As you’ve probably noticed, titles are not my specialty. It’s something that many of my former teachers and professors have bemoaned, but hey I figure it’s more interesting than writing the week number. I swear the title will make sense later on.
Work at Byåsen is starting to pick up, and my co-teacher, Kirsti, has sent an email to other teachers letting them know that they should contact me if they’d like to have me stop by any of their classes. I’ve gotten a few emails asking for me to drop by later on in the semester, but this week I got to go to a social studies class. The teacher of this class just so happens to be an American, and we had a great time talking before class about American history and what the kids are learning about. This semester her students are covering the British Empire, while next semester they learn about the U.S. This week we talked a bit about the Scottish referendum, what people within the U.K. are saying about it, and what a separate Scotland could mean. It’s been really interesting talking to other Europeans about the Scottish referendum, especially since it’s so different from the experience I got in the U.S. In the U.S. I heard pretty much no one talking about the referendum and all of my daily news digests only casually mentioned it. The reason why I even heard about the referendum was because I took a class on England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales my senior spring. In contrast to this indifferent American response, the referendum is water cooler gossip in Norway, and many of the people that I’ve talked to have been saying that Scotland should stay in the union. Everyone here is waiting to see what Scotland will decide and what the implications of the referendum will be.
Things at NTNU are much the same, and I’ve really been enjoying the classes that I help with. So much of what we talk about when it comes to writing reminds me of what I was told when writing my senior thesis. Overall it’s been nice to convey all of the great advice that I received to a new generation of students.
I have also started to empathize with my students. They are more or less required to send me a weekly sample of free writing and that’s what this blog has become for me. The one key difference is that while my students are encouraged to write simply for the sake of writing and not worry about “mistakes,” I make a point editing my posts, even ones that are weeks old. The curse of writing is that it can constantly be changed and improved. Writing is never finished.
Other notable news includes seeing the Northern Lights for a second time! There are apparently websites where you can look up the likelihood of seeing the Northern Lights and one of my friends follows one regularly. I on the other hand attempt to cheat the system by using an IFTTT recipe, but so far the recipe has been unsuccessful (if you have no idea what IFTTT is definitely spare a moment to go check it out). I did have my nice camera with me so I’m able to include pictures this time!
There are two good things to know about the Northern Lights. The first is that they often last for quite a long time. When we saw them this weekend they lasted from about 10pm to 4am, although I headed for bed by around 12:30. The second thing to know is that the pictures definitely exaggerate what I actually saw. Long exposure times meant that my camera could capture colors that either weren’t visible to the naked eye or were much more muted in real life. Nevertheless is was a great experience and I look forward to seeing more of the Northern Lights in the winter.
Now for my title! I decided to join the NTNU sailing team! In reality this pretty much just meant taking a beginners class since the team itself is wrapping up for the season. I’ve always really enjoyed sailing and have gone out with my dad quite a few times. Since my dad is quite the experienced sailor, that has often meant that what I’ve learned about sailing has been fairly informal and pick it up as you go along.
The class was itself pretty simple. All I had to do was take a theory course and go out on the water twice. Unfortunately there wasn’t too much wind, but the flip side of this was that it allowed me to relax quite a bit and get to know the people I was sailing with. This also meant that my very tiny circle of Norwegian friends is expanding! While I enjoy living in international housing and getting to know people from all over the world, the trade-off is that it’s been much harder to meet and get to know Norwegians. I’m looking forward to getting out on water more and hopefully getting to learn more from my new Norwegian friends. We also got to see some very small whales on our first sail, so crossed fingers that I’ll get to see a few more!