Wednesday, August 18, 2010

math in Ramadan

On Monday I arrived at GED tutoring late and still a little jet-lagged, balancing the gigantic Barron's test prep book, a tray of baklava, my whiteboard eraser, and a handful of markers (The awkwardness of this arrangement may have something to do with why so many people use backpacks and book bags, but I have trouble with handsfree devices generally.).

It had occurred to me that the baklava wouldn't be any good during our customary mid-morning snack time, as I expected that the majority of my students would be fasting for Ramadan.

I knew for sure that I'd made a mistake when Elizabeth met my entrance with a sigh and "Emily! It's Ramadan!"

But, no sooner had I repented my faux pas, dangling delectable sweets in front of hungry religious students, than I realized: there were no hungry religious students to resent such dangling. There were no hungry religious students at all. No hungry students of any stripe.

There were no students.

It's Ramadan.

Ramadan is a month to fast from food . . . during the day.

It's a month to abstain from bodily pleasure . . . while the sun is out.

It's a month to recite holy words . . . and watch soap operas.

It's a month to make a private sacrifice to God . . . in an exceptionally public way.

It's apparently not a month for showing up to math class.

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