Monthly Archives: May 2016

May 25, 2016

A Day on the Island of Svanøy

May 25th, 2016|

We set off at 0730hrs, wet, cold, windy. A joy to be on a boat! For the hour journey most stayed below deck … fast asleep. When we arrived we quickly huddled under the nearest trees which offer too few leaves to shelter under and too few trees to make much of a difference.  As we descended to the rocky shore to carry out some biology field work we quickly came to the sobering realisation that the conditions were not ‘challenging’, ‘interesting’ or even ‘formidable’, but rather they were terrible! We beat a hasty retreat to the Deer Centre and all agreed that the less said about quadrants and transects the better.

Trygve met us at the marvelous Deer Centre and after David read a rather spirited and entertaining set of parish notices he invited us in. We were all quite taken with the taxidermy found on all walls and tables, a myriad of deer from the majestic Red to the exotic Sika and the downright adorable Munjac. As we waited for the next group to arrive we had time for some well deserved rest and a bit of drying out time.

At the Deer Centre

At the Deer Centre

When the others arrived on the boat we all gathered to hear Trygve talk about his life on Svanøy and how he fits into the world of farming, hunting and conservation. It was entertaining and very relevant and the experience of a man who lives what he preaches is always fascinating. After this we broke for lunch and prepared for Dugnad, a voluntary contribution to making our communities better places to live. We cleared forestry to make parkland for the Red deer, we cleared driftwood from the shoreline grazing for the Fallow deer and we collected a disgusting volume of plastic and refuse from the beach areas.

During this we had a great opportunity to get up close with some beautiful beasts in the shape of a group of Red deer hinds (females). To hear them called by song and have them emerge form the woods and pick their way down the steep slopes to be  admired up close is something we will all remember. After this close encounter we headed back to the deer centre before the rain decided to ruin the fun.

Judit, Mariano and Alistair then had a series of discussions and spirited debate about many aspects of humans in the environment and the role of hunters and eating meat, among other topics. All the while the backstage team of Briony, Laura, David and Simon were doing their level best to not burn, mangle or otherwise render inedible what can only be described as far, far, far too many pølse! As the rather successful BBQ died down we looked around to see Trygve was only getting started. He was demonstrating a rather particular method of ancient viking diplomacy. Namely, dual wielding double headed axes and hurling them with some skill into huge targets of wood.

As we tided up Mariano wanted to share his experience of the island with a new generation and set off to take students from the later boat on a hike to visit some charming 17th century ruins and the rest of us prepared to depart. As we left we started to reflect on a day which marked the beginning of the end of the sorrow of absent friends. We had managed a full day without the second years and although there was still some sadness on the boat back the atmosphere was now largely one of smiles and tiredness rather than doom and gloom.

(Written by Biology teacher, Simon Ramsay)

Meeting Place for Diversity

May 24th, 2016|

The present and coming generations will have to tackle serious issues when it comes to climate changes and people being forced to leave their homes. One generation of our students has just graduated, and many leave with an urgency about tackling these issues. Awareness of environmental and humanitarian concerns is central in the education we offer here at RCN.

UWC RCN also has an ambition to engage beyond our campus and to invite groups and individuals to Haugland to gain knowledge and experience on what we have to offer. We are glad to announce that our partnership with Sparebankstiftinga Sogn & Fjordane, Sogn & Fjordane County and UDI has raised a total of 900 000 NOK for activities for this purpose. This will enable young persons from our region as well as refugees and individuals to join our human environment of purposeful diversity on activities that will equip them to meet challenges ahead.

 

Graduation Ceremony 2016

May 22nd, 2016|

Graduation took place on Saturday 21st May at UWC Red Cross Nordic. It was a pleasure to welcome so many families, host families from our local community and other guests on Friday evening for dinner in the Høegh and then a cultural show – all coordinated by the first year students. The ceremony took place in a beautifully decorated auditorium at 14:00 on Saturday and consisted of speeches, a slideshow, a special video for the occasion (see here and below), musical performances and the formal graduation procession. The Rektor, Richard Lamont, opened the ceremony with a welcome address. Liv Ronglan, the RCN Board Rep for the Norwegian Red Cross, gave a powerful address about the College’s partnership with the Red Cross and the role our students can play in the future. Her address was followed by speeches from Gunhild Berge Stang (Mayor of Fjaler), from second year students (Anna Kwok from Hong Kong and Bassie Bondeva from Sierra Leone) and the farewell message was given by Tove Veierød (Chair of the RCN Board). Our guest of honour for the occasion was Marianne Andresen – a lionhearted champion of the College for over twenty years.

Many of the parents of our second year students were unable to attend the ceremony – and therefore we have posted lots of images on faceboook and a copy of the graduation ceremony programme so that our whole community can connect with the occasion. Congratulations to all our graduating students!

For Larry’s welcome address, click here.

For facebook albums from the day, click here and here; and from the Graduation dinner on Friday evening, click here.

Liusiadh Brown (Intern)

May 14th, 2016|

Liusaidh, a young, blue-haired teaching intern from Scotland, arrived at RCN in late July, 2015. She didn’t know much about the College and had no experience of teaching. She didn’t have much confidence, and the Summer Course students asked her strange questions that were sometimes difficult to answer.

Now Liusaidh is a real teacher. She finds interesting ways to explain things to students, understands how they feel in her lessons. Before coming here, she was rather quiet, but says she has become more sociable and open as a consequence of her time at RCN. She says, “The guidance that Angie (Toppan) and Pete (Wilson) has given me has been invaluable, both by delivering model lessons but also by giving me concrete feedback that I can reflect on and learn from.”

Liusaidh spends a lot of time working with Samira (Niger), Mean (Cambodia) and Sumaya (Western Sahara), who are students in the Foundation Year programme at RCN. Teaching beginners is a difficult task because it requires patience. She chooses material that is accessible to her students and helps them talk about their situation and topics they are interested in. They say they have learned a lot with Liusaidh, improving their English skills and becoming assertive and enthusiastic communicators in their new language.

Liusaidh has enjoyed her UWC experience immensely, which has made her stronger and more professional in the art of teaching. She has participated in humanitarian activities such as visiting Førde Mottak and cultural celebrations such as Holi. She has also made the most of opportunities to ski, hike, kayak, camp and look up at the stars and the Northern Lights. In her own words, “I really love living in Norway with fresh air, beautiful landscape and kind people.”

She is ready for new challenges in the teaching profession hoping to work for schools that see potential in the diversity of its student body.

(The above is a collaborative effort, written by her students.)