2020 October 18 – MZ – male age 15 – Class Notes
This week, I came to class with Surah Ayat Al-Kursi memorized in Arabic. It was a bit challenging because I hadn’t quite learned how to pronounce some words in the Surah, but after two weeks I finally learned it.
I arrived at class at around 9:00 AM and was told to greet everyone with “Assalamu Alaikum” before walking in. Then, I went to do my practice prayers and meditate as usual. I find practice prayer very beneficial because it allows me to go over my memorizations while also getting my Fajr prayer out of the way. Also, I started to notice that my memorizations were coming to me much faster, and my ability to focus during prayer became much stronger. This showed me how important practice was, because the less I practiced over the summer, the worse my memorizations became and the harder it was for me to stay in focus.
After that, the class officially started with the recitation of the pledge of allegiance, the pledge of faith, and Surah Al-Fatiah with an emphasis on “Show us the straight path.” This was common practice at the start of class because it was a way to show respect towards America, Islam, and our source of education. Following that, we went over a couple of important things in Islam. The things we went over were the 1 god (Allah), the 5 pillars, and the 6 beliefs of Islam. These were all things we were expected to know as level 2 students, and going over them helped reinforce my memory.
Following that, we were told to take notes on a movie we were going to watch. The movie was called “Taare Zameen Par” and it was about a little boy and how he was different from other kids when it came to what he did in his freetime and what he thought about school/education. The little boy preferred to do puzzles rather than play sports, and he also didn’t like to pay attention in school. However, he was very smart for someone his age. We didn’t get to watch much of the movie that day, but it did show how sometimes parents expect their kids to be the exact same as their older siblings.
Then, the lead teacher spent some time talking about himself and his son when they were younger. He talked about the differences between how things were when he was growing up compared to his son, and he continued to explain the benefits of playing video games. His son did well in school, but would play video games every second he could. The teacher explained how parents may think that is bad and would get mad at their kids for doing it, but in fact it was very beneficial. Playing video games helped strengthen the brain, and also helped with other valuable skills such as hand-eye coordination. Playing games requires you to process a lot of things and to respond appropriately. This would strengthen his ability to process things in the real world, which can be useful in school and in other things such sports. It also helps with hand-eye coordination, which is something that is important for sports such as Tennis and Basketball. These are just a couple benefits of playing video games out of many more, and it helped me realize how some things you wouldn’t expect to be good can be very beneficial.
Next, we watched a documentary named “Rooting for Roona.” This documentary was about a little girl named Roona who had Hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is when someone has water in the brain, and Roona’s family wasn’t able to afford surgery to help Roona. We were being shown this documentary to help us realize how lucky and privileged we are to have proper shelter, to have all our limbs, to have no serious diseases or problems, etc. This made me look at things in life much differently, and made me realize how we should be thankful for what we have rather than complain or feel bad for the things we don’t have. It also showed me the importance of thanking god regularly for the things we have.
From that, we watched a little animation of the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) life. This animation explained how back before Islam, people worshipped idols. These Idols were used as a source of income, and didn’t really have anything good associated with them. Then, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was told to read about Islam by an angel and was informed that he was the messenger of god. He went on to spread his knowledge of Islam to people, and slowly started to gather a following. We paused the movie there, and went on to test out.
Finally, we ended class at around 1:00 PM after finishing testing and celebrating a fellow student’s birthday.