Sunday, February 25, 2007

Min Pappa Kommer till Linköping!

Om du har läst denna blog sedan i augusti, då du har träfft min pappa, Johan, redan. I november, jag rest till Prag för att se honom på hans nya hemme. Han lärar engelska i Prag. Min blogg från Prag är en favorit för mig. Denna helg, min pappa anlände till Central Station på fredag, kl. 21:00 och han lämnade på söndag, kl. 13:00. Ja, en kort helg, men en bra helg för två Amerikaner i Linköping.

Efter min pappa anlände på fredag, vi gick runt Linköping Centrum och bestämmade att äta middag med Afrodite Grekisk restaurang på Nygatan. Denna restaurang är en favorit men min företag, och maten är jättebra. En perfekt början för vår helg i Linköping.

På lördag, vi kom till Linköpings Universitetet och Colonia. Då, Gamla Linköping, men det var stängt! Dåligt! Gamla Linköping öppnar kl. 12:00 och vi var där kl. 11:00. Förlåt, pappa. Inte choklad idag! Vi tog bild och lämnade mot Domkyrkan och slott.

Min pappa och jag både gillar historia, så Domkyrkan, Slott och Stadshus var mycket bra. Vi gick runt denna histora områd i Linköping, men snart vi behövde ha en paus.....precis, vi behövde äta kanelbullar och dricka kaffe. Precis! Det var tid för min pappas första fika!

Vi gick till Wayne's Coffee och han träffde min kompisar med Wayne's, då vi började träffas många människor och kompisar som gick runt Linköping Centrum. Min pappa tänker att jag kännar alla i Linköping nu, därfor han träffde en massa av människor på lördag. Jag visade han System Bolaget, Norins Ost och Stora Torget och annan saker och platser i Linköping Centrum, då vi lämnade till Cloetta Center och LHC ishockey mot Malmö.

Det var en bra spel. Den början av den tredje period, någon hade en mål. Då, vår LHC gjorde en mål, då andre, då tredje och en mer var mycket fint! LHC vinnade 4 - 0. Jättespännande!

Bilden upp var min pappa med tre kompisar och studenter på Linköpings Universitetet, Cecilia, Hampus och Vaclav. Cecilia och Hampus bor i Colonia och Vaclav kommer från Prag, så han och min pappa pratade mycket om Prag, Tjeckian och öl från Prag. Jättekul.

Efter spelen, vi gick till Bishops Arms Brittisk pub på Ågatan och träffde människor från min svenskakurs. Idag, min pappa och jag gick till Ryttargårdskyrkan och sjungade på svenska. Min pappa sjungade på svenska! Jag skrattade mycket, som du skrattar om min första blogg på svenska! Jag har redan en lärare på svenska, så jag behöver inte något mer. Jag ska gilla inte kommentar att visa min många problemer på svenska! Tack för din hjälpa, alla!

Och, min mamma, Dianne, ska kommer till Linköping i April. Vi ses för fika i Linköping!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Colonia and LiU

When you live in the United States and choose to go into education for your profession, you never expect to work for a private business in Europe, but through a unique set of circumstances, my career path recently took me from the University of Washington in Seattle to Linköping University and a private real estate company developing the new student housing project in the north-west corner of campus, affectionately named "Colonia" by the students.
Without going into details, my job in both places has been to work closely with student living environments in order to make them as quality and educational as possible, a living and learning community, which is an expectation with University-owned student housing in the U.S., but a new concept here in Sweden where student housing is traditionally wholly separate from the educational experience. In short, this concept is "on-campus student life meets the living place" and hopefully, a richer and fuller learning experience is the result.
Not wanting to mix business with pleasure, I have purposely left my job and profession outside of the blog arena so far, but I figured it was time to come forth with that which I spend a whole lot of time on during the week. It's been a pleasure to get to know Swedish students and begin to see the goals for this project realized just a half-year into my two-year Swedish educational experience.
The pictures above attest to the new living environment at Linköping University ("LiU") as well as some of the student residents, the first to take the plunge into on-campus living. I've found the students and staff at LiU to be highly competent and focused individuals, making this an exciting place in which to begin a new season of work and life.
Jag har inte glömt om min svenskaspråk, alla i Sverige. Nu, jag tar min andra svenskakurs på Folkuniversitetet och snart, snart jag ska skriva min blogg (bara en blogg) på svenska. Också min pappa ska kommer till Linköping från Prag denna helg och vi ska gå till Cloetta Center att titta sista spelen med "LHC." Vi ses på Cloetta Center, vänner!
(For those of you who found this blog a little hard to read, trust me, I can't stand it when Blogger messes with me. It's important for the blog writer to make the blog as easy to read as possible for the readers and that usually means separate paragraphs! If I could, I would. When I save something as a draft, then come back to it, Blogger seems to take over. If any of you have advice, I would welcome it. No more drafts, that's for sure....)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Gamla Linköping and a Sense of History

It was one year ago this week, during an exploratory trip of meetings and presentations, that I was first introduced to the possibility of coming to Europe to live and work for this season of life. While it wasn’t until July that I finally arrived for good, my memories of this initial trip are never far from my mind. Now, as living in Linköping and Sweden becomes more and more “normal” for me with each passing week, memories of the initial awe and excitement of Europe during that first trip keep me valuing every day I have here. My only previous experience of Europe was continental Europe during a study semester in '93.

As an American, perhaps the most striking element of Europe is its history. Linköping was a city hundreds of years before the first immigrants set sail for the newly-found land across the Atlantic. The Domkyrkan, Linköping’s cultural icon and ever-present reminder of what came before, was under construction in the 1100s! These kinds of historical realities provoke an extraordinary sense of perspective and strangely, a deep sense of connection and indebtedness to those who came before. Americans are compelled by Europe because Europe reminds us of history, our collective history, and this historical awareness brings meaning and identity that we’re often missing in our daily lives. Long live Europe and the wide-eyed traveler in search of history and meaning.

Speaking of history, Gamla Linköping (“Old Linköping”) is a favorite site around here because it’s where this history is preserved for everyone to see. In many cities throughout Sweden, the old town center has been saved and re-located just outside the current city center so no one forgets their roots or from where they came. These outdoor museums open a door to experiencing Sweden the way it was during the 1800s. Your walk back in time is not just a museum to be observed, but an actual town to be experienced with shops and cafes and helpful staff dressed in period attire, though anything beyond food and handcrafts is present in the form of a museum (post-office, bank, school house, chapel, etc.). The wood-carver, lace-maker and pottery house are my favorites, though the chocolate shop is a must-see, as well.

Gamla Linköping is not just a tourist favorite, but locals appreciate what they have as well, especially during the Christmas season when Linköpings Julmarknad (Christmas Market) is held in the Gamla Linköping town square. Come visit, gain a sense of history and connection with the past and see Linköping as it was, but until then you can visit Gamla Linköping online:

Pictures above from Gamla Linköping:
1. Classic Swedish home
2. Traditional Swedish town street
3. Lace Maker shop
4. Just a great collection of Swedish consanants that will make any non-Swedish speaker wince
5. Cloetta's Chocolate Shop

Monday, February 05, 2007

Super Bowl Monday

Amerikansk Fotbol. In early February each year, Americans celebrate the final American Football game of the year, the Super Bowl. This championship game is played on Sunday, like all other games during the season, so this day that is celebrated more than most national holidays is affectionately known as "Super Bowl Sunday." However, a funny thing happened on my way to celebrating Super Bowl Sunday in Sweden. That's right, Sunday became Monday long before the game started. So this blog is a special tribute to a uniquely European sensation: Super Bowl Monday Morning (12:30am - 4:30am was the game time).

Before I found out that the game is actually shown on Swedish television live, I made my plans to head to O'Leary's, a chain of sports bars throughout Sweden styled after famous Boston sports bars. While here in Sweden, O'Leary's has been a great place for me to go for a small touch of home and catch some of my beloved American sports, even deep into a Monday morning.

A truly international crowd was in attendance at O'Leary's as the Colts and Bears squared off in the 41st ever Super Bowl game (it is estimated that 1/7 of the world was watching!); Some American ex-patriates, many who had lived in the U.S. at some point and others who, somewhere along the way, began to understand American football and the fever has never left. There are, in fact, American Football leagues in countries throughout Europe, including Sweden. And I found out last night that Stockholm is represented by the "Stockholm Mean Machines." Check out the website:

As you can see, we destroyed the pansies from Moscow, but those Austrians were tough. I don't think the Mean Machines will be replacing the Raiders as the meanest and most destructive team any time soon, but you've got to appreciate the participants in a sport that most people in the country don't understand or care about.

As for the Super Bowl, while Indianapolis was wrapping up the city's first championship ever, I was concluding my explanations of American football to two Brazilians who admirably sat through the whole game willing to learn about a new sport into the wee hours of the morning.

Watching this truly American event from an international location was just one more memory of many so far in Sweden. I imagine I will be watching most Super Bowls in the future at the regular time, but I'll always remember Super Bowl XLI live from Stockholm.

Go Mean Machines!