Sunday, 29 August 2010

Cure, Culters & Classmates

According to the somewhat spaced-out psychologist C. G. Jung we occasionally experience coincidences which have to arise from something more than just coincidences. This phenomenon he refers to as "synchronicity".

Yesterday I was at the record shop and came across a Greatest Hits collection with The Cure (consisting of a double CD and a DVD) for just a few bucks. An offer no music lover can turn down.

At the underground right afterwards I was sitting opposite three teenage girls with a style I sort of liked. Black clothes, black mascara and big black hair. Mini versions of Robert Smith, all of them. Maybe they're called emos today, but for me they were reincarnations of the little nine-graders dressed in black (then called "culters") hanging outside the local record shop in the mid-80s.

As I walked down the main avenue a bit later, I - much to my surprise - bumped into an old classmate visiting Oslo (now she's got vampire teeth and tattoos all over her body; a reminder that the most exciting people are those I'd probably never even get to know today).

From The Cure, via the "culters" of my youth, to an unexpected encounter with my old classmate. Could this be caused by pure coincidences? Or was this some kind of Jungian synchronicity?

On the other hand: In a rare whim of humility Freud once admitted that "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar". Maybe his colleague Jung on his part would agree that "coincidences sometimes are just coincidences"?

Well, no matter what I had a nice Saturday afternoon.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Another School Year

Although I wouldn't mind prolonging my summer holiday with one or two additional weeks, I guess it was ok getting back to work again. It all started with a two-day course at a conference hotel last week.

Since the participants came from all the adult education centres in town, I also got the chance to see my nice colleagues from my former workplace again. True, the very first person I ran into was my personal nemesis. But after having survived her basilisk gaze I was actually quite glad to get that over and done with. And afterwards I could socialize with my ex-colleagues. I don't regret leaving my former workplace. But it was a pity losing so many nice colleagues.

The program offered many relevant/interesting topics, although I personally didn't always find the relevant stuff that interesting. And vice versa.

An element which may not have been that relevant for the daily work in the classroom, but which still caught my interest, was a presentation of Holland's six personality types: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional (or for short: RIASEC).

During the presentation we were encouraged to find our own personality types, and it turned out that both I and my neighbour defined ourselves primarily as S-, I- and A-types. On the other hand, I guess it's no surprise that teachers usually have a social, investigative and artistic disposition.

All in all these days were a rather good start of the new school year. And of course it felt great being able to eat as much soft ice and pop corn as we wanted. Teachers aren't exactly pampered with fringe benefits.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Back To Life, Back To Reality...

Yesterday I had the last day of my vaacation. And after two months I guess it might be a good idea to get back to the everyday life again. Holidays easily make you develop bad habits. Like watching tv all morning.

As for me, old reruns of Frasier and Judging Amy have lately become part of my morning ritual. I sometimes feel like a lazy housewife. The only things missing are the housecoat, hair roller and a cigarette in my mouth. (But I guess things could be EVEN worse. I could be watching Oprah and Dynasty instead...)

Well, since this was my last day off, I decided to make the best out of it. I got up rather early, watched my prescribed Frasier and Amy episodes, and then eventually went out into the Oslo summer - which unfortunately wasn't very summery. But after having read the paper at the local library I still decided to explore the fjord.

There hasn't been much beach life this summer, and now that everyday life is on its way again, it's hard to say when (or if) there'll be another chance. So I took the bus to one of the islands and had a nice, refreshing dip. (When I almost collided with a 100 pound sea nettle, however, I realized I better get out of the water again.)

In the evening I enjoyed a chicken salad and some wine. The wine was kind of sour, and the salad didn't agree with me very well. But what the heck! I enjoyed this day of my vacation as if it was my last one. Probably because it was. But fortunately there are only 10 months until my next summer holiday. Yay!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

The District & NYC

One might think my three-week InterRail should have satisfied my need to travel. But now I've just returned from yet another trip, this time to Washington DC and New York City.

I didn't really have that many expectations about DC. I was mostly imagining lots of public buildings. But although Washington is the administrative centre of the US, it was far from boring. Escpecially since the "public buildings" also included the White House and Capitol!

Another sight was the Smithsonian Institution's many exciting (and admission-free) museums by the Mall. We didn't have time to see them all, but visited the Museums for Natural History, American History and Air and Space. Interesting and informative.

After four days in DC, New York was our next stop. Compared to DC's relatively low buildings and modest pace, the skyskrapers and swarming street life of The Big Apple seemed like the diametrical opposite!

On Saturday we spent most of the day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but still only got time for a fraction of the collection: Greek, Roman and so-called Primitive art, plus paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries. All the same, I got the chance to see several of my favourite artists (Surrealists, Avantgardists and Impressionists, plus the occasional Pre-Raphaelite...).

It was a great stay, but every time I visit New York, the last day has always a certain bitter-sweetness to it. I won't bother to explain why. It has to do with goodbyes.