Every day I film one second of video and upload it to the app 1 Second Everyday. It's a very easy thing to put together, here's the first month so far. It includes short videos of my room, the countryside around where I live, my desks, the high school, NMBU, and some of my students.
Today I and an English, a Spanish, and a German Teaching Assistant from the Erasmus+ program went to the fortress or "festning" in the Oslofjord. It's called Oscarsborg Festning and it is famous for having delayed the German invasion of Norway in World War II long enough for the royal family to escape Oslo. The garrison managed to sink the German cruiser SMS Blücher which, besides being the heaviest ship of the invasion fleet, had approximately 1,000 German soldiers on board. It's a famous story that most Norwegians know about, and the site is a pretty neat place! After leaving Ås in the morning around 0850, I met up with the other Teaching Assistants and we took the boat from Oslo down the fjord to the twin islands on which the fort is situated. We explored the island (there are LOADS of tunnels, bunkers, AA gun emplacements, and machine gun nests visitors are encouraged to explore) and took a quick look through the museum. I will definitely have to go back and spend more time there, but because it was such a nice day we felt it necessary to enjoy the sun as much as we could! Taylor, Stefan, and Miguel were great company and we had some intense discussions about US and international politics. I thoroughly enjoyed the day trip and can't wait to go back!
It was an incredibly clear day today, not a cloud in the sky after rain early this morning. It's fitting that it was on the 15th anniversary of another beautifully clear day that changed the world. It cost about $16.50 but here is my observance of 9/11! Taking my picture with an American company's phone, eating an American food, drinking an American drink, in an American restaurant, wearing an American shirt: God bless the United States of America. #NeverForget
As of yesterday, I have been in Norway for two weeks and boy has it flown by.
After I deposited my belongings, my first goal was to charge my phone. I found my adapter and plugged it in triumphantly, but immediately discovered that it wasn't working. Frantically I tried every outlet in my room (10 of them!) but none of them worked. I did have a lamp already in the room, so I was able to determine the electricity was working and that it was the adapter that was broken. I quickly emailed Kate, the Fulbright ETA in Ås last year who was still in town, explained to her my predicament, and begged for a spare adapter. She responded almost at once and we set up a meeting for the next day. I turned my phone off to conserve battery and hoped that I would have enough battery in the morning to make contact and meet up. Thankfully the next morning I found my battery back-up charger from Amazon and we were able to find each other in Ås
Kate was a massive help in introducing me to Ås, as she walked me around the university, showed me where I'd be working, answered what I'm sure ended up being hundreds of questions, and even took me grocery shopping (thank God too, because the sour cream is in a suspiciously milk-like container...). She got me an adapter and even helped me try to set up my WiFi, which did not happen until the following Monday. I spent the weekend catching up on sleep, relaxing, and emailing. Thanks to my new Norwegian cell phone and the data plan I had, I was able to survive without WiFi and still maintain a connection to the outside world.
Along the way around the fortress (which has a lot of museums and great attractions), we saw at least half a dozen kids playing Pokemon Go. One of the teachers who works at the center said that her sons have learned a great deal of local history by playing the game. Makes me wonder how I can bring it into the classroom...
This last week I spent solidifying my schedule at Ås videregående skole (Ås Upper Secondary School: grades 10-12 in the US, years 11-13 in the UK) and at NMBU (Norges miljø- og biovitenskapelige universitet/Norwegian University of Life Sciences). Today (September 2nd) I taught my first lesson (on media bias) to an IB English class I am paired with for the rest of the year. I can't wait to see what the year holds and I'm looking forward to every minute!