Posts Tagged ‘finals’


Chiyo: Schools out!

December 9, 2011

I can’t believe I’m DONE with class for the semester! All my final papers have been turned in, and my one real exam was taken yesterday. Oh, and did I mention my PARENTS are in London?! I’m still getting used to them being on my stomping grounds. I didn’t blog yesterday, so I will fill you in on my day yesterday.

I woke up getting an e-mail from a fashion company back home for an internship I applied for, and they want to interview me when I get back to the states, so that was the perfect way to start off my day! Then, I went to my bus/adv final, and felt really good about it when I turned in my final paper and exam, and was free to dink around London for about 6 hours before my LTI class. My flatmate Katie and I visited the German Christmas Market that is right along the Thames, and ate lunch at Giraffe. She had to get back to class, so I went off to Sloane Square to visit the Saatchi Gallery. After taking bus/adv here, I HAD to visit the Saatchi Gallery. It was amazing. Like no other gallery I have visited before. If there’s one thing living in London has given me, it’s a greater appreciation for fine art, and frankly, “odd” art. Which is what the Saatchi brothers had collected over time. I walked around the Chelsea area, because it is definitely a fashion person’s paradise, and headed back to CAPA to hang out in the lounge before class.

In my LTI class, we were a very tight knit group of students, and bonded with our professor like no other. We talked about what we would miss the most about London, what is the first thing we’re going to do when we get back to the states, and just general memories from being here. Before we left, our professor John told us he had a going away gift for all of us. We weren’t expecting anything, so when he told us we all went “Awwwwww.” His wife is a poet, and recently published her first children’s poetry book, and it did so well it’s going on its 2nd edition. He told us he wanted something that we could always remember him by, and it is just the cutest little book! Once we said our goodbyes, that’s when it really hit me-I’m leaving London on Saturday (although I will be back at night, only to leave Sunday for Scotland), and I am trying to soak it all in while I can. After class was let out, 2 of my flatmates and I went to Picadilly for dinner at a pub we went to way back in September, and then called it a night.

Today, I had two final papers to turn in, and was free to go by 11:15. I checked my e-mail to see if there were any updates from my parents that they may had sent me the night before, and I received a notice from my flatmate Katie’s mom telling me she was admitted to hospital. Naturally, I started freaking out, and I gathered everything I needed to get for her, and found out how to get to the hospital she was taken to. Side Note: Katie is doing just fine; just a little scared being in a foreign country and this being her first time in a hospital as a patient. The hospital was a bit of a ways away, and when I surprised her, she was so happy to see a familiar place. Hospitals give me the heeby jeebies, as the last time I was in one was for my sister. I chatted with her for as long as I could to keep her spirits up, but I was already running late in meeting my parents. So I had to say my goodbyes, and was off on the bus, to the tube station, to find my parents at there hotel. I couldn’t get ahold of them via mobile, so I prayed that they would be in there room when I got to the hotel. As I was approaching, I saw my mom on the computer in the lobby, and my dad at reception. I literally ran into the hotel, ran to my dad, and gave him the world’s biggest hug. I was SO happy to see them.

Once I told them why I was running behind, we went up to their room where we caught up, and went on a bus tour since they don’t have much time in London, and want to see everything they possibly can. I talked about each of the places they were seeing, and then we got off right by the Thames so I could show them the German market. My dad loves to walk around, so he was happy to get off the bus and move around. They absolutely loved the market, and are still getting over the shell shock of how expensive everything is here. It started to rain pretty hard, so we had to make a quick decision on where to eat, and where do they pick? GIRAFFE! I couldn’t help but laugh. After dinner the rain had stopped, and my parents were exhausted from traveling all day and most of yesterday, so I went to the tube, while they headed back to their hotel and I will be seeing them tomorrow afternoon. They’re going to the Tower of London, and seeing as I’ve been there twice now, I didn’t really want to go a third time. That, and i have lots of little tasks left here at the flat to take care of. I still can’t believe my parents are in London…


The gift from our LTI professor 🙂


Parker: Dîner chez ma professeur

May 20, 2011
My French class in the gardenLast week, amid all of the preparations and stress that surrounded the last week of school, finals, and our last week in Paris, my French professor invited our whole class over for dinner at her house. To be honest, none of us were really excited; we had a lot of work to do, we were tired, she lives almost an hour away from where some of us live in Paris, and we didn’t think she would feed us much-there were 12 of us, plus her, her husband and her daughter. We were completely wrong. Not only did she have tons of food and drinks for us (aperitifs, appetizers, lots of delicious ratatouille, charcuterie, cheese, baguette, and wine), but it was a fantastic time, and a great end to our semester. It was a good opportunity to chat, eat some good food, and relieve stress. We also got a chance to peek into our professor’s life, and see the cute little suburb where she lived (in a HOUSE, with a GARDEN-something I haven’t seen in quite a while…)

Connie: End of semester update

February 13, 2011

When I was in America, finals week was never a problem for me. I rarely studied, and if I did it wasn’t any grueling task. Here it wasn’t like that at all. I was hitting the books for several weeks every moment I got. The Japanese people were no different – the library was entirely filled up every time I went. I didn’t enjoy the last minute bustle to learn everything. I’ve come to realize I really dislike the Japanese education system. It baffles me at how many intelligent Japanese people I can meet when they go through this kind of schooling.

The main difference is that Japanese classes almost never give homework. It seems to be a mix of lectures and the occasional presentation, but those are far and few in between. Even in language classes there is no opportunity to practice. In my Korean class I don’t think we ever spoke more than what we were told to repeat. This is in contrast to American university, where you are constantly required to practice what you learn. By doing it all semester, you’re able to retain a lot more and put it to use. The Japanese school system requires people to be self-motivated, and maybe it’s a bit sad that it’s been hard on all of us foreigners. I still prefer being given the opportunity to practice.

However, I think next semester I will make homework for myself. It’ll make it a lot easier on me when the end comes. I’m hoping it will also improve my Japanese, as that is mainly what my classes are comprised of.

Aside from improving my studying habits, I’ve made a few other decisions for next semester. I want to be more outgoing, and I want to try and immerse myself more. A student who was in the same program as me last year asked if we ever hung out with Japanese people, since he’s only rarely seen it. It’s too true and I want to change it.

The end of the semester means parties, free time and vacations. Here’s a quick overview of everything lately:

  • Thursday was my last final for Korean. Due to this, and the fact that the final wasn’t until 4:20pm, I went out with some friends and the Korean (who had an English final the next day). Good practice for both of us, even if I make funny mistakes in Korean like, “Who is that sock?”
  • Since it’s the end of the semester, people are leaving. Thursday night was a party for a Japanese girl going to study in Australia and a Korean boy going back to Korea. I had fun.
  • I’ve been telling people I’m the second most handsome person in Saijo. I keep running into the first most handsome all over town lately, and he greets me now.
  • One of the people I’ve met here is coming to my university next year! We’re going to go to the state fair together. I’m looking forward to it!
  • Friday we went into Hiroshima city for some shopping. Purchases: Persona 3′s soundtrack, a magazine from my favorite music shop, and a dog with an afro (the charming Afroken). Things I wish I’d purchased: the shirt I’ve been looking for everywhere. I hope it goes on sale.
  • Friday night was one of the Englishman’s birthdays. All-you-can-drink followed by karaoke. Highlights include talking to 6 random Japanese guys at the table next to us (who, as they always do, asked me who I thought was the most handsome) and keeping the birthday boy from jumping down a hill to see a family grave site.
  • Valentine’s day is coming up, so tonight some friends and I are making chocolate. I hope we make all of the boys in the program happy. I hope my friend will have just a little time after his presentation so I can give him some, too.
  • Tomorrow is practice for the jazz circle. It’s also another friend’s birthday. Then some time during the night is the party for the jazz circle members. I’m sorry I can’t stick around for my friend’s party, but I want to meet the other members.
  • Next week I’m off to Nagasaki! Remember my friend who dressed up like Pikachu? We’re going to his hometown, and his parents said they’d cook dinner for us!

It has been a busy few weeks, and it appears that it will continue that way. From here on out I’ll do my best. いつも頑張ります!


Claudia: Scotland Snow

November 29, 2010

Hey, wait a second… I thought it wasn’t supposed to snow in Scotland! Apparently, this is the first time in 17 years that there has been snow in December… So, while Minneapolis experienced its first snowfall-free March on records, Edinburgh gets a massive snowfall. The prediction is snow every day for the next week. WOOOO! I hope everything gets cleared out by the time Chelsea and I are meant to fly to London.

After a morning of steel-grey skies, the sun is beginning to peek out, and the sky has become powder blue. It may just be the fact that I’ve spent the better part of the last three days reading Märchen (international folktales), but I feel like we’ve been dropped into fairy-world. The library looks out over the Meadows, and all of the trees are covered in snow and birds and squirrels are running around inside. The way the light is coming through the trees is just lovely. I’m sure all of this sentimental blithering is brought on by the fact that I’m in an essay crunch (okay, I have to write a conclusion, but I have 4 hours til I need to turn it in, so not that bad… but begs the question, “why are you blogging when you need to finish an essay?”), and I just want to go play in the snow.

My archaeology lecturer didn’t show this morning, so we all decided to leave after waiting around for 10 minutes. Good times. I think as soon as I finish this essay, I’m going to take a break before I start on the archaeology papers. Ahhhh procrastination, why do I constantly fall prey to your wiles?


Natalie: Home!

November 23, 2010

Norway, Norway, Norway. I am back in Norway. Things are the exact same as when I left except for that we have snow and the pressure of finals this week are crushing me.

I’ve started walking again. I really like going after its dark out. There are lights that illuminate a path around the lake. Even at 10 pm there are a lot of people out running or walking. The stars are so clear here. I find it hilarious that the path into the woods goes between an iced over hockey rink and a grassy green soccer field. People playing on both. Only in Norway do they have a machine that dethaws the ground so you can play soccer in the middle of winter.
Here are some pictures from around where I live:

Also the lake:

Some crazies decided to go swimming!

The sun rises at about 7 now… if you can call it that. There is a persistent gray haze that dominates Oslo’s weather. Snow maybe? The sun sets at around 3:30. Way, way too early.

The christmas food has come out at the grocery store! They have lutesfisk in the freezer section! and Marspian chocolates and pepperkaker and julebrus and glogg and CHristmas beer!

Finals! I have 3 finals in the next 2 weeks and it’s only November. Then I am free as a bird for a month and a half. Yipee!

The last 3 days I have spent in the library. I get there before the sun rises and don’t emerge until way after the sun sets. I’ve been meeting Lauren and Britt there. I really adore these girls. Time actually flies by while we’re “studying”. We all have the same course, the North and South divide and we’re all a little nervous for the final. Most of the time we sit in the study rooms conversing transnational corporations (geese Monsanto is the devil), free trade v. fair trade, and the reasons for poverty in the global south. I have never learned more than from talking with these girls. They bring the best out in me. For that very reason I’ve started to feel very, very sad about leaving . . . or maybe I’m homesick. I can’t make up my mind. Why can’t you all just move here!?

This evening I watched ‘Leap Year”… filmed in Ireland. I seriously NEED to go back. I just can’t get Ireland out of my head.

I’ve discovered Google chat. Completely free for calls to the US. I’ve just loved calling people to see how they’ll react. I’ve had a few scream, a few tell me I have the wrong number, a few start crying, and a few just utterly confused and speechless. Haha. My mom was so excited she even held the phone out the door so I could hear my dad snow blowing the driveway. Read the rest of this entry ?


Brittany: Boys, bugs and beer

November 21, 2010

It is getting to that point where I really need to write my final paper for the semester, and I really don’t want to.  I have been interested in oil the whole time I’ve been here (and before), but a few days ago I got it into my head I’d rather write about teen pregnancy and compare cities to rural communities.  But it is too late to change and so oil it is…

I’ve accepted the fact I am just going to have a lot of mosquito bites until I go back to Quito.  I wear repellent, but there is no way to avoid them completely.  The worse is when you sleep.  My sister closes the windows—there aren’t screens—but it is too hot and stuffy for me! I have to sleep with them open, so that means sleeping with whatever flies through the window too. Yesterday I saw this flying beetle/cockroach thing. I swear it was at least four-inches long.

The food has gotten better.  Not healthier, but better.  I made a joke about Ecuadorians eating a lot of rice, which my family found hilarious and brings up daily, but since then they have been giving me a lot less.  That wasn’t my intention, but it works! There have been fewer boiled potatoes lately too.

I have been running a lot. The thing to do here is exercise at the airport.  It is really small and planes only come a few times a week, so everyone runs up and down the runway.  If a plane comes, the siren goes off and you just move.

Boys are the same as in Quito.  They don’t whistle at girls, instead they hiss!  They make a series of short, little weird noises with their tongues against their teeth.  I’m guess I should be used to it now, but I am always going to think it’s totally creepy.

Water is sometimes an issue here.  It will just randomly stop working for a few hours.  I am not sure what the causes are in those instances, if it is just basic infrastructure problems or what.  Last week there was construction on the road near us and they accidentally broke a pipe.  There was no water for two days!  I had to shower with a bucket in the yard where they do the washing, which actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

I think I may have given some people the impression I am living in a much smaller town than I actually am.  Tena is small enough that you run into people you know all the time, but big enough that there are plenty of things to do. It is becoming a destination for ecotourism too, so that helps.  Tomorrow for example, we’re all going out with Francisco’s family to this touristy thing where we can swim. We have found some pretty good restaurants for lunch, although Anna and I also make sandwiches a lot and sit on the boardwalk by the river and eat.  There are a decent amount of bars and places to go dancing.  I am going to have a hard time going back to the US where a beer at a bar is $3 or more! We went out yesterday and I spent $6.50 the whole night, including two taxi rides and a few beers.

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is this week!  Everything here stays green all year, and so sometimes I forget it’s fall-almost-winter in the US!  We have Friday and Monday off of work Thanksgiving weekend, so the people in Tena are probably going to travel somewhere.


Samantha: Time flies…

November 17, 2009

So I have neglected to blog in a very very long time!!! Wow. Exciting things that have happened… Halloween was very low key here. Mom sent me a box that I got the day before Halloween that had cupcake decorations! Good timing! I made cupcakes and frosting from scratch and shared them with my host family, Nico’s family and his friends. Nico’s band played a fundraiser concert at his old high school. They did a really good job and my two gringa friends that went with thought they were good as well! On Halloween there were a few trick-or-treaters but not nearly as many as there are in the States. Nico and I went to a fundraiser for my host brother and sisters scout group (like boy scouts but for both genders). We played BINGO and didn’t win at all! Then we went to his friend Pia’s birthday party which was very low key.

I took a weekend vacation to Mendoza, Argentina. I caught up on my sleep trying to get through customs because we waited for four hours!! Once we got there our hostel was very beautiful. On Saturday Jess, Heidi and I toured two vineyards, and olive oil factory, a winery museum, and a chocolate shop! It was the perfect day with sun and chocolate!!

I have been going to the beach almost three times a week! My host family says that I am taking advantage of it while I can! My classes are wrapping up. I had a final today and have two finals next week, a presentation and a paper to do!!! Busy Busy!

%d bloggers like this: