Life Dedication to Work

Life Dedication to Work

December 6, 2022


As part of her assignment, Onka Ajayebzai, a student of the Journalism department, has interviewed Dr. Gorkem Atsungur and compiled it in an immersing text below: 

Loving your life is normal and essential to living. But loving your life because of its responsibilities and loving those responsibilities are rare. Especially when it is teaching and accepting all the students as their own children. Political scientist Dr. Gorkem Atsungur. He is the Department Chair of the International and Comparative Politics and Head of the Social Sciences Division at the American University of Central Asia.

Teaching is his life and working among students makes his life interesting. Gorkem claims that he works from Monday to another Monday without any day off. He has always worked with lots of passion. Being a lecturer has a very special meaning to him and he is in love with his daily life because of his progress. Mr. Atsungur also mentioned, “ I dedicate myself to my work. My work is my passion and the place where my soul and ideas meet my physical”. It is clear that someone who is this much in love with work will not survive without his work. 

His teaching experience is also interesting. He does not expect his students to learn exactly in the same way. Because he believes that not everyone learns using the same method. Some learn from discussion, some from reading, some from writing, and some have a visual memory. As he says “...learning does not immediately start in the class and does not immediately finish in the class. What do we learn? Why do we learn? And how do we learn matters in this long process”. His favorite student is someone who is always in progress. And the thing is that he does not like “being late, being late, and being late”. You need to respect your time and be responsible. 

Gorkem Atsungur is always motivated by his work. He never postpones his responsibilities - even when he is sick. He has been teaching at AUCA since 2012. And whenever you see him with his students, and colleagues, during lunches or anywhere, he always has a smile on his face. Watching him personally with all this energy and smile makes me think that a bachelor, two masters, and planning to get a second Ph.D. must have been seen in his behavior. His behavior truly motivates me to follow a non-stop educational path. 

Since we all can have good or bad days in our lives, he considers his work too seriously. Taking everything too seriously is bad or good, I cannot say anything. But let's go with the flow sometimes and take things easy. It helps sometimes. I have experienced it. Gorkem calls his work his identity and is careful with his work and job. Since his work is his life, and lives should be taken care of, that is why there is no easy part of his days. Because he is working with humans and humans are not easy to deal with - sometimes. “Working with humans might be difficult sometimes because of different understanding levels”. He does care for his students including all things related to his students’ academic life. And his students are the center of his life.

People describe success differently. But to him, it is quite different from others. It is absolutely not about having degrees, a good job, or making someone proud. Progress and stability are the keywords whereby he can find his career and personal life. And probably that means success to him as he is still not done with his secret goals. But the path he has been following for years is huge progress for him and he would never like to stop. Gorkem said he would never like to take serious risks in life and be aware of the limits and opportunities of everyday life, not only his own limits but the limitations of the opportunities too. That is a reason for having reasonable expectations of going beyond dreams.  Even for his students’ success and achievements too. 

Concluding from our conversation, Gorkem is not an open person to me. He is interesting to talk to. Talk about any topic. Related to politics - although we did not talk about it - or a conversation about professional life. But he does not prefer to be preoccupied with talks about his personal life. He believes that his personal life should only matter to him, not to somebody else. His ethnic or religious identity, and his hobbies, are all for himself. Adding this would be interesting to share that by any chance you catch him for a talk, he would be running for his work, lunch, and things related to his job as a Head of Department and Division, but he will be super energetic. I have seen him many times. But the thing that I love about his personality is his really friendly behavior. Wondering to know if all Turkish people have the same behavior usually. 

He confidently answers sharing who a good student is. As to the question, if he is a good teacher, he replied that we should ask this question to his students. His mother is a role model for being a teacher. He is extremely happy with the inspiration that he got from his mom. “Yeah, I accept that teaching is not an easy job to do, and I have been watching my mother being so energetic but also tired - tired for good things: to help the learning process of several young people and prepare new generations”. And Mr. Atsungur is very happy in his work even though he sometimes becomes tired from time to time.

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