Today I'm learning to be a little more Finnish.
It's 8:30 Saturday morning and the sky is just getting light - so why fight it? I crawl back into bed and climb under the covers so I can read my book and wait for the sunlight.
In Finland they seem to have a different idea about work, time, and stress. Wait, let me re-phrase that. They don't seem to stress. For example, one typical high school teacher might teach eleven or so classes per week with each class lasting only lasts 60-90 minutes. If he or she is done by 1:00 she can go home - no problem! "That's why we're not stressed like you Americans," one teacher said. She also shared with me a conversation she overheard as a school counselor was talking with students: "If you're not good at math or Swedish or Finnish, that's okay. You're probably a very good friend." She said this attitude is very typically Finnish ... and then with a giggle she said, "That probably wouldn't go over very well in some cultures."
So I'm adapting.
And feeling better about it.
I have a lot of work to do but Kari Sormunen has been a tremendous help getting me settled and introducing me to some very strong science and education teachers from preschool through college. I hope we can do some good work together and that this semester will be valuable for us all. Thank you, Kari!
Yesterday I wandered down to the Joensuu marketplace because they were having their seasonal flea market - the town square was filled with all sorts of things to sell; there were furs and long underwear, sleep shirts, socks and hats, and used ski equipment; there were sausages for sale and honey and colorful strings of licorice. The color of these items really stuck out compared to the monochromatic tone of the day - heavy clouds and no direct sunlight.
Tonight it's colder: 9 degrees F/-13 degrees C. It's the first day I've felt a chill and I'm in my apartment wrapped up in wool and my beanie snuggled down on my head. Maybe I should have purchased some of these woolies! :)