Week 1

Quote of the day: “You are you own worst critic” – Ted Carr

The Norwegian students led us on a day walk into the woods behind the campus. We walked for an hour until we reached the summit where we stopped for lunch and shenanigans. The Norwegian students built a fire very quickly and after Mattais returned with more firewood it was apparent that he wanted to build another fire. We only had two flints and a number of the international students wanted to have a go trying to light. I stepped back from this even though I wanted to try and instead I made myself useful by flaking bark off the wood and trying to shield the sparks from the wind. I could feel many international and Norwegian eyes ion me and George who was trying to light the fire. After a few minutes of unsuccessful sparks George asked the watching group if they wanted to have a go. Simon then volunteered and started trying with a different flint and lite the fire within 30 seconds. I could see George felt a bit tired and deflated. I also learnt a number of things; – playing running games in the snow warms everyone up, increases group moral and bonding. Great games include snowball fights, 21, small competitive group challenges eg human pyramid, letters, animals etc. These games are good when visibility is high and there is not too much wind – I think people would be less motivated to play in foggy, rainy, dark or very windy conditions. – when people play games competitively there is a greater risk of slipping on ice whilst running as less care is taken. Before a game begins it would be good to remind everyone and especially the boys of the risk of injury. I saw often boys tacking each other and a lot of rough play. Maybe suggest they do it in the powdery snow instead of near the ice? – to fix a normal plastic band-aid in the snow you need to warm it up in your hands first before you apply it because otherwise the sticky stuff will be all frozen and it wont stay on. – gender roles will be very interesting to observe this semester :) I noticed many all girl and all boy small groups. So far the boys have been much more dominant in collecting firewood, making shelters and lighting fires. I’ll be interested to see if this changes overtime and if the boys are just trying to show off or prove something. I think there are so many different perspectives on the role of gender in group dynamics it can be hard to determine a cause for this phenomena. For now I will just try to observe, participate and not rock the boat as I don’t what to deflate too many ego’s too early – including my own :P – Reflecting on the group leadership skills displayed there so far seems to be many people who are very keen to take charge and have prior knowledge and experience in the snow. Although I have a lot of experience in navigation in Australia I realise the terrain here will be mapped very differently. When walking to and from the summit I looked around and tried to imagine how it would be mapped on a 1:10000 scale map and I struggled. Hopefully on Wednesday I get a better feel for this kind of terrain. My previous experience leading groups is very relevant to working with such a large group of people but at least initially I don’t plan on assuming the role of a leader. I experienced something very interesting when I arrived back from this trip. Walking back to our accomodation it had started to rain a little bit and I got very cold. When I got into the nice lovely hot shower I found that even after ten minutes i still didn’t feel warm. I only really began to feel warm once I hopped into bed