Something for Everybody at the Fine Arts Festival – May 27, 2012
An entertaining time was had by all at the Third Annual Fine Arts Festival. Organized by the Student Council, over 600 people attended throughout the day and enjoyed a variety of activities.
The festival was headlined by music group Yeni Türkü who played a mix of old classics and new songs from their latest album. The program also included a short film festival featuring the works of RC students, which was attended by actors Cansel Elçin and Çağatay Ulusoy, and producer Zeynep Özbatur. In the Forum a percussion workshop was led by renowned percussionist Engin Gürkey, and a performance was given by impromptu comedy theatre group YOTA. Amateur music groups also performed throughout the day.
In addition, there were festival games such as jousting and wall climbing, and various art activities including tie-dyeing, ebru painting and ceramic painting. Festival goers of all ages had a great day out.
RC Orchestra Concert Captivates Audience - May 24-26, 2012
As a crescendo of their work throughout the year, the RC Orchestra played three outstanding performances from May 24-26. The program was a mix of vocal and instrumental Turkish and foreign pieces and included jazz, pop, blues and rock numbers. During the first performance Timur Selçuk made a surprise guest appearance and sang his classic song "Beyaz Güvercin" (White Dove) as a duet with Lise 11 student İlhancan Rodoplu.
“I am amazed when I think about how our young orchestra played such difficult songs with arrangements that I sometimes wrote in excess,” says music teacher Deniz Baysal, who also conducted the concert. “Professional musicians who watched the concert also ask me about this. My answer always brings me to the same place. We love music and each other. We may graduate or go our separate ways, but this beautiful feeling will continue to ring in our hearts. I feel truly proud of the RC orchestra family. In my opinion, they are the most important piece in expressing this school’s spirit and keeping it alive.”
The orchestra and everybody who supported the concert deserves a big round of applause for a spectacular performance!
The Dining Room - May 9-11, 2012
As a wrap-up to their year, the RC Theatre Company staged A.R. Guerney’s contemporary play The Dining Room. Examining the lives of different white, upper middle-class families over a century through conversations around a dining table, the piece gave the audience a glimpse into private lives that were sometimes funny, other times sad, but ultimately moving.
“RC Theatre Company had a lot of high drama this year with the colorful musical Harem and the harrowing and intense Death and the Maiden,” explains theatre director Charlotte Şamli. “I wanted to finish the year with something that would provide challenging parts for the actors but would not have any particular stars, and would gently explore the full range of human experience. I think The Dining Room was a good example of an ensemble script which is quite hard to find.”
Lise Live XXV Remembers Farruh Keresteci - April 19, 2012
Twenty-five acts lit up the Suna Kıraç Stage on Thursday, April 19th for Lise Live XXV. The show featured a mix of performances including rock, latin, funk, hip hop and jazz performances, a comic skit and a Michael Jackson-style dance piece.
As with all spring Lise Live converts, Lise Live XXV was dedicated to Ferruh Keresteci, a well-loved student, dedicated orchestra member and extremely talented drummer, who passed away in 2006 during his Lise 11 year. In honor him, the Farruh Keresteci Memorial Award is presented every year to a Lise 12 student who is not only a great musician, but who also contributes to the musical life of RC. This year’s award was presented to Koray Kavaklı, a composer as well as a dedicated musician, who can often be seen practicing and helping out in the music department.
RC Hosts Kind-hearted High School Students - March 3, 2012
Twenty Istanbul high schools attended a Community Involvement symposium entitled "We Can Make a Difference" on Saturday, March 3rd at RC. The idea was conceived by two Lise 11 students, Tilbe Çağlayan and Derya Inal. It was organized by a student team led by Tilbe, Derya, and Ibrahim and Engin Polat with help from the CIP office.
In his opening speech, which was infused with his personal experiences as a social activist, İbrahim Betil RA 64, explained the value of helping people and advised the students about possible mistakes they might encounter. He emphasized the importance of orientation for volunteers, distribution of tasks, and consideration of the real needs of the target group while planning the CIP.
ENKA, Kabataş, Koç, MEF, RC, Şişli Terakki and Uskudar American came on stage to present the projects they are doing at their schools. After a presentation by Guler Karabatur, Jennifer Sertel and Elif Sonmez on how to design a successful CIP project, the afternoon sessions were faciltiated by RC students. These sessions were interactive planning workshops in which students came up with a real social service project.
Congratulations to Derya, Tilbe, the Polat brothers and all the RC students facilitators and helpers for a successful symposium!
Students Display Talent at Musical Evening - March 2, 2012
An eager audience witnessed just how skilled RC students are at the Musical Evening at Suna Kiraç Theatre on Friday, March 2nd. Students from Lise Prep through L12 entertained the crowd with jazz favorites and stirring classical pieces as well as a modern dance performance. RC’s got talent!
Death and the Maiden Awes Audience
This year’s Senior Drama performance, under the direction of Charlotte Şamlı, took place on a simple stage which accentuated the bold performances of Leyla Levi (L12) in the lead role of Paulina Salas, Türker Bulut (L12) as Gerardo Salas and Berk Çoker (L11) playing Roberto Miranda. Their performance captivated the audience. Written by Ariel Dorfman, Death and the Maiden was first performed in 1991, where it won the Lawrence Olivier Award for Best Play of the London Season. It was made into a movie by Roman Polanski and was recently staged at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London.
The play focuses on the after-effects of political torture and the hideously vexed issue of how you achieve justice in a society emerging from violent dictatorship.
RC Students Shine at HMUN
Sixteen students from grades L9 to L12 attended Harvard MUN between January 26-29. The students spent four days lobbying, debating and making decisions according to the policies of the country they represented. In addition to the delegates representing Ireland, Kutay Onaylı (L11) and Talat Dinç Çiftçi (L11) were chosen as delegates from special agencies. Dinç was the Minister of Finance and Treasury of Taiping Heavenly Kingdom and Kutay acted as Marcus Aurelius of the Council of Pompey the Great. Kutay was awarded the best delegate of the conference.
Students Gain New Perspective with Photography Workshop - Jan 23-27, 2012
A small group of Lise 9, 11 and 12 students spent their semester break at school learning new photography skills. During a week-long workshop themed “Poetic Storytelling” lead by documentary photographer Thatcher Cook, the ten students combined photo shoots around Istanbul and in Kıyıköy with editing discussions and critiquing each other’s works. The students ended the week with a better understanding of their personal style, and for some students it was a life-changing experience.
“The most useful thing I learned is that the most important element in a good photograph is the mood,” said Arda Meriç (L11). “A good photograph should tell a good story. With the Thatcher's workshop I stepped out of my comfort zone and started to do street photography. I started to use poetic storytelling in my photographs.”
Ege Yumuşak (L12) added “I think this workshop did more than teaching about photography but showed me, and I hope my friends, how to escape our information-saturated world, look behind a lens for a while, and see, surprisingly, with much more clarity.”
Yanki Yarman (L12) commented that “Thatcher's enthusiastic and sincere approach encouraged me to step out of conceptual boundaries and do the unexpected. Making critiques of everyone's work not only helped me gain new perspectives figuratively but also literally through the viewfinder!” Yanki summed up the week with an opinion shared by all who attended: “Having enjoyed this experience so much, I would like to continue to attend similar workshops.”
RC Students Capture First Place at Chess Tournament
The RC chess team had unprecedented success at the Eyüboğlu Educational Institutions 21st Friendly Chess Tournament. Among the 30 Lise teams participating, RC team members Burak Çetiner L10, Erk Şimsek L10, Erdi Deviren LP and Anıl Gengiz LP came back with awards. It was held over three days - January 6, 7 and 8th - and each player played seven rounds. Erdi came in 2nd, Burak 3rd and Anıl 5th individually, and the RC team won 1st place.
Chess team advisor and chemistry teacher James Butterworth says, “There is always a high standard of player at these tournaments; they are very competitive. To be the first team you need to have some of the top young players in the country. This is especially noteworthy as our 1st and 3rd rated team players are only preps - so they clearly have a lot of potential for the future. This is the best result for an RC team that I'm aware of.” Congratulations Chess Team!
Modern Drama Class Examines the Essentials of Life
Modern Drama Class students captivated the audience with three plays performed under the theme The Essentials of Life on January 4th, 2012. The students were given three weeks to write and prepare the plays using skills they had learned throughout the semester.
"When We Lose It" portrayed three characters playing a game of poker, each betting an essential part of themselves: an older business man’s reputation, a young man’s youth and a woman’s family. As the game continued, the stakes got higher and the players were asking themselves if they really wanted to lose everything. In "Transessence" five characters (a beggar and his dog, a Buddhist monk, a student obsessed with his SAT preparations and a Vietnam War veteran), each representing different essentials (aspiration, divine, love, past and consumable) are riding on the metro together. There is a crash and these five convoluted individuals are now stuck in a confined space. Their wishes become interlocked and they transform, transcend and transverse by taking on each other’s attributes. "Gravity" was a hard-hitting piece about the effects of choosing poor essentials. A wicked influence leads four girls down a path of self-destruction: bulimia after obsessing about body shape, dependency on a man for happiness based on misconceptions about romance, obsession about becoming upwardly mobile and overworked, and drug dependency.
The pieces incorporated creative staging, props and lighting to portray big concepts on a small stage. The performances left the audience thinking more deeply about the essentials of life.
RC Orchestra gives festive Noon Concert - Dec. 23rd, 2011
The RC student orchestra delighted listeners with a New Year’s concert before the Fall break. Given during the 2nd and 3rd lunch breaks on Friday, December 23rd in Marble Hall, the orchestra played Sartori’s much loved “Con Te Partiro”, Mozart’s “Symphony No. 40, First Movement”, Piazzola’s “Libertango” and Shostakovich’s famous waltz “Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 2”. The concert was organized under the direction of music teachers Deniz Baysal and Koray Demirkapı.
RC Boys Basketball Team Wins the 2nd Dave Phillips Cup - December 10-13, 2011
In an exciting final match, the RC Boys Basketball Team beat İstanbul Erkek Lisesi 58-43 to win this year’s Dave Phillip’s Cup. The previous day, the RC Girls Basketball Team won second place, losing to Darüşşafaka 56-50.
The tournament started over the weekend with eight teams from six schools participating: Üsküdar American Academy, İstanbul Erkek Lisesi, Kabataş Lisesi, Açı Schools and Darüşşafaka Schools, in addition to Robert College. Many alumni came to watch the games and see their favorite former coach, Dave Phillips.
Before the awards ceremony Dave Phillips thanked the school and the Student Council, especially Turker Bulut (L12) and Yusuf Kumtepe (L12), for organizing the event. He thanked RC for the opportunity to be a teacher and coach for almost 33 years because, he said, no matter what we do at RC it’s always about the students. The crowd returned their thanks to Sir with a standing ovation.
Following Dave Phillips, famous sports commentator and RC 92 alumni Kaan Kural said a few words about his beloved coach. “He has given so much of himself, expecting nothing in return and touched many lives. He never expected us to win a game but always expected us to do our best. That was a personal life lesson for me, and I will always treasure him just like all his ‘daughters’ and ‘sons’.”
The first Dave Phillips Cup was organized by the RC Student Council in 2010. Kaan Kural wrote a tribute to Dave Phillips in a recent RC Quarterly which you can read here.
Students Pack Suna Kıraç Hall for Lise Live XXIV - Nov. 2011
Over half the student body turned out on November 3rd when twenty-one acts took the stage for Lise Live XXIV. Students turned out their best on stage, with dance, drama, rock, pop and jazz performances.
Arts Department Head Merril Hope-Brown, who started the concept over 12 years ago, says, “Lise Live is a wonderful and uncommon opportunity for students to stand on stage and perform to an appreciative audience of several hundred peers. Potentially life changing and inspirational, Lise Live is about much more than just another concert of great performances. My special memories are more about the growth from tentative beginnings in Lise 9 to confident stage performers in Lise 12, about students supporting each other and team work (let's not forget the stirring work of the back stage crew at every performance without whom the show would be a shambles) than any particularly wonderful performances, not least because there are so very many incredible performances in Lise Live as RC is blessed with truly remarkable musical talent.”
Lise Live has also inspired two spin-off events – Teacher’s Live where faculty perform, and an event for alumni called Grad Live.
RC students reach out to Van - October 24-27, 2011
Thanks to the quick and effective coordination of the Student Council, RC students, faculty and staff collected boxes of clothes, blankets, underwear, sanitary pads, baby food and flashlights for earthquake survivors in Van. With the help of the CIP team, the student volunteers sorted and packed 200 boxes of donations. The boxes filled two trucks provided by the Beşiktaş and Van municipalities who delivered the donations to Van. Cash donations for Kızılay were also collected from students during homeroom and are earmarked for building prefabricated metal housing in Van. A total of 15,000 TL was collected which is enough to build 1.5 houses.
RC is a trailblazer once again - October 8, 2011
On Saturday, October 8, the RC Physical Education (PE) Symposium was held, attended by PE teachers from schools throughout the Beşiktaş district. This is the first time such a program has taken place. Participants were introduced to different sport activities thought to be popular with students and beneficial for their development. One of the goals of the symposium was to motivate PE teachers in the district. PE teachers from 9 schools attended the full-day workshop which covered four topics. The morning sessions introduced Flag Football and Irish Football. The afternoon session focused on how team sports develop kids’ game intelligence, and small court games and frisbee were taught. After each session, there was a review with Q&A. This entertaining and educational workshop is planned to be held each year.
RC students and teachers enjoy a special celebration the Liberation of Istanbul
The Liberation of Istanbul was celebrated on October 5, 2011 in Marble Hall with a variety of entertainment. In the Istanbul Memories corner, students and teachers took pictures wearing period costumes on a set decorated from the era. The RC Singers delighted listeners with three songs about Istanbul. The Turkish Music Orchestra, made up of teachers Deniz Baysal and Koray Demirkapi, and students Cem Tecimer and Nurkut Aksu, performed a 2-piece mini concert. In keeping in line with the theme, an Istanbul Panel talked about vintage Istanbul pictures and Istanbul’s history while sweets were passed out to attendees.
Orienteering Day for Preps - September 20, 2011
On Tuesday, September 20th, all the new LPs got to explore the beautiful campus and test out their map-reading skills during the traditional LP orienteering and orientation activity. Teachers, students and participating staff had a lot of fun while getting to know the campus and each other.
Barış Kaya succeeds in International IT Olympiads - June 22-29, 2011
23rd International IT Olympiads took place in Papaya, Thailand. 310 students from 100 countries attended this competition. Every year gold, silver and bronz medals are distributed among the students who succeed. This year the first 25 students received gold, the 50 following students received silver, and 75 received bronz medals. Turkey send a team of 4 students who were chosen by TÜBITAK. Of these four, Barış Kaya (L-12) who was 21. on the list received a gold medal, one of the four team members received silver. This is the first success story of Turkey in this field.
Graduation Day 2011 – June 27, 2011
The 144th Graduation Ceremony took place on Monday, June 27, 2011 at the RC Konak Terrace as the sun made an appearance for the afternoon after a dreary morning. The new graduates walked out in full grad garb with pride, followed by Robert College faculty members. A selection of Awards honoring friends and former Alumni of Robert College were given out to high achieving students in a variety of disciplines. Following the awards, were speeches by former Trustee Eric Widmer, retiring English Department Head Phillip Esposito, and student speakers Murat Ünür and Deniz Çam. Congratulations to the Robert College Class of 2011! To read the speeches, please click on the name of the speaker.
RC Orchestra joins the Galata Şenliği – June 4, 2011
This past June, as the school year was winding down, some of the members of the RC Orchestra performed with a professional brass and percussion band on Saturday, June 4, 2011 in Galata. While listening to the orchestra, famous Turkish jazz musician Önder Foçan asked Music teacher Deniz Baykal if the orchestra was going to join the Galata festivities that Saturday afternoon. Indeed they did. The RC Orchestra musicians paraded down Tünel Meydanı to Galata Meydanı, then continued to perform throughout the afternoon. The talented performers were Senem Soy (L-10) - Clarinet, Elif Kınlı (L-10) - Alto sax, Ekin Kubilay (L-10) - Alto sax, Oğul Girgin (L-10) - Tenor sax, Dehan Elçin (L-10) – Trumpet, Alp Paksoy (L-11) - Tenor sax and Özlem Sert (L-10) - Flute.
On stage at TIFES’11 – May 30-Jun 3, 2011
This year, from May 30 to June 3, 2011, the Robert College Theater Festival (TIFES) celebrated its 7th year with 5 different schools performing a different play each day throughout the week. Not only did this festival showcase theatrical talent on stage, but it recognized excellence in acting and production with 8 awards (including for Best Actor/Actress, Best Set Design, Best Costume etc.) determined by a jury at a ceremony, followed by a cocktail, held on June 3. The schools (and their productions), selected through a lottery system, were: Kadıköy Anadolu High School (Kafkas Tebeşir Dairesi”); İ.Ö Saint Joseph French High School (“Kadınlar Terzihanesi”); VKV Koç Private High School (“Büyük Romulus”); TEV İnanç Türkeş Private High School (“Gözlerimi Kaparım Vazifemi Yaparım”); and Ankara Private Tevfik Fikret High School (“Yedi Kocalı Hürmüz”). The TIFES ’11 Committee consisted of prominent theatre actors such as Altan Erkekli, Sevinç Erbulak, Şebnem Bozoklu, Volkan Severcan and Fırat Tanış. TIFES’s ongoing faculty coordinator, Esra Ürtekin commented, that each year, the festival develops further, helping nurture more theatre artists and providing an occasion for schools from all over to share their love for theatre.
Suspended Ceramics on Campus
On campus, dangling from a tree, were the products of the Ceramics elective class led by Art Teacher John Dew. For the Sufi/Kaftan project, students used white clay to shape tunic-like objects that could be colorfully decorated. The students were then encouraged to use the school environment to display their sculptures and ceramics. When we asked John Dew about this student project, he said, “My philosophy, as ceramics teacher, is that since I'm requiring students to make objects, they should take ownership of where they are put or displayed. My aim with the Ceramics elective is to make it one of the very best available in a high school in Turkey.” Through this elective, students have been able to develop their problem-solving skills and embrace sculpture, using clay, stone and other materials as a form of expression.
Students have a Field Day! – May 18, 2011
Bright and early on Wednesday, May 18, 2011, students from Lise Prep to 12 assembled on the Plateau to compete in a variety of track and field events. What used to be called “Field Day” has evolved over the years, changing shape, but still maintaining the same athletic spirit. Out of the 18 events, Aysu Ay (L-10) and Mehmet Ali Tar (L-11) were recognized as Top Athletes, while the L-9s reaped the “Best Combined Class” Award. The Award ceremony celebrated the May 19th Youth and Sports Holiday, and also gave a shout out to retiring English Teacher Phillip Esposito, Religion Teacher Izzet Dodurgalı who has undergone surgery, and retiring Science Teacher and Coach for 25 years, Cahit Can. What about the weather? “It was a blessing in disguise. Like they say in the Virgin Islands, it was a ‘passing cloud’” said Dave Phillips, retiring P.E. Teacher and the fearless organizer of this event. With a theme like “Teamwork” and a tagline like “Check Your Ego at the Door,” it looks like athletics and the spirit of RC Olympics will continue without a hitch in the years to come.
RC Lives “La Vie En Rose” - May 13, 2011
For 6 years, Robert College has had a French club that celebrates the authenticity and richness of the French language. In the beginning, while there was more of a focus on producing plays, in the latter years, musicals have become the club’s form of expression. Named after a bench that sits at the Plateau, Société Française put on a memorable French musical, called “RC Je T’aime,” on May 13, 2011 featuring songs by Edith Piaf, famous ballads by Joe Dassin and poems by Beaudelaire, Rimbaud and Verlaine.
Practical Music Concerts – May 11, 2011
Practical Class Music is an elective course that focuses on teaching students any instrument of their choice, including piano, guitar, flute, drums, bass guitar, electrical guitar, bağlama, ney, clarinet, tambourine, accordion, saxophone, percussion, violin and cello. After a year of practice-makes-perfect, “in the second term, students perform what they’ve learned to the RC family at the Practical Music Concerts,” says Music Teacher Deniz Baysal. This year, the concerts took place on May 11, 2011.
RC Theatre “Couples” Up - May 4-6, 2011
After producing Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap,” a period piece that takes place in post-war Britain, the RC Theatre Company wanted to bring something different to the stage by focusing on a production that had more to do with the experiences of the students. The result was not only creative but also “out of the box.” With the help of English teacher Jake Becker, the RC Theatre’s skills were put to good use when the students and teachers were asked to write their own pieces, with a focus on scriptwriting over storytelling. “In the end, we sifted through all the entries and were able to choose 3 teacher scripts and 7 student-written pieces [including Jane Page Award-winning script from Deniz Cam (L-12)],” says Charlotte Şamlı, Director of Drama. Without any designated lead actors, the concept of “Couples” was stretched in different ways; while the nuclear man-and-woman duo was explored, other pairs included a grandfather and granddaughter, and two strangers who meet in a bar. On the final evening of the three performances that took place from May 4-6, 2011, Şamlı recalls, “the stage was full of students and teachers enjoying being together having worked on and completed a collaborative project… I was happy twice over. Once for their successful production but also for the valuable process we had gone through to get there.”
Election Season – May 4, 2011
The Student Council has always been considered one of the most effective leadership-building organizations in RC, promoting democracy and nurturing strong, decisive and accountable people. The elected governing body steers the events of the coming year, and that, in and of itself, is a daunting task to undertake while juggling term papers, clubs, associations and, well, some sleep and socializing in between. So, it was important that the majority of Lise students attended the Student Council Speeches held on May 4, 2011 in the Suna Kıraç Theater. When asked about the new student office’s bright future, Colin Edmonds, who’s been the SC Advisor for 6 years, said, “I would like to think that each year, the SC gets better (in small ways). I would say that the election speeches this year would appear to support that impression I have.” During the campaign period, signs wrap the canteen and various spots on campus up until the day of the speeches and are then removed. Voting occurs 2 days after the speeches and each student from Lise Prep to L12 is allowed 1 vote that is counted by the “By-Law” Committee (the team that also manages the whole election process). This year’s proud elected members of the Student Council are President Türker Bulut (L-12), Vice President Ufuk Yıldırım (L-11), Treasurer Ali Can Söylemezoğlu (L-10) and Secretary Elif Kınlı (L-10). Keep an eye out for these bright young leaders.
Chicago School Gains Perspective at Robert College - March 14, 2011
With the purpose of experimenting with mood and content, Betty Lark Cook, Chair of the Visual Art Department and Photography teacher at the Latin School of Chicago, organized a field trip with her class to the Robert College campus on March 14, 2011. By bringing students who are interested in photography from two different institutions together, Lark Cook’s hope was to try to capture the diversity of the concept of hüzün, melancholy in Istanbul, described in Orhan Pamuk’s ( RA 70 ) book “Istanbul.” Before embarking on this field trip, Lark Cook commented on the passage in the book that she was most inspired by, “I like those specific pages because it reads almost like a poem where he lists things he sees everyday. It is quite powerful and would make a nice primer for [the] trip.”
Alexander Downs, Photography and Graphic Arts Teacher at RC, he recounted the events of the day as follows, “we met the Latin School students on campus and took them to lunch at the cafeteria. Then we all got in their bus and went to Ortaköy to take photos. It was a warm, beautiful and sunny day. RC students partnered with Latin school students and showed them around Ortaköy. Students took a lot of photos and had a lot of fun comparing photos, cameras and schools.”
RC Debate Society Takes on the World - February 2011
From Istanbul to Stuttgart, Qatar and back, the growing achievements and popularity of the RC Debate Society know no bounds. Recently, the Robert College Debate Society played a large role in hosting the Eurasian Schools Debate Competition, including recruiting the adjudicators; arranging accommodation for participants (50 teams from 20 countries); organizing transportation and food; collecting fees; finding sponsors to subsidize the fees; sourcing alternative venues for 2 days of the tournament… the list goes on. With an accomplishment of this magnitude under their belt, the Debate Society has been picking up speed in the debate game; not only are they participating in a wide range of competitions with even universities nationally and worldwide, they have been breaking new ground by incorporating technology, unprecedented scoring and competition design. This was the world’s second largest debating tournament with such a small budget. RC is currently ranked the 10th best university club in Turkey –although it’s a high school. RC Trustee Emeritus, and one of RC’s most esteemed graduates, Feyyaz Berker RC Eng 46 has been instrumental in rekindling debate at the school , through a generous gift in 2008. The Robert College Debate Society was born as a result of this endowment fund. With this kind of thoughtful support by Feyyaz Berker, the RC Debate Society has become a trailblazer in its field, guiding the way for students to learn the art of debate and acquire the skills and knowledge that will benefit them in their professional careers and future endeavors.
RC Ranked First at the Vienna Trade Fair after participating in Antwerp Trade Fair - March 5, 2011
Junior Achievement Club is an after-school business club for students, which is dedicated to teaching students about entrepreneurism, workforce readiness and financial literacy. On March 5, 2011 at the Austrian Trade Fair in Vienna, 40 companies met to sell their products in SCN Shopping Mall. RC Junior Achievement’s Hamam and Noah’s (J)arc participated in this fair. Hamam sold elegant peshtemals while Noah’s (J)arc sold towels, cups and t-shirts for young couples. Hamam had a Turkish Bath concept for their stand design and Noah’s (J)arc’s theme was inspired by the story of Noah. Hamam made JA history by coming in first for Best Management & Leadership. This is the Club’s first award for “First Place” and has set a new standard. Working in a mall for a day was challenging but, for these students, was definitely rewarding. They gained valuable experience while having a great time. Also at this year’s Flemish Trade Fair on Feb 19, 2011 over 100 companies met in the Shopping Center Wijnegem in Antwerp. Recyclub sold products under the name “Çöp(m)adam” referring to a community development project aimed at creating opportunities for unemployed women. Noah’s (J)arc sold towels, cups and t-shirts designed for young couples, using the Noah’s Arc theme.
RC Theater Company presents: the Mousetrap - Dec 15-17, 2010
The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie, the world's longest running play (52 years continuously) was staged by the RC Theatre Company on December 15th, 16th and 17th on Suna Kıraç Theater at RC. It was very well received by the audience as the British accent of the players and acting were beyond convincing.
Musical Evening - Dec 10, 2010
RC students put on a Musical Evening every semester as a part of their musics class. Friday evening, December 10th at 19:30 in Suna Kıraç Theatre was the Musical Evening for 2010. It was, a concert of soloists, duets and small groups representing RC's finest musicians, the evening was mostly 'classical', but with some Turkish and jazz too. Students from LP through to Seniors performed. Several pianists played RC's beautiful Yamaha grand piano. Acoustic guitar, tanbor, vocals, violin etc, it’s been a rather enjoyable evening as promised. Friends and members of the RC family were also invited as the performers especially look forward to seeing RC graduates supporting them.
RC Finalists in the Elevator Pitch Competition - Oct 20, 2010
Özyeğin University organizes an “Elevator Pitch Competition” in connection with the Global Entrepreneurship Week each year. This year they are holding the first leg of the Elevator Pitch Competition at four high schools between 18th and 27th of October. The competition aims to encourage entrepreneurship among students and focuses on their skills to pitch a new business idea of their own in a persuasive, factual and conscise within a short period of time.
Using the elevator ride as a metaphor, the competition assumes the student meets the owner or a senior executive in the company elevator. The budding entrepreneur is expected to deliver a persuasive pitch in the time span of an elevator ride (around 60 seconds) in order to introduce himself/herself and convince the potantial investor to meet with him/her for further discussions. RC Finals took place on 20 October 2010 in Bingham 1. The competitors were mostly members of the Junior Achievemet Club and the three finalists who will compete with the winners of Özyeğin University, Kadiköy Anadolu High School, Istanbul Lisesi and Izmir Işıkkent Eğitim Kampüsü on 10 November, are Özkan Okan, Aysel Kapsız and Mehmet Can Burdu.
Back to school - Sept 13, 2010
New prep students rubbed shoulders with Lise veterans in the Rodney Wagner Memorial Maze today, September 13, 2010, marking the beginning of the 148th academic year of Robert College. In their welcome back speeches, Headmaster John Chandler urged students to embrace the values and strengths which render Robert College unique, while English teacher Phillip Esposito encouraged older students to maintain a focused interest in current affairs and to take responsibility in their roles as young adults in society. Volkan Sipahioğlu, President of the Student Council also spoke eloquently. Click here to read the inspiring speeches in full.
Class of '10 graduates - Jun 21, 2010
The graduation ceremony of the 147th school year was held in the Konak Terrace. Speeches were given by the Rector of Sabancı University Prof. Dr. Nihat Berker, History Teacher Hafize Değer, and Student speakers Yiğit Yorulmaz (L-12) and Rafet Karaoğlu (L-12). To read the speeches visit this page.
Shakespeare on the Green - May 7- May 9, 2010
For three consecutive evenings in May, audiences made of RC students, family members and alumni, enjoyed watching the most famous scenes of the Bard in the open air. After 6:30 pm, the school campus transformed itself into a huge stage on which played the tales of love, greed and revenge -that have possessed humanity since the beginning of time. RC Drama director Charlotte Şamlı explains, “The idea was born from the fact that RC has this beautiful campus and yet we never seem to have time to sit in it and enjoy it. The front of Gould seemed to be a natural performance space.” The senior students in the “RC Theater Company”, an extracurricular club, were exposed to several Shakespeare plays by Jason Shulha and Charlotte Şamlı. After careful consideration, they narrowed the choices down to perform one comedy, one historic play, one tragedy, one raucous bar scene as well as scenes from two plays that RC students had studeid this year: Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth. English teacher Marita O'Neill and her class agreed to grace the plans with their creative rendition of Romeo and Juliet rewritten for the Ottoman Court. The class had won the Romeo and Juliet competition but had to rework the scene for the steps of Gould Hall. Their enthusiasm was infectious and added a new dimension to Mrs. Şamlı's and Mr. Schulha's plans.
(Compiled with information from Bekir Berker Artukoğlu L-11 and Charlotte Şamlı)
You can also click on this link to see pictures and read about “Shakespeare on the Green” on RC English teacher, Ann Marie Mershon's blog.
RC Tennis Teams go to Nationals - Apr 12-16th, 2010
The girls and boys tennis teams of Robert College have both been qualified for the Nationals which will be held on May 3rd, 2010 in Antalya. Girls team consisting of Begüm Batmanoğlu, Zeynep Altaş, Beril Şahin, Nil Kasuto were fourth in Istanbul and the Boys team formed by Sinan Alparslan, Cem Gülboy, Metin İyigüngör, Timuçin Balkan became third on the competition in Bakırköy, between April 12-16th.
The Short Film CIP - Apr 5-9th, 2010
The project was called, “The Short Film CIP.” The RC students Cansu Satlik (L-9), Gunce Su Yilmaz (L-9), Nazli Albayrak (L-9), Nur Sevencan (L-9) and 14 Turgut Akan Primary School students were introduced to narrative telling through the visual art of film. They were taught how to use a camera and finally how to edit their films (including the use of sound track and voice over). Each student created a one-minute film answering the guiding question/theme, “Who Am I?” The success of the project was a collaborative effort and would not have been possible without the incredible art teacher at Turgut Akan – Alptekin Yuksel.
There were several RC Alumni working with the project:
Kerem Kurdoğlu RC 81(filmaker, teacher, and Colin Edmonds’ brother-in-law), Gökçe Su Yoğurtcuoğlu RC 97 (who orginally brought the project idea to RC and who is a film producer and director at Mode Istanbul), Rasimcan Meral RC 09 (editing expert and medical student), and the technical support of Asli Gurbuz Satirolgu in the IT Department. The project p
artially took place at the Turgut Akan Ilkogretim Okulu in Sarıyer where the cameras and editing resources were loaned by RC.
Jane Page award - Mar 18th, 2010
The Jane Page English Writing Award is an annual literary competition for students to submit creative poems, short stories, or dramatic scripts. The submissions are collected at the start of the second semester and the awards ceremony takes place in the RC library in the third week of March. There is a cash prize of $300 given to the winners of each category. Honorable mentions are recognized as decided by the judges. This was the second year of the competition, and there were over fifty submissions. It is hoped that the competition will grow as the tradition becomes more established. A benefactor is needed to support the competition so that it may continue.
2010 Jane Page Writing Contest Winners:
Poetry: Deger Turan (L-10)
Dramatic Script : Batuhan Baserdem (L-12)
“The Strawberry and the Death”
Short Story: Ege Yalcinbas (L-11)
“The Grave Digger”
RC Fencing Team goes to the Nationals - Apr 12th, 2010
A very busy and nice day with the Fencing Team paid off - the Saber Team formed by 8 girls and 1 boy got 3 bronze medals in total. Begum Erdincler (LP), Feyza Haskaraman (L10) and Cem Aksoy (L9) got the nationals. They will compete in the nationals in Afyon between May 2-5th.
RC brings home 3 medals at the International Orienteering Races - Feb 25-28th, 2010
RC Orienteering Team participated in the Antalya International Orienteering races with fellow team members / RC teachers Andrew Tingleff and Gencer Emiroğlu. Team members Burak Özçelik (L-P), Zeynep Özarda (L-9), Ebrar Bahçıvan (L-9), Akın Akkan (L-10), Ahmet Utku Akbıyık (L-10), Kaan Bulut Tekelioğlu (L-10), and Canberk Yalçın (L-11) were among the 700 participants from 12 countries. At Day 2 Sprint Race, Canberk Yalçın (L-11) was awarded for his victory in M18. Bulut Telekelioğlu (L-10) and Ahmet Utku Akbıyık (L-10) got awards for 1st and 2nd place respectively in M16 class. Gold winner in men 35 category coach Gencer Emiroğlu, silver winner Ebrar Bahçıvan (L-9) and bronze winner in women 16 category Zeynep Özarda (L-9) brought Robert College 3 medals in total.
* what is orienteering: Orienteering is a fast groving sport where you navigate between check points of a set course using a special map. It is like cross-country running but instead of a set course you need to find your own way from one checkpoint to the other. RC has been using orienteering for eight years. We are the first school in Turkey to have an orienteering map of the school campus. Every year 200 prep students learn the campus and meet staff with a orienteering game. We have an O' Sport Team since two years and compete in major National Championships.
Sandbach School Big Band - Feb 18th, 2010
On Thursday, February 18th at 16.00 in the RC Theatre, the Sandbach School Big Band, from Cheshire, gave a concert of jazz, funk, latin and pop music. 22 boys played such songs as "I've Got You Under my Skin " and "Minnie The Moocher ". You can hear them play “here come the girls” by clicking here. For the biography of the group please click here.
TUBItAK success - Dec 4-9th, 2009
Barış Kaya (L-11) has won the TÜBİTAK Gold Medal in Computer Science category, which marked him as the top student in Turkey in this field. The national finals were held at ODTÜ in Ankara between December 4-9, 2009.
RC Debate Society represents Turkey - Nov, 2009
Robert College Debate Society team went to Stuttgart in November to compete in the European Schools Debating Championship. Three members of the team of five had competed in Athens, where RC scored 1 win out of 8, and gained 3 points. Just when John Royce (Debate Club Advisor & RC Head Librarian) thought if they could do better in Stuttgart, he gladly found out that they could indeed. 26 teams competed in the opening rounds. After the first 8 debates, on a league basis, the best 8 teams were to go forward to the knockout stage. The RC team won 5 debates, and with split decisions in the other 3 matches, they scored enough to go through to the knockout competition. Unfortunately, they were knocked out in the first match against a Korean team, which went on to finish championship runners-up. They have learned a lot from this experience, and hope to do even better next time. Overall, the RC debate team came 8th of the 26 teams. Kaan Ülgen (L-9) was in the list of top 50 speakers, averaging 70.778%, while the other 4 RC speakers who are Koret Munguldar (L-10), Cem Zorlular (L-11), Mehmet Cura (L-11), Şafak Kılıç (L-9) were not far behind. On a higher note, 4 members of the Stuttgart team make up 80% of a team selected to represent Turkey in this year’s World Schools’ Debating Championship, to be held in Qatar in February. RC English teacher Anne Mershon who took them to Stuttgart says: "The weather wasn't all that great, but the kids were AWESOME! They made the most of it, and they improved their record from one win at their only previous tournament to five wins and a spot in the quarter-finals this year. Impressive, to say the least."