We have visited the Oslo Prosenter, a place where prostitutes can come and receive help, either legally, socially or medically. It was a very interesting visit, as few of us knew much about this industry in Norway. We learned much about the legislation around prostitution, and I learned that the laws were much more detailed than simply stating that selling sex is legal, but buying it is illegal. There are many more definitions of the different types of prostitution, and I was surprised to hear how small part of the prostitution in the Western World was actually the classic street-prostitution, with women/men walking up to cars and offering services. The industry has changed, and there’s a lot more going on over the internet, through web-sites and communication online. All in all, it was very interesting.
There are several other issues linked to prostitution, for example poverty and drugs. Often, people who prostitute themselves do so because they have no other choice, and often poverty is their motivation. People living in environments with a lot of poverty are also more vulnerable to being introduced to drugs, and many prostitutes need money to buy drugs. Also, non-drug-using prostitutes are often exposed to a lot of drugs, which many use in order to escape their harsh realities. We see that these these things are all connected, and they place the victims in never-ending circles.
To the next president of the US, I have a few proposals for you as to how you should run the country. I am from Norway, and my country has close relations to your. There are some things we do here that you can learn from, for example how our schools, hospitals and social services work, as they are all free. We Norwegians find it important to care for the weakest in society, whereas there are currently millions of Americans who live in poverty and who are unemployed. As the President, you need to take care of those who are in need in your own country, by reducing the unemployment rate, increasing the minimum wage, make public schools better and give people financial aid. Collage tuition are too high, which makes it impossible for those without money to get a good education, and a good job. As a Norwegian I believe that the fundamentals for a working society is to make sure everyone can afford to live a decent life, with education, health care and jobs. To achieve this in our country, we balance the budget by increasing taxes on the rich, and decrease them or remove them for the poor. I know that in the US you are very determined to have a liberal society, with lower taxes and less involvement by the government, but if you wish to salvage your country from the many problems that threaten to destroy it, you need to act now. You need to make sure America is a country for everyone, not just for the rich and privileged.
Today we wanted to learn more about humans in Oslo, so we walked around in Slottsparken, behind the Castle and interviewed some people. Aside from a few mishaps, like attempting to question a Norwegian man named Bjarte, we met a couple of interesting women. Unfortunately, we were not able to photograph them.
Cyndi is a 59 year old Canadian woman, and she is in Oslo at vacation with her husband. She has been here since the 3rd of September, and has enjoyed her stay here. According to her, the biggest difference between Norway and Canada is that people are more active here. Other than that, she thinks the two countries are very similar, though she would not want live here. Cyndi and her husband live under good conditions in their home country, and her saddest memory is the recent death of her mother.
Studying and Working Abroad
Many students choose to study abroad, which is becoming more and more popular. There are many reasons as to why young people want to travel to other countries to attend schools, but one of the main reasons may be that the language barrier has been almost broken down. 50 years ago for example, almost no one in Norway spoke English, but today 99% of the Scandinavian population speak English as a second language. In non-Nordic countries the numbers have increased as well, which explains why more youth are able to live in other parts of the English speaking world at least. Also, the communication between nations have improved, and may have made studying abroad less intimidating and different from what they are used to in their home country.
Varieties of English
The British Empire originated in the end of the 16th century, and up until the middle of the 20th century, they had controlled vast amounts of the world. They spread Christianity, English customs and their language to large parts of North-America, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Australia became inhabited by many British convicted criminals in the late 1700’s. During the first century of British control in Australia, vast numbers of the indigenous people were murdered, and the languages of the native inhabitants gradually became the minority language. As more Europeans moved to the island, English became the 1st language. The Australian accent is quite similar to american, but the word can be different on some areas, and they talk with a different pronunciation.
Media and the Role of the Media
Social media is the main form of communication in today’s society. With an increasing amount of information from foreign countries, the world seem to decrease in size, and the boundaries between countries seem to disappear. One of the issues with this globalization, is that the media have control over what types of information we see. They therefore have an immense impact on the way we view the world, and it’s important to be critical to the source of news. Media can give us both advantages and disadvantages, but if we use it correctly, social media can make communication better, and give people knowledge of the rest of the world.
Today we tried many different trust exercises, so that we as a class would feel safer around each other. I was pleasantly surprised, as many of the exercises were both funny and scary at the same time. My expectations were few, but I think many of the students became less intimidated by the rest of the class. Personally, I think it worked alright, because it was interesting to attempt to walk and fall with closed eyes. When we lose one of our senses, vision in this case, we adapt by strengthening the other senses instead. This is a great way for us to learn about how we react to becoming temporarily blind, and I at least, learned a few things about myself. For example, you learn if you are the sort of person who trust strangers, or if you have trust issues. I thought the exercise where we tied a giant “knot” was very interesting, because I saw my fellow students from a different perspective. The other things we did though, were more scary. Walking around with closed eyes, and bumping into people (and tables) was genuinely terrifying, because I was nervous about tripping or hurting someone. The same goes for the exercise were we walked around in the school building with closed eyes, while being led by another student. Walking up stairs, and shaking hands with people you could not see was very uncomfortable. When we closed our eyes and fell forward and backwards, with a person in front of and behind me, I actually had to prevent myself from hitting the floor. The sensation of falling was terrible, and it felt like the rest of my group were not able to catch me. All in all, it was a very positive experience, and the rest of the class seem to be getting along better than before.
Hello, my name is Hanna Sæther Thommessen, and I am a 2nd year student at Sandvika VGS, the equivalent of upper secondary school in Great Britain. I am 16 years old, and live in Asker, a town near Norway’s capitol Oslo. My favorite activity is long distance jogging outdoors, and being outdoors in general. I started this blog as a school project, and I will be updating it regularly. One of my main interests is literature, and I enjoy reading quite a lot. Therefore, this blogwill consist of some recommendations based on books I have read and also my experiences with the International English subject this year.