oldest kid like that. You can totally hear me saying 'Wow', though.)

Yeah. I've been reading. Y'all should check this out:

I love PostSecret. And the Mother's Day secrets are tugging at me. They'll only be there until next Sunday, so this link goes quick...

Brother Umar Lee is bringing it as usual with a post on one sister's experience in Metro PD custody. (Metro referring to Washington, DC for those who never lived or went to college there). There's a local citizen's meeting on May 14th, so if you live in the urrea you may want to check his post for more info.

The debate is still going at UmmZaid's spot over the Philly Germantown masjid's decision not to hold janaza for a brother who killed a police officer after having robbed a bank.
Also, I've been fascinated by her search for decent, plain jilbabs. But that's just me.

A very belated Mabrook! goes to Nzingha on her newest son, Umar. You can read up on what's happened since he came here.

I can't believe I'm not hearing more about what's happening in Lebanon. But the 60th anniversary of a certain oppressive occupation is everywhere you look, astaghfirullah.

Like many, the hullaballoo over whether or not aid was getting into Myanmar was making me sick. Looks like things are going now, according to the BBC. And of course I was watching to see how folk did in North Carolina and Indiana. Can I dare to start rooting for a candidate yet?

Yup. Been occupied.


Where y'all at?

Assalamu Alaikum,

Okay, I'm getting bored with this whole blogging to the empty audience thing.
A while ago I was debating quitting my blog entirely. While I don't want to do that, I do need to change this up and make it interesting.

SO: Ask me a question. Any question. I'll answer them on the blog. I want to know what you want to know! This'll help spice things up and give me something to write about that isn't a complete ramble.

The other evening I was at a banquet with an Ambassador as speaker, and it was like a big awakening for me. And I realized that since I left college I've not had a lot of juicy conversation or deep things to think about. I need that. So, I'm opening the conversation. Get comfy and give me a good one. Or make me laugh. Up to you.

Here is the one caveat: I reserve the right to answer with 'No Comment' or a flip answer if a question is vulgar or otherwise not appropriate for my page, got me? That's not a cop-out, either, I'll get personal, even, up to a point. The point being haraam topics and/or my father would kill me. A girl has to live... now and hereafter.

Go ahead! GET me started....


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Oh. Get somebody else to do it. (warning, ramble ahead)

Assalamu ALaikum,

I want a teaching license. But not badly enough to go through the rigamarole it takes to get one. Apparently.

I'm so sick of the Universidad del Sagrado Heart. My problem is really that they're operating Portareeco style. I should be used to this, but I guess two years away from the island mean I'm again sensitive to and agitated by the way people use and abuse time there. See, I did many of my teaching credits there. In order to get a teaching license, I have to prove that I have a certain number of credits of a certain type in education (thanks a whole bunch, NCLB, you continual pain in my ...ahem. Anyway). Crazy thing is that I have the copies of the UPR transcript, and I have the copies of my Alma Mater transcripts. The people it's hardest for me to get hold of are of course the Sagrado Heart Registrar's office. It's like they take 3 hour lunches and leave 2 hours early. Now, I do exaggerate. By thirty minutes. Tops. Either way.

What that means for busy teacher me is that even though I KNOW USH has scheduled the ONE class I was told I needed for a FT teaching license in PR (and thus a FT teaching license here in midwestern state) and I KNOW they've scheduled it in TWO different summer sessions, and I KNOW that USH has dorms for super cheap during the summer, I haven't been able to CONFIRM that that's STILL the class I need to take. Because I can't get my transcripts out of the place. It drives me mad. I've called on my lunch break for four days straight, and even when I call before the posted noon lunch break hour I can't get through. Boo. Hiss. And they love to claim they're the premiere private university on the island. O-kay. They just can't prove it by me. Long story short, I'm 'bout to send one of my peoples over to the campus to wrangle with them face-to-face. If you can't beat'em, get your army to do it.

So I don't know whether I"ll be here for the summer or not. Even so, I went ahead and applied to the Fawakih program that's starting this summer in Indianapolis. It's an intensive, month-long program to learn Arabic. I've got to get ahead in that struggle, somehow. I've been taking the weekly (free!) basic grammar course as a part of our halqa, and I love that. And I'm very satisfied with the level of tajweed I'm learning with the help of a sister who isn't charging me a dime, may Allah reward her and bless her for her teaching and her forbearance with me.

I just want more. I'm thirsty for the language. I'm thirsty to learn things. And I want to go back to being a student- or I would if I didn't have to pay to do it. I think that's one of the worst things about academia. You have to pay to play, unless you've paid so much you feel it dripping from your veins. Then you go work to get out of hock. Unless you find a different way to do it.

And being a student is something I'm best at. Always have been. Yet again in the Two household we were having the conversation, "what do you want to do?" And in searching for the absolute truth, I said that I wanted to go back to school. I loved being in school. I knew I was on scholarship so I wasn't stressed about the cash it cost. I went to a foo-foo university and I believed (oh, did I ) that my degree from Alma Mater would mean super duper amounts of cash from a nice job when I left. Ha. (Liz, I feel your pain and I don't know what to tell you except that I've been there. Hang in, hon.)

Thing is, now I'm a 'responsible adult' ( or at least, I am when at work) and so I have to pay bills and going back to school for some Master's degree I don't really really want just makes zero sense. That's why I've been resisting (okay, passively. I"m still recovering) her insistence that I get the formal license. I hate education courses, they seem like bunk, and everything EVERYTHING I've learned that I HAD to learn about teaching I really learned from experience. I've had like 3 courses out of maybe 12 that actually taught me something I had to use in my classroom. What a waste. AlHamdulIllah it wasn't my money. I just can't see throwing away my money on more of the same. I need it to get to work. Anyone else see gas hitting $4.00/gal this year?

Speaking of which, I'ma just g'on 'head and be ungrateful because my raise this year? Will cover gas for two months in my car. I either need to get rid of the car or go somewhere to get paid more to do tutoring. Or find a better-paying side gig (and teaching on the side rocks just now). Because I need to get someone to clean my house. I can't do it. I don't have any more sick days. And I can't see letting it stay this way for the other 24 school days in the year. And my weekends? AlHamdulIllah, I'm booked solid for the entire next five weeks. Ha, and at one point I was lonely, imagine. So, since I know that others can do it better, I just need to find some cash and get somebody else to do it. I'm relaxing just thinking about it. Then everybody involved will be happy.

Speaking of gratitude, I need to be more outwardly grateful. See, that's what I mean. At one point you'd've caught me dead before I went a week without sending a thank-you note to someone who'd been especially generous, or considerate, or helpful to me. Now my cheeks burn in shame when I think of all the things people have done for me that I know I haven't properly acknowledged.

I have some amazing friends, y'all. Last week I went to counselor retreat for MYNA camps because I was 'sponsored' by one friend and driven by another; the hour I came back Samina S. opened her home to me on literally 3 minutes notice and gave me clothes to wear; when I went to a banquet that night I really enjoyed the fabulous speakers and dinner and didn't have to pay- and they ended up not needing my volunteer services for which I dined. May Allah bless every single person who has been so gracious to me, I couldn't be working and feeling at least this good without them.

I didn't say that all the house-cleaning I mentioned above needs to be done in order to accomodate JW again. He's back home after being released early from his university. We still don't know if he's been withdrawn or on probation. ALlahu Alim. Please make dua'a for that whole situation.
Since JW hasn't really been at home, I'd closed up the back (drafty) bedroom my sister and I used to share, since it gets freezing cold in the winter, and just used his. So my stuff is all over his room. Now I don't know when I'll stop and get it all up. Because then I couldn't have four blog posts this month, you see. And I feel terrible now because he's home and I'm all sleeping in his room and don't want to go back to mine.

That's it! I'm getting somebody else to do it. THat's the responsible action, after all. Let someone else clean up after me.

Somehow that's not as satisfying in print as it would be in real life, and that means I've made a compromise somewhere. I'll end up doing the cleaning myself, just as I'll end up suffering through every minute of the teaching classes I (hope I don't really) need for a license. I'll grit my teeth and sweettalk the portareecan crew and use the PR version of wasta for everything else. I'll be frustrated and still single and get it all done. But boy wouldn't it be nice to get somebody else to do it for me.



Open. Your. Eyes.

Assalamu Alaikum,

Oh, man. Yesterday I needed someone to hold me back. I won't say what I did in the privacy of the teacher's lounge, because, well, it doesn't sound very nice. I hit a limit of fury yesterday. It's not good to feel that outdone at your place of employment.

Remember, I've said so many times that it's never the child who causes me problems. It's usually adults who won't act right.

Long story short, there's a female parent of a child who is causing problems because she's kicking up a fuss about her child.

Now, this is, at the root, what every parent wants to do. You all want your child to do well and you'll do what it takes to make that happen. You'll talk to the teachers and ask for extra work. You'll have him do that work, with a lot of help from you, under your very careful and watchful eye. You'll teach your child in the way of Allah. You'll help the child against herself when she needs it.

If this were that and only that, I could fully understand and bring the fullness of my patience to the situation. But it isn't. It's about this woman's refusal to see what her child does and how the child affects others. Like telling me you've enrolled your child in a pretty tough extra-curricular class and then telling me that you know your child, of course your child doesn't hit others. And of course, I should have a gentle and special way to have this child follow instructions, unlike the other children who obey me the first or even the second time I tell them something. Right. Just explain to me how out of 38 children how your child is the only one who is having accidents and being injured so, if your child never disobeys her teachers or hits and taunts the rougher kids until they snap. You seek that information, but when I tell you you don't see. Open your eyes!

I think another thing that bothers me is that there's another mother and another child who DO deserve help and the best of our resources, and I'm missing how both of these situations are being treated equally. And I'm sad that it probably means that neither of the children will be at our school next year. *sigh*. At least I'm not worried I won't be at the school next year.
I'm really sad for the first child I mentioned, because this child is so manipulative and sneaky that the child needs the boundaries that we provide. Really. Child A does so much better when we're firm but loving, that mother's insistence on being gentle and solicitous with this one child drives me wild- that isn't actually what will serve her child best, in my professional opinion. Anyway.

Yesterday we had about a half-hour meeting, and after that, I was through. I'm done. There are 26 school days left this year and I'm just going to work toward getting through all of them well, with smiling kids at the end. I'm also going to have to keep this child separated from certain others. Fine. You'll pay me to do that, it'll get done. And then I hope you go to another school, because that's the only way you'll learn exactly how your child is, and you'll learn to open your eyes.

And that's all I want to say about that.

In other news, I have no idea what I'm doing this summer, and May begins... tomorrow! My Master's application for the University of Conservopolis is due, um, tomorrow. Ask me if I've begun. No, don't. And gasoline is up to $3.65 a gallon here. A friend invited me to stay at her house five minutes from work, and at first I refused, until she made me accept (anyone else have Egyptian friends? I love her so much mashaAllah!), and then when I came out and saw how high gas was I was glad she beat me into it!

And... I think my last crush is off the potential marriage list. We'll see. He's going to Jordan for a year to learn Arabic starting this fall. I still think he's an awesome guy, but at the same time, this past weekend someone made me realize that um, I'm not unique in thinking that. His family is very well known, which I think is a big factor in that. And I want someone who wants me for me, not looking for an ideal social match. Not that he's said that or anything.

Off to work... make dua'a for me!


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Go, read, quick. Go!

Assalamu Alaikum,

Oh my goodness. Go read Liz at Muppie Chronicles. Awesome-a-licious.
Not because I agree with her (but man do I), but because what she writes has such a fresh tingle. Girlfriend is hitting nails left and right- for example:

I’m just saying that when it comes to domestic bliss, in all respects, and thank you for not making me spell that out, a lot more comes into play than a pretty face. I mean, we’re talking roommate for life, God willing. Not only is this person going to share your kitchen, and your bathroom, and bicker with you over window dressings, but you have to share a bedroom, too. And a bed. And the covers. And trust me, you’re not going to care how hot she is if she won’t give you the blanket in January. Trust me. If you’re going to have no refuge from someone, have no refuge from an interesting someone. From a nice someone. From a merciful and loving and patient and kind someone. No refuge from a hot someone gets old pretty quick, if that’s his/her crowning virtue.

Go, read her, I've already added her blog to my list. And now Ima go drown in archives. MashaAllah!



assalamu alaikum,

I've been lost. I'm trekking my way back. Thanks for reading, really.


I tutor several students, off and on, at the middle school and high school levels. Incidentally, they're all boys- not sure why. That's probably just how the community is around here. I don't know nearly as many teenaged girls as I do boys here in Conservopolis. Girls, where are you?

What I was going to say is that I've had all of these students go through an exercise to build their own goals. It's simple, really: you have someone ask, over and over again, "What do you want?" and write down EVERY answer. Then go through and weed out the things of the moment from the true goals.

Alhamdulillah, one student replied, "I want to go to Jennah alFirdous, inshaAllah, and be in the shade of Allah and the company of the Prophet on the last day." No kidding. A fourteen-year-old told me that (he wasn't trying to impress me).

And then I kept asking.
You want that? What else? What do you want along the way? When do you want it? How do you want it? How do you want to gain the pleasure of Allah (swt) inshaAllah?

All of the boys do this. Then I make them tape up their goals on a wall or mirror they'll see daily. And put dates on them (well, all but the goals like the one above. That one isn't one I hope to be able to put a time and date on). ANd then review them weekly and monthly and see them daily and determine not only what it is that they want from this life, but to see that they're the ones who determine how this gift of life is spent. Parents do a lot, but they have only so much to work with. Allah has granted us life. We've got to use it.

And yet I've gotten away from that myself.

How often is it that the teacher loses sight of the student for the knowledge? Today I went through and re-made my own goals.

It was humbling and amazing to see how I'm holding myself back from taking advantage. It's scary. *sigh*.


Tuesday, April 01, 2008


assalamu alaikum,

Yes, so I'm averaging about two posts a month this year. How far I've come. I'm writing through a splitting headache just now- otherwise I won't get a chance for a while. I've been "thinking" my posts for weeks now. By the time I get to sit down, they're all forgotten. Maybe I should go back to good'ol paper journaling for good. On the other hand, what I like about blogging is the ability to share, and get feedback on the thoughts I actually publish. I'm thinking about moving to wordpress, but only if and when I have time to actually do stuff with the blog and not just neglect it for weeks at a time. I dunno. We'll see.

The school was on spring break last week. I'd made a whole bunch of plans for what I'd do. Puh-leeze. I slept the first 6 days, ran around running errands on the seventh, and then on the last three went to St. Louis for the MSA Central Zone conference. The conference was good, but sparsely attended- even the campus where we were was on spring break, and half of the students who'd registered and paid to attend didn't show. I guess they were on break, too.

I enjoyed the trip. St. Louis was a nice city, not that I got to see much of it. I became really good friends with the women who went with us. I went with the University of Conservopolis MSA- and you know how they roll, girls in one car, guys in the other. So it was good to relax and just talk, read, and eat, learn about and from one another. More than half of us ended up, um, not praying during the trip. I don't know what that was about. But anyway, I genuinely liked every single one of the women with us, and that was a treat.

I'm up in the air on whether or not that was my last MSA trip. I'll have been out of undergrad five years (yikes!) this May. On one hand, I do feel, just a bit, that I should have outgrown the group. But on the other hand, I haven't. Maybe I'm attracted to groups that have either mature or even just likeable people. I'll go anywhere I can to learn a little more about Islam, add to the pieces of understanding and truth I've picked up since my shahada.

Too, we're Muslims, and that seemed to come first at this particular C-Zone conference.. East Zone conferences I've attended in the past have definitely had a bit of that "ISNA Saturday Night" feeling, and I was able to just gravitate toward the actual learning portions of the conference. EZ definitely was more meat market, more "foo foo", appearance based, and um... young, as in immature. There were way more people there, too.
This conference really didn't have much of that. The people there seemed for the most part to be actually focused on living as Muslims, day in and day out, in our communities and in this country. The speakers were all actual imams, sheikhs, learned individuals. I'm trying to think if even one was a woman... I don't think any of the main speakers were female. Not that that bothers me. I'm just sayin'.

As an MSA conference, of course there were like 4 main areas under which all of the lectures and breakout sessions seemed to fall: How to Live Like a Muslim, Bringing Islam to American Communities, The Cultural Gap Between Backhomelandia (ht to Umm Zaid)and the USA, and, ever-present, Gettin' Hitched and Otherwise Keepin it Halal Around The Other Gender.

Oh, which reminds me what I wanted to say about that.

I forget that I'm a convert sometimes. When I'm allowed to. When it's just me and my rug and my Lord. When I'm going about my business. When I'm living a life carefully groomed toward ever more taqwa and ibadah (worship) inshaAllah. That aspect of my Islam is not one I've decided to keep on the outside as part of my identity. I'm Muslim. It's annoying sometimes to go through the 20 questions with every Muslim I meet and after I answer, "My parents are from Alabama", I get the, Oh, MashaAllah, A Convert How and Why Did/Do You Do It? speech. (Not sure why I'm capitalizing everything in sight. Bear with me.)

However, because I am a convert, there are certain things that I see that are particular to being a new Muslim especially in the US. My feeling is that while converts may be a small portion of the world's Muslims, we're a big fount of increase in Muslim numbers. We're not an ignorable minority, because many converts still have social currency in the sections of society they belonged to before Islam. Which means, if a convert radiates contentment and joy even during the hard times after conversion, then there's more opportunity for more dawah as people who know this person see that in them. On the other hand, all of us have heard of the convert who was truly a convert but was disillusioned in Islam and turned away, complaining bitterly to the people to whom they've returned. If nothing else, attention needs to be paid to this group, just little touches that make converts feel able to integrate smoothly from where they are to the Muslims Allah wants them to be. That sounds idealistic, but that's how I feel.

And yet, especially when it comes to things like MSA conferences, aspects that would especially apply to converts are repeatedly ignored. And when they're brought up, they're brushed off or treated as side notes. It's frustrating. The particular thread that comes to mind is (of course) one of the breakout sessions that was about marriage and how to actually approach the other person blah blah blah. I hope y'all get the gist. Just as last year, I brought up the question of what the speakers (fortunately great speakers and pretty knowlegeable, I thought) would tell a convert or even a student from a not-so-practising Muslim family whose parents aren't able or don't want to help him/her get married. And the silence was big. It was as if these guys hadn't even ever considered the possibility that that could even happen.

Of course, they answered the question. The response was (I wish I had my notes with me) something like, 'they should ask friends or someone they can trust, or even get their parents to help them. Their parents should want to help them since they love them. Since yes, mashaAllah there's an ever larger number of people coming to Islam through our college campuses we should be open to this possibility."

Sigh. Discuss. I've gotta go. InshaAllah when I get back to the computer I'll talk more about that--- and the fact that the man I've had my eye on was on this trip. Heh Heh Heh. Yay cliffhangers!


Monday, March 10, 2008

Something's up.

assalamu alaikum,

Okay, if you were around here yesterday, please excuse that. If you weren't, don't worry about it.

I woke up at 5:00 this morning feeling wonderful. No, really. I wish I could describe the euphoria I still feel now. It's amazing. I feel good! My body feels good.

I spent a few moments in my bed telling myself that it's okay to feel good. That what has gone on the past few months (!) has been a really rough patch.

I'm glad to feel good. You have no idea. But now I know for sure that something is up.

Don't worry. I don't know what it is. But to go from leaking tears all over the place gloomy fog can't make it through the day without a tantrum to waking up at what should feel like 4am (happy daylight saving to you, too) feeling ecstatic with life requires an explanation.

Day ain't over, as my father loves to say. We'll see what the day brings. Meanwhile I'm glad to be happy.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Wa tawasil bis Sabr, aaameeen


One of my tutees (what is the word for that? And how come I don't know as a tutor? mercy. Anyway) just taught me Surat al Asr. Being the teacher I am I immediately taught it to my preschool (those who didn't know it). And I'd been upset because his family asked me for half my usual rate- but look what I got in return! I've been wanting to learn for so long now that I'll take what I can when I can and then spread the love. And boy has that particular reminding surah come in handy lately.

That's a great lesson in patience for me. Things have been more or less worked out here at the school. My assistant won't be with me next year, it looks like- she'll be in a room with a teacher she likes who will teach her new things. That's good. I'm glad she got at least something she wanted. I wish I didn't perceive this sour attitude from her about it. She doesn't like my teaching style at all. *sigh*. I'm trying to be good so I won't say anything else about it. I've decided to return to portareeco this summer if only to finish the education program and get my Conservopolis State teaching license so people can't jerk me around like this.

Meanwhile, my brother is off his meds again. It's a real catch-22. If he's at school, he's less likely to take the meds, always stressed, around the wrong influences, and more likely to have a mental break. If he's not in school at least half-time, my parents' insurance won't cover him, so he won't have the meds to take, even though he won't be in an environment so conducive to mental breaks. He needs the insurance. The bills for his hospital stay were nearly forty thousand dollars. So he needs to be in school (or get a job, yeah right). But school is what stressed him in the first place. Sabr. Prayer. Patience. Yeah.

I voted today! Independent, of course. So booyah, primary hype! I didn't vote for a candidate at all!

I've got the spectre of a surprise inspection hanging over me. Gotta go do lesson plans.