On Sunday, I got an email from Angela saying that due to the fact that this week is the final week of Ramadan, the PASS program wouldn’t be happening this week. In the final week of Ramadan, Muslims observe all-night prayers and must prepare for Eid, the final day of Ramadan and one of the most important holidays in the Islamic world. So Abdi decided it would be best not to have the program run for the week.
I certainly understand this (and to be honest, a week off isn’t so bad), but it was a little frustrating to get the news at the last minute. Again, I think this shows the difficulty in starting up any sort of structured learning program. It seems straightforward to help students academically; just set up a time and a meeting place and have some curriculum, and you’ve got a sort of summer school. In reality, though, it takes a whole lot of planning and foresight. As I’ve said before, the boys who participate in PASS are awesome, and I love working with them, but the disorganized nature of the tutoring sessions has been a source of frustration for me.
I’m trying to figure out what I personally can do to improve the program for the remainder of my time there. Part of the problem is that I really only have one more week left, since this week was cancelled. I have to spend the following week preparing for the upcoming year of publishing The Beacon (the student paper I work for), and then classes start. I want to provide structure and resources for the Somali community to get the help they need, but I’m not sure exactly how I’m supposed to do that at this point.