Monday, October 31, 2011
I thought the presentations were very informative. I learned a lot about subjects that I probably would have never learned about, like Swedish prisons and Finnish logging. I found that each presentation gave me enough information to get a good picture of what the subject was about and sparked an interest to learn more about it. I look forward to the next round.
Now switching gears, I found the movie today extremely enjoyable. I was hooked right from the beginning and I can't wait to find out what happens. The story line is very intense and I can't say that I've seen a movie that is anything like it. I'm pulling for the boy to stay with the Swedish family, but that's just my opinion.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
I was especially surprised by the Swedish Eugenics presentation because I had no idea that actually happened, and so (relatively) recently at that! The Nuclear Power information caught me a bit off guard as well. In 1980 Sweden actually planned to close all their power plants by 2010? What a surprise! I would not have though that from the reputation Scandinavian countries have about their "green" cities and culture. Though it is important to remember that Nuclear energy is not renewable, but is preferable to burning coal because of the extremely limited carbon emissions involved in the energy system.
However, listening to all the good, happy, and "better-than-thou" presentations about Scandinavia actually made me curious about what the countries actually do wrong! You can't truly understand a country or a region if you only know its positive aspects--that's only half the story. Perhaps that's why I found the Eugenics and Nuclear energy information so impressionable. I'll be interested to hear more about the controversial and "hot" topics in Scandinavia.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
I have learned so much in the past three days, thanks to everyones’ presentations. Previously, I knew very little about Scandinavia. I was aware of silly things such as IKEA and Volvo and a few broad things like the eco-friendliness and high taxes, but I now know so much more. Scandinavia has been leaders in vastly different subjects areas for a long time. The rest of the world has a lot to learn from them, anything from the production/distillation of vodka, to the health care system. It seems that they all have a great sense of happiness, wealth, health and government and it really makes me want to study abroad there this summer.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Learn more here.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
I've taken advantage of my fall break to update/organize parts of my music collection (what little there is, I don't know what I'd do without Pandora). So I was surfing Amazon's free mp3 songs/albums when I came across and downloaded the song "Ram ram" by The Deer Tracks. It was a song in an album called Scandinavian Gold. I didn't realize they were a Swedish Band until I listened to the one song and then they started speaking Swedish.
I did a quick google on them and it's funny how "stereotypically scandinavian" the band is in the sense that they are very nature oriented. The band has it's recording studio in a wooded cabin and takes breaks "splashing in the rivers". Just thought it was an interesting piece of information I stumbled upon and wanted to share. Here's their website if you want to read more about them:
Thursday, October 13, 2011
I was especially impressed with Bergman's ability to make the rape feel as violating and uncomfortable for the viewer as it did despite it not being outrageously graphic by today's standards. The actions of the characters included subtleties that added numerous layers to the their motives and the story as a whole. This is why it was so interesting to hear from Professor Cohen about different aspects of the movie. He pointed out the meaning of details that I hadn't even considered. I currently plan on watching The Seventh Seal over fall break -- he basically made me a Bergman fan over the course of his talk.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
It is very fascinating to listen to people talk about their experiences abroad, especially since they went to an area that I am also interested in. And just as Nina pointed out and Mackenzie said, it is so much easier to listen to these people talk and learn from then, rather than the usual route of memorizing hard facts with no real knowledge of what these facts mean.
It was great to listen to Collin and Andy talk about all the fun they had in Sweden and it makes me even more excited to study abroad in Sweden this summer. I even have this idea or hope of finding a job dealing with my major (biomedical engineering) that allows me to work out of the country and travel. Overall, I found their presentations on their experiences very insightful and I really enjoyed having them come to our class.
Monday, October 3, 2011
Sunday, October 2, 2011
I've found that its often the tangent conversations about the Swedish culture that I learn the most from the speakers, not the cold, hard facts about the country. Anyone else feel the same way?