Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Turning Corners
The sun came out in this part of the world at long last. I ran around doing errands and getting things done.

For one thing, I purchased a plane ticket.

Things are set in motion, and I am taking a trip!! Hooray! Now I have five weeks to tie up loose ends and get prepared. Just a little scouting mission, just a chance to see what Sverige is like.

A Little Extra Cash
I am all about picking up a little extra cash any way I can in the next five weeks, so when Jack offered me the paper route while he's out of town in a few weeks, I said yes.

And I took a heavy box of books to Tin Can Mailman and made $40, but I turned around and spent half of it on a Guidebook to Scandinavian Europe, a set of tapes of Colloquial Swedish (uber helpful and just in the nick of time), and a Margaret Atwood novel that I've vowed not to crack open until I am on a plane somewhere.

Thumbs Up from Students
When I got to work the results of student evaluations were in. I had given my students a heads-up about this last week and told them don't be afraid to be honest and offer constructive criticism; anything they said would only make me a better teacher. So I didn't know what to expect.

But the results were gratifying. Two important (to me) things are obviously getting across: 1. I really like and respect my students for what they have already learned and the bold thing they are doing by being in an immersion program, and 2. I really very badly want them to succeed, in passing the TOEFL exam and going on to fulfill their dreams.

I take over for the other teacher, who is quitting, next Wednesday. Monday and Tuesday, I will observe. Busy, busy, busy.

Summer Begins

Tomorrow, my son meets with his independent study teacher for the last time as a sophomore. It's the end of the school year-- another hooray! Then he is going away for the summer to be with friends in Sacramento. I hope he has a fantastic time.

My Brave and Brilliant Sister
My sister starts chemotherapy tomorrow. She is full of dread but also gratitude. It is really an inspiration to behold. I am not sure I could ever be so courageous.

She went to a workshop called "Look Good, Feel Better," put on by the American Cancer Society. It was all about finding ways to deal with the appearance-related side effects of cancer and cancer treatment. She found it so inspiring that she wrote about it, breaking about 15 years of writer's block.

Basking in Svenska
Svenska är
ett mycket sexigt språk!

When I got home from work there was still plenty of sunshine left. I spread out a white cotton quilt on my newly mowed lawn, brought my little stereo out onto the porch, lay in the sun and listened to the new Swedish tapes.

The new tapes are quite rigorous. What an overwhelming language! They speak so fast I can barely read along in the book. I get a wonderful soul-deep frisson when I hear Svanska spoken in long stretches, in dialogue for example. I absolutely love the sound of this beautiful language.


Anonymous said...

Wow, congratulations on the plane ticket!!! How exciting that you are finally going to Sweden! Where are you going exactly? I hope that you will be lucky with the weather - Swedish summers can be wonderful, sunny and light until late... but also cold, wet and dreary.
I am heading back next week for 3 weeks and I can't wait! I live in a hot and sunny climate all year around but well, there is something very special about the summer in Sweden...

Anonymous said...

In the excitement about your trip, I missed the bit about your sister starting chemo - I hope that her treatment will go well and that she will get well very quickly.
And don't worry about bringing sheets to Sweden - people wouldn't expect you to travel across the Atlantic with sheets and towels ;-)

Indie said...

Thank you! :-)

I am flying to Köpenhamn Danmark, taking a train to Kalmar and then my friends will take me to Oskarshamn. We will take day trips to Skruv where my friend's sister lives, and Kosta where she works. I am so excited.

I do want to see Kalmar, especially the universitet and gymnasium, in case I get work there. Everything will be so new to me that I will love anything and everything. Just spending time with my friends!!

Any advice at all about what to wear, what to bring, what I will need, what I can bring as gifts to my fiends' kids, ages 17, 15 and 13 (boys)?

I have a cousin in Uppsala but it is so far away from Oskarshamn that I don't know if I will have a chance to see her. Also my grandparents came from Svenljunga, another place that I won't get to see this time.

I am frantically learning the language but Swedes talk so FAST!!!! I will sound like a mentally challenged robot when I try to communicate or like this: hahaha!

Anonymous said...

"Any advice at all about what to wear, what to bring, what I will need, what I can bring as gifts to my fiends' kids, ages 17, 15 and 13 (boys)?"

Surely these are the children of your Friend, not your Fiend. But then, who am I to say how you should describe the people you know?

Indie said...

Anonymous, hahahaa! Yes, these folks are my friends and not my fiends. Oh my!

I had to read your comment three time to figure out what you meant! Some editor I am!!! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Taking the train to Kalmar from the airport in Copenhagen is very smooth and easy. Just make sure that you get on a direct train so you don't have to change in Malmö. What to wear? Hm, bring a thick sweater and a jacket (raincoat?) because Swedish summers are fickle - the weather can be great, or not...
Presents for your fRiend's children? Maybe some American sports stuff (caps, t-shirts from some of California teams?) - if they are interested in sports? Teenage boys are difficult to give presents to, at least if you were never a teenage boy yourself :D