Monday, 26 March 2012

Weekend of Spring

Saturday I went to my parents' for the second round of birthday celebrations for my sister. Last time was for her friends and her party, now it was time for the family, i.e. grand-parents. I came over a bit early and helped out with setting the table and then went with Dad to another village where my grandmother lives. We were going to pick her up and her car. She feels like she's too old to be driving now at the age of 80 and thought that we could have her car over at our place sot hat maybe we could use it instead of it just being parked outside her flat. Dad agreed. So on the way home I drove his car (I love to drive his big SUV) with my grandmother and he drove her car. I like driving, but I still get nervous at some points. Like at one point on the way home. The road we usually drive on is having some construction work made to it and the road has been made narrower. Usually I love driving my dad's car because it's slightly bigger and people don't try to hurry past you, but at that specific moment the car felt ridiculously big. Ofc I knew that they hadn't made the road narrower than for meetings to be possible, but still I got kind of nervous there :P

Since we were little it's been a tradition that when it was my birthday my sister got something small too and when it was her birthday I got something small too. I think it was an arrangement so that none of us would feel jealous or left out. Nowadays I don't really care if I get something or not, but it seems as if everyone else do, or think I still expect something. So my sister got a small bunch of presents and I found myself getting 800 SEK (about €90) in total from both grand-parents :)

Then there was cake :) In the evening after the grand-parents had left there was awesome stew :D

Yesterday was a beautiful spring day. Mum and Dad spent the entire day in the garden. My sister and I spent some time there too when it was time for brunch (lunch for parents) and on tea time :) The dog was spring crazy and wanted to play all the time (turning 6 years old in a month hasn't really changed her a bit). Dad had put loose dirt in a heap at the now flowerbed ex-vegetable patch. He threw the ball in that heap thinking the dog would just pick it up and come running. Instead she attacked the heap before giving the ball back. We laughed so hard and we all thought it was so much fun that Dad kept throwing the ball into the dirt and the dog kept digging around the dirt although the ball was right in front of her. In the end she had dirt all over her. So fun.

After tea time I decided that it was time for me to go back home. My sister insisted on making a driving lesson out of it and driving me home. So with my sister and Dad in the front I was sitting in the back. But she did well with it being a completely unknown car for her to drive and her not being that experienced yet.

Some hours after I got home I started to feel weird and as the evening turned into night I had a headache, I was dizzy and I felt sick. I felt warm and was cold at the same time. I'm not feeling any better today. I don't really have time to be sick. I was going to use this week to actually get going with my essay. But my brain doesn't work when I'm sick so I can probably scratch that. This is the worst week ever to get sick! I should start my essay, I have my last classes with the teacher I don't like, and I have an exam on Friday! So not a good week for this :/

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

A really really short novella

I'm having such trouble finding things to blog about. It may be because my mind is otherwise occupied. Occupied with my essay mostly. But I feel like I should give you something to read. So here's a really short novella I wrote on the bus trip to France in 2008. Originally in Swedish, but easily translated.

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In a dark room, around the midnight hour, a young woman was asleep - uneasily. She turned suddenly several times and cold sweat broke out on her forehead. She whimpered and breathed heavily. In the mists of her dreams she was running around in a long corridor covered with mirrors from floor to ceiling. She felt chased and turned hastily off from her road several times, but after almost every turn there was a dead end covered with mirrors. Everywhere her terrified expression was reflected and all possible angles of her body. Many times when she tried to turn she hit a wall of mirrors.

But then the dream changed and in every dead end covered with mirrors was a man - well-built but with something grotesque. His face was covered in a sleek, white mask with holes only for the eyes and mouth. His rattling breaths echoed across the neverending corridor and he seemed to having harder to breathe the more she ran.

In a surge of sudden bravery she reached out to take off the mask. Quick as a flash he grabbed her arm and forced it backwards. The pain paralysed her and her newfound courage disappeared as fast as it came. Speechless by fear she stared at his expressionless face that was reflected from all around by the surrounding mirrors. The reflections enhanced the image of horror even more and she turned around and continued to run with the man's rattling breaths pounding in her head - but only in her head. Around her words echoed "When you see my face you'll die..." Gasping she closed her eyes and continued running. Suddenly she hit something. But her eyes closed she felt her way and heard something fall to the floor. She opened her eyes and looked up. The man looked down at her. It was the mask that had fallen to the floor. The eyes looking down at her were drenched with blood, two trickles of blood was running from them. The face was sticky with dried blood and when he smiled blood started flowing from the corners of his mouth. The woman screamed from the top of her lungs and in a bed far from there, she took her last breath.

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I couldn't think of what to write at the moment so I asked my teacher. He said something with mirrors and masks. This is what I came up with. It took me about 15 minutes to write. What do you think? I'm not entirely satisfied, but this was more unconscious than conscious writing...

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

All that bullying

Bullying is getting more and more coverage in media. And it's getting clearer each time that the teachers and school boards have absolutely no idea how to handle the issue.

But that's old news.

It's treated in media as if this is something new. As if bullying hasn't been going on forever. They angle it so that it seems as if it's a bigger issue today than 10 years ago, as if the amount of bullied children has increased.

I rather doubt it. 

They always talk about how something has to be done. But that's all they do - talk. It's been a lot of talk and little business for such a long time that I don't have any faith left. Not that I had much faith to begin with. They all know that bullying exists. But as soon as it comes to their attention that they have it there, at their school, they stand completely perplexed without any idea whatsoever on how to handle it. So instead, they pretend like there is no problem. Cause if you pretend it's not there it goes away, right?

If it only were that easy...

If it were as easy as telling people to shut the fuck up and get off you, then we wouldn't have this problem to begin with, now would we? Well, we do so something is obviously off, right? Well, not necessarily, to me it's all a pretty natural thing of trying to be the best and compete. There's always someone who wants to improve their self-esteem and does so by getting on to people that seem week. It's all very logical really.

Doesn't mean I like it.

Does it mean I've moved on then? I guess so. I don't get upset thinking about the past anymore, or my school days. I don't get sad and depressed because of that anymore, so I guess I've moved on. Have I forgiven them? No. Why? Cause if I forgave them it would seem to me as if I made it alright what they did. And it's not. It's not alright. I don't get sad anymore, but I do get angry. Angry with myself for not standing up to them and letting them do what they did. Angry with my school for not being able to do anything. Angry with them cause they were too stupid to understand what they were doing was hurtful. But what they did is not alright. It's not alright to rob another human being (or any being for that matter) of its will to live. It's not alright to make anyone feel insignifcant and unwanted and unloved. It's not alright.

I just wish the bullies knew what they were doing.

Some people dimiss this as something children do because they do not understand what they're saying/doing. This is a lie and a myth. There is as much bullying at jobs as there is at schools.

Do I have a solution?

No. If I did, I'd be famous.

What it did to me?

This post explains a great deal. Also it made me into the atheistic, nihilistic, cynical misanthrope that I am today. Before all this I remember I used to like people. I was shy, sure. But I was excited about meeting new people, making new friends. I actually used to like people... Now I'm the exact opposite. That's what it did to me. That's what it will do to millions of other children. And there seems to be no way of stopping it.

Monday, 12 March 2012

School, Mugglis, Tokyo friends

It's certainly has been a while. It's over a week since I last blogged, but not much has happened. My last week was anything but pleasant. So if you can bear with my complaining for a bit (not for the entire post), let me take you back a bit...

Wednesday was my first day of lectures last week. I had had a mail conversation with my teacher and thought I had managed very well to do my presentation. I got to our first class that was Written composition and he asked me and another girl if we were ready for our presentations that same afternoon. We said we were and he asked me specifically if I had managed to find an article (in front of the whole class) I said I had and he asked what it was. I explained and he said it didn't work, it was the wrong kind of article. I think what he had meant was more like a small dissertation and said that I should specifically google PDF-files. He also said that he had talked to my mentor (behind my back) and that my mentor had told him that it was practically impossible not to find anything about Les Misérables. So I explained to him that I had found things about Les Mis, but not anything that related to my subject. And that was when he told me that it didn't have to be exactly the same as my essay, just related. So either I was too stupid to realise what he wanted, or he didn't explain well enough what he wanted. I honestly don't know which one. Then we continued on to the assignment of the class, which was watching a video with an interview with an author (I'm getting seriously sick of Tzvetan Todorov now...) and then we were going to write a small resumé of what the interview had been about. Piece of cake. I finished after a few minutes and while I waited for the others I googled for Les Misérables PDFs. Then I realised that the book I had borrowed for exactly this purpose, but that I didn't think applied, was in my bag. I looked through it and thought that maybe I could use the chapters 3 and 4. Those two chapters would give me a total of 14 pages to talk about for my presentation and 14 was a number he had mentioned before. So I asked him if those chapters worked. He took a look at it and said that it would work fine. After that I decided to skip the afternoon class (since I now wasn't going to do my presentation) and go home and start preparing for the next one.

Then I procrastinated it.

Thursday was the first litterature class I went to for two weeks. She asked if I had been ill and I said that I had just overslept both times, that I had woken 30 minutes before the class would start. She accepted it and went on as if nothing had happened. That class we discussed Un Amour de Swann by Proust, which we have finally finished reading. The story is really stupid, but it may just be because I really dislike romance novels (even when the author tries to apply psychology).

I procrastinated the presentation again.

Friday I was supposed to do the presentation, but instead I packed my bag and cleaned up a bit. And procrastinated again...

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Now the fun part begins!

Saturday was an important day. I got up at 4am to take a shower, have breakfast and pack the last of my things into my bag (still managed to forget toothpaste) then I walked down to the train station. The train left the station on time; 06.06am. I slept for most part on the train. I managed to write the introduction of my presentation on the train, which made me feel a little better. At 11.50am (on time!) the train arrived at Stockholm central station. There I waited a bit until the girl I had talked to on a community (kinshaw) met up with me (she had taken the train from the north) and together we fixed travelling cards for the Stockholm underground. Then we met up with one of her friends (Maharajah) who had came from somewhere in the middle. We went up to her hotel room and freshened up a bit before we continued on to our hostel and dropped off our bags in their baggage room. Then kinshaw and I continued to grab a bite at Max before continuing on to the meeting. This is what I came to Stockholm for; a meeting with loads of people from the Swedish Harry Potter community that I hang out on all the time (my profile is to the right). Before the meeting we waited around for §irius and then we finally arrived at the meeting point in the middle of Stockholm central station. Around 2.15pm we took the tube out to a huge green area called Gärdet. There we played some games. I'm not a big fan of games and I'm really not very good at it. First game was House against House and in the end Gryffindor won (just like the books O_o). During all these games I met ikka, Ajnos Mörtsgreb, Optic, Lingonbean and a few more - mostly Ravenclaw girls. After the games it was time to go grab a bite and Li told us that there was no chance not one single restaurant in town would agree to have us all in one place (we were about 100 there) so she told us to go with a group of friends to eat somewhere and then we'd all meet up again at Plattan. On the way to eat somewhere kinshaw and I met Margaret, whom we then spent most of the evening with :) After dinner, we met up with the group at Plattan and together walked to a place called Medelhavsmuséet (roughly translated as Mediterranean museum). There we were going to have the Potter party! So we arrived a bit early and had to wait for a while. Then the mass of people in front of the doors created a long queue as soon as the doors opened. In the queue I talked a bit with Ajnos Mörtsgreb who was standing up drawing a beautiful picture (I alwasy get jealous of people who can draw). We got in and left our outerwear and bags in what pretty much was a locker room. In the party room there was a kind of buffet table. Starting with drinks in four different colours; blue, red, yellow and green (the House colours), then came small packages of jelly beans (probably supposed to symbolise Bertie Bott's All Flavour Beans) and as usual I managed to get hold of the bag with all the disgusting flavours. Luckily there were other kinds of sweets too and some crisps. The party started out with a Harry Potter quiz. I knew all the questions instinctively (nerd level going up, up!) except for one cause I haven't read Quidditch Through the Ages carefully enough ;) In the end Maharajah won the quiz with avifors in close second :P Then there was the magician. He was like any other magician doing tricks with ropes, chains and relapsing chairs - except that he called himself Professor Moonlight and was dressed as a wizard out of the world of Harry Potter. Also he was extremely funny. "Any questions?" "Can you move from one place to another" (Obviously hinting at apparition) "If I can move from one place to another? Of course! How do you think I got here?" After he had finished his performance the band of the evening; The Swedish Shortsnouts, got up on stage. They consist of three Hufflepuff members ;) My favourite songs were these:
Thinking back now I feel that it was great. But going back to Maharajah's hotel room after the party I felt a little worse. Mostly because the feeling of not fitting in follows me around everytime I meet new people. I also felt old, simply because in the Ravenclaw group I was the oldest one with a margin of 3-4 years... And also when I'm online I talk to no one in general - I talk to everyone. But when I got there the clicks were pretty much already formed, which kind of got my mood going down. But I don't regret going and I will go to more meetings like this. Next one I'm planning on going to is the the one in Gothenburg in April :D
Pictures from the meeting (I only took four...):


Then on Sunday we (kinshaw and I) got up around 10am cause we needed to check out before 11am. After checking out we went to one of the cafés at the central station and had some brunch. §irius was supposed to come pick her up around 11.30am but she overslept and when kinshaw finally got hold of her she was told to take the bus. I came with her to find her bus and everything. By the time that was done and she was on the bus the time was around 12.20 and I was going to meet up with Ebu and Yuuki that I met in Tokyo in 10 minutes so I went to our meeting point. Then I spent a nice afternoon talking with them at a café about stuff that had happened since Tokyo (almost 2 years ago!!! O_o) and going through loads of nostalgia from Tokyo etc :P It was a fun time. They had to leave about 3pm and by that time I decided that I could grab a bite and also bought some travelling snacks for the train ride home. The train left on time 4.14pm.

I was going to do some stuff on my presentation on the train ride but I only wrote a few sentences and came up with a few ideas on how to present the PowerPoint before I gave up. For the rest of the train ride I read The Treasured One by David & Leigh Eddings and finished it 1 hour before the original arrival time. We arrived more than 10 minutes before original arrival time at 9.42pm (9.54pm being original). That's a first!

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Back to the boring part...

Today I finished my darn presentation - again. Tomorrow morning I'm doing it and then, hopefully, I can relax again!

Also Love has moved to Gothenburg for two months and I now have the entire flat all to myslef... What to do?

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Study break?

So at least I can tell you that I finished the PowerPoint for the presentation. I used an article that I found that's almost, maybe, applicable to my subject... And actually my teacher responded to the mail! :O But what he said was that he thought I should go ask my dissertation mentor for help instead of him. So basically he said that he couldn't help me. Why should I ask my mentor for help in a course he has no part-taking in? But if this stupid teacher isn't satisfied with what I've managed to do with this little help from him, then I guess that is what I'll have to do.

Lately I've been thinking that maybe I should try and take a year off school by next summer. Considering going back to Tokyo, but also seeing more of Japan and Asia. If I can I want to go to Okinawa (Naha), Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo and Aoyama in Japan, Seoul, Shangai and/or Beijjing, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Taipei and Singapore. Obviously I would very much like to go with a friend, but if that's not possible then I will definately go alone again. It went very well last time so who's to say it wouldn't go well again? I'm itching to travel again and I've always wanted to see the world. Starting with Southeast Asia seems like a good idea :) I also have the possibility of meeting friends in Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Taipei :D It would be so great! Learning some basic Mandarin and Korean by then would be a good idea... And maybe start controlling my expenditures...

The bottom-line here is that I more and more feel like I'm getting tired of studying. I've never taken time off studying, so after almost 17 years in school (autumn 1996 - spring 2013) wouldn't you say it was about time?

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Just got to add this... Nightwish released their new single "The Crow, the Owl and the Dove" quite recently and the coupling track "The Heart Asks Pleasure First" is just so insanely beautiful... This is why I love Nightwish with and without Tarja; I love Tuomas and his musical genius!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Life is hard and it's all because of that guy...

I had a nice little breakdown before. And here's the reason why: This term I'm writing my exam paper to obtain my Bachelor degree in French. We got to choose the subject of the essay ourselves and my mentor thought my subject (a comparison between the plot in the book and the plot in the musical of Les Misérables, what's different?) was very good. I started reading the book and all was well. I like my mentor. He's a good teacher. Then we have the teacher in the oral and writing classes. The one I've complained about before. He tells us that for our oral exam we have to make a PowerPoint on an article in French that's related to the subject we've chosen for our essays. He shows us some search engines on the Internet that may help us find those articles. So I went home and looked through French Google. Nothing useful. Went through the search engines he showed us. Found some books, but none relating to my subject. This Wednesday I'm having the test round for the oral exam and I have nothing! Today I went through French Google for the fourth time and found nothing. Not one small useful article. I gave up completely and my brain started giving me scenarios. Me not passing the oral exam. Me not obtaining my degree. Me not being able to enter the Translators' Program. All because of this tiny stupid detail. I e-mailed my teacher telling him the story and asking for some help. But I can tell you that I've got no confidence that he'll even answer that e-mail. I've told him once before that I couldn't find anything and he didn't answer then. I have no idea what to do and it's freaking me out. I could obviously talk about something completely different that's still related to Les Misérables. But all we do this term is supposed to be related to the essay! He told us this our very first day! I'm completely irresolute. I'm beginning to hate this teacher for making it so hard. Why is he making this so hard?!

I've been desperately crying my eyes today. I've taken an hour walk to try and clear my head and figure out what to do. I took a day off studying yesterday to reboot my brain. I have no solution.

If we're making evaluation of the course at the end of this semester, I'll completely diss him. It may be childish of me, but I can't stand the thought that he may make life difficult for somebody else as well. We were supposed to have another teacher. That's what bothers me the most. We were supposed to have another teacher, who used to be responsible for this course. But only for this semester he's a guest lecturer at a french university in Paris. Why did it have to be this semester?! He's been in on very small things in the other two courses and I really really liked him. This situation sucks.

Another problem for me with this is that if I don't like the teacher, or feel like I get nothing from going to class, or that I don't fit in with the people, I get extremely non-motivated to show up to class at all. Writing this I haven't been to class for two weeks. Why should I bother going to every single class if attendance is not compulsory and the only thing that counts is if you pass the exams?

Yes, I skip class a lot. But if I don't study I still don't know what to do with my "free time" anymore. So that should tell you something about me staying up to date with the classes anyway.