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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Life as Part of the Education

Time never stops. It keeps going regardless if we are ready or not. Every minute of your life is a learning experience, part of your education that supplements your school education. What you do that second tends to affect you later on. You tend to connect experiences with each other when you embark on a new experience. This is how you learn. You use your past experiences to help you with your new experiences.

Learn to reflect about your life, and do it about every six months. Take the time to look at what you did for the past six months. Ask yourself these questions:

*Are you happy with the overall picture? Why or why not?
*What have you learned from the past six months?
*What was your most memorable experience?
*What was your least memorable experience?
*What was your most challenging experience?
*Now what would you like to do in the next six months? How can you reach that
goal?

You can add more questions, if you like. Anything to create thinking and reflecting. Be honest when you answer these questions because you can always plan some things in advance to avoid certain situations. Remember, life is part of your education. Use it to your advantage.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

NIU, Islamic Awareness Week




If you live or plan to be in the Chicago area the week of April 2-6, stop by NIU, in DeKalb. Attend some of the events . For more information, contact is listed below.

Muslim Students Association of Northern Illinois University

Phone: 630-479-7672 E-Mail: msaofniu@yahoo.com

In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

What is Islam? Who are the Muslims? What do Muslims Believe about Jesus? What is Jihad? Do the Muslims hate us?

Udoubtedly, Islam is one of the most widely practiced ideologies in the world, but sadly it is the most misunderstood. Too many questions and concerns linger about this faith, to which 1/5 of the world professes itself to.

Come and attend our Lecture Series and Film Festival to have all the questions you have about Islam answered. Nothing is too taboo to ask, take advantage of this opportunity to clarify and expand your understanding of Islam and see how Islam is a complete solution for everyone.

We have the following events scheduled for "ISLAM AWARENESS WEEK". We hope to see you there.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Take Your Kids Outside

Spring if officially here! Take your kids outside as much as you can. Forget about cleaning the house or some other indoor project. Play games with your kids. Study nature with your kids. Playing outside is better than sitting in front of the television. This also encourages kids to be lazy. Laziness tends to lead weight problems that many kids have today.

I am not saying neglect the house chores and indoor projects forever. No. Just save those tasks for rainy days. Maybe your kids can assist you in these items. That is what I am going to do. Every time it is a warm, sunny day. I will be outside playing with my child. Those other things can wait for a rainy day.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Is Preschool too competitive?

I know competition is good, and it's healthy. But when should competition begin with our students or children? Preschool is an exciting time for many youngsters. Is that when should we introduce competition? Or should we do it between adults?

Here is an interesting article that I found on Slate.com:

The Getting-Into-Preschool Puzzle
Can an admissions director really evaluate a 2-year-old?
By Emily Bazelon
Posted Thursday, March 15, 2007, at 2:50 PM ET
It's March, which means it's time for a spate of stories about the high comedy of preschool admissions. In certain cities—or rather, in certain well-off circles in a few cities—getting a 2- or 3-year-old into a coveted school is an enormous preoccupation. The preschool wars have adopted the weapons and lingo of the college wars: consultants, résumés, essays, safety schools, and early decision($). This year, a film crew is coming to New York to document the preschool version of Survivor. And the New York Times and the Washington Post have parodied the benighted admissions process—with missives by groveling parents and chirpy advice-givers (when filling out the admissions form, "describe your dream date, and not your actual child").


Click link here: http://www.slate.com/id/2161913/?GT1=9231

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

U of I, Urbana-Champaign event

Enriching the Mind, Body, and Soul an Endless Pursuit
What: Spring Camp 2007
Where: University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
When: April 13th - 15th
Who: Everyone is invited to come
Speakers: -Imam Siraj Wahhaj
-Dr. Khalid Abou El Fadl
-Imam Johari Abdul-Malik
Cost: $35 registration fee - by April 6th (includes food)
(late registration is available)
- lodging also available (separate cost)
- basketball tournament (separate cost)

For more information, contact: msa.sc.2007@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Can an individual make a difference?

Today, a colleague of mine mentioned that she doesn't watch any serious movies at all, except "dumb comedies", you know movies that I call "stupid funny". I asked her why not. She told me there are too many problems in this world, and that "dumb comedies" are one way of forgetting the negatives of this world. Yeah, but is that being a responsible citizen? or is that that we as citizens no longer can make a difference? I am not sure.

All, I know is that if you take care of yourself, and you consciously make an effort to live for the "good", then shouldn't that make some sort of ripple effect of goodness? I mean if your yard looks clean and environment friendly, wouldn't your neighbors want to do the same thing with their yards? At least they tend to want to do the same.

Something, I realized...that an individual DOES make a difference, but sometimes it goes unacknowledged. How did I come to that conclusion? I had made a suggestion on a list serve that I get through email: to read Pedagogy of the Oppressed to understand oppression and conditioning's of oppression. One reader emailed me privately, and asked my opinion of Pedagogy of the Oppressed or Pedagogy of Hope, which one should she read?

I was kind of surprised. I thought my message would be lost in cyber space because you know how list serves work: you get many messages a day. I was wrong. So, I decided that I am going to take great care of my actions and thoughts because I may influence you or someone else.

Comments are welcomed.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

How should we look at Islam?

Islam has been a fascinating issue that many people really did not know much about until the tragic of 9/11. What people found out about Islam, surprised many. They realized that Islam was a religion of peace. However, many people still do not know much about Islam. To truly understand this subject or any "unknown" subject, you have to study this with a critical eye, yet an open mind.

Ignorance is ugly. Ignorance can cause hate. Hate can hurt those who are victims of ignorance.

I found this article about two Harvard professors trying to teach educators what they should know about Islam.

Rethinking Islam from Pakistan to Texas
Scholars emphasize viewing Islam in historical, political context
By Ryan Z. Cortazar
FAS Communications



Two Harvard professors are spearheading a new initiative aimed at defeating "a clash of ignorances," a clash, they affirm, that perpetuates misunderstanding, prejudice, and fear between Muslim and Western societies. Fueled by widespread global illiteracy about the nature of Islam and Muslim civilizations, this clash has dangerous implications for nations that are increasingly becoming multireligious and multicultural in character.

For rest of the story, click here: http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2007/03.01/03-islam.html

Friday, March 9, 2007

Spring Breaks have begun...

Spring Breaks have begun across college and university campuses in the U.S. Now is the time for students and staff to recoup and go back with full energy. I, myself, will be getting caught up with my never ending to do list. Yeah, I know, never-ending. It is a dream, and maybe a one day reality.

I also know that many high schools, elementary and preschools have at the end of March. Don't worry, you guys can make fun of us when it is your turn to be on Spring Break. :)

So for now, aaaahhhhh...a time to rest, relax and work on other things (maybe).

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Crazy Tuesday grades are due soon...

I guess teachers are cool, after all. Check these teachers doing a music video.

Monday, March 5, 2007

How far should we go to get the naked truth?

I saw this article piece on Slate.com. The government now wants to check airplane passengers naked before getting on board. Yup, naked. Doesn't that seem like some kind of movie. Too weird to be true. It seems like the mass is getting punished for the few. How far you willing to go in fighting "terrorism" (whatever that is)? Is this infringing on our rights?

Do you really want your under age kids to experience someone looking at them nude? Even if they "brush" up the pictures. We tell kids that their body is their body, and no one has a right to see it or touch it. Right?

Below is an excerpt from the article that you should read, and pass along. I would be interested in your comments.

Digital Penetration Invasion of the naked body scanners.

By William Saletan

Posted Saturday, March 3, 2007, at 7:32 AM ET
Psssst. Want to see Susan Hallowell naked? Look at the Feb. 24 New York Times. She's on Page A10.
Hallowell runs the Transportation Security Administration's research lab. Four years ago, she volunteered to be scanned by a backscatter X-ray machine, which sees through clothing. She was wearing a skirt and blazer. But in the picture, she's as good as nude.
Now it's your turn.

Click on the link for more of the story. http://www.slate.com/id/2160977?GT1=9231

Friday, March 2, 2007

Are you a walking-talking television?

I have a question for you. Are you a walking-talking CNN? Or a walking talking NBC? You can just replace CNN or NBC with whatever media you listen to or watch faithfully. Seriously, think about. Do you really repeat everything those news stations report? I know people who do. If CNN or some other news stations says something positive or negative, that is what those people repeat. Gone are the days when critical discussions and debates were exercised? Hope not. That is one way to kill democracy.

How does one become a walking-talking TV? I get surprised and disgusted when I meet people who think that just because it was on the media, it must be accurate. Forget about the other side or the other point of view. Come on, people wake up. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different points of views on issues that you and your neighbor are concerned with. Read or listen to what others are saying. Ask questions. Do research. Reignite your curiosity. This is one way to keep democracy alive and well, is when we are thinking critically and not afraid to discuss or debate civilly.

That is our democratic duty.

This is awesome!