Unusual week and university fun

This week was a little different from the ones before …

First of all, on Monday it was my birthday. Nothing special, happens every year. I woke up too late (some people somehow love writing birthday texts right after midnight, making me wake up again … or keep me from falling asleep, in this case) and my darling came over bringing me my favourite breakfast baked goods, a rose – and tickets for a great a capella band, for their concert next month, right after my last class before christmas :) The day at university proceeded more or less normal, on Mondays I have only one class, so I was home pretty early (but not very productive.)

On Tuesday I had to get up early for my Finnish class – and one of the girls handed me this small cake (it was more like a huge, cake-shaped muffin^^), and some chocolates, I was really happy. And you see, all my life I felt like people mostly either hated me or just didn’t realize I exist. This girl has known me for one month and comes from a broken family, stuck in a more or less hopeless situation, and still she gives so much (she also was the one making scans of the vocabulary book for me when I was more or less broke and didn’t want to buy it).

On Wednesday, I had two premieres. #1: I had to supervise a small test in the group I’m usually tutoring in intermediate Swahili. #2: Doing some “fieldworks” myself. Okay, another guy from the Monday class  was with me, but I had initiated the session, prepared the questionary and borrowed a recording device from our professor – and I was the one who was more or less leading the elicitation. So we were sitting there in a room with our informant from Cameroon (who really is doing his PhD at our university and earning some extra money by simulating fieldworks with us), and trying to find out how pronouns and tense markings work in this one language, by making him tell us sentences like “He calls me. He calls you. He calls him. … You called me some minutes ago / some hours ago / a long time ago …” All nicely captured on audio file with the English parts mostly in my squeaky voice with weird pronounciation. And I’ll have to listen to it over and over again tomorrow to complete my transcriptions. Ick.

Today was a funny day. Finnish was okay-ish. Then, when I went to another building for a seminary, there was this electronic pig-plush walking around in the entrance area! No clue whom it belonged to, most people were ignoring it, but me being me wanted to know where it came from and if I could keep it ;) It was a pretty surreal situation, all the students standing or walking around, talking, and this toy just walking around making noises and shaking its tail every now and then. I was already on my way to the elevators when my fellow student K. found me and inspired me to take a picture of our new furry friend. First she thought I had brought the pig … or something like that :D

And Yiddish class was really funny today, whe learned answers to the question about one’s wellbeing. Ok, I guess it ony is funny for speakers of German. “Vos makhstu?” – “Freg nikht!” / “Me shlept sikh.” And we listened to music again. Yay. That’s how I like my last university day of the week to end – Friday is my homework day.

Oh, and it was confirmed I may take a vacational semester to study in Africa if I like, and there is even a possible way to get credit points for the courses there. Just need to find out whether I would find some source of money for this whole thing. But I could also do a payed internship for 3-6 months. We’ll see!


Update on no shampoo, university, and aspirations of simple living

I’ve neglected this blog for a while because of various reasons, like being in university for 10 hours (plus commuting …) twice a week and lots to do on the other days. And of course not having anything of interest to write about. So this is going to be a threefold update of sorts.

No shampoo: After caving in and using shampoo during some weekends not spent at home (and on the days afterwards) I quickly got back to using baking soda and vinegar, because I don’t like the feeling and the smell of shampoo washed hair anylonger – even when it’s my  nice, natural, and silicone free shampoo with just a slight smell of pomegranade. So I’ll just keep buying baking soda and experimenting with essential oils. Darling is okay with my hair smelling more natural with a note of vinegar and lemongrass. Cheers.

University: Eighteen hours of class a week don’t sound much at all, I think. But these few hours cause quite a lot of work! For example gathering the essays on my reading list, either they are stored in some weird department libraries on the fifth floor with a photocopying machine in the cellar/basement, or they are already digital and online, but printing them takes an hour because of insane queues on the computers and on the few printing stations. And of course it takes even longer to read all these writings. Paper. Lots of paper. But all in all I’m quite happy with my classes, and I also found some nice people, one of the girls even lives nearby, so sometimes we can go home by train together. I’m attending two seminaries about African language and linguistics again, this time it’s fieldworks, and the genetic classification of languages. Oh, and I’m learning Finnish and Yiddish, while attending lectures from the English and German studies. Diversity, huh? :D

Minimalism/simple living: More or less on hold, for reason see above. But I’m trying to use up stuff I stored, or give it away. For example I gave some opened but never emptied bottles of shampoo to a friend of mine, as well as some powdered sauce etc I don’t want to eat because it contains iodized salt. I was recommended to cut back on iodide, so I try to avoid all additional sources of it, as I still like eating a bit of meat, yoghurt or an egg every now and then, all of them containing more than enough iodide because it’s put in the animal’s food. I kept some of the shampoo I’m not going to use on my head, but it’s pretty good for shaving my legs – or washing smelly feet (or even socks) after a long day all spent in shoes. Haha. I’m also trying to chuck out some clothing, so I cleared one shelf in my closet, which I’m going to fill with things I rarely wear (exceptions: dressy dress and friends), so what will still be in there untouched when I move out again in March will be given away. But all in all I still long for a simpler life, because I notice how too much stuff makes me panic – especially when I turn around, knock something down, and a whole cascade follows while I’m still trying to do what I was doing in the first place while putting back item number one. I don’t like feeling angry and panic-ish, so either I need more place, or less stuff. Option number two sounds better, as money is tight, and I’d also love to go on a semester abroad, so the fewer to carry around the less trouble in the future.

Gotta find a good solution for a semester (or two) abroad, or a way to change university maybe, I think it would be a good thing not to study for five years in only one place.