Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Exam Results

The Finnish system of grading is different to the UK system. So 5 here is the highest (best grade) 1 is the lowest pass grade and 0 is fail.

I was very happy with getting grade 4 in all four exams but at the same time a little sad I missed grade 5 by a few marks, only one on one exam! But that's good considering the evil cold i sat 3 of the exams with! yay! I am glad though...

Tomorrow I have the day off and it will be nice to have a day to chill out and do whatever, whenever! A nice walk to prisma, baking and I would say take photos but it has forecast rain so I will be doing that the weekend =)

Suomi 1 is over and now i have to practise for suomi 2 which starts next week, along with proper university!

Monday, 30 August 2010

Kuuntelutentti ja kurssi tentti 30.08.2010

Today, was the day of a lot of exams. Ironically I also have a really bad head cold and can barely think in English let or lone a foreign language I am just becoming familiar with.

So this morning was the 45 minute listening exam, this is the hardest of all exams. The dialogues they pick always seem to be people speaking quickly and not clearly but such is the way of real life. the first dialogue was easier, though I got one question, the trick question wrong... 50/50 chance I knew it was between two answers. The other answers I think were ok, no real feeling one way or the other but I am just happy to pass to be honest! with this cold all I did all weekend was sleep and eat then sleep. Revision was impossible I couldn't do anything!

The written exam was this afternoon. It was hard to know what to expect as we had learnt so much but you couldn't possibly digest all we "learnt" so quickly. Though I am still learning in my book for a few hours a day until I know it all... shouldn't take too long as I know a lot of it. There were two exams. One was grammar based and the other was reading and answering questions. Reading was quite good and you have to answer in English to make sure you understand and don't just copy the appropriate lines. Grammar was a little harder with a writing a basic essay about what options are given. I did enjoy the grammar paper best but it has room for the most spelling mistakes! hehe

Still they are hoping to have marked all the tests by tomorrow so we will see! Whatever happens I know I put the time and effort into the course and sat it without complaining with an evil cold...

Tomorrow we have a class evaluation and then a party lunch!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Puhetentti 27.08.2010

Friday was the day of both Finnish speaking exams which were great fun I have to say.

The first part of the test was to act out a scene of our choice in Finnish... it had to be 3 to 5 minutes long and understandable by the whole class. So Jenny, Britta and me grouped up and got to work on thinking up a scene. Thursday was the day where we were in school all day then went back to school to work on our acting and speaking at 4pm. We finished for the night about 6.20pm. Then I walked to Prisma to get some milk and bread... 12km walking that day but it gave me time to think about my Finnish.

Friday, judgement day. We also had a no time specified 15 minute exam for speaking. We were shown a picture story and had to explain it in Finnish. We finished that and then we had to answer some more questions on what we liked to do, what we ate, what we were doing the weekend, etc. Jenny, Britta and myself were together for this and it was actually really nice as an exam. We could interact with each other so it was nice, if we needed too!

I have never looked forward to or enjoyed exams until this course so it's a new beginning!

So Monday is the grammar, writing comprehension and the listening tests... busy day but I am looking forward to testing what I know and what I think I know.

Tuesday morning is a course review and party so that's all good!

Orientation for my Master's degree starts on Thursday but I have signed up for a few courses already! I need to wait for Friday to choose what Suomi 2 class I can enroll for (there are three classes a week!).

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Suomi 1

In 17 working days... so intensive is the key word for sure with the course!!! We learnt to speak using slang so we don't sound like talking books, to read, write and listen to people. Below is the official course list of what we have learnt;

basic information about yourself
letters and numbers
verb conjugation
asking questions
typical features of Finnish

at the cash machine
ordering in a resturant, cafe or other common places
partitive case
expressions of time
i have structure

Suomalaista elämää
free time
different verb types
genitive case
describing people
body parts
t plural and consonant change
asking the way

Tyypillinen päivä
more expressions of time
spoken language and verb conjugation
making an appointment
i have to structure

Tulossa ja mennossa
where, where from, to where cases
buying train, bus tickets
past tense
and grammar

It has been a very intensive course but it has been very well taught and structured. If any of you get a chance to take the Finnish language courses at Jyväskylä university then do so! Even if you have to pay for them they are well worth the money!

Suomi 1 doesn't make you fluent or able to understand every word people are saying but it helps you break down the basics and ask for simple things, order drinks and food, tell someone what you want, or that you are busy and need to do something else. It is a great course! I can't wait to see how much I learn from the second one. Nor can I wait for the conversation courses in January =)

I have exams Friday and Monday. Then over a week to digest the work in suomi 1 I haven't remembered completely. Then bring on Suomi 2, which is over 3 months =)

Also on the huge plus side, Eero has been shocked into how much Finnish I know and is now actively helping, texting and speaking in Finnish =)life is good!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Opiskelen ja puhun suomea!

Friday Eero met me at the train station, he waited armed with a variety of things I could eat. Being the best boyfriend in the world he knew I would be hungry so he came prepared. We got him some mc donalds and I ate my cheese sandwich and a banana.

We got the bus home and cleaned up a bit for the arrival of Hanna and Kaisa. We then made pizza my favourite weekend trea, completely allergy friendly but not at all waistline healthy. I figure I now walk a minimum of 5km a day so if I cant have something good now and then, I will never be able too! My weight is dropping to so it's all good!!!

Saturday we moved, I stayed with Hanna and Kaisa as I had discovered I don't tolerate egg at all. I felt like death warmed up but discovered I spoke enough Finnish now to play with Kaisa all day long... we both enjoyed it! the allergy kids playing happily! made me realise how much I missed going to play with my nieces but I have our kids to look forward to one day and now I know my Finnish will be good enough to teach them it as a first language.. =) not that those days are anywhere near!! It was 8.30pm when we got home... I was hungry but didn't eat much as I didn't feel well and feel asleep just after 9pm.

Sunday was a chill out and catch up with my Finnish class work. Then the train back to Jyväskylä and I chat to my mom or eero the whole 3km walk back =)

6th and 7th August (Nakkila, Pori, Espoo)

So I need to backtrack a little bit as I have fallen behind with my blogging as I have focused on learning as much as possible for my Finnish intensive course finals.

Saturday we went berry picking to Nakkila to a relatives house. We picked the red currants, black currants and a small amount of gooseberries. It took us a few hours to pick 2 and a half buckets. Then it started to thunder and tried to rain. Eero decided on which bike he wanted and we took it to pieces and put it in the car. It was then I noticed that evil bug had bitten me, not only was evil bug not happy with one bite it got me twice!!!! So it was then I accepted my ankle and foot would swell up again.

We then drove to Pori (now cloudy and trying to rain so we didn't go on the beach) then we drove to Reposaari... you know you have the best husband ever when he takes you somewhere to show you a windturbine as he knows you will think it's cool! I did think it was cool... or I wouldn't be reading my master's in Renewable energy but I was pissed that my camera wouldn't work.

Then we drove home, rained a little but saw no real signs of the bad storm that tore Sonisphere festival apart that same day nor anything of the bad storm in Tampere that tore off a school roof.

We made pizza, watched tv and slept.

Sunday we went to Valterri's birthday is Espoo and after getting back Eero dropped me off at the train station at 8pm and I ran for the train to get back to Jyväskylä. My ankle started swelling badly on the train and by the time I walked 3km home, it was huge and burning hot. It showered ignored it and went to bed.

Next morning I got up, leg was sore but it didn't look as angry as the night before so I walked to university (2.2km) well actually I biked so I wouldn't put as much pressure on my leg. When I got to school 10 minutes later, the bite had once more gone from 3cm across to 12cm across. I called my tutor and text my Finnish tutor saying I had to go to the doctor. So another allergic reaction to a bug... doctor thought it was probably a wasp or a horsefly... I think the latter as I didn't feel a thing. She gave me some cream and cortisone tablets to take and told me to be careful when outside.

Newsweek: Finland World’s Best Country

Newsweek: Finland World’s Best Country

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


Ok, the homework we had a while ago was to write a little about yourself in Finnish... basic but necessary when meeting new people.

So I will write in spoken language as this will mostly always be spoken...

Päivää! Mun nimi on Kate. Hauskaa tavata. Mä oon kakskytviis vuotias. Mä oon Englantilainen. Mun äidenkeili on englanti mutta myös mä puhun vähän suomea. Mä ymmärrän suomea hyvin mutta mä en puhu sitä paljon vielä! Ma oon opiskelja. Mä opiskelen uusiutivaa energiaa. Mä asun Tamperella. Mä nyt asun Jyväskylässä mutta mä oon kotoisin Englannista. Mä oon avoliitossa ja mulla on avomies. Vapaa-aikana luen ja katson elokuvia. Mää harrastan lukemista, kävelyä kiipeilyä ja opettelen hiihtoa. Mä on rouka-allergia.

Scary thing is we are a lot past this level now and all in a week but I am trying to keep my blog up to date with this intensive course! =)

Monday, 9 August 2010


Summer school is going very well, I feel. I am a lot more confident with Finnish even speaking it! So progress is being made.

The course is very intense we have to work through a huge booklet in just a month, well actually 3 weeks when days off have been taken into account. Then we are tested on four things; speaking, listening, reading and grammar... for the first time ever I am excited about an exam, I actually want to sit the exam... (weird)

We get to go to the language lab and having never learnt another language apart from English this is a new thing where you copy Maaria (teacher) and you record your own voice and then listen to yourself to see if you are pronouncing things properly. We do a fair bit of speaking and we are spoken to in Finnish (so it makes you listen and helps you understand all at the same time... something the first course lacked on). This course is great though it all makes sense and is very well taught and explained.

New friends are also a great bonus from this course, both long and short term I have met some wonderful people!

We get bonus things on this course lectures on Finnish culture; music, art and design etc. We get to watch three Finnish films to in Finnish!!!!

I am also riding my bike to school now too which is good. My fitness is improving I can't wait until the end of August when I have more time to walk and jog even bike around the lake, city and all of Jyväskylä!!!!

Lecture start at 9.30 and end at 1.30pm and we just get a hours lunch for a break. Then a few pages of homework due the next day. I am loving it though with so much to learn!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Mä asun nyt Jyväskylässä

Tuesday afternoon when Eero came home from work we packed up the car and the trailer of my boxes, bike and furniture. Then we headed out for Jyväskylä. We got here around 7pm and unloaded everything. Eero put together the bed for me and carried all the heavier stuff upstairs. Then we meet Outi (my new flat mate. She is a Finn and also comes from Tampere and on the good side she is really very nice! She then took me for a late evening walk to city campus and the others to show me around so I wouldn't get lost tomorrow. Personally I thought it was great! we talked and talked and talked... hehe!

So we went to bed late but I was excited and didn't sleep too well, I woke up to thunder about 2am and it was still (??) thundering when I woke up at 6am and got up at 8am (lie in first day!!). Omg, you have never in your days seen rain like what was falling this morning, Less than 30secs outside and you were soaked to the skin. I wore my waterproof coat and took a spare pair of shoes... for the walk to uni with Aino (my tutor). Aino is also really nice, very helpful and shows me where everything is!

The campus was bigger than I expected it to be and I walked in to building P expecting to see around 30people for this course. Instead there were around 100, 3 groups of around 30 people. It was walking to class that I met Britta (I hope that's spelt write) she's from Germany and she's very nice too! We talked a lot and learnt somethings too. We made a few more friends during lunch. Then we went to the how to cycle safely talk and we got a free reflector!!! mines a football, I wanted a dog or ghost but what can you do!

I came home around 2.25pm, it was sunny and soooo hot! Outi went back to Tampere today (Wednesday) but just before she went there was another almighty thunderstorm and heavy rain. I have never heard thunder so loud. So I'm home alone until I go back to Tampere on Friday... Eero is calling and texting loads too which is great fun, I think he misses me too!

We got our course material today there's a €9 charge on it though but it's a lot of work and handouts... quite the bargain! Tomorrow we have a cultural lecture before class so we have to be in school by 9am, classes then 2 hours solid, then hour lunch then another 2 lessons to Finish around 1.30pm... that's 3 hours a day learning Finnish. We also have an oral and written exam at the end of the class so at least I will know how good I am or how good I think I am!!

Monday, 2 August 2010

August Begins

I am not at all sure where this year has gone... It's two-thirds through the year and it feels like it should be April. Summer has been phenomenal more hot days than cool, sunny and hot. Perfect summer to be care free and having fun.

We had a really relaxing weekend, chilled out and relaxed (it's not happened for a while and it weekends are busy again until mid September). I packed up most of my things over the weekend to move to Jyväskylä tomorrow. It's really exciting and I can't wait for Eero to move up too! until then I'm back in Tampere every weekend and spare day I have.

All-Time Heat Records Broken in July

All-Time Heat Records Broken in July