Sunday, April 08, 2007

The hills are alive...

Virtually watching a movie together... a new kind of fun. So last night I was watching The Sound of Music with a friend--we had the DVDs in sync and were on the telephone, each in our own rooms. I love this movie, but watching it like this was a whole new experience. When you watch something with someone in person there's such a tendency to be silent, just observe... on the telephone there's a tendency or temptation to laugh more, speak more... and that was fun. :-)

We didn't even get through the entire movie, which we started around 11pm, but just the first half (up through the intermission.) Laughing at the songs, the characters--it was really very enjoyable. Sharing it over the phone like that is an interesting experience. For those of you who like classic movies, I might recommend this. Being on the phone keeps you from getting too involved, so you're more of an outside observer and can comment on things. Anyway, it was new for me and kinda fun. InshaAllah we'll watch the remainder tonight.

This weekend has been a little break for me, I didn't have work on Friday because it was Good Friday. Each morning over the weekend I've taken a shift in the lab, but have taken a break from regular studying. I should get back to that today, as a matter of fact, because I have some homework due Tuesday and I don't want to get behind, here at the end of the semester. There are just three more weeks of school to push through before exams. In those three weeks I'll have two tests, one in each class inshaAllah.

I told the lab manager I would work this summer as well, so it seems I have a very summer ahead of me. Unfortunately I will need to work this summer in the lab--my DOT hours will be shortened because of my unusual schedule (I'll have a morning and afternoon class almost every day) and also because of increased travel time. The branch is moving out of Raleigh and into Garner, probably 15-20 minutes further away. On one hand I will no longer have to pay for a downtown parking space, but it means a lot more time in the car going and coming to work. I've had it easy the last two years with work and school so close together, and now that I live inside the beltline too, getting around has been extraordinarily simple. Knowing I'll be driving more in the near future, I can't help but hope the price of gas stays on the low side. :-(

The upcoming weekends promise to be exciting, I should say in advance, because I might not have time to report updates about everything going on. Next week I've been asked to teach the high school Sunday school class. The mosque has a full elementary and middle school program, but also offers basic religious instruction for kids who go to public schools. The way one sister I know put it, it's for the parents who feel guilty about not putting their kids in an Islamic school, so they have to give up a day on their weekends to go to this kind of school, learn some Arabic, some Qur'an, some history, and so on. The sister who teaches the last high school class (who also teaches the sisters Islamic studies classes) asked me to sub for her because she's going to be out of town. Of course, I'm thrilled. :-) I'll need to put the lesson together this week though and review everything. InshaAllah I want to tell them about the Hadith Jibreel. They're actually studying a biography, but pulling a chapter out of that wouldn't be strongest from me, so I checked with the sister and she's fine with my doing this instead.

On another weekend, the Bayyinah Institute is supposed to send someone back down here to do seminars in classical Arabic. There should be one each month or so, assuming enough people have signed up. This weekend I took the opportunity to recall much of what I had memorized. Inshaallah before then I can go through the exam again as well to make sure I'm up to speed. I also want to, more than just recognizing some of the words we've memorized, actually know their meanings. They occur so exceedingly often in the Qur'an it makes sense to memorize them early on. For now I can merely recite them in a list... which I won't do now, tempting as it is.

The weekend after that I am supposed to go to some interfaith camp for women... I don't know who organizes these things or how I get roped into going. There are some sorts of events I love doing, and some I dread. Spending a weekend with a group of women who are 10-30 years older than I am (I've no doubts I'll be the youngest there by far) doesn't really thrill me. There are supposed to be 12 representatives of each faith... Muslims, Christians, and Jews. I think a lot of the participants are the same who are active in interfaith in other ways, and in the Tikkun group. The relief there is I know these are people who have their heads on their shoulders, and they won't be bringing Robert Spencer and pals along to attack anyone. But what the camp is actually supposed to accomplish--that I don't know.

Anything else? Yes, loads. Loads of stress and... relief. But all entirely too private to be mentioned at the moment. I thought it might be interesting to point out that when I got up this morning it was 28 degrees. How about that for a sunrise service? (It is Easter today by the way.) I remember how tedious it was to get up for a sunrise service when I was a kid... but Muslims do it every single day of the year. I just found that interesting. (Not in a "we're better" kind of way, but just the product of some reflection on why people worship the way they do.)

Oh yes, I finished training the police. What was nice about that is now a good number of the officers know who I am. :-) I hope they learned something useful.

I think I'll stop now with this hodgepodge miscellaneous post. :-) I feel I've now sufficiently updated the world on what I've done and am doing for the rest of the month. Thanks for reading. Try the virtual movie thing--it is fun!

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