Category Archives: Studies

My 2012 highlights

Another year of blogging is over and frankly, I was quite surprised when I received a report from WordPress by email letting me know how my blog had done. I never received such a report with my earlier blog which no longer exists, nor with this one last year, so I figured that only the blogs that do well, or get more than a certain number of hits received one. The report told me my blog had 6000 views in 2012 from 99 countries. Americans, Brits and Norwegians are my most avid readers. My most read post was, not surprisingly, my Blindness and dating post which I know is linked to from Action for blind people in the UK. I know, it sounds like a shady porn site, but it is a very innocent organization helping the blind, so I will thank my friend Kiesha for linking it and say sorry at the same time for not having written more for her wonderful magazine at http://www.styleable .co.uk

My year started with a break-up. Those who have read my blog since the beginning may recall me mentioning an Italian boyfriend. I didn’t write about the break-up, because I was the one who ended it and I wanted to respect his feelings. But though we may be over, my love and passion for Italy has, if anything increased. I’ve got a few good Italian friends in Oslo so I get to practice the language, and I was back in Florence where my ex comes from to visit friends I made there. I sincerely hope I get to live at least part of my life in Italy in the future.

In February, I started writing a novel. I won’t say too much about it, but I’ve always wanted to be a novelist and I had all the time in the world to make a start. It was hard. Both because writing well is difficult and because I chose to write in Norwegian. I did this both because I hadn’t written anything except e-mails in Norwegian for the past few years and I wanted to get to grips with my mother tongue again. Also, should the novel be released, it has a bigger chance of selling well in Norway since the market is smaller. And if someone wants to publish it and it sells, I will personally translate it to English. I had to put the first draft aside when I started studying, but I read through it a couple of weeks ago and realized it’s not so bad, so I’ve started the editing job which so far, is going well. It probably will take a while for it to be finished because I also have to start writing my master’s thesis soon, but I will do my best to make my book a priority when I have free time.

In June, I participated in a designer project which was a lot of fun. There were four groups of designers who were going to design something new for someone who had a disability. My group didn’t win, but we designed a professional network where designers could get in touch with disable person in order to make their products user friendly. The design bit itself, was in the website and how we laid out the project. The winning idea, was very similar to our own, almost identical, but we didn’t communicate with the other groups, so that was just random. I worked with people from Norway Germany, and England and it was three hectic days with very little sleep and a lot of fun. Later that month, I went to Florence, which was 95% lovely in every way and 5% “Damn, I wish I had a boyfriend here still so I could move here.”

It was in the summer, that I lost my faith. It happened gradually and it took me a long time to confess it even to myself. As my readers know, I spent a few posts ranting about Christianity and how oppressing it was etc. I haven’t really felt the need to do that since then. I am at peace with not yet having quite arrived at what I believe in although I will always keep values like the golden rule. I doubt I’ll ever get into a religion, but that I will be like many Norwegians, with one foot in the human ethics, and the foot of tradition in the church. I could write page up and page down about what my definition of God is, but it’s still something I’m trying to figure out.

In August, after a boring, very boring, July, I was happy to start university. I still think I chose the right course and I miss seeing my classmates every day now that we’re on a Christmas break. I haven’t failed any subjects. I have also not received the grades I want, but I am thinking it has more to do with how I present things rather than my knowledge of the subject, because I have read everything, and been to all the lectures. I will be improving this in 2013 and I will do very well on my thesis, I’ve decided! Becoming a news reader and reporter with the student radio station, has also been a great experience and I hope to do more for them throughout 2013. I also made some good friends there whom I love working with!

In October, I got my new flat. For the first time ever, I love staying in the house. But without all the visitors and dinners I have served and will keep on serving, it wouldn’t be so exciting. Great to live near the underground and the forest at the same time!

Christmas was nice and filled with family and good food. I got many gifts including a rice cooker, a printer, African jewelry and sweets. But the most wonderful thing this Christmas is that I got my wonderful, handsome, intelligent and beloved friend back into my life. Remember the one who said I was on a slippery slope and whom I wrote a long post about because I was so upset? It’s all behind us now and I’m so happy he’s back. All I need to do now is convince him to want to marry me! 

Tonight, I’m having two highschool friends over. I’ll cook a Thai green curry and we’ll drink some nice wine and probably chit chat all night.

I wish all of my readers a happy new year and I thank you for making me want me to continue blogging by reading and commenting. I especially want to thank Michelle because you got me writing that fictional story about Tony and Jenna. It feels like I know you now. Elisabeth for her precise comments and being my real life friend and reader making it possible for me to get a lot of things done that otherwise would be tricky. And to Bruce. And Bruce, if you read this, please reply and tell me where your new site. I have to admit I haven’t read much blogs this autumn and was puzzled to n I couldn’t find it when I wanted my Bruce fix. You have been great in my time of leaving my Evangelical faith.
And to the readers who are silent, or have commented only a few times, you are equally valuable to me, so thanks to you too.

All in all, 2012 has not been a bad year, although it’s been boring at times with little happening. But moving to Norway is something I’m glad I’ve done and I know 2013 will be quite adventure filled. My first adventure is visiting a friend in Monaco in only 16 days. Bring it on! 2013 starts tomorrow, so I guess I’ll be blogging more soon, in 2013!

I’m still here

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything in here, with everything has been so busy with my studies.

I’m realizing that on Sunday, it’s been a year since I started this blog. A lot has changed in that year. I have returned to Norway, become single, bought a flat, started my master’s degree and made lots of new friends. I have also deconverted from Christianity.

All in all, I have become a lot happier this year, although I’ve had my fair share of down moments.

My classmates are amazing y the way. I was worried what making friends would be like. My experiences from school and then my bachelor’s degree have not been ideal, but when I started this degree, I had some hopes that everyone would be grown up enough to not have any problems with my blindness. And my hopes were fulfilled. I have made great friends from all over the world and I am back to having a social life, again. And not only did I make friends at uni, but I’ve also become a newsreader and reporter for the student radio which is unpaid, but looks good on my CV. I am also making friends within the news team.

I get the keys to my new flat today and I’m very excited to no longer stay with my father. It hasn’t been all bad, but when you’re not used to living at home, it feels a little restrictive to do so at times.

I hope I get time to write more soon, and that my next post is a little bit more interesting, but thought I’d just let y’all know I haven’t abandoned this blog space.

A new Chapter

It was a Monday afternoon in February. I wasn’t feeling great. Not because I was ill, but because that same morning, I had received my exam results from my very first semester at the university. They were bad. Very bad. I had failed 3 out of 4 subjects. “How was this even possible?” I kept asking myself repeatedly. ”I am usually among the top students getting high marks and returning with grade books which made my parents proud.” But, now, I had failed.

As I turned on my phone to check whether I had any messages, I heard a voicemail message from my dad. He was swearing in that terrifying way only he can do and I knew I was in trouble. My exam results had somehow been sent to Norway and now I was dead.

I felt sick for the rest of that day. I spent it either crying, or curled up under my duvet with stomach pain. My life was over. I had to leave the UK, forget university and, and, what? What was I supposed to do? I certainly wasn’t smart enough for university. How stupid I was for thinking that I having gotten good grades all my life meant I could cope well academically abroad. I had proved everyone who had little or no faith in me right. I decided to go back home and give up university.

I did go back home, but I waited seven years. I finished my bachelor, though today I’m not sure how. My failures of the first semester was due to me not having the learning material, a problem I kept facing all through the rest of my degree. But I managed to get some good friends who helped me along. Journalism students in the year above me who spent a lot of time teaching me how to write an essay, giving me inputs from their own great minds and works, helping me before exams. I could not have done it without them and I thank their efforts for me being able to proudly graduate in 2007, after which I went on to work for the BBC.

Not only did I go back home, but I’m now back in a university, something I swore I’d never do after that bachelor I somehow felt and to a degree still feel I didn’t deserve. But here I am. In Oslo my home town, I’ve just started a masters degree. This is big for me and those who have experienced being nervous about everything academic all through their degree, may just appreciate how big.

I still feel as if I’m dreaming and I’m still a little concerned as to whether I’ll do well, but all in all, I have a lot more faith in myself now. For one thing, I’m older. I am doing media studies, a subject I have both prior academic and working knowledge about. I have received computer equipment and e-books which has allowed me to start reading straight away and knowing where I failed before, I have spoken to lecturers to make them aware of the small, but important academic adjustments I need in order for me to be able to study as efficiently as my classmates.

The culture differences between the UK and Norway is also a very important factor here. In the UK, making everything accessible tends to be much more down to the schools and so how smooth your studies are going has a lot to do with how experienced or willing your university is to help.

In the socialist welfare society of Norway, there are other institutions working with the universities to make sure everything is going smoothly. For example, the school provides the syllabus, but the library for the blind produces it. For reading and secretarial help, as well as computer equipment, that’s obtained through the government.

I’m not saying it will all be a smooth game, but I think the combination of my maturity and access to literature and other help not solely depending on the school will make this experience a hell of a lot better.

And who knows, maybe the teenage girl who thought her life was over because she failed loads of exams will one day be a scholar? Besides being a novelist and journalist of course.