Cappadocia     Unprofessional?                                                                                                                        The Blob,  Vol. 3, Issue 6, June 2008
Monday June 2nd, 2008
So I completed my travels in Turkey at Cappadocia. The area was orginally settled by the Hittites about 6,000 year ago. They built their homes in the rock and they also built a two story city underground. The rock formations are unique to this area because of the location of two or three volcanoes surrounding it.
2,000 years ago the Cappadocian Christians lived here and they expanded the underground city to 8 stories below the ground. It was built to protect them from persecution by the Romans. They also
built a lot of churches into the rocks. There's a whole big canyon just filled with churches everywhere. You can see some of the artwork in the lower, left. They also built a church on the eighth story of the underground city in the shape of a cross which you can see a bit of in the lower, left.
I also found the UFO museum as you can see in the upper left. Unfortunately is was closed when I went by, but I did manage to catch ET. ;)
One of the popular things to do in Cappadocia is the balloon ride. Having already gone paragliding I didn't feel a huge pull to go up in the balloon, but
there really is some beautiful landscape to view from the sky in Cappadocia - it's so unique.
I joined a tour group for one day and I met a girl living in the US who'd graduated from the high school I'm teaching at here. You can see her in the upper right. She was dating an American fellow who was carrying around a tutorial book for Final Cut (video editing software for the Mac). As you can imagine, we got along quite well on the trip. He's actually doing free lance video editing which I thought was quite cool. I was in awe of his courage to get out there and do his own thing. He said that
his dad had done the same thing so it really wasn't that hard for him. One day hopefully I'll find my own thing to do as well.
There's also a famous stew dish served in the area which is cooked in a clay pot. Once it's cooked, you actually break the clay pot to get the food out.
Over on the left is the hostel where I stayed. I had the option of staying in a ferry chimney, but this room came with an onsuite bathroom which I preferred.
Nineteen more days and I'll be flying home! Yay! I'm soooo excited to see everyone and to just be in my own culture.


Thursday June 5nd, 2008
Ok, so a teacher told me yesterday while walking away after lunch that I better not wear my Spider-man mask while proctoring exams this week. I was surprised at the statement and didn't know where it was coming from so I asked for clarification. Apparently the teachers in that department somehow found out that I wore my Spider-man mask while proctoring an exam once last year and they were angry with me for doing it because they thought it was unprofessional. Sooo, I decided to ask this teacher what they thought. They said, 'Well, I think you're showing that you disagree with the dress code system' and then I was really disapointed with my whole two years at this school because then I realized that probably no one in the school really gets me (I had thought that this teacher and some others actually understood me). Another friend in this department also sent me an e-mail earlier this year about a trustee's picture on the Catholic School Board's website in Toronto. This person had posted a picture of himself wearing something Spider-manish and the parents were up in arms about this fellow. I had no idea why this person had sent me this e-mail, but now I understand. Here's the link to the article.
There are a few things about this situation which bother me. The first is that no one had the courage to tell me what other people were saying about me. The second is how easily we judge each other thinking that we know everything and this is a clear example of where no one talking about me knew anything about the situation - none of them even saw me perform this alleged act of unprofessionalism.
So maybe you're asking why I did wear the mask?
As soon as I put the mask on, the entire section laughed. Every time a student looked up to the whiteboard to see how much time they had left in their exam, they either laughed or smiled when they saw me. What do you think that did to their grade on the exam? These students are so stressed out with the exam formalities and worrying about grades, what do you think laughter and smiles are going to do for them? Did the mask cause them to be roudier and disrespectful? Not at all. In fact, they respect me so much more for doing it that I don't have to ask them to be quiet during the exams. The other students immediately tell each other to be quiet as soon as I stand up with the exams in my hand.
So what did I do in this situation to cause discontent? I went outside the system. We have systems everywhere from our friendship systems at the personal level all the way up to the government's systems. Does the school system (and others) exist for the education of the students or does the system exist simply to exist and be followed? If the former, then we must keep the primary goal of the system in mind in every decision (in this case the students' education). If the latter, then I am sad and ready to toss in the towel. Let's also be careful about who we judge because the reality is that the only person we can ever honestly judge is ourselves.