I was really looking forward to this week, and it was all worth the wait.
This week I went to VGIE – Vojens Gymnastik- & Idrætsefterskole for 3 days together with Nele. VGIE is the boarding school I wrote about earlier.
My adventure started Monday morning, after packing everything I needed, I had to take the bus to Vojens. Timing being my strong suit, I almost missed it. Thank god that I had Nele who asked the bus driver to wait a small minute for me.
Once in Vojens we had to walk just for a minute to reach our destination. Kim Hahn, one of the responsible teachers for this week, was waiting for us when we arrived and showed us to our room where we could unpack until it was lunchtime. Sad but true, we said that we would eat really healthy while we would be there, alas since it was USA week (everything in style of an American school) the food was USA inspired as well, and our first meal we got was a burger in style of the Superbowl. Delicious, yet terribly heavy on the stomach and we got really tired because of it. It didn’t stop my neighbour to eat FIVE, but then again he skipped the four o’clock snack and dinner later.
When Kim asked us which activity we wanted to follow in the afternoon we asked for basketball since both of us have played basketball when we were younger. Somehow this got interpreted to “you’re pros” and we ended up teaching 16 students for an entire afternoon. Quite the challenge since I haven’t played it for at least 6 years. Lucky for us, we have a good memory concerning basketball games and techniques for starters and we pulled it off without a scratch.
Then there was dinner. Since we had the hot dish at lunch it’s a cold one for dinner. So I expected bread with cheese and ham. Which was presented as well, but merely as an alternative for the salad bar presented in the middle of the room. Somehow every time we eat something here it looks like a luxurious buffet in a hotel. With the big difference that everything here is healthy (ok. Not so much for lunch this week, but all the rest was) Another peculiar thing about eating here, you only get 30 minutes from start to finish. It takes some getting used to but is actually pretty fine.
At 7 o’clock all the students were expected in the big sports hall for a big Cupcake contest.
I forgot to mention this earlier, but the entire school was divided into 2 “American high schools” : Heats and Nuggets. This week they compete against each other in different disciplines. Show off is Tuesday evening. In the morning the pupils have academic subjects like American History and American Education etc. and in the afternoon sports: basketball, volleyball, rugby, hockey and cheerleading.
So enough about the concept, let me tell you about the big cupcake contest! In the sports hall there were 2 big plastic sheets taped to the floor, each divided into 16 squares. One sheet for the Nuggets and one for the Heats. Both teams had to select 16 people from their team. Each person was assigned to a square. Each team of 16 was then again divided into groups of four that would work together. All the equipment needed to bake 120 cupcakes was in the centre of the sheets. Equipment was allowed to move, but not the people. So this was a good exercise on communication.
Once all the dough was ready the cupcakes were put in the oven. Not in a normal way, but by making a human line with the other college/team members. The team that got their cupcakes to the oven first got a bonus point. Now that the cupcakes were in the oven, we had about 20 minutes to fill. And how do we do this better than with an open mic contest? Each team got the opportunity to tell a joke or a story each in turn. As all jokes were told in Danish we didn’t really get any of them, but we were able to tell what kind of jokes they were. In the beginning we had a lot of “what is…” –jokes, later on the dumb blondes jokes started coming and then we had the “Din mor er…” – jokes, translation = “yo momma is …” Both teams seemed to have a lot of comedians, some good, some not so much but all in all they provided us with an entertaining time.
Now that the cakes were back it was decorating time! Both teams got some time to decorate their cupcakes and make a nice presentation. First one to finish gets bonus points so the students do an extra effort.
Now le-moment-suprème: TASTING! Although I thought Nuggets made the better cupcakes as well as the prettiest HEAT won this challenge.
Up to day 2!
Rise and shine at 7 o’clock because at 7.30 we had breakfast buffet. After that everybody got some time to clean up their rooms and get ready for classes. Today there weren’t any ordinary classes, but classes about America. So we had American History, American Education and we should’ve had American Presidents. But due to the fascination of cars by the teacher we had a class about Ford instead. At the end of each class the students got to do a test. One better than the other. You could tell that both students and teachers were not used to this kind of teaching and evaluating.
After classes it was time for another round of amazing lunch. Today on the menu: spareribs from heaven. They were deliciously prepared. Nice and tender, it was a long time since I tasted them this good. Needless to say I ate too much.
In the afternoon Nele and me followed the basketball class. Today we didn’t have to teach because four guys from the Haderslev basket team came and took care of our teams. It was lovely to see how the students were having so much fun playing the games.
While the students were playing their rugby game as part as one of the homecoming games we were interviewed by the local newspaper. As I am so slow in posting the article was just released this week and is to be read here: http://www.e-pages.dk/budstikken/1993/16
After the rugby game the students got some time to clean themselves up and then again time for our lovely dinner buffet. It never ceases to amaze me how wonderful the food is here.
Now that everybody has filled up their bellies with all these amazing food, it was time for the rest of the homecoming games. The students competed against each other in the different disciplines. The atmosphere was right and everybody was having fun. We are also proud to say that ‘our team’ won their basketgame. After all the games the students got the chance to have a final snack before going to bed.
We have finally arrived to our third and last day at the Vojens Efterskole. This was also for the students their last day before the lockout.
After breakfast there was a game in the surroundings of the school. The students had to collect as many codes as possible, each code could be found in a different place. The further you get your code, the more points you get. It was funny to see how some teams really went for it and others took their time for the hunt.
While the students were collecting their codes, Nele and me helped out preparing the barbeque. And once again it was delicious. The school made sure there were little breads, potato salad, plenty of vegetables and sauces.
Now it was time to have an overview of the week, or “Let’s take a walk down memory lane” as one of the teachers puts it. We watch a slideshow with a lot of nice moments from during this week. The students have a nice laugh but also realise that it’s almost time to go. When the slideshow is finished the results of the week’s competition is announced. With the miniature difference of 1 point the Heats won! When the students leave the room they get their reward in the shape of a chocolate treat.
The time has come now to pack their bags because the parents are arriving to pick up their children. Meanwhile in the teachers’ lounge it’s time for a beer and some snacks! It was a drink to celebrate the start of the Easter holiday and a melancholic drink to the soon to be lockout. And while you are reading this, the lockout is a fact. If you want to know what the lockout is all about you can find it here: http://cphpost.dk/national/teachers-conflict-what-it%E2%80%99s-all-about