Saturday, April 30, 2011

Burqa Ban: A Letter to France from a Muslim American

I might actually send this letter to some of the political leaders who were involved in making the decision to see their response:

Dear French Government,

Freedom of religion in France is guaranteed by the constitutional rights set forth in the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

In this Declaration, it has been stated in Article 10: "No one should be disturbed on account of his [or her] opinions, even religious, provided their manifestation does not upset the public order established by law."

So, it is evident to make the assumption the reason the law banning the burqa was allowed is due to the fact that it supposedly caused "upset in public order".

Sure- you have a reason to ALLOW you to pass the law to ban the burqa, but what's the reason FOR banning the burqa? "Security concerns"? That is complete absurdity. According to recent studies, 2,000 Muslim women wore the burqa out of 5 million Muslims residing in France. That means .0004% of Muslims are labeled as a "security concern". And you deemed that as a huge percentage that required a law to be passed against a piece of clothing?

A woman wearing a niqab, which was also banned by the French law.
It's funny, because instead of focusing on something that is actually a threat to security- like guns, you focus on something that only in theory could hide one. According to research, France hosts 30 guns per 100 people. Again, if you do the math, you realize that there are 18,600,000 guns per France's population of about 62,000,000 people. In essence, that proves that around 30% of the French people are armed with a gun.

So, instead of focusing on a larger figure such as 30%, you have deemed it necessary to focus on a figure like .0004%.

Now, math is my worst subject. But the truth is, this is beyond a simple math problem. You have passed an unfair law. And to understand why it was unfair, is to understand why women wear the burqa.

Listen, this is my opinion, and purely an opinion- there is no one more beautiful than a Muslim woman. Not one person comes close to that, because to me the most beautiful woman shows that she is a servant of Allah. In a speech by prominent scholar, Imam Siraj Wahhaj, he compares how two different woman look in the mirror- one a covered-up Muslim woman, and the other; a common woman on the street.

He states that these two woman are looking in the mirror for something different.

When the woman in the street looks in the mirror, she looks to make sure she has the best style, the best figure, so that she attracts all the men. But the Muslim woman? When she looks in the mirror, she makes sure she is dressed appropriately and modestly, and that she is covered to please her Lord. That woman, who isn't going out in public with lavish clothing and isn't covered in makeup but in a veil that protects her from an evil eye, is a beautiful woman.

So when you say you are banning the burqa because the husbands of the wives that wear it are forcing the woman to wear it- you are wrong. Instead, you have pulled a move of hypocrisy- look at yourself. NOW, you are FORCING women to NOT wear a piece of clothing that they want to wear to please their Lord, and are also forcing them to go out in the public and be who they don't want to be.

In 2004, you passed a law that banned head scarves being worn in school. Recently, French police arrested over 60 Muslim women who wore burqas for protesting the issue (debatable that the arrest was due to an unregistered protest). Simply stupid.


What is wrong with a woman who wants to believe in her religion? What is wrong with a woman who veils herself because she wants to be opposite from the one who is with the sole intention of pleasing men?

NOTHING.

The only thing that HAS caused an "upset in public order", was you passing this law.

Sincerely,
A Muslim American

-That's the TFAT.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Revisiting TutorVista: It's NOT a Scam


Since I last studied, TutorVista has changed my opinion. They changed the way they do things. Several months ago, I had a phone interview with a reporter from WSJ Magazine, SmartMoney. A couple weeks later, I decided to revisit TutorVista.

The conversation I had with them is below.

I am the Guest.
I'm speaking to the Acad Coordinator.

Welcome to TUTORVISTA !
Type your question in chat window below.
[ 04:18:33 PM ] Guest : tutorvista
[ 04:18:44 PM ] Acad Coordinator : Hello, my name is Natalie I’m your academic counselor for the day
[ 04:18:48 PM ] : yes
[ 04:18:54 PM ] : Let me know your grade and subject to help you better.
[ 04:19:19 PM ] Guest : Chemistry, Algebra 2, Writing
[ 04:19:20 PM ] Acad Coordinator : Are you with me?
[ 04:19:27 PM ] Guest : 10th grade
[ 04:19:49 PM ] : Yes
[ 04:19:51 PM ] : Are you there
[ 04:19:58 PM ] Acad Coordinator : yes
[ 04:20:16 PM ] : Are you familiar with our sessions online?
[ 04:20:43 PM ] Guest : Maybe I am familiar: http://truthfromateen.blogspot.com/2011/01/tutorvista-revealed-scamt.html
[ 04:21:40 PM ] Acad Coordinator : As you know, every big company has competitors and have reviews to mislead customer's.
[ 04:21:51 PM ] : Every company has bad reviews, and even Microsoft is not an exception
[ 04:22:02 PM ] Guest : True.
[ 04:22:04 PM ] Acad Coordinator : It really does not mean the company is bad
[ 04:22:23 PM ] : You can check our Tv feed which are far more trust-able than these blogs
[ 04:22:48 PM ] : http://www.tutorvista.com/press/overview.php#nbcnews
[ 04:23:03 PM ] Guest : But these blogs are people who have actually viewed your service before.
[ 04:23:13 PM ] : Am I right?
[ 04:23:23 PM ] Acad Coordinator : no .not at all
[ 04:23:49 PM ] : 90% of these blogs are from our competitors
[ 04:24:05 PM ] Guest : It seems as if this guy on this blog wants you to advertise your program more efficiently, rather than advertising it as free.
[ 04:25:00 PM ] : That seems to be the main criticism.
[ 04:25:24 PM ] Acad Coordinator : We provide one free session to try us out but you know most of the free sessions are being misused
[ 04:25:49 PM ] Guest : That is true.
[ 04:25:52 PM ] Acad Coordinator : And there is a high cost involved in getting highly qualified tutors to help students online
[ 04:26:42 PM ] Guest : It's interesting, I'm the person who wrote that blog. I did that post a while back. You guys have really changed since that time.
[ 04:27:13 PM ] : If the academic coordinator told me that information a while back, my opinion would be different.
[ 04:27:48 PM ] : My opinion now is different.
[ 04:28:06 PM ] : I see your point of view now.
[ 04:28:21 PM ] Acad Coordinator : Okay
[ 04:29:01 PM ] : We do provide free sessions but now we have also taken steps to ensure that the free sessions are not misused
[ 04:29:20 PM ] Guest : However, I still find it necessary for you to reconsider the way you advertise your product. I do understand the fact where you are talking about misusing free sessions.
[ 04:30:04 PM ] Acad Coordinator : Yes but the advertisement is not false , we do provide a demo session to try our service .
[ 04:31:20 PM ] Guest : Maybe you provide that service now, but back when I was actually considering purchasing the product, one of the academic coordinators wasn't even letting me do the demo- as you can see on my blog.
[ 04:31:41 PM ] Acad Coordinator : I understand that
[ 04:32:08 PM ] : I really do apologies behalf of my colleague
[ 04:33:23 PM ] Guest : Thank you, and I really do apologize for possibly being too harsh towards the company. I recognize you guys are making changes to reassess possible ways to make it more efficient and I find that very wise and necessary.
[ 04:34:17 PM ] : The way you advertised the company to me NOW is how you should advertise it to others.
[ 04:34:43 PM ] Acad Coordinator : Yes we really are trying to do that and being successful in providing quality tutoring at a very affordable costs from past 6 long years
[ 04:34:50 PM ] Guest : Because now, you are actually persuading me to buy your product! :)
[ 04:35:00 PM ] Acad Coordinator : Not really
[ 04:35:13 PM ] : I'm just trying to convince you !
[ 04:36:07 PM ] Guest : Synonyms! I like how you are trying to convince me to buy it, because it actually looks like a trustworthy online tutoring service now. And I appreciate that.
[ 04:36:31 PM ] Acad Coordinator : Thank you.
[ 04:36:52 PM ] Guest : I will definitely put this conversation on my blog, because it gives me a different perspective of the company, and it will change others views too.
[ 04:36:58 PM ] : Your company has gained my trust.
[ 04:37:28 PM ] Acad Coordinator : Appreciate it , Thank you so very much !
[ 04:39:00 PM ] Guest : Hey, no problem! Just an idea- maybe only give demo sessions to those who pay a certain small fee (like $9.99 or something).
[ 04:39:22 PM ] Acad Coordinator : Yes we did try that
[ 04:39:41 PM ] Guest : I'm guessing it didn't work.
[ 04:40:30 PM ] Acad Coordinator : Yes , most of the students found it very cheap and assumed that the service might be bad like the price that we offer them
[ 04:40:48 PM ] Guest : Interesting.
[ 04:41:04 PM ] Acad Coordinator : Let me share a promotional offer Screen shot that we had couple of months back.
The screenshot she shared with me advertising a $5/week trial offer.

[ 04:41:24 PM ] : $5 for a week trial.
[ 04:41:55 PM ] Guest : Yes I do see that.
[ 04:42:13 PM ] : That's interesting.
[ 04:42:20 PM ] : I could see how that works.
[ 04:42:23 PM ] Acad Coordinator : On an average
[ 04:42:35 PM ] : There would be 600 students who sign's up but
[ 04:42:50 PM ] : When this promotion was on there were only 200 students who signed up for this
[ 04:43:01 PM ] Guest : Wow.
[ 04:43:42 PM ] Acad Coordinator : Yeah
[ 04:43:46 PM ] Guest : Well, I was actually currently in conversation with a reporter of a magazine in the US regarding my experience with TutorVista.
[ 04:43:59 PM ] Acad Coordinator : Okay!
[ 04:44:02 PM ] Guest : And now I will have to send this conversation with them.
[ 04:44:24 PM ] Acad Coordinator : Great !
[ 04:44:24 PM ] Guest : So that they know that TutorVista has changed my opinion.
[ 04:44:42 PM ] : And gained my trust.
[ 04:45:15 PM ] Acad Coordinator : Thank you again !
[ 04:45:48 PM ] Guest : No problem, thank you for everything. I might advertise your company to friends now! :)
[ 04:46:11 PM ] Acad Coordinator : Nice, i didnt get you name ?
[ 04:46:44 PM ] : *your
[ 04:47:11 PM ] Guest : My name is Aadil Malik.
[ 04:47:34 PM ] Acad Coordinator : Pleasure meeting you online Aadil.
[ 04:47:48 PM ] Guest : You as well.
[ 04:48:15 PM ] Acad Coordinator : Thank you for your time.

Today, I decided to again visit the website to see what changes they have made. Turns out, now when you chat with them, you chat with an Academic Coordinator as well as a Tutor! Check this picture out. I was able to ask a question to the tutor and he helped me solve it out, then I was able to talk to the Academic Coordinator to speak about the latest deal they were offering.

A tutor from TutorVista helping me answer a math problem.
This means that they have now seriously started granting demo sessions. They are now advertising their website correctly by saying "Connect to a Tutor now for FREE!".

My claim of it being a scam has diminished. It's funny how my original TutorVista Scam post, which you can read here, had the most views out of all my posts, because when you search "TutorVista Scam" on Google, it appears in the first 10 results.

However, it is safe for me to say now that TutorVista is indeed not scamming it's consumers. But keep in mind, I never purchased their product to see if they scam you after you purchase, but I'm sure they don't. I would even argue to say it is the best and most easily accessed online tutor service out there.

So, I sincerely apologize for my false accusations. The TutorVista post was out of the box from my usual blogging, but it's always good to help people. And this time, I'm helping an entire company regain its well-deserved dignity.

-That's the TFAT.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Celebrating One Year of TFAT

After 70 published blog posts, including this one.

After 221 comments on those blog posts.

After 360 likes on the TFAT Facebook fan page.

After 3.2 versions of the TFAT layout and background.

Truth from a Teen appearing at the top of the Bing search engine out of 114 million results.
TFAT also appearing at the top of the Yahoo search.

After climbing it's way to the top of search results and becoming the first result out of 114,000,000 (when searching keywords: "truth from a teen") in search engines like Bing and Yahoo, and still attempting to climb its way to the top on Google and Ask.com.

After 9,309 views from United States, 908 views from Canada, 742 views from the United Kingdom, 499 views from India, 168 views from Australia, 164 views from the Netherlands, 112 views from Pakistan, 104 views from Germany, 74 views from the Philippines, and 71 views from South Africa.

After 13,668 page views, and counting.

Truth from a Teen proudly celebrates the accomplishment of one year.

In one year time, TFAT has accomplished more than just page views and rankings, it has become a medium between a striving teen and a troubled American society. It has allowed for a once shy, timid teen, to become an advocate of tolerance and truth. It has evolved into a website where people all around the world can read a teen's opinion for once, about issues like obesity, education, religion, politics, etc.

In it's prime, TFAT was battling with the bigotry of the "Burn Koran Day" movement. This blog had become one of the first to be in contact with the followers of the Dove World Outreach Center and Terry Jones. I was in contact with the Mayor of Gainesville, news networks, Gainesville local churches, local mosques, even the Vatican. During a month of time, I had accomplished over 1,400 page views and dozens of comments.

However, there is still need for improvement. And to celebrate the one-year anniversary, I have purchased a domain for my blog. No longer do I have to type in a long URL address, now it is simply www.truthfromateen.com. I have created a mobile-friendly version of my blog, so when you access my website on your mobile device it will redirect you to a mobile-optimized version. I have moved to v. 3.2 Tomato with the layout. I have also made minor changes, like the new favicon next to where it says Truth from a Teen in the tab on the top of your internet browser. It is no longer a orange blogger logo, but now a TFAT logo.

And for the topics? One of my projects in the upcoming year of this website is to get in contact with ACT! for America, an organization founded by Brigitte Gabriel, author of the book, "They Must Be Stopped". She has founded this organization because "Islamic militants have declared war on America". Her bigot ways have led to her belief that "Political correctness can be annoying, frustrating, even exasperating. In the struggle against the threat of radical Islam, political correctness will literally kill us."

America is not at war with Islam and never will be. This is the truth that must be instilled into Brigitte Gabriel, who is contradictory with her statements that she condemns radical movements when indeed ACT! is a radical movement of its own.

This is a project to look forward to in the next year.


It is just as astonishing to me as it is to my father how I have become an advocate of truth and tolerance. It feels like only yesterday when I was a shy kid who was afraid to even talk to people. It amazes me that I have developed into a young adult whose mission is to talk to people and spread the truth. If it weren't for this blog,  I wouldn't be who I am today.

To close off one era of TFAT and welcome another, I must stop and thank some in particular. This is a long thank you list, but every single one of you on this list deserve it. You might have to search for your name.

Allah: Thank you for all you’ve done for me. You guided me from all the ways that were wrong. It is a constant battle I am willing to fight to remain on the Straight Path. Allah, I sincerely ask for forgiveness of my sins. Oh Allah, you indeed, are the Most Merciful. Oh Allah, I ask that you grant me the willpower to continue my efforts of spreading the truth of the Deen-ul-Islam, and the truth of the power of words. Oh Allah, without the support of you, I wouldn’t be here today. Oh Allah, grant me the wisdom to see, and continue to see the truth of this world. Oh Allah, may all our efforts to spread the truth in this world help us reach heaven in the hereafter. Ameen.

Daddy and Mama: In my entire life, you two have been my biggest fans and support. You helped me on the days I thought I would fail, and allowed me to prosper. To you two, I owe so many thanks, for teaching right from wrong and for the lectures you bestowed. I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for you. I love you.

Mr. Schneider: I’ve thanked you so many times but I still don’t think it’s enough. Honestly, if it weren’t for you to tell me to start a blog, I wouldn’t have even considered it. Thank you for inspiring me to voice out my opinion to the world.

Arslan, Faisal, and Ahsan: Although most of the time we joke around and have fun, we all must admit that in the serious conversations we have, we all learn something from one another. No matter what, we four will always be the best of friends and the best of cousins and no form of separation will tear our friendship apart. G7.

Azim Uncle: Four days after I created my blog, on April 22nd, 2010, was probably one of the biggest unexpected moments of my life. You passed away. I didn’t even know you had a surgery, but when I came home and looked at my phone and saw that I had 11 voicemails and 24 text messages, I knew something was wrong. You have inspired me to become more patient and continue to strive to become the best I can be. I miss you.

Fikiriatu: Over the year, you have become one of my biggest helpers. There were times where I thought I didn’t have any idea what to blog about, and you somehow got so many ideas out of me. “Just Think”.

Mr. Mac: Thank you so much for all the help you've given me. To me, you are more than just a Writing and Grammar teacher, but someone who has inspired me to consider teaching as a career. You influenced me to voice my opinion, and made me more comfortable to voice the truth of my religion.

Amier: My German pen pal! I can’t thank you enough. You supported me during the Burn Koran Day posts and have become a great friend.

Jeana: You might be surprised that you get a special comment from me lol. But you deserve it. Thank you for your help during the Burn Koran Day posts.

Carrie: You impacted the way I think. You were one of the first helpers I had in blogging, and I’m glad I at least influenced you to consider blogging. Thank you for everything over the year.

Sidra: I bothered you so much this past year, with the constant chat messages telling you to read my posts, with using you to spark ideas in my brain. But honestly, you’re like a sister to me. As much as I think you’re annoying at times, you still deserve a thank you for being capable of listening to me blabber. Thank you, “sir”.

Amina and Amara: Even though only you, Amina, will probably read this (even that will be rare), I want to thank you both for allowing me to learn from your mistakes and accomplishments. I know I’m basically saying thank you for making the mistakes so I know not to make them in the future, but it’s the truth. As my older siblings, you two are role models.

Facebook Fans: All of you who like my fan page on Facebook deserve a huge thank you!

Julia: Thank you so much for supporting me in protest of the Burn Koran Day movement! You played a vital role in advocating tolerance to the world, and condemning the acts.

Baylor: I’ll be honest; out of all the people I would expect to support me through the years of TFAT- I would have never guessed you being one of them. Just because we aren’t close. But I thank you for all the support you have given me.

Denver: I’m humbled that I was able to inspire you to think about life in a different light. I also thank you for the support you have given me.

Ian, Chey, Claire, Ursalla, Hassan, and Ali: I always love seeing your little profile pictures next to the Facebook like button on my blog posts! Thank you all for the support!

Justin: Happy Birthday, and thank you for the constant support!

Renee: Thank you for inspiring me to make a mobile-friendly version of my blog!

Madie: I'm glad I have inspired you, it means the world to me to influence someone to change the world- a characteristic that I see you have. Keep on blogging, and keep on striving for success!

Zaineb: Since you are my sister's other sister, that makes you my other sister. If that makes sense lol. Thank you for giving me support throughout the year, reading my posts, and being a fan of TFAT!

Jacob A.K.A. “Yacoob”: One of my first followers. You played a crucial role in the developing era of TFAT. Thank you!

Austin: Thank you for reading my posts and giving insightful comments. I always appreciate it.

I would also like to give thanks to: Ahson, Dan, Donte, Kharii, Uncle Jamal, Aisha, D.m, Dawud Wharnsby, Boonaa, Tyler, Greg, Imam Johari, Marina, Rohit, Scotty, Soheb, Shehryar, Umara, Rabia, Zach, Erik, Pam, Zabrina, Mr. L and Ms. C, James, Faith- everyone who has showed even a little support in what I do.

Thank you; and here’s to a new era of truth.

A new era of Truth from a Teen.


-That's the TFAT.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

TFAT is NOW MOBILE OPTIMIZED!

Now, you can access TFAT on any mobile device: Blackberry, Android, iPhone, Palm, flip phone, you name it!

Celebrating one year of Truth from a Teen!

Check it out now! Just go to www.truthfromateen.com on your phone's web browser! Who knows, maybe I'll even make a TFAT Android App!


Woohoo!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Change has come!

One year has past.
A walk down memory lane...

First ever logo for Truth from a Teen.
First ever title background I had.
Truth from a Teen v. 2.0 Spaghetti.
Truth from a Teen v. 2.5 Meatball.
And now, the new domain: www.truthfromateen.com layout. Version 3.0 Lettuce.

Finally. I have bought my blog, and bought my own domain.

Finally. No longer is my URL so long and hard to type into the address bar.

Finally. I will come up more often in Google searches.

Finally. www.truthfromateen.com is a reality.

Finally. Big change. Same exact truth.

-That's the TFAT.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Education or Religion?

Yesterday, our community mosque held its monthly religious gathering (halaqa). This weekend, I had planned to start a 10-page journal that I had procrastinated on, which was due on Monday. The journal was on the book, The Great Gatsby- a book that the class has been reading for a month now, but of course I never even started reading. So pretty much, I was screwed when my Dad told me about this gathering at my mosque- because turns out, we had to be there all day yesterday because the host who is usually there was on a business trip to Calgary.

This is when the question hit me.

Which do I choose- failing an assignment that could drastically change my grade for the worse OR go to this religious gathering with my Dad?

Or an even deeper, more meaningful question would be: Education or Religion?

I decided to go to the religious gathering, honestly only because I wouldn't be able to persuade my Dad into allowing me to stay home.

But the decision turned out to be one I wouldn't regret, and one that improved my faith.

Once I went inside the mosque, my Dad told me that since the regular host was in Calgary, he wants me to introduce the guest speaker. Immediately, I jumped out of nervousness and said I couldn't because I wasn't told in advance. He told me it wasn't that big of a deal, it would just be an informal introduction, and I ignored him and changed the subject.

The time to introduce the speaker came around, and my Dad kept staring at me to go take the role. He came over, sat in the chair behind me and whispered in my ear, "Do you at least want to call the Athan (call for prayer)?". For a couple seconds I looked around and didn't reply, and he asked again. I whispered back that I would. The time came, and my Dad gave me a push on my back to go to the microphone. I stood up, started to walk to the microphone, and heard everyone becoming silent. The moment I raised my hands to my ear and opened my mouth and proclaimed, "Allah hu Akbar, Allah hu Akbar!", the answer had come to me.


It is my faith in Islam that matters over everything else- even education. Because true faith in religion allows a person to be successful in life.

But this isn't the only thing I learned.


Once it was time for prayer, I took a drink of water and put my bottle aside. The imam (leader of the prayer) had took position. He said it was time for salah (prayer). As soon as he raised his hands to his ears, and folded them, my mouth became so dry to the point that I had become immediately dehydrated. This wasn't new though, most people who know me know that I have an addiction to water (aquaholic) and carry it around everywhere. To get my mind off the thirst, I began to pay more attention to the voice of the imam and where I was standing. I noticed I was standing next to my friend who had a partially torn ACL. His right leg was swollen. When he went down in sajda (prostration), he grabbed his right knee in pain. That's when I realized that I wasn't the one suffering. If people with broken legs are able to pray, then I should be able to pray too.


You may assume that I stress over the smallest things, but truly it is the smallest things in life that make the biggest difference.

Fortunately, the speaker didn't need an introduction and started to speak on his own. He said, "I know I came here to talk about the topic 'Islam is the Answer', but I have changed my mind." Instead, the speaker decided to tell the story of Ka'B Ibn Malik, the poet who was punished with silence.

One of the ironic things the speaker said which hit my heart was that if we pay attention to the small things around us, and listen, we will see the signs and answers we ask for.

I asked the question to myself, and I saw and heard the answer. It was just a matter of paying attention. My faith is my education, it is my driving force for peace and prosperity. It's my backbone.

But you may say that it's only me, it's only my level of faith. However, honestly, I'll tell you the truth- whether you have faith that there is no deity or that there are many, it is your faith that will pave your path. It is up to you to pay attention for answers.

So when people like Terry Jones from the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, FL claim to be the ones with true faith, they are wrong. It's because they have never asked a question to themselves, never paid attention to their surroundings, and always made up a flawed answer.

If Jones asked himself "Is Islam of the Devil?", paid attention for the answer, he would realize that it isn't- because people that have true faith in Islam, aren't extremists and aren't terrorists. They are people who come to religious gatherings at their community mosques, meet with other Muslims, believe in their sound creed, and find answers to their questions.

I found the answer to my question, and that answer is something that will remain in my heart. Today is Sunday, and its because I have faith in my religion that I have faith I will be able to finish my assignment.

Practice your faith.

-That's the TFAT.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Doc


This past Monday, our Principal called us down to the library where she informed all current Chemistry students that our Chemistry teacher, who throughout this blog post will be referred to as Doc, had decided to take an early retirement. Now, Doc was a very loved teacher who had taught at our school for a very long period of time. His goal was to instill in his students the desire to achieve their best and the realization that it doesn't matter anymore how much they tried, but how much they did. The students that Monday morning in the library had mixed reactions. Personally, I had known about this situation prior, so my reaction wasn't in any voice. I didn't begin to exuberantly yell or say "WHAT?!", but instead I put my head down in disappointment. I stared around and looked at compared the different reactions based on students of different classes- the honors class, the college prep class, and the academic class. Most of the students in my honors class were in disbelief, it was half joy and half disbelief for the college prep class, and the academic class students simply told each other that they would miss him but that now the class would be much easier.

I want to go back to Thursday morning. I'm standing around in the back of the room, writing my notes. Doc's attempting to teach the class how to do "ICE" tables for solving equilibrium constants, but everyone in the class seems to accuse him of doing the process wrong according to the textbook. He becomes agitated and tells us to close his book, as he is trying to teach the way it's done and nobody is letting him finish. I remain quiet and observant of the class, pretty much how I normally am. I see the arrogance of some of the girls in my class as they roll their eyes and slam their books shut. Doc begins to talk and explain as one of the girls cuts him off saying thats not how you should do it. Doc slams the marker onto the board and sits down, saying "I'm done. I can't teach you guys if you guys can't be teached. That's it".

Thursday afternoon, we have his period for the second time. We walk inside and I notice he isn't there. This is kind of unusual as Doc is never late to his class, he's always sitting behind the huge stacks of papers behind his desk. Around 5 minutes pass and he finally shows up and walks into the room with a bunch of papers in his hand. He puts them on his desk and immediately goes to the board, saying, "Take out a sheet of paper. You told me I wasn't doing it right so it seems like you guys know the right way to do it." He puts around 5 problems on the board, giving us 3-4 minutes to compete each. Once everyone has made their attempts, he tells us that this quiz will not be graded, and sends a student up to the board. The student does the problem right, but no one else in the class including myself understands it. She approached the problem a different way than Doc was teaching it. The period goes by, as Doc stands on the right of the room, not even a foot away from where I am standing, telling us that he can't teach us so he assumed we could teach each other. Well, that didn't work either. The bell rang, and little did the class know this was the last time they would learn from Doc again.

As we walked out, I had a feeling that something was wrong, and after observation of the class and his reactions I knew something happened. Him and I were the last two to walk out of the room, so I decided I should tell him something true that would make him feel a bit better. He walked outside and stood outside his door, and I stopped their with him and said, "You know Doc, I understood it the way you were teaching it and I didn't understand it the way the book explained it. I just thought I'd let you know if it makes any difference." He replied, "You know, Aadil, your class is simply unteachable. And there's no other way to say it. You're alright though. Keep doing what you're doing." I gave a laugh and apologized on behalf of the class's rude reactions and he said it was all okay and gave me a pat on the back.

This was when I knew that Doc was leaving. I sensed it. I knew something was going through his mind and he had finally reached his breaking point. As I walked to my locker and gave one look back, but he went back into his room. This was the last conversation I had with Doc.

Friday comes along, and he's gone. A substitute is there and teaches the students how to do ICE. What's hilarious to me, is that he's teaching it the exact same way. The same students that would cry and lie about how much they miss him on the following Monday are the ones wishing that this substitute was Doc's replacement (if Doc would have ever left). These same students who showed such shock on Monday, are telling this substitute they wished they had him instead of Doc. I find it so hilarious, that it pisses me off. I tell another student in the class that Doc left, and they don't believe me. They all just thought he took the day off.

This substitute wasn't just a substitute, he really was Doc's replacement. The kids wished for it, and they got it. So why so shocked on Monday when the news was told? Why cry? Why lie about how much you are going to miss him, when you are contradicting what you said?

That Friday, I went all the way in the back of the class, pissed off, and secluded myself.

On Monday, we headed to class where our new teacher, the sub from Friday, was teaching. Everyone looks around and sees that Doc came in over the weekend and cleaned out his entire room. Took all the things he wanted, but surprisingly threw out his coffee maker. He left all the chemicals and posters hung.

People asked me if I was shocked, people walked around sluggishly, and I said no I wasn't. They asked me why, and I told them that I knew it. And they thought I was being boastful about, or lying about it. They were making the assumption that he told me, and I was boasting about how he only told me. Well guess what, he didn't tell me. All of the students who disrespected him told me. His face told me. His reactions told me.

Doc was the most accredited teacher at our school. He had the most experience, and deserved respect. The way that 16 year old kids were trying to prove him wrong that day is what pisses me off.

Another thing that pisses me off is seniors who don't go to our school, weren't eyewitnesses of the situation, were being held as credible sources for what caused Doc to leave. Rumors spread around that there was an altercation between him and the principal, that he was "forced out" by the administration. Well, you know what, it doesn't matter how he left, it is clearly apparent that he had been poked around so much that he had finally reached his breaking point. I don't care by who, by what- I just know that he is glad to be home spending time with his beloved family and grandchild.

He has moved on, now we should move on.

So these illogical "Doc Days" and "Doc T-Shirts" and "Videos for Doc" aren't going to prove anything accept your ignorance of the situation. If Doc was at school, I admit, he would respect you for the respect you gave him, but he would tell you all that these attempts are illogical and stupid. I thought they would prove something myself, I admit it. But now it has gone too far. It's been a week and people are still stuck on how he was "forced out". If he was forced out he wouldn't be happily enjoying his retirement right now.

The guy retired. Of course he deserves our respect and of course the kids who are being hypocrites are pissing some of us off, but the only way Doc would like it to be done now is to move the hell along and pass his class! If you really claim to know Doc, you would know that he has the capability to stick up for himself and doesn't need hypocrites who claim to respect him but clearly don't, wearing a picture on their shirts. The kids who did this for commemoration deserve my respect, but the kids who did it just because everyone else was doing it is wrong.

Respect the man with words. Send him an email. Leave him a call. But then, let it go, move on, pass the class, and remember the great memories you had with him.

Personally, I left him a voicemail:
Hey Doc,


It’s Aadil.


I gotta admit, I know it’s only the first day of you not being here but it really isn’t the same without you.


I know I can’t blame you for leaving early but I’m really upset that you weren’t able to leave on a high note.


I only wish we were able to at least handshake or at least be able to say a proper goodbye.
But now the only last memory I’ll have with you is you patting my back and saying that our class was unteachable.


I can’t blame you, because I understand what you mean if I put myself in your shoes.


I don’t know if you noticed but I did kind of observe the class from the back of the room and I noticed the constant frustrations leading up to this day. I can’t say it was unexpected.


The thing that really pisses me off though is how disrespectful people can be. We were all called down to the library where the Principal told us about your early retirement, and many students out of arrogance began to joyously yell they knew it and wanted it to happen.


I know you can’t make them LIKE you but they at least could have respected you for your credentials.


Honestly, I should have said this last week when I had a feeling it was the last time I would be your student, but I want to express my sincere gratitude towards you for being a great teacher and great role model.


One thing you said that I keep close to my heart is that you can’t try, you can only DO. I really keep that in my heart and you’ve left a great impact on me.


So, I guess that’s it… on behalf of the people who I know will miss you, we feel a great loss in the staff and thank you for your years of teaching. We wish you best of luck in your future endeavors.


Hope to see you again sometime soon. Bye.
Make a better move. Show him your respect, because there is no point in showing each other how much you respected him.

-That's the TFAT.

Goodbye, TFAT


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