Saturday, November 06, 2004

Long time, no see

My sincerest apologies for not blogging for a while. I've been completely swamped. And I mean all the way to my eyebrows. All the swamp things have been able to hop over my head without any problems lately.

It's beginning to seem obvious that when I get a regular job as a teacher, I will not be able to do anything else except work for at least a year or two. I won't have any spare time. I haven't really had any these past two weeks and it's beginning to take its toll. I was so exhausted yesterday that my temperature had risen way above normal and I had to skip practice. And today's practice in Uusikaupunki as well. I desperately needed the rest.

And what better way to rest (ok, besides sleeping, that is) than watch a few good movies. My friendly neighbor, the video rental place, was there to help. So I ended up crying my eyes out while watching Whale Rider. It's a beautiful movie about a young maori girl, who is named after a mythical leader of her people, Paikea. As the maori culture is facing difficult times in modern New Zealand, Paikea's grandfather had hoped his first grandson would be the next great leader of the people. Naturally, this role couldn't be filled by a mere girl, and young Paikea has to try to find her place in the world. When the ancient ones answer to her call and she becomes a whale rider, her grandfather has to reconsider. A movie with beautiful sceneries, amazing footage of huge whales swimming in the ocean and a touching story, a totally recommendable experience. I'm glad Keisha Castle-Hughes, who played Paikea, was nominated for an Oscar for her performance. She played the role with such grace and intelligence, it seemed almost unbelievable for such a young performer.

The second movie I watched was Spielberg's movie Catch Me If You Can. I should've watched this one before the sixties party we had. The movie tells the story of Frank Abagnale Jr., who became one of the most successfull con artists of his time. After being caught, he served some time in a high security prison, but was then recruited to the FBI, who of course had put him in prison in the first place. Quite a life story. The story was actually better than the movie. I felt like the movie would've needed a jolt of some kind. It was a bit anemic, I think. It seemed like Spielberg could've squeezed more out of the storyline, but as it was, the movie was ok. It was entertaining, for sure, but nothing remarkable.

So what else is new? Unfortunately, not the president of the US. A close call, once again, but unfortunately clear enough for mr. Bush to secure a second term. I'm not even going to begin to think about everything that can go wrong (or wronger) during the next four years. I was happy to notice, however, that my former home state of Illinois was a firm supporter of senator Kerry. And almost as happy to see that mr. Barack Obama was elected senator (in Illinois as well) and is now the sole black member of the U.S. Senate. I came across his campaign while digging into American politics, as one of my teachers at the University said he'd heard of a very charismatic politician named Obama. Naturally I had to find out who that was and what was the praised speech he'd given somewhere all about. Seems like the good people of Illinois made a good choice. Think about it - a young, black Democrat in a conservative Republican Senate... I do hope he's got what the job obviously takes.

Oh dear, the time. Kirsi's having a birthday party tonight and I have to start getting ready. I'm quite looking forward to a nice evening with a bunch of dear friends, because tomorrow I have to work. On top of everything else, I have to read half of Väinö Linna's novel The Unknown Soldier, so that I can discuss it with the students on Monday. It's been almost 10 years since I last read the book, so I'd better read it for real. Otherwise the discussion will be a bit, well, unprofessional. And since I expect the students to have read it, I'd better be prepared myself. Oh well, that's tomorrow's problem. Right now my biggest problem should be along the line of "whattaheckamIgoingtowear?". I'll be back, when I have time. Ta ta till then.

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