June 14: 7th grade Finale

Here in Norway, elementary school (barneskole) goes until 7th grade. Anders is in class with kids who have mostly been together for 7 years of school, and now they are graduating from Steindal and going on to middle school (ungdomskole) next year (which is conveniently right next door!).

The end of year, end of barneskole celebration was a performance by the kids–there are 55 kids in three 7th grade classes. Each class did a musical rock band performance and kids organized themselves into other small groups. They produced 15 different dances, skits, and songs for about 1.5 hours of entertainment.

Anders played bass in his class band…

Performed a dance number with 7 other boys–they were so great! He’s usually pretty shy about this stuff, but he resolved to go ALL IN! It’s better to be totally into it than to be timid–such a great lesson. Here’s a video of the dance!

He and his friends Jonas and Robin (the other 2 in the first part that are doing soccer tricks) also created a little movie–I had to take a video of the video 🙂

I have never experienced such a strong pull for a crowd to clap in unison, even in general end-of-performance applause!

The principal then gave a speech to the students about their time at Steindal and moving on to the next stage, then to the parents, then each child received a diploma and a flower, followed by speeches and honors for teachers. It was a long evening.

Then a potluck tapas feast provided by parents, and more honors for their teachers. Anders got his hair cut in one of the standard-issue Norwegian boy cuts, he considers it a souvenir 🙂

It is an honor for Anders to be included, after only 6 months with   them. Norway is a welcoming place. Kids from 22 countries are in 7th grade of 55 kids, although the US flag didn’t make it on the list because Anders came halfway through the year.

Norway, Sweden, Greece, Vietnam, Somalia, Germany, Myanmar, Thailand, Bulgaria, Russia, India, Sri-Lanka, Finland, Columbia, Austria, Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan, Philippines, and Italy! Everyone is all in.


During “culture time” the kids choose between music, crafts, or sports. The kids that chose crafts knitting blankets for premie babies. They were soft and sweet

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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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