27 Jan Newsletter 27 January 2012
The world is getting bigger at Ranum Efterskole! It's a fact you only have to move around the school for a few hours to discover. Everywhere this week, stories have been told, pictures shown and unedited film clips taken from the many travel experiences and impressions. Stories have been compared from the North to Nepal to Miami. Discussions have been held and tears have flowed about world inequality, and as we have experienced in the past, it is difficult for the students of the Nepal team in particular to comprehend when Miami talks about their luxury impressions. The contrasts are huge and so are the emotions. The last 2 returning Nepal teams in particular have had a tough week, and several have had to go home to nurse a bout of stomach aches and extreme exhaustion. Unfortunately, the stomach bug is contagious and we are encouraging all students with symptoms to stay home until they are well again.
The week has in addition to follow-up on the profile subject trips, offered some academic lessons, as well as preparation for the upcoming study choice. Student counsellor Ib Christensen, together with teacher Peter Christensen, had a large group of students in Aalborg for the "Education without Borders" fair, and today, Friday, most of the 9th grade students have worked their way through www.optagelse.dk. The final study choices must be made by 1 March and all interested parents have the opportunity to have interviews on 17 February, where it will also be possible to hear about the recently completed profile subject expeditions. A special invitation for 17 February will be sent out by Ib Christensen on the parents' e-mail.
This week we have focused on returning to the familiar world, sharing impressions, experiences and knowledge with each other and reflecting on the very large differences in impressions and experiences.In the big assembly on Tuesday, teacher Claus Christensen took up the topic of system and society and gave the students an understanding of how a social system is dependent on acceptance and morality. A theme that fits in both with the teenager's desire to rebuild and with an understanding of the very different societies the students have visited on their profile subject trips. In Nepal, for example, all schools were completely open to dialogue and visits; in India, students lived in a school; in Ghana, students experienced schoolchildren being afraid of the cane; and in Miami, for security and resource reasons, students could not even get a single tour of a high school. The experience brings both joy and disappointment, but also sparks young people's thinking. Reality is mirrored in the world.
Pedagogical it has been almost magical to return to school after travelling with the students, living, sleeping and eating together around the clock in very primitive conditions. Everyone greets each other and the community has certainly been strengthened by sharing the different stories. On the other hand, a group of boys found themselves having a small party on Wednesday night and this resulted in them being repatriated and a parents' meeting for the boys involved being held on Wednesday. At this point in the school year we are on the other side of having to explain the rules of the school and therefore we are looking at the situation with the utmost seriousness. Fortunately, this unpleasant incident did not overshadow the pleasant atmosphere on Friday afternoon, when the contact groups enjoyed themselves together while the snow wrapped Ranum Efterskole in white. The two new paved paths between Kærhuset and Seminariehuset have already proved their worth in the snowy weather, as not much slush has been dragged into the school, and the many reminders about slippers are not so topical anymore.
In the coming week there is again a strong focus on the academic subjects. Standpoint grades are given in all subjects and we conclude the follow-up of the 2nd profile subject period with evaluations and presentations. We also warm up for the upcoming project assignments in week 6. In this context, it is possible for students to bring their own printer to their rooms, so that they can more easily print drafts of their assignments in the writing process.
This coming weekend there will be interviews with new students for 12-13. We encourage current students to stay Saturday and help show around, give presentations and socialize around the incoming students!
Students have the option to go home on Saturday at the end of the day - until Sunday evening.
Everywhere in Denmark's secondary schools, collections are made for the Danish Fundraising Campaign. We want to support this, but at the same time we have put a lot of resources into going ourselves and on a friendship basis gaining insight and understanding of the living conditions of other young people in Nepal, Ghana, children of imprisoned gang members in Miami etc. Perhaps we do not achieve the same result as other schools, but our young people carry an understanding that is worth far more than a one-off financial contribution. Of course, we encourage everyone to support the Danish Fundraising Campaign!
Best regards and have a nice weekend