Today marks the first anniversary of Irrelevant Opinions! One year ago, I worried that as my University studies were coming to a close, so too would my University website, where I kept some of my writings and a lot of my rantings. As I intended to go for Hajj shortly afterwards, I also wanted a place to collect my experiences for later reference. Most importantly, I needed a way to revive my passion for writing which had wavered throughout the nearly five years of my Engineering studies.
I've never liked the word "blog"; I still don't believe that the idea is so novel that it warrants it's own word. Before blogs, many people were making personal websites on Geocities or whatever, often writing about their experiences; we just called those "personal websites". With the increasing simplicity of on-line publishing tools, everyone jumped on the blogwagon. Eventually, I reluctantly joined them too, albeit much later. Recognizing the vapid nature of most blogs, I decided to call it Irrelevant Opinions, intended to house everything from stories to essays to software reviews. I had hoped that this would be the #1 site on the internet for people in search of irrelevant opinions. For months, this blog never came up on Google search results for 'Irrelevant Opinions', but now, one year later, it makes the first page.
So in the spirit of tired sitcoms that have run out of ideas, let's take a look back at the highlights of the year - arguably the best year of my life.
November 26th, 2004: I receive my Iron Ring, marking my entrance into the Engineering profession! I graduate a month later, with an excellent job already waiting for me. (I lost my Iron Ring on the first day of Ramadhan last month... still haven't replaced it.)
I could write hundreds of posts about my University experiences. Though I don't miss those days much, I had an amazing time and learned so much - both in the classroom and out. More than anything, I learned a lot about myself in living nearly five years on my own, and I recommend anyone considering studies outside their home town to take that opportunity, just for that reason.
January 2005: My mother and I go for Hajj! It was an amazing experience, with the highlight of the trip coming on the last day of Hajj when massive rainstorms caused major flooding around Makkah and Mina.
I didn't expect to write more here after Hajj, but was surprised to see that blogs had become popular among my family when I came back to Canada in April. So all two of my readers got to read my irrelevance for many more months.
April 15th, 2005: Some reflections on my trip to India, including the advice of some amazing scholars I had a chance to listen to. During April and May, I was also in the middle of a two month vacation, away from everything. I took the opportunity to learn Arabic through the Shariah Program on-line courses. I highly recommend those courses for anyone who cannot dedicate themselves to full-time studies.
On May 30th, 2005, the most recent chapter of my life had begun, with the start of my career in Consulting.
July 9th, 2005: A hilarious incident in the wake of the London bombings. Possibly my best post ever, insofar as it elicited a response from one of the best Muslim writers in Canada, albeit an emoticon.
August 7th, 2005: Probably the most frequently discussed piece of writing I have done, once the metaphor kicks in.
September 12th, 2005: Feeling exasperated with some trite Masjid politics and MSA issues, I let loose in my writing for once. I had lost the ability to do that after years of technical reports and little creative work.
October 22nd, 2005: On October 19th, all my co-workers joined me in fasting for one day of Ramadhan. This was the result.
November 20th, 2005: I ended the year on a high note, with the most unique commenters I've ever had on this site. While still extremely few in comparison to the great blogs out there (and many of the stupid ones too), it's nice to know that I have some readership after a year.
November 25th, 2005: In the absence of new, meaningful content, I strung together a years worth of Irrelevant Opinions in commemoration of the one-year anniversary of this site.