Education, Writing

Marva Collins

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Teaching is a talent.

Would we go back a bit to recall those special memories about teachers that had really taught us something special, something we still remember? Are there any? Or Your teachers had that traditional style that gives students no more than what’s already been in books.

Marva Collins was a talented teacher, believing that every child has a right to learn and can learn. She hasn’t got a certificate in Education; her degree was in secretarial science, but her teaching methods became far better than many of those highly qualified teachers. So what was special about her?

Collins resigned from the teaching position at Chicago public school because she didn’t believe in the system that teaches to the test and eliminates children with learning disabilities. She launched Westside Preparatory School which was a one-room school with eighteen students of different abilities. There, she cared for every single student in the class. She gave good quality and quantity of education, she gave love and respect, and her students learned how to be themselves and to choose a better way of living.

These are some of her phrases which she used to inspire her students;

‘’You have the choice, the right to choose what kind of person you want to be.’’

‘’This is my life to use or to throw away.’’

‘’You are not in school for your parents, for your teachers, or for anyone else. You are here for yourselves.’’

There is a movie available on Youtube about her story. It’s great, why not watching?

Happy New Year!

With all best wishes,

Nahla

 

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media, Writing

Youtube channel

I no longer watch TV; all of my favourite programmes, movies, songs, even my daughter’s favourite cartoons are available on youtube.

It’s also fun to know about others and watch their experience, their success, and their business. I really believe they should be so brave to do that.

My son has started his youtube channel, I think it was about five years ago. Football, he thought it would be all about. But now he is sharing some new interests.

This is the link for his channel; check it and if you like, subscribe to his channel.

YMH Football

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCPuCdHFWFWSmA2w0zkoUnQg/channels

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

entertainment, MOVIE

I am David

 

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This is a novel by Ann Holm. I haven’t read the book yet, but I’ve watched the movie. I think it’s good although some people might find it full of unlikely coincidences. But don’t we have those unlikely coincidences in real life? I mean if we look back at those significant moments in our life, we would realise that we have experienced some of those unlikely coincidences too.

David is 12 years old; he managed to escape from Bulgarian Forced Labour Camp and to travel alone to Denmark. The variation of characters is very interesting; the fellow prisoner, a sailor, a baker, an Italian family, and widowed artist, they all helped the boy, intentionally or unintentionally,  to reach his destination, and to discover his story.  And what I find more interesting is the message of the story which is to believe in the goodness of humanity.

 

This is one of the movie best quotes;

“Life wouldn’t be worth living without trust. Be cautious, but live fully and freely. Make friends and see the goodness in people or you’ll never find any happiness.”

Truth, isn’t it?

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

Drama, Writing

Mother

 

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Last week  Anne a Turkish series, just popped on as a suggestion on Youtube. Anne in Turkish means mother. I really like how it is pronounced. I watched its trailer but as there were no Arabic or English subtitles, I couldn’t understand anything. I didn’t give up. I googled to find out more about the original story; there might be a book, a novel that I can get and read. Soon, I found out that it was an adaptation of a Japanese series Mother and that’s it. Today, I’ve just finished all the eleven episodes.

It’s a heartbreaking story; something that really can touch your heart, something very noble in its significance and dramatisation. It’s about a young girl, about seven years old, whose suffering turns a desperate teacher into a real mother. Her innocence reunites an old mother with her abandoned daughter. Her small heart inspires a young mother to appreciate her baby’s life. Her simple words torture the abusive selfish mother. Her story teaches Love; the unconditional, the intuitive.

If you want to find more, it’s available on Youtube; it’s really worth watching.

Here is the trailer;

 

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

Writing

Handwriting or typing

 

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Typing is much easier, especially when writing a long essay, dissertation or an assignment. It is also easier for editing and word counting and so on. When I was an undergraduate student (hmm many years ago), it was possible to make a handwriting submission for essays. Typing was allowed but was not compulsory. At that time, I did not have my own PC, so I used to have them all handwriting. I discovered the difference when I started my postgraduate studies, and I will never think or recommend handwriting for long writing tasks.

But Handwriting is so special. To give a birthday card, a thank you note or even lecture notes to your friend in handwriting is different. It becomes not only about words but also the person who wrote them. I read once that handwriting, even scribbles have a significance. Your handwriting tells more about your personality. It is also known that our handwriting is unique; even twins have different styles of writing.

Today my son asked me to write a note for his PE teacher because his legs are so stiff after his boxing club. These days everything is computerised. I usually send emails, text or call the school; to write a note sounds a bit weird today. I was in a hurry, morning time! when I found the paper, I could not find the pen, and when I found both I forgot why he can not do it but I wrote it anyway. When my son saw the note, he said;

‘Mama, am I unwell?’ he asked and laughed

‘No,’ I replied and remembered the main reason, ‘ but you can explain more to your teacher.’ I laughed too.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

Family, Writing

Do you worry?

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We all worry, maybe not all but most or some of us, at different levels; something that can be normal, mild or severe.

One of my friends told me once about her mother-in-law. She thinks too much about her health and her worries turned into suspicion. She does not eat at anyone’s house. She doesn’t eat any food. She rarely accepts to eat out. This is strange but who knows something might have happened to her that resulted in her being such a worried person.

Raising up children on your own in a foreign place where it is just you, your spouse and just friends who usually left, went back to their countries, is enough to make you experience worry with all levels. One day, about four years ago, my son texted me; ‘mama the bus didn’t come and I still waiting at the bus stop next to my school.’ That wasn’t something normal because my son’s school was too far from our house; it was in a remote part of the city. And on that day, he could not take the school bus because he had basketball club and finished at 4:30 pm. What made it worse was that he didn’t text when he missed the first one. He kept waiting and texted about 5:30. Why? Because he knew if his mother worries so much, he wouldn’t join the club in the winter.  Honestly, that was my decision but I didn’t tell him at that moment.

I don’t know how many times, I called and texted my husband but apparently they were so many. I still remember how he was breathless; talking while running down the stairs at his work telling me he was on his way.

When I called my son and told him that his father was on his way, he said; ‘the bus has just arrived. Shall I take it?’

‘Of course, jump on.’ I told him and he did. It was a long way from school to our house and I didn’t want him to wait any more at that far place.

‘What about papa?’ My son asked

‘Oops!’

I believe my worries were normal that day. What do you think?

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

 

Ramadan, Writing

No Experiments

 

 

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It is nice to try new food and it is even nicer to cook it. Simple recipes are available everywhere, especially on social media. Food has become easy to cook, yummy to eat, and fast to deliver. But on the first day of fasting, it is not a good idea to make any experiments. Not only because there will not be enough time or energy to cook another meal, but it will be very disappointing. Imagine the boys and their father look at the colourful dish, smell its spices, wondering what it can be, then fill the spoon, and taste it. ‘Yuk! it’s the first day, mama’

No, I’m not going to try any new recipes; not today. Traditional food is the best for the first day, something we all like to eat. When my son came back from school, he liked the smell of the food but he asked; ‘ can we have some chips? Extra side, mama’. ‘Of course, not. I won’t add anything,’ I told him. But that’s it, I thought. If I plan to make any new dish, I will make sure I add large chips, just in case.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

 

Writing

Are you ready?

 

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Tomorrow will be the first day of  Ramadan. My sons kept reminding me; mama please don’t forget this and that when making this week shopping. They want the fridge and the kitchen cupboard to be full of snacks and desserts so after Iftar (breakfast), they will transfer those sweet and salty packets to their rooms when they usually disappear; ‘ we’re going to relax for a bit before night prayer. This relaxation means snacks + mobile.  That’s not all, the first thing they asked me: ‘ What are you going to cook on the first day?’

Don’t think that they love food that much. This is their way of celebration which they practised since they had started fasting.  When they were young, we used to encourage them to fast in this way, by getting lots of snacks to be shared by all of us after having our iftar. Now they are teenagers, taller than me,  but still, like to keep this habit.

By the way, the month of Ramadan is not about food. I like to follow you-tubers or others on social media sharing their recipes for the holy month, just for fun.

Fasting is an obedience; one of the main pillars of Islam. In this month, Muslims are supposed to do their best to obey The Lord, to show how far we can get close, and how far we can be better. It’s a reminder to care more for the soul than for the body.

 

This month, I will try to write a post every day. I will write about our experience of fasting this year. It might be so brief, but at least, I will try.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

 

 

Writing

My daughter’s guest

On Friday, at school home time, my daughter ran to me with a big smile. We had a guest. This guest was her class teddy. At the end of every week, her teacher picked randomly a name which is supposed to be the luckiest to have teddy over the weekend. It’s a wonderful idea because it encourages children to write about and express their feelings as well as sharing the fun with their friends. Every week they cannot wait to know whose turn it will be. They cannot wait to have this special teddy in their house, to take photos, to write about their adventures and finally to stick and arrange everything in the teddy’s schoolbook.

So on Friday, it was my daughter’s turn. Her adventure started as soon as we left the school. She talked with her teddy about our daily walking journey to and back from school. She believed teddy was so excited because last time when we had him, we took the bus, so this time was different. As soon as we arrived, she took her guest on a tour around the new house, especially her room and introduced him to the new toys he hadn’t seen last time.

On Saturday, it was raining when we went shopping and my daughter said teddy would be very bored; he doesn’t like shopping. ‘He will this time,’ I told her, ‘because I will buy him a special chocolate.’ Teddy wasn’t bored anymore. He flew in the air; my daughter jumped to catch him and hugged him. ‘There’s a surprise for you,’ she whispered to her guest who all of a sudden changed his mind and decided that it would be fun to go shopping.

Sunday was the best; sunny and warm and we went to the seafront. There, Teddy had an ice cream. There, he collected stones. There he waved to the big ferry. What else, there he giggled when one of the little boys ran to the water to wash his chocolate ice cream cone. He gasped when his tiny feet touched the chilly salty water. But finally, he was tired and fell asleep. But on the way home, he got up and begged his friend to take him to the park. He wanted to go on the swing. And so we went there. My daughter set him next to her on the swing and took up to the sky. She looked after him so well and he didn’t fall.

It was really fun to have teddy. I think it’s a brilliant idea that can create a wonderful story out of a simple toy.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

 

 

Writing

One more!

 

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Today at breakfast, my daughter said; ‘I’m full, mama.’ There wasn’t much left and I asked her to try one more to finish her plate. ‘I’m full, mama,’ she repeated.

I did not force her because she ate well and sometimes you cannot add any more. I don’t know how people in food competitions could eat that much just to win or to register a high score. It’s really awful to eat more than you can afford. It is known that animals eat when they are hungry; they eat to survive although these days I doubt it. I think they’ve changed too. Have you seen how seagulls snatch, or better to say steal, people’s sandwiches, chips and crisps? When I was young I learned that seagulls fish close to the surface. They also eat earthworms, snails and slugs. But when I moved to cities by sea or rivers, I noticed how these birds have not only adapted well to live with man but also learned his greedy eating habit.

Many years ago, one of my friends went to a social gathering with people of her country at well-known Arabic restaurant. She visited me after they had finished and described the different varieties of starters, main dishes and desserts; hummus, tabula, green salad, stuffed vine leaves, kebab, baklava, rice pudding … yummy! The list made my mouth water. But she did not look well. She tried to lay down on the sofa but she couldn’t. She told me that she ate so much and her husband gave her more. Then, she couldn’t hold it anymore; she ran to the bathroom and vomited up all the food she had eaten that night.

Wasn’t it better if she said she cannot eat anymore?

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla