Saturday, 25 September 2010

Lost in thought (long post)

Even though like most people here I own a bike on the whole I have spent my time walking around as it allows me to think without ending up in the woods, in the lake or on the roof of a car. The only reason I wear a bike helmet is I like to ride fast, so loss of concentration could hurt.

But the last few weeks I have to admit on the whole of my walking I have been lost and completely consumed by thought. Not to much university related really just reflection on life here so far, ups, downs, wants, needs and where I think we will be in the future.

Of course being female (whether or not we openly admit it) most of us still carry the childhood dream of weddings, family, house, cars but that doesn't really consume any of my time. I know we will marry, I think we both have an idea on what kind of place, when (I'm not in any hurry though I would like to before my old granddad parents leave this world), home will always be around Tampere (after we are done studying with Jyväskylä), the rest time for me solves. I have access to cars but no real need for one of my own even though I could probably justify it still in my own mind! Though in all honesty it is more present things that take my thought.

The new start in school of course starts people asking why you move and all kinds of questions. I mean take for example, it is quite common here amongst Finns for partners to come from different cities sometimes even different parts of the country, people commonly separate for school and met back up weekends and holidays. Don't get me wrong here, we were long distance (UK to Finland) for 18 months and all though very possible it puts new strains on relationships but gives great strength to other areas. There is also a higher number of my UK friends in long distance relationships now so maybe it is the "modern way" (to quote the Kaiser chiefs). Currently we are long distance again as I live in Jyväskylä and Eero in Tampere, for as much as I know the arrangement is working and fine, I still count the days until he moves to Jyväskylä. Life is more fun when we can share experiences, when there's always someone to help carry shopping and even when I have to spend ages cooking allergy friendly foods its much better when someone else can eat some of it so I don't have to live of the same thing for days.

Maybe the difference was working properly for 15 months, I suppose it changed a lot things in my life and made me want the proper life rather than the stereotypical student life. Mind you, I can't wait for the day to live in our own apartment again, i need more space that we have in the student flat and more furniture.

I was also bemused as from the start of the intensive course I have been waiting for the sports stickers to come out so as you can go to the gym, do hobbies and sports supervised. Then I get my timetable where Monday, Wednesday I don't finish school until 6pm and Thursday not until 5pm, finish early Tuesdays at dinnertime though I use the afternoon to revise and make course notes, do homework and study Finnish. Currently I go home to Tampere every Thursday evening, so I am not impressed that currently I am struggling to fit in sports.

Into the bargain sports place where the new gym is is 4km away so 8km to get there and back on top of the 6km minimum I do every day. Most classes I want I have classes when they are on. And I can't do my own fitness DVD as the PC with the CD player on here in Tampere! But I am in quite good shape at the minute and the shape isn't round! I just want fitness DVD's as I love to do them.

I ordered some course books off the internet last week and they have all arrived. The waterstones books have declared as lost for the 3rd time and have been resent again so they will have taken 5 months to deliver...(amazon all the way from now on).

Finnish class is coming on leaps and bounds, though I got paranoid after speaking with someone at the bus stop the other weekend and checked in English that I answered right in Finnish, I did the guy seemed bemused but still! We have class 3 times a week and it is really exciting and we learn a lot each lesson but not as much as the intensive course. Mom said she wanted to learn too so as a surprise gift we sent her a good book and CD for beginners, she is now a happy bunny that gives random Finnish words on the phone.

Last week I got another humorous job as a great work experience post was advertised the catch fluency in Finnish, everything else I had so maybe next time! Not that I actually have the financial need or time for a job but work experience is always handy, plus I like to practice what Finnish I do know.

Alas, my allergies have started to cause trouble again and I have no idea what is triggering them. I have my suspicions (tomato, butter) I even stated to drink bottled water to check that it wasn't a change in water that disturbed them but it appears not. So I guess I have to go to the doctor next week and see if I can get referred to an allergist here (Tampere or Jyväskylä). Until then I guess I eat like a sparrow and hope for the best!

Eero has gone to the summer cottage today, I wanted to go but allergies wanted to be stupid as they have been for a month now, seems it is not a glitch but something has changed after that last allergic reaction to the bug bite or sting.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Mun tyypillinen päivä

This is something that the first course touched on but we didn't have time to study it on the course so now we did it!!

Arkipäivänä mä herään puoli seitsemältä, viikonloppuna tietysti myöhemmin. Mä juon vetta tai kofiinitonta kahvia ja mä yritan lukea päivän lehden. Mä en yleensä syö aamulla mitään. Sitten mä lähden yliopistolle. Mä menen pyörällä mutta kun sataa tai on tosi kylmä mä menen kävelen yliopistoon.

Yleensä kahdeltatoista mä syön leipää ja Englantilaisetta juustoa. Mulla on ruoka-allergiaa ja intoleranssi Suomalaiset maitoa.

Sen jälkeen mulla on melkein aina joku toinen luento. Iltapäivällä mä luen sähköpostit ja teen jotain opiskelutehtäviä. Jos on hyvä sää mä käyn kävellen mun poikaystävän kanssa.

Joskus seistemältä mä menen syömään. Kotana mä teen nopeasti jotain ruokaa. Melkein aina mä laitan pitsaa tai lasagne.

Mä käyn suihkussa illalla. Aika usein mä juttelen kavereiden kanssa Facebookissa tai baarissa. Melkein aina illalla mä en tee mitään erikoista. Jos telkkarista tulee joku hyvä elokuvia, mä katson sen.

Usein mä valvon aika myöhään ja olen netissä tai luen jotain. Yleensä mä menen nukkumann joskus ykdeltatoista.

Any mistakes are my own!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Week 1 of Uni

I didn't get the start I had hoped for thanks to a bad tummy bug which is still causing issues a week later... but I attended most lectures of the week =)

I really enjoyed my first week at uni even though most of my lectures are master's degree level chemistry (This semester), homework is mostly calculations =)and it has been a while since I have been at school! Part of me misses the way the world of work is but school is also very exciting and getting the chance to learn new things!

Suomi class is also going very well, things now make a lot of sense and I am trying to get as much practice in as possible and trying to text Eero as much as possible using Finnish which works quite well. There are only 11 people in our group so we are hoping that we are allowed to keep that class size or I may get lectures on Friday's

I currently get to come home on Thursday evenings then go back to Jyväskylä on Sunday evenings.. it's quite pleasant!

Friday was a nice day after Eero finished work we went shopping and he brought me a new beautiful coat! So I was happy... now I keep trying to find reasons to go outside so I can wear the coat =)

Haven't done much today though as this tummy bug has made some of my food triggers more annoyed than normal and I wanted to go walking with in Lempäälä!!! So we must go next weekend!!!

Back to Jyväskylä Sunday, then school Monday to Thursday 8am to 5pm... then back to Tampere Thursday evening x

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Evil bug

Ok, so there is never a good time to be ill. Even though I can't remember the last time I had a tummy bug so bad that I couldn't eat or drink much for two days. At least today, day 3 I am starting to be able to eat a little.

The most annoying part is my course started full time this week and here I am ill in Tampere, alas these things can't be helped I know that but it is still frustrating when illness alters plans. So tonight hopefully I can return to Jyväskylä and walk 3km home and go to school tomorrow... if I can eat more and regain some energy.

I do feel more alert in my mind today but my body doesn't agree, I have no strength at all and my legs feel like jelly. I know that's its all from being so ill and not being able to eat... I am just glad I seem to be improving. Hopefully the few hours before my train is due to leave I will regain some strength or I could be forced into staying here another day which is not what I want to do!

Eero has been a god send to me this weekend while I have been ill. I started to feel ill Friday but thought it was down to eating so much food... Saturday evening I knew something "bad" was coming but assumed it was an allergy I had annoyed with mass consumption of goji and blueberries... but when the sickness started and illness carried on for two days we knew it was a bug. E has been great he has looked after me and cooked for me, even when I couldn't eat what he could or drink the water he brought. He even stayed up with me most of Sunday night and went to work very tired on Monday.

I hope I don't see another bug like that for a good few years and that Eero doesn't catch it =)

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

What to do or what not to do?

A culture shock maybe that degree programs are very different here to at home. In the UK, our degree was mostly decided from the second that you signed up for a course, it's destination and road set. You got a few limited choices to advanced courses but 80% of the course was compulsory study. So you made friends and they were with you 80% of the way.

In Finland, this is not the case the destination of course is set but the road you choose to get there is limited only by the major and minor departments you choose when you enrolled. So I have a few courses I have to take but they were ones I wanted to do so that's no loss!

The other strange thing is you plan the entire two years of your course from the first few weeks of being here. It has taken me two days to build my degree the way I want it too be and to reflect what Renewable Energy and it's future are to me. You also have to take some culture studies which is fine by me as I have 4 more Finnish language courses, some speaking courses (autumn semester one does not fit my timetable)

Today was a proud day for me (also for Eero, he seemed really happy about it) as I sat in a Finnish only lecture for two hours and understood 70% of what was said... not bad I don't think for only a month of the intensive course in speaking and listening practise! I also have a goal to be taking Finnish courses next Autumn so far it's looking promising!!!

Also got to know quite a few lecturers who I have studies with. One even remembered my application and was very happy to talk to me, ask me questions about life, my degree past and present. I also enquired about internships which I don't have time for now but I plan to write up my profile and letter to try to find something by December for a spring/summer post. I am hopeful about this working out, I normally get lucky with these things.

Tomorrow is my last day off until Christmas so I am going to take some more photos out and about, recycle my bottles and then hopefully go see Marlen, Jenny and Britta tomorrow for dinner =) Finish learning my Finnish before the language school restarts on Friday

Life is so chaotic at the minute but it is so worth every second of it!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Eero's first overnight stay in Jyväskylä

Eero studied in not so far away Mikkeli he had been on a few drunken student adventures to Jyväskylä... most bars we passed in fact he had been in =)

Friday we walked back from the train station and went to citymarket on the way home. Anyway Saturday we went into city to meet Jenny (American friend who now works here at uni) and Britta (German exchange student here until Christmas, then we will miss her). We choose to meet at Sokos unbeknown to us there was a fashion show on just outside Sokos but eventually we all found each other. We had a little shop, went to Jenny's, had coffee and a great time! then home for more pizza *nam nam*.

Jenny, Britta and me

Eero and me by the university sign

Eero had a really good time and left early on Sunday morning as Pekka and Katri were driving through Jyväskylä and Tampere. Outi went to a wedding so I spent the day alone but I enjoyed it, cleaned my room, did my laundry and then watching internet tv later reading my book. I guess I enjoyed not being in a train station.

I talked with Eero and now Jenny and Britta are coming to stay the weekend with me in Tampere (I am so glad I have company on the train ride for once) and I can't wait to show them around as neither have been there before!! whoohoo. Wished I had room to put Marlen (American friend also working at uni)up too but I am sure we can all plan an adventure somewhere together soon!

Eero also showed me some apartments he had been looking at for us, so it was an exciting few days!

Friday, 3 September 2010

Orientation/ Induction Days

Image above is the campus my studies are based on

Ah, orientation the time of the year we love or hate as new students. I'm on the garden fence this year a lot of what we got told as yet I knew from being here so long or we found out from summer school but it has still been a very good few days.

The view from the physic's building cafe is out of this world, looks from the top of the hill over the lake and trees! so pretty!

The timetable itself for induction has been crazy 9am until 4pm daily on Thursday and Friday but note by the time I am blogging I didn't stay all day today... I hit a brick wall trying to concentrate so came home to read and chill out. Monday is the last day of induction and I will finally find out what subjects I can take and which are optional... though I have signed up for a few! =) I am looking forward to that meeting on Monday afternoon and it will be the first meeting of my fellow degree students (I don't think there are many of us). The current orientation days we are grouped together as "international students" so most of us from Suomi 1 just hang out lol.

Today was the official start day for the new Finns too so there was a fair on... Britta and myself checked it out got some pens, badges, bag, calendar, our student cards... Britta got to eat the candy, doughnut and could of had a coffee (the joys of allergies meant I had to go without but had some dark chocolate in my bag *nom noom*). The weather today is horrible wind, rain and it is cold.

Today's lectures were mostly enjoyable though I need to register myself to see if I can get an internship (seems like fun, I know I am sad). We also found out about all the Erasmus trips to Lapland, Åland and Russia... The latter being my only interesting one. However, I don't want to go to Russia in Autumn I would like to go next Spring/Summer and it costs €450 for week... so that's my luxury item for next year I think... who knows as mom wants to go so I may wait for their visit and take them with me.

Eero is coming to visit tonight and we are going to meet my friends in city tomorrow! so sooooooo exciting. I am also riding my bike everywhere now, I still dislike the huge hill we live on and can often be seen pushing the bike up it heehee. I also may get gym membership if the university gym is on the main campus and not Kortepohja which is like 4.3km away from where we live!

I have also started my exploring bug and keep going up different streets and places looking for things of interest of apartments we could live in... I found some really cool houses but nothing that would be for rent!! I also found a really pretty waterfall by accident so I hope it is not raining tomorrow so I can take some photos around the place. Didn't take any in summer as I have so many summer photos and none of Autumn.