Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 3

Today was the grand finale of the workshop. All 8 students presented their work at the end of the day, and they turned out really nicely. There was one that I thought was especially good, and I'm going to try and post it here if I can. It might be too big, though. (UPDATE: It was.)

I feel like it was such a privilege to be able to connect with some people here and help them through the process of creating a digital story. I love the fact that I got to know some Norwegians - that's better than seeing all of the sights, right?

Tonight, Joe, Robin and I went to dinner at a place called The Nighthawk Diner - it's modeled after the classic American diner. I had a BLT that didn't taste like any BLT I've ever had before, but it was very good. Just different.

Tomorrow I'm going home and while I'm sad to say goodbye, I've no regrets about leaving behind the Norwegian Kroner. I forgot to give the shocking detail in my last post that the four beers I bought last night (2 for me, 2 for Joe) cost $50. And we were drinking local beer, too, which is usually less expensive than the imported stuff.

And now for some random photos of the past few days.

Day 2 (a day late)

I have a couple of minutes so I'm going to try and sum up yesterday. Mostly, I just want to share some pictures.

The two remaining students showed up, so Joe caught them up to speed and I stayed busy recording the voiceovers. We took a 2-hour lunch so that we could visit the famous sculpture garden (and stayed on an hour later). It was a beautiful day and the light was perfect. Norway is a winter wonderland.

After the workshop, Joe and I wandered through downtown to see the sights. We hoped to find something to eat, and thought we had when we found a pub. As it turned out, it was the type that doesn't serve food, but we were too tired to move, and since we'd had a late lunch, we decided beer for dinner was just as well. Robin joined us again, and we had a fun evening.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 1 of workshop

Today started out badly, but ended well. My phone/alarm clock went dead overnight and I didn't wake up until 8am. I was supposed to meet Joe at his hotel at 8:30am. Somehow, I made it in time (which included finding his hotel). I suspect that my hyper speed was motivated by a fear of trying to make my way alone to the University. Knut Lundby, a professor of communication and one of the keynote speakers at the conference, showed us the way by train. The University of Oslo campus is attractive, modern, and covered in snow. It wasn't very cold, either - strangely enough, it was over 30 degrees here and only 6 degrees in Denver. Not what I was expecting!

Only 6 out of 8 students showed up for the workshop. It was a good group, though, and by the end of the day all had made good progress on their stories. Afterwards, Joe and I met up with Knut and one of his colleagues at a restaurant that is in the opera house. It was beautiful - clean design, everything white, with fire and light creating a warm, comfortable atmosphere. Cod is in seasons so I had it - delicious - and afterwards we walked around the roof of the opera house and enjoyed views of the city.

Monday, February 7, 2011


The conference ended today at noon, and afterwards I went with a group, guided by kind Lillehammer native and conference organizer Per, and we walked around the open air museum. It's kind of like Old Town in Burlington, only Norwegian. We got an unexpected treat - there was a woman there with a little herd of 5 reindeer. Apparently it's her gig; she mostly keeps them further north but takes them on the road occasionally for cultural events, school visits, etc. They shed their antlers and grow new ones every year, so we saw them in various phases of head adornment.

Last night was a memorable evening. We were treated to a very nice, 3-course dinner, complete with entertainment. When I saw it was a saxophone player, I cringed a little, but he was really good. He uses an old recording device to loop what he's playing, allowing him to build layers throughout the song.

A miracle occurred when I got to Oslo. I found my hotel - accidentally. I had written down careful directions based on Google maps, but the train station was huge and by the time I found an exit I had no idea where I was. For once, my decision to just start walking and see what I found worked in my favor. It was snowing pretty heavily - still is - so unfortunately I didn't get to walk around and explore a little. I'm not feeling super great tonight anyway, though, so probably for the best. I couldn't sleep last night, partly because I was wired and partly because the halls of the hotel were pretty noisy. Some of the Americans stayed up until 3am watching the Super Bowl.

Tomorrow I'm meeting Joe at his hotel and then we are heading to the University of Oslo to start the workshop. There are only 8 students in the class, so it should be a low-pressure situation. More soon!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

No Photos

All work and no play, let me tell you. I don't have a single photo to post because I haven't been outside the doors of the hotel.

Ok, but I know that nobody feels sorry for me, nor should you. I've had the best salmon of my life two days in a row and have met people from all over the world. Most of the attendees are Norwegian, but there are also people here from Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Australia, Canada, and a handful of us from the States.

Yesterday the conference started with lunch and ended with a reception, with several presentations and one awkward ice breaker in between. Today there are a couple of big presentations, but mostly it is a day of smaller, topical sessions. It's been fascinating and inspiring to see the different ways that digital storytelling is being used.

Joe put me to work selling his books during coffee breaks. He brought a box with him and doesn't want to fly them home. Since I'm sitting behind a table looking official, people assume that I can speak Norwegian. They are quickly disabused of that notion.

I'll have more details later. For now, I need to find the room where the next breakout session is. Norwegian names are confusing . . .

Friday, February 4, 2011


I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of this, but airports could make a fortune if they rented little sleeping cubbies. You wouldn't even need much room, really - just a soundproof place with a clean blanket and pillowcase and a big alarm clock. They could charge anything they wanted, and desperate people like me would pay it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Ok, this is the second try at posting today. The first message I wrote disappeared, and since I'm running out of time before boarding, this will be brief.

I'm traveling to Norway for a week. There is an international digital storytelling conference in Lillehammer from Feb 5-7 (

Then from the 8-10 I'll be co-teaching a workshop at the University of Oslo with digital storytelling guru Joe Lambert. By "co-teaching" I mean "hanging around." I can't imagine he'll need my help, but it will be a good learning experience for me, and he was kind enough to extend the invitation.

I won't be doing a lot of sightseeing, but will try to post anything interesting I can scrape together!