203. Humboldt University

This one was actually part of the cycling tour, but it has quite an interesting story. The Humboldt University of Berlin was originally known for being a highly prestigious University, educating the likes of Karl Marx and Albert Einstein. During the war it gained fame for a much more tragic reason.

On May 10 1933, some 20,000 books written by “degenerates” were taken from the library and burned in the Opernplatz, after which Joseph Geobbels gave a speech to demonstrate against ideals not held by the NAZI party.

Today, there is a monument to the book burning which consists of a glass roof, where you can look down and see empty shelves, with enough space to hold 20,000 books. A plaque at the monument bears the following quote from an 1820 work by Heinrich Heine: “Das war ein Vorspiel nur, dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen” (“That was only a prelude; where they burn books, they ultimately burn people”).

As well as burning books, the NAZI party also passed a law that resulted in numerous academics being fired and having their doctorates revoked. It continues to astound me that around every corner there are more and more stories of horrible actions and events. It seems impossible to hear all of the things that went on – the sheer volume is insane.

91. Natural History Museum of Helsinki

Believe it or not I had been feeling a little museum-ed out by the time I got to this one and I debated whether or not to pay for yet another Natural History Museum (particularly after the let down in Stockholm), but the building was really pretty and I was all swept up in the magical anticipation of learning new things!

There was a great deal of variety moving through the various exhibits, many of which weaved through small rooms, up and down stairs, on a constant adventure from pre-history to where I learned of Finland’s Russian ownership and influence, as discovered by my architectural observations. One of the most striking pieces of artwork (in my opinion) was a painting depicting Finland trying to protect herself against the fierce, predatory eagle that was Russia, attempting to change Finland’s laws.

One of the newer (and I believe temporary) exhibits featured a collection of dollhouses throughout time. These dollhouses were original models of houses (and their furnishings) of various times, but the more recent ones were specially made dollhouses, where a range of different people from the homeless, 18 year olds who recently left home to children, had been asked to depict their dream homes. When I read this, I was expecting some kind of political statement or interesting conclusion whereby the homeless people were saying their dream home was just a roof over their heads. However, they all seemed to conform to dollhouse-y stereotypes and look pretty similar. It was quite difficult to pick differences between most of them. With the assumptions I had initially made it became obvious to me that a good dose of adventure away from NZ’s PC culture is probably just what the doctor ordered.

As I reached the exhibit on objects more specific to Finnish culture, I was fascinated by the many beautiful spinning needle creations on display. As it turned out they were decorative only, and men commonly crafted them to give as gifts to their fiancee. When I read that I thought to myself how I would react if given a decorated household appliance that reaffirmed my place in the home as a pre-wedding gift. I mean, if my fiancee gave me a hand painted Miele vacuum cleaner I honestly wouldn’t know what to say. The effort is sweet and they are really good vacuum cleaners, but any man with half a brain knows giving a woman an appliance as a significant gift is a sure-fire way to get a kick in the balls so hard they’ll never have to worry about discussing family planning.

On that reversion back to aforementioned PC thoughts and feminist debates, I will end with a picture of the most fabulous ‘grandfather’ clock I have ever seen.

And as an added bonus, a few more photos.

74. The Vasa Museum

On the way back through from Finland, I realised I had about 5 hours to kill in Stockholm, perfect to cram in another of the 100+ museums! Unfortunately my 5 hours were from 6:30am, and no museum was open before 10am, so it turned out I really had to whip through my chosen museum quickly to make by 11:15 train.

You can even see in to the wee cabin thing where the captain would have… made plans and drunk rum and other such piratical steroetypes

The Vasa Museum is one of the top rated museums in Stockholm and I absolutely understood why. The Vasa was a ship that was constructed on the King’s orders, meant to be a thing of beauty, a bastion of intimidation and ultimate show of power. It certainly achieved that purpose, but form won out over function and it sunk almost as soon as it set off on its maiden voyage in 1628. While the Swedes learned their lesson about letting the artists design the ship instead of the engineers, the ship itself was missing until the 1950s, despite being so close to the harbour when it sunk.

What it would have looked like

Once it was located, it was discovered that it was completely intact (something about the water in the Baltics preserving the ship as opposed to eroding it). After some serious planning, a very careful removal effort was initiated to float the ship to the surface in one piece. Afterwards, scientists painstakingly treated the wood with chemicals then let it dry, over and over for 9 years to preserve it, and built the Vasa museum around it to display the ship. Considering they didn’t have the kind of computer technology available that we do today, they also did an amazing job of finding traces of paint and materials in all of the artistic features to create replicas in near original colours. Almost all of the objects on board were also preserved.

Bit of 1628 action

The Vasa is a magnificent ship, and the museum itself full of all kinds of extras including videos, displays of what Stockholm was like in the 1600s, replicas of the insides of ships at the time, and a lot of information on everything from how the Vasa was originally made, to the inquest after it sank to determine who was at fault.

I found it quite amusing that when the inquest begun to implicate senior management’s decision making as the key cause for the failure of the ship (I.e. the King, the Bishop and the head of the Navy) it was all mysteriously dropped and the paperwork disappeared almost as fast as the ship itself.

There was also a fascinating replica of the iron ‘tank’ that was used to try to recover all the valuables on board at the time, as well as a visible lab on the ground floor where work is ongoing to preserve the ship/its items and historians are continually piecing the story together. It was certainly worth every cent and I really wished I had more time there!

Quite amazing how much detail is still in tact

Replicas of the detailing on the ship

73. Swedish Museum of Natural History

No shortage of stuffed animals here

The Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet in Stockholm came highly recommended, although it is a (quite expensive) subway ride out of the centre of the city. You’ll find it on the grounds of Stockholm University, which are also quite nice to have a wander around. We made the mistake of heading there on a Monday and not actually checking the opening hours. Turns out many museums in Scandinavia aren’t open on Mondays, so it is definitely advisable to check the hours before you go.

On attempt number two, it was quite interesting to explore yet another magnificent Stockholm building. Unfortunately, being the off-season, what was probably the best exhibit was closed for repairs/maintenance/whatever the museum terminology is. The exhibit in question is the famous one where you walk through a giant human body. I could see the top of his head above the door but alas! Other than that there was what could have been a quite interesting exhibit on Climate Change had it had more translations, and a tonne of stuffed animals. (As you can see I’m giving the exhibits my own super creative English names). The human evolution exhibit and giant whale skeletons were pretty good, and the highlight of the open exhibits was probably the animals-on-record covers one – a collection of old record covers that feature animals in the art. There was a fairly novel duke box too, very much in theme. I played myself Fleetwood Mac’s “The Albatross” as I perused the collection.

My favourite part was the following elephant skeleton, largely because of his accompanying hilarious story:

This poor elephant was shot in South Africa in 1844 by engineer and scientific explorer Johan August Wahlberg (not the funny bit) who gathered large collections for the museum on his own initiative (i.e. that justified his hunting). He financed these expeditions with elephant hunting, by selling ivory as well as financial support from the Museum and the Royal Academy. In 1856 Wahlberg was trampled to death by a wounded elephant. Serves him bloody right!

All in all I found it quite overrated, but if I’d paid extra (it was already fairly expensive at about $15 to get in) for the 3D Imax cinema, or the human body exhibit had been open I think my experience may have been quite different. Lesson learned – do the research, especially with expensive museums in the off season.

Lucy! The evolution nerd in me got a little excited

Excessive amount of dead birds, in my opinion... I really felt the point could have been made with just killing off the one bird

Cool interactive steam generating... thing

Look at him! Taunting me... The bastard.

Serious babes.

How to become a girl's best friend

47. Join an awesome study group

As already described in my initial impression of the Danish University style, collaboration is key, as our presentations. For one of my papers, Integrated Marketing Communication, throughout the semester we have to do a ‘voluntary’ group presentation. While the notion of doing an assignment for no credit is somewhat foreign to me, most of my exams are oral presentations to a panel of examiners, so it is pretty good practise. Particularly with the Danish style being so different. I actually kind of like the idea – it is much better training for the real world than cramming for two days before a multichoice exam.

The other key difference is that most students have all progressed through semesters/classes together, so already know eachother and are often already in study groups where they have worked on numerous projects.

In one of our earliest IMC lessons, the lecturer asked if the international students who were new to the class would like to be a group together or to split up and join groups with the Danish students. I jumped at the chance to work with students who a) already knew how the system worked and how to get good grades and b) were actual Danes! It was surprisingly difficult to meet Danes initially, with such a huge group of international students exploring Aarhus together.

In response, the lecturer had all the International students stand up and asked the Danish students to pick which ones of us they wanted! Only slightly awkward. I put on my best ‘I’m not an idiot, I swear!’ smile, which seems to have worked a treat.

I really hoped my study group meetings would be exactly like episodes of Community, but sadly my study group are all normal, really nice, and very welcoming. Actually that is probably a good thing, they never seem to get ANY work done on Community…

To compensate for the lack of Troy and Abed in the morning, the baking roster is having an excellent impact on productivity – especially as a certain study group member seems to be an avid fan of Epic Meal Time. In our most recent meeting, he whipped out a gigantic Mississipi Mud Cake, complete with melted marshmallows and mousse to got on top. And supposedly the unique combination of ingredients all cancelled out the calories, so that was a bonus. Pressure is certainly on when it is my turn to bake!

Epic Study Time

44. Inexplicable Museum

Whilst in Malmo I heard about a museum in a castle. Sounded pretty awesome to me! Turns out the castle was slightly less exciting than expected – it was of the more traditional and practicial variety. Or in other words, a big strong fortress of a brick building, lacking in intricate detail but probably achieved the true purpose of a castle in a much more efficient way.

I thought this was the castle, turns out it is the local casino

The actual castle. Far more ominous.

I didn’t have any explanation of what the theme of the musuem was (if any) but it certainly was varied. There were aquariums, nocturnal animals, stuffed animals and modern photography. There was an interactive exhibition about food where you got snacks – win! There was modern art probably meant to make profound statements (torso’s with pig’s heads). But it was all in swedish with no translations. Sometime museums and galleries don’t need explanations, but something felt just a bit off about not having the option of knowing the theme/concept/background. Some parts were fine, like what I can only assume was day-in-the-life-of type photography collections. Others the complete opposite – the cooking exhibition being one. Like Moon TV’s ‘Speed Cooking,’ those recipes were no good to me!

The truly perplexing image, however, was the following one, found in a collection of science-y diagrams about things including giving birth, diseases, HIV/AIDS and drugs.

Smoking, alcohol, drugs, fish?

You tell ME what the theme was. Because I’d really like to know.

30. Foreign Language Supermarket Shopping

Before I left for Denmark I had a lovely lunch date with one of my friends who had also spent a semester in Aarhus. One of my many burning questions was about supermarket shopping and what the best tactics are. “How will I know whether its shampoo or conditioner?!”

He assured me that they will most likely say shampoo and conditioner on the bottle in English, and the only real issue is guessing what type of meat you are buying. He was right about shampoo and conditioner, but most things are in Danish and being me, I have definitely had a few ‘shopping accidents’ (as I like to call them).

My most inconvenient shopping accident wasn’t the goats cheese sandwich in Sweden (it was actually pretty tasty), but instead was getting paper towels instead of toilet paper. They were all stacked up by the entrance like toilet paper, but the packaging covered up the middle part so I couldn’t tell the difference, I simply reached for the cheapest packet. I was quite proud of myself for only coming away with one incorrect purchase on my first trip! It was hardly the biggest inconvenience either, although a friend that came to stay claimed he couldn’t handle it and  bought me some 3-ply as a thank you gift. Good luck flashpacking around Europe, Princess.

My original plan was to just wander round with google translate on my phone. Unfortunately I couldn’t get data on my phone for two weeks as I had to wait for my residence card to arrive, so for the impromptu shopping trips where I didn’t pre-translate my shopping list, a healthy dose of common sense and a diet of fruit, vegetables and items that come in transparent packets worked just fine for my first few trips.

I don’t even know what that product is – it looked like raw mince topped with whipped cream and the picture showed it being spread on a piece of bread

It seems I am not the only one that has struggled with translating the more ambiguously packaged foods. A number of students have reported trouble distinguishing certain items such as flour and sugar. Given that one packet had bread on it and the other had strawberries, I didn’t have any problems. As for milk, some have reported difficulty working out  full cream vs skim/trim etc. I had already learned in Australia that colour coding systems aren’t international. In this instance I made an assumption that skummetmælk meant skim milk. One of the few times my assumptions have proved correct!

Being on a student budget and attempting to stay healthy, asian food is practically a staple of my diet. Gosh have I realised how spoiled for choice we are in New Zealand! It took 3 different supermarkets before I found coconut milk to go with my red curry paste. I was a tad disappointed there wasn’t a ‘lite’ option, but I was hardly going to be precious about it. Then when I got home I discovered that coconut milk and coconut cream are one in the same according to the single brand of asian ingredients available! My unnecessarily fatty curry was delicious though.

Not sure if it is good or bad that the egg yolks are all different sizes and colours

Another challenge is having to let go of my habit of reading the back of the packets. I like to know what I am eating and what the ingredients are, but in Denmark all I can tell is the amount of kilojoules/calories. Slightly helpful, but it doesn’t tell me what I am actually eating! I have learned very quickly the term ‘okologisk’ which means organic. Organic food is actually subsidised by the government, counterbalancing the tax on saturated fat, so there is a much bigger range of organic products in the supermarkets at more accessible prices than I am used to.

In another assumption failure, I thought I would try some rye bread. I assumed because it is so popular here, that although experience in NZ tells me rye bread tastes like shite, it must taste a whole let better in Scandinavia. Alas, it appears rye bread tastes like dense chewy dirt all over the world. So instead I fried it in butter. So much for the healthy option!

The supermarkets themselves are quite a different concept, too. In New Zealand, if you are in a supermarket (rather than a dairy) you can generally rely on each supermarket, no matter what the brand, stocking what you are after. While some of the product brands may differ, you’ll be able to find whatever you need and the prices are all very competitive. Here in Denmark, I have learned supermarket shopping is more of an art form, that takes a great deal of practise. I am still discovering different supermarket chains and there is a huge amount of variation in prices, not to mention stock.

Aldi – who needs nice product displays when you are dirt cheap?

Aldi, for example, is the cheapest. However, it is like you are walking in to a big empty room out the back of someone’s house. It also appears the floor storage system is well in use and you can only rely on the most essential and popular of items actually being there. Brugssen is like a convenience store/supermarket hybrid but it is really expensive. On the other end of the spectrum, big department stores will have really flash supermarket areas in them with poncy bakeries and chocolatiers.

I love supermarket shopping in other countries and seeing all the different products, experiencing different foods, but it is a far bigger gamble when you can neither recognise the product name or read the ingredients. It definitely keeps life interesting though!

I had previously thought the pickled herring jokes were just jokes…

Finally, the most entertaining part of Danish supermarkets are the shelves full of pickled everything. My father teased me before I left that all I was going to eat would be pickled herrings, but I didn’t expect to see this many pickled items:

“Pickle all the things!”

29. Go “Klubben”

A few weeks before I left I was emailed a program of ‘Introductory Week’ – the mandatory Orientation Week program at Aarhus School of Business. I received the email at work (it was, er, definitely during my lunchbreak and definitely not on the work server) and like most things I found hilarious, shared it with the other two interns. We worked with contracts, you see, so everything seems funny in comparison.

The bit that we giggled at was the event called ‘Klubben’ as we thought that was the organisers being cute and translating ‘Clubbing.’ It turns out that Klubben is the name of the student bar at the School of Business (owned and run by the Business Students’ Association, Studenterlauget), which hosts riotous parties every Thursday night. Reminiscent of Pint night at Re:Fuel at Otago University, everyone is there on a Thursday and the place really goes off. It is much more like a nightclub though, with DJs rather than miscellaneous bands. It has a very cool setup inside too – the DJ plays out of an old school bus!

Apparently the University is clamping down on the Thursday night parties and this is the last semester they will be allowed. The main reason for it is the recent (and reading between the lines, very political) merger which has seen the Aarhus School of Business become part of Aarhus University. It has also resulted in some restructuring of the faculties and leads to just a little bit of student-association-confusion. I am a member of both the main University students’ association and the School of Business students’ association. Both of them own gyms, bars and provide various other services around campus. Unsurprisingly, the School of Business has the most profitable and commercial association, with a huge annual turnover, loads more corporate sponsors and a much more commercial structure (i.e. a board, rather than a council/executive although the board is still elected). The members of the board that I have come across were masters students, and love to suit up. Neither the Studenterhus (main campus students’ association) or Studenterlauget (School of Business students’ association) are particularly political, as the political arm is completely separate again. The Student Council is the political arm, which lobbies the University and local council on housing conditions (all too familiar coming from Dunedin) and suchlike. The Studenterhus is actually just run by 5 full time employees and 200+ volunteers as a not-for-profit service based organisation, rather than any kind of elected group. The sport groups are also separate bodies. Very confusing. To be quite honest I don’t even know who I am technically playing volleyball for as I think the sports groups are mid-merge.

The Thursday night party night issue is supposedly due to the fact that every other faculty holds what is called a ‘Friday Bar’ on, you guessed it, a Friday. Friday bars are a bit of an institution, and each department holds one that anyone can attend, each with its own theme/drink specials/defining characteristics. Some have live music of various genres, others are known for their cocktails and others are popular for their gender imbalances. I.e. apparently there is a high chance you won’t pay for a drink if you are a female at the Maths department Friday bar. Klubben (meaning club) is the only faculty that only allows members (unless you pay a cover charge, and are with a member) hence being quite contentious.

As far as Universities meddling in the drinking culture, it appears the Danes are a great deal less PC when it comes to drinking than New Zealand, with the issue seemingly centring on competing with other faculties and excluding other students, rather than midweek drinking!

25. Un-learn English

Us kiwis, we love our slang. Already, a perfect example. We don’t even call ourselves ‘New Zealanders.’ Which has actually lead to a few funny looks here in the EU. There was some serious confusion as to why we would name ourselves after a bird/fruit instead of just refer to our country. I don’t even know if Denmark has a national animal – it was really hard to explain to Europeans who share borders with other countries!  Animals don’t respect borders like humans. In fact, as I write I am imagining animal border control in my head. It consists of a polar bear at a little customs desk telling a squirrel he has too many acorns to come to Scandinavia. Giggle.

Most people I have met so far are fluent English speakers of various backgrounds. The Danes speak brilliant English, and most of the exchanges students are European, but our classes are taught in English, so fluency is required. There aren’t, however, many native English speakers. And I am the only kiwi here.

I was asked by a few of the students to slow down because they couldn’t understand me, so I tried to pace myself and speak more clearly. However, after a while I realised that a lot of phrases I used were drawing blank stares. Much of the time, people weren’t correcting me, but assuming that their English wasn’t good enough and it was just a phrase they didn’t recognise. The gravity of the situation really sank in when the Americans couldn’t understand me.

One such example happened yesterday:

Harriet: Up to much tonight?

French student: What?

Harriet: Are you doing much tonight?

French student: I don’t know what you mean!

Harriet: Do you have any plans tonight?

French student:  Ooooh yes we’re going out!

It doesn’t seem so much of an issue with American English, or UK English, because the rest of the world watches American/British TV and movies and therefore understands their pop-culture references. Outside of the pacific, no-one watches NZ TV, so the net result is kiwis sounding like muppets idiots in foreign social situations.

Sharing witticisms and phrases you think are funny is an international cultural trend. It brings a sense of collegiality, like you are part of the group. Understanding what your friends mean is a way to share a common bond.  While a lot of my language is specific to my family, friends or others in New Zealand, I am quite sure the idea is universal. At least in the English language, anyway.  Back in NZ, however, it seems part of some of my friends’ entire social comedy routine to come up with the most ridiculous and outlandish phrases possible and bring them in to common usage.

Within my immediate family, we have a number of Geoghegan specific phrases that have evolved over time. Many of them actually derive from when my parents lived in the UK in their twenties. I think at the time they thought Cockney Rhyming Slang was just the bees knees   the best thing since sliced bread  hilarious – a perfect example of language as a social/cultural trend.

My favourite Geoghegan slang is “he’s got tickets,” used to describe someone who thinks of themselves rather highly/has a big ego. It originated from a conversation where my mother, when describing one such person, said he would “buy tickets to his own show.” I don’t even know if she was the first person to say it, but it has really caught on in the Geoghegan household!

Another classic moment was in my Integrated Marketing Communication class today. We were tasked with analysing ways to market alcopops to males. The first example that popped in to my head was Woodstock Bourbon and Coke – quite successful at targeting males I’d say I think, so I played my classmates the ad. I immediately realised I had to explain why ‘Crack a woody’ was funny. Which lead to a million and one colloquial euphemisms running through my head until I finally remembered the actual word I was looking for: erection.

I then thought I would tone it down a little and show them the L&P ‘Nothing Much ad,’ which really hits the nail on the head describes the situation well.

So now, whenever I am spinning a yarn, rallying the troops, having a mare, when something rips my knickers or grinds my gears, I have to really remind myself to describe my feelings and actions with proper English so those around me can actually understand. Either that or ASB Exchange Students Spring 2012 are going to learn some pretty messed up English.

Calling ourselves ‘Kiwis’ leads to quite a nice metaphor for why we love our slang – someone described it to me as sounding like we were a sports team, rather than a nationality.

15. University, Danish style

Today was my first day of classes, and also happened to consist of half of my classes for the week. Working out our timetables has been enough of a mission – you don’t have set times each week, they are completely variable. What was 8am Monday one week maybe 3pm Thursday the next. The University leaves it up to you to find out if your timetable clashes and then you have to change your courses. Too bad if you are in your final semester and you need your papers to graduate! I have come out with Tuesday and Friday off, which makes up for 8am-9pm in class on a Monday. Hello long weekends gallivanting around Europe!

In my mega day of classes I have noticed a number of things that are very different to my previous experiences in NZ.

First of all, if you remember everything taught in class you can have a high five but it won’t get you an A (or a 12). The Danish style, and potentially that of many other European Universities, is to discuss theories in class, then outside of class you are expected to do a great deal of extra reading/research to enable you to critically discuss the theories and apply the processes to cases. This isn’t completely foreign in a Bachelor’s degree at Otago, but most of my classes thus far have focussed on memorising information (which you will most likely forget again soon after). The exams for my papers as yet are either open book or an oral exam/presentation solving a case study.

Second, the marking scale isn’t linear. The average grade is a 6 or 7 (a C+/B+) across the entire school of business, but one lecturer explained that most students would be really happy with a 4, which is about a C-. Betwenn 8 and 12 is an A- to A+ and almost no-one gets a 12. It is almost like an A+++. There is also a complex scaling system which limits everyone’s ability to do well, so most people just pass and are happy with that.

Third, socialism reigns supreme at this University. One of my classes apparently usually has 70 students in it, but this semester only has 5 exchange students. Supposedly the reason is that last semester the exam was really hard and many of the students failed (there were some mathematical calculations that the poor marketing students weren’t expecting) so this semester the Student Union organised a boycott of the paper. So apart from those of us from foreign countries who had no idea what was going on, there wasn’t a single Danish student there. The Danes are really big on their unions and associations here so even if you needed that paper to graduate, if Union says no…

On that point, one class has an optional presentation which “in theory should be worth 10% of your grade but if you guys don’t want to do it we don’t have to.” Our lecturer explained that in the Danish system “nothing is compulsory” (which seems to make sense to me, you don’t have to go to any exam at Otago, but you won’t pass either. Perhaps passing your papers is less important when you don’t pay tuition fees). He then said that if we all collectively decided we didn’t want to do the presentation we wouldn’t do it, but he strongly urged us to do it and further incentivised our commitment by deciding on the spot he would promise to give us the full 10% just for giving it a go. I wonder if that had anything to do with 1/4 of the lectures being taken up listening to presentations, so if we didn’t do them his work load would increase… Whatever we decide, we have to somehow all come to the same resolution. A classroom dictatorship would be so much easier. (I think they actually call that the lecturer deciding how to examine the students, but I could be wrong).

Fourth, most lecturers don’t speak english as a first language (as with most students in the class) which makes for an ideal speed to keep up with taking your notes.

Fifth, there is this strange concept called the ‘academic quarter.’ I am not too sure why it isn’t just ‘your class starts at quarter past on the dot so be ready to go,’ but supposedly the concept is that although your timetable says 10am, class won’t begin until 10:15, which is meant to allow time for discussion with the lecturers. In reality, it means you sit and wait for 15 minutes while the students who know the system slowly creep in. Most of the ‘2 hour’ classes also have 15 minute breaks, so realistically it is more like 1.5 hours.

Sixth, spell checking just got a whole lot easier, as they use american spelling here which is much more Microsoft Word friendly!

Finally, lecturers really seem to go out of their way to entertain. Again, this isn’t so new as a number of lecturers at Otago showed short video clips or played songs, but it seems to go a little bit further than a 3 minute clip of something semi-relevant to the course materials. In my Organisational Communication (or should I say OrganiZational Communication)  paper we watched the first 15 minutes of ‘A Bug’s Life’ and analysed the Lyrics of ‘Circus’ by Britney Spears. The first to illustrate the development of processes and systems in large societies and organisations, the second to represent dealing with difficult people in the workplace.

Day one was an enlightening experience all round!