My Daily Musings

After being in Finland for just over 3 weeks, I am overwhelmed with new experiences. There is so much to take in with a new culture, and sometimes your senses are on overload!

Each day, I add to my experiences by taking in what is surrounding me. Whether big or small, these are my musings of living in Finland.

February 27, 2017: It’s amazing what a little exercise and sunshine will do for the body! Just a little over a week since my ski crash, I’m back out there, doing my best to learn how to skate-style ski. I definitely got a few funny looks when practicing today…

February 25, 2017: Today I was reminded that it is ok to take things slow, and to reserve a little time for yourself. It is easy to get caught up in doing everything when you first move to a new place, and it can be difficult to say “no”. But today I scheduled a day for me, a day to rejuvenate myself from the busy week I had, and ready to take on the next week.

February 21, 2017: They say that all schools offer the same here in Finland, however we have been to a few unique schools that have their own spin on education. The Martti Ahtisaari school in Kuopio is doing some great things to empower their students, such as peer mediation and creating global partnerships.

February 16, 2017: The day cross-country skiing became an extreme sport. See my blog post for the full details of this exciting day.

February 13, 2017: High school students are so fascinating, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them on my school visit today. I was able to visit a 3rd and 9th grade English class, and met 4 of the sweetest girls! I spent 2 hours after school talking with them and answering their questions about America, education, traveling, and even teenager-y things. Definitely the highlight of my week!

February 12, 2017: Pancakes! I’ve had American, German, French, and now Finnish pancakes. All with their own little twist. All delicious. All a favorite, any time of day. Finnish pancakes, or pannukakku, are made “salty” (savory) with meat and cheese, or sweet, with jam and cream. Yum.

February 11, 2017: Clubs are more or less the same no matter what country you are in. And music is just as much (if not more, although I’m sure some would argue with me) about the sound and the beat as it is about the lyrics.

February 10, 2017: Today I got to Skype with a NASA astronaut!! Charlie Camarda is also the astronaut that helped found the Epic Challenge project here in Joensuu. 

February 9, 2017: What impact can a virtual lab, controllable from virtually anywhere in the world, have on education? How can they be used with students of any level?

February 8, 2017 Epic Challenge visit- providing engaging, real-life STEM challenges from NASA to student participants! It is so neat to see a style of teaching may teachers at my school are implementing being used in courses to include high school students and university students (from all types of universities)

February 7, 2017: Broadening my horizons by visiting a different city school today. It will be interesting to note the similarities and differences between the variety of schools we visit during our time here.

February 6, 2017: I thought I was getting used to the cold….WRONG! -16F…no, thank you. I think I’ll stay inside today and skip skiing.

February 5, 2017: Becoming more and more Finnish each day! Tried my hand (and legs) at salibandy, or, floorball, a favorite indoor hockey-type sport here in Finland.

February 4, 2017: All things Finnish today. The way the snow falls and hangs on the trees is much different here than in Colorado. The climate here is a bit different, and it isn’t uncommon to see piles of snow just hanging on the various types of pine and fir trees. It looks like a winter wonderland!

And second piece of exciting news….I couldn’t be more excited to learn how to make karjalanpirakka, a Finnish favorite. It’ll take a little more practice to get them to look as nice as the ones in the bakeries, but we got the hang of it!

February 3, 2017: Sometimes it’s nice to be able to wander through a city and just enjoy someone’s company while being outdoors.

February 2, 2017: My first day cross country skiing! Kari picked me up this morning and took me on the trails behind school. I managed to stay up and keep a semi-decent pace, although Kari was happy my poles were too short so he could keep up with me. I still can’t get over how well-lit the trails through the forest are at nighttime- so cool!

February 1, 2017: The days are getting noticeably longer. At the time I arrived in Joensuu, we had about 5.5 hours of daylight. It didn’t get light until about 9:30am, and it was dark by 3:00pm. It was quite an adjustment. I’ve noticed it getting lighter each morning, and staying dark a little later each evening. 4pm, and the sky is still light. 🙂

January 31, 2017: I had an interesting discussion about biking today. Biking in Finland (and many other parts of Europe) is part of the culture. Each day, you can see many people riding their bikes to work, school, to the gym, or wherever it is they need to go. You see, biking is a way of life, not just a way to get exercise or a hobby. Is that a perspective people take in America? What is the biking culture where you live?

turtle road block
Road blocks in Helsinki

January 26, 2017: This musing must be supported by a picture. I think all cities need to have road blocks like here in Helsinki. Something practical and fun, who would have thought? Not only do these turtles serve a purpose, but they are fun to see strewn about the city.


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