Sunday, February 17, 2008


Thursday morning the Flytaxi picked me up very early to start my trip to Gjøvik, a city about 125 km north of Oslo. I flew with Ingvill and May, and again we did math puzzles the whole way there and back. We took a 2-hour bus ride from Oslo along Lake Mjøsa, the largest lake in Norway. A bit further north is Lillehammer, famous for the 1994 Winter Olympics.

I was struck by how very much Mjøya looks like Lake Whatcom. We very well could have been driving along Lake Whatcom Blvd. on our way back from Sudden Valley.

We arrived at the Vitensenter (Science Center) and met a group of 20 teachers from the area. We gave math talks and activities about math clubs, family math, outdoor math, and math games. One activity we did involved a ski-jump with bottles of water... a very Norwegian activity!

After dinner on the first day, we were treated to a show: a drama involving an astronaut meeting Copernicus followed by a planetarium exhibit. It was all in Norwegian, and I delighted in trying to follow the stories and pleased with how much I understood. I am really starting to know quite a bit of the language.

The next day the teachers had time to work on an implementation plan to ensure that they would use ideas from the seminar, and so I had time to work on a new book Ingvill and I will be writing.

Here's a picture from the museum of a mental challenge. The names of colors are written in different colors which don't match with the word. The challenge is to name the color in which the word is written without being confused the word spells another color. I've done these in English and they're very difficult. I thought it would be easy to do in Norwegian, but turns out I was wrong. I found myself saying "Yellow" when looking at the word GUL written in green, and then everything went wrong. I was surprised to fail this test even in a language that is very new to me.

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