Monday, January 11, 2016

End of Semester Recap

Mike has officially entered finals week for graduate school and we have both started another month of Turkish lessons.  Since there's not much else going on in the Hogan Household, I figured this was the perfect time to give a little recap of how our classes are going.

First, let's talk about Mike's grad school  since that's the whole reason we're here.  When the semester started, Mike was unsure of how the workload would be and only registered for three classes + Turkish classes every day. His classes included Balkan Politics, Research Methods in International Relations and Theories of International Relations. It ended up being quite manageable (it helps that he's the only native English speaker!), although I think he was a little disappointed in some of the classes. He's done quite well so far and I think he's excited for some of the classes that are being offered next semester.

While Mike was taking his grad school classes, we both were taking Turkish lessons. Mike took the month of December off, but I kept going.  When I first started, there was one class for beginners, but there were so many people they split us into two classes on the third or fourth day.  My new teacher seemed great, but a lot of people were frustrated with her after the first month and asked to switch back to the other teacher.  I didn't for a multitude of reasons, but after the second month, our classes were combined back into one big class with the original teacher and I wish I hadn't waited so long to be in his class.  He incorporates speaking into the class so much more than my old teacher.  There is also a significant gap between the students who have been with him for a while and those of us who were with the other teacher.  There is talk of splitting us up again since my class keeps growing, but I hope I get to stay with my teacher. I can tell I'm getting better after just a week of being in his class. You know I'll keep you posted.

While Mike was at grad school classes, I was teaching at night.  I really enjoy it, despite the fact that I complain every night about having to go.  It's hard to leave the house at 7:00 after rushing through dinner!  I miss working with kids...a lot, but I feel like I'm learning a lot about working with English Language Learners that will help me be a better teacher when I get back home. I promise I like it though.  My students are a lot of fun and it's nice to have some social interaction besides Mike (love you, but really....).  Tonight (and I'll probably continue this all week), they told me the story of Little Red Riding Hood in English.  I wrote it on the board as they narrated and by the end, they had filled up the entire board.  They were super excited and were taking pictures to post on Instagram! ha! I am constantly looking for topics to talk about with them, so if you have any suggestions, send them my way!

It's been a great first semester for both of us.  Next semester, I'll continue teaching and taking Turkish, while Mike will up his grad school game to five classes, but no Turkish. Wish us luck!!