Monday, February 8, 2010

Short Study Tour

This past weekend I went on my short study tour. The short study tour is where DIS puts all 700 students on buses and we disperse throughout Denmark for three days, Thursday through Saturday.

On my tour (children with special needs) we went to Helsingør and Odense. We spent the time going to different schools to see how children with special needs are treated within the school and then we also went to some things that were more for culture appreciation and fun.

In the first town we went to a Byskole which is basically a typical Danish school..well they did have children with special needs, but their integration if you can call it that was the children were completely sperated except for recess. They were very proud of their system but I was no impressed, mainly because any and all disorders are treated exactly the same. This meant that the blind girl, the autisitc boy, and the boys with ADHD were all treated exactly the same and I don't think that a child with ADHD should be kept separate from the "normal" students.

That day we also went to a Højskole. A Højskole is the non-traditional school for people who want to learn more. These people can be deciding what they want to go to college for or they can be the gandma who wants to learn how to paint, it doesn't matter. The people that attend the school typically live there and take classes that interest them for either a semester or a year. There are no grades and no testing because it is for your own benefit.

Another school that we went to was kind of like a private school and the kids (in all grades) were working on a project of America! It was so neat; they made a diner with the typical "american" food aka hotdog, hamburgers, budlight and cupcakes. They were also putting on a production of Greece! It was so adorable and I was quite impressed at how the seven year olds were working with the sixteen year olds!

The last school that we went to on our trip was desinged for only children with special needs and every student has an IQ of less than 70. It was so different to see the materials and things that the school had for the children to do. For example one of the "classes" that they have is woodshop; with the chainsaws, drills, and all that other stuff that no one in America would dare to let a child touch, much less a child classified with speical needs.

We did a few other things that day but the last "event" we had was a symphony orchestra. It was interesting and nice, but we we're all too tierd to sit and listen to music so I stayed awake by watching the man in the front row continously break the strings on his bow to the violin.

Oh yeah and before the symphony we went to "the ugly ducking" restaurant. It was cute, but I must say I'm still not used to this whole being legal to drink and it stunned me when Rita, our teacher, bought us all drinks.

After the symphony we went to a bar, but nothing was happening yet so we all went to the 711 and bought drinks and went sight seeing :)

The next day was less eventful mainly because it was a Saturday and a general rule of thumb is that schools are closed on the weekends. We went to the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, the one for kids and the one for grown ups, and I must say the one for kids was a thousand times better. If you are wondering who is this man and why we went to two museums about him, he is the creator of stories such as:

  • The Little Mermaid

  • The Ugly Duckling (hince the restaurant we went to)

  • The Princess and the Pea

  • Thumbelina
  • and like 100 others (no joke)

The kids museum was amazing because it was set up like you were in a fariy tale and everyone dressed up (yes all of the american college students dressed up like princesses, cows, chickens and knights) and it made us all feel like we were little kids again :)

The weekend was a blast and we ate sooo much! Every place we went to gave us hot chocolate, tea, coffee, bread, and danishes.

After I got home only the host brother and his friend were home. So they made me dinner and we just talked for hours on end until I finally passed out at like 2am.

So the pictures below include one taken at the orchestra...the man towards the right looking backwards is the man I continuously watched. The other was taken at the Tinder-Box (the H.C. Andersen Museum for kids).

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