The one about the ceiling renovation…

As you may or may not have seen/read/heard we had quite the eventful Estonian independence day celebration this year (read all about it here 😉 )

Today it is getting fixed… hopefully.

Originally we were supposed to be at uni all day today, but due to the teacher being out of town the lecture and associated practical work class were cancelled. This means we’re at home, able to observe the renovation process (which I’m quite happy about). During the day I’ll add some of my thoughts and we’ll see what kind of post this ends up being – we might have a glorious new ceiling by the end of today, or we might not have a ceiling at all… Everything is possible!

So far there’s just been a lot of running back and forth, in and out of the house… And there’s plasterboard crusties sort of all over the place. The neighbour has apparently enlisted an elderly lady to do the fixing… Needless to say I have my doubts about what the final product will be. However, the lady is giving quite sharp orders to the poor man, so that’s good! #ladypower

– – – – – – – – – – day goes on – – – – – – – – – –

Well… turns out, this is a paint job?! The lady will be back tomorrow morning to finish the paint job… *sigh* and here we were, hoping they would actually fix the problem and not just cover the stains…

Welcome to the not-so-good-in-the-long-run way of doing things!

//jz

Advertisements

The one about how we celebrated Estonian independence this year…

This year is the 100 year jubilee of Estonian independence, and today just so happens to be the actual party day – “Head iseseisvuspäeva!”

I got out of bed at around 9:45, walked into the kitchen where I was greeted by a waterfall flowing down from our ceiling (through the lamp to be more precise).

After a couple of phone calls and knocking on doors we finally got the “sort of head of the apartment complex” to keep more water from emerging, but the waterfall was (and is) still present, but has now calmed down to a drip-drop-drip-drop.

This couldn’t have happened at a worse time; no firm that could otherwise have come to dry up the mess is open, our landlord is bedridden…
Actually, the only time worse than today would be during summer, because God knows what might have happened had we not been home (this happened once before we lived here; the ceiling had come down during summer and no one had noticed, the floor had to be redone, it was an all-around mess!)

Despite this today has turned out to be a pretty okay independence day (much thanks to the lovely horses at Ado (especially my dear Adorette) and a pretty successful riding lesson). Now it’s back to the books and studying, but not for long 😉

//ja

Welcoming “ceremony”, bones, and egg-shots?!

If I ever thought I was busy before I was wrong. Life has been hectic, full of new experiences (new, even though I’ve been here for 2 months already), struggles, and (sadly) egg-shots, but I’ll return to those later.

My life has revolved around bones (the vertebral column – check, thoracic and pelvic limbs – check, and now the skull), microscopes, and lab coats. My days follow a very ritualistic pattern; shower, eat, *insert the above story*, sleep, repeat.

My subjects for this autumn semester include

  • informatics and biometry (lectures and practical works – have I ever told you how incompatible me and computers are??)
  • Latin for specific purposes (I have encountered the first teacher I utterly dislike… I can’t even point out what it is I dislike… all I know is I feel I’m learning nothing, the lessons are a pain as soon as they start, but I force myself through them… wow! Did I mention I know what “rhubarb juice” is in Latin? Rhubarb juice?!?! How is that “for specific purposes”??)
  • Cell and molecular biology (lectures and lab works – microscopes galore! I have seen my cells, have you? 😉 )
  • Animal biology (only lectures and an exam so far, I am willing to share my knowledge on the sex life of sponges, snails, and tarantulas, but that will have to be a post of its own)
  • Anatomy of domestic animals (bones, bones, bones, and more bones! Next; joints and muscles and all that good stuff! Meditating under the skeleton of a giraffe, pretending the atlas of a cat is a ring, scratching my back with the rib of a cow, and more 😀 So much fun! … oh, did I mention oral exams! Despite the madness that follows I love it!)
  • Histology, cytology and embryology (microscopes galore – again! I love this subject, I love the teacher, I love the slides, I love trying to zoom in on all sorts of miniscule things and drawing them… No, really, I love it ❤ )
  • Estonian for foreigners (another one of my favourite subjects; learning this funny language! I still can’t believe how strange it is… koer on rihma otsas = the dog is on a leash (more fun is you know Finnish)… I don’t want this course to end, but we have an exam on 3rd of November…)
  • Biochemistry (lectures and labs – the white labcoat has become a symbol of test tubes and strange pipettes to me! Did I mention I have made an explosion, not once, but twice! Once with some crazy acid and the test tube exploded, the other time it was just a firework of fumes and sparks 😛 Oh, and last time I was grinding up leaves using a mortar and pestle just like Jamie Oliver taught!)

Now, the welcoming “ceremony” I’m talking about took place last Tuesday. It was a calm and peaceful biochemistry lecture, until a bunch of 5th year students stormed in and told us to dress in trash bags.
We then got new make up in the form of whiskers and… an egg-shot, which they labeled as a “vaccine”… This shot is unlike anything I’ve ever tasted (or seen!)…

It is as simple as this; a raw quail’s egg and vodka – yum! The crazy thing is I’ve had two of those during my two months here… that’s one each month… If the same pace continues I’m going to down around 10 of those each year, multiply that by six years (duration of studies) and you have 60 f-ing quail eggs lined up with vodka!

What else did we have to do? We had to build an animal out of a pile of bones (dogs, cats, cows, horses and beavers thrown together.. it was a beautiful sight), determine how many legs a “calf” had (it was a dog toy inside a “birth-simulation-practice-box-wannabe-cow”), and a number of other things, including suturing a stuffed toy, with a water balloon inside.

My favourite task of the day was definitely the part where we dissected a calf.

Yes, you read that right! We went into a room, and there were two dead calves on display. Our task was to locate the spleen and lungs, and get them on a tray. I was the bravest in my group, so I did the cutting and digging 😉 You’d be surprised how easy it is to cut through the sternum of a calf using nothing but a pair of bush clippers! was surprised how easy it was to block out the smell of blood; just focus on what you’re doing! Of course the calf in this case was dead, and I don’t imagine cutting into a live baby cow to be anywhere near as easy.

Not my group, but the same calf

I leave you with this image and make a return to my cell and molecular biology exam questions (test coming up on Thursday).

Just kidding, I leave you with this view! University main building, lovely autumn colours, life is great here in Estonia!

//jz

Apple tasting and the strawberry town!

On 31.8 our orientation week program was a trip to the Polli Horticultural Research Centre of EMÜ and a guided tour in the city of Viljandi. In Polli we got to taste all kinds of different apple varieties (including a couple of Finnish ones) and learn about the research they do in the apple gardens, berry collections and “helping entrepreneurs with research and product development” (don’t know how many times those very words were uttered during the few hours we spent there…)

image

image

After the apples were all gone we left for Viljandi. It was such a cute town with quite a rich history. Some of the green areas looked like they were part of a museum; flowers at every corner, old trees, small fountains, old buildings with newly painted walls… it was beautiful.

image

The city symbol – strawberries! There was an artist who made a painting with people eating strawberries and the strawberry ended up being the symbol of Viljandi 🙂

image

The bridge leading to the old castle ruins. It was restored in 1995 and is now, according to our guide, “quite safe” 😉

image

One of my classmates posing with Mr(s). Frog We saw this beauty at the ruins and, being vetmed students we had to give it some love 😛

image

Another shot of Mr(s). Frog – so cute!

image

The view… stunning! The lake is 4,7km long, and there’s a song about the Viljandi boatman 🙂

image

The castle ruins… more like a tenth of them to be honest! The castle was built on three “hills” and this was on the top one

11952695_1002599853094693_444478664835648475_o11942256_1002689723085706_4041973670449331443_o

Sorry for the bad quality of the two last pictures…. Facebook downloads… don’t know what happened there…

School starts tomorrow – I can’t wait!!

//jz

Exploring Tartu by foot

20150819_162523

Emajõgi

walking along Emajõgi

walking along Emajõgi

spot the ducks ;)

spot the ducks 😉

20150819_120250

let’s make things easier for you

20150819_120512

20150819_121019

20150819_121123

20150819_114447

Raekoja Plats (Town Hall Square)

Kissing Students-statue

Kissing Students-statue

20150819_113556

20150819_113600

Looks exactly like Diego... Maybe they're related ;)

Looks exactly like Diego… Maybe they’re related 😉

Cathedral ruins

Cathedral ruins

Decorations on the lampposts; you could

Decorations on the lampposts; you could “build” the persons by spinning the wooden blocks, quite a neat idea 🙂

20150819_131357

20150819_131352

20150819_131345

20150819_131457

20150819_131423

20150819_131551

20150819_134842

20150819_134851

At the bus station (bussijaam), I bought lovely apple nectar, and Yaris snapped a picture of me “advertising” it 😛

There will probably be many posts like this with mostly pictures, because “a picture is worth more than a thousand words” 🙂 So far I’m loving it here; the weather’s been great (there was one windy day… Tuesday I think, but other than that it’s been sunny, hot and wonderful!), the people are great, and I’ve survived with my very limited Estonian skills 😉

//jz