With the first week of classes under our belts I think we’re finally getting the hang of things here at UiO. I’ve learned that Oslo really isn’t as big of a city as I originally thought (which makes navigation a bit easier). I also had an important lesson in asking for directions:
1. Speak up.
2. Make sure to ask for the T-bane, not the train, or you’ll end up at Oslo Central Station wandering around lost.
3. Find the nice blonde-haired, blue-eyed Norwegian man named Lars to show you the way to the Central Station (Thanks, Lars! You have no idea how directionally challenged I am).
4. Know that ten people can give ten different sets of directions to the same place.
I’ve really enjoyed having the opportunity to get lost here in Oslo and free time after classes. Yes, we are still doing our homework, but we’ve gotten the chance to explore the city and experience the culture. It’s also been pretty obvious that our sense of style is not as good as everyone’s here in Norway. Sock-Os just aren’t in…yet. We’ve also devised a new Snapchat game, SnapCats? I’m not sure why, but it’s fun. On Friday our professor showed us a glimpse of the East Side and the “hip” part of town. They’ve also got a fresh fruit and veggies market (yes!). Yesterday and we all took the T-bane down to the lake and hiked around for almost three hours. After the hike we wandered back to Vigeland park for the Independence Day celebration to find some corn-dogs and a car show, good old American 29th of June stuff. Surprisingly we didn’t see the America bus in the show, it’s still parked near Blindern…
Since we’ve been wandering in Oslo it’s only fitting that we get lost now and again. That’s what learning is all about, right? We all have different ideas of how to find our way and that is what makes the journey so exciting. Heading into the second week of classes we’re all beginning to define what we would like to research in our Peace Scholars seminar. As of now my project will focus on the impact peace education has in conflict situations and in the prevention of future conflicts. I’m hoping to learn how art can play a role in peace education and various ways that we can integrate peace education into the curriculum. Additionally, Eric and I have been tossing around the idea of holding a dialogue seminar with students from Augustana and Pine Ridge Reservation. We also hope to bring Steinar to campus to show the film, Reunion.
We’re all still finding our way here, hopefully Lars can help us out.