Poetry On Odyssey: You Will Know You Are Falling In Love When...

Poetry On Odyssey: You Will Know You Are Falling In Love When...

Sometime during the night, a rush of nerves jolt you awake to a treasured sight.
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I wrote this Islamic poem for my best friend's wedding last year. It's from the perspective of a newlywed couple falling in love through their prayers to Allah (swt) for a blessed marriage. All Islamic terms you may find unfamiliar are linked so readers can grasp the definition behind the word and its meaning in the poem instantly! Hope you enjoy and share with your loved ones.


You will know you are falling in love

when sometime during the night,

a rush of nerves jolt you awake to a treasured sight:

your husband's hands raised in dua

and your name spills from his lips

in a plea, "Oh, Allah, let there be barakah in this marriage."

And quite suddenly, a radiant spark will flare in your chest,

brightening the sky like a sunrise,

beaming rays through the prism of fleeting clouds,

burnishing a future so golden, even romantics fail to surmise

the gentle gesture with which he fastens a gift of jewels around your neck.

Your heart constricts with such gratitude

that ricochets in his glistening eyes

from which tears tumble down amid hard times.

You will find the strength to cradle his broken heart,

laid bare to dry under adoring sight.

Though your breath will catch amid fervent prayers

when thunderous storms sprawl across blackening skies,

hailing mercy from our maker: Al-Gafur, Al-Bari, Al-Muhyi.

When the pulse of life in your belly soon marks the birth of a new family,

a jubilant nest of children springing forth towards their destiny

till only an ache in your heart is left to linger

is when he will clasp your hand and count blessings on your fingers.

And quite suddenly, the flame in your chest is doused,

permeating the sky like a sunset,

prolonging light cast upon mourning grounds,

procuring an eternal life so blessed, even skeptics fail to reject

the twinkle of noor that awakes you to a treasured sight:

your husband's hands raised in dua,

and your name spills from his lips,

that is when you will know you have fallen in love.


Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. All resemblance to actual people, places, incidents, or things is completely coincidental.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Not My Michigan

A Michigan student-athlete turned Registered Nurse on the Michigan Medicine contract negotiations in 2018.

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It's May 1st, 2016. I'm bright-eyed, eager, and graduating from the University of Michigan as a Nursing Student and Student-Athlete.

I am ready to take on the world the way that Michigan taught me how: fearlessly, compassionately, and wholeheartedly. I bleed blue. I know what it means to be a Wolverine and to represent the Michigan Difference in everything I do. I wear the block M on my School of Nursing scrubs and my Michigan Dance Team uniform well aware that it represents goodness, tradition, and excellence. I am determined. I am inspired. I am ready.

It's Monday, September 17th, 2018. What does Michigan mean to me now? I used to be so sure. Now, I simply don't know. So, what's the deal? How did my view on an institution become so indifferent in recent months?

I chose U of M to start my nursing career because it had the widely known reputation of putting its patients first, respecting its nurses, and providing the best care to patients in the state (5th in the country, to be exact). In my first year, as I was clumsily learning how to push patient stretchers, titrate intravenous vasopressors, and to communicate with the medical team, I proudly participated in our hospital's effort to achieve Magnet status.

When Nursing earned Magnet Status, an award given by the American Nurses' Credentialing Center and indicator of the strength and quality of Nursing at Michigan, I felt that same pride as I did in May of 2016.

I knew in my heart that I picked the best institution to develop my nursing practice and to give high quality, patient-centered care to anyone who walked, rolled, or was carried through the doors of Adult Emergency Services. The hospital's goals were aligned with mine and those around me. We put patients first, and more specifically, we put patients over profits.

I am lucky enough to work at a hospital that has been unionized for more than four decades. When I started working, the concept of a union was foreign to me. For those who may need a refresher, unions promote and protect the interests of all employees. They collectively bargain with employers to secure written agreements for employees regarding pay, benefits, and working conditions.

Collective bargaining agreements are legally enforceable contracts holding employers and employees to mutually agreed-to workplace rules and process to provide a fair and just workplace. The University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council, an affiliate of the Michigan Nurses Association, has been working diligently since January to bargain with the University of Michigan to protect me, the 5,700 nurses who work within the institution, and our patients. I'd like to think they're the good guys in this story.

Here's where things get sticky: David Spahlinger, president of our prestigious U of M health system, has publicly stated that Michigan is "committed to maintaining current staffing levels," but will not make this commitment in writing. Common sense is reflected in the most high-quality research on the topic of nurse-patient ratios and its direct effect on patient care.

Appropriate staffing allows me and my coworkers to give the quality of care that I know we have the ability to provide. High staffing levels are associated with reduced mortality, falls, medication errors, ulcers, restraint use and infections. Unregulated staffing is a significant barrier to nurses' abilities to provide optimal patient care and prevents Nursing at Michigan from providing what we know to be the Michigan Difference in healthcare.

UMPNC held voting on a work stoppage for unfair labor practices last week. Out of 4,000 votes cast by nurses at the U, 94% authorized a work stoppage in protest of the University's unfair labor practices. No date is set, but our elected nurse bargaining team now has the authority to call for action.

Thank you to Katie Oppenheim, who chairs our union, for reiterating in an article to the Detroit Free Press that a work stoppage is not our goal. "Our goal is a fair agreement which respects nurses and guarantees safe staffing. The university can remedy this situation immediately by stopping their unfair labor practices and bargaining in good faith."

I am proud to be a nurse and I hope that our efforts to keep Michigan a patients-over-profits institution are recognized at the community, state, and national level. Anne McGinity, David Spahlinger, and those who have the power to make Michigan the magical place I once thought it was, make like Nike and just do it. For the love of patients, nurses, and our great University. I know we are better than this.

(Stay Tuned, folks).

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Getting Healthy Is Way More Than Just Losing That Extra Weight

Creating healthy habits.

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So many of us have the idea in our head that being healthy is about reaching a "goal weight" and staying there. Understandable. However, it's much more complex than just shedding the weight. Health is not black and white. It looks different for everyone and has multiple dimensions. A big thing to consider when trying to get healthy again is to ask yourself why you're doing it. What are your goals? What is driving you to make this life change? How can you improve not only your physical health, but also your mental and social health?

These are all factors to put into perspective in order to get the most out of a new lifestyle change.

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Starting this new chapter of college has made it clear to me how I want to feel in going about my day-to-day life. I want to make sure that I feel healthy and happy going into these next few years of my life. It's very important, to me, to engage in a healthy lifestyle to maximize my potential going into the future. The same is true for many people. You want to make the change, but don't understand that the weight isn't the only factor of health. Don't get me wrong, it is great to get back to a weight that you are comfortable with. Getting to that place requires a lot of hard work and determination. Try not to neglect the areas of your life that don't have a tie to your body image. It's equally as important to maintain healthy relationships, healthy values, healthy thoughts, and healthy boundaries.

It's not an easy thing to do, to be healthy in all areas of your life. As a matter of fact, I don't feel like that's really possible to ensure health in every single part of your life. Try not to make perfection a goal. It's not something that you'll ever reach. If you're striving for perfection, you've already lost the battle. Instead, try to strive for progress and positivity. Most importantly, love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle.

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