This.. is… TURKEY!!

I realized today that I haven’t updated since I started teaching.  Goodness gracious! Oha! Allah Allah! Like all my weeks in Turkey so far, these past 3 have been nutso. I believe things will start to slow down a tad, but I don’t think I’ll ever fully settle in.  Every time I think I’m “officially” settled, the universe says, “SIKE! Rewind!”

But I’m surviving, so I think I’ll be okay.

Last week, we were talking about countable and uncountable nouns, including foods. In one class, my students were having trouble pronouncing “vegetables,” so we repeated it about 50 times. They were saying “vega-tab-les.” Once they mastered the pronunciation, I wrote “veggies” on the board… Well, many Turks have trouble pronouncing the hard “v” sound, and sometimes the v’s turn into w’s. So the entire class shouted, “WEDGIEEES!” I about lost my mind. I was crying. My sides were aching. The class was also laughing, but because it sounded funny to them. And of course I had to explain… I can’t have them going to America and ordering a side of wedgies with their steak. No way, not under my watch.

Most of my lessons go something like that. 😉 

I teach 20 hours a week, and have four different classes. I can’t choose a favorite; all my students are wonderful (North Pole, you guys are a different kind of wonderful 🙂 ). Each class has 17-21 students, mostly males. I only have 3-4 females per class, but since this is an engineering / aeronautical / technical university, I think those are pretty high numbers. You go girls! They also are not all Turkish. I have students from Thailand, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Syria, and Egypt. The diversity is fantastic. Although some of my students drive me insane, and some need the occasional time-out (these are university students…), overall, they are great. They not only make me laugh every day and forget about the school-related bullshit, but they make me think about English in ways I normally wouldn’t. One of my Pakistani students is constantly asking me why I pronounce words certain ways, or what certain phrases mean, or why we say one thing and not the other, because he wants to “speak just like an American.” Another student watches films with English dialogue and Turkish subtitles (or vice versa) and always has a new word or phrase he wants explained. The last two he asked about were “ain’t” and “prepare thyself.”  

Also, they try to teach me Turkish. Which makes them giggle like school girls. And half the time they just ask me to say a word without telling me what it means. Psh. I’m not falling for that! I know they are just trying to get me to say naughty words (I don’t really know that, but that’s totally what I would do).  I have one student whose name is difficult for me to pronounce, but on Friday I finally got it and the whole class erupted with applause. They were so proud. 

I have an office finally, and a school computer. My office is a tad cramped… four of us in a teeny room, but it’s cozy and my office-mates are sweet and friendly. The only downside is that it’s on the opposite side of where the classrooms are located, and on a different floor. I really want to bring some roller blades for those long hallways. 

So overall, classes are going great, my office is great, I got paid on time (and it was the full amount! yeehaw!), but, nothing in life will be completely perfect, and nothing in Turkey will completely make sense. I’m learning to “go with the flow” and “think like a Turk.” Who is to say whether these are positives or negatives, but I am definitely learning not to stress as much as I used to, and even on super busy days I just “go” with it. 

Because this is Turkey. 🙂 

OH PS! I also went to a Turkish wedding! It was pretty neat, although it wasn’t a super traditional one. This is what went down: The Bride and Groom walked out (we were all outside, at different tables, and were given appetizers to eat while we waited for it to start), they sat down at a head table, the officiant asked if they were sure they wanted to get married, they said yes, they kissed, and then we ate and danced the rest of the night. It was awesome. And Turkish dancing is my kind of dancing. Dancing Santa Clause / Inflatable car man moves.

Randos from the neighborhood! 

A grocery store was built under this Camii. As in,
the Mosque was there first… why not?
This stuff is awful. It tastes like black
licorice. I can’t. 
First day of school for this munchkin!
You can’t tell, but that Iron Man was
covered in sparkles.
At a restaurant. The caption is something
like, “the American economy is causing
70-year-olds to do anything for
money” lols.
From one of my office-mates 🙂
I don’t know. 
Can’t explain this one either. 
Morning pigeons. 
The party favors are also coasters! 
They got married on a full moon… Just like Alex and I 🙂
The most extravagant cake I’ve ever seen. Those are
sparklers on top. 
A toast! 

One more thing! Allie-Bird is doing great! (No one else is allowed to call him that. In fact, he hates when I say it. But I’m typing it. …I love you!)

Him and THE Queen. heehee. 
He gets to see all these cutie camels! 
They’ve got nothing on moose, but still cute. 


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