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 videregående 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!