Teaching, Touristing, and Tying the Knot

Somewhere along the way this became something of a travelogue but I swear I’ve still been working. It’s time for a teaching/general life update.

At the ministry, my intermediate class continued to be the best parts of the week. After the third week, they switched books to focus more on preparing for their IELTS exam, and I got more freedom to do outside activities with them. We held debates, argued for a space on a sole surviving life boat, created new cities, and interrogated suspected tea thieves. In my lower level class, most of the students became more engaged in my lessons (two of the fourteen stared at the floor all class but at least they had the manners to ignore me in silence).

This past week, week 9, Karlene and I switched classes. I found out about this move on the Tuesday of week 8 from students who came to tutoring, since the people running the program ‘thought I had been told.’ I was pretty bummed about the move and it felt like an unnecessary halt in momentum. With only five weeks left, I wasn’t sure how much time (or motivation) I’d have to form an effective relationship with my new students.

Both of my new classes are working out of the same book, but they are at very different levels. The higher level class is lovely and everyone is very motivated. They won’t ever replace my chickadees, but I’ve enjoyed lessons with them so far. The other class is of a lower level but some of them think they know everything. I saw them on Thursday afternoon and I was shocked at how disrespectful they were. They certainly weren’t angels on Monday and Tuesday, but this time they were flat out ignoring at me and giggling like children when I got upset with them. None of the other three classes have ever behaved like they were and I know for a fact they don’t act like that when their Turkish teachers are leading class. I hope they got whatever their problem was out of their system because I don’t want to spend my last four weeks feeling angry and having to yell at adults.

On Thursday evening, I went to see How to Be Single with the other remaining Ankara girls. In Turkey, you pick your seats when you buy your tickets. There’s an intermission in the middle of it, right in the middle of a scene, so people can have a smoke break. The screen went off and the lights went on for a few minutes, and then there were a bunch of commercials for resorts that didn’t give their locations, and then the movie came back on.

I played tourist in Ulus on Friday. I walked through Genclik Park when I got off the metro and then I dropped my bag off in my office at ASBU. I went to Hacibayram Mosque and the Temple of Augustus right behind the school, and then walked back down through the square and visited some of the museums in the area. I got in free with my museum card to one and the other waived the 3 lira fee because I’m a teacher. Touristing done, I walked to Ankamall and did some shopping, and then I headed back home.

Yesterday, one of my coworkers got married. She had a more modern wedding, so a lot of the fun traditional customs didn’t happen. For the ceremony, there was a slide show to an Ellie Goulding song that did not edit out the swears, and then the couple walked in together and up to the stage, where they sat at a table facing the audience. The officiant sat at one end of the table and three witnesses sat at the other. The officiant talked for a minute and then asked the groom and then bride if they wanted to marry each other. They signed the contract and then everyone clapped. There was a receiving line in the lobby and then most people left.

Our coworker who had driven us to the wedding had said there would be dinner and a party after the ceremony. While this was not incorrect, we thought ‘after’ meant immediately after and not at 8 pm (Everything was done at 4:30). The plan was to go to another coworker’s house until the dinner and then have the party until god knows when. I don’t like not being able to control when I go home on any day, but even Karlene wasn’t down for this particular plan. A different coworker drove us to the bus stop and we headed home. I made scallion pancakes for dinner.

Hey guess what? It’s May 15! Aka 8 1/2 months down, 1 month to go day. Whaaattttt


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