Seasons change

Trip Start Jun 26, 2006
Trip End Dec 22, 2006

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Flag of Norway  ,
Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Wow, I have NOT been good about updating. Sorry. But here's a random entry just to comment on what's going on right now. When I first arrived in Norway, everything was green and there was so much sunshine that I didn't hardly know what to do with myself. That first week of July I remember looking up at night and realizing it wasn't dark enough to see stars. Well, it's the end of October, and things have changed a bit. The brilliant colors of fall have come to Hamar and are on their way out already. We got our first powdering of snow while I was away for the weekend in Bergen, but when I got back last night the platform at the train station was completely covered in a mixture of snow and black ice. Today the sun came out just enough to melt everything, but don't you worry, because since the sun went down it has been snowing for at least 4 hours and there is a healthy layer of fresh powder. I wore my long-underwear under my jeans today for the first time, and I've got to admit, I really enjoyed it. I'm not excited about having to walk everywhere instead of riding my bike (I tried to ride back from the train station last night and it made me way too nervous), but I like cold weather, wearing layers and having an extra excuse for hot chocolate or tea at all times of the day and night. There are some changes, however, outside of the snow. Tomorrow will be my first Halloween without a pumpkin in sight, and no trick-or-treaters. We've been talking about having a party tomorrow night, but the organizing has been rather un-enthusiastic, so I'm not getting my hopes up.

Tomorrow morning I start my first of 10 days working in a field study for our third class module. I will be working at IKM , a museum for international cultures where I will be working with a friend, Rita, on translating an exhibit from Norwegian to English. Rita is from Norway, but has lived for a year in Ohio, and if I remember correctly she is getting some kind of an emphasis in English during her teacher training since she is a student teacher at my college. Her English is pretty much perfect, so I am just hoping that I can pull my weight in the work, since my Norwegian is extremely lacking in comparison. The exhibit we are translating is REALLY cool too. It's called Norwegian in 100 or maybe Norwegian for 100 would be better...I'll have to ask Rita. Haha. Anyway, the rest of the title is 15 stories about crossing borders. It's all about Norwegian identity and it addresses how that identity has changed or perhaps not changed over the years. Norway has only been an independent country for 101 years, so you might see how such a young country (relatively speaking) value identity quite highly. I mean, of all the Scandinavian countries, what makes Norway think it is so different, so unique from the others...especially culture-wise? I have to keep a journal about my experiences at my field study, and I also have to write a paper concerning the topic. Right now I'm thinking about looking at identity and conflict since the theme for the few lectures we have this month is conflict resolution, but I'm also interested in just looking at multiculturalism in Norway. I wrote a short paper about immigrants earlier in the semester, but I didn't get to look at multiculturalism in education which is what really interests me after my dabble in an ESL linguistics class last semester. Anyway, I'm a bit nervous, but more than anything I'm just excited to participate in making this exhibit more available to a wider audience since it is such a cool exhibit, and since a large number of people in Norway and visitors to Norway speak English much better than Norwegian, even if English is their second language. In any case, I've got to get some sleep. Here's to waking up to a winter wonderland in October!
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