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Yaramaz ve tembel ögrenciler var
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Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 2384
Location: Not where I was before

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2003 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like Turkey, and like it more the longer I am here. I think the Turks are far more adventurous and open minded than you imply, ghost, especially when you think about how insular people can be in Canada or the UK or France... My adult students constantly amaze me with their thoughts and ideas and life plans. Admittedly, some follow a more traditional route, many smoke, many are conservative... but people follow such patterns the world over. You'll find boys huddled over computer games everywhere there are computers...
I think you haven't given them a chance, ghost-- have you made many close Turkish friends since you arrived a few months ago? Have you had any good experiences? Have you stumbled across ideas or songs or places or people who make you go 'wow!'? This happens to me regularly even though I live in one of the dreariest, more conservative cities in the country. I keep my eyes and ears and mind open to possibilities. Just because things aren't exactly the way you expect them to be doesn't mean they are bad or inferior. After teaching in the primary school last year with so many problems, I am now teaching in the lise, but with a far more relaxed (and successful) approach. I am still hugged and kissed by my kids from last year, and have enjoyed working with my kids this year.

May I ask what you plan to do next?
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Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 344
Location: Bucharest, Romania

PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2003 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of what Ghost says is actually quite true, but the important thing to remember is that you'll encounter cultural/social differences wherever you choose to reside outside your own country.

At first these differences are exactly what gives teaching/living/travelling abroad the buzz of excitment you feel as you explore this new culture, but there is always a period when it becomes too much and your expectations are shattered, home seem perfect in comparison, and the locals varied ways and traditions grate on the nerves.

You need to ride this period out and come out on the other side with a more accepting attitude if you want to benifit from your experience abroad - just knowing it's going to happen will help you get through it in your next country, should there be one, because you'll feel the same whether you go to France, Turkmenistan or Australia. If you live abroad long enough you might even experience it when you get back to your home country!

As with any move, it'll take you a while to build up a good group of friends, more so than usual with the difference in culture and language, but stick at it if you want to succeed. You are the foreigner here, so you are the one who really has to make the compromises.
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Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 2384
Location: Not where I was before

PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2003 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ghost, I was thinking about your situation this morning and I agree with Mike-- it is all a part of the patterns of culture shock and it will ease up. It will. Trust me. I've gone through this in so many countries (including the UK) so I'm used to it and barely notice the predictable rhythms of discontent and adoration anymore.... Last year at times I thought I'd never survive the year- the kids were nuts, the school admin was useless, I had no close friends, I was sick of kebabs. But I did survive. And I came back for more. And I'm quite happy and am considering a third year. I remember being so frustrated by the racism, sexism, xenophobia, narrow-mindset, hyperactivity, etc, etc... But in the last year or so I have sort of found my niche, found people who make me feel welcomed and happy, people with similar interests and curiosities. All the negative things are still there-- for example when I was setting up penfriends for one of my classes they were aghast to find out some were (*gasp*) black and refused adamantly to write to them...However, some people here in central Anatolia have never met a non-Turkish person and really haven't a clue what they are talking about when they make their judgments... this is an opportunity for you to show them your world, your knowledge. After all, you are a teacher...

However, I'm not surprised that you are finding it intolerable, since I remember from your previous posts you were always asking if there was a way to leave mid-term, even before you arrived. I don't think I've ever read a happy post from you. I remember you never stuck it out in Canada and left mid-term in Ontario complaining about the laziness and rude behavior of the kids there. Are you sure you want to be a teacher? It honestly seems like you barely tolerate kids, let alone teaching them. I have yet to see a flicker of interest in children from you in any of your posts. My kids drove me nuts last year but there were always a significant number who were lovely and sweet and smart. They are not all spoiled raging hellions. They are kids. They can be taught.

O, and one last thing, all the huge traumas and controversies and scandals that you post so regularly are not so dire. They are all things that pop up in life. A hotel with no hot water is not that big a deal. Next time, try the taps before you agree to stay. Or don't stay at places where you must pay in advance. Live and learn. O, and take time to smell the roses, as turkish roses smell gorgeous...... Very Happy
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