Saturday, September 24, 2011

First Week of School

Smiles and Difficulties

"Are you going to miss me this weekend?" Cansu asked me Friday just as we were about to leave for the weekend.

"Evet!" I reply, sticking to my policicy of using Turkish whenever possible.  And the truth is I would miss her. I would miss school too. Although it hasn't all been easy, it has been an overall positive experience.

I came to school Monday not even knowing what grade I would be in. I stood with my host sister's class (10th grade) for the first ceremony.  The ceremony consisted of a lot of Turkish I didn't understand, and at one point I was called forward to say something to the school.

"Merhaba" I announced confidently, followed by an apologetic look to the principle. I couldn't really say anything else.

After we sang the national anthem (they sang I just stood politely) We made our way to class.  The principle pulled me aside and asked me if I would mind being in the 11th grade class. I told him I was happy with that, so I was introduced to Burak, who showed me around school and introduced me to the rest of the class.

The rest of the week consisted of a lot of smiling from me. I figured if I couldn't speak very much, I needed to get the point accross some other way that I was friendly and wanted to get to know everyone.

Sometimes, my smile convered up a lot of confusion and difficulty. I sat through many classes I didn't understand at all, I got lost more than once, and I felt homesick for the first time. But, usually I smiled because I was genuinely happy. People went out of there way to help me, especially the teachers. I enjoyed the other students.  I especially liked how all of them seemed to like each other.

This weekend, I'm enjoying the freedom from school, at home I don't worry so much about what others think of me or what I should be doing, but I can't wait for Monday. I miss school!

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