October 30, 2008
October 25, 2008
She recommended :
1. K12 http://www.k12.com/ and
2. Texas Academy at Southwest http://www.k12.com/txva/.
I am so excited to find someone who has experience in homeschooling. Since husband has been talking about homeschooling daughter, now I'm not so hesitate about it since I've got resources that I can tap onto out there.
Sr. Jeni was so kind to give me her contact info and tell me to call her if I have any questions. Surely Allah SWT answers our call for help if we are patient enough.
Library Makeover Photos - Finally!
All praise be to Allah SWT, I finally remembered to bring husband's digital camera to take pictures of the mosque library.
Daughter has a cold since last Thursday, so today I left her at home with husband.
The Imam asked me to help 6 girls (ranging from 10 to 14 years old) to learn how to make posters based on Islamic teachings. Before the class started at 10:30am, I went home at around 10am to pick up posters that I bought days ago and also a box of magic markers. All praise be to Allah SWT I bought a book "Poster Ideas Book" at Hobby Lobby and used it to give ideas to the girls on designing layout and format. I drew some sample formats on the white board as shown on top.
In the picture below, this side of the wall is lined with books for younger children and adult reference materials.In the picture below, several monitors and computers used to occupy the top of storage cabinet. (The storage cabinet is where I found a bunch of Sunday School materials when I was cleaning the place.) I used a white plastic sheet to cover them up since there is no other place in the mosque to store them. To make the library look more attractive, I display some children's books and some books about Islam.
In the picture below, I used stencils to cut out the alphabet letters and pasted them on a long banner paper. Since I have some maps on hand, I put them up above the banner to hide the ugly cork background. I found the slogan "Dig Into a Good Book" from the LM_Net archive http://www.eduref.org/lm_net/archive/, a mailing list for library media specialists. (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!)
Since daughter is having running nose, I left the mosque early at noon although weekend Islamic classes end at 2pm.
October 24, 2008
Song: 爱拼才会赢 Keep Working Hard to Win
Watch it on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVMBGinM8v4
爱拼才会赢 Keep Working Hard to Win
一时失志不免怨叹 When one loses goal it is natural to be bitter
一时落魄不免胆寒 When one is in hard times it is natural to be sad
那通失去希望 When hope is lost
每日醉茫茫 Everyday we are drifting aimlessly
无魂有体亲像稻草人 The body loses its soul like a scarecrow
人生可比是海上的波浪 A person's life is like the wave on the sea
有时起 Sometimes it rises
有时落 Sometimes it falls
好运 Good fortune (or)
歹运 Bad fortune
总嘛要照起工来行 In the end we have to get back to work
三分天注定 Life is pre-destined 30 percent of the lifetime
七分靠打拼 Hard work counts for 70 percent of the lifetime
爱拼才会赢 Keep on working hard to win (reach one's goals)
Labels: Chinese Song Lyrics
Song: 可爱的人生 An Adorable Life
Lately I have singing this song "An Adorable Life" to myself and my sister when we skype. At various stages of my life, the lyrics have always reminded myself not to give up hope during difficult times.
This morning I found a clip from youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C7F9pcImRw. This song is performed by an uncle in his 50s, and he sounds like the original singer 黄清元 Huang Qing Yuen.
The English translation is next to the Mandarin lyrics.
An Adorable Life
可爱的人生 (词 曲 ) (Source: http://www.1ting.com/ ★ noni99 )
有人是哭哭啼啼过一生 Some people cry throughout their lives
有人是开开心心过一生 Some people are happy throughout their lives
哈 虽然是人人的想法不同 Although everyone thinks differently
啊 终归的可爱的人生 In the end (it is) an adorable life
开心的时候你手拉着手 When you are happy you are holding hands
悲哀的时候你放下了手 When you are sad you let go (of the hand)
一个人寂寞地喝着苦酒 A person (is) drinking bitter wine alone
一个人寂寞地让那泪儿流 A person (is) crying alone
哈 虽然是人人的想法不同 Although everyone thinks differently
终归的可爱的人生 In the end (it is) an adorable life
有人是满怀希望过一生 Some people feel hopeful throughout their lives
有人是灰心失望过一生 Some people feel hopeless throughout their lives
哈 虽然是人人的想法不同 Although everyone thinks differently
啊 终归的可爱的人生 In the end (it is) an adorable life
贫穷也不怕我有朋友 In poverty I am not afraid because I have friends
困难也不怕我会奋斗 In difficult times I am not afraid because I will work harder
当这个世界到处可走 In this world I can go anywhere
就当这个世界充满自由 In this world freedom is everywhere
哈 虽然是人人的想法不同 Although everyone thinks differently
终归的可爱的 可爱的人生 In the end (it is) an adorable life
哈 虽然是人人的想法不同 Altough everyone thinks differently
啊 终归的可爱的人生 In the end it is an adorable life
开心的时候你手拉着手 When you are happy you are holding hands
悲哀的时候你放下了手 When you are sad you let go (of the hand)
一个人寂寞地喝着苦酒 One person (is) drinking bitter wine alone
一个人寂寞地让那泪儿流 One peson (is) crying alone
哈 虽然是人人的想法不同 Although everyone thinks differently
终归的可爱的 可爱的人生 In the end (it is) an adorable, adorable life
Labels: Chinese Song Lyrics
October 23, 2008
Learning to Better Understand Middle Schoolers
- old students assumes that new students get special treatment
- students assume that those who don't get along well with them gossip about them
- some of the boys assumes that girls always get the special treatment
- students want to impress their friends by acting out in class in order to fit in (new and old students)
- students felt they were singled out for unfair reason / persisted in questioning me: "what did I do?" (students are unable to self-reflect on their action)
- students keep provoking those who are quick to react and possess hot temper
- students did not have enough time to hang out with friends outside school (due to extra study time set by parents), so school is seen as more of a social place that for learning
I don't know how often their parents talked about their expectations for their children's behavior in school, but I think not many parents will find the time or better educate themselves to do so. It is sad that this happens, and there is really not much any teachers can do about it.
I'm reading a book "Fires in the Middle School Bathrooms: advice for teachers from middle schoolers" in order to better understand them. Allah SWT willing I hope that I can find better strategies next time I teach them.
I'm not really bothered by what people think, but I did not want to deafen people's ears with daughter's bloodshot screams.
At the cashier I was torn between (1) making a dash to the car with my toddler hurled over my shoulder without getting my books, and (2) throwing a bunch of bills to the cashier for my books, then dash to the car with my toddler hurled over my shoulder.
In the end, I forced myself to pay for the books (while offering lots of "sorry"s, wait for the change, then dash to the car with my toddler tucked under one arm while grabbing the bag of books with the other hand.
I've got to come up with a better strategy next time I bring her to the same bookstore or else I might be banned from that place!
Fires in the Middle School Bathroom: Advice for Teachers from Middle Schoolers
Everything is Off Balance
1. We're wondering what to expect from you - so ask us what our questions are.
2. We build our sense of self by watching you and each other.
3. We need room to try on different images of ourselves.
4. We might try on different friends, too, as we try to fit into middle school.
5. we want you to show a real interest in who we are and what we care about.
A Teacher on Our Side
1. Show us that you like us and find out interesting.
2. Listen to our opinions and ideas.
3. Hold us to the rules, but do it nicely.
4. Consider our individual situations and treat us fairly, case by case.
5. We want to trust you, but that's not always easy.
Social Forces in the Classroom
1. Help us find common ground with each other.
2. Teach us hw to work together in safe, collaborative groups.
3. Let us practice working out issues that affect the class.
4. Treat us all with the same respect.
5. Understand that our ideas about what's fair will change as we tackle new problems.
6. Watch closely what's really going on with us, inside and outside the classroom.
Helping Us Grow Into Confident Learners
1. Realize that what you say to us helps us decide whether we believe we are smart or not.
2. Listen to our opinions about how you teach us.
3. Give us friendly and honest feedback on what we do right and what we need to do better,
4. Communicate your confidence in us as you help us overcome our struggles in school.
5. Understand that the grades you give us may mean different things to you, to us, and to our parents.
6. Help us learn how to manage our homework.
Using Our Energy to Help Us Learn
1. Don't ask us to sit still and listen for too long.
2. Help us learn what to do when we have too much energy, or too little.
3. Vary what we do in class, and we will stay more interested.
4. Give us breaks when we are having trouble paying attention.
5. Get us thinking, talking, and moving so we will learn better.
6. Let us eat more often in school - we're growing! We can learn to clean up after ourselves.
Make Way for Parents
1. We want our parents' help and support, but we want it in new ways.
2. We don't want to share everything about school with our parents.
3. We want our parents to see and take pride in our accomplishments.
4. We need out parents to help when we have a problem in school.
5. We want you to balance our need to feel more grown up with your responsibility to keep our parents informed.
6. We need you to get to know our parents and what matters to them.
Our Transition to High School
1. Provide time for us to ask lots of questions about how things are going to change in high school.
2. Arrange for us to hear from high school students before we get there.
3. Let us visit our new school to experience a typical day there.
4. Give us practice in the skills we will need in high school.
5. Provide "bridge" experiences in the summer after eighth grade.
6. Tell our ninth-grade teachers what helps us do well in school.
7. Connect us up with mentors or buddies in the high school.
8. As you send us off to high school, let us know you believe we are ready.
From the Window...
There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced in the woods,but he could never hit the target. Getting a little discouraged, he headedback for dinner.
As he was walking back he saw Grandma's pet duck.. Just out of impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it. Hewas shocked and grieved! In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile,only to see his sister watching!
Fatima had seen it all, but she said nothing. After lunch the next day Grandma said, ' Fatima, let's wash the dishes.' But Fatima said, 'Grandma, Ahmed told me he wanted to help in the kitchen.' Then she whispered to him,' Remember the duck?' So Ahmed did the dishes.
Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing andGrandma said, 'I'm sorry but I need Fatima to help make supper.'
Fatima just smiled and said, 'Well, that's all right because Ahmed told me he wanted to help.' She whispered again, 'Remember the duck?' So Fatima went fishing and Ahmed stayed to help.
After several days of Ahmed doing both his chores and Fatima 's, he finally couldn't stand it any longer. He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck. Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug and said, 'Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Fatima make aslave of you.'
Thought for the day and every day thereafter?Whatever is in your past, whatever you have done... and the devil keeps throwing it up in your face (lying, cheating, debt, fear, bad habits, hatred, anger, bitterness, etc.)...whatever it is...You need to know that Allah SWT was standing at the window and He saw the whole thing. He has seen your whole life. He wants you to know that He loves you and that you are forgiven. He's just wondering how long you will let the devil make a slave of you.
The great thing about Allah SWT is that when you ask for forgiveness, He not only forgives you, but He forgets. It is by Allah's grace and mercy that we are saved.
Go ahead and make a difference in someone's life today. Share this with a friend and always remember: Allah SWT is at the window!When Allah SWT is so loving, men can be so cruel!
An Incredible Love Story
An incredible love story has come out of China recently and managed to touch the world. It is a story of a man and an older woman who ran off to live and love each other in peace for over half a century.
The 70-year-old Chinese man who hand-carved over 6,000 stairs up a mountain for his 80-year-old wife has passed away in the cave which has been the couple's home for the last 50 years.Over 50 years ago, Liu Guojiang a 19 year-old boy, fell in love with a 29 year-old widowed mother named Xu Chaoqin.
In a twist worthy of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, friends and relatives criticized the relationship because of the age difference and the fact that Xu already had children.
At that time, it was unacceptable and immoral for a young man to love an older woman.. To avoid the market gossip and the scorn of their communities, the couple decided to elope and lived in a cave in Jiangjin County in Southern ChongQing Municipality.
In the beginning, life was harsh as hey had nothing, no electricity or even food. They had to eat grass and roots they found in the mountain, and Liu made a kerosene lamp that they used to light up their lives. Xu felt that she had tied Liu down and repeatedly asked him, 'Are you regretful? Liu always replied, 'As long as we are industrious, life will improve.'In the second year of living in the mountain, Liu began and continued for over 50 years, to hand-carve the steps so that his wife could get down the mountain easily.
Half a century later in 2001, a group of adventurers were exploring the forest and were surprised to find the elderly couple and the over 6,000 hand-carved steps. Liu MingSheng, one of their seven children said, 'My parents loved each other so much, they have lived in seclusion for over 50 years and never been apart a single day. He hand carved more than 6,000 steps over the years for my mother's convenience, although she doesn't go down the mountain that much.'
The couple had lived in peace for over 50 years until last week. Liu, now 72 years, returned from his daily farm work and collapsed. Xu sat and prayed with her husband as he passed away in her arms. So in love with Xu, was Liu, that no one was able to release the grip he had on his wife's hand even after he had passed away.
'You promised me you'll take care of me, you'll always be with me until the day I died, now you left before me, how am I going to live without you?'
Xu spent days softly repeating this sentence and touching her husband's black coffin with tears rolling down her cheeks.
In 2006, their story became one of the top 10 love stories from China , collected by the Chinese Women Weekly. The local government has decided to preserve the love ladder and the place they lived as a museum, so this love story can live forever.
A Somalian arrives in Minneapolis as a new immigrant to the United States.
He stops the first person he sees walking down the street and says, 'Thank you Mr. American for letting me in this country, giving me housing, food stamps, free medical care, and free education!'
The passerby says, 'You are mistaken, I am Mexican.'
The man goes on and encounters another passerby. ' Thank you for having such a beautiful country here in America !'
The person says, 'I not American, I Vietnamese.'
The new arrival walks further, and the next person he sees he stops, shakes his hand and says, 'Thank you for the wonderful America!'
That person puts up his hand and says, I am from Middle East , I am not American!'
He finally sees a nice lady and asks, 'Are you an American?'
She says, 'No, I am from Africa !'
Puzzled, he asks her, 'Where are all the Americans?'
The African lady checks her watch and says.......'Probably at work!!!!!!!
Joke: Divorce vs. Murder
Divorce vs. Murder
A nice, calm and respectable lady went into the pharmacy, walked up to the pharmacist, looked straight into his eyes, and said, 'I would like to buy some cyanide.'
The pharmacist asked, 'Why in the world do you need cyanide?'
The lady replied, 'I need it to poison my husband.'
The pharmacist's eyes got big and he exclaimed, 'Lord have mercy! I can't give you cyanide to kill your husband. That's against the law! I'll lose my license! They'll throw both of us in jail! All kinds of bad things will happen. Absolutely not! You CANNOT have any cyanide!'
The lady reached into her purse and pulled out a picture of her husband in bed with the pharmacist's wife.
The pharmacist looked at the picture and replied, 'Well now, that's different. You didn't tell me you had a prescription.'
October 21, 2008
Hocus, Pocus, Everybody Focus!
In order to get students' attention, I would say "1, 2, 3, eyes on me" and they would reply "1, 2, eyes on you."
One of the students taught us a new rhyme "hocus, pocus, everybody focus" and I was able to grab their attention with this rhyme.
It was a challenging day for me because I had to "pull out all my tricks from my hat" to keep students focused on their tasks. I gave them 5 chances to earn a game before I leave for the day, but unfortunately they had a hard time following directions. Eventually the game was forfeited and they looked shocked and disappointed. I hate it when this happens, but they have to learn their lesson and understand that they are responsible for consequences of their actions.
As my last lesson ended at 11:30am, I visited a friend, Sr. Rebeka and her 3.5 year old son, for chitchating. She was so generous to prepare lunch for me and daughter. Since I am fasting today, I fed daughter some of the delicious fried noodle and took a portion home for dinner.
Later in the afternoon at home, I read first few pages of the book "Fires in the Middle School Bathroom: advice for teachers from middle schoolers." Middle schoolers in the United States are kids from 10-14 years old. They "experience some of the dramatic physical, social, emotional, and cognitive changes of early adolescence." And due to feelings of insecurity of who they are, they sometimes do goofy stuff to get attention (mostly seeking admiration) from their peers.
All praise be to Allah SWT, after reading the first chapter of this book, I have a better understanding of the 5th grade students. I just hope that I can apply some of the tips that I found in this book the next time I sub in their class.
October 19, 2008
Family Day @ Dar Al Huda Masjid
After that, I decided to drop by the mosque library with daughter. All praise be to Allah SWT the library is now ready for users to read books. As usual I brought the digital camera but the batteries died, so I'll have to take the pictures tomorrow. At around 1pm, community members started to arrive for the Family Day at the mosque. A big bounce house was rented for the kids to play. While the brothers were busy grilling chicken, burgers and hot dogs on two BBQ grills, the sisters served food to kids and chatting with one another. Husband helped out with the grilling while I took care of daughter. All praise be to Allah SWT I had the chance to chat with Sr. Basira who teaches at the school where I am subbing. It's always great to have the opportunity to know a person better.
Library Makeover Part 4
Most of the weekend school students dropped by to take a look and they were all excited that they have a library. I have to keep telling them that the library will only be ready today but they just couldn't contain their excitement and went off to tell all their friends about it. One student even said that the library will be the "best class" in the mosque. I think they may be surprised to find a cool librarian running the library ;-) Another group of students swing by and asked if I want to buy 4 used books for $2. I told them that I didn't have the money but it'll be great if they could donate the books to the library. Too bad they were not interested in my suggestion but I have a feeling that they will come back to the library to read soon.
As there are still many computers and tall shelves in the library, I kept worrying that they will not be moved in time for today's Family Day at the mosque. I told the Imam that I would like to have a library open house on this day so that the community is aware of this and he agreed. He also said that it might be possible to relocate the library to a bigger room in the mosque to provide more space for books and to cater to more readers, but they are trying to fix a leaking roof in the room now so that will wait till later.
A good friend, Sr. Nahil and her son came at about 1:30pm to help me translate bibliographic information for Arabic books to English so that I can catalogue them. We had a great time talking about the different forms of Arabic spoken in different regions, and she shared her experience as a preschool Arabic teacher with me. Another sister from the community also helped in this task after the weekend school ended.
Today I'm going to put up a notice to ask for book donation from the community. Allah SWT willing I hope we'll get good response.
October 17, 2008
7 Wonders of the World
A group of students were asked to list what they thought were the present "Seven Wonders of the World." Though there were some disagreements, the following received the most votes.
1. Egypt's Great Pyramind
2. Taj Mahal
3. Grand Canyon
4. Panama Canal
5. empire State Builing
6. St. Peter's Basilica
7. China's Great Wall
While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student had not finished her paper yet. So he asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The girl replied, "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many."
The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help."
The girl hesitated, then read, "I think the "Seven Wonders of the World" are:
1. To See
2. To Hear
3. To Touch
4. To Taste
5. To Feel
6. To Laugh
7. To Love
The room was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. The things we overlook as simple and ordinary and that we take for granted are truly wonderous! A gentle reminder - that the most precious things in life cannot be build by hand or bought by man.
What ever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows.
Labels: Inspiring Tibits
October 15, 2008
Library Makeover Part 3
On Monday husband and I bought 5 used shelves at Goodwill for $40. If they were bought new, it'll cost us more than $100. All praise be to Allah SWT we can buy more books for the community to enjoy in the library with the savings.
October 14, 2008
Simple Incentives for Positive Outcome
I told the 2nd grade students about the teacher's illness when I saw them. To start the day on a positive note, I told them that if they were to put on their best behavior, I would let them have extra 5 minutes at the playground. I also told them that if they continue with good behavior, I would play a game with them at the end of the day. All praise be to Allah SWT, the students impressed me by cooperating with one another and reminding those who forgot about class expectations. As promised, I let them have extra playground time and played Charade with them at the end of the day. Although I have also put students on time out as they did not chose to follow directions despite repeated warnings, I gave everyone shining stickers as I reminded them of their good qualities e.g. helpfulness, willing to share, raised hands to answer questions etc. I told them that we are all human, and we are prone to make mistakes. As long as we sincerely repent and not make the same mistakes again, we will be rewarded for our efforts. I want the students to see that we are not 100% bad, and we can make intelligent and positive choices to affect the outcome of our lives. I hope that Allah SWT willing they will put this into practice as often as possible in their lives.
October 13, 2008
10 Secrets to Help Your Children Cope with Financial Crisis
Found this informative article about helping our children learn to cope with the economy's financial crisis. I learnt new techniques to communicate with my daughter on this subject topic.
According to the article, "The parents’ constant conflicts, irritability and hostile exchanges over money matters was what greatly increased the likelihood of their children's emotional and behavior problems.[ii] The parents’ constant stress over their money matters also reduced their parenting abilities so the kids’ problems remained with them through adulthood."
Ten parenting secrets to help children cope with financial crisis
1. Don't hide the truth
For a young child: “Daddy and Mommy are a little worried about work right now but we’re doing what we can so everyone will be all right.” For an older child: “I know you’ve heard about how bad the economy is right now. Things will be tight at home for a while but we’re working hard to try to make it through this.” If you are about to lose your home, job, etc. make sure you are the one to tell your child.
2. Acknowledge your worry
Begin with a simple: “I know you’ve noticed that Dad and I have been upset lately, so we wanted to let you know what’s going on.” Your child may not seek you out, so go to your child.
3. Keep an open dialogue
Be there to set them straight about the facts and tone down those doom and gloom reports. You can also ask, “What have you heard?” or, “What are your friends saying?” By the way, a big concern for tweens in particular is what their friends will say about your family’s financial situation. Let your kids know they are not alone. Foreclosures are everywhere. Unemployment has never been this high. There are other kids who are suffering as well.
4. Set a budget
Sit down with your kids and explain that you need to cut back. Don’t go into details about your finances. Instead, explain that you need to set a budget. Enlist your kids to help you prioritize your spending. It’s a great way to teach financial planning.
5. Reduce conflict
Studies show that during tough economic times the constant parental conflicts cause kids the most emotional damage. Set a "no yelling" policy.
6. Stick to routine
Sticking to a routine helps reduce worries because it boosts predictability and security. During tough times those routines are crucial for kids.
7. Monitor the news
Limit viewing those stressful news stories or better yet, turn the TV off during the news hour.
8. Reduce stress as a family
Whenever you’re upset take a few deep breaths or walk away until you can get back in control. But also find no-cost ways to reduce stress as a family. Meditate with your kids, do yoga with your daughter, ride bikes with your preschooler, listen to relaxation tapes with your kids. Not only will you reduce your stress but you’ll also help your kids learn healthy ways to minimize theirs.
9. Tune into your child and ask for help
Watch for stress signs or behaviors that are not typical for your child. Enlist a relative or friend who cares about your child to spend a bit more time with him.
10. Offer hope
Kids are resilient and what they need most is reassurance that you will make it through this together. Stay honest, “I don’t know how things will turn out, but I’ll do absolutely possible.” Above all, give your kids a message of hope, “Whatever happens, we’re together.” When all is said and done that really is what matters most.
Cycling @ River Legacy Park
There are several informational displays about animals and insects that live in the park's secluded areas. I was surprised to see that the vulture is one of them.
It tooks us about 2 hours to cycle along a 4 miles long path in the park. Daughter, who was in a carrier on husband's bike, kept calling to me and husband had to try to keep her from getting off the bike to look for me.
Along the way we saw these cute little bird houses perched on a metal pipe. This is really the effort of the nature conservationists who want to play a part in helping animals that live among us. I would imagine that after flying miles and miles to look for food, it would be nice for the birds to "check in" these free "bird motels" for a rest before taking off again.
We had lunch at the park before heading home. I was exhausted after cycling for 2 hours and took a nap immediately when we reached home. Guess I'll have to build up my stamina so that I'm in a better shape for cycling.
October 11, 2008
Lake Ray Hubbard, Texas
This morning husband said he wants to go a park with daughter and me. Before we left, I suggested having lunch at the Noodle Wave Thai Halal Restaurant http://www.noodlewave.com/. We ordered Thai Ice Tea, Thai Chicken Satay, Thai Shrimp Curry with Rice and Jungle Basil Beef. The Chicken Satay tasted really good and daughter loves to eat it. We also enjoyed the curry dish but found the beef dish too spicy.
At about 1pm we headed to Lake Ray Hubbard in the City of Rowlett for fishing. Husband set up a tent for me and daughter to rest inside while he tried fishing.
Projects for Youth
Greetings from UK
October 10, 2008
A Reader is a Winner
I am convinced that I must help my daughter learn to read as early as possible so that she can be successful in her studies. And to do that, I must help her to establish the habit of reading as early as possible by becoming her role model. Allah SWT willing I hope that I can achieve this goal.
October 09, 2008
Library Makeover Part 2
Last night bought a roll of jungle print decorative paper to cover one side of the wall. Also bought a roll of decorative borders for the white board. Another side of the wall has cork all over it, so I used push pins to put up maps of the states of Arkansas, Maryland and downtown Chicago as decoration. The next task is to get rid of 12 computers in the room. I really need to counter space to display books and use it for group projects. Have to talk to the Islamic weekend school principal about it this Saturday.
I'm thinking of starting a library club to provide a forum for teenagers to hang out and discuss about issues that affect them. I started working on a new blog http://islamic-lesson-plans.blogspot.com to archive interesting lesson plans that tie in Islamic teachings for the library club. Will have to talk to the mosque Imam about my plan and see what ideas I can get from him to develop club activities, Allah SWT willing.
To get the full effect, this should be read aloud. You will understand what 'tanjewberrymuds' means by the end of the conversation. This has been nominated for the best email of 2007.
The following is a telephone exchange between a hotel guest and room-service, at a hotel in Asia, which was recorded and published in the Far East Economic Review:
Room Service (RS): "Morrin. - Roon sirbees."
Guest (G): "Sorry, I thought I dialed room-service."
RS: " Rye ..Roon sirbees..morrin! Jewish to oddor sunteen??"
G: "Uh..yes.I'd like some bacon and eggs.."
RS: "Ow July den?"
RS: "Ow July den?...pryed, boyud, poochd?"
G : "Oh, the eggs! How do I like them?Sorry, scrambled please."
RS: "Ow July dee baykem? Crease?"
G: "Crisp will be fine."
RS : "Hokay. An Sahn toes?"
RS:"An toes. July Sahn toes?"
G: "I don't think so."
RS: "No? Judo wan sahn toes??"
G: "I feel really bad about this, but I don't know what 'judo wan sahn toes' means."
RS: "Toes! toes!...Why jew don juan toes? Ow bow Anglish moppin we bodder?"
G: "English muffin!! I've got it! You were saying 'Toast.' Fine. Yes, an English muffin will be fine."
RS: "We bodder?"
G: "No...just put the bodder on the side."
RS: "Wad! ?"
G: "I mean butter...just put it on the side."
G: "Excuse me?"
G: "Yes. Coffee, please, and that's all."
RS: "One Minnie. Scramah egg, crease baykem, Anglish moppin w bodder on sigh and copy....rye??"
G: "Whatever you say."
G : "You're very welcome."
October 08, 2008
Quotations about Motherhood
- Marion C. Garretty
"The phrase "working mother" is redundant." - Jane Sellman
"The future destiny of a child is always the work of the mother." - Napoleon Bonarparte
"A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest." - Irish Proverb
"Paradise lies underneath the feet of your mother." (Ibn Majah, Sunan, Hadith no. 2771)
Koran in English Translation:
“And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (your final) Goal. But if they strive to make thee join in worship with Me things of which you have no knowledge, obey them not; yet bear them company in this life with justice (And consideration), and follow the way of those who turn to Me. In the End the return of you all is to Me, and I will tell you the truth (and meaning) of all that you did.” (Surah Luqman: 14-15)
Library Makeover Part I
The most surprising find in the storage cabinet is a bunch of Christianity materials previously used by a sunday school. I have no idea how they end up here, but I'm really interested to find out. Christians and Jews are considered to be People of the Book as "they recognize the God of Abraham as the one and only god, as the Muslims do, and they practice revealed faiths based on Divine ordinances, tolerance and autonomy is accorded to them in societies governed by Sharia (Islamic divine law)". (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_of_the_Book) Anyway, I put them aside so that I can remind myself to ask the Islamic weekend school principal about it.
Last night it occurred to me that the mosque can also function as a community learning center apart from a place of worship. So I asked husband about it and he confirmed that this is the case for the mosque in Cambodia. He said he practically grew up in the mosque and every community activity takes place in the mosque. With this in mind, I have a plan. Allah SWT willing, I intend to make myself available to the community as the mosque's Resident Librarian. Whoever has a question about anything e.g. how to repair cars, how to file taxes, how to repair a roof etc. can come to me and I will try to provide the answers. Praise be to Allah SWT since I have the education background and experience, I should provide a service that can benefit the community. This will also help me to keep up with the field of librarianship.
Now the only problem is how to keep my daughter busy while I'm "working" in the library.
Motivation is a powerful tool
I don't believe in ending the day in a negative way, but I want to show them that they need to earn the game. So I gave them one last chance to follow directions. All praise be to Allah SWT, somehow my willingness to give them a chance to redeem themselves and their motivation to play the game worked. Although the game lasted only 5 minutes due to time constraint, they had fun playing it. I told them that if I sub in their class next time, I'll let them play the game longer if they earn it.
I think I'll use this strategy on my daughter when it comes to getting her to help out with house chores when she's older... (hehehe...)
October 07, 2008
Connection with An Old Friend
October 06, 2008
New Found Long Lost Friend
I Love Math!
For math classes I gave out Algebra I and II worksheets. It started raining heavily in the wee hours. Oh boy... those questions sure bring back good old memories of me working hard on solving ten-year-series GCE 'O' Level math questions. Back in secondary school days, my math scores were always pretty bad. I've never seen a number that is higher than 50 on my test papers from secondary 1 to 4... until my mother made me study hard (solve lots and lots of math questions) during secondary 4. All praise be to Allah SWT I had a really good teacher, Ms. Irene Tan, who was patient and provided detail step-by-step instructions to solve math questions. All thanks to my mother and .Ms Tan, I got A2 for my GCE ' O' Level math, and grew to love this subject. This proves that hard work, plus good teachers, plus parental involvement are key ingredients to a student's success. I'm just thrilled to sub for the high school math class because I have the chance to work on those questions too!
October 04, 2008
Volunteering is a good thing
October 02, 2008
I can finally sleep well at night....
After one week of worrying about this medical condition, I can finally sleep well at night. When he first told me about it, I kept bugging him to see a doctor. I just told him that if he is having a terminal disease of some sort, I need to know so that I can prepare to pack my belongings and bring our daughter back to Singapore with me if anything happens to him. Since we have no family in the United States, naturally I will not stay here to raise my daughter by myself. I'm just relieved that he is going to be alright, Allah SWT willing.
October 01, 2008
Bon Eid / Eid ul-Fitr / 尔德节快乐 / Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri
I also met another Muslim sister whose mother is Korean and father is African American. I was so happy to hear that she speaks fluent Korean and cooks Korean food! When I greeted her with "ahn-nyong-ha-se-yo" (Korean for good morning) and told her that I watch Korean drama and eat kimchee (Korean marinated cabbage), she was pleasantly surprised. I am glad that she resides in Arlington, so I gave her my home phone number and asked her to call me so that we can get together to cook Korean food. Mmmmmm, Kimchee, here I come!