Well hello everyone! As promised I set up a blog for this summer, one that will hopefully even be updated on a regular basis. I don't leave until Tuesday for DC and orientation so right now I am just preparing. As of now I have a large pile of clothes on my bedroom floor, so I'm pretty much good to go. I've been doing lots of research too though. I watched the Russian, Montenegrin and Turkish entry for Eurovision this year, which was held in Baku. I did forget to watch the new James Bond with Daniel Craig though, which is supposed to have been partially filmed in Baku (my guess is about 3 seconds of the credits).
For real though, the reports I have heard coming out of the country have been mixed, but I not only expect but appreciate that. If they were too rosy I wouldn't trust them in the slightest, if they were too negative I would vanish during orientation and then burn through my stipend check in DC. Instead it looks like I'm going to Baku.
For those of you who don't know, I'm going this summer not because I stuck a pin in a map (though that sounds like good fun) but because I applied to go with the Critical Language Scholarship program, run by the State Department and American Councils. After 7000 essay drafts which my loving older sister tore to shreds and 6 months filling out paperwork I found out in March that I had won my all expenses paid trip to Baku with the Holy Grail of less commonly taught language scholarships. Then I started taking pretests, signing all kinds of documents and reading the CIA world factbook page, thinking, "I'm going where?". Azerbaijani made sense for me being closely related to Turkish and it is a good chance to expand my cultural knowledge further into Central Asia. Everyone I talked to, from the single Azerbaijani student at MSU to my Turkish teacher to my guidebook told me that Azerbaijani would be easy to pick up from Turkish. After my oral pretest where I needed an example to understand that I was being asked to count and asked my interviewer to repeat "Goodbye" I am feeling a mite bit skeptical. Oh well. Bring it on. Being lost dazed and exceptionally confused has never bothered me before. Let's go exploring! I hope you'll come with me on the journey.
About the Blog
I recently accepted a position from Teach and Learn with Georgia, a Georgian Ministry of Education program designed to bring native speakers of English into classrooms around the country. I will be moving to Georgia in August of 2014 to begin my assignment.
Before this latest adventure, I studied at Bogazici University in Istanbul Turkey and at Azerbaijan University of Languages. I speak English German Spanish, Turkish Azerbaijani and Uzbek and am currently trying my hand at Georgian.