Saturday, February 6, 2010

Carla's class and Bob's university

On Friday, I (Carla) got to finally see Bobby's new workplace! The second year undergraduate students at Aalborg University spent this last week creating electronic games, and Friday was the presentation day. After watching the groups present, Bobby showed me his office (his computer hasn't arrived yet) and then we had lunch with his colleagues in the Staff-Only lunchroom. The building that houses the university is really modern with an interesting layout. There are a lot of large windows in let in sunlight and many comfortable common areas. Bobby's office, which he shares with another teacher, is quite large and has nice, new furniture.

This week I started my Danish language courses at a local language school. My classes are 3 days a week and each class lasts 3 1/2 hours! I was completely overwhelmed the first class. The teacher (who is quite young) covered 20 pages in the textbook within the first 2 hours! We listened to a recording of the number once, then moved on to a different lesson. I eventually raised my hand and asked, "Is this going to be the normal pace of the course? It seems to be moving very fast and it's hard to learn anything when we only go over the subject once." All of the other students nodded their heads in agreement. I think the teacher assumed we had an understanding of basic Danish already (even though this is the beginners course). Hopefully, she will slow the pace of the other classes. The next day we had a different teacher, and she was wonderful! In fact, she is one of the authors of the text book we use, so she is a professional educator. So far, I know how to count to 100, say most of the alphabet (Danish has 3 extra letters, å, æ, and ø, which are very difficult for English-speakers to pronounce), and ask basic questions. Hvad hedder du? (What is your name?) Hvad kommer du? (Where are you from?) Hvad taler du? (What do you speak?) Bobby gave a seminar at his university the same day as my first class. He talked about his research area to his new colleagues and some students. Many people showed up to hear him, even though there was a terrible snow storm! To celebrate, we made Mexican food for dinner: ground beef tacos, beans, and chips and guacamole.

Another cooking adventure Bobby and I had was making gnocchi! These Italian potato dumplings are delicious, but man, do they require a lot of work! However, the effort was well worth it.

I also made Hollandaise sauce! Again, it requires a lot of effort, but like the gnocchi, it is well worth the effort. We ate Eggs Benedict with the sauce, freshly made bread, and poached eggs. It was a very delicious, albeit decadent, brunch.

Ah, the marvels of modern technology! Since moving to Copenhagen, Bobby and I have missed our good (perhaps best?) friends Kate and Olivier. Luckily for us all, we can keep in touch (and monitor the girth of Kate's very pregnant belly) via video chat. It will never replace meeting in person, but it has been really nice to keep in touch this way.

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