Saturday, September 4, 2010

Back in the BIG I, T

Well, here I am again, and sitting here today with me is the Macbook, lesson plan book, other teacher paperwork- some of you would know what I mean when I say that that paperwork is self-made accommodation and modification forms for each of my 26 students.

I also am sitting across from a bowl of plums that the pazar salesman piled quickly into my plastic bag Friday night so that he might close down shop and eat and not just smell and sell food all day. Ramazan (Ramadan is how you all know it) is coming to its close next week, but last night the end of the daily fasting period was drawing to a close and the deals we were blessed by include: a combination of 8 different fruits and vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, plums, carrots, grapes, potatoes and red peppers) for between 1 tL (Turkish Lira) and 1.5 t and each bag weighed about 2 pounds. In America, that would be 16 pounds of this medley of future nourishment at about 66 cents-$1.00 per pound. So the most we paid was--- yes, that's too easy.. $16.00. Hmm? wonder who is going to whip out a calculator to figure the least amount we paid.... I am. I am tired today and mental math is not so much my constant companion when I am tired as it is when I am awake. The least we paid was $10.56. Yes, pazar produce purchases are economically a blessing. Also, a blessing, thus far of the bills I have paid online with the 200 tL I put in last May for my return paid themselves practically. The account accrued 16 tL and the bills totaled 21 tL- summer and a vacant apartment for most of August- what a gift to be so blessed. The King does take care of His children!!

Family and Friends, please let me take, just another few moments of your time. An introduction must be made for the sake of future posts and truly more for the sake of honoring the blessed gift who is my new roommate. Ann Stringer is just younger than my Mom, full of life and 10 years of teaching experience in China (9 years) and Korea (1 year). She is spunky, kind, motherly in the kindest and fun-loving ways when she needs to be... we get along very well. That's all too short of description.. she is much more than just a few sentences can convey.

That's all for now...

Blessings and Love from the Big I, T


Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Walk through History...

Today I went on a walking tour. We walked for just about 3 and 1/2 hours. All together it took a bus, train, tram, and ferry to get to our destination and a tram, ferry and bus to get home. It should also be noted that the weather was cool with slight breeze and a dampness in the air as it sprinkled sporadically through hours 1 and 2 and then decided to come down a bit harder the last hour and even wearing a jacket with a hood.. I was still quiet wet when I arrived back home.
It was great fun to see more sights in Istanbul. The number of participants was perfect... just the right size and a fun group of people too. One of my students and his father came and the student spent much of the time talking to me. He was most comical when we needed to form a line to climb up or down stairs (Istanbul has a lot of stairs...always steep, narrow at times, and sometimes very small). I will post one day about stairs... it will amaze you to know the different kinds and how often one encounters them. One final note: I was most impressed with the beautiful roses (color, scent, how they grow on the bush) and the history of the Byzantine walls- sea and wall.. 1,000 years these walls protected the one to two million people of Constantinople. Wow!
Now back to my story. My student would tell me that he had to allow me to go ahead of him on the stairs because I was both a lady and an elder... this was funny to me because I do not find myself old. In all honesty, I remember feeling older when I was younger than I do know that I am getting older.. 33 to be exact. This dear young man kept me so chatted at that even when I was on my way home (he left 5 stops ahead of mine on the tram) I continued to hear an occasional- "Miss Adams." This is because with every sentence he would first say, "Miss Adams."
In summary, the tour was just amazing and the rains and near constant chatter of a student could not put a damper on my journey. I loved every second of it!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Turkish Resident: Yes, that would me!!!

Yes.. it's official for the next year I am an official resident of Turkey. Really grateful to Murat Bey for helping get everything in order as he is pro at this and this is his job at my school. Thanks to Anne and Hank V. who took me back to the Emniyet to pick up official ikamet- resident permit. Not too much more to post about this- except for PTL!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Just a little story...

"Good to see you today," I greeted one of my students as he walked through the door huffing and puffing as he always runs (more or less) from his first floor classroom to my sixth floor classroom.
"Time to take your open-book quiz," I say a few seconds after he takes his seat.
"Can I go to the bathroom first, I am pooped..."?
"Oh no," I say as I always do because I remind him each day he comes to take his time and not rush up those stairs and again his eagerness to get to my classroom has gotten the best of him.
This dear little one assumed that I thought that his "I am pooped" meant well.. you get my point...
because he quickly replied to my "Oh no" with an emphatic, "I AM NOT THAT KIND OF POOPED!!!!"
Quickly, before I could permit myself any room to giggle, I said, "I understand... you are worn out, now please go use the restroom and when you get back your quiz will be waiting for you."
As he walked out the door, I could not help but let a smile make it's way across my face :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Birthday Brunch, Blossoms, Big Snail, Bosphorus and Beautiful Music

This B-day will not be one I will soon forget. I awoke to a phone call from my beloved. He stayed on the phone with me until it was time to leave for brunch with Anne. Anne and spent the first part of our morning eating brunch. Food was everywhere- fruits, nuts, grains, breads, eggs, sausages, potatoes, vegetables, sweet dishes in abundance. Tea, water, coffee or orange juice to quench your thirst was also provided. The setting was most stunning as spring blossoms surrounded the perimeter in brilliant color- tulip bulbs of red, yellow, pale pink, purple, golden orange, yellow with red veins, brighter pink as well as pansies, posies and a few multi-colored flowers that are of an unknown (to me) name. The pine tree boughs swayed in the breeze gently and the whole park was surrounded by views of the stunning (I never get tired of looking at it) Bosphorus. On our way to catch a bus to catch a taxi (taksi) we came across quite a BIG snail.

The day wore on and I took a short nap before heading out for an evening of Turkish praise and worship, an Easter message in Turkish and a beautifully boisterous German Gospel concert. Anne knowing the choir leaders took me backstage where she asked them to sing Happy Birthday to me. We then all went to break bread together and enjoyed good food, fun, and fellowship : ) Got home so very late, but Mom and Kairos Easter Dinner Friends, found time to call me from Allyson's and I was so glad to see and chat for a few precious minutes on Skype with a few of them and say hi to all of them briefly.

What a great day it was and l am still basking in the glow of how blessed I was this 33rd birthday celebration that I shared with the Family of God as we celebrated the truth that Christ the Lord is Risen and He Lives Forevermore!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring? Testing and Grateful Sentiments

It is nearly Spring Break! The temps are still in the 40's and I still see my breath as frosty puffs each morning as I get off the servis (teacher school bus) and again at night as I walk outside with friends. The nice thing though about the weather is that I have seen some stores carrying more flowers than they had been and if I really wanted to I could buy a potted tulip or two.

On a more educational note:
I have almost all my students tested and have scheduled their classes with me. They are quite funny at the end of a test or a testing session... they all say, "Thank you."
Never in all my years testing students at home did students say "thank you" for any test I ever gave them... I did hear them say "thank you" when I would reschedule a test... lol!

Well, my friends, there still remains some teacher tasks to do tonight... I better do some of them or I will not have any free time tomorrow.

Enjoy your first day of Spring and I will fill you in on how Spring came to Istanbul sometime tomorrow night or early next week! Please be sure to let me know how Spring came to you!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pi Day

Today is March 14th also known as Pi Day to those of us who (or have taught) teach math. If you will recall from math Pi is about 3.14... March 14th numerically at least where I come from is 3/14. However, nowadays, I right my dates the "European" way... 14/3/10. I say its the European way because that's what friends around here refer to this dating system as... back in February I was still dating the "American" way for my first 2 weeks or so, but at others I was European dating things. Now, I am always writing the European way. Which makes me wonder how I will be dating my checks when I get home after so much familiarity with the European way. Random thoughts I realize... but not too much has gone on here as of late. Testing students and teaching students are my norm.
Tomorrow I will do my first elementary staff inservice. All about modifying curriculum for students and especially how to do this in Elective Courses. I will also be explaining the link between learning struggles and behavior and how to address the behaviors appropriately. Should be interesting to hear what comes out of this inservice as I am not a 'talk at' you type of teacher... I am more like a talk with you kind of teacher... so it will be very much an open exchange of thoughts, questions and the like.
Gotta run... my timer just went off... think my lunch is done :)
Happy Pi Day!