I still haven’t started teaching yet (Monday!!) and I’m still not finished with all the required paperwork / steps needed to be completed in order to get paid. I’m waiting on a thing called a “kimlik” number, which will allow me to get a health report, a police background check, and open a bank account. And get internet, apparently, as I tried yesterday to set up wifi and the first thing the man asked for was this number. It’s basically like a social security number in the States. I SHOULD have this number tomorrow… SHOULD. This is Turkey. “This is Turkey” has become the response to pretty much anything odd or frustrating.
I don’t have too much to report. Although we technically began last week, it’s only been preliminary testing and orientation stuff… This university is unlike anything I’ve ever known, and I’m not sure how I’ll feel about this year. For example, everything is super super super standardized. As in, every teacher “teaches” the same material, from the same pages in the book, on the same day. All tests are already made up (scan-tron), and the teachers don’t even get to see them. Each class is 45 min long, and we “teach” 20 classes a week. However, it isn’t 4 classes a day; I’m “teaching” two on Mondays, and six on Fridays (grossssss). Teaching is in quotations because… brace yourselves, teacher friends… we teach from the book, to the test. Like, word for word from the book. IF we want to use our own material, we must get permission. And then everyone has to use it. So, while this makes “lesson planning” super easy… I don’t know how long I’ll be able to last before I turn into a robot. We begin next week, but have yet to receive our books / curriculum… Normally I would feel extremely stressed, but as they haven’t even given us anything to be stressed about… I’m really not too worried.
Aside from this crazy stuff, I’m enjoying Ankara. I haven’t done any touristy stuff yet, BUT I did take the city bus home all by myself the other day. Baby steps!
Oh, and I went camping last weekend! Two of my coworkers (one Turk, one Miami-an) and their friends were going and invited me along. Alaskan girl got her camping in maybe one last time before winter! WOOHOO! It was quite fun; however, Alaskan camping and Turkish camping are completely different things. For example, when we would go camping for a night in Fairbanks, we packed snacks, beer, water, a tent, and warm clothes. Bing, bang, boom. Oh and a lighter, firewood, and s’more stuff. I met my Turkish co-worker in Kizilay to get supplies, and he went all out. Not only did he get the “normal” camping foods, but also: a watermelon, peaches, chicken, meatballs, all different kinds of nuts, juice, bread, cheese… I can’t even remember what else. And the plan was to leave Saturday afternoon, and get back Sunday afternoon. ONE NIGHT, 45 minutes outside of Ankara, and he was preparing for a month lol. But it wasn’t just him; the other Turks that joined us brought full spreads as well. I introduced the Turks to “s’mores” and they became addicted. If there’s anything America can do correctly, it’s sugary, fatty desserts and junk food. Except they weren’t really s’mores, since we couldn’t find graham crackers or marshmallows. So instead we used coconut-covered marshmallow cookies, and different types of Milka bars (!!!!!). Still ridiculously sugary, and it did the trick, but definitely not the classic s’more experience.
I promised pictures of my apartment (I won’t label all of them, I hope you can figure out what is what. Sorry about the quality of some of them, the lighting isn’t great inside), and I suppose I’ll throw in some camping ones as well. Enjoy!
|The outside of my building|
|I don’t have an oven, but how many
of you have a stove on top of
your washer?? HUH? HUH?
|The Mosque (Camii) right outside my window|
|My view! Ain’t too shabby…|
|There are quite a few random, out of service
Ferris Wheels in the Ankara country-side…
|Representing CrossFit Fairbanks! (dumb sun makes it
hard to see)
|Kat’s puppy! She loved the gross water.|