Northumbria or Chalmers?

When I applied for this master program late last summer I didn’t expect to get in, the name of the program sounded interesting, it could be a good back-up plan if I didn’t get a job, which I didn’t. So it turned out great. I had no idea what it meant to pursue an MSc degree, and even less what International Project Management meant. It basically means that I prolonged getting a job with two years and being part of a class of around 40 people where a big majority of them are foreigners. It also means that, to get international experience, one semester abroad at another university is an option. That semester is coming up and I have no idea what to do. I know from experience that writing it down can help, and also some help from my few readers perhaps? The university abroad is called Northumbria and is located in Newcastle, England and I would spend 3 months there (mid-September to mid-December).

Here are the pros and cons I can think of at this moment.

NORTHUMBRIA
+ If I go and then do my master thesis on my own I will get 2 MSc degrees.
+ I will get more experience
+ It will hopefully be fun (I have heard that there are lots of drinking going on there and since I don’t drink I am afraid that I will feel left out).
+ It is only 3 months away from home.
+ Jesper and I can scratch more countries on our Scratch Map if he comes and visit me (England is close to Sweden and it is rather cheap to fly there).
I have signed a contract for Liseberg until mid-October.
It will be expensive and I would have to take extra student loans.
I will be away from Jesper for 3 months.
I will be away from Cleo for 3 months (I am pretty much the only one he really likes).
I won’t be able to play any beach volleyball (and just as I was getting started with it again…).
The courses don’t seem too interesting and I can’t change them:
Research skills and methods of inquiry
Project, Programme and Portfolio Management
Risk and Value Management
Project Sustainability

CHALMERS
+ I can transfer the German credits I got at Cal Poly so I can study 50%, work more and make more money.
+ I can choose whatever classes I want to. And I can choose to take either 2 or 4 depending on if I want to transfer the German credits:
Urban Metabolism
Managing Stakeholders for Sustainable Development
Project, Simulation and Modeling in Urban Planning
Quality Management
Environmental Impact Assessment
+ I can start early on my master thesis if I want to.
+ I can save money.
+ I don’t have to quit my job at Liseberg.
+ I don’t have to be away from Jesper nor Cleo.
+ I can play lots of beach volleyball.
I will only get 1 MSc degree.
No abroad experience.

I have already figured out where I want to live if I go, so that’s not a stress element. I made a brief budget and with the extra student loan, after both rent back home and in Newcastle, I will have about 6500 SEK per month to spend on food, cell phone and stuff. And that is without the money I will be able to save after working at Liseberg all summer.

It would be so nice to continue my good life here at home and only study 50% this fall and take it a little chill. But at the same time, 2 master degrees and a semester abroad sounds like fun. I don’t know what to do. Last day I have to decide is June 1st, so I have a little more time. But before May 10th, I have to pick classes for Chalmers for the fall and I have to apply for university housing in Newcastle as soon as possible… Decisions.

 

And here are some random pictures:

IMG_4991 Jesper’s new baby sister Joeli. Such a cutie! She didn’t make a sound during the whole time we visited. And Benji, the proud big brother couldn’t let go of Youtube.IMG_20160419_160238 IMG_20160416_164317 Family birthday party, Ramses is of course in the middle of it all.IMG_20160417_003122 Having two cats means always being observed.20160411_140139 Snapchat-6750850421073615381 Snapchat-7488611384848060388 Cleo and Ramses had a party when Jesper accidently spilled food.Snapchat-8163901968016079105 Ramses sleeping in the sink.1460969454128 My new background on my phone.

César Chávez Day

I have never heard of this dude, but he was apparently a civil rights activist among farm workers. And because of this, we didn’t have any classes today. It was perfect with 20 minute class on Monday and then nothing on Tuesday, a soft start on the quarter.

On this day you are supposed to hang out on the beach, but I was planning on going to the beach volleyball lesson at 3pm and since I don’t have a car and wouldn’t wanna make another person drive me back just for that. So I stayed home, but the lesson was canceled so I hung out at the pool for an hour and a half before Rachel and I went to buy food.

Last night we were a bunch of people going out in downtown SLO because it was Ciara’s 21st birthday. I had a great time and felt a little hungover today to be honest, but it wasn’t too bad.

During the day I had my first class of the quarter, German. We were only in class for like 20 minutes talking about the syllabus. It was a pretty sweet first day. Before that I went to the gym for two hours. First one hour of beach volleyball practice and then one hour of TRX. I took it very easy with the TRX since I haven’t really worked out in a long time. It was mostly just to go through the postures and how this works, so it was only like 15 minutes of actual workout. That was enough for me. I hope we will gradually make it harder in the classes. The next one is tomorrow. It feels really good to get back to working out, I have missed it. Let’s just hope I stay healthy this quarter! I don’t wanna get sick again.

Serenity Swing hike

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my two years in California. This full post can be found here.

Yesterday I started my day by discussing a project with Johanna and Courtney in our Sustainable Environments class. We are gonna put together a project proposal for a future project here in SLO. Courtney told us that after each school year and everyone has to move out of their places, everyone just throws everything away. They throw away stuff that new students will buy just a few months later. So we are gonna propose that a club will be started which will take care of this big waste of functioning things. In June, when school ends all of the things the students don’t want anymore will be picked up and stored during the summer for the new students to buy for a reasonable price when school starts up again for a month and then the leftovers will be donated to other organizations and the rest thrown away.

After that I was very restless so Kelsey suggested that I would go for a run. Why not? So I put on my workout clothes which has just been laying around for way too long and then decided to run to Serenity Swing and back. I actually walked most of the way up to the swing. I can’t run uphill with these stupid calves. And it was way too steep to run anyway. It was a real hike at the end. I was all alone up there, took a lot of beautiful pictures, rested for a while and then started walking back. But as soon as the steepest part was over I ran. And I kept running, all the way home. It felt good! But today it does not feel as good, I am so sore, especially my calves and hips. I walk like an old lady.

Serenity Swing SLO in the background.View from Serenity Swing over SLO 360 degree Serenity Swing

Then it was time to start studying. I have so much to do the next couple of weeks. So this upcoming week is Thanksgiving and we have a break from Tuesday. I am going with Kelsey to LA to hang out with her aunt and cousin for a few days. We are leaving on Tuesday and I will take the train back on Friday so I have the weekend in SLO. Because on Monday the week after (Dec 1st) I have a homework due, I am also meeting up with two different project groups that day so all my research for that has to be done. On Tuesday (Dec 2nd) I have a midterm, and on Wednesday one of the projects are due. On Thursday the other project is due and we are also presenting it at that time and in the afternoon I have a final. And in the upcoming week after that I have two more finals. But as soon as I am done with that I am off to the Caribbean for 23 days! I seriously can’t wait. But at the same time it sucks because that means that Kelsey is leaving and that is gonna be so sad…

I studied and pregamed at the same time which was a good combination. I actually got one of the projects almost done. Then Lauren, Kelsey, Ciara, and I went to a frat party with a Geek/Jock theme. One of the guys in our building invited us and we had a great time. I was a jock because I didn’t have any geeky clothes. And I am glad I went as a jock, everyone at the party was geeks. I got a lot of questions if I was on the basketball team, haha. That was funny. Ciara and Lauren left early so it was just me and Kelsey at the end. We walked home later and it was so much fun. We walked into a random house to use the bathroom and we took a break on the sidewalk. Fun times. When we came home, a lot of other guys stopped by and Kelsey and I cooked for all of us, haha. Scrambled eggs, bacon, bratwursts, and cornbread. A real feast at 3am.

Geek-Jock frat party Me ZBT partyThe black light was really cool! My hair and my nails were shining like crazy.

I don’t know if anything is happening tonight, but I wouldn’t say no if something came up. I have been studying today and I did some errands so I wouldn’t feel too bad about it.

Today I slept until noon and when I woke up my whole body was sore. I wasn’t that hungover, but my body hurt! My poor calves, hips and calves… But it was totally worth it! Lauren, Kelsey, and I (Rachel is in LA this whole weekend) went to Target where I bought hygiene products (small bottles of schampo, conditioner, soap, sun screen, and toothpaste and then a couple of extra empty bottles) for my trip. I am not bringing a check-in bag to that trip so I need to bring small things of everything, and pack smart. That will be a challenge. But I think I will make it. We had lunch, all of us from different restaurants, Lauren form Panera Bread, Kelsey McDonalds and I Panda Express. It felt great eating something unhealthy, and the Coke was the best part! Coke is the best drink for hangovers.

Mini things for my vacation

I got a package today and I think it is my Patagonia jacket (that was way fast) and I ordered a GoPro floaty so my GoPro doesn’t sink if I lose it in the water. It will definitely be worth $11.

Now I should go back to studying, I had a long enough break.

Six Flags

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my two years in California. This full post can be found here.

My computer is up and running again,and it cost me $45 and I probably could have done it myself to be honest. The problem was a Windows update which fucked some computers up so they wouldn’t start again. Unfortunately mine was one of them. So I rode my bike downtown today after having lunch with Kelsey, Rob and Aiden, and left it there. Right after I got home they called me and told me it was ready. So the only thing they did was to remove the internal hard drive and remove some of the stuff from my C drive so I had enough space to do a computer reset without losing my files. But my programs were lost which is a bit annoying. But at least it’s working again. I could have done this myself, but I didn’t have time. I really had to start on my Sustainable Environments paper today. Tomorrow’s Pint Night and then Wednesday is here. I don’t really feel like doing it now, but I guess I have to. I still feel sick and I just wanna go to bed. I heard from the Health Center today and it seems like I don’t have strep at all. I have a high level of white blood cells, which indicates a bacterial infection, but the penicillin I got isn’t working. My throat is still sore. I wonder what type of monster bacteria this is. I am getting tired of it.

So anyway, this weekend is over. Yesterday I spent six hours in a car and eight hours at SIx Flags. It was fun and I went on four rides in total. It is more than I usually can so I am satisfied. We started with Superman which was just a car being shot out backwards and up a big tower, and then straight down again. I was totally expecting us to go forward so I was kinda surprised when we were shot backwards.

The next one we went on was Tatsu which was really cool. It was a hanging rollercoaster and when we had sat down in the seats they were folded up. So we were facing the ground while riding it. Super scary and the first time I’ve ever been on a rollercoaster like that. The worst part was when there was a back loop.

After that it was time for lunch and we ate at Panda Express. That was good. We wanted to go on X2 after that, but it was closed because it was so windy. A lot of rides were actually closed and the rides with two trains only operated one yesterday. I wonder why. We went to Goliath instead and that was a cool one. The first drop was so high! But with so many G-forces right after lunch I started feeling a bit sick and could only do one more after that. And that was Scream. We were upside down 7 times, but it was a really good rollercoaster. A bit shaky and I hit my ears and earrings a few times and that hurt. After that one I was done for the day. I was the backpack watcher for the rest of the evening. It got a bit cold and the lines got longer, but it was okay. Nothing more I could have done.

Six Flags Superman Post Superman Tatsu Tatsu Tatsu This is the sick back loop.Goliath Superman Green LanternThe Green Lantern. I really wanted to go on this one, but I was feeling way too sick and it was so fast in its turns so it probably wouldn’t have turned out well.. Six Flags

The three other, Toby, Julia, and Cody went on four more rides and then the park closed at 6pm. We drove home and I slept for a while. It was nice.

The day before that I didn’t do anything except playing a few hours of Guild Wars 2 and then went to Avila Beach to watch the sunset with Toby, Lauren and Cody. It was a very beautiful sunset, but we chose the wrong beach because the sun set behind a mountain instead of in the ocean. It was still nice. We had dinner at In n Out in Arroyo Grande and then went home again.

Avila Pier sunset

The day before that, Friday, I actually had a date. It was a semi-formal event with Sigma Pi, the frat George is in. I went as his date to it and it was actually a very fun evening. Nothing what I expected, but I had a great time.

Semi-formal frat event
I should probably stop writing now and start researching current environmental events and start writing on the paper, which is what I was supposed to do today.

Surf weekend in Ventura

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my two years in California. This full post can be found here.

This whole weekend has been amazing. Lots and lots of things happened. And Poly Escapes gave me what it promised, a weekend away from Cal Poly, a weekend with no worries about school. But the weekend started way before that. Friday was full of fun things, like my errand trip with Kelsey. We returned a pair of Kelsey’s shoes, bought “costumes” for the frat party (Kelsey bought a Jane-like dress and I bought face paint), I got a gel manicure, we went to the post office so I could send a little something to one of my hostkids who turn 11 in five days and a thing for my brother, we picked up our Poly Escapes rentals, and went to the Health Center to leave my proof of vaccination (which isn’t even necessary since I won’t be here more than one academic year, but I still did it since they asked). It was a long run, many stops, but not more than four hours in total. We also did some snacks shopping for the trip. I always bring too much to trips, but better safe than sorry.

ManicureThis is what my nails look like after two days of surfing. Good job “@Nails”.

Back home I made two mudpies (=kladdkaka), one normal chocolate but also a white chocolate one. Apparently it was the Swedish national mudpie day. So I made two and they were delicious and very popular.

Kladdkakans dag 7 november

My plan after that was to study some, but that didn’t work out. I had to take a quick shower and then get ready for the party. I went to Phi Psi’s pledge party (the pledges organized the whole party) with a jungle theme. It was a great party, the decorations were awesome. The costumes not as much. I think I went most all-in with my tiger face paint. Other people just wore clothes with animal fur designs. The guys were Tarzan or just any other jungle dude. I got a lot of compliments but the hot house smudged it out later… I had a great evening but a little bit too much to drink. We were planning on taking it easy since we were going on the surf trip early the day after. And we stayed way late, but it was so much fun! I like that frat.

Jungle frat party Jungle frat party

I was just invited to another frat party tomorrow night, the one Luka, the Swedish guy from Chalmers, joined. It would be fun, but I think I have too much studying to do… We’ll see.

 

I slept for I think two or three hours before going on the trip yesterday morning. Not the best thing I could have done, but it was worth it. We left Cal Poly at 9 am, got to Mondo’s Beach north of Ventura at 11am and started surfing right away. I felt a bit nauseous, but I still managed to catch one or two waves. It was hard, the waves just died under all of us. I didn’t manage to stand up, only half stand one time. But it was still very fun. We had lunch break and I ate my whole footlong Subway sandwhich. Then we went out again. So much fun. But the small hangover mixed with waves and salt water wasn’t the best and I did feel a bit crappy, but it was still very enjoyable. I got some nice pictures with my GoPro as well. We played a game where we put all of our surfboards together so they formed like a boardwalk. Then one at a time ran across them all and jumped in at the end. It was hard! Then it was time to go to the camp site which was up in Carpinteria, like 20 minutes away. It was a nice camp site very close to the water. We made a fire, the leaders made amazing dinner for all of us, chicken wok with pineapple and rice. Very very fancy and good camp food! We even got desert, homemade brownie and homemade ice cream. So delicious! Before we ate though, we took a walk on the beach in the sunset. It was so beautiful. The beach was really wet so the sunset was reflected in both the water and the sand and made the sunset enormous. So very very pretty! But this was at 5:30pm so it was both dark and chilly for many hours before bedtime.

Poly Escapes, the groupMost of our group. We were 4 leaders and 8 trip-takers. Johanna in the waterJohanna. Surfing in VenturaSuccess with my GoPro. This will be so much fun in the Caribbean. Julianne catching a wave Sunset at Carpinteria BeachJulianne and me at Carpinteria Beach. Carpinteria Beach Carpinteria Beach Kelsey at Carpinteria BeachI love this picture of Kelsey! Amazing sunset at Carpinteria BeachThe sunset was truly amazing! Trip Leaders cookingThe kitchen we had at the pitch-dark camp site.

After the desert, we played games and sang campfire songs with a guitar. So nice. But I was so tired so I couldn’t stop thinking about going to bed, which we did at 10pm, not too late which was good.

The games we played were so much fun. One of them was called Interview. One person left the group, the others decided on a person and an action that the person who left were supposed to be. When the person who left came back we all asked questions, the guy answered the questions without knowing the answers and was gonna try and figure out who he/she was. Tigger flossing his teeth made some very funny questions. Does it hurt? Do you bleed when you do it? Do you do it in the morning, or evening? Does things stuck? What do you do best? Haha, so much fun. Another game we played was a game of questions. One person asked another one a random question and the other person answered with the first thing that came to mind. And then that answer would be the answer to all the questions asked after. Everyone could ask anything. And I mean anything. The person had to answer with that same answer but without laughing. When the person laughed that person asked a random question to someone else and it started over. Like if someone had the word Tortilla. What do you put in your burrito? Tortilla. What turns you on? Tortillas. With what do you brush your teeth? Tortillas. And so on. Hilarious!! Another very funny game we played was rapid questions. We sat in a circle and one person started by asking the next person a random question, it could be exactly anything. Then the next person is supposed to ask another question to the next person, without answering, laughing, hesitating or repeating a question. If you do, you’re out and the game goes on until there is only one left. Also very funny and a lot of laughs!

I decided to sleep in a tent tonight. Four people in each tent and I slept like a baby through the whole night. Some people, like Kelsey, slept under the stars. It would have been cool, but I wanted a good night’s sleep. I woke up a few times from the very noisy train, but fell asleep fast again. We got up at 7am, got served breakfast; scrambled eggs, bananas, sausage patties, Canadian bacon and tea. Yummy!

Back to the beach where we started our day with a yoga session on the beach. Very needed! Then 1.5 hour in the water before going to lunch in Ventura. We went to a tacos places in East Ventura and the shrimp/crab/avocado burrito I had was the best burrito I’ve ever had. Oh my gosh!! Ventura by the way is so pretty. I was in love with North Country San Diego before seeing Ventura. But now I totally feel like I want to move to Ventura in the future. Then the two hour trip started back home. I fell asleep for a little while but it was hard staying asleep. I will go to bed as soon as I am done with this super long post and get around 8 hours of sleep before a full day of studying tomorrow. I think I am gonna have to survive on caffeine pills this week if I am gonna have time to do everything on my to do list for the midterms on Thursday.

Last surf dag at Mondos Beach

I got home, had some mudpie, talked to my roommates, looked at the GoPro pictures and uploaded the best to Facebook and now I just found myself a travel companion for Jamaica. Yay! It is a guy I got to know in Los Angeles last year, who now lives in San Francisco. That will be fun.

Now I just have to convince my mom to come to Puerto Rico and someone else to Dominican Republic, or maybe mom there too. The flight between DR and PR is very cheap and so is the accommodation costs (which will be my Christmas gift to her, and maybe some of the flight cost too). I am crossing my fingers. But I know that I will have a great time anyway.

I don’t look forward to this week, it will be horrible. But this upcoming weekend will probably be as good as the last one after the midterms. No worries, just fun activities like Six Flags and skydiving! Yay!

Wine tasting, tattoo, BofA, shopping, frat party

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my two years in California. This full post can be found here.

Yesterday was a very fun day. It started with a field trip to a winery in Paso Robles, Kukkula Winery it was called. It is Finish and means “living on the hill” or something. The guy owning the place had a Finish father. The farm was an organic and dry farm, which means he doesn’t use pesticides, fertilizers or water. If the soil is fertile and full of porous rocks it works out in the end. It is very important to keep away weeds and have distance between the plants to keep the water competition low.

We got lunch there and at the same time a mini wine tasting. We tried 8 wines in total, one white, one rosé and the rest red. When the grapes aren’t watered the color and the taste become more intense which made the wines very spicy and strong. I wasn’t a big fan of it, but I have to say that my favorite was a red wine called Sisu.

Kukkula dry farming Kukkula Winery wine storage Kukkula wine tasting

I got a little tipsy after that to be honest but not too bad. When we got back to SLO Kelsey and Lauren picked us up and we went to the Halloween store so they could look at costumes. They didn’t find anything.

Our next stop was Traditional Tattoo. I had an appointment at 2pm with Butters. I was a little nervous, like always. It went well and it hurt more than the other two I have, probably because it was so close to the bump on the side of my ankle. After about 40 minutes it was done and it was perfect. So much better than the picture I showed him. I am very very satisfied with it. It is the biggest I have so far (but it is still not big) and it was also the cheapest, I paid $80 for it.

Butters My third tattooMy third tattoo

But when I tried to pay my card didn’t work. So it wasn’t just the ATM that didn’t work on Thursday. My whole card is wrong. I went to the bank and they told me that the card was completely gone from the system. The guy who helped me get a new card told me he had never seen anything like it. Weird. I got a temporary card and will get a new real card pretty soon.

Our next stop was for a late lunch at Panera Bread. We had dropped off Johanna before the bank and the three roommates went clothes shopping at Forever 21. I don’t have many clothes here and really needed to buy some more tops and a new pair of “longer” shorts. It was needed. And it was cheap, no fancy brands like I did last year. I bought 6 things for $80. That’s not bad at all.

That store was huge so we got straight home after that. I cleaned my tattoo, took a shower and put on the $9 dress I bought and went to a frat party with Kelsey and Margarita. It was the British boy’s Phi Psi frat and I have to admit that it was fun. Three floors in a house, bottom was a dance floor, middle one was the bar and third social floor. Nothing bad happened, we just had a fun evening dancing. I liked it and will probably be back another weekend. Luka, the guy from Chalmers is a pledge at Phi Psi as well, but he wasn’t there last night.

Phi Psi frat party

I was home at 2am I think and stayed up for a while talking to Rachel, who just got home from a line dancing evening, and Lauren who couldn’t sleep. I stayed up and waited for Kelsey and made sure she got home safe and sound, which she did.Me and LaurenMe and Lauren in the middle of the night.

I slept until 12:30pm and I am still very tired. I am not hungover, just tired, so I should probably take a nap before I start writing on my two papers. I also have to look into how to send packages to Sweden. It is more complicated here since I have to do it online.

Parties and packing

Yesterday was a busy day. First I got up pretty early so I had time to get myself ready to go out to Stora Lövsjön where there was a big birthday party for Karin among others. I knew almost everyone there and I had a nice couple of hours out in the woods. We barbecued and the food was really good. I had bread on a stick for the first time since I was probably eight. And shrimps marinated in a chili sauce and beef and a good pesto salad. I wouldn’t have mind staying for a while longer but I had to go home to prepare the for the party.

Stora Lövsjön

This time I had a goodbye party and I probably should have had that last time too. It was a huge success and everyone had a great time. Since I haven’t been working or doing anything at all this week I have been planning and been excited about the party. I didn’t have that much alcohol to serve so I decided to have a lot of snacks available. Like chips, candy, exotic fruits, the hot spinach and artichoke dip I made a week ago, punch and vodka marinated watermelon. The last three were the most popular. People asked for the recipe for the dip and the 4.5kg watermelon was gone long before the evening was over. The punch was made from Asti Cinzano which is a delicious sparkling wine, and raspberry soda. Frozen raspberries and grapes kept the punsch cold for the short while it was still some left.

We played Cards Against Humanity and talked all night. The last people left at 5am when the trams and buses had started going again. Such a fun evening!

Goodbye partyBlomman took my phone for a while and took some photos. Why hadn’t I thought about that?

Before I went to bed I actually took a lunchbox with korv stroganoff and I think that was why I wasn’t hungover today. I got up at 1 pm and another reason for not being hungover might have been the clean apartment. I cleaned everything up at like 4am. I did it very slowly so most people didn’t even notice. I have realized that cleaning up after a party before going to bed is the best thing to do. You don’t really mind when you’re still drunk. While emptying bottles and cans while hungover is one of the worst things you can do. Even if I wasn’t hungover I felt like eating something unhealthy anyway. So I took a little walk to Max Hamburger and brought it home. I remembered that last year I really missed Max so I thought that if there was a time to eat it, it was the day after a party. And it was really good!!! Goodbye Max!

After that my brother and his girlfriend came over for a while to help me pack a bit and tell me what I could leave. They stayed for a while but not too long. And the rest of the day was more packing for me. The whole kitchen table is full o everything except clothes and toiletries I will bring to California on Friday. And I actually think everything in the apartment that my brother didn’t want is packed in boxes. We will probably drive most of them to mom’s tomorrow. And then we will see when they want to move in. I am starting to think that I want to live with my mom the last few days. I’m really gonna miss her…

The clock just ticked away and it is already 12:30am. I think I should go to bed and read for a while.