Ok! Let’s keep writing!
I should find a moment during the week to do this and then starting to tell things in a chronological order. But for now I have to write down a little bit more about my first weeks here.
I told you that it was a kind of shocking my arrival in Pieksämäki. It was uneasy to find my place in the school. And in addition to this, it was (it is) very hard for me to find a way to communicate with students.
Language could not be our mean of communication so… how solve this problem?
Well, it came out that there are other ways to communicate. In Italy we say di necessità virtù and it means that when you don’t have any other choice you are forced to use what you have to do your best, even if what you have is not that much. Maybe an English idiom which can represent this idea is If life gives you lemons make a lemonade. So I tried to use other ways “to speak”, like moving my hands, making sounds or putting Finnish words together as a baby. Hard to believe but it worked, and sometime it has been very funny! Though I don’t want to lie to you: it didn’t work always and not for everything. But for sure you can be creative and do your best to reach people around you. So, that is for sure the bright side of being far away from your comfort-zone, you can learn new things and challenge yourself. For instance, I learnt how many way I have to make people understand me and I think that this is an important lesson for me to use also in the future if I will work with Special Needs students, and also in Italy, because even in your own language often words are not enough to express yourself and you need more ways to make people understand what you want to say.
And with Finns who can speak English? Well, after a while people started to say few words in English, and then more and more. Now it is definitely better. I would say that the secret with Finns is to not force them. You have to be patient. I still don’t get it why people here don’t smile, that’s weird to me, because I think that smiling doesn’t cost anything (or is there a tax on it in Finland? I don’t know they always complain about taxation so maybe…) but at least they speak to me now, so I don’t care too much about the serious faces. I have to say that in this case the bright side is that when you make a person smile you can really be proud. I’m so happy when I get “to steal” a laugh or a smile, it’s like a very big achievement. And you can imagine how hard it is to make good jokes in a different language. I mean sometime it is practically impossible to translate Italian jokes in English (and is so frustrating) but when you handle this kind of stuff….wow!
And for now…that’s all folks!
I’m going to the train station (the famous one) with Isabel (my co-worker) since she is leaving for the week (the autumn break is starting today). unfortunately, I have to stay here (damn!) because I have to study! I really hope to survive the week, It will be booooring all alone in the School! 😛