My name is Charlotte and I was born and raised in Sweden. I grew up in Jarfalla. A suburb approximately 20 minutes north of Stockholm. Stockholm is the capital of Sweden. Stockholm is a very metropolitan city full of life and culture to be explored. It especially comes to life during the summer. Growing up I did not move around at all. Swedish people actually tend to stay pretty much in the same city without moving around too much. Unless you move abroad for a job opportunity or you find somebody interesting to settle down with, which is my case (found myself a beach boy from Huntington Beach). Otherwise we are pretty much like boomerangs..."we always come back." We do not have Kindergarten in Sweden. We start school the year we turn 7 years old. That is our 1st grade. From the time I was in first grade till I was 15 years old, I attended the same class. Elementary school was between 1st-6th grade. Grades 7-9 are similar to middle school and freshman in high school. When you turn 16 you start upper secondary school or the gymnasium as we call it. You have an opportunity to select different fields of interests ones you enter this stage. There are public schools offering traditional schooling which would prepare you for the field of science or business etc. There are also charter schools and trade schools that you can choose from as well. The options have dramatically changed since I was in school.
Something we still all have in common though and that we all still need to do is to have our basic course work done in language, math, science and social studies. We are all introduced to English in school at the age of 9. When we are in 7th grade we select one more language. This could be any language offered by the school. For example, Spanish, Italian, French, German, Japanese, Chinese etc. Once we start upper secondary school/gymnasium we can select a third language. Most do select a third language. My field of interest was economics. In my course work my electives were economics, business law, administration and language. I started when I was 16 years old and was done when I was 19 years old. Once we graduated, some of us decided to go to the university, travel abroad or just go straight into the work force. I choose to work and travel. I worked for a major bank in Sweden and also for an appraisal firm. I traveled to England to work as an au pair and to Spain to study Spanish. During this time I got accepted to law school twice but turned it down both times. I don't think I was ready to stay focused. I eventually ended up in San Diego. At this time I decided to attend school. I started out at Mesa College (still not sure of what I wanted to do) and continued on to UCSD. I graduated with a B.A. in Media and Communication.
I remember vividly when we had to start taking computer classes in school. I was terrified and hated anything and everything that had to do with technology. It is actually funny to think back about this time, because today I love how we can use technology and I can't live without it. Or I should say I can't live without my PC. I do have the latest version office 07. Transitions are always hard...at first I did not like it cause I was so used to the older version, but now it is the greatest. It gives you very good options to work with that you did not have before. I would love to purchase a MAC. It is actually on my list. I am very curious to learn how to work with the MAC. It is a great opportunity to be able to do so in EDU 422. I have never been much of a phone person. I think I started to really dislike the phone when I worked as a marketing communications manager for Ericsson Telecom and was on my cell phone all the time. I used to get headaches. Now, texting is something that I just started to really enjoy. I was very hesitant at first but soon realized...this is really cool and useful to me. I text my children and my husband when he is in meetings and we can't talk on the phone. In total, I don't know what I would do without my computer.
After having been shuffled around at SDSU I decided to explore CSUSM. I had heard only good things about this university. Once I met with the staff at the Special Education Department I was convinced I wanted to continue school at CSUSM. Knowing that they also offer a great Master of Education program in conjunction with UCSD was a decisive factor. I think it is crucial to be in an institution that not only focuses on the academic part of the education but also integrates the professional aspect as well. Once you have your education you need to know how to utilize it. I believe San Marcos offers that experience. Diversity is also a key factor. We need to be multi faceted and be able to show sensitivity and understanding towards people from different walks of life. I am an eager learner and I love to listen to people and what they have done in life or what they currently do. I am always intrigued and find that if I take the time to ask questions and listen there is so much to learn. I did not know what the mission statement for CSUSM was before I decided to pursue my degree here but after reading it I think it is in line with what I believe in and what I want from a university.