Today was my last day of classes. I keep repeating that sentence because it honestly doesn’t feel real. This has been one of the fastest semesters I’ve had… time seems to move weirdly here. It seems like just a few weeks ago that I was arriving, slowly getting to know my host family, and learning names/doing intros in my classes. But now I’m thinking about packing (!!), am beyond comfortable with my host family, and finished with classes. WHAT??
CHILDREN IN A MULTICULTURAL CONTEXT (CORE COURSE)
Yesterday was my last day of my core course. Instead of meeting in our usual classroom, my professor booked a room in a cultural house in Østerbro. We had our final group presentations called “experience circles” (a concept from Brazilian educator and philosopher, Paulo Freire) which is sort of like a fishbowl if you’ve ever done that in class. Essentially, the smaller group presenting sits in a circle inside of a larger circle made of the rest of the class.
We were allowed to discuss pretty much anything relevant that we were interested in. My group chose to talk about intersectionality, multiculturalism, superdiversity and the importance (or unimportance) of labels in the context of race and other identities. After about 15 minutes of dialogue within our five person group, we had to open the conversation up to the rest of the class in the bigger circle around us.
After all the groups had finished, we had some reflection about the semester, shared some of our favorite parts of the course, our classmates, and our time in Copenhagen, then we followed my professor to a nearby restaurant where she treated us to lunch!
It was nice to be able to eat and chat freely with my classmates for (gasp) the last time! We still have finals next week but the only final assignments for this class are submitted electronically so we won’t all meet up anymore. It was crazy to say bye after spending so much time with everyone, since it was my core course. We had been on Core Course Week together, Study Tour week in London, and generally had very profound and personal conversations.
DANISH LANGUAGE & CULTURE
This morning was our last Danish class. A few weeks ago, we went to a Danish public high school and met a class of students, and today those students came to visit us at DIS for our last class. We had Christmas cookies, snacks and drinks, and chatted about various things, mostly answering their many questions about our opinions of specific Danish things, and asking us to share our experience with particular things in the U.S.. They asked our thoughts on Danish fashion, schooling, emphasis on group work, as well as American politics and what it’s like going to school in the U.S..
We had our Danish written exam a few weeks ago (potential future DIS students: it was quite easy, no need to worry) but we have our oral exam this Friday, so we’ll still see each other again. The exam will be a 5 minute dialogue that we wrote with a partner and have to memorize and perform to my teacher and another examiner.
NEUROPLASTICITY: THE BRAIN & BEHAVIOR
In Neuroplasticity, we summarized the course objectives and everything we’ve learned so far this semester in preparation for our exam next week. Somehow, this is the only typical final sit-down, written exam that I have in any of my classes. We asked questions to clarify how we should best prepare for the final, and that was that!
BIOLOGY OF MARINE MAMMALS
This was another class that I was super sad to say goodbye to. I’ve absolutely loved this course and professor but at least we went out with a bang. My professor brought in tea, clementines, and prepared little plates of pebernødder and other Danish Christmas goodies.
We spent the class playing charades, with some marine mammal-related terms and some random ones. It was very fun and my team was winning by a lot until my professor made a bonus question worth five points and gave it to the team who was in last place… still a very fun game and quite entertaining to see my classmates pretending to be different whales and seals and whatnot.
After charades, we reflected on the semester some more, gave my professor feedback, he asked our opinion about a potential new course he might teach next semester, and we shared general things we have learned this semester.
It was a good but bittersweet day. Obviously back at college when the semester ends, your classes are over but you will still see your classmates and professors again, so it was really weird here to slowly have my brain figure out how different it is finishing a semester when you won’t necessarily see people again!
Until next time,