Sorry for my lack of blog activity in the month of November...I started out so strong on the blog front, I knew it was impossible to maintain! More often than not, I will start a blog post and not have the time to finish it or I will completely lose my train of thought for the post. Believe it or not, I have written paragraphs and then deleted them all because they just didn't quite express my thoughts in the way I wanted to or something was off about them. This blog writing deal is an art form I think, one I am far from mastering!
Anyway, as many of you probably are aware, I am in the midst of my very last week in Sweden. I am currently rounding out my last Tuesday in Sweden for the foreseeable future. This thought thoroughly depresses me. The idea of leaving is one that I have been in denial about for some time now. I think the realization that I would eventually leave Tenhult and Sweden really began to dawn on me about the time I returned from my European adventures. It's not that I don't want to return home--trust me, I'm very excited for the holiday season and to see everybody! I think it is more the fear that I will never return here and the question of when I will see all the lovely people I've met here again. Leaving study abroad seems like it has such a finality to it. I have to say, I'm already itching to get back to Europe, and I haven't even left yet. I've caught the travel bug, big time! Unfortunately, on a student budget and a future teacher's salary, the travel bug may have to wait a bit :) Maybe I can convince all the people I've met in Sweden to make the trip over to the US instead?!!! We'll see...
Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that I do some teaching while I'm here too? I know a majority of my blogs are focused on traveling, people I've met, and Swedish life...however, the real reason I am here (I guess) is for the student teaching abroad experience. Sometimes in all the hustle and bustle, I forget that I am still a student and have to return to normal classes next semester... YIKES! The semester of student teaching is so very different from all the semesters spent stuck in classes; I think I will have quite the difficult time adjusting back to reality. I will have to readjust to a life of reading, studying, paper writing, and the likes instead of lesson planning, preparing, and fika with my mentor teachers. It will be quite the reality check! I have been lucky to have a great, albeit VERY different, student teaching experience. Swedish schools are quite different from American schools (much more informal + very different structure); but, I think this will be beneficial in the long run--it gives me a very different perspective of the education world.
So, in honor of my impending departure from this lovely Scandinavian country, I will finish with a list of the good and the bad of Sweden...just as things pop into my head...
1. The winter season has brought some truly gorgeous sunsets (everybody knows how much I love those)...however, the fact that they are occurring by 3:45 now is a definite downside.
2. Sweden has some delicious treats...Swedish cinnamon buns, french hot dogs, tasty coffee, swedish meatballs, polkagris (peppermint sticks), kebabs, etc. etc. etc....HOWEVER, they do have their downfalls: for example, blodpudding (EW don't ask), lack of JIF peanut butter and chocolate chips, absence of kraft mac n' cheese, and the enormous calories that numerous fikas a day provide.
3. I will not miss System Bologat (aka the state run alcohol store and only place to by alcohol in Sweden) or the expensive price of alcohol in Sweden. Actually, I will not miss the expensive prices of anything in Sweden.
4. I will miss Erik Dahlbergsgymnasiet (my school), my mentor teachers, and many of the students I have had the pleasure of meeting. However, I will not miss endless lesson planning (I know, this is my possible future) and sending alllllll my lessons back to Penn State. On that note, I will not miss Jönköping University at all. They were just short of incompetent in helping with my various housing problems, ID problems, and international student status. Though I have nothing but good things to say about much of Jönköping, ED, and the people I have met here, the university itself gets a big F in my book.
5. I'm excited to return home where everybody speaks English...eavesdropping on people's conversations will be so much easier again ;) [Even though just about everybody here speaks English to me anyway...]
I'm sure as I begin to pack up and say my goodbyes, more and more things will pop into my mind that I will miss terribly when I return home to the US. Nevertheless, I know there are many fun things that await me at home as well.... I'm most excited to see all my family and friends and celebrate the holidays back in the US! After all, I'm not sure how well a Swedish Thanksgiving would go.... hope everybody enjoys the Thanksgiving holiday...there is no pumpkin pie to be found here, unfortunately :/ And I'm thinking the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade might not be on Swedish television...just a hunch.
On another note, my beautiful mother and big brother will be here in Sweden in less than 24 hours---this is definitely cause for excitement... though Jönköping is not the most exciting of places, hopefully the fact that I am here will add to the thrill!!
|Square at sunset (c. 3:45?)|
|Obviously the sunset was directed at me :) 'A'|
|Morning sun in Tenhult...on the way to school :)|
|Lovely view from my office window at ED (again at about 4:15...only downside)|
Love and happy turkey day to everybody back home,