Friday, June 27, 2008

Another Month, Another Meeting

JoeWe're moving to our new apartment on Tuesday, so this week has mostly been spent getting ready for that. I've reserved a truck, made a conscious effort to use up the food in the fridge, and started packing. I don't think I realized just exactly how stressful our 3 months of moving this past winter was until I started having the flashbacks this week. Of course it's a very different experience this time. The fact is, we have so little stuff, it's been hard to find anything I could pack a week in advance.On Thursday afternoon I shifted gears, and attended the most recent in my long string of informational meetings about my theoretical Swedish lessons (by which I mean that the lessons are theoretical in that I'm not sure I believe they will happen, not that I intend to study theoretical Swedish). This meeting actually came as quite a surprise to me, as not three days before I found out about it I received a letter from SFI (Svenska för Invandrare) which said:

Vi vet inte säkert om du tänker läsa Sfi i höst och vilken skola du ska gå i. Därför måste vi få veta hur du tänker göra. Sfi-mottagningen på CVL har öppet hela sommaren utom vecka 27–29 och du är välkommen hit för att prata med oss om dina Sfi-studier.
Which I think means:
We don't know for certain if you are thinking of studying with SFI this autumn or which school you will go to. Therefore must we get an idea what you think you are doing. The SFI desk at CVL is open the whole summer except weeks 27 through 29 (editor's note: yeah, open every Tuesday and Thursday between 10:00 and 11:30 in the morning) and you are welcome here for to talk with us about your SFI studies.
Despite the fact that the above makes it sound like I'm all the way back at square one, at the beginning of this week I got a letter from Liber directing me to a meeting this week about my lessons, which apparenty are scheduled to start August 4 (which was news to me). Actually, the letter wasn't from Liber, but from it's parent company, Hernod. Liber was supposed to be one of the three companies taking students from SFI this autumn, but in the month since my last meeting Liber has parted ways with Hernod, and it's actually Hernod that will be giving the classes. At least that's what they're claiming this week, I'm sure it will change by early August.
The meeting was held in a classroom in Polacksbacken, an old barracks complex which has been renovated into the very modern home of the Computer Science department at the Uppsala University; in other words, my new home. It was not, however, in the classroom it was supposed to be in, but rather in another building all the way across the quad, so it took me an extra ten minutes to find it. The format of the meeting was similar to the last one, in that the instructors, who spoke very good English, ran the whole thing in Swedish, while an interpreter who spoke English not quite as well did the translating. Maybe it's some sort of government requirement for SFI meetings. Regardless of format, this meeting did actually have some useful information:
  • The classes will be held in Polacksbacken, which would be incredibly convenient for me of course.
  • They pride themselves on being the flexible school, so in addition to guided group classes they offer structured individual study time and online classes.
  • Since this course is intended for University-level immigrants, they offer vocation specific help which can include placement within your field to help you learn the vocabulary.
Of course there's a problem. The whole thing is intended to be used by people moving to Sweden for good, so it's an 18 month to 3 year course, full time, in becoming Swedish. Insane. I mean, who are these people that can study Swedish full time for three years? Obviously I can't take 30 hours a week of Swedish while going to school, but right now I'm signed up for a class starting in August, in the hopes that I can go full time for three weeks or so, after which perhaps they'll take pity on me and let me do an evening class or just the online class or something.I rode my bike to the meeting, so after taking the bulle that was forced upon me (which I had forgotten about until this very moment... ugh, that's a little stale) I decided to bike home by way of our new place in Eriksberg, to get a feel for my upcoming commute. After stopping to admire the high tech lawn mowing system at the Angstrom lab across the street (see photo, left), I set off through Stadsskogen. I'd done this once before, in the other direction, so I figured I'd just backtrack and wind up in Eriksberg. Well, I must have taken a wrong turn somewhere around the Troll's Forest, because I wound up some place I'd never seen before. After reading a couple of street signs and looking at the sun, I set off in the direction that seemed the most promising, and soon found myself on a street with a name I knew. Unfortunately, 15 minutes later I was in Gottsunda, which is way south of Eriksberg. Long story short, it took me over an hour to get home, but I eventually made it without major incident. Maybe I need to start carrying a map with me…

No comments:

Post a Comment