Living in Denmark brings new surprises every day, and mostly good ones at that.
Wednesdays at DIS are field study days, meaning we often visit places or learn about things related to our course material in a context outside of the classroom. As much as I applaud the concept, it’s definitely hard to get out of bed on a day that you know will be jam packed from 9 am to 4pm.
My first field study for my conspiracy theories class was simply meeting with a journalist who had just won a libel case brought against him after he wrote an editorial that called a 9/11 denier a “crackpot.” But it’s definitely worth noting that DIS professor have a tendency to bring Pastries to class for students from time to time, and today was no exception.
Luckily I had an extra hour after my first field study, which I spent trying to make an itinerary for my first travel break. I didn’t think that I would be able to make it to Cork, the city in the south of Ireland where a lot of my extended family lives, but my generous aunts blew me away by helping me both with booking and on the financial side of things.
For my second field study of the day I headed to Østerport (east gate) station, which despite its name actually marks a northern point in urban Copenhagen, not an easterly point. From there we toured Nyboder, the Citadel and Amalienborg palace. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring a camera along to illustrate the iconic-ness of these landmarks. I’m not going to write a long boring description of the historical significance of these buildings etc etc etc, but if suits your fancy, I can tell you an obscene amount about Copenhagen’s early urban planning and city fortifications.
As much as the field studies are interesting and useful, it was a long day, and the first thing I wanted when I got off the train was a cup of tea, and for it to be dinner time already.
Dinner at Krogerup is served at 6pm. Everyday. On the dot. But today when the doors to the dining hall opened, they revealed a very different sight than the buffet set up we’re accustomed to for meals. All of the tables had been covered with white table clothes and there was already an appetizer set at every place and bottles of wine on every table. The principle, Rikke (who is truly inspiring and positively radiates joy and excitement) told us that they wanted to surprise us with a nice meal and time for relaxation and hygge before we all leave for our travels. During the month of October, the students at the højskole will be traveling to assorted locations (Mexico, Burma, China, Hollywood, etc) depending on their classes. The six DIS students will also be traveling at various times, so this is essentially quality time before we spend a month separated. We’ve all mourned over how lonely the month will feel, and already planned our joyous reunions for the end of October, but the busy second month will probably fly by as fast as the first did.
Today’s dinner is just one of the many joyful experiences that I’ve encountered as a result of living at højskole. I’ve also been lucky enough to learn about Danish politics and international relations from several different viewpoints, participate in weekly (multilingual) choir, and be teased incessantly about my inability to pronounce Danish words. Every day reminds me to be thankful for that little bit of spontaneity that spurned me to email DIS just 3 weeks before departure saying that I WOULD, in fact, enjoy living in a folkehøjskole.