Monday, September 7, 2009


I know thats a very general title but thats what I'm gonna write about this time. I could sit here and write what I've been up to all the time but then you would never get to here much about Denmark and what things and people are like here. Plus I haven't really been taking pictures latley.

So let's just start with the word; Language. What does it mean? I really don't know exactly, but I do know the word has changed a lot for me sense I've been here. Before I left I saw language as the words we use when we talk. I have a language, and people from Denmark have a different language that I won't be able to understand. But now I see it as something we all have in common. We all use language to communicate, we just have different codes. It's really hard to explain with words what I'm trying to say. It's just kinda something I feel now.

Just think: each language is like a puzzle...And I already know how to solve a puzzle, becuase I do the same one back home everyday. But now I'm doing a different puzzle with differnt peices.
The point is, I know how to do a puzzle.....I don't know if this metaphor is working but to give a quick explination; this is easier than I thought it would be. I still have to study a LOT. but It's not impossible. I'm doing it. I'm learning Danish, and I feel like I just found a puzzle peice that allowed me to use a bunch of the other ones I was saving. I'm understanding more and more every day. I actually participated in the Danish lesson today. And on break I think I understude an intire 10 minute conversation about the party we had on Friday. I feel like I'm at the point in the puzzle were I can tell what the picture is...And it makes me want to do more.

To learn by doing is the easiest way but I've been mostly learning by watching so I think thats why I understand more than I can say. I need to starts speaking more. I just feel so dumb struggling to say something simple in Danish like, "where were you yesterday?" when the person I'm talking to can speak perfect english. And It's true, my whole host family, all my teachers, and most of my class speak really good english. And they have to. Denmark is half the size of Michigan. 6 million people speak Danish and 10 million live in Michigan alone. Half their TV is in english, half their advertisments are in english. Instructions on boxes are written in English. The music they listen to is in English. It's crazy! I know I would be better at Danish if I HAD to use it, and I had to struggle and sound like an idiot....So we desided that as of October 1, we wont be speaking any english at home until after 8pm, and thats only if I have questions or we have something importiant to talk about. I wont be speaking English in school either. It'll be impossible to get the kids to not speak to me in English but....we'll see. I'm really looking forward to it becuase I know It's gonna help sooo much. I kinda want to start now but sense I've been speeking so little Danish It'll be best to work up to it, and just say everything I can in Danish.....

OK, so now It's time to stray from the title of the blog just for a little while becuase I want to tell you about my Sunday and my odd adventure with Far:

It was already 2 or 3 and we were eating a late lunch. As far as I new I didn't have any plans for the day, but then Far informed me that we would be going to visit his mom again. (something I don't think I wrote about) They probably talked about it before at dinner or something but of course It was in Danish and no one had filled me in, which is fine. It makes things interesting :) Mor said that we were going to a castle to pick up a helmet...(?) So Far and I got in the car (a rare ocassion) and started driving south. He said we had to pick up a helmet from a rich friend of theirs, Peter Hendrick, who lives in a castle. So when we got there we parked the car, went through the gate, and sure enough, it was a big Danish castle with a mote and everything! And there were people all over the lawn. I think he was having a party. Far and I found him and he took us over the mote and into his castle :) We followed him into a back room were he had the helmet.
...Far bikes. So I thought Peter Hedrick was maybe a biker friend who had a bicycle helemet for him. But no...we left that castle with an old hard shell army helmet (?) I asked Far what he was going to do with it and he said Anne needed it....I was confussed. After that we got in the car and drove for maybe 5 minutes and stopped at a little house with a big feild and barn behind in. And beyond the field was the Ocean and the bridge to Sweden! It was really stunning...but I didn't know why we were stopping. Far said, "we have to get another helmet."
So we got out of the car and knocked on the door. While we were waiting Far explained to me that the lady who lives in the house used to own the field and barn behind it, but sold it when her husband died. He said her husband had a plane and that field was the landing strip....After we waited for a minute Far disided she wasnt home. So we walked around back. There was a little green house and Far went inside. He came out with an old black leather flying cap....That was also for Anne. I didn't really care about being confussed anymore. I was having fun :D
After that we finally headed over to Far's Mor's house. I had been there once before and liked it becuase there was a group of older people there and none of them speak english. It fources me to try to use my Danish. It was..... interesting.

K, well I'm tired of blogging now and your probably tired of reading. But I hope you enjoyed the story. wish me luck with my Danish!


sharonmarie46 said...

Hi Joe,
Uncle Bernard and I have enjoyed reading your blog and looking at your pictures. You certainly are having alot of fun adventures in Denmark!!!!! I liked when you compared learning languages to doing puzzles. I think I will share that with students that I get from other countres that don't speak English. Unfortunatley, there are not very many people at my school that speak anything other than English. I will be looking forward to hearing more about Denmark!!!!
Love, Aunt Sharon, Uncle Bernard and Scott

Morgan said...

good metaphor with the puzzles!

AMCAVA said...

Arrgh! The suspense is kilking me! What did Anne do with the helmets?

Also, need pictures of the castle, I don't believe you.

Your blogs are great. It's like reading a book and each update is a chapter. Keep 'em coming.

Amanda says more pictures!

alexgcavanaugh said...

I agree, the blogs are great keep them coming.

Sounds like you've come a long way from "your bloomsters are smokey."

~Amy~ said...


Joe Cavanaugh said...

wooh. I didn't see all theses comments. The helmats were for some school project. haha. I gusse I never mentioned that. I'm glad your all enjoying this...I'll try to take more pictures :)