Friday, February 17, 2012

Vanhojen Tanssit Part 3

The Vanhojen Tanssi was AMAZING! It was such a great time! I enjoyed it a lot! And so much happened in the last two days! It will be hard to talk about everything but I will try....

So let's start with Thursday morning...

9.00 Torstai / Thursday

Thursday we didn't have any school. But I woke up and took the bus to school where we had a kielojuhla. This is a Luostarivuoren Lukio tradition, where there is coffee and a commemoration for the teachers, second and third year students. There were a couple speeches and all the third year students gave gifts to the teachers. People dressed in black and it was a little formal. Some of the first year students served us drinks and food. This was held because now the third year students are done with their school and now are supposed to spend all their time studying for the tests that come in the following months.


Lunch. I also wandered around the school aimlessly for a bit, but that isn't special, I often do that on a daily basis.



A finnish tradition, and also among my favorites, is that when the third year students finish high school they climb onto the backs of huge trucks and then ride around town throwing candy to pedestrians. I was lucky enough to join the third years on their adventure on the back of the trucks 2012. Many of the third year students dress up. The theme this year was world history, so there was a variety of costumes, and a lot of really good ones. My exchange student closet doesn't have a lot that I can really make a costume, so I just put my broncos' jersey on over my down coat, and wore a green sparkly hat that I had left over from Halloween. The third years hang banners from the sides of the trucks. The banners have stuff written and drawn about the school and about the abis (seniors). At one-ish most of the students and teachers in the school (expect for some second years because many of them had hair appointments for the dance later that night) gathered out in front of the school and the third years clambered onto the trucks. Our school had four trucks filled with abis. Soon the trucks took off from the school and drove to the city center. All the students in the school followed the trucks and went down to the city center. Along with the many trucks from all the other high schools in Turku, we drove around the city square several times. A lot of people came out to see the trucks. Most people were in the city square. The Abis threw candy to all the kids in the crowd and shouted chants. It was really a fun time and I wish that the states had this kind of tradition because it was super awesome!

I was in this truck

The Trucks and Abis outside school before we left

This is a video from when we took off from the school, and when we drove around to the city square. The last 5 or so minutes of this video we are standing still, but the first parts are really good and you can see my school very well. 

I didn't take this video, but it shows well what was happening, two of the trucks in this video were from my school, other trucks were from other schools. 

Here is a video from when my truck was in the center. You can see how many people were gathered in the center. 

Though, after we had gone around the square 3 times my legs started to get soar from standing there, my voice was starting to give out from shouting so much, and it got a little cold....but it was still such a great time!


After the trucks dropped us off at the school I took the bus back home, I might've looked a little weird, taking the bus home in my broncos' jersey over my coat and my green hat, but I am quite sure that everyone on the bus knew what I had just come from. Most people stared, but a few gave me smiles. So then I walked home and got into my dress and did my hair and makeup. Many girls go to a salon for their hair and makeup, or spend a lot more time on it, but I did mine myself and really simple. But I also went on the trucks, which is not something that the second year girls do. On this day the second years get the dance and the third years get to go on the trucks. I am an exchange student and so I am trying to fit three years' worth of traditions into one, so I got to go to both, but that also meant a lot less time for me to spend on my hair/makeup. So I came home, got ready, shoved a potato into my mouth and then my host mom drove me to the place where our dance was taking place, which was a hotel/spa in the city.

I will have another post about the dance up soon

Life in Photos Lately

Here are some pictures from life lately:



Dance Class


My nemisis: The stairs by my school
(They are basically a ramp now because of how much snow is on them)



Art Class

And More Dance Rehearsal

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Vanhojen Tanssit Part 2

Hello Again! How soon we see each other again! It is a bit surprising, considering my lack of blogging for such a while and now you will get one right after I just posted! Hurray for blogging!

So this post is a continuation of posts in a series about the Vanhojen Tanssit. For more information on this event look back at my first post about it all that I did in November.

So tomorrow is the big day! It is really exciting! Everyone is talking about the dance! We only have one more rehearsal left until we perform for a crowd, and that rehearsal will be right before the dance starts. The dance classes continued through December and January and finally ended last week. In short: I suck at the dances...I missed several classes in december, so I missed when we learned several of the dances and then I showed up and felt really mentally retarded after I had missed classes. But I caught on really quickly. The dances are pretty easy once you practice them a couple of times. It was a bit difficult because the teacher only spoke finnish, but I understood enough and watched others dancing so that I learned the dances. Dancing got a lot more fun once you knew the dances.

After the classes ended, we have had two big rehearsals with all 100 of the kids dancing in one room. Those have been a lot of fun, and a little confusing. But all is now in order. The last couple days I have been dancing with several people who do not know the dances all that well, and it makes me feel like I am not so mentally incapacitated! But it is also bad because I suck at the dances and when my partner sucks, I forget parts of the dance and we both suck badly is unfortunate...But as I told my partner today "we just have to look like we know what we are doing..." maybe we actually have to be doing it right..but oh well, we will get more attention when people see us messing up all the time. Though not necessarily good attention...

I'm in this one! Look for the red hair

I finally met my partner today! I have not known who exactly it would be until now, for a while I thought I was going to get an Abi (senior) as my partner but then during last week's rehearsal we danced together and he was so tall, and I am so short that it didn't work out, and so I switched with another girl and now I have a boy from the finnish navy, which is what I wanted from the beginning! Yay! The boys from the navy are so handsome! They wear their uniforms, and are so good looking! Mostly all of them graduates from my school and are based here in Turku. They are awesome!

You can see the height difference of my first partner and I 

So I finally have everything ready! I have my dress, my shoes (both from my host sisters) I have a fresh manicure and pedicure (complete with the spelling of Vanha Tanssi written on my hands) I have my makeup ready for tomorrow afternoon, I have a hairstyle chosen and practiced, and I am charging my camera battery for tomorrow since I know it will be a day of many pictures.

Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day! Stay tuned, my next post will be up soon!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Koeviikko Update

Moi Taas! On koeviikko taas tai oli koeviikko viime viikko. Minulla oli yksi koe. Koe oli uskonto kurssissa. Uskonto kurssi oli englanti kielissa, sitten olin hyvä tuo kurssissa. Oli kiva kurssi. Tykkäin se. Ensi jaksossa minulla on englanti, kuvataide, biologia, ja espanja.

Joku asiat tapahtuu:

Nyt on uusi australialainen vaihto-opilaat suomessa. On jännittava! Vielä minä tarvitsen tavata eniten uusi vaihto-opilaat mutta olen pian.

Nyt olen KUUSITOISTA! Mun synytpäivä oli 24. Tammikuu. Nyt voin kertoa ihminen mun ikäva ilman outo näyttää! Yippie! Oli mun "sweeet sixteen" mutta kuustoista ei ole suuri asia suomessa. Tykkään mun synytpäivä nyt mul on vaihto-opilaat kaverit, koska olen kertoo hyvää syntypäivää kuin kymmenen kielissa!

Saain tanssi kurssi koulussa. Oli ihana! Rakastan tanssit kurssi! Nyt tiedän tanssit. Yllätys että minä oppin tanssit nopea! Koska tanssi opettaja ei puhu englanti, ja oppin tanssit koska katsoin. Niin mun tanssit on paska, mutta oh well! Minulla on lisää tanssit kanssa mun ensi postissa.

Minä menein kaks jääkiekko pelit. Oli ihana pelit. Yksi oli TPS-Rauman Lukko. Mun isäntä perhe on raumasta, niin he haluai Rauma voittaa, mutta peli oli turussa, niin oli paljon ihmiset että haluaivät TPS voittaa. Ja minä, tykkän Rauma, mutta haluain TPS voittaa. TPS voitta peli! Oli ihana! 4-3! Me istumme paikkassa missä kaikki suuri TPS penkki oli, ja oli hauska nähdää hullu olivät kun Lukko saai maalit. Oli hullu!

Minä myös menein peli Raumassa. Oli Lukko-Helsinki. Helsinki voitta. Oli surullinen. Penkki raumassa sanoi PALJON huono sanat! Oli tosi hullu!

Ok, so I am going to switch into English now, since it is much easier to use...I have to say that I type much faster when I am typing in english. But you should be proud of me because I only used Google translate like a couple times while writing that! Which is good!

So it was test week last week, Normally I do my test week update during test week, but I didn't find time to do that. So I am updating it now. Another period/semester/term (whatever you want to call it) ha come and gone! It is crazy how fast it has gone by! I only have two periods left until my exchange is almost over! Which scares me! I don't want this to ever end!  So thinking about the end is scary! But anyways, back to what I have been doing lately. A lot has happened, at the same time that nothing big and noteworthy has is more like a bunch of little amazing things happen every day, things that aren't really worth putting in my blog. But here are some things that have happened:

I went to a couple ice hockey games! They were pretty awesome, the atmosphere was really nice, and I can see myself becoming a big ice hockey fan when I get back (though lately I have been thinking that there are a lot of things that I will become when I get back, so I am not sure if a huge ice hockey fan is one of them, but you never know...) I went to one game that was in Turku. It was a Turku TPS vs. Rauma Lukko (those are the two teams). My host parents are both from Rauma (a town a little ways north of Turku) and so they were rooting for Rauma, but I have to say that I was rooting for Turku TPS because I like Turku so much, but I like Rauma so of course I wouldn't have had a problem if they won. We sat in the section where there were a lot of Hardcore TPS fans, so it was funny how they reacted when something bad happened for TPS. They were shouting loudly in finnish the entire games, and I recognized several cuss words thrown quite a few times. But TPS won that game, which was awesome!

I also went to a game in Rauma and it was Lukko against Helsinki. It was a bit different because the stadium was a lot older, and the atmosphere was a bit different, but it was still a fun game. I thought that the TPS fans said a lot of bad words, but they were nothing compared to the Lukko fans. Lukko lost that game, so their fans were furious. It is funny how ice hockey games are such a family thing, yet the words that the fans use are so terrible! But then again, this is Finland, and cussing is not as big of a deal here as it is in the US.

So also now I am 16! Yay! Now I can tell people my age and they won't give me weird looks (which are a lot more common than you would think, not many 15 year olds go on exchange)! I didn't do anything special for my birthday, which is quite lame for it being my sweet sixteen, but I don't really care, I think I will have a sweet seventeen when I get back so it doesn't matter all that much. But my exchange birthday was also really nice too, because I was wished happy birthday in so many different languages!

My cake

So now I have already started my new schedule at school. It is pretty nice. Though I am sad to say goodbye to some of my old classes. I really liked a couple of them. But hopefully my new classes will be just as nice. I took the test in one of my classes this last test week. I took it in my religion class, because the class had been taught in english, so I really didn't have an excuse not to take the test. It was good though, I think I did well, though who knows yet?

In the new period I am taking Two english classes, art, spanish, and biology. The only class that I think will be any difficulty for me will be the biology class. I was going to take math, but I chickened out, and decided to take another english class. English class is nice. I mostly just read things out loud for the rest of the class so they can listen to how a native speaker would say something. It is nice, better than english class at home where we write essays....haha! Spanish is pretty easy because it is a low level of spanish and I have already studied it.

My life lately..summed up in several objects