Sunday, September 19, 2010

Constant Culture Connecting

Hello again!
Reading my last blog, I see that I left off before my first Women’s Studies course. It was a very interesting course, but very difficult to follow. It was all about theories and their creation and it was rough following it. It was also a video-lecture course, which means that the speaker is in another town and we see them on a screen and communicate with them via internet video. Also, there is a different speaker every week. I hope next week is more informative about hard facts and less about theory though, because I think I will follow it a little easier.
I did end up going to the Cultural Stereotype Stammitch on September 16, and it was very fun! I wore a cowboy hat that I found at a theatre store. I was dancing in part of the biggest group on the dance-floor. We all pretty much knew each other and eventually we had formed a huge circle that people we didn’t know were making bigger and people we didn’t know were dancing in! It was so fun and random! I wanted to go home around one thirty (my bed-time/at least I’m going to go sit in my room and be quiet time), but Viki told me I wasn’t allowed to leave till it was over. I ended up having fun, and in the end, Jeffery (Holland), Viki (Italy), Andre (Germany), and I were the only ones left dancing from our big group. Everyone else had gone home. It was fun though! The last three songs were slow ones, so it was a little ridiculous, however, Andre and I did what I think is the two-step (maybe it was the waltz?) on the last song and it made it fun again. I needed a bit more practice before I danced it though – I hadn’t done it since District Days last January! I’m glad I stayed out till three in the morning- it was an experience!
I went to a few museums with Vilma on September 17, and it was an informative experience. I don’t know the names of all the museums, but the first one was called the Central Museum of Finland, and it showed how they started way back before the ice age, and their progression to semi-modern times. It was almost like seeing the progression in the Americas, but the food types, and birds, and everything was just a little bit different. It’s so bizarre to feel like you should know what happens next, but really you don’t.  A neat thing that I’ve noticed is that the subject matter I studied World History first semester of last year is coming in handy in understanding the time-frame of history I’m learning in my Intro to Finnish History course. Also, my Spanish History class I’m taking right now has all the information written in Spanish, but because I took the World History course, I recognize the time and theme of the era I’m reading about. Also, the Spanish History and Finnish History seem to be progressing at the same rate, which helps me draw connections between what was happening in the world. It seems like a huge puzzle that is easier for me to figure out because I have had previous experience studying it.
The next night, Victor had his 20th birthday party. It was very fun, because again, there were many cultures in one room. Getting to spend time with all the people is such a neat experience. For example, there is a Spaniard named Quique who wants to learn better English, and because I speak some Spanish, we are able to communicate and sometimes I can help be the go-between that allows a conversation between two people to progress. Also, listening around the room you hear French, Spanish, English, Finnish, and some languages I can’t even place. It will never cease to amaze me.
Today Bergan (American roommate )and I made pork roast and gravy with potatoes, carrots and onions. We also had rolls, salad with balsamic dressing, and caramel and pecan ice creams for desert. It was soooooo good! We invited Viki and Antonia (Italians), Satu (Finnish roommate), and Carlos (Costa Rican) to eat with us. It is so interesting to hear the conversations between that many cultures – language differences are so noticeable, but everybody is willing to work through the misunderstandings to consider speaking. I love getting to experience that.
This week I’m going to work on understanding my classes better, which means I’ll speak with teachers and do even more homework than I already have. Hopefully, I’ll stress out a little less once I know what is in store for me come test time. Also coming up this week, hopefully we’ll have the drinking game party that people want Bergen and I to have to demonstrate some of the American drinking games. We are also going to learn some foreign games. Maybe we’ll do that on Thursday night, or Saturday afternoon. Anyhow – I’m going to go to bed now, but I hope that whoever reads this is having a good day! I’ll write again soon!

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