Sunday, February 5, 2017

Slowdown Sunday

What a week it has been!  Kurt was out of town all week on business to Denver.  His company was bought out and the new guys have their main offices out there.  He said it was a little cold, but really pretty.  Some weeks are pretty calm, but this was not one of those easy ones.  Lots of evening meetings, from Academic Team to AP night along with all the usual kids activities.  It was so nice to finally make it to Friday and take a deep breath.  
So amongst all the frenzy, Wednesday was World Hijab Day.  It was not a holiday with which I was familiar, but one of my Muslim students told me about it several weeks ago and offered to loan me a Hijab.  I wasn't aware at the time, but several teachers were also participating along with about 20 students.  The idea is to wear a Hijab for a day as an effort to try to see the world from someone else's point to view.  It is supposed to foster tolerance and understanding of people from different cultures and traditions.  It sounded like a worthy cause to me.  We have several students who wear a Hijab on a regular basis and I never thought much of it, assuming that our school campus is a safe place where students can express themselves freely without fear of backlash.
We took some group photos and students shot some footage to do a news article for the morning announcements.  A very nice Muslim mom thanked me for participating and offered hints as to how to get the scarf to stay put without choking.  I thought it had all gone well.  
Apparently people were so offended by our participation in World Hijab day that someone set up an anonymous e-mail accounts to send a complaint.  People are also, by the way, upset that we will be teaching Arabic next year.  The claim was that Hijabs make students feel uncomfortable.  They thought that our participation was politically motivated and that we should not be expressing those views to our students.  Oh My Gosh.  It wasn't politically motivated in any way, but I was informed that our freedoms need to be held in check given todays politically charged environment.  I don't even know how to respond to such a claim.  So I took a deep breath and moved on.
You might notice that I don't often express political opinions on my blog.  I don't like to offend and good people can disagree on issues.  I did notice a lot of political comments yesterday, and I think it is safe to say that some issues transcend party or politics.  Some things go beyond who you voted for in the last election.  As I said, moving on.....
I was working last weekend on finishing up the prep work for last years circle quilt.  I can really see the finish line ahead on this one.  Sadly though, I ran out of spray starch.  Though I tried to get the circles prepped without starch, the fabric just didn't want to stay put nicely without it.  If I can't make it out the store this morning I will dig out a recipe for corn starch and water and give that a try.  It would certainly be cheaper and more environmentally friendly than the store bought kind.
When taking breaks from quilting the OMG yesterday I was working on some tiny log cabin blocks.  I think these will finish at 2.5 inches.  Each one has 13 pieces in in it.  I made it all the way to 9 yesterday before it was time to go and have dinner.  I think I'll go put a load of laundry in and add a couple more rounds before starting on school work.  These blocks might take the place of the tiny nine patches now that OMG has moved on to the quilting phase.  It's important to have a way to use up tiny little scraps, right?  
Be sure to visit Oh Scrap and Slow Stitching Sunday.  Oh, also, enjoy the Superbowl.  I don't really care which team wins, but it is always festive.  I think I'll do a little applique between commercials.  


42 comments:

gpc said...

It would be wonderful if we could create a world where people aren't afraid to understand each other. That seems like such a simple, universal truth. I tell myself that, even if we differ in policy, we all want the same things, but sometimes I confess, I wonder. Lately it feels like too many of us are driven by fear rather than hope. Ah yes, Superbowl Sunday! We dont' watch the game but I try to cook superbowl food -- maybe stuffed taco shells today, I need to decide soon! :)

Gretchen Weaver said...

I keep thinking of the phrase, I don't know if I will quote it correctly, "All it takes for evil to survive is for good people to keep quiet." I've been thinking of that a lot lately. Blessings! villacrestfarm@gmail.com

Deb A said...

Wow! So sorry you got that reaction. I see parents at my school wearing that leaving school after helping in their kids classrooms. I just smile and think they are great parents like the rest of us who are taking an interest in their kids. Thankfully mine don't really notice the differences, they just know such and such comes in and helps or is someone's Mom. I have plenty of choices for hand stitching while the game is on tonight! Enjoy your circles.

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

I, too, am sorry you got that reaction from people. Whatever happened to the idea of walking in another person's shoes for awhile, just to see what their life is like? Those teeny, tiny log cabins look pretty amazing! Enjoy your Super Bowl stitching today!

Jeanne said...

Thank you for participating -- sending a hug! One day at a time ...

Sylvia said...

What a wonderful inclusive school you have! It is such a good idea for us all to try to understand the people around us. BTW, your log cabins are amazing. Have a lovely slow stitching day.
Cheers,
Sylvia at Treadlestitches

Katie said...

Don't worry about the angry people. It's likely they'll move on to another thing soon, but the students who wear a hijab every day will remember your gesture forever. Enjoy your sewing today, whether with corn starch or spray starch and good luck with the teeny cabins!

Katie said...

Don't worry about the angry people. It's likely they'll move on to another thing soon, but the students who wear a hijab every day will remember your gesture forever. Enjoy your sewing today, whether with corn starch or spray starch and good luck with the teeny cabins!

The Cozy Quilter said...

Great projects...I want to see all your circles in a quilt when you are done. Those are tiny log cabins!

canuckquilter said...

I'm sorry about the negative reactions to your participation. As Katie said, your hijab-wearing students will remember your caring and open mind, and I'm sure non-hijab wearing ones will be encouraged to be tolerant and welcoming as well. You sound like a teacher any kid would be lucky to have!

Cathy said...

What a wonderful gesture to show understanding of others. I just cannot fathom why some people choose to be intolerant and disagreeable. You are such a wonderful example to your students and friends!

Cynthia Brunz Designs said...

I firmly believe that love and compassion will rule over hate and intolerance. I applaud you for keeping an open mind and seeking to understand. Enjoy your new project and thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

Melody A. said...

I don't know if I have ever commented on your blog, but THANK YOU for being broad minded, that this world is made up of all kinds of people that are good and kind and the fear mongering that is taking place in our country is deplorable. You are a wonderful teacher and obviously one with an open heart. Love your projects. Happy Sewing from Iowa

Edith said...

Love this post, I'm at a University in Canada, and I know we have had similar ideas, of inclusiveness, mostly students participate, however you've inspired me to take part as well, so I'm going to check out when our next event is. Thank You. By the way you look beautiful in the hijab.

Rochelle aka Bella Quilts said...

I'm currently reading a book called "All Strangers are Kin" by Zora O'Neill. It is about her time in 4 different Islamic countries in 2011-12 studying Arabic. She has some very insightful comments about people's perception of Islam and Muslims. It is a very human and lovely book about meeting different people and finding common ground. I find it difficult to deal with our volatile society today.

As for the scraps, my hat is off to you. If each square will finish at 2 1/2", how wide were the scraps you started with?

Delighted Hands said...

Perhaps the book, Black Like Me, needs to be a school wide lit assignment. You could encourage them to write one drawing parallels to the veil and it's stigma. Since when did we become such a paranoid country?! Enjoy your family time around the game tonight!

Pamela Arbour said...

I am sorry to hear that you had so much trouble trying to do a good thing from your heart. I really do think they should start teaching the "Golden Rule" in school again starting with the kindergartners!

I hope you don't have any further problem with this issue.

Kat said...

I love that you participated in world hijab day! We need more teachers like you <3

Nann said...

I didn't know it was World Hijab Day but I will try to remember next year.
(And, yes, tips for proper placement so as not to choke would be helpful!)
A good book: "Threading My Prayer Rug," by Sabeeha Rehman. She grew up a secular Muslim in Pakistan (they observed holidays but that was about it), moved to the U.S. in the 80's, and realized that she wanted to honor her religious as well as her cultural heritage for her family.

Back to quilts: you always have great projects in the works. Good luck getting the homemade starch to the right consistency.

Tanya Quilts in CO said...

I am so sorry about the ridiculous backlash over you World Hijab Day participation. As teachers, it often feels like we are darned if we do or darned if we don't. I live in a very conservative community and bite my tongue often because it is just not worth the headaches that come with expressing my true opinions. Hang in there and focus on the quilting!

Chopin - A Passionate Quilter said...

Good people have spent the last 8 years being quiet until 8 Nov 2016 and their voices were heard loud and clear.

I hope everyone has a great day and enjoy the Super Bowl!

Whoops - Now you know I am one of the Deplorables. LOL

Beth said...

Hooray for you, for taking part in World Hijab Day. You'll never know if seeing you wear a hijab will cause other students to treat your muslim students with more respect, or to have more tolerance, or perhaps to feel encouraged to ask honest, respectful questions about the hijab. Your action will have ripples--good ones--that will spread out, like a stone tossed in a pond. And your students will remember that you treated their culture and religion not with fear or derision but with respect and friendship. Honestly, for all of those people who would claim to be following the Savior, I am constantly trying to reconcile so many hostile words and actions with positions of piousness. Loving our neighbor, doing unto others, as we've done unto the least among us we've done unto the Savior himself...and then outrage over kindness to your students and attempts to understand the world as they experience it. Go figure. At least you've done your part.

Mari said...

Oh gosh Angela, I'm so sorry that this happened to you and your fellow teachers. I hope your students were spared any further harassment. You did a good thing, and all of those Muslim moms and your students will not forget. Acceptance and love will take us further than intolerance and hate. Keep on keeping on. Pax.

gayle said...

Thank you. The world could use a good healthy dose of empathy right now. Shine on!
Love those sweet little log cabins!

Charlotta said...

Thank you for being a kind and open minded teacher. I wish everybody, end especially all teachers were able to be like you.
I'm a lot more of a political "animal" than you are, but I definitely agree with you 100% that good people can agree on issues and that there's nothing to be gained by offending others or being hurtful. And I think it's important to stand up and speak out when you see others doing that. That's one very important reason why it's was so meaningful for you as an adult and teacher to do as you did. You were an important role model and you helped set the tone and make the rules for your community and your school with regard to how Muslims will be accepted, honored, and treated as equal members in your school.
The message you - and the others involved - sent, was that you will disregard what the rest of the world, the rest of the country, the rest of your state, and our president is saying and doing right now about Muslims, because the Muslims in your school are human beings equal to everybody else in the community. Congratulations!

Quilter Kathy said...

Bless your heart for all you do in the world my friend!
You look beautiful in your hijab and you radiate love in all you do!
You restore my faith in the kindness of humans!

Andee said...

Yay for participating in world Hijab day! The world is a bit of a scary place and supporting each other and embracing our differences is the way to go!

Mary in Peoria Handmade said...

I was so surprised by the response at your school for people trying to show understanding and kindness. I admire your participation. If someone had asked me to participate I wouldn't have given a thought to not doing it. How sad that fear is no prevalant in our society. On another topic, I love your tiny log cabins. I could not dream of making those due to my issues with my hands. Congrats.

claudia said...

I won't say much...I think it is wonderful of you to join in World Hajib Day". I think this is one way to quell the fears of people who don't know about different cultures.

"I was informed that our freedoms need to be held in check given todays politically charged environment."
The above quote from your blog just has me speechless. It sounds like something that would be said in the areas where our refugees are coming from. This can't happen.

Stepping down from the soap box...

Kate said...

I'll also thank you for participating and am sorry that the some of the response was negative. People fear what they don't understand and if the unknown or unfamiliar isn't tolerated in school, how do we as people grow?

Love your new log cabin blocks. It will be fun to watch that project grow.

Kristi said...

I've travelled in many third world countries. Everytime I do, I learn to see the world in a different way. It fosters compassion and tolerance. I recommend this type of travel to everyone, but if it is something you cannot do, then something like world Hajib Day is wonderful. Something we can do at home to grow and expand. Thanks for having courage!

kiwikid said...

Congratulations on your participation,speaks volumes that the bad emails were anonymous...we had a muslim student at our school who chose to wear the Hajib, she was the only one in the school, when asked she said there was no negativity from other students which I thought was wonderful. Love your tiny log cabins, you must be using teeny tiny strips!!

Shellie said...

Thank you for participating in World Hijab Day. You all look fabulous in the photo. As we become more globally connected, I feel like it is increasingly important to strive toward understanding and finding commonalities with others rather than focusing on our differences. Since civilization started and spread out from the Fertile Crescent, I tell my kids that humans are all just different shades of brown and we're just really pale Africans. ;D

I love the choice of aqua and teal for February. I'm going to see if I can find some time to start working on a stretched star rainbow quilt for me that I started planning before going back to school for my BSN. I'm trying to get back into crocheting and quilting now that I'm settling into rejoining the workforce after nearly 20 yrs. at home taking care of my family.

(Oops. I posted my comment on the wrong link. I really need to get back into commenting and blogging, too. It seems I'm out of practice.)

Anne Simonot said...

OMG. I'm flabbergasted. Moving on sounds good... great idea though! I love it!

Jennifer said...

Couple (unrelated to this post) questions... what month last year was the aqua? I'm looking to catch up on my row by row quilt, and can't find the appropriate block. Also, the link for August in the 2016 quilt is broken. Thanks for all you do!

Tracy Hansen said...

so unfortunate that an act of understanding and tolerance must be seen as a political statement. Your participation shows that you have a great respect for your students and an open mind. Hugs!

Ursula said...

I urge you to see this from the perspective of Muslim women, who have a different interpretation of World Hijab Day. Did you know that some Muslim women view the hijab in a very different light? If you took the time to go out of your way to post about your outrage at what you took at a chastisement for wearing a hijab, surely you and other's who have posted in the comments here who I am guessing may be agnostic, atheist, Christian, and not Muslim, could take the time to hear a Muslim woman's opinion.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/12/21/as-muslim-women-we-actually-ask-you-not-to-wear-the-hijab-in-the-name-of-interfaith-solidarity/

Women have been and continue to be ostracized,and much, much worse because they did not wear a hijab. Tolerance is a two way street, I'm eagerly awaiting a World Do Not Wear a Hijab Day, where Muslim women in predominantly Muslim countries, let's say, Iran, or Indonesia, organize and push in media, mosques, and yes, schools, a movement to take off their hijab's in solidarity with Christian and Yazidi women, and Muslim women who do not wear a hijab, with no fear of repercussions.

I have always enjoyed your blog, and you are certainly free to post any opinion you have on any subject. But I cannot, by default, be complicit in pushing an agenda, Islamism, that subjugates women, and participate in religious based oppression and genocide.



hiho said...

I hope you invite them to Easter Sunday dinner.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

reminds me of the professor last year who wore a hijab for solidarity, ended up in a big theological 'thing' since she was from Wheaton college. She lost her position in the end.

Marly said...

It's too bad your efforts at openness and inclusiveness received such an adverse reaction. Keep up the deep breathing, count to ten and continue to strive for an inclusive society.

Sandra Walker said...

Well I was very disheartened to hear of your treatment, and shocked at the admonition "our freedoms need to be held in check..." I take heart that the vast majority of the comments here (I read every one) are tolerant. Thank you for being visibly tolerant; as a former teacher of 30 years, we DO make lasting impressions on our students. I read the article Ursula mentioned, and that has given me yet again a different perspective, as I had a few Muslim female students who did not wear a headscarf, and wondered why. I've also requested "Threading My Prayer Rug" from our library. Another great read is "Honeymoon in Purdah" by Alison Wearing, non-fiction, about her trip to Iran. Thank you for writing about your experience.

Angie in SoCal said...

How sad - the intolerance of man.