Thursday, October 28, 2010

Last Thursday in October?

Wow, it is hard to believe how fast this past month has flown by! It helps to have thing to keep you busy. The most exciting thing for me this week was trying the canned liver. Yea, I tried the stuff that I blogged about before. The yellow can with the happy children. It actually wasn't too bad! It tasted almost like a ham spread and was somewhat pink in color. I am guessing it is a lot better for me than the things that look like burgers from McDonald's. :D I think I might even bring home a can of it so you all can try. LOL. I came to Norway with an open mind about trying things and I plan to continue that. I knew that this would be the only opportunity for a while and the worst that could happen would be not liking it. Thank you Kine and Fay for letting me try some!
Today I also had a Norwegian test. I was so nervous for this one. It counts for 20% of my final grade so that makes it even scarier for me. After taking it, I didn't feel too bad about it. This however doesn't mean much because I can feel really good about a test and completely blow it. Hopefully my good feeling will continue past the day that I get it back. :D
I also sent an e-mail to the US Embassy here in Norway asking if I could come and meet someone there and find more out about embassy work. Unfortunately, they said no because they were so busy and didn't have the time to meet we everyone. Ok, I guess I tried, but it is a turn off from your own embassy. Hmm, there was something else too. This weekend is Halloween and I still don't have a costume, but that is not too exciting.

I guess I could say that the weather here is very ''fall" like because it has rained the past two days and the forecast says rain for tomorrow too. I just wish it would drop 10 degrees so it could be snow instead. The side walks were awful this morning on my way to class. I was slipping and sliding everywhere! Since it has been raining and still getting below freezing every night, they were bad. I don't like walking down a hill when it is a sheet of ice. Hopefully they will get better as the season goes on and they can put down something so I can get some traction.

O yes, the other thing I was going to talk about was signing up for classes next Spring and Jterm. I think I will be taking my Paideia Capstone class for Jterm. For all of you non-Luther folk, Paideia is the English/History/Writing/Death class that all freshmen are required to take their first two semesters and also for upperclassmen to do another round of it as Juniors or Seniors. I will be glad to get it out of the way and I hope that taking one called "Cyber Ethics" will be easier for me to follow because of the technology. For Spring semester, I am planning on taking the next Scandinavian Studies class as well as another Computer Science one. I am also filling my science gen. ed. with Science 111. Now doesn't that just sound like triple the fun? For my final class, I am looking at taking a Management of Information Systems (MIS) class just for the fun of it. I have also been looking to see if I can squeeze other type of degree in a year and a half. I am just three classes away from an Economics minor and three away from completing the International Management Studies special course. I don't know what to about these. I know for sure that I will get my major in Computer Science and at least a minor in Scandinavian Studies. (Possible double major depending on how classes transfer back.) The rest is up in the air.

Phew. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Mountains that are near me.

Monday, October 25, 2010

More of Oslo for Sharon

Alright. So when I posted about my trip to Oslo a few weeks ago, I neglected to put up more pictures. So here you go. And when you see "gate" all around it can be translated to "street" in English. Karl Johans Gate is the most famous street in Oslo and it is mostly just a walking street too.

Karl Johans Gate leading up to the Palace
My favorite fountain in Eidsvoll Square

The King's Palace

The Ski Jump from the Olympics.

Another shot of Vigeland's Park

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Snow in Norway

This is more what Norway should look like. At least in my mind. I took all these pictures on my way to class the morning after it snowed, Oct. 22nd.

This is my school.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Hello Everyone! I hope that you are all having some great fall weather and starting to get some of the cold weather like I am getting. This morning was really cold for my walk to class. It was about 26 when I got up this morning. I am still waiting on the snow though. It has been in the forecast, but I have yet to see a flake. The Norwegians are as bad, if not worse, at predicting weather as the Americans. :) Also, today was the first time I had class in almost two weeks! It was nice to have a long break even though I didn't accomplish anything besides homework. But that is good too.
I have been drinking a lot of hot chocolate already this year, but I have yet to drink any of my Nestle Butterfinger Hot Chocolate that I brought from home. Saving that for those really cold and dreary days. One of my friends also convinced me to try tea again. So today I went to the store, smelled a lot of the boxes, and decided on an apple, cinnamon, and raisin flavored type. Got home, heated up some water in the awesome kettle that I got from Kine and Fay then made some tea. It sounds so British, right? Anyway, I still don't care for it. Meh. The smell is really good, but I would much rather drink my hot chocolate and have a cookie with apples, cinnamon, and raisins. :D
A couple days ago, a group of us got together and watched Pocahontas in Norwegian. It was amazing! And I could actually understand it rather well. Listening to the radio and watching TV seems to be paying off more than I thought. I still can't wait until I can see Toy Story and The Price of Egypt. However, I am not looking forward to my next Norwegian exam in a week. Just do my best, that's all I can ask from myself.
Oh, and another thing that is really cool is that I can call any phone in the US for free through my Gmail account. Did I already blog about this? But if you get a call, and no one says anything for a bit, it might be me. Also, if you have caller ID, the area code that comes up in 760 I think. (760 is from California.) This makes it also good for prank calling.
I guess that is good for now. Please leave me some comments so I know what is going on in the states, just don't forget to leave your name so I know who you are too!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Half way done

Today is officially the half way point for my visit to Norway. It is strange to think how fast time has flown by! This past week has been my fall break and it was well needed. I just so happened to catch a cold during this time. I guess it is better to be sick now than during classes. But it is really weird, here when it comes to medications. They do not have a single medication that I can buy over-the-counter that will help to relieve my symptoms. The pharmacist didn't know what I was talking about when I went in and asked for some cold medicine. The only way I can get anything is if I go to the doctor and get a prescription. Not really something I feel like paying for when it is just a common cold. I did bring some allergy pills from home and they seem to be helping a little bit, but it is still annoying to be blowing my nose all the time.
The weather is starting to switch into fall because the trees are losing all their leaves and there is usually a thick frost every morning. I don't mind the cold too much, just not when I am sick. So i have been staying in my room doing homework and drinking a lot of hot chocolate. It is nice to have a good amount of food up here too.
Next Thursday, I have to give a presentation in Norwegian about Knut Hamsun. He was a author from the early 1900's. He is kinda interesting, so I hope I can find enough information to present on him. Other than that, not too much is going on here.
O yea, and I stumbled upon a new feature in Gmail that allows me to call land line phones in the US for free! So I called home and I also called my grandparents. I haven't talked to my grandparents since the week before I came. It was nice to catch up with them. I love technology!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Back from Oslo

Happy Monday all! I made it back from Oslo last evening smoothly. Traveling seems like it takes so much out of you! I got almost 12 hours of sleep last night after the short train ride. I never realized how close I actually was to the capital city. I might wind up going up there again some time and seeing more things. In Oslo, we saw the Royal Family's Palace, the Viking Ship Museum, Edvard Munch's Art Museum, Vigeland's Park, the ski jump, as well as many other sigh seeing things to go along with them. I also got to see the US Embassy and took a picture of it and walked away quickly. :) It was probably the most secured building in Norway and was located really close to the Palace. The weather was pretty nice for our whole stay there, but it was got to be pretty chilly during the evenings. The bus system is really good in Oslo too. We all bought 24 hour tickets so we just hopped on them anytime we were going very far.
Over all, I think I liked Bergen more than Oslo because the city seemed like it was more compact and I never had to walk very far to get to see what I wanted. Both cities were really clean though and there were never that people on the streets. For food, we just went to a grocery store and got some things and made them at the hostile/hotel. It was not too expensive to do this, but I kinda wish we would have went out to eat at a restaurant once, but maybe next time.
This week is pretty much my fall break. I had one class today and my teachers canceled my other ones. So I am hoping to be able to make good progress on my Norwegian paper as well as the paper that I have to write for my Ecophilosophy class. I also have to remember to prepare for a presentation in Norwegian on Knut Hammsun. Hopefully I will soon find out how I did on my Film and Fiction final too. I hope it went well and that they post the grades online.

Fall colors from my window

One of the three ships in the Viking Ship Museum

Vigeland's Park

Edvard Munch's "The Scream"

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Finally Time for a Break

Well, it has been a rough last two weeks, but I have finally made it through them. In the past week I have completed two exams, got a good start to my Norwegian paper, read a novel in 3 days and accomplished a lot more too. And now it is defiantly a good time to have a break. :) Next week is like fall break for us. It is not technically put on by the college, but the area middle and high school have the time off and it just so happens that the teachers like to have time off now too. I wasn't going to say no. :D
But today I had my first official exam/final for my Modern Film and Fiction class. It went alright and I ended up writing four pages about the book that I read in three days. I hope that I do alright and it helps that my first language is English too. This class was only a seven week one so that is why we are done already. I am glad to have that off my plate now. But getting back to the exam. It had to have been the most strict thing I have ever done. Even more so than doing the state testing in middle school! It was crazy! We had to turn off our cell phones and they had to be left in our bags. (I don't have one, so this didn't affect me.) Then we had to leave our book bags, coats and all that other stuff at the front of the room. We also had to leave our student IDs on the desk the whole time. Plus we had two "guards" as she called them, watching us the whole time and accompanying us to the bathroom if we needed. This is really weird coming from Luther since we go by an honor policy and the teachers are not even allowed in the room when we are taking an exam. I personally thing that they go way to far with this. I like the Luther way more because they put the trust in the students. Maybe it also has to do with the fact that I think cheaters are just cheating themselves by not knowing the information that they need to know. What ever, it is just a different cultural thing.
On a more exciting note, I will be traveling to Oslo this weekend with some friends. One from the Untied States and the other two from Canada, eh? :D It should be a lot of fun, but I just have to blend in the best I can since Europe is now under a travel advisory. Not much fun, but now I just won't be able to go see the embassy. Also, my study abroad advisor at Luther said to stay away from links to America such as McDonalds and Starbucks. Who would have thought, but it does make sense. But we will still have fun going to museums and stuff. I will have to let you know how it goes after I get back here Sunday night. We are taking the train again. I like the train system here and I wish that we had one between Decorah and home. :)
The fall colors are starting to arrive and I will have to get some good pictures for you guys. The trees here are mostly pine or birch, so there are not as many colors as in the Midwest, but it still looks neat. I am guessing the train ride to Oslo will reveal a lot of nice scenery too. I guess that is it for now, what else should I talk about?