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Posts Tagged ‘pedagogy’

OUR BRIGHT FUTURE

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Youthful readers! I am proud to announce that today I finally broke into the Istanbul high-school circuit, with a reading/ workshop at the British International School—many thanks to Russell Gunnell and loyal super-reader Ebru Kesen for making it happen!

Here is what I learned about the British International students of Istanbul: they are really astute judges of human character. In the Q/A, right between “What’s harder, fiction or nonfiction?” and “Do you ever have writer’s block?”, one young person proved that she had me all figured out by asking, “Do you have a cat?” When I asked how she was able to tell, she tactfully replied: “I know that cats sometimes help people write books.”

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HEARTSICK

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Dear readers! Today I bring you the final installment of student writing from my fall workshop at Koç. This piece, by senior literature major Ecem Kızıldağ, went through a particularly dramatic revision. It was originally only the story of Ecem’s kidney-stone-related misadventures. In class, it emerged that we wanted some kind of counterpoint to offset the negative/ comic portrayal of the hospital staff—something perhaps serious, sad, or affectionate. Ecem was like, “OK, I can do sad.” I hope you find her essay as moving as I did.

I’ve always despised hospitals. You know the feeling when your stomach clenches, right? That’s exactly how I feel when I enter hospital doors. The smell of medicine, the painful and tired look on sick peoples’ faces, cries, and moans… all these things terrify me. The worst thing is waiting for doctors to find a cure for you or for someone you care about.

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THE GREATEST NIGHT

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Another photo essay from last term’s nonfiction class at Koc… this one is an ironic commentary on the form! The author is Jasmin Baruh, a senior majoring in Business Administration.

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THE GREATEST NIGHT

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THE DEEP

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Dear readers, hello! I am back in Istanbul, as a direct result of having spent several hours 30,000 feet in the air seated next to a grown man who watched the ENTIRE SMURF MOVIE from beginning to end. And when I got back to Koç, there was a dead bird on my doorstep! Truly, there is no place like home.

I am very happy to share with you today another installment of student writing from my Koç nonfiction class: “The Deep,” a photo essay by sophomore literature major Simay Yaylalı, complete with original emoticons.

THE DEEP

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THE OLD CALENDAR OF THE BUTTON COLLECTOR

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Big thanks to everyone who came out to the panel at the Center for Fiction last Friday! It was wonderful to attach so many cute faces to colorful names. I learned so very much from my fabulous co-panelists, particularly the amazing and lovely Rivka Galchen, that I now watch the video every night before I go to sleep.

In other news, I’ve been meaning for a while to share some writing from the nonfiction writing class I  taught last term at Koç University. I’m so proud of my students (all of whom are native Turkish speakers writing in English)! Today I have for you “The Calendar of the Old Button Collector,” by Naz Cuguoğlu, a senior majoring in psychology.

The assignment was to write about an old photo, in the style of Geoff Dyer’s “On the Roof” (from Otherwise Known as the Human Condition, which I was really happy to announce the other night as a 2011 NBCC Finalist!). Here are Naz’s photo and essay.

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THE CALENDAR OF THE OLD BUTTON COLLECTOR

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