Women of the World

I met my first women doctors and agricultural engineers when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Turkey almost 60 years ago. This year, when I went back to Turkey for a short visit, I learned that an Islamist leaning regime has not stopped women from being doctors and engineers, graduate students and professors. And this morning I read about the women leading a revolution in Iran. Read The Article

Eleventh Grade in Ankara

I spent most of a recent two week soujourn in The Department of American Culture and Literature, also known as the American Studies Department, at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. Ankara, a modern city of high rises and 5 million people, is the nation’s capital. The university is nearly self-contained, with housing, coffee shops and a market, and is surrounded by hospitals, government buildings, and apartment and business towers.

Bilkent has 12,500 undergraduate and graduate students, and an adjacent k-12 Bilkent Laboratory and International School has over 1000 students. Although early grades are dual-language, upper grades at the BLIS school and the entire university use English as the teaching language. Read The Article

Dams and People

There was a story in the New York Times yesterday about the flooding of the village of Hasankeyf in Southeast Turkey.Some say the village is 12,000 years old, and certainly it and the surrounding area have stories of ancient civilizations that are part of a historical thread that goes back to the “Garden of Eden.” Hasankeyf is on the Tigris River, which, along with the Euphrates, framed the Fertile Crescent, land where we think the domestication of wheat and animals took place millennia ago, land the holy books and their followers say was home to Adam and Eve. Read The Article

The end of November


It is the end of November in my 72nd year and my mind churns.
I guess for many of us of a certain age November will always be associated with John Kennedy’s death. Yes, I remember the day, remember riding my bike to class at UC Riverside, putting it in a rack and walking across campus and coming on a distraught Dr. Dennis Strong, waving his hands, tears streaming down his face, shouting that they had shot the President.
Although a couple of UCR students I knew checked out almost immediately and joined the Peace Corps, it took me almost two years to do the same. We went to Turkey with Kennedy half-dollars stuffed in our bags, tokens we would hand out to friends we made. And, like Volunteers across the world, I found newspaper and magazine pictures of JFK, in my country alongside photos of Ataturk, in small villages
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