Sunday, December 17, 2017

Know Your Profs: Camosun’s Cuma Yilmaz on mental stimulation and remembering the past

November 15, 2017 by Adam Boyle, staff writer

Know Your Profs is an ongoing series of profiles on the instructors at Camosun College. Every issue we ask a different instructor at Camosun the same 10 questions in an attempt to get to know them a little better.

Do you have an instructor that you want to see interviewed in the paper? Email editor@nexusnewspaper.com and we’ll get on it.

This issue we talked to Camosun Electrical Apprenticeship Training instructor Cuma Yilmaz about understanding students, trying to learn guitar, and how the future of post-secondary can help the environment.

1. What do you teach and how long have you been at Camosun?

Electrical Apprenticeship Training. I’ve been here almost six years.

2. What do you personally get out of teaching?

Satisfaction when I see students succeed. I also like the mental stimulation of it.

Camosun Electrical Apprenticeship Training instructor Cuma Yilmaz (photo by Adam Marsh/Nexus).

3. What’s one thing you wish your students knew about you?

Often, I look at students in my class and remember how I felt during my apprenticeship a long time ago. I understand their daily challenges outside of the classroom. Our job doesn’t end when we get home; we always care about our students’ well being and want all of them to succeed.

4. What’s one thing you wish they didn’t know about you?

That I have been contemplating to learn to play the guitar for years now, but I still haven’t started. This bothers me because usually I don’t procrastinate with anything else in life.

5. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you as a teacher here? 

One day I received an email from a former student thanking me for the extra effort I put in my lessons and lab activities. That made me feel very good.

6. What’s the worst thing that happened to you as a teacher here?

I’m not sure if there is a bad thing that has happened to me here. Teaching at Camosun has taught me a lot. I don’t see the odd daily challenge along the way necessarily as a bad thing; it’s helped me grow as a person.

7. What do you see in the future of post-secondary education?

I think that post-secondary education will become increasingly more important. In addition to the traditional role post-secondary education has played, it will also help fill the gaps in the globalized workforce. The last 20 years have created a growing demand for a well-trained and flexible workforce. For the individual this will mean more post-secondary training, more often. I think that the meaning of the word “career” has shifted already. I also see an increase in technology tailored more toward the individual’s schedule. As much as I truly believe in the social values of a classroom setting, I do see the virtual classroom already. I think our jobs will change a lot over time; I try to concentrate on the positive effects of this electronic revolution. We’ve already saved millions of trees by cutting back paper publishing, and if teaching and learning can be facilitated from the comfort of our homes one day, there will be much less traffic and pollution.

8. What do you do to relax on the weekends?

I love to go for long hikes in the bush. I work on my car, or sit in a cafe downtown and relax.

9. What is your favourite meal?

That’s not easy to answer; I like so many. If I had to pick one I think it would be tabouli—funny, I never liked it as a kid.

10. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Unkindness.

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