Seriously though, I have been busy. Doing what, you might ask? Well, it's a good question. I did have a test this week (and after recently re-discovering the joy of getting A's on tests I wanted to actually study.) I also had a little bit of homework to catch up on, something neat in my Microwave Engineering class called a "Smith Chart." That's what the funny looking circle chart thing is at the top of this post.
In fact, it's so neat what you can do with this nifty little chart. And even though the engineers use language that might make you think it's complicated (like "impedance matching" and "shunt inductance") it's really such a neat tool that in all my years of studying engineering, I'm still kind of marvelling at the simplicity of it. You get to use it by printing off a chart like that (takes up the whole page) and drawing even more circles on it with a compass.
But school wasn't my main concern this week--I was part of a team that was giving presentations to some freshman college students visiting the mosque. The entire freshman class has to take this particular course, and so we get about 250-300 girls each semester, about 1/3 each night over three nights. So this week, we hosted them on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings.
We start with an overview about Islam based on a presentation we have created, which is supposed to take 30 minutes or less. They have to read about Islam beforehand so the presentation is less a descriptive study of Islam, and more a normative one, talking about what Muslims believe about Allah and the Qur'an for example. And then we usually have a sister who has converted tell her story about becoming Muslim. (That was my role this week, each night.) And then they will observe the prayer with a brief explanation about the importance of prayer in Islam, and answer their questions.
It's always fun to see the different questions they might have, and giving the presentations back-to-back helps us figure out what we could do better and what is very ineffective. One of the most interesting remarks that I've heard from the students though is that after listening they found that most of the stereotypes they had about Muslims were dispelled--even though we actually spent very little time battling misconceptions compared to just presenting Islam as straightforwardly as possible.