Friday, August 03, 2007

'Education without permission'

This post concerns the Turkish Maths Summer School, which you can read more about at Mathematics Under The Microscope. (I'll be linking appropriate posts).

Last night, having read about the latest proceedings happening with the Turkish Summer School, I found myself particularly angry. It was in this anger that I began typing a post. Well not quite angry hulk like, but the frustrated type of angry! As you might have noticed, when I post on impulse and when I'm 'angry', I think less than normal about what I'm writing. However, thankfully having conversed with someone about it at that time, I got distracted from my post. I was asked,

'What the heck does it matter to you about whats happening in Turkey?'

I think that person just wanted me to shut up, and after a long soliloquy, I obliged and did a Sudoko. This gave me a headache and calmed me down at the same time, so rather than returning to my post I went to sleep. (It was a deep sleep at that!)

Now, when I'm feeling slightly calmer(!), I'll re-write that post in a less offensive way. I.e. I'll copy paste it here and make it sound nicer!

Having read Golden Sands in Stream, I felt really happy and positive. A certain longing was probably present, and an annoyance at my own lack of motivation to actually get myself into gear and study maths. That longing was due to the fact that active learning was happening across the globe and I wasn't there. I was sat here, not doing maths. However, my own annoyance lasted for but a few seconds. The way Professor Borovik described things, made me want to be there in Turkey. A place where everyone was present just to learn. That's what I love doing. I hate exams with a pleasure -they're just something we have to suffer through. The real buzz is in actually learning things and moving forward. If I'm not being clear, that place was probably like the yellow brick road! (That's a good thing, right?!)

The energy that was seen in Turkey was contagious and the post highlighted this. I felt that energy. Seeing the pictures of that school was like seeing a sunset. There was just something about them - they made me feel happy.

Now I feel the complete opposite. I'm still in disbelief as I just commented at that blog. My disbelief slowly turned into anger and frustration. It just seems to have happened from out of the blue - unexpected. Blackboards are being arrested! Blackboards! I don't really know the who, what, where, when of things, but this is most upsetting.

That is where I'd left it at last night. It's quite saddening to see the clear contrast of how things have fallen out of place. In the first post a ray of sunlight could be seen - brightly warming our faces. However, now a dark cloud has come to takeover filled with vengeful rain. The dark cloud has rested upon my shoulders as well it seems.

So why does it matter? If you haven't read the posts I'll try to give a small summary. There was a Turkish Maths Summer School being run by Ali Nesin, and Professor Borovik had gone to help. The authorities have recently shut down the school and one of the reasons they have given is that 'education without permission was happening'. There is probably a lot of politics involved, which should be a good reason for me to shut my mouth! Sigh. I don't really know why this is affecting me in the way it is. Maybe because it sounds so absurd, 'education without permission'! I guess I found the idea of that school 'cool' and brilliant. It represented something.

Hmm, all is not lost I believe. There is a petition which you can sign, if you want to, at Save Mathematical Summer School. I'm definitely ignorant of a lot of things that are happening with this school, but I really hope that this misunderstanding (which I wish it is!), is soon resolved. Not just for the sake of having that school running again, but also to correct the statement 'education without permission'.


Anonymous said...

Pardon my ignorance. But what's the current state of affairs in Turkey. Didn't the ruling secular party recently lose power?

beans said...

I am as ignorant as you are. :)