Sunday, November 30, 2008

India's September 11

Mumbai, India

More than 170 people confirmed dead. 300 wounded.

For 60 hours there was shooting, explosions, and hostages held by several gunmen.

For India, it was September 11.

India's government officials want to name Pakistan, its neighboring country, as the perpetrator. But the country is refraining from saying this outright, worried about ruining the efforts made to bring the countries together, which would also end the 5-year cease fire.
Pakistan's government has completely denied its involvement in the attacks and even vowed to take action against any group that was involved.

The attacks were ruthless and undiscriminating. The internet has disquieting descriptions of the events and pictures of areas splattered with blood, shattered windows, chaotic scenes, and mourners of those who are dead.

People are angry. Why did it take an entire three hours to mount a rescue operation? How was it possible for only 10 men to take control of so many different locations for an entire three days?

I would also like to know exactly what the heck WAS going on while children, grandparents, parents, tourists, Hindus, Jews, Christians, Muslims and everyone else, who was going about their life expecting nothing more than the frustrating traffic of India, were being murdered left and right?

And I'm not just talking about the rescue operation. I'm also talking about the gunmen who I can only picture as soul-devoid, brain washed individuals, emotionless, creatures. Most of you have seen the eerie picture of the one gunman who seemed to have been smiling while shooting at something. It's the type of picture that haunts you at night.

What were they thinking? No way could they be enjoying that. Didn't they feel anything? Did they feel or think at all? Should I be pitying them? What if they were forced to do what they were doing? Am I a monster for assuming that they are monsters? But then again, what about ones who are the victims? I'm sometimes afraid to think about them. To think about the pain of the survivors and the relatives of the victims is despairing. To think about the lives lost, their thoughts and fears is painful and frightening.

Then there's my emotion of fear. I'm afraid of the backlash Muslims in India are going to face. Religious riots in India can be as bloody and as undiscriminating as this bloodshed. Not to mention they can be common. I'm afraid of the backlash Pakistan is going to face. Pakistan's government or any of its normal citizens would never condone any such acts. But that won't matter, not with India and Pakistan's history, Pakistan's some what unstable security, India's corruption and India's almost innate distaste for Pakistan. Then I'm afraid for the Muslims of the world. All those Muslims who are trying so hard to work against all the bloodshed and violence, which are now automatically linked with Islam. They now have another item that can be added to the list of reasons others fear them, refuse to associate with them, are disgusted with them, despise them.

You know you feel it too sometimes. Well guess what. We feel it too. We feel the pain as well when people are killed. Only for us its extra, we feel the pain for the lives lost, then we feel the pain of seeing our religion twisted and deformed. And then we feel the pain of other Muslims facing the consequences.But the rest of the world doesn't care. We're not foreign or inhumane like you may think. And we see your reactions, your looks. We know when you don't want to be around us because of our religion. We know when you make those dirty comments, and don't give a damn.

Like when I said Muslims were killed. You were like "Yeah right you just wanna say that because you're Muslim." But no it's true Muslims were victims too.But you won't believe me. India holds a HUGE Hindu majority but India also holds the second largest Muslim population in a country. Yes, the second largest. Muslims in India are the largest minority and these Muslims are proud to be Indian . I would know, since I'm also Indian.

And do people care that Muslim countries, and Muslims from all across the world have condemned the attacks? Yet the news would rather mention those couple of idiots that are fine, and encourage the mass murders. Then there are those who say that they have yet to see a popular condemnation from Muslims for these kind of attacks.

Well if you haven't seen it yet, here's one.

On behalf of EVERY Muslim in the world old, young, traditional, liberal, American, Indian, Saudi Arabian, Afghani, Pakistani, Chinese, Mexican and everyone here on the blog

I'm sorry.
I'm sorry for your loss.
I'm sorry for your pain. I'm sorry for your fears. I'm sorry you haven't heard me say sorry before.
I'm sorry I'm not there helping you.
Helping you heal, encouraging you, telling you it'll be okay.
Do I expect you to say you have nothing to be sorry about?
No I don't, but I'll still do it anyways.

We feel the sadness for a life lost too.
We would never be okay with those acts.

And we hate what happened to you. We hate what happened to them. We pray it gets better. And that it gets better soon.
Islam teaches compassion, we want you to know that.

And we pray you understand that we meant every word we said.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thank you SO freaking much!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I have so many things to be thankful for. And as student teaching comes to an end (Thank God!), I'm reflecting. Not only on my student teaching experience, but also, my journey through these past four (and a half) years. I wouldn't be where I am today without my oh-so- wonderful professors and the entire College of Education staff. They have taught me everything I know and do. I owe them so much.

An ode to all my professors. (Ok, so it's really not an ode, but whatever). Without them, I would have probably made a superb teacher. Without them, I might have liked kids and teaching. Without them, I might have had hope in my future.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their "words of wisdom" and endless anecdotes. So here's to :

My professor, Miss C., from pre-student teaching, who compared me with a cheerleader. Seriously she did. I dont mind being compared to a cheerleader. In fact I wanted to be a cheerleader in high school. (Yes I did. I know it's not the most likely thing for a Muslim girl to do or be. But a girl can dream, cant she?) But her implications were no where near complimentary. In fact, she was down right insulting me. Not only did she do that, she even had the nerve to call me unprofessional. My professionalism is my pride and joy. The one thing I know I'm good at. And for her to make a negative comment about it, was like a punch to the stomach.

Miss. C.: *referring to my outfit for that day* One thing you need to work on is your attire.
Me: Excuse me?
Miss. C.: You're not going to a cheerleading match. You're teaching children.
Me: Uhhhhh...huh...ummm...but...I'm wearing a sweater. I don't really understand what you're trying to say.
Miss. C.: You're shirt should have been tucked in.
You look like a cheerleader. And that, Ms. Attitude, is not professional at all.

WHAT THE?!?!?!

And I kid you not, this is what I was wearing. And I'm sorry , but the last time I checked, cheerleaders don't wear sweaters and collared shirts with slacks and heels.

The same professor, Miss. C, who insisted upon the fact that I celebrated Christmas and Easter.

Miss C.: So what do you do for Christmas?
Me: Oh, well... I don't celebrate Christmas.
Miss. C.: Ok I understand that. But what do you do for Christmas?
Me: Ummm... I dont do anything... because.. well like I just said I dont celebrate it.
Another pre-student teacher: Constructive Attitude is Muslim.Muslims don't celebrate ---.
Miss C. cutting her off: Everyone celebrates Christmas. So what do
you do?

Uhhh, actually everyone doesn't celebrate Christmas, lady. Everyone gets the day off for Christmas. That's hardly the same thing.

Same thing happened for Easter. And by that point, I think I just made something up about my Easter celebration. Just so I wouldnt have to go through her interrogation again. I seriously think she has some loose screws up there.

Miss. C, once again, taking all the pre-student teachers "out to eat" to celebrate the end of our pre-student teaching. Only to have us pay for our own meals. And then giving us each a pre-student teaching- professor evaluation form. (In our university, as I'm sure is the case with all universities, professors are not allowed to be in the same vicinity in which students are evaluating them. And also a student has to take in the evaluations on behalf of the class. This ensures that the professors don't tamper with their own evaluations. Duh! ) She stayed with us the entire time. Watched us evaluate her. And then took the evaluations from us. My friend and I told her we would take it in. We even left the restaurants with the freaking evaluations, before she noticed. Got into my friends car. And pulled out. Lo and behold, Miss. C. is right behind us, chasing after us, screaming that she needed the evaluations. I kid you not.She literally chased. after. foot. This is the same lady that was parked in a handicapped spot. Running after us. Taking the evaluations from her must have cured her handicap.

And here's to the professor that blatanly stated that all female teachers must wear high heels, pearls and skirts/dresses at all times when teaching young children. Because we're living in the 19th century, right? Right.

Here's to that same professor telling everyone in the class that I was Indian, when I clearly told her that I wasnt. I dont know what's with these professors thinking that they know who I am and trying to force their opinions and beliefs on me.

Here's to my education advisor who only gave me fifteen minutes of his time only to tell me what I already knew. It was much appreciated that he would take time out of his oh-so-busy schedule to fit me in and give me such useful advice.

Here's to the College of Education staff for being so non-welcoming and answering none of my questions.

To the director of student teaching placement, thank you for not taking my suggestions and requests into consideration when placing me for student teaching. And also making me commute to a school that is twenty minutes away from me. And a special thanks for not placing me at a school that is five minutes away from me.

And thank you for placing me a month late and making me miss very important days of the school year.

To the College of Education, thank you for all the scholarships that you did not award me.

Also to the College of Education, thank you for requiring us to buy a Macbook .Thank you for changing your mind about it a million and one times. And thank you for forcing some of us, broke college students, to buy a $2500 laptop that we did not even need.

Basically thank you for being indecisive.

Here's to my college supervisor, the one that evaluates my teaching performance. The one that told me that there is no way in hell I will get a job after I graduate. I might as well look for a substituting position. Yeah let me become a substitute when I very well have a teaching certificate. A certificate that I busted my butt for. That makes sense.

And a special thanks to all the professors that treated us like five year olds. And made us do projects that kids would do. Instead of letting us come up with our own ideas, we were stuck doing yours. Fun!

And to that one professor that told a classmate of mine that she should re-think her career options as a teacher, because she was way too emotional. Those were very comforting words for us all to hear. Especially us emotional ones.

And last, but not least, lets not forget to thank the professor who told the entire class that he, himself, hates teaching.

And you wonder where such wonderful teachers come from. (Such as myself!)

Well now you know.

And you know who to thank too.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Summary of the past week

1. Texting my friend in chemistry class who was a couple of seats ahead of me. I went into this spleech about some self-realization I had about my self (Am I being redundant? Stupid University English course didn't teach me anything)
And her reply text?
What? You don't make any sense. Pay attention
My annoyed response: Shutup Baka!
(For of you who don't know, this is a Japanese term I discovered that I love using as an insult)
Her response: Boogalah!
(Apparently she thought I had gone crazy and was trying to scare me into being quiet)

2. Driving to babysitting and seeing in big print on the back of a SUV:

Drive closer wondering if the world went crazy.


Free Demo DOG Training

Sorry, we don't train Husbands, Wifes or Kids

Apparently it did go crazy and became witty at the same time. And it isn't it supposed to be wives?? (At least elementary school english class taught me something).

3. Four year old girl I was babysitting is looking at me and makes a weird face.

"I don't like your glasses. Take them off. Don't come with your glasses next time"

This is what I get for wearing contacts to all of our former encounters and assuming that kids don't care about looks...

4. Same four year old kid staring at my face. (Hold your breath..hold it...I'm sure she won't say anything)

"You have a spot on your chin. Why do you have spots? "

What the heck? WHICH spot is she talking about? The acne? The acne scars? The beauty mark? The other hundreds of reasons that made 'spots' on my face that she could see? It can't be the pores? They're not that big......Right???

"I dunno. You have a spot too. Right here. Why do you have that spot?"
(I pointed at a beauty mark on her cheek).
"Hee Hee I dunno"

That's great kid. You have a beauty mark and I had to use that one thing as ammunition.

5. SAME four year old kid for once not pointing at my arm and asking me why I have hair on my arms. Yes, it has been happening at every encounter thus far, and the one time that it didn't happen is worth celebrating.

Seriously, the way your self-esteem can degrade around little kids is amazing.

6. Discovering that some french actor named Gaspard Ulliel is the best looking guy I have ever seen...I think. At least in his younger looking pictures. Doesn't help that my self-esteem was just shot down by 100 points (just like the stock market !) the same week I discovered him.

Not that it made it made feel worse either, just didn't help. Get it?...

7. Getting over how Gaspard Ulliel might be the best looking guy I've ever seen, after a couple of hours. (What can I say, I recover fast-It was just like the Twilight effect.)

8. All weekend long- my cat meowing at me constantly while I was trying to study and then running away when I approached her or acted like I'm getting up. Apparently this was the best game she's ever played. If I close the door, a paw is sticking out from underneath accompanied by more meowing.

9. Wasting my time for the most of the weekend trying to start studying (Note: Youtube is not a good source to gain inspiration to start studying). Start cramming early Sunday afternoon (Hey at least it was early afternoon), up until two minutes before exam on Monday. Take exam. Cry on how I don't know anything, and how stupid I am, and why I can't get an A, and how difficult the exam was.

10. Wondering why I'm sitting and writing this post, when I CLEARLY should be working on the SIX homework assignments that are due for my Genetics class tomorrow morning...Mehh I'll try and do it first thing tomorrow morning.
(Note: I wrote this post two days ago. And no, I didn't end up doing it in the morning, or anytime in the morning for that matter)

12. Actually watched Twilight and DIDN'T need my handy-dandy rolling pin, spatula and grease combo (click here). The movie itself did a pretty good job at keeping its fans at bay. Like REALLY REALLY really far away from the bay. Snorted, laughed and tried killing myself oh.. 295 times. Tried replacing the guy playing edward with Gaspard Ulliel, realized I couldn't remember what Mr. Ulliel's face looked like. Only recommend spending the stupid $10 (yes TEN, stupid holdiay prices. If it's not gas prices, it's movie tickets.) if you're in the mood for a comedy movie that has only one good scene.

11. Mused over the awesomeness of this poem and its ability to describe my life:

Who makes these changes?
I shoot an arrow right. It lands left.
I ride after a deer and find myself chased by a hog.
I plot to get what I want and end up in prison.
I dig pits to trap others and fall in.
I should be suspicious
of what I want. -Rumi

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"An Extravagance is something that your spirit thinks is a necessity" ~ Bern Williams

I just bought a beautiful dress.

It has ah-maaazing color amazing work on it. I went to a few stores after I saw it because it was a little expensive and I thought I'd look around. It was those loved-it-so-much-I-gasped-when-I-saw-it type of dresses so nothing at the other stores looks good. And now I feel really bad.

It doesn't help that as we went to pay my sister gave me a little smirk and said, "Do you feel nauseaus yet?"

So now I dedicate this post to making me feel less guilty.
Reasons why it's OKAY I splurged and that it was worth the price:

1. I needed it.
2. It was gorgeous.
3. I've been looking for this color forever and finally found it AND it's pretty.
4. My sister buys clothes that are a lot more expensive than mine for COLLEGE so I think I can get a little pricier dress for a wedding. She even gets more expensive dresses than I do. {she will kill me if she reads this}
5. I never use my allowance on myself {yes, I still get one lol}. My mom gave me a budget and the dress wasn't in it. So I paid for the difference out of my pocket..which would have otherwise gone on food. Really..who needs food?

These reasons aren't really valid. haha. So I just talked to my mom and she was laughing at me. So now I feel a little better. Because if my mother is okay with it then I should, too. If she wasn't she'd be like, "Falling Uppp!!!! Oh Em Gee WHY would you do that!?}

Let's tie Islam into this shall we? Islam is about moderation. Everything should be in moderation, except maybe worship. I don't think there's such thing as too much worship unless you start ignoring your family and job and stuff.

According to Purification of the Heart, Wantonness is the desire for always wanting more. If you have less than someone you should be happy for your blessings and grateful that you are not in a worse situation. And if you have more than most people you should be very grateful for what you have. There's a saying that goes something like in terms of worldy things you should compare yourself to the one who has less than you and be grateful of your situation. And for religion and spirituality you should compare yourself to the one who is better off than you so that you shall strive to be like them.

How to cure this? According to this book by feeling voluntary hunger and remembering death. By fasting or going hungry you can remind yourself how lucky you are to know when and where your next meal will be. If you are among the lucky ones, your meal will be clean and cooked properly. Maybe even hot. Hunger can also remind you of how some people can't even afford the basic necessities to live {food, clothing, shelter} let alone a cell phone, laptop, shoes, cars, etc. There are people out there starving to death and here are people trying to LOSE WEIGHT because they have too much food.

By remembering death you can get reminded that once you die people cry for you for a day or two and then life moves on. The pretty things you bought don't matter anymore. That stuff doesn't go in your grave with you. And even if it did, would it matter? You're gone. The only thing that can help you is how good you lead your life. Your deeds. Your actions. Your intentions. How you treated you parents. How you were honest. This will all help. Good character is what you need then.

So comparing the beginning or my post and the end, I sound like a hypocrite, right? I don't think so. First of all, they don't take returns in India so fat chance of me getting my money back. {el oh el} Second of all I'm human and make mistakes. I made a mistake, I feel guilty and I'll try to not do it again. The end. God isn't mean. :)

And it doesn't mean that I can't have nice things. God likes to see the blessings of his servants on them. If you're rich and can afford better clothes, then buy them. But don't be so extravagant and go out of your means or to the point of showing off with it. Extravagance also depends on how much money you have. And one must also be careful with being too miserly as well {another disease of the heart}. Balance is the key.

Some related quotes from the Quran:

"Obey God and His Messenger, and dispute not among yourselves lest you falter and your strength departs from you. And be patient, for God is with the patient. And do not be like those who leave their homes filled with excessive pride about your state, showing off before people and preventing others from the way of God. And God encompasses what they do." {Quran 8:46-47}

"God does not love those who exult" {Quran 28:76}

Monday, November 24, 2008

Med School Diaries: Exam Time

I'm done with my last exam..for another three weeks, that is.
And my head hurts. Not from all that studying and writing and lack of sleep.
But because of sitting in an exam hall trying to make up enough BS to get me through three hours. As my friend put is, "You write your own movie."

Studying in India is NOT an easy job. Med school regardless of where you life isn't an easy job. I think it's worse in India. The exam format isn't multiple choice where you can logically guess the answer or choose by the process of elimination. It's an all.essay.format. For most of the subjects, you either know it or you don't. And for the ones you can slightly BS, you can't BS a whole paper. You have to know the general idea. Feel sorry for me yet? I hope you do, because I like sympathy and hugs. :)

Oh, and I'm a big cry baby. I cry before every final exam. I cried the whole 40 minute drive to school on the phone with my dad for every exam in second year. And I will cry again this year. I have a huge fear of failure.

The exams are timed, of course. And if you keep writing after time they come around and snatch the papers out of your hand. How sad is that? I almost cry when they do that. I don't like mean people.

During the final exams you have to present what they call a "hall ticket". Basically it's a piece of paper with your info {along with identification marks! I have a mole on my left cheek and a bigger mole on my left leg..I think I'm pretty identifiable} and picture on it, telling you which exams you signed up for and are allowed to write.

After our finals exams we have a practical exam which is the Lab Exam or whatever. In first and second year you had to do labs. Third and Fourth year we have to examine patients!! And we have an oral exam which I am horrible at doing because I am a bad public speaker and yes, one person does count as public.

I don't know the point to this or why I chose to write about something so boring. But I guess because I just finished and wanted to update.

I'm pretty sure I failed. But right now I don't care {maybe part of the reason is because I highly doubt they are counting this exam}. I'm tired, I'm homesick, but most of all, I'm happy I'm done. And that's all that matters. Happiness.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

And now the news..

I know i've been shirking on my duties lately :) sorry CC! But this is to make up for it.

So issue number one..Clinton as Secretary of State?? Well I guess he's making good on the promise not to surround himself with people who just agree with him.

So apparently 8 Jewish teenagers have been jailed in Israel for carrying out Neo-Nazi attacks on Jews, drug addicts and gays. They were immigrants from the former Soviet Union, ages between 16-19.

Pope Benedict XVI called into question the usefulness of interfaith dialogue on Sunday saying that we should focus more on the practical consequences of religious differences..(okaaaay)

Israel's blockade has Gaza's biggest hospital reeling under power shortages due to the fuel cuts.

The Taliban has said that they will up their attacks on NATO and US convoys to show their "might".

A US congressional panel has warned that China has developed such a sophisticated and active cyber warfare program that the US "may be unable to counteract or even detect" an attack.

I guess thats all i've been looking at right now,

I love poetry.

There are a couple of things that can make me swoon and sigh, white chocolate coconut that melts in your mouth is one of them :). But another is Rumi. His poems just uplift me in a way that I cannot describe. Any time my spirits fall, all I have to do is open up one of his books of poetry and I get lost in his descriptions of God and spirit and love, which are all one thing to him. I haven't been reading his poetry since the summer. Things have just piled up one after another, but my birthday's coming up and I wanted to just take a minute and reflect on the year that has passed. Have I grown? Stayed the same? Shrunk? I believe i've grown and changed. Anyways, this poem is called The Freshness and it makes me swoon :):

When it's cold and raining,
you are more beautiful.

And the snow brings me
even closer to your lips.

The inner secret, that which was never born,
you are that freshness, and I am with you now.

I can't explain the goings,
or the comings. You enter suddenly,

and I am nowhere again.
Inside the majesty.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Twilight (Eeeek!)


...Ok you can stop squealing.

I'm wondering if I'm digging my own grave by writing about Twilight. Any of you who are even slightly knowledgeable about this blog, know that there is at least one Edward Cullen fanatic (his self-proclaimed wife) present as an author on this blog.

(Note, I said at least, both Mrs. Cullen and S.M. will try to shove me into the grave)

Honestly, this whole Twilight/'I'll die for Eddy..sigh' hype is way too overplayed. Heck, I've read the books too. I'll even admit it. After reading the first one, even I was charmed in by the thing called Edward. But a little more than a week later, the effects wore off, and gratefully I came to my senses. But I still read the next one, and I think maybe even the 3rd ( I was hoping the story would take off at some point)

Then, I stopped. I couldn't take it anymore !!!
They're IDIOTS( I mean the main characters). And the author needs to improve her writing. And oh yeah, all the other problems going on in the world, such as the war, the economy, disease, people dying, none of that even TOUCHES the main characters. Nor that it should because their world has only each other.

For all of you living in your nice, comfy caves- Should I explain the story to you?

There's this girl Bella, she starts out normal and fine, just a regular teenage girl who has a little more common sense and a better sense of responsibility than the average teenage girl. She moves to a new town (of course she moves to a new, never been heard of, small town)

There she meets this really pale guy, Edward (and of course this guy is mysterious at this never been heard off before, small town)

He turns out to be a vampire. (WELL's a never been heard of before, small town! Where else would he be?)And he has these superhuman powers and could easily kill her and everyone (The Lion and the lamb...just like the poster says? Get it?)

And they fall in love. I mean yeah ok, it wasn't that simple. There's this whole, he's a vampire but he doesn't drink the blood of humans, but he can't control himself around her thing. Oh yeah, and she's not scared of him and doesn't care. But he loves her too much and doesn't want him around her because she might get hurt (every idiot squeals) and then he decides he can handle it because he can't stand not being around her (everyone squeals again).

Oh and did I mention that about 99% of their thoughts and life revolve around the other. It was after the effects of the book wore off that I realized, that the two main character HAD NO PERSONALITIES!!

It was basically "Oh Bella", "Oh Edward", "Bella", "Edward", "Bella, you should be scared of me", "Edward, I'm not afraid", "Bella", "Edward, "Oh yeah, everybody and everything else", "Bella", "Edward","Oh Bella", "Oh Edward" "I love you", "I can't live without you"...etc Do you feel like puking yet??

Do you understand what I mean by no personalities? I even asked a friend yesterday to describe his personality... and this is what I got:

Loyal (The word Bella-obsessive would be more accurate, but whatever)


And that's it. That's all she could think of (she came up with boring and stupid after two whole minutes). Yes I'm sure you're throwing all these words at me, "HEY you jerk! He's charming, and romantic, and nice,and handsome, and so courageous, and so gorgeous, and loving..."

But seriously, two of those don't even count as being part of his personality. And the others go under Bella-obsessive, and nice? (EVERYONE'S NICE-or can be-it's not much)

So there you go. Basically when the movie came to theaters this past weekend every teeny-bopper girl and the rest, had to go to drool over this guy------>

And I read on someone's blog, (who also went to see the movie) that little girls were there dressed as brides.


Brides of...well it has to be this guy--->

But seriously...what?

Did they take a look at THIS GUY---------------------------->

My friends had it all planned to go to watch this movie together. But it didn't work out and so they're gonna try it again next week. I think I'll go along, and take a rolling pin, a spatula and some grease with me.

That way I can whack any one of them who get any marriage ideas. And scrape off any of them who attach themselves to the screen.

On a side note, it seems a lot of you disagree with the person playing Edward Cullen. Some of you have even admitted that the guy you want doesn't exist. But still I want to know. Who do you think should play Edward?

Here are some of the answers I've gotten, that according to people would be the closest thing.

Gaspard Ulliel

Prison Break guy

Tom Sturridge

Smallville guy

The guy

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Absentee Ballots

I'm back for five minutes to show my face and then shove it back into my textbook.

Obama. Wow. {Late but better than never}

Before elections my dad came to visit us and he brought some absentee ballots for my mom and me. My other sister isn't registered so she couldn't vote since she turned 18 after we moved here. Anyways, I was like, "Yay!! I never seen an absentee ballot before!!" lame. But I was pretty bummed that I wouldn't be in America during the elections so you can't blame me. Even my mom who voted only once before was going to vote this time.

A few days before my dad left my mom and I decided to fill in the ballots. They were sitting on the computer table all nice and clean and ready to be filled in. Or so we thought. As I came closer I noticed a bunch of colors on it.


My 5 year-old-sister colored all over the ballots.
And that is how and why I missed out on being part of history. Boo.

Why I SHOULDN'T become a teacher.

I dont know if I want to do this. After three months of it, I still dont know. I'm tired and cranky and want to strangle little kids all day long. So is this the career for me? Or am I just doing it just for the sake of it getting a degree in something. Anything.

Although my posts about student teaching are written in jest, I think its pretty obvious that I enjoy it a tad bit. However, sometimes alarm bells go off clearly signaling that maybe I should think about a life without lesson plans and red ink pens and snotty, spoiled brats.

And just so you can see how my brain works, here are my top ten reasons why I shouldn't become a lifelong underpaid babysitter--err..I mean teacher.

10. Every single teacher that I have met thus far, hates---with a capital H, checking papers. I like it. Actually sometimes I feel like I love doing that more than anything. Time goes by pretty fast when you're doing it. I like checking papers with a red ink pen too--the traditional way is the best way, in my opinion. And it makes me happy to put words like "Awesome, Stupendous, Teriffic, Fantastic, Fabulous, Wonderful, Marvelous, Great, and Good" when students get A's or B's. I wouldnt mind bringing papers home and checking them either. I know all teachers complain about bringing work home. But that's like lesson plans and thinking about what you're going to do the next day, week, or month. Of course no one would want to do that. Because it requires brain work. Checking papers doesnt. Maybe thats why I like it so much. Because I really don't have to think. I have an answer key. And everyone says that they love teaching and everything about it, except checking papers. I dont really like doing alot of the stuff like teaching and answering questions and coming up with creative, "fun" lessons. But I do like checking papers. Am I the only one that thinks somethings off with that?

9. I have favorite students. Everyone says you shouldnt do this. And that all of your students should be treated the same way.Yaddi yaddi yadda. And you shouldnt show favoritism. But I do. There are just some kids who listen to everything that I ask them to do.Kids who come to school prepared. Ready to work. Kids that never interrupt me during a lesson, never fight with their neighbor, never get out of their chair while talking, never make smart-alecky remarks. Basically kids that were like me when I was in elementary school.Kids that just sat there and did every single thing the teacher asked them to do. Kinda like a I -ask- them -to -jump- they- ask- how- high kinda relationship there. Those kids have become my favorite students. I have soft spots for them. And I think some of the other kids know this. And you know what? I dont really care.

8. I think it's funny when kids are scared of me. Some of my students are terrified of me. One death stare from me, and they are just about ready to cry. Or pee in their pants. Or both. And I think that's hilarious.

7. I'm not very creative. Some of the lessons I've come up with put the kids to sleep.

6. I dont like talking in front of groups of people. I'm a very shy person. And I know these are just kids. Nonetheless, it's nerve-wrecking.

5. I'm a big procrastinator. Ok so this may not be that big of a deal for certain people. I know people who procrastinate more than me and wait til the eleventh hour to do stuff. But I actually remember when I didnt used to procrastinate. Freshmen year of college. I was on top of my game. I used to cry if I was running behind with assignments. Now I'm just like ehhh,whatever, I have time. But with teaching you have to meet lots of deadlines. It's annoying. You have to be prepared when you enter the classroom. Teaching can't be impromptu. It has to be planned. And I'm too lazy to deal with all of that. And it's not such a good thing if you're a procrastinator and the future of America is depending on you.

4. Summer vacations? What exactly am I supposed to do for three whole months?

3. I hate explaining stuff. Just ask my youngest sister. She's stopped coming to me for help with her homework.

2. I dont answer questions as effectively as I should. (See this post for elaboration as to why)

And the number one reason why I shouldnt become a teacher: *drumroll please*

1. I dont really like kids. I'm not too fond of them. They get on my nerves. This probably sounds like blasphemy to educators everywhere. Whatever.

So there you go, my reasons for not wanting to become a teacher. Notice how a teacher's salary wasn't included. Contrary to popular belief, teachers make a hell of a lot more than you think. They just like to exaggerate and wallow in self pity. Another reason why this profession just isn't for me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I realize i've been MIA for a while, but my friends birthday's coming up in a few days and I wanted to make her a cake so I thought I would post it up here. It's called Chocolate Idiot Cake, and is suuuuuuper easy!

10 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (the best you can find is!), coarsely chopped
7 ounces butter salted or unsalted cut into pieces
5 large eggs at room temp.
1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350
1. Butter a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan* and dust it with cocoa powder, tapping out any excess.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler (or microwave), stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar, then whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and cover the top of the pan snugly with a sheet of foil. Put the springform pan into a larger baking pan, such as a roasting pan, and add enough hot water to the baking pan to come about halfway up to the outside of the cake pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

You'll know the cake is done when it feels just set, like quivering chocolate pudding. If you gently touch the center, your finger should come away clean.
5. Lift the cake pan from the water bath and remove the foil. Let cake cool completely on a cooling rack.
Serve thin wedges of this very rich cake at room temperature with ice cream, or whipped cream.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Mrs. Cullen: The Addict

Dear Friends,

So sorry I haven't been writing much. I know you must check the blog every day to see if I posted something or not.  Today is your lucky day!  I promise I have a very good reason.  I just have been really busy and when I do have free time, I spend it doing the most importantest thing in the world [ever].  Catching up on all the hot gossip and listening to my friends and family.  And no I am not talking about you guys, I'm talking about Meredith, Paris and her new BFFs, Blair and my million other friends.  I love TV.  There is just so much out there to watch, why do anything else?  I had an exam today but I couldn't study because I was too worried about Peter saving the cheerleader and saving the world.  Thank god he did.  Now I can move on to Season 2. Yay!  And right now I could be catching up the latest gossip with Manhattans elite or my favorite brothers and sisters but nope, I am writing on this blog.  Hmm.  Maybe the new episode of the Hills has already been posted on!  I should go check.  For those of you who don't know what I am talking about: GET A LIFE.  You might be thinking "this girl has no life" or "I have better things to do then watch tv."  But you don't.  You are seriously missing out.  Watch tv, please.  So I have someone to talk about it with.  And if you're thinking "break is coming up, I could watch some shows," then here are my favorites: LOST, Heroes, Grey's Anatomy, Gossip Girl, The Hills, My New BFF, Brothers and Sisters, Eli Stone, The Office, Scrubs, SNL, and thats all I can think of for now.  Sigh.  I wish my exam today was on these TV shows.  Then I would've passed [fa sho].

Anyways, on a side note.  I am so totally annoyed and once again the victim of a tragic crime.  I bought a new phone a few days ago and it came in the mail today.  WITHOUT A CHARGER. Stupid Sprint.  I had waited and waited for months [more like 4 days] and when it finally comes in I can't even use it. Why me, God? Why?!  I totally called customer service and yelled at them. Now they are sending me another one. Yay me!  And I went to get my eye brows done today and they look so bad.  Stupid lady.  I always am disappointed when I go to her salon and every time I promise myself never to go back. But I still go.  And she sucks. And on top of that she has really disrespectful kids.  One time her sons yelled at my dad because they said he almost hit their ugly car [so rude].  WOW I am so lame. Ok I am sorry for wasting your time with this stupid post.  Go do something productive.  Watch Gossip Girl or The Office.  

You know you love me,
Mrs. Cullen

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Improv Everywhere !!!!

Dear readers

Sorry for our lack of writing.
I'm sure thousands of you have been getting very anxious and perhaps even annoyed at symphonic's dry spell. Our mail box ( was flooded with angry emails demanding the next post from hundreds of frustrated fans....right

Anyways there's this group that I discovered this past summer that I really wanted to introduce to everyone out there (all thousands of you). I had seen their antics before on television but I didn't know about their existence until I heard about them on the news by CBS.

The group is called 'Improv Everywhere'.

And their mission? To cause scenes.

No seriously. That's it. And I THINK that they are geniuses. They are just so hilariously awesome and when I found them I wanted to immediately join them on their next mission to cause a scene. The whole point is to do something random and fun, sometimes they do pranks other times they ...well don't do pranks.

And if I'm making no sense to you right now (chances are that I am) lemme show you what they do. Just a couple of my favorites.

A cool one
The Human Mirror

A funny one -Suicide Jumper

And a really funny one !

The Food Court Musical

Drumroll PLEASE
The best one ever (in my opinion) New York City, the world’s largest train station

The Frozen Grand Central

Haha. The last one was copied by one of those police investigative tv shows...can't remember the name. You know the CSI or something.

So when I showed these videos to my cousin, the response I got was,
"I don't get it. What's the point?"

...I hope you're not like him and completely miss the point of doing something purely for entertainment. The awesomeness was totally lost on him. sigh

Moral of the story: Don't let hilariously awesome things be lost on you.

Oh, and here's their site:

speaking of bailouts.. when will we talk about the ROOT to all problems?

Taken from Friday Nasiha ("advice") by Young Muslims canada.


The origin of all problems is greedy desire (shuhh). The Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings upon him) explains this in the following sahih hadith:

"Beware of shuhh (greedy desire), for verily it destroyed those who came before you. It ordered them to be miserly and they were miserly, it ordered them to commit oppression and they oppressed, and it ordered them to cut family ties and they cut family ties."

Shuhh, which is the greedy desire of the self, causes miserliness by withholding objects of desire which have been acquired, and causes oppression by the taking of the property of others, and causes breaking of family ties, and it causes envy - which is to hate others possessing what one does not have, and wishing for its destruction. Envy itself entails miserliness and oppression, since envy is miserliness with that which one has been given, and oppression by wishing for others to lose the good which they have acquired.

Compiled From:
"Enjoining Right and Forbidding Wrong" - Ibn Taimiya


(and the entry cannot be complete without) Qur'an values:

"If the Truth were to follow their whims and desires, the heavens and the earth and everyone in them would have been brought to ruin."

-Qur'an, 23:71

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Excuses, Excuses

I hope I'm not boring anyone with these Student Teaching posts. Honestly, that's all that's going on right now. As lame as it sounds, nothing else is new. And don't you worry, once I'm done with it (December 11th baby!!! 29 more days!!!) I'll go back to my oh so wonderful and entertaining "This day in History" posts. I'm sure you all miss them so much.

Or maybe I'll find something new to write about.

Anyways, for now, back to student teaching.

(Whatever. Now that I'm thinking about it, at least I'm writing, what's everyone else's excuse?)

And speaking of excuses, little kids are the masterminds of excuses.Or in my opinion---lies. Seriously.

Before I began student teaching, I did a semester of pre student teaching (total waste of time, I tell ya). During my pre-student teaching days, a kid bit a girl on the arm. when asked why he did it, he denied it. After much probing and threatening, he finally revealed that he didn't bite her, instead her arm ran into his teeth.

(At the time it was a horrible thing to hear, but after about two minutes, I couldn't stop laughing)

And when it comes to returning their homework, they never use the "my dog ate my homework" excuse. Instead they use the "It's there in the homework tray, you didn't find it?" excuse (or should I say lie). When it's clear by their awkwardness that they didnt bother to do the homework, let alone bring it in.

Another homework excuse: My mom didn't remind me to do it. She told me to go to sleep.

(Yeah right.)

One girl kept telling me that she had to go to the bathroom. I didn't let her go. She just got to school. She hadn't even been there for five minutes. We dont allow them to go to the bathroom that early. They should have used it before they came to school. Don't you think? Because alot of the time they just want to get out of the classroom and roam the halls. Anyways she ended up using the bathroom on herself. And I was just so flabbergasted by it, I let her go to the bathroom (Ok so I was obviously late, but at least I let her go).

(I was also kinda sorta terrified that her mom would come after me)

Another girl was being ungrateful and didn't want a cupcake that was given to her because she wanted another flavor. Her excuse? She was allergic to chocolate. Who the heck is allergic to chocolate, I ask!

Sometimes they lack creativity though: A boy punched a girl. (Kids are so violent these days) When asked why, he said "Cause I wanted to."

I'll admit, sometimes I fall for these excuses . Mostly because I don't want to hear the endless explanation that comes with it.


If only college professors gave up just as easily as I did, life would be perfect.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Celebrate small (and BIG!) victories

So Barack Obama is the next president of the United States of Freaking America!! Everyone and their mama posted about this. Except me. So now its my turn. Here I go (a bit late, but here nonetheless)...

One of my sisters was seriously hyperventilating when she found out. My parents, whom never ever watch T.V., were glued to it for three hours straight. Watching his acceptance speech and what not. My students at school couldn't stop talking about it and at the mention of his name, they would start screaming, cheering, and clapping. People all over the world were holding their own mock elections for the USA 2008 presidential election where Obama usually ended up being their "president of choice". Basically everyone is on an Obama high.

And obviously this is a big freaking deal.

I voted for the first time in my life during this election (I was registered for the other one, but chose not to participate *shrugs shoulder*) and couldn't stop smiling when thinking about it. And I even wore red, white and blue and my "My vote counts" sticker all day. I'm cheesy like that.

At school, the brats participated in a mock election and voted for either McCain or Obama. 100% voted for Obama. And one of the students suggested that we have a party in honor and to celebrate this momentous occasion. I'm sad to say, no one took that kid seriously.

(We so should've though! Unfortunately Ms.D didnt show up that day and I had to substitute them all by myself and I really didnt think we were allowed to do that, but I did give them a chance to scream and clap when they heard the results of our mock election.)

But that kid was right. We should celebrate .Not only should we celebrate that we have the very first African American as our new president, but also celebrate that he is a man who is telling us (and hopefully will do for us) what we have been waiting for, for eight extremely long years.

And even if we don't agree with some of his policies (not gonna get into that right now), it's much better than what others were offering. Am I right? or Am I right?

So be grateful and celebrate!

Celebrate the fact that Obama won.

Celelebrate that George Dubya will be out of office soon.

Celebrate that there will be no more campaign commercials disrupting your favorite television shows.

Celebrate your vote making a difference.

Celebrate the first African American as head of state and head of government.

Celebrate the future of America and the rest of the world.

Celebrate that we won't have an idiot as president or vice president.

Celebrate history in the making.

Celebrate those low gas prices. (I know I am!)

And lastly, celebrate (and hope for) change.

Because this is one change, that even I am hoping for and looking forward to.

Friday, November 7, 2008

help a sister out!

OK so I took this picture outside of a store that doesn't sell boots :O in Birmingham and I reallllly want them -SO if any of you know where to get these pleasssse let me know! k thanx :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Awesomest Day EVER!!

Now we can get to the real news!

Russia's moving their missiles to the Baltic near Poland to neutralize the planned American anti-missile shield in Poland....cold war anyone?

Croatia to become part of the European Union in 2011. They will become the bloc's 28th member state. The EU also said that Turkey needs to boost reforms and open up political freedoms to be accepted.

President-elect Obama has chosen Rahm Emmanuel, the Democratic Rep. from Illinois, to be his chief of staff (I love this guy!!)

Hamid Karzai has held a press conference accusing the American govt of bombing a wedding party killing 37 people including 23 children, by US warplanes.

A Hamas military commander has reported an Israeli strike in Gaza killing six Palestinians.

For the first time ever, scientists have decoded all of the genes of a person with cancer and have found a set of mutations that have caused the disease or aided in its progression. The study was done at Washington University in St. Louis.

The Colombian army commander resigns in a scandal over the killings of civilians.

A plane crash kills Mexico's Interior Minister and point man on the Drug Wars.

Proposition 8 in California is likely to pass, overturning the right to marry for Gay couples. There's so much I would like to write about this, maybe i'll dedicate an entire post to it.

Anyways thats all the news I care to write about at this moment in time. I would just like to end by saying that in all of my almost 19 years, there has never been a more inspiring day, Barack Hussein Obama is the 44th President of the United States of America. And after all of the celebration and partying ends, it is not just the duty of the media, but all of our jobs to hold his feet to the fire and make sure he delivers on what he's been promising.

I Voted...

I Voted..., originally uploaded by Rabujee.

All I want to say is, never in the history of my short life on this planet, have I been this anxious for an election and by God I am so glad its finally over.
Also, I can't help but rejoice at the thought of finally saying bye bye to Dubya. I thought this day would never come...well it hasn't yet. What say we start a countdown? It'll be like the premier of High School Musical 3 all over again...( by the way, I still don't know what that movie is all about I just know people did count downs).


*Edited* Wow, didn't realize we already had so many posts on voting. Hehe.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Obama obama obama O O O Obama

Um... I Don't know what to say. This is a great honor. I think I really am a bit too awesome. I knew my powers from Krypton would come in handy for burning down precincts that had votes for McCain.
I want to say, that the name, "That One" will be now handed down to my soon to be forgotten running mate John. No offense John, you were a tough and worthy opponent, and I admire you for being able to hold your own especially when you have a one in three chance of dying. But seriously John, thank you, for everything you have done for this country and will continue doing, and being an excellent running mate, choosing Palin as a running mate to help me further ensure victory. And of course thank you for being nicer than Hillary.
And to the American Public, and all my supporters, from now on you can call me PRESIDENT CHANGE. Seriously, somebody tell the guy who will be announcing me as the President of the Unites States of American as YesWecan Change. Oh I can't? Maybe just the middle name? Then what about Joe? Even he got to change the rest of his name to 'The Plumber ' "

Atleast that's how I think Obama's speech should sound like. Dude has just been declared as the President of the Free World.

I should remove my previous post.

I still might move to Space depending on the rest of my life.

Ahhh the elections !!!!

Hi everyone,

So I'm tired, and I want to go to bed already, even though it's only 10 pm. I have a ton of school work I could and should do, but the only thing circulating my mind right now are the elections.

Is it gonna be Obama? Will it be McCain?

Sigh. And whoever it does turn out to be, I feel bad for them. They have to take on being the president of one of the most hated countries in the world (according to everybody else, not me), fix the declining economy, keep both liberals and conservatives happy, and sometimes put aside feelings for what they think is right and do what they have to do, even if it means taking the side of the wrong party, because a lot of the times, their hands are tied.

So I'm scared that Obama might lose.

Then I'm scared if he does win, he'll make the wrong decisions or everyone will be extremely critical of everything he does, and people everywhere will be disappointed with him. Don't even get me started on the hopes Muslims and the rest of the world have for him. If he knew, I think he would crumble under the pressure. Take this interesting article for example.

The next four years I think will be very interesting.

OH and depressingly, one thing this election opened my eyes to was the prevalence, and even in certain areas flourishing cases, of racism, ignorance and discrimination in the U.S.
For whatever reason, five years ago I thought America didn't have serious problems concerning the above three. Then I found out that they still existed, from my English teacher. But then I reasoned it's probably contained to those remote areas and random cases. This year I discovered I was wrong, again.

I'm moving to Space.

Mrs. Cullen: The Loyal Citizen

Dear Friends,

My daddy made me wake up at 6:30 AM just to vote. WHY?? I have no idea.  Hes going to be voting at 7PM along with my mom, so I dunno why I had to go early.  Whatever.. Anyways, It was my first time voting and I had the time of my life.  We [my brother and I] just had to wait about 30 minutes in line.  I'm a Democrat so voting was pretty simple, for the most part.  There were times where you could vote for more than one person.  That wasn't so bad because there would be two Democrat candidates so I would vote for both.  But sometimes they didn't have a party written beneath their names.  That was the fun part!  For one of the offices you could vote for 3 people and I saw two people with the same last name.  I thought "Aww thats so cute.  Father and son."  So, I voted for them.  Another time one of the names sounded nice while the other reminded me of my Statistical Psychology professor, so I voted for the nice one.  Another time I was reminded by my middle school crush!  The only time I was stuck was for the "CLERK" of my township.  There was only one name and he was a Republican!!  I didn't know what to do.  But then I saw the blank bubbles and I decided to vote for my dad.  But then I changed my mind.  I voted for myself! I am so, super excited. Sigh.  I feel so powerful and in control.  Anyways, while we were in line for the machine [thingy] everyone had to flip their ballot on the other side.  But when it came to my turn she didn't ask me to do that.  She just said you are all set.  I was so confused and became stressed out.  When I left the room, I told my brother but he said it was ok.  He said you only had to flip your ballot when it didn't go through the first time.  Phew.  We were about to leave when I remembered that I had forgot to get an "I VOTED" sticker.  So I went back and asked the old man for one and he said they were free. Yay.  Voting is so fun and easy guys, go do it.

Yours for the sake of Peace, Sisterhood and Nationalism,
Mrs. Cullen

Monday, November 3, 2008

Get your brownie points!!!

So maybe I'm being a bit thematic, maybe there's a message that I'm trying to send, that will never be as eloquent as the Quran or Hadith, but nevertheless, I enjoy filling in the space with my rhetoric anyway check out the hadith below:

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle said, "There is a Sadaqa to be given for every joint of the human body; and for every day on which the sun rises there is a reward of a Sadaqa (i.e. charitable gift) for the one who establishes justice among people."

Now, what does it mean that there will be a sadaqa given for every joint of the human body? I believe, it means you'll get the reward of getting charity, but for what? for establishing justice... now think about this...
A human being has 360 joints in their body.... never realized this huh? and everyday, just by the virtue of establishing justice, you get rewarded on behalf of every one of those joints daily. Meaning!!!! you get the reward of giving charity 360 times a day... now think about a year... there are 365 days a year... MULTIPY!!! and viola! you get about 131,400 rewards for charity... I think you'd be getting tons of brownie points for the akhira.

Now, a lot of us (yes this includes me) don't think about the reward in the hereafter, you know cuz you can't see it, touch it, feel it. But think about the reward you get in this life, it's a huge emotional gain. Knowing that your complicated body of 360 joints is serving the community, is almost like a relief, a stress burner. It's therapeutic like anything!

Okay, back to the point of this post.... I will reiterate my last 3 points. Everything in the world ties in with one another, in some way or another. Faith is based on actions, actions are dictated by faith, social justice is dictated by personal faith, and personal faith reciprocates into society. 'No man (or woman) is an island' we live in societies, and at the smallest form, in clusters of human beings called 'families'. You need to ensure you're doing your part for society, because when you serve society, you are in turn serving God as well as serving yourself.

Think about those 360 joints, forget the icy hot, and the pain killers!!! You strengthen your joints by serving your community by establishing justice, there's no need to get medicated, just get DEDICATED!

(okay, well i did get a bit corny) but the point is, justice is a necessity in all times and ages, and if you don't see it as your personal duty (which as a muslim it is) then who will?

hope the hadith gives some encouragement, and think about those 131,400 brownie points (i.e. rewards) when you're on an emotional low. :)

- nameless, but here

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Maybe its just that last ray of light...

What to do when you find yourself stuck in a crack in the ground underneath a giant boulder you can't move, with no hope of rescue.

Consider how lucky you are that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn't been good to you so far, which, given your current circumstances, seems more likely, consider how lucky you are that it won't be troubling you much longer.


So, we live today in a society of hopelessness. People are just so fed up with their plate, that they can no longer move on. The economy is falling, wars are never ending, racism/ethnocentricism is flourishing, and people are desensitizing. This all stems from hopelessness.
But God says in the Quran, telling the story of Jacob who commands his sons while seeking out their brother:
"and do not lose hope of God's life-giving mercy, verily, none but people who deny the truth can ever lost hope of God's life-giving mercy" (12:87)
Clearly we're missing out on something with the concept of hope... hope in what? life? the world? change? success? What are we supposed to hope for? We're supposed to have hope in God... yet, nowadays, we're so quick to accuse God for abandoning us, but we never see the bigger picture. God has a plan, why do we forget that? The chaotic tendencies in the world are not randomness, something is happening, but we're only living in this moment of time, whereas God is beyond this concept of time (well God created time, so He's not subject to it's laws).. So, we need to get over ourselves and truly sincerely have hope.
The beauty of Islam is that we're supposed to act and then hope. We can't just sit on the sidelines crying out 'woe is me... God! what's going on?'... No, you're supposed to do as much as you can, and then after putting in all your efforts, you need to turn to God and have hope that He'll make it all a success, and if not in this life, then He guarantees you to be rewarded for your efforts in the hereafter.
So, why are you stagnant? why am I stagnant? Is it because we've slipped into hopelessness, in these crazy times? We need to reclaim hope, bring hope to the masses, and that is done through (and yes, my last post said this) faith and action! they reciprocate one another, therefore losing faith/hope in God, causes inaction and inaction causes a greater loss in hope and faith.
The prophet (s) told us to 'i'kal wa tawakul', which means 'tie your camel and then pray to God that it's kept safe'... meaning, you need to act. In order to have true hope, you need to act!!
So, get over your self-pity, we're in harsh times, but you need to have hope in God, and in order to adequately express faith and hope, you need to do your part: So march on young soldier: organize soup kitchens, start up interest-free loans, build your economy, help your neighbors, do whatever you are capable of doing, even if it's as simple as donating old clothes... but do something!! because inaction reciprocates into hopelessness..

- yet another random person