The memory is shot, which comes as no surprise to those of you who know me.
I got up this morning, took the dog out for a quick walk, and came back to get ready to start my busy day. Since I wore boots outside and it “wasn’t that bad”, I figured that I would opt for sneakers today, since I had a lot of walking to do. Which wouldn’t have been too bad, except that I left the spikey-things at home! Let me tell ya…ice and my sneakers are like oil and water, and I was trying to skate like Tanya Harding on crack.
Fortunately, I never hit my ass, but I took so many baby steps, and was slipping and sliding so much, I about gave myself a heart attack instead.
I did make it to KELA to turn in my receipts for reimbursement (“It will take at least two weeks for a decision, then we deposit the money directly into your account.”), which really isn’t too bad for a government bureaucracy, I figure. Then it was on to class again.
Last night I had my double-class day. Wow oh wow, my brain was sparking, like when something is going wrong with the electrical system, lol. Both classes are using the same text book, but are being taught in a very different way. Which is probably good, because I am getting a lot of the same material thrown at me. If it can come at me from all sides, maybe something will stick. There are some major differences also in the way these classes are being taught versus the class I took in the fall.
In that class, we learned the very basics (alphabet, colors, numbers, simple phrases, body parts, etc). In these classes, which are also supposed to be the very basics, we are pretty much learning random vocabulary and some basic grammar (so far). These classes also seem to be more focused on making sure we can communicate with others, as we are learning greetings in a more concentrated way. Still, my recommendation is that if you have NO Finnish language experience at all, try and take the Family Club free course first. It is a very low stress class, and gives you a very good foundation for a class being taught almost totally in Finnish, plus the very basic numbers and letters. In addition, I had learned words that teachers tend to say over and over, such as “write this”, “paper”, “listen”, “break time”, “now”, “next”, etc., so I’m not COMPLETELY overwhelmed.
In any case, taking the two classes together should hopefully make the material come at me enough that something will get through. The classes are an interesting mix. The day class is about twenty-five students, about half-and-half gender mix. Mostly younger students. I’m the only one from the Western Hemisphere. Students come from Russia, Somalia, Iraq, Cameroon, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Philippines, Nepal, and Spain. Everyone seems eager to learn, which is nice.
In my night class, there are about a dozen students, and while we haven’t gone through the “What country are you from?” question yet, I have met a grandmother from Australia, who wants to learn Finnish in preparation for speaking with her new grandson; a gal from Russia named Anastasia (my eldest daughter’s name!); and my friend Leoni, from South Africa. It really is neat to be around so many different cultures. What amazes me is that with few exceptions, almost everyone speaks English, and in many cases other languages (than their own), as well. The man from Camaroon speaks French, Spanish, English, a dialect from Nigeria, and a sort of ‘French-English-Cameroonese’, which I can imagine is like the Acadian-French-English spoken in the back bayous of Louisiana. Not meaning it’s the same, but the same sort of ‘adaptation’ of the language to make it almost a language of its own. And the girl from Iraq, whose family paid a man to simply ‘take them somewhere safe’, only spoke Arabic when she got here, and she learned English in six months, which she said was easier than Finnish, and more people spoke that. It simply amazes me the capacity for learning that people have.