University Life.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Some things never change.

Like the fact that I still have to walk up hills to get around campus here at Yeditepe, a strangely familiar scenario when I am at Westmont.

In other words, we have arrived at our latest destination for the next SEVEN weeks - Yeditepe University, one of Istanbul's leading private institutions, where we will be taking the core of our four classes. Housing around 18,000 students, and nestled in the a beautiful forest on the Asian side of Istanbul, this is our home until April 1st.

Our team flew from Cappadocia area back to Istanbul on Friday night, arriving back into the city, boarded our last gigantic bus (at least for a while) and enjoyed a drive across the bridge over the Bosporus to our new home. Our bus navigated through the gigantic gate that stands at the entrance of Yeditepe and dropped us off at our "dorm" if you can ever consider calling it that. Let me paint a picture for you.

You step off the bus, into the chilly Istanbul night. You grab your backpack, and your suitcase (and in my case, a laundry bag containing bits and pieces that didin't make it into your luggage one way or another) and take your first glance at "home." It's about 8 stories high, if not more. It resembles a small skyscraper, or a standard four star hotel from first glance. You walk through the revolving door, past the security desk, and take a seat on a lounge couch - an exact polar opposite of what a "dorm couch" at Westmont is. Everything is linoleum - not an inch of carpet to be seen anyway. After receiving your room key, which also activates the electricity in your dorm room, you make your way upstairs. There are 5 elevators taking you up to the fourth floor, our home hall. You walk down the corridor, the smallest sound being amplified beyond belief, frosted glass doors for every room, automatic motion-sensored lights and a very hospital feel to it all. You unlock your room, push the button on your doorknob (apparently they don't turn doorknobs here) and look into your room for the first time.

It's simple. And still, a lack of carpet. There's a bathroom for the you and your roommate, complete with a heated towel rack and sweet smelling soap. There's two extremely comfortable beds, complete with pillows, comforters and a set of towels. Your desk is see-through. But really, on top of your set of drawers and half of the mini fridge you share with your roommate sits a large slab of glass. Your desk. Above that are two more smaller glass shelves, which you quickly unpack your school books and readers onto. Your view out the window? No, not a beautiful sunny spectacular sight - instead a concrete slab. But you are okay with that. You are okay with everything. Just the fact that you get to stay in one place for a prolonged period of time and that you can finally unpack (and do a lot of laundry) is perfect. Everything is great.

This is me the past 24 hours. Getting adjusted to living back in a college atmosphere, walking to our dorm's cafeteria, or taking the long stroll to the restaurant in the student center a couple buildings over. This is a beautiful university, and has quite the "state school" feel to it right now. Thankfully we got to move in this weekend, before most of the students here are back from their winter holiday. Classes go back into session tomorrow morning, which coincidentally is the same time we begin classes too.

Yes, we have to go school now. We can't, unfortunately, spend our entire semester exploring ancient ruins around the outskirts of Turkey, drink chai and play backgammon in the evening, board a bus to a new location every few days, hear the phrases "are dere any questions to me," "here we go please," "and so and so," and "can you imagine," from our amazing tour guide, and watch our bus driver Tanner be a complete bad*ss as he drives our Mercedes Benz tour bus all over Turkey. No, unfortunately we are back in school, we are back into the swing of classes, but I am more excited for this than I have been for most of school in the past 8 years.

So this is life.
Hello Yeditepe University, we're here for the next seven weeks.
Let the schoolwork begin!

Respectfully submitted,