Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hibernation

I feel like I'm going into hibernation. The sun sets early now and it is complete darkness by 5 pm. It will only get darker and darker. Some of my reserve energy is now delegated to the task of keeping my body warm. I take a deep breathe as the reality that Fall is slipping away and winter is just around the corner, settles into my bones. It's about having faith that summer will return but I mourn the flowers and the bees.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Guest Speaker and Racism

Today was my final class in Cross Cultural Communication. On schedule we had a Swedish woman that was to lecture about the American business culture. I was curious to hear if the experiences she shared with the class would be positive or negative. Swedes have a love/hate relationship with the United States. I don't want to make generalizations but its like there is an obsession with the US and people are extreme in their feelings about it. Either you are 100% a pro-American or you hate it, that's it..there is no indifference here about the US.
Anyway, overall the lecture was interesting and at times really funny until the subject of racism came up. Now, you have to understand that Swedes do not think that they are racist or that racism exists here. Today, there is a serial killer running around targetting immigrants in Malmö, the third largest town in Sweden. There are problems with integration here...I mean entire areas in Stockholm where there are only immigrants that live there, but when she mentioned that her real estate broker in the US thought that she would be able to get an apartment because she wasn't black or Jewish my classmates were appalled. My lecturer's reaction was, "yes, these things happen even today in the US" but ask anyone in Sweden with a certain type of last name if they felt that they have been denied an apartment or a job and you hear that yes, these things happen even today in Sweden.
http://schaberhistory.wikispaces.com/
I didn't feel comfortable with the issue of racism being brought up, because its complicated and something that a white foreigner really could never understand, much less attempt to explain. I am african american and I still can't wrap my head around racism at times, so its not appropriate for it to be "just a bullet point" on a powerpoint presentation of  a Swedish woman who lived in the States for seven years. As a consequence of this racism -as a subject dabbling, a few of my classmates started to ask me questions...yippee.... about the situation and what its like to deal with racism in the US.
I started off with my view that its a completed subject. I had to explain that I didn't feel "held down by the shackles of the man" on a daily basis. Yes, I was aware that there were country clubs that did not allow Blacks to join but I had to explain, that I didn't know where they were. It wasn't like I was shaking the guard gates screaming, let me in, let me in. Yes, I did agree that the American dream was a myth to most but that only in the US, could the phenomenon that is OPRAH be an example of a dream made real. I also had to point out that poverty should not be exclusively assigned to a racial group. Most Swedes, because of negative media, believe that most black people are poverty stricken and that isn't true.
So, I did appreciate the lecturer's viewpoint that racism is bad but it left too many unanswered questions or too much room for people to draw the wrong conclusions. Racism is everywhere. Its human nature to divide ourselves and create "otherness". At least in the US we admit to our weaknesses and don't try to pretend that the problems don't exist because they do, but as long as people need to feel better about themselves at the expense of others it will continue...just like the shootings in Malmö.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Any News?? Lots of People have irritated me this week!!!

Today I stayed home because yesterday I almost lost my temper in class. Sometimes I feel like my school just hires anyone to teach us the "practical" portion of our education. Actually the international sales and marketing education has theoretical blocks as well so we earn academic credit for those classes. Anyway, the practical classes are taught by individuals who have their own companies and sell their courses to our school.

Some have been great teachers and others while having fantastic qualifications in their subject, just can't teach.

Yesterday, I was appalled by my teacher insisting that instead of confronting an issue "head on" with another person, from a different culture, that instead we form the problem into a question asking if whether or not what said person is doing, is normal in their country or culture.

This only works if what said person is doing is positive..."oh can you show me, we don't do that in the States". Instead...if an Italian is invading your personal space or you're at a business meeting and your Irish colleague is drinking too much...that is when you are supposed to form the problem into a question and insert nationality.
Do all Italians stand close together? Do all Irish people drink as much as you?

I would say if you form the question wrong and its already tense, you offend someone.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Philips unveils latest wake-up light campaign - The Local

When people ask me what is the worse thing about the winters in Sweden, I always say the darkness. Mind you, Stockholm is not as bad as it is in the North but its enough for me. I saw this add on THE LOCAL and although its about a small town in Norway, once you get high enough Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia kinda merge into one.



I think its great that Philips is doing this experiment and is worth following its progress.

This wake-up light campaign could really help people.

Innovation kudos to Philips!

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Commercial

This commercial was created by ComHem a local cable company here in Sweden. They have a great campaign featuring the two redheads you will see in the clip...I love them, the cat is disturbing!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Secret Online Purchases

Latest purchase from Mango....

Dress Ivanova 699sek
I thought that after such a crazy couple of weeks and an intense weekend I deserved to treat myself to something special. This is what I have decided on...Its practical and will complement my figure and it just suits me! I am thrilled. I have purchased clothing from Mango before so I know that the sizes run a bit small like Zara but I am forever aware. 
Can't wait from my new arrival to come..........I'll take a picture and show you what it looks like, when I get it!

Until then...be good 


Monday, October 18, 2010

Fadern

Went to the theater last night!

It was amazing!! I was so moved that I started to cry!! 


More on August Strindberg later but I am totally addicted!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

BIRTHDAY PRESENT!!!

Amazon Kindle

I usually don't know what I want for my birthday. In fact, I usually ask for money and then I end up buying something boring and practical like wool socks or pajamas, although its not possible to have too many pairs of pajamas. Anyway, this year it struck me that I pay way to much money for paperbacks in English, here in Sweden. Its like really expensive and its not the selection that you want and if you go to an english bookstore, ya gonna pay plenty there as well. Although I think the selection in English at the POCKET bookstore in Central Station is quite good. BUT... I have decided that these reasons alone justify getting a Kindle..not an Ipad...I want a simple, easy to use and carry Kindle since I buy everything from Amazon.co.uk anyway. Plus....its better for the environment. SEE!

Presentation

Sense of North LoveQuilt
Its almost time for me to relax. Today was the presentation of the Sense of North export to Japan marketing plan. It went well, although I wish we could have had more information from the manufacturer but otherwise it was well received by our class and our teacher. Our class voted for the group that would be chosen to present at our Export Event next Tuesday and since our group gave away all of our votes to the other groups, we are free!


Now we can focus on putting together our final report which I would like to present to Maria and Anders in person. I would also like to continue working on this project. I am so inspired by Sense of North, there is so much potential in the product, that its almost a shame to allow it to go back up on some shelf. I wonder if it is possible or if everyone is equally as excited as I am. It would seem so but...you never know.


At the very least, I had a fantastic time working with my group and have cultivated friendships that will last for a long time. This would not have been an enjoyable experience if I had joined the wrong group but it seems that the right people all gravitated to each other.

I can feel the pressure releasing!



Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Soon...very soon


I don't think that I have had so much going on at one time in quite a while. Its challenging and I am exhausted but I feel alive. I am almost done with school. I have two more classes and then my new internship begins. I can't wait!!!!



I hope that I am able to learn as much as I was promised and come out on the other side as a stronger Kee Kee.


Like I said, I feel great and I promise to fill you in on the details a bit later......
Until then I just have to try to stay calm!

Love you...Love me