Lo and behold – Lotta has returned safe, albeit not completely soundly from his escapades to more civilized parts of the place we call Norway. It would appear that your behavior in my short absence has been spotless, which, you know, makes me all warm and fuzzy. Come to think of it, I’ve been feeling quite extraordinarily warm and fuzzy all day long. Yesterdays school trip to Trondheim was in my opinion a booming success and I had lots of fun in many more ways than I’ll mention in this little blog post of mine.
It all started early in the morning, like accounts of school trips often does. The left for Trondheim at half past ten, which of course meant that the school filled the two first lessons of the day with the dimwitted youth-program called “MOT” (translated meaning: “COURAGE” or “VALOR” or “Don’t do Drugs, Don’t let Yourself Get Pushed Around and for God’s Sake: Don’t Push Anyone Else Around As Well!”). I’ve been subject to the terror of “MOT” for five continuous years now and while I appreciate the values they’re installing in Norwegian Youth, I feel like there comes a time when being battered over the head with the same message gets a little old. You’d think that they’d realize that it’d either sunk in by now and if it hadn’t we we’re probably just too fucked up get rehabilitated by a stranger with a false smile. Anyways, I put up with it cause I like their premise, even if the execution of teachings are, as mentioned, not very effective.
This time around they gave us a piece of wood (upon which point I started giggling with my friends as we reenacted the infamous Monty Python sketch) that the instructor called “Our Dice of Values”. He showed us his Dice, upon which he had written what meant the most to him, and then he dropped it in a glass jar. Then he filled the jar with small rocks, sand and lastly, some water. When the jar was full, he gave us a meaningful stare as he explained the mind-blowing life lesson that the jar represented.In addition we did a stupid role playing game that was supposed to tell you something about yourself, but which really didn’t tell you much at all beyond whether or not you had a will to live.
The next part of the journey towards “Researcher’s Night” at NTNU was a four hour bus trip. We were to attend a special lecture from a Swedish bio-physicist named Anders Jonnsson and he also gave us a small tour of the science department of the campus. I can’t really say that I learned a lot from the man (his voice was so soothing that I had the most trouble with not falling asleep, not understanding why the hell we were sitting there and hearing what happens to seeds in space).
This story contains – as all good stories do – a feast of pizzas. I feasted twice on said dish, so I guess it might just be great story, all though some would argue that they might just cancel each other out. Next up was a two hour shopping spree in which I hit the only two speculative fiction stores that are close enough that you don’t have to take a plane to get there. The nicest find was a first edition hardcover of “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman – a book that I’ve been wanting to buy ever since I turned in my library copy. I also managed to pick up two more Priest books, three by Banks and an old Russian classic by the name of “The Master and Margarita” by Bulgakov.
The “Researcher’s Night” itself started at half past seven in the evening. The first lecture I had chosen kicked off at eight, so I had some fifteen minutes to troll the various stands that were set up on the premise. Word of mouth had it that I had to get my ass outside the auditorium on good time just to get a seat – and happily fifteen minutes early gave me ample opportunity to get as close to action as possible. I was quite excited about the event, ’cause I’m intrigued by chemistry and, you know, things that go “BANG!”. The name of the lecture was “Exploding and Destroying – Will the Professor Survive?”, and it contained an hours worth of dangerous gases and unstable matter. At one point the Professor set off a powder by simply touching it with a feather. He did not, however, join the Dearly Departed, but at least he gave my ears such a fierce ringing that I have a hard time discerning exactly if my mobile is going off or not. The finale was an experiment I’ve tried myself at our school, all though not in the same size: “What happens when you add Natrium to water?” Well, suffice to say that the explosion was of such a manner that we had to evacuate the room in a calm, but hurrying manner…
Next up was a lecture on computers and animation. The professor in question was quite obviously a sf geek. He kept referencing scenes from Star Trek and Star Wars and explaining how this was done and why this couldn’t happen just yet, etc etc… In the end it wasn’t very fun, but then again few things would have been compared to my previous experience.
What surprised me the most about the whole experience was the sheer number of pretty girls that took science-related subjects in my county. Judging by my own school the answer would could have been counted on two hands. However, this isn’t the case at all. The place was packed with ’em! This bodes well for the future :P
The evening ended like it started – with several bangs. The firework group at NTNU had set up an impressive show for us. I’ve only seen such a display on the telly before. They went off at exactly midnight, so after that there wasn’t much else to do but go home. That particular ride, however, shall remain undisclosed at this blog… No, don’t ask – it’s too private :D
Bah. I’m tired.