A Chat with Students at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey

Community, Readings and Events, Travel / Thursday, January 28th, 2021

This is one of those events that seem almost surreal even a couple weeks after the fact. I was asked to Zoom speak to Professor Pilar Milagros and her literature class at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey. Because of the time difference, my lecture started at 11:00 PM and lasted until 12:30 AM the next day.

This is also one of those events where you’re really grateful for the technology that’s available. we can use this technology to reach across the world, and make our interactions more personal. And I think once we see people and we hear their voices and watch them smile…  But even more than that, to listen to their goals, their pride in their work, their enthusiasm, and their willingness to learn.

For this isn’t about being sentimental, or saying we’re all the same . We are not. We are all, in many ways quite different. Which is good. It shows how varied our experiences can be on this planet.  And yet somehow, when we start telling our stories, and when we take time to listen, we find that even in our differences, there is compassion, empathy, and understanding.

Yes! It was so much fun. The students were eager and engaged … not that I was surprised as this is the top University in Turkey. And it showed–seriously so much brilliance!. As I left the class, I was wondering where these students were going to go. I hope that for those of them who become writers, that the world will be a place where we can share work easily and enrich each others lives with our stories. I am so grateful to everybody I met there, and hope one day we can meet in person.

Teşekkür ederim!