Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Coldest November in 222 years?

Hello Readers! As you can tell by the title, it has been one of the coldest Novembers on record here in Norway and Europe in general. I was watching the news this morning and they are talking about the snow that they are getting in Spain and Portugal. It looks like it is shutting down traffic pretty much all over. I still think this is normal, but it helps that I am from Wisconsin. :)
The Thanksgiving meal went well at the school and there was a lot of mashed potatoes and turkey left over. And now that it is the last day of November, it is hard to believe that I will be going home this month! 20 more days here. I am hoping to get to Sweden sometime after I finish my exam and visit Aunt Julie's friend there. Since tomorrow is the first of December, I will finally get to open the first window of my Advent Calendar. I hope that the chocolate is good. :) It was the cheapest one at the store though. :D Yesterday I started tracking all of my money expenses for Student Support Services at Luther. I think it will be neat to see what I come up with, especially since it is in a different currency. I asked one of the lead people there if there would be a prize for spending the most money since my rent is due soon.
I have been trying to study for Norwegian off and on, but I feel like I am losing it all when I don't get to use it. I try to watch more TV and stuff like that, but I still need a lot more practice. The written exam is in less than a week now. I also have an 8-10 page paper due for Friluftsliv on Monday and a group presentation on Thursday. Hopefully it will all go smoothly. It is nice to think that these are the last things that I have to do for these classes.
O yea, last Friday, we went to Morgedal on a field trip. Morgedal is called "The cradle of modern skiing" because Sondre Norheim grew up there and he was the first to revamp this form of skiing. They actually the style "Telemark Skiing" which is named after the 'county' that I am in. Pretty cool if you ask me. We also went to a museum that had Østbye ski wax section. The tour guide pronounced it like Ostby though. Maybe there is some relation?

Østbye ski wax.

View of the valley from Sondre Norheim's house.

Sondre Norheim

The snow-covered mountains from my window this morning.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Week

Hello readers! How have you all been doing? I hear that snow has finally started to reach the midwest. :) I am currently getting flurries here now. This week has some ups and downs in it since it is Thanksgiving at home. It sucks that I am missing the festivities at home and getting to see family again, but the international office here has planned a Thanksgiving dinner here. It should be a lot of fun and I hope that people really enjoy it. I wish that we could celebrate other culture's holidays, but I don't know of them and one of the coordinators here is from the states so that helps. :) The temperature isn't too bad yet, but some people have really started to bundle up which surprises me. I am still in my light jacket and I don't feel like a hat is needed most of the time.

I tried to find a simple thank you note to send the people who gave me a scholarship, but nothing could be found like I wanted. I settled for a polar bear card thing. The others had cute kittens and flowers on them, but I don't think that would work quite as well. They have a lot of birthday cards here though. While at the shop where I got my card, I stumbled across some movies again. I think this has to be the final ones that I buy because they soon won't fit when I come back. I bought Mulan and a Harry Potter movie today. I already purchased Pocahontas, The Prince of Egypt and Toy Story. They are actually not that expensive. And since I am here, I thought I might as well get therm while they were on sale and I didn't have to pay to ship them to the states. I don't even know if you can do that. Anyway, my limit is five, so hopefully I will be able to hold back all temptations.

I bought an Advent Calendar at the store the other day so I am looking forward to the first of December when I can start to open up the windows. :) I didn't spend much on it so I hope the chocolate is good. I have been trying to eat down my food supply still. It is going well for the most part. I have only purchased four things this week and one was milk so that is kinda hard to make last. The milk here expires so fast too! I have had unopened milk that went sour even before its sell by date. I was pretty upset dumping that down the drain.

I am officially finished with my Telemark Regional Identity class so that is exciting for me. I have two more Norwegian classes before my exams and only one more class of both Friluftsliv and Ecophilosophy. Now if only would have know that I would be done this early when I bought my tickets! But hopefully I will be able to travel a bit. London is still a possibility, but so is Sweden. Norway would be the easiest I think, but I don't know.

I think that that is all I have for now. Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and I will be eager to catch all the good online deals with Black Friday. This is where my time zone will really work to my advantage. :D

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Not too much is new

So it has been one week since I have written anything up her and unfortunately, nothing is too new. I have a presentation on Friday for my Telemark class that counts for 60% of my final grade so I hope it goes well. I also have another paper due for Ecophilosophy on Monday. I am writing about the Emission Trading Scheme in Europe. It is kind of interesting, but I still would have liked to write about something that I had more interest in. But as long as it fulfills the requirement, I will be happy.
Yesterday I got to talk to some of the people at the Helpdesk. Kalsow, Aung, Matt B and Thandeka. I wound up talking to Thandeka for like 40 minutes. It was good to catch up with them again and I can't wait to get back and be able to see them all the time again. I really miss working at the helpdesk and working with all my other organizations at Luther. I also got to talk to my advisor person for Student Activities Council (SAC). We are trying to figure out if we can squeeze in an extra act next semester. I hope we will be able to. :)
Other than that, I don't have much. We have about 3 inches of snow on the ground and it doesn't look like it will be melting any time soon. The sidewalks are really slippery in the morning and I have slid around a lot, but never fallen down. Next week we are gonna be celebrating Thanksgiving here too. They are making turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy for us at the school and we are doing a pot luck thing for the rest of the food.
Please leave me some comments and remember your name. :D

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Flurries in the Forecast.

Well, the weather is becoming more and more winter-like as the days fly by. I keep blogging about how fast time is flying, but it is true. Also, it is now dark out and it isn't even 5pm yet. This getting dark so late is throwing me off because I am getting hungry way before supper and feel like I should be eating since I has been dark for a while.
I received my third care package from mom today. It is great to have a little taste of America and to see packaging in English! Nah, I do like to read the Norwegian packaging. I wanted to send a care package home until I realized how much they actually cost to just ship. Pretty much double what mom pays to send things to me. Crazy!
I have a presentation in Norwegian on Thursday and I am not looking forward to it. It is about a political party here in Norway. They actually have a lot for being a smaller country. We are not supposed to use any type of notes when we present and it is supposed to be ten minutes long! Oh, and did I mention that it is all in Norwegian? Well, at least we are not graded on it and my class is pretty small, but it still makes me nervous to get up and present like that. But having Mr. Davis back in seventh grade helped me to become a better speaker. I would hate to see where I would be now without that class. Thanks Mr. Davis! But yea, other classes are not too bad. I have to give two presentations and write two more papers to finish up with my other classes. And for my Norwegian finals, we have a written section on one day and then two days later, we have an oral section. I hope they both go well. Just try to practice when I can I guess. It will all be over soon. :)
I have started to reread the books that we read for my Film and Fiction class here in Norwegian. I read them in English the first time, but since I am getting credit for my Norwegian degree at Luther, I feel that I should get through them in Norwegian too. My goal is to finish the first one tomorrow. Only 30 more pages!
I am trying to decide what I want to do once I finish exams here. I will have almost two weeks with no class and no tests before I fly back to the states. Any suggestions? If you really want to make me happy, you are welcome to find the cheapest flight and hotels for me too. :D
Sorry I don't have any new and exciting pictures to put up, I haven't done anything too special except to go to class. Hope you all have a great week!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy November!

I can't believe that it is already November! I have finished reading my Norwegian grammar book and now I only have 1.5 chapters to do in the work book and 2 more chapters to read in our regular textbook. It is weird to see things winding do this much and so quickly too. I guess it helps that I am done with regular classes by the end of November and then my last scheduled exam is December 8th. I hope that they go smoothly. Then I will have 12 days all to my self. I might try to go and track down my family in over by Bergen, but I am not 100% sure yet. I am also considering going to visit another country too. But I don't know where. 
Halloween was pretty good for me. I dressed up as a skier and when I told some Norwegians what I was, they said I should be Bjørn Dæhlie instead. He the a cross country skier from Norway and is an eight-time Olympic medalist. 
I have also met the minimum requirement in length for my Norwegian paper about "Family Life in Norway." Six pages is a lot to be typing in Norwegian. :) But I was glad to have chosen this topic and I learned a lot about Norway and learned some good Norwegian words along the way too. I just hope that the teacher likes it too. 
Last night I was also able to talk to my Norwegian classmates from home via Skype. I even got to talk to my professor for a bit. The time difference was not much fun, but I think I might see if I can listen in for the first hour just so I can practice my Norwegian as much as I can. 
Not too many other things have been going on here though. The weather is rainy again, but it is somewhat warm too. Hope you are all having a good time where ever you are. :)