Miles: Three adventures

March 22, 2011

I understand that I have been somewhat slacking on the whole blog updating front, and I apologize. It’s just that life gets in the way of talking about life on the internet, you know?

Here is an actual post that’s actually about things I’ve been doing!

Adventure 1: Yay Women!

On March 8th, I participated in my first International Women’s Day March. In Europe, IWD is a much bigger deal than it is in Minnesota, as far as I could tell. (This view may also be skewed by the fact that I’m in a Gender Equality class this semester…) A couple hundred people gathered in Youngstorget, a square in downtown Oslo, with signs and banners. There were a few speakers, all in Norwegian, and then we all marched across downtown Oslo.

Many of the political parties (because, you know, Norway has more than 2 big ones) were present. My favorite sign said “ekte mannfolk slår ikke” (Real Men don’t hit.)

It felt really nice to be a part of something semi-political. I think this semester has confirmed by interest in the place where gender equality and safety and language all combine. I definitely feel a passion for working towards rights/safety/equality for all people, regardless of gender identity and/or biological sex.

Adventure 2: Lillehammer!

Team Applesin, skiing champions of the world, spent the weekend in Lillehammer. We stayed at this place called Nansenskolen (Nansen School), which is a sort of folk high school. Most of the students are around my age, but anyone older than 18 can be a part of the program. You spend a whole school year at Nansen studying art, creative writing, or political science/philosophy sort of stuff.

We stayed with a couple students in their dorm room, and got all of our meals free from the school (that wasn’t necessarily supposed to happen, but I’m not complaining…) On Saturday we went on a short ski tour in the Mountains, and it was by far the most beautiful ski trail I’ve been on so far. I definitely had to stop a couple times just to look behind me and pick my jaw up out of the snow.

This trip definitely taught me a little about patience. Everyone at the school spoke Norwegian, and I didn’t understand most of the conversations that were happening. There wasn’t a ton that was being translated for me, and I barely spoke. I had a number of “oh, we’re doing this now? I missed that” moments. I had to stop myself from become extra frustrated a few times, and I tried to turn it into a learning experience. It was hard though. I feel like I didn’t get to know anyone and nobody really knew who I was.

Adventure 3: Grown-ups at the Museum!

So I’m in love. Their name is Norma Sass. They’re an all-women band in Oslo. Really, just watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEFemmGt4bE

I saw online that they were having a show at the Teknisk Museum in Oslo, so my friend and I decided we needed to go. The concert was a part of an entire evening that the museum put on where nobody under 18 was allowed in, they extended museum hours, and made it sort of a “grown-up play date” event.

The museum is a very hands-on science museum where you can learn about energy, the human body, wind, cars, and all sorts of other things through interactive games and simulations.

The band was great. They were adorable and talented and I had the best time. All in all, it was definitely one of my favorite things that I’ve done in Oslo so far.

So yes, that’s what I’ve been up to. Spring is finally coming to Oslo. It actually is making me a little sad to see the snow go. My goal is to use my skis as much as humanly possible before I give them back.

Things I have learned:

THE WORLD IS MUCH BIGGER THAN ME. Duh. But let me explain: while I was sitting in Lillehammer, feeling totally unable to communicate and irritated and all of that, I realized that all around the world, there’s so much that’s happening that I miss out on because of things as basic as a language barrier. I can’t possibly see/know everyone. I think that makes me strive for a mixture of meeting as many people as I can, but also just making sure that I have the best relationships possible with the people whose lives do intersect with mine.

A LITTLE SUNLIGHT DOES WONDERS. I was in a slightly grumpy mood earlier this week, and then, on Tuesday, it was extra sunny out. I had no idea how much sunlight would make me feel better. I went for a long walk and listened to music and danced around a little. (And then went skiing and fell down a giant hill and bruised myself –  no big deal, I’m fine.) BUT STILL, it feels good to be seeing more sun.



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