Shout it from the rooftops

Another eventful week comes to an end.

This week I’ve been stressing around quite a bit as usual. Weirdly enough, I was in school a total of three full schooldays, out of which I did visit the student counselor once. As all sorts of counseling in my life so far have ended up as disaster, I didn’t have high expectations. It went alright, not really any counseling but I did get some outside-of-school-activities recognized as coursework and so I don’t have to attend any of the optional courses. Yay.

I also canceled my last free dentist-appointment in Porvoo because I’m not allowed to go there since I moved. And after a lot of calling around I managed to book myself another appointment here in Helsinki for next Tuesday.

And as I study at a vocational college, on my second year out of three, I naturally take the final exams of the General Upper Secondary this spring. No. Not natural at all. They’re meant to take gradually in the autumn and mainly in the spring of your third and last year in the academic education. Vocational students that strive to take a double examination however usually go to all the ten courses offered, then to some extra evening courses and then they write 2 subjects in the spring of their third year and 2 in the autumn after they’ve graduated.

But then there is me, and as a principle I don’t do as I am expected to. After taking 4 of the offered courses, I signed up to write four subjects this spring, two of which I haven’t had a single course. And this Friday I sat down quietly in a big gym together with almost 60 others to take the first, 6 hour long test. It’s the first part of the Swedish exam, something they call “text competence”. It’s basically a shorter essay analyzing the shit out of some random material. You answer three questions out of five in six hours, you can’t bring anything with text on it into the room and you need a lot of food and water.

For a vocational student, I’d say the hardest part was to learn how to behave while taking the exam. If you drop a pen, you need the teacher to come and pick it up. If you need to use the bathroom, a teacher escorts you to and from the door. Tampons, food, pens and reading glasses are to be kept on a trey and are gone through before entering the room. All sorts of things.

I answered the first question, to analyze the role of time in a short story by Ernest Hemingway, the second question, to analyze whit what a old former president used in his speech after the Winter War to make it all catchy and striking, and the fourth question, to compare two book covers and the methods used to promote these. In my opinion it went well and I’m satisfied with my answers. Then the big question is whether or not the The Matriculation Examination Board (which corrects the tests) will like them. In this first part of the Swedish test, you’re not really supposed to think by yourself but more just answer the question in the very typical way that questions like this are taught to be answered in.  However I rarely like to do what you are expected to, so I’ll either get full points for standing out or 0 points for not answering properly. I don’t know, and to be honest I don’t even need to care.

The day was a lot of fun though, and I’m already looking forward to Monday, when I’m taking the first part of the English test, a listening comprehension. Next month I’ll continue with a written English part containing an essay, a written Swedish part which is an essay, and a written Social studies test that I don’t know much about and a math test. My poor right hand. It’s not used to writing with a pen on paper.

Yesterday after the exam, Emil came over with a bottle of wine. We cooked and hang out, and then Mira and Janita joined us. Emma from my school also showed up and we had quite a blast. Mira and Emil stayed over and Emil and I even got to take a walk around the neighbourhood while talking about and remembering the interrail. Can you believe that it’s already over a year since we started planning and 7 months since we left!

Jooa came over to work a bit on the International Affairs of FSS before heading to a meeting with the other International Officers of the School-Student Unions SAKKI and SLL. We had an extremely efficient meeting and got a lot of good ideas and solved some issues, as well as developed some plans and strategies for future co-operation. Right now I’m looking forward to a meeting with the Nordic School-Student’s Network NSSN in Copenhagen later this month and the OBESSU Convention on Education and Work in Brussels in May.

After the meeting I cleaned my apartment and then Elina showed up. We cooked and dreamed about more traveling, watched pictures and googled flight prices. She just fell asleep and I’ll be snoozing in a second as well. Everything is kind of amazing right in this second.


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