2021 October 24 – SS – male age 15 – Week 6

​Hello everyone! Today was my 6th week at the Green Stairs Academy Program. I was absent last week so I was expecting to learn what happened the previous week. I went inside the masjid and prayed two rakats of prayer, then I meditated. When I went in, the other students were finishing their pledges. After we finished, Teacher I told us to start testing immediately. I went over to teacher M and he tested me, then student M. While talking to student M, I learned that he had a deep passion for cameras. I remembered Teacher I’s lesson about Amana, where he said that everyone has their own skill given to them by Allah and that is what Amana is.

Later, while I was being tested by Teacher I, he said that I shouldn’t try to process my own words. I should focus on saying it clearly and quickly. He would be testing me on my speed and accuracy because a person who memorized it well wouldn’t slow down. He said that I was supposed to be the master, not the student. A student struggles and recites slowly while a master does the opposite.
Afterwards, he asked a student to recite a surah. She recited it well and Teacher I told us that when we are reciting the Quran, we shouldn’t say it in a dull voice. We should recite it in a majestic way and many people convert to Islam because they heard a beautiful recitation of the Quran or heard the Azaan.

Teacher O then asked student M, student J and me to head to the wudu area. He then demonstrated how to make wudu properly and how to make the duas while doing so. Teacher I told us that when we are making wudu, we are mentally cleaning our body of any wrongdoing. If someone says a bad word, then they are cleaning their mouth while making wudu.

​We returned to the classroom. I had to do a presentation on origami. I think that I did a decent speech but the audience in the room couldn’t understand what I was talking about. Student M then did his own presentation on his passion for cameras. He knows a great deal about his topic but I wasn’t able to understand the complicated machinery of his cameras. We sat down and Teacher I asked the other students if they had any constructive feedback for me. Nobody replied and Teacher I told them that if they stay silent, they can’t help me improve.

I needed to learn from other people’s feedback so I can improve my presentation on it. Teacher I told us that our feedback cannot be positive because positive feedback wouldn’t focus on the limitations and flaws while negative feedback would show me what mistakes I made. I also had to explain the multiple aspects of my presentation.

The teachers in the class gave advice to me. Teacher O told me that I had to use body language and gauge the level of participation and interest. Teacher I told me to structure my speech and connect the key ideas as he didn’t understand how origami relates to real life applications. I made a mental note to extrapolate on my main points and to be broad. I would have to revise it next week. Teacher J told me that I hadn’t spoken on the history, basics, limitations, or the summary and I should try to include more into my presentation.

The other students also presented their speech about the topic that Teacher I had chosen for them. Some students were unable to elicit the attention of the audience while other students were vague or didn’t pay attention. I also learned what not to do in my own presentation.

Teacher I then told us about the smartest woman in the world, who was interviewed on a magazine. He told us that we have to be literal at everything we tried. We should have mathematical, stock, or financial literacy so we can succeed in life. Teacher I also said that we have to know what we are talking about while having conversations with other people. Otherwise, we and other people can’t understand the gist of what we are saying. ​

This week, my father brought palov and we handed them out. While we were eating our food, I listened closely to the conversation and made notes about what was happening in class. Teacher I gave us a thought puzzle. He told us that he had a BMW and one morning, he woke up to find that one of us stole his car. He asked us how did we do it without taking his keys. We pondered over the answer and he told us about a low-distance scanner that steals his key codes and opens his car. I made another note that I had to learn to think outside the box.

He then confounds us again by asking what is the most valuable thing in car that can be taken away? Student Y answered the engine but Teacher I said that the car still runs with or without the object. Student M used his brain and came up with catalytic converter, which converts the gases from our cars.
Moving on, Teacher I told us that we have do our essays properly. He says that there are 2 reasons why he is assigning us essays. He wants us to master the skill of writing essays and to develop time management. Teacher I told us what mistakes we had made and what we can do to fix them. We could focus on the details and use paragraph breaks. At this time, a student came in and asked if he could join the class. Teacher I asked us to remind him of our rules. We told him that he need a GPA of 3.6 or higher to join the class and he was unable to join because he wasn’t able to master his subjects.

​In all, today was a good catch-up day from last week and I learned how to conduct a presentation properly. I also learned how to make wudu and how to recite my homework.

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