"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, September 08, 2007

A smattering of thoughts (part deux)

I don't have just one story to share, so this will just be a bunch of random thoughts:

  • My goodness is Michigan horrible this year. Isn't the Big House supposed to be a form of home field advantage? And doesn't this normally mean that you don't lose to Div I-AA teams, and an unranked Oregon (that had to travel from the west coast)? I'm actually becoming embarrassed to say that I am a Michigan fan.
  • So my commute home on Thursday was a touch longer, but completely uneventful. The protests ended up being peaceful, although the police were ready for anything. There were paddy wagons all over town, just ready for any trouble.
  • Speaking of trouble, Denmark has had its excitement, though, too. Over the last week 10 or so Danish citizens or legal immigrants have been arrested for having explosive material and being associated with Al Qaeda. Nothing visibly has changed and no one seems really concerned (my host family and other DIS students), but still, interesting.
  • I have now experienced my second Danish birthday party. The first was last week for a family friend, which was a long, boring affair. I mean, its great to see how the Danes do things, but spending 3 hours at a restaurant and saying 25 words isn't that much fun. All day today was my younger host brother Victor's birthday celebration. I gave him copies of Bad Boys and Bad Boys II, which he seemed excited about. Today/tonight has been better as I've been able to head down here when bored, but still, not a lot of talking going on on my part. I guess that's part of the problem of not speaking Danish.
  • Speaking of the family friend's birthday. She was turning 18, which is the big birthday for Danes. At 18 you're able to buy alcohol easily, get a driver's license, etc. So to properly celebrate the occasion the birthday girl was the recipient of a special hair cut, which involved the Danish style of hair extensions. The price, a cool 5,000 DKK, that's just a little less than a $1,000. Crazy.
  • I think I've discovered my new favorite breakfast. Initially, I was having corn flakes and some fruit every morning, but at the end of last week I tried something new. Raw oats, cut up banana, and strawberry yogurt. Highly recommended.
  • I don't think I've talked about my host family much in terms of describing them, and that will have to wait, but I will say this -- they are incredibly generous sometimes. When I first arrived they said they were going to treat me as part of the family and I should help around the house (as I would want it), but it hasn't quite happened to that extent. Sure I help around the house, but a lot of the time my offers of help are turned down. On top of that, last night my parents had a party to go to, and my brother was working, so dinner was on my own. No biggie. I was planning on eating out with some friends, and told my host family that that was the plan. They responded by giving me 100 DKK to cover my dinner. I tried to refuse it, but to no avail. They're supposed to provide me with dinner, so they were.
  • Speaking about going out last night, I learned one key thing: Danes love American music. My friends and I must have passed 4 bars that had like cover bands singing American rock, along with the entire bar, with quite a bit of energy.
  • I don't know what's more shocking: how dirty Copenhagen is on Saturday mornings, or how clean it is on Monday mornings.
  • After a full first week of classes I have come to at least one conclusion/realization. I am spoiled rotten at Carleton. It's so nice to have professors that are amazing at teaching and enjoy doing it. Some of my teachers (they aren't professors, no Ph.D., so I'll call them teachers) just don't seem to know how to teach, which includes being poor at communication. I sent an e-mail to a teacher with a question, and he doesn't respond. Instead, he makes a comment in class that some random person e-mailed him. He didn't even know I was in his class -- of 20 students. So yeah, I'm missing Carleton profs.

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