Rhetoric and photo essays

As much as I travel and as much as I would love to say that I know a lot about photography, I really don’t. I know some basics, a few tricks, and how to turn the camera on, but photography is not one of my best skills. That being said, I love it and I love how people use it to tell stories. What can I say? I’m an English teacher, so of course how the story is told is one of my favorite parts.

In my AP class, we’re learning about rhetoric and how it applies to more than just the AP exam or essays we write in class. I usually try not to give homework over a holiday, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for them to use rhetoric in a way that was outside of writing or reading a story or an essay. So we learned about visual rhetoric and I made them do photo essays over their Christmas break. I put together a website for them to compile their essays; the essays are due this week, so we should be updating the pages soon. The kids can see how many people look at the site; I wanted them to be able to take ownership of what they’ve done. Anyway, there is a more solid explanation of how we set it up if you go to the site, but please check it out. Like I said, I’m not a photographer, let alone a photagraphy teacher, but I like when stories can be told in different ways. Plus, I like to see my kids have fun and be creative. 🙂

Here’s the link to the class website.

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Trips before Barcelona

I’m typing this one-handed, and while I’ll proofread it, I ask that you please excuse any typos.

One of the largest difficulties in moving to Turkey has been the language barrier. This is something I’ve blogged about quite often and while I’ve graduated from “I don’t speak Turkish,” to “I speak a little Turkish,” there are some things that still require a translator–namely the doctor’s office. Talking about your body in a foreign language often requires more than “this doesn’t work” or “this is very difficult,”which brings me to today’s story.

The last month has been quite stressful, so when my friend asked if I wanted to go to Barcelona for Christmas, it was an obvious choice. It’s been a motivator at work and something I’ve been looking forward to for weeks now. So of course, while walking from the bakery to school today, I slipped on a patch of ice and landed quite ungracefully onto my left hand and tailbone. Sitting on the cold ground, confused and short-winded, I looked up to see people looking at me, but not moving to help at all. I tied to push myself up, but my left wrist didn’t want to support my weight. A sharp pain shooting through my wrist and hand brought tears to my eyes and made me sit down again. Still, no one budged to help. “Stupid Turkey,” I murmured to myself as I slowly gathered my things and leaned onto my right hand. I walked to school, cradling my left wrist in my right hand, head down and near tears in pain. I could move my fingers, but moving my wrist was a no-go. After throwing my bag onto my desk, next to my uneaten muffin from the bakery, I went off in search of ice, which is not necessarily an easy thing to find in Europe.

At this point, I was mad at Turkey and Turkish people on the sidewalk and the irony of trying to find ice for my injury and the stupid timing of my injury (I leave for Spain in two days), when I ran into my friend Julide. She could tell I was in pain and immediately took over. She searched the school for ice and walked me to the nurses office. Later, another Turkish coworker volunteered to take me to the hospital to translate for me and even kept me from slipping on another patch of ice on the way there. The wonderful women in HR made sure the hospital knew I was coming ands arranged a taxi for me, even though I didn’t have any cash. Other teachers at school volunteered to take my classes so I could go to the first hospital near school for the x-ray and then later when I decided to go to the American hospital for a second opinion. My Turkish/Canadian friend who is going to Spain withe me also joined me at th American hospital and has been taking great care of me since.

And after the doctor diagnosed my sprain, gave me a brace, a sling, and some pain meds, at least five other people have called to check on me. And the good news is it isn’t broken. So I guess, in all, things aren’t so stupid after all. In fact, they are çok güzel.  Look out Barcelona!

NaNoWriMo Updated

Well, I didn’t reach the 50,000 words, but I did way better than last year. At 18,000 words, I have a great start to something new. November was a little rocky as far as work and other things, so I’m not displeased with 18,000. Of course it’s all very rough and I’d like to review, edit, add, etc., but I hope to post some samples soon.

And as the new year approaches, it’ll soon be time for me to review my goals from last year’s post, reflect on 2013, and figure out what I want to do next year. Thanks for keeping up with me. 🙂