Times sure have been busy! In the language course I found some friends crazy enough to decide to skip the last 2 days of lectures to rent a van and go to Norway. There were 8 of us and although we missed most of the orientation week program (especially Katushka, a russian ska/balkan beats event which was apparently oodles of fun) it was definitely worth it.
Norway is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and since we had a van we decided to skip Oslo and Bergen, which are a cheap train/plane ticket away from Uppsala anyway, and decided to go for the spectacular rivers/mountains/fjords, stopping by at cute historical villages. We were lucky and it only rained on the last day, when we were driving back. After 5 days of camping we were happy to come back to our comfy beds with pictures of us jumping in front of mountains with clouds below us and memories of touching waterfalls from some amazing hiking paths.
We came back just in time for our courses that started on the next day. I’m taking protein engineering and I think I’m the only Bachelor in this second year master’s course. It’s not exactly my field; I’m not planning on specialising on Biotechnology, but the course is pretty cool, it takes the things we’ve studied in MGC and GGA to a more practical level. For example: they’ve told us before how the primers need to be positioned in PCR and what the temperature cycle is. Now they’ve told me how to pick the right primers for my gene (whct the optimal G/C content is, how long they should typically be) as well as a way to calculate the temperatures that are best. It’s åretty cool, today’s the fourth day of the course and I have the feeling that I will learn a lot of techniques while I’m here.
A drawback is that lectures are 4-5 hours a day, five days a week (with an hour of lunch in between) which is not a lot but you can feel the frustration when economics students finish at 12 and political scientists have 3 weekdays off… But I guess it has always been like that.
We had our Swedish exam 2 days after we came back. Our teachers had told us that it’s going to be easy, but everybody had been stressing out about it until they gave us the sheets. It’s dificult to imagine anyone sitting this exam and failing, everybody said they did pretty good after it was over. So, if you attend your lectures (you need 75% attendance to pass), you’ll get your 7.5 credits (15 Edinburgh credits). Some people are taking less courses because of that: planning to do some travelling in the winter.
Yesterday someone said the new Dr Who episode’s out. We had a gathering of the privy in my flat and decided to meet every week. Just like in the UK!
Picking mushrooms is apparently a Swedish thing to do, so I went in the forest next to BMC with a classmate of mine in one of our lunch breaks. She knew which mushrooms were fine, and when I got home I asked some Swedish people to tell me if they’re poisonous. We looked them up online, everything looked fine, but for some reason no-one wanted to try my mushroom soup. It was delicious, though, and I’m alive 12 hours after. If this blog suddenly stops getting entries you know what’s happened 😀