Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Anyways, the update about my flight home that I never talked about....
Thank God for Casey for calling me a cab because there was NO way that I was going to get to the airport with all my bags and stuff. Got to the CPH airport wicked early but it was also really really crowded, so it was really good. (And I got yummy desert at a cafe while I waited to drop off my bags, since the airline's desks weren't even open yet.) As I went to go through security after dropping off my bags, there was a guy there having what I think was a diabetic reaction and had a bunch of security guys around him giving him juice and stuff.
Flight left way late to London and I ended up landing without a whole lot of time before my next was supposed to take off. (Had started coughing a lot at this point.) They made me go through security again this time and they were being super stringent because my plane landed at the same time as a huuuuge group of people of Middle Eastern descent, who didn't speak English at all. (They also had about a million young kids they were carrying, so the security things went off constantly.) Also, about halfway through the line some guy had a heart attack or something so everybody was running all around and blocking off big spaces in the security checkpoints. :-P
I FINALLY got through security with like 30-45 min. to spare and had to wait in line to get my boarding pass printed. I got pushed to the front of the line when I had about 20 min. before takeoff and the guy had some issue with finding my boarding pass and then found out the printer was broken (!!!!) so he told me to literally RUN to my gate since it was all the way across the airport and typically about a 15-20 min. walk. (And he warned me that my bags might not make it on my plane.) Meanwhile he emailed my boarding pass to the gate so I could pick it up there. So I sprint through the airport and make it to the desk just as they're starting boarding. The guy there has to call the other one to figure out where my boarding pass is and hands it to me just as they're getting into the final boarding calls. I rush onto the plane before they closed the doors and settled in for a loooooooong flight.
At this point, I have the wicked cold (later found out to be bronchitis), no water bottle (had to throw it out at security), and have just run through a huge airport carrying all my bags. I proceed to have a massive asthma attack and coughed so hard I thought I was going to throw up all through takeoff. I was sucking on cough drops and using my inhaler about 6 times in a 20 min. span of time until we leveled off enough that the stewardess could get me some water. She couldn't give me a bottle so I just kept getting 4 ounce cups over and over again. (I think I had close to 20 cups during the 6 hours?)
Meanwhile, the lovely woman next to me kept glaring at me and loudly sighing everytime I coughed..........THE. ENTIRE. FLIGHT. (Because how dare I want to breathe??!) I swear, by the end of the flight I really just wanted to turn and cough directly on her just to give her more reasons to be mad at me. I just kept using my inhaler over and over again because I couldn't breathe. It was NOT FUN!!
Oh! And we also had a bunch of electrical issues for that flight. First they couldn't get half of the tvs to work (including mine), then turned all the cabin power off to reset it, then couldn't turn the overhead lights OFF, got everything off to reset it again, then couldn't get half of the little reading lights to work (including mine). About 2 hours into the flight they finally straightened everything out and I got to watch The Simpsons movie on the way home (the only highlight of the whole trip home). Luckily, mommy was running late anyways because of traffic so I had time to get my bags (which did arrive!!) before she got there.
Then the longgggg drive home to sleep! Just thankful that I didn't get stuck in London!!! =)
Friday, December 7, 2007
I have tons to update about my last few days in dk and the trip home, but I have too much to do right now so I'll try to get that up sometime in the next few days. =)
Looking forward to seeing everybody!!!
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
I finished making videos of all the students introducing themselves in English and another language that they can speak, so now I have videos of my kids speaking in Danish, German, Japanese, Latvian, Estonian, and Norwegian. =) Unfortunately I can't post any of the videos on here because of the whole privacy aspect, but I've got them all on my computer if anybody wants to see them in person! (They're waaaay cute!!) The kids also finished writing penpal letters back to my MA students. The letters are really nice and I know my MA kids are going to be really excited about it!!! =)
It's very sad that I won't get to see them again, but I am very excited to go back to MA and show all of the cool things to my students there.
After school I came home and talked with Casey and Marie for a little bit, since they just returned from their USA trip this afternoon. Then I headed out to meet up with Carolyn for dinner at 6pm (and gave her a big jug of syrup as a thank you for all her help).
She was very nice and paid for our yummy dinners and desserts at 2 separate cafes. I got to have more aebleskivers (sort of like pancakes in ball-shapes) and finally tried glogg!! (Glogg is a very traditional/popular winter drink of heated, spiced red wine with raisins and nuts in it.) I wasn't sure that I would like it, since I don't like wine, but it was actually pretty good. So I'm 2 for 3 on the extremely popular Danish foods/drinks!! (Like glogg and Danish hotdogs, dislike Carlsons/Tuborg beer.)
I got back to the apartment about 10:30 and Casey & Marie are fast asleep. I've got tomorrow to do the last bits of sightseeing and shopping, as well as getting all of my things packed up before going to dinner at the family's house around 5ish. Then I head home on Thursday!!!! I'm excited but starting to get really sad too; I'm going to miss all of the kids and people that I met and just the experience overall!! This has been amazing and I wish I had been able to do more things in the time I was here.
Who's up for a return trip with me in the future??? =)
Friday, November 30, 2007
Go watch, it will make you laugh. =)
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Feeling a little bit better but managed to sleep through my alarm clock and wake up 5 minutes before I was supposed to leave! Luckily, the kids have specials for the first 1.5-2 hours so I'm not going to miss much by being late.
However, I just called Carolyn to tell her I'm running late and not to worry because I'll be there way before the Open House.
She just laughed and said not to worry about being late and that I should "enjoy the fact that I slept in...I deserve it!"
.....wait, what??! I'm off to school now, we'll see what her in-person reaction is....
PS- I haaaaaate that it takes me almost an hour to get to school!!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
My day in a nutshell:
7:30am Left the apartment & hopped on the bus
7:55 Switched over to the train
8:05 Got off the train 2 stops early so I could take pictures of the sunrise over the harbor (I'll get pics up later sometime, BEAUTIFUL).
8:25 Arrive at school with a headache
10ish Slight nausea sets in
11ish Send a student home because he threw up in the bathroom
1:20 The kids brochures are officially laminated, trimmed, folded, and ready for open house tomorrow! A full 24 hours ahead of time! =)
1:30 "Bond" with Carolyn about Grey's Anatomy
1:45-3 Assorted craziness and lessons, but I did manage to teach the kids how to do a math problem that Carolyn couldn't get them to understand. Even the German-speaking kids understood it!! Yay me.
3:15 Hung out with Faye while she finished leaving notes to the teacher she subbed for; sore throat starts
4ish Got on the train that Faye usually takes home, figuring I'll be able to find my way home eventually
4:15 Off the train at a stop that I thought I could easily switch over to the other train I needed.....I was wrong and got on my normal bus instead (5A)
5:15 Arrive home after doing a combo of bus, metro, and walking for an hour
6ish Dinner & sore throat/nausea intensify
11pm Throat is killing me, burning up (3rd time I've had a fever while I'm here and I almost NEVER get fevers!!!!), and wanting throw up.
And people ask me why I would rather teach middle schoolers!!!!
Crashing on the couch with my bucket and some tea, I absolutely CANNOT miss school tomorrow!! I'll bring my bucket if I have to! I'd kill for a popsicle right now but A) all stores are closed and B) there isn't a freezer here so I'd have to buy just one or eat an entire box right now.
Is it January yet???
Monday, November 26, 2007
Mom moved her stuff over here from the hotel in the morning, but I was reeeeally not feeling well at all so I was pretty much crashed on the couch until 1pm-ish. I finally dragged myself up and we headed off to lunch. We got to the O'Leary's at about 2pm and both had the Larry Bird club sandwiches (BLTs basically), which were really good. I also got my french fries!! YAY! They also had a ton of Boston sports memorabilia, which was really cool.
Then we headed off to Tivoli across the street! We walked around there for about 4 hours and bought tons of things, so much that we couldn't go on any rides because we had too many bags. =) My mom also took a picture of a couple at a booth dressed in full Viking gear, which lead to us chatting with them for at least an hour as well as buying a bunch of stuff. I now have 3 beautiful (handmade in Sweden) glass bead necklaces! The couple, Jacob and Hanna, told us a ton of cool stuff about the Vikings and a little bit about Sweden. It was really neat!
We finally tired out around 7pm and headed home for dinner.
I headed off to school and mom stayed home at the apartment, where she proceeded to vacuum, do the dishes, and wash most of my laundry! (Thanks Mom!!!) =) My day was very long and frustrating, mostly due to some issues I've been having with my teacher there. On top of that I also fell down about 5 stairs at lunch and bruised my leg, shoulder, and arm up from catching myself on the banister. However, things got better from there!
Mom showed up at school around 3pm, spent a few moments chatting with Carolyn and Mairead and then we took off. I'd had an issue with my phone in the morning so we walked to the prepaid phone shop (turned out that I'd just been randomly outside of the service range) and she lovingly put up with my ranting for about 30 minutes. =) We then went on to Bettina & Jan's house around 4pm, where she got to meet the whole family except Victor. They were very sweet and Bettina made several yummy baked things. We stayed there until a little after 6pm to go to the Hard Rock Cafe and Bettina insisted that I come over for dinner sometime this week. Not sure when that'll be, but it'll be nice to have dinner with them again before I leave.
We got to the Hard Rock Cafe at about 6:50ish and went into the back room with a bunch of other Americans. It was way funny to be in there and listen to everybody talking about the difficulties they've had around here and stuff. A few minutes after the food came out, our waiter Lucas came around to the tables and said that he had bad news....there was some sort of problem at Tivoli (which is right next door) and the electricity was going to be shut off in 20 minutes! But our meals were free!! We quickly ate the not-so-great food and cleared out, saving $80.
On our way back to the station we walked past Tivoli and noticed people were still going inside, so we asked the security guard. He told us that it was just a problem at the front gate and that we could go in for free "as his guests." That saved us about $38! At that point we figured that we didn't want to press our luck too much, so just went on the rides that were closer to the ground instead of the giant swings ride that I had wanted to go on. We went on the smaller swings and the ferris wheel and had a lot of fun. =)
Like I already posted, that was the day mom left to go home & I was left alone here. It was a really bad afternoon/evening emotionally though. I'm actually starting to look forward to being home in a few weeks, just for the comfort of being in my own country again. It's so uncomfortable to be in a foreign country and trying to do everything by myself. Like I told my mom, it's exhausting trying to blend in and pretend to know what I'm doing!! It's also not nearly as much fun to be a tourist on my own. I'm also REALLY sick of the few tv stations that I can watch in English and nothing being open past 7-8pm at night!!!
I perked up some over the weekend though. I just relaxed for almost all of it and it was GREAT! I'm finally just about healthy again and rested up. =) Saturday was beautiful and I ventured out wandering for a little bit, but yesterday was very cold and rainy.
School was surprisingly better today. Carolyn and I chatted a bit about some things and hopefully things will also get better after the open house on Wednesday afternoon. The kids are rushing to complete their imaginary city brochures by then, which makes things veeerrrry stressful lately.
I was also somewhat efficient today and got a lot of things done, including a bulletin board that I've been trying to get together for a few days. Yay! The kids are also making a lot of progress on their brochures and I'm much more confident that they'll all be done in time. =)
It was really really cold today though. It was snowing like crazy this morning and randomly on and off all day. They don't often get snow here so the kids were really excited about it (and took foreverrrrr getting all of their snow gear on and off)!
Plans for this week:
- Hopefully getting things done on my teaching portfolio, I have tons of pictures and other "evidence" but gotta start plugging everything in!
- Getting Carolyn to sign off on my teaching hours that I've done here
- Hanging out with Mairead and Faye next weekend and being tourists and having lots of fun!!! I'm way excited for this and determined to make it happen. =)
- Cleaning/organizing the apartment because Casey & Marie come home next Monday!
- Taking tons of pics at the Open House on Wed. for my portfolio, since I did a lot of full responsibility teaching during this project because I often had my own groups that I worked with every day.
- Probably staying after school very late tomorrow to laminate all the brochures and finish getting the room ready for the Open House (which is actually during the schoolday, 2-3pm).
- ENJOYING MY LAST FULL WEEK IN THE COUNTRY!!!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
So we got into the airport, checked her in, grabbed another nice woman to take our picture and she was off to home. =(
After leaving the airport, I went shopping and bought a cute basket to put Marie & Casey's mail in & a few presents for people. =) I also bought a few grocery things and hit the bakery on my way home to get a few pastries to last me the weekend. YAAAAY!
Although I just had to post that as of 1:35pm (mom's plane took off at 1:20pm), the sun came out for the first time in the last week!! Mom complained all week about how there wasn't any sun and it comes out just after she leaves. hehehehe. Oh well, we had a fantastic week anyways!!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I made it through the day barely, but I was definitely sitting on the floor beside the desks helping kids write their paragraphs for a project. It was quite funny though because my head was barely above the level of their desks and they really didn't know how to take that. =)
My mom came in to school today and met my students, teacher, etc. The kids were thrilled with the pencils (with eraser-ends!!) and some pencil-top erasers she brought for the other pencils that don't have the erasers on them (because they drive me INSANE). I wrote their initials on them with Sharpie, but I'm sure they'll still be lost before Friday. They were very cute today though and really tried very hard to do all the things we asked them to do. It was good.
Then mom & I went shopping for a little bit at Waterfront Shopping (a mall in Hellerup, near the family's house) and in downtown Hellerup, then back to her hotel to change into jeans and sneakers. YAY! We had originally planned to go to the Round Tower (google it, way cool!) and look at the sky from their observatory on top, but decided we were too tired and it's cloudy anyways so we wouldn't see much. Came back to the apartment, made dinner, washed dishes & laundry, and mom called some people and chatted with Skype....... which is pretty much the coolest program ever created! =)
She went home around 8:30pm and I've tried to catch up with some online stuff, but going to bed very very soon.
I'm taking tomorrow and Friday off from teaching to hang out with mom before she leaves, so we've got lots of stuff scheduled!!
- Mom's checking out of her hotel and coming to stay at the apt. with me for the last few days she's here, saving several hundred dollars.
- She's getting here about 10am-ish, taking over my computer while I get ready (since I'm sure I won't be by then).
- Then, we're going to eat lunch at O'Leary's, the Boston-based sportsbar in the central train station. YAY BOSTON SPORTS! =)
- After lunch we're off to Tivoli: http://www.tivoli.dk/composite-4983.htm <----AWESOME!!!!
- Not sure what we're doing afterwards, probably just crashing. =)
- Christian (Marie's brother) is supposed to come by at some point to pick up his mail & Marie's extra key, but not sure exactly when. He seemed like such a nice guy on the phone tonight when I called him about the mail he got; he told me that I should definitely call him if I have any problems with the apartment or anything. Very nice of him!
- I'm teaching all day and not sure what mom's doing, but she's meeting me at school in the afternoon to go to Bettina & Jan's around 4pm.
- I called Bettina tonight to see when they'll be around and we decided that after-school Thursday is the only time/day that works before my mom leaves Friday @ noon-ish. She's going to bake a cake and make tea/coffee; I told her not to make a big fuss and she said it'd be easy because she's not even making us dinner or anything.
- The reason she's not making us dinner is because mom and I are going to Thanksgiving dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe @ 7pm! I'm way excited because not only am I getting a real Thanksgiving dinner (even though I'm out of the U.S.), it'll be my first time going to any HRC! WHEEEEEEE. I'm sure lots of pictures will be taken with the new camera my mom brought me to use for now, since my camera decided to die on Friday.
- Not sure what'll happen that night, maybe back into Tivoli for a little bit to get pictures of all the lights at night? I dunno.
- Leaving from the apartment in late morning and mom flies out at about 1:20pm, I think?
- Then trying to figure out what I'm doing over the evening/weekend, maybe going to hang out with my new friend Faye. =)
Faye is a girl that I met last week at school when she was in substituting for the teacher nextdoor. She's 24 years old, from England, moved here for her boyfriend (who works with the elephants at the zoo!!), and has been in Denmark for only about 1.5-2 weeks more than I have! So we bonded about the craziness of living here, not speaking Danish, and substitute teaching. She's actually certified to teach high school science, so we have a lot in common!! She doesn't really know anybody besides her boyfriend & some casual friends from school, so hopefully we can meet up and have fun sometime before I leave; she's very nice and makes me laugh a lot.
- I don't think I've mentioned that I have been watching a lot of tv at the apartment, basically the Discovery Science channel and the Animal Planet channel. They only have about 30 channels and at least 3/4 of those are in Danish! I have managed to catch a couple of movies in English on TCM and some other channel, but my regular tv channels are generally restricted to DS, AP, CNN, VH1, and MTV. CNN and VH1 are pretty boring most of the time and MTV seems to be permanently stuck in the late 80's-early 90's (For example, a show consisting of Beavis and Butthead commenting about TLC songs). Soooo yeah, Discovery Science it is!
- I went to the Experimentarium in Hellerup on Sunday. It was an extremely awesome hands-on science museum!!! Mom and I spent several hours there and had a ton of fun. I also bought 2 plate-spinning sets! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plate_spinning Yes, exactly like the ones I used to use in gym class @ Mahar. I'm getting ready for my back-up plan of joining the circus! =)
- It's really annoying that they don't really have tissues in Denmark. I don't know what they use, but I haven't seen ANY around in stores or anything! Luckily, my classroom has about 40 little packs of tissues sitting on a shelf so I took a few to use until I feel better.
- I introduced mom to the famous Danish hotdogs........I think she's had like 5 in the past 4 days. =)
- My daddy got into an accident with his car today at home. He couldn't really explain it all (he has brain damage from an aneurysm) but something about him spinning around in the snow today and getting a flat tire, possibly dents too. So yeah, that's a little worrying! He doesn't usually drive in the snow at all but I guess it hadn't started when he left the house. He's okay though and supposedly some guy he knows is going to fix it for him?? I didn't quite get what he was telling us.
- My teacher is frustrating me quite a bit lately. I don't want to go into it here though. Just yeah, frustrating.
Anyways, I'm gonna head to bed now to get better. I was going to head to bed early, but figured I had to put an update up to keep everybody up-to-date (and for my memories later). Hope everything's well at home! Missing everybody...
Monday, November 19, 2007
Things have just been really really busy lately. Teaching is still exhausting (for a wide variety of reasons I don't really want to go into here) and my mom arrived here on Saturday to visit for this week!! So we've done lots of exploring and wandering around the city and stuff; it's a good time!
Just finishing up making some dinner right now, but for those people who want to know what's happened in the last 2 days or so (ADAM).... you can check out my mom's blog about being here: www.heleneindenmark.blogspot.com
(I KNOW! My mom has a blog!!!! hahaha, I'm working on catching her up to the 21st century.)
I'll try and get more stuff up soon though! It's looking like it'll be another busy busy week! I have tonssss of pictures that I'll try to put up probably tomorrow afternoon/evening. =)
I'll leave you with the highlight of my entire day, a conversation with one of my students (J.)...
[J. slides off her seat and under the table to pick up an eraser]
ME: You looked like you were melting... are you the Wicked Witch of the West??!
J: YES!! I AM!!
ME: Do you know what I'm talking about?
J: Yes, I do!! [giggles]
ME: Okay, so where is the Wicked Witch of the West from?
ME: [laughing] Nooooo, you don't know what I'm talking about then.
J: YES, I DO!!
ME: Then where is she from?
ME: [laughing even harder] No! It's from the Wizard of Oz.
J: I know!! I saw it in America first and then in Norway!
(She's from Norway.)
She cracks me up and is the sweetest little kid I've ever known. Can't I take her home with me? ;-)
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I also woke up at about 4-4:30 this morning out of a dead sleep because I dreamt of Kyle Flood. I don't remember exactly what it was about, but he was walking down a street with some other guy that I knew (possibly Ben Hause?? not sure) and then Roselle painted them. I just sorta thought, "WOW, it seemed like he was right there walking towards me!!" and then went back to sleep.
However, when my alarm went off at 6:30 I jumped up and started freaking out that something had happened at home. I convinced myself that I'm just paranoid and managed to distract myself all day at school, but I've still been checking my email and stuff like crazy just to make sure. So anything going on out there that I should know about???
My 2nd thought after the one about something bad was that maybe it was Kyle/my brain reminding me to be patient with my boys today. They were really really wild yesterday and my teacher was stressed beyond all belief, so I especially tried to keep the 4 major instigators in line today. All 4 are extremely smart and articulate, but have some problems with self-control and following directions. They're definitely the type of kids that I get along with usually so they've kinda become "my group" in the classroom. I spend a lot of time trying to catch them BEFORE they get into trouble for misbehaving/talking/whatever. I'm fairly successful with 2 of them but not as well bonded with the other 2, so working on that!
They are absolutely exhausting though. Everyday I come home right after school and basically have a mental crash and have to relax instead of exploring the city or anything. Not so great, but I'm trying to keep from getting the sicknesses that my kids all have!!! We've had at least 4-6 kids out every day since last Tuesday! I don't want it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I've gotta go pass out now, but I'll try to do a better update on things happening lately tomorrow. Goodnight!
Sunday, November 11, 2007
- Casey & Marie are awesome!
- I love their apartment....and their shower has a curtain!!!!
- I now have Skype set up, so I called my mom and grandmother last night to chat. It was nice. =)
- I spent a long time talking with Roselle (my professor) last night at a cafe & then a bar where we went to watch Casey perform.
- He sounds great in person too, Mel. And I asked him about getting cd(s) and he said he'll burn some for me before I leave!! YAY!
- I've figured out how to use the bus nearby to get places ON MY OWN!!!! Sorta kind ish.
- Casey took Roselle and me to Christiania. Go look it up, I'm too lazy to do so right now. But it was really neat and I heard some good music performed there too. And have a ton of cool pictures of different murals/graffiti from there to post at some point.
- Missing the family, but I'm hopefully going to catch up with them tomorrow with Roselle after school. Mostly to introduce Roselle to them and return the house keys that I still have........and also cuz I miss them already! =) Victor asked Bettina if Amalie could move out and I could stay there instead of moving to the apartment, way cute.
That's all for now because I've gotta be up way early in the morning to figure out how to get to school via bus and train! But I have a bunch of new pictures on Flickr from the field trip on Friday, leaving from Bettina & Jan's and adventures from today. Go look and comment! http://www.flickr.com/photos/abby6384/