It only took 6 years…

…before I decided to pay attention and heed the call.

Welcome back to my blog! As you can see from perusing through previous posts, this blog functioned as a means to share news and document some of my travels in Scandinavia while I completed my undergraduate degree in Anthropology/Archaeology. Now, after spending many years working in HR, I have decided to return to school and earn my graduate degree. I am excited to share that I will be attending University College Cork in Ireland beginning this coming August! I will be living there for a little over a year, and possibly longer depending on where exactly I find employment after graduation.

I haven’t yet been able to really articulate all of the emotions that come along with this change, so I will jump right into sharing a few images of the beautiful campus!

Enchanting and inspiring!

As one of the requirements for the degree, I will be doing a work placement at the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin. It is located about 3 hours north of Cork.

The stunning architecture and breathtaking landscapes are part of what drew me to apply to this school! As I will be working very hard and focusing on my studies, I may not post too often, but when I do, I’m sure I will have very much to share!

Thanks for following along!

Goodbye, Sweden!

It has been an amazing 6 months. Yes, it went faster than we expected. Sweden is such a beautiful country with a rich and exciting history. This experience has solidified many of my UCSD lessons and given me a taste of what it’s like to be far away from home for a relatively long period of time. Thank you readers for following along! πŸ˜€ We are so excited to go home; but we will definitely keep Sweden in our hearts.

I want to extend a heartfelt and special thanks to the Gilman Scholarship Program and the Swedish Women’s Educational Association for their generous support. If there are any undergraduate readers out there, I strongly recommend studying abroad in Sweden! If you do, visit the links above and visit your campus study abroad office to apply for those scholarships. Sweden has so much to offer everyone. As you’ve read on this blog, there is a tremendous amount of archaeological sites and museums to visit. Lund University also offers unique opportunities to students from various fields. A couple of my fellow exchange students each had the opportunity to work full-time in labs for course credit! I believe one was working in Chemistry and the other in Neurology. Consider studying abroad in Sweden. You won’t regret it! πŸ™‚ Even for those who are not in college, spend a week or two in Lund! You can travel the SkΓ₯ne region and across to southern Denmark with ease. The public transportation system here is fantastic and allows the travelers to get the most out of their visits.

Thank you, Sweden, for an enriching learning experience! πŸ™‚

your friendly neighborhood archaeologist β™₯

Time to Sign Graduation Paperwork!

I have just completed all the requirements for my Bachelor’s degree in Anthropological Archaeology! πŸ™‚

As soon as I return to San Diego, I will meet with my advisors and sign the papers! The ceremony isn’t until June, but I will still get my degree in the mail soon. πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to frame it! I am so excited and relieved to have made it through this process. UCSD is an amazing school and I will truly miss it.

What’s next for me? Work and graduate school.

-Erin πŸ™‚

Thanksgiving Dinner

Hi, everyone! πŸ™‚ Erin, again.

We had a wonderful night in a beautifully decorated city! Lund was glowing with Christmas lights and decorations. πŸ™‚ We enjoyed a delicious turkey dinner, apple crumble pie, and after-dinner drinks! The turkey had some lemon and pepper flavor to it, the potatoes had some good seasoning, the baked apple went nicely with the turkey, and the warm apple dessert with cold vanilla sauce was delicious! I need to get every recipe. Below are a few pictures of the meal. Yum! πŸ™‚

Photobucket Photobucket

After our nice dinner and conversation, we roamed Lund with other students and visited a Christmas market about 15 minutes before closing. We are definitely planning on going back (and to other Christmas markets), but couldn’t help but purchase a bottle of a traditional holiday beverage, Svagdricka. It’s slightly alcoholic and sweet like Julmust, which is the non-alcoholic, root beer-like beverage with a sweeter flavor. It’s popular here in Sweden during the holiday. We also saw booths with creative artists who make little animals and characters out of a type of sugar dough, hand-made Christmas decorations, home-made marmalades, and more. I have a feeling that this is where we will be buying most of our Christmas gifts.

The walk home was very nice. Lund is so charming. Even in cold and wet weather, the historic buildings, cobble-stone streets, and Christmas decorations warm the heart. πŸ™‚ We will be posting pictures from these markets very soon. Until then, enjoy the Christmas planning! I hope you all have started your Christmas shopping! πŸ˜‰

One grade posted!

I am super excited that my grade for one class has been posted! I received an “A” in Viking Age Scandinavia! πŸ™‚ I really enjoyed the course and I will definitely be taking lessons home with me. The other classes I’m currently taking are running through December 13th…so far, so good! πŸ™‚

Upcoming papers include analyses of the historiographical development (the “construction”) of the “viking” in the 19th century, transitions from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to sedentary agriculture throughout Europe, and the use of metal for social statuses during the Bronze and Iron Ages throughout Europe. Very interesting topics!

Once I get this work completed, I’ll be studying some more Swedish and brushing up on my Arabic. As far as the Arabic goes, I’ve lost a lot of it, but thankfully I can still read (provided it is vocalized text [short vowels/consonant length indicated with small, added marks, as seen in the Qur’an, for example]) and write it…I realized I need to take advantage of the fact that I’ve already worked hard to get to this point. I should take it further. If any of you have spent time learning a language, stick with it! πŸ™‚

It’s another refreshing, beautiful night in Sweden. ❀


It’s getting colder!

Hello, everyone! Erin, here πŸ™‚

The mornings and nights are going below freezing point. How do I feel about this? I’m not sure. I’ve spent quite some time mentally preparing myself for the cold…we shall see how I fare. πŸ˜‰

Time is going by a bit quicker than I expected. What have I been up to? I’m trying to prepare myself for my oncoming chemistry courses and Cultural Resource Management work. I’ve also been studying for my current courses and working on papers. Lately, there has been more learning and less sightseeing. It’s perfectly fine for now. We were fortunate to visit some very nice places and we have some more on our list; but finishing my last semester well and preparing myself for work in the field is much more important.

As for Mike? He has been an incredibly supportive husband, as usual. He’s been working on another freelance project for a client and doing most of the housework. What’s really amazing to me is the fact that he is helping me in my chemistry studies. No, not by reading me information during practice tests…he is making himself a student of chemistry. He is voluntarily taking on the exact same load, going through every lesson, and doing every shred of work with me. Wow! If that’s not evidence of devotion and love in its purest state, I don’t know what is.

The more exciting updates with pictures and videos are sure to follow. Now, I must get back to my research! I’m learning about death and burial in Scandinavian Viking Age society. Social structure, religion, and mythology are all reflected in these burials! I’ve learned a lot about these communities by focusing on their burials and concepts of death. I’ll share some of this information after I finish my paper. πŸ™‚

If any of you have any requests, feel free to let us know! For example, if there is a particular site that you wanted us to visit, photograph, and record, we would be more than happy to put it on our list (provided it is within our budget.) I hope all of you back home in San Diego are soaking up the weather! I’m learning to do the same. πŸ˜‰

Jag Γ€r kall. Fryser du?

Hello family and friends!

Ok, mid-50s might not be so cold for some of you…but it’s cold for me! School is going great! I’m soaking up the material and enjoying every minute of it. I wanted to let everyone know a little important fact about Sweden that would’ve been helpful for us to know. Apparently, the majority of historical sites close for the late fall and winter seasons. Yes, you can imagine how let down I felt. Sites like Kiviksgraven (King’s Grave), Eketorp (an iron age fort), Birka (a reconstructed Viking town), and Foteviken Kulturcenter (another reconstructed viking town with a small indoor museum) close in early or mid-September. Thankfully, we were able to catch the last day of Foteviken’s open season, but we just missed the other three sites among others. There are still other great sites open like many indoor museums, historic churches, Ales Stenar, and other grave sites on public land. We will try to make the most of what is left open. Until then, enjoy life in San Diego! Savor the taste of real avocados…delicious hot cheetos…all the mexican candy you can dream of…Miguel’s cocina white sauce… *ahem* MEANWHILE, I will enjoy the cold weather, the tangible history, countless varieties of bread, countless varieties of milk and other dairy products, and meeting people from all over the world! (So far? Hungary, Japan, Croatia, Finland, Australia, Ireland, and England! Exchange students love Lund University!)