Book of April

The movie is the second worst movie I have ever seen, everyone thinks so, so don’t think that you can watch it instead of reading. Watching it will only lead to disappointment.

Eragon

Christopher Paolini

This was the first high fantasy I read, and the second long series after Harry Potter and now I have read it for the fifth time? ( I’ve read it so many times that I have lost count) so I will in no way be able to give a fair assessment of it. It is after all the book that really made me fall in love with fantasy. Surprisingly enough, it is not Harry Potter, while those books are good and will always have a special place in my heart, they aren’t Eragon. The thing that made Eragon so special is that it was really a totally different world, not just Britain with magic. Eragon takes place in a medieval alternative world where magic is present, dwarves are common and elfs are fantastic, there’s also dragons! While that may sound a lot like other high fantasy books (like Lord of the Rings) there are also other creatures that make it a bit more unique, like Urgals and Ra’zac. 

When I read it for the first time I had not yet seen Star Wars, nor did I know of the critique that Eragon had faced for being too similar to Star Wars. Now that I have seen it and now of the critique I can tell that they do have a lot in common (Eragon does it better) but from my vague memories from the next books I can tell you that they do differentiate. I also find Eragon’s story and growth more fulfilling than his Star Wars counterpart Luke. Even the side characters have more interesting storylines, all of them are phenomenal and interesting and different from one another. All of the females are different, have their own motivations and goals and are badass in their own ways.   

Despite no longer being eight years old, and having read a loooot more fantasy since then, I feel safe to say that the story still holds up. I can also tell you that my father read them when he was fourtyish so they don’t just work for a younger audience. This is the story with my favorite magic system (spellcasters actually has clear limits and get tired!), the story that made me fall in love with everything medieval and all things magic. This is the story that started my lifelong obsession with dragons and made forests fantastical. I have even kind of written fanfiction about it (in fifth grade, no one is ever going to be allowed to read it). This is the most defining book of my childhood and even now, ten years later it has the power to make me write a 550 words essay-like review, it is even structured like the essays we write in school (this was not intentional).  

In conclusion, sure, it may be somewhat like Star Wars (Paolini was 16, give him some slack), but it is so good that it doesn’t matter. The entire thing is marvelous and everyone should read it. I should read it more often. 

PS. The movie is the second worst movie I have ever seen, everyone thinks so, so don’t think that you can watch it instead of reading. Watching it will only lead to disappointment. 

The Eldest 

Christopher Paolini

The sequel picks up three days after the end of Eragon with a rather weak beginning. I do not like how the disappearance of Murtagh is told, it feels rushed and unpolished. I understand that it is great for the plot, I just feel like Paolini should have rewritten it in a better, more impactful way. 

Beside the rather weak start The Eldest is very much a filler book. By that I mean that instead of focusing on bringing the plot forward, the focus is character development and world building. It is very much necessary in order for the next book in the series to work. After all, the only way to avoid the overpowered chosen one cliche is to have an ordinary chosen one study and get better. I do really like that Eragon isn’t super powerful in the beginning and even in the end he acknowledges that he still has a lot to learn. 

Eragon’s character develops in other ways as well. He goes from being ignorant to being more open minded and becoming way more strategic. He also learns from earlier mistakes and strives to rectify them. Orik, the dwarf has the least development out of the main characters, but I know that he gets more of it in the next book so I’m fine with it. On the other hand we learn a lot more about Arya, the elf. Mostly that she doesn’t approve of a boy 80 years younger than her falling in love with her. Honestly, girl I feel you. In the end Eragon’s uncomfortable crush hinders her book-development, but it will get better once he realises that the age gap is truly inappropriate.       

Despite being somewhat of a filler book there is action, in the way of Eragon’s cousin Roran. When I read the books the first time many years ago I did not like when the story’s point of view changed to him, he wasn’t the main character and there was no dragon with him. But now that I’m older I find that I actually look forward to Rorans chapters. He’s there to provide the action, a nice break from Eragon’s studies, and from the romance. All of his determination comes from his love for Katrina, and it is charming to read. 

I can’t decide if I think that the ending is weak in the same way as the beginning, or if I think that it is ok. I think that what bugs me about it, is partly that we have another shockingly quick death of a leader, like in the beginning. Another problem is that it feels a bit rushed from Eragon’s perspective, we get some POV from Nasuade (the leader of the rebels) that balances it out, but it still feels like it happened too quickly? I don’t know, something just feels off about it. Weirdly enough I don’t have any problems with the final battle between Eragon and the new Rider. (Major Spoiler: It is Murtagh).

First thing last, it bothers me that it is Thorn that is the dragon on the cover when he doesn’t appear until the last fifty pages when Glaedr appears way earlier. Instead he is on the cover of the next book? Thorn and Glaedr should switch places.     

One quick last thing: I love that Nasuada finances Varden (the rebels) by having the magicians make lace. It is possibly the best thing ever.       

Brisingr

Christopher Paolini

This is so far the most well paced book, it mixes action and other, more time consuming plot things in a much more cohesive way, then the previous books. I particularly love the beginning when Eragon, Shapira and Roran team up to revanges their uncle/father Garrow and to rescue Katrina.

Katrina and Roran are soulmates and they have a super cute relationship. I like that romance isn’t a great focus of this series, beside Eragon’s ill fated crush. But the romance that is featured, is well written and very sweet. Roran makes it hard for all the other men to look good, it is hard to measure up to a guy who literally moved an entire village worth of people and killed, who knows how many, people in order to save his love.

On the topic of killing, Paolini actually writes the killing and the war as traumatic for the characters. Roran always feels guilty afterwards and Eragon even suffers from PTSD. Often in fantasy books the characters just go thru the war without any lasting means from it (especially in “older” fantasy, think Harry Potter) so it is (and was) refreshing to see characters that face realistic consequences of war. 

This is the book when many questions are answered, for example how does Galbatorix have so much power. The answer is magical and therefore can’t be realistic, but in this world it feels believable. The dragons have an extra “heart” in their body, that can be spit out and then works as a source of power, also their consciousness lives on in it. Paolini foreshadows the answer a lot in the earlier books, such a way that younger me did not pick up on it (it is not too obvious) but nowadays me thinks it is clever. It is not just the power thing that is foreshadowed, and nowadays me really liked noticing all of the hints.  

Speaking of Galbatorix, this is the first book when he is actually kind of in. He possesses Murhag and does what he does best, kills Oromis and Glaedr, the dragon rider pair that escaped Galbatorix the first time and then acted as mentors to Eragon and Saphira. It is nice to finally be introduced to the main villain, but I quite like Paolini’s choice to not actually have him in it yet. It upholds his larger than life status.   

So far I think that this is my favorite out of the four, but we will see what happens after I read the final one.

Inheritance

Christopher Paolini

First of all, I read this in the beginning of May, but I wanted to review them all in the same post. Sorry about that. 

The first four hundred pages are fine, a lot of plot necessary things happen, mostly warfare. It is after the four hundred page mark when the fun really starts. Nasuada gets kidnapped and then we are at last introduced to Galbatorix in the first of many chapters from her pov. He is just as dreanges as you would expect a mass murdering conqueror to be. But at the same time he is charismatic, making for an interesting and scary villain. Murtagh gets more page time too, and a start of a redemption arc.   

Murtagh is an interesting character because he is not a real villain in a sense. He was forced to do most of the bad things he did by Galbatorix. So he doesn’t need redemption arc in the same way that other former villains do. Beside being forced to do most of the bad stuff he does, he also did his best at thwarting Galbatorix, both by letting Eragon go, but also by trying to tell him where his and Galbatorix power came from. Any way, his redemption is centered around trying to protect and save Nasuada from Galbatorix torture, and it is a redemption that works well in this story.

At around five hundred pages into the book Eragon, Saphira and Glaedr travel to the abandoned riders island. The reason it’s abandoned? An elf made himself an atomic bomb and the whole place is full of radiation. I like how Paolini mixes magic and science, he does it in earlier books too, but not in such an explosive way. At this island they discover more “hearts”, some of the older dragons spit theirs up and they stashed them in a cave when they realized that Galbatorix was going to win the war. While laying in the cave they influenced a lot of the things happening, and thanks to that the book no longer suffers from random chosen one. Some other plot uncertainties are also explained.

Despite acquiring the help and power from the many “hearts” Galbatorix is still way more powerful. They all know this going into the final battle, but they go into it anyway, with hope as their last weapon. They lose badly, Eragon has no chance against Galbatorix, not with magic nor with swordplay. Galbatorix completely wipes the floor with him, something I like, it is realistic. Galbatorix takes over Eragon’s mind in order to get him to swear loyalty to him and the crown. While he does that, Eragon uses wordless magic to try and show Galbatorix all of the pain he has caused. It starts with just Eragon’s pain, but then the dragons join. Galbatorix gets so overwhelmed with pain that he kills himself. Essentially, they beat him with compassion. Quite a good way to defeat a madman.        

The last hundred pages are spent tying up loose ends, while doing it Eragon thinks and thinks and comes to the conclusion that the best place to raise the next generation of dragons is in a different place altogether. I agree with him, it makes the most sense, what I have a problem with is that he thinks that he’s never going to return again. And we are supposed to believe so too? All thanks to a prophecy from the first book. I refuse to believe it, he has a dragon, basically his personal flying taxi, it would be so easy to go back and visit. But no, he left to never return again. Stupid.   

I both liked and didn’t like what happened with Arya in the ending. She gets her own dragon, awesome. She becomes queen of the elves, stupid. I never got the impression that she would like to rule, or that she would be good at it, and also she is a dragon rider now, they are supposed to be impartial. Also, the elves are somewhat of a democracy, and I do not believe that these super old elves voted to make likely the youngest elf their new leader. 

Another thing that I liked about Aryas ending is that she did not end up in a relationship with Eragon. The ending makes it clear, that it will potentially happen in the future, and that I’m fine with. They seem to be good for each other, and during the books they have grown to respect and care for each other. Despite that it would have felt forced to have them end up together at the end of the series, beside the large age gap it would also have been diminishing to Aryas plotline.

Overall, a strong and good ending to the series that felt satisfying and tied up most loose ends. There are some mysteries left. Like Angela, but it is no bother and paves the way for future books in the same universe. It would be fun to see what an older and more experience Paolini would do. The third book remains my favorite.      

Disclaimer: I am aware of the fact that these reviews are very much influenced by my childhood love for them. Nevertheless I do believe that they are a perfect introduction to fantasy for young children, it is a solid fantasy story that isn’t too long or too complicated. Paolini was just 16 when Eragon was published and younger me thought that was really cool, he showed me that writing matters and everything is possible, even if I’m young.     

In honor of Star, Cayenne and my childhood home away from home

Sidenote: Pictures will be added when my father finally fixes the box where all of our old pictures are stored. His inability to do so is what has delayed me from publishing this, but now I can’t wait any longer.
Edit: Now with pictures, thanks dad!

When I was so young that I didn’t have opinions, my mother put me on horses and I started  horseback riding. When I  was somewhat older and had actual opinions I decided that horses really were fun and started riding for real with a friend from school. All of my riding took place at a riding school called Långeberga (funnily enough, it is located right next to a prison). 

Pictured taken the 6th of August 2009

For the first years our class was on fridays, it was often the perfect way to start the weekend. Some hours with horses, friends and fun, and if we were lucky we got some candy afterwards. The only times it wasn’t so good, was when either of us fell off, luckily it did not happen that often. After some time our class time changed and we now had riding lessons on Mondays, still, everything was fine. We spent so much time there, it felt like we knew the place like our own pockets. Except from the big, cool, private stable where we students weren’t allowed in. All of the time spent together also led to a very close friendship. 

Some time after I started horseback riding my mother, herself, took it up again. She had been riding during most of her childhood and adolescence. Due to Långeberga only having ponies it is not the place for grownups to ride, so she started riding at Clareberg, a stable where some of our friends also ride. So then I had two stables to explore. I would often come with my mother, help her make her horse ready and then watch the class or explore the stable or just hang with the horses. Sometimes my friend would come with me, those times were the best ones. 

Pictured taken the 11th of May 2014, I spent about a year in the company of the lovely Miranda.

Riding school wasn’t enough for my mother so when I was twelve she bought a horse, Chasmin. She was stabled at Långeberga, and suddenly a new world opened for me. I was allowed into the private stable, we could go on long rides in the forest and explore the surroundings. We got new friends, all at least twenty years older than me, and there were new horses to per. It also came with a whole lot of new responsibilities. Helping feed the horses, and filling the barn with hay. Those late nights when it was only me and mom feeding the horses was some of the best nights. We also got the responsibility to restock the café, something that I loved. Which twelve year old would not love to fill carts with candy, soda and cake once a week? I also took the placing of the wares very seriously, the stock had never been as well organised before (or after). It resulted in the nickname “inköpsassistenten” (The purchasing assistant). That nickname was first coined by one of the owners of Star and Cayenne, two horses owned by a mother daughter duo and some of the people we got closest to. 

Of course nothing stays the same, during our time there, two horses died of old age and multiple people changed stable. The most hard hitting for me was when Lolo and her horse Lovley moved. Lolo was one of the nicest and funniest people in the stable and her horse was just as kind, as Lolo was fun. It was also the horse that Chasmin shared a field with. 

Chasmin and Lovley, 4th of June a few months before moving.

After about a year we moved too, and then it was not just the horse, it was also our house. I stopped with the riding classes, got a horse of my own and no longer had any reasons to be at Långeberga. In school we changed classes and when we no longer spent hours in each others’ company, me and my friend grew apart. 

The only reason we had to go back to Långeberga, was to see our friends, most notably the owners of Star and Cayenne. This we did reasonably often, although more so in the spring/summer time than during the winter. Going back felt a lot like going home, like I was finally back where I belonged. 

During these five years that has passed since we moved my relationship with horses has changed a lot. I have had to work through the fact that I associate the horses with my dislike of moving, something that has increased with time, not being reduced.

Things have not just changed here, it has also changed at Långeberga. Eventually Star and Cayenne were the only horses left from the time when Chasmin was stabled there. And that is why their passing away was especially difficult and heartbreaking for me. It was not just the death of two lovely and special horses, it was the last ties I had to a time when life was easier, the last ties to my childhood home from home.

This text is dedicated to Star and Cayenne, two very special horses.

My saddest birthday

I think it was around two years ago, that I realised that my eighteenth birthday was going to be on Easter Saturday. It was great news, last time my birthday really was during Easter was when I was very young but I remember it fondly. Easter has been my favourite holiday for a long time, partly because it often correlates with my birthday, meaning no school. But also because I see it as a great sign of spring and I love spring. So, I made a lot of vague plans of what I would do during the celebrations. My grandmother and Lars would be coming. Hopefully my uncle would show up and I would even invite my best friend to the party. 

Since it was Easter we would eat traditional Easter things, aka what Swedes eat for every holiday: herring, potatoes and some kind of holiday target drink. Also, lots of holiday teamed candies. Given that it was my eighteenth birthday and I would legally become an adult we would also have some champagne-like drink to celebrate and I would demande to drink some snaps just because I could. 

When I started school the plans evolved, I now also had to consider the fact that one of my friends really likes to celebrate birthday by singing. She would most likely make the class sing for me and I would have to suffer thru the embarrassment, I´m not a fan of attention. At a later time I would host a small get together, and my singing friend would finally get to taste good pesto. 

During summer I would force my best friend to celebrate midsummer with me, that would have included getting drunk. I was also looking forward to being able to finally go to all the concerts I wanted. Although, I would have to get some new friends for that, all of mine have different (bad) taste in music. 

Sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan, but in no way could I ever had predicted that it would go so bad. A lot of things still happen as I had planned, most notably: it was still Easter.

 Quite early, I came to the realisation that my grandmother (and Lars) would not be able to attend, still, it hurt a lot. In order to make up for it, my best friend was invited to spend the night and be with me for the entire day. I got a champagne like beverage when waking up, it tasted bad, and nice gifts. Then we had eggs and egg painting for breakfast. My grandmother and Lars even showed up and gave me gifts. Except that they could not enter and I did not get to hug her. Still, it was a really lovely surprise. 

The closest we will ever get to a family portrait

We then had some herring for lunch, something my friend did not really like, and I drank snaps. It tastes exactly like my cough medicine from last fall, except it burned to drink. After lunch we had a traditional Easter egg hunt. It was a lot more fun than usually, because my horse got frightened and then my friend got frightened and briskly walked away, but then my horse got even more frightened and ran after my friend. She then retreated to higher ground where the horse could not follow.     

My singing friend called and when I answered she immediately started singing, it was really nice. She is the best singer that I know. We talked for close to an hour, but it doesn’t make the separation easier. 

For dinner we had more fish based food, but this time my best friend actually liked it. Few things taste as nice as my mothers’ salmon pie. And then it was cake time. The best time, I love cake. The only silver lining of this whole disaster is that in total I will get four birthday cakes: there will of course be a celebration with my grandmother and Lars when it is safe to invite them and my best friend always makes me a completely homemade cake. While cake-eating, me and my friend recalled memories about our past and laughed a lot. Afterwards she had to go home and I was left alone feeling melancholy and drained from all the social interactions. I went to bed early.

The day after I intended to spend bedridden or in front of a computer, instead I experienced my first ever surprise party. I pulled myself together, applied deodorant and really enjoyed it. I even got more cake. It was family friends that wanted to celebrate and had made plans with my parents to surprise me. Having people being that considerate of you, even though they aren’t related means a lot. It was perhaps the best birthday present of all.

On this surprise cake I was suddenly 118 years old, or is it an inverted J?
This is the fourth birthday cake for those of  you who are counting.

Except for when they left and I resumed with my gloominess. When me and  my best friend were planning the sleepover, I told her that I would try and plan my grief crying so it would happen before her arrival, I was only somewhat joking. Surprisingly I have not yet had a proper crying, My eyes have been tearing up while writing this but that doesn’t count. So I shall channel weeks of uncertainty and days of disappointment and have a really chartartic crying after finishing writing this. 

Happy Birthday to Me!   

Books of March

Turns out I do most of my reading on the bus or while waiting for school to start since I’m always there way to early. Due to the circumstances not to be named I have not been reading that much and everything I have read has been very lighthearted and easily read.    

The Bookshop on the Corner

Jenny Colgan


Bought this one on a sale because I wanted something really lighthearted to read during these trying times, it did not disappoint. This is exactly the type of book that should be read during a longer vacation or when forced to stay home due to a virus. But… Maybe it fits better to read it during a vacation, after reading it I really want to go to Scotland. Colgan knows how to describe the scottish highlands in an alluring way. A bit sad to read it when you aren’t allowed to leave your home, therefore stopping all plans to go to Scotland before they even could begin to form. Although the books was a lovely easygoing escape that I didn’t expect much from I can’t help but feel that it was somewhat rushed at times. Not in the overall plot, just certain sentences felt rough. I read the swedish version so I will never know if it how Colgan wrote or if it is the fault of the translator. I do wonder a lot about the title, first I just thought that the Swedish translation was bad but it really do say “on the Corner” despite the actual bookshop being in a van and not on a corner? Very confusing. Despite that it is a very cute book.

Ella Enchanted

Gail Carson Levine 

There is a movie based on this book starring Anne Hathaway that I have watched an embarrassing amount of times because I have terrible taste in movies and one of my favorite genres is anything based on Cinderella. The movie is nothing like the book, as it often is. Neither of them are bad, they just aren’t anything alike. The book is super duper cute, it is written for younger children, pre teens. It a heartwarming story about learning about consequences and standing up for yourself but most importantly, how important our own choices is, that no one should be allowed to take that freedom from us. Beside having some great life lessons it also has one of the cutest romances. Unlike the movie where the prince is arrogant, the book version is a complete gentleman (gentelboy) who only want the best for Ella. This is a book that I really wished that I had read when I was younger, but it still works for an older person.            

Kiss of the Royal 

Lindsey Duga

There are multiple reasons for why I liked this book. Firstly despite the lore being perhaps the most ridiculous one I have ever had the pleasure of reading it still felt well developed and thought through. Sure, having kisses be the catalyst for magic to work is a bit weird and having true love being the answer to all problems is maybe a bit cliche, but Duga makes it almost believable. And, you know, having true love being the solution to everything would be pretty nice right now. Secondly, I loved the character development. The relationships between the characters is good and really drives the story and the characters forward. I love the family bond between the main character and her page boy. I was in constant fear that the page would turn out to be in love with the main character and jealous of the love interest, a pitfall many authors fal in to (why do authors think that love triangles are fun?), luckily for me Duga avoided it. The only place where I truly think that Duga fails is in the romance, but now that I have written that out I realises that it may be due to the fact that the main character literally didn’t believe that love existed and there for made for a bad protagonist in that sense. When she finally accept that love is real the romance between the main characters is described fin. So, no the romance wasn’t bad. Lastly, unlike other authors, Duga chooses fantasy names that was not terrible or unpronounceable, although Lorena is a stupid name for a horse. In conclusion, this is yet another good escapism in a trying time.            

Salainis

I had learned already many of the Outland methods of communicating by forest notes rather than trust to the betraying, high-pitched human voice.

None of these was of more use to me than the call for refuge. If any Outlier wished to be private in his place, he raised that call, which all who were within hearing answered.

Then whoever was on his way from that placed hurried, and whoever was coming toward it stayed where he was until he had permission to move on.

Salainis

I had learned already many of the Outland methods of communicating by forest notes rather than trust to the betraying, high-pitched human voice.

None of these was of more use to me than the call for refuge. If any Outlier wished to be private in his place, he raised that call, which all who were within hearing answered.

Then whoever was on his way from that placed hurried, and whoever was coming toward it stayed where he was until he had permission to move on.

A week of distance studies

Thursday

This was our first day of homeschool, and it was weird. First lesson was chemistry, we all connected to a google meets meeting where our teacher laid out the ground rules and then we were off to watch a youtube video explaining the electron transport chain. It worked, but it was really odd. The most off putting thing, is that the teachers are still in school, so we can see the classroom in the background, but I know that I’m in my room.

 Social science was fun, my teacher wanted to see our pets, so most of them have now appeared in a meeting. Also, I ate lunch during this lesson, which felt odd but also really nice. Normally we have really late lunch so it was good to eat when I got hungry and not when I was starving.

 Math was also odd, we were actually connected the whole lesson, but our teacher muted his mic and if we had any questions we were to call him on his phone. Occasionally we could see him talking on it, but most of the time he just sat there. It was kind of tragic. 

Biology went surprisingly good, most of the time my teacher has a lot of problems with the technology, not his fault, but now when he didn’t have to struggle with a faulty connection between the computer and the projector things went smoothly. It also felt the most like a normal lesson, so that was a nice bonus. 

French lesson was bad. We were to do a listening exercise that turned out to be way too difficult, the questions were also very vague. If we had been in class we would have noticed that all of us were struggling and our teacher would come up with a new plan. Instead we were all panicking on our own, until someone said it in our class chat after about 45 minutes. In the end everything worked out fine, but it was really stressful for some time.

Pros: Having lie-ins, a lot of them. No travel time. The possibility to utilize the lunch break for something different than lunch. Also, being able to eat whenever.

Cons: No friends :(. Weird to be home all the time. No walking or free exercise, can you believe that I actually miss all of the stairs? Being able to eat whenever. Having a ridiculous amount of tabs open on the computer. 

Friday

I had a big breakthrough, I realised that my teachers can’t actually see what I’m doing unless I have my camera on. That led to me hand sewing during most of my lectures. It actually helps me learn, since I can’t focus unless I’m doing something with my hands and sometimes note taking isn’t possible. Although I can confess to getting so into it, that I only did one math question. It was a difficult one! I did actually start on another but then I got stuck and since I’m socially awkward and it only was a few minutes left of the lesson, I decided against calling my math teacher. That just felt so weird. Also, it worked out in the end, I’ve realised what I did wrong and will most likely be able to solve it the next lesson. I can also confess to not caring whether or not, my socialsience teacher saw me sewing, but I figured it wasn’t important what I was doing considering all we did was talk about when we were going to have the test. We moved it from Thursday evening to Wednesday morning, a big upgrade in my book considering I no longer sleep, but do enjoy my evenings. 

Pros: Sewing in class. Not having to spend an atrocious amount of time waiting for my bus.

Cons: Not being able to ask my math teacher a simple question. Not seeing my friends.

Monday

I start at eight on Mondays and usually have to get up at six, that was no longer a necessity. I did not leave bed until half past seven, some people in my class did not leave bed at all. My first lesson was French, and we are doing group projects. We did it all by Google Meets, my new normal. They have now seen my dog, and I accidently did some ASMR when trying to eat some very toasted bread.

 I also had English seminars, which had some extra difficulties, aka my friend’s wifi connection was really bad and she was therefore impossible to understand at times. That would never happen if we were allowed to be in school. 

My two science teachers have very different approaches to watching videos during class. We got to watch a fourteen minutes video during chemistry, she gave us half an hour to finish it and we were supposed to exit our video call. During biology we were not supposed to leave the call, just watch the video on a different tab. That meant that when my teacher thought that a sufficient amount of time had passed he started speaking again. A sufficient amount of time had Not passed, when he started speaking…. That process was repeated another time, his timing did not get better. 

After school the news that all our national tests are cancelled came. That now means that we get to live in even more uncertainty, not knowing what our school is going to do or when the test will be. Because we will need to be tested. Also, really looking forward to my next English lesson, all we have  been doing for the last weeks, and all planned for the weeks to come, is practice for the national test. I feel kind of sorry for my English teacher, all he’s been doing this term is changes in his plans, nothing has gone his way.              

Pros: Not having to get up at six. Eating breakfast during class. Continued with my sewing. Eating lunch in bed.

Cons: Having every lesson start with our teachers telling us how empty school is and how much they miss us, miss you too. Eating lunch in bed.

Tusday                                             

I finally faced timed one of my friends, during class but still. Do you know how ridiculously much easier it is to do French if you have someone to talk to, someone to share ideas and knowledge with. We did more in half an hour this morning than I did during the entire class last Thursday. 

English class was very fun. That was irony. Due to the decision to cancel our national tests the entire lesson was spent planning for futures that might happen. No one knows if the school will have some kind of school wide test, no one knows if we even will be allowed back to school after Easter break when the tests are supposed to happen. I hate living in uncertainty. At least my teacher promised us that we no longer can lower our grades with the tests, only improve them. Honestly, that was really helpful and took a lot of pressure of my back. I only have one criteria that I truly want to improve, so I can now place all of my attention there. Fun side not, one of my classmates used some typical slang in the chat and my teacher, who isn’t that much older than us, was very confused. It was wild. Does older people not know what yeet means?   

Swedish was really nice, we are writing a speech and I wrote something that I was really proud of. Really makes me remember why I enjoy writing in the first place. Sadly that argument was way more serious than my others, that and a positive comment from my teacher really makes me want to make the rest of the speech mach in seriousness. So I guess I’m rewriting it all. I have until Friday, it will be fine.                  

My physic teacher took a different approach than the rest and uploaded a video where he was talking through a video. It was fine, the sound was off sometimes, but over all the lesson was great. The only problem was that I usually works really closely with one of my friend during physics, she always makes the lessons extra fun and I really missed her today.

Despite being at home we managed to have a PE lesson, it was odd. We had to talk a walk and send screenshots of a steep counter to my teacher to prove that we really went out. Walking around where I live is perhaps the most boring thing I have ever been forced to do in school. It’s possible to take around two thousand steps and then it becomes way too repetitive, or I get so deep in to the forest so I become paranoid and think every sound is a bear, or worse, a moose. My teacher made us take five thousand steps. To cure the boredom I went back home and took the dog with me for the last two thousand. It helped somewhat, but instead of walking in the forest we walked on an open field and it was windy. I have not yet recovered from the wind induced coldness and fear I may be developing a cool. It could also just be symptoms of wearing my classeys to long, I don’t understand how people survive without contacts.              

Pros: I vacuumed my floor during a break. I wrote something really fenomenal. I’ve been drinking a lot of water. My cold hands made my father scream. 

Cons: No physic friend:(. Forced walking in unfavourable conditions.   

Although this was technically not a week of school I think this have been the longest I have ever written, so hopefully I will be excused. This has been a nice way for me to work thru the changes in my life, so I will probably continue with it and you will all get more than one week of distance studies described. I expect the texts to shorten when this is no longer new and confusing.

Until next time

Johanna

Wash your hands

I did not want to write this, but apparently it is rather hard to not write about something that is suddenly affecting every part of my life. 

I was in Stockholm when the news of the first confirmed case of corona in Sweden hit. Back then I told a acquaintance that there was no need to panic, that it was only one and that it would soon blow over. I was super wrong. Now all they talk about on the news is the new disease and every time my phone chimes I expect it to be told that the schools are closing and that the government are putting us all in isolation. They should close the schools just so that we no longer have to walk around in tense expectation and nervous uncertainty. I’m tired of having no clue what is going to happen to me in the immediate future. I’m tired of having to plan for to outcomes. I’m tired of getting messages of potential plans and status quo updates of what is happening with the school. But most of all I’m tired of hearing the word “corona” everywhere I go.        

My school cafeteria no longer allows the students to take their food themself, the personal server us instead. Today was the first day implementing this, it was a catastrophe. To be fair to the personal I have to mention that beside being their first day it was most likely also their most busy day. Beside the normal monday queues there was a scheduled breaking test for all second graders adding to the line. Anyway, I stood in line for ten minutes and moved almost  a meter. In the end we had to drop out of the queue and go to the local grocery store to buy lunch in order to make it to the test in time. I ate garlic bread for lunch.

Less than twelve hours after I wrote this they decided to close the schools leaving me with the dilemma about what to do with this text. I have decided to keep the paragraphs above and just add my new thoughts and feelings. Distant studies will be weird, but I have been mentally preparing for days and think that I will manages. The most important thing is to not forget to go outside and exercise, so I will work a lot on that. How knows, maybe this isolation is what I need to start riding again. I have also stocked up on fabrics and art materials so I should good to go for a while.

Speaking of stores, my dad went grocery shopping yesterday and they were out of potatoes. This means that I will go a week without potatoes! That has never before happened to me. Generally I’m not even that much of a potatoes fan, but something about being denied it really upsets me. I will never take you for granted again.

My swedish teacher made me aware of the fact that disease dystopias will probably be the next big thing in literatur (and films?) and I’m sad. I don’t particularly like dystopias to begin with, and those about diseases are just terrible. I have only read one good disease based book, Conversion, and it was certainly not a dystopia. 

On a similar topic, how many people do you think will become so interested in viruses and the immune system after this so that the choses to make that their field of study? Quite a lot, is my guess. I’m happy to have chosen not to study any more biology after this so that I won’t have to try and make my namn known in a sea of qualified persons. 

Viruses, however, are kind of cool, they aren’t even living things and yet they manages to paralyze whole societies. Their destructive power is off the charts. A lump of RNA1 that takes over your cells and make them reproduce2 for you. How did that even become a thing. Some of them don’t even have proper membranes3

This is where I leave you, 

Until next time, remember to wash your hand.

1. Covid-19 has RNA, but there are viruses with DNA as well.    

2. Reproduce is perhaps not the most correct word, but my first language is Swedish, that includes science terms.  

3. Covid-19 has one, that is why soap is a good protection, it repels the lipids in the membrane causing it to open up and the virus “dies” (Technically they can’t die, since they never lived in the first place.)  

Sources on this is a mix of things learned in class and things read on reliable sites on the internet, please do look up more trustworthy sources than me if you want to get the best facts.  

Hopefully interesting rambling

I have apparently developed writers block, a first for me, jippi(what is the correct way to say jippi in English?)! Therefore this jumble may be what you get to read today, congratulation, it may be a complete waste of time. But I read somewhere that the best way to cure writer’s block is to just write, and beside it is kind of nice to just write down exactly what is on my mind. 

Fun fact; due to learning French I always want to add an extra E at the end of my words, even in English, it is very frustrating. It has also rendered me unable to write the word positive in any language on the first try, unless I spend an abnormal amount of time considering exactly how it is spelled. Another bilingual fun fact, in English the norm is to have le, in Swedish it is more normal to have el in a word, that is now something that I mess up in Swedish but not in English. Also, the capitalization in English is really weird.

Apparently that is something that I often get wrong in my texts for school. When I had my development talk with my English teacher he told me that, and then I was going to reply something and started saying “Capitalization…” and then I trailed off because I hadn’t finished my thought. And then he explained capitalization to me, something that I am very well aware of what is is! It was a strange experience, but to be fair towards my teacher I think that he was just confused about me sounding confused, I like to think that he knows that I’m a proficient English speaker, even tho my spelling is abysmal (I had to look up how to spell it:)). I also like to think that I have the best vocabulary out of all my classmates, it would be a shame if all of my reading didn’t pay off.

I am not sure if this exercise has cured my writers block yet, although I feel better. It could be that the quality of my work is worsened by the late hour. After ten on a Tuesday is perhaps not the best time to write. But I have been so busy in school lately that that I have not gotten the time to write. Most of my teachers wanted to be nice and lay their big test before easter so that we wouldn’t have to have all of them at the same time in late spring. Turns out, that if all of the teachers try to be nice it backfires. So now all of the students are super stressed in Marche instead of May, but we are still stressed. Nice thought, bad execution. 

I could of course stop study and live on the hope of schools getting closed due to the virus before any of the test happens. Sadly, I’m way too much of a control freak for that to be a working plan. 

Viruses are fascinating, they aren’t even considered living beings, and they still manages to destroy so much. I have always been interested in viruses and diseases, but living during what could potentially become a pandemic makes it more horrific than interesting. I hope that school doesn’t close, it would be really inconvenient. 

I really have to sleep now, so this is the end to my ramblings, thanks to sticking with me for so long. I apologize for all of the unnecessary commas in this text, my mother has not had a chance to read thru and correct all of my mistakes. Shout out to her for making my writing readable!

Goodnight

(Did you know that the French doesn’t have a word for “good morning”, it is seriously disturbing)