Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Happy Anniversary - 5 Years!

Wow, I can't believe this blog has been running for 5 years! Quite amazing!
This entry will be sort of a good bye entry though, as I have explained earlier I am moving my main blog and will be writing a Swedish blog, along with a Swedish website - I have launched them both today.

I could never delete this blog, so it will still be here, and if I should feel like it at some point, I might make an entry or two - but like I said, I will mostly focus on my Swedish sites now.

I just have to make a note, that on these five years we have reached 36 573 visitors! Unbelievable! And THANK YOU!


För er som läser svenska, kommer här adresserna till min nya hemsida och min nya blogg.
Hemsidan, *jessica alm online * finner ni här: http://www.jessica-alm.se
Bloggen, som också den heter Another Day - Another Destiny, finner ni här: http://jessica-alm.blogspot.com
Hoppas vi ses där!

Sunday, 11 September 2011


I do apologize for the lack of entries in the blog lately ... Things are extremely intense in my life right now - and I feel more and more that I'm making the right decision in moving to a new blog in Swedish only. I simply don't have the energy to try to explain everything that goes on in my life in a foreign language right now - and therefore I also don't quite feel up to blogging. It feels like I'm not doing it properly when I can't really write about what goes on and what's on my mind ...

Just thought I'd make an entry letting you know I'm still alive though - even though certain days I hardly feel alive at all ...
I still hope, with everything that is going on now, I will be able to release the new website and blog on September 20 - and I am fairly sure I can promise more regular and proper blog updates there.

At the moment I'm trying to write my thesis, attend meetings and seminars, attend lectures for the course where I'm mentor as well as leading mentor meetings - and I'm also planning a trip to the summerhouse, and it looks like some pretty major will happen in my life later this fall, but it's still a bit of a secret! ;)
I am, needless to say, keeping very busy - and it's making me very tired ...
For now, you'll have to make good with this update....

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Intense But Good!

Whoa, this semester sure has started off in an intense way, that's for sure!
Still, it's probably the best start of a semester I've had in a great long while, so I'm not complaining about the intensity! :)

Where do I start?
Monday morning was the introduction to the Bible Studies course where I am mentor, so I was going to give them a little information regarding the mentor activity and invite them to the first meeting. Obviously I have done this before (though on another course) and I do know what to say, but I'm still very nervous and anxious about these things, so I didn't sleep much and was up before dawn trying to prepare myself as best I could.

Everything worked smoothly, I had a moment to tell the teacher I wanted a few minutes and it was fine with her - but it was a large group, they were between 25 and 30 students ... On the Hebrew course they usually start out around 15 and end up being 10 ... sort of! :) But I have to say that I don't think my anxiety increased because it was a larger group, and I guess that is a good thing! I think it is the fact that I'm standing up in front of people with all attention directed at me that is the problem, not whether it's six or twelve or fifty people.

So anyway, a lot of information first, from the student counsellor, from the NT teacher and from the OT teacher - and then it was my turn! I think it went okay, pretty good ... I do know I tend to talk WAY to fast (because of the anxiety!), I find it very hard to slow down - and that's a bad thing ... but I think I got the information out that I needed, I got eye contact with a lot of the students etc. so it felt pretty good! :)
We had a bit more of a "usual lecture" toward the end and we were done around ten.

I was pretty exhausted afterwards and didn't quite know how to pass the time, but I ended up reading a few articles for my thesis and I think I at least understood some of it! Points for effort? :)

At 2 p.m. I was meeting with the professor, and it ended up being a pretty good meeting! I felt I knew a bit more about the subject than when I met him last, I had an idea on how to proceed and he approved it - so it was basically a question of detailing what needed to be done and what perspective to take on things. However ...
However, it turns out I'm going to have TONS to do now, I have to send him in a rough draft on September 25, and I have A LOT to do until then! And that does make me a bit nervous, I can't help that! Still, I enjoy doing it and I have the mentor activity to not get too caught up in stressing over my writing - and again, I REALLY have found my place, I love being around the Department and around the people there, so I just simply have to make sure I work as hard as I can during these weeks and hopefully I have accomplished something! :)

Tuesday was really NOT a good day, so I'm just going to not say anything about that - and instead move on to yesterday, Wednesday.

Basic plan was lectures 8-10, first mentor meeting 10-11 and sort of an introductory meeting for students taken (some) advanced level courses and/or writing advanced level essays at 1.
For various reasons (Tuesday was NOT a good day!) I had not been able to prepare much at all during Tuesday, so again I was up at the crack of dawn, trying to get a structure for the first mentor meeting. At first it felt impossible, but I finally managed to work something out, that I also hopefully will be able to use on other meetings, and I left for Uni around 7.
When I got there I was going to fix the coffee and stuff for the mentor meeting, and met another mentor there, who was doing the same thing! :)
She was almost done and when she left, the NT teacher showed up. I know who he is, we say Hello, but I haven't really talked to him, and since I'm going to be mentor on the NT-part as well, I thought this would be a good opportunity to break the ice. We started talking and really hit it off, which was great. He was very curious about how things had been during the first lecture, how I felt about the mentor activity on the course ... so we ended up talking for quite a while. Until I realized that it was 8.12 - and the lecture started at 8.15! Yikes!
I rushed up to the lecture and got there just in time - very interesting lecture, the teacher is fantastic! During the break I went back and got the coffee and things done, and the other half of the lecture was aimed more at getting the students talking and discussing, which I think is great!

We were done at 10 and I called out that we'd have the mentor meeting in the adjoining room. I went there with all my stuff and then went back to see if people would be coming or not! And they did! :) I think we ended up being 11 students, which felt like a pretty good turnout actually, even though I am used to smaller groups!
I gave some basic information and we spent the meeting basically just talking. They got to introduce themselves and we talked about the course and the lectures and the literature ... I have a lot of feelings about the meeting myself, but I don't think this is the place to air them actually.
Still, it felt like a good meeting, as an introduction, and I think and hope I will see these students on the other meetings as well.

I tried to read a bit for my thesis during my break, but it was really slow and I had a bit of a headache. I did manage to organize a mentor meeting schedule to go up on the notice board (which I should have done Monday *oops*), and then I met E, who joined me as mentor last year - she was going to the advanced level introduction-thingy too. We ended up talking and more and more students joined me, a lot of them people I haven't seen in a great long while, so it was really nice catching up with them again.

The introduction-thing was ... I don't know ... I think it's GOOD, really, they are organizing writing-support-groups for students, where you can discuss your writing, comment on texts etc., and they have just general meetings for advanced level students where they try to invite people to talk about different things and so on ... and I know that is really great, but I kind of feel out-of-it. I know a few of the students, sure, but since my studies have been made complicated for oh-so-many reasons, I don't feel like I belong in a group like this - I have taken the same courses they have, or in the same order, I am the only one writing in my subject, which is pretty small and specialized, so I'm not sure how many constructive comments I can get on it ...
I will try to attend, if nothing else to show my general interest in the Department, in a way, but I don't feel very enthusiastic about it ...

I was going to take a train home around 2.45 - only to find out there had been an electrical failure and all train traffic was stopped for a while. My usual trip home (on the train) is 15 minutes ... yesterday it took me 1½ hours ... yay! Not!

I'm exhausted today, and I probably won't go to Uni, but I still need to get things done, so I'm hoping I can work on that during the day! :)

Oh yeah, I just have to say THANK YOU to all my visitors, we have hit 36,000 now, since September 20, 2006!!
I'm very happy we reached that since this blog will (almost) stop on September 20! :)
Thanks again!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Intense start!

Feels like this semester sure got off with a bang ... I'm not complaining though, I love being where I am in my life right now, but when a lot of stuff happens at the same time, I tend to be a little nervous about how to cope with everything!

First things first, at the beginning of last week I found I will be able to work as a mentor again, during the first half of this semester! :) It won't the Hebrew course I've been working on before, but a course in Bible Studies, so first there is five weeks Old Testament studies, then five weeks New Testament studies.
We didn't know if were going to have a mentor at all on this course, and it was talks about having a part-time mentor on it (so I had figured that IF I would get it, I'd probably get to have about 4-5 mentor meetings during the entire course) - but when I got the email from my supervisor, it turns out I can have 10 (!) meetings! Cool! (And a little bit scary ...)

During the week, I think I have tried to do a "set-up" for at least the beginning of the semester, so even though I guess it hasn't been that busy, it feels like it, since I know what is to come! :)
I emailed the two Bible Studies-teachers, the OT teacher is the same as on the Hebrew course, I know her and very much enjoy working with her - I "sort of" know the NT teacher too, but I emailed him and properly introduced myself, and we'll be having a meeting about a week before his course starts.
I met the OT teacher on Thursday, and while I had been a bit nervous about working as a mentor since this would be a "new" course for me (I took it myself about 3½ years ago), most of my nervousness went away with that meeting. I became really inspired and motivated and I really hope I can do a good job as a mentor on this course as well!

After that meeting, we had a lunch meeting with all the mentors as the Department and our supervisors, signed contracts etc. It was a nice meeting and we also got lists of the students that probably will take the courses where we are mentors - and I have 28 names on my list! Yikes! The Hebrew group usually ends up being 12-14, so say 6-7 on mentor meetings! :)
Will be a bit of challenge to see how large the mentor group will be on this course!

I also emailed the OT professor as I need to talk to him about my master's thesis, see that I'm going in the right direction with that ...

So next week WILL be busy:
Monday morning, introduction to the Bibles Study course, where I need to introduce myself and the mentor activity (hopefully things will work out with schedules too, I made one last week, but I still haven't heard back from the lady who'd make sure we had a room to be in!).
On Monday afternoon I'm meeting with the professor, so I feel I should have something to say to him as well, which takes some preparations.

Nothing planned on Tuesday except for studies and I have to have a talk to the building supervisor where I live about a few things that aren't working properly.

Wednesday morning, it's Bible Studies lectures and straight after that, the first mentor meeting ... So that takes some preparation too, and of course I'm hoping it will be okay, with a decent turnout.
Right after lunch I have to "registration roll call" (or whatever you're supposed to call it) - basically it's students taking Advanced Level courses (sort of) and writing Advanced Level essays that needs to be registered - and these events are always SO messy ... so I can't say that I'm looking forward to that either, to be honest.

Thursday, no plans apart from my own studies, but on Friday it's time for the first Bible Studies seminar, and after that I'm having lunch with a friend ...

And I might have forgotten a few things ... *phew*

This ended up being quite a long entry, but I would like to finish off by saying a bit more about my upcoming internet project(s).
I have been getting a few comments regarding the fact that I will be switching from English to Swedish with the release of my new website and blog - and I have also started going more Swedish on Facebook. I have mixed feelings about this, but I have thought about it a lot.
I don't want to loose touch with my non-Swedish speaking friends, obviously, but I do find it very difficult to write in English these days.

When I started this blog, it was mostly focused on how I coped with everyday situations - I was coming back from sick leave, still had lots of anxiety and social phobia problems, and I found it almost easier to write in English, as I felt I almost "detached" myself a bit from my situation by writing in English and explaining things in more general terms.
Things have changed quite a bit for me during these past few years. I still struggle with anxiety from time to time, but right now my life is centred very much around the University, around my education, my situation there and all that that involves - and that makes it difficult to write in English.
I am not at all familiar with University and education terminology meaning I have to look up a lot of words when I'm writing a blog entry or updating my status on Facebook. Almost all the time I feel that I'm not getting a proper translation, meaning I constantly feel a need to explain and clarify what I mean - and to be honest, I'm not comfortable with that.
I also feel that my Swedish speaking friends some times miss out, because I am describing a situation they are very familiar with, but due to my translating it into English and they translating it back to Swedish, they sometimes don't get what I mean ...

Like I said, I don't want to loose touch with my friends, but I feel like that kind of contact might be held through Facebook messages and/or emails.

I have made my decision regarding this, and naturally I hope you all respect that. With this entry I just wanted to let you know that I'm not doing this on a whim, I have thought a lot about this and I have my reasons for it.
And you will be able to stay here with me at least until September 20 - and I am NOT deleting this blog - so there might be some English entries in the future as well! You'll never know! :)

Monday, 22 August 2011

Internet project!

I really should have made this entry yesterday, but 'better late than never', right? :)

I've been thinking about this new internet project for a while now, and finally the wheels are in motion. I am creating a brand new website, mostly a basic website about me, my interests and thoughts on various things, but I'm hoping to expand on that.
For instance; my 'The Flying Doctors'-website has basically been put on hold for years, and I am hoping to be able to release it under this new website I'm creating.

One thing about this website: It will be in Swedish.
Most likely, I will also create a blog connected to the site, which will also be in Swedish, and which will more or less replace this one.
The reason for this is the fact that I have lost contact with most of my non-Swedish-speaking friends and I'm not getting much general response from friends outside of Sweden these days - and therefore, an English website or an English blog seems superfluous ...

None of this is absolutely determined yet, and I might be convinced to change my mind - if I get enough response from people who would no longer be able to follow me (on website or blog) if I go all Swedish! :)

I am on Facebook, for my English-speaking friends, even though I'm considering going "more Swedish" there as well.
Basically, my reasons are these:
At the point where I'm at in life, I find it difficult to write everything in English. Most of my life at the moment centres around my education, my University studies and what goes on there, and I find it difficult to always explain our education system, our various courses, finding appropriate terminology for everything etc.
Add to this the fact that I feel like most of my readers and followers are Swedish friends.

But please, feel free to leave your comments and thoughts on what I have written here, whoever you are reading this blog - and I will certainly read your comments and take them into consideration.

This blog will turn 5 years old on September 20, and at the moment, I am thinking of releasing my new website and blog on that same date! :)
I will not delete this blog, and I might make an occasional entry here after September 20 as well - I won't abandon this blog as it has been a record of some very intense years in my life! :)

Again, feel free to leave your comments on this entry!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Difficult Week

This week has been rather difficult for me ... there are a lot of things going on in my head right now, and trying to sort them out and at the same time get my "practical life" working, it's not just easy ...

I have been struggling and even though I can't say I have been doing really well, I think I have seen some minor improvements as the week went by, and I guess that is a good thing and something to keep working on.

I've been doing a lot of photo projects lately, ordering tons of photos, marked them and put in albums but also computer related photo projects like digital scrapbooking. It's a lot of fun and it helps me relax a bit, which I think I need at times! :)

I'm having a lot of thoughts on a future (quite large) internet project, I will think some more and hopefully get back with an entry on that later today!

Monday, 15 August 2011

9 months. Loved Always. Missed Forever.

I can't quite grasp the fact that it's been nine months since I said goodbye to Zorro and walked out of the pet clinic alone ... I know they say grieving takes time, and I am living through that now, but I am amazed at how crystal clear all my thoughts and memories of Zorro are.
I'm not complaining, quite the opposite!! Right after he died I was SO scared that the memory of him would eventually fade away, and I am realizing that is not the case.
But sometimes I'm almost frightened at how intense the memories are ... mostly when I go to bed at night. Since I got back home after the summer I haven't been sleeping well, and every night when I turn the lights out, no matter how tired I am, I am thrown into some virtual reality or a huge 360 degrees movie theatre where I'm seeing Zorro ... and not just seeing him, I can see every detail of his fur, I can see his teeth, I see the black little spot he had in his eye and the green insurance marker they stapled his ear with. I can hear him in surround sound, and I feel his body against mine, I feel his soft fur on my hands, I feel his tongue licking my face, I feel his paws on my shoulders when we were hugging.

It is difficult to deal with the grief when the memories of Zorro are still so vivid and alive - and yet, like I said, I wouldn't have it any other way.

I always knew we had a strong bond between us. Already when my Mum had both Zorro and his brother Zimba, I always got along better with Zorro, for some reason. And the bond between us has only grown stronger and stronger over the 10½ years we got together. I knew we had something special between us, and I think I tried to value the time we had and tried not to waste it - but it's just now, after he's passed away, that I'm realizing just how strong the bond between us was.
We always had each other, and in a way we were quite alike. I am a very private person, and while I have become more outgoing lately, there are certain things I cannot share with ANYONE ... but in a way I shared them with Zorro (of course, I didn't outright talk to him about them but we still shared them in a way). And Zorro was very social and outgoing and loved having people around him ... but he never relaxed in anyone's lap but mine, and he never ever purred with anyone except with me.
So when it was rough for one, or both, of us, we had this; "It's us against the world"-thing, and I don't think I quite realized that until after he was gone ...

While the grief sometimes is knocking me to my knees (both figuratively and literally speaking!), I still hope the memory of Zorro will always be as alive and as clear in my mind as it is right now. I feel like I owe him that.

R.I.P. My Love.
Zorro - 5 July 1997 ~ 15 November 2010
Loved Always.
Missed Forever.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Settling In Difficulties

As usual when I've been away for the summer (well, almost anyway) I find it difficult to get back into my life. I know it's like that every year but it still bothers me a lot - actually more now than before as I have some plans for the future and I would like to start putting things into action.
I apologize for the vagueness but I'm still not sure what will happen so I don't want to divulge too much, just in case I won't reach the goals I'm setting for myself. I will however get back to this in the future, IF things seem to be going in the right direction. :)

I'm hoping to get started with a more active part of my life tomorrow, which includes this and that - I'm hoping I'll be able to go Uni and get started on my master's thesis again. I probably have to email the professor in about two weeks and it would definitely be good to feel I have gotten a fair bit of work done before then.
There are also a number of things I want/need/shall do and fix now, that has been set aside over the summer, so hopefully I can discipline myself enough to really get it done!

I am also thinking about an internet project now, but I will get back to you on that later on. I think I'm going to need my friends and blog followers point of views and ideas for this, so stay tuned! :)

Friday, 12 August 2011

Summer 2011

Finally it's time for a general update on the summer of 2011, so I can get started on this autumn later on.

Like I said in my previous entry, I have to say that overall this summer has been a really good one! There are a number of reasons for that, I think, but as they are very personal both to me and to people close to me, I won't say anymore. After all, the important thing is that the summer has been pretty good.
The most difficult part has of course been coping with the first summer without Zorro! As I wrote here earlier, the first time I got to the summerhouse without him I basically collapsed, and it has been a lot of more difficult to handle than I had expected.
Even though it was quite an ordeal for Zorro to travel to the summerhouse, I think he really liked it there, and he came to really fit in there. It was wonderful seeing him being able to be outside (as I only have a small balcony where I live) and even though I had him on a leash, it was really long so he could move around a lot!
I also at times feel very much alone when I am visiting my Dad's family. After all, they are a family and while they are all for including me, fact is: I'm not a part of their family, not in that "intimate" way anyway. And I really don't want to be either, to be honest ... I want to be able to visit them and spend time with them and enjoy their company, but I am a grown woman and at the moment, I am my own family. Earlier, Zorro was my family. It was him and me, and when things got really intense we always had each other, at nights and early in the mornings, we could really spend quality time together - and now I have had to deal with the intensity all on my own ...

It has been great spending time with my sisters again - they grow a lot and I have to say that it feels good to see them play well together. That does take a bit of the pressure off their big sister (LOL!) and it's great that they have such a good relationship. Sure, they argue at times and then it can get pretty bad, but mostly, they get on great together - and they grow SO fast!!

Finishing off with a few photos from the summer.
First some nature photos:

And some of my gorgeous sisters:

One day we went to a rather large zoo, which was a lot of fun and we got to see some beautiful animals.

The girls got to go pony riding and that was a BIG HIT, let me tell you! Don't they look great?

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Back For Good!

I came back home yesterday and it feels fantastic to be back home again. I have to say that this summer has been better than a lot of other summers and it was difficult to say good bye to everyone yesterday morning, even though I at the same time feel thrilled to be back where I am supposed to be again! :)

I know I have a difficult autumn ahead of me now, where a lot of things has to be done, a lot of things has to fall into place and I have to take on a lot of challenges, but I'm still very much looking forward to getting stuck into it, and hopefully I will be able to work hard and make things work as good as possible.

I also hope I can get this blog back to what it used to be, in the "good old days"! :) I do like the blog and I don't like the fact that so much time passes between updates and also the irregularity of my entries! I would like to see entries on a daily basis, but I guess I'd better play it safe and not give any guarantees! :)
I will try to - as usual! :) - make a few 'come-back-entries' now, both on things having happened during the summer, but also on what lies ahead, and then we'll just have to take it from there.

I hope you all had a great summer!!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Difficult Times

I've been going through a few difficult days now, which is why I haven't been blogging. I'm trying to make a lot of changes in my life, and they are not easy to make. I'm learning some hard truths about myself, and that isn't always easy either. Therefore I am struggling a lot with myself and my attitude to a lot of things in my life now and that is taking a lot of energy.
I know this is the right thing to do right now, I am at a time and place in my life where I need to make these changes, and I also think I am mature enough and have come far enough to actually make them - but like I said earlier, they don't come easy, that's for sure.

I'm trying to maintain my normal life at the same time, meaning I am often very tired and bordering on exhausted, and I just hope I can see this through. I know that all of this will be put on pause when I go back to the summerhouse, because when I'm there and when I'm spending time with my families, I simply cannot work with myself the way I can when I'm at home. Therefore I'm also hoping to come as far as possible now, before going back there - but I still don't know when that will be.
My Dad and his family will come here for a few days first, sort of a mini-vacation, and then we'll all go back together, but they haven't decided on when they're going to come here yet - they have a lot on their plate and there's also the weather to consider - we can't be cooped up in my little apartment, all five of us, if it constantly rains ...

I'm hoping to be able to do a bit more of blogging before going back to the summerhouse, but a lot depends on how I'm feeling.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Sad Day ...

5 July 1997 ~ 5 July 2011
This would have been Zorro's 14th birthday.

My thoughts have been with Zorro all day today, and I still feel very sad and very upset that I've lost him. I know it was a long time ago, and I know that I'm coping with my life, but as soon as I allow myself to think about him, I get all torn up inside. I still, after all this time, can't grasp the fact that I'll never ever see him again, that I'll never be able to touch him, to hold him, to hear him ...

I figured, before this happened, that I'd be devastated once I had to get used to life without Zorro - after all, I did have time to "get used to" the idea, as Zorro was quite old when he died. But not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined how difficult it would be!!
I don't think it took me very long to realize and accept Zorro's death - but I still haven't been able to realize and accept my life without him ... there is actually a great difference between the two ...

As I was going through my digital photos today, I was sad to see there are hardly any photos of me and Zorro together! :( I know my Mum took some photos about 7 years ago, but that was before I had a digital camera so I don't have those pictures in the computer ... apart from that there are very few photos actually ... and most of the ones I have are pictures of me and Zorro with my Dad and his family, where all of us are standing together - so I basically have to crop the photos a lot to get just me and Zorro! :(
I'll share pretty much all of these photos I have (I think there might be one or two more, but I'm not sure ...).

Monday, 4 July 2011

The Flying Doctors

Those of you who have know me quite a long time know that some ten to fifteen years ago I was totally, and I mean TOTALLY, into the Australian TV show "The Flying Doctors". For a number of years I ran a fairly successful website about the show, and I even met one of the actors, Christopher Stollery in 2001!
As time went by, my interest sort of cooled off a little. I still think it's an amazing TV show, but I'm quite as hooked on it as I was back then.

When I received the Honorary Diploma for extraordinary achievements within SI my Mum decided to give me the entire Flying Doctors DVD Set, containing all 9 seasons!!!! Such an amazing gift!!!!!
I've watched the first two seasons so far, and I'm quickly realizing why I was so taken by this show earlier! I'm actually even thinking of bringing my old website back to life again, although that will be a long term project, and I'm not giving any guarantees at all!!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Big Girls!

Not having seen my little sisters since early February it was quite a surprise to see how grown up they are ... time sure flies by fast!!

M is almost 7 years old now, it's hard to realize! I still remember getting to hold her in the hospital when she was 27 hours old!! Incredible!
She's gone to "school" for a year now (I think it's something in between the "real" school and pre-school that Swedish 6-year-olds can attend, and I think that has made her grow up a lot. The way she moves and talks is quite different and she is really intelligent! She reads children's books fluently now, and it's not uncommon that she crawls up in a bed or a couch and reads to her little sister - so adorable! :)

I is 4½ years old now, and that's also hard to take in. She's been the "baby" for so long, I am constantly amazed by the fact that she is a very bright and beautiful little girl now! She looks up to her little sister a lot and she's starting to read as well now! Now very long words and still only upper case letters, but I still think that's pretty impressive for a 4½-year-old!! Also, if you give her a word, say up to six or seven letters long, she can spell it out for you!

They really play well together now, which is lovely to see. Of course, they don't always get a long and sometimes they argue quite a lot, but for the most time they are best friends and stick together - and with them playing so well together it takes some of the pressure off me! :) They still very much want me to be with them, but they accept that I sometimes have to do other things as they can always play with each other!

Some photos of the "Big Girls"! :)

Friday, 1 July 2011

Back Home Again!

After about two weeks in the summerhouse, I'm back home for a few weeks now - then I'm going back again! :-)

It's been intense times, so I'm fairly tired now, today has been a very slack day indeed, but I'm feeling a bit better now, so I'm hoping to get stuck into a lot of things tomorrow.

I spent about a week in the summerhouse by myself first, and it was actually a very difficult time for me. It was the first time I was there since Zorro passed away and I was instantly moved back to November again. I don't think I've ever been in the summerhouse without him since around 2002, and it was more difficult than I could have imagined. We had deliberately planned it so I would be out there by myself first, and I think that was a good decision, I could never have coped to be there with my Dad and his whole family straight away.

I tried to keep busy by working outside, but the weather wasn't exactly co-operating with me as it rained heavily almost the entire time ... I did get a bit of work done but I was also left thinking a lot inside ... not that I think that's a bad thing, I think I really needed it - but I won't deny I felt pretty awful.

My Dad and his family came out to the summerhouse the day before Midsummer and it was great seeing them all again, of course. The girls have grown SO much (but then again, I hadn't seen them since February!), and they are wonderful to be around, even though I sometimes find it a bit difficult to adapt to the intensity it brings being around an entire family like that.

On Midsummer's Day I took a train to visit my Mum, and it was wonderful to see her again. We had a lot of catching up to do as she's had some problems with her phone lately, so we haven't been able to talk to each other much for a while. I went back to the summerhouse on Sunday evening, and spent the coming three days there with Dad and the rest of the "gang".

We went to "town" (where they live) on Wednesday afternoon and early yesterday morning, I went home. It was quite a long trip, I think mostly because I was completely exhausted. It felt really wonderful when I arrived home, but I was SO tired!

Unfortunately I didn't sleep very well tonight, so I've been very tired today as well, and I haven't really gotten a lot of things done, mostly little things. Still, I think it's understandable after the intense times that have been.
I am trying to accomplish a lot of changes in my life at the moment, and I know I can't work at that 100% when I'm not in my usual environment but now I'm getting a few weeks here so starting tomorrow I will try to get stuck into that!

Sharing some photos from the summerhouse - and I have a few more blog entries to go through, not sure if I'll have the energy tonight but otherwise they'll be here tomorrow!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Chaos and Change!

I haven't been feeling very well late, and it seems the more I've been trying, the more chaotic things have become.
I will be going to the summerhouse tomorrow, for about two weeks, and I'm hoping that a change of scenery will change this downward spiral I feel I'm stuck in right now - and as usual I have no internet access when I'm in the summerhouse.

We haven't made plans for the summer yet, but I'm hoping to go now, stay for about two weeks, then come back home for about three weeks, then go back for about three weeks, before coming home for good ... but nothing has been settled yet, so we'll just have to wait and see ...

I will try to update the blog when I get the chance ....

Take care for now!

Monday, 13 June 2011

10 Year Anniversary!

Yes, yesterday was a bit of an anniversary for me, as it was 10 years ago I moved to southern Sweden! (Skåne) I basically felt a bit like I needed to break free, to start standing on my own two feet (better late than never?) and on top of that I wanted to start studying Theology, and the two major cities to do that then was Lund and Uppsala - so it was Lund.

Apparently things didn't go too well at the beginning, and after about six months here I ended up on sick leave - for four years!! Still, no matter how difficult it was, I never even contemplated moving back ... I think something has always told me this was the place where I am supposed to be, and now, ten years later, I'm certain of that!! I really really feel good here, I feel I have found my place and even though things aren't always perfect (duh!) I really don't want to leave here unless I have to! :)

I took a 2 hour walk yesterday even to try to think a few things through, as there is a lot of things going on now, and some things aren't working out so great - and after that walk, and a lot of thinking and personal writing this morning, I think I do feel a little better. And I have to share some photos from my walk - I just love living my the ocean! :-)

This week is REALLY intense, I have to finish a report on my master's thesis by Wednesday, as I have a meeting with the professor on Thursday, and early Friday morning I go to the summerhouse. First stay will be about two weeks, then I'll go back here for a while, before going back there again. So I also have to clean my apartment, do laundry, book tickets, go to the Bank - and then some ...
I guess I'd better get on with it thought, right? :)
I hope I can make a few more entries here before I leave, because then I'll be basically without internet access for two weeks ...

Thursday, 9 June 2011

11 years!

Today is a bit of a sad day for me.
Exactly 11 years ago, Zorro came to live with me, and of course I think about him a lot!! My Mum had gotten both Zimba and Zorro but after she moved and the cats were let out on a netted porch, things started to go badly ... I have always suspected that Zorro had an over-production of some hormone, like adrenaline or testosterone, because he tended to be a bit more hyper than was really normal.
This showed itself for example by the fact that he couldn't be around other cats (except for his brother, Zimba) ... he went really crazy when he saw another cat. And when they were out on the porch and another cat would come by, Zorro obviously couldn't get at the 'intruder', so he lashed out at the one he could get at: Zimba. The fights turned really nasty and we decided I would take Zorro and Mum would keep Zimba - and in retrospect, I think it was the best thing we could have done, for all four of us!
I actually "bought" Zorro from my Mum, she got four Swedish Crowns for him, one Crown for each paw! :-) And he moved in with me on June 9, 2000 ...

I remember being really scared he wouldn't adapt properly and that he'd feel neglected, so I basically spent the first couple of days carrying him around in my arms! Zorro and I had gotten along better than Zimba and I did, even when my Mum had them both, but I think Zorro and I really truly bonded during those days - after that he always wanted to be in my lap, he was usually laying on my arm like an infant! :-)7

I miss him so much! Every time I think of him, every time I see him in my head, feel his soft fur or wet nose, every time I hear him, it's like someone ran a knife through my heart. It's been nearly seven months now, and while I know that a lot can happen and that "time heals all wounds" and whatnot, I find it very difficult to see myself ever getting another cat. I'm not saying I'll never have animals again, but I can't see it being a cat ever again!

I think Zorro will always be THE Cat for me ...
I Will Always Love You.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The Place To Be

I just have to say I am absolutely amazed by the fact that I have so totally and completely found my place in life!
I'm not saying everything is perfect and I'm living in a dream world, but considering where I've been and where I come from, it's almost unbelievable that I now find myself in the place where I am right now! I realize I have put a lot of work into my life over the last 5-8 years or so, but I still find it fantastic to see how far it's gotten me - which was something I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined.

And no, nothing really special has happened today - I had an "unofficial meeting" (sort of) at Uni today and I guess that triggered this whole chain of thoughts ... because there's no place I'd rather be right now. I have been having some difficulties with certain things during the last few years, but overall, I can't believe the person I have become, and the response I'm getting from people around me, from people I care about and from people I admire.
I am trying hard right now to make a few changes in my life, and I really hope I'll be able to do that. Seeing now how great things really are, makes me even more motivated to actually change the things that aren't that great - and the fact is, most of those things are things that I CAN change! Sure, I'll have to apply myself and put a bit of effort into it, but I have a strong feeling it will be worth it many times over! :)

I am purposely being a bit vague in this entry, but I really don't feel comfortable being too specific about these things, as it also tends to involve other people ... but I still wanted to share this amazing feeling with you! :-)

The Social Arena

I don't know how many of the readers notice the labels of this blog, but I do have a label called "The Social Arena". Now, I started this blog back in 2006, and that label was then to indicate when I'd actually interacted socially. That was not so common back then, especially in situations outside the University, so I really felt I had to make a point of that when it happened.

Things have come a long way since then, and I now find that it's some times difficult to know when to use that label - as I now tend to interact socially quite a lot! :-)
Still I felt the title appropriate for this blog entry, as I have had two pretty intense days, socially speaking, this weekend.

On Sunday there was a family reunion on my Dad's side, to celebrate that my grandmother would have turned 100 years old. My Dad's sister had taken the initiative to that, she'd gathered almost her entire family in their summerhouse (which is not far from ours, and not far from where my grandmother lived), with children and grandchildren, and she'd also invited her siblings and their families.
It's a 6 hour trip, one way, for me, but I cared deeply for my grandmother, and my aunt and her family were very close to ours when I was a child (they have five children, my cousins, and they were almost like my older siblings when I grew up!), so I quickly decided I would go. My Dad would come as well, but not the rest of his family - and we knew nothing of the rest of my Dad's siblings (he has another sister and a brother as well, with children and grandchildren).

The trip north was okay, even though it was a bit hot to be stuck on a bus/train all day, and I met my Dad when I arrived. When we got to my aunt's, it turned out we were the only ones who would come, which actually made me quite disappointed ...
Still I had a really great time, even though we couldn't stay for very long. A lot of my cousins I hadn't seen for basically 10 years or more (!!) but I think we did create some sort of bond when we were kids, because I was more relaxed than I usually am in situations like that and I REALLY REALLY enjoyed seeing them all again!

My train back was leaving at 5 p.m. but was delayed, and I had a pretty tight connection in Gothenburg, so I was a bit worried about missing it ... Luckily the train managed to speed up a bit and we were "only" about 10 minutes late, so after a bit of running, I did make it to my bus! :) I wasn't home until 11 p.m. but despite being tired I was really happy I had gone through with the day, and that it had worked out so well.
I hope there will be more opportunities to meet up with them during the summer!

On Monday, which is a Swedish holiday, it was time for the annual "start-of-summer-at-Sofiero"-tradition! :-) I met Sara, Martin, Johanna, Per, Johanna and Mikael at Sofiero and it's really a gorgeous place to be at in the beginning of summer. We all had a lot to carry so we didn't walk around much, but went straight to our usual spot! This tradition is really fabulous, and this is actually the fourth year we're doing it - I, Sara and Johanna have been there every time but we've had different companions each year, I think! :-)

Yesterday I didn't feel well at all, I was in bed most of the day with a nasty headache (no hangover though, as I left Sofiero at 7 p.m. and didn't have much to drink at all, I blame the headache on the weather!), but now I'm going to try to make a final rush on my thesis before "summer"! :-)

Monday, 6 June 2011

Happy Birthday Grandmother!

I would like to dedicate this blog entry to my Grandmother (Dad's side), who would have turned 100 years old today!

She was indeed a fantastic lady, who made the most out of a difficult life! She passed away after many many years of illness and injuries in 1995, but she gathered a lovely family around her and she lived to see four children, ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
I think what I remember most about her is her genuine and complete kindness in everything. She always put everyone else before herself and always wanted to do what was best for everyone, I don't think she ever had a selfish thought in her.
When I was really little, she used to come out to us in the summerhouse (she didn't live very far from there) with her little car completely stacked with bread and she filled up our freezer! When I was about 5 or 6 I guess, we had gotten a little guest house and I had a blast when my grandmother used to come and she and I stayed in the guest house over night, while my Mum and Dad slept in the big house! :-) She used to bring candy, and we'd stay up really late ... eating candy AFTER having brushed our teeth! (A five-year-old's rebellious dream, right? LOL).

When I got older, like ten or something, I would take the bus from our home-town to my grandmother, who lived about one hour away - that was a big adventure for me! :-) My parents put me on the bus, and she'd come and get me, and I felt SO grown-up, having gone there all by myself!

I still miss her so much, even though it's been ... oh my God, it's been 16 years since she passed away!! I wish she knows how deeply appreciated and loved she was by everyone. I know we have a tendency to not express that clearly, and I know I didn't (I guess I could say I was "too young", even though I don't think that's really an excuse) - and I just wish she knows.

You are very loved and missed Grandmother!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Two Better Days ...

Thankfully the last two days have been better! :)

Even though I got a bit of a late start yesterday, I got to Lund and ordered some books at the library and then got some studying done. I was supposed to get some computer work done as well, which didn't really work out - but I ended up talking to a few really nice people and that's always nice! :)

Today hasn't been that productive, although I have gotten a few things done I have been meaning to do for a while. I have spent a lot of time thinking though, which I think is really good.
I sometimes need to really stop and think and find thinking patterns that will help me achieve what I want and need in my life - and I needed such a session today! So even though I do feel a little "guilty" about not doing more than I have, I still think I had a pretty good day.

Tomorrow will be a pretty busy day - I'll have to collect two books from the University Library, then spend some time at the Department and then I have a whole bunch of errands to run ... It will be quite a busy (long) weekend, so I have to prepare for that as best I can as well!

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Two Difficult Days ...

I have been having two rather difficult days now - I'm really not in a great shape at the moment, and am mostly hoping for a better tomorrow now ...

Yesterday was mostly strange, and most of what I did felt weird and wrong and generally strange. What did work out was a meeting with Elisabet to write our mentor report! We have to summarize the work we have done during the semester, a little about statistics and how we have felt regarding the mentor meetings and such, and it felt good to get that done. Now all we need to do is print it out and sign it, and then hand that and a few other things in to our supervisor.

I had a really long day yesterday, and I wasn't home until after 7 p.m., completely exhausted and with a headache ... which I think mostly came from the feeling of not getting done what I had planned and hoped.

And then I made a mistake, actually without even knowing about it! I have recently found some blogs of really old friends or acquaintances ... Some people I knew when I was a kid and from school, and now some of them have gotten "family blogs". I read one of them yesterday and basically broke down completely. I had forgotten the fact that I'd heard they had gotten two cats a while back, Somalis, just like Zorro was. And now there were photos of one of the cats with their baby boy ... and it was Zorro!! I have always felt attracted to the Somali breed and I've seen pictures of LOTS and lots of Somali cats and none of them have even come close to looking a great deal like Zorro (even Zorro's brother, Zimba, didn't look like him that much) - but this was a copy! If you'd cropped the picture I couldn't for the life of me say that that wasn't Zorro!

I haven't had problems with seeing my own photos of Zorro since he passed away, but seeing this cat in a completely different context and somehow knowing it wasn't Zorro yet it looked JUST like him ... it just blew me away!

My headache almost turned into a migraine, and I didn't sleep at all ... maybe dozed a little ... and woke up with a really really severe headache that I haven't managed to get rid of all day! I have tried everything, and then some, but I'm still in pain ...:(
I was supposed to spend the entire day at Uni, as well as having lunch with Elisabet, but there was no way - I've basically spent the entire day in bed ...:(

There's not much I can do about it now, but it sure does mean that the rest of the day will be more complicated ... and now I'm mostly hoping I'll be able to sleep tonight AND that I won't be in this much pain tomorrow ... *fingers crossed*

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Sunday Evening

Oh wow, another week has gone! Time sure flies these days ...

This week was mostly dominated by Old Testament seminars for me. I went to one B.A. Essay seminar Tuesday morning and went through 11 interpretation seminars on the OT course! :) The intensity of those days is immense, but at the same time very very rewarding! Still, I think everyone was tired when we were done on Thursday afternoon! :)

I have to say I felt really sad to see this OT group go (all they have left is a written exam on Tuesday). I have grown attached to all the groups when I've been mentor but for some reason I seem to have bonded a bit more with this group as a whole group ... I think it might because I have actually managed to be at every lecture and seminar this group has had on the second part (i.e. since March 28) ... cool! :) (Though my mentor supervisor will probably be upset as she keeps telling I'm not required to attend lectures so much as she's sure it will affect my own studies *lol*)
Since I've become such an integrated part of this group I think it becomes clearer that this semester is actually over now ... well, basically anyway! I still have a lot of work to do on my master's thesis, and I have a meeting scheduled with the professor on June 16, so I guess I can't say it's "summer holidays" just yet ....

I took Friday off, I was quite exhausted and felt I needed a day off. The weekend hasn't been great though. Yesterday was okay I guess, I managed to get a few things done that needed doing - but I didn't feel well in the evening, and by the time I got to bed, all my thoughts were with Zorro. I get this horrible grief attacks, still, where I basically can't do anything at all, I just feel like I'm going to break down completely!
I didn't get any sleep at all (I dozed in front of the TV for an hour or so), and the thoughts have stayed throughout the day, combined with a lot of other things that at the moment is feeling quite complicated. I have run into some problems with my thesis now, and I don't quite know how to sort that out - this week is really short since Thursday is a holiday and I'm not sure how I will be able to deal with everything ... And I have a few other things that I basically have to fit into this week as well.

What has been most difficult today though, has been Zorro. Once I get into these thoughts and emotions, I can't seem to let go! I try everything (at least everything I can think of), I try to really allow myself to think about him and deal with the grief, but I can't do that forever either, and all that happens is that I feel worse and worse - and then I try to do things, get things done, partly in order to break my thought pattern, but also because I really need things to be done - but I just keep seeing and hearing and feeling Zorro, and I get nothing done ...

I dread the night to come, considering last night and how I've been feeling all day today - and I know I simply have to have an active day tomorrow ...

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Good Day - Scary Ending!

The title does sum up my day pretty much, but I guess I should elaborate a little bit. :-)

For some reason I couldn't sleep tonight, so I've basically been up since 2 a.m. - slept like half an hour on the coach in the morning, but that doesn't really count.
I went to Uni early and was there before 8 a.m. to attend a B.A. Essay seminar by a student who took the OT course last year and came to my mentor meetings. While I'm not in that seminary group I basically "know" (in a varied sense of the word, but still...) most of the people there.
It was an interesting seminar about an interesting essay, focusing on the monarchic thought in the Gideon-story in Judges - I've never really studied Judges before even though I knew the story, so the morning was quite interesting.

At 10 we started the OT seminar, there were four interpretations so seminars was going on 10-12 and 1-3 - all of them dealing with Gen. 3. We are all hereby experts on Gen. 3! *lol* Well, maybe not quite, but it was nice to get all of those interpretations on the same day. I very much enjoy these seminars, all the interpretations are so different and it's very interesting to listen in on the discussions going on! :)
After lunch, the teacher who had the first part of the course showed up and stayed for the two remaining seminars which was very nice indeed.

After the seminars I ended up in the middle of a fantastic discussion between the two teachers ... apparently this was not the first time they had debated like this, and it was done in an extremely friendly and fun fashion, but it was quite intense, and I felt a little like I was watching a tennis game, head moving from one side to the other! :-)
We stayed for over an hour, and as I was leaving Uni I met my former Greek teacher, which was really nice as I haven't seen him in a long time. We have a pretty distinct jargon amongst us, he think I'm silly to want to continue in OT and tries to convince me to "swap" to NT (where he works) and I stoically stand my ground and maintain that OT is fantastic ... :-)

I had just missed my train so I had to wait for almost half an hour for the next one before going home. I debated with myself whether to go grocery shopping on my way home, but I was really tired and it was getting late, and I figured I'd survive until tomorrow, so I took the first bus that came along.
On the bus ride I started reading the interpretations for tomorrow (I had only read through them quickly earlier), when all of a sudden the bus comes to a screeching halt!
Apparently a car had appeared out of nowhere and didn't stop, the bus didn't hit the car (which just disappeared) due to the sudden breaking, but it was quite a nasty experience! Bags and stuff were flying all over the bus and some people really got hurt! One lady hit her head pretty bad, and a young woman just in front of me took a really bad fall and ended up on the bus floor, her husband had to carry her to a seat!!
I'm okay I mostly got away with some cuts and bruises and a throbbing headache. The driver called the police but after a while he announced that all of us not wanting to press charges or report personal injuries could go to catch the next bus.
I was quite tense the entire bus ride, this really shook me up even though I wasn't injured!

I've been feeling exhausted all evening, so I'm going to turn in early. I haven't read through the interpretations for tomorrow as thoroughly as I would have wanted, but there's no way I can get through them tonight. Seminars don't start until 10 tomorrow and while I have some errands to run before that, I hope I can get a decent night's sleep and hopefully look through them tomorrow morning.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Moving On!

Okay, new week ... but I have a feeling the intensity won't let up that much! :)

Today was a fairly "slow" day though. I did get up early, but I had a LOT of personal writing to go through. I try to change the way in which I write now, as I feel it would be beneficial to not go into so much detail, but it still took a long time to go through the end of last week.

I ended up having to cut my writing session in short, and I went to Lund and Uni around lunch time. Once I got to the Department, I started reading interpretation-texts, as the OT course are having seminars on their written interpretations this week.
I got through tomorrow's interpretation-texts and I also printed the B.A. essay I was supposed to read, before going home.

Unfortunately I've been REALLY tired this afternoon, so I haven't gotten as much done as I'd hoped today, but I guess that's not very strange considering last week was quite intense ....

I do need to "speed up", however, if I am to cope with the week to come.
Tomorrow I'm attending an OT B.A. Essay seminar, a student who took the OT course last year is presenting his B.A. Essay on Gideon and the Book of Judges, and I'd love to attend! After that, the OT course have their interpretation seminars, two interpretations between 10 and 12 and two between 1 and 3 - and the same thing applies for Wednesday and Thursday - and I'd really like to be at least a bit prepared for the seminars ... so yes, this week will be busy.
I also need to start hunting for Exodus commentaries - found a bunch of them on Amazon.com, so I really need to get started on my own work as well this week! :)

I apologize for the very short entry (some contrast to the last one, right? *lol*), but I'm SO tired now ... I'll try to get some sleep now, and get an early morning tomorrow instead!

Take care!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

One Week ... Really?

I can't believe all that's happened in just one week ... it feels like it would have been a month, at least. Still, most of it (almost all of it!) has been absolutely fantastic and totally outstanding, so I really feel I would like to go through the entire week here! :)
I'll give credit to those of you who are able to read through all of it, because I have a feeling this will be the longest blog entry I've ever made! LOL! :)

Sunday, May 15

This was a really difficult day for me! It was 6 months to the day since Zorro past away, and I still have difficulties dealing with that, especially during those days, when I tend to think of him more often and more intensely. I had a lot of things to deal with from the previous week as well, so I guess I didn't get anything productive done at all during Sunday, although I need times for thinking, reflecting and personal writing ...
Most things in my life are turning out fantastic now, but I can't help feeling I would have liked to share that with Zorro - because I know he could tell whether I was feeling good or bad. Lots of thoughts regarding Zorro, but I won't get into that now, I might save it for another entry later on.
Here are some old photos of Zorro I found when I was looking through my computer:


Monday was study day full stop!! I had to hand in a report to the OT professor "during Monday night" on my progress on the master's essay. Needless to say I stressed like an idiot the entire day and felt unprepared to the max.

In my defence, I did have a bit of materials to use, but naturally I hadn't started putting the report together ... and I started with that around lunch time! *oops* I realized I had to get some print-outs, and my printer at home is not really working, so I made the quite possible shortest visit to Uni ever! :) I arrived at the library at 12.50, grabbed a computer and got my print-outs, and was out of there again at 1.03! LOL!

I didn't do anything except wrote, wrote and wrote the entire day, and by about 10 p.m. I had almost 8 pages ... Let's just say I don't think I did a great job proof-reading the thing, but at least I sent it in!


Tuesday was an extremely intense day for me ...
We had lectures at 10 with the OT group, and they were having a seminary discussion on a book by W. Brueggemann (Unsettling God). I had really hoped to be able to read through it really quick before the seminar, but there was (obviously!) no chance of that!
I still got a bit out of the seminary discussion and it was quite interesting. I'm happy to see a course such as this, where there is a clear focus on the language, it's possible to do these kinds of things as well.
After the lecture I ended up in the library assisting some of the students with different things regarding the interpretation they were writing.

Once I got to sit down on my own, the anxiety about the SI-ceremony that afternoon hit me like a ton of bricks. I haven't experienced that heavy anxiety in probably several years, and I was really feeling awful. Still, I knew there was no way out of this, and I had no choice but try to do the best I could with it. I was unsure of basically everything: I didn't know how the ceremony would be, I didn't know what would be expected of me (even though I had been assured I would not have to give a 'thank you speech' - which I was more than grateful for!!), and I wasn't even 100% sure of where the ceremony would take place (it was on another University Department, where I've only been a few times, a couple of years ago) ...
I ended up talking a little to my SI supervisor, as I was sitting just outside her room, and eventually we agreed we would walk to the ceremony together, and that helped my anxiety a lot! Just know I would go with someone I knew, wouldn't have to worry about finding the right place etc. helped me a great deal!

We met at 3 o'clock and walked together to the ceremony, and when we entered the auditorium my supervisor exchanged a few words with the man in charge of the whole thing, and she also introduced me. We took our seats and the ceremony started with a few introductory speeches, among those who came was Sven Strömqvist, who is Lund University's Assistant Vice-Chancellor!! After that we heard speeches relating SI (Supplemental Instruction) to not only Universities but also senior high school/college and also how you can use it when you go out to work in the world outside University - and we also heard a speech from two students who have worked within SI and had the opportunity to go to America to attend an SI conference.

After the speeches, it was time for the handing out of Diplomas, and first up were the Honorary Diplomas, which apparently was given to me and three other students. I had no idea how they wanted to do this, and when they said it would be done alphabetically I basically panicked - but I was so lucky, as there was one girl who came before me!! (Not often that happens.)
So anyway ...
We were called down in front of everyone, and got to listen to the nomination text that our supervisors had written when nominating us, and then we got our Diploma and a little present.
And I have to admit, I am proud of the fact that I went through with it, because this was a really big deal for me! The auditorium was in no way crowded, but there were enough people for me to feel really really anxious! But I did it! :)
It was a great relief to be able to get back to my seat and realize that most of it was over for my part, that's for sure.
After the Honorary Diplomas and been handed out, all the mentors who were quitting were given diplomas as well - but a lot of people who had said they'd come didn't show up, so things became a little bit awkward ...

There were snacks and drinks prepared afterwards, but first they wanted everyone who had gotten a diploma to gather near the entrance and we were photographed - and after that we were able to get snacks and talk to the others. Since I was completely shaky after the almost extreme tenseness I found it difficult to talk and be friendly, and I didn't stay long.
But it still felt amazing to have gone through with that day, that's for sure! :)


On Wednesday I had a meeting with the OT professor to discuss the report ... and since I emailed it so late on Monday night and my mind was somewhere else entirely on Tuesday I felt I needed to prepare for the meeting quite a lot. I went to Uni fairly early and printed my report and went over it, quite a number of times. I also met a lot of the OT students working on their interpretations and I also talked a little with my SI supervisor before heading up the professor on the third floor.

The talk we had went really well actually. We started talking "generally" when he suddenly interrupted our conversation, and realized he'd forgotten to congratulate me to the Honorary Diploma!! I didn't even know he knew, and SI feels a little bit like it's own "department" within the University, so I was quite surprised. He ended up giving me SO many lovely comments and compliments I was completely and utterly embarrassed!! I think the peak was when he told me how he had met Sven Strömqvist (the Assistant Vice-Chancellor who attended the SI-ceremony) at a conference earlier during Tuesday morning, and how proud he (the OT professor) had been to tell the Vice-Chancellor that one of his students was one of the recipients of the Honorary Diploma! *yikes!!*
I was (and am!!) SO flattered, but I really don't know what to do with myself when things like that come up, I have no idea what to say and I mostly feel really embarrassed!

We moved on to actually discussing my thesis as well, of course, and I think it was quite a rewarding chat. Most of the energy was done trying to decide what way I'm going to take right now, and that wasn't as easy as it sounds, actually. We had a good discussion, I felt I was able to step up a bit more than I have before, when I have mostly felt I've 'had to' just accept what he says as he knows so much more than me. This time I felt I could question what he said, and really get to the bottom of what was discussed, and that felt really good.
The outcome basically was to go into a few more scholars and their view on the objective I've set for my thesis - and also to get down to the Hebrew text and really start working on the relevant (some of them!) passages there ...

The meeting felt really good, from all kinds of angles, so I was in a really good mood when I was done - and I also met the teacher on the first part of the OT course, so we had a little chat, which was really nice! :)


Thursday was actually sort of slow, as I didn't even have to get to Uni!! I did find out that my Mum would come for a short visit over the weekend, which was such a happy surprise!!! We have been talking about her coming here for a while, but it hasn't really been anything decided and she's been really busy and tired, and I've been really busy and tired. Now she found out that a co-worker and her husband was going to Helsingborg for the weekend, and my Mum could go with them, arriving on Friday night and leaving again Sunday afternoon!

I was really happy to hear that, and tried to get the apartment decent looking during Thursday (things like cleaning and such had been neglected earlier in the week, for obvious reasons!), but I was SO tired, I didn't get as much done as I had planned!


Friday was extremely intense!!!!
I was up at about 5 a.m. and started cleaning ... started doing laundry at 6 and was finished with everything in the apartment around 11. Took a shower and headed for Lund at 12, and had the final 'lecture' at 1. This was basically a summary discussion of the course, at first there was a general discussion and after that Elisabet and I had some SI evaluations to hand out, and the teacher would hand out the general evaluations as well.
We had a really good and constructive discussion regarding the course, the literature etc. when suddenly there was a knock on the door, and our SI-supervisor was there, asking if she could see me for a minute.
It felt a bit silly to just walk out (especially since the tables were arranged in a way that made me walk around the entire room to get out!), but when I got out it turned out that the evaluations we had been given to hand out to the students were 'out-of-date', new ones had just come, so I got them instead.
When I came back into the room, it was completely silent, which felt really strange. And suddenly, when I'm in front of the entire class, the teacher says: "Well, Jessica, now you have to tell us all about what it was like on the ceremony on Tuesday!"
And I more or less wished I could have fell through the floor ... I am genuinely and extremely grateful to have been given this, but I DO NOT like to stand in the centre of attention like that. I think I mostly stuttered something, I knew that some of the students knew I had been given it but not all of them ... and once I'd said something, probably completely incoherent, I got an applause from the entire class! *embarrassed again*

We handed out the evaluations and at 6 p.m. the teacher had a little party at her place for all the students, and the students on another OT course, as well as some other OT-people (both OT post-graduate students - one of them is the one teaching the first half of the OT course - and the OT professor) - and she asked me and Elisabet to help her out fixing food and such!
She had to pick up her children from school first, so Elisabet and I ended up in the library for a while, before meeting the OT teacher and her kids! :)

It was really nice to be able to help her out a little, she's a great lady and such a role model for I think most of the students she comes in contact with - and she's always been fantastic to deal with when it comes to SI, she's really interested and tries to help out as much as she can - and I think it's great to be able to do something outside the Department as well.

We ended up chopping and mixing and such for a few hours before the others showed up - and we had a great time. I really totally and completely feel like I have found my place here, and every time something like this happens, I feel it even more!
With the background I have, it's just beyond description to feel like I fit in so perfectly here ... I feel safe and secure and comfortable, even in situations that before would be extremely anxious, and I feel like people around me like me! Getting that kind of continual acknowledgement, constantly verifying that I do fit in and that people do like me - it's just such an AMAZING feeling!!

I was going to pick up my Mum in Helsingborg, so I had checked and had to leave the party about 20 to 8, in order to get to the train station in Lund and from there to Helsingborg. And that's another thing that is so fantastic about being where I am. Yes, I admit, I would have liked to stay longer, we had a great time, there were funny and interesting conversations, and while I'm not a social butterfly, I am NOT completely quite and tries to be invisible! But I feel SO comfortable in this situation, and so sure of myself and the fact that I will experience this again, that it is okay to leave a little early.
I am a little upset, because when I was getting myself ready a lot of others were starting to prepare to leave as well, and I felt the good-bye to the hostess became very quite and short ... but I'll be seeing her again next week, so I hope I can say a proper thank you then.
Just as I was leaving it turned out two other students had to get to trains/buses at the railway station, and one of the postgraduate students where going that way in her car, so I got a lift as well! :) Really kind!

When I got to the station my Mum called, she had already arrived in Helsingborg, but had to wait for me there ... but I don't think I've ever been so impatient during the train ride before! :) I just wanted to get there QUICK - and meeting my Mum was just FANTASTIC! It was quite a while since we saw each other, especially here! I was visiting my families when the bathroom renovation was going on, but didn't get that much time with my Mum - and during Christmas holidays she was sick a lot ... before that, yeah, she came down here for a quick visit just after Zorro had passed away, but that wasn't exactly a joyride ...

We took the bus home and spent some time talking - I didn't go to sleep until about 1.30 a.m. - so I'd been up and about and active and constantly doing things for about 21 hours! *yikes*

The Weekend

If you've managed to get this far in this extremely long blog entry, I admire you, and I will try to not be too detailed now. My Mum and I have enjoyed ourselves during the weekend, talked a lot, done a few outings and watched a few movies and mostly just enjoyed each other's company! :)
I went with her to Helsingborg this afternoon where she met her co-worker and her husband, and I just now heard she'd gotten home safe and sound!

Some week,huh?
But SO much of it has been SO fantastic, and I can hardly believe it myself ...
I have a busy week ahead again, but I hope to have some kind of energy when I get home every afternoon to keep the blog up to date, so I don't have to make another really long entry next weekend! :)
And credit to those of you who have made it to the end of this entry! LOL!