Friday, September 2, 2011

It's cool to be casual!

Hej familj och vänner! 
To begin, here are a few pictures of my roughly 2 weeks in Jönköping.  Once I get my camera charged up, there will be better pictures and soon, I will start my traveling, and I promise, the pictures will get more interesting :) And, because of the pictures, the post will likely appear quite lengthy...I will try not to bore you! 

Lake Vättern 
Government Building in the City Centre 
The lake on a beautiful day! 
First things first, I would like to wish my lovely roommate, ANGELA, a very happy 21st birthday! That's one of the downsides of being so far away, it makes it difficult to return for birthday celebrations, that would be quite a long and expensive weekend trip!...But, as of now I am officially the only under 21 year old in the Penn State apartment crew (2 more weeks!...not that it really matters in Europe...).  

Now to move on to more things Swedish! As many of you know, this past week marked the start of my student teaching experience in Jönköping.  I am teaching at a school called Erik Dahlbergsgymnasiet.  It is basically the equivalent of an American high school and has an enrollment of about 1500 students.  One of the major differences is that the grades or "years" here are 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.  It's weird to say "1st grade" or the "1st year students" without my mind wandering back to elementary school or thinking of the Harry Potter sorting hat for 1st year students at Hogwarts :) 

My mentor teachers, Sören and Stefan, have been absolutely wonderful to me! They have had Penn State students before and are very pleased with the exchange program in place between the two schools.  They are even taking Gary (the other Penn State student traveling with me) and I on a history tour this weekend.  They are taking us to the places that the train and the bus will not; should be very exciting!  That brings me to my next may be thinking that this is a bit of an informal relationship between mentor teacher and student teacher.  And, it is!  The connections here are much more casual (as is the dress code).  We met the principal of the school on Wednesday and did not have to dress up and simply chatted about the city, the states, Penn State, sports, etc.  It was quite pleasant! 

Okay, since I feel as if I am boring everybody with the details, I will leave you with a few short bits of observation/information: 
1. All the kids here (and even lots of the adults) are obsessed with chucks (the shoes)...high tops, converses, whatever you want to call them, they're everywhere.  White chucks. I feel like I should acquire a pair, just so I'm not left out! 
2. (This if for Sam and all other people who have suffered the annoyance of crutches) glad that you don't have to use the crutches they have here.  I promise, they look twice as hard to use as regular crutches and seem more like arm supports with long poles than anything. (I'll try to get a picture, I am aware that that is a very confusing description). 
3. The Swedish idea of "fika" is an AWESOME invention.  Everybody does is a nice leisurely break in the day (and occurs more than once).  It is somewhat equivalent to a coffee break, but better...and, it often includes pastries, or biscuits or something of the sort.  Watch out ma, I may come back a coffee drinker! 

My apologies for the rambling!  I try and take advantage of the times when my internet is working...they are few and far between!  Love to all (especially Angela, the birthday girl)! 



  1. No worries, we're not the least bit bored! I look forward to hearng more. And by the way, I love that picture of you on your last post. You look so sophisticated! ... How will you keep up with the Penn State game tomorrow? Let's Go State!!!

  2. Thanks Ms. Sharon! And, luckily, Penn State did alright without my Beaver stadium cheering...I was keeping tabs on the score from afar :)