So can I just say HOLY COW?!?!
“Holy Cow” is the appropriately bad pun for any and all farming moments. Just sayin’.
I was really really nervous before starting, mostly because, well, I gotta catch a ferry boat to and from school, I’m easily 15 years older than most, my Danish is shit… you know, the usual reasons kids are nervous about starting a new school.
The Danish Boy got it, sorta. He decided to take archaeology classes at Hebrew University, in Israel. He didn’t speak Hebrew and his English was abysmal. (Obviously, it’s gotten better.) So when he started classes, he was surrounded by people who didn’t speak his language and who knew how things worked but not always how to explain it all to a tall Dane. So yeah, he knew why I was nervous. But his “well, you just go in there and don’t be afraid to ask” approach, which UNDER NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES is right up my alley (hello, I’m an extrovert), was not going to work, as I pointed out, because WHAT IF I DON’T KNOW THAT I DON’T KNOW?
Currently, I am playing a game where I give myself points if I understand what’s been said 100% and answer CORRECTLY. I deduct a point, not when I don’t understand (they don't make negative numbers that big), but when I so completely do not understand that it leads to hilarity.
I was up a point yesterday - I need to get me a pair of rubber boots because tomorrow I handle cows.
I had to take it away today, because “ID” on the lesson plan does NOT mean that you’ll be getting an ID card, it means what we in the USA call P.E. - that is, sports.
I was not the only one who didn’t bring proper clothes to change into, but you know, I’m an idiot for not having the slightest idea what was about to happen. Minus one point.
But, I’m an idiot who is old enough to get over herself and I had a BLAST in gym class, jeans and t-shirts be DAMNED!
I also got hit by a lot of balls, trying to defend my team’s goal. I really hope there are bruises. It’s almost not worth getting hit if it won’t leave a mark. Although, I’m glad the one I took directly to the face didn’t bust anything. Pain, you ask? I’ve birthed a human, my threshold for pain is astronomical. Just please don’t poke me in the eye. I hate that.
My classmates are a different bunch. Most are older, but when I say “older” I mean, 19-22 instead of 16-18. There’s one 27 year old and she was feeling a bit ancient until I got to whip out the I’ll-be-34-in-6-days card and win the oldest-person-in-class award. The next eldest is a guy from Holland, who’s 30. I WIN!! WINNER!! I think I’m also the only one who’s married and has a child. I WIN AGAIN!! ALL THE POINTS BELONG TO MEEEEEE!!!
Since it’s the “student track” we’ve all had a high school education, most of them did a biology/science track. Two wanted to become nurses, but when that didn’t work out (no room in the nursing programs), they were at a loss as to what to do with themselves. A few wanted to be veterinarians, but since EVERYONE and their SISTER wants to be a vet, you have to have the top grades to get in.
A word on education here in DK - there are only so many spots in various educational programs and at university. The more desirable the education, the more that apply, the higher your grades need to be to beat out the competition. You apply for a whole lot and when you don’t get in, you flail around madly for a while and then often try something completely different. We spent some time during break making fun of the kids who got into vet school who are completely unsuited to it, i.e. scared of blood, cats, etc.
Only one girl has a horse. One girl has never seen a horse (in real life) before. We’re pretty split, gender wise. Almost as many girls as boys. Not everyone grew up on a farm, many have no experience with animals. Thus we all have our strengths and weaknesses.
This last bit of knowledge is what makes the difference to me. I was worried that I was going to be surrounded with people who had at least 6 months of experience under their belts, grew up on farms, and/or had this as their life’s main plan. But we’re all in this together. We're all missing something and better at something else. Those with the experience are great at explaining and I believe my job is to keep asking “what? Can you say that again?” for myself and the other’s who might be scared to admit that they don’t know. This has already led to more and more of them admitting they don’t know something. United in ignorance!
That tree? Yeah, I have no idea what species of tree that is. It’s what? Never heard of it. Can I eat that berry? No? Good to know.
Our first class was on landscapes. Ummm, not how you would think. It was about how you develop natural areas around your fields or in areas of your field where you cannot or should not cultivate and why this is a good idea. Since there was a time in the recent past where this was not done and fields were plowed right up to the edges, it’s now important for our generation to replant and recreate these natural areas.
We went on a walk, which included a lot of “name this plant,” and you would not believe the vocabulary list I’ve got for myself. Not including species of tree and grass. That’s for next week.
Tomorrow we suit up for practical training. Cows, pigs, and “technical” - I’m hoping that means tractors. Or welding. Ooooooh, let me weld!!! Fire!! Steel!! Awesome helmets!!