I was asked to prepare an opening speech for 2016 TELT conference. At first, I was reluctant to do so, but then I wanted to take this risk. English teachers and academicians from all around the world were going to listen to me, and I really wanted to give this a shot. It was an exam week, and I had quite a few time to prepare and practice the speech. I have always trusted my improvisation skills, so I was not nervous. I prepared a speech in less than 2 hours the night before the conference and tried to memorize its key points. After I had given the speech, I was amazed by people’s reactions. Although I had written a full speech, I did not read the paper in my hand, and I improvised the speech based on the key points I have thought of. Thus, many people congratulated me and told me that I was a great speaker. Deniz Kurtoğlu Esen, English Language instructor from Sabancı University, wanted to take a photo with me. I was quite honored. I feel I have achieved my outcome goals because I increased my awareness for public speaking and I undertook new challenges. TELT Website
Opening Speech TELT
Hours Completed: 0.5
Our team won the OIB Special Awards during Turkey’s Innovation Week Ceremony. We were the only high school that competed in Shell Eco-marathon Turkey. Besides, Terakki has been participating in Shell Eco-marathon since 2005. I was very excited for the ceremony because the event was very crowded and there were cameras all over the place. I held our cup on the stage with one of the team members, Ege. With this special award, we won two cups during the Innovation week; the other cup was for the “Team Spirit” award. This was on the news in many media platforms. I am really happy for being a part of Shell Eco-marathon and Team Terakki.
After the ceremony, Mr. Bahtiyar asked me to wait in our stand in the exposition area. It was just like the Mini Maker Faire event. I answered the questions of the visitors and informed them about our team. During the spare times, I could visit the exposition and see/investigate the other projects in the exposition.
Some of the news articles about my opening speech and Terakki’s prices: Hürriyet, Milliyet, Terabook, Shell Eco-marathon Turkey
Area: Creativity – Service
Hours Completed: 1 – 6
This year, Shell Eco-marathon was organized in Turkey in TIM for the first time. The aim was to gain experience for the main competition that will take place in London in July 2016. 13 Turkish teams participated Shell Eco-marathon Turkey. As Team Terakki, we were one of the 13 teams. Each team was given a tent to get prepared for the competition on Sunday. We had to prepare the cars for the technical inspection to be able to compete. Our school has two cars competing in two different categories: urban and prototype. I was chosen as the driver of our prototype car because it was easy for me to drive the car thanks to my minion physical traits. By the end of the first day, our cars were ready for technical inspection. We successfully connected the lithium polymer accumulator of our urban concept car. All team members had to work collaboratively to avoid mistakes while completing the electrical circuit of our urban concept car. (Even though I was the driver of the prototype car, I was helping the modification of the urban concept car). By the end of the 2nd day, both of our cars passed the technical inspections, fulfilling all the necessary requirements for Shell Eco-marathon Turkey.
Meltem Tol, the social investment and internal communications advisor of Shell Eco-marathon, asked me to prepare an opening speech for the press briefing of the competition. For this reason, I was very excited and nervous about the competition at first. I gave the speech as one of the youngest participants of the competition. I was one of the few female drivers in the competition. Many TV channels and magazines interviewed me and asked me questions about the technical details of our cars as well as my own experiences as a team member. It was a great experience to be on TV after the competition and I felt really excited and honored.
We faced many difficulties during the competition. Most of the difficulties were because of the weather. The main problem was the track was wet. Unfortunately, they canceled the competition of the prototype category due to safety concerns. For this reason, I could not drive the car during the competition. However, they did not cancel the competition for the urban category. Although our urban car was still eligible, it was a rainy weekend and Mr. Bahtiyar was anxious about the safety of our urban car. Accumulator had to stay away from water. Unless, the car could explode. He was reluctant to take the risk and he didn’t want us to compete. As a team, we decided to convince him by taking all the possible precautions against the rain. We duct taped and siliconed all the open places on the chassis as well as the mudguards to ensure water could not leak inside the car. After hours of effort, we could finally convince him. I felt that working as a team made me a stronger insister and a better collaborator. Other teams were competing while we were trying to improve the safety of our car. Hence, our team got late for the competition. I was worried because the jury could disregard our results even though we had completed the laps. Fortunately, they decided to count our results. I can say that we tried our best to convince Mr. Bahtiyar and the juries. Our team won the “Team Spirit” prize and our urban concept electrical car won the third place in the alternative energy category. I was not surprised by the team spirit prize because I think that we deserved it.
Website: Shell Eco-marathon Turkey
Area: Action – Creativity
Hours Completed: 9 – 10
I participated in the Mini Maker Faire that took place in Istanbul Bilgi University. We had a stand in the faire and I was responsible for introducing Team Terakki and Shell Eco-marathon to the visitors. I tried to answer as many questions as I could. Especially the parents were really interested in our car. They wanted me to explain how our urban concept electrical car works. Some of the frequently asked questions were: “How many kilometers can it take per hour?”, “What is the material used in the car’s shell?”, “Do you know how to drive the car?”. I felt good about this activity because I liked informing people about our team. Their reactions kept me motivated because most of the visitors congratulated us for representing our country in the international competition. I had to stand up all day and deal with the visitors. Hopefully, my team mates were here to help me. They backed me up for the questions that I had trouble answering. This is the most beautiful thing about working in a team: immediately helping each other out in case of a problem.
Hours Completed: 6
At the day of the show, our group met for practice as usual. There was a problem in the solo of one pair so we decided to change their solo. I helped them to find their mistake and improve their movements. After fixing their problem, the repeated the dance three times in a row without stopping. Mr. Alican had to leave me to check other partners while the dance was going on. So, I danced as if I had a partner during some of the trials. After two hours, we decided that the show was ready. Around 10 pm that day, we took the stage for our performance. It was a great experience for me and the audience, other campers and visitors, told us that they loved the show and congratulated our supervisor.
Hours Completed: 1
Having learned the basic and necessary moves, we started to concentrate on the choreography for the show. Our teacher announced the partners who will dance together in the show. He chose me as his partner. I was very excited for the show and decided to do my best to memorize the choreography. He wanted us to contribute while he was putting the moves in order. We chose the song for the show and started to make the sequence. In salsa, “shine” is a combination of moves done without a partner when the music slows down or changes. Mr. Alican added a shine to our sequence where the music changed. So, during the second lesson of the week, we spent our time practicing the shines. As an extra, Mr. Alican showed a few steps from a similar dance: bachata. Bachata moves were much easier than salsa, thus I was successful dancing. It was intriguing to learn the Latin dances because I was getting to know a different culture. I realized that I’m talented for Latin dances. I found out that I need to do more research about the Latin culture and continue dancing later on in my life. In the third lesson, each partner, there were 4 partners, practiced their solo. Our supervisor helped the partners while creating their solos. Since I was his partner, our solo was a bit challenging. He showed me an advanced move involving successive turns and a pose. After the lesson, I stayed an extra of 30 minutes to practice our solo. I can say that I was exhausted but it was a lot of fun. The fourth lesson of the week was the last lesson before our show. We practiced the choreography twice to ensure that the sequence is fluent.
Hours Completed: 11
I started trekking when I was 13 years old. My father and I enjoy nature walking a lot and we have decided to turn our customary walks into a regular physical activity. This summer, we decided to go to Kayaköy Art Camp. (In this camp, each camper chooses an art activity to spend their noon hours in the camp. After these art workshops, campers go trekking.) Each day, we walked to a different bay in Fethiye. Depending on the incline and the length of the path, trekking duration also varied. Similarly, we had time for swimming when we arrived at the bays. For this reason, swimming was also a part of the trekking activity. Mr. Ozen, our trekking guide, led and accompanied the group. Here is the list of bays or paths that we trekked during our 2-week stay in Kayaköy (the duration of each is also given below):
- Cold Water Bay (Soğuk Su Koyu): 4 hours
- Af Kule Monastery: 3 hours
- Deadsea (Ölüdeniz) Walk: 6 hours
- Darboğaz: 4 hours
- Saklıkent Walk: 2 hours
- Nicolas Island: 2 hours
Perseverance and condition were two important keys to success in this activity. Deadsea walk was extremely challenging because it took approximately 3 hours to arrive at the destination and 3 hours to trek back. I was carrying a backpack with me and a bottle of water. Especially the first 30 minutes of the walk was exhausting because we had to climb a steep hill. Rocks and bushes were all over the path, and they scratched my legs. The weather was also too hot, and I felt that I was pushing my limits. Hopefully, Mr. Ozen gave us time to rest periodically. I learned that I had to take more water with me for walks longer than 3 hours. The journey was a lot better after climbing the hill, I observed the environment and tried to walk in a normal tempo to control my breathing. Likewise, St. Nicolas Island was challenging because we climbed to the peak of the island. For this reason, I have to improve my climbing skills in trekking for better performance. After walking for hours, swimming is a great activity. It made me relax and helped me gain energy for the return path.
Hours Completed: 21