Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The work, party, test update

Last week's three biggies are behind me: first day of work, birthday party, and the Norwegian language test. All went about as well as one could have expected. 

I began working last week as, essentially, a nursing assistant in an assisted living facility. However, seeing that I am not licensed as a nursing assistant (guess what lovely agency I'd have to apply to for that? My favorite Norwegian bureaucratic agency of all: SAFH!), I am paid an even lower wage. I was hired specifically to work in a one-to-one patient assignment with a dementia patient. I, of course, cannot elaborate much more than that, due to patient taughetsplikt (confidentiality), but I am learning a bit here and there about the Norwegian health care system (pros and cons), employment (pros and cons), and dementia (all cons). And just what my priorities and limits are. More on that later. Like 6 weeks later.

Today I also began doing a little "spring cleaning" at the local museum, which was advertised as being a one to two week job, but will more likely be four weeks. I frankly don't have four weeks to give them. But it also looks like I might be able to work a few days here and there with them this summer, and perhaps a bit into the fall, as well. So I haven't completely lost my opportunity to dress up in period costume!

The party's starting!
We had a fun little belated birthday party for our newly-minted four-year old last week. Greta's birthday fell on the day before the barnehage closed for Easter vacation (what do you mean your daycare doesn't close for four days surround Easter? What kind of heathen country do you people live in?), so we delayed the party by 9 days so she'd actually have some friends in town to celebrate with. Four other 3- and 4-year olds joined us for homemade macaroni and cheese (no norsk pølse at our birthday parties!), chocolate cupcakes and Rice Krispie bars (which the children ate with great suspicion).

And then the Bergenstest. The five-hour long, five part written test of Norwegian language, designed primarily for those foreigners who wish to be admitted to a Norwegian university. I do not, in fact, wish to be admitted to a university, but I do wish to take a month long required nursing course in November, and to do so I need to pass this test. 

I believe the test went well, but not well enough. It consists of 5 parts--a reading comprehension of 3 different texts with both multiple choice and short answer, a listening comprehension of short 15 second conversations/newsreports/telephone messages, a listening comprehension of a 5 minute interview that you then turn around and write a 30 minute "report" on, a 350 work essay (this time on whether or not drivers licenses for new, young male drivers should have more restrictions on them or not), and the cursed A-B sentences. . .  

What are A-B sentences? 
A: Mari said, "Pappa can drive us to the theater".
B: Mari said that Pappa could drive them to the theater.

A: I shall not pass this test, although I studied very hard.
B: Although I studied very hard, will I not pass this test. (according to norwegian word order).

A: She has it like the yolk in an egg at her new job.
B: She really has it good at her new job.

The first two examples are (relatively simple) grammatical sentence switcheroos. Those I can handle. It's the third kind--the idioms--that throw me because you just can't study for them. You just have to have heard them once, twice, a dozen times. 

At any rate. . . that's my prediction.  
(A) I'll have my results in 6 weeks. 
Or. . . . 
(B) In 6 weeks, shall I have results mine. 


  1. After six weeks I would forget I had taken it, thereby lowering my stress level. Sounds like a brutal test.

  2. Wow, best of luck! I was thinking of you taking the Bergen's test the other day. You're one of the first I know of to take it, and I wish you the best of luck!

    BTW, I think the look on your daughter's face in that photo is utterly priceless. A belated Gratulerer med dagen til deg Greta!

  3. I'm sure you will do really well Emily. You certainly deserve it!
    Well done on serving mac n cheese and rice krispie bars to the norwegian kids- it's about time they had something different from bloody pølse med lompa and ice cream! Så kjedlig!

  4. I am in absolute awe that you sat for that test, Emily, absolute awe, and I am crossing all of my fingers and toes for you that you passed and don't have to think about it any more. Good luck!!

    I'm really looking forward to hearing more about your jobs and hoping it will be good stuff you can report to us. It's a big bummer that they've chosen to pay you less than your skills and experience merit, but what can you do except work hard, learn everything you can, and hope they are impressed. I hope you meet nice people at both the care facility and the museum!

    I agree with Corinne---that picture of Greta is awesome. I love her little shoes! She must have had the best day ever!

  5. That test really is a doozy. But guess what? It's over!! And that's wonderful regardless of the result. I remember having a fairly bad feeling when I left there but I passed! :). I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!!

    And American taxes? That's a nagging suspicion I've solidly ignored. Give me the low-down? Believe it or not, I have never filed American taxes...my parents claimed me so I never had to do it! Man I was young when I moved here...