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Hello from London 2007 March 26

Posted by @jennyjenjen in Language, Travel.

Although I don’t have a lot of time right now, I just wanted to post quickly about London. I am currently sitting at a computer in a somewhat shady hostel in Piccadilly, charging my iPod (it’s worth it!) and getting my fill of news and information before I set off for another few days without Internet.

I haven’t gone much further than Piccadilly and Soho for the moment, but we’re taking a London tour tomorrow (I should get some sleep soon!) and it will include such places as Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey and Big Ben.

Oh, and “we” means my IMCS class! IMCS stands for International Media and Communications Studies (errr… my brain isn’t functioning right now, but I believe that’s correct). I enrolled in the Organization and Communication course, and this trip is part of it. We’re being led by one of the finest and most entertaining professors in the faculty, and we have quite an interesting list of places we will visit related to communications:

  • The Travel Channel
  • Reuters Television
  • The Guardian
  • London South Bank University
  • British Film Institute

Unfortunately, we were highly let down when MTV cancelled on us. I was really looking forward to that!

Anyhow, it’s time for me to get going. I am still working on finishing posts about France, but I’ll have plenty about London as well. Stay tuned!


Unpublished: An Update Full of Goodies 2007 March 17

Posted by @jennyjenjen in Academics, Travel.
Tags: ,
1 comment so far

Editor’s Note: I found this at my MySpace blog (!!) and decided it was really, really worth publishing. I’ve backdated it (although it is currently January 7, 2013). Here you go!

So I’ve been pretty busy lately. It’s beautiful in Sweden right now; around 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the afternoons and not much warmer, but not much colder even at night. The skies have been mostly clear and the sun has been shining.brightly over Uppsala.

Every day I am reminded that I must return to Colorado in June. Every time I open my wallet, fold my clothes, check my email or even glance through my phone. I’m leaving soon.

I know I have three months left, but I really don’t feel like I’ve been here that long and I’ve been here just shy of seven months. How will three months make this trip feel complete?

I took it easy last weekend, getting over some weird head cold that just persisted until I gave in and spent most of the time sleeping. It was actually quite nice just to stay in and hang out with the corridormates, that is when I wasn’t adding to my amazing pyramid of used tissues. I’m still not feeling that great right now, but tonight there’s a St. Patty’s Day party and I will be there.

*     *     *

I’m going to London at the end of this month, but I’m kind of scared to go with the group of classmates in the IMCS program. I really like them, they’re wonderful, but wow – nights out with them are extreme! I’m not quite that much of a party girl; I like some other kind of stimulation when I go out at night, whether it be great conversation, a good band or perhaps a movie or art gallery. That, or I will just people-watch and not have that good of a time. We’ll see how it goes; maybe someone else will be somewhat sane like myself and not go completely nuts. Who knows, though, you only live once!

We will be visiting Reuters Television, the British Film Institute, the Travel Channel, and the Guardian. I think there’s another destination, but I’ve forgotten. Anyhow, I’m quite excited. We’re all upset that MTV canceled on us last-minute, especially since most of us changed our flight plans for it. Oh well.

*     *     *

I have a test next week. My instructor was hilarious during our discussion about the exam yesterday.

“I am giving you the home exam on Monday,” he said. “You will have the week to do it.”

“When is it due?” someone asked.

“Friday, hmm,” he replied.

“But what time is it due?”

“Oh,” he said. He looked up at the ceiling quite briefly. “Well, um, in the afternoon.” The class laughed a little. “How about four o’clock?” he asked hesitantly. Nobody really replied. “Okay,” he said. “Well, I guess, five o’clock.”

That’s Swedish academia. I love it!

*     *     *

That instructor I mentioned above – he’s a cool guy. His namd is Peder Hård af Segerstad and he is well-known in the European academic realm of communications and journalism. He’s written some quality stuff.

Of course, the Americans snicker at his name because it looks like, well, “hard.” It’s really pronounced something like “hoarde.” Nevertheless, there is a Facebook group called “Peder Hard makes us hard… working students.”

He’s such a nice, middle-aged guy who you expect to have only the most polite, proper things come from his mouth. However, that’s not the case with the least proper, polite people as an audience. Anything he says, while in good nature (or sometimes as close to good-natured can be) can be construed quite differently when it’s the IMCS crew as an audience.

Yesterday, he was giving us a rundown of his ‘pocket-sized’ guide to effective communication, a manual neatly laid out in two-and-a-half pages with plenty of bullet points and italicized items. During one section, he was trying to explain that sometimes one cannot just make bread by reading the recipe and following the instructions. To really make bread, one must have a certain involvement and knowledge.

“I can read a recipe and try to follow the instructions,” he said, “But I can’t make bread, no I can’t.” It was getting amusing just there, and we started asking him if making bread was a monthly hobby of sorts. He laughed, nodded, went along with it.

But this is where Peder Hård gets funny. Just when you think the joke’s over.

“I can’t make bread,” he said. “But perhaps, you know, some illiterate Greek woman out there, maybe blind, maybe deaf, she can make bread.” He proceeded to make bread-kneading motions with his bands and kind of bobbled his head from side to side. “Maybe it’s even genetic, bread-making.”

(Maybe it’s a “you just had to be there” moment? I don’t know, aren’t you just as bewildered as I am? That’s what’s so damn funny!)

The class cracked up. Does Peder even know how absolutely hilarious he is?

*     *     *

I will soon have a new post at my demonforeveryday site. Check in soon! I’m writing it right now. Subject matter? The usual. And if you’re wondering, things are okay with him right now; not bitter at all. Things are actually wonderful if you don’t count the fact that we are trying not to make my departure more painful than… well, everything else. It’s getting tempting to just abandon the fact that I am leaving and dive right in. I guess that was what made things difficult the time before. You would think that things would go well when both parties agree upon most everything. You’d think that loving each other would be enough for things to go well. Apparently, it isn’t.

Don’t make me leave! 2007 March 12

Posted by @jennyjenjen in Miscellaneous.

So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve been pretty busy; I have three courses at once, so I spent a lot of my time reading and attending class. I will be going to London at the end of this month and Helsinki sometime next month. Before I leave Europe, I probably will have spent a few days in Berlin.

I’m working on the Paris series and I have decided that I am going to back-date all of my posts; everything about France will be posted under the date it actually happened, or if I summarize it’ll take place after those several days. It makes it easier to get through everything, and I’ll just write a summary of the entire trip in one post.

I am enjoying my time here so much that I have discovered I don’t want to leave. I have definitely settled in here; I’ve figured out what I like about Sweden, what I definitely do not like about the United States and what at home I can live without. I know it will be nice to get back home and see my family and friends, but I will have left a lot here that I intend to return to at some point.

Of course, I hate thinking about that already. I know I’ve got three months left here and I’m going to make the best of it.