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?