Seven hours ahead of Helsinki

My time zone is 7 hours ahead of Vantaa, where the girls are officiating in WWC2013.  That means that a 4pm game is shown on the internet at 11pm our time, and an 8pm game is at 3am.  At least the updated on social media are coming in thick and fast, so there are lots of photographs and other types of news.

I could tell that the officiating crews were focussed, as I slept really well last night and only woke before the 3am game in time to decide whether to wake up the household or not.  I think I have more chances of watching the next game day, although I should have tested it last night, to be sure.

On Wednesday this week, I hope to meet my supervisors about my thesis progress, as I need to sort out where I stand for next Semester.  They probably want me to keep the PhD enrolment as an option, with part-time study for Semester 2 of this year.  In any case, I am completing my counselling course part-time, so it’s not as if I will be short of things to do.

This morning I discovered that Helsinki is a bit like Toronto, I think it is, with part of the city underground, especially heating plants.  Although Helsinki looks very open to the wind and snow in Winter, having swimming pools and bicycle paths underground adds a whole new dimension.

Oh, well, I suppose I had better return to my coding exercise while working out how to explain the huge impact of the results on my thesis!


Some of us are off to Hesinki today.

The count down for the WWC2013 competition is on and the international women officials are on their way to Helsinki.  I am still writing the final draft of my thesis, so I won’ t be there with them.

I can tell that they are really focussed on the task ahead of them, and that the excitement is turning to adrenaline to help them through the days ahead.  It’s also magical that I am able to focus on my thesis and that things are coming together at this time, of all times.

We have had rainy weather for the last couple of mornings, but the rest of the days have been crisp and mild.  For me, that is perfect writing weather, and perhaps perfect football weather for some.

Our men’s and ladies’ football season starts in August and we are preparing for meetings like the Annual General Meeting.  In the meantime, I just love the updates I am receiving on social media!   They are brilliant.  I am finding out about the check-ins, airport meetings and departure points.  It makes the Helsinki experience that much more interesting.

It’s great that I feel included, even though I will not be there in person.  I will be there in spirit, for sure!


WWC 2013

It’s only two weeks until the second Women’s World Championship of tackle football in Helsinki and I can feel the build-up growing little by little.

It is very brisk here, due to Winter taking hold in the last week or two. Our Winter is probably close to the Spring weather in Helsinki and cooler days in Summer.

Somehow it is helping me to focus on my thesis, as I have had a really good week of writing. Suddenly, I am finding resources like never before. They lead to new things to support my arguments. It is as if the other officials are wishing me the best, some might be praying for me to finish my thesis quickly. Meanwhile, I am hoping and praying for them that they do a great job and work together really well as a team.

My plan is to keep working on my thesis as much as I can. There are two weeks of school holidays coming up, so that will be a great opportunity.


Sensing connections to people and groups

In one month, the second Women’s World Championship of tackle american football will be held in Finland.  Although I am not going this year, I was surprised to be looking forward to the event just as much as if I were.  I was an official (referee) for the first WWC in Sweden in 2010.

It is not so much that I feel a connection with the players, as the sense of cameraderie with the other women officials.  Each one was eagerly anticipating the final selection list, and making plans for travelling there even though we were unsure.

We have a social media site to post messages specifically about the events, so it is fairly easy to stay in touch.  I think the best part about the second WWC is that I have been made to feel part of it, even though I won’t be going.  Other women officials have shared the group spirit of support and encouragement, too.

It has been very worthwhile keeping up the connections.  Subconsciously, I have been checking my e-mails quite a lot more than normal to find out the latest.  Now the crews who are going will have to focus on the event and also organise their lives while they are away in Finland.  As it only happens every three years, it is a very smooth-running event with lots of support.

It is a bit surprising that the momentum has kept going since 2010, but the interest locally has been building amongst the players, officials, media and support people.  I am very pleased that it generally is part of positive involvement in the sport regardless of age, gender or background.

Today has been an odd day, though.  I have been very happy thinking that a teaching contract or two were possible, for a week here and a couple of weeks soon after.  However, I discovered that I am only able to undertake supply teaching, which is more like unexpected absences rather than planned absences.

So I am feeling a little confused right now after thinking I would be busy at schools, with new adventures.  Instead I expect to be in a new and unexpected position, sharing the cameraderie of the crews both in Finland and other places around the world as we watch and wait for the second WWC in Helsinki in one month’s time.

At least I have my writing and studies in Education to provide structure and discipline as it is all sorted out in some distant place.  Yet none of it seems distant.  Even the writing seems to be directly linked to changes in my world.

How bizarre!  I guess the first WWC was so new that nobody had time to think about it.  This next month will be different for those familiar with the event and the new ones who are starting for the first time.

There will be concerns about how to gain a profit from broadcasting rights, no doubt, to help fund other events.  I do hope it all goes well and that everyone involved has a wonderful time.


Volunteering under way

Currently I am investigating volunteering opportunities with organisations for which I would like to work.  Surprisingly, not many responded to my e-mail requests, except one in which I am already involved.

Along the way, I found another organisation which runs conventions, so I am now volunteer in a local education and technology conference coming up early in June.  It is actually quite exciting, as I will meet a new industry of people, since it is normally fitness industry volunteering.

My positive response came from the national body of a group where I take part at the local level.  The good thing about them is that the executive committee people respond within 24 hours when I have an enquiry.  It is very impressive.

Yesterday, when I was up two hours earlier than usual, I received an e-mail which had me on the short list for being sent to Finland at the end of June.  I was in awe of these people.  They are the international group and I am volunteering for the national group.  It makes sense to offer something when I really do receive so much positive reinforcement and space to grow in return.

In the long run, this fits with my aim to complete a PhD.  It will be an exercise in writing my job description.  So I may as well start working with the industries which have previously been my escape from the world of paid employment.

Ultimately, I will hope to blend the two – the jobs I can do with wages and the ones I also do to stay on a more even keel, even if I am just paid petrol and lunch money.  This will be the theme for the next three to four years, so I may as well start doing something about it.

At least the family dog will be happy.  Being able to organise my day usually starts with our morning run, lots of doggy pep talk from the dog, wagging tails, happy bounds, dragging me up hills and down dales and of course having doggy time for him to roll in the dewy grass.  Oh, what bliss!!!!


Testing, testing, day of resting….

Sunday was a fun day.  We had daffodils growing in a pot that were put on the low table in the dining room.  They looked brilliant!  Dad loves daffodils.  Actually, the look more like Jonquils, but are very pretty, none the less.

Although I still checked my e-mails in the morning, I remembered that I had an Executive Committee Skype session at 9pm.  So I avoided the laptop as much as possible and just did other things.

There was the San Diego triathlon on television.  I read the first chapter of my introductory psychology text book while watching the bike and running legs of that.  Reading on Sundays generally makes me tired, so I took the opportunity to rest and read.

Then there were some NCIS programs during lunch.  It gives me a nice break from my routine to sit and watch them in my lunch break.

My assignment from Friday did not have the correct e-mail address, to I re-sent that to Ann-Marie.  In the evening I watched “Inspektor Rex” and “The Voice” so as to be around for the meeting shortly afterwards.  As it was a Skype meeting, there was just some typing and reading.  I was pleased that it took around 40 minutes and most of that was waiting for people to write something.  That is my first proper Executive Meeting.  I have tried to catch others, but usually the timing is out for my schedule.

The test of a rest worked well.  I was still focussed on doing the thesis, but had to just think about it rather than write it. 

This week is looking much better with a big rest day.  I quite like the idea.  Back in the days before my thesis, I had Sunday as a rest day, or another day if Sunday was taken.