lørdag 15. august 2015

Unfair Scales

If I hadn't left the country to take the IB in an international environment, I wouldn't have been able to experience moments like this. I wouldn't have traded this for sixty-five study points.

When I went to Videregående in Norway, my grade average was somewhere around 5,7 out of six. This is pretty decent, and if I'd kept this up throughout the rest of my secondary school career, which is very likely, I would have gotten 57 "study points", which would have helped me get into university here. With the additional points from taking science courses, I likely would have been in the running to get into NTNU to study medicine (their boundary was 60,2 points in 2014).

But, you see, I had to get out of Norway and take the IB, because I'm smart that way. I got my IB Diploma (which is cause for a lot of excitement!) and finished with a decent score of 36. I'm not all that ashamed.

Here's the thing. I worked a lot harder to get my IB diploma than I ever did when I was in the Norwegian school system. I stayed up all night studying. I did my own research. I wrote a paper on social cohesion for Sami expats, where I did participant observation and used college-level theories (according to our anthropology teacher, who was the one to teach us about these theories). I learned advanced biology and partook in an experiment that may or may not prove groundbreaking (about the effect of temperature on bacteria in spit). I researched and interpreted the theatrical concept of status, and used to analyse Hamlet in a much more sophisticated way than I would have been able to only two years earlier.

In short, I learned more in two years than I did in the eleven preceding years. I learned a lot more than I think I would have learned had I stayed in Norway. I learned a lot more about being a student and doing independent research and learning. I learned a lot more about bureaucracy that I think I'll ever need.

But the Norwegian school system doesn't care about that. They care about the numbers I obtained.
And the grade scale, to me, does not at all
cover the knowledge I gained.

The conversion scale gives me 53,4 Norwegian "study points": 51,4 from my 36 in the IB, and 2 extra for the classes I took.

This means that I am completely out of the running to study medicine at NTNU.

Now, this is not where I was heading. If everything works out, I'm heading to Canada in 2016 to go to a university that seems absolutely awesome. For the past two years, Norway has only served as a back up plan. So I guess this doesn't affect me as much as I feared, I know there is a world out there and that I can get out again, because I've already done it once.

But if you're Norwegian and considering doing the IB, remember the conversion system if you are planning to study here once you've finished secondary school.

lørdag 25. juli 2015

It's been 80 years...

Or seven months exactly. Apologies.

Over the past seven months, I have been out of my mind trying to complete the IB, and leading a very stressful and fulfilling life at VVS, so much so that I hardly had time to think about this blog, let alone sit down to write a blogpost. Then when I came back to my physical home and the home of the majority of my memories, I started working and I've been working since then.

I thought I could write a short update to let you know I'm planning on restarting my blogging. Now that I'm back in Norway and terribly homesick for my spirit's home, I might try to share some of my memories from there in order to preserve them for myself. I'm also planning on doing a list like "20 before 20" or something, because I think that would be very beneficial for my current state of mind, and freedom. I just need inspiration. Which will come, soon. It's all a journey, innit?

The best thing about being back here is my dog. I love her more than so many things.

"I'm just happy to be here"

Feeling sleepy yet? Sleepy-dog at your service. 

torsdag 25. desember 2014

Being Home

 My Favorite things about being in this home:
1. Freedom (I can go where I want when I want to)
2. My people
3. My dog
4. Meat
5. Lack of a schedule
6. Norwegian
7. Everything candy and drink (They don't have Fanta Lemon in AZ, for shame!)

My Favorite things about being in my other home:
1. My people
2. Daylight
3. American candy
4. English
5. American prices
6. Everything I get to do
7. Cuddle Puddles

Here are some more photos from the past fall. For Field Trips this year I went to the GRAND CANYON for ten days. It was absolutely incredible. I came back bruised, foul-smelling and with the biggest grin on my face. Here are some photos before we went in:

I'm luminous, that's how pale I am. 

The deer were really comfortable on our campground. 

The Americans learned how to chop wood. As a Norwegian, I obviously knew how to already. 
And then I spent Thanksgiving with one of our lovely horse instructors. We went walking up the West Fork on Thanksgiving Day, and we also went to visit the horses one day which was equally lovely. 


Easy. One of two horses who took a break from eating to come say hi. 

Ponies *smileyface*. 


West Fork Hike: 

Myself, Squeentz and Host. 

All roads do in fact lead to Roma. 

'Twas quite beautiful. 

Quite beautiful indeed. 

Squeentz is so ready! (No, that's not her real name) 
 We also put on Hamlet. I got to play Claudius which was a great challenge, but perhaps the most rewarding role I feel like I've had. It was awesome. Here, have a non-flattering photo of me performing Claudius' soliloquy not as Claudius. Claudius is a man without boobs so I had to wear a different shirt for that part. 

I enjoy this photo mostly because I look slightly like a flying shirt and head. 

And then came December! I painted my face in celebration for us not having homework due the next day, the girls' dorm had Yankee Swap and that is all that happened. Not really, but that's all that I took pictures of. 

My face turned into a rainbow! And my hair, for that matter. 

Such badass. Heh.  I enjoy the effect of the light. 

This friend of my mine has the most style, it's almost unfair. 

Cookies for Yankee Swap! 

Baby grew and became Child. 

And that is all for right now, perhaps for 2014. It's been lovely. 


Coming Home (Massive photo-post)

Today I got up, had brunch, and then the sun set. I am home! Or, I am in the other home! The one that has freedom and eighteen hours of darkness, not the one with the blazing sun and cuddle puddles.

About that breather I hoped for in the end of September? It didn't come until December. The fall trimester was painfully hectic. I think I might have academic scars from that for a while. Now that's over and done with, though, and even if I have about eight major assignments to complete during Christmas, I still have the free time to do that. and that is enough. I should be doing that right now, but I haven't posted anything on the blog in about three months. That's more procrastination on the blog than on my homework, and thus the blog comes first.

I thought I could post some photos that I shoulda coulda woulda posted this fall if I hadn't been so completely stressed out.

There are a great many things that I would love to write about, but I should really get on with my homework so you can read the captions on the photos instead, yes?


Off the porch. I live upstairs now. 

Going to the creek! 

The one time we could see the floor of my room. 

One time there was a bird in our courtyard. It let me get about a foot away from it.  
This is my bae. You can't see her face cuz her hair is too glorious. And privacy, that too. 

It was so green and flowery for a while! 

We hiked up Monkeyface one sunset. Straight ahead you can see Napoleon, campus to the right. 


I painted my first-ever oil-painting! It's the one on the left, the rest is by two very talented painting students that were having fun with me that Friday night. 

View from our porch. Right under the moon is Seven Warriors. 

Sometimes we have bonfires. It's quite lovely. 

The day before school started I DJ'ed for Awesomeness Day. (That was four months ago!) 

A hike on Bell Rock another sunset. 
 We've also had several performances during the fall, one of which was the big Parents' Weekend bonanza. The Intro to Theatre kids performed "Not-so Grimm Fairy tales", the student-led dancers performed modern and hip hop choreographies (one of which was created by the student leader), and the Rock Bands performed several songs. 

Granny Being carried away by the Big Bad Wolf. 

The Evil Queen. Small so you won't see the crappy quality.  

You can't really see their faces when it's blurry. 


Blurry Rock Band! 

It's really difficult when you can't get their faces.

I feel like this post is getting too long. Let me get another. 


onsdag 24. september 2014


You know what is really, really difficult?

The IB.

You know what takes up almost all of my time right now?

The IB.

You know what you should only go into if you're entirely sure it's what you want to do?

The IB.

I realized there are three things that make me feel okay about life:
1. Being outside
2. Exercising
3. Being social

These are all things that the IB tries to keep you from, and that VVS tries desperately to make you do anyway. Exhaustion and desperation are the general emotions permeating campus right now, the seniors being in the middle of the IB marathon, the juniors having just been thrown into the deep end of the pool. The next week is a big deadline week for us, and after that, maybe we will have time to breathe. The teachers are telling us college will be amazing after the IB. I think that's a valid assumption.

Other than academically, things are pretty great. I love my new sports (Archery and Physical Improvisation), people are trying to support each other, there is a lot of sharing of food, cuddles and laughter. Today we found out that we're doing Hamlet as our fall production in Theatre. I never realized that I am a Shakespeare geek.

Love and semi-delirious hugs,

lørdag 5. juli 2014

Reverse Culture Shock

That's what they call it when you've gotten so used to the culture in your host country that the customs in your native country strike you as foreign or unnatural. I've been back in Norway for almost a month, and it's been pretty good. People don't really say "hi" or "how are you" to everyone here, which is weird. I'm trying to bring a little bit bit of the warmth I received at VVS back here.

I went to Pride. I haven't really done any homework yet, and since I'm going back to VVS in 40 days, I'm starting to stress out about it a little bit. In fact, I should be doing homework right now, but here are my reasons not to: Making my quest to finish my homework during Summer Break public might make it more likely, this is somewhat productive procrastination, and I felt I needed to post at least one blog post over the summer. In your face, responsibility. In fact, the amount of homework I have strikes me as so daunting that I find it less scary to look at colleges and universities. To me, deciding my future is really terrifying when it's not compared to IB coursework. As it is, the future shall be decided upon presently. I think I might have found a few schools I'm interested in going to, which I consider as a victory. Now that I've done that, I don't have much productive procrastination in the way of starting my papers.

For some reason, research papers have always terrified me. Give me a test and I'll handle it just fine. A DBQ? Okay. An oral presentation in my second or third language? No problem. But asking me to write a paper is an entirely different story, this inspires in me paralyzing fear of failure. I try telling myself it will be okay, but I'm always afraid of starting and so I never start before the end. Now I'm going to change this. Away from the time- and energy-consuming campus of VVS, with no distractions, I will overcome my fear of research papers and just do it. At least that's what I'm telling myself. This is also where we pretend that I don't have to work almost every day until I return to school. Thankfully I'm working night shifts.

Will I finish my homework? Over the summer I'm supposed to finish my Research Investigation (which I never really started at school), do my Extended Essay (because I know I'd rather prioritize other things, such as having incredible conversations, once I'm back on campus), and at the very least do the research for my Anthropology Internal Assessment, because I'm planning on conducting it in Norway. That is all. Here is a list I made with reasons for me to do my homework over the summer:

  • Sense of Completion 
  • Fear of failure is just that - a fear, it's valid but not real
  • I'll have more time to spend on good things later
  • I told people I would (now this one is even more real)
  • It will be a burden off my shoulders
  • I get to exercise my brain and work my English 
There it is, in public. Now I really have to do it. Meanwhile, have photos. 


Plains yes! 

Occasionally very pretty here

How I like to spend my free time


Bubble Tea Yes

Pre-storm selfie

During/post storm


3 am

Went back to my middle school and took a selfie. Look at me now, middle school.

Summer love,