So, life, hey? Things of course didn’t work out with the boy the way I had hoped (do they ever?). I never even got a chance to talk to him again. I don’t know what happened exactly, he just stopped answering my phone calls. Maybe he saw my blog and got angry. I really don’t know. For once though, I’m not bitter about it. I get where he’s coming from on the whole me leaving soon thing. And, yeah, it sucks, but I’m glad I at least had a little bit of time with him. My life is better because I met him and I was happy for awhile so I’m not going to look back on it with regret. That’s all I really have to say about that (thanks, Forrest Gump, for that quote).

Along with all of the boy drama of weeks past, I have been completely stressed out about school. It’s not that my courses are difficult here – they aren’t. It’s just that they’re designed so differently than the courses I take at home. There’s no practicality involved in the courses that are taught here – and to me this translates to “no value.” I just can’t see the point of the projects and the readings we’re doing. Everything here is anchored in theory and research with absolutely no real-world application, whereas my courses at CSUS always include some sort of practical application. Dana and I have both had a difficult time adjusting to this way of thinking and I’m really beginning to fear that my grades are going to suffer because of it, which of course equals STRESS.

Dana and I have been talking lately about putting together a Turkish exchange student handbook for any future students from our university who decide to study abroad here. Top of the list for suggestions to the next students will be that they only take two masters courses, then to fulfill the rest of the credit requirement with Turkish and something to relieve stress (kickboxing, maybe?). Taking a full load of masters courses that are yawn-tastic with zero practical application is a recipe for disaster when coming from our master’s program back home. Either you spend all of your time imprisoned in your dorm room (Dana), or you freak out about failing from the get-go because you’re determined to enjoy Istanbul while you’re here (me). Not only that, but I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve thought about dropping out of the MA TESOL program altogether since I’ve been here. Luckily, I know that it’s only because of the different teaching approaches that I’m ready to jump off a bridge here. I never had these kinds of feelings toward this subject matter when I was studying in the United States. And so it is that I’m really looking forward to going back home despite the fact that I’m going to really, really miss my life here in Istanbul.

Anyway, I’ll try to add some updates about how fab Istanbul is in the next couple of weeks. I know I’ve been rather lax about posting on here (sorry Kristina!). Part of it is that I don’t really know what to write about and part of it is because I’m worried about making overgeneralizations about Turkey. I guess I’ll finally take the leap and write something though. I miss taking the time to write regularly.

Anyway, hope the holiday season is treating you all well at home. I never in a million years thought I’d miss Christmas (bleck!), but I’ve gotta say it’s WAY better than having school ON Christmas Day AND New Year’s Eve. WTF? More on that later.