Monday, May 21, 2012

Special Guest-Girl in a Red Cap


Today I have a very special guest on my blog. My daughter is taking time out from her busy student life to explain what it is like going to school in Norway and what it means to be a "Russ." 


It didn’t surprise me when my mom asked me to explain what a Russ is on her blog today. She does not get it, but I really can’t blame her because the school system in Norway is much different than in the states. I know this because my brother spent a year in a junior high school in the states a few years back. My parents sent him there to live with my aunt in Seattle for a while to “straighten him out”. I think that worked out well for everyone. He was an A student over there, but once he came home he barely passed most of his classes. My point is that you Americans have it easy at school. You get a bus to take you there, a cafeteria with hot meals, free books and a structured class room. When you graduate from high school you have one day to wear your graduation clothes, one ceremony and a party where you get lots of money. Am I right?

We walk to school, we take our lunches with us in a paper bag and until just recently, we paid for our school books after 9th grade. When you are finished with 9th grade you get the option to go to high school or vocation school. If you do go to high school the changes are huge! You have to know what you want to do with your life in order to pick the right classes or you are FU…..(mom edit) If you choose wrong you pretty much have to start over. That is what I had to do. I am 22 years old and just finished “High School”. We call it videreg√•ende skole, which means continued education. It took me 6 years of starting over again but I finally did it! I am starting college this August and hopefully when I am finished with that in three years,  I will be a high school history and english teacher. This year I am a Red Russ.

There are several kinds of Russ. There are black ones, blue ones and red ones each defining what you have studied. Each Russ has a different uniform that they have to wear every day in the month of May. I was thinking how to describe this and found this on Wikipedia: “The russefeiring ('russ celebration') is a traditional celebration for Norwegian high school students in their final spring semester. Students that take part in the celebrations are known as russ. The russefeiring traditionally starts on 1 May and ends on the 17th of May, the Norwegian national day. Participants wear colored overalls, drive matching cars, vans, or buses, and celebrate almost continually during this period. Promiscuous sex, drunkenness and public disturbance on a mass scale has been the most prominent impact of the celebration in recent decades.” That pretty much covers it. As you can see, even celebrating graduating high school is a lot of hard work. Here are some of the things we have to do: CLICK THIS LINK: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russefeiring#.22St.C3.A5kuka.22

Oh yeah, and then there are the exams during the whole month. Both written and oral, you never know which classes you get for your final exams until shortly before. I ended up with written Norwegian and Print/Photography. Wish me luck!

Mom owes me big time for doing this so I hope you enjoyed it.



11 comments:

Lady in Red said...

Very interesting read. My question is, aside from the harsher way of getting to school, lunch, books, choosing classes etc, are the actual academics of a higher level than in the States? Would an American eighth grader, for example, be able to transfer into eighth grade there? You may be too busy to answer lol...but just thought I would ask all the same.

Entertaining post and thank you for sharing a bit of your life right now. Congratulations on your graduation and good luck in college!

Sally said...

Well done for keeping on with your studies. Both my children (who are in their 20's now with families) wish they'd continued with their education. Now if they want to improve or train in any other field they have to pay for it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Six years of high school? Wow, that is really different. And doesn't surprise me that are schools are easier.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, very interesting! I have a good friend from Norway but we met when she was in college, so I hadn't thought about the high school system. I think Americans don't have the attention span to stick to it if they had to start over, but I think your system probably ends up with better results. I know they do the same in the Netherlands, as I had a friend change routes from a scientific to a 'classics' and he lost 2 years, too.

Hart Johnson said...

Lady in Red--I'm not positive, but I had a friend do an exchange in Sweden when we were in high school, and she was a year back, there--I suspect Norway may be similar--about a year ahead of us--probably more by the end of it.

Lynn Proctor said...

well maybe if we did something similar to this in the states--then families wouldn't waste so much money on colleges when the kid has no idea what they want to do and then comes out with no job and huge student loans----great hearing about how you do things--and i am sure your mom appreciates as we all do, your great job on this post!

Lisa said...

Well done! What an interesting post and best of luck on all your future endeavors!!

EvalinaMaria said...

Good luck my dear!

Evalina, This and that...

Nicky Wells said...

What an interesting feature! I'm not nearly as far away from Norway as the States are, and yet I had no idea about the school system in this (relatively speaking) neighbouring country. Absolutely fascinating! Thank for sharing, Red Russ and good luck with your exams.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Siv .. great daughter - writes the post and gives you instruction ... she's happy and that's the main thing - and you've provided them all with a life worth living - that's what counts.

Great read .. loved it - thank you .. cheers Hilary

laceandmason said...

That sounds so interesting! I see some similarities but they are small of course! Here in the states, Seattle area to be more specific (Since I know Kristoffer knows a lot of this this is probably a review) We have the choice of taking the bus (which not many people do) or walk if you're close enough, or get a ride from a parent, or if you're lucky enough, have your own car which you have to pay for a permit to park with. Also lunch is sometimes taken but a lot of people buy but it's up to $5 a day depending on what you want. The vocational choice is present but not many people choose it (I wish I had or I wouldn't be, just like Maria, just starting college! You're lucky there you only have to take 2 finals, every (usually 6) class has a final before graduation and of course at the end of every semester. Also the graduation celebration sounds so fun!! It sounds kind of like our Homecoming, which is in October-ish every year. I miss it so much! We had theme days just like yours, but we didn't have tests during that time, I was only a celebration of coming back to school, school spirit, and of course the football game and dance. Though there are a lot of differences there are a lot of similarities too! I wish I could experience something different like you guys have in Norway!
Love Sara :)