Ninth week

This week some struggling with time but I made it.

I did read some news on my way to the campus. I was able to go lessons this week, so I did the basic 15min reading on my bus trip four days in a week. Reading new got me on a map but it is not nice to read news these days when it is all about war, crimes, crises, expensive values, and Finnish government. A whole straight in this week too, even Rainbow mark is going down! I would hope for more positive English news from Yle.

I did do tasks for my support group in this week too. We got another writing task which includes learning what kind of studier you are and new studying techniques. It was helpful and interesting. It took me more than 2 hours to complete, I did it over the course of two days so I’m not that sure how long it took, I market it as 2h.

I did listen two podcast episodes. I didn’t have that much time this week so it was easy thing to do while walking a dog or cleaning etc. First one was talking about the scenario where Honeybees and other pollinators would die out. Very specific but true problem. In Finland for example, on spring we have news about bees and pollinators getting less and how it will affect to fruits and berries. The other episode was about Cascadia, a large area on western North America. It includes parts of Canada and the United States. It was a bit hard and weird to listen because topic was not known. However, I understood that Cascadia area is special as culture and bioregion. Apparently, the area is about to get independency, I did google about it and still not got why? I mean yes, there is different system of environment, ecosystem, culture and industry but still sounds weird.

And here goes my timetable:

Eight week

This week I did a bit more job because I got sick and had time to expend.

I did watch one document called “Addiction” on HBO. It was about alcohol and drug addictions. It was a bit sad to watch that young people 16-31 to got in that point they need drugs to live. And how their parents even did not got it before it was too late. But there were demonstrations of new treatments how to get rid of it. Of course, the earlier you can start treatments the bigger chance you have to success.

I read some news while eating breakfast this week. I did it daily (tue-sat) about 15min per day, so it took 1h and 15min. Because I am slow reader I got 4-5 news per day as usually, but it Is a good take off for the weeks/day’s news. This week the god food saga continued, Musti ja Mirri had sold bad food and have caused severe symptoms in pets. Luckily my dog does no eat that food. This week was “the expected” week when Finnish tax and income data of people earning more than 100 000€ was revealed. I personally don’t care about it and so doesn’t most according the new. Weird that it will still be revealed, not in any other country. At the end of the week sad news; Finland’s former president Martti Ahtisaari had state funerals, rest in peace!

This week started support groups again. For this period, I did take Moodle group; vocabulary. I did choose it because I have so many other courses and got not much tie for meetings, in this course I can do everything when I have time. This week I did the first task for the group and it took me over an hour and reading other peoples writings ~15min. It was very good task at first, write about you and try to find two new words for each part, so basically synonyms. It was fun and teaching but a bit hard too.

I watched one movie while lying on the bed. It was called “Elizabeth -A Portrait in Part(s)”. It was about British former queen Elizabeth second. I am not sure was this more of movie or document but I marked it as a movie.

I did watch my series “Task master UK” for one whole season because bored. It was the fifth season, in which eight episodes, lasted 45min. I did mark it for 3h only. It has come more easier to follow the program without subtitles, I have learned to listen British accent! Yejj! However, in this season there were one comedian, Mark Watson, who was born in Bristol for Welsh mother (I googled). His accent was so weird, and it took a time to get sometimes what was he saying.

I did listen one podcast episode form “Geography Is Everything” podcast. It took 1h 40min and was about the situation in the oceans, more proper seafood. The podcasters were talking about overfishing humankind is doing right now. The seas are not only for the humans but for the other animals that rely on them. We have thought; what happens to the global fishers after no fish, but what happens to the ocean live without it? It is one whole ecosystem down there! It was, again, sad to hear but it is the truth we knew.

And my timetable:

Seventh week

New period has started and I have 54h to do in this period.

I read some news on my way to the campus. I did save this task because it felt good and I got a routine out of it. In this period I have lections on four days a week. I did read YLE English news about the same 10-15min per day. This week the news was about Israel and more specific Gaza’s situation. The armed conflict between Israel and terrorist organization Hamas has been running for a month now and there is still some Finns and a lot of civils who has been caught up in the war. Some other news talked about Finnish families and low incomes who are struggling even more for survival. And again Petteri Orpo’s government is going to do some cuts from them too. News about increasing coronavirus situation and Finland’s organic food producers’ bad positions.

I did a word list about my other course article. The article itself was easy to read but there were themed words be repeated often and I had no idea what they meant. I did a list for paper and translated it. After that it was much easier to read the text.

I did listen podcast again. I did listen one episode which was separated in two parts. It was an interesting topic; how does the football word cup affect the world. They were talking about the FIFA world cup and how it unites humankind. Football or soccer how they were calling it in USA and many other countries too, is very widespread game and played in every country I would guess. That big event has fans everywhere in the world who follow, buy fan products, even travels for the cup. It is very worthwhile for the housing country and participating countries locally at the time. it has raised women’s sports too and it has came more popular and followed.

Here is my timetable:

Summary about period 1.

A little summary how was my first period with ALMS gone. So I had planed to do about 55h of work in this period. Well I did not managed to do that much. I did over plan my reading and at the end I did not even have time to finish my book, so I will continue reading it. It took most my planed hours off. I did also plan an hour too much for the support group. Moodle tasks I was planned to do I did forget. So 3h down to the well. Same with news reading, an hour too less.

How ever I did do more movies/series than planned. I did also add podcast listening because it fit better my day-to-day life, just listening it while walking my dog or cleaning the house. I will continue doing it. Writing these blog posts take a lot of time, more than I expected (even more I did mark I think) so I need to add more hour there for the next period.

Overall nice start, 46h of total 98h. I’m almost in the halfway, but I think this is going to be easier now when I have got the idea and journey started.

Here is my preliminary plan for second period.

Sixt week

Break week between periods 1 and 2.

I listened the podcast episode part 2.  This episode continued the same theme than first part did. At the beginning they told that you need to hear part 1. before continuing this part. So it was more arguing about the drying Southwest, how it will affect to the farming, natural conditions, cities and humans. As a geographer it makes all sense and it was, well not interesting, but still interesting to hear. It was a reminder how important water and water systems are for the states (in this context) and community.

I wrote the last writing task for our support group on Monday because this week our meeting was on Wednesday. I did choose the academic version and after I got the idea what to do I start writing. I needed some fact sources, so it took me an hour to finish my text.

Of course we did have the support group meeting and it was the last one. There were not so many participants, so we had enough time to talk about everyone’s texts. I got some good feedback and able to chat with another geographer about our studies and very different texts about the same task. Over all I did like this support group. First I thought it would contain a bit more feedback and tips from the teacher, but it was still fruitful. Thanks for that!

We did meet another time with “coffee group”. This week was gap week between first and second period so we did managed to plan meeting with Victoria, Eevi and Sanni this time. Unfortunately, me and Victoria had missed the starting time, so we were an hour too early in Tripla. We decided to do shopping while waiting. It was surprisingly hard speaking English in that context. I mean what is villakangastakki in English? After spending some time, we did meet in café with our friends. Both have done ALMS before, so they were happy to help and spend about two hours with us while speaking English.

This week I did read some news on four days. Because I wasn’t at the campus at all I read news while drinking my morning coffee, 15min per day. News was talking about Israels situation. It is not funny to read but I still think it is good to keep on aboard. The other news I read talked about how Finns don’t feel that safe anymore. Feeling unsafe were felt mostly in cities and it includes walking on the streets, especially dark time. I can underwrite this. I have studied city planning and urban area studies and the model Finland, or mostly big cities like Helsinki, Vantaa and Tampere are doing so wrong city building. We are building high towers close each other’s and narrow roads crisscross. It brings unsafe feeling while walking by at nighttime or even early mornings. The article I read was about ministry survey finds.  A lot more articles about Finnish president elections and candidates and articles talking about apartment price drop. And rest in peace for Aira Samulin!

I did watch my series, Task Master UK more, about 5 episodes but I marked as 2h because I would continue doing this after this course too. I did watch one movie from HBO and it’s called “The wizard of lies”. I watched it without subtitles but I needed to google some facts about the scenario. The movie talked about the biggest Ponzi-Scheme in the USA history. It was a pyramid scheme where Madoff led finance company for investments and market making. It was a bit tragic to watch because Madoffs sons were working in his dad’s company but did not know anything about this case, neither his wife. The movie was at the beginning very weird and hard to follow but after while it started make sense. Very sad and unbelievable movie! Bernie Madoff was sentenced to life imprisonment while his older son made suicide and youngers cancer recured because of stress. He died to the cancer. His wife became hated, poor and lonely after loosing her husband. Very good movie and terrific at the same time.

At the and of the week I did hear second podcast episode. It did last for two hours divided into two parts. The theme was very interesting by the title; What if there were no international borders?. What came into my mind as a geographer before listening was that it could offer freedom but a lot of problems touching culture, exile, trading and criminality. The podcasters were on the same field. Because the podcasters are Americans, they took examples from there: smoking week could be legal some state and in another you can be taken to jail. With out those borders everything would be free but mad. By the borders countries or states can affect what kind of people or markets or innovations are heading in and out. “It illustrates that there is different things happening there based on the laws or the regulations of these different countries”, like Hunter Shobe said. Once you can control those borders you can control the area, that is basically the message this podcast episode was telling.

Here is my timetable:

Fifth week

This week some bad news but happy findings!

I read some news on my way to the campus again. I think this is really fun tradition to do, and I think I’m going to continue it in period two also. This week started with sad news. The former president Martti Ahtisaari died. He was 86 years old. Rest in peace! Yle was writing also about bad tap water in Jakobstad. It was interesting new about how usually clean tap/drinking water is more often unsafe and nowadays an increasing common problem. A heavy rains and strong runoffs are one reason why. This week was also again one environmental protest by Elokapina. The police did remove it because it was blocking the motorway, Länsiväylä. This time the protest was about the clean forest area in eastern Helsinki.

We got WiG support group for the second last time. We discussed about the last task and it was fun to see that everyone had different vision how they did the task. Everyone had the same start line which to continue, and everyone had done it differently. As I told I had a trouble with this one and there were still some typos but when I read it the storyline was good on my mind.

This week I did not watch movies, but I did watch something. I found out that in MTV there is English or more specific British version of the Task Master TV program. I have watched the Finnish version and now I found out that there is British also! Yej! I did watch a whole season 1 in a few days when I was doing my daily basis. Every episode last 45min and I watched first one with Finnish texts but when I got used to British accent, I took it off and watched the rest five without. I don’t know if you know the idea but shortly there is five contesters (British actors and comedians) who are doing insane tasks their own ways and the task master (Greg Davies) is going to judge it by points 5 to 1. If you haven’t watched, you should, so funny!

I wrote my blog as every week and realized that I have done enough already, but I will keep going because I still must report somehow what have I done. So next week when it is the last week of period one we can see is the total over or under my plan.

I also realized that I have over planed my reading. I am over a halfway in my book but not even close to my time goal. I am much faster reader than I first thought. Let’s see if I start another book or just do something else instead. I did total one hour reading this week too.

Due the previous, I started listening podcast to catch my time plan. I found out that in Spotify there is podcast called; “Geography Is Everything” and I heard the first episode, 1h. The podcast hosts Geoff Gibson and Professor Hunter Shobe are talking about The United States water problem in Southwest. The first episode was split into two sections and next week part 2. Weird that between the episode there were some advertisements in Finnish but okay.

Here is my timetable again:

Fourth week

This week I did a bit more to catch my time plan.

I had support group meeting. We did discussion about the second writing and got new instructions for third. Not much about to tell. I do like the support group idea, but I thought that I could have had more feedback from the teacher. Well, wiser now.

I did write third task. This one was the hardest one for now. I star writing on Wednesday, continued Friday and finished on Sunday and all this because I just couldn’t figure out what to write. I had the plank paper syndrome. I wrote something, then wiped it off and wrote something else. I got the beginning quickly, but the rest was hard to scrape together. Finally, I was happy for the result. Time has gone over an hour together.

And some news reading of course. Read very sad new about the fire in apartment in Vantaa. The fire started at night and four children and mother got dead. That is a very good reminder that everything can happen. The other news at this week talked about the Israel conflict. Very sad and depressing. A lot of news talking about the Finland’s government. It is true that some cuttings must have done but now they are doing it wrong way. Taking off some social supports is not the answer because you are taking of people who really needs it.

I did watch one movie which lasted 2h. The movie was called “Knives out” and I founded it from MTV. I dared watch it without texts and luckily understanded everything. The movie was murder thriller with some comedy, and it was fun and hooking. It was acted out movie and the detective was Daniel Craig! I have seen one James Bond when Craig was acting Bond. I think he did a good job in this movie too.

We got spontaneously the first meeting with our own support group or “coffee group”. We; me, Victoria and one of our friends went to the café in Helsinki and discussed. Our friend, Eevi, had this course last spring so she was happy to help and came with us. We discussed about our studies and this course and what we have now in periods one and two. I haven’t seen Eevi since spring, so it was nice to do a little chat.

I read my book for an hour and got some chapters forward. The narrator got to the point where he starts doing acting. It was fun to read how he felt doing some scenes I have seen a lot of times.

Here is my timetable:

Third week

This week I had not much time to do anything. My energy went to the workplace and thoughts rounded there. Also, another course got a lot to do at this week.

But again I did the news reading on my way. Some news was telling cooling weathers all over the country and I got to feel them. I was so cold outside at the end of the week. There was also news about walk outs for different careers because of governments cuts. One article told Helsinki-Vantaa airports walk outs which lead on super long lines at the security check.

One interesting article talked about Kenyan students who are studying in Finland. The article told that Kenya has promised to fund their students’ studies, but the money never came to the schools neither Finland. There is suspects about a few Kenyan officials and the governor who might have sent moneys to their families. Finland still educates students and offer work after graduating. Studies includes Finnish studies. Even that many students choose to move back to Kenya or another country like Denmark or Canada.

Support group meeting was on Monday and we did deal with the first task. It was lovely to hear two writers to read their own texts and got the picture of place in mind. Break out rooms worked out well and we got some feedback. Next task is a bit challenging because we have to write academic text.

Second writing task for Writing in general support group took me a while, 45min almost. After I had chosen my subject for which to write the problem was the academic view. I have never written academic text in English before, so it was a bit tricky. I have read academic texts and write it in Finnish but just translating text is not an option because linguistic is a bit different same with the structure.

I used Manchester University’s academic phrase bank and got some ideas how to express differently and more academic way some sentences. I still think it was not academic enough, but it will be better when I keep writing more.

I did continue reading my book for an hour (three chapters).

And that was about my third week, here is my timetable at the end:

Second week

This is the second week in my ALMS course.

This week started my support group: Writing in General. It is going to be every Monday, five weeks from now on. The first meeting was chill, we just talked about what do we want about this group. Do we need more academic or non-academic writing. We did the mix. The group is small which is good because it is safer to write or read own texts. I choose zoom group because it is not that awkward than live group would be. I have some fears from high school…

Again, I did some news reading on the buss while going to the campus. Three times a week, about 10min per a day. This week I did read news about the student occupations all over the country. I have seen the Kumpula campus occupation while going there but I haven’t taken a part. The news talked about how today’s government in Finland is planning to do some savings or “the austerity measures” like it was written. Petteri Orpo’s government do appreciate pro-business and workers and promises more jobs for everyone so that everyone could pay bills for the salary, not for the social supports. It means that they are making cuts to housing allowance and studying allowance. There is going to be even more but these two are the main for students to fight for.

Of course, there is a few news about the Ukraine situation and Putin’s doings and savings, but I have just read the main titles. I read an article about the unseasonably warm weather in September where meteorologists expected temperatures climb as high as 20 degrees. It is quite warm as September. I know myself something about weathers because of my science studies and it is not a good sign to have that warm in September. How ever I did enjoy warm weather.

This week I did the firs writing task for the support group. The task took me abut 30min to do and I did it outside on patio at the summer cottage. It was hard to figure out how to start but I decided to write about the view, what do I see, hear and feel. Text does not need to be academic, so it was easy and fun to do.

I did start reading one English book at the cottage. It is not academic, it is “easy reading” as I wrote to the ALMS plan. It is a biography or more like a memoir like the author describes it. I started a book calling: “Beyond the wand – The Magic & Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard”, Tom Felton. It is a book that I got last Christmas and haven’t haft time or energy to read. Now is a perfect time to do it. The book tell Tom Felton’s story or memories from his childhood. He was the legendary child actor from Harry Potter films, Draco Malfoy and now he is going to talk about the journey to the actor, acting out, behind the scenes material and life after film shootings and fame around it.

I just read first three chapters because I am slow reading. I have to keep translator next to me and really focus on reading in English that I can understand everything. I have never read a single book in English but this one has not been translated into Finnish, but I am curious to know his story so I decided to read this book in English. I have read all the Harry Potter books in Finnish a few times and watched the movies a lot more, so I know this is going to be just fantastic!

The first chapters told about Felton’s childhoods, about his family and neighborhoods. He did introduce his older brothers and told his “tough” teenage friends. He did not get into the acting career yet.

Here is my timetable at the end:

First week

First thing I did for this course was watching a movie. I don’t usually watch quite much movies, I just don’t have time or that and the first problem was where to find a movie with English texts or without it. I don’t have Netflix or any other streaming service because I don’t have time for those. If I ever want to watch something I’m using YLE Areena or Ruutu or MTV for that but now the problem was that of course every movie in there were with Finnish texts. So I decided to by HBO max for this course and watch some stuff from there.

Movie I chose was called “The Blind Side”. It was acted out movie, based on real life story behind American football legend Michael Oher. I watched it with English subtitles and it was a good choice. I understanded almost everything and keep on a wheel the whole movie. There were some words I did not know but if it seems to be important for the narrative, I translated it. For example terms tremendous which is a synonym to huge, blunder which means mess up and predicament which I’m still not sure what it means in the movie context but synonym dictionary says it is the same than awkward or difficult situation.

First movie was great and in my counts I still have 4 movies to go. Nice opportunity just be and watch something!

I watched another movie next day and I chose movie called “Bad Education” which was also acted out movie. This time movie was also based on real life case where American school systems moneys were used wrong. The head character, Frank Tassone and his coworker are school district superintendents in Long Island where they try to lead public school system and be one of the best schools in the country. However, they use millions of dollars tax money from their wealthy public school district for their own expenditures for examples private flights or huge houses on the beach. That was the largest school theft in American history. The story is unbelievable and gives a lot to think about. Luckily I watched the movie with English subtitles because there were so many hard words I needed to translate. It was a bit hard movie to watch because I did not know much about American school system or things behind it. Also a lot of cultural and geographical terms.

I did a short googling about the case and yes, it is still the largest school theft. I can’t even think about that happening in Finland! I have known that American school system is a bit odd and crooked but this is a whole new level. In America there is private schools and public schools. Public schools are in weak reputation because this kind of things but also because it gets the moneys from the state and taxpayers not straight from the students’ parents like private schools. It has been said that private schools give better education; motivated teachers, better materials, safe school areas and high level teaching. Public schools are famous for cheap education and less motivated students and teachers. Those were high stereotyped examples but that is the picture we got here from news or movies and series.

I enjoyed much watching this movie too, gave me perspective about Finnish school systems greatness.

I did also read some news in this week. I found out that YLE is writing news from Finland in English, so I have read those. I haven’t opened any news in Finnish this week just read it in English. I read about for example Sweden’s Crown Princess Victorias visit in Finland. She was taking part for Hanalhomen Swedish-Finnish Cultural Center 50th anniversary. She also went to the Hanken, Swedish language business school in Helsinki and enjoyed her time there speaking with students and eating with them.

Some other news did tell about the President election in Finland for example how Olli Rehn became selected to Finland Center Partys candidate or who are the candidate for Cristian Democrats and who are already signed in as a candidate for upcoming elections.

I did this news reading about 10-12min every three day I were on my way to campus. I read new on my phone in the bus, and it was pretty nice. Once I almost skipped my stop because I was reading too interesting news.

There is my first period timetable at the end…