So far, Swedish school hasn’t been too hard to follow. Yesterday I had three classes, math, Spanish and physics. Math started at 9:10 and went really well. We started with a short 21 question test to see what we remembered from our previous math classes, but it was all in Swedish. I was able to do 15 of the 21 without translation which I was very proud of! We spent the rest of the three hour class taking notes and working on some practice problems with a few quick breaks. When we were released for lunch, I walked over to the cafeteria to see what good food was awaiting us.
My next class was an hour and 10 minute Spanish lesson. My teacher started class by playing the piano and singing a song in Spanish because he loves to sing and is a very energetic man. Spanish was definitely a little rough because trying to learn a new language in a language you already don’t know is not an easy task. My teacher talks mostly in Spanish, and occasionally spits out some English words so I can understand a little of what is going on!
I would say the most difficult part is deciphering whether he is speaking Spanish or Swedish while he says 100 words a minute. Once class was over, I had a 20 minute break to try and get my brain working again. It was a little worn out after thinking Spanish, Swedish, and English.
Class 3 was Physics, and went surprisingly better than I thought it would. We sat in groups of 4 or 5 and as my teacher wrote important words and examples on the board, my friends help me translate. Physics is a lot of math so it was easy to follow along as the problems were worked out on the board. Our teacher let us out of class 30 minutes early and we were free to go. I think I could get used to these Swedish schools pretty quick! 😉
Today we started at 9:10 again with Social Studies. My teacher introduced herself and talked about the rubric for grade in her class and different topics we would be learning about. Since the class is about politics and human rights in Sweden and in the world, she gave us a paper with a few different options of topics where we chose which three we would like to learn about most. The schools here in Sweden try and let the students choose the topics and books they would like to learn about as much as possible to make sure the students are engaged in lessons.
On one of our breaks, she came up to me and said that I would be able to get a textbook in English and that she would give me all my tests in English and Swedish in the beginning so I could ease my way into the language. I’m excited to really begin working in this class because I feel like we will get to learn about interesting topics where we can voice our opinions and have conversations about what we are learning.
When I got home, Mamma was making “pancakes,” what we call crepes in the US, for lunch. I tried to learn how to fry the batter but I think I should stay away from that job for a while because mine did not turn out very good. The raspberries and homemade whipped cream that we put on them made up for the struggling shape of the pancake. Tonight, an annual festival was going on in downtown Södertälje so we decided to bike over and see what was going on.
Here in Sweden, you use the car as little as possible. Walking to the grocery store or to school, taking the train to Stockholm or to the movies, riding the bus to go shopping, biking to work, almost never the car. You often have to pay to park almost anywhere so it is much easier to take public transportation instead. Since there is little to no public transportation in Tampa, I am so fascinated by how easy it is to just hop on the train and get to where you need to be. I’m still not quite sure how it all works but I hope to be able to navigate it very soon.
We walked around for a little while seeing what different games and rides had been set up before sitting down to wait for the first concert of the night by a Swedish rapper named Albin. We didn’t watch long because we were all hungry and wanted to get some food before the second concert. We got back just in time to see Loreen, a past Swedish Eurovision winner, perform. All of her songs were in English so it was so fun to jump around to her pounding music and pretend to know the lyrics to her songs.
After a busy and exciting week, I am completely exhausted and cannot keep my eyes open another minute. I am off to bed for our late night tomorrow! I will tell you all about it in my next blog, god natt!!