My Last Trip in Turkey: the Southeast and Trabzon

It’s hard to believe, but my time in Turkey is very quickly coming to an end. On Monday I’ll fly up to Istanbul to spend a few days there before I head back to the US early Thursday morning. Since I’ve finished teaching for the year, I’ve had a little bit of time to travel to places that are more out of the way for me. I’d been wanting to see more of southeastern Turkey since my quick weekend trip to Hatay and Gaziantep, so I thought this would be the perfect time to go, despite the heat.  Continue reading My Last Trip in Turkey: the Southeast and Trabzon

Spring Travel Updates!

Well I guess I haven’t updated this in quite some time! Over the last couple months I’ve been traveling all over Turkey just about every weekend. It has been a lot of fun, although also really exhausting. Some of the cities I have visited are: Didim, Davraz, Laodikya, Eskişehir, Bodrum, Konya, Kapadokya, Hatay, Gaziantep, Çanakkale, Troy, Bursa, and Efes (Ephesus). I think it’d be hard to write about each trip, so instead I’ll just write a little about some of my favorite places.  Continue reading Spring Travel Updates!

My Favorite Classroom Activities for Teaching English

Since I am only teaching conversation classes at Pamukkale, I have the freedom to try creative activities in the classroom, which is sometimes great to be able to try new things, but it can also be challenging when you’re unsure of how well something will actually work. With each lesson, my goals are to 1) make class fun for the students and for myself, 2) create opportunities for students to practice speaking, and 3) make students feel comfortable speaking in front of the class. It’s challenging to meet all three goals with each lesson, mostly because with so many students in each class (generally around 20) and with only 45 minutes, it’s not realistic to expect that everyone will have a chance to speak at length. I often find that the activities that are the most fun don’t give the class much of a chance to speak, or that the activities that require more speaking aren’t as fun. But, I try my best, and at the very least the class can listen to me talk (I sometimes hear them repeating phrases that I’ve just said when it’s something they haven’t heard before). To give an idea of some of the activities that I’ve used, here are a few of my favorites that have worked really well: Continue reading My Favorite Classroom Activities for Teaching English

A Typical Day Teaching in Denizli

I’ve probably already told most people what my life teaching English in Denizli is like, but I thought I’d give a quick summary anyway.

The university I work at is Pamukkale University, just a short walk from where I live. The campus has a nice background, located at the foothills of the mountains.

Yabancı Diller Yüksekokulu (School of Foreign Languages) Continue reading A Typical Day Teaching in Denizli

Semester Break–Home and Istanbul

After having a nice break between semesters at home, I’m back in Turkey and leaving for Denizli tonight. It was to see everyone in VA/DC and Madison and recharge for the rest of my time in Turkey.

Before going home and since coming back, I’ve spent a lot of time in Istanbul. Apart from seeing the major tourist attractions (Aya Sofya, Sultanahmet, etc.), there is so much more to do and see in Istanbul. I stayed on the Asian side of Istanbul (in Kozyatağı), so every day I would have to take the ferry over to the European side to see places. Although the commute over took awhile, I still really enjoyed it. While on the ferry you get nice views of both sides of the city. The Bosphorus is always a little choppy, and is a greenish-blue color, which makes for some nice pictures.

IMG_1533 Continue reading Semester Break–Home and Istanbul

Review of “The Museum of Innocence” (Spoiler Alert)

** spoiler alert **

Having read a few other Pamuk novels, the format of the Museum of Innocence is structured in a similar way: the plot for a large part of the book moves very slowly but is more action-packed towards the end. This is normally a bit irritating for me and makes it difficult to maintain interest in the book, and at first it was true in this book as well, but my perspective changed once I visited the museum in Istanbul. In the museum, each chapter has its own case filled with items mentioned in the book. Seeing all the items in the museum really makes the story come to life, and you can almost picture Kemal sitting in the Merhamet Apartments, biting the ruler he and Fusun used during their tutoring sessions. After spending an afternoon reliving the story in the museum, I came to understand the very meticulous descriptions of Kemal’s visits to the Keskin’s not as unnecessary details but as a way for Pamuk to convey the extent of Kemal’s agony. Continue reading Review of “The Museum of Innocence” (Spoiler Alert)