Terve! My name is Robert Thompson and I am from Akron, Ohio in the United States. I have come to Suomi by way of a Fulbright Teacher Exchange with your very own Anne Ontero who will be teaching in my position at Medina High School in Medina, Ohio. Currently my family and I are living in Oulu where my wife will be teaching a few writing courses at the University of Oulu and my children attend the Oulu International School.
I received my B.A. degree in English Education from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1984 and my Master's Degree in Composition Studies from the University of Akron (Ohio) in 2001. I've been a teacher for sixteen years now and have taught in a variety school settings and in three different states. In my present position at Medina High School, I teach American Literature and Creative Writing.
My personal interests are wide. I write songs and play guitar. I do long distance cycling and I enjoy swimming laps to keep myself fit, although the discover of munkki has made keeping fit much more difficult. When I have the proper inspiration, I like to work on a novel that I began several years ago while taking graduate classes. I suspect the cold and the darkness of the coming winter might work as inspiration to continue work on it.
This school year I expect to learn a great deal about Finnish culture and hope to understand the philosophy behind the practices that have made your educational system among the best in the world. As a teacher, I intend to give your students a great deal of practical experience into the English language. Most importantly, I hope that this exchange offers insights into commonalities and creates stronger bonds between our cultures and provides continued progress for both.
Finally, I would like to thank the Fulbright organization who has made this exchange possible and the teachers and administrators at Haukipudas Lukio-in particular Kullervo Leinonen, Timo Soini, the principals at Haukipudas. I look forward to wonderful year and a great experience and I hope to meet many of you.