Hej. Jeg skrive fordi jeg skal komme hjem til USA naeste torsdag.
Technically, it says 2 days to go on my blog countdown, but for the sake of parallelism, we’re going to pretend it says 3. I know I’m skipping ahead a little bit, because I am stillllll behind on blogs, but don’t worry I’ll post them eventually.
I’m not really sure what to make of the fact that I’m sitting on the couch at home for the second to last time. It’s not like it snuck up on me – honestly it’s been a long time coming. Not because I didn’t LOVE my time abroad, of course. If you’re still reading this blog after all of the way-too-detailed bullet point posts, you know that I’ve had some of the best times of my life while I’ve been here. But I’m ready to go home. I wrote on my first blog that I wasn’t sure if I liked adventure, and here’s the conclusion I’ve come to: I like adventure, but I don’t think I want my whole life to be an adventure.
The second half of that sentence sounded very sad and distinctly opposite to one of those inspirational quotes written in a girly font and laid over a stock image of redwood trees. But I am of the opinion that the whole point of adventures is that they’re meant to be balanced with stability. That’s probably not true for everyone – in fact, I can name several people off the top of my head for whom it is most certainly not true. It’s true for me, though. My big Sophie said it best when she told me that her life in Spain, while fun, was “not sustainable.”
And yet, I’m still so sad to leave. I can’t imagine what this must feel like if you are one of those people who genuinely loves adventure. A brief sampling of the things I will miss:
I’ll miss teaching in Danish schools. Classic me to make this the first one, but what did you really expect? I’ll miss the way that teachers welcomed me in into the teacher’s room despite not having any idea of who I was, and treated me like one of them even though I probably look more like a student than a teacher. I’ll miss the shy waves of Danish kids who were just a little too afraid to say something to me in English, and the way that their nervous English became confident as they spoke.
The big question that everyone’s going to ask me: what did you learn about the Danish education system?
Answer, in brief: School in Denmark is as social as it is academic. Classes and teachers stay together from kindergarten to 9th grade. Working in groups is an everyday activity, rather than a nuisance. Kids, for the most part, like going to school. Classes are student-centered, and the kids who come out of it are independent, composed, and creative, while at the same time still being wonderfully childish. Sometimes, the lack of adult supervision results in a loss of support and accountability, but student autonomy and structure don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
I’ll miss my routines. I’ll miss walking from my house to Lyngby Station in the morning, and taking the s-tog to Norreport. I’ll miss climbing 1000 steps to get to Danish class, and walking from Danish to Learning in Scandinavian Classrooms with Trendha. I’ll miss eating lunch in the teacher’s room at practicum, and I’ll (maybe even) miss the hour-long commute to Blocs and Walls with Claire. I’ll miss “splurging” on Momo Wok Box and ordering 3 mini berliners med chokolade from Oscar at the Lyngby Baresso.
More than anything, though, I’ll miss my host family. I wasn’t going to admit it before I got here, but living in a homestay made me nervous. Looking back on it now, though, I don’t think I would have survived without it.
I’ll miss Morten, my host dad, and the way he loves to put commentary over every single TV program that we’ve ever watched. I’ll miss listening to him talk excitedly about whatever fun fact he heard on NPR that morning, or whatever tidbit of Danish history he happens to have on his mind. I’ll miss the way he makes fun of Frida and Mathilde at any chance he gets, and the sweet way he talks about them when they’re not around.
I’ll miss Laila, my host mom, and the way that she seems serious at first, but is really joking around 90% of the time. I’ll miss the delicious bread she makes every morning, and the delicious dinner she makes every evening. I’ll miss the way she tells stories with sound effects between every sentence, and the way she yells goodbye to me when I leave for classes every morning.
I’ll miss Mathilde, and her infectious cackle, and the way that she sings and dances wherever she goes. I’ll miss hearing about the stupid people in her class and the shooting games she plays every evening and her dance classes and her new favorite song. I’ll miss the way that she is kind and mature FAR beyond her years, and yet still so down-to-earth and genuine and loving.
And of course, I’ll miss Frida, my partner in crime and fellow creative weirdo. On the first day we met, we were hiking through the woods, and we found an old sock that we proceeded to kick around for the better part of 15 minutes. And Frida said, “You can have fun with anything!” And from melting lipstick into contact cases to sliding around the house in our socks to filming fake house tours in IKEA, we did, in fact, have a lot of fun. I’ll miss the way she can never seem to sit still, and the way she gets excited over everything from new makeup to having steak for dinner, and the way she sees beauty in everything as she takes about 10000 pictures for her Instagram.
There are a lot more things that I’ll miss, I’m sure, but right now, I’ve got an overflowing suitcase and a lot more goodbyes. Vi ses for now!