Prosecards from the Edge (of a Continent)

A running commentary on my life in Izmir, Turkey...and other thoughts.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Coming Up for Air

Since my new job officially began two weeks ago, the pace has been frenetic. Mornings start early, before sunrise, and some evenings it's half past ten when I finally trudge in the door. There has been an overwhelming load of meetings, information, information, information, constant emails with requests to do this or that, interruptions, communications, mis-communications, alternate bursts of enthusiasm and total panic on my part. I am exhausted already, and the students haven't even arrived -- these have been the preparation weeks.

Tomorrow morning is the first day of real school. It is then that I will meet my 26 young charges (4th graders) for the year, and finally have an idea of what I have really gotten myself into. I have been dreaming intensively about this moment the last few nights. In some dreams, the atmosphere is peaceful and productive, students cooperative and eager to learn. In others, there are tantrums and rampant misbehavior, a hail of hurled objects, and me fleeing the room in a cascade of tears. Probably this particular nightmare owes its being to the countless horror stories I have been told by teachers who attempted to succeed in the Turkish system. Even some of the best and most experienced of them fled the country after only a year, swearing 'nevermore' from between clenched teeth. On darker days, I think 'what chance do I have, then, as a relatively new teacher?' Fortunately, there are still as many days when I believe that I will not only handle it, but handle it well, and will make a profound and positive impact on these young people. I wonder what will ultimately be closer to reality -- fantasy or nightmare? Probably there will be some of each, depending on the day. May God just grant me energy, and infinite patience. More anon.


At 4:15 PM, Blogger Hope said...

Hi Kate!

I keep meaning to actually write you a nice long letter and of course, I'm still so behind on everything it hasn't been done yet.

I really want to hear more about your trip back to US when you have the chance but it sounds as if you are as busy as I am.

Best of luck with the new job - and I'm sure it will go much better than you think!

At 6:08 PM, Blogger Kate's Blog said...

Dear Hope,
Sorry it's taken me so long to even acknowledge your comment. Life has been amazingly hectic for me lately -- as it sounds like it has for you, too -- and I haven't had a moment to breathe, let alone write. How are things going with the book(s)?

I plan to sit down and write to you sometime soon, too -- unfortunately I haven't had internet at home for the last month, and I never have time to use the facilities at work! Hopefully this will change in the near future...

Hope you are well and look forward to hearing from you again.


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