Saturday, April 25, 2009

Friday on a Cruise Ship

I am finally starting to be back to normal again. Last weekend I was so busy that I can't even remember when was the last time I had my schedule so full.

Regarding Friday I first have to explain something. The following is quoted from Wikipedia under Collective bargaining:

In some countries, such as Finland, collective agreements with enough support are universally applicable, in a particular field, regardless of union membership. Effectively, the universal collective agreement sets the minimum wages and other benefits, under which no employer may go with any employee, union member or not. Personal benefits can be given regardless.
The teacher's collective agreement states that we must have 3 days in a year to get some further education to keep our skills up to date. Mostly I am not so sure if the goals are reached. I have been sitting in numerous lectures and wondered if the subject of the lesson has anything to do with my real life. Sometimes the lessons are very entertaining, sometimes very boring and sometimes held by people who have no idea how the school works nowadays.

Friday was one of the days mentioned above but now I knew it would be very interesting. The only thing I did not like was the place where the event took place: one of the cruise ships between Turku and Stockholm.


These ships are not really a good way to travel to Sweden because the journey takes about 12 hours. They are used mainly for entertainment, dancing and drinking on a cruiser (reminds me of Love Boat) and holding conferences. I guess that way the people attending the conference remain there better; there is absolutely no way to escape except one of the bars, but the chances to get caught are too big.

I was one of the teachers who gave a lesson and I told my co-workers about my journey over the internet and social media. I demonstrated how to use Skype and had wonderful help from Dave Green and Gil Galanti from Conceptis. Besides that they are just the best when it comes to chatting online there was one thing I had really forgotten about because I do it so often. Israel is probably the most exotic country from the Finnish perspective. A group chat from a cruise boat between Finland and Sweden to Israel is not really something people are accustomed to :)

I also introduced Delicious and Diigo, told about Math bloggers and about the article Conceptis published about me and showed how I can find good links by not using Google. I also told how wonderful interacting with people from different countries is. I have really enjoyed all these years having friends outside my own country.

Twitter was something only one of the teachers had heard of and he did not even know what it is about. Twitter is awesome, like I already told in my earlier post. If you have a sufficient amount of followers you always get an answer from the Twitterverse when you want to find out something. By following teachers and other people interested in mathematics and puzzles I have been able to add numerous links to my huge collection of good resources.

Altogether six teachers told about their job and that was really interesting. After all the introductions I could really see why the adult students love our school. We have amazing personalities among the teachers, all dedicated to their job.

Part of the teachers continued the journey to Stockholm and came back the next morning. They did not really leave the ship at all but just turned around in Sweden. I belonged to the bigger group of people who turned around changing ships in Åland Islands (Ahvenanmaa) which is an autonomous part of Finland, closer to Sweden than Finland.

The journey back was a bit boring. We had dinner at the Buffet of the ship. They had a Spanish week and lots of exotic foods. Shopping in the ship's Tax Free is also a habit even though we never left Finland not to mention EU and the prices are not free of tax. I tried to use my distant connection with the laptop but the GSM network was not strong enough for pages to load. No chance of getting 3G in the middle of the Baltic Sea. The rest of the time we had conversations among the teachers, which was actually nice. At work we are usually too busy to have deeper conversations.

After the long day I was totally exhausted. I am probably getting old...

The story about the weekend continues in the next post

1 comment:

cruise ship jobs said...

One of the best way to relax and travel at the same time is to be in a cruise ship. It is getting more popular and even with the present economic problems, people are still attracted to it as it will give you your money's worth.