Posted in Books & Stories, Classroom Notes, Just Poetry, Motivational

  Ufuk’s Kiss

 

 

He gave just a little kiss like this…

Not on your life

 

He was her boyfriend not mine

We all lived in the same house being teachers abroad

Ages 21 to 60 beyond

It didn’t matter as we made life work

We didn’t necessarily hang out together

Though we had our moments to share

We sought our interests

This evening in the kitchen we were

He had done something helpful

Or was it something he’d said

I remember standing in the doorway

As I quipped to him you rock

Mimicking a kiss through the air

More kick than I thought

Or he felt it for real

Not intended

 

Honest

 

He shot one back to me

Almost knocking me off my feet

I felt that arrow penetrate my being

My core

But he never moved from his spot

That’s passion pure form

His girlfriend my flatmate didn’t like it one bit

No

She did not

 

I love life

He had plenty

 

It lay silent inside me until just now

Some years flitting by

What was her boyfriend’s name

A harmless muse walking early today

There were two I’d confuse of two friends

Well one not so much

 

Then I remembered

And remember I did

That’s passion

Don’t dwell on the past

The hell you say

Oh

Just for the moment I believe I’ll stay

 

 

 

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Posted in Books & Stories, business, Classroom Notes, Flashback And Memoir, new year

Noticeable Changes To Say The Least

 

So I double click and the screen diminishes to nothing or call it two by two size…. meaning it got really small, then I pulled the sides out to fill the screen back up and the type is tiny. There’s got to be a type size adjustment somewhere to fix this… but I’m not running across it, something that doesn’t stop me from thinking:

I’m Rubber, You’re Glue. What You Say Bounces Off Me And Sticks To You

Hmmm, a possible title… and childhood blast from the past. How nice if we could hold that same innocence when someone’s not being nice and move on from there. A simple refusal to listen to this with a big hint let’s move on; better yet should they respond, “no I’m rubber you’re glue…” which is usually how the conversation went if I recall, “no I said it first”… and it’s over especially if you wanted to get back to what you were doing.

 

Kids are natural sages for sure.

 

Coffee. Finally got some half n’ half. Coffee definitely. Why? Not that I need a reason.

Up @ 3:30-ish with the first wash going. Love the rates this time of day and it’s cool enough for the door to be open and wearing a pair of sweats. The coffee I just had filling the room with its fragrance so I’m compelled to make more. Fall is coming, autumnal equinox, and my birthday. My grandmother’s was September 3rd; if she were alive she’d be 117.

 

What else?

 

Waiting for daybreak to head out for a few things. Wash my face, brush my teeth, get the list together and choose a save-the-planet grocery tote so I’m ready to go.

 

A good day, no two ways about it.

 

 

Posted in Books & Stories, Classroom Notes, Motivational

The Cat And Handy Catch Phrases

 

The contented house cat on the prowl just knew, I could tell by the concentration and stealth-to-pounce position it was in, it was going to catch it’s target. I couldn’t see the target from the other side of the street but it sure could. Like a bolt of lightening it leapt, I heard annoyed chirping, wings flapping, saw a small bird reach altitude as the housecat, no longer as self-assured yet still rotund with its shiny-clean fur now on the other side of the low bush looking around somewhat perplexed, “where’d the bird go?” It took a moment before it decided to move feeling a little sheepish? He wasn’t exactly in shape for it… possibly remembering the good ol’ days. Not to worry, there’ll be warm milk and gourmet cat food at home. No doubt someone will be there to brush its fur…

 

I read something in the paper about an actor who in many of his movie posters is leaning back or leaning on someone and it was associated with memes, meme with learning. What has that to do with meme? Something over my head… I don’t get it as Sherman oft said to Mr. Peabody but that’s ok. What I do remember as an undergrad an instructor who said I should have a meme to associate with what I’m learning so when it’s time for a test it’ll be easier to recall the information. Now he was a graduate student and I was a lot older but I’m supposed to listen and being me, well; let me tell you. According to my instructor, I should have this word that’s supposed to trigger something that’s supposed to trigger something that’s supposed to trigger something that’s supposed to bring to mind what I need to answer the question kind of like Chinese checkers. Take your marble and jump, jump, jump, jump, collect all the marbles you’ve jumped, get to the other edge of the board to win. (Who hadn’t loved lining things up to clear the board with one move) However, I’m exhausted already from all that thinking, the pressure to remember what on earth I’m remembering the word for, and I haven’t answered the first question yet. Instead of collecting marbles and winning the prize I think I’ve lost them…

 

Makes more sense to just study instead of stressing over forgetting the go-to word.

 

 

 

Posted in Books & Stories, Classroom Notes, Fiction & Poetry

Mozart Got Silent

 

Where did he go?

Push play again that’ll do it

 

I knew that

 

I didn’t want to say that again, but I liked ‘Mozart got silent’, what ran through my mind when the CD stopped playing during naptime and I thought “hey this might be a good title…” What would follow was a mystery even until now.

 

It is getting late. Looking around it seems so dark then I realize I’ve replaced all the nightlights with soft glow bulbs keeping things demure, that gentle glow that appears dark against the stark brightness of the laptop screen. If I look away and tilt the screen forward I see their light. Nothing has gone out, a good thing seeing I have to buy a new package of bulbs after I used the last one just last night. There, I looked away again tilting the screen down to relax my eyes, peaceful and soothing, ah, that’s nice.

 

I am tired.

 

Maybe we’ll continue in the morning.

Maybe not

Maybe later

 

What could follow is a mystery even until then.

Define then

Whenever when

 

Mozart and me getting silent…

Posted in Books & Stories, Classroom Notes, Flashback And Memoir, Thought Food

AN ELEVATOR IN ISTANBUL

I lived in Istanbul for almost two years as a Teacher of English as a foreign language – what follows are notes from a journal I kept during my time there:

First Impressions / Year One:

At The Language Academy Ranch:

It’s interesting being judged by students who don’t speak the language I’m teaching, and who wouldn’t know whether or not I’m a good teacher who’s fluent in my language or not, if their lives depended on it. Many times their epiphanies of learning were simply answers copied from the answer key and when that answer is no longer in reach there is withdrawal with big smiles and “I don’t understand”. How can that be when you just said you did?

Students in general, but especially beginners, should not be given answer keys; it’s just bad business. This school uses the availability of answer keys with the text as a marketing ploy. That’s a wrong approach. It makes being stuck in the back with a double-edge sword as encouragement to walk the plank preferable. Pick a killer whale with its mouth already open.

 

 

A universal aside: Toilet paper as tissue, the wrong end but suit yourself. There’s always tissue as toilet paper but in that case you’re doing your backside a favor or is it considered prestigious because the tissues cost more?

 

 

A Relaxing Cup Of Joe:

It just doesn’t feel right. There’s music on the balcony at Starbucks but the traffic is so loud I can’t hear. At least they are consistent with their coffee, something that Dunkin’ Donuts fails at here. I’ve never tasted anything so bad.

 

 

Sublime Thought: Existentialist and mystical fast food lunches leave one as empty as the places of origin. It’s right to dump on the bad and jeans aren’t too tight but I’d rather live than contemplate what is existence.

The sun almost shone bright today. It did happen.

 

 

Observations and Tastes: Olive oil is good, chocolate – eh, dried fruits and nuts abundant. Hamburgers are lamb Joe’s (as opposed to sloppy) and lamb’s throats are slit in the streets in celebration of the slaughter; the streets can be rather messy. Cheeses are the bomb; what a wondrous variety. Yogurt is outstanding. My son has friends in Italy who ask him to bring them yogurt when he comes to visit and Italy is the place to go for great food.

 

The Police Here Carry Automatic Weaponry: I am not particularly inspired by the police station. It went very smoothly with someone who speaks Turkish.

As I Venture Out On My Own: A ride on the Bosphorus and did I almost get picked up? It’s hard to tell in Turkish. He asked if I was Italian, I think, or was it Anatolian, Cappadocian, that’s the other place. He said, “English, no Turkish” when he saw my book and I said “yeah, Italian-American”. I don’t speak Italian. He wanted to go to the shady part of the boat but I was there for the sun. Then he made sign language for ‘give me your phone number”. I said, “What for? You can’t speak English.” I’d rather get a tan if I can.

The guy at Starbucks who wants to practice his English wanted to take me to the Islands on a tour so he could talk. “Can I have your phone number?” Well, no actually and after he brought me my white chocolate mocha latte. Now I’ll probably never get good service. Meanwhile: the crew back at Starbucks in Bakırköy were stumped when I asked them to ice my macchiato. I deprived them of talking about me in front of me in a foreign language I didn’t speak yet by walking away in a samba after telling them to forget it. Now whom is he going to roll his eyes about? I sure don’t know.

 

Afterthought: Did the young guy want to stab me and take my wallet on the shady side of the boat, which takes away from cool shade and throws a diabolical light on it? Now I have to wonder: Do they ask for your phone number when they want to stab you in Turkey?

 

 

Someone spoke English to me tonight. Nice neighbors.

 

 

Grandma as the con in her pretty purple print dress, I just don’t need that many tissues, but when I see her I’ll buy them. She’s one of the people that lends that special character to the town.

 

 

A Mayor’s Wife Who Sends A Car: My private S. takes her test so I’ll write I guess. It’s not the same as Starbucks but those guys aggravated me anyway. I’ll get back there sooner or later. I wonder if should check schedules to avoid people of course. I want to meet up with you – not. S. does so well with understanding innuendo lately although she can’t get it out of her mouth sometimes. We’ll keep working on that.

 

Practicing English: My beginner class decided to take me out to dinner. We went to this place by the shore and I was impressed by how noisy it was. They weren’t the least bit disturbed by it, in fact to them, it was as if there weren’t noise at all. I got a phone call and had difficulty hearing my son who wanted to ensure I was ok. The PKK, an in-house terrorist group, had blown up a few shops in the square near to where he lives, and he was concerned the students had taken me to one of the local restaurants. I assured him we were a safe distance away. The next day I took a walk through the square. The PKK wanted to make a statement only so there wasn’t as much damage as could have been, but there was just enough.

 

 

Don’t Mention It: My roommate who deserves no mention has stooped to new lows. Peeping through bedroom keyholes wasn’t enough, now it’s the bathroom and wiping his backside with the toilet brush. All I can come up with is what a tool (a word that wasn’t popular then when I was writing this but it is now). Major L for LOSER, give me an L, give me an O, give me an SER – what’s that spell? Believe it or not, the name of someone that contains only 3 letters. (And as I sit here reading this over remembering that guy, I can’t remember his name, which stood for something beautiful like sea or dolphin, but he wasn’t.)

After reflecting, thinking, and giving up, his name came to me as I was waking from sleep this morning, Ido, which in Istanbul is the name of the sea bus company that uses the image of a dolphin as its logo: Istanbul Deniz Otobüsleri.

 

I feel happy today, an epiphany, breakthrough, coming together or am I dying of a rare fatal disease? Some days nothing’s good enough. Anyway, my student will have a good holiday because he scored high and the others will do well. I can feel it.

 

Stay tuned if you care to. I’m just getting started.

 

Here’s an addendum: In a word, Rakı (spelled with the “funny” i, the one that’s not dotted, so it has an “ih” sound.)

Rakı is a traditional liquor, similar to Ouzo or Sambuca, that can be drunk two ways: one straight up of course and the other diluted with water. When water is added it turns the liquid a cloudy white and is referred to as “bulls milk”. I tried it both ways and prefer it straight. The one quality, I noticed, about Rakı that stands out is similar to how alcohols relax the body, this one dulls the mind. I’ve described it to my students as ‘it makes you stupid’. (I’d never drink Rakı on a school night, let me tell you.) They’ve laughed out loud at that knowing too well its effects. I also have a cool person, unusual woman reputation because I drink it straight, (I think the water spoils the taste) which makes me… I don’t know… like I’m tough because I can handle it. Really, I’m just trying to blend and pay my respects to the culture.

One evening a bunch of us were out, or it was the night I turned everyone on to an international food fest at the house (see what I mean) and the Rakı was flowing. I didn’t have to teach the next day – good thing – anyway, I tried to put a wash on and couldn’t get the machine to start. I checked the outlet, reset the dials, made sure the door was shut and was completely baffled. I ran across the street to the school (convenient right) and grabbed the guy in the office for assistance. He looked at the machine, reached out, pushed the machine door, it clicked closed and the wash cycle started. We looked at each other and I said, “no more Rakı”. He thought that was the greatest; needless to say everyone knew about it and my cool reputation got even cooler, but I might find another way to blend and stay alert.

 

Copyright © 2013 Margaret Prezioso-Frye

ISBN:9781301466320

 

 

Posted in Books & Stories, Classical Studies, Classroom Notes

In Other Words Lighten Up

 

At its core, the universe is not a rational place – the universe doesn’t think (but it creates randomly or by the nature of the universe when worlds collide, burn out, break apart, however the universe works). Plato and Kant say the world is amenable to reason (it won’t argue, it’s just itself while you do the thinking) aka man thinks. In the face of a world filled with endless strife (synapses, synapses, synapses) we ought (there’s the o word – ought) minimize natural desires to achieve a tranquil state of mind and disposition for universal (well rounded) beneficence (becoming selfless) and overcome frustration in artistic, moral, aesthetic forms (there’s that f word that anyone with any sense loves to write off as intangible twisting it to unachievable) of awareness.

 

Our bodies don’t think our brains do though it’s a gray area being physical that causes us to be able to reason, to think about stuff, to figure stuff out. Our bodies are amenable to reason, to eat right, to relax, to smile, to be happy, to do what’s right, to be positive, to get out of our own way, to think of the other guy, to add to life.

 

Not so sublime really. We got this.