A cautious hello

Hello everyone! ❤ I cannot believe that the last time I wrote a post was in June of last year. It’s been nine months! I have to be honest, it has not been an easy nine months. Studying two degrees at the same time whilst juggling work and family life was not a great idea. It was absolutely crazy! Last Fall was one of the most exhausting times in my life. But I’m not a quitter, so I powered on. Here’s a recap.

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After my last post, hubby, son and I spent all of July on our sailing boat sailing all the way to the Åland islands. The summer was fantastic with beautiful, hot days (and nights!) – definitely not normal summer weather for a Finland. I loved every minute of it. Till three weeks on when our boat’s propeller fell off! As you can imagine, that meant trouble. Luckily, after having to be towed and some adventure related to that, we were able to have a new one assembled. But as everyone in the boating business was on holiday, we had to make do with a propeller that was way too big for the size of our boat! From there, the sailing went downhill due to the propeller problem, the boat’s other malfunctions and high winds. Even our son got fed up at that point and took an archipelago bus to the city. When hubby and I finally made it home, I didn’t want to even glance in the way of our boat and was very happy to pack it up for the season.

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In August I started my three month study leave from work. Now I must say that I had very silly expectations for those three months. I seriously thought that I would do some studying but mostly I would be aqua jogging in the mornings, lounging around in cafes in Helsinki and exploring museums. The reality was very different. Because I was off work, my income was small and I didn’t even have the finances to travel to Helsinki once a week! I wrote my thesis almost every day for the exact amount of hours that I would have been at work and used the rest of my time for the international teacher education studies in Hämeenlinna.

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In November I returned to work and continued studying. This was the most tiring phase, as I had two schools and work going on at the same time. Nevertheless, I was very productive. I managed to graduate from my Master’s studies in December (with excellent marks for my thesis!) and I’ve just finalized everything for my pedagogical studies. That means that I will graduate (again) at the end of the month. Thank goodness! In addition to all this graduating, I started a new job in February. Hopefully things will settle down from here onwards and I will finally be able to embrace my free time.

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During these nine months I have managed to travel but not too far as there simply hasn’t been any time (or money). For Christmas our family drove to Ylläs in Lapland which was fabulous. It was dark all day but we had a cosy cabin where hanging out with the family made me happy. I visited Tallinn every single month (for a day trip or weekend) except in January when my goddaughter and I went on a cruise to Stockholm instead. I’ve had weekends away with friends in local destinations of Sipoo and Turku.

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For those of you not from Finland – you may be wondering what all this studying has cost me. You will be surprised to hear that nothing really. Even though I already had a Master’s degree from before, I still got all these studies practically free. I recall paying 100 euros for material fees but that was it! I was also entitled to a student card which meant that I have been enjoying cheaper student prices in places like swimming halls or the theatre. For my study leave, I even received an adult education allowance! So to sum up, I would say that I have been very lucky to be able to do these further studies which I probably would not have done if I didn’t live in Finland. Studying has been activating and most importantly, beneficial for my professional development. However, I am not sure if this kind of model of letting people study whatever they want and do however many degrees they want for free is something that should be maintained in the long run. But, as it is still possible to do so, I decided to embrace it all the way.

Now, I’m cautiously getting back to blogging. Writing this post feels great, so I hope we will be seeing more of each other in the months to come! How are you? What have you been up to? Are you still actively blogging? ❤

xx

23 thoughts on “A cautious hello

  1. So good to have you back! I was missing your posts 🙂 Sounds like you had really busy time and lots of challenges. I’m glad that you overcome all of that and received the results you wanted. Great job! Now also that spring has started and days are longer it’s a good time to pick up blogging again 🙂 P.S. I think I saw you the other week at the lunch restaurant Loft33? I work nearby and I was having a lunch with a colleague.

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  2. Looks like we both have been gone:) my absence was no where close to yours:)
    All family related.
    We have heard that Finland is one of the best places to b for schooling . And u should take every advantage .
    Sorry to read about all the problems with your sailboat . A very expensive hobby:)
    People up here can only go boating maybe 4-5 months out if the year , if they are lucky.
    Your itinerary tires me out, lol , your a busy woman , so nice to catch up with you .

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    1. Oh yes, boating is sooo expensive! Especially if you have an old boat like us which keeps having malfunctions here and there. The boating season is very short here – at best five months but realistically only three.

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  3. Yay, Happy Spring and welcome back! I was perusing your blog only last Sunday as Mary Ann wanted some pointers about her trip to Helsinki. I actually forwarded your blog link to her, and now I see you are acquainted. 😀

    But lovely to hear about all you’ve been up to. More importantly congratulations on Master’s studies graduation, and the new job. Kudos!

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    1. My blog is so outdated as I’ve been neglecting it for almost two years but I’m glad if it is any help to visitors 🙂 Thank you for the congrats, its fun to be back though ❤

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  4. Hey, Suvi! When you mentioned that you were away for nine months, I was sure that you would disclose a new baby! 😀 Well, new degrees are fine too. 😉 Better than fine!

    I never finished my university studies. After five years, just before I was to write my thesis, life happened and my studies remained unfinished. When I wished to conclude them years later, I was told to pay such a sum that I said thank you and continued my life happily. I never went back. That was in Slovenia.

    Since this year started I have a new coral-coloured blog and I’m very happy with it. Always welcome to visit it.

    I wish you happy resumed blogging and finally some free time. Welcome back!

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    1. I was also thinking it was funny how nine months had passed as someone might think that meant a baby. But at this point in life, I prefer degrees or grandchildren! 😛 I can very well understand preferring not to pay for starting your studies again, that’s such a let down. I was lucky to get everything free. So lovely that you still remembered me! xx

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  5. It’s so lovely to have you back on WordPress Suvi, I’ve missed reading your posts. It must have been such a struggle to take on so much studying alongside your usual workload but you have come out the other end with flying colours, congratulations! I did know that you’d made a sailing trip to the Åland Islands but I wasn’t aware of the propellor problems, what a nuisance! I hope your new job is progressing well, is it related to your new qualifications.? In the UK studying is expensive particularly at Master’s level which is such a pity as we need a highly educated workforce. I’ve continued my travelling and blogging and surprisingly have been invited to lots of interesting places which is wonderful, though after trying my hand on the potters wheel at the Wedgwood factory I soon realised that my creative talents don’t run to making vases! Best wishes to you all, Marion xx

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    1. Hi Marion, how wonderful that you have been blogging all this time and doing all that travel! Fabulous ❤ My new job is a project for early childhood education, so in that sense it is actually related to my previous degree. But I am sure having done two degrees in such a short time was a good merit anyway 😉 xx

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  6. Welcome back Suvi. Congratulations for Your new job. I understand the problem of working and studying, because my daughter has done it “during her life”.

    When we were on Portuguese course, there were a Lady (80 years), who was learning at the same time French and Italian! 🙂

    Have a good day!

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  7. Such a lovely, informative post from you with gorgeous photos. It has long been on my wish list to sit in and observe a Finnish classroom at the high school level or any level for that matter. I studied in Heidelberg, Germany for three years and was a Fulbright teacher there for one year near Stuttgart and the second year in Berlin. I taught German for almost 50 years and at all levels from university to elementary (in Germany). My last 32 years were at an American high school in the North Syracuse New York schools, grades 10-12 and college credit German. I introduced video conferences between my classes and classes in German schools. This August my husband and I will sing with the Berkshire Choral International in Prague for one week with the concert in the castle on Aug. 10. The following week we want to travel to Vienna and Helsinki ( on my bucket list for year.) We will only have 2-3 days to spend in Helsinki this trip and you mentioned Tallinn in this blog. Ēriks Ešenvalds is from nearby Latvia I think. His choral music is beautiful. Back to Helsinki though. You gave me the name of a new museum. We both love classical music and will be singing Dvorak in Prague so perhaps there is something in August. Or is that school vacation time? My schools in Germany went from August through July with many holidays in between. Our US schools in NY mainly go from Sept.-June with few days off for holidays. But usually several weeks in summer off. I have not introduced myself: Mary Ann Niemczura, Ph.D. https://drniemczura.wordpress.com Thank you for all the information on Hellsinki, Finland as well.

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    1. Lovely to read about your teaching career Mary Ann – thank you for sharing! The Fulbright system seems such a great opportunity 🙂 Schools are off for a long holiday in summer in Finland – beginning of June to mid-August! Unfortunately I do not know anything about choir music but we have a gorgeous music house in Helsinki, maybe you could find something there that interests you: https://www.musiikkitalo.fi/en Also, the Temppelinaukio church has some concerts now and then and it is worth visiting! https://www.helsinginseurakunnat.fi/en/index/temppeliaukionkirkko.html.stx

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  8. Nice to see you back! Phew, you’ve been busy and efficient. What degree did you study in such s short time – or which degrees? Did you already have some old studies as the basis? As for Tallinn, you should suggest they create a stamp card for ”frequent ferriers” – get the 10th time for free! 😋
    I haven’t had the time or energy to blog much, since the twins cry and scream all the time when they are at home (at daycare they are fine, we are told) and it’s exhausting. Also, we are sick all the time, one cold after another. No free time. No sleep, either. But they are obviously lovely and adorable too and they’ve learned so much at daycare! (Days at the office seem like a paid holiday in comparison. But getting there each morning is a struggle, by 9 am I’m feeling like I’ve run a marathon, getting the toddlers to daycare and myself to work!) Welcome back!! 🤗🤗🤗🌷🌷🌷

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    1. So great to hear from you Snow 💕 The first degree was Master in Social Services (sosionomin YAMK) for which I was able to use the bachelor’s degree I had from University, so it only took 1,5 years to complete. Then the other degree was in Hämeenlinna: international teacher education (opettajan pedagogiset) for which I also got some accreditations from my Uni degree and will now graduate two months earlier than planned. Wow it sounds tough with the twins but don’t worry, it will pass in time.🤗 I can totally understand not having energy to blog in the middle of all that! I remember when my kids were in kindy, I always congratulated myself when I got them to daycare, as that was the day’s most exhausting task 😅 I look forward to hanging out in the blogsphere again! 😍 And yes, I do wonder when Tallink will start giving me free trips 😉😂 Take care and good luck for tomorrow’s daycare run! xx

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  9. Welcome back Suvi! Your country has a wonderful education system – academic vs economic based. Now that I’m newly retired, I’ve re-ignited my interest in learning – all the stuff I wanted to know but didn’t have the time before, to pursue. I wish we had your system here in Canada. It will be nice to hear more from your blog. Cheers, Sandy

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    1. Hi Sandy, lovely to hear from you! ❤ For the Master's degree, there was a lady studying with me who will most likely retire in the next five years. So studying is possible practically at any age 🙂 Take care!

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