Friday, October 2, 2015

Are you guys going to actually do anything?

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I'm sure that you all are wondering about Mike and school, as well as what my plan is.  Despite all of our wonderful travel experiences, the point of us being in Turkey is for Mike to go to school.  And while we're here, I'd like to do something to keep from going too stir crazy.

Mike first:

In Turkey, there are three types of universities.  The first is the state school, which is completely government run.  Ege University is the state school in Izmir.  You must take a Turkish language entrance exam in order to apply and they only accept one foreign student to each program.  We knew that Mike's chances of getting accepted were extremely low, and ultimately, his score on the language test wasn't high enough to even apply.  He had to write an essay on a proverb that was given.  I'm not sure if I could pass if I had to do that in English, so props to him for even trying.

The second school is a private university.  These are super expensive and outside of the foundation's budget, so Mike didn't even really consider these.

The third type is called a foundation school, which is basically a combination of a private and state school.  I'm not really sure how the funding works, but it's a combination of private and public. A while back, I mentioned that Mike had been accepted to school.  This school was Izmir School of Economics, which   While that was true, it had to be approved by the Olmsted Foundation.  Since the program was in English, they denied the approval.

Luckily, the deadline for most universities isn't until a few weeks before class starts, so he still had time to apply to another foundation school, Yashar University. He applied as a "special student" and went in to talk to them about his situation after he submitted their application.  They said that they would let him know about his acceptance (or rejection) in a week.

Then we left for Germany and didn't hear anything.  When we returned, we still hadn't heard anything and it was Bayram, so everything, including the university, was closed for the week.  Nothing would open back up until Monday, which coincidentally turned out to be the first day of school.  Essentially, the office wouldn't open back up until the first day of school.

You better believe that when 8:00am on Monday rolled around, Mike was up and out the door to find out his status and a little while later, I got the news that he had been accepted to the Political Science Master's Program!!  ::Insert sigh of relief::

He couldn't register that day since he needed to do some stuff with the Olmsted Foundation, so he missed the first day, but he was able to get everything sorted and start on Tuesday!!  He'll be taking three classes (they each meet once a week) and then Turkish lessons four days a week.  He's going to be a busy guy, but I know he can handle it.

This is how he felt about having his picture taken for his first day of school.

Trying to please me by doing the "Josh Rehak" pose.


Okay, now me:

Back in July, I emailed my resume to a school that teaches adults English.  I wasn't sure what I would be able to do, if anything, since I don't speak Turkish.  I didn't even know if they were hiring.  I met with the director and observed a class, but communication was shaky (it took a while to get a response via email....Turkey is what I remember of the early 2000s when it comes to Internet).  Between the shaky communication, all of Mike and my travels, and the week long holiday, I wasn't sure if I would ever hear anything concrete.

Then, Monday (the same day Mike found out about school), I got an email and met with the director and we agreed that I should start Thursday!! I'll be working with the more advanced students in their speaking and listening.  Each class at this school has a teacher who teaches grammar and vocabulary.  Then, I'll come in and supplement it with speaking and listening.  Essentially, my job will be to make sure they are using things like idioms and phrases correctly, while helping them improve their listening skills.

I'll probably only be working part time, as I think the majority of these classes are focused on grammar and vocabulary, but that's okay! When I came to Turkey, I knew I wanted to do something with teaching while I was here, I just didn't know what I'd be able to do. I really just wanted something so that when I get back home, it doesn't look like I just took two years off. I didn't really want a full time job since I knew we'd be traveling.  Hopefully this job works out well enough and keeps me busy!

Needless to say, we're very happy in the Hogan household. We're extremely grateful that things are working out for us professionally here. Hopefully, all of these professional opportunities will lead to some friendships!