February 14: School Open Days

It was Åpen Dager (Open Days) at the school this week. On Tuesday, Nora’s class didn’t go to school until noon, then they did a half hour presentation for parents at 3:30. After the presentation, everyone stayed to have a snack at the “kafe” with finger foods, coffee, and juice provided by parents. Then we did it all again on Wednesday for Anders’ class!

For Nora’s class, they sang a song, then Nora and Naomi did a presentation on Saturn in English, several other kids did other presentations, then there was a circle dance number by the other 4th grade class. During the kafe, we were invited to bring along our knitting because their class has been doing embroidery, finger knitting, and knitting on needles in the past week. Lots of people were helping kids with their knitting, and although I brought my knitting, I didn’t get a chance to take it out. I did have a little chat with another parent for a bit.

In Anders class, they showed off their rock band class. Each class played, so we got 3 songs. If you look beyond the line of singing girls, you might see Anders’ head back there playing the bass. It was quite a sight! Each group had 2-3 drummers, 2-3 bass players, 2-3 guitars, 3 keyboards, and a whole lot of singers. No backing track needed. They had not practiced their songs much so…it was pretty cool that they could stay together.

After the songs, we saw the artwork that the kids have been doing. They were trying to replicate famous paintings. Anders did “The Sun” by Edvard Munch. He was so frustrated by it while they were doing it, but it turned out great. We also stayed for the kafe. We got to meet some of his friends and their parents. I talked to a mom who is in charge of building the major road and bridge projects around the country. Pretty cool. I also had a long talk with Kristine’s mom, the girl that Anders is getting a ride with from handball to band on Tuesdays. I tried in Norwegian but she just kept going to English, so I went with it. After Anders got home his Tuesday, he was pretty pleased about chatting with Kristine’s mom in the car, and she texted that my boy is nice and polite. Today she said that he sounds good in Norwegian too, and actually tried talking to her. He told her that his main goal for his time here is learning Norwegian, so now I’ll have to remind him of that to make him keep practicing.

I also learned that I was speaking “backward” when I asked Kristine if Anders could have a ride the first time. It’s tough talking with kids, they expect perfection from adults! Kristine was particularly tickled by that because she worked so hard to figure out the verb-noun order in English, which is reverse of Norwegian when asking questions, so I guess that I was all mixed up. She is nervous about speaking English, so I guess it’s good to be a role model for bring brave and giving it a try!

Tomorrow Nora’s class is going into the woods all day for a hike and campfire. All day! Anders’ class is going downtown to a performance of the Trondheim Symphony. Fun week of school for them.

Anders also got the team training suit for his handball team. We even got his name printed on it. He actually got a little tear in his eye when he was saying thank you. Conveniently, it is Beavers colors. He has his own handball too.

I’ve also been doing some knitting while we have been watching chess, curling, women’s hockey, and a scattering of other Olympic events. Nora has a new pair of leg warmers, and Anders has a new pair of slippers. My slippers have a hole in them so I intended to knit them for myself, but they turned out too big and I’m not fond of this style, and he was THRILLED to get them. Today his feet were taking turns with the one that I was finished with while I made the other. Now he has them both on. 

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About Christy Anderson Brekken

In no particular order... Instructor and Researcher, Department of Applied Economics, Oregon State University. Educational background: University of MN Law School, 2005. MS in Ag and Resource Economics, Oregon State University, 2011. Teaches: Agricultural Law, Environmental Law. Mother: brilliant 9 year old boy; brilliant 6 year old girl with benign myoclonic epilepsy on a modified ketogenic diet therapy. Married to: Ted Brekken, OSU Department of Electrical Engineering. Ride: Xtra-cycle Edgerunner with kid seat; 400-pound cargo capacity. Grew up: Devils Lake, ND. Lived in: Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Pohang, South Korea, Trondheim, Norway, Corvallis, OR. Interests: Cooking, knitting, eating, yoga, laughing, hiking, traveling, staying sane.
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