Friday, January 25, 2013

Week 4

This week began pleasantly, because we got a new member to join our Monday discussion group. She seemed to fit right in, and participated eagerly in the discussion. That was nice! Accommodation is a topic everyone certainly has some personal experience about, and that is probably why people had a lot to say about it. Although people didn't necessarily know all the appropriate words all the time, the discussions didn't end or suddenly wither away. We went through some words and phrases together, and many people actually said that they learnt a lot of useful vocabulary this week. Also it seems to be an insurmountable fact that there is something inconvenient or uncomfortable or infuriating or just plain awful in every home! You see, everyone knew instantly what they would change in their homes if they could when I asked them about it! And in all honesty, I must say that although I'm otherwise very pleased with my home, I would definitely make our kitchen bigger if I had a magic wand.. The kitchen is otherwise functional and renovated to suit my taste, but a few extra square metres wouldn't hurt at all.

On Thursday we started comparing different proverbs in English and Finnish. Some of them are exactly the same in these two langauges, but there are some that are quite difficult to translate for instance from English into Finnish. It is also interesting to detect how things are expressed in different languages. For instance, animals used in proverbs seem to vary from language to another, like in the proverb "to kill two birds with one stone" and "tappaa kaksi kärpästä yhdellä iskulla". In English they have birds, we've got flies.

We're going to talk about proverbs on Monday and Tuesday, but quite honestly, I don't have the foggiest of what the topic on Thursday will be! I have some ideas but nothing definite. Luckily, I still have almost a week to come up with a suitable topic for the lessons.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Week 3

This week started a bit poorly; I had to be on sick leave on Monday and Tuesday. I got back to work on Wednesday and still felt nauseus and weak, but was able to get through the day. On Thursday I felt better, and we had our discussion lessons as usual. For some reason our group was quite petite, but we were still able to maintain vivid discussion. We actually talked about a variety of topics ranging from impolite doctors to films we've recently seen. The actual topic of which I had prepared some material for the lesson was accommodation, but like I mentioned, we also talked about many other things.

Accommodation will be the topic for the Monday and Tuesday groups next week, and on Thursday I thought that we could go through different proverbs. Some students have actually asked if we could compare proverbs in English and Finnish, so next week we'll do just that! Some proverbs are almost identical in these two languages, like for instance "a rolling stone gathers no moss" and "vierivät kivet eivät sammaloidu", but instantly it might be quite difficult to know how to translate for instance "fine words butter no parsnips" into Finnish!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Week 2; the first full week after the Christmas break

Teaching began again this week after being on a Christmas break for about a month. It was nice to see my students again, and we had interesting discussions in the groups. On Monday and Thursday we had a bit of a shortage of participants; I wonder if lots of people were sick..? I heard a newsflash on the radio saying that we have epidemics of both influenza and the noro -virus going around the country. I had the noro -virus last winter, and it was absolutely horrid! The virus made me so weak that I fainted on two separate occasions on my way to the bathroom! Now I have been trying to be extra careful with germs and have continuously been washing my hands (and forcing others to do it, too).

Anyhow, this week we discussed important events that took place in 2012, and in all of the groups we also talked about what we had done and where we had been around Christmas and New Year. On Tuesday and Thursday we also started to familiarize ourselves with vocabulary concerning accommodation, and people described their homes to one another. The idea is to continue with this topic next week a bit further. Today I had a phone call from a lady who said that she would like to join our Monday discussion group. I said that she is very welcome, and so we agreed that she will start attending the classes next Monday! It's always nice to get more people involved, and it's a proven fact that active people who take an interest in many things live much longer than their passive fellow creatures!

Friday, January 04, 2013

Back to work!

I got back to work on Wednesday the 2nd January. Some time off did me goog, and I feel enthusiastic about coming back to work again.

This week I didn't have any teaching, but I focused on administrative duties of different kind, and was able to tick many things off of my 'to do' -list. Teaching will start again next week, and on Monday we will talk about some important events that took place in 2012. On Tuesday and Thursday we will discuss different forms of accommodation and compare our living and housing arrangements.

A new year, new tricks. Yes, today I got a new phone to be used at work, and I have a feeling that it will take some time for me to learn how to use it.. Provably, I was able to answer the phone when it rang, and I was also able to select a new ringtone better suited to my taste, but I think it might take a while before I can send e-mail and attachements with this new gadget, or use the bluetooth smoothly or... Hopefully we will become friends, my new phone and I. You see, I've had experiences of electronic devices that have had the same logic as I do and I have had absolutely no problems with them, and then I've had some appliances (phones, digiboxes etc.) that I've never learnt to use properly. That's why I feel that certain electronic devices seem like friends; they really seem to understand me and we get on with each other. Just like real friends, they may have some infuriating qualities but for the most part the coexistance is nice and smooth. Why can't all technical appliances be like that?!