| Monday June 2nd,
|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,
||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
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
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
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.