Lets Do College

My young fellow-adventurer, Hannah, and I enjoyed the good transportation system in the city of Istanbul.  From our Superdorm at Bogacizi University, (the Harvard of Turkey I am told), we could reach Taksim Square by a 45 minute bus ride.  The first picture was taken from the bus and reveals the beauty of the city. 

Going to "Taksim Square"

This scene reveals the beauty and care taken of Istanbul.

After reaching Taksim Square, its a short rail and tram ride to Sultanahmet, Topkapi Palace, and The Grand Bazaar.

Marble Topkapi interior

This is within the castle entrance of Topkapi Palace, where the Sultans lived, and reveals the beautiful Ottoman architecture

Topkapi architecture

The Ottoman architecture of Topkapi.

The famous Grand Bazaar is a feast for the eyes and a great experience.

"The Grand Bazaar"

The Grand Bazaar is a vast commercial area, some of which is covered in a beautiful, interesting cavern of streets.

To Be Continued…


Hannah and I started our scholarship summer classes on June 25 in Istanbul, thanks to WLU and a grant from the WV Higher Education Commission.  Professor and Ms. Catma were our wonderful personal guides, showing us how to get from the Superdorm where we stayed, to all areas of the city and accompanying us on almost all the tours.

Lovely street with many shops and cultural restaurants.

Beyoglu, a shopping and historical center, that looks Russian to me. Beyoglu is a street close to Taksim Square, the transportation hub of this part of Istanbul. The Blue Mosque behind me is one of the most famous religious buildings in the world.

Inside "The Blue Mosque"

This is a view inside the Blue Mosque. It gets its name from the mainly blue Iznik tilework decorating the interior.The Blue Mosque behind me is one of the most famous religious buildings in the world.

"The Blue Mosque"

The Blue Mosque behind me is one of the most famous religious buildings in the world.

"Haghia Sophia" interior

This is an interior shot of Haghia Sophia, the church built in the Byzantine era, the 6th Century.

To Be Continued…

Pam at entrance to Topkapi Palace

Topkapi, the Sultan's Palace for 400 yearsWe arrived in Istanbul, Turkey, June 24, 2010. In between 7 weeks of classes, we learned about this city that rests on two continents and stretches across the Bosphorus. The Ottoman Sultans reigned for 400 years and lived on the vast grounds and palace within this. That's me. The Bosphorus, the channel that runs from the Black Sea to the MediterraneanWe saw this scene everyday as we walked to classes.The Bosphorus lives in the city

What color blue is that?
The Blue Mosque is very close to Topkapi Palace in Sultanahmet.
The Blue Mosque from the Ferry

The Blue Mosque on the 4th of July

The Bosphorus

The Bosphorus

There were literally hundreds of summer classes I could have chosen at Bogazici University; and I chose Photography and Multiple Imaging, something I know little about; and Art and Architecture of the Historical Capitol (Istanbul).  

I was so lucky to have a wonderful fellow-adventurer, also chosen for the summer scholarship; the beautiful and intelligent Hannah Marshall.   We were to be accompanied by my esteemed and admired Economics Professor, Dr. Serkan Catma, and his lovely wife Guinca, who are both from Turkey.  We were to leave late June and return early August, seven full weeks! 

To Be Continued…

I decided that I didn’t have to make up my mind, right now, about going to Turkey if I was accepted for the scholarship.   Anyway, what are the chances?  I thought I would take the first step, just to keep my options open.  I would write the essay.  I wrote it and did the other small steps to enter.   That was December.

I was chosen to go!   It was March.  It was one of the most exciting things that could ever happen!  I was going to see the beautiful things that were shown in the online photographs.  I was going to Istanbul; and to see the Black Sea!  It was a scholarship for summer classes at Bogazici (Bosphorus) University.  And I could sign up for two 3 credit classes.  Any classes I wanted!

To Be Continued…

The email from Professor said, ‘look at this – it’s a great opportunity!’   It happened to be a small announcement about a trip to Turkey, a scholarship, all expenses paid.   “What?” I said.  “Turkey?!?”  “What do I know about Turkey?”  I continued to myself;  very little.  Let’s see, high school world history, Mediterranean Sea area, the Bosphorus…The Bosphorus!  Wow!  The Dardanelles.  What are those?  What must that be like?

Do I want to go to Turkey?  I never thought about it before.  It must be very exotic, scary, the last stop of the Orient Express!  Looked it up on Google maps, like I learned in Geography class the previous semester.  I wonder what the Golden Horn is like?  I typed in “Turkey” on search, and saw the most beautiful scenes.  It looks kind of like … Greece?  (Check map).  Yes, it’s very close to Greece.   Wow!         What should I do?

To Be Continued…

What is it like, going to college classes as an older student?  Do you feel weird?  Is it difficult?  How do the students treat you?   I can tell you that it is very inspiring.  It’s like sitting in a well-tended, well-watered garden.  People and ideas are abundant, and the horizon is beautiful. 

Time of Life:

My grandmother, at 91, never considered herself to be old.  She was just herself.  I admired that trait and hope to perfect it in myself.  No, I don’t feel weird in college.  I just think its my destiny. 

Class subjects:

Is college difficult?  The classes range in difficulty.  Some we have an affinity for, our talents lie in certain areas, and success comes easier; but the others!!!   I like to think that if I work hard enough, I can do them, and so far, so good.  I must admit, if I need any tutoring, I do not hesitate for a minute to take advantage of the free tutoring service at West Lib.  Sometimes when I don’t understand some concept, I start worrying – but you know, when it finally dawns, the adrenalin high is great.  I do love good grades. 

Fellow Students:

My fellow student-adventurers are a good lot.  In my youth, I was shy.  Not so much anymore, but I do tend to be on the quiet side, so although I don’t know everyone in the room, I really like those who sit by me.  The ones that I know are friendly and warm, and I can’t wait to meet more.

To Be Continued…