I think by now I have successfully hyped Wednesday up because its onsdagssnegle day, but it is also an awesome day because it is field study day at DIS! Some Wednesdays you will have a field study, or two field studies. These experiences take your learning out of the classroom into a setting where you can tangibly see your lessons in action.
Last week I had my first double field study Wednesday. I would say my day was marked by venison and a gymnasium. Classic combo right.
In the morning I had my Anthropology of Food field study. We started by watching a documentary called “Tomorrow” (trailer). It highlighted some scarily real topics about the environmental changes the globe is facing. The first portion was about how supporting and building smaller and organic farms can drastically reduce the carbon footprint currently emitted from mass food production techniques. The second part focused on preserving energy, and showed examples of cities currently doing great work in that department … and of course Copenhagen had its own segment! I felt like a proud study abroad student for choosing and supporting such a sustainable, proactive city. My heart is swelling (also breaking because as of today I only have one month left!! We aren’t talking about that until I touch down in Boston Logan International Airport!!!!). But-Copenhagen has the aspiration of being carbon neutral by 2025. And Denmark wishes the same for the entire country by 2050.
After that film we watched a quick video about a chef who used to be a vegan, but now instead hunts for all of the meat he eats. A total 180º. By hunting for his own food though, he is getting the freshest food possible all while reducing the typical environmental effects of eating meat. We cooked exactly what he made in the clip! There was a photographer from DIS present during our cooking time and we were sent all of the images so you’ll see some soon.
Were we all scared when our teacher told us we were eating raw meat and a sauce that was based on raw egg? Yes. But did we eat the entire batch leaving absolutely no left overs? Also, yes.
My friend and I were on sauce duty. We measured and added the ingredients in increments while we blended the estragon leaves which looked suspiciously just like grass. We were honestly like lawnmowers.
Our prof suggested we go outside in the cold to eat to be more in touch with nature. She also had music playing in the background and I realized it was Ben Howard on repeat and if you know me, you know that jeg ELSKER, I LOVE, Ben Howard. I truly believe listening to Ben Howard can cure any physical ailment you may have. I used to think the mind body connection was fake until I used Ben Howard’s music as a prescription, prescribed to myself by myself. Ben Howard. Every Kingdom. Deluxe Edition. Go listen to it. Please. I promise it will enhance your life x1000.
Anyway, the combination of the food that we all prepared together, being outside in the crisp air, and having Ben Howard playing in the background made for quite the lunch experience.
all photos above credit to DIS photographer
After lunch, I made my way to my Danish Language & Culture Field Study. Our field study brought us to a gymnasium in the greater Copenhagen area. A gymnasium in Denmark is not the same as one in America. Think of a gymnasium more as a high school setting. It’s a secondary education school in Denmark. The students that we interacted with were in their 2nd year of gymnasium and were about 17 years old. This is the final portion of their education before they take their gap year, which many students do, and/or head to university.
Us Americans were sitting in the classroom while the Danish students rolled in. They were so fashionable. It made me contrast to what a lot of students in my high school would wear to class…leggings and sweatpants with moccasins. And then some girls asked me if I knew any Danish. I was so intimidated that all I could say is “Jeg hedder Gwen”, my name is Gwen. But Gwen is a difficult name to have here since “w” does not exist in the Danish language. I always say “like Gwen Stefani” hoping that will help when giving my name, especially at coffee shops haha. The purpose of our field study was simply to talk to the students, and exchange cultural perceptions and experiences of the two countries.
We were then split up into mixed groups of Americans and Danes, and given some money to get a snack in the area. My group of Danish students brought us to a nearby candy shop where they helped us pick out the most Danish candies there. We walked over to a picnic table near the gymnasium and just chatted. Our topics ranged the differences in drinking culture, expectations for our future, price of education, marriage and divorce rates, attention to political events, thoughts on the healthcare system, and more. I genuinely love talking to Danish people when I can to hear firsthand what they think about their own country and what they think about America. The students spoke about gap years and the social acceptableness of taking one. They were surprised to hear we couldn’t drink back home even though we are 20 years old. They asked us if we liked Trump, and I was so impressed to hear how much they keep up with politics outside of their country. One student left early to go to the doctor, and he gave his insight on the healthcare system, telling how much he trusted his doctor’s opinion. He said he really doubted that any Danish boy or girl would change their GP, or not trust them. The whole time, the conversations felt very comfortable as both sides were genuinely so interested in the others’ answers. We came back to their classroom at the end to give small presentations. The students were all so energetic and joking around with their teacher, who they referred to by his first name. At the end, we took a picture and exchanged Instagrams. They said I could use this picture here:
This Wednesday was definitely one of my most memorable Wednesdays of the semester, as I sit here on this current Wednesday studying for my Danish final ahhh! Until next time,