Peculiarities about Denmark and the Danes
• Address teachers with their first name – always; hugging is allowed
• Denmark is NOT FLAT. -_- not at all!
• Bikes work the old way and have no brake on the steer for the back wheel. You push your pedals back the other way again. Dangerous and confusing.
• Cars are polite towards bikers and pedestrians, but have no conscious regarding speed limits.
• There’s a buffet in the ‘kantine’. Not very special if you think of it. The difference is that there are no staff controlling you pay for what you take. You just serve yourself and go to the counter to pay. Another peculiarity about the buffet is, that it is lit by beautiful chandeliers.
• You can have all seasons in one day!
• They have an activity house here in town. This is situated in the library and consists of some rooms where you can be very creative. There’s a textile and glass workroom. But also a place where you can work with wood and metal. I am in love already!
Welcome and introduction
There were special breads prepared for us and cans of coffee and thee. I love it!
Information about: Web logs, Google docs, blackboard
“Culture- who are we!!”
“statsforvaltningen Aabenraa” -> person from the government comes to school so we can fix our papers for a social security number in Denmark. Because of this number we will be able to follow Danish classes for free!
Walk in Haderslev
Normally we would have had a tour by a “history-geek” but because of illness, his walk was cancelled and Tanja our international coordinator had a walk with us through town.
Language and identity by Karen Aaroe
First a long introduction to each other where we say our names and she (tries to) pronounce them correctly. In this way the teacher shows us how different some alphabets are but also just the pronunciation of some letter combinations.
After this we make a colour poem with the language portrait –> make an “Elfchen”
I love it,
with my whole heart.
We are divided into groups to present our Elfchen, but also share our favourite word in our L1 ~mother tongue and in English.
Denmark and the Danes and your country and you
Speed dating/ presentation: intercultural competence about other cultures inside our group of Erasmus students.
Speaking and listening -> practice in democracy
*Presentation about Japan by Kimiko and Satsuki –> very interesting!
*Lunch break – candlelight buffet- WTF?!
*The Danish Education system + prepare for school visit
Purpose + goal; everything has a goal and a purpose
collaborative learning/working: read a text and make a definition of a given word.
*Work on blog
*School visit: We went to the Realskole in Haderslev. This is a private school. This means that parents help with the funding of the school but also the whole school board here consists of parents. Which I think is pretty special. The principal has to listen to the parents. It’s actually the parents who employed him! Upon arrival we were all divided in teams. Together with Oihane and Leizuri we were team 10. Which means we had to go to grade 10 students (15-16 years old). Little surprise for us, because all the English teachers were ill and we had to take over a part of their lesson without any descent preparation. No, we didn’t have to teach grammar or any of the sorts, but we had to talk about where we come from and what’s special about our country. So very obviously I talked about our marvellous chocolates and beer… and also about the fact that Belgium has 3 official languages. Although the latter didn’t seem to interest them so much. When we were done talking about our country we asked them to teach us some Danish. Somehow they found a lot of fun in teaching us some phrases. Unfortunately I already forgot a lot of these phrases. Hopefully they will come back to me when I start to learn Danish in the Sprogskolen! After this hour of fun we got an explanation from the principal about the school system. We are being spoilt rotten again because here we got the opportunity to taste the most delicious bread bums I have tasted so far in Denmark. They arranged for bags of bread and also a sort of marzipan pie and cheese and chocolate to put on the bread. Also a lot of coffee and thee was available. After this explanation we got some free time where we were allowed to go discover the school and some classrooms. My team and I decided to eat in the ‘lærerværelse’ where there were pots of ice-cream?! We were very curious if this was every lunch break, but it turned out to be for someone’s birthday. At one point when there were a lot of people in the room and they all started to sing a Danish version of ‘Happy Birthday’. It was a ‘kiekevlees-momentje’ because everybody was very much in tune and the melody sounded much nicer than our version. They sounded like a real choir! –total awe-
Finally we were able to witness another class, this time physics. The teacher made some time to have a talk with us but by doing so forgot about the time. The pupils were only allowed to work on an assignment for 10 minutes, these 10 minutes became 25 minutes.. WOEPS.
*Fredagscaféen: the campus café where all students can go have a drink on Fridays from 12 to 24h. As I wasn’t feeling so well I took my camera with me and took 200 pictures between 20h and 2h –I know it’s too much but I had fun exploring my new camera
Sleep late, bike around town – beautiful weather. Bike to Dominik’s place (soon to be hour house too) got awfully wrong but made it in the end. Had a good look at the house and then drove back to the city centre where we had a drink in Tribunen (one of the more popular pubs for students). In the evening I cooked for our little gang of Belgians and also Dominik. Later that night I returned to Tribunen because there was going to be a live-concert. The concert itself turned out to be a bit lame, but the company was nice and we played some pool on a pool table that looked like it was half the size it should have been. Extremely difficult if you’re used to the big ones!
Sleep all day! I was sick and stayed in bed all day. Lucky me I have good roommates and they cooked for me 🙂
For today we had to prepare a story from our home country. I prepared the story of how we became the Bruges fools. During the class we had some time to share our story with our neighbours. What I thought was the most interesting today was a shoebox way of presenting a story to your pupils. The students who study for kindergarten teacher an primary school teacher were already familiar with this but I wasn’t. For each tale you can make a shoebox. This shoebox is your companion when you tell your tale. The teacher presented us the tale of The princess and the pea. For this tale she decorated her shoebox like a real palace with images from an interior design magazine, but she also had puppets who represented the leading actors in the story and some furniture that was useful for the telling of the tale like a bed, a lot of sheets, a table and stools to put the actors when they were not active. And of course also a little green pea.
First to the Sprogskolen to register for Danish classes! After that I returned to university because we had an appointment with a journalist from the local newspaper. Together with Martin and Akordy we represented the Erasmus students of this year. Mathilde and Jesper, our ESN-representatives were there with us and gave explanation about the ESN-network
Art Our first class of art, I was really curious what it was going to be like. When our teacher ‘Dore’ told us we were going to work with portraits, I didn’t know what to expect. We had to pair up and draw our partner. The special thing was that it didn’t have to be recognisable. The first time we had to make the sketch in 10 minutes. Not so easy but as it turned out, probably the easiest thing we were going to do that day. Because after that we had to sketch each other another time, but this time we were not allowed to look at our paper. So you start with putting your pencil somewhere on your paper and continue from there without looking. Pretty difficult! The results were very nice!
*YAY! Another art class!
Piles of magazines are waiting for us. Today we continue with the portraits we made yesterday. We make a collage on the drawings we made. It’s not the goal to fill the paper entirely with pieces of paper, but just to put some accents on the drawing. I’m not a big fan of the collage technic (read as: I’m not so good at this as..) but I do see how this exercise can really work in a classroom situation.
The teacher also explained to me that art classes in Denmark are not so much focused on realistic representation of things, but really having the children experiment and use their imagination. This approach makes it more interesting for me to follow these classes because up till now the focus has mostly been on how we can represent reality as closely as possible. We try to be free with imagination but the approach here is on a different level than ours. I’m not yet sure how to explain this to the fullest, but whoever wants to know more about this can always ask me personally or in a reaction on this message 😉
This Friday was also the Friday where we moved into our new house! YAY! Tanja, our international coordinator from here would come and collect all our things at the hostel and bring them to the new student housing. We tried warning about the quantities of our luggage, but I’m not really sure she got it.. We are 5 girls who came by car… This should have been enough information to bring a bus but alas, Tanja came with her own car, which was luckily not a mini cooper as we feared it would, but a big MPV. Still not big enough for all our stuff so she had to drive twice… Needless to say she was slightly impressed by everything. The new house is really nice and has a good oven (already tested with lasagne) everybody has their own bathroom and a spacious room.
After we unpacked the majority of our stuff we went to the Fredagscaféen for a relaxing drink and a game of table football.
Lazy day, in the evening we went to the house of Veronika, Lisa, Kimiko and Satsuki where we had a drink for a short time (we were late for the games). After our house visit we went to the Tribunen, where we had some more drinks… Some Danish locals taught me how to play ‘bakke’, simply translated as ‘tray’ as this game is played in a tray. It’s a game with a lot of dice, where the person who has no dice left in his hand wins, the loser pays a round of drinks for all players. (I won).
For today we had big plans: bike to the sea! Aarøsund is a small village 15 kilometres from Haderslev. Rumoured to be very pretty, and it was, very pretty. It also was very cold! Although the sun shone it was -5°C, no problem when you’re moving and biking against the wind and uphill. Big problem when you are standing still and find no place where you can go have a hot chocolate or tea! Fortunately I brought an extra blanket with me in my bag and a thermos filled with hot Earl Grey tea with honey <3 Like a real Erasmus family we shared everything with each other and tried to keep each other warm. One of the tricks to keep us warm was to put on some music and start dancing to it (our feet were freezing!) We probably looked like fools but it helped a bit and that was the most important bit! After this crazy dance we commenced our way back, which went a lot faster and easier than the other way. For dinner Bieke cooked us a delicious Mac&Cheese. Although I’m really tired I am going to force myself to post this blog online! (no I did not write all of this tonight, I kept a nice and good log on my computer but never posted it until now – hopefully)
I'm experiencing some difficulties when trying to add photo's so for now, it's going to be this dull text. I hope to get this problem fixed asap! (-> EMIEEEELLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!! Dear brother I need your help)
I will also try to not postpone posting so much anymore 😉
Warm regards from icy/snowy Denmark!