Monday, November 7, 2011

Eid-ul-Adha Mubarak, my Muslim friends!

For those of you who are not Muslim and have no idea what I'm talking about November 6, 2011 was a festive occasion for Muslims all over the world. 

It marks the day in the Islamic calender when Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) had such love for Allah (God) that he was willing to sacrifice his own beloved son Ismaeel (Ishmael) because God ordered him to. But at the last moment, before he was about to commit the deed, God put a sheep in Ishmael's stead and had Abraham kill that instead. He was merely testing Abraham's love for Him, and seeing that he was about to do it, God was pleased and thus saved Ishmael. 

So on this day that we call Eid-ul-Adha (the second Eid of the year - the first Eid comes right after the fasting month of Ramadan) Muslims sacrifice cattle (cows, goats, or sheep) in honor of Abraham's readiness to obey his Lord and then distribute the meat among friends, family, and save a portion to give to the poor. 

I just wanted to show you guys some pictures of the incredible unity of Muslims even as we are apart by land and water, we all come together with our fellow brothers and sisters and celebrate. 

In my case, we all wake up early in the morning to shower, dress ourselves in our newest outfits that we bought for the holiday and then go to the mosque to pray the traditional Eid morning prayer. After that, we basically gorge ourselves with delicious cultural foods all day long at different people's houses with our families. 

Anyway, here are the pictures. Enjoy! 

In Pictures: Eid al-Adha
Muslims around the world celebrate the 'Festival of the Sacrifice', marking Abraham's willigness to sacrifice his son.

1) Palestinian Muslim worshippers pray at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's old city on the first day of Eid al-Adha on November 6, 2011, as Muslims worldwide commemorate the Feast of the Sacrifice, marking the end of the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and commemorating Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail on God's command [AFP]

2) Kyrgyz men look at sheep at the outdoor livestock market in Bishkek, on the eve of Eid al-Adha, known locally as Kurban Bairam [AFP]

3) A Muslim family leave a mosque after the Eid al-Adha prayer in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Eid al-Adha is celebrated annually on the 10th day of the last Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah of the lunar Islamic calendar [EPA]

4) Palestinian women pray at the grave of a relative at a cemetery in the West Bank city of Ramallah on the first day of Eid al-Adha [AFP]
5) Two Muslim youths blow fire during the parade to welcome Eid al-Adha in Banda Aceh, Indonesia [EPA]
6) Muslim Filipino inmates pray during a downpour as they mar Eid al-Adha inside the capital's most congested city jail in Quezon City, Philippines [EPA]
7) Acehnese Muslims pray at Baiturrahman Grand Mosque during Eid al-Adha in Banda Aceh, Indonesia [EPA]

Pictures courtesy of Aljazeera 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

An update from the physicist (aka The Physics Master) - because that's what I'm calling myself from now on

Yes, bloggers. My unofficial name on this blog (besides mistcalnia, of course) is The Physics Master. Written like that. 

Why? Read why here and here (because I don't feel like going into lengthy explanations right now).

But anyway, whenever I talk about school from now on, I'm always going to refer to myself as The Physics Master (abbreviated as TPM). 

So here's another post on school (specifically, about my miserable honors physics class): 

I'm dropping physics. 
Like, completely dropping it. 
No, I'm not going down to regular stupid physics. 
I'm COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY dropping the class. 
Because it's making me miserable. 

Let me list the ways it's making me miserable: 

1) I don't understand the subject. 
2) I don't understand the subject.
3) I don't understand the subject. 
4) I hate it - because I don't understand the subject. 
5) I tried to understand the subject - really, I did, I even made myself read an entire chapter of the horrid textbook - but I still couldn't get a clue. 
6) I don't understand it and I'm stumped with a truckload of homework every freaking week so it's making me stress out, causing me to break out, binge-eat (or not eat at all because I'm so stressed) and just plain messing up my body. 
7) Seven things is a lot of miserable things to say, is it not? I think I'll stop here. 

There. That's why. 
So I'm gonna go to my guidance counselor tomorrow after school (oh, and by the way, we had a snow day on Monday and today due to the unexpected and dangerous accumulation of snow during the first snowstorm of this school year (on Saturday, October 29), that is, if I ever find out. I was supposed to meet with him after school today but obviously that guy is never around when I need him, unfortunately. On my only free period of the day, he's teaching Chemistry. Now, don't you people agree that a high school guidance counselor should be just a guidance counselor and not a teacher as well? He teaches Honors and AP Chem, which requires a lot of grading time. But seriously, it's not like he has enough to do already with being a guidance counselor for a senior ESPECIALLY this time of year. 

I'm so confused about my college list and where I'm applying and all that, and I DESPERATELY NEED HIS HELP. 

Oh well. 

But on the bright side, I'm dropping Physics, so that'll leave me another free period to meet with him and have some time together so he can help me sort things out. 

Phew. That was a lot to say for one post, so I'll stop there. 

Once I've talked with my guidance counselor and finalized where I'll be applying (although I put up a tentative list here even though I said that was 'final' but I guess nothing's ever 'final' until you are done applying and are then just waiting to hear back) I'll let y'all know the 'final' list. 

Until then, ciao! 


As most of my fellow writers/bloggers out there are all aware, NaNoWriMo is here! 

What is NaNoWriMo, you say? Why, it is NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH. It's the favorite time of year for every aspiring young author out there who has a little bit (or a lot) of time on their hands and want to sit down and finish a complete first draft of a novel in thirty days. 

In an author's term, this takes an abundance of sheer, unyielding strong-will, frustrating stubbornness, and a whole lot of grumpiness that tends to come about when you've been staring at a blank Word document or paper for too long without making progress. But when you've done something in a month - that, my friends, is the beautiful art that is called writing. 

In real people's terms, however (for you see, we authors or authors-to-be are not normal people, as you would think of the word normal and as such are often unfortunately much depreciated in value) what I mentioned in the above paragraph just translates to determination, patience and dedication. 




All right, got a little too excited there. That tends to happen frequently when I'm talking about writing - well obviously, because it's the love of my life (at least, until I find the human incarnation of my significant other, of course). 

Unfortunately, I wish I had to time to translate all of this excitement into actual, productive writing. Except for this blog, that doesn't happen very often, for some unknown reason. Maybe I don't have enough drive. Maybe I don't have what it takes. Or maybe, I just don't have the time or patience to do what I need to do to make my imprint upon the publishing world and get it done. 

I have to send in my college apps asap - AFTER I figure out where exactly I'm applying to and AFTER I finish all the supplements for the colleges I finally decide to apply to - and their deadlines are almost exactly on par with all the writing competition deadlines that I know of. 

So unfortunately, I won't be competing against the hundreds of thousands of young writers out there in the nation for the ultimate prize and glory, as well as personal satisfaction that I've done something I can be proud to call my own, on my own efforts, with my own personal talents.

Or have time to finish a novel in a month, for that matter.

Oh well. I'll have plenty of opportunities in college next year (hopefully). 

But anyway, to end this on a good note: Good luck to all you aspiring writers out there!! And hooray for NanoWriMo! 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Good news from the physics master!

Hello again.

Well, not one of you bothered to give me any advice about whether or not I should drop physics (thanks a lot, guys, I feel loved. Really), but hey, it's not like I was gonna listen to you anyway. 

Well.......maybe just a bit. 

But anyway, I realized that I forgot to add one more CRUCIAL piece of information on my last school-related post ("Physics is driving me INSANE!"), so here it is: 

I'm thinking of going into Med School in the future, God-willing. 

I don't know exactly what it is I want to do for the rest of my life (that's a tough decision for a seventeen-turning-eighteen year-old to make, wouldn't you agree?) but I know that one of the things I'd like to do is to become a clinical physician. More specifically, I think I'd love to do Oncology (cancer) and its various symptoms, causes, treatments, etc. It sounds really interesting and rewarding, too. 

But that's my second choice. And it's my second choice only because of the fact that I like so many more things (namely, writing) that I want to go to college and find out if there's anything else for me besides Medicine. It's of course a very prestigious and rewarding field, but it might not be for me, or maybe it might, who knows. That's why you go to college - to discover your passions. 

So anyway, the only reason I'm making myself struggle through Honors Physics with a scraping B- is because of the fact that I'm going to take Pre-med in college, and the first requirement for a first year Pre-med student is one year of Physics with Lab. So I figured that if I dropped Physics altogether and don't even have a basic understanding of it in college, then I'll really struggle - this is nothing compared to that.

So yeah. 

What do you guys think? Any advice (other than the ones you've already offered, of course - NOT)?

But seriously, any advice whatsoever from any blogger out there - doesn't have to be a follower - but anyone who's passing through this blog on their way to some other more interesting place on the Internet and their eyes just happen upon this particular post? 

C'mon . . . anything at ALL? 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My heart belongs to you

A profoundly romantic and deeply poignant song sung by the great New Zealand singer Hayley Westenra. She has a beautiful voice, listen to this song here. Just wanted to share the lyrics with you guys: 

Through the window of my soul
All the secrets that I hold
Will be yours to share for always, always

Like a whisper in the wind
The gentle breeze touches my skin
And I know you?re with me always, always

I can feel it in the air
The fire that we share
Can only come from deep within
It's a light that burns so bright
It guides you through the night
And leads you to me
So find your way back and -

Hold me, touch me
Let the love come rushing through me
I'm yours with every breath I take
forever and ever

Hold on, to love
cause deep down
That's what we're made of
Never let go for my heart's sake
Cause my heart belongs to you

I lie awake to hear you breathe
Only you can feel the need
That builds and burns so deep inside me, inside me

As the moon lights up the sky
There's a thousand reasons why
My heart will only beat for you

You're the reason that I live
So now all I've got to give
I give it to you
Just don't fight the feeling

Hold me, touch me
Let the love come rushing through me
I'm yours with every breath I take
Forever and ever

Hold on, to love
cause deep down
That's what we're made of
Never let go for my heart's sake
cause my heart belongs to you

Don't give up, but just give in 

I will always be here waiting for you
Love will see us through . . . 

Hold me, touch me
Let the love come rushing through me
I'm yours with every breath I take
Forever and ever

Hold on, to love
Cause deep down
That's what we're made of
Never let go for my heart's sake
Cause my heart belongs to you

MY heart belongs to you....

Monday, October 24, 2011

Physics is driving me INSANE!

A list of the classes I'm taking for my last year of high school: 

AP Calculus A/B
Honors Physics
Phys. Ed - STUPIDEST class EVER (I could've taken AP Bio instead, why must we go through this in our last year of high school I honestly don't know)
AP European History (known as EHAP or AP Euro)
Economics (mandatory for all seniors who haven't taken AP Macro or AP Micro yet)
AP English Literature and Composition (AP Lit)
AP Spanish II (a two year course, we take the AP Exam at the end of the second year)

Out of ALL of my classes, physics, my only non-AP academic class, is the hardest for me. Every week I am trudging by, miserably failing my homework, but I don't want to drop down to regular Physics either because a) it's a stupid class and b) it'll mess up my whole schedule and won't leave me room for the classes I actually care about. 

I hate these kinds of situations when you love the teacher who teaches your class, but you hate his subject. Our teacher (we call him Mazz) is AWESOME and absolutely insane, but hey, that's what makes a great physics teacher, right? 


But I am having a seriously hard time keeping up with what he's teaching, because Physics is a hard subject to understand conceptually, and Honors/AP Physics is EVEN harder. I understand AP CALC better than Physics, which I don't know if it's even possible or not because Physics (at least AP Physics) IS calculus. 


Anyway, to get to the point of this whole rambling post (I do that a lot, by the way, rambling, I mean) last night, as I lay in bed with a SEARING headache, I seriously considered dropping Physics altogether. I mean, when I first thought of it like three weeks ago I immediately discarded the idea because I was like, "Well, I know I'd feel guilty in the end for having not learned the most fundamental science of all sciences." Seriously, Physics is the basis for everything; bio, chem, earth science, you name it. Which is why it took me this long to come to this realization: Physics is making my other grades (namely Calc) spiral down to F-land (the world will end when I fail an entire class. LITERALLY) and I really don't want that because I want college admission officers to look at my transcript and say, "Now there's a girl who can take four or five APs and handle them all swimmingly!" I want to maintain around the B+ to A+ zone, and I just can't do that with Physics taking up my energy, time, and concentration. 

So I'm thinking of dropping it, but I'll audit the class instead. Meaning that I'll still show up, do all the work, take the tests, but it won't appear on my transcript. Basically, it means that I'll be an invisible, non-existent student in that class who does all the work but it doesn't count on her transcript because it's not there as a class she's taking. I know some of you will be like, "But what's the point of that?" 

The point is, that I'll still be learning the stuff in that class (maybe) but if I don't do well on the tests/quizzes/homework (which I KNOW I won't - if I'm not even understanding the easy stuff, how will I understand the harder things to come?) it won't impact my overall GPA negatively. 

I currently have a 4.1 GPA right now (I think the highest GPA in our school is 4.5) so I DON'T want to lose my rank/standing in the first decile of my entire grade of about 400 students. 


So, what do you guys think? Will it be worth it to continue struggling through Physics just to "learn" the subject (which I won't even, probably) or drop it and just audit? 


Sunday, October 23, 2011

My baby sister

This is the only picture I'm going to post, because it's already my profile picture for my Google account so anyone can see it anyhow. 

So . . . (drum roll please) . . . here she is! 

This is when she was just born, my dad took a picture of her with his iPhone while she and my mom were still in the O.R. (she was a C-section) and the nurses had just swaddled her up in a hat and blankets. 

Ain't she just PRECIOUS? 

She and my mom were in the hospital for four days before they came home, and up until the fourth day, my parents just couldn't decide on a name for her, so we just called her Buchi (courtesy of my 8 year-old brother) which in our native tongue Bengali means flat. In Bengali, we don't use subjects very much, so the flat refers to her nose (which is assumed) so basically, we called her "flat-nosed" until we found a proper name for her. Ha. Ha. 

But don't worry, I named her something better than Buchi (notice that I wrote I - because really I did get to name her in the end, which was totally awesome, by the way. Makes you feel real special). Anyway, so I decided upon the Arabic name (because Muslims usually  give their kids Arabic names) Safiya; pronounced Sah-fee-yah, and it means sincere friend, which is a really nice meaning. 

And as of today, she is 48 days old.