Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Back in Istanbul and Back to Work

So life has returned to abnormal and I am back at the private highschool trying to keep the various circus animals (called students) in check. I honestly don't know when these people learn anything. They're generally too busy kicking over desks, hooting, and throwing their feces to listen to anything anyone says. I want some of them tested for rabies. I was glad to see them fleeing school when the last bell rang at 4:30. I think they will be back tomorrow, though. Of course, on the first day, we had to have a meeting. All the teachers were herded into the school kutuphane (my dictionary says kutuphane means "library" but judging from the room itself I think it means something more along the lines of "magazine rack") Our principal, staunch patriot that she is, demands that the national flag be dragged in and saluted. She wants to sing the national anthem of course. "Have you brought the music?" she bellows at the youngest P.E. teacher Kemal, the guy usually in charge of this sort of thing. "Uhhh....nope," he says. Everyone snickers a little. The principal grinds her teeth, silences everyone with her eyes, and says "Then we will sing it a cappella after a moment of silence. Bow your heads." People bow. People look at each other and shrug. People roll their eyes. I check my watch. Then, in her still small voice, the principal begins to sing, "Korkma sokmez bu safak!" Do not fear! The light of this dawn will never go out!" Then suddenly everyone is blushing and singing in these timid little girl voices. The English and P.E. teachers in the back of the room are being terribly naughty. One of the older P.E. teachers is making faces where the principal can't see him. This has set the English teachers on the other side of the room giggling as they sing, which has made the P.E. teachers next to the prankster (who can't see him directly) start giggling as well. By the end, little fart noises are escaping everyone's lips as they try to restrain their laughter. Patriotism satisfied, we sit down and commence to talk about nothing for the next two hours. Ah, the vapors of education smell sweet.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I sort of miss the twice-a-week songfest already. You'll just have to serenade me at the next tavla tourney.

Anonymous said...

There may still be somethings you didn't get about Turkey! You wake up and sing the national anthem and solute the flag. Don't you ask where the flag is, you actually can't help not seeing it because all the earth is covered with it so that no one forgets which country they live in.
You keep doing it during the day of course. While working, walking, swimming, cleaning!
I really can not imagine a life without singing the anthem and soluting the flag!
I mean i would feel like a fish out of water!

Jeff Gibbs said...

Fish are evil because they can't sing anthems