Friday, March 14, 2014

A Day in the Life

I love reading other "A Day in the Life" blog posts so I thought I would do one to remember what a typical day for us is like in Stockholm.  So here is a typical day:

I knew before going to sleep last night that I would be subbing today.  It is always nice to know that instead of waking up wondering whether I am going to get a sub call sometime around 7:30 or if I am going to volunteer that day.
I wake up and take a shower.
Breakfast - Honey Cheerios while I check my email and Facebook.

I dry and straighten my hair, get dressed and pack my school bag.  Jake is usually still in bed while I am doing my hair.  I feel bad doing my hair while he is still in bed because I have to do my hair in our bedroom. It is frustrating that there are no outlets in the bathroom and if you remember how small our bathroom is there isn't enough space in there for me to do my hair.  He does a good job of not complaining.  I'm not sure I would be as kind if he was turning on the light and making as much noise as I do in the mornings if I could sleep in as late as he does.  He usually wakes up around 7 but sometimes doesn't get out of bed until 7:30.  Some days I leave and he is still in bed (but I make up for that on the weekends).

I head out the door and to the metro.  I used to check the metro times in the morning to catch a specific one but now I just leave and catch whichever one is there when I get there.  They run every 1-3 minutes in the morning so I usually don't have to wait long.  As I am walking up to the station I can see the sign on the platform that says how many minutes until the next three trains arrive and I can also see the display inside the station (I have pretty good eyes:)).  If I am in a hurry I might jog to the station and up the stairs but if I see there is another train in one or two minutes I just walk.  This morning the trains going the direction I needed were in one minute, four minutes and seven minutes.  I didn't really want to wait four minutes so I jogged a little to make sure I would catch the train coming in one minute.

I used to listen to K-Love on my way to school in the car and thanks to the K-Love app I can listen to it on my way to school on the metro!  Also, this song is one of my favorites!

My metro ride is about 10 minutes and then I have about a 5 minute walk to school.

I get to school and grab a computer before I head to the English department.  When I get to the English department I see that there aren't really any sub plans.  Sub plans seem to be kind of optional sometimes :).  I think most departments will just cover for each other if you are gone or will make up some quick sub plans if the teacher is too sick to make their own plans which is the case for today.  Thankfully the head of the department made some grammar packets the day before just in case the teacher wasn't able to get any sub plans ready.  I write down my schedule with the time, room number and class then I grab my papers and head to my first class.
My first class is 4th grade English.  I subbed for this class yesterday.  I take attendance, explain the grammar packet and work on coming up with words to use in a Catchphrase game we will play at the end of class.  I walk around and help kids with words they don't know or grammar that they don't understand.  With about 20 minutes left of class I play Catchphrase with the kids that are finished with their work for the day.  Catchphrase is one of my favorite games and I loved playing it with my class back home.  I feel like it helps the kids practice describing words which is really good when you are learning a new language.

I have a 10 minute break to switch classes.  In this school the kids have a homeroom with their own desks and the teachers move from room to room.  The kids sometimes go to different rooms for math and science but most of the time they are in their home classroom.  Teachers have a desk in a department room that they share with other colleagues.  One of the junior school department rooms has math and science with 8 teachers in that room and the other department room has Swedish, English and Social Studies with 12 teachers in that office.  Each teacher has a desk and a bookshelf with cabinets and drawers to put their teaching supplies.  They also have a copy machine in each department room that the staff can print to from their computers and make copies for their lessons.

I have another 4th grade English lesson right after the ten minute break.  I didn't have this class yesterday so they are doing yesterday's lesson plan with spelling words and a grammar packet.  For the last 20 minutes we play Catchphrase with words they had on their grammar packet.

Next, I have an hour and a half break.  I put my things back in the department office before heading upstairs to ask the secretary a few questions.  Today I worked on a blog post and looked at hotels for our upcoming trip since I don't have any papers to grade or lessons to plan.  The life of a sub!  Isn't it glamorous?  And a little bit stressful because you don't always have plans but at least at this school you don't have papers to grade :).

After about 30 minutes I head to lunch.  Lunches at schools in Sweden are different than back home.  Everyone eats school lunch including the whole staff.  No one brings lunch from home.  The food is usually pretty good although this school just switched companies and the food, in my opinion, isn't as good as it was.  Today the main dish was fish with roasted potatoes.  I don't like fish.  They always have a vegetarian option but today it wasn't very good either.  So I had one and half roasted potatoes, a couple of bites of the fish, sliced carrots, knackbröd (crackers) and an apple.  You get a free lunch at school if you eat with the kids.  You can also eat with one adult but no more than two adults can sit together.  As a newbie that is awkward because I never know if someone who is sitting alone is waiting for someone or not.  If you take someone's place then they can't just join both of you because three adults sitting together is not allowed.

After a quick 20 minute lunch, I went back to the English department to get things ready for my next lesson.  I had two more 4th grade English lessons for the day.

I had outside duty for 15 minutes after my last lesson of the day.  Today was beautiful.  The sun was shining and it was about 40 degrees.  The kids get ten minute breaks between classes and then a longer break around lunch time.  The kids can either stay inside and talk in the halls or they can go outside and play soccer, innebandy or play on their phones.  They are not allowed to use their phones inside the building. If a teacher sees or hears a phone they will take it and give it to the office for the student to pick up at the end of the day.  I walked around and talked to kids for about 15 minutes during my outside duty.

After my duty was over I packed up my things, returned my computer and headed to the gym.  I have a bag of supplies I use for subbing and a pair of inside shoes that I have been leaving at school since I've been subbing almost every day.  It is nice to not have to take everything to and from school every day.

I missed the metro by about 30 seconds and the next one isn't for 5 minutes.  This stop doesn't have the times of the metros on the outside of the building like most stops do so I didn't know I needed to hurry.  This stop is several stops from the central part of the city so it doesn't have trains as often.

I get to the gym, change clothes and run.  I usually run two days a week and lift weights and do some cardio the other two days.  
 Try not to be jealous of my awesome blue shoe covers :).  When you get to the gym you either have to take off your shoes and leave them on the rack, carry them to the locker room or put on the blue shoe covers.  In the winter it is totally necessary with all the snow and salt but the rest of the year it is kind of a pain.
I've been trying to get back into running but I just can't seem to get past my mental block.  Today I burned about 300 calories (it was flashing the number of calories when I took the picture and I must have missed it).  #IRunSoICanEatChocolate
Headed home.
Before I can relax I have to clean up the kitchen.  Just keepin' it real :).  I like to go to bed with the kitchen clean so when I get home from work the next day it doesn't look like this but that didn't happen last night.

I took a quick shower and then made a Nutella Latte.  I've been making Salted Caramel Mochas but I'm trying to cut down on the amount of sugar in my coffee so I decided to make a latte (espresso with milk) and add a tablespoon of nutella to it to give it some sugar.  It was pretty good!  I read some blogs, checked my email and Facebook while I enjoyed my latte.
About once a year I decide to track my calories through My Fitness Pal.  I like to see what I'm putting in and how much I'm burning to make sure I keep things balanced.  Counting calories is a lot harder in Sweden because they don't tell you the serving size on a package.  They tell you how many calories are in 100 grams but I don't always eat 100 grams of something and some of the time the package doesn't even have 100 grams in it so there is a lot of math involved!  But thankfully other people in Sweden use My Fitness Pal because several of the things I've searched for in the My Fitness Pal database have already been entered.

We won't be eating dinner until pretty late tonight so I had a snack.  Lots of kids at school eat rice cakes during snack time so I thought I'd give one a try.  This one was sour cream and onion.  It wasn't bad once you get over the styrofoam texture :).

Heading to SFI, Swedish for Immigrants, which is a free Swedish class.  Now I am the student instead of the teacher.  Being a student is so much harder but I am becoming a better teacher in the process.  (Also, I can't take selfies . . . so sorry they are awkward!)

Look at this cute boy I found on my way to class! 14 years after our first class together it is still fun to be in the same class.  Although . . . . we haven't played footsie in a while :).
We started taking SFI about 5 weeks ago.  I started in an intro class and Jake started one level above me.  Tonight I moved to his class.  I was scared but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  There are 9 vowels in Swedish: a, e, i, o, u, y, å, ä, ö.  The nice thing about the vowels is that each letter makes one sound instead of English vowels where they all make at least two sounds plus a few others depending on the word.  However, out of the 9 vowels 4 of them sound like the letter e.  Swedes hear a huge difference between e, i, y, and ä but everyone else hears e, e, e, e!  I always crack up when our teacher says all of the e sounds in a row.  Whenever I hear someone say the vowels I think back to first grade when my teacher used to quickly say a, e, i, o and u so fast that my head would spin and I remember thinking "I can't wait until one day when I can make all of those sounds as fast as she can."  Well, here I am, over 20 years later thinking the same thing!

On our way home Jake stops by the store to grab some milk, peanut butter and nutella while I head home to start dinner.

Dinner tonight includes tacos, edamame and two blurry pics of us :).  I like going to SFI but I don't like eating dinner so late.  Also, if you ever eat hard tacos at home you have to bake the shells first.  Oh. My. Goodness. So good!
Jake cleans up the dishes and then we both chill before heading to bed.

Remember my run?  I ran for this!  Also, since everything is listed in grams I have to weigh my food so I can enter it into My Fitness Pal.  It is a little crazy but after a few times of weighing my food I usually know how much I eat and I don't have to weigh it every time.

After I get ready for bed I write in this notebook.  I jot down a few little bits about my day that I might want to remember.  My awesome roommates gave it to me before we moved to Stockholm this summer.  Throughout the notebook they left me notes and it is so fun when I turn the page to find one!

I set my alarm for the next morning knowing I have another sub job which is always great to know before I fall asleep. 

Before I can fall asleep I hear the dishwasher and I know the cycle got stuck again.  I get up to clear it and remind Jake that I'd like for him to figure out what it means when it flashes the number 20 :).  He falls asleep in about .5 seconds and I follow him a few minutes later.

Hope you enjoyed a sneak peak into a typical day.


  1. This may be my favorite blogpost yet! You are just too cute for words! We will have to try and google hangout sometime this week. Wes will enjoy it!

    1. Thanks Emily! We will have to Google hangout this week! Any chance to see your cute boys sounds great to me!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...