Without them coming out and saying that directly, I’ve been asked variations on that theme since I began this process.
- “Why do you want to spend 3 weeks of your summer doing school work?”
- “Turkey? Don’t you just want to go to the beach?”
- “Is it safe there?”
- (after the Taksim Square protests) “IS IT SAFE THERE???”
I found out about the NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) sponsored institutes for educators through the state National History Day coordinator and after looking over the offerings, applied for this institute. I will be one of 30 educators from around the US coming together in Turkey to study the Ottoman Empire. The bulk of the institute will be spent in Istanbul, but we will also visit the first two capitals of the Ottoman Empire, Bursa and Edirne, as well as Safranbolu, Iznik, and Çanakkale/Gallipoli.
One of the requirements for the institute is to complete a blog or a journal of my experiences and reflections, so if I get too educationally philosophical, just skip past that paragraph or ride it out.
The institute starts on July 8th, but I will be in Istanbul starting on July 5th. I may post a thing or two before I leave – mainly about my trials and tribulations in travel arrangements.
P.S. The answer to the title question is, “no. Why do you ask?”