Monday, June 22, 2009

Sunshine and Clouds

Yesterday was a splendid day on the North Coast, with unexpected sunshine and the prediction of many more sunshiny days to come.

I rushed home from church, threw on a swimsuit and made a little paradise on the newly mowed grass of my backyard. I listened to music, made phone calls, and lazily attempted to play Scrabble over the internet, while the neighbor's horses peered curiously at me over the fence and the shadows from the apple tree branches crept closer.
Beautiful, beautiful day. I love how even when the sun shines here, it is never really hot. A cool breeze is always playing over your skin. However, that is the very quality which makes the sun so deceptive; I have a little sunburn to illustrate that.

That weather was quite the contrast from Saturday, when I went to the Oyster Festival, clad in hopeful summer clothes, stopping at the last minute to throw on a sweater before I left the house. The wind was wild, the sky overcast and a little ominous, but that didn't stop the festival.

It is only my second time going, and yet again, I think it would be more aptly called a Beer Festival, because I saw much, much more beer being consumed than oysters. I too drank a beer and ate two delicious oysters.

I ran into some of my students there, and hung out with them for hours, listening to their amazing stories about what brought them here to study English, what it is like after three weeks being here, what they think of the U.S., California, and Arcata. It is funny to think that for some students, Arcata could possibly be emblematic of the U.S.; it is so quirky and non-mainstream.

An interesting thing happened at work. One of the other teachers suddenly quit, and I will be taking over her class starting today -- starting with administering a test. It seems like a heck of a starting place, but it is actually perfect since it also begins a new unit of study for the students, something of a fresh start for us all.

Svenska and Sverige Update

I am experiencing some flutters of anxiety about my upcoming trip to Europe, wondering if I ought to build some variety into my itinerary there, visit more places and more people. I have to do it on a shoestring, a limited budget, so that limits what all I can do, of course. But I realize, for example, I was going to fly into Copenhagen and hop right on a train to Sweden without ever exploring Copenhagen at all! I think I need to do this with a little less tunnel vision and allow for a more panoramic experience of leaving the country, seeing Europe, and experiencing other cultures.

Luckily, I still have five weeks to think about it, do research, make plans, etc.

Through sources at my Lutheran church, I have discovered an antiquarian retired pastor who teaches Swedish formally in Eureka. Unfortunately, he doesn't offer classes over the summer, but he has agreed to meet with me regularly at the library and practice pronunciation and answer questions. I am so excited to meet him and to get some of my questions answered at long last!


Kelly said...

check this may need it to deal witht he jet lag so you can actually remember your train ride:

Indie said...

Thanks, Kelly! I was planning on sleeping like a baby through my whole plane ride, drooling on my neighbor's shoulder, snoring loudly while wearing earplugs and an eyemask.

Twenty minutes out of Kalmar, I will dash to the restroom, freshen up, slather on makeup and arrive looking fresh as a daisy!

Anonymous said...

Hi K! Let me ask you a couple of questions... 1. What ever led up to your decision of even going to a vacation to SWEDEN??? How do you finance that, I thought the budget is so tight, if I may ask that. 2. How long will you stay in Sweden? When money is spent? 3. When will your grandbaby be due? Before you'll leave, or during your absence? Well, I guess that's all I wanted to know for the moment. Haven't been following your blog for the past four entries... *sigh* In my eyes time's running *lol* ;-) Take care! Oh, I heard you gambled with S. the other day? How cute is that! Later hun, R.

Indie said...

Hi, Sweetie, I sure miss the days when we talked every day!

It's not a vacation precisely; it is a scouting mission for work (and a vacation).

Yes, money has been tight all year, but I have been working two jobs for awhile now. I will be staying with friends, not in fancy hotels. I will be seeing the place on a budget, but the things I want to see are free: buildings, countryside, culture, people.

The grandbaby is due in late September, more than a month after I get back home.

I don't think I gambled with S, but I did find out how she made these hilarious pictures she had posted, like Marilyn Monroe in the famous skirt-blowing scene, but with S's face. Haha!!

Also chatted with M one night. She is so sweet!

Anonymous said...

In Sweden I hope you will encourage some of the folks you meet to follow your ancestors' example and move to America. The more, as they say, the merrier.

Maggie May said...

i love love the horse.

Anonymous said...

Almost the Fourth! How did our immigrant ancestors celebrate our nation's birth? Do we appreciate our liberty and all it's worth?

Indie said...

I'll bet they did. :-)