Back to School          Visitors                                                                                                                          The Blob,  Vol. 2, Issue 10, October 2007
Saturday September 29th, 2007

Back to School

Yes, school is back in session.  I have some fun classes this year.  One of them has three students!  In grade 9, the computer course is mandatory so I have full classes, but in grades 10, 11 and 12, it's an elective and the Ministry guidelines make it impossible for the students to fit the computer science elective into their course schedule so I can only take students who do the IB program and have decided 100% that they won't go to university in Turkey.  This you can maybe imagine is a difficult
decision for them to make in grade 11 so I am privileged to teach small classes.
Top right is our last day playing ultimate frisbee on our field.  The crane had destroyed half of the field, but we played on it for our last time while they worked.  Diagonal left is a pub some of us like to go to but all of the pubs in this part of town are closed for Ramadan (Muslim month of fasting).  Diagonal right is my favourite cheese salad in Turkey.  On the right and top left is a potluck picnic I went to in a place called Belgrade forest.  It was just like being in a car campgrounds in
Canada so it probably doesn't look like anything special to you, but for anyone living in Istanbul, it is a super breath of fresh air, beauty and peace.  The computer room is where a friend of mine runs his business doing graphics and what not for some big named companies.  I thought it was pretty cool to see the room where some of these big companies have their graphics work done.
I'm looking forward to teaching the first year of the IB curriculum this year (last year I taught the second year of the curriculum) with my class of three students.  I'm also excited to get to know some of the newbies at the school this year.  Most of the teachers in the group that was hired with me were both new teachers and first timers living in
 amazed at the caliber of teachers the school seems to find. 
On another note, I've decided that I'm done with dating Turkish women.  While they are very attractive, I've found that there exists quite a cultural gap for me.  Everything seems nice and normal when things stay surfacy and politely social, but going deeper there exists a very different mindset in this country in regards to relationships and friendships.  The best way I can describe it is that dating a Turkish girl is like dating a teenager in my own culture.  For them it is normal and that's their way, but the best word I can use for it is insane!
Oh yes, what's up with the $US?  It traded one to one with the Canadian dollar this week!  Amazing!!!
another country.  The newbies this year have a lot of overseas living and teaching experience and I
think they add a lot to the school.  I'm quite

Top

Monday October 15th, 2007

Visitors

So I had my first family visitors last week - Auntie Beep and Uncle Jim!  It was so good!  This is the longest I've ever been away from Canada and it was like they brought me a piece of home.
We had a lot of fun touring around the city.  I think I've become an expert haggler at the Grand Bazaar even though I've only ever been there twice.  It must run in the family because Auntie Beep was a natural.  They all seem to use the same tactics and they all seem to ask about three times what their wares are worth.  Not that I enjoy haggling, but it's
nice to feel like I know what I'm doing in there.
Top right you can see my new bag courtesy of Auntie Beep.  I got a compliment on it on the ferry ride to the islands.  I also got three boxes of Canadian oreo cookies (they taste different in every country).  One box is already gone - they were soooooooo good!!!
Diagonally up left is a pic after we biked up a really steep hill to the top of Buyukada (one of the islands near Istanbul).  Bottom left it the rental guy.  He had the best rental bikes I've ever seen.  I actually feel bad for wearing down the breaks going down the hill.  He did a really good job of taking care of his
bikes.
The other two pics on the boat are from the school excursion trip to the islands.  After a fun little mix up of dropping off half of the school at the wrong ferry stop, we managed to make it to the islands and have a nice day.  I really do enjoy the school excursion trips with the students. 
I feel like I've found a nice social groove this year.  It's really nice having friends who live off campus so that I can get away when I need to while also enjoying the convenience of living close to the school.  Happy October everyone!  Sunshine to all!

Top