"To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom....Since our office is with moments, let us husband them."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, August 25, 2007

And I'm off (plus a full description of where I am off to)

Well not quite yet. But I will be leaving for Hopkins International Airport in a little less than 9 hours. So that means that I'm all packed, right? Again, not quite yet, but progress has been made, and I should be done in an hour or so, and relatively speaking, it was a rather painless ordeal, which is unusual for my major packing efforts.

So, I haven't given a full explanation yet as to what all this Denmark talk is about, so there is probably a decent number of people that have no idea what I'm talking about. I'll try to shed some light onto what is going on, especially as it allows me to procrastinate with finishing packing.

Tomorrow morning (actually later this morning) I will be departing for Copenhagen, Denmark, which will be my new home for the next four months, as I am studying abroad for this trimester, although it is a semester program (yes, that means I am giving up the sometimes too long 6-week Carleton winter break for a much abbreviated 12 day vacation). The program that I am enrolled in is called the Danish Institute for Study Abroad. This is a kind of umbrella program that within it has about 500 students each semester enrolled in a variety of different subprograms. My subprogram is called Medical Practice & Policy. The subprogram defines for each student there one core course, which for me is called Human Health & Disease, which in turn influences two study trips taken. For me these trips will be to (at least to the best of my knowledge) Western Denmark and Berlin and Poznan. The Human Health & Disease course has a focus on practical/clinical medical situations. It is taught by current Danish M.D.'s with topics including prevalent and common human disease, as well as basic patient care things such as history taking, blood pressure, etc.

In addition to my core course, I am enrolled into 4 other courses. One of these is called the Complexity of Cancer, which is taught Danish oncologists and looks at the biology and treatment of cancer. My second course is called Healthcare in Scandinavia, and is an economics course investigating socialized medicine in the Scandinavia nations. My third course is The Impact of Epidemic Disease, and is a history course looking at, well, the impact of epidemic disease on Western Europe. My fourth course is a philosophy course entitled biomedical ethics, which is rather self-explanatory.

Another highlight of this adventure that I am set to go off on include the chance to travel around Europe. In addition to the study trips, I am planning on taking a 5 day trip to the Czech Republic, which will include a stop at Thereinstadt, Prague, and the Czech country side where I will be able to hike, rock climb, and explore caves. I also have another week off that I plan to use to explore some other aspect of Europe, although in reality, I haven't given the "where" much thought.

Now during the time that I am actually in Copenhagen I will be staying with my host family slightly south of the city. I have been in e-mail contact with them for about a week now, and am incredibly excited to finally meet them. I'm sure lots of my entries later on will be about the going ons in the house, so I'll wait till then to give you the details about them.

Well, this should answer all the general questions anyone may have, but if not, leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail (londond@carleton.edu) asking things you'd like me to answer. Now, it's time to finish packing.

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