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EDS 133 Blog # 2: Perspectives on Prayer

Surah 1. The Opening

  1. In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
  2. Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds;
  3. Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
  4. Master of the Day of Judgment.
  5. Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
  6. Show us the straight way,
  7. The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.

The words above that can be seen above is derived from the first chapter of the book of Qur’an specifically from Surah 1:1-7. The opening prayer above is also the one uttered by Muslim individuals around the world for the obligatory five daily prayers.

In this blog, I will be discussing about the parallel and also the distinction of the Surah opening prayer above with that of mine as one of the Jehovah Witnesses. Similar with the Surah opening prayer, I also begin my prayer to Jehovah God by means of also uttering praise to him and specifically mentioning his magnificent qualities such as love, undeserved kindness, mercy, humility, and brilliance shown through creations in nature. The Surah prayer’s 5th and 6th line also presents the indication of offering oneself to God by means of seeking and worshipping Him. This part is also what I can say as similar to what I utter to Jehovah God and in addition to this, I also include in my prayer the request for His holy spirit to be able to guide me and also put in my heart Jehovah God thinking of what is right and what is wrong through Bible principles.

In the part of the distinction however, I have seen that the Sunah prayer are verses to be exactly uttered by Muslims compared to my prayer wherein I can openly say my feelings to my God. However, even though my prayer is freely expressed, a format is also followed based on the model prayer given by Jesus Christ and this is also similar with the Sunah prayer wherein it begins with the giving praises to God, thanking Him for everything that He has done and also asking for repentance for sins that have been committed. In conclusion to this blog, I as a Jehovah’s Witnesses have truly developed awareness and respect for fellow humans from the Islamic community. Through the Sunah prayer, I have truly been reminded to always give praises to the Most High God because this is what He truly deserves. –Revelation 4:11

REFERENCES:

Surah 1: The Opening. Retrieved from: http://www.islam101.com/quran/yusufAli/QURAN/1.htm

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EDS 133 Blog # 1: Islam and the Islamic World View

  1. Reflect on the major worldviews of Islam. How are they alike or different from your personal worldview/s?

For this question, the major worldview of Islam that I would like to focus on is one of the pillars of Islam which is about the Shahadat answering to the call of the prophets, especially of Prophet Muhammed to worship God alone. Shahadat as one of the pillars of Islam also is composed of the phrases: “I bear witness there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammed is Messenger of Allah.” primarily uttered by the ones embracing Islam. The utterance of these phrases of Shahadat is an everyday must for Muslims. Utterance of the Shahadat is for the Muslims should also be done with sincerity and that the saying of these words also means their responsibility to fulfill their vows as ones embracing Islam.

I chose to reflect on this major worldview of Islam on the Shahadat because this also has a similarity with my beliefs and principles practiced as one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. As one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, I am worship my God, Jehovah and just like the Muslims putting in mind the not only the utterance but also the practice of the Shahadat, I make sure in my whole life to also follow the greatest commandment from the Bible recorded in Matthew 22: 37, 38 which says: …“‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment.” Although it is not mandatory as one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses to utter this commandment compared to Muslims’ practice of the pillar of Shahadat wherein the phrases should be uttered every day, the putting in mind and heart of worshipping of God alone is the similarity that I can observe between Islam and that of the religion that I have vowed to follow in my life.

  1. Go to the website: http://www.names4muslims.com. Choose a name you would like as your pseudonym or pen name for this course. You may want to explain why you decided on your particular pseudonym.

For this subject, I really enjoyed this activity of choosing a Muslim pen name because I have been able to explore the beauty of names and delve into the realization that every name presents a precious identity of a person. Based on the initials of my first names, T and N, I chose 2 Muslim names and the pseudonym that I have formulated is Thufailah Nahid.

An explanation of my pseudonym, Thufailah Nahid:

Thufailah– This name that I have chosen means “elegant with good respect for her elders”. When I have read this from the list, I felt something special from this name as this is close to my heart because of my upbringing to have deep respect for the elders. This upbringing is based from a special guide in my life, the Bible wherein one scripture states from Proverbs 16:31 about gray-headedness being a crown of beauty because it is based on righteousness. From my upbringing, I was also taught to have elegance that is not based from the outside like having ladylike poses, but from the inside by means of being humble and treating others with deep respect.

Nahid- The name Nahid means “Persian name for the planet Venus”. I have decided to put this in my pseudonym as my second name because it really interested me as my mother’s name is Venus. By means of choosing the name Nahid, I feel like I have more of a connection with my mother, the beautiful individual who has truly brought a wonderful impact in my life.

REFERENCES:

Cooke, Bradley J. (ed.), (2010) Classical Foundations of Islamic Educational Thought,

Utah: Brigham Young University Press

Irving etal (2004). The Qur’an: Basic Teachings. Leicester: The Islamic Foundation

Muslim Names. Retrieved from http://www.names4muslims.com.

Matthew 22: 37, 38. New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Study Edition)

How Photography Helped me Love Mistakes

The learning journey in EDS 113 has truly been a beautiful and exciting one in my opinion as the topics discussed in here helped me be enlightened to the real essence of the word LEARNING. With the topics discussed, one of the things that has really caught my attention in this subject is about the topic of mistakes and failures. Judging on the topic of this article, you might be stating right now that ever since, I haven’t had any real issues with mistakes. However, I have to admit that embracing mistakes is not an easy thing to do. Thus, I would like to share with you how one of the things that I love to do, which is photography, helped me to also LOVE MISTAKES.

To start the discussion of this article, I would like to share some of the earliest photos that I have taken ranging from a different genre and the mistakes encompassing these shots.

Old Photos from 2015 to early 2016:

1(1)

Genre: Sunsets

Mistake: Reflecting on this photo, I knew I took this view for granted. As observed in this photo, there seems to be a lack of focus on the supposed subject, sunset, which strayed away from real view to be seen in here and has been distracted by the somewhat hazy part of the skies.

2(1)

Genre: Street photography

Mistake: I remembered taking this photo way back December 2015 while walking the streets in Baguio City Market. What led me to choose this pair is their passion for selling their shell products by attracting customers with their rhymed play of words. However, holding a camera for the first time in the streets made me too shy and so judging by the photo, the real element of this story has lost its focus as I moved the camera away, resulting to this blurriness and improper angle.

12 (1)

Genre: Light painting

Mistake: Looking at this, it actually is funny to think that upon taking this, I already thought that it was a “good” shot and did not even bother to try do some more takes for this.

3(1)

Genre: Portraiture

Mistake: Golden hour, or the time when the afternoon’s light comes from the sun setting down, is actually one of my favorite setting to shoot something. I vividly remember however how impatient I have been with the settings in my camera and also lacked the execution of some effort to spare some time to experiment with the appropriate things to consider. The result has therefore given me frustration and regret as I knew that the photo that I have taken did not capture the real story and emotion of my subject.

5 (2)

Genre: Self-portraiture

Mistake: Of all the genres in the field of photography, this is the one that I practice the least as I feel awkward and uncomfortable being in front of a camera and probably still on the critical process of building a stable foundation of self-confidence. Before taking this photo, one of the ideas for the concept in my mind is doing something that embodies the mood of childhood. At first, I tried to smile but I just felt cringe upon checking the result in the camera. Therefore, I just tried to play safe by doing a low key pose, and hiding my face with the toy camera. Checking the photo in the camera, I felt downhearted as I haven’t achieved what I would like to have, hopefully. Therefore I gave up in trying another take and just decided to turn off my camera bearing this shot.

Comparison with Photos from mid 2016 to 2017:

1(2)

Learning from my mistakes of taking the view of nature for granted, I slowly learned the art of reflecting and meditating on the wonderful creations of the magnificent creator up above, Jehovah God. Therefore, to be able to capture the real essence and beauty of a landscape, particularly with the genre of sunsets, the own eyes should be able to observe and appreciate the view first.

2(2)

Listing this as one of my notable photographs of progress up to this day, I think keeping on clicking photographs especially with the genre of street photography helped me battle shyness to shoot people in public (with discretion, of course.). At first, I have observed that people are intimated when people like me at this time, point a camera at them. Nevertheless, I have also learned that with a smile, they feel slowly feel ease as they know that this is an opportunity for their own story in life to be portrayed in a photograph, the story that can make them proud sharing it to others. What brought me to this setting is my attraction to the magnificent action of the smoke and how the man blazes it wonderfully. Looking back to this day, I am happy to be able to have the courage to point and shoot this moment. I am also very grateful that this photo has fortunately made it to the Top 20 class in the first international photo contest that I have participated in. Truly, I have learned as well to break the stigma of hating having mistakes, as my experience has revealed how much I am very grateful to be able to learn from it.

IMG_0634(2)

For this genre of light painting, I embraced the mistake that I have mentioned for this part, I tried to address this by trying and trying to do more takes to be be satisfied with the end result. While be stuck in traffic, I tried to do everything I could to make the lights from the vehicles somewhat be able to portray motion and action. After doing 20  takes and enduring looks from people who think I am crazy because of this, I ended up with this result that although it isn’t the best in other people’s eyes, I know that it is a significant pace of progress from the first batch of light painting photos that I have shot.

3(2)

In this journey in the field of photography, the beauty of light has always captivated my eyes and with my photos, I try to portray this in different ways if possible. With the series of mistakes in trying to do these kinds of attempts, I have slowly cultivated the attitude of patience to always take the time to learn and never rush with the things that I do such as experimenting on the different settings of my camera. By learning from my mistakes, I have also seen how important taking time is when shooting portraiture to also perceive first with my own eyes the story, mood, and emotion that I wanted other people to see through my photographs.

5 (1)

For this genre of self-portraiture, I know that the only way to learn from my mistakes is breaking first the barriers against the real and authentic self inside of me. Taking this photo has been a challenge as well, as I am also experimenting with a new lens of mine. Nevertheless, I tried and tried from taking several shots for different poses, to varying angles to depict myself and the subject, and the beauty of light that I have mentioned as being very significant to me. Reaching this end result, I think that I am happy as well as comparing this with my early self-portrait shots, I know that I as well am coming out of my shell to be a stronger person in this world.

With my experience, I know how loving mistakes can truly be learned the hard way. With different mindsets of the fear of people turning me down and forever failing in life, the point of not trying even more and playing safe can actually be a hindrance to the real essence of success. For the topic of mistakes and failures for this subject of EDS 113, one of the things that has really been inculcated in my mind is the application of growth mindset wherein mistakes are used as tools to learn and progress even more. By loving mistakes in the field of photography, I as well am also on the process of slowly applying this with my academic journey.

Although the latter part of this article is not meant to show that the images are the best ones that I now have, I always try to do more self-critiques and asking of suggestions and comments from other people in all types of my shots to have this prospect of learning and growing. With the result of success in the end, people may not see everything that it took to reach to this point such as hard work, sacrifice, and disappointment. Nevertheless what matters is how happy and satisfied you are with the end result created, and this is how you love your mistakes.

Module 4: 5 Great Lessons I’ve Learned from a Special Ed Teacher

Screenshot 2017-03-16 08.17.08

Featured video: This Special Ed Teacher’s Real-World Lessons will Inspire You | Class Act

As someone who often browses the internet to gather knowledge as distraction and boredom often engulfs me when I just stay in one position to read textbooks and required readings, I have accidentally stumbled upon this inspirational video about a special education teacher named Ms. Sadie Guthrie. In this video produced by the channel SoulPancake, the amazing work of Ms. Sadie is presented in here and on how she molds her students not only to be good inside the classroom but also to be great as citizens in the community. In this article of mine, I would to share  5 of the awesome lessons that I have learned from Ms. Sadie from this video that I have watched:

1.) Look into and Plan for EACH student

Screenshot 2017-03-16 08.05.18

With Ms. Sadie’s work as a special education teacher, the challenges faced in here is multiplied compared to that of the case of usual teachers. Nevertheless, what I really like is this lesson as she emphasized the importance of planning for each student. In my opinion, I think this is one of the main ingredients to consider when doing the process of aligning assessments. By considering the needs of each student, there is also the possibility of well-aligned assessments as the teacher can think of different types of assessments to incorporate inside the classroom ranging not only about traditional and summative but also about other kinds such formative, informal, informal, and non-traditional.

2.) Think long range

Screenshot 2017-03-16 08.09.29

Usually, teachers handle students in one school year and might not handle them in the next years to come. Nevertheless, Ms. Sadie shared such a beautiful mindset of thinking long range for the students. The aspect of long range that she is talking about in here is about thinking not only on how the knowledge can influence them for one specific school year but also how it can positively affect them beyond high school and throughout their future lives. Truly, thinking long range for the students also includes a different kind of passion and love with the process of teaching

3.) Learning is not only inside the classroom but also in the community

This video that is the subject of the article, highlights the project of Ms. Sadie to teach her students about real world skills using a mobile coffee cart. Throughout this video, I really appreciate how much effort, time, and love she puts out for her students as she does not only teaches inside the classroom, but also teach about practical knowledge that is significant in this world. With Ms. Sadie’s students having autism, or a condition characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts, I am amazed with how they are doing in terms of managing the mobile coffee cart amazingly inside their school. As a future educator, I was indeed inspired to teach inside the classroom not only to be academically great students, but to also be helpful and compassionate citizens in the community.

4.) Make a student feel important and accepted

Screenshot 2017-03-16 08.15.42

Even though I haven’t had an experience yet as a legitimate educator, observing the situations in schools as a learner really helped me realized how every student has an aspiration, dream, and goal. As a learner, I can say that a simple compliment from a teacher, that may be insignificant in the eyes of others, is actually a golden key that I do value for me to unlock more of the motivation to finish my studying. With this special lesson shared by Ms. Sadie, I believe that if I can apply this as an educator in the future, magnificent potentials from students will be wonderfully unlocked by making every one feel important and accepted.

5.) Learning is not more of struggling but more of how awesome you can be.

Screenshot 2017-03-16 09.21.38

How great is this lesson isn’t it? As a college student here in the University of the Philippines Open University, it truly is such a great pressure to progress and battle with the barriers and challenges presented by distance education. At times, I feel very unworthy and unmotivated with my performance as I often feel the drain of energy in my soul. Nevertheless, not only as a learner but also an educator in the future, I indeed am encourage to mold this in my mindset- that learning is about HOW AWESOME you can be.

Module 3: Considering the Power of Asking

Multi-Ethnic Arms Outstretched To Ask QuestionsA Look in the Fear of Asking

Throughout my life and my experiences as a learner, I do say that have had a lots of regrets, regrets that I wish I could turn back time. Of these regrets, I would include my fear of asking. Throughout this essay, I think I would relate majority of my experiences of my fear of asking to that of my high school life, and also relating how this had happened. Inside the classroom, I think one of the most traumatizing for me as a young student, is being embarrassed inside the classroom because of asking about something, but having had that one teacher saying that I am not listening, as she has taught it already.

In my high school life, academic performance inside and outside of the class has really been important for me, and so I would really like chances wherein I can give my effort for it. Nevertheless, with progressive academic performances should also be the making sure that nothing is wrong, or that nothing is worthy of painfully striking criticism. With my trauma of asking for the questions that I would like to have answers for, I would usually ask outside of my school, just like from my relatives, or majority, from the Internet. At times, I do hate myself for not asking the question from my teacher, as they are the ones knowing the lessons. However, all that chained me down from the progressing to the deeper learning inside the classroom is my fear of asking for help.

Doing a brief research with regards to the reasons as to why students have this fear of asking, I really like the points mentioned in the article written by Jake Teeny with the title of The Fear of Looking Stupid in Class – And How to Get Past It. I have really been interested particular with his mention of the factors of influence, specifically- pluralistic ignorance and illusion of transparency. Going onto the first factor, pluralistic ignorance “is when people mistakenly believe that they themselves feel differently than their peers, even though everyone is behaving similarly.”  With my personal experience as a learner, I have encountered at times when I do not understand lessons such as that in Algebra topics in Math. However, what makes me fearful to ask is that nobody is raising their hands to ask some questions of clarifications and so I might appear as someone who is not listening or slow catching up inside the classroom. Nevertheless, the times that give me regrets are when my classmates inform me that neither understand the topic discussed and so I told myself that I should have ask my teacher about it. Another reason of the fear of asking is the illusion of transparency that discusses about the misbelief that what we ask might reveal about how little we know about something else. Nevertheless it interesting to see in Jake Teeny’s article that illusion of transparency should be disregarded as research reveals that “no matter how much someone internally thinks he or she seems nervous/stupid/confused, other people never perceive those emotions to the same extent.” Aside from these psychological effects mentioned with regards to the factors that lead to the fear of students to ask, reasons such as shyness, fear of peers, self-consciousness, and difficulty to form of question because of the fear that what they may form might be wrong in the ears of others in terms of structure, grammar, and pronunciation, are noteworthy to be considered by teachers with regards to how they can help learners engage more.

What Can Be Done?

  • Induce creativity Screenshot 2017-03-14 08.21.15Creativity can be induced inside the classroom by means of visual aids that stimulate can stimulate excitement on the part of the students for their learning process. In the photo collage created above, it shows examples such as:                                                1. Bulletin boards where students can post the questions generated in their sticky notes
  1. Question boxes wherein students can drop their questions of clarifications or suggestions for improved teaching
  2. Sticky notes for questions to be posted daily by students in their notebooks and be made sure that the day will not end without it possible being answered
  • Broaden horizons of learningAsk-questions-blooms                                                Even though I haven’t experienced being a legitimate teacher/ educator yet, one of the main goals that I would like to achieve if ever I will already reach this point is to make sure that the teaching process will create a long term impact of learning on the part of the student. This means that the information acquired by the student will not easily escape to the other ear but will rather be remembered until the future life. In order to do this, one of the goals is to also encourage students to generate questions that fuels critical thinking and reflection. Incorporating Bloom’s taxonomy is usually what is stated for teachers, but encouraging this for students as well can be effective, especially for the part of improving in their power in asking.
  • Organize groupsWPAC_1Just like what has been mentioned in the first part of this article, there are some factors to be considered that may lead to a students fearing the asking of a question inside a classroom. One of the effective solutions in order to encourage questions inside the classroom is the organizing of groups for brainstorming. One of the advantages of this can be the building of self-assurance in the part of the student and this can be an effective step to have courage to ask questions independently.

REFERENCES:

Teeny, J. (2015). The Fear of Looking Stupid in Class – And How to Get Past It. Retrieved from: http://nobaproject.com/blog/2015-06-04-the-fear-of-looking-stupid-in-class-and-how-to-get-past-it

Eichholz, T.(2016). 9 Great Ways to Encourage Students to Ask Questions. Retrieved from: http://www.fusionyearbooks.com/blog/encourage-students-ask-questions/

n.a. (n.d.). When Students Do Not Ask Questions in Class. Retrieved from: http://www.tenneyschool.com/when-students-do-not-ask-questions-in-class/

Berger, W. (2014, August 18). 5 Ways to Help Your Students Become Better Questioners. Retrieved from: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/help-students-become-better-questioners-warren-berger