Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Heads-up: Ramadan happening

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So I am doing the really cool and super-exciting #clmooc and registered for the Sloan-C Blended Learning conference (#blend14) and of course engaging with #rhizo14 and #edcontexts as usual… But there’s something different on the home front: it’s Ramadan.

Now to the external observer, that just sounds like no big deal: I just eat at weird times (when the sun is down). But it also has other implications. And no, it’s not that I can’t think straight while fasting, I can think quite well, though occasionally I’ll get physically tired on a hot day if I have to take my kid out and run after her a lot (been trying to avoid this so far). It would mean more time awake at weird hours, like early morning, but that’s not strange for me, as anyone who knows me online knows, I almost live on two timezones!

What it does mean, though, is that the social environment around me is different. Last time I attend a virtual conference, I had help from my dad husband and mom to take care of my toddler. This time, when the conf starts around 3pm Cairo time is a few hours before we break our fast. Women are busy making food or people are otherwise resting or worshipping (e.g. Reading Quran). No one wants to take care of my toddler while I attend some elusive online conference! Around 7pm Cairo time (2pm conference time) is the time we break our fast. I could eat while watching but no one else will take care of my toddler while they’re eating. Around 9pm is when my toddler is supposed to sleep. I usually then go back to the conference BUT given the exhaustion of Ramadan I sometimes fall asleep and wake up later around 1am to eat again, etc., by which time the conf would be over for the day, probably.

All I am saying is: don’t expect my usually overzealous conference participation during Ramadan. I could do loads of asynchronous stuff, but the recordings aren’t available until. Days later…

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