Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Books and stuff

This is a picture of the school from inside. Most of my classes will be in this building - Copenhagen Business School has about five or six buildings. I have one class way over on the other side of campus, but other than that - I'll be in this fancy building. Next week they have a career fair here, I hope to attend and make some networking connections. Did you know the unemployment rate in Denmark is 0%, according to the international office director, Denmark has 60,000 jobs that go unfilled. Yet they wouldn't give me a work permit (even for ten hours, like they do in the UK!).

Had my first class - similar to America, which I was glad off, there is just a lot of reading involved here. I think I'm going to do what I did in the States, not read every word but get the gist of the context, otherwise I'll never leave my room.

In the bent of books - Super J, my lovely friend, tagged me for a book memo, so here it is!
Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?
My sister can attest to this - Lord of the Rings.

If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), whso would they be and what would the event be? oh this is a tough one, but I think I would love to have a day out with Harry Potter, Ginny Weasley and Elizabeth Bennett.

(Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realize it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?
A boring book...if it wasn't a school textbook I'd have to say The Great Gatsby, God if I have to read that again, I'll kill!

Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?
Generally people think I've read more about religious texts than I truly have, sadly.

You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Adviser to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why? (If you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead and personalize the VIP).
Actually a book that I found really riveting is "Beating the House" about these kids from MIT who beat the big Vegas casinos (by this intricate way of counting cards) - it was a best seller though I can't remember the name of the author, really interesting. I've heard of people who are generally non-readers loving this book.

A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with? Urdu

A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick? This one's easy: James and the Giant Peach, by Ronald Dahl

So far away I can't tag anyone, feel free to play along on your blog or leave me a comment!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Orientation Week at Copenhagen Business School

Orientation week is completed - I've been in Denmark for seven whole days! The pictures above are from the last event of Orientation week, a canal tour of Copenhagen. Houseboats lining the canal, so very Danish and the other is the Royal Church, framed by the Royal Palace (the buildings on the side, the Danish have an interesting Royal Home, four sections - I'll try to get better pictures later on, this is just the view from the water).

Orientation week has been fun! I've gotten to met A LOT OF people - from all different parts of the world, all exchange students. Amazingly there are, I would say, an even ratio of Canadians to Americans. I have to think its because the Canadians are use to this absolutely COLD weather (on a side note I have completely succumbed to this temperature and am currently nursing a cold, joy).

Regarding Orientation week, we had Danish language crash courses in the morning and in the evening some social event. One night was ice skating (which I loved), outdoors in the city centre (right next to where I live), it was lovely, of course again the Canadians showed everyone up, skating so fast and doing tricks. The Danish Orientation team than gave all of us free hot drinks (I had to ask for an alcohol free alternative, this is one thing I miss from America, here they drink A LOT and generally don't have anything without alcohol, except water).

Another night we had international dinner in which every student brought a dish from their home country (I made brownies, but the winners were the Irish stew, the Korean beef and the French something - I didn't get to try it so beats me what it was). I have to say the American table was done quite nicely, we had PB&J, sloppy joes, mac & cheese, potato chips, fries and grilled cheese sandwiches (no McDonalds). I also thought the Germans and the Canadians had lovely and large spreads (the Canadians are a hoot, they had made this dish with cream cheese and jam in the image of their flag). My friends at the Singapore table made a good dish as well, chicken curry, tasted perfectly Indian - I say the Singaporians were robbed!

Last night was a bang, a party at the school. I got dressed up and danced the night away. It was enjoyable to talk with people outside of class. Its funny how some undergrad's behave when they are intoxicated, since here in Denmark they can all legally drink, aye.

Finally the week ended today with the canal trip - it was lovely but frigidly cold!! I tried to take a few pictures from the outside deck but spent the later half of the tour inside the boat just watching from a window. We passed by some houses that were just gorgeous, that had been built right up to the canal, so the people living there could walk down some steps and be in the water, how cool! My favorite was the homes that were a little above the water line, these locations had those swimming ladders on the side of the wooden planks that make up the canal and these ladders lead into the canal (though I can't imagine anytime in Denmark when the water is swim able?)

One week down, I'm enjoying myself despite the illness - school starts next week - I have to keep reminding myself that I'm here to study, not just play around (smile).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen!!

I've made it!!! I'm in Copenhagen Denmark!! Fairly settled into life here, the immediate above picture is the view of my street when I'm walking down. Isn't it great?! I live in a really POSH part of town - its right off the main center square (Kongens Nytorv), think living in a street right off of Times Square or Picadilly Circus. Amazing, no?! I am loving this location!!! Its one block from the Royal Theater and about three blocks from the Royal Palace. I live in a single with my own bathroom, which is nice. My view is outside to the main street, very lovely, very Bridget Jones girl living in the city (which has always been my dream). Its a small room, but I like to think its cozy.

I'm still settling in, thankfully my internet works beautifully (particularly in light of the fact that I don't have either a television or radio in my room). I've had to invest in a pay-as-you-go cell phone, but this means that I have two phones here in Denmark, my American number still works and a new Danish number.

So far everyone has been amazingly nice, everyone in Denmark, both Danish and international visitors has been so kind. In my building we are an eclectic bunch, my next door neighbor is German, a few Americans also on the floor. Up one floor is one girl from England, a guy from Scotland, one from Canada, one from Czech Republic and one from Ireland. And everyone has still not moved in, so there will be more interesting residents coming in throughout this week.

Danish orientation classes (where I'm learning Danish) have been fun as well - meeting more people, mostly undergrad's, but all very nice. Also, regarding my regular school work, which starts next week, I have gotten almost all the business classes I wanted, super! For the first two months I'll only have two classes, but for the first part of April I'll be slammed with four courses (but only for two weeks, as some finish and some start).

Already I've meet someone in the Copenhagen Business School Muslim Student Assocation, so hopefully I'll meet more and more people through this venue and I went to the Anglican English church up the road from me this past Sunday - it was lovely. I know I'm not Christian, but I really enjoyed the English language service and everyone was so nice, I think I'm going to try to go as much as possible, if only for the fellowship (besides if you ask me praise to God in whatever form is good, no?).

Right this has been an incredibly long post - just wanted to let all my fabulous friends know I have arrived in Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Royal Corgis and stuff

Two days till Copenhagen - eeck! I'm almost packed, just finishing up some last minute details...I'm sure I'll forget something but thankfully Denmark is a modern Western country, so hopefully I can find what I'm missing over there. I just pray it is not too cold, aye!

On a different note...read some gossip that Prince William (one of my biggest long-standing crushes!) may soon propose to his girlfriend of many years, Kate Middleton. I'm so excited for them, young love and they seem so cute together. Plus it has always been my wish to be in England when they get married. Finally, I was watching a documentary on Windsor Castle on PBS today and the Queen had all her corgis around. They were so cute, I could just bend down and cuddle them and mind you I've never been much of a dog person (ask any of my high school friends). A good friend of mine has a corgi and I credit her and another close friend for helping me get over my doggie fear. This friend's particular corgi is so cute and lovable, very sweet and very well behaved. I've finally realized this dog is not going to bit me. How very royal of me!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Four Days and Counting

It is just four days till I leave for Copenhagen and this morning I woke up with a fever. Swell. I spent the whole day at home, popping ibuprofen like it was going out of style - must get well asap! I really don't want to be traveling sick, plus have lots to do before leaving, aye!

My sister came home this evening with sad news - she was let go. I feel so bad. This is her second job in two years. Personally I think she is a good person with good skill sets but is being mismatched or scapegoated with these companies. She is an IT professional. Also, I'm not sure she is cut out for the world of non-government, personally I think she should work for the government where ass-kissing is a little bit less. I think part of her problem is that she is not a good politician, she doesn't play well in office politics and that is half of the job, no? Maybe if she had brown-nosed more, her manager would have been willing to keep her, despite her not knowing all these particular IT programs???

I just don't know what to do...I feel horrible that she feels horrible and also I feel like I'm leaving the family in a time of crisis. I've given her some options, some companies I have contacts with, as well trying to maintain optimism around her, but what else can I do?

I'm striving to stay faithful throughout this time, trying to reason that God continues to love us and that this has happened for a reason, from Him, as chaplains are wont to speak. I'm working hard not to go into my usual doubts of "Why God, why?" All I can say is that it is a tough journey.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Has the Media Learned Nothing??

Two things about the media today that just annoyed the heck out of me:
1. 17% of the New Hampshire precincts are in and already the media is ready to almost call the primary and to write off a candidate. Have we learned nothing from the 2000 presidential election?? Aye, aye, aye, can we wait until say, oh I don't know 50% of precincts are in before making a judgement call? Also why is the national media writing off John Edwards, he didn't do badly in New Hampshire or Iowa and I still maintain that he is a viable candidate. As for my two cents about New Hampshire, God Bless you little blue state, but truly, you are not indicative of the larger nation and as you tend to consistently go blue and are surrounded by like-minded blue states, I don't think many take their cue from New Hampshire (see the fact that McCain won for the Republicans, bet you a nickel he doesn't do that well down here in the Bible-belt, illegal immigrate hating South - Republican country).

2. In the Northern Virginia area we woke up this morning to find out that Redskin coach Joe Gibbs is retiring. If you were not aware, the DC metro area is all about the Redskins (our NFL football team), I think it has something to do with the fact that the Redskins are the only local team that have won a championship (Wizards, nope, Capitals, nope, Nationals, nope). Our local Fox station preempted regular program for three hours to cover this "breaking news." Are you freaking kidding me?! Three hours because a football coach is retiring - what the heck is wrong with this picture?! Yeah fine, its Redskin country but THREE HOURS?! Come on, there are people dying in the world, our soldiers in Iraq don't even get this much television time. Priorities people, sad statement about Fox's priorities.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Missing Monday

Date/Time: April 21, 2005 at about 11:00 AM

White male, 61 years old, 5’10”, 150 lbs., Brown hair and hazel eyes, last seen walking northbound Richmond Highway between Telegraph Road and Pohick Road in Fort Belvoir.

Mr. Richard Lyon was reported missing after he failed to contact anyone in his family. He suffers from emotional and other mental problems which were being treated with medications. It has been several weeks since he has taken any medications and may be in distress.

He owns a silver 4 door 2001 Toyota Camary with Virginia registration JME-4385, which appears to be missing at this time.


I know I've put this guy's picture up before but it just breaks my heart that he is still missing - I can't even begin to imagine how families get any closure (sorry for the PC word) with a loved one missing...may God send this man back to his home very soon, amen.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Iowa Primaries

oh come on you know I had to blog about this...I've been obsessed with my man John Edwards and more importantly the future of this country for a long time and I've made no secret of my political leanings.

I was going out to dinner with some friends tonight and as I drove out of my neighborhood all I could think was that there is no way in hades that I can endure another four more years of some extreme Republican administration - so for me there was a lot riding on tonight's Iowa primary (because we Democrats need a candidate who can win the general election!).

Perhaps I'm even more fired up than usual because this past Sunday I was watching that documentary "Jesus Camp" about the evangelical summer camps for children. It was a disturbing movie...I think what bothered me most was how they seem to brain-wash these kids with the adults views on religion and politics. I was appalled by this pro-life guy they brought in and how he said "we have to eliminate abortion," because in my mind I feel like before we work on that abstract rather un-affecting issue why don't we instead work to eliminate poverty, child abuse including child labor and the sex-trade, which has a terrible effect on a larger number of people around the world than abortion. Isn't that what Christ (pbuh) would want?? And it is the same people who run this summer camp who are currently running this country...which is frightening and I'm tired of their chilling effect freedom and liberty.

But I digress....I'm fairly pleased with the Iowa results, though would have loved if Edwards won outright, but glad Hilary came in third. She really is not a viable candidate and if we Democrats make her our nominee we will lose again (see Virginia Gal running around pulling her hair screaming "not four more years of a Republican president!!!!"). Hilary is too polarizing. I'm sorry for those of you who live in blue states and disagree, but come to my neck of the woods (in mixed red/blue state Virginia) and you would see that people either adore her or vehemently dislike her. Whereas with Edwards and Obama there is not that passionate hate and therefore these two candidates have the potential to garner votes from either Independents or those dissatisfied with G.W. and the Republican party.

My only hope for Edwards is that while it looks like Obama is going strong, Edwards might make a comeback on Super Tuesday and in South Carolina. If he (Edwards) should not win the presidential nomination for the Democrats, than the Obama camp will consider John Edwards as a running mate (cause I really like him and his family and much of what he stands for and would love to see him in some higher office).

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. " ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

In three weeks I head to Copenhagen, Denmark, for my spring study abroad, can't wait!!! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season - will write more later this week, till than, may this year the sun shine all day long, everything go right and nothing wrong and may all your wishes come true!