Woke up at 5:21 a.m. to blaring news on radio alarm clock (which says 6:01 but which my gifted math brain figures out to really mean 5:14 – and which it figures out each and every time no matter how many times I play tricks on it by randomly putting the clock ahead by x minutes; the frequent mentioning of the time by the radio news helps too),

hit the snooze button but first put closet light on (makes it harder to fall into deep sleep – try it),

slept fitfully, woke up next at 5:28 a.m., hit the snooze again but first put washroom light on – really, really hard to fall into R.E.M. sleep),

lay with eyes open, pushed the snooze again 4 more times (great morning exercise), (if my dad is reading this I know he’s frowning and saying to my mom see, here’s the proof, I knew she gets no sleep – dad, don’t you have to be working on your khutbah?)

finally woke up at 5:56 from the exhaustion of listening to scraps of news and wondering what is going on in this world,

woke up son, daughter, put tea kettle on, showered, prayed Fajr, changed into super warm clothes (have outdoor recess duty), packed lunches (sandwiches and fruit for kids – nada for me, no time; aw shucks, it’ll have to be my favorite falafel place), checked school bags, made breakfast, at 7:15 took children to my parents for their Islamic classes before school (they attend an interesting Islamic school – that’s why it’s important they have Islamic classes before they go), drove to the school I teach at (public school – which begins really early for some odd reason), stayed in car finishing my morning duas,

went in, checked mailbox, picked up attendance folder, spoke to a supply teacher who works at the Rogers Center during baseball season to see if he can give me tips on best package plans for tickets, adjusted cute schedule cards for day on white board (blackboards are no-nos, instead the new schools in our school board single-handedly support the dry erase marker industry), turned classroom helper wheels (so today, yesterday’s chair stacker is the board cleaner, yay!), rotated literacy center cards (so today, yesterday’s reading group gets to record their visualizations, yay! – the kids do really get this excited. seriously), went over daily plans which sits on top of literally 6 inches of books and papers on my desk (but ask me to find a certain important piece of information and I’ll whip it out from the exact place I remember putting it – definitely method to the madness), greeted first students entering with a smile and … was there with/for them for the rest of the school day – it’s called teaching but it’s every job you can imagine rolled into one:

today, I played nurse (splinter), psychologist (student crossing boundaries with others repeatedly), U.N. peacekeeper (2 students misunderstand each other’s communications to the point of tears, frustration and calls for escalation by allies), engineer (materials and weight suitable for building load-carrying boat), matchmaker (student bought in a tiny rose plant as a gift for me – I saw our old classroom creeper plant, the lonely Yugi, which some of the girls had adorned with hearts on valentine’s day and immediately matched them – the kids voted Rosey as our new plant’s name; nice couple that Yugi and Rosey), talent scout (encouraged students from another class I overheard singing to try out for the talent show – even though they were singing Hilary Duff), coach (jump rope), chess master (grade 2 geniuses are scary), lay-out designer (put up hall display of student work taking into consideration symmetry, balance and content), web expert (parent request for list of literacy based websites) and on and on till I am not me but everything to everyone immediately as they need me to be… but I’m not complaining – it’s just the sort of career for someone who’s interested in too many things…

in between, I find 3 chestnuts in my desk drawer for snack, read a disturbing e-mailed article about a new Canadian government initiative backing an Israeli lobby group, grab a falafel for lunch, pray Dhuhr and Asr in my classroom, book tickets with a colleague for a Red Sox/Jays game in May as a surprise for my son, laugh with colleagues about pregnancy, little mosque, messy desks, safety, etc…

after school, my kids are visiting their dad today so I stay and work on lesson plans for next week and report cards in order to get a free weekend to…get the washing machine fixed and catch up on laundry and ironing, yay! and to check out a new private school for my kids and, well, it will also free up time to meet a good friend for sushi downtown on Saturday (only cooked rolls for me – is that still sushi?) so I work like mad – no dinner, Maghrib in the computer room – until it’s time to pick up the kids from their art classes (imperative classes as art is an after thought at their current school),

along the way, I get a cappuccino (liquid dinner; if my mom is reading this I know she’s frowning and saying to my dad see, here’s the proof, I knew she wasn’t going to come home and cook biryani for herself tonight – mom, don’t you have to be working on…sitting down? ) and hot chocolate for the kids, meet them at their classes and ooh and aah their work (son: sketch of basketball player, daughter: giraffe puppet and Chinese New Year drawing); on drive home, discuss Chinese astrology with my daughter who informs me that she is a snake according to the zodiac but which my son, who is a renaissance man, corrects by pointing out that being born in 2000, she is a dragon,

we discuss the importance of learning about other cultures, religions, traditions and respecting them but not letting them impress upon our hearts if they contradict our beliefs and I’m glad my kids go to these classes outside of Islamic school where they can learn about the world and how to share in it while standing strong with their identities as Muslims,

finally, we get home to our condo. at 8:30 p.m. – past my daughter’s bedtime (but for art, we make exceptions), kids drink hot chocolate, shower, pyjamas, pray Isha, drink milk, brush teeth,

practice words for her Friday spelling test by daughter’s bedside, teach her how to draw stars, by-pass bedtime story but not night duas, she drops to sleep, I’m sure dreaming of dragons drinking hot chocolate,

son finishes left-over homework, pretends to sleep but really reads past his bedtime until I shut off the lights with a kiss,

I make lunches, lay out clothes for next day, prep. breakfast, call my parents, check e-mails, upkeep a website my sister and I launched in December, write this blog entry.

Still to do: pray Isha, finish The Language of Baklava (I’m riveted by it and will read past my bedtime as I’m on the last 2 chapters) and read Qur’an. Tomorrow? TGIF.