I've got so many things going on it's crazy... That's how I start my excuses for, again, waiting more than a month to write. This week has been turbulent to say the least. First of we had over 400 new students starting school last Monday. The entire week was busy and at the end of the week I got some bad news. I'm trying not to think about it, but then I realize how much I care and I can't stop. The circle of thought goes on and on. So I need a new goal. My internship ends in the beginning of november which gives me about 7 weeks left here. Wow...

I'm already getting the question "then what?". I don't know. I just know what I'm NOT going to do., so that gives me somewhere to start. Maybe this is the time to be brave and go somewhere new. There are many places I haven't seen yet.

I also had a friend from Sweden visiting me this weekend and two weeks before that my boyfriend came to visit me. I have so many pictures I need to upload, but I feel too tired to even begin. I think that's also part of why I haven't written much here. I have too much going on. And I'm sad about how this week turned out so I sort of want to write about my frustration and yet I write in riddles because a part of my doesn't want to talk about it. Life is hard.

//Findus Krantz

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Hi there!

I know I haven't updated my blog for quite some time, but I'm afraid I'm experiencing some technical difficulties at the moment. My beloved Sonia (my portable computer) needs a transplant (also known as "a new hard drive") according to Doctor Carlos (also known as "the IT Coordinator) who is doing his best to resuscitate Sonia. This is becoming too real...

So what's happened since my last post... (apart from Sonia's Alzheimer). I got a new phone! My first ever smartphone. I'm still not comfortable with it, but I have to admit it's very useful. I have also travelled to Cardiff, London, and Brighton. Today I met up with an old friend I haven't seen in years. I had completely forgotten she lived in Oxford and today we finally met again.

Since we were in high school together we started talking about the old high school days and what drove us away from home so to speak. We talked about how hard it was staying in touch with people which made me wish life was a bit like the first The Sims game. I used to play a lot of it when it was first released. Then the expansions made me an addict... then Sims 2 was released and things just became too real and awkward. All of the sudden the characters became old and died and you could custom make the character into your virtual self, which made me stop playing all together. Simi me (*ba dum tss*) had more specific goals than I did and while I was being depressed in the real world. The whole experience gave me another life crisis. Yeah, I've always been like that...

But that's not what I wanted to talk about. I was gonna say that I wish things were like The Sims with relations. If you neglected a friend for a long time in The Sims you would get a notification that you are about to lose/have lost the friend. After that all it took was a phone call to change the situation. Imagine getting some sort of message every time someone would officially stop considering you as a friend. Like there was some sort of specific percentage that you can't go under in order to be considered as friends. I would appreciate that. Sometimes my mind is too literal and I'm not sure if people are joking or not. And sometimes I have to ask someone if the person is mad at me or not. My life would be easier (but probably not as interesting) if I could see like a life bar with the friendship percentage over everyone I met. But then it would probably be hard a dose of reality when you suddenly saw someone's friendship bar go down. But sometimes I wish I would know if the person had already given up on mending the friendship or not. Some people just aren't honest enough to say out loud that "we have driven apart" or something like that. So maybe the friendship bar would be useful for someone who has a hard time putting words to their thoughts... Then at least you would know. Maybe it's just me, but I think it's cruel to leave someone hanging around instead of just being honest.

Another thing I've been thinking about is the points you start with when you custom make your character. You get to divide the points into amounts of characteristics, such as if the person is outgoing, nice, playful, active etc. No matter how many times you created a new character (or sim) you always started with the same amount of points to be divided. I like to think that it's the same with human intelligence. We all have pretty much the same amount of intelligence points to start with but it is displayed differently in regards to the theory of the nine different intelligences.

Anyway, I have somewhere to be now, but I'll try to post here more often. Bye.

//Findus Krantz

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Morning! Today is my day off and it's like 30 degrees outside (I've been told that it's going to be anyways). Me and two coworkers decided to have breakfast at Starbucks so we sat outside in the sun together. I still have some work related things I need to do today, though. I need to go with an underage student to the bank so that he can withdraw money. I have to do this since the student's parent transfered the money in my name. But it shouldn't take long. Also I have to come up with some ideas for a birthday gift.

Apart from that I'm just gonna chill. I have just started reading a book a friend got for me before I left. I have barely read anything at all since I got here, which is quite unusual for me. I mean the week before I left my biggest issue was returning the library books without coming out of the library with more books. The struggle is real.

Tomorrow I'm doing clay modelling with the students. I did it two weeks ago when I was in a really bad mood and it made me happier. The students make me feel better. It just fills my heart with joy when they are smiling towards me and they recognize me and everything; even when I'm not a work. And just doing something creative helps. I just have to remember that. Because let's face it, when I'm anxious or sad I tend to do things that are just for coping; not exactly for helping (as in feeling better). I dunno. I think there's a distinction between the two. My biggest bad habit (or coping strategy) is cracking my right wrist. I've been told it's called psychomotor agitation and I've been doing this and some other stuff since I was little. I don't know why I'm bringing this up since it's a very sensitive subject and just talking about it makes me want to crack it. But now you know. If I get very anxious I actually crack it to a point where it starts to swell up and hurt and stuff. My therapist told me it's very important that I allow myself to have these little coping strategies and that I don't blame myself or try to force myself to quit doing them just because people scare me by saying that it's dangerous and bad or whatever. I'm doing it for a reason and removing my way of coping with my issues doesn't solve the problem. But I can say though that it has gotten so much better over the years so slow but steady. Or maybe never. Now, while I'm on the subject. If you ever see me doing this, please don't say anything about it and please don't look at me (at least not at my wrist). I'm still a bit ashamed of it because people have always made me feel like what I'm doing is wrong and if someone calls me out on it I feel exposed and the anxiety gets worse. What you can do though is talk to me :) But don't feel like you have to if you don't want to.

I feel like this is where I should end this post. It got super serious out of nothing. That's what I get for not having a filter :) Thank you for reading this.

//Findus Krantz

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Weird and awful things are happening in the world right now. I think being around people from different nationalities makes you realize how awful it is and how everyone gets affected; especially the students. Imagine being a student in a foreign country and then finding out that there was a terror attack in your home country; maybe even your city... It's just awful. Not to mention yesterday I got some very distubing and upsetting news regarding someone I know. Feel free to call me arrogant (I do feel arrogant at times) but you just don't think these things happen around you until they actually do. Maybe it is because it's hard to relate to people you don't know and things you don't know about. But that doesn't mean you don't care.

I always have the trouble that people try to relate to me when I'm about to tell them something I wouldn't normally say and then I get insensitive comments about it. I know people mostly have good intentions and are trying to help but sometimes I feel slightly bitter and I'm stopping myself from saying something harsh back. I don't know... it's just cold sometimes. You try to tell someone something important and all of a sudden it's like that's nothing to them or they shut the door in your face by stating that I'm weird or something like that. Like they get to decide what's normal. I just think it's cold and excluding sometimes. Like a social barrier. But then again I realize that sometimes there are no good answers and people are usually trying their best (otherwise they wouldn't respond at all). But it still upsets me every now and then.

But luckily there are also amazing people who know how to feel the room. I had a wonderful encounter like that today. I spoke about something that has been weighing me down and I got the appropriate response so to speak. That makes me feel like maybe I'm not so messed up after all. I need more encounters like that. I feel like then maybe I wouldn't be making so many excuses for myself, because deep down I don't think I'm either weird or messed up. I'm a survivor and I'm proud of what I have achieved over the years.

I miss you, Jenny <3 You always say the right things even when you're convinced that you're not. I'm lucky to call you my best friend. I wish you were here.

//Findus Krantz

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This weekend me and my roomie went on a day trip to Bath and Stonehenge.

//Findus Krantz

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I've had a really busy day today. But I like it. People keep saying I'm not going to feel like that once the high season is here, but I don't believe them. Call me naive, but I know myself. I work best under pressure. It's when things are slowing down that I get unfocused and even a bit anxious. I just like to keep my mind occupied. Next week I will have some activities with the students, such as clay sculpting, karaoke and a welcome party.

Today I started thinking about my writing project again. For those of you who don't know what I'm writing about I am working on a story of a character who lives in a secret basement underneath a school. I have been working on this idea for quite some time but all I have so far is the environement and the character. Now I sort of have to figure out what is actually going to happen. I'm thinking someone is chasing the character somehow (which would be the reason for hiding). I have worked out three different plots but all of them have the same problem; it's only a backstory. I need something to make the story move further. Unless I decide to write it differently. But I don't want it to seem like a fictional biography or anything; I want it to be intense.

I think I got the idea originally because of the time I spent at a community college in Dalarna. It was at a time when I just wanted to be alone and focus on something that would be good for me and at that time I needed to move 270 kilometers into the woods for a year to get that. There where secret rooms to explore everywhere and the teacher (may he rest in peace) even encouraged us to always open doors and look for interesting things. In fact the first day of school he gave us the master key and told us to pimp the classroom (or "take over the school" as he phrased it). He allowed us to take anything we found that would improve our boring looking classroom (as long as we didn't take it from someone else). To this day this is one of my nicest memories. It brought the class closer togheter and it was just one of those things you don't expect to hear. So when I started university a couple of years later I would always look for interesting things. Especially behind doors. Maybe it's because I grew up reading Alice in Wonderland, Narnia and Harry Potter. I don't believe in secret worlds, but I believe that there is a story behind everything I see. Thus I am always looking for something that could be part of a story. I think life gets a bit more interesting like that.

//Findus Krantz

PS: I like the way you're always so nice and friendly and passionate about your job. I can see that you really care about the people you interract with. I'm talking about you, Alex :)

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Here goes. I haven't written anything here for quite some time but a couple of colleagues have encouraged me to post so I'm gonna do my best (and from now on the posts will be in english).

I have been here for three weeks now and I'm finally starting to get comfortable in my work position. In the beginning it's just all new and you have to repeat a lot of information, but luckily I have patient colleagues. Figuring out structures is always the awkward part you have to work through. And as a social psychologist I would say that structures both fascinates and freaks me out.

I really like it here. I like that no one asks me questions about my name, whilst in Sweden about 80% of the people I meet say something incosiderate about me sharing a name with a cat (and a food brand). I could get used to not having to defend myself when I'm introducing myself. Now that I think about it, that's kinda sad... But regardless I'm happy to be here.

I think it's finally starting to sink in that I'm not a student anymore. I'm starting to relax and take one day at a time instead of counting days according to deadlines, which is nice. Because to be honest, school has not been easy on me. Last year I lost a fifth of my body weight due to stress and I haven't exactly had time to recover (being a former anorexia sufferer doesn't exactly help). At one point me and my best friend just laughed until we cried and cried until we laughed. But I'm happy we pulled through. Turns out one of my colleagues here went to University of Limerick with me last spring and he actually recognized me because he had seen me in a picture with one of our mutual friends. How crazy is that! And another colleague used to live in my boyfriend's home town so she knows his little sister. Small world indeed.

I'm not sure what to write next. I've never been good at small talk. To be honest I have a lot of things on my mind that I'm not quite sure how to explain. Once I see a problem (or for that matter just a problematic thought) I tend to shut down and just bottle things up until I've found an answer. I don't know if this is good or bad; it just is. But the way I see it I have a lot of time to figure stuff out so hopefully I will feel less clueless once I've figured this out.

Tomorrow I'm going to London to see Les Miserables.

//Findus Krantz

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Idag lär jag stanna inomhus då regnet fullständigt öser ner utanför fönstret. Hann precis in från frukosten innan det började regna jävel. Jag hade velat upptäcka andra delar av staden idag, men det får vänta. Jag har ju faktiskt fem månader på mig.

Har åkt på ett jättestort översättningsjobb, så sitter med mitt kalkylark och lyssnar på musik blandat med det melankoliska ljudet av regnets smattrande. Det kan vara det mysigaste som finns. Här behövs ingen Rainy Mood. Jag har även fått en stor mapp med information från min chef. Hon sa särskilt att jag inte behöver kunna allt till imorgon, men vill ju ändå få mig en översiktlig bild av vad jag förväntas göra inom kundserviceområdet. Jag kommer alltså att jobba inom customer support and welfare department, vilket känns som att det kommer bli mycket att göra, men det är exakt vad jag behöver. Jag ska även jobba en lördag och en söndag i månaden; dessa ska dock inte vara under samma helg. Har ingen aning om vad helgsysslorna kommer att bestå av, men det visar väl sig. Skönt att veta att jag kommer att ha lite helger på mig att antingen dra med på aktiviteter eller bara upptäcka staden. 

Idag är det sex år sedan jag tog studenten (och jag vill minnas att det regnade lika mycket då). Imorgon börjar jag jobba!

//Findus Krantz

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I morse drabbades jag av nostalgi. Några elever som bodde på skolan när jag kom hit åker hem idag och jag kom att tänka på hur jag kände inför min egen språkresa sommaren -2005. Det var första gången jag reste utomlands själv och jag fick vänner som jag har kontakt med än idag. Då var jag fjorton år och var bara glad över att komma hemifrån; precis som nu, fast i vuxen ålder och mindre trasig. Precis som när jag skulle åka hem, hörde jag några elever uttrycka att de ÄNTLIGEN skulle få åka hem och några som var ledsna över att åka hem. Utanför mitt fönster satt en människa och grät och hen blev tröstad av ett gäng vänner som satte sig runt hen. För elva år sedan hade det där varit jag.

Traskade in till stan efter att ha ätit frukost. En ekorre sprang jämsides en liten bit av vägen. Såg en igår också, så av detta drar jag slutsatsen att jag kommer att få se flera. Idag känner jag mig friskare och jag har nu utforskat hela Oxford centrum (troligen). Jag passerade ett tjugotal college och universitet innan jag slutade räkna. Det är seriöst ett i var och varannat hörn och det roliga är att de kan se så totalt olika ut. Ett såg ut som en kyrka och ett annat var maskerat som en helt vanlig tegelbyggnad. Här finns många söta smågator att utforska. Tog dessvärre inga bilder idag då jag hörde att det skulle regn en del idag. Det lilla regn som kom var svalkande så jag kunde sitta utomhus och äta utan att besväras av det. Överallt syns skyltar med "help wanted" eller "we are hiring". Hittade typ världens bästa bokhandel och fick se en skylt även där och då hann jag tänka att "gud, jag måste verkligen söka!" men sen kom jag på att jag ju faktiskt har annat för mig. Bokhandeln var sex våningar hög och längst upp fanns ett café där man kunde sitta med sin bok och dricka kaffe. Drömmen!

Hela staden känns väldigt nördig. Det kan delvis ha med turismen att göra, men likväl. Överallt kan man köpa Harry Potter-relaterade saker; allt från kläder till masker och till och med Harry Potter-inspirerade rundturer. Om Jenny kommer hit och hälsar på har vi sagt att vi ska ha den ultimata nördturnén. Om inte nu, så har vi planerat det inför framtiden om inte annat! Fick ett starkt behov av att visa detta för någon... men det är nog bara för att jag inte laddat upp några bilder hittills. Det kommer, vänner, det kommer. Men tills vidare kan jag i alla fall visa hur mitt rum ser ut. Min roomie har fortfarande inte anlänt.

//Findus Krantz

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Är dessvärre fortfarande sjuk, men det har inte hindrat mig från att ta en promenad till Oxford centrum. Fick dock gå hem ganska snart då jag blev sämre och näsan rann konstant. Det tog ungefär en kvart att gå från EF-residenset till centrum. Vägarna är ganska smala och folk går gärna i bredd och väjer av i sista stund. Det är inte utan att jag reflekterar över hur man gör i Sverige när man möter någon på en lång raksträcka. Man signalerar tidigt åt vilket håll man går och det brukar bli höger-regeln. Här kändes det mer kaotiskt och bråttom och det blev en del tvärstopp där "sorry" utbyttes och man slank förbi varandra. En fascinerande grej jag upptäckte var att busshållplatserna var bås som liksom stod på trottoaren (vilket förstås gjorde den ännu mindre). De som satt i båset satt också med ryggarna mot vägen. Utsidorna av butikerna ser ut lite som onlinespel. Färggranna och väldigt specialiserade; ibland till och med med en tecknad skylt.

Idag har jag också hälsat på min chef och fått en liten rosa väska med information och arbetskläder. En lite kul grej var att de skrev specifikt i jobbeskrivningen att man INTE fick ha jeans, men nu fick man ha jeans så länge man har arbetströjan på sig, på måndagar och vid helgarbete SKA man till och med ha jeans på sig och dessa ska vara blåa. Tur att jag var rebellisk nog att packa ner jeans ändå, men kändes lite onödigt att få reda på det så här. Har tilldelats rosa väska, två rosa nyckelband, rosa t-shirt, rosa pennor och en rosa regnjacka. Får lite Umbridge-vibbar.

Idag passerade jag en man på stan som helt random sa "alright" till mig. Väldigt brittiskt. Vet inte om jag borde svarat alright tillbaka men sa bara "hi" och passerade. Så ja, jag sitter och googlar om jag gjorde rätt eller inte. Enligt google borde jag svarat likadant tillbaka. Där ser man.

//Findus Krantz

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