Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Days of our lives

One English writing class had an assignment to write about their life so that young people in other cultures could get a glimpse into their ordinary day. Below are a few of their essays but you'll find many more good ones in the comments section.

An ordinary school day
On weekdays I wake up typically at 7 am when my phone alarms. Usually I feel really tired, because I tend to go to bed quite late. That’s why I need a cup of coffee to get my mornings going. A newspaper is also an important part of my mornings, as I want to know what is happening around the world. After my morning routines I notice how late I am, so I grab my bike and rush to the school.

At 8 o’clock lessons start. Normally I have about four 75-minute-lessons per day, and between them we get little pauses which I spend with my friends. In the middle of the day we have a lunch break. In Finland we get a free meal every day, which is really uncommon in other countries.

When I finally get home, I relax with my friends. Sometimes we go shopping or to the movies, but usually we don’t do anything special, go to cafés or just chill. Sports is another big part of my everyday life. Running is my passion and I go jogging four times a week and in addition, I go to the gym.

In the evening my mom and dad prepare the dinner. We eat in tranquility and share the day's events. Later I might watch TV or chat with my friends on the Internet before setting the alarm to wake me up at 7 am, like always, and going to bed.
- by Sallamari

An ordinary day
In Finland our days begin usually so that parents go to work and we youngsters go to school. Of course, it is different when it is weekend or some holiday. Our school days are around 5-6 hours long. When the school day is over, we go home and perhaps we do our homework or watch TV.

We have plenty opportunity to choose if we want some hobby. The most favoured hobbies are ice hockey and football. If you take seriously that hobby and want to win contest, your all spare time goes with it. Here we take pretty seriously what we do. So, our evenings go with hobbies or if there is no hobby, we meet our friends, sit in front of a computer and do lots of other things.

At the weekends we want just to relax and have fun. Here you can see that when the weekend comes, people come out from their hides and go out to party. It is usual too that underaged kids drink too. That is one problem in our society.

Finland is a beautiful and colourful country. It is our paradise even if we have in winters over –25°C.
- by Heini

Ordinary day after school
Restlessness and sweating. Nothing comes to my mind. Neither the possibility to use the Internet nor a hot day make concentrating easier.

Almost every family has a computer and Internet in Finland. Despite the fact that it is an easy way to take contact, it has increased the time we spend at computer which means less time outside with friends, of course. I am sitting at a computer too, writing this text and dreaming of being outside. In fact, school work takes a big slice of free time, although we Finns do not use computer always for working and it is not rare to find yourself surfing in the internet. School things are not problem on rainy day, but now the sun is shining and it is not hard to decide, which is funnier, playing floorball on the street or get mad inside.

However, I have time for friends, at least when I have an easy period in school. In our school periods change about in every two months. That means the subjects as well as the length of days might change, depending on how you have designed your time table.

To conclude, I do not mean I spend every single day doing the same things. This is just a little piece of my life. If I had told everything I do, you would not have read even this far. Now I get to the place I have praised all the time, maybe you should get your bottoms off a chair and get outside too.
- by Sami

My unusual school morning
Normally I wake up every school day around eight, usually at the sound of my alarm-clock. Then I take a shower, eat breakfast, feed my dog and go to school by bus.

This morning was entirely unlike my usual morning. Firstly, I woke up because the sun was shining in my eyes and I heard the song of birds. I didn’t know what time it was because my clock had stopped during the night, so I got up. I went downstairs and wondered why my mum, dad or little brother weren’t there. My parents have to go to work around seven, because of the distance. Then I watched the wall clock, I couldn’t believe it, it was only half past five.

I had already got up so I didn’t want to go back to sleep, I decided to enjoy a cup of coffee and read a newspaper. What a great start for the school day, I thought.
- by Julia

A usual Finnish girl’s day
On school days I usually wake up at 06:45 in order to read the newspaper and eat breakfast without a rush. After doing my morning routines, I decide what to wear, my outfit represents in which mood I am, and maybe put some make up.

Fortunately I live near the school so it takes only five minutes by bike. I like school very much, thanks to my friends with whom the days won’t feel too long. A normal school day lasts from eight to two, but in this period, I have many free lessons during the week so, for example on Friday, I have school for only one 75-minute lesson. When the school day ends, I go home or meet some of my friends and we spend the afternoon together.

Our family gathers together round five o’clock to have dinner and during that everyone tells about his or her day and after that I go to the gym or jogging, except if I am feeling particularly lazy. In that case I might invite some friends to visit. In the evening I relax and maybe watch TV and by eleven I’m feeling tired enough to go to sleep.
- by Venla

An ordinary day
Now at the age of seventeen it is pretty much up to me to wake to school at mornings, and almost invariably I do so. At the same time I know that if I would start to skip my duties like that, my mom would scold me and bring me back to my senses again. So I wake up an hour before school starts, usually tired as ever, take a shower, eat some bread or fruit for breakfast if I find time and bike to the bus stop and head to school by bus.

The classes last for 75 minutes, which is pretty much enough to learn something and not too long to frustrate the students. The breaks last for 15 minutes and at them we just sit around or, if it is warm, go to the yard to stand in the sun, and discuss topics we have on mind. The lunch provided to us at midday is the highlight of the day. Then, the time depending on our personal timetables, we get out of school and head back home, some by bus, some by foot, bike, car or other motor vehicles.

At home I am usually already tired and just switch on the computer and surf and chat with my friends there or just read a book, but at weekends I go out with friends. We keep ourselves out of trouble and get home by night.
- by Jonna

An ordinary day at school
I wake up in the morning and then I have to go to the school. In Finland, we go to school every weekday. I go to school by bus because my way to school is pretty long, 10 kilometers.

Our school is small but it is also cosy. Usually my schooldays start at 8.00 or 9.30 am and they finish at 2.15 or 3.30 pm. Sometimes I have a free lesson and then I do my homework, but if I have nothing to do, I surf on the Internet.

Our lessons are 75 minutes and between them we have got four breaks and they take 15 minutes. We have also a lunch break at 11.40am and it is a little bit longer than normal breaks. In my opinion, attending school is good for me and despite the exams and exam week, I really like it! I meet my friends in the school every day and that is great!
- by Marika

One day of my life
I wake up early at 7am. First I wear my jeans and shirt and then I go to eat breakfast, porridge, an apple and some bread. After eating, I brush my teeth and fill my schoolbag with books. As soon as I am ready, I jump in to my car and drive to school. When I arrive at school yard it is almost 8am. I spend about 6 hours at school studying history, mathematics, Finnish language, English and biology. Of course, we eat lunch at school. Since I have worked hard in classes I can happily drive back home.

At home I eat some snack and rest a little watching my favourite recorded TV-programs or sleep a while. I have football training coming on so I got to prepare for them. I take my shoes, a ball and a water bottle with me. Again I take the car and drive to training. Even though football takes lots of time and it’s hard, I love it and will never give it up. After half an hour swetting I am hungry and happy. It is time to get shower. Because I am starving, my mother has made something good for me. I eat it with pleasure.

Homework is waiting but I want to talk with my friends and play before that, so I switch on my computer. I spend an hour or couple in front of computer. However, I have to do my homework. When I am ready with it, I spend the rest of my evening with family, watching television and reading. At about 11pm I fall into bed.
- by Jaakko


amo said...

Well-being, toil and motherland

What is it like to live in a developed and independent country? Living here is not as simple as some of you might suppose. Most of us work hard for living and taxes we pay are considered high. However, with these taxes our government looks after our lower class, which includes people who are out of work or just too lazy to get themselves a profession. I see their laziness because some unemployed citizens get good amounts of cash for doing nothing; that’s not just fair in some cases. After all, this is just one of the problems.

We Finns are often jealous at people who are wealthier than others. It is not always a bad thing, though. Sometimes it encourages people to do more work and get a better car than the neighbor has, which means more and more taxes to the government, which is surely a good thing.

Our fathers have built this land without crying when we were overwhelmed by either Russians or Swedes. Briefly, whatever the issue is, we Finns are not going to give up and we are definitely not leaving anyone behind.
-by Jani

amo said...

17-year-old girl’s ordinary day at school

I get up around 7.00 am. After dressing and eating I ride my bicycle to the bus stop and wait for the bus. The bus comes always at 08.55 am and it is in my school at 09.15. So that’s the way my mornings get started.

My school day usually takes five hours a day and traveling takes one hour. School day includes school lunch and few breaks (one lasts 15 minutes). In my school one lesson lasts 75 minutes but in most schools it lasts 45 minutes. I like that longer lesson because I learn so much better when I have time to study.

When the school day ends I immediately do my homework so I get them done because I hate homework but it has to be done if I want to learn something and get my school accomplished.

Over all, my day isn’t interesting but useful. Every time I go to school I get forward in my life. I am one step closer to my goal to get a job and start my life living independently. That way I respect Finnish school system because it gives a chance to everybody.
- by Ida

amo said...

An ordinary day at school

I wake up every weekday early in the morning and often I am very tired. Then I do my make-up and my hair, eat breakfast and go to school by my motorcycle. An ordinary day in our school starts at 8.00am or 9.30am and finishes at 2.15pm or 3.30pm and we have about four different courses in a day. In midday we have school dinner, which is free for all of us. Our lessons take 75 minutes and we have 15-minute breaks.

After school I go home and do my homework, I have to mention that I do not do my homework every day but usually I do it. I spend a lot of my free time at computer chatting with my friends. Sometimes I see my friends somewhere outside and we just talk and laugh and spend some time together. In the evening I have gymnastics training. Normally I go to sleep at 11.00pm. That is my regular day in Finland.
-by Hanna

amo said...

My ordinary weekday

I am a 17- year- old boy. I go to Haukipudas upper secondary school. Almost every morning I go to school at eight o’clock so I have to wake up at about 6 o’clock. In this period I have maths, two courses of Swedish, two courses of English and social studies. My school day ends at 2 o’clock or 4 o’clock. I am often very tired.

After a school day I usually go to work. I work in a grocery shop. If I have work I am at home about 10pm. When I do not go to work, I hang out with my friends. We drive a car or hang out at somebody’s home.

In the evening after all that selling of beer and skittles, I have to do my homework and other routines. Finally I chat in Internet and watch television. Then I go to bed maybe at 11-12pm.

I am really accustomed to my weekday. As I said I am often very tired but I know I can relax on weekends. Usually I have work on weekend but it does not matter. The main point is that I do not have to go to school. I have learned that if you want to survive and flourish you have to do lot of work.
-by Jukka

amo said...

Ordinary day in Finland

Usually I wake up at 7:00am. First I eat breakfast: bread, some fruit, soya milk and cornflakes. Secondly I make up and read the newspaper. Finally I have to go and walk outside with my dog. Next I hurry to catch my buss!

At school I study English, Swedish, Finnish, biology, psychology, math, philosophy, and history. School days start either at 8:00am or 9:30 and finish either at 2:15pm or 3:45. We get free of charge lunch 11:45am. One lesson takes 75 minutes and then we have 15 minutes free time.
After school I go to work as a telemarketer. I usually work three hours in a day. I don’t like this job, but I need money for a driver's license which costs over 1000€. On a weekday I haven’t much free time unlike at the weekend.

At weekend I hang out with my friends. In winter we are indoors and listen to music as well as watch movies and so on. In summer we are on a beach, in a park or somewhere else. We also hang out in a café and go shopping.
-by Emppu

amo said...

An ordinary day at school

Usually I wake up at 7 am and I am very tired (it’s not fun to wake up so early). My school day starts at 8 am and in this period I have mathematics, mother tongue, English and physical education.

Now I am in an English lesson and we must write something about our country or our ordinary day. Next, at 11 am, I have mother tongue and we will introduce some book which we have read. We have lunch at 11.30 am (it is free for us) and after that I must go to physical education lesson. It is 2.15 pm when I can go home.

At home I eat dinner and usually I do all my homework but today I don’t have any homework because today is our last normal day at school. Tomorrow begins our exam week so we don’t have normal lessons, only one exam a day. So, when I have eaten, I usually check my e-mail and then I probably go out with my little sister. In the evening I usually call my friends and I do something with them, for example, run or roller skate or then we only talk and have fun. Usually (on a school night) I go to sleep at about 10.30 pm. My ordinary day is usually like this but in summer it is, of course, very different.
-by Annariikka

amo said...

My ordinary school day

Normally I wake up at 7 am when my alarm clock starts to ring, I eat breakfast and I get ready for school, which usually starts at 8 am. I have only 2 kilometres to school so in the winter I go to school by bike and otherwise by scooter.

It depends on the period which subjects we have. Everyone makes her/his schedule by her/himself. In this period I have only few subjects so I have very short school days, almost every day my school day ends at 1 pm.

Every lesson takes 75 minutes and between every lesson we have a break which takes 15 minutes. When it is 11.30 am we have lunch, the school lunch is always free. When a period ends, we have an exam week. The exam week means that we do not have any lessons, we have only one exam in a day so our school days end about 11 am.

When I come home from school I usually do my homework (which takes about 15 minutes), then I, for example, watch TV, read books, go shopping or spend time with my boyfriend.

Today it is our last normal school day, an exam week starts tomorrow and then there is a summer holiday. The school starts again in August.
-by Henna

amo said...

My ordinary day

I wake up early. Usually I am lively in the mornings. I eat something for breakfast, for example porridge. I brush my teeth and dress up for the day. Then I am ready to go to school. I have three kilometres to school, which I cycle even if it rains or shines. I arrive at school at about 08 am.

At school I have many lessons and different subjects. My teachers are qualified and nice. My favourite subject is art because I like to do something with my hands. It brightens up the school day.

We have many breaks during the day. At the breaks we chat and communicate with friends. Sometimes it is pleasant to be alone and, for example, read some fascinating book. However, it is very important that you have some friends in school because everyone needs companionship.

My school day finishes at about 02 pm, when I usually am already tired. I love to take afternoon nap but normally I haven’t time to do so. I work after school on three days during the week. Although I am often tired, I really like to work. My job is nice. I go playing with children who have problems and in a way I help them. When I finally go home I still have to do my homework. My ordinary day is full of action!
-by a 17-year-old girl

amo said...

An ordinary day at school

My days of week are alike and I have a routine which I follow. Weekends are a little different because I can sleep more and I do not have anything that I have to do.

Typically I wake up at seven am to the voice of my alarm clock and my school day starts at eight am. After I am awake up I drink a cup of coffee and eat something for breakfast if I have enough time to do that. If I am in a hurry I just take something with me and eat that on a bus.

After my morning routine I run to the bus stop because I am always late but almost every time I arrive in time to the bus. The first lesson starts at eight o’clock and normally I have three or four 75-minute lessons per day. Between the lessons we have five to fifteen-minute breaks and the lunch break of 30 minutes at 11.35 am.

At lessons like religion and biology we normally listen to the teacher and make notes but as in both physical education and music lessons we play games and instruments.
School ends usually at two or four pm and after that I go home and make some snack and a cup of coffee.

In the evening I have three times a week football training and if I do not have training I go to my friend’s place to hang out. I and my friends normally go to the movies or do something else together.
-by Laura

amo said...

Ordinary day for boy in upper secondary school

Usually school starts at 8am or 9:25am at upper secondary school in Haukipudas. So I get up around seven and eat something and get to school. Lessons last 75 minutes but feel endless. The breaks last 15 minutes and then the next lesson starts. At 11:35 we have a lunch break which lasts half an hour. School ends usually 14:15pm.

Four days a week I go to the gym after school. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday are totally free. In gym the stress disappears and it’s like a whole different world in there. Everyone just focuses on what they are doing. I’m home usually around 18pm totally exhausted and eat a high protein dinner. Then I call my girlfriend and do something with her.

On some evenings I go jogging a few kilometres. Around 23 pm I go to sleep and wake up at seven in the morning and go to school again.
-by Arto

amo said...

An ordinary Day

My alarm clock rings at 7.00 am. I wake up perky and go to eat my classic breakfast: rye bread, yoghurt and coffee. When I have eaten, I do my make-up and dress up.

At about 7.35 I leave for school by my old and pitiful scooter. Our school lessons take 75 minutes. My school day usually takes six hours. After school I pop in home, do my homework and eat something little such as fruit. Then I head for my gymnastics training. It takes a couple of hours.

After hard training I go home and eat supper. Then I go into the hot sauna. If I have time, I watch TV. About at 10.00 pm I go to bed and may do some more homework, read a book or watch TV.
-by Anni

amo said...

When I read our essays about our normally days here in Finland,
I realize how different routines we have even if we live in same culture.
Of course our time at school is pretty similar than, but there is
many differendes in our free time intrests.
I think it was fascinating to read students' different glimpses in their ordinary day.
I hope that this weblog has given a point of our culture to others too.

- Julia