Archive for January, 2010


#24 recycling

024/365 recycling, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

In my search for colour in the winter whiteness, I noticed these recycling bins in front of our local supermarket today. Sunday has become our recycling day. The green one is for paper and cardboard, the blue one for glass, metal and batteries, and the yellow ones for usable clothes. It’s good to see that many people keep doing this regularly.

Let’s just hope that every bit counts towards saving this earth. Last year I heard a couple of lectures by experts, who seemed to be insinuating that private people’s little efforts won’t make any difference in stopping global warming. Instead, drastic measures by industry and big business would be needed. I want to keep believing that everybody’s actions are meaningful. What is the point of anything otherwise?


#23 my only collection

023/365 my only collection, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

With a husband who is an incorrigible collector of EVERYTHING (records, CDs, videos, DVDs, magazines, bits of paper, old watches, toy cars, stamps, teas, teapots, bottles, you name it!), and a daughter who also holds on to a fair amount of stuff, I don’t collect anything. I have no emotional ties to material things – if I run out of space, I throw stuff out. It’s also the only way to maintain any sense in our stuffed up home.

The Daily Shoot assignment today, really made me think hard about what it might be that I collect.

” We’re all collectors of something. Find an interesting way to display and make a photo of a collection today.”

I don’t think I collect anything but life experiences. And all that can be seen in the deepening lines on my palm. It’s all there, with me all the time. My palm is like a microchip containing all the twists and turns of my life over the years. And it doesn’t take space in our home. Hopefully, it only fills me with greater and greater wisdom and calm to face the storms in life.

Taking these pictures made me realize how old and wrinkled my hand actually looks. Gone forever is the smooth, young hand. I don’t miss it, though, since I feel I’m more me now than twenty years ago. I feel good in my skin.


#22 another brick in the wall

022/365 another brick in the wall, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Today’s Daily Shoot also became the theme of my 365 photo:

“Let’s have some fun on a Friday. Make a photo that goes with the title (or lyrics) of a song. Interpret away!”

Another ordinary day at school, in the familiar red-brick environment. I am thinking what is the state and purpose of education today. I’m sure many students would still sign Pink Floyd’s message of not needing any education from back in 1979. At least not the same old, numbing and repetitive, factory style.

Aren’t schools still too often working like the meat grinder in the brilliant Gerald Scarfe animation of the song where kids are dropped only to spew out uniform minced meat at the other end? Is there any space for individual thinking, learning methods and goals, or chances for each individual to realize their full potential? Why does it seem that the spark, the passion, the joy and creativity are all buried and forgotten inside these walls? Can our students, in their bright pink and red coats, be themselves, and not just other bricks in the wall?

By the way, there is a Finnish expression ‘counting the ends of bricks’, meaning to serve a prison sentence. Sometimes, for me as a teacher, the brick school seems prison-like, too. There are too many outside pressures, constrictions, national assessments and rigid attitudes, which tie my hands. Then again, I shouldn’t complain too much, since compared to colleagues in other countries, I probably have considerably more autonomy and freedom. I have just talked about this with Tania in Australia, a wonderful edublogger and also photo-blogger, who was my inspirator for this photo project.

My other song title option for this picture was Paramore’s ‘Brick by boring brick’, but I chose the good old classic.


#21 blinded by the light

021/365 blinded by the light, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Finally, after 12 grey days, the sun showed itself behind a veil of clouds, for about an hour between 1 and 2 pm. I absolutely had to catch a picture of this rare light phenomenon! So I made use of my skip hours in the middle of the school day, and drove down to the seaside to get my shot. Normally, I hardly leave the school building during a working day.

It was really cold out – minus 12 degrees, and a biting wind. My fingers froze once again. I’m not too happy with this picture, since it’s rather boring – no colour whatsoever. But I wanted a record of seeing some light at long last!

At the moment, the day is already about 1 hour and 15 minutes longer than around Christmas time. It doesn’t make any difference in the morning yet, but if it was sunny, there might be photo opportunities outdoors until 4 pm. I’m hoping that soon I won’t have to rush so much every afternoon to be able to take any outdoor photos after I finish school.


#20 my ticket to the world

020/365 my ticket to the world, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

I’m travelling to Singapore in a month’s time, where entry regulations requite a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the trip. That’s why I had to apply for a new passport today.

I love travelling, so my passport is very dear to me. In the old days, you always used to get a nice stamp in your passport on arrival and departure, but now you are lucky to get one stamp every now and then, if that.. Another thing that has changed, I was told, is that they won’t allow me to keep this old one as a souvenir anymore. Sign of the times perhaps. It’s a real pity, since I will lose all these pretty visas in the old passport from all my Asian travels. I especially like the Chinese one, with the beautifully drawn picture of the Great Wall.

Oh well, the memories will stay in my mind, and new adventures, with a brand-new passport, are awaiting me next month.


#19 no snowdays for us

019/365 no snowdays for us, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Today’s Daily Shoot made me think of transport.

Make an interesting photo of a mode of transportation today: car, plane, bicycle, subway, or whatever you like!

So I took a picture of students’ bikes in the schoolyard at noon. Many curious students kept asking why on earth I was photographing their bikes! I was actually wondering who owns that cute red bike, which really stood out in the long boring line of blacks and greys.

I am actually amazed at how many students cycle all through the winter, whatever the weather. They must be really fit! It’s understandable, though, if they live not far from school. Cycling doesn’t cost them anything, and is often quicker than many bus services. We don’t know the system of school buses in our country, so students always use public transportation. It’s only for very young primary school kids, who live further than walking distance from school, that the local government must provide a taxi service.

Our country is so geared up for winter conditions that schools, offices or other work places are never closed because of the weather. Snowdays are something out of Hollywood movies to us. We will push against the fiercest winds, and plough through the thickest snow. I think this is because we have been brought up with the Lutheran work ethic, according to which hard work is everybody’s obligation. Consequently, our lifestyle may come across as very rigid and perfunctory.

Foreigners think Finns are barking mad to cycle on slippery roads. I tend to agree with them! I really worry about students who cycle without a hat at minus temperatus with the wind chill factor. My bike will be safely hibernating until the last trace of ice has disappeared – hopefully sometime around April.


#18 tulip

018/365 tulip, originally uploaded by rosipaw.

Tulips are here. Every year, soon after Christmas, they fill the shops in colourful masses. Our local supermarket has a constant offer on a bunch of ten for a couple of months. I love them, and keep buying lots to fool myself that spring is just round the corner. Today I was practising minimalism (following the Daily Shoot assignment) so I only put one in this vase. It’s my favourite colour, orange, although the white around it makes it look almost red.

The vase is my favourite, too. I think almost every Finnish home has at least one of these, designed by maybe the most famous Finnish designer and architect Alvar Aalto. The shape is absolutely ingenious, because it always looks good, whether you put one delicate flower in it, or a big bouquet.

We now have ten of these in this vase, and another ten pink tulips in another vase. Colourful flowers really brighten up the room – and cheer me up, too. It was the ninth day without the sun today…


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