Tour to Western Denmark
On Monday, I went on my first adventure outside of Copenhagen with my Children with Special Needs class.
My tour started off less well than I planned—it began with only getting 3 1/2 hours of sleep on Sunday night, then missing my 6 AM train on Monday morning, which resulted in my class leaving without me on the bus to western Denmark. I frantically asked the man who was overseeing the study tour buses if there was anything I could do to meet up with my group, since I knew that many other classes were also traveling to the same cities. Thankfully, there was a bus full of business students who were travelling to the same town, and we met up with my bus along the way.
The first place we visited was a small nursery for children ages 0–7. Here we learned about some alternative ways for small children to learn and develop important skills. I noticed that the kids were much less protected than they are in US schools. For example, we saw a group of three and four year olds gather around a bonfire singing songs with their teacher, while others ran around the play structure with no supervision. A less tired Nicki would have much more to say about this place, but I must admit that I zoned out for quite a bit of the tour (note to self: get more sleep the night before you’re going to do important things).
After that, we toured an interesting Danish history museum, and I perked up a little bit. I was thankful for the two hour bus ride that allowed me to catch up on a little bit of sleep. I think that might be one of the only times I was able to actually sleep on a bus.
My favorite part of the trip was when we visited Egmont Højskolen, a school where disabled and able-bodied adults learn and live together. This Højskole was similar to the one I live at in Helsingør in that the students take whatever classes they are most interested in, and they do not get grades. However, at Egmont, each able-bodied student works as an assistant to a student with disabilities in order to give everyone an equal opportunity to a great education at the højskole. We participated in a fun game of wheelchair basketball (fun even though I leaned backward and fell over), met a few very interesting people, stayed in awesome apartments, and got a tiny glimpse at the struggles that impaired people face every day. I wish we had spent more time here, and I would definitely go back if I were given the opportunity.
The next day, we went to an…interesting…children’s science museum that had many odd, um, artifacts? (Don’t know if that’s the right word to use.) Some of them included worms, (hopefully not ACTUALLY used) tampons and condoms, and live rats. We also went to a cute little arts and crafts center, where we used recycled goods for some fun assignments. My small group was assigned to make a domino trail that made no noise; however, most of my group thought we were supposed to make a domino TRAIN, and we proceeded to making a noiseless train with paper dominoes taped to it. I spent the evening with Riley and Cassandra, and we went to a yummy restaurant called Froggie’s.
This morning, we went to a playground where there were sheep and goats and a fun zipline. We gleefully took turns zipping across, glad for the opportunity to be like children again. Later on, we toured the Hans Christian Anderson museum, and I learned that he was a very, very weird man. Apparently he used to carry around a rope with him everywhere he slept, because he was afraid that a fire would start during the night, and he would be able to use the rope to escape. Anyways, after the museum, we headed home.
My other favorite part of this trip was getting to bond with my classmates in my Children with Special Needs class. I got to know them very well in the past three days, and I can’t wait to get to spend even more time with them as the semester goes on!
My unpacked bag and my bed are calling me now, but I will write again on Sunday ☺