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Icelandic Vibes

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Language seminar in Reykjavik

End of intensive & inspiring stay

travelling and learning Posted on Jun 20, 2010 23:42:00

The first day of conference ended with a great conference dinner out on Viðey island. We ate Icelandic specialities and sang, accompanied by an accordeonist, songs from our different countries at the top our our voices. Most successful was the Icelandic song Riðum Riðum.

The following second and last day passed too quickly. Much reflecting on our roles as teachers and how learners learn best. Thoughts that never receive due attention once school has started. Thoughts that need to be thought, so to say!

On Sunday we went to worship in Hallgrimskirkja, a grey concrete colossus that is inviting, though, in spite of its majestic shape. You feel welcome under its Gothic high-pointed vaults and tall, narrow windows. Like the Icelandic landscape, the church has its austere beauty – no flattering ornaments; just a plain naked interior.
Beautiful music, a lovely choir and more Gregorian chant (written mensural-like notation) than in a Swedish service.

The Blue Lagoon filled the rest of our day. Strange feeling to step into the hot water that is warmed by underground bubbling activity. A giant steaming pool surrounded by black lava. Very very relaxing to float around in the water in these peculiar looking surroundings.

Sharing the Treasure Trove

travelling and learning Posted on Jun 20, 2010 02:17:01

The seminar started on Friday and Margareta and I were lucky enough to have our presentations right after the key note speech. It is fun to present, even though time is usually too short.

This was the case also this time. Advantage with short speaking time: you have to concentrate on the task and not deviate from the subject – the presentation becomes more to the point. Disadvantage: you feel stressed and there is no time for comments & questions from the audience. With my subject – the Computer, a facilitator in language teaching – it is difficult to set the right level as I dont know how computer literate the audience is. Is everything absolutely clear and easy or does my presentation appear obscure? A speaker with too short of time does not get the opportunity to take in the right vibes from the audience, but has to glance at the watch every now and then in order not to steal time from the following speaker. Time stealing is bad manners and totally selfish. It affects the whole range of presentations. Unfortunately it occurs at nearly all conferences. The moderator shows the sign 5 minutes left and the speaker drones on without consideration for the following speakers.

This time it went smoothly though my presentation felt a bit strained due to lack of time. Margareta was more composed and calm, too calm – I stood behind with my eyes glued to the watch.

A relief to have it all done. And it feels nice to go to all the interesting presentations without stress.

The photos below are from different places we have visited but they all show Iceland´s exotic scenery where the ground seems to be alive. The murmuring bubbling underground with mighty forces just under your feet. The widespread black lava fields that give you the impression of being on another planet. The austere rare beauty of a landscape that is not eager to please but evokes memories of a distant past shrouded in mists.