Sunday, August 17, 2014

First proper work week in Denmark

The first week of school has passed by already again, so let me tell you a little bit more about my new adventure here in Denmark. I'm mainly working with students ranging from 15 till 18 years old. Some of them with surpluses, while others face some more challenges. The diverse group mainly consist out of boys. Most of them are planning to pass their A-level exams here. Even though our team has welcomed a fantastic new teacher named Harry, it's not common that he's standing in front of the class the entire day while the students carefully listen and soak up all new information. No, it's all a bit more free. If you want to learn, there are many possibilities to do so. If you don't want to learn, that's also fine. Instead students can go fishing, play football or (almost) anything else. This is something I'm not used to, so I'm eager to dig a little deeper into this particular system of education. Of course passing the exams is the priority, but if at a certain moment the will-power to study is gone, alternatives like sports and practical tasks are offered. Friday I for example baked around 160 buns with some of the students, so that every day around 11.00 o'clock we could get some out of the freezer and heat them up in the oven in order to have a warm snack during our short break.

Within this one week my own lifestyle changed a lot. First of all, I used to spend a lot of time in front of my laptop, especially when writing my thesis during the last semester of university in Lithuania. Now I've been occupied doing practical tasks ranging from decorating the school, weeding and price tag items in our Green Shop to taking pictures and participating in sports. I never really liked P.E. when I attended high school, but here I slowly seem to get rid of that disinterest. The last few days I've been swimming, bowling, attending an outdoor gym club twice and playing some volleyball. I'm also learning Danish by the way. Secondly, I used to shop alone, take walks alone and also just travel alone. Some people have called me lonely for that, but I surely never perceived it in that way, as I was always very comfortable with that. Well, being alone is hardly possible here. Cooperation is highly valued, and even though it took me some days to get used to that, I start to appreciate it more and more. Still, I discovered that strolling around on an almost empty Danish beach all alone is something I absolutely love.

A couple of months ago I visited one of the Lithuanian guys who's also living here, but who was visiting his parents in Kaunas at that time. When I asked him how his spare time looks like when being in Denmark, he told me that for him it never really feels like having 'free time', which kind of shocked me. Instead, he said "it's more like a lifestyle", which, only now, I completely understand. I don't have fixed working hours, I'm spending time with most of the students the whole day round and the tasks that need to be done are fulfilled all together with a great dose of joy, certainly overlapping all activities that are just for fun and not on a to-do list.

Next week will be a bit different from this one, but certainly not less exciting. From 19-24 August the 'Go Dream Silkeborg Nordic Balloon Cup' will be held around a one hour drive away from here. I'll join the boys that make up the balloon team here, even though my main task will be to take nice pictures and to manage the social media of the event. Guess I'll miss the peanut butter jelly sandwiches on which I got addicted this week!

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