Sunday, 8 November 2009

Pumpkin Fun!

In Turkey, it's tough to find orange pumpkins. We usually end up carving a big greyish green one instead. Let me tell you, those things are tough to carve! The rind is at least 3 inches thick, and hard as a bowling ball. Try carving through your kitchen table, and you'll get an idea of the pumpkin carving experience here in Turkey.

James took the pumpkin I carved for our girls to school to show his students and they were impressed and EXCITED. They'd only seen jack-o-lanterns on TV. His tenth graders immediately begged him to bring pumpkins in for them to carve. They all threw in a little cash and sent "Teacher" to hunt them down.

By the way, Turkish students call all their teachers "Ogretmenim (my teacher)," so when they have an english teacher, he automatically becomes "Teacher." In the US, you'd only hear that coming out of a kindergartener's mouth. So it sounded strange to James to be greeted that way by 16 year olds, but I guess he got used to it...

Anyhow, with 20 lira in his pocket, Teacher headed out to the pumpkin patch.... er .... roadside stand... and did his best to pick out a few nice round greyish-green pumpkins.

Kind of ugly, aren't they? And those orange things in the background... the ones that you probably think are pumpkins... I'm pretty sure those are overripe melons. They're supposed to be green, like the melons on the right.

After James chose a few, the melon/pumpkin guy weighed them with his yellow crate and pulley thingy. He threw in a few melons so that James could use up the entire 20 lira.

I'm pretty sure James tried to swipe an extra melon... check out that guilty look on his face.

A few days later the highly anticipated event finally came, and several excited 10th graders got to sink their butter knives into the pumpkins! The administration wouldn't let them use sharp knives, so James made the first cut then handed the hard and warty green pumpkins over for those poor kids to try to continue carving with butter knives. Good thing 16 year olds are strong.

Everybody took a turn digging out the guts...

This girl found a plastic glove to wear while digging out the pumpkin's innards. Smart! She must have a good teacher.

Mehmet and Ahmet. Good friends putting their heads together to design their very first jack-o-lantern.

Gotta love the uniforms. Makes me wish I had one in high school.

The finished product. Three beautiful pumpkins. Twelve happy students. One happy teacher (the guy in the back with the teeny head and a goatee). And the english practice?? They wrote all about it three times. In past, present, and future tense.

James is a great teacher!

1 comment:

Margaret said...

Wow, great idea and great pictures. It looks like a lot of fun and involvement for the students. I'll have to send you a few of those pumpkin knives.

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