Collaboration and Fun

Over the past two years I have met a lot of fantastic teachers from all parts of the world via Twitter. I often exchange tweets with many of them and I've always had a feeling that I know these people well. But then Brad Patterson (@brad5patterson) challenged his PLN to a series of interviews in which members of the PLN are asked five questions so that we can get to know them better. And I just couldn't stop reading the interviews with teachers who I thought I knew well. It turned out that there's more to them than the Twitter bio or the About page.

So I immediately wanted to know more about Eva Buyuksimkesyian.

Eva was one of the first teachers who I met on Twitter and who joined my glogster project. Her students made a dozen of wonderful glogs about Turkey and ever since that time I had been dreaming about visiting Istanbul. Our students also successfully collaborated in her award-winning project Celebr8UandMeDigitally. Together we tried to organize two skype chats for our students, but failed both times - once because of a bad Internet connection on my side, and the second time because I was at the right place at the wrong time (I have an issue with time zones). However, this won't stop us, as right now we're planning a third-time-lucky skype chat on Penpal Day, June 1.

I finally met Eva in person at ISTEK in April 2011 and when I saw her on the third floor of the main building at the Yeditepe University I just felt I had known her forever.

So I tried to predict what her answers would be to the five questions of the PLN blogging challenge:

1) If your students were to label you with 3 adjectives, what might they be? If I were Eva's student I would say that she's warm-hearted, caring and innovative.

Here's what she said:
Well, I'm not sure,It depends but I guess most will say 'very strict' (when they first meet me), then they find out that I'm understanding and for a third adjective I'd like my students to think that I'm challenging.

2) What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
If I were a teacher in Turkey, my refrigerator would be full of baclawa and kadaif - absolutely delicious!

What she said was:
Cheese, yoghurt, milk and vegetables and chocolate :)

3) If you weren’t a teacher, what might your profession be?
I thought she would be a writer.

And she said:
I love teaching but if I weren't a teacher, I'd like to be an interior designer.

4) What do you find most difficult about the teaching profession, or What has been your most difficult class as a teacher?
I keep thinking that the end of school with tons of grading and testing is the most difficult part of school year for every teacher.

She replied:
Teaching itself is a challenge and keeping up to date is a must. What I find difficult is that I usually find myself motivating myself. From time to time it would be great to hear that you are doing well. We don't usually have a finished product at the end of the process so we can't know where our students will end up but all of a sudden one of them appears and thanks you. That's one of the things I love about my job. I sometimes feel guilty I steal time from family because I need to work at home too. I once wrote about my most difficult class as part of Shelly's #30 Goals Challenge. They taught me when there is a will there is always a way.

5) What was the last book/movie you read/saw, and what have you seen/read way too many times?
As I think that we have so much in common, I wanted her to name one book by my favourite writer Nick Hornby.

Imagine my surprise when she told me that:
Finally I managed to finish High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (High Fidelity is my all time favourite book!) on my way to IATEFL and started reading The Glass Menagerie by Sylivia Plath on my return and I don't know when I'll finish it. Unfortunately, I spend more time in front of the computer so I read less but I read lots of blog posts :) The last movie I watched was The Pirates of the Caribbean: On strange tides. I watched it on Saturday with kids.

Thank you Eva for doing this interview and for being my friend!


Hi Arjana,
Thank you very much for your friendship and kindness. It is great to know you in person. I'm sure we will meet again and our classes will collaborate and become friends.

Arjana said…
Dear Eva,
the pleasure is all mine:-)
Anonymous said…
Hi Arjana and Eva!

Dear Arjana,
I was very happy to see that you had interviewed Eva! I have met her in person and she is so sweet and kind, and so passionate about her students and education! My big wish is to meet you too, Arjana and I hope very soon!

Dear Eva,
So nice to read more about you - I love Nick Hornby too! I like taht you have chocolate in your fridge...same here!

I am very happy to have met you in person. You are such a nice person and I absolutely love your work. Definitely see you a Pareeee!!!

Thank you both so much!
Arjana said…
Dear Vicky,
thank you for your comment. I think there are wishes that come true simply because we so much want them to come true. And meeting you f2f is certainly such a wish.

I'm so glad you too like Nick Hornby, he's such a great writer.
As for chocolate - that goes without saying :-) And I highly recommend chocolate baklawa - yuuuummmy!

All the best
PS: try chocolate baklawa - :-))))