So here we have the inaugural post of my Sweden blog. My intention is for this blog to serve as a means of updating everyone as I experience things because, inevitably, there will be something I forget or can’t do justice when I get back. Not to mention I (rather selfishly) don’t really want to have to tell everyone the exact same stories for weeks after I return. This way, I can point people here and they can get all kinds of information as I’m going. I’m going to try my very hardest to blog at least once a week (I’m shooting for Sundays).
I leave in about 5 weeks (Jan 18 2012). I can’t believe it’s so soon, and most of me can’t wait. I’ve made a packing list and started strategically packing for 3 months of widely-varied weather, I’ve space-bagged my bedding so it will be nice and wrinkly when I arrive, I’m in the middle of taking care of all the weird administrative things I need to take care of before I go. Those things consist mostly of job applications, database registry, and meetings on top of meetings on top of meetings.
It’s a pretty big deal to up and leave everything for 3 months and assume I’m going to mature professionally the way I should be.
I think being busy has helped me cope with the magnitude of what I’m about to do. Overall, I’ve done pretty well…I’ve only freaked out once and I’m over that. My primary concern is that I won’t get the professional experience I need while I’m gone. The program (COST) is brand-spankin-new in Sweden. While this is awesome because both schools are making sure we’ll be well taken-care of, it’s worrisome that I don’t have a former COST student who can tell me what to expect. Jaclyn and I are sort of the pilot group for this university (Linköpings Universitet). I kind of already knew and acknowledged that, but I’m really glad I finally (think I) understand the implications of being the test group. I will have to make sure all along I’m getting the professional experience I need. I don’t think it’ll be difficult because both Linköpings Universitet and University of Kentucky are open and available and willing to help. The personal growth will come naturally, and some of it will be paired with professional growth, but student teaching is the most important part of learning to be a teacher, so I need to make sure the experience is worthwhile. As my pedagogy professor put it, student teaching will be the busiest, hardest experience I have while at UK, and I have volunteered for culture shock on top of it.
Oh, I also get really homesick, so that’s neat. I figure it’ll come when it always comes when I travel for long periods of time — about 10 days in. While I totally anticipate this happening, I can’t say how long it will last or how I will deal with it. Except “well”, duh. I will deal with it well. I think being really busy will help; how will I find time to mope and miss Lexington? WHY would I miss Lexington when I’m in Linköping? (No offense to Lexington; I love it here. But I have forever to be here and only 3 months to be in Linköping.)
Anxieties aside, I love to travel and can’t WAIT for the opportunities this can (and already has) presented to me. I’m planning on visiting another MIC /COST student, my friend Rachel, in Cologne, Germany. Ohio University friends Clare and Alyse will be in Finland hanging out with Clare’s family so I’m going to hop on over during Easter. As of right now, Shannon is planning on visiting me while the tulips are up in Holland and we’re going to jet on over to check those out. Shannon, for those of you who don’t know, is the very same Shannon I visited while she was studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland in Winter ’09.
OH before I forget, I’m not quite sure how to pronounce “Linköping”, but every time the COST coordinators at UK pronounce it, it sounds like “Lin-shore-ping”. I’ll let you know how to pronounce it when I know. It always bothers me when I don’t know how to pronounce something when I’m reading, JK Rowling is lucky I made it though the first few Harry Potter books…I didn’t know how to pronounce “Hermione”. But I digress.
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations. This is not my best / most organized writing, and I have made heavy use of some of my writing idiosyncrasies (parentheses)….See what I did there? They will probably get more eventful / better as I go.
First Sunday blog—CHECK!