Monday, June 24, 2013

Taking the student

Good day my poor neglected blog. 

Yes, emphasis on neglected up there. For some reason I haven't checked in for a while and oops, 16 unpublished and unanswered comments (sorry Chriss, Anid and Josephine, and all the bots that have been spamming me telling me to visit their lovely sites, such as "busty blondes posing" or "nose job"). 

I'm here now, shh, don't cry dear blog. All is fine. 
I promise I love you just as much as I love my tumblr. 

Now. I suppose it might be a good idea to explain the rather suspicious title of this post. 
What the hell does "taking the student" mean? 

Let me start by saying that "taking the student" is a both traditional and a rather barbaric Swedish celebration, that goes on for a couple of weeks, once a year. Let me continue by saying that despite it being a somewhat barbaric thing, it has nothing to do with hunting nor capturing students, it has nothing to do with picking students up and carrying them away, making them your property, and it doesn't have anything to do with things you might do to the student of your choice in the bedroom of your choice, either. And let me finish - bear with me on this, I'm trying to be educational - by saying that "taking the student" is Swenglish and shouldn't make sense at all unless you speak both Swedish and English. 

"Studenten" = "the student" = also a word for "the graduation"
"Ta studenten" = "take the student" = "take the graduation" = you get it. To graduate. To be more specific, finishing high school, usually at the glorious age of eighteen. 

"Hey, I took the student this June!" 
"Congratulations on the unemployment!" 

Something like that. Swenglish is beautiful and I love wordplays so nope, not sorry.

Now, how do I even start though? I've literally rewritten this post from this sentence and forward a billion times so I obviously am a little lost here. Past years, as I've grown up, this whole graduating Sweden-style has just been something rather terrifying. I've basically known that it's best to avoid going outside as much as possible during these weeks in the beginning of June, and that's partly because all I've seen of it are drunken teenagers screaming on top of huge trucks while pumping music way too loudly, all over town, you literally can't avoid them, and then of course I've been to my cousins's student receptions and seen them come home drunk after riding those trucks, covered in booze from head to toe, and it goes on and on. You can see why I labelled this as "barbaric."

I was supposed to graduate this year too, but as you may know, I took a year off because of reasons. That hasn't stopped my fellow 1994 comrades from graduating, though, and since me and my best friend are basically siamese twins, whether he likes it or not, it's kind of like I've been taking the student through him taking the student. Though I must say, the more closer information I've gathered from this whole thing, the more relief I've felt about the fact that my student will probably look a bit different.

Let me make another one of those convenient lists;

  1. It all starts with the class fighting over what the theme of the "studentskiva" (= directly translated, "graduation record", but it means "graduation party" or "graduation ball").

  2. The next step is to decide which students should do what - like finding a place to hold the studentskiva, finding a "studentflak" (= the trucks I was talking about) to rent, DJ, catering for the dinner before the studentskiva, and so on.

  3. A lot of fighting there as well, before everything is settled.

  4. The students presents the results of their completed assignments. Here, the insane costs are revealed. And when I say insane I mean it. All together, it can add up to like 80 000 SEK. According to Alex (I just texted him and asked). Good thing is this cost will - hopefully - be paid through the students selling tickets to the studentskiva to their friends and family. Though they have to sell quite a few tickets to save their asses from having to pay up themselves.

  5. The theme of the studentskiva is decided. Some more fighting here, I presume.

  6. Time for some other yummy costs! Like the "studenthatt" you pretty much have to wear, whether you like it or not. The studenthatt, or "studentmössa", is a hat. You might have guessed that since the Swedish word is pretty much identical. So what's up with this hat? It's a special snowflake hat and it's expensive. You order it custom made, and you can choose colors, shape, and if you want to have something written on it or not. Every letter cost 50 SEK, fun, right?

    The studentmössa can cost up to 3000 SEK. I am not kidding. You can get a goddamn laptop for that.

  7. Once everything is settled and ready, it starts for real.

  8. The students call everyone they know, including their distant aunt that might go by the name Agda, to sell tickets.

  9. Chaos and panic.

  10. Finally, the studentskiva. My old classmates first had dinner with their parents, with speeches and the oh so important ceremony of handing out titles to all the students. Alex was voted "the sunrise of the class" which fits him oh so well, considering he's as least pretending to be nice to people's faces before going away with a not so nice look on his face. He's very bitter. One of the reasons we're friends.
  11. The studentskiva goes on with the skiva itself, once the parents have left the building. ES10B - my old class - had their skiva at a place called Wokhouse. The theme was "in the wrong time" (the themes are usually super boring, like "oops how did I get here?" or "from the seventies") and I dressed up like a cow-human from a future where the human race is dying and forced to breed with animals. Basically an excuse to just wear my kigurumi.
  12. People get drunk and dance. I didn't. Alcohol is expensive over here, no way I'm paying for that shit unless I'm out with friends, far away from a skiva.

  13. The studentskiva is followed by a few weeks of some more chaos as the students in charge of arranging and collecting the money to pay for the skiva and the flak (again, what we call the truck-things). Poor Christian almost ended up paying for the whole thing himself since some idiots hadn't even sold one ticket and were refusing to hand in the money "because they couldn't help it that they hadn't sold more tickets, because they didn't have as many friends and weren't as popular as some of the others."

    Did anyone say bullshit? Yes? No? Okay, good.

  14. And so, the student is completed with the "utspring" (= "run out"?). 
Yes, I've written a lot now, but I'm just really fascinated by all this. 
Can't help it. My wordvomiting can't be tamed. 

ES10B and Alex graduated June 7th. 

Not a lot of friends usually join the families of the students to watch the utspring, but since I was supposed to be in that utspring myself with ES10B, and since Alex is Alex, I was determined and excited as I armed myself with wig, sunglasses and camera and hopped on the metro that took me to S:T Eriks Gymnasium. 

Around here it hit me how chaotic the student really is.

As I've already said, I've just grown up glaring at this from a safe distance, and I might have been at a few afterparties with my cousins, but before this day I'd never been at a utspring and hadn't seen how huge the crowds are outside the schools. At first it wasn't so bad, snapped the first picture shortly after arriving, then Alex's mum hunted me down and while we stood and waited for the event to start, the huge parking lot and street quickly filled up with people and soon we were pretty much attached to the fence behind us like band-aids.

The traditional elements were all there, like the signs the parents carry with their own student's baby pictures printed on them (Swedish parents are often cruel and print naked pictures on the "studentskyltar" = "student signs"), the yellow and blue balloons and ribbons, as well as the green birch branches everywhere.

That alone was quite a lot to take in with two pairs of eyes, and then some students added fire crackers and smoke-thingys to the picture, while a couple of other students started banging drums and started dancing, screaming and singing arabic songs, of all things. And then some sort of national anthem started playing, but there was something wrong with the speakers, so it played for like three seconds, then stopped, then started over again.

And somewhere in the middle I remembered how much I hate crowds and just had a panicked little party for one.

Anyway, all utsprings are the same; the graduating classes all wear white clothes (they don't have to, but they do it anyway) and run out of the school while screaming, then meet their family and get bombarded with ugly toys and mini champagne-bottles tied onto necklaces made by yellow and blue ribbons, before they join their classmates to decorate their "studentflak"-truck (the ones I mentioned and have scared me all my childhood, that is). It's often quite fun to see, since the schools usually have big main entrances that the students just flood out from while screaming, all happy and drunk after the mandatory champagne breakfast.

S:T Eriks is a crappy school in many ways, though, one of them being the shape and location of the school. So no big happy utspring for S:T Eriks's students.

They ran out from the nurse's office onto a frikkin' 10m long balcony.
Not very impressive.

And they forgot that Alex's class were supposed to run out with the other esthetic-majors, drama, music, musical (again, S:T Eriks is a special school), etc, so they randomly ran out at the end without even being announced. Even more not impressive.

I was basically like a proud mama when Alex joined us down on the ground despite that disappointment, so it's a pretty fabulous memory, okay. I mean look at him so cute in his mössa and with his skylt just, yes.


I think I managed to keep my poker face though I was just ready to go "wäääähh" and roll around on the ground. Don't judge me, end exams have apparently been murderous and I've been a nervous wreck worrying about my graduating friends - especially Alex.

And, adding to that pile of embarrassing emotions, as happy as I was, and still am, for all my graduating friends, I must admit it stings a little knowing that I might not get to experience this. Not that I won't graduate, but most likely I will be taking courses from home and not be part of a class. Which means that if I were to be a part of an utspring I'd be running by myself and that would be way more sad than to just skip it and go ahead and graduate.

Feeling better about it just writing that.
As long as I graduate I'm just happy to be a part of my bro's student. Oh the cheesiness.

How about those studentflaks then?

Well here they are and the pictures are crappy, because that yellow thing is the tiniest studentflak I've ever seen, it's ridiculous. But it's the only close picture I managed to snap, so it'll have to do!

Imagine that but as big as the trucks on the first picture, and not tiny and not ridiculous.
There you go, that's what they look like.

They're covered in sheets with pretty things like penises, flowers, names and lovely phrases like "fuck you, we're coming to take your jobs." And of course more birch branches, Swedish flags, and blue and yellow ribbons.

ES10B's truck said "best class, worst attendance" - which is very true. 2000 students and those 30 were like 50% of the year's documented student absence. I think there was a penis on there too, not quite sure. Very mature choice of decorations, I must say.

These monsters drive around town for around 4 hours after the actual utspring, one class per truck, and those 4 hours are spent drowning each other in beer. Literally. The trucks are prepped with at least a hundred cans that the students throw, spray, and pour over each other, while dancing, screaming, singing, and killing all the civilians with the loud, horrible music they're pumping from always present the speakers at the back and front of the trucks. My friend Jözz, who graduated last year, told me that her studentflak didn't have any drainage for the beer spilled on the floor, so the truck actually filled up with beer and gave her feet a light frostbite.

Birch branches, war wounds and booze y'all,
Sweden in a nutshell.
That is basically it.

There is of course the "studentmottagning" (= "student reception"). Home of student x + family of student x + buffet table + cake + presents for student x and maybe an emotional speech. But not much to talk about there. The food was delicious on all the mottagningar I attended this year though.

My fingers are getting sore now and I suspect if ANYONE bothered to read this, your eyes most be sore too. So let's end this post with the outfit I wore to Alex's utspring, to squeeze in some fashion in this entry.

Necklace: Homemade. 
Jeans: Help I don't remember. 
Shoes: Taobao. 

There we go! Just one final greeting to my bro and then I'm happy;
Congratulations bro, I love you to hell and back (no hetero).

Oh, speaking of nothing... I know I already wrote this when I replied to previous comments, but thank you for the kind reminder to slap myself take care of my foot. I actually had a similar thing to what started the last episode happening today. I cleaned the crap out of it. 

(And Chriss I suggest you do the same next time you get blood poisoning, seriously woman!). 

Over and out my lovely readers,
especially those who bothered to read this entry, if you exist (  ᵕ̤ɜ)ᵕ̤ᴗᵕ̤ )


  1. I managed to read (and it makes me very proud of myself, ha)!
    Sweden is epic, I must say.

    1. The force is strong with this one! I salute you, that sure is an accomplishment!
      And Sweden says thank you.

    Anyway those graduations sound mad. Also sorta fun but still mad.
    Makes me sad we don't have anything like that here. All I had when I graduated high school was university entrance exams (which are also crazy but not at all fun). When I graduated school my class didn't even have the traditional picture taken because of a misunderstanding so we just got a lame group pic (and I don't even have it).
    Now the group that started uni with me has already graduated and I'm left behind because of stuff and things and I'm not graduating anytime soon and when I do I'll probably just have a one person party. So I know your feel.
    Maybe I should organize an internet party and invite you in, I'd have more people than irl for sure hmm...

      I seriously had the exact same wound but on the upper part of underneath... my foot... if you get what I'm saying. Geh why can't everyone know Swedish. Oh well!

      Ugh you should come here and let me give you a proper Swedish graduation party. Then we'd both get one! I'm so sorry your graduation got so screwed up though, that sucks. If it's any consolation, I haven't graduated on time either because of stuff and things. Things happen and sure it's sad but it'll work out if you want it too!

      ...Now I feel like I'm about to give a speech but eh, just wanted to send you lots of rabu, okay!


      I get the same about Spanish but then again a lot more people in the world do speak Spanish than Swedish so I win HA. Or I lose, if you want to use Swedish as a code language...

      Screw graduations let's have our own random party! With fancy fashion and fancy nails right? lol

      (take care of that other wound now!)


      Spanish is the most popular language in school here I think?? In sixth grade everyone picked Spanish and I picked French because no way I was forcing more German down my throat and Spanish seemed hard, HAHA. Well we both kinda lose if we use code language on each other...

      SOUNDS like a PLAN. I'd kill to have you do my nails, they're always short and say because of my job and me completely neglecting them lol.

      (I will)

    4. lol French is harder than Spanish tho! We use the necessary amount of vowels, "eau" I'm looking at you ¬¬
      I do your nails you do my hair, deal?

  3. wow! that sounds so much more interesting than in the UK! at my school, they just do a pub crawl~ and you're looking good as always~

  4. That was very interesting to read c: and you outfit is Pretty cool!
    I hope you will have a great graduation anyway <3

  5. sounds pretty epic, nothing like that here in the us for grads xD

  6. I thought I'd tire by the middle of the post but I love the way you write and I literally didn't skip any part/s. You kept me entertained through the remaining few minutes of our 30-min break from Pathology lecture. :D

  7. I thought I'd tire by the middle of the post but I love the way you write and I literally didn't skip any part/s. You kept me entertained through the remaining few minutes of our 30-min break from Pathology lecture. :D

    1. This means a lot to me ;; I love writing but I always feel like I write to much and people will get fed up with me. So thank you! ♥

  8. I was wondering why Swedish students wore those cute captain caps. I remember seeing Thecarebearfag's graduation photos on her Tumblr. She looked great! Oh! and Congratulations to your comrade! I wish we did that here in the U.S. All they do is hand us a piece of paper and kick us out in to the real world. Prom ain't that great, lol.

  9. I have missed you so much ;V; I always try to reach you, but you are just impossible to get to sadly >.< Emilia told me you are kinda fed up with the internet these days, so I guess I´ll just have to wait ;v;
    Well, it was lovely reading about your experience! Almost like the norwegian "russefeiring" ^^ Loved the outfit too >3<

    1. I'm so sorry dear... I literally start sweating when chatting, I don't know why. Even if I REALLY love talking to you... I wind myself up so much when chatting, I can barely sleep afterwards ;-; We're already penpals, but emailing might be easier for me, haha. I think it's because an old "friend" used to force me to spend time with her from the beginning of the day to the end, then when I finally managed to go home, she forced me to chat with her until late at night. I was supposed to talk on the phone with her as well, while chatting, and offline I wasn't allowed to spend time with anyone besides her. If I didn't obey, she'd punish me in some way. I wasn't able to even go online and talk to people whatsoever when I finally broke free from her. So I guess chatting is traumatizing for me after that ;;-;; It's not because of you, really! I miss you too and I'm looking forward to meeting you! ♥