Volume 15, Number 26
April 28, 2009

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This Week

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The Snowberries of Autumn

müge tekinReally Achieving your Childhood Dreams?

Being a professional motocross rider, playing in the National Football League, experiencing zero gravity, being a Disney animator or being an astronaut… there is an endless list of dreams that 5 and 6 year old children have. What an imaginative world they live in! No matter what, it has always been the same: people continue to be impressed with the intelligence of younger generations. I'm not so old that I forget just 14 years ago when I was that age. However, unlike this new generation, I never thought I could lengthen human life by changing the order of genes!

The question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" follows everyone like a shadow. Hmm! For me it was a most difficult and hated question. Whenever asked, I searched for a hole to crawl into, or if I was at school, I prayed for break time. Unfortunately, no one asked me “What about a second job?” My answer was ready for that, but no one listened!

What I wanted was to hold a second job as a translator. I wanted to do it just as a free time activity to help me relax from all the stresses in my life. Perhaps you wonder why I would seek relaxation in more education. I mean, you might suggest going to the cinema, theater, or take a short trip. Remember, one man's meat is another man's poison! I feel more relaxed when I deal with a text and feel the writer's thoughts, attempt to interpret concepts as faithfully and accurately as possible and manage to give the closest meaning in my mother tongue; a difficult and challenging task. What can it be the writer wanted to point out? Would it be better if I had said it in this way? Spending a day thinking it over, sleeping on it, and then, with a clearer mind, trying again.

It all started in middle school when I would memorize new words with a dictionary game. I would open a random page, study the words, close the book and try to remember the words and their meanings. If you're saying, “piece of cake,” try it for once. Then, many years later while here at Bilkent, out of the blue I thought; “Why not take a related course?” So, I took Translation 1 and 2 from The Department of English Language and Literature given by Dr. Mine Özyurt-Kılıç. Certainly, it was more systematic and well-organized than my own study attempts.

My dream may seem so simple compared with yours or even my elders. However, it turned out to be killing two birds with one stone: Hearing these newly learned idioms, proverbs, and phrases from my IE instructors, like “it costs peanuts,  in black and white, tailored needs…” made me feel content because the study bore its fruits so fast. And when I began to write these columns, my friends, especially the ones from ENG101/2 asked “Is you're English so good that you can write all of those?”  If it is, it’s first thanks to Chris, the editor,  and also perhaps, the course, seeing as I'm using much of what I learned here. Last semester, we as a class did a translation of an essay by William Saroyan, “Why I Write?” published in Kül Öykü Gazetesi. Heartfelt thanks to the instructor for her support, guidance and suggestions throughout that process.

As the saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Perhaps this is just the first step towards my childhood dreams in this voyage of life. Who knows? I sincerely recommend you not to let your goals and resolutions fall by the wayside.

Happy Spring Fest...

Müge Tekin (IE/III)

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