Musings on my adventures around the world and my ties back in Texas as well as some of the the ideas I have to adapt and create to keep those places close to home.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Sunday, December 9, 2007
1. Never give up! (This sort of goes hand in hand with never quit) This meant that even if I got frustrated or hit a wall and didn’t know what to do next I just had to persevere until I got it figured out. IT definitely helped to teach me to think outside of the box.
2. Anything that you start you need to finish. Sometimes this means that I had to do things that I didn’t especially want to, always had to finish a season for a sport, had to complete the things I was starting. It’s nice to realize that at this point that type of sheer stubbornness has gotten me through many an activity.
3. Actions speak louder then words. If you know my father at all you’ll understand why I say that. I always know he loves me even if the words were not often offered. When the words began to be spoken recently I knew that things were not going so well.
4. There is always a way to make a project better. In reality this meant that I’d come to dad with an idea that I wanted to replicate expecting some small project which then usually was translated into a more complex thing...but always ends up nicer then I ever expected.
5. Innovation and creativity are fun. Curiosity is a wonderful thing. If something no longer works then you might as well open it up and see what made it go originally. You never know what you’ll discover if you start to pay attention to the things around you.
6. I'm strong enough to do just about anything that I put my mind to. Being a woman is not an excuse for being able to do something. You may just have to think outside of the box in order to accomplish it.
7. I can always depend on myself, independence is an acquired trait. It might have been hard when my parents dropped me off at camp for a month and told me not to call, but I learned that I was okay on my own.
8. There is no sense in saying you can't do something, if you practice it long enough it and consistently enough you will achieve the ability . When I was little dad used to sit and practice soccer skills. It was left foot, right foot for hours on end....now I don't even think about it. This is definitely a lesson that has served me well whenever I attempt to start learning a new skill.
9. You might seem to ignore people sometimes but you always keep track of what is going on. Then when it really matters you do know all the information and have a way to help them out if they need it. And you should always provide help when it’s needed.
10. Family is important. You can always depend on them to be around and support you when you need it. Sometimes I thought it was crazy that my parents were at every soccer game I played in, but I knew they were interested in what I was doing. When people were saying “you’re going where?” I knew I could depend on him to be curious and supportive about my new destination whether it was in Africa, Turkey or beyond. That is a gift that is without measure.
Dad has influenced and shaped my life in so many ways. He may be gone now, hopefully to a place where he no longer feels the pain from his cancer, but he will never be forgotten. I can’t forget a man who had such an impact of the type of person I’m growing up to be. I love you daddy. Rest in peace.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
He was born in Keytesville, Missouri on September 25, 1940 to Francis Pauline and George William Carlstead.
A 20 year veteran of the Air Force, Jim performed many duties for his country including running radar evaluation squadrons; officer in charge of a missile site “on the front line of the cold war”, a member of the Air Force and National Rifle teams, and gunsmith. He graduated from the Air Force’s Office Candidate School in 1963.
In 1980 he started Carlstead Truck Sales, which did business in the Buda, Texas area for 27 years. He served on the Hays Youth Athletic Association Board from 1987-1989, was a member and officer of the Austin Rifle club, coached the UT Rifle Team for 10 years, and enjoyed square dancing with the Waterloo Squares.
He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Ellen; his daughters Cristi Carlstead of Istanbul and Sara Carlstead Brumfield of Austin, a son-in-law Ben and a granddaughter Josie.
The funeral service will be Thursday, December 6 at 7PM followed by a visitation until 9PM at St. Anthony Marie Claret Catholic Church, 801 North Burleson Street in Kyle, Texas. Graveside service will be held at 9:45 AM Friday, December 7 at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.
In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to the University of Texas Rifle and Pistol Club; c/o Lee Patterson; 2112 Guadalupe St., Room. 512; Austin, TX 78705 or to the St. Michael’s Academy Endowment; 3000 Barton Creek Boulevard, Austin, TX 78735.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
The Prayer of St Francis:
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Friday, November 16, 2007
To add to the day's humiliation I'll also be up on stage singing the teacher's anthem. The what???yes, Turkey has a song specifically for teachers. And I'll be singing it (with a group of other teachers)...in Turkish. Are you beginning to get a sense of just what I've gotten myself into? We had a rehearsal for the song today...I guarantee you that I'll get my tongue twisted up in knots at least once during the song, and until then I have the niggling feeling that the tune will be coming back to haunt me as it won't leave my head. Now if only I could remember some of the words!
What a thing to look forward to coming back to after a week break. Why does it have to be on Monday???
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Jon Krakauer Under the banner of heaven: a story of violent faith
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Day two: hopefully this will be better. Or not. We went up to Uludag mountain, fairly pleasant and a lovely view of the autumn leaves. Only there isn't really any way down. We start walking, get on a minibus which takes us where we are *supposed* to be able to get a minibus back to Bursa. Not so much an option. Instead we end up heading back up the mountain to the town we just walked down from. Tried to get a hotel to call a taxi for us, seemed to be a miscommunication (not so surprising with my bad Turkish), finally the doorman took care of us and we had a minibus entirely to ourselves back down. Thinking we had learned our lesson we took a dolmush back to our hotel area...better then walking in the rain. Only we end up in the rain anyways since it didn't go quite where we were expecting and dropped us a 30 minute walk from our hotel in the pouring rain. Completely soaked upon return (and we even tried to do the smart thing that time!). That is it for today!
Sunday we had to get back to campus, and while nothing really went wrong (unless you count our bus in Bursa just stopping on the side of the road for 20 minutes for no apparent reason - the driver just thumbed the wheel several times, waited, did it again, and then unexpectedly got back in and drove the bus off again. Still don't understand that one) it was just a long trip. The way there took us 4-5 hours, coming back was more like 9. Lots of traffic, a 3 hour wait for a ferry since the other ones had already sold out, a long wait in the cold for the minibus back to campus.
There's a certain sense of satisfaction in having made all these things work, but also a sens that we were definitely under a transportation curse this weekend. I just hope it doesn't last much longer!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
What's in my mafe tiga today?
onion and garlic sauteed
all natural peanut butter (which I made this afternoon by grinding up roasted, unsalted peanuts with no skin on it - normally I'd buy this but you can't get it in Turkey) mixed with water
2 magi cubes (or vegetable bouillon as that's what I found)
a dash of tomato paste
2 eggplants diced
some pumpkin (found it in the market and seemed like a good replacement for potato and cassava)
Now I just have to let it cook and cook until everything is done, while I dream of the taste that takes me back.
Monday, October 8, 2007
This business of looking at the horizon...It seems as if...I don't know...I can't explain it...as if my soul has grown...Before, I looked in the distance,and things in the distance seemed really far, you know? They seemed not to be a part of my world. Because I was used to looking only at things that were close, the things around me. But I got used to looking into the distance. And I saw that besides tables, chairs and objects, my world also included the mountains, clouds, the sky. And my soul - my soul seems to have eyes that is uses to touch those things...my soul seems to have grown.
...look at the horizon.
-Paul Coelho, The Valkyries
Saturday, October 6, 2007
In case you don't realize just how easy it is, here's all that I do.
core, peel and eighth enough apples to fill the bottom of my casserole dish (that was about 6 today)
Put enough water in the bottom of the pan to come about half way up on the apples
Throw the pan in the oven (about 350F or 125C - that's what I cook everything at)
Flip the apples once, after about 20 minutes
Cook until the apples are mushy
Throw them in a blender and mash'em up!
You've got applesauce.
I sometimes add cinnamon before putting it into containers just for some variety.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Headbands, hair elastics, honey
Icons, iceberg lettuce
Lemons, leeks, lentils
Mint, mops, medicine
Peanuts, peaches, pillows, plates, parsley
Shoes, socks, scarf
Toast, tea glasses, turnip
Vase, van (ok don't know if I could buy one of these, but there sure are a lot around)
Water, wine, walnuts
eXtra large bottles of oil
Monday, September 24, 2007
but it also means that this is a month when they take some time to really come together. The occasion of breaking fast is on of those moments. Yesterday I was in Sultanahmet for Iftar (the name of the meal to break fast) and realized how much I enjoy the spirit of this time of day. You see people sitting down at tables, water and bread waiting in front of them for that moment when the Imam's call will signify it is time to eat. Its a time for family and friends to gather, a time for strangers to sit down beside each other in a common activity, a time to remind people not to take their daily meal for granted. I quite enjoyed being in the middle of it. Sitting in front of
the Blue Mosque waiting for it to light up and for the official announcement of sunset, I felt like I was in the middle of the mini celebration. To absorb some of the relief and happiness when that call came and people immediately opened up their water bottles and
began to enjoy their meal was a powerful moment. Even though I'm not fasting, the overall atmosphere of this month can give you a bit of the feelings it involves. Happy Ramadan!
- Orion Mountain Dreamer
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
A is for arı (bee)
B is for bal (honey)
C is for civciv (a chick)
Ç is for çiçek (a flower)
D is for deniz (the sea)
E is for elma (an apple)
F is for fil (an elephant)
G is for gül (a rose)
H is for hindi (a turkey)
I is for ıspanak (spinach)
İ is for inek (a cow)
J is for jeton (the tokens you use on public transportation)
K is for kiraz (cherry - the sweet kind)
L is for leylek (a stork, and yes they say they bring babies here as well)
M is for marul (lettuce)
N is for nar (pomegranate)
O is for orman (forest)
Ö is for örümcek (spider)
P is for patlıcan (eggplant, which I almost always think of as patlıcan now)
R is for reçel (jam)
S is for süt (milk)
Ş is for şişe (bottle, as in bir şişe şirap - one bottle of wine)
T is for tavuk (chicken)
U is for uçak (plane, which fly overhead all to frequently)
Ü is for üzüm (grape)
V is for volkan (volcano)
Y is for yağmur (rain)
Z is for zürafa (giraffe...how cool is that?)
Monday, September 17, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Friday, September 7, 2007
-Virginia Woolf A room of one's own
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Roman cithara stringed musical instrument, one of the two principal types of ancient Greek lyres. It had a wooden soundboard and a box-shaped body, or resonator, from which extended two hollow arms connected by a crossbar. Three, originally, but later as many as 12 strings ran from the crossbar to the lower end of the instrument, passing over a bridge on the soundboard.
You can vaguely see a picture of it here.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
In concealing other's faults be like night
In anger and fury be like dead
In modesty and humility be like the earth
In tolerance be like the sea
Either appear as you are, or be as you appear
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Thursday, August 9, 2007
The seven sleepers grotto on the other hand was almost completely empty. Of course there is not a whole lot to see there (although the gözleme was quite good for lunch). Reputedly it is known as the location where seven young Christian men went into caves/tombs to avoid persecution only to rise again several hundred years later as a testament to the resurrection philosophy of Christianity. Basically all there is to see is some ruins of the church built atop where they were said to be entombed, an early Christian cemetery and possibly the tombs where they were sealed. At least we were free to discover it without hoards of people around.
Monday, August 6, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
I was so excited that I managed to find the Cagaloglu Hamam without any wrong turns. Sometimes in the old city with the maps available that's the biggest challenge in an adventure (just ask my sister who accompanied me on an hour trek trying to find the hotel I'm staying in with my parents...it was just around the one corner we didn't manage to turn). S and I happily stepped through the doors for our new adventure. As we walked down the stairs we were met by the typical site of relaxation in a hamam - an oasis of cool marble with a fountain and short stools positioned for a view and for those drinking cay. Only all of those people were men. Once we had paid for our bath we headed down a corridor, around a corner and down some stairs to enter the women's section, well hidden from any man's eyes due to the twists we followed to arrive there. The thing that was cool was that it really is a completely female space - you don't often find those spaces in the world I know.
We were shown into our own glass and wood cabina where we were left alone to undress and wrap up on a hamam towel. After finding wooden slippers we could keep on our feet we clopped our way into the wash room. Completely marble from the middle of the wall down with a star studded (cut outs) down above the simple furnishings and smooth colors started the relaxation process. Around the exterior of the wall individual basins with separate hot and cold water taps continuously ran...and let me tell you the slightly cool water felt amazing after 30 minutes sitting there sweating. My theory - you have to sit there at least that long for your skin to be soft enough so that when the woman calls you over to be scrubbed (it feels quite decadent to have someone else scrub you down) your dead skin will just roll off. It was kind of gross to see, but I will say that afterwards my skin felt quite clean and soft. After a scrub, soap massage and getting our hair washed S and I were free to go rinse off at on of the basins again. An hour and a half after we entered we walked out of the hamam feeling refreshed and ready to enjoy the ferry ride back across the Bosphorus.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
I flew into SAW Wednesday night without to much fear. After all, the school is less then 15 minutes from the airport. We can see the planes landing from school. Shouldn’t be too hard to get back to campus, right? Well it’s just my luck; I end up with a taksi driver who is not actually a taksi driver. Well, he is since he’s driving a taksi– but only for tonight. Turns out his friend is ill so he is just filling in for the night, normally he works at a hospital. Now tell me, how can you fill in for a taksi driver if you don’t know where anything is? Turns out I don’t know how to get back to campus from the airport (surprise, surprise). So we ended up on some back dirt roads (passing a funky housing development that had a vaguely Jettson-esque space-age lighted entrance). All I can say is at least he was willing to stop and ask people for directions. Otherwise I’m not sure I would have ever seen the o so welcome sight of school. Next time can I refuse to get in the taksi if the driver doesn’t know where the school is?
Friday, July 13, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose
saurian any of a suborder (Sauria) of reptiles including the lizards and in older classifications the crocodiles and various extinct forms (as the dinosaurs and ichthyosaurs) that resemble lizards (http://www.m-w.com/dictionary)
iaculi seems to be some type of winged serpent. You can read a bit more here.
scitales doesn't seem to have a definition anywhere, so maybe it's a made up word from the book I was reading (The Name of the Rose). I did find the word scytale which is some type of encryption device but I'm pretty sure that is not what he was talking about. If anyone knows please enlighten me!
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
(suitable for the week of graduation, I think.)
Thursday, June 28, 2007
So why are they called responsibility exams anyways? (Although who knows if that is an accurate translation from the Turkish.) Perhaps because it is the student's responsibility to show up to take the exam. Or because it is their responsibility to actually study and pass this test. Or maybe because it is one of the responsibilities of the teachers to provide this last shot chance to make up for a year of slacking off. I don't really get it. All I know is that it requires A LOT of running around and signing official forms. Turns out that all our work this week to prepare an exam, make sure it was in proper form, and getting all the necessary signatures was for 1 student (ONE!) who in the end never turned up to take the exam. (I guess he didn't follow up on his responsibility) I can't be to upset, although I am annoyed that we had to even prepare the thing, at least I'm saved the hassle of grading the thing (a huge improvement over the 17 we had to deal with in February). This means I am now officially done with all of my work for school. Woo hoo summer here I come!
I have to admit that this system is a bit bizarre. How is it that a single 80 minute exam can make up for a semester or a year worth of under par work? The rules also say that if you fail grade 10 but pass grade 11 (in a single subject - not the entire year) then the pass you earned in the following year negates the failure the previous year. I believe it remains on the report card as a failure, but the students do not need to take a test to pass out of it. When I start to think about I get really confused....better to leave it alone and just do what I'm told is necessary.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
That's quite a few new places for me. One definite benefit is that I'm building up a great list of places to visit with the excuse of visiting people. Of course we're also getting new teachers in next year, and the three coming into our department are from almost as varied of locations: Scotland, Brazil and the Netherlands. I have a feeling sometimes that if you colored in a map of everywhere I had been, that people I knew had been and that their acquaintances had been we would be able to color in almost the entire world. That's a pretty cool realization.