Wednesday, October 29, 2008

So town at lunchtime in the middle of half term is... fun. Post office, then bank - don't you envy the day I've had?

Struggling with a lab report at the moment. Not because it's particularly hard but because it's... I dunno. It's an assignment! Lol. Will keep you updated on my progress...

Got a text from mum saying Sterling air have gone bankrupt, so she hoped we haven't booked flights with them... We haven't, luckily!

Speaking of nothing, I've been thinking about the international banking world. So I know there's a recession at the moment but that's got nothing to do with it. Supposedly, the European Union makes movement within the area easier. Well, nothing's working on the financial front. I've had so many problems with banks, money transfers etc. since I got here, and I know a lot of my friends have as well. First of all there are no banks with branches in both Sweden & England but there's not a lot you can do about that. But they make it so difficult. Opening a bank account in the UK takes a lot of effort - one of my friends was charged for opening a standard account! By one of the largest banks as well. It's disgusting tbh, surely the cooperation between the countries in the EU should allow you to open a normal account and also allow banks & other debt collection agencies to chase you if you go back to your own country (which I realise is at present the reason they're so awkward about letting internationals open accounts). There are also big charges (mainly on the UK side actually) for money transfers and similar. There's just a culture of debt and charges - and it's kind of sickening. What also annoys me is that my Swedish card is classed as a credit card over here, when there's no crediting about it. Grr! Bored of it. I'm gonna keep all my money under my mattress from now on.

Monday, October 27, 2008

So it turns out I don't remember much about vowels...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

CSI Sunday again! Best night of the week. Well, TV-wise anyway.

Am waiting for some mince to thaw so I can make meatballs. Starting to get hungry though so might have to hurry it up a bit. Don't have any lingonberry jam so will have to have sticky pasta and ketchup! Yum yum.

Mike bought me some flashy headphones yesterday - yay! The speakers on my laptop are so rubbish, so I was fearing having to go up to the labs at uni every time I wanted to do any listening work... This is much better - isn't he a sweetie? :)

I've started planning christmas presents for people. Gonna make most of them I think (I know I say that every year, shuddup!) so get your orders in people! It saves a bit of money plus it keeps my hands


Monday, October 20, 2008

My first lecture was fantastic, I actually really enjoyed it. :) Sat trying to figure out whether to do the reading, learn the anatomy or How bad is that, first day and I'm already considering procrastinating? Don't worry - I'm not being completely serious :)

Got a long day tomorrow. Why is it always Tuesdays? Evil Tuesdays, Emma and I used to call them... Although some of tomorrow is by choice - if I went to bare minimum I'd finish at 12.15! But am taking Spanish + a voluntary phonetics class + gospel choir. So I've only got myself to blame if I come home moaning tomorrow!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Have had a bit of a crazy week. Well, not in the grand scheme of things maybe - but compared to the past few weeks, definitely.

Started my course - lectures start on Monday but have had all the intros, tours around the dept and the labs (wow!!) etc. now. Everyone seems really nice, lecturers are friendly and seem pretty inspiring which is great. There are 13 of us on the course, 10 girls... Approx. half of us are international students so it's a pretty good mix. Am a bit stressed about whether I'll be able to keep up - if my technical knowledge is enough for this course. But I've got more phon and acoustic experience than quite a few of the others so *shouldn't* be a problem. Keep fingers crossed for me!

Have also signed up to do Spanish - 'Level 1 Plus' they call it... Been about 6 years since I did any Spanish and even then I only did it for a year (and didn't go to toooooo many of the classes... oops) so this should be pretty much spot on. Kirsty has already been roped in to help me - hehe! Joanna, interested? Might be able to do Level 2 next semester, or the reading & writing focused course...

Also still working on the Forensic Linguistics course at Umeå. It's fun actually, I can tie quite a bit in with my MSc but it's more linguistics (d'oh!) than speech science. Having said that one of the assignments quotes a JPFA case...


Monday, October 13, 2008

So today I start my MSc! Well, the intro meetings etc start today - lectures next week. Oddly enough I received an email from the dept. administrator at 11pm last night about timetabling. 11pm on a Sunday? I'm very much hoping there was a sending delay and that the poor lass wasn't actually working then! Wouldn't have caught me doing that when I was working in student admin... Sunday nights are CSI Sundays you see - so I'm pretty much lost to the world ;)

Had a great weekend, Benny came up from Sunny Leeds! We walked loads and had drinks and an Italian meal. Was nice to see him, catch up a bit :) We discussed (as all Swedes - or anyone foreign for that matter - in the UK do) the 'how hard can it be' conundrum. There are certain things about this country which I'll never understand - taps for example - how can it all be cultural? Apparently there's a Facebook group if you're interested in ranting about the UK...