November 18, 2012

Chemistry Teaching Musings: Flexibility and Compassion

Posted in Character, Chemistry, Social Commentary, Teaching/Education tagged , , , , , , , , at 8:55 am by faith786

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum,

The past couple months, I have been in observing in a middle school life science classroom. I have never seen such a unique, crazy and vibrant science classroom in any of my previous observation placements. Or in my life for that matter.

In addition, this teacher is a model of what a science teacher should be–full of passion for learning, caring for his students, their ideas and the subject. He has over a 150 students and I find numerous stacks of papers (like, foot and a half tall stacks) that he has to grade, stacks of papers he photocopies for his lessons, future lessons, boxes of materials for labs, etc. etc. The students will never really know how many countless hours and deep thought the teacher puts into his profession of teaching them science.

But it was a recent event that warranted this post.  Read the rest of this entry »

October 5, 2012

Post Ramadan Reflections: Goals and Reflections II

Posted in Character, Epiphanies, Hikams, Social Commentary tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 10:35 pm by faith786

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum,

One goal I had in Ramadan this year was to work on my self-esteem/self-confidence/sense of self-worth. For those of you who know me personally, I have a deep-rooted sense of insecurity. Part of it is fear of failure, part of it is environmental (actually trying stuff and failing at it, applying for 7 jobs and not getting any, etc.), and part of it… I always had inside of myself.

So I decided I am going to work on it. I won’t sell myself short; I will stand up for myself if I think I am wronged; I will work hard and respect others…. and I will now expect a certain level of respect from others. But I also warned myself not to error on the side of being arrogant or being selfish–I only want to have a healthy sense of self-esteem, not hubris.

So in that spirit, I decided to ask one of my professors a question that has been really itching me. This past summer, I asked to be part of a type of project, and he declined in a cryptic manner. When that happened, I resorted to my unhealthy sense of thinking–maybe I am incompetent, maybe I am disorganized, immature, clumsy, etc. But rather than letting those feelings and thoughts (which are all only possibilities, not actual truths) simmer inside of myself, I wanted to stand up for myself and learn the truth. I cannot have a healthy sense of self-worth if I cannot talk about my own shortcomings. Read the rest of this entry »

August 27, 2012

Post-Ramadan Reflections: Goals and Relationships

Posted in Character, Islam tagged , , , , , at 2:28 am by faith786

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum,

Tomorrow (or today in 6 hours) is the first day of school. So naturally, I cannot sleep.

Ever since Ramadan ended, life appears to be so… different. I feel like I have been observing life more rather than being part of it (for a temporary time). Today there was a before school festival event and I was part of participating and helping out at the event. It was a couple of hours long and I realized I was running late to pray one of my prayers. Back in Ramadan, I was on top of my prayers and had a very conscious “internal clock” on when to pray. Post Ramadan and I had to check my watch to realize I was running late. I am beginning to get out of touch with myself. Read the rest of this entry »

August 18, 2012

Ramadan Reflections: Renewal and Resolve

Posted in Character, Islam, Knowledge, Sufism, Taqwa, Tazkiyah tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:04 am by faith786

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum,


Today’s Public Service Announcement:

Ramadan cannot be ending. Ramadan cannot be ending. It is like watching a really close friend packing up and getting ready to leave for a year. Taraweeh, walks to the Masjid only with the moon and the lights at the Masjid lighting the way, the first sip of water at Iftar time, the lights in everyone’s houses, the community as one big family…I will miss Ramadan!


What brought me to type this post was two experiences I had recently.

(Warning: long post.) Read the rest of this entry »

August 13, 2012

Ramadan Reflections: Failure and Growth

Posted in Character, Islam, Tazkiyah tagged , , , , , , , , , at 4:21 am by faith786

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum,

This Ramadan has been filled with many adventures (both physical and spiritual) for me. One current difficulty I am trying to overcome is a perceived failure in my life. For those of you who may know me, I was working on a project with a couple of people (like, 100s of pages of reading and notes) and it did not work for various reasons. Well, I have to turn in the form of my resignation for my project this week and it really dug up old wounds.

Whenever I am pressed by a hardship like this, I tend to do one of two things: act stupid and complain, or sit and reflect. This time, I leaned to the latter. Read the rest of this entry »

August 8, 2012

My Poems: We are Illuminated

Posted in Epiphanies, Faith786's Favorites, Islam, Poetry, Taqwa tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:31 am by faith786

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum,

Tonight was an interesting night. Had a lot to think about. Especially with the last ten nights of Ramadan coming, there is a lot on my mind. Wrote this outside while sitting on the grass. This one is dedicated to a friend who has a nickname that involves, “money.” XD

We are Illuminated

Embers flicker on melting paraffin,

The night glows and time begins to thin.

Stars move ever so silently.

Bright cosmic dust blows gently.

Read the rest of this entry »

August 5, 2012

Social Musings: Women in Science

Posted in Chemistry, Knowledge, Physics, Quotes, Social Commentary, Social Justice tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:31 am by faith786

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum,

Today I bring a halt to the Ramadan Reflection series because of a very (Bohr) interesting discussion I had after Taraweeh about women in science. For those of you who don’t know, I am a woman studying science, specifically chemistry (I also love math and physics a lot too). I am an advocate of learning (be it science or not) and that everyone should try their best at whatever might be their calling. But someone I met today at the Masjid was surprised I wanted to study chemistry but not go into more of the biological or medicinal side of chemistry. When she found out I am more fascinated with the mathematical patterns and physical dimensions/properties of chemistry, she felt that was something more that a man would study. Read the rest of this entry »

July 28, 2012

Ramadan Reflections: Yaqeen

Posted in Aqidah, Character, Hadith, Islam, Knowledge, Quotes, Quran, Sufism, Taqwa, Tazkiyah tagged , , , , , , , , , at 3:56 am by faith786

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum,

This Ramadan I have a lot of goals/intentions/improvements to work on. Two involve my relationships with others and with myself. All of us have internal (spiritual) sicknesses to work on. There are many types of diseases: jealousy, hatred, despair, etc. all with their own cures. Even the process of purifying oneself and tribulation have many spiritual benefits. As I am making the resolve to work on my own sicknesses, I really blew it last night when I had a very bad argument with someone. Read the rest of this entry »

July 26, 2012

My Poems: 42 Seconds

Posted in Faith786's Favorites, Poetry, Social Commentary tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:24 am by faith786

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum,

This was an old poem I wrote last semester one evening. The rhythm and meter are terrible, but I feel like it sounds better said than read.

42 Seconds
In 42 seconds your images brighten and fade.
A single music note weaved a shade.
A look, a thought, and hope lost their way,
On these cold tiles do our thoughts lay.
In 42 seconds, we were in awe, trouble and reborn.
We were in the dark with our minds worn.
A feeling, or two, or a 100 lost their way.
For 42 seconds, night burst into day.
In 42 seconds, we uttered no sound.
Our heads, in the sky, our feet, on the ground.
In 42 seconds our destinies were united and torn apart.
In 42 seconds, our paths crossed and our journeys restart.

July 24, 2012

My Poems: Divine Weather

Posted in Islam, Poetry tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 11:38 pm by faith786

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum,

It is a lovely Ramadan evening and I guess I felt like writing a poem in under 10 minutes. I thought about tweaking it to fit the meter better, but I feel like keeping it the way it is now.

Note: the weather symbolism are to represent the manifestation of God’s presence in my life. I just don’t want some Muslims to think I am saying weather has Divine attributes. It does not. But God can present His Beauty through weather though.


Divine Weather

*** Read the rest of this entry »

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