Category Archives: education

Micro droplets

Week 18, 2020
Turku, Finland

A personal wish within the current covid-19 disruption is that more people increase their interest in science and philosophy in addition to art and culture. These are the foundations of our development and innovation.

We need to learn to make questions and look for answers. In addition to be open to hear and offer constructive feedback.

By now, maybe some of you might be wondering: why can’t we gather? (e.g. restaurants, theaters, classrooms, concerts )  Well, the following video gives an insight of a potential reason behind this rational.

Petapixel wrote an article reflecting about this video in reference to covid-19. In their article, they embed a tweet with a link to another article from the LA Times, which describes an outbreak case of a choir   probably through air.  It is worth the read both articles.

Keep healthy,





We are learning Finnish – Me opimme suomea — 002

Week 4
Joensuu, Finland

Koli’s story (presented in October) serves its goal to make me practice Finnish. In addition, I have shown it a couple of time, and it seems other like it too.  🙂  So, I hope it helps!

Now it is time for the second story. This second story has vocabulary related to a hairdresser. This is not such a good story, but it has a lot of vocabulary that I know I need.

SIDE NOTE:  A personal goal is to be able to interact in Finnish in this 2017, thus I need to look for different support sources, To guide me on the language structure, I use an “old” book of mine entitle: “From Start to Finnish” by Leila White. I am NOT starting from zero. At the moment I am in Unit 5. Thus some exercises on my story are related to that particular unit.

To see the story on a full screen click here.

*** Vocabulary:
Leikata -to cut, to trim
Tarvitsen — I need something
Minun pitää — I need to (do something)
Lyhentää — to cut (hair )
Johdatus — introduction
varten — for
nopea — fast
käynti — visit
suositella — to recommend
usein — often
ennen — before
etukäteen — before hand
tapaaminen — appointment
lyhyt — short
halula – to want
vaalea — blond
Käyttää — to use

And the negative conjugation.


We are learning Finnish – Me opimme suomea — 001

Week 42
Joensuu, Finland

For people who are native speakers of western European languages are,  some how, indulge to learn “easily” languages that are close to each other. For example, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, belong to a same family: Romance Languages. Without any expertise on linguistics, just as Spanish native speaker I know that those languages use the same alphabet and several words have similar roots. In the case of Finnish language, the only similarity I found with the other of western European languages is the alphabet because nothing else relates to it.

As native Spanish speaker, learning Finnish has been painful.  However, I am reaching a moment that I must learn it.

As a student of Finnish as second language, that frustrates me is the lack of vocabulary. I wish to have person who can read me over and over the same story until I get it and I memorize the words.   Yes, one can find exercises on several books to learn Finnish must of them are not meaningful for me or my needs. It is a bit frustrating because I need to learn the language and I cannot dedicate to study only the language and what I learn I do not feel it useful.

So, instead to complain I take action and I start this serie of posts: learning Finnish (oppiminen suomalainen) where I will write stories of what I learn in Finnish based on my activities in Finland. This exercise I know it will help me to learn the language, ans simultaneously I assume it will help others who are learning the language, to go through interactive stories that will help them to practice their language acquisition as well.

Wondering how will be my Finnish in one year form now! 🙂

Note: In the stories I assume reader have some level of basics on the language, i.e.  some verbs, prepositions. Taking into account my own level, it will be as being in the half of a book of any very first level of Finnish language.

Key words to remember:

  • upea = magnificent, gorgeous
  • maisema = landscape
  • kuten = like

To see the story in a full screen window, click here.

Korea adventure – days #6,7,8,9,11: Lectures

In my first week in Korea I explored a little bit the University and start to get to know the group of students and teachers for this summer school. So, my aim for my first weekend was to polish my lecture on what I perceived should be suitable.

Then on my first lecture, which was on Monday 8th I got a surprised. For first time I live the experience to frighten students. I say this because that is what I perceived when I was looking at their faces. Later it was confirmed my impressions as some of the students changed of course the next day. It has’t happened to me before this, so I wonder why?

  • My teaching approach is on active learning. I am not into lecturing. => This might be a new method for them. Is this scary?
  • I had been always involved in computer science (CS) or engineering department, i.e. technical fields. => At the moment the students are not really in CS. They are from other majors. Might I be too technical for them?
  • I am blessed because most of my work has been with researchers and graduate students => all students are undergrad. Am I flying too high?

Honestly, I do not have an answer yet about why I scare them. But I am working into finding out.  My main hypothesis is that I am working with undergrad students from different disciplines, so I have to talk properly to them and support them more. So I am adapting my course accordingly. On Tuesday and Thursday I have been exploring how to communicate and support the students better to achieve a successful and enjoyable learning experience in this course.  Beyond doubt the students will wonder, think and design in this lecture. The level of the course will be high, but they should not be scared about it. Unquestionably, it will be a VERY INTERESTING month!

Meanwhile I can share the lecture room facilities.

Entrance to the normal lecture room

Entrance to the normal lecture room. This is the room where I lecture.

Next is the close up to the digital device.

Closeup to the system for indicating the lecture times for the classroom. Apparently in the normal school year the students put their card here when taking the lecture.

Closeup to the system indicating the time schedule for this specific classroom. Apparently in the normal school year the students put their student cards on the reader of this device as an assistant record.

Inside the classroom

Inside the classroom

It is strange to do not have a desk and to do not stand at the same floor level than the students. On the other hand, the design of the lecturer’s computer is very handy. I really like it!

Other view of the classroom

Other view of the classroom
Computer lab.

Computer lab.

I am switching of classrooms. One hour I am in the traditional classroom and the rest of the time at the computer room. The computer room is really modern and functional.

Computer lab

Computer lab

Again, I like the computer for the presenter. Honestly very practical and functional its design!


frustrations generated by apple inc.

Week 48
Joensuu, Finland

For over a decade I’ve been using Apple computers blindly. One of the reasons of my loyalty has been: I can focus on what I need to do instead to invest valuable time on fixing the computer in order to do what I want to do. I subscribe myself to the philosophy: plug & run 🙂 

When the operating system OS X came out in 2001. It was a time of glory!  It was possible to increase the potentiality of the Apple machines making them even more interesting.

Then apple’s “branding” has been growing stronger over the last years. Myself I keep married with the principles that make me adopt apple long before: I want a reliable machine with a plug and run philosophy. I am not patient to solve unexpected problems. However those principles that made me adopt Apple computers are slowly being blurred by an uncritical attitude of the actual brand philosophy.

Let me give vent to my actual frustrations with this brand.

1. What type of  globalisation is promoted by Apple?

Perhaps the globalisation is on the hardware, because one can get the same machine in most of the countries that have the buying power. But I have questions about the applications.

My apple account is from my home country, Mexico, and I want to keep it like that. I have my personal reasons to support my decision.  Because it is a Mexican account, when I search for software at the Apple Store I only get the offers available for the Mexican market.  I have no visibility of what other countries offer unless I get into those markets. So, I created an account for the USA, German and Finnish market, and I can tell you there are differences.

Is Apple building a bubble of information in a market that by nature should be global? at least to my understanding. Additionally, to have access to other markets today implies to put an effort and of course to posses several credit cards!


2. Does Apple Inc. want to bridge the digital divide?

Some publicity might say yes. Apple is interested in education and schools. On practice, I have my doubts.  I think the educational market is a very profitable market. But I do not see the intention of bridging the digital divide in practice.

For example: if one wants to update the operating system to Mountain Lion (10.8) it must be done via Apple Store. I really search to avoid this approach, but there was not other option at least here in Joensuu unless I go to an authorize distributor and pay extra money to update my machine. So, let’s assume all apple owners  posses a credit card, because you MUST have one to buy on the apple store and you download OS 10.8

Now Apple Inc. might think that all owners of an Apple computers have good Internet connection. Of course we are paying a considerable amount of money for be in the apple world, so it might be natural to assume that all these consumers have all the state-of-the-art infrastructure  Well, the assumption is wrong. One could read the thread of discussion in apple, some people needed to spend even days updating the operating system.

If people have to pay per minute the Internet, this is a fortune!

3. Does Apple Inc. keep supporting plug and run applications?

Hmmmm….. for its authorized software yes.

The company wants control, perhaps always wanted that, but now I am able to see it and it is sad for me.

I downloaded software that is not on the apple store. Then, I needed to do different things in order to run it, as the machine directly told me:

no authorised software
no authorised software


Besides that, I need to re-find the library folder, which is a powerful folder and in OS 10.8 is hidden.  *** AGHR***

I admit these were not HUGE problems. It took me some time to find out, and now it works. Well, at least most of the things, and I regret that I update my machine.  But what bothers me is why these changes? which one is apple’s vision?

Summarizing: the three facts I describe in this post I live them while updating my MacBook Pro and they trigger my frustration and disappointment. The question that I have now is:  What is the price I am willing to pay for a computer that offers selective plug & run possibilities? What is the actual value?

Perhaps nowadays for me the cost is not only on money, but it is stepping on my principles. The “value” is getting a bit too high I confess….

Time will tell….




Photo source in here