Hello hey you, AU – Aarhus calling! This weekend is the finale of the Eurovision Song Contest! Woohoo! Hurrah! Huzzah hurray! Even for those like me who don’t have cable, I’m sure there is some sort of viewing party set up somewhere where tons of non-Danes will flock to watch on a big screen (or am I swayed by the German’s love for “Public Viewings?”). So for those who perhaps come from the other side of the world where talk of such a contest seems exciting and intriguing, the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) is an annual competition held between active members of the European Broadcasting Union. This threw me off at first – when I first moved here and saw that Israel was competing, I thought my geography lessons had gone haywire (albeit them being US geography lessons to begin with).
So there’s a little video floating around about the Danish flag being “found” in the Coke logo. And we know how much Danes love their flag so you can imagine how big this is becoming. Here it is making an appearance on the hey you, AU blog as well…
Actually to be honest, I’ve always found it incredibly awkward that people are standing at the arrivals entrance waving flags and staring at you when you walk out of baggage claim. I’m always in my glasses and the most comfy/nastiest of clothes, which I’ve been wearing for a good 2 days. I’m sure my hair is a mess, I’m dragging an overweight suitcase that is full of smuggled goods from home and there are only 2 things on my mind: Starbucks and when to catch the train to Aarhus. Maybe I find it awkward because no one is there to wave a flag for me (I’m opening this up for anyone who’d like to pick me up next time I fly through and greet me with a flag). It seems silly to think about this happening in the USA (though I’m certainly going to try it next time I’m home and have to pick someone up at the airport). But the video makes it seem sweet and heartwarming, and I like that.
Coke has also started a weird thing here where you can get your name on the bottle. Here, take a look:
That’s certainly not as sweet as the flag thing. Imagine all the people feeling left out because there isn’t a Coke bottle with their name on it. I guess they get the one that says “Friend” or “Family” … or “Hygge” if there is one? Strange.
Anyway, I do love me some Coke (I’m American after all) but if I’m going to be in Denmark, I prefer to Danish-ize myself a little. I’m rooting for Jolly Cola all the way. Maybe their commercials aren’t as heartwarming but they’re certainly Danish in every way possible. Don’t know what I mean? Here…
Lame, I know. But make sure you’ve got some reliable “sauces” for your exam papers! Ever find a site after you’ve written a paper/are about to hand a paper in and thing “dang if only I’d known about that before….”? Here are some great study/writing sites that I like to use while hammering out an exam paper I’ve waited too long to start on:
- Study Metro – Yes, I know it’s also for studying. But sometimes it can really help with writing too. Follow the metro lines!
- Scribo - Scribo is an interactive tool that helps you build up information for research paper writing. It’s a great way to help you organize your thoughts when the only thing you want to do is pull your hair out.
- Zotero - this is an awesome site/plug-in that will help you organize and cite sources. It will save you so much time. Alternatively, there is RefWorks (free when you sign up through the State Library page) which is awesome because you can download citation information directly from the State Library page and have to do almost no work on your bibliography other than hit the “export” button.
- Google Scholar - I don’t think there’s much explanation needed for this one. It’s a great alternative to the State Library site when searching for resources and material.
- GetPocket - Now, if I would just sync my bookmarks from my phone to my computer to my cloud or whatever else, I wouldn’t have a need for this app. But truth be told, I feel like a mess when trying to figure all that out so I would prefer something like GetPocket, where I can save sites, videos, etc for later if I find them and don’t have time to read through entirely.
- Yellow Highlighter Pen Chrome Extension – if you use Chrome, here is a nice little tool that allows you to highlight and save certain parts of webpages and add some notes. Ever have a spot in a webpage that you know you want to come back to but you just bookmark the site thinking you’ll know where it is? This should be able to help you out!
Those are just a few that I find useful and I’m sure there are a million more that I’d love to know about! So now… enough procrastinating! Back to paper writing…. after I go make some more coffee.
So I thought I would give in to some of the WordPress analytics here and cater to the masses of people that seem to flock to this blog for various search results. Though I would love to write more about the “Aarhus naked race” (aka the Kapsejlads) or things like redtube hacks at the Aarhus Central Station, I’ve got some bigger plans for this post! A lot of the searches leading here are asking questions, for example, on how Danish sounds or about learning Danish. So I’d like to take a second (or a blog post) to promote a new initiative from Lærdansk and InterResource called Lærdansk on Campus.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been in the “learning Danish” game. I stopped going to Lærdansk because of both time restrictions and the tiresome commute I had once I moved further outside of the city. I attempted the online version but wasn’t very successful as right as I started to sit down and do lessons, the weather in Denmark turned from terrible winter to awesome summer and all I wanted to do was go to the beach (soaking up the sun is important for the learning process, right?). That said, if I remember correctly, learning Danish was a little like this:
I know, right? But really. It’s like that. You can look at a work 400 times and hear it (from a native Dane) 600 more… and yet 5 minutes after looking into a new word, you’ll already forget how to say the word you were previously studying. There are so many articles out there talking about how “simple” Danish is… and by jove, I could agree with them if Danish only involved reading or writing. But trying to actually say Danish words is a mind bender all on its own.
It’s hard to believe that the time has come already to register for the 3rd semester. Now, to be honest, I’ve been dreading this for the past couple months because, well… I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WANT TO DO! Decisions are freakin’ hard when you’re as indecisive as me! Everyone keeps asking me what I want to do for my third semester and my reaction is always
So it’s like this – I have a couple options as a full degree student in Arts (and I’m sorry for those of you in other faculties who don’t have the same options/have different procedures). My options are:
Study abroad(missed the deadline for applying for funding so this option is out for the fall)
- Take classes at AU
- Intern somewhere in Denmark
- Field Work
I’ve ruled out taking classes simply because the profile courses don’t fit what I’d really like to do. I have the option of choosing any class and creating my own profile (since I don’t speak Danish and profile courses are limited), but after searching the Course Catalogue, I didn’t really find anything that fits. So I’m left with interning or field work. And though I’ve narrowed the list down to just two options, these two options involve a lot of thinking and things to consider and the searching for the meaning of life!
There is a lovely registration reminder on the Arts portal (though not as cool as the Danish one with a countdown and the option to chat with someone about questions… but that’s the international student life here, eh?) where you can find links to the different profile courses and email addresses to the Study Centre. The links to the left also have information about field work and internships and other teaching options for students in the Faculty of Arts. If you’re not in Arts, I highly recommend looking on your study portal for your faculty to find more information and if you can’t find anything there, PLEASE go talk to a study counsellor before it’s too late because I’m pretty sure the process of applying after the deadline is tedious and unnecessary (especially when exams are coming up too). Remember the deadline is May 15th so grab something cold on this awesomely sunny day, sit down and browse the sites, write a few mails and figure yo’ stuff out!
Today is a lot of great things in Denmark. Not only is the sun shining, not only is it International Workers’ Day, but this May 1st also happens to be siren day! At 12:00 noon today, Denmark will test the sirens all around the country. Now, don’t be alarmed (no pun intended). This happens every year by the Danish Emergency Management Agency on the first Wednesday in May and is just another wonderful part of Danish culture. The sirens are used for various things, for example, in connection with a nuclear incident, chemical release, flood, or German attack. So today, when you hear the sirens, be thankful that ze Germans aren’t coming (just yet), grab a beer to celebrate International Workers’ Day at a park here in Aarhus, and break it down to our girl, Beyoncé!
So this is a bit unexpected of a post but as I’m working on a project for a course right now, I thought I’d make some observations about a topic that I seem not to be alone in thinking. It’s essential to any student’s career and if you’re a student in Denmark, you’ll certainly understand what I’m talking about. I’m talking about group work. And right now, my feelings are a little bit like this:
Now, Denmark is extremely proud of how much group work is done here. Watch any video about studying in Denmark and you will hear allllllll about the group work. Really. It’s all about study groups and group work and group this and group that. And that’s okay, really it is. But I have to say what is unfortunate is that that not everyone understands group work and therefore group work really just ends up being a pain in the ass. There. I said it. I would argue that I am generally a very social person who gets along great in a group. I’m not overly pushy and will easily share tasks, when needed. I can lead as much as follow. Unfortunately, group work doesn’t really play off any of those skills. And being a native speaker in Denmark usually has the huge disadvantage that everyone just expects you to do everything. And then, even after tasks have been delegated, you’re forced to wait until 4 in the morning on the day the project is due waiting for someone to finish their part… having them send it to you and tell you that it’s rough and you’ll have to make it fit in with everything else (not speaking for experience or anything….).
I have worked in wonderful groups before. I have learned a lot from group work. But if I look back over my academic career, I would say that this is a more accurate representation of how group work learning usually ends up:
Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I wonder if other people’s experiences have been the same? Who are you in group work? Have you had better group work experiences? Why is it, you would say, that group work is so essential in the academic world? In a real world setting, if you don’t pull your weight, you could very easily get fired so the group work done while in the professional field has been much different, in my experience. I’d love to hear about your experiences!
And now it’s time to go do my group project. By myself…