From A Holy Book To A Workbook

, , , , , , | Learning | May 29, 2018

(It’s Ramadan — the Muslim holy month which is observed by strict fasting — and while I’m not Muslim, I teach in an area with a lot of first- and second-generation immigrants. I get a wide variety of races and religions through my classroom. My class is completing a “music reading for beginners” worksheet, where they write the letter names of notes on a line underneath the note and these letters form words which fill in the blanks of a story. We are about ten minutes into the worksheet when I hear a chorus of groaning and protesting from four boys sitting along one side of the classroom.)

Me: “Hey, what’s wrong over there? Why the groans?”

Boys: “This worksheet is all about food!”

(The story on the worksheet is indeed about a girl going out to a cafe with her dad and eating lunch.)

Me: “Yeah, it’s got food in it. Why?”

Boys: “WE’RE FASTING.”

Me: “You’re… Oh, yeah! It’s Ramadan, isn’t it?”

Boys: “We’re sooooooo hungry… This is torture! You’re torturing us, Miss!”

(They make a huge show of fainting from their chairs, and one of them starts chewing on a scrunched up ball of aluminium foil he found in his bag.)

Me: “Haha, okay, boys. If that page is too torturous, how about you turn to page two and do those questions? They have nothing to do with food.”

Boy #1: “Aww, dude, there’s more than one page!”

Boy #2: “What? Oh, fine, we’ll just finish the page we were working on.”

(If you’re going to use Ramadan to get out of school work, at least do it in sports class where fainting is a legitimate issue!)

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