Dear Class of 2021,

Welcome to high school. Middle school is a lot different than high school; you’ll see you get way more homework and learning to do by yourself. In middle school, everything is almost spoon fed to you. But here, you will have to learn, actually learn, concepts and theories and all the stuff you probably don’t have interest in. Take interest in it, though. Take interest in your grades. Take interest in yourself. Things will change in high school, maybe not only academically. It is what it is. You’ll survive. You’ll do good. Do your homework, even if you’re the biggest procrastinator – do what you can do get by and just make it to honor roll. Study, even if it’s something you never did before. Pay attention, even if you could pass by last year on your phone all the time. Take interest in yourself, no one else will for you.

Good luck, Noor

Loneliness, the Good Kind

A piece of paper,

and a pen.

My thoughts,

and my gut.

I’ve written today.

The first time in months.

I am turning to myself;

I am not afraid of spending time with myself today.

I sit in silence,

and appreciate this time – with my own being.

a dirt poem

Photo taken by ‘soilthesimpletruth’, via tumblr: http://soilthesimpletruth.tumblr.com/

i am the root of all things living.

the color brown.

i am the earth – i am life.

the root of nourishment.

used, old.

yet, vibrant.

important.

supporting.

the root of life.

Commenting Game!

Kumba’s ‘Global Issues: Muslim Woman

     I commented on Kumba’s post about the issue of how people perceive the ideas of Islam like the covering of the women, and how much stigma they create. I commented on this specific post because I think it is super important to talk about this topic, mostly because most people are not educated on it. As hijab is debated whether mandatory or not, it is encouraged by many Muslim women and men, and is a norm. But, many Muslim women choose simply not to wear a headscarf – and it is important to recognize that it does not make them any less of a Muslim person. I find it heartwarming to hear Kumba talk about this topic. I was in her shoes not too long ago.

     Judit’s Poem ‘Conquer

     I commented on Judit’s post of her poem titled “Conquer”. I chose to comment under this post because I read her poem, and really loved it. Her poem perpetuates the idea of conquering issues, instead of settling. Her poem encourages yourself to be able to tackle your foes. And of course, her inspiration being Rupi Kaur’s “Milk and Honey”, I could tell she likes the style of Kaur’s writing, as her’s was just as good!

Iqra’s ‘The Secret Earth Killers

     I commented on Iqra’s post about the issue of the human race destroying the Earth by disposing products like plastic. I chose to comment on this post because I equally think it is as important to care about the Earth and to recognize that we are destroying the Earth. I believe it important to do things that we can to save our Earth – simply like disposing plastic to recyclable bins, or just limiting our plastic waste.

Yahshua’s ‘The Scourge of Terrorism

     I commented on Yahshua’s post about the issue of terrorism and how it’s common to see today due to recent events. I found this post interesting because I hadn’t seen a lot of people post about the topic, and as Yahshua said, it is a thing people feel for, for only a quick minute. I believe it is important to educate ourselves on current day terrorism and it’s history.

Casey’s ‘Puerto Rican Culture

     I commented on Casey’s post about her culture, Puerto Rican. It was an interesting read because it talked about it’s food and festivals. I related to these two things, as my family’s culture carries a lot of pride with our food and local holidays/festivals. I am glad Casey is not ashamed of her culture in any way – where her family is ‘from’, is really nice and cool to see.

Youth and Government 2017

Ohio YMCA’s Youth and Government program lets students across Ohio participate in learning about the democratic process by acting as the Ohio state government with the legislative branch (such as the Representatives and Senates of Ohio), the judicial branch (such as the Supreme Court of Ohio), as well as the executive branch (such as the Governor and their cabinet). This program lets students experience how the democratic process works. It is a great opportunity to participate in government as a young adult. Learn more at Ohio YMCA’s Youth and Government‘s page.

This year I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in YIG, among some other peers. We had prepared by writing and revised our bills (we were apart of the legislative branch). By the time, the conference came, we had prepared ourselves for potential questions about our bills. My partner and I had wrote a bill about declaring Ohio as a safe haven so that refugees are safe here and cannot be deported. Unfortunately, when we came in committee, our bill lost with only one person voting in favor. But we got the opportunity to re announce our bill since it was declared unconstitutional; unfortunately, again our bill had lost, this time in front of the “supreme court”. Though our bill had lost, it was a great opportunity to present something we were both passionate about. The conference was not all about announcing our bill anyway. We got to listen to many other people’s bills in committee, and share our opinion about them. If the bill had passed in committee, then it would go to

Me and my partner, Deondray R. answering questions about our bill. Picture taken by our adviser, Jennifer Fowler. See more pictures of this years YIG at Ohio YMCA YIG’s Facebook page.

“the House” or “the Senate”. Then, “the House” or “the Senate” would vote on the bill after it was proposed again and debated. After that, the bill would go to the floor, where it included both “the House” and “the Senate”, where it would be proposed one last time and debated. It was great to see how our own democratic process worked when a bill is proposed in real life. It was wonderful to voice my opinions. I am and was really grateful for this opportunity as it has really reformed my love for politics.

I would really urge everyone in the United States, to look into their local YMCA and see if they have a Youth and Government program. The program provides thousands of students across the States to learn about their government and let their voice be heard. I urge you to join the Youth and Government program next year if you’re able to. I, and am sure my peers too, are very grateful for this experience. Go to Ohio YMCA’s Youth and Government’s Facebook page to see more pictures of this year’s conferences.

 

Pakistani Roots

After 1947, when Pakistan became independent and a separate country from India, my ancestors transitioned from saying they were Indian to proudly announcing they were Pakistani. My great-grandparents were alive then, and even making their transition with my grandparents. A lot of what binds my family together is our culture. My parents are from the province Punjab in Pakistan. They immigrated here alone, and had us here. We are a Pakistani-American family. We root for our football team, while rooting for our cricket team the next day. We cringe at drinks in the shops named “Chai Tea”. We get excited when South Asia is represented in our favorite American television shows. We expect heads to quickly turn toward us when Pakistan or India is mentioned in the classroom. We represent the face of South Asia. We go to our Pakistani parties on the weekend, we eat our delicious daals and naans and kabobs. We get excited on Eid. We cringe when there is our weddings here, since it is more lit over at Pakistan. My family is Pakistani, yet we are Americans too. We have created a new heritage of being Pakistani-Americans for our family. My siblings and I promise to raise our children with the same thriving and beautiful culture.

A Poem

Photo by myself, Noor Mahmood

There is light within a bad day.

There will come potential for a better, brighter one.

Your thoughts will close in and you will feel like you cannot breathe, but you remind yourself: it is okay because there is potential in every single minute. Make it good, you have the opportunity to.

SBC: How to Comment

When you feel like leaving a comment on my posts or pages:

Look under the post, and click on ‘comments’ (it will either say no comments or give you a number of comments). You should see ‘POST A COMMENT’, and a box to type in. After you finish typing your comment in this box, click ‘post comment’. After I approve your comment, it will appear for everyone.

When leaving a comment, please be considerate:

  • Be respectful
  • Leave a comment that is leaning more to the lengthy side
  • Reflect back to the actual post or page
  • Make conversation; don’t act forced to leave a comment

BMC: Look Away

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                Jose de Creeft                      The Cloud, 1939  

Why are you looking?

I am a masterpiece.

I am the insight of the future.

As I try to hide, I’ve decided it’s time to tell you-

This is the next normal. This is sanity.

My breasts bleed milk, to provide for my child.

My breasts are nothing more, they are not here for your pleasure.

So, I ask you again, why are you looking?

1939 and you are disgusted. 2016 and you are disgusted.

This is the insight of the future.

Look away, because my breasts will continue to bleed milk.

 

 

 

Soundscapes: Sounds of the Morning

I am, maybe, the third person in my family to awake. It is six in the morning, and already procrastination begins.

Pots and pans bang against each other, as my father attempts to make breakfast for himself. I tell my mother to wake, I am envious of her extra sleep. It is already 7, and my morning has not gone the way I planned. My mother gives my brother a shower, while my father asks me if I am ready.

The rush and the sounds of my morning makes me full of annoyance. Trying to be a morning person is not working out for me. My mornings have this rush and sense of anger in them, but of course there is some tranquility. I strive for more tranquility.

Listening to pots and pans, showers, yelling, and dumb questions is not my forte, especially at six in the morning.