Angela’s Farewell Journal

Title: Learning Inside and Outside of the Classroom

When I was in the third grade, I had a teacher who inspired me to submit a poem that I had written to be published in a children’s anthology. I was so nervous because to me, my poems didn’t seem that special. My teacher was an amazing woman though and she helped me check my poem over and over again, and finally we mailed it into the writers of the anthology. Sure enough a few weeks later, I received a letter in the mail saying my poem had been included in the book!

My teacher really believed in me and inspired me to take a leap of faith, and I was only in the third grade! It is so important to have dreams no matter how big or small they seem, and dreams have no limit. Do you have someone that you look to for inspiration? A few years ago, my oldest sister wrote me a letter that has since then been my inspiration for pursuing my dreams, no matter how difficult they appear. Inspiration is something that you can feel when you are seven years old or twenty years old. When I began this journey, I wanted to inspire others to believe in themselves and to go out and see the world. Now, at the end of my adventure, I hope that I have helped you to find some courage: try new foods, listen to new music or even talk to the new kid in class! Any bit of courage is something to be proud of. My sister gave me some courage when four years ago. Maybe her words can give you a little courage, too!

Ten years ago, in the year 2003, my family took a trip to Ireland and I bought a journal to take with me. I wrote on the cover, “In this journal, I shall record my numerous adventures.” I brought that same journal with me ten years later to Istanbul. If you had told me when I was eleven that I would be living in a city that was in both Asia and Europe, I would have laughed! I didn’t even know a city could be on two continents!

My oldest sister Elena wrote me a letter when I was a junior in high school. She had just graduated from college and was living in New Zealand, a country on the opposite side of the world close to Australia. My sister was always traveling. It was something that I always admired. She saw so many places and made so many friends and for years I just thought it was because she was older and much cooler than me! In her letter, she congratulated me for reaching that point of my high school education and how proud she was of me. The next part of her letter shocked me though. My sister said that she knew that I would do great things with my life and that she was waiting for the day that we could travel together. The person that I looked up to wanted me to join them? She thought I was ready to see the world with her? I always thought my older sister looked at me like the “little one”: not quite mature enough to handle what the world had to show. Instead, I realized that she really did believe in me and that I wasn’t just the little sister to someone seeing the world and doing amazing things.

Inspiration doesn’t care how old you are or what grade you are in. Inspiration can be in a picture, in a book, or in someone you see every day! My dreams get bigger and bigger by the day with the inspiration that finds me when I least expect it to. Since I have been in Turkey, my life goals and aspirations have not stopped growing. I hope one day to help others in whatever I am doing, especially children. I would like to work in Washington D.C. lobbying or working with government communications for children’s rights in war torn areas of the world. Children are our future. You all are our future! That is why I think that helping the children of the world to have access to education, a safe place to sleep and clean water are incredibly important. My sisters, parents, teachers and bright, new friends learning about Turkey in New York City have taught me that I can do something the help the world. Everyone has the power to help the world and everyone has the power to inspire others. Why not start now!

Rose Covered Fences

Rose Covered Fences

Horses Everywhere!

Horses Everywhere!

Laundry on the Island

Laundry on the Island

Ottoman Island Architecture

Ottoman Island Architecture

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