Muslim for a Month

I teach Social Studies in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area at a very diverse high school. In an attempt to better understand a significant portion of the student population, I have undertaken the idea to become "Muslim for a Month"; hence the title for this blog.

Location: Fairfax County, VA, United States

Friday, October 06, 2006

Random Friday Thoughts:

I just learned that my blog address has been disseminated to all the IBMYP (International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program) teachers at my high school and one of the feeder middle schools (and that it was referred to be of “instructional use”!). I am flattered and a little nervous, this journey of mine is getting more (and broader) attention than I had believed it would generate. Welcome to everyone joining for the first time as a result of this invitation! I hope to do our school community right through my endeavor and my chronicling of it.

On an entirely separate note, my hijab wearing is making my banjo lessons more difficult (I know that is a weird mental picture for me as well). Let me explain – I signed up to take banjo lessons before embarking of this experience and when I practice at home, I do so in a t-shirt and bare headed. When I attend class at a local middle school, I am wearing long sleeves and hijab. The sleeves cause only minor adjustment in the effort, but the folds of fabric covering my ears makes it harder to tune the banjo and to accurately hear the notes I am playing. I imagine that if my hijab wearing was a common occurrence, I would have adapted to this discrepancy more readily, but for now it is another adjustment during this month.

I am currently looking for a chaperone so that I can see a (male) friend of mine this weekend. I have not seen him since Ramadan began since we are both single and are not supposed to be alone together (alone, or in public). This is very weird for me. I grew up with the ability/option to have friends of either gender, and to have developed that relationship and now not be able to continue in the way I am accustomed is odd. I never thought anything of hanging out with him before this. We have much in common (love of movies, both social studies teachers, etc) and talk about what is going on in our respective lives as friends do, and it is weird to not be able to directly share this experience with him. He reads my blog and we talk on the phone, but it is not what I am used to.

Anyway, enjoy your weekend. I am going back to the mosque on Sunday for more Qur’an class and to a dinner with a speaker hosted by the Zaytuna Institute in Washington, D.C. on Monday evening at the invitation of a fellow teacher, and I have been reading Muhammad: The Biography of the Prophet by Karen Armstrong. The learning continues on all fronts.


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