I have this theory, which I made up during the 4 seconds it took to open up a Word document, that there are multiple types of good days (or weeks, or months, or years).
- Good days where one, big, amazing thing happens
- Good days that are composed of many small, wonderful things
- Good days that are good because you’re in a new place and everything is exciting
- Good days that are good because you realize how well you fit in to an old place
*Note that a “day,” in this case, is more of an ambiguous amount of consecutive time than a 24 hour period.
My first week in Copenhagen, for example, was a Type 3 kind of day. I explored the city and met new friends and hiked in the woods with my host family. I recognized a few Danish words that I had learned from Duolingo, tried my host mom’s homemade bread for the first time, and learned the basics of the Danish school system.
This week, on the other hand, has been a Type 4 kind of day, which is fitting as my time in Copenhagen comes to an end (sniff). On Tuesday, I met up with Dana and Claire after class at Studenterhuset, and within the first 30 seconds of seeing each other, we were already laughing until we couldn’t breathe. Maybe it was because we pulled out Ronald from my pencil case and were testing his magnetic powers, or maybe it was because I called elephants “envelopes” by accident. We caught up on each other’s lives for a “hot hour,” re-lived Spain through photographs, and drank rhubarb cider to “help us write our essays.”
We then headed to Paper Island, where we got some delicious food and met up with Jesper (who is the king of making irrelevant Ronald references to people who don’t get it). Somehow, everyone convinced me that we should all get drinks AND crème brule doughnuts. Totally worth it.
Dana and Claire hid Ronald while Jesper and I were getting our food, which caused a mini panic attack. We sat by the fire and laughed about who knows what (Probably our poor Danish. Jesper is never shy about correcting us. I did get one “det er precis” though). We stayed until the street food market closed, and then all walked back to the metro together.
The next morning, I went to Vaerlose to teach a coding lesson to some 8th graders. I got to talk to the technology specialist about what kinds of code education he had already implemented, and what kinds of educational technology was popular in Denmark. The kids loved the lesson – there was even one girl who figured out how to define and use her own blocks in Scratch. As I was leaving, the supervising teacher gave me the best compliment I’ve ever gotten on my Code Ignite curriculum. He said: “This is a really good project, because they’re not just cutting and pasting. You made them think about why the code works.” Which is exactly what I set out to do with Code Ignite.
At practicum workshop later that day, I caught up with Marina and Lindsey and Blair and all of my CMC friends, and we ate onsdagsnegls and talked about practicum. While we were discussing our practicum sites as a class, I realized how INSANELY lucky I got with my placement. Mette made me feel so welcome from day 1, from inviting me out for beers to introducing me to the other teachers to actually making me feel like part of the 6th grade team. This practicum has honestly made me feel more like a real teacher than I have in any other placement, because it’s just me and the class for almost two hours, and Mette trusts me to plan and teach a good lesson.
Then I came home, and ate dinner with my host family. My host dad, as usual, explained to me everything that was happening on TV, and Mathilde told me about the stupid boy in her class who broke her phone. While we were doing dishes, Frida turned to me and said, “Sami, it’s going to be so hard when you leave.”
On Thursday, I got to practicum early, and made copies for my lesson, like a real teacher. On the train ride over, I thought about 6A as a class, and came up with some ways to differentiate the lesson for them. I hung out with Claire and Amanda in the teacher’s lounge, and talked about summer plans, and observed the IT class, during which we learned about the history of MTV. At 1:15, it was time for my (nearly two-hour) lesson. I was nervous about teaching 6A, because they are usually shy about their English, but they BLEW ME AWAY. By the end of the lesson, almost all of the kids were raising their hands to answer questions. They discovered the difference between the ways that humans and computers think all on their own, and flew through creating their own versions of Flappy Bird. They made silly games and shared them with me and their friends, and helped each other out because computer science is COLLABORATIVE. They celebrated when they solved difficult problems. They re-created soccer ball jump and used what they knew about the coordinate plane from math class to guide their programming. At the end of the lesson, I gave them time to ask questions. One kid asked how he could program a certain feature for his game, and was able to use if-then logic to figure it out. Another kid asked how she could save her game to work on it later. A few kids asked what else they could make with code, and what kinds of coding I did, and what else I like to teach. And another kid asked if I knew of any websites he could use to learn more coding (yeah I did). At the end, one of the kids asked if I would come teach again. And when Mette said that unfortunately, it was my last day with them, some of them looked so sad. A few of them even came up after class to ask me questions and say goodbye. This was probably the best lesson I have ever taught – the two hours flew by like NOTHING. As I was leaving, Mette (aka my teacher role model) said that she thought my teaching was really good, and invited me out for one last beer the next week.
After practicum, I met Claire at the bus stop to get our ears pierced! We got some cash from the ATM, and then went to the shop that Marina recommended. The piercing guy helped us pick out jewelry, read us the safety information in English, and told us some funny stories/made a lot of weird jokes while we were getting piercing to relax us. Even though most of his jokes centered around odd stereotypes, strange past customers, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I have to admit that it was pretty hilarious and he was quite good at what he does. I got a helix piercing on my left ear with a tiny peridot stud.
And then we took the bus home, and I went back to a lovely dinner with my host family and grandparents. After dinner, Frida and I talked about the videos that we’re going to make this weekend, and shopped on Wish, and played some games.
On Friday, I went to class, and worked for a little bit, and then came home. We went to a hyggeligt little diner for aftensmad, and I could pretty much read the entire menu without any help. After that, we took a nice drive out to Birkerod to pick up some dishes that my host mom bought from a Facebook buy and sell page. On the way home, Frida and I saw cows, and went outside to go take selfies with them.
And then we went to the candy store because Fridays here are the best. If you’re wondering what hygge looks like, here it is:
Less than two more weeks of this.