Published: February 11th 2008January 25th 2008
cant go wrong!
So I took the SAT. Finally. I have been studying like crazy, and I finished the Official College Board SAT book....the entire 800 or so pages, so I am extremely releaved to be back to reading and studying finnish instead of reviewing everything I have learned in high school! The test was in Helsinki, at the Helsinki School of Economics (HSE) at 7:45 am on Saturday the 26th. Eija (my rotary counslor) picked me up early from school Friday and (with he two daughters Emmi and Nelli) drove me to Helsinki. On the way we stopped at IKEA!!! My favorite store in the entire world, and looked around for a while then ate those wonderful swedish meatballs for dinner. In the cafe this little girl walked by me and stopped to stare at me. She was adorable, but kept looking at me and smiling and I had no idea what was going on. Then her grandmother came over and asked if I had been speaking english because the little girl was her grand daughter from America. I laughed as I understood. Then I saw a guy wearing an Old Navy sweatshirt (her father) and went over to chat. He was a
(get this...) half finnish, half New Yorker!!! Fabulous combination I think! haha! We talked about why I was in Finland and why he was in Finland, and he told me he worked for private health care in Helsinki but warned me not to buy any sweatshirts in Finland because they are SO expensive (I had asked if there was an Old Navy in Helsinki, looking at his sweatshirt). He asked about what colleges I was interested in and I told him about a couple, and he gave me his card and told me his friend (a finn) was alumni at Cooper Union in NYC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, anyway Eija drove me to the center of Helsinki where she dropped me off at a large flat building. On the sixth floor I was met by Mr. Molander. He showed me into his families flat and introduced me to his wife and daughter Agnus. They are Helsinki rotarians and volenteered to host me for a night and help me get to my test. It was a fabulous idea because they lived within walking distance to the HSE! They are a finnish-swedish family, and I loved it. Sometimes they were speaking finnish and other times
swedish, then they would speak finnish and swedish together and I got SOO confused, but it was a lot of fun. We had tacos for dinner, and you could see Finlandia Hall from their window, lit up blue in the night. It was an amazing view really. I spent a good 15 minutes standing there looking out the round corner flat window. After dinner Agnus went out with some friends and my new host parents took me out for a walking tour of Helsinki. We stopped by the Church in the Rock (google it, its the most amazing architectural church I have EVER seen), where an orchestra concert was in session. The door man let us in and we got to see the last half hour of the show for free!!! It was breathtaking, the acustics and music, and I even recognized the ancour symphony! We then walked all around the keskusta (centrum) and passed all the famous landmarks! I got to bed early, then woke the next morning for the test. After five or so hours of testing and short breaks with fellow Americans (this cool guy from Colorado) and people from all over the world in Helsinki to take the SAT, I walked out into the sunlit city. It was a beautiful day; cool, but sunny without wind. I walked around for a while purpously getting lost looking for the flat but soon enought I was there again eating lunch and chatting with Agnus. She is one year younger then me, and is planning on going on exchange to Brasil next year!!! She is fabulous. We had so much to talk about, so later in the day she came to the centrum (a mere 5 min walk) and took me shopping! I bought a new more "stylish" black coat with big buttons down the front. I felt like a finn! haha! I followed her around to many different shops where we tried on some very "interesting" coats. Then at 6 we went to the train station where we said goodbye, but promised to meet up again before I go back home!!! (oh and ps-the former president of Finland lived two floors below the one I was living on!!!!! CRAZY!!!)