2023 Oct Week 5 F 17

2023, October 08(week 6 review), AL female 16

       Although many students would say that the last day of the program is the best one, it was the worst day of the program. The last day of the 6 weeks of the program is the testing day for level one students.  As always we started by doing our weekly routine but a little differently. Then we went on with some metaphors, then our presentations. We then had H talk about him and his experience in life , he also talked about 9-5 and 5-9. As we did the testing and our weekly news, we had gum from teacher I and  guests talked about their life lessons and last we discussed about the fifth pledge.

      As everybody in the program knows, we always start our class with meditation combined with the song that says “La Ilaha Illa Allah Muhammadu Rasulullah”. The reason we do it is to clear our mind, put a side all of our thoughts to only think  and connect with God. During the meditation we were told to move our shoulders with the song which was so relaxing because I felt like I was into my own world going with the flow. And then we were told to say “ Thank you God, God forgive me , God bless me “. He told us that the most important thing of doing that is to be sincere, to mean it because "Actions are judged according to their intentions” After we finished our meditation, we were told to turn around in the same position, he told us to stay in that same position for 30 minutes, I was about to cry when he said that because my legs were already making me uncomfortable; we ended up doing it for far more than two hours as he kept adding more because some of us were continuously changing position which was not allowed.

      The first things the class started with were scolding about our essays because the most important thing of those essay  is to  tell everything that has been said in the class. He asked us to define metaphor, but we didn’t have clear definition to give him, so he asked a student from level 2 to define it, she explained to us that a metaphor is a figure of speech that describes an object or action in a way that is not true. He gave us an example “The Grass Is Greener on the Other Side” which means we don’t seem better than the things we have. He also asked us about Oil jug, but nobody had a correct  answer. The oil jug concept is about how we were all born with a jug full of combustible oil on the side of our hips. Whenever you do a good deed a drop of oil diminishes from the jug, when you do a bad deed, a drop adds up to it. Our goals are to empty our oil jug before we die by doing more good deeds than bad ones.

      Our next topic was about our presentation we had been preparing for since the first week. he asked us all what were our presentation topics and half of our presentation was about Islam, especially what we already talked about in class.  He said that we were supposed to talk about anything else but what we talked about in class. Fortunately, we had a student that had a presentation about soccer. After his presentation, the teacher asked us about how he did with his presentation, and we all gave reviews. The next presentation was about the Prophet Muhamed ( S.W.T)’s life.

      Teacher I mentioned we weren’t writing what has been said so far. As he wanted to test our retentive skills, he asked H to talk to us about anything he wants, and we have to tell him about it when he comes back. H told us that he was thirteen years old when he joined the program and now he is eighteen but still benefits from it. Right now, he is banned from class on Sundays. He explained how important it was to take notes, it will help us with our writing . We need to have the skill of note taking, verbal note. We take notes to summarize sentences quickly. He scored the highest in his college, as a college freshman .

      We learned a new concept with H which was 9 to 5 and 5 to 9. 9 to 5 means the time we spend at school/ work, 5 to 9 is the time we spend at home. Muslims teenagers in a non-Muslims society struggle to find a balance between life at school and home. Teenagers act differently depending on where they are. he is in a neuroscience major, but he still uses the skills he developed when he was in the Gisla program. One of the students talked about slang which means when a person talks with a friendly tone and words. The Gisla program never stops emphasizing  our goal in life which is to make the world a better place. We also talked about how to balance universal values, which requires respect, proper.. all the time. The tree trunk is related to universal values and CCA ( common sense/ context / accountability).  Teacher I taught us about Sunni and Shia  as an example for tree trunk because they all believe in one God but there are many sects in Islam. He told us about the fact that we are all accountable for what we do in this life. Accountability has two parts : pencil, and ink. If we commit a bad deed, but we sincerely repent from it he will erase it because it was written with a pencil but whenever a person does a good deed it is written with ink. If you did something to somebody without apologizing sincerely , that sin can prevent go from going to heaven. But if somehow that person dies; as long as  you did try to apologize to that person, but he didn’t, God may forgive you if he worships him as much as he is supposed to. As much as we emphasize it, our purpose in life is to make the world a better place.

      As we started testing we felt like the testing wasn’t going as planned because nobody in the level one group passed which made teacher I very disappointed. We were asked to go outside to learn the salat sheet. When we came back into the class we studied for more than 20 minutes. As usual, every and each of us had to give out news of what happened in the world this week and explain it. The news that I talked about was : Poland who decided that they will no longer arm Ukraine because they need to arm themselves in case a war happens. Then the US investigating the fire that happened in Maui because people discovered that before the fire the roads were blocked, and the water was cut off.

     After the news was given, teacher I asked one of the level 2 students to gives us each gums he brought from his travel, he said it was souvenirs. He told us that what makes the gum special is that it has facts on the paper gum and the gum itself. He told us to read the facts of our choice and I chose the one that said, “ the Pacific Ocean is the deepest ocean in the world”, and the others student read theirs too. There were many facts on each paper gum.  He told us that from now on we were supposed to come up with facts that we think  he doesn’t know about.

     Since R’s mom came into the class, teacher I asked her to introduce herself to us and tell us about a life lesson. She introduced herself and told us that she was a doctor and professor too, she has 4 masters. One life lesson she learned was :  “ work smart but also work harder to get what you want and focus on what you need to do “. We also had J do the same. J is a division chief who works in the government. The life lesson she taught us was “ challenge yourself, give it your best and live your life preciously” she also said that we have to use the opportunities we have to go through life.

      After that teacher I asked us to tell him about the fifth pledge which is, and I quote “ I understand that this is a voluntary program; a failure to comply to a request is a result to expulsion” which is a result of us not passing the test; we got expulsed for 2 weeks. We also learned our new ritual that says” Ya Allah, I know that I am in a state of loss, if I believe, do good deeds , seek the truth, and practice patience, please help me do this. “

      While many students would say  that the best day of the program was the last day, it was the worst for me. Even though we learnt a lot about people’ s life experiences and their life lessons, this day was very memorable.
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