Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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book of january: one, two, many

I haven’t had a lot of time for free reading this month. That is to say I’ve done quite a bit of reading, but almost exclusively for my ECE degree. I say almost exclusively because not reading road signs makes driving a whole lot harder.


This book, En, två, många (which translates to One, Two, Many) has all the information you might want regarding mathematics in the early years of life. Of course, in Swedish. 

Side bar: only the first letter of books are capitalized in Swedish. I may have mentioned this before on the blog, but it really baffles me. Every time! So I need to bring it up again now.

I definitely recommend this book for any early educators, people curious about basic mathematical terms in Swedish, or just anyone looking for a good time.

Dig in!


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a day of thanks

I love Thanksgiving. I love all holidays really, I don’t discriminate. But Thanksgiving is one of my favorites. Family, food, football. Three great F’s in life. Unfortunately the King did not reply to my recent e-mail attempting to persuade him to add Thanksgiving as a national holiday in Sweden, so I was at work today.

Don’t feel too bad for me because as a result I got to teach the children all about Thanksgiving, and make these:

Thanksgiving at pre-school

I really enjoyed doing this with the children, and it reminded me to be thankful for the work I do.

I also found this pic on Instagram by @bestsayingss and I really feel it sums up the holiday for me.

instathanks

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

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midsummer

Not to be confused with my earlier post, midsommar, where all your questions are answered about how to successfully celebrate Midsummer in Sweden.

All of that information still stands, and I highly recommend reading up before you continue with this post.

Before I continue with this post, though, I have some good news! Remember number 12 on my 25 before 25 list? (If you don’t read up by clicking here). Well, now I have an even cooler camera!

That’s right, for the big 2-5 Evelina got me a super-wicked-awesome camera! Which is what brings us to Midsummer. Since midsummer falls after my birthday by a few days, I had this bad boy up and running.

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Which means I could take some sweet pics of the action. For your enjoyment:

Midsummer 2014

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twenty three. buy a guitar and learn five songs

After four successfully completed goals I thought it time to bring up one that remains incomplete.
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Now, I did not buy a guitar in the past 3 years, nor have I learned to play five songs. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t gotten anywhere with this one.
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Guitar
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I did borrow a guitar from work, and signed up for a guitar course on Coursera. When I wrote the goal of five songs I imagined picking five of my all time favorite songs. But as time went on, I thought I might settle for Mary had a Little Lamb and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Mostly because this would also be fun to play at work. And Ke$al’s Cannibal isn’t really appropriate for pre-school aged children.
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But, also, Baa Baa Black Sheep is probably a lot easier to play.
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Well, as mentioned, this one still remains on the to do list. Maybe I’ll have to take five weeks of paid vacation this fall and learn me some guitar.
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my “new” job

I have officially worked at my place of employment for over a year. A while ago, I told you I had gotten a new job, and had you guess about what it could be.

Here’s the big reveal: I’m a pre-school teacher.

The anticipation must have been eating away at you. After having worked at my new job for a little over a year and a half I have realized a few things.

  1. Small children are both wonderful and terrible. (Lucky for us, usually the former.)
  2. Working with children may be the most rewarding thing I have ever done.
  3. Sweden rocks

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Let me explain this last point. First by taking you back to the very beginning. It’s a very good place to start. The beginning of this story starts in July of 2012. I had worked my final weeks at REC, you all remember good ‘ol REC, and the many shenanigans I got in to there. Well I had nostalgically worked my final weeks there (something about knowing you’re leaving to never return makes everything a little nostalgic – and funny – oh how we laughed!) and had moved up north. Not too far mind you, I do have some sense left in me. As mentioned, it was July of 2013, a beautiful Swedish summer, and I was getting paid to do absolutely nothing. (Reason 1 why Sweden rocks.) I had amassed enough vacation days while working at REC to pay for my entire summer vacation. I had 5 weeks off in a row, and my bank account did not suffer for it. I even went on an actual vacation to scare the socks off my Mom for her birthday.

This, people, is why Sweden rocks. 5 weeks of paid vacation!? I can’t even believe it’s true, and I’ve lived it. Another great thing about where I work is it is relatively easy to get time off. When Tyler graduated high school, and friends get married, it’s just a matter of giving them fair warning in advance that one would like to galavant across the ocean, and it’s done. I am exasperately grateful for this.

5 weeks, people

This is what 5 weeks looks like on a calendar. I felt this was necessary.

Reminiscing on that great summer of love does make me a little sad though. It is highly unlikely I will again take 5 weeks in a row of vacation. 5 weeks is a long time, a person can get a lot of relaxing done in that time. I’m gonna miss that.

Now you know that I like travelling across the Atlantic when I get vacation time. What about you, what do you like to do when you take time off? signature


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happy lucia!

It’s that time again! Today is Lucia, so I hope you all have a happy happy day. Last year I wrote about the Lucia tradition here in Sweden. It’s a pretty big day.

You all remember the general gist of things. Swedes dress up in one of four outfits, walk around in a line while sing traditional songs, and then eat lussekatter & drink glögg.

This year at work a colleague and I were in charge of planning the Lucia train for the children at the pre-school. It was quite the task as over 200 people would be present. We were in charge of scheduling, assignment of different tasks, attendance, food, et cetera. Basically, this was my first endeavor into party planning – for 5 year olds. I think we pulled it off. My biggest fear was not realized (that someone would get set on fire – which was rational, we had open flame), and none of the children cried. The children seemed to have a grand ol’ time singing away the an outdoor stage, and the parents crowded around trying to get a good photo.

I would do it again next year. To be honest, just give me an excuse to wear a Santa hat and I’m in.

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video killed the radio star

A couple of weeks ago I was singing this song to my self. Over and over again as I walked down the road from work to Sörmlands radio station. I only know the one line, so really I was just singing “video killed the radio star” over and over again, and dancing like MC Hammer as I went.

Evelina and I appeared on Swedish public radio. I say appeared because it sounds like we have been long-awaited guests. Or that we’re super cool and interesting people who appear on the radio. Which we are.

We visited P4 to talk about hockey. Each week they have a contest where the listener is to guess which athletic activity is being referred to. Following the unveiling of the correct athletic pursuit, participants of that sport make an appearance on the show. The week Evelina and I made our appearance our sport was the sport in question.

P4 coffee

Evelina and I not only current players, but we also coach cute little kiddos how to skate on weekend mornings. We clearly like this stuff if we’re willing to give up our only two sleep in mornings for it. In hind sight I think we did well. We talked up our sport and discussed the differences between men’s and women’s hockey, we even got a word in on how inexpensive it is to start up and how children should come try it out. Over all, very successful.

If you’re dying to hear the interview here’s the link. Or if you’re just super curious about what I sound like in Swedish. Fast forward to about 2:39:00 if it doesn’t already start there.

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