2021 August 29 – SS – Male age 15 #Week 0

Hello everyone! I am a new student and I just recently joined the Green Stairs program. This is the essay I am required to do as homework on our first day. I went to the Islamic Center of Northern Virginia for Juma namaaz and after I prayed and listened to the sermon, I walked outside. The Imam was sitting at a table, talking about how people need to know what they are saying in namaaz; this prompted me to walk over and listen to him. He told me about the Green Stairs Program and we chatted about what happens in it and that I have to do push-ups if I made a mistake. We had a fun time together.

Two days later on Sunday, I came and went up the stairs to door 9. I found an office with a red carpet on the floor and many chairs. There were two assistants and I sat down, introduced myself, and waited for the instructor to come. He came in, sat down on his chair, and started talking about how I needed my report card and asked me what would I do in his situation? I told him that I wasn’t sure but he made me switch roles. I understood his point of view and we started talking about my family and school. He was intrigued when I told him that I play football. The instructor then told me that I needed to be a leader and that I have to learn the qualities; he started by saying that he is a trainer, not a teacher and that I have to be determined with my speech. I was asked some questions about my opinions and he told me some contradictions that made me speechless. I tried to explain myself but he replied only one word, why? I explained but I still got the same question. With every question he asked, I had to rethink my point of view and I learned what he was telling me.

Then we had some practice conversations with the assistants, which was fun because they made jokes about each other. We laughed and then the instructor told me that his favorite soccer team is Manchester United. He then turned on the TV and put on a soccer match. After this, we listened to some Turkish Sufi music. This category of music involves men putting on swirling robes and hats and swinging them around while singing a tune. We then put on Sami Yusuf’s Hasbi Rabbi, which praises Allah. We enjoyed listening to it and discussing everyone’s opinions. My instructor asked me about namaaz and told me to pray two practice rakats. I did what he said and he said that I did it well and asked, who taught me? I told him of my previous teacher, who moved to Canada. The Green Stairs program was enjoyable and I didn’t make a mistake, so I didn’t have to do the punishment. It was 50 push-ups with 2 bonuses, which made me laugh. At this point, class hadn’t really started yet, so this was like a guide for what comes next. He gave me homework, which I’m doing right now, and talked about what I should do.

One of the prevalent lessons he taught me was saying the right word in response to a scenario. He asked me if a man who accidentally dropped a book should say Subhan Allah, Bismillah or Astagfirullah. I told him that he should say Astagfirullah but he asked me if I was sure that it was not Bismillah or Subhan Allah. I chuckled at this and replied that I’m sure. We kept going and made more conversations. The instructor wore glasses and a shirt about the Green Stairs program. The assistants were wearing it and they mostly worked together. I was their first student since the program starts two weeks from now. This meant we didn’t have many topics to cover. I read a book from Dale Carnegie about making friends and I can see this principle in his questions and scenarios. I wasn’t as confident on my answer so he told me to be always ready to back up my views. My answers should have reason so other people can understand the motive. When I was doing it wrong, he told me that my reasoning was invalid and I had to start over. I was starting to get the hang of it.

To be a leader, I had to speak clearly. He asked me a few questions and one such question was about my hobbies. He asked me if I had a hobby and I told him that I occasionally make origami. This interested him and he told me that I must prove it to him by making a piece of origami. I made an origami boat, which was very simple. After I completed it, the assistants told me it was impressive and that model is hard for them to make. I was surprised to hear that because they were older than me and I thought they knew. Afterward, the instructor told me in order to learn how to speak correctly, I will memorize a hard design for myself and teach them how to make it. I will have to give a speech on the instructions. This was a new challenge to me because I never have presented and taught a subject to a group before. I accepted the challenge and I started wondering about all the things I would have to complete because the instructor would challenge my thoughts and test me by doing so. I enjoyed my time and I began to wonder how my future classes would be. They would have more materials and topics to cover and I would be given more work to do. We had to leave because the instructor put on football and said that class is over when he watches football. He explained that when I have a football game, he would be there saying, “Subhan Allah” every time I score. This was hilarious and we had a good laugh before I left. If your class is coming up, know that the class can be fun and you should try to enjoy it.

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