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Rush!!

The pressure, undergrad classes & upcoming courses

rain 14 °C

As mentioned before I am attending undergrad (Bachelor) courses on Product visualization (using Kerkythea 3D rendering software + Rhinoceros 4) and one on semiotics of user interface design (strictly taught in Soumi!) at Savonia Design Academy.(If you did not know, you are new here; you got lots of reading to do-> go make popcorns! :D)

Its fun and challenging being in an undergrad learning environment here. Mostly because of the language barrier, most times I just come with an article to read and sit there pretending to be attentive (hey! dont judge me, its frustrating!). The semiotics module is tiresome because EVERY week we have an assignment to present..sometimes twice a week! Shucks! And to add to that the lecturer gave me his teaching slideshow to translate in my own comfort area...well, its 566 slides long! Go figure! The 3D rendering module is also taught in Soumi but practical and the software is in English so its easy for me to follow the instructor's mouse pointer on projector and create whatever he is teaching us! nice things we doing there! Below are some of my works so far:

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The problem is that the Academy is far from where I stay! I think I ride for over a kilometer (maybe 2?!) to class every morning! And that just stresses me at times and affects my research stamina. And my courses on public health and stuff are about to begin next week!

I know I will survive, they did not nickname me Kratos for nothing! hehehe.....

Posted by Kratos 09:57 Archived in Finland Tagged me art bobby educational savonia Comments (0)

Kuopio Boat cruise

Mingling with the international peeps just got better!

overcast 20 °C

Well, I have been either too busy or lazy to update the blog in real-time, you take your pick!

Aaaanyways, on Friday 10th September the Student Union decided to spoil us a little and took us out on a boat cruise. I was actually a bit lazy to go because I had a week full of this and that, plus I went out the previous night (Dont judge me!). I got in the mood anyway, Sipho and I walked there. I left my bike because it would be more polite to walk with Sipho instead of pushing my bike next to her!I have to say,her fitness has increased well! She walked fast and we did not have to take pit stops like when we got here! hehehe...she is going to hate me if she reads this part! We got to the habour on time and we were blessed with a presentation from the Kuopio chief information officer, then we split into two boats. We sat on the top derk for a greater view;

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And of course; the landscapes were as breath taking as one can imagine;
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Once we set sail we went to our small clans as usual, but Sarita (From student union) had a better plan! She announced that there is a game to be played; pens were handed to everyone and then a piece of paper with 25 attributes of people like "Married", "dances salsa" and "sings in the shower". Now the task was to go about the crowd and ask who fits where and write down their name there, and to make it more challenging we were not allowed to enter the same name twice! Yep! We ran around introducing ourselves to others and asking about, it was so much fun that we only looked up to notice that the boat was turning around! By then we knew little things about each other and have chatted with almost everyone in the crowd, it was a good way to break the invisible borders between us and get us talking.
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After this we went downstairs and snacks were arranged for us, and the mingling went on. The fun game on the top derk helped break some eyes and we could chat freely. As soon as we hit the harbor we were told that the stamps in our hands can get us cheaper drinks at Ale Pub! Well, you know what happened next! hahaha! but I was starving so I asked Sipho to accompany me in my search for eats, we went to Hesburger to experience the famous American fast food (and to test our new bank cards!). Tasted good! Then we went back to join the others in the pub. The pub was just a pit stop; the Student Union went further and organized FREE entry for us at Passion Club from 8p.m so we went in there and it was AWESOME!!
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Needless to say, ever since this day we have been using Facebook to mingle with each other and know more about each other as well. It has been a good week since.Good peoples

Posted by Kratos 10:26 Archived in Finland Tagged landscapes sunsets_and_sunrises lakes people bobby tourist_sites Comments (0)

On top of the world!

Puijo Tower, Kuopio

sunny 20 °C

The other day my supervisor invited us to go and see Kuopio from the skies. I was excited and did not even hesitate to accept the invitation! The worry was how we gon get there, but he came and picked Sipho & I on his car and we drove there. Breath taking views from the top I tell you!

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After making an entrance African style, we went up the tower and my! my! I had ma mouth agape till it dried up inside! Kuopio is a beau! The views you see from the top are amazing. From down there on my everyday path all I see is trees and lakes, from up in the tower you see a marvel of nature....like a little child's dream (my short analogy of Finland!). Take a look;
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I thank God for technology everyday I am in Finland! Imagine visiting such a marvelous place and there are no cameras or internet! How do you describe it when you get back home?! hahaha! Stress! hahaha! I had a good day being on top of Puijo Tower...everything was perfect, except that it was missing one VERY important thing;My beautiful Monty....she would love this.

Posted by Kratos 06:11 Archived in Finland Tagged me landscapes sunsets_and_sunrises trees bobby tourist_sites Comments (0)

Warming up to the Finns

Dont get me wrong-its getting cold here! lol!

overcast 10 °C

The last few days have been very hectic on me. I have signed up to attend some Industrial Design undergraduate classes and they drain my energy because everyday I am on the bike at past 7 in the morning, paddling my sleep away! :( This past week I did not attend all week; I had a compulsory international students orientation at the University of Eastern Finland. The orientation ran for 3 days, September 1-3, and was all day and very long! It was just exhausting to my mind to sit there and listen all day, but the information was good though.

On the 2nd day of orientation I sneaked out to go and have a meeting with my supervisor, Prof Mikko Korpela, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made! Lemme explain why; for the last few months I have been sore because I deleted my thesis chapter 2 (Literature review) progress by mistake. Now this chapter takes a lot of thought and time to put together and any small progress on it is much appreciated. I was crushed and couldn't do it again regardless of what my internal supervisor Boniface said, he ended up telling me to go ahead with other chapters and pause chapter 2. During my meeting with Mikko he mentioned that I have sent him a compilation of my thesis months back and it has THAT chapter 2 progress in it! :D Need I say more?!

On Thursday 2nd September, the international office organized a club function for all international students at club Onella. I went there solo, reasons cannot be stated here, and at first I was kinda looking all lost standing in a long queue. Then I saw some of the ladies from the orientation also looking lost and soon we were a small bunch of us. We were worried that we might not get into the club but that turned out alright and it was fun inside. The most surprising element of that night was that I was my tutor (every international student arriving in Finland is assigned a Finnish tutor till they can get about on their own) jumping up and down and getting wild! Ville is VERY quite when not drunk!! jeez! Well, pictures say a thousand words;

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Needless to say, the following day most of the students were half asleep during the last leg of orientation! Some even openly slept, it was tough. For some of us the unfortunate; I had a lecture at Savonia Design Academy after lunch so no rest for the wicked. Made it though, Kratos always raises up to the challenge.

As time goes on, I begin to put my 1st impressions of the Finns and notice that they are actually nice people to be around.Yes, 90% of the whole population are introverts and kinda secretive but the thread that runs thru all of them is that they are very warm towards you once yo establish that connection. A stranger can look at you and turn away, but once you approach them they warm up and are very helpful. The main sad barrier here is still language, but they make up for it with their humility :). Don't get me wrong; a lot of Finns can speak English but the majority of them feel inadequate with the language so they rather keep quite and avoid conversation. I like Finnish people, they are very humble regardless of all the stereotypes draped around their shoulders. The most interesting attribute about all of them is that they are aware that they can be weird, thats a quality that most of our nations can use- being true to ourselves.

Anyway, enough said. Lemme get back to starting chapter 2. 7 weeks to go and I have to finish this sucker! God Bless

Posted by Kratos 02:49 Archived in Finland Tagged parties bobby educational Comments (0)

A new leaf turned...

New developments, same story....

overcast 15 °C

The last few days have been hectic for me. I am attending undergraduate courses under industrial design and the classes are mostly at 08:00a.m! *yawn* so its a bummer for me! Needless to say; I am sort of keeping up! Interesting classes and I am learning a lot regardless of the language barrier...I made peace with it :). And oh! I got a little bit confused with my course names the last time I wrote here, the module where we use the software in a lab is called Product Visualization (and I wasnt even enrolled for it at the time!lol!no wonder the lecturer kept giving me a puzzled look!) , I went to the REAL rapid prototyping this past Friday and it was in a lab with benches and machines! I got there and everyone was in aprons and running around holding a design brief in their hands! I read it and got the picture more or less, the problem was that I got no hands-on experience using all those industrial design machines! We were supposed to create a rapid prototype of a mobile artifact. That part I got and could brainstorm, but I did not want to end up becoming that bugging guy going like "Um.....excuse me! How do you turn this machine on?!" :-D. I approached the good lecturer and his English was almost non-existent! So I did what the smart Kratos would do; smiled, packed my bag, nodded politely and quit the module! I went to Saara the coordinator's office and cancelled the prototyping module and replaced it with the product visualization one.

Then on Thursday our friend Mikko (young Mikko, not Mikko Korpela my supervisor), you can see him in my Lappeenranta pictures, invited us for dinner at his home. Picked us up at 6p.m and it was so nice to eat real home-cooked food for a change! I mean I cook yes, but using student budget ingredients! We had a lovely evening at Mikko and Miina's home, went back home happy! God bless them :-) Mikko then informed us that the following day, Friday 27th August 2010, the town will be alive at night as museums and artscapes will open doors for free entry and there might be live music in certain spots in town! Good! I've been dying to see Kuopio night life but needed a motivation, Sipho and Bennett (Prof) changed plans but that did not stop me. It was a good day because I managed to type in about four good pages into my thesis so I was proud! Its been hard to do work here in Finland. I borrowed Sipho's good camera, put some music onto my ears and embarked on my solo adventure. Here are some of the snap shots:

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Saturday night I got a new flatmate, Allard from Holland. He is a lively and will be good to stay with. I have a Russian flatmate who arrived last Monday and his English good and he also cool. The problem with him was that his family arrived with him and stayed in our flat for a week! That was really uncomfortable and irritating! He did not even approach me to ask if its ok! They pissed me off! They left this Sunday evening so we are ok now, free!!! I took Allard for a walk to show him where Prisma is, he got excited and did not heed my warnings about how Finland is. He took fancy things and his jaw dropped when the cashier asked for a small 22 Euros!LOL! That will teach him! Then today Prof left! sad moments.....sad..sad! But He is soo happy about it that I just had to be happy too, the man has been away from his family for FOUR months! shooo! Was sad watching him go but He deserves it.

Other than that, all I am managing well. Loaded myself with undergrad work and it gets hectic at times. The hardest part is missing Monty everyday, I try not to chat about it here but whats the point of a blog if I try to be modest? I chat with her on mxit and Skype but still miss her. Sometimes she is not well and I wish I was there to look after her, distance is a bummer yo! I am proof that it makes the heart grow fonder, but that is at the cost of my happiness now! Soon...very soon it will be October!

Posted by Kratos 02:05 Archived in Finland Tagged museum bobby monty savonia Comments (2)

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