The experiences and adventures of an American living and teaching in Istanbul, Turkey
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Love my new life.
Things are great here. Yesterday, I went to school, but I left in the morning to apply for my alien registration card since the line was too long on Monday (Kim and I had to leave to get back to school for a meeting). Unfortunately, yesterday I waited in a long line only to turn in my paperwork and be told that I was at the wrong office. I came back to school kind of defeated. I must have looked pretty bummed because the secretary forced me to go see the school nurse, and they made me lie down.
I am still really liking my school. I have a friend at lunch named Jenny- she is Korean but went to school in Australia so she is fluent in English. The principal introduced me to her and she eats with me. He is so worried that I am lonely- which I am not at all- I've been busy every day after school meeting up with people all over the city. He keeps bringing over to my desk anyone who speaks English and being like Friend! Friend for you! No more lonely! Its nice but kind of awkward. They are so nice to me though you would think I'm like a rockstar. I met my co-teachers yesterday. There are 4 of them and we sat down and broke down the expectations of each other. The students have English 2 times per week but only see me once per week so they want me to really not co-teach as much but lead the class when I have them so the kids get maximum time with a native speaker. I started thinking about lesson plans, but the teacher's manual breaks down everything- its literally like the lessons are already made- you just change the games or what you dont like (there is a lot of stuff in that manual I will definitely change though!). I'm essentially getting paid to talk in my native language. It's actually embarrassing how easy it is- I mean, I havent started teaching yet, but the lessons are seriously already made out for me. Im the first native speaker teacher this school has had so they are all so curious about me and every day like 10 times I hear "Very Beautiful." We like you- you very beautiful. Wil you teach me English- I like you because youre beautiful." Sometimes it's an ego boost and other times it makes me very uncomfortable!
I have my own desk in the "Faculty room"- its a room that is off the principal's office- it has me, the secretary, the 2 vice-principals, and 2 conference tables in it. No one else in here speaks english so I just kind of do my own thing. Today I got up early and went to get my alien registration card- I got permission to leave home and not go to school because the office is very far across the city - I left at 7:30 and got there about 9am - I was early in line though, and dropped off all my documents. They said they wouldnt be done until September 14! TERRIBLE. I can't get internet in my apartment, a cell phone, or gym membership, or bank account until then. I can't get my settlement allowance until I get an account. Anyway, I've been stealing some internet in my apartment and I have it at school all day so that isnt that terrible- but I really want to sign up for the gym and get a phone! That card is running my life right now.
Last night I went to my friend Mark's apartment in the Gangnam area (read: Times Square) and had a little dinner stir-fry party with about 15 friends. It was great to chat with everyone and hear about all the new experiences we are all having here!
Anyway, this afternoon I was making lesson plans and the principal came over and said "Andie come." And they had all this food spread out for no apparent reason. The administrators and I then dug in to the delicious food! I had pizza and clementines. (I declined the seafood- it looked a little suspicious.) I did fail at eating my pizza with chopsticks though. Anyway, they also kept pouring me beer, wine, and soju -whatever I wanted. This job is seriously unreal. I don't know why everyone doesn't do this- I love it.