Eventful Weekend

Well this weekend started off as a tragedy! We went to catch the bus to head to Stockholm and we ended up getting on the wrong one so we missed the bus and the cruise to Finland. We tried everything we could to get there but we were running five minutes behind on everything and were unable to make it. Of course we were upset about it but we were determined to make the most of our last weekend here.

Rhanda and I decided to go to Göta Canal and is one of Sweden’s most popular tourist attractions! It was so pretty and it was the warmest day here thus far. We were actually able to walk around without our jackets on! We saw many people fishing and laying out near the lake. There were birds, ducks, and people everywhere because it was the first pretty day we have had here in a while. After we got there and saw how pretty it was we thought that we should have brought a picnic to have for the day; it was that gorgeous! I honestly could have stayed there all day and enjoyed being by the lake. This really made me miss home and the warm weather that everyone has been having.

We also went to a BBQ later on that night and it was delicious! We grilled some hotdogs and learned a new Swedish game called Kubb . Kubb is a lawn game where the object is to knock over wooden blocks by throwing wooden batons at them. It is kind of like horseshoe.  The ultimate object of the game is to knock over the kubbs on the opposing side, and then knock the “king” over, before the opponent does.On Sunday we met two Swedish students for Fika that will be coming to WKU to student teach in the fall term. They were very interested and asked many questions about how the schools and life in general is different in Kentucky. Even though we missed our bus and cruise for Finland we found many other fun and exciting things to do in Linkoping.

Past week and off to Finland!

Well hello!! Sorry it has been so long! Last weekend we stayed in Linkoping and did a few things around here with students at the University. We learned a new game called Brännboll and it was so much fun! It is kind of like baseball or softball but different of course. There are two teams one hitting a ball and running the bases then the other in the field. The people in the field are trying to catch the ball then toss it to the person on the “burn base” or what the pitchers mound is in baseball. The people in the field are trying to get it to the person on the “burn base” as fast as possible to “burn” the person running around the bases. The team that is hitting the ball has what looks like a paddle to hit the ball with and then they just run like crazy to try not to get burned! It was so much fun and hopefully be able to teach everyone back at home how to play!We also treated them to an American fika! Fika means “coffee break” here and we get together with people every Sunday night to have one. This week it was our turn!

I also taught my students this week and they were learning about how to better out environment. We started by discussing why we need to take care of nature and what would be the point in it. Why would it be important for us to take care of nature? After discussion we went outside to the forest and picked up trash to help take care of nature. They all had a blast doing this and found it beneficial to be more aware of where we put our trash.

Today we are headed to Finland and are going on a cruise!! I have never been on one and are very excited!!

Hello Paris!!

Morgan and I were given the opportunity to travel to Paris last week. We left on Saturday and stayed until Tuesday morning. Let me just say that the plane we traveled on was very scary and I never plan to take Ryanair again. I honestly was scared for my life and by the time we landed I wanted to give the pilot a hand clap for landing us safely…. that’s how scared I was!! Once we arrived in France we took a bus into Paris, then we were greeted by David, the guy that graciously offered us a place to stay. He showed us all over Paris the first night!Throughout our trip we traveled to the Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Basilica of Montmartre, Musee du Louve, and the Palace of  Versailles.

The first day we traveled to the Palace of Versailles! It was gorgeous and one of the places I was most excited to see. I was really looking forward to seeing the Hall of Mirrors! I learned about the palace during one of my college courses and was very interested in learning more about it. There were people everywhere outside and throughout the tour of the palace. We decided to just tour the palace on our own so they gave us a listening device that explained everything whenever we entered a certain room. We also went on a boat tour that day of all the popular tourist sites and it was amazing to see Paris that way.

 

The next day we started with the Eiffel Tower!! We decided that we were going to go all the way up to the very top of the tower! What other way could you see all of Paris?? We thought it was a brilliant idea to walk instead of taking the elevator. Let me tell you after 780 stairs my feet and legs were screaming at me! Then we took an elevator for another 40 floors to the top of the tower. After being able to the view from the top, all the pain was worth it. As they say, “no pain no gain”! The view was amazing and breathtaking! I never wanted to leave that spot from the top, I could have stayed their all day! Guess it’s a good thing I’m not afraid of heights as well! After walking up and down all those stairs I never want to see stairs again!! After all that excitement we decided to do a little shopping and got gifts for some of our family and friends! A few hours later we made our way towards the Louve for more site seeing. The Louve contains many popular pieces of art. Have you ever heard of the Mona Lisa? I hope that you have! It was awesome to be so close to such a popular piece of art.

While Paris was an amazing trip and an amazing opportunity, I am glad to back in my little town of Linkoping! I have been having the time of my life these past weeks here and can’t wait to see what the rest of our adventure has in stores for us!! Till next time!!

Second week and Paris!!

Hej!! This week was the second week in my school!! I  taught for the first time this week and I had the students do a writing assignment, on whom you might ask?? Well none other then Big Red of course!! When I presented who he was to all the students they were all infatuated with him and wanted to know more about who he was and what he represented. Keep in mind I have kindergarten-2nd grade and it was very difficult to explain to them what Big Red was but they still enjoyed it none the less. During some of their other lessons we went outside to measure very may different things. Their activity was to measure different objects then we would compare them when we all came together back in the classroom. I could tell that the students had a lot of fun with this because they were involved and very focused throughout the whole class time.

We also went to see a water fall near town but we were not for sure if it was a water fall or possibly something else!!! Gross, if you know what I’m talking about haha!! We all still had a lot of fun exploring and taking lots of pictures!! Morgan and I are able to adventure to Paris, France this weekend! We leave  in the morning and hopefully my baggage  is not overweight like it was on our way to Linkoping ha!! I have always wanted to go to Paris and I am looking forward to it very much!!

Stockholm

Yesterday we traveled to the capitol of Sweden… Stockholm! We all got up at 5am to catch our train that left at 7:24 and arrived in Stockholm at 9:30. I cannot speak for the other girls but I had a blast! For the most part we stayed in what was called Old Town Stockholm. This is where the castle is and most of the tourist go. We walked all over Stockholm probably a combination of at least 15 miles, because of that my feel were screaming at me at the end of the day and still are today. It was completely worth it though to be able to see this part of Sweden. Everywhere we turned there was another beautiful building and amazing architecture.

We were able to see the changing of the guards at the castle and travel inside to see the inside of it. All the rooms were different and unique in there own way. I could not even imagine what it would be like to call my home a castle. We were also able to go into the Treasury, this is where they keep all the crowns and other expensive artifacts. Before going in the castle for all of the tours we were able to see “The Changing of the Guards”. This was very interesting to watch because I have never seen anything like it; they make a huge deal out of it.

It was a very adventurous day being able to see another part of Sweden. We were there for about 12 hours and still did not get to see all of it and go to all the things we wanted to. Regardless of all of that we still had a blast! It’s amazing how even though we were only a few hours away from Linkoping how different Stockholm was. It was more of “city” life and very touristy!

After the castle we went down a road that was full of tourist shops and a lot of shopping!! We went into many different stores but everything here is so expensive compared to America. While walking we also ran into Vikings!! Who knew they were still around?!? I enjoyed being able to see their clothes, crafts, and smelling their food. Oh how it smelled so good!! I really wanted some but of course was very expensive! They also had a set up of how they used to behead people in the past. I wanted to experience this of course haha! Overall it has been a great trip thus far and I can’t wait to see what Sweden still has in store for us!

School and Exploring

I have been in the school for three days, and it has been a joy! The students are so welcoming, and they greet me every morning when I walk through the door. In my class, I have a mixture of grades. I have six kindergarteners, four first graders and three second graders. All of the students are very independent because they have to be with such a diverse group. Most of the time the students have been working together and paired with mixed ability to ensure the younger students are understanding the material.The students do “Inquiry” which is more of them thinking at a higher level. The teacher will give them a very broad topic, and they choose where to take it. During the lesson in the picture below the students are working on measurements. They are measuring parts of their body with none standard measuring tools and the standard form. The students love doing hands on activities as many students in general do. Today I went with my students to a PE class where they played football which is actually soccer in America. Before they enter the gym they have to change their clothes and shoes into correct PE attire. After the PE class all of the students are required to shower. I thought this was very interesting and when I told the teacher that we do not do this is USA she thought that that was very gross. She said that she would not want to be in the class with all of the students after their PE class haha!

We also went adventuring today around Linkoping! We went to the chocolate shop called Cloretta’s and the chocolate there was delicious! I plan to bring some home with me! We all ended up buying lots of candy and I am sure we will return there before our trip is over! We then went into town for dinner and took us about thirty minutes to decide where to eat and we decided on Burger King. Good, home food!! We’ve all been talking about how we miss our home food so much so this was a good choice! This weekend we are making a trip to Stockholm! We are each excited for this trip and looking forward to seeing more of Sweden!
       

And it begins!

Today was the first day in my new school called Atlasskolan. This is a school where many international students go while living in Sweden. I met my teacher Sandra De Luca and five of my students, I will only be having 13 students total. When my teacher told me that I was very shocked because in USA you never find classrooms that size. Here the students addressed me as Nikki not Ms. Meyer which I also thought was odd but I like it better that way. In Swedish schools the students are not allowed to wear shoes in the classrooms they can only where indoor shoes so they take their shoes off in the hallways and put kinda house shoes or crocs on. No matter the weather they will go outside whether it be a blizzard or a thunderstorm they are required to go out during ‘break’. My school days will last from 8am-1pm, their days are a lot shorter than ours and they have more free time during the day as well to do as they please. The students are also paid to go to school here but since they are at such a young age the parents receive the money; it is not that much but still who wouldn’t love to be paid to go to school! I would!! All the students and staff were very friendly and welcoming, I cannot wait to continue this experience there with them!!

Shopping and Adventuring!

We arrived in Sweden yesterday and it was a crazy day! We traveled everywhere and it was very difficult to find everything and get everything together. Luckily we had two Sweden students to help us throughout the day! We found our apartments and moved everything in and got a tour of the university. Then today we went to downtown Linkoping and shopped all over and found all of our schools that we will be teaching at while were here. When we went to the city we stopped for “fika” which mean coffee break and is very popular in Sweden. Here it is very common to see people sitting outside even when it is 40 degrees outside, we were shocked! We thought is was way to cold for that! We went to the grocery store and we found applesauce and jelly in like a plastic tube that you find cookie dough in, we thought that was hilarious! Overall it has been an adventure thus far and a very exciting trip!

Up up and away!!!

The day is here!! Today is the day that we leave for Sweden! Sitting in the airport waiting to board the airplane, I’m thinking that its crazy how far we have all come and cannot believe this day has finally arrived. In 14 hours I will be in Sweden then teaching 2nd graders how to speak English, this might be a challenge but I’m up for it!

Packing and more packing!!

Only two days before we leave!! Ahhh so exciting!! Today is the first day that I have started packing and I do not know how it is all going to fit! A little advice for all is to start packing earlier not two days before you leave! My suitcase is already almost full and not even half of my clothes are in it. I was going to take 13 pairs of shoes but I cannot do that either! How does a girl decide which shoes she wants to take when she loves and needs them all??? I also had way to many t-shirts and sweats, had to cut out some of those since I cannot wear that kind of attire in Europe. They’re to classy for all that!! Off to pack some more clothes and decide which I really do not need. Hate that I cannot take all the clothes that I love but I keep reminding myself there will be plenty of shops there for me to purchase more fashionable pieces!

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