Middle school News

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Reported by Humble Jenkins

Great news, a middle school teacher, Mrs. Exam, is pregnant.

She is so excited to have a child – a baby boy – and does not know what to call him. I asked her a few questions. In our interview, I asked Mrs. Exam how the baby was doing and about her upcoming baby shower. ” So far the baby is healthy.”.

When asked about the baby shower, Mrs. Exam replied, ” I haven’t thought about it yet, we’ll be inviting 20 people; so it won’t be a lot.”.

 

Humble Jenkins is in Middle school; has 3 brothers, 4 sisters and loves her dad very much.

Fatherhood Series: Preparing for a New Addition.

A father recites verses of the Qur'an in the ears of his new born baby. Muslims believe that this serves as a blessing and protection for children.
A new father recites verses of the Qur’an in the ears of his new born baby. Muslims believe that this serves as a blessing and protection for children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been so excited since we learned the gender of our baby girl, Jordyn Neveah. As you all are familiar with my Father hood series every post discusses things pertinent to fathers. I thought I’d make this one on something recent in my own life; as well as how new fathers as well as veteran dads can best prepare for that new addition to their family.

For new dads, the news of a baby can vary; but in general can be a scary thing. It’s a feeling dads, who already have children can also have some anxieties about. Jordyn’s mother is in her 3rd trimester, and during that time we both have had to relearn a few things.

 

Tips for New Dads

First things’ first… breathe 🙂

Ok, now that that’s out of the way congrats, your in for a bit of an adventure! First thing any father wants to do is personally prepare himself. It pretty much goes without saying your finances and other obligations should be in order (and we’ll discuss that a little later). However, as your baby develops over the course of the pregnancy it’s going to be interesting. So, a little self preparation isn’t a bad thing.

Work on and further your connection with God

Regardless of your faith, a sincere attempt to connect with God helps you to stay optimistic, further develop patience, and just naturally helps you to feel better. A good way to do this is to also join a men’s group or connect with other men at your place of worship. Surrounding yourself around good people helps to remind you of the values you want to emulate for your child.

Watch what you spend.

I’ve been working with this idea myself, taking advantage of coupons, employee discounts at my job, and keeping receipts so that I keep track of what I spend.

Also making sacrifices in your purchases can also help, when you absolutely have to buy something consider the price and whether something cheaper (or not purchasing it) might  be better.

Another good practice is to – if you haven’t already – set up a savings account and put away as much as you (reasonably) can.You never know when you’ll need it, and it’s always nice to know that you took the time out to put something aside.

Take the time out to spoil Mom.

Don’t get too distracted with your own personal growth and plans for baby, mom also needs you. Everything about her is changing and happening as the baby grows. She will get physically (and emotionally) drained easier, as her body changes to accommodate the baby it can seem as if you are on a roller coaster.

… again… breathe. It can be a moment for you to be more involved 🙂 Think ahead to mom’s needs, if she is still working (and many moms do). What will make it easier on her? Some of your best sources of information will be ones your going to see more and more of.  Attending appointments with the obstetrician or midwife will not only support your partner but keep you informed and help build a rapport with the people you will need to work with when the time comes

It doesn’t have to be all business either, you can even make a date of it, take mom out after an appointment to you favorite place to eat; a walk, or anything you both enjoy doing.

Further your knowledge about what goes on with baby.

Learning about what goes on with your child even during this time while he or she develops helps you also build a connection. Take the time out to see the beauty that comes with it. There are so many wonderful websites, and other sources that can help you. Here are a few of my favorites:

http://www.whattoexpect.com/what-to-expect/landing-page.aspx

http://www.babycenter.com/

 

 

‘Young Warriors’ coming in 2018

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It’s been a few years since I said to myself I wanted to write a book, back then I wasn’t sure exactly what to write out, and I allowed the whole idea of writing one to sit in the back of mind, before I finally got up enough courage to begin.

I’m looking forward to it being self published through Amazon early next year. So in the coming months to build up interest amongst my readers both old and young I decided to finish writing short stories about the characters to introduce them to readers.

For now if your interested in reading one, check out ‘Humble’s Climb’: https://writingelite.wordpress.com/2014/08/05/humbles-climb/

 

Happy Reading! 🙂

The Art of Love

Love is often times a misused emotion, mistaken for a variety of intentions. However, True love is an art, and for those brave enough to study it; there are limitless rewards.
Love is often times a misused emotion, mistaken for a variety of intentions. However, True love is an art, and for those brave enough to study it; there are limitless rewards.

I remember when I first met her at my sister in law’s (at that my brother and her weren’t married) birthday party. I fell for her the moment I saw her. For most of us love happens in that way, it can strike without warning, and if nurtured last a lifetime.

 

“Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. A feeling comes and it may go. How can I judge that it will stay forever, when my act does not involve judgment and decision.”
― Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving

How true that is, in a Pew Research survey conducted in 2013 cited 88% of Americans as listing ‘love’ as the most important reason to marry.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/02/14/5-facts-about-love-and-marriage/

The next question, which is pretty obvious, is how do we develop the art of love? Sometimes the concept of love is misunderstood and used for the wrong reason. It can be a blurry line between lust and what it’s actually intended to be.

 

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From my own experience, I would have to say a person will never truly learn the art unless they are willing to sacrifice. People have the innate need to establish close personal relationships. However, this isn’t always easy. It’s harder to stay in a relationship than to start one. This is where looking at love as an art form rather than just a feeling comes in.

Not to mention that men and women communicate in almost polar opposite ways to have a truly loving relationship requires a more serious approach .

Some basics on the Art of Love

While I’m in no way trying to make myself out to be a relationship expert, personal experience can always be a helpful thing. In doing a little research I found some very interesting facts on how all of us can have happy and enjoyable relationships, marriages and even friendships.

 

1. It takes two… 

In my own path to learning the art of love I to learn to be more communicative about my emotions. Sometimes men can seem rather cold to the women in our lives, and this can translate (unfortunately) to being distant.

  • Do little things, like writing letters; poetry; loving texts, and other things that let him/ her know you are thinking about them.
  • Saying I love you never goes out of style, and giving reasons why enhances the meaning :).

2. Redefine intimacy.

It’s unfortunate that intimacy has come to be equated with just sex sometimes. Intimacy is so much more than just the physical side. In my experience the complaint, ‘that all men want is sex’ while not always true can be a serious blow to a relationship.

  • There’s nothing better than basking in silence cuddled up with that special someone.
  • Hold his/her hand absent-mindlessly, don’t worry he/she won’t mind.

3. Be willing to learn from each other.

There is so much spouses can learn from each other, and it’s important to see each other as if you are looking into a mirror. Learn from the reflection how you can be a better person. When you feel upset, rather than blame your partner and point fingers, remain awake to what has yet to be healed in yourself.

I’m sure all of you have some good ideas to share, and we would love to hear them.

 

The Case For The Beard

beard net blog pic

Every once in a while it comes up, and it irritates me. It’s the myth that a clean shave face is a must in an interview if you want to make an impression. You have heard that right?

Of course beards are making a come back among men, and the clean-cut (or shaven) look is starting to take a back seat. However, this may not always be the case. I’ve personally found that some jobs still require its employees to shave, making it uniform among male employees. This makes it a hindrance in a job seekers search due to having beard whether for religious reasons, or other wise; since it still carries the stigma of giving the person a lazy and unclean appearance.

In Defense of the Beard

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While companies reserve the right to hire people, and deny employment to whom they choose. It still smacks of unfairness in some cases, for example, in most fast food chains and other restaurants male employees are required to shave due to health standards of working around cooked food. However employees of Beef, and other raw food processing plants that have higher sanitation standards do not, and are even accommodated with hair and beard nets. What’s the point you may be wondering? Let’s say, God forbid, someone happens to eat a burger with a stray hair in it his/ her chances of getting sick (really sick ) aren’t that great. However, if a stray hair happens to fall on a piece of beef carcass during processing and left to be contaminated it can spread to other product causing pustules in the product and if eaten cause greater harm. Besides, people have done worst things to food being served to rude customers than a stray hair or two.

I remember one particular instance where I went to an interview for a local Jack in the Box. As a Muslim, it goes against my faith to shave my beard, with this in mind, I figured I’d be smart and prepared; and along with a well crafted resume I had a letter from the Mosque (Masjid) typed and signed.

The letter stated that not only was it a religious requirement for me to keep my beard, but also that I was willing to provide and wear a beard net, along with a number where a representative could be reached for further information. While the interview went well, in my opinion, I wasn’t hired. Persistent, I went to an open interview a couple of weeks later for the same store and the results were the same. In the competitive job market where hiring managers are still being swamped with applicants for jobs it can be just one thing against a job seeker. No hiring manager wants to have hanging over their head the hiring of someone who may potentially sue the company due to a misunderstanding leading to violation of their civil rights.

It has happened, the news has testified to companies that have had to shell out thousands of dollars over the misunderstanding between an employee, and manager over company standards vs. religious/personal freedoms. For example, McDonald’s in a December 2013 suit ended up paying 50,000 to a Muslim employee who was fired due to not shaving. This gave Mcdonald’s good reason to refine some of it’s policies regarding grooming. In my own personal job searches, where I didn’t get the job despite performing well at an interview I’ve been tempted to name the beard as the culprit between not being selected.

While not always the case, and I’m sure there are plenty of people who have found and maintained employment, for many still this comes up as an issue. The question being, why? Does the way a person look, especially the wearing of a beard really matter? Why is it so hard for employers to recommend accommodations for individuals who have a valid excuse, such as religious belief, for example. While Employers and hiring managers aren’t always willing to come forward on the answers to these questions. There are some things job seekers that have religious exceptions can due to ensure they aren’t discriminated against:

1. Know your rights – As I’ve stated before, companies have the right to hire, or deny employment to who they will, and the reasons are many. However there are a few reasons that are actually illegal, and while we know them they can at times be done subtly.

Religious affiliation and  practice: This includes grooming, clothing, religious days of worship. So long as the aren’t an undue hardship (and few are) employers are encouraged to give accommodations to such employees, and job seekers.

Gender: This includes pregnancy based discrimination, which is illegal; and employers are expected to treat these cases as temporary illness or other temporary condition necessitating special consideration.

Age: Age discrimination is a practice specifically protected by law. With a few rare exceptions, companies are forbidden from specifying an age preference is job advertisements. Employees must receive the same benefits regardless of age, the only exception being when the cost of providing supplemented benefits to young workers is the same as providing reduced benefits to older workers.

2. Groom to impress – Whether you keep a beard for religious reasons or personal ones, grooming it will help to take attention away from it. Obviously the Grizzly Adams look will be an automatic disqualification at any job interview. While every man’s style of grooming his beard will vary, the best tip I can give is keep it tailored to the shape of your face. Also, wash and condition it there is a large market for beard products out there that help with the look and feel of facial hair. Here is my personal favorite:

This spray helps to not only condition, but also gives the beard a pleasant smell. Made with Made with Virgin Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, and your choice of natural fragrances. http://www.sistertaliahsnaturals.info/#!products/cjg9
This spray helps to not only condition, but also gives the beard a pleasant smell. Made with Virgin Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, and your choice of natural fragrances.
http://www.sistertaliahsnaturals.info/#!products/cjg9

3. Go to every interview well prepared. – It goes without saying, the best way to get your foot in the door with any job interview is to go well prepared. Actually, you should have been preparing in between filling out the application and waiting for the interview. Taking the time out to craft a winning resume to present, research the company you’re applying for, and preparing answers (and questions of your own) to questions the interviewer will ask about you and your interest in the position you’re seeking.

McDonald’s To Pay $50,000 To Muslim Employee In Discrimination Lawsuit

Inspired Youth Making a Difference.

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Chad Odufuwa and fellow young scientists are helping to save their communities water supply.

By Ahmad Jenkins

My second oldest son, Chad did something that made me so proud of him. He put forth all his intellect along with his fellow classmates to give back to a noble cause they felt strongly about.

Inspiration to learn more: Young scientists in action

The power and influence youth have on the world around them is an awesome thing. Whether it’s in the field of science, religion, social activism, etc. They can if given the right inspiration use those passions to truly make a difference. Chad participated as a member of the ‘Arsenic Arresters’ which consisted of sixth and seventh grade boys along with their Advisor Laura Wilbanks from Texas Tech University and Dr. William Rodgers, an Associate Professor for Agriculture and Natural Sciences from West Texas A&M University. This group of young scientist formed hypothesis around addressing arsenic poisoning in their area’s water supply.  For all the hard work these youngsters put in they won $25,000 after they took the top spot in the Lexus Eco Challenge, a national competition whose entries focus on innovative ways to improve the environment.

Arsenic, according to the World Health Organization, is a toxic metal that is a naturally occurring, and a consequence of pesticide use. Arsenic is a known carcinogen and is the number one environmental chemical of concern for human health in the United States and worldwide.

http://www.theprairienews.com/2014/04/22/grade-schoolers-battle-arsenic-in-water/

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