|View of the Bosphorus from BU South Campus|
The view from my school can totally beat up the view from your school! I am loving my classes here at Boğaziçi Üniversitesi! The walk to class can be great, and how not with campus views like these? The downfall of this daily trek is realized though when it is time to return from my classes and head back to the SuperDorms. The hike is brutal and uphill the whole way; and while there isn't any driving snow, its still exhausting. This extensive cardio routine is necessary though for me to attend my wonderful classes. I am fascinated with the subjects and am extremely content with the courses I selected. There is no doubt that I will be taking full advantage of Intro to World Philosophy [PHIL 101] & The Comparative Sociology of Religions[SOC 377].
So far I have learned about Karl Marx in my sociology class and am fascinated with the ideas and rationales he used to create his belief structure. The philosophy class is fun as well, but the Christian/Texan bias of the instructor is clearly evident throughout his class lectures. It is hilarious as well as liberating when the instructor or I will make references to Christianity or southern U.S. religious culture in general and the Turkish Muslim students just look on in a state of confusion that was reminiscent of the faces of my fellow OU students when they themselves were first hearing about alternative religions. I have also had a similar experience in my sociology class when the teacher referenced the to the bible, but prefaced it with "I'm not sure where in the bible it says this but it says, the meek will inherit the earth." without hesitation I said, "The book of Psalms." It was an almost instantaneous reaction that I didn't even fully process, it was just a simple and quick response. He then thanked me and in the comment alluded to me being a Christian. I responded by saying, "I'm not a Christian, I was just raised in Oklahoma." This earned a laugh from the teacher who then explained to the class that Oklahoma was known for being very conservative and Christian. I felt really smart, I had named the correct book without hesitation and seemed to appear as some sort of 'Biblical genius' to the class. But then I thought, Wow they have zero concept of the book, and probably don't know that much more about the contents of the Bible. I knew people like this existed in the world, but I had never had such an immersive experience into that mindset as I did in those few minutes after. So all of the painful years growing up around Christian-indoctrination-central, Oklahoma seemed to have paid off with this basic knowledge that I had just used in class. But then I reflected on it. Wow, something that is extremely central to every facet of life in Oklahoma was barely recognized by the students here in Istanbul. It is amazing that the mindset I am so used to dealing with doesn't even partially exist here. It is refreshing and reassuring to be able to experience normal daily life in terms of the country I was visiting. That's when it truly sunk in, I am experiencing another culture, another mindset, another worldview...
As you may have noticed there was a bit of a delay between my last post and this one you are reading now. Now that classes have started for the summer I will be switching from tourist mode to student mode. The posts will now be more academia oriented, but will still feature tales from the day and pictures from my adventures.