Friday, November 29, 2013

VIDEO: THE HUBBLE ULTRA DEEP FIELD 3D

This brilliant video was sent in by my dear friend and fellow teacher Yağız Tanlı. Watch it carefully and write a brief summary.Try also to state the main idea.
http://www.flixxy.com/hubble-ultra-deep-field-3d.htm

Thursday, November 28, 2013

REACTION ESSAY: “OVERDOSE KILLS RIGHT O DIE MAN” and “VINCENT HUMBERT’S LETTER TO JAQUES CHIRAC”




bbc. co.uk /news
Fatal accidents and injuries cause a lot of people’s death every day. But there is something worse than death: paralysis and incurable injuries. Is euthanasia acceptable in situations such as this? The issue became topical once again following the case of Vincent Humbert.
Vincent Humbert had a terrible accident that left him mute, blind and completely paralyzed except for his right thumb three years ago and he described his situation as a living death. He wanted to die because he was completely dependent on others. He wrote a letter to president Chirac asking for the right to die. Euthanasia is illegal in France so his request was turned down but his mother gave him what he wanted by putting an overdose in his drip. Two days later, the young man was dead. Before his death, he had written a book using his right thumb which is called “I ask for the right to die”.
In these conditions, Vincent Humbert must have felt desperate and wished to escape from the eternal darkness and empty life. He couldn’t move or see; he could only hear and think so it’s normal for to have wanted to die. The president might have thought that he was right to want it but he had to obey the law. He turned down Vincent’s request but he could have helped him to cross the border to another country where euthanasia is legal. Forcing someone who doesn’t want to live and has a logical reason for wanting to die to live is not fair. Vincent’s mother, Marie Humbert, did the hardest thing for a mother: she killed her son. By doing so she showed that she understood Vincent’s feelings and respected his decisions.
Which is better to allow someone in this situation to die or to force him to live? It is very hard to say. One is as bad as the other. One thing is certain: Marie Humbert shouldn’t be arrested but probably this is impossible according to the law.
                                                                                           İREM GÜNGÖR / INT; third week of 


REACTION ESSAY: SAME TOPIC AS ABOVE


Every day lots of accidents happen all over the world and as a result many people die or are injured very badly. One such person was Frenchman, Vincent Humbert, who was involved in a terrible accident and lost the ability to see, talk and move.
Vincent Humbert, who was 22 years old, died two days after his mother put an overdose in his drip. He was mute blind and paralyzed. He was just able to hear and think. He had lived in this situation for three years and knew he would never recover. He and his family suffered a lot of pain. It was impossible to communicate with other people for a man who could only use his thumb but he wrote a letter to President Chirac. In his letter, he explained his situation and asked him for the right to die but naturally, Chirac couldn’t accept his request. Before he died, his mother announced her plans to the media. After three long years, Vincent Humbert finally died peacefully.
Of course this situation was easy neither for Vincent or his mother.  He must have been sorry about his mother and his friends. He must have thought that there was no way out except for death. Can you imagine not being able to see, talk or move despite being able to hear and think? Maybe he finally became tired of his pitiful life. On the other hand, it is very hard for a mother to kill her own son. She had to make a really hard decision and she finally decided to stop her son’s pain.
In France, more than 80% of the people think the law against voluntary euthanasia should be changed. In various European countries, euthanasia is legal and maybe it will be legal in France too. Whether it is legal or illegal, it is really hard to be in that kind of situation and almost impossible to decide what the right course of action is.
                                                                                EGE KAYA / INT; third week of November


REACTION ESSAY: “THE ETHICS OF CLIMBING EVERST”

  bbc.co.uk/news
Mountain climbing is a sport which is very dangerous. It involves team work and requires ambition and physical fitness. In this sport, as the height of the mountain to be climbed increases so does the satisfaction derived. That is why Mount Everest is so popular with climbers. However, climbing Everest is very different from climbing any other mountain. It is one of the hardest climb and many climbers have died or were injured in the attempt. Nevertheless, the story of David Sharp differs from all the others.
David Sharp, an unlucky young man who tried to climb Everest, had been left behind by his own team for an unknown reason. This is not the weirdest and most tragic part of the story: another group of 40 climbers headed by Mark Inglis found him frozen but still alive and able to move his eyes. Because they were blinded by ambition and the desire for glory, none of them stayed with him to take care of him and continued their journey to the summit. No one knows what David Sharp’s last hours were like and how long it took him to die.
The question we need to ask ourselves is this: could they have done anything else? In my opinion a group of people could have turned back in order to save a human life and could have carried him down the mountain. They could have tried at least. However, according to the words of Mark Inglis’ team, he wasn’t healthy enough to withstand the journey.  We don’t know if this is true but if it is, there is something else that they could have done: one or two members at least could have forgotten about their ambition and could have stayed with him so that he could die in peace. I think making a person happy in his last hours is much more important than any success in life.
To sum up, this story is a controversial one; there may be some who would disagree but the decision to leave David Sharp alone is ethically wrong, in my opinion. If the weather conditions had been bad or if there had been some danger for the other climbers, it would have been excusable but this was not the case. In short, the behavior of Mark Inglis and his team was completely unjustified.
                                                                              BATIHAN TOSUN /INT; last week in November


REACTION ESSAY: HONOUR KILLING

Based on the text “My Daughter Deserved to Die for Falling in Love” which was posted on The Guardian website; guardian.co.uk
Honour killings are still common in some areas of the world. Many people have been killed for extremely strange reasons although they were innocent. Rand Abdel- Quader’s death was an honour killing too.
Rand Abdel-Quader, 17, was murdered by her father and two brothers due to being in a “relationship” with a British soldier. While she was helping displaced families as a volunteer, she met a British soldier, Paul. Being a student in the English department at Basra University, she knew English and acted as interpreter. They were working together and naturally they talked.  A few compliments by the British soldier led her to think she was in love.   Although Rand fell in love with him, Paul, the soldier, didn’t know about it. When her father discovered this, he and his two sons killed her. He said he didn’t regret anything and didn’t have a daughter. Surprisingly, he was released from police custody after what he had done and even congratulated by the officers. After the killing, Rand’s mother left home and got a divorce. Her ex-husband continues to live at home and draw a salary from the hospital he used to work at but doesn’t go into work.
Rand was studying English at Basra University and was the one person who spoke English. She was helping the Iraqi volunteers who she was working with to communicate with Paul. According to her father, she humiliated him by speaking to a foreign soldier. She didn’t sleep with Paul and their relationship was nothing more than a friendship but that was enough for her father.  He believed she deserved to die. Obviously, people have been misinforming people concerning religion. Everyone should be educated to prevent such misunderstandings. The officers’ attitude was also very odd: even though Rand’s father should have been punished, he was supported and congratulated. This is enough to see how bad the situation is in Iraq. Rand’s mother said that her husband was a different person on the day he murdered their daughter. It is possible that he bowed to public pressure which can be very strong in such communities. Such pressure can push people to commit crimes that they would never commit under normal circumstances.
Honour killings sound unreal and ridiculous but a lot of people are suffering from these wrong beliefs. The only way to stop them is to educate future generations.
                                                 İREM GÜNGÖR/ INT; mid. December


COMPARISON CONTRAST ESSAY:

 Same topic as above. This one is your typical 60: grammatically correct, simple and straightforward but lacking the sparkle of the previous essay. I will leave you to decide which one deserves the higher grade. After all, no one is going to use the same style when writing about movies and the law of diminishing returns for example… So why should we worry?
There are a wide range of activities available when one is bored or feels sad. Some people go swimming, some go fishing; it changes from person to person. Watching a DVD at a cinema and watching a DVD at home are enjoyable pass times too.  Watching a film at a cinema has far more advantages than watching a DVD at home.
First of all there are some preparations one has to make before going to the cinema: for example, purchasing a ticket, dressing, leaving the house and so on. These preparations are necessary when watching a film at a cinema but not if you are staying home. After all these preparations, people can go to a cinema without any problems. Although going to a cinema is more tiring, it is better than staying in your living room. Because always staying in the same place is boring, people want to go to other places. Thus, going to the cinema becomes more exciting. Watching a film at a cinema is worth everything for some other reasons too. For Example, the sound quality is much better than the DVD player. The effects are better too.  People can watch all the details easily at a cinema because the screen is large and there are more than six loud speakers. While watching a DVD at home, people usually fall asleep due to the comfortable chairs. Tickets cost more than buying a DVD and you can watch a DVD again and again but going to a cinema once affects one much more than watching a DVD at home. Both my friends and I watched Avatar. When we compared our experiences, they were different since I went to a cinema and they watched it at home.
In conclusion, watching a film at a cinema brings more satisfaction. Because the quality is better, it is worth everything.
              AHMET ORHAN/ INT, first week of January


COMPARISON / CONTRAST ESSAY:

Watching a film at the cinema or watching a DVD at home.
The first version is not a style that is “approved” officially, but no one can deny that it is very, very proficient, which is why I am posting it. If a student can write like this, is it right to slap him down? I think not… Also, it is very unwise to get too hooked up on specific “types of compositions”. Most essays are, after all, basically opinion essays of one form or another.
The cinema industry has developed very fast in the last century. There are lots of films on the market in which millions of dollars have been invested. Thanks to technology, perfect visual effects – even 3D sound effects – make movies more attractive. So where is the best place to watch these movies? Is it better to go to the cinema or do you think none of the seats in the movie theatres equal your sofa? I think if you have the technology, it’s better to watch films at home.
DVD players are more useful than one may think. Consider the things DVD players do. Imagine you are going to go to the cinema with your girl friend: first you get dressed, leave the house get in your car, then you go and pick up your girl. When you arrive at the movie theatre, you must purchase tickets and start to wait. If you are lucky, you can find a place at the back of the theatre. If not, when the movie begins, there will be people who are late who will pass in front of you. Believe me; there will always be people who are late. Think about that little girl crying in the front row; don’t you want to wring her neck? Now you see what DVD players can do. You call your girl friend; she comes over. There’s no waiting, no late comers and no howling child.
The advantages of the DVD player don’t stop there. You can pause or turn the volume up or down whenever you like. The late Michael Jackson apparently closed down a movie theatre to watch Jurassic Park. If you were him, you could do the same thing at the cinema but this is not the case for the average John. Consider the size of the screen: now you can buy 120 inch 3D lead TV’s and really good home theatre systems. I have tried it and it really rocks. Another superiority of a DVD is that you save money. Buying a DVD costs less than going to the cinema. Plus, if you like the film you can watch the DVD again.
Of course it is a really good activity to go out to the cinema with your friends and family but it is an expensive hobby if, like me, you watch movies every day. Watching films is supposed to be relaxing and we don’t have to make it stressful by worrying about being late or finding a seat in the front row.  “Home sweet home” this is the best option.
           SARP YILDIZOĞLU /INT, first week of January.


COMPARISON CONTRAST ESSAY: CHOOSING A HOUSE (Students are given a worksheet with the photographs of two radically different houses. Information concerning the houses is also provided. They are then told that a couple with two teenage children and two cars need a house and told to decide which one they should buy. They are told they have got to do this by comparing the two houses)
Mr. and Mrs. Jones are looking for a house in Smalltown where they have both found new jobs. They have two children of school age and can afford to pay 350.000 pounds. They have two cars. The local estate agent in Smalltown , Grab and Grab, have sent Mr. and Mrs. Jones information about two houses. One of them is a modern house and the other is an old house.  On looking at them, it is clear that the old house would be a much better choice.
 Regarding accommodation, the family has two children so the house should have three bedrooms at least. While the old house has three bedrooms, one single and two double, the modern house has two double bedrooms. But the two houses are similar to each other in that they have two reception rooms. But there is one important difference: there is a large open fireplace in one of the reception rooms of the old house. The new house’s kitchen is well equipped; however, the old house’s kitchen is attractively large; with some modernization, it will be more useful and beautiful than the other one. The new house has a double garage which can house their cars but the old house has a huge garden and they can park there.
 As regards location, both the old and the new house are near the town center. However, the old one is a bit farther: it is 30 minutes on foot and 10 minutes by bus. One can’t really say that that is too far; they have two cars or they can walk. The old house is on the edge of Mary Ann’s Wood and is approached by a private road, which must be very attractive. On the other hand, the new house is in a residential area. It is also in very good nick unlike the old house which needs some repairs.  There is one similarity between the houses: they both have gardens. While the new house has a front garden, the old house has front and rear gardens as well as an orchard. Also it is surrounded by woodland so it is a peaceful place far from the hustle and bustle of the town.
As for price, the old house is 320.000 pounds whereas the new one is 350.000. If the family chooses the old house they will have to pay 30.000 pounds more; money they could use for renovation. There is another important difference between the houses though: the old house is freehold which means it will be theirs for keeps whereas the new one is leasehold. This makes the old house a better buy financially as well.  Therefore, they should go ahead and buy the old house without wasting another minute.

                                                                      İREM GÜNGÖR / INT. Third week of December

COMPARISON CONTRAST ESSAY: CHOOSING A HOUSE


Choosing a house is the hardest decision a family can make. When trying to decide whether or not to buy a house, it is a good idea to try and evaluate all the features of the house we are considering. There are thousands of different kinds of houses built for all sorts of different families. Mr. and Mrs. Jones, who have two children and are moving to Smalltown because they have found jobs there, should buy The Haven.
Everyone wants to live in an old classic house. In such a house, the owner can smell the scent of history in every part of the house.  Unfortunately, most people have to own new houses as there aren’t enough old antique houses to go round in cities or towns. This family can easily afford to buy The Haven and save 30.000 pounds with which they can easily modernize the old places and build a garage in one of the big gardens for their two cars. Every house has a garden but only a few of them have such big ones. The Jones family will be able to do organic farming in the orchard if they buy The Haven. They have two children so they should have three bedrooms; hence, the first house is not convenient for them. They could possibly divide one of the bedrooms with a partition wall but it may not be feasible.  Every woman’s dream is having a large kitchen but in modern houses the kitchens are smaller. Because of this The Haven, the old house, will be better for Mrs. Jones.  What is even better is the fact that they can have a romantic time in front of the fireplace in The Haven. How would this be possible in a modern house?  The Haven is farther to the town center but they can drive, take the bus or walk to town. They could walk through the woodland which would be good exercise and very pleasant.
There is one more point: The Haven is freehold, and freehold houses are much better value than leasehold houses. What’s more, they could get a mortgage if they buy The Haven, which would give them plenty of money for renovations in the short term. We don’t make these kinds of decisions everyday so we should be very careful when we decide to buy a house where we will live for the rest of our lives.    
                                               ILGAZ ÇAKIN /INT. Third week of December                                                        


CLASSIFICATION ESSAY: NEWSPAPERS

 ( Students should be taught the relevant media jargon and/ or allowed to study, with your help, an article classifying papers where the said jargon may be observed in situ.)
Newspapers are the oldest vehicle used for conveying the news to the community. However, in contemporary times, newspapers have evolved from pieces of paper to lifestyle. To be specific, in Turkey, they can be considered in terms of socio-economic factors and political bias which in turn can help categorize readers in terms of their choices of newspaper.
Regarding the socio-economic class of readers, working class and middle class people generally choose cheaper newspapers such as Posta, Haber Türk without any regard for their quality. On the other hand, rich and educated classes focus on the content of papers much more than the other factors and their choices are generally related to their interests and biases. Due to this, Milliyet is read mostly by these classes.
On the other hand newspapers can also be categorized into groups according to their political views. Due to Turkey’s current political climate, there are only two groups in this category: pro government papers and anti government papers. Zaman, Vakit and Sabah are examples of papers that support the government with their conservative views. Conversely, Cumhuriyet, Milliyet and Bugün are opposed to current government policies championing a more secular world view. Unfortunately it is not possible to discuss right wing or left wing papers in Turkey in the real sense as political bias in Turkey centers around conservatism and secularism. Due to this, there are very few newspapers which support the far right or the far left.
In conclusion, newspapers in Turkey may be categorized into various groups according to various criteria. However, people can also be categorized into groups according to their preferences as all newspapers not only provide insight into events but also into the types of people who read these papers providing  realistic insight into the composition of Turkish society.
                                                                       BAYRAM AKDENİZ / INT. The beginning of 


DEFINITION ESSAY: THE QUALITIES OF MINORITY GROUPS / Posted in the writing file
Throughout history, people have moved from their home countries to other places to derive various benefits. These kinds of people have transformed many nations into multiracial and multicultural societies. Nowadays, the rate of this change has increased significantly thanks to globalization. Due to this mass movement of people across the globe, many countries now include many other cultures, traditions and languages in addition to their own because minority groups have certain characteristics that set them apart from the nationals of the host country.
The characteristics that distinguish minority groups can be categorized into four groups which are religion, ethnic background, culture and traditions and language. These features can be considered the identification card of races. Therefore, people usually try and preserve them when they move to another country. This resistance to assimilation forms minority groups which can be regarded as the cultural richness of a country. On the other hand, although minorities consolidate the cultural diversity of the host country, certain issues may be observed due to the differences between the nationals of the host country and the minorities. To overcome these issues and preserve the peace, both the local population and the minorities should be respectful to each other. Unless this is done, cultural and ethnic conflict becomes inevitable. There are some countries which haven’t given adequate rights to minorities to speak their language and practice their culture and faced many problems due to that approach and one example is Turkey which includes many ethnic groups. Past governments didn’t used to give minorities the permission to use their mother tongue freely and that caused a lot of civil unrest. Furthermore, there were some attacks on minorities which ended in mass migrations of these people out of the country. There are many countries in the world which have been very intolerant towards minority groups in history and suffered the consequences. Countries should respect minorities’ beliefs but the minorities, in turn, should respect the beliefs of the host population. The latter should learn the language of the host country to be able to better communicate; this is the most important step of adaptation. For instance, in Germany, many Turks have not learnt German despite being there many years; therefore, the barrier between The Turks and The Germans still stands causing some cultural and social conflicts in Germany. Conversely, there are some countries, such as Switzerland, which show that minorities and locals can live in peace. Such countries benefit from the resulting harmony.
In conclusion, minorities are good for a country as they provide cultural diversity. A suitable environment for cultural interaction should be provided to increase harmony everywhere in the world as minorities are now a fact of life more so than ever. Unless this is done, the resulting social and cultural problems will be insurmountable.
                                                                                 BAYRAM AKDENİZ / INT; the end of November


DEFINITION ESSAY: HOW TO ACHIEVE HAPPINESS


Happiness is the ultimate purpose of life; it is what everybody is searching for all through their lives. There are times we feel blessed by it, there are times when it seems to be a distant dream. Some look for it in material success, some in spirituality, some in a relationship and some in fulfilling an ambition or desire. Despite the fact that it may mean quite different things to different people and its source may change accordingly, there seem to be certain universal factors which lead to happiness. Both certain life style factors and various personal factors contribute to happiness in life.

It can’t be denied that certain life style factors contribute to happiness in life. Most important of all, having a decent quality of life is crucial for fulfillment with one’s life. This means having a certain standard of living in the material and physical sense, being able to satisfy your basic needs like a decent place to live, having basic comforts, not worrying if you will be able to put food on the table for your family for the next meal, knowing you will be looked after properly if you end up in an hospital, being confident that your children can go to school, etc. Another equality important aspect of this is more abstract and it includes having opportunities for self-improvement, self-expression through interpersonal relationships, through art, having free time to one’s hobbies, interests, loved-ones and friends. For most people having a good job and an important professional position is the way to achieve all that has been mentioned because they provide you with the means to attain a good standard of living and be respected and valued in the workplace. However, it is important to note that work is only one, though a very big part of our life and one should also invest in other areas for real fulfillment.

It is also true that certain personal factors contribute to happiness. Health is a very important one. Being in good health helps the person to enjoy life, if you are in pain all the time and weak, it is very difficult to get out of your situation and see the beauties around you. However, that does not mean that there aren’t people who can achieve happiness despite their illnesses. There are people who can fight even the worst forms of cancer or big tragedies in life thanks to their positive attitude. They choose to focus on the positive and not get stuck in their misfortune; they manage to turn things around. Their positive inner-life transforms the negativities in their outer life. This is why the same tragedy may kill out all joy of life in one person while strengthen another person’s philosophy and inner resources. Having a good sense of humor also contributes to happiness: being able to laugh at even the difficult and unpleasant experiences fills us with the energy we need to fight them. Happiness can be achieved with the right approach; by focusing on the positive rather than the negative and also helping humour to lighten up the situation even if your health is not in a good state.

As all valuable things in life, happiness is a constant search and requires constant effort.  One needs to work on two levels-inner and outer- for real and long lasting happiness in life.  Life style factors involve a collective effort to achieve, they cannot be attained in an unjust social and economic system, they cannot be attained on an individual level sustainably. The inner work, on the other hand, is personal and requires one to work on their philosophy of life. Perhaps, happiness is hidden in this search and in this effort more than its outcome.
                              Ebru M. (The same long suffering teacher at 2 in the morning)



DEFINITION ESSAY: WHAT IS SOCIAL BUSINESS?



Social business is a kind of economic enterprise that functions in a market economy and, like other businesses, aims to make a profit from its work.   Unlike other kinds of business however, making profit is not its main interest and it does not exist to make its owners rich. Social business is an enterprise set up to serve a social need, such as the relief of poverty or provision of healthcare.  Some examples of social-business activities may be micro-credit, glaucoma clinics for the poor or producing low-cost, highly-nutritious food items.  The following are the 7 principles of social business originally set out by Hans Reitz of Grameen International, a Bangladeshi organisation which runs a large number of social businesses around the world.
  The first principle of social business is that its goal must be to overcome poverty or deal with some kind of social problem, not to make profit.  Of course, as a business, it needs to make profit to avoid going bankrupt.  Indeed, the second principle is that the company will be financially and economically sustainable.  The important difference from a traditional company however, is that, whereas a traditional company exists to make a profit, a social business makes a profit to exist.  This may not seem like a big difference but, actually, it involves very different, even opposite, ways of operating.
  Another aspect of social business is its ownership structure.  Investors and venture capitalists are not the owners of a social business.  To illustrate, the third principle states that if an investor invests in a social enterprise she or he may only take back the amount of the original investment.  Unlike in a capitalist firm, investors are not the owners of the enterprise and receive no dividends from the profits.  In fact, the next principle of social business is that all the profits must be reinvested in the business to improve its services.  In this way, investors may be seen more as donors, or rather lenders, than traditional investors as they receive no profit from their contribution.
  Social businesses also place great importance on environmental consciousness and fair labour-relations.   The fifth principle states that a social business must try not just to avoid doing damage to the environment but to actively protect and improve it.  Likewise, the sixth principle of social business is that all employees must be paid a fair wage and working conditions should be as good as possible.  As the aim of social business is to improve and serve society, it stands to reason that they should be good employers with happy well-looked after employees in a clean environment.  After all, the final principle of social business is to do your work with joy and a fair, clean working environment is essential for this.
   The seven principles of social business set out above, describe the approach taken by social-business organizations such as Grameen International, other enterprises may adopt slightly different approaches.  What all social businesses have in common, however, is a desire to use entrepreneurial skills and know-how to serve the poor and oppressed rather than to make a profit for the already wealthy.        
 Ebru M. (A long suffering teacher…)
Source: Yunus, Muhammad:  Building Social Business,The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity’s  Most Pressing Needs (PublicAffairs, New York, 2010)



 DEFINITION ESSAY: HOBBIES

There are some people who seem to have found one of the secrets to happiness and joy in life. They know what they will be doing next time they have a free afternoon or a day to themselves: it may be painting, learning to play a new song on their instrument, going rock-climbing or writing a short story that has been building up in them in all this time. There is a name for whatever it is that helps them to forget time and all problems and lose themselves in what they are doing: a hobby. The Collin’s Dictionary defines hobby as ‘an activity pursued in spare time for relaxation and pleasure’.  However, hobby is more than a means of relaxation and has more aspects to it.

To start with, a hobby is a means for self-improvement.  Thanks to your hobby, you can discover your skills and limits and be motivated to improve and push them further. The pleasure you get from spending time on your hobby  gives you the motivation to work harder and longer on the activity, it is totally internal. This creates the perfect environment for learning, the fact that you are not doing it for money or because someone who has authority over you has told you to do so; makes the learning more effective.  Another learning opportunity with a hobby is time management skills. One has to make the best use of one’s time to be able to create an opening for one’s hobby among all the responsibilities and all the things that need to get done in a day. It is obvious that, the person with a hobby will be able to use this time-management skill in all areas of life and achieve success at work and interpersonal relationships.

Another gift a person receives through his/her hobby is a richer social life.  Your hobby offers you a platform to meet other people who share the same interest and passion as you and creates a solid context for conversations and socializing. For example, if you grow an interest in photography and decide to take it seriously, you will probably join a club where you can make friends and form a friend circle around it. Every time you get together, you will have things to talk about or to do like discussing the techniques or going on field trips. Your hobby will offer you a stimulating social life.

Finally, one’s hobby can become a means for extra income in time. Obviously, at the initial stages, one has to spend money on courses, the necessary equipments, books etc but in time as you become skilled at it, you may encounter opportunities to earn money after a certain stage.  There are many examples to this from the university where I teach, the student clubs offer students opportunities to take up a hobby and become almost professionals in years. Many of our graduates have become professional dancers, actors or musicians and have built their careers around what started as a hobby rather than their undergraduate degrees.  Such people are very blessed to be earning their living by doing what they are passionate about, as that will guarantee happiness and success.

To sum up, having a hobby enriches a person’s life considerably by being a source of joy, a means to meet  people and build a larger social network.  This may be why the most interesting people we have ever met all had a hobby of one kind or another. If you also want to fit more into your life and achieve happiness, joy and success; try to discover what you are attracted to.  Take up a hobby and stay with it. It will be worth all the time, effort and money you put into it. It will pay back. You never know, you may become a different person.
Written by: Ebru M. Thanks for devoting time to the blog

REASONS FOR THE POPULARITY OF SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES



There is almost no home without internet today. One of the most outstanding consequences of this development is the popularity of social networking sites. Even little children have Facebook accounts today and all famous people use Twitter. The effects of such sites are really far reaching so they are able to organize international events. Since the Zapatistas in Mexico used social media in order to make themselves heard and their protests became known in 1994, the importance of social media channels has been growing. After the anti-globalization movement it became more obvious how they impact people. Last year, we saw that really serious movements like the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street may be easily organized through these kinds of websites. Considering their power, it is easy to understand the popularity of such sites.

In the global world, everything develops very rapidly and naturally, communication has to be much faster. One of the reasons why people are so interested in social networking sites is, therefore, that they enable people to learn with just one click what is happening anywhere in the world. People who haven’t time to read newspapers may learn the most popular and most important topics thanks to Twitter; they can also learn what other people think about these issues unlike printed media. Because comments have the power to highlight different sides of things, it is also more enjoyable. In addition to learning different points of view, you can also state your own opinion and if you have a powerful voice or creative ideas, you have the chance to become popular. Today there are lots of Twitter phenomena. Pucca for example is one of them. A hundred thousand people follow her and thanks to this popularity, she wrote two books and published them without paying any money. This is a great opportunity indeed. Another example, Nihayn, a friend of Pucca’s, also became popular and then her blog started to be followed by thousands. The chance to know people like them, and become one of them makes these sites popular.

The increasing popularity of social media has been attracting public and private organizations. Their adoption of these sites causes more people to have accounts to be able to follow them more easily. Government officials, news channels, companies, lecturers and the like have Facebook and Twitter accounts and people can learn immediately what, where and when something has happened and what will happen. It is a really very good vehicle to announce an event not also for big organizations but also for everyone. Do you want to have a party? Create an event on Facebook, invite friends and then wait. Everyone can see who is attending, where it will be, what others write about it. It is really very practical.

The place of the colorful world of social networking sites in our lives can’t be disregarded and in the foreseeable future, this popularity will not lessen. Checking the Facebook homepage and the trendy topics on Twitter have become daily tasks for people. What the future holds for social networking is not known but that it will continue to be a part of our lives can’t be denied.

                                                                                         Duygu Söyler; Int H; third week of March


PROBLEM SOLUTION ESSAY: TALKING RUBBISH

Points extracted from the text of the same name out of “The Economist”; economist.com.
Rubbish is an accumulation of wastes that are thrown away after use. Wherever people have been, they have left waste behind. They believed their rubbish had disappeared. The problem is that debris, flotsam, litter and other stuff are difficult to dispose of or recycle and they cause all types of pollution. Litter lines the world’s roads; dumps dot the landscape. Nobody knows how much rubbish the world generates or what it does with it. Ignorance spawns scares. However, it isn’t impossible to deal with this problem. There are various solutions that can be managed by the government and the private sector.
The government is responsible for environmental as well as the administration of the country. As rubbish is a threat to nature but there are things which can be done by the government. First of all, they should make people understand what waste is and what can still be used. They should oblige people to clean up after themselves. They should make laws concerning the cost of disposing of products. If people understand which items are hardest to get rid of, then they can choose goods that create less waste. Recycling is a good solution; however, when there is nowhere to collect stuff, it is useless to try and salvage things. Governments can encourage the marketing of the goods they want collected. As a result, there can be opportunities for the private sector.
Because of their capital and resources, the private sector is more independent and efficient than the government. When the latter organize appropriate conditions, companies can make investments in the disposal and recycling of rubbish. They can do research in to new methods of recycling. Or they can find other ways to use waste. There are ways of using rubbish to produce energy. Recently, scientists have started trying to use rubbish as fuel for cars and houses for instance. In addition, new technologies to turn rubbish into fertilizer are being developed all the time.
In conclusion, rubbish is a big problem of our time but it is being better managed than it was. The new technologies are becoming more affective and the pollution is being decreased thanks to the precautions. Awareness has emerged very late; however, there is still a chance to save the environment.
                                                                              GİZEM ŞEN / INT. Second term; round the middle.


ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY: SAME AS ABOVE

 / The opposite opinion with a completely radical plan that nevertheless is fine as it fits in with the basic logic.
Migration takes place legally or illegally the whole time. In developed countries, the migrants coming from underdeveloped countries are a very controversial issue. The recent idea that is gaining popularity among citizens of Western countries deriving from selfishness is to bar immigrants. This is a completely inhuman and unhealthy attitude to take against members of the same species.
The people who are in favour of barring people from developed countries struggle to provide a valid and logical basis. They say the resources in the host country are limited and they should be primarily reserved for the citizens themselves. The problems of the second generation migrants are also put forward as strong argument. The supporters of this argument claim that migrants live as outsiders removed from the host society. What a pity that migrants are assumed to be conservative and undesirable people! Isn’t that a corrupt and inhumane approach?
Governments are not the owners of the land. The locals of a particular area are guests of that specific geography for a while. The resources of this planet are the wealth of all human beings. Every human society and individual has responsibility for others. Let us take a civil war in a third world country as an example. A huge number of people are starving behind the lines. What kind of a mentality ignores them and doesn’t give them a hand? Saving the people suffering economic problems and sharing the wealth of the earth is what people must do. The governments and authorities of developed societies are not formed to serve just the locals. Everyone should use all their power for the good of humanity as a whole from Africa to The Far East; from Europe to South America. Everybody isn’t born equal but fairness can be provided. At the same time different cultures interact and influence each other and it is the best way to have a rich and common human culture.
Why doesn’t the EU have borders between the countries? The answer is obvious: to constitute an egalitarian society with rich cultural values. But unfortunately “eguality” isn’t seen fit for some of humanity; it should include everyone.
                                                              BATUHAN TELLİOĞLU / INT. Second term; same as above.
                                                   

                        


ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY: SHOULD PEOPLE BE BARRED FROM DEVELOPED COUNTRIES? /

 Inspired by a text of the same name off the BBC website.
The world is gradually changing so the policies are changing too. In the past, nation states were common but today their number is low thanks to globalization. Today countries consist of people who come from different countries so they have different cultures, different traditions and different religions. People who live in third world countries want to go to a developed country for a better life. That’s because in developed countries, living conditions are better than in underdeveloped countries.  In the past Europe needed labour so many workers who lived under bad conditions went to Europe to work. However, today the policy of Europe is changing. Some people who live in developed countries feel migrants should be barred from entering the country. The reason for this is that they believe this situation is harmful both for them and the future of their country: there are often conflicts between the migrants and the locals in the host country. The fact is they are right: migrants should be barred from developed countries.
The people who are against barring people from developed countries think people have the right to benefit from the higher wages offered in developed countries. They believe we are all citizens of the world. This opinion is gaining momentum thanks to globalization and free trade but it is not true. That’s because everyone has a nation and a culture so there is no uniformity in the world. In addition, governments are responsible mainly for their own citizens. After all they were born in this country and the government spends money for them. In addition, the majority of migrants aim to save money and go back to their countries which is not useful for the host country. Furthermore, today the natural recourses of the world are being depleted.  Countries have limited means and resources; they have enough only for their own citizens. 
Secondly the supporters of globalization and multiculturalism think that migrants help citizens of the host country to meet new cultures and develop a general culture. In Europe, migrants organize some festivals and celebrations to remember their traditions and this certainly provides the opportunity to meet new cultures. However, there is the possibility of undesirable people such as radicals, fanatics and extremists entering the country if borders are thrown open.  This situation can create problems between migrants and locals. In addition, the majority of migrants have a big problem: adjustment. Learning a new culture and language can be difficult for them. Thus the children of migrants can have some identity problems which could negatively impact the host country. The locals may find it very hard to adjust as well.
Thirdly, the people who are against barring people from developed countries think that the aging population of Europe should be considered. However, is the young generation of migrants useful to them? It is not the right solution because they are either unskilled or wish to return to their own countries. Thus Europe should implement new policies to deal with the problem of the aging population. Also, how can second generation migrants with all kinds of identity problems be useful to the host country?
In conclusion, it is obvious that migrants should be barred from developed countries. This will be best for both parties. Governments should restrict migration and try and improve conditions for their own people. Governments aren’t charities. If they don’t do this, the problems of Europe will increase and the citizens will suffer.
                                                                                 ESRA EROL / INT. Second term; about halfway through.


ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY: THE PLANNED THIRD BRIDGE OVER BOSPHORUS



   As a metropolis of more than 12 million people, Istanbul has been suffering from ever-growing traffic problems for the last few years. In an effort to eliminate these problems, the Turkish government has planned to build a third bridge over the Bosphorus. It is planned to be built further to the north of the city and it would destroy the greenbelt land. The bridge would lead to adverse effects for the city, for different reasons.

 Firstly, the planned bridge is said to by-pass the city; which means, it would destroy the cherished waterway and one of the city’s few remaining forests. It is estimated that, 2 million trees would be cut. Inevitably, it will destroy wildlife habitat, ruin water resources, and moreover, it will poison the city’s air. Even now, because of its high population rates, the city’s water resources are not enough. If the project is applied, it will ruin some of these limited water resources. It would have an irreversible effect on the forestlands which serve as the city’s lungs, providing respite to urban dwellers.

 Secondly, if the bridge is constructed, it would turn the rural farming areas into real estates. This transformation would reduce the much-needed agricultural land production of the city. As a metropolis, Istanbul needs more and more agricultural products each day. The need for food cannot be disregarded; therefore, the government should take this kind of possible problems into consideration before deciding to build a bridge.

 On the other hand, the opponents of the third bridge, especially the officials, say the bridge is necessary to ease traffic congestion in the rapidly growing city. They believe that it will reduce the travel time and increase the quality of travel over the straits between Asia and Europe. However, it would actually lead to more private cars on the roads; which means, more traffic load. The third bridge is not a good solution; because, the traffic growth will increase more and more in the next few decades, and consequently, more and more bridges will be needed. It is a vicious cycle; therefore, different solutions have to be found for the traffic problem of İstanbul.

 To conclude, if better alternatives are not found, Istanbul will need not only one but many more additional bridges. The planned third bridge will just aggravate the problem. Therefore, alternative solutions such as the improvement of rail roads and ferry transportation could be better solutions to ease the traffic problem
  Tuba DOĞAN ADV-C; April 2012 


NUCLEAR DISARMEMENT; A DREAM OR A DISTINCT POSSIBILITY?ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY


This brilliant task was prepared in its entirety by Özlem Gündoğdu, a remedial student at this university in the fall of 2013. I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her contribution.
Nuclear disarmament or at least nuclear non-proliferation has been a dream that none of us really want to give up on. In a world where technology is developing at a break-neck pace, it is once more necessary to evaluate the evidence and see if we can put a stop to nuclear proliferation and achieve disarmament. Do your research and write an argumentative essay.
Reading material to annotate
1.       “The future of nuclear disarmament – Going to zero:  Feasible? Practical? http://www.rolfmuetzenich.de/_pdf/ArmsControl_Washington.pdf
2.       “A world without nuclear weapons – feasible and desirable” http://www.worldsecuritynetwork.com/Other/dieter-farwick-1/A-World-Without-Nuclear-Weapons-Feasible-and-Desirable
3.       “Is a world without nuclear weapons really possible?” http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2010/05/04-global-zero-ohanlon
4.       “Q&A Nuclear disarmament” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6103398.stm
Videos to watch and make notes on:
1.       “Which countries have nuclear weapons?” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-24277021
2.       “Embrace! A world free of nuclear weapons” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHFAT-A9qjE

3.       “Testimonies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hwdx7HjV6is

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

IS ‘MOOC’ OR ‘MASSIVE OPEN ONLINE COURSE’ THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION? ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY


Continual developments in technology and especially IT are vastly improving our connectivity as a species and revolutionizing the way we relate to each other, do business, socialize, learn and even receive an education. Part of the teacher’s role has already been taken over by the internet and all the wonderful applications made possible by technology. In this emerging view of education, the teacher is becoming ‘the facilitator’ providing guidance for students seeking knowledge and self development. With this in mind, is ‘MOOC’ the future of education? Do your research and discover what exactly ‘MOOC’ is and then take notes on the pros and cons. Once you have done so, write an argumentative essay explaining your own views: are our classrooms going to remain as they are or are they going to undergo a transformation?
Reading material to annotate
  1. “MOOCS: Top Ten Sites for Free Education with Elite Universities”; Note to the student: if you scroll down, you will find a fantastic, informative video as well.  http://www.bdpa-detroit.org/portal/index.php?Itemid=20&catid=29:education&id=57:moocs-top-10-sites-for-free-education-with-elite-universities&option=com_content&view=article
2.       “MOOC List” http://www.mooc-list.com/
3.       “MOOC Definition from Financial Times Lexicon” http://lexicon.ft.com/Term?term=mooc
5.       “How MOOCS Are Changing the Way People Learn” http://distancelearn.about.com/od/isitforyou/a/How-Moocs-Are-Changing-The-Way-People-Learn.htm
6.       “The Dark Side of MOOCS: Big Problems with Massively Open Online Courses” http://distancelearn.about.com/od/isitforyou/a/The-Dark-Side-Of-The-Moocs-Big-Problems-With-Massively-Open-Online-Courses.htm
Videos to watch and make notes on
2.       “What is MOOC” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_N_NHbC80E


VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN; THE CAUSES, THE EFFECTS AND THE SOLUTIONS


Violence against women is a long standing human rights issue which still threatens millions around the world. Nothing seems to be able to curb it so0 what are the reasons for domestic violence? What are the tell tale signs and what are the effects? Do your research and make notes before writing an essay discussing both the causes and the effects. In your conclusion suggest solutions.
Reading material to annotate:
2.       “Violence against women: what is the route cause?” http://lalitaraman.com/2011/10/05/violence-against-women-%E2%80%93-what-is-the-root-cause/
3.       “Violence against women” http://www.womenshealth.gov/violence-against-women/
4.       “Violence against women” http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs239/en/
5.       “Violence against women in Turkey” http://www.stopvaw.org/turkey
6.       “Domestic violence against women: recognize patterns, seek help http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/domestic-violence/WO00044
Videos to watch and make notes on:
1.        “Violence against women – it is a men’s issue” By Jason Katz
2.       “New violence against women act includes historic protection…”http://www.democracynow.org/2013/3/8/new_violence_against_women_act_includes


Film reviews to read and films to watch:
1. "Take a look behind the legend of Deep Throat: Lovelace"http://essiespeaks.blogspot.com/search/label/true%20story
2. "Unbelievable tales from a land not far away, not so long ago... The Magdelen Sisters"( Scroll down from the previous one)

3.       You are required to find two more videos related to the topic to add to the list. You will have a lot of choice so select wisely