Monday, April 27, 2009

I'm so Excited!

I think Karl Urban makes a great Dr. McCoy - I can hardly wait to see more:

I and another Trek fan from work are planning to see it on IMAX opening weekend, insha'allah.

BTW, this past Friday I saw State of Play starring Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck and I think my mom and I would both agree that it is the best movie we've seen this year. So, consider it recommended - you can ask me for more details if you like.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A nice Stereogram

Crazy times at school/work right now - it's late April. ACT, students out for field trips, camp trips, sports, awards, concerts, road trips, contests, programs, suspensions, counselor appointments, elections, newspaper, yearbook.... Everything up in the air about hiring/firing, placements, schedules, room assignments, building assignments, expectations, disappointments, what you want to do with your life when you grow up....

I have an interview for a building transfer tomorrow. One day I really want it, the next I feel like I can't leave where I am. All in God's hands, but I may have to make a tough decision at some point, we'll see.

I hope you all are doing well!

The above is a video of an interview with Imam Siraj Wahhaj. He is a Sunni convert, one of the passing old guard of the strong African American Muslim leaders that came to Islam through the Nation of Islam movement during the Civil Rights era. Two things I admire in these men like Wahhaj and the late Warith Deen Muhammed is that they did incredible work in the arena of dawah and building legitimacy and standing for Muslims in America as part of the political and societal structures, and that they did hard and dangerous work for their congregations without adopting elitist standings for themselves - such as taking to the streets and driving out drug lords from their neighborhoods - very practical, necessary religious work that in other communities rarely gets done.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I love Logic Puzzles

I love Logic Puzzles, but they can be hard/frustrating at times!

Here is a simple (as in not complex, but as for easy or hard, I'll leave that up to you to decide)one to play - can you figure out how to always win this game?

Three Bags

How about this one?

Coin Weighing

Monday, April 13, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dua Tawassul

Recited by ladies from Stanmore, UK

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Songbirds are coming back

One of my favorite things about this time of year is that more songbirds come back to Colorado from their winter homes and I start hearing pretty chirping at the crack of dawn and at dusk. It is such a pretty, peaceful sound. I love birds, I can't imagine this world without birds, they are such a blessing! What is one of your favorite things about April?

Monday, April 06, 2009

Alien Abduction Dream? :P

I've just been living lately - nothing really exciting happening nor too many profound thoughts. April is always the craziest month at school - sports, field trips, awards, scholarships, assemblies, standardized testing, meetings, trainings, scheduling, hiring, firing, etc. So every day something different is going on and there are lots of schedule changes. It requires adaptability and can be fun and stressful both.

We got a little snow yesterday and the day before it was north of us but we had really high winds. I actually enjoyed it but it keeps you in a bit much. We didn't have enough to do this, bummer!:

I signed on as an Independent Sales Representative for Avon, which means if you wish to buy Avon, I can help you - see the sidebar for a link or just e-mail me or leave a comment. I would appreciate your business. ;)

There's also CSEA stuff going on (teacher's association) - the committee I chair, the scholarship committee, meets this week. It is fun, because you get to give away money. But you always wish you had more money to give away. And CSEA elections are going on right now, too - I ended up running for a position due to requests of some friends, but I do have mixed feelings about it. I want to do a good job but don't want to be bogged down in politics or put in a position beyond my knowledge or interest (such as if a President resigns and I had to step in, which would involve leaving the classroom to work full time downtown.)

I went to the antique show downtown with my parents on Saturday. That is always interesting, and my parents usually buy me something which is very nice of them - they are very generous to me and sometimes I feel guilty about it but I try to be generous back when I can. I also try to avoid materialism, but going to look and stuff and more stuff is counterproductive. But this kind of thing can teach one to learn when to focus on quality vs. quantity or vice versa.

I am trying to decide if I want to continue to work in this building or move to another. Transfer interviews are ongoing beginning last month. This year was not my favorite - it really depends on what kids you have in a given year. Occasionally we get student surveys on how you're doing - for example, I just did a flash in the pan ACT prep course for one afternoon and got everything back from being the greatest ever to being a horrible teacher, but feedback is always too general to know exactly what they liked or didn't like and why, so it just leaves one with disappointment but no strategy - the surveys are not useful.

But also lots of friends moved on to other buildings, but there are always new friends coming, too. I am not naive enough to think the grass is really greener, there are pros and cons to every place, but I do really think some have a more positive environment than here. But it sounds like I might get a nicer schedule next year if I stay here, so who knows? If I did leave, the department would be losing a team leader and the only AP Stats teacher, which could leave them in kind of a difficult position. On the other hand, perhaps my growth is limited here and could be higher elsewhere - I don't know.

I am also thinking of going for national board certification next year - I have an informational meeting about that this month. If I ever do move to another state that could be useful, but in general it is a good thing to do, mainly it is an investment of time and money so I'll have to see the details.

Spiritually, I've been rather level the past little while. I'd like to grow and am looking for inspiration. Do you know that feeling you get when you're really into your prayers, dua'as, etc? I want that more often, I'm always trying to pursue that, but sometimes pursuing isn't the way to go, sometimes you have to be still for it to come. I have realized that spirituality is rather cyclical - it has ebbs and tides, according to hadith of Ahlulbayt (as). You have to take the highs and the lows together. In lulls, focus on avoiding sin and keeping up the required acts, and in highs, build your extra deeds. Always try to focus on good akhlaq - good demeanor, manners, behavior, etc.

I had some weird dream last night that woke me up. I was sitting out front in a lawn chair and noticed an old man apparently spying on me and people with me through binoculars. Then we realized he and the people with him were looking at the sky. So we looked at the sky and there was a very very red/pink star that had never been there before. So we started staring at it too. Then, two green blobs appeared and started rotating around the red star and my brother said they were Medusas. We went inside the house and I noticed someone in the back yard in a blue hot rod spinning out, ruining the lawn. I went to stop him from ruining my parents' lawn and he was repentant and stopped the car. The grass was very wet, muddy, tall, and I recognized the yard from previous dreams in which stuff was buried under the ground. He was about to get out of the car when a brown-amber colored beam of light appeared in the distance. I ran to hide behind a tree and as the beam moved, I moved to keep behind the tree relative to its position. The boy in the car ran toward me and the beam paused, seemed to notice his motion and came toward him quickly. I told him to freeze, and he laid down on the ground motionless. Then the light engulfed him and picked him up off the ground and he was screaming. I didn't say or do anything, just hid from it behind the tree and I felt guilty because I hadn't wanted him to run to my tree because his motion had caught attention and I didn't want to get caught with him. I was worried he would give my position away. I felt I should've done more to help him but my first thoughts had been for myself and I felt bad about that. Then I woke up feeling anxious and had to get up for a few minutes before I could go back to sleep. Did I tell you about the dream I had last month in which a hole opened in the sidewalk under my mom and she disappeared before my eyes? My brother and I tried to find her under the pavement but there was just a giant chasm, like a sinkhole under the pavement and no sign or sound of her. That one woke me up disturbed too. I had to call my mom the next evening to make sure she was fine but I didn't tell her about the dream.

11th Imam (as) Wiladat Mubarak!

Imam once wrote in his letter to Ali ibne Babweh Qummi:

"Praise be to Allah. As you are from our shias so I advise you:

• Be pious and virtuous
• Forgive and pardon the mistakes of people
• Suppress your anger
• Do sila-e-Rehmi (do good with your relatives)
• Help the needy
• Get acquaintance with Holy Quran
• Establish prayer (salat/namaz) and perform ibadat

follow my commandments and induce others to do so. "