Beyond the Books

I love my classes here.

When my professors teach, their eyes sparkle with excitement, and they exude an infectious passion about the subjects they teach. Why is that? Perhaps it is because Mette, who teaches Photojournalism, is actually a freelance photojournalist currently working on a photography book about Las Vegas. Or because Kristian, who teaches Equality in Scandinavia, has worked at the European Union and for a former Danish Prime Minister. Many of the professors at DIS actually do what they teach.

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Visiting the Danish Parliament

Birgitte, an interior designer and my New Nordic design teacher, doesn’t waste her breath. Every word she uses has meaning. Every sentence is painted together beautifully like a poem. It’s clean, comforting, and beautiful all at the same time. Just like the Denmark I’ve encountered in these first weeks. Tomorrow, we will be visiting the Royal Danish Armory Museum together to learn about authenticity in design.

Speaking of field trips, yesterday I had my first field study. I visited the Danish Parliament with my Equality in Scandinavia class and heard a member of the Social Democrats speak about the welfare state and issues on immigration. It was eye-opening to hear that although Denmark is perceived as “liberal,” certain issues such as immigration are still quite controversial and conservative. According to him, people fear that the welfare system will break down because there are too many refugees, many of whom cannot work and contribute to the system. I was a little taken aback and am still processing my thoughts about some of the things he said (and the current state of our world), so stay tuned. But now I know from an honest point of view, the opinions of some Danes, which I wouldn’t have by simply poring over textbooks.

One of the best parts about classes here at DIS is that we go beyond the books. I not only feel the material first-hand from the energy of my teachers, but I also see the things I learn about in the classroom on the nearly weekly field studies. It’s such a rare experience, and I hope to take in as much as I can while I’m here.

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