It’s been a little while since I last wrote, and a lot has happened. Well, not a huge amount besides my trip to Copenhagen this past weekend, but it feels like I’ve been constantly busy – mostly with school, which is pretty annoying but I guess that’s why I’m here in the first place.
This week we really delved into a lot of our major work – we started having critiques with studio professors about our projects (pretty dull) and had to start seminar readings (also dull) and I had to keep trying to learn German (not dull but definitely challenging). One interesting thing we did was visit the History Museum, which exhibits most of modern German history (post-WWII). It covered a lot of German history I wasn’t really familiar with but had a lot of really nice exhibits. The week really wore me down, but sadly, this week will be harder. I have significant due dates almost every day and my week is booked with school-related activities all day, every day. Needless to say, I will be really excited to see this weekend roll around just so I can sleep.
I’m having a hard time concentrating on school or anything related partly because I am in Europe where there are a variety of more interesting things to see and do at any given point, but also because it’s the beginning of my 5th year. After working my ass off every semester for the past 4, including summers where I pushed myself to get internships and travel to Africa to study for 6 weeks, I am absolutely burnt out. I feel like I have no creative juice left in me whatsoever, so I suppose it’s good that this is my last semester. Speaking of which, this week I had to submit my “Intent to Graduate” (it’s just clicking a button on the computer, not really a big deal, but it sounds like it is). It was pretty weird seeing this pop up on my computer:
Knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel (even if that light is work and the real world) is a pretty strange feeling after all this time at Penn State. I am very ready to leave and move on, but it’s still an odd feeling to prepare to close that chapter of my life.
I finally got to do my first weekend travel this past weekend, when I went to Copenhagen with my friend Kari. It really felt like an escape of sorts… it was nice to break free from the group for a bit and explore somewhere entirely new. Our friend Michelle is studying there as well this semester so it was cool to visit her and hang out for a bit. I don’t know if I had any real expectations going into Copenhagen but I really enjoyed it. The city was big but extremely pedestrian/cyclist friendly. We walked absolutely everywhere on Friday and Saturday, so I am really exhausted.
On Friday, we got up veryyy early to catch a train in Bonn to Frankfurt Airport. We caught a plane to Copenhagen around 9:30 AM and got into Copenhagen around 11 AM. Everything went absolutely perfectly, which was refreshing after the hellish ordeal that it was getting to Germany from the US. We successfully navigated the metro system after that to get to our stop for our hostel, but finding it was another story. We followed the directions we were given which led us to a large building at the correct address, but it seemed all wrong… when we walked inside, we realized that this was because it was actually an elementary school. We quickly backed out of there and wandered around the building confused for about 10 minutes until a nice man came and told us we had to continue down the alley to find our hostel. We dropped our bags off and went to meet our friend Michelle at the city hall. When we arrived, there was a huge mass of men dressed up as vikings. Why they were doing this is still up for debate (theories include the Copenhagen “Oktoberfest” and a celebration of graduation from the police academy), but they were having (foam) sword fights and drinking and singing. Before we could do anything, we were forcibly picked up by some of the vikings and carried to their King to be “sacrificed”. This meant kneeling down before the King and taking a shot of a Jaeger-like liquor, so all in all, not too bad. When Michelle arrived she was immediately “sacrificed” as well. It was a pretty hilarious way to start the day.
We spent the rest of the day walking absolutely everywhere – all through the shops and the harbor and even down to Christiania, a commune/independent state that is devoted to lawlessness and weed, mostly. It was an interesting walk through, we weren’t allowed to really take pictures but it was full of bright colors and some cool art and stuff so it was worth seeing. Later in the afternoon we went and took a quick break at the hostel and then went to Michelle’s dorm to hang out and go out for the night. We went to an area called the Meat Packing District, which is essentially a lot of old warehouses converted to clubs. We were out pretty late and by the time we made it back to the hostel I had been awake nearly 24 hours, so I promptly passed out.
Saturday we decided to visit Tivoli Gardens, which is the second oldest amusement park in the world. It has a variety of attractions: thrill rides, restaurants, ice cream parlors, performing arts areas, and beautiful landscaping. It was Dog Day, which only happens once or twice a year… the park lets everyone bring their dogs in to hang out and they have obstacle courses and things for them to do, which is pretty hilarious. As dog lovers, we were realllyyy excited about this because there were 600-800 dogs there. So that obviously made the whole experience just a little better. We went back to the hostel afterwards and decided to just hang out there and meet some new people. We ended up having a few drinks and playing pool with some nice people from Sweden, Finland, the UK, and two US kids. It was really interesting to talk to so many different people from different places. After an exhausting weekend though, we passed out rather early.
Which leaves us with today. We spent most of the day traveling home and now I’m exhausted and have a long day and week ahead of me. I should have been doing work since I’ve been home, but I decided I’d rather upload my pictures. So here are a few. I probably won’t update again until Thursday once this hell week is over, so until then, wish me luck and tschüss!