The Ladder of Success

Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.

Why was the Fatimid Empire so important? Did al-Khwarizmi really invent Algebra? Who were the Zoroastrians? Each week, the walls of Room #2 witnessed my chubby face transform into a tomato as my religious education teacher answered each of my squirrely questions without hesitation. I was impressed by her wealth of knowledge about Islam. After class one day, I nervously crept up to my teacher in an attempt to debunk her secret to knowing what seemed like everything. She revealed that, although she had gone through fourteen years of religious education classes, she did not know everything; she was still learning.

Fascinated by her ability to learn and teach concurrently, I began to envision myself as a teacher and a student. Twelve years later, my vision became a reality; Room #2 became my classroom once again and I became a religious education teacher for first graders. My students now ask me the same questions I used to ask my teachers when I was younger: Why was the Ottoman Empire so important? Did Ibn al-Haytham really invent the camera? Who are the Twelver Shias?

I find pride in learning from my teachers on Saturdays and teaching my students on Tuesdays. Just as al-Khwarizmi and Ibn al-Haytham shared their intellects to...

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