November 21, 2007

Snow fun in Kitee

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I am starting to quite enjoy the Finnish idea of work. Today we had a PhD seminar/brainstorming session for the EdTech group. Rather than hold it at the university, Clint organised for us to go to more inspiring surroundings in the town of Kitee about one hour from Joensuu. So we rolled up at the Evangelic Folk High School of Kitee in time for a big lunch to get the day off to a good start. This was followed by a tour of the buildings, in which we got a glimpse of the swimming pool and sauna that would later be the place for us to continue our discussions in the evening. Before we started the intellectual work though, we decided to build some snowmen and partake in a good snow fight. I have been eager to make use of the huge amount of snow laying waiting on the ground. The first few days of snow in Joensuu I was very tempted to start a snowball fight on my way to university. I am sure if you transported the whole of Warwick to Finland right now, there would be huge snowmen everywhere and one large continuous snowball fight throughout the day! So today we finally got to let out our childish excitement about the snow. This clearly contributed to the creativity in the seminar, because when we finally got down to doing some thinking it was really productive. I think singing the school’s hymn in Finnish also helped our creative juices flow.

However, the fun did not stop there, because after the presentations in the afternoon we had dinner and then continued discussions in the sauna, steam room and swimming pool (see the photos). This is definitely not your average school. If my school had been like this then I am sure I would have been much more creative and would have probably have won a nobel prize by now. So Kitee definitely has the thumbs up from me, and thanks to Clint for organising an exciting day. The only problem we have to solve now is how to find another excuse to go to Kitee for longer next time. :)

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Nadia Boulanger
"The essential conditions of everything you do must be choice, love, passion."


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