Thursday, September 4, 2008

A welcome, of sorts

Joe On Friday I attended a reception for new students at Universitetshuset. It wasn't exactly intended for me—there was another reception this week for International students, conducted in English. The one I went to was almost all in Swedish, but it was also a wee bit more of a shindig.

The schedule of events included a warning to be on time, so I showed up 45 minutes early. The building was already crawling with new students. There were also a couple dozen organizations that had set up tables to hand out junk and advertise their services. I got a lanyard from the student choir*, some cool little flashing led lights from one insurance company, and an ice cream treat from another. By the time I'd finished scalding my mouth with a cup of very strong coffee, the doors to the main room were opening.

The program itself lasted about an hour. There were a number of speakers, interleaved with performances by various student musical groups. The MC was some guy who did little magic tricks and told what I assume were jokes in Swedish. The only bit I understood went something like:
So, how do you like the ceiling here? Pretty nice, huh? Yes, it reminds me of my first student apartment.

The speakers, who all wore their gold chains of office, included the University Chancellor, the Mayor of Uppsala, a guy I assume must be the equivalent of the Student Body President, and the President of the United Nations. Don't get too excited about that last one, it wasn't Dag Hammarskjold back from the dead or anything; this United Nations is the governing council of the Student Nations at Uppsala.

And that was that.

*a small correction by Jennifer: Joe's lanyard is from the student government, not the student choir (kår, not kör!).

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