“Did you hear? He’s already finished with studio AND visual culture.”
“Well she’s done with studio and has her history paper finished but hasn’t even looked at visual culture yet.”
“He’s behind on all of them AND his computer keeps crashing.”
These words, and “Holy cow I have so much work to do” make up most of the dialogue within the group of the last few days. As final reviews approach (T-1 day til studio, 2 til visual culture), focus turns exclusively towards finishing our projects and little else can be done. Those who are steps ahead are envied and falling behind pitied, and everyone yearns to finally present and gain closure. Despite being abroad, finals week proceeds as per usual (pretty much).
The weekend started off with a bang as a huge thunderstorm began on Thursday night right after a presentation by the Turkish photographer Murat Germen. Immediately after his excellent talk ended rain started pouring down and we students had to get home. Double wrapping our studio projects and single wrapping ourselves in trash bags, we ran out into the rain. Within seconds it looked as though we had just jumped into a lake, and lightning streaked across the sky above us. Sprinting through the streets to the bus stop was absolutely exhilarating, and the image of lighting splitting the air above the Galata tower will be forever seared into my memory. It was made all the more exciting by the power outage that occurred on our run to the stop, leaving us wind-whipped and navigating by the light of lightning flashes through Shishane. Upon arrival at home, the power was still out, so homework was a no-go for many of us. Early night for many of us, all the better to get up early the next day and produce final works.
I spent the weekend at my drawing desk at home in front of the window, drafting from early morning until sundown. At sundown I was forced to stop, because the light in our apartment keeps burning out and even our studio lamp gave up the ghost. This effectively limits my working hours to those with daylight, which is kind of a blessing actually. While others around me stay up late and turn into walking zombies I wake up early, refreshed and ready to work all day.
Despite the beautiful weather, I only had time to venture outside twice today. First, a small group of us went to our local börek shop for tea this afternoon. We got çay and discussed the current state of affairs (see above), and soaked up all the vitamin D we could before returning back to our caves. Later, once the sun disappeared and I ran out of light at home, I went to studio to finalize my presentation. On the way home, I was entertained by a skittish cat stuck in a tree, scared to jump down from where it had climbed. At this point, it’s the little things.
So now as final presentations arrive and our time in Turkey comes to a close, I am presented with a great opportunity to reflect on these last few months here and all that I have learned. Unfortunately, I have no time to do that, gotta focus on my presentations. See you on the other side!