Excellence in Music

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I spent this past weekend in Boston with my son, Caleb. It was really great to spend the whole weekend with him since I was gone the whole month of March.

Originally we were going to go up and work on levels for Timmo’s Challenge Boston. But then we learned that Berklee was having their spring open house Saturday morning. Caleb really wants to go to Berklee so we added that to the agenda.

Berklee College of Music - Boston

Berklee College of Music – Boston

Berklee is known world wide as the best music college there is. I was really able to learn why during the open house and tours. It reminded me of AppCademy when Pekka talked about design excellence. Berklee strives for excellence from their school and in particular all of it’s students. From the faculty to the facilities the place was impressive. They produce the best because they have built a community of people that all strive to be the best at what they do.

The three things that impressed me the most about the school were:

1 – You do not choose a major until after your first two semesters. This seems smart to me because most freshman in college do not really have an idea of what they want to do for the rest of their life. Berklee exposes freshman to a variety of careers in music so that when they are asked to choose a major they are able to make an informed decision.

2 – They focus on careers from day one. Berklee doesn’t just churn out diploma, they bring their students into the industry right away and help them build a career in music. This, as a parent, is important because music isn’t usually something you would think of for your kids as a secure and stable profession.

3 – Over 25% of Berklee’s students are international students. After spending time in Finland with guys from around the world it has become even more important to me that my kids are exposed to the world outside of the US. We are rapidly becoming a global society and if US kids do not realize this now, they will when they are competing for jobs later in life.

After the open house Caleb and I had a great day capturing more levels in Boston. I learned a lot more about Boston than I had in my previous trips there. And it was great to experience it with Caleb and see him enjoying the process of building this thing with me.

Trinity Church

Trinity Church

Caleb tested a couple of my existing levels, including level 2 which starts at Trinity Church in Copley Square.

State House

State House

We went through the Public Gardens and Boston Commons and then headed towards Beacon Hill.

Love the wavy brick streets of Beacon Hill

Love the wavy brick streets of Beacon Hill

Some of the best New England residential architecture for sure.

This copper accent was even more amazing in person

This copper accent was even more amazing in person

We headed towards the Charles River using a footbridge over Storrow Drive.

Footbridge over Storrow Drive

Footbridge over Storrow Drive

Caleb really enjoyed seeing the sites

Caleb really enjoyed seeing the sites

We walked along the Charles River and got some of the best clues for the next level of Boston. This level is going to be one of the best so far.

Warm day

Warm day

Sailboat Races in the background

Sailboat Races in the background

Overall this was such a great father-son experience. I hope we get to do it a lot more in the future. And I hope I am able to teach him that doing his best at anything he attempts is worth it – whether it be at Berklee or any other college.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Sunday. Last Capture.

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Well today is my last Sunday in Helsinki. It seems that Sunday has been my best day each week. Lots of walking around, good weather, good food, etc. Today was no exception.

I’ve got tons of photos, so I’ll just kick it off…

Parliament Building

Parliament Building

Level 4 (which may now be level 3) started off with a tour of the official buildings on one of the main streets in Helsinki. The Parliament building was especially interesting. The clues for this one are going to be pretty hard to find. 🙂

Overlooking the Olympic Stadium

Overlooking the Olympic Stadium

There are miles and miles of parks in Helsinki. I followed one part and saw the hill. I climbed it to get a better look of what was around and whammo… the Olympic Stadium. Pretty awesome!

Rose Garden

Rose Garden

On the way around to the front of the stadium I found this really cool rose garden. The building was really interesting. I bet in the summer it is even better to visit.

Football

Football

On the other side of the stadium there were several soccer fields (football here) and there was some sort of tournament going on because there were lots of matches going on. Note the girl in the lower right… carrying cross country skies. You see that all over the place here because there is so much snow everywhere that people ski from place to place.

Another semi-outdoor arena

Another semi-outdoor arena

Then there was one of the highlights of the day… The Olympic Tower. The picture doesn’t do it justice.

 

Olympic Tower

Olympic Tower – 1952 Olympics

There are plenty of naked lady statues in Helsinki – if that’s your thing. This one seems to have a fascination with seagulls. Seems kind of weird to me. So I took a picture of it of course.

Whatever floats your gull

Whatever floats your gull

Then came the real highlight of the day. The Sibelius monument. I loved this thing so much it deserves several photos. Its really a lot larger than it looks. (That’s what she said)

Sibelius 1

Sibelius 1

Sibelius 3

Sibelius 2

Sibelius 3

Sibelius 3

Artists signature

Artists signature

This is what the texture looks like up close

This is what the texture looks like up close

Sibelius

Sibelius

Nearby there was an AWESOME little café. It was right on the shore. Besides selling coffee you could have a campfire and cook assorted meat products on a stick. Smelled spectacular, but the place was busy and I was on a mission so I couldn’t partake.

Yum

Yum

 

Small place, big line. Must be good.

Small place, big line. Must be good.

Its hard to see… but here is the hot dog cookery. I wish I could insert smells into this post. :o)

Smoking hot

Smoking hot

 

Apartments on the water

Apartments on the water

The apartments on the water are awesome looking. These all look out over the sea. I took the photo from basically the docks on the other side of the road.

Ok, time for pizza and beer with the gang. Probably our last beer drinking shin dig of the trip.

Chow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday morning exploring Helsinki

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My hotel has been really uncomfortable. It’s really small and I feel claustrophobic there. So I went out exploring and got some great photos to share with you.

For starters, it snowed a few inches last night. Although no one seems to really have noticed. Unlike CT everyone is still out and about. It’s kind of cool to see kids out cross country skiing through town or dusting off a playground and still loving it in their snowsuits.

Here is a building right down the street from my hotel. I don’t know what it is, and I haven’t seen a soul there, but I really like it for some reason.

Cool building down the street from my hotel

Cool building down the street from my hotel

All of the buildings here are cool though. The architecture is interesting and they use a mix of colors. Probably because if they didn’t it would just be a big wash of whites and grays in the winter time.

Yellow facade is typical on many blocks

Yellow façade is typical on many blocks

I’ll probably have hundreds of pictures of the buildings by the time I go home. Here are a few…

h3-cool-architecture

Agricola Church

Agricola Church

I saw several people carrying their ski gear to the metro this morning

I saw several people carrying their ski gear to the metro this morning

Now to my favorite part of the morning…

Knowing I was only about ten blocks from the waterfront I had to go visit and see. I had previously Googled it on Bing and saw what it looks like in the summer. I created the map below because I thought some of you would be interested in seeing where I was when I took these picture 🙂

Waterfront map... summer version

Waterfront map… summer version

Here is a link to Bing maps if you want an interactive version of the map.

From 1 on the map... Waterfront property

From 1 on the map… Waterfront property

 

From 2 on the map... They keep the moorings in all winter!

From 2 on the map… They keep the moorings in all winter!

 

From 2 on the map... looking at the gas dock

From 2 on the map… looking at the gas dock

 

From 3 on the map... More cool buildings, yeah!

From 3 on the map… More cool buildings, yeah!

 

From 4 on the map... they put this bridge in to get to the island in the winter

From 4 on the map… they put this bridge in to get to the island in the winter

 

From 5 on the map... Looking out over the Finland Sound. Pretty much artic conditions.

From 5 on the map… Looking out over the Finland Sound. Pretty much artic conditions.

 

Good thing she's tied down

Good thing she’s tied down

 

Well that’s it for now. I’m whooped. Probably a good 5 mile hike this morning. It’s not San Diego, but it’s beautiful in it’s own way none the less.