Writing

8 things I have done as a teacher to cause absolute chaos in a classroom

And by chaos, I mean students cheering (“man like Miss”) for me like I am some kind of Don.

1. Confiscated a shoe (singular) from a child who had a lace obsession (and 3 warnings) then threw it across the room. I’m savage, I know.

2. Threatened an 11 year old thug wannabe that I would hold his hand if he didn’t show me he could be trusted not to run in the corridors. He wanted to try his luck… so guess what I did, infront of all his “mandem” Yep.

3. A kid decided to challenge the “no hat” policy so not only did I take it, I put it on, sideways and walked around the yard like a G. That one got a round of applause. Just sayin’

4. I may have rapped a Roald Dahl extract once to keep a bunch of sleepy 4th graders engaged. That one resulted in a lot of cheering, and complaints from next door classes. My bad.

5. Made the mistake of responding to the compliment “your drawing’s sick Miss!” with “well, someone call an ambulance.” Children are easily amused sometimes.

6. I told off a kid who decided to insult me infront of his friends using his own street lingo seeing as English was lost on him at that point. I believe I said something like, “listen yeah, man’s getting sick and tired of being at the recieving end of your attitude and eye aerobics thinking it’s blessed and dat coz no one can touch you. You got beef? Minor ting. We’ll straighten it up in detention where the pressure to perform for ya mandem ain’t there, aight? That”s what I thought.” Then I proceeded to drop my water bottle like a mic and walked away. Becauce I am nothing if not filmy.

7. Caught kids out when they decide to cuss me out in their own language, by replying in said language. I’ve never seen faces drop in shock so fast and heard “oooooh’s” so loud from the crowd.

8. Dab. Nuff said.

Disclaimer 1: My students love me. I have no idea why. I troll them hard but I still get fascinated 3rd graders asking me, “Miss how come all the kids are really into you? They don’t like other teachers like you.” 

Disclaimer 2: If my boss reads this; these are not confessions and thus cannot be used against me in a court of law. So don’t try it G.

Peace ✌

Bear with me – it’s my day off

-So what do I do? I come to annoy the 0.5 of you who read these crappy posts. God bless for the support though yeah.

-Eid, for those who celebrated it Sunday (don’t want to get started on the topic of celebrating Eid on different days I’ll lose 0.5 of the 0.5 followers I have) was Alhamdulilah okay. I worried it would be horrible but it was nice. Did nothing like but still. We were all healthy, well and together and that’s what matters.

-I documented Eid on my insta story for those of you who follow me and want to catch the remains of it. This is a free service I am providing. You’re welcome. 

-As for the Eid montage I made and posted on insta then thank you if you showed it love, commented, dm’d me etc. I appreciate the kind words honestly, it was a pain to make. If you showed it no love then you suck obviously but you do you.

-I’ve been contemplating life lately, here we go I know. But it’s hard not to when not one, not two, but three stabbing and shooting incidents happen in the same week five minutes from your house. Somewhere you always drive past. All related revenge types incidents. Just makes me think how long before an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind? 

-This is not to mention all the other shit going on around the world as well. May Allah protect us all. What else can I say.

-I’ve been getting really down about it. I have so much to say and off load but I look at the contacts list on my phone and think ain’t nobody on here that I feel like I can talk to and so I lay all my thoughts to rest. Kind of like to an early grave. That’s kindda sad but…

-This lone wolf life style I seem to have embarked on where I eject people from my life one by one so to speak is my problem and nobody else’s. I full on realise this now, well, with some help from my mother who has forever tried to convince me that I’m a loner and I shouldn’t be etc.

-I just came back from a pancake date, which I have been craving all Ramadan, of course I get there and I can’t finish my plate. Does that happen to anyone else?

-I finish work in 4 weeks time and I for one cannot wait. I get a 6 week (ish) break from all the bakwaas at work. I feel like I should use this time wisely but like… doing what. I normally travel but man’s full on skint this year. 

-Aaaaaand that’s all for now.

*crawls back under the covers to hide for what remains of day off*

My gift to you this Eid; Eleventy Billion Questions Answered

​1. How Tall Do You Want Your Mate To Be? Tall. For the billionth time. Tall. I like tall men.

2. If You Could Live Anyone Else’s Life, Who Would It Be And Why? J.K Rowling or Steve McCurry. I think their work is pretty epic. Also, they have more money than me.

3. How Often Do You Really “Go Out”? Rarely. Like once every 3 weeks, if that.

4. How Is The Weather Right Now? Hot as balls. I want winter back.

5. If The Whole World Were Listening Right Now, What Would You Say To Them? Be kind to everyone; even if you hate someone, hate them in private.

6. How’s Your Heart Lately? Oh shite, for sure.

7. If I Get Sick, Which First Thing You Will Do For Me? Hugs. Unless you’re full of germs. Then a care package that I will push towards you with a long stick. I have an awful immune system.

8. If You Could Spend A Saturday Reading A Book Or Playing A Sport, Which Would You Pick And Why? Reading because I am allergic to any form of movement.

9. If You Had To Choose Between Money, Fame And Freedom; What Would You Choose And Why? Freedom obviously. What do you mean why?

10. If You Could Be A Crayon, What Color Crayon Would You Choose To Be And Why? The white one to be awkward. Also, it’s the most useless one which is a reflection of me accoring to my Ma.

11. How Much Money Do You Need To Be Happy? More than what I got now. اللهم ارزقنا من حيث لا نحتسب امين

12. If Money Were Not An Object, What Would You Do With Your Life? Quit work, travel the world and document it.

13. If You Are An Author, What Book Would You Write? Crime?

14. How Important Is Money To You? Very. Because I am a realist and not a candy floss persona living in a poem called “money is not important.”

15. How Many Car Accidents Have You Been In? How Many Were Your Fault? Erm, two. One was not my fault and one kind of was. It wasn’t even an accident I just scratched his very white, very shiny, very new car.

16. If You Could Retire Tomorrow What Would You Do? Grow.

17. How Many Keys On Your Key Ring? Just two. Soon to change inshallah. Who knows?

18. If You Could Have Lunch With Any Three People, Which 3 Would You Choose And Why? Actually two of them would be people that I speak to on blog refularly for sure (mentioning no names ahem!) and collectively we would decide / argue on who the third person should be.

19. If You Could Have A £10,000 Shopping Spree To One Store, Which Store Would It Be? Is it bad that I wanna say Tesco? It has everything.

20. How Many Rings Before You Answer The Phone? So many man. I have to do a risk assessment of how important it is to pick up that call before I do it.

21. How Many Pillows Do You Sleep With? How is this even a question? Smh. Two, I only sleep on one though. The other one lies vertically beside me. No purpose at all. I just need it there to lean against. Is that weird?

22. Who Got The Looks / Brains In Your Family? My siblings got the looks and I got the brains, all 2 cells of them. That’s not me being modest either. Anyone who’s seen my brother comments on how good looking he is. Mashallah. Prick though.

23. If You Could Change One Event In History What Would It Be? I feel like the War on Iraq was the begining of doom for the Arab world so maybe stop that.

24. If A Relative Died And Left You A Million Dollars, What Would You Do With The Money? Convert it to Pounds and Pay off debts.

25. How Many Bedrooms And Bathrooms In Your House? Does this question know that houses in England are essentially sardine tins?

26. If You Could Live Any Time In The Past, Present Or Future, When Would You Live? Why? The past fascinates me. I can never look at an old person or building without wondering what they / it used to look like back in the day. I’d go back to the 70’s. Parent’s era to see wassup.

27. How Religious Are You? Do You Pray Regularly? Not very. And daily yes. Fajr is an issue. Make duaa for mans please.

28. How Would You Like To Be Remembered? As someone who was kind and really did try despite popular opinion.

29. If You Could Go On A Vacation Anywhere In The World Where Would It Be? What Stops You? How many times man? India. No one wants to come with. Mum says I’ll get raped on a bus if I go alone.

30. If You Are A Man, And A Woman Asks You For A Date, Do You Feel You Should Pay, Or That The Woman Should Pay? I’m one of those old fashioned folk that thinks men should always pay. Sue me. Then again I don’t actually let guys pay for anything. I don’t even let guys buy me gifts as a general rule. I resist hard.

31. How Far Are You Comfortable Going Before Marriage? Astagz ya’ll.

32. If You Could Change One Thing About Your Physical Appearance What Would It Be And Why? Either taller or thinner. I’m so original mashallah.

33. If You Had To Change Your Name, What Would You Change It To? Layla, Ruqaya, Leah anything that isn’t my name.

34. How Do You Relieve Stress? So many ways. Comfort food, good books and bad tv. Conversation with someone spesh. Or sitting alone in my room.

35. How Old Are You? I’m actually 29. Though I’m already telling people I’m 30. So when I turn 30 people will potentially think I’m 31. Bants.

36. If You Could Write A Book About Anything, What Would It Be? I wrote it. It was about an arranged marriage. A topic I know naff all about.

37. How Should Your Partner Show They Love You? Tell me shit I wanna hear. It’s legit that simple. Don’t buy me shit just hold me and get me food, man.

38. How Far Away From Your Birthplace Do You Live Now? So far. Sigh. May Allah s.w.t. end the war in Yemen and everywhere else soon inshallah.

39. If You Had To Rank How Attractive You Are On 1 To 10 How Would You Rank Yourself? Attractive? Like a 2. Cute? Like 11+

40. How Would You React If Your Partner Had A More Serious Intimate Relationship In The Past? I mean I wouldn’t love it. I’m crazy jealous and possessive to be honest. What’s mine is mine. But I would act cool and nonchalant.

41. How Do You Spend Your Free Time? Not including being in bed? Editing photos and videos coz man’s sad.

42. How Would Your Friends Describe You? Either too negative or too caring.

43. If You Could Hire Any Actor To Portray You In A Movie, Who Would You Chose? Parminder Nagra. Nuff people tell me we look alike. And if you know what I look like you’ll agree with me that we don’t. 

44. How Well Do You Know Your Cousins? Really well I feel. I’m the eldest of 40 mashallah so I’m the glue that holds them all together. Not.

45. Hugs Or Kisses? I’ll take anything right about now you know. Jokes. Hugs. I think. I dunno.

46. How’s Your Life Lately? Dull but you know, peaceful at least Alhamdulilah.

47. The Nicest Thing Someone Has Done For You In The Last Year? Couple of things come to mind, actually. I made the mistake of mentioning to someone I was on the phone with that I was hungry once and they were adamant on ordering me food to be delivered to my place. They don’t even live in this country fgs. And someone once sent me a photo of chaiwaala (whom I’m slightly obsessed with) to cheer me up, despite them HATING chaiwaala. Bless.

49. Who Do You Miss Right Now? Ah, the irony of finally having an answer to this question is not lost on me. What… I miss right now is Autumn.

50. What Did You Name Your First Pet? Well, they were a pair of budgies that I called Aman & Naina coz man’s filmy like that. 

51. Your First Response To “I Love You”? The first time someone told me that I legit responded with, “I know you do.” My track record of responses to that phrase hasn’t improved throughout the years I’m afraid.

52. How Are You Feeling Right Now?  Well, I’ve got a sore throat so not great. This is like the 5th time this year that my throat’s given me ish. 

53. Do you have a friend from the opposite gender you can tell anything to? Pass. Pass. Pass.

54. Does anyone have feelings for you right now? No.

Grey hairs and burnouts

John Green wrote the following masterpiece of a line, “that’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.” And it bloody does you know.

Is everyone feeling ok? I burnt out fully last night and slept from 9:30pm until 5:00am straight which meant that I woke up and realised I didn’t clean up the table after iftaar (sorry Ma) nor did I take Pops to taraweeh (sorry Baba).

I dunno about anyone else but I feel like I have flunked this Ramadan bigtime. There was no focus or drive and now we come the last 10 days, I really am burnt out. I hope ya’ll are having a more productive Ramadan inshallah. Still ya know, the last 10 days is where it’s at. May Allah forgive. Sigh.

I bought a new fan. This is bringing me so much joy. I can’t sleep without fans, even in winter and I think on average I burn out 2 fans a year.

I’ve discovered I am older than a lot of my colleagues you know. Also, my 2nd grey hair is here. No panic. I like my grey hairs. No sarcasm either. 

I’ve been getting some weird comments on blog guys. I’m the quirkiest person I know but some of you are odder than I am for sure. I don’t approve these comments so hopefully no one can see them.

Still no plans for Eid. This makes my heart a little bit sad. Not going to lie. Why’s tam town dull please?

I bought my cat a collar for Eid though. Priorities guys.

I’m being trolled hard by some of you on dm’s yano. Ya’ll act all brave there then act all normal on here. Tsk. I see these games you play. 

Though, someone requested another one of my infamous interview with self posts. I told them they’d have to find me questions I ain’t answered yet. Lolage.

I’ve been to Tesco once since the begining of Ramadan and if you know me… nvm, you don’t know me.

I bought a book that I legit can’t wait to start reading after Ramadan. Haven’t so far because it’s a wasteman chicklit and this is the holy month. Some discipline is still required wasteful with time though I have been lately.

I had to dust off my verbal Urdu skills the other day to speak to a parent with no English. Fyi I understand Urdu but can’t speak it for shite. I looked hard for one of my Pakistani colleagues but nope. So in the end I dabbled and we got there. I apologised for how crap it was. She told me it was better than her English. Win.

*cringes at the painful flashbacks*

I’m annoyed at my lack of skill yano. Everyone has one thing they are good at then there’s me; I exist and breathe and I don’t even do either of those that well.

I feel like everyone should watch the documentary Finding Vivian Myer like even if you don’t like photography you should check it out. It’s fascinating. 

Anyhoo. Have a blessed and productive rest of the month.

tam.

Ramadan Reflections; 12 days of

These are specific to me. They aren’t going to be holy… or inspirational so if that’s why you’re here then… un-here yourself because there are far more superior places to be on blogsphere if that’s what you’re after. 

Disclaimer over.

-Does anyone else get scared shitless when their mother starts speaking to them in slow motion?

-I always dread Ramadan falling in summer but subhanallah God always comes through and even though it’s June / July the weather is surprisingly cool for the first few days. Alhamdulilah.

-I have been under eating this Ramadan even by my own admission. I am exhausted and the time window to eat is small so I just leave it. And though I wake up feeling like death’s cousin (I blame anemia) I get on fine. Again, God comes through for you.

-Does anyone feel awkward enjoying the food brought over by the neighbour’s  whilst their mother’s food sits there untouched…so they immediately resume eating her food again?

-You know when I said dark times are ahead of us… well, I can’t help but notice a police van circling the mosque everytime I drop Pops off to Taraweeh. 

-Someone got stabbed and another body was discovered in the park near my house. The one my sister walks through to get to school. May Allah s.w.t protect us all.

-I was trying to guilt trip some rude (Asian) kids into behaving so I said; what month is it?! The one white kid in my class decides to shout; JUNE Miss! I… there were no words. Sidenote; some kids are just beyond reasoning.

-My poor sister asked me; “are we doing the same old thing for Eid this year?” Bless her. We have a set routine. It doesn’t involve much beyond food and family because tam town is so dead that there are only 2 places you can go, so everyone goes there and there’s never parking and the police always wind up coming because Arab, Pakistani and Somali youth think Eid is the time to fight.

-Once upon a time I used to make an effort because I felt obliged to get her excited about it. In fact, I read this post I wrote about Eid 3 years ago and cringed hard. I am so not in the same headspace I was 3 years ago. How time changes us.

-I tried real hard to control my anger this Ramadan. I have mentioned before that this is an annual struggle for me; I have a very short fuse and mashallah I lasted a whole 12 days before I snapped.

– … and when I say snapped, I mean big time. Because I don’t do things half way. Tam goes all out.

*breathes* here comes some oversharing.

-Today, I lost my temper so much, so much that I had to be physically restrained from launching myself at someone who was like 5’10” – yeah, let that sink in. 

-Someone grabbed my arms and yanked me back using some serious force to stop me throwing myself at this person. My body wasn’t having it though. My legs had a mind of their own.

-You know when you are arguing with someone and you are so hurt and so wounded that you cry your words instead of shouting them out? That’s what made me snap.

-Which brings me to… you know how they say the Shaytaan is locked / chained etc. during Ramadan? This really makes you look at yourself and think; my God, so that was all me. I can’t even blame it on Shaytaan. Wow.

-Forgiveness is a healing balm you know. I sat in my car after this incident and just stared ahead. This 16 year old kid on his bike somehow manages to fully break the outer shell of my wing mirror as he drove past it. It falls on the ground and I glare at him THIS close to errupting again.

-He looked at me through the window and started to stutter that he was sorry. He picks the stupid shell up with visibly shaking hands and all my anger disappears. I couldn’t be the reason he was scared. It made me feel nauseous to think he was scared of me. I told him not to panic and just try and slot it back into place. Bless his cotton socks. 

-Somehow, I find it in me to still be able to smile. Alhamdulilah.

Have a blessed rest of the month x

London Bridge; “You have no right to be afraid.”

-I am someone who is paranoid by nature. Anyone who has had the misfortune / pleasure of speaking to me for a while knows this.

-My family and I fled Yemen in the year 2000. Our financial situation was dire, my father’s health was critical and my mother said the country was going to fall apart soon. We called her paranoid. Of course I am grateful to her now for getting us out when she did, given that Yemen has been a state of war coming up to three years now. The city where I used to live in particular has basically become an ancient ruin.

-I moved to England in 2000 and I had a few months of peace and a promise of a new life in a civilised country where people were nice then boom, 9/11 happened. 

-We became the most hated people alive real quick that year. And by we, I mean muslims. Sure, nothing major happened to me, but the comments were there, the minor physical attacks were there. I was always on edge. Always looking behind my back.

-I westernised myself as much as possible not even to fit in, but to become invisible. I did not want to become anyone’s target. I refused to wear the hijab for the longest time for this very reason.

-From America to Paris and everywhere in between, the world fell apart in terms of these horrific attacks in the name of Islam. We became that neighbour everyone bitched about and ganged up on.

-The attacks eventually got closer to home with Manchester falling last week and now London being targeted as well.

-Having just finished watching a video of Police instructing people in a bar to get down for their own safety, my ever so alert ears picked up the dulcet tones of a not so gentle man saying, “fucking muslim cunts.” And honestly my heart bled.

-No one cares though, right? No one wants to hear how I feel, how much I fear for mine and my family’s safety. After all, it’s “my people” doing this so I have no right to be afraid just like everyone else. Nay, how dare I indulge in such emotions only available for privileged non muslims?

-I have no idea why any educated being thinks these people would think twice about mowing me down if I was walking on London bridge tonight. I assure you, that van would not have slowed down to spare my life just because I was “one of them.” They’d just think; “her family would understand, she left the world for a good cause.”

Because these people don’t care. They have got zero awareness or care on how their actions affect others’ lives. They do the deed and boom gone, then it’s people like me that have to face the consequences of something… wait for it, we didn’t even do. 

-Do not generalise the actions of 1000 crazy muslims onto the 1.6 billion of us minding our own business, or trying to as we watch too much Netflix, stay up too late on the weekend and stumble into work with one eye closed. Not. Unlike. you.

-Still, I take some comfort in imagining these men’s reaction when they see that what awaits them in the skies above are not “72 virgins” but God’s wrath for taking away the lives of innocent people. 

-Until the next attack, where you will look at me like I am everything that is wrong with the world and make me feel shit about my day for doing absolutely nothing, I shall remain on edge and paranoid, not unlike I was 17 years ago, because I have no right to feel afraid. Apparently.

Attachment and Vimto

Not to be confused with attachment to Vimto, which I am guessing many of you, particualrly if you’re Arab, suffer from this month. I’m also guessing that that’s all anyone will get from this post; that I am attached to Vimto. But I shall give ya’ll the benefit of the doubt and proceed anyway.

-Vimto is the the number one drink that is consumed during Ramadan in the Arab world, and when I say consumed I mean in abundance and when I say Vimto I mean the asli one they sell in Arab countries… not the anaemic mess found on the shelves of Tesco.

-The orginal Vimto is hella concentrated and hella red, as you would know if you have had the misfortune of breaking a bottle of it and getting it in the neck from your angry mother. 

-All the above, paired with the fact that you need a lot of sugar to make this beverage drinkable leads me to conclude that Arabic Vimto is bad for you and yet we still crave it’s comfort after an 18.5 hour fast. We are attached to it… which leads me to my next point…

-Attachment is a female dog. I’m not against cussing, but I am trying to make a special effort for the Holy month. Mashallah me.

-Time, and time again, we get told not to attach ourselves to anyone or anything wordly. Because this dunya is fragile. It’s not just the deen that tells us not to attach ourselves to anything wordly, psychologists, sociologists, poets all warn us against this too.

-What do we go and do though? We attach and get attached. We latch ourselves onto the first source of comfort we want to be around. Not always as a recipient, sometimes as a provider as well. This is what I like to call the hero complex.

-I have a serious case of the hero complex. I always think I can save people in need. Which is the stupidest notion in the world wallah. I need saving myself so how the hell am I going to save anyone?

-My life is a constant battle not to attach or get attached to anyone or anything in the dunya. I get frequent reminders about this from life that I don’t heed because I am human I suppose and I was designed in a way that makes me crave attachment in most it’s forms.

-I guess the only way to break the chain of long term + attachment = pain is to eliminate the element of expectation from the equation. Deny it all you want, but we all expect something in return when we invest in someone or something. You work because good work ethic sure but the wage slip helps. It doesn’t always have to be a reward though. Expectation can sometimes purely be not being rejected or abandoned.

-I invest in people a lot. My time, my energy, my emotions literally anything I have, I give. My mother says this is my major weakness by the way. So when people turn around and they either reject it all or leave after they have bled me dry, I just look at them and think… but all that time though…? You can walk away but what about me? I’m in too deep, you can’t leave me now…

(Are you thinking #issues yet?)

-You mourn the time you wasted on that activity or person. And you swear you would never get attached to anything in this fragile dunya again. But then of course…sigh.

-I’d like to end this rant with a reminder to myself; “You cannot guide whom you love, but Allah guides whomever he pleases.” [28:56] Ergo, you can try and make someone see the light until you are blue in the face. If they insist on being blind you and Specsavers have a snowball’s chance in hell of changing that. Just pray for them.

-And… people leave us all the time, regardless of promises, who we are and what we meant to them once upon a time, the chance of abandonment and drifting apart is huge because life… So, self preservation is key. After Allah, you only have you. It feels horrible not being able to fall back on anyone and to have this constant void where you want a shoulder to lean on, but take comfort from the fact that we were born alone and we die alone… everyone that comes into our life in between is but a visitor and visiting times inevitably come to an end.

-Have a blessed rest of the month.

Tam x