School Talk 2013: Nobody told me I would actually have to study whilst studying abroad.


Hvordan har du det?

I am sorry about my slacking off on the blog in the last week. I have been on the injured reserve list with the foot so my explorations have been limited.  Also, by some incredible flaw in the system, I have had a ton of actual work. I am talking Claremont level homework. Total rip… I know. Work is interesting here, you generally have less per class, but I am taking 5 classes, have family obligations, and spend too much time on trains and bikes and what not so I end up feeling as busy or more busy at some points than at CMC.

Since I have been nerding out the last few days, I decided I might as well embrace it and post a bit about what is happening in each class. Help give an idea what going to school in the Copenhagens is all about and all that.

Without further adieu, I present:

School Talk 2013: Nobody told me I would actually have to study whilst studying abroad.

Globalization and European Economies: This is my core class and we are going on a little class trip to Paris and Brussels next week. NBD. More than a little excited for that. We are studying European integration right now, which is a really cool topic that (surprisingly) I am actually interested in. So like Denmark refused to join the Euro even though it not joining can mostly only hurt the country economically. The stubborn Danes liked having the Queens face all over the currency, so they decided not to join despite having pegged their currency to the Euro.  Very weird and slightly concerning nationalistic decision.  The eurozone is a strange economic model and is cool to look at and think how this could apply to an eventual world integration. More on all the awesome stuff we do on our study tour to come.

Religion in Crisis: 19th Century European Thought: My one philosophy class more the Phil part of my Phil/Econ majors. This class is tough. The whole class is on Hegel, one of the hardest philosophers to read and understand. Basically Hegel gave a series of lectures to students in the early 19th century in which he tried to defend religion from enlightenment attacks. He tries to demonstrate using science (just weird BS philosophy) that Christianity not only makes sense, but is the one true religion. It is actually a cool class but really tough. We go through a bunch of major religions and Hegel explains how they are all leading to Christianity. We have a test this week on Magic and Tribal Religions, Ancient Chinese Religions, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, and Egyptian Religions. Learning the basics of all of these is pretty important so I am glad I took this class at the Copenhagen University.

This is a quote from our study guide to give you an idea what we are dealing with here:

“Therefore, to thinking reason, God is not emptiness, but Spirit; and this characteristic of Spirit does not remain for it a word only, or a superficial characteristic; on the contrary, the nature of Spirit unfolds itself for rational thought, inasmuch as it apprehends God as essentially the Triune God. Thus God is conceived of as making Himself an object to Himself an object, and further, the object remains in this distinction in identity with God; in it God loves Himself. Without this characteristic of Trinity, God would not be Spirit, and Spirit would be an empty word.”  Chew on that!

Behavioral Economics: European Case Studies: This is a pretty standard Behavioral Econ class we look at how people act in irrational ways despite economics saying they should be rational. I am also going in to town to work on a project today about people’s willingness to cooperate in a second task after being given a prize for the first task versus after volunteering in the first task. Interesting stuff. Working on how people have no idea of what something should cost, so they will often base their decision on the prices already listed and just pick a product priced slightly lower than the average. Silly humans.

European Storytelling: From Homer to Harry Potter: I have been completely taken by surprise at how much I have enjoyed this class. We started out with fairy tale origins and are now working on Nordic (Thor!) and Greek Myths.  We are studying the patterns that different types of theories almost always take, and how cultures all over the world have different versions of the same tales. Trying to look at whether these tales express common internal themes of the human psyche, or just always evolve into familiar patterns. I spent all day yesterday writing nine pages on why my favorite book, Ender’s Game, redefined the Hero’s Journey as set out by Joseph Campbell. I argue that Ender’s Game along with increased moral ambiguity in the modern world brought the slew of dark heroes (Dark Knight, Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Man of Steel, etc..) that we see in movies these days. Other cool takeaway from this class is learning about the gruesome origins of most modern fairy tales.

Danish Language and Culture: Danish is the hardest language ever. Nothing sounds like it is written, and Americans can not pronounce like half of the sounds that Danes have. That said, this class is a blast, our teacher is an awesome older guy who really cares about us and we have fun every class. We go on awesome culture trips and do a ton of fun stuff in class. Even though the overlords at CMC required this class, I am glad I am taking it. It is cool to be able to have basic conversations with Danes, and Danish culture is incredibly strange and interesting, and knowing the language helps to understand it.

Summary: For the most part I really like my classes here. The teaching styles are different, and the classes are much less theoretical. Good and bad of both styles. Too be honest, CMC is extremely stingy and I had a pretty limited selection of courses I could get credit for. If I was just studying what I wanted instead of getting college credits, my classes would be a little bit less dull. They have awesome choices here.

These include:

Football in Catalonia: Study soccer’s impact on Barcelona culture and take a trip to Barca

Danish Urban Design

Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism

Economics of Crime

Mergers and Acquisitions

Al-Qaida and Intelligence Analysis

History of Polar Discovery

Islam, Discovery, and Gender

Neuroscience of Fear

Neuroscience of Human Consciousness: The Feeling of Being

Nordic Culinary Culture

Public Health Ethics

From Religious Mythos to Philosophical Logos

A million other trips you can go on with classes like Literary London. These are just the ones that look cool to me but there are a ton of others.

Time to do a group project.

Hej Hej (Bye)




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