11.04.2015

Day 2

On our 2nd day, we went to breakfast in a horse farm. There, we met children who are under legal protection. The farm was huge and there were lots of activities to join. Some of them are: gunnysack race, football, ebru, making bracelets from soap, wall painting, t-shirt painting, volleyball etc. I joined volleyball and ebru. I met lots of students aged between 5 and 18. We talked about Edirne and other small talks. I was good at communicating with people and representing myself. This was an organization of Tut Elimi Edirne Association. I talked with two university students who were volunteers in this association. They told me that they used to be under legal protection as well and that they wanted to help their sisters. “The only thing they need is to be loved.”, they said. For this reason, they wanted us to visit more often and spend time with them. All of the children had different stories. Some of them lost their parents, some of them used to be a victim of abuse, some of them had alcoholic parents… Meeting them helped me see the real world, the other side of the coin. Edirne’s local television came to interview us. I volunteered to give the interview and our teacher selected me. They asked me several questions in front of the camera. I was really excited and afraid to say something wrong because the whole situation was sensitive. “How did today contribute to your life?” they asked. “In Istanbul, my life is mainstream. School, home – home, school. Every day, I see the same people and I barely get to have a chance to meet people from different social backgrounds. For this reason, meeting these children was avail to me.” I answered. I would like to explain a little more, but I wasn’t comfortable with the camera, so this was difficult to me. Unfortunately, when the activities were over, it was also the time for us to return to Istanbul.

Area: Creativity

Hours Completed: 7


 

10.04.15

Day 1

I was really happy to be back in Mithat Paşa Primary School. This time, we were there to carry out our promises. Thanks to our sponsors, we had 5 loaded bags of new books and boxes of paint. The students were waiting for us with great felicitousness. Just like the previous visit, we spent approximately an hour to talk, hug, play little games etc. Some of the children recognized me. They ran towards me and said: “I remember you, your name was Doğa!” I cannot express how happy I was. Although I didn’t remember all of their names, I remembered their faces. Since we had limited time, we then got to work. Each school, Enka, Ayazağa Işık, Uskudar American and our school, had different plans. We all had something different for the school. Ayazağa Işık organized a treasure hunt, where Uskudar American set up the projector they brought. As Terakki, we first placed the books to their library. After that, I joined wall painting. Mr. Dew gathered us in a room and explained our task. We were going to draw and paint the collages that we’ve made earlier. With a simple transfer technique we painted the back pages of our collages with dark pastel color. Then, we taped the pictures on the wall and went over the outlines with pencils. Students helped us as well. A girl named Kardelen helped me a lot. We worked together to finish the outlining. The technique took a lot of time and patience. It is actually really difficult to draw when the picture itself is bigger than you! Hopefully, when we removed the papers off the wall, our patterns, in other words our peculiar collages, were there. The next step was to paint. We took acrylic color and brushes to paint the wall. There were lots of colors of paint, at first our task was under control. Only a few students were helping us to finish our work. However, the colorful paint attracted too many students. Almost all of them wanted to paint the wall. The result was a chaos. The students started to paint and draw random things everywhere on the wall. Since we didn’t want to devitalize, nobody prevented them. To be honest, the wall looked like a mess at the end. But at least, a mess that had a good memory, a result of an entertaining artwork.

Our second step was to make a hopscotch and a mirror game on the ground. We used spray paint to do the mirror game and wall paint to make the hopscotch. Because of the wind, we had several problems, our template on the ground was not moving still. We solved the problem by gathering stones. While our school was still busy with painting, the other schools were done. They started playing basketball and volleyball with the students. Then we finished our job as well. When it was time to leave the students investigated our work with interest. Our rocket-like-hopscotch and mirror game took so many attention. Students were happy to see color in their playgrounds. I was also glad to achieve our goals: to improve and enhance the visual material and the library of the school. I taught some of the students the mirror game. It was new to them.

When it was time to leave, all of us were sad. Suddenly, a music started to play. We were all surprised. Two men came, playing shawm-and-drum. Our traditional music… The students from all five schools started to dance the halay or belly dance. I danced too. It was a great surprise and a memory. I told to myself that I liked being with these people and that I didn’t want to return.

 

Area: Service

Hours Completed: 7


 

15.01.15

See, capture, photograph, print, create, design, project, paint… These are the basic steps for our wish to enhance the visual quality of our sister school. Today, Mr. Dew invited us to the art atelier in our school to create the design for the walls of Mithat Paşa Primary School. First step was to select one of the printed photographs, taken in Edirne during the pattern-finding task, and cutting the parts that we wanted. Second step was to put & glue together these different patterns and create a big, complicated but integrated image. It was no different than making a complex puzzle. We were divided into two groups. Although our collage included many details, it looked decent and plain when we looked from a distance. This was an activity that required high creativity and patience because it wasn’t that easy to form an esemplastic picture out of tiny details. Our group worked in great collaboration and as a result we ended up having a unique, interesting image. We created an image that looked like the silhouette of a woman. The other group’s image looked like a walnut tree. I’m looking forward to project & paint it on the school’s walls.

Area: Creativity

Hours Completed: 1.5


 

16.12.14

With the objective to go through what we’ve done in Edirne, a meeting was organized by our CAS coordinator Yeşim Irmak Bozkurt. We evaluated the trip and briefly discussed our strengths and weaknesses. Each participant school in this project had been given different responsibilities. Our school’s responsibility is to improve the playground of the school and develop the students’ art skills. Mr. Dew had some great ideas about recreating the vast playground such as sketching a colorful hopscotch to the ground and painting the empty walls of the school. We are going to use the patterns that we’ve captured in Edirne (2nd day) to create a design for the walls. Mr. Dew is planning to project these only just-designed photographs to the walls for us to paint. By that, the school will have a unique taste of visual quality that includes the city’s own ambiance or culture. But first, we should get together in the future to organize these photographs and create a design.

Mr. Dew also provided a list of materials to turn his ideas into reality:

For playground

  • Chalk
  • Duct tape/ masking tape
  • Old Rags
  • Ball of string
  • Outdoor Paint (three colors)
  • Large straight edge (1 meter at least)
  • Paint Stir (old sticks)
  • Narrow Paint Roller
  • Paint Brushes
  • 100 ft. Measuring Tape
  • Turps (to clean brushes)

 

For mural

  • Chalk
  • Masking tape
  • Old Rags
  • Emulsion (water-based) Paint (three colors minimum)
  • Paint Stir (old sticks)
  • Narrow Paint Roller
  • Paint Brushes
  • 100 ft. Measuring Tape

However, we need to find sponsors to effort all of these materials. But first, we need to get permission from our school administration to search for sponsors. I volunteered to write a petition to our school administration about this topic. So, it is my responsibility to get permission from our headmaster. We will be talking about it in the next few weeks: Petition

Area:  Service

Hours Completed: 1


 

06.12.14

Day 2

The second day of our trip in Edirne was dedicated to visiting historical places and embracing the city’s culture. Our art teacher Mr. Dew gave us a task which was basically capturing different patterns in the historical places we visited. (Old Mosque, Selimiye Mosque and Bayezid II Külliye Health Museum were the famous places we visited.) Especially the mosques had really interesting patterns that we could see in their architecture and interior design. The patterns that I encountered in Selimiye Mosque were the most stimulating ones, thus I used my creative skills to transfer them into photographs. Finding and photographing these patterns were both easy and enjoyable for me because I really love capturing the real world and making it immortal. During our visits, I’ve learnt lots of information about Ottoman Empire and the architecture of that era. I suppose this activity contributed to my IB learner profile “knowledgeable” because I had the opportunity to examine what I’ve learnt, so I believe it will be permanent.

As Terakki IB students, we will use this photographing activity in the sister school project, however we haven’t decided what to do exactly. According to our observations, Mithat Paşa Primary School lacked visual material, one of the most essential elements that a primary school should include. Most probably, our task will be related to enhancing the school’s visual material. We will have a meeting about it when we return to Istanbul.

Area: Creativity

Hours Completed: 5

05.12.14

Day 1

As four IB schools, Uskudar American Academy, Enka, FMV Ayazağa Işık and Terakki, we have started a social responsibility project in order to fulfill the needs of our sister school Mithat Paşa Primary School. For the beginning of the project, we organized a trip to Edirne in an attempt to interact with the students in Mithat Paşa Primary School. We also determined the school’s needs while we were observing the school and spending time with the students. In order to introduce ourselves to the students and communicate with them, we did several activities: creating a postcard, making bracelets, singing&dancing, painting, playing kinball and designing bookends. Students from ages 7-13 were really enthusiastic to talk with us. This was a thing I realized when they surrounded me and asked many questions about the activities. It was fun to listen them and answer their questions. Since most of the students were smiling, I really enjoyed doing those activities and sharing my experiences with them.

They were also complaining about their school’s physical conditions. To this extent, I found this activity a bit challenging as well, because I couldn’t know what to say when they looked so upset and kept complaining about their school. I’ve learned that my emotional responses have an impact on my communication and reflection skills. When I felt so sad about the students’ problems, I lost my ability to speak and immediately started to think of solutions. However, knowing what we were going to do would help was a great feeling.

One thing that frustrated me was that the students lacked discipline and they weren’t respectful with each other. In addition, some of them didn’t know how to listen. There were times when I couldn’t manage to tell them to do a particular task. Especially some students were really difficult to control. When we asked their vice principle about this problem, he said that the majority of the students have been struggling with domestic abuse. As a result, the school management decided to grow soft on the students, at least, at school. I was both shocked and sorry to hear that. Once again, I apprehended how socioeconomic conditions could affect individuals’ lives.

When we returned to the hotel, we did a meeting at the convention hall. CAS coordinators from every school shared their opinions about the project. We discussed the needs of the school and listed to them. We also suggested ways to collect money in order to implement our goal. One problem about the trip was that we hadn’t had an opportunity to meet, as IB students, before the trip. Therefore, it was difficult to communicate with each other while we were also trying to communicate with the students. Since most of us have met, we know there will be a better atmosphere in our next visit to Edirne.

Area:  Service

Hours Completed: 7